Out of the mountains and into the flats
My gear is so dirty and smelly, I leave it outside overnight. Boots, jacket, pants, socks, underwear — all of it — outside and hanging from the bike to hopefully absorb some of this fresh mountain air. You know? Like on the labels of those good-smelling laundry soaps.
Well, I can speak from experience that the “mountain fresh” smell doesn’t come from the mountains. That stuff is fake. I’m in the dang mountains and my gear still smells like the ripe end of a hardworking… farmer.
Putting these things on will be the last thing I do this morning. Until then, coffee and some morning chores while I wait for the sun to bless the valley and my bare body.
Today, I ride. The miles come easily because the roads are flat and straight. I go tens of miles without a single lean or turn of the bars. This kind of riding bores me out of my mind usually. Today I eat it up and put city after city behind me. Mazatlán is in the distance, and I just might make it before dark. I put the needle on 75 and cruise.
Mazatlán does come, but it doesn’t do so before dark. I’m an hour out of town when the sun sets. Riding these roads at night won’t be a problem, so I press on and focus on a hot shower and bed for motivation. I message Eric for help when the cell phone starts beeping in my ear.
Me: Made it to Mazatlán. This is a big city do you think you could help me find a cheap hotel?
Eric: Yay! Had an adventure today? Taff and I are out for dinner. Muah!
This is no good. Maybe Siri failed to understand me. I stop the bike to check. No, my message went through exactly as I said it.
And then Eric sends me a photo entirely unrelated to the task at hand. Face palm.
It’s dark. I’m stressed out from riding 450 miles at highway speed. I’m in a strange city on a Friday night. Every hotel I’ve checked is booked solid. And my Boo doesn’t know I need some help!
I take this opportunity to appreciate the extra time I’m getting to sit in the street wearing my smelly gear and wet boots. Minutes pass and still no word on a hotel. The Internet is too slow on my phone for me to find anything useful.
I call this time. He rereads the message after some urging, and I can feel the blush in his voice. He comes through like a champ after that, even suggesting to use the tracking map on my website to see where I am in relation to available hotels. He calls ahead to confirm availability, and I’m on my way to budget accommodations in Mazatlán. That boy is a keeper.
I rasp on the window at the hotel and motion for the desk attendant to open the door. Driving into hotel lobbies has become a non-event for me since Mexico. I just expect to park my filthy motorcycle inside anymore. They don’t mind.
When I make it to my room, every piece of clothing hits the floor and stays there. I leap from the shower to the bed and don’t touch a thing until the next day.