Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Over the ocean

January 7th, 2012

Searching for a one-way transatlantic flight that doesn’t cost more than a return has to be up there with the efforts of a Papal Conclave to elect a new Pope. And don’t be tempted to purchase a return and fail to show for the second leg. They’ve thought of that. Punitive charges levied onto your credit card.

Of course, you can find singles for roughly half that of a return. Takes a bit of searching on the web, lots of patience, and hoping the online flight discount site you’ve found is legitimate. And being very sure about when you want to fly. Unless you want to pay a change fee amounting to over half the original ticket price.

At least payment with a credit card affords some protection. And there’s a quick check you can normally do once you’ve made the purchase. Log into the airline’s own website and see if they’ve a record of your booking. Fortunately, in my case, they had. Travelling with British Airways on a code share with American Airlines. The one enjoying bankruptcy protection….

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Dodgy night in Las Cruces

December 28th, 2011

Ken stops in Las Cruces. Not the nicest part of town…

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Salem’s Lot

December 27th, 2011

Ken makes a brief stop in Salem. Spot of re-fuelling…

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Little bit of civilisation

December 27th, 2011

Ken encounters the first bit of civilisation since leaving the small town of Hillsboro’. It’s not much, but….

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Beyond Hillsboro’

December 27th, 2011

South of the small town of Hillsboro’, Ken is back out in snow dusted desert… Not a lot there

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Life’s journey

December 27th, 2011

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In the small town of Hillsboro’…

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Hillsboro’

December 27th, 2011

Small town of Hillsboro’. Pleasant, arty feel to the place, a tempting cafe, but alas, Ken needs to press on…

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Bit peckish

December 27th, 2011

Hot breakfast she’d said. And there was. A whole souffle. Wonderfully light and fluffy. Together with orange juice, coffee and red grapefruit. But I’d eighty miles or so to cover, and whilst much of it would be downhill or flat, it was still a good distance to cover. I’d have welcomed a few more calories.

It was my fault. Not really thought about it. Dinner. After the ascent of Emory Pass. Just pleased to have reached the small town of Hillsboro before dark. Small B&B for the night. Realising the only cafe would now be closed, I’d asked the owner if she did dinner, bed and breakfast. No. And guests were not permitted to use the kitchen. That was that.

So dinner was an improvised affair. Couple of pieces of fruit I’d had left. And a tin of cold baked beans. Supposedly including pork pieces. But at least I was warm. And surely there’d be a hearty breakfast.

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Elegant solution

December 27th, 2011

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Elegant solution. Which I liked. A lot. A certain beauty. Very appealing to a deeply logical mind. Quietly pleased I’d crossed the 8,228 feet Emory Pass. True, it had been a challenge. Camping far below zero in Mimbres. Then eighteen miles of uphill, mostly first gear, a meagre eight inches for each rotation of the pedals. Descending gingerly, great care required to avoid mishap on black ice lurking in the sun shadow. And bitter wind chill.

But the point was I’d managed the traverse without drama. Waiting for a weather window to head out of Silver City. Short day – little over thirty miles – to re-position ready to start the climb fresh the next day. Deliberate. Calculated. I’d known it would be cold overnight, just not expected it to be as tough as it had been. More focused on the daytime riding conditions.

Some might delight in battling up snowbound roads over the pass. Adversity head on. But I’m more interested in the long game. Not just today, tomorrow, but the weeks and months ahead. Stoic. Steady progress. More a tactician than a navigator.

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Hillsboro beckons

December 26th, 2011

Temperatures plummeting, light failing, but sometimes you do need to stop for a reinvigorating coffee…

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