Bikepacking Santa Fe-Los Alamos Loop V

Ride pushed carrying, only half know precisely where we are, when we do, it rarely resolves how far it is from where we’re headed timed over terrain that makes distances meaningless. Being late for my 7:30pm dinner date isn’t really an option, I’m trying to make an impression, but these things have a way of working out, like an infinite time solution to Zeno’s paradox. Exchange grins with Cass, moving as if and really are reminded of times elsewhere that we just keep to ourselves to emphasize the here. Mostly try to ratchet pedal through the repeated Nambe River crossing for the nonexistent trail on the other side, but once your feet are wet, well then it’s just stubbornness against fatigue and whether anyone else does it. Hours of close canyon walls, repeated bike lifts, stretches of elated riding, later the gap widens and we’re across a field with signs to confirm that we’re where we hoped and put our finger on map for days ago. We four have wandered and roamed and treated this the way people say they are going to but never do where the going eclipses the getting there; hurrying comes reluctantly.

Ascending again, hints from the press on temples though that can be garden variety dehydration, not many have come through here since the fires. Grid split charcoal fragile looking pillars, once the stream jumped its banks it moved sand into a tilted edgeless beach crackle vortex depositing blowdown, Nick will ride this section, I’ll glower. Still later surfing waves of my own attention and absences, lock brakes rounding a corner meet eyes with a bear. It and I lost and serene in the unexpectedness of it. So close. It ambles away with a considerable limp. Finally reach a dirt road and the way to the highway is ahead, but there’s some lovely singletrack and we won’t resist.

One of those days of continuous riding, the transforming Vipassana. A day that when recollected the symmetry of the hours—climbing light peaking overhead rays descending light, hunger ignorance hunger, chill vigor warmth strength weakness—is unusually clear. Friends, well, they were that before, but now traveling companions. Hugs, goodbyes, sprint into the yellow street light lit Santa Fe. Knock on the door at 7:22.