Holbrook, where we stayed overnight has a fairly colourful history as a wild-west town. The most notorious incident occurred in 1887 when the Sheriff, Perry Owens confronted four members of a local family, the Blevins, who had been involved in a number of crimes, including stealing horses (punishable by hanging). In the ensuing gunfight, Sheriff Perry emerged unscathed, one of the Blevin bothers, and a friend were killed; the other brother was wounded. This apparently considerably elevated the Sheriff’s reputation as a man not to be trifled with. Today, Holbrook is a rather more sedate place and from what I saw, exists as a transport hub. The constant flow of trucks and trains and the large number of motels and budget hotels, diners and fast food outlets, with the associated services all point to this.
After riding across Arizona for the last six days we finally crossed the state line into New Mexico. All told we have ridden over 400 miles across the state. To put this in context, Arizona is about 1.25 times the size of Great Britain and is the sixth largest US State. New Mexico bills itself as The Land of Enchantment – I can’t wait to see how this manifests itself. Crossing the State line also marked a another change as we passed out of the Pacific Time Zone and into the Mountain Time Zone. That means that we have ‘lost’ an hour today.
Today was also a happy day and a sad one. Navi, one of the tour riders found out this morning that she has qualified for medical school. Compared to some of the team she is relatively new to cycling and seems to be really enjoying herself. Bob, one of the more experienced riders onto tour leaves us today. Bob is best described as a ‘character’ and I am going to miss his friendly greetings. We celebrated with beer and cake – as all good cyclists do! Chapeau Bob and Navi!