Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a pretty and strong sunset

funny this:
i'm hardly riding my bike these days. mota, on the other hand, is riding a lot, and still tells me I'VE got to put some posts up. huh. we'd better see some race reports soon.

it turns out arizona is a big state. i mean, i KNOW this, but when you drive across the whole thing with your eyes on a further destination, it just feels shockingly big, even if you've done this drive before.

and what's with holbrook? small town. 3, maybe 4 gas stations. i'd say there might be more to the town than this main B-40 (I-40 business loop) stretch, but i know there's not. you can see ALL the surrounding area, because this is the part of eastern arizona where there's nothing to obstruct your view any closer than flagstaff. don't believe me? just check out holbrook on google maps: nobody ever even bothered getting a satellite image with any real resolution! yet the main drag is very wide and well paved, ready for huge volume traffic. the lots on which the few, mostly decrepit businesses stand are huge, ready for the inevitable expansion of the thriving enterprises occupying them. the empty pocket saloon's windows are boarded up except for one exposed rectangle where the neon "open" sign hangs, yet the dusty lot suggests a larger parking lot. the town is waiting for the boom, always anticipating that age, always just beyond the horizon, when it's realized across the country that the place to be, the new epicenter of all that is ______, is holbrook, while at the same time, the town seems like it's fading. but here's the thing: it's been like this for a long, long time. holbrook never changes.

i had major deja vu today while i was gassing up there. i repeated the EXACT sequence i've been through in years past: i exit the freeway. i pull into the first gas station i see. i drive up to the pump and check the prices, since there's no large sign advertising them. upon reading the prices, i respond, "fffuuuuuck yyyoouuuuu" and smoothly drive off, never even coming to a complete stop, let alone turning off the car. i drive past one more gas station, though i nearly pull into it, but veer at the last second away from it as the third (i guess this means there are 4 total, since i know there's one more past that before you get back on the freeway at the other end of the "loop") comes into view with its cheepest-in-town prices, a whole $.35-per-gallon less than the first one. it's the circle k, and there' s a greyhound bus in the lot, idling, resting on its trip across eastern arizona. then, as i leave town, i drive by the ramada inn at the very end of the main drag, and a more distant memory flashes through my mind: i remember stepping out through the sliding glass door of our room into the oven-heat of the afternoon on one family road trip to my grandparents' place in vegas, and that's when i first learned just how far you can see in holbrook -- only the earth's very curvature makes that horizon finite, and it's that view alone that sets that ramada inn apart from ALL the anonymous others. as i get on the freeway on-ramp, i look out the passenger window, and see what must be mexico. from half way up arizona.

and i remembered that all. the whole experience -- from search for cheep gas to the greyhound bus through the flashback of the family road trip. holbrook. never changes. has anyone else been through this sequence? i wonder if it's like the truman show, but where EVERYBODY gets the same, carbon-copied intro upon entering town.

i'm in NM now. ahhhh, the 505. it still amazes me how gorgeous it is here, pretty much right at the border as you drive in from arizona it turns from crappy to pretty all at once. the drive up north from albuquerque was especially scenic, with distant rain storms, the sandia crest, and a few odd clouds and distant hills all streaky and steely blue and gray, but some low rays making the west faces of anything with any vertical relief glow electrically, all while some streaks in the sky started to glow a stunning chris king pink.

yeah, i'm anxious to take the 29er out for some rides on the trails i used to ride on my old, nearly indestructible specialized hard rock sport. vintage mountain bike.

on that note, more soon ... some 505 ride posts (well, at least one) and then when i get back pictures of the badpritty. well, the few odd pieces, anyway.

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