Saturday, March 13, 2010


At the risk of scandalizing my parents, I can't resist relating the tale of officially the strangest (and, in retrospect, funniest) sleeping situation of the trip thus far....

Now, between farms and friends' houses I've camped in sanctioned state campgrounds, mostly. There have also been nights of tents pitched in orchards, on church lawns, and amid the high desert middle-of-nowhere back country. I've slept in exactly one trailer, two haylofts, and the floor of a child's playroom. Two nights ago, I slept on my first plastic table. Well, I didn't sleep much.

After roughly 61.5 miles of riding from Rodeo (yep, it's a real town, right on the border with AZ), Aaron and I found ourselves rolling into Hachita, NM around nightfall. Any of you familiar with southern New Mexico may know that there is a bit of a reputation here along the border for drug runners, coyotes (both the animal and black market people mover varieties), and trucks bearing oversized loads. No back country camping for me here. Shivering as the temperature continued to drop about 5 degrees every 5 minutes, we headed toward the one light in town, hoping that someone there might be able to tell us where there was a campsite in this otherwise abandoned place. The short version: there were no campsites or motels in town, but we were free to pitch our tent in the dirt next to the shop. Actually, the couple who had just acquired the soon-to-be gas station reconsidered as the wind picked up and said we were welcome to roll our bikes in and sleep inside. Sweet. Not exactly a bed and breakfast, but the best option going (the other options being nonexistent). We chatted for a bit longer before Cheyenne and her husband bid us good evening and left.

Aaron and I made some dinner on the campstove, heated water in the coffee maker for me to sponge bathe in the bathroom, and got ready to throw our sleeping bags and pads on the floor. Only it was freezing. No. It was *below* freezing. I thought to myself, "WWMD??" (What Would MacGuyver Do??) I was all out of twist ties and chewing gum, but all was not lost. I scanned the room for something I could use to insulate me from the frigid concrete. Aha! A plastic banquet table! I'd just need to fold the legs in and lay it down flat. And a random Mexican blanket (you know the kind: striped with a fringe)! Score!

Picture Aaron and I lying side by side in our respective sleeping bags, sardines with chattering teeth on a 6 1/2 foot long, 2 1/2 foot wide plastic table, with a dusty blanket thrown over the top, trying not to roll onto the floor.

It was darn cold, even sleeping in my wool sweater and flannel pants. And my sorry excuse for a sleeping pad -- I'll be darned if I can find the air leak -- was in rare form, sliding off the plastic table approximately every seven seconds. (Aaron didn't seem to be experiencing the slide off sleeping pad phenomenon, but I did hear him yelp once or twice when he must've tried to roll over and brushed against the ice cold concrete for a split second.) We alternated between shivering and giggling about the absurdity of the situation. I mean, seriously, lying on a plastic table on the floor of a gas station: what would your mother say?

The next morning, we crawled out of our sleeping bags, scarfed some breakfast -- one of my new favorites, invented when the ladies back at Marana Heritage Farm let me into the kitchen: scrambled eggs with garlic sauteed cabbage wrapped in tortillas -- packed up, restored the plastic table to its former upright position, and, stiff and tired, hit the road. We may not have slept all that well, but in the grand scheme of things, at least it's good for the stories, right?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. Ok, I need to go grab a sweater just from reading that! Having been in many a cold camping situation (although not quite as crazy as that), I can relate...a little. :) PS - I just got cabbage today, I'm going to try out you cabbage breakfast burrito idea.

  2. Hiya Beth. Yes, let me know how the cabbage culinary experiment goes. We found a splash of spicy salsa brings out the garlicky cabbage flavor nicely. :)


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti