Day 69

I’m tired.

I’m sick of the wind pushing me around. It’s a constant torture that is driving me to the brink of insanity. Every time I feel a breeze or hear a gust, my stomach turns. I never thought something so insignificant in my life up to this point could affect me so much. The instant it begins my entire physiology changes. It owns me…and the wind knows it. To add to the torment, I’m in New Mexico now heading into Arizona and the terrain is getting mountainous. I’m giggling to myself as I recall complaining about the hills I bitched about in the past. I’d take the hills over the terrain I’m beginning to deal with now.

It’s a one-two punch that has me on the ropes. I want to quit. I am so sick of being on the bike and dealing with them both. I’m not even able to enjoy the rides anymore. I have to constantly be in lower gears to be able to move faster than a walk. The rise and fall of the roads add to me having to walk the bike more as the elevation grades go from steep to, what I think is worse, runs with slight elevations but go for miles. My legs burn. You can only go so far before you have to get off and walk. Toughing it out is not an option when you consider that you have so many miles left in the day. I can’t afford to toast my legs early especially taking into consideration that the amount of sunlight is becoming less and less due to the time of year.

I don’t know what to do. The hotel costs are getting to be too much. This area of the US isn’t conducive for CouchSurfing or WarmShowers hosting opportunities…and the approach of the holidays may be adding to the lack of reply rates I’m now getting. Even shit hole hotels cost $30 a night. I’m afraid to camp because I’m worried about the animals that might pop up in the middle of the night. I’ve been seeing a lot of coyote and snake road kill lately which tells me that’s what’s living in the area. It’s also cold at night. It’s been in the low 30’s the last few days and the outlook is about the same. There’s also something to be said about being able to take a shower. I sweat…ALOT! Being caked in your own filth for days on end wears on you. Going to sleep sweaty and then waking up and putting back on that filth the next day adds to the demoralization.

What bothers me the most is that I’m approximately 600 miles away from Phoenix. From what I can put together thus far, I’ve traveled approximately 2,000 miles on a map…and probably an additional couple hundred miles from walking/riding around at the various destinations I’ve been to thus far. I’m sick at looking at that last sentence. I cannot believe I’ve gone that far and I’m on the verge of quitting because of how I’m feeling. It would be easy to say keep going…you’re so close…the cliches are a plenty…but damn when you’re in the heat if it…worrying about money…the physical tole…loneliness…I just don’t know how much farther I can go. Part of me starts thinking about the overall goal…to get around the world…can I do that when 600 miles is causing me so much anxiety…fear is a mother fucker.

I’m flirting with alternatives…I’m considering going South…but that would add more mileage and from what I can tell, not a lot of alleviation from the mountainous terrain. I’m also thinking about taking a train from Albuquerque to Phoenix. That would be fun and a nice way to end this leg of the trip.

I don’t know what to do. I’m going to go relax in my hotel room and see what I can come up with in the next few hours before I have to get on the road again.

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