Day 2 (Sunday, July 25): Willcox, Arizona to Lordsburg, New Mexico: Where are the Tailwinds?

Entering New Mexico

Today, we crossed into New Mexico, and we have many days here before we arrive in Texas. Many of you who signed the van wrote: “Let the tailwinds be with you.” Well, we have not found them yet! It was a nice ride today, but with heavy, heavy head winds. Also, parts of the road were really rough, however we were very fortunate that the temperature was only in the 80s. We saw our first two tarantulas on the roads today—interesting creatures. Renate was not very fond of them, but they took to her rather well.

The Ghost Town

We went through a small town on the Arizona–New Mexico border that was pretty much a ghost town: Bowie. Everything was shut down, burned down, or totally vacant. One house had totem poles and animal skulls proudly displayed. Renate got so freaked out that she took off and we didn’t see her for miles. We stopped at the only place left open in town, a gas station, and as we sat there a car drove by and the driver yelled out the window “Go Irish!” As you can see, Irish fans are everywhere. We are getting a lot of ‘beeps’ when cars drive by us or the van. People certainly do “Take Notice” everywhere we travel. This is very exciting and inspiring. We are getting really good at giving the 30-second elevator pitch about ND, The Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and Niemann-Pick. Patrick and Peter (our guides, van drivers, chefs, bike mechanics, etc.) are certainly getting the hang of this as well. The van gets so much attention that wherever they stop, be it a ghost town or a bustling metropolis, they are asked about it and deliver the spiel.

There is a lot of time to reflect when bicycling long distances. Today, I was thinking about a question that kept coming up when we were visiting the different Notre Dame clubs on the way down. Club members often ask: What’s your favorite memory from Notre Dame in the two years you’ve been there? They have to be ready for more than one answer, because there are so many amazing moments already. I think of seeing Cindy Parseghian receive an honorary degree last year, with the students and visitors giving her a standing ovation for her work. I think of seeing firsthand the incredible work that Father Streit does in Haiti, both before and after the earthquake, and meeting former President Jimmy Carter there. I think of Katie Washington, the first African-American valedictorian at Notre Dame, and the fact that our college has produced the valedictorian both years I have been here. I think of fishing for muskie with Father Hesburgh at Land O’Lakes. I think of being on the sidelines at the Japan Bowl with Coach Lou Holtz. And that’s just for starters! So if you ask about my favorite memory, take a seat and get comfortable, because the list is long.

Go Irish!

3 Comments so far

  1.    John Casko on July 26th, 2010

    God Bless the two of you (and two guides) and what you are doing. Thanks a ton for all of blogs too! I log on daily to check on your progress. Looks like you are doing great! You’ll be there in no time. Baby steps baby! John C

  2.    anneke on July 26th, 2010

    You are in our thoughts every mile of your trip. Great job ,you both Love Anneke and Bert and Ally

  3.    Annie Kotz on July 26th, 2010

    Looks like you guys are already well on your way! Keep up the good work…we’re all praying for you on your journey. See you when you get back to the Dome!