Day 4 (Tuesday, July 27): Deming to Las Cruces, NM: Crossing the Rio Grande, Descending into Las Cruces

Today was the perfect day in the desert. After three days of rain and colder-than-normal temperatures, we had a nearly perfect cycling day with the high in the low 90s. The trip was straightforward, leave Deming and head east to Las Cruces. The day was pretty uneventful, except for the big German shepherd that decided to come after us. After a big adrenaline rush from the incident, the dog did not catch up to us. One of our team guides said: “You don’t have to be faster than the dog, only faster than your friend.” All joking aside, the dog never caught us and narrowly escaped being injured by an oncoming car. Las Cruces, also known as the City of Crosses, is the home to New Mexico State University. It is just a beautiful and quaint city. Coming from the west into Las Cruces, we crossed the Rio Grande and descended (a long way downhill) into the city, ending a spectacular day of riding in nearly perfect conditions.

El Paso Notre Dame Club

We had dinner with the Notre Dame club of El Paso at the La Posta restaurant. The southwestern food and atmosphere was just terrific. We also tried the sopapillas for the first time – a puffy dessert that is full of calories. We were fed very well! In fact, we have been eating so much on this ride that we might start calling it more appropriately dessert to Dome.

Dinner at La Posta

We had a wonderful evening with the El Paso club. We wish to thank Chris for organizing this event and Arturo for his generosity in sponsoring the dinner. The restaurant had some exotic birds inside and the décor was very southwestern. A fact about this particular restaurant: the USS New Mexico, a US naval submarine, has named its food gallery La Posta, after the restaurant. How is this related to Notre Dame? Well, the USS New Mexico commander is a Notre Dame alumnus. Thank you, club of El Paso, for your thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity. Thanks also for all of the tourist tips. We wish we had more time to stay and discover this beautiful area but we are off tomorrow at 6 a.m. (after we sleep off the food coma). We will send some XL Desert to Dome t-shirts to you this week.

Being so close to Mexico, we saw many border patrol vehicles during our travels today. This led me to reflect upon where in the ‘world’ Notre Dame Science is going with respect to international programs and how globalization is influencing our research and educational enterprise. The answer to both of these questions is Notre Dame Science is pretty much going everywhere. The college has rapidly established a global presence in the world of research collaborations and cutting-edge scholarship. In every department, faculty are sharing exploration and discovery with peers from Argentina to Australia, Canada to China, India to Italy, South Africa to Sweden. We are also establishing relationships in Mexico. We are publishing in and editing top international journals. We are organizing and participating in conferences. At the same time, we are sustaining and expanding the educational initiatives that bring scholars and students from around the world to our campus. We are strategically positioned to embrace an emerging model of collaboration that leverages communication technologies to develop around-the-globe laboratories where the sun never sets, and where the ease and speed of contact among collaborators has revolutionized research. Our reach is universal.

Go Irish!

3 Comments so far

  1.    Rich Taylor on July 28th, 2010

    Ride strong and safe, Greg and Renate! Don’t forget the importance of sleep and good luck on the climb.

  2.    Nicolle and Jarrett Haley on July 28th, 2010

    Wishing you many more perfect cycling days ahead. And fewer dog chases!

  3.    Chris on July 28th, 2010

    On behalf of the El Paso Club, we had a spectacular time at dinner. I hope the ride through the White Sands National Monument is as amazing as it was described at dinner. Safe travels!