El MalpaisThursday, July 17, 2014
tl;dr: I biked from Quemado to Grants through El Malpais National Monument.
What to write? Another day, another trek across the desert. The roads were long and mostly deserted (heh), although there were a few stretches of construction.
I biked through El Malpais National Monument. Look, pictures. I actually drove this route a few years ago. Here's the link:
I stopped at the El Malpais Ranger Station to top off water. A lady who volunteers there came out to see if I needed anything, and then began asking all sorts of questions about my trip. To look at her, I totally expected her to be a local native. But as the conversation continued I heard some of the distinct pronunciations of a New Yorker, which she confirmed. New Mexico is very much a melting pot. Talk to ten different locals, and you will hear ten different accents.
Because I had been so cold on previous nights, and because I was told Grants was one of the coldest cities in New Mexico at night, I stopped at a hotel and walked over to Walmart and purchased myself a sleeping bag. Fortunately, Walmart actually carried light-weight ones.