A happy birthday sunset in my birthday suit.

Riding the red lines for my birthday

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Outside Mapimí, my mobile service quits. Map updates stop. Text messages end. All the birthday wishes will have to wait.

My brother and I have this thing about birthdays. We like to go get lost and lose contact. Friends and family don’t like this so much, but for us, it’s the surest way to enjoy bringing in a new year of life.

The long, straight, remote roads into the high plains dessert begin. I ride for hours into the west in search of the little red roads on my paper map. I have no idea what the little red roads mean. They could be paved or not. They may not even be there at all. The search for adventure begins.

All the plants are blooming; I call this Chicken Valley because I counted a dozen Tyson chicken farms.

All the plants are blooming; I call this Chicken Valley because I counted a dozen Tyson chicken farms.

Long straight roads out of Mapimi have me second guessing my route; these views are beautiful but the ride is mind numbing.

Long straight roads out of Mapimi have me second guessing my route; these views are beautiful but the ride is mind numbing.

And then the road gets real curvy, real fast!

And then the road gets real curvy, real fast!

Homes like this make the small country villages a delight to ride through.

Homes like this make the small country villages a delight to ride through.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean broken asphalt.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean broken asphalt.

A lake in the high planes desert with beautiful color.

A lake in the high planes desert with beautiful color.

In the heat of the day, very few people are outside when I ride through these villages.

In the heat of the day, very few people are outside when I ride through these villages.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean beautiful painted concrete with signs.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean beautiful painted concrete with signs.

Cows, cows, and more cows! This is the country.

Cows, cows, and more cows! This is the country.

This paved road winds through the hills; the view reminds me of the Sierra Nevada in California.

This paved road winds through the hills; the view reminds me of the Sierra Nevada in California.

Starting to get very lost in Santa Maria Del Oro; my GPS maps aren't showing the route my paper maps show. I'm opting for the adventure. To hell with the GPS.

Starting to get very lost in Santa Maria Del Oro; my GPS maps aren’t showing the route my paper maps show. I’m opting for the adventure. To hell with the GPS.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean single lane gravel roads.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean single lane gravel roads.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean paved roads with information signs.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean paved roads with information signs.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean these rather unfriendly cattle guards. I straddle with first, but the second has me spooked. I look for a way around.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean these rather unfriendly cattle guards. I straddle with first, but the second has me spooked. I look for a way around.

Some of the cattle guards have a gate on the side; this time I'm lucky.

Some of the cattle guards have a gate on the side; this time I’m lucky.

The view keeps changing ever so slightly; this time I have trees to look at!

The view keeps changing ever so slightly; this time I have trees to look at!

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean shallow water crossings and cows in the road.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean shallow water crossings and cows in the road.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean straight and flat gravel roads.

Sometimes the red lines on the map mean straight and flat gravel roads.

And sometimes they mean curvy, narrow, bouldered, washed-out, steep, roads.

And sometimes they mean curvy, narrow, bouldered, washed-out, steep, roads.

Sometimes the red lines on the map lead to beautiful places like this.

Sometimes the red lines on the map lead to beautiful places like this.

This grassy field caught my eye.

This grassy field caught my eye.

It's getting late, and I haven't had mobile service all day. I've given up on the hope to contact friends and family tonight. The camp at the top of this hill overlooks the lake, and I think this is a perfect place to sleep.

It’s getting late, and I haven’t had mobile service all day. I’ve given up on the hope to contact friends and family tonight. The camp at the top of this hill overlooks the lake, and I think this is a perfect place to sleep.

Birthday or no, this is a beautiful stop.

Birthday or no, this is a beautiful stop.

This camp ranks very high on the list.

This camp ranks very high on the list.

A happy birthday sunset in my birthday suit.

A happy birthday sunset in my birthday suit.

Brian

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