I got a little lazy at the hotel and stayed for 3 nights. It’s not a fancy town, just some taco stands and flea markets. I managed to sort of break my bike the morning I finally left. I was trying to check the pressure on my back tire and somehow managed to yank out the middle of the valve stem. Lucky for me, the bike shop opens early on the weekend. I wanted to be out in the desert for the eclipse.
I met a road cyclist. He was very sunburnt. He must be staying in hotels because he had no panniers. Just a frame bag and a lot of water bottles.
For a minute I was on the highway. Then the route turned. Into sand. Deep sand. It sucked at my wheels like a vacuum. Also there were huge prickle burrs that leapt onto my shoes. Pulling them off poked holes into fingers.
The sand was too deep for me to make good time. I pulled off next to some big cactus around sunset. The prickle burrs were everywhere. I tried to clear them before setting up my tent. So much for my sleeping mat.
I’m glad that eclipse happened early and I didn’t have to stay up too late. As the moon turned red, more and more stars came out. Coyotes yipped in the night. I thought about eclipses of the past. The one I watched in Korea, and that one time in Bangladesh. I fell asleep with the tent door open, and woke up to a newly revealed moon. Beneath me, my sleeping pad only drooped a little.