Madrid New Mexico | Part III | Desert Oasis

RootlessRoutes Madrid New Mexico 2018

Overwhelmed with relief to see the sign ‘Welcome to Madrid’, I knew my turn onto Back Road was close at hand.

No longer any need for the low tire pressure warning since now there was no doubt that the tire was entirely flat.

Madrid New Mexico RootlessRoutes
Hello Madrid New Mexico August 2018. It as a Hell of a ride getting to you.

After turning on Back Road it was only one half mile left to the AirBnB.

The night was even darker, but it did not take me long to realize this was yet another unpaved road, laden with huge gaping potholes.

FUCK!

Hello Madrid

Here we are, actually in Madrid and subsequently what I thought would be the end of our ordeal. But now I was driving on a pitch black, unmarked dirt road, riddled with fissures and huge holes.

I started chanting again.  “Come on baby, you can do it”.

The shaking of the SUV caused Roadie to sit up and try to peer out the window.

“Lie down dammit!” I yelled, worried she’d get hurt flying across her bed, even within the doggie hammock.

A nice comfy bed was ahead of us. I just needed to make it. Only one fourth of a mile to go.

I envisioned sleeping in a bed as I traveled down the  mild grade of the unlevel and poorly maintained, muddy road.

Before me the rent in the road was wide, deep and on the same side as the flat back tire.

There was little room between the cars parked on either side but nothing was going to stop me at this point.

Slowly I pulled forward, the front right tire fell into the unavoidable hole causing the SUV to lean dangerously to the right.

Unpaved Roads & Anxious Dogs

The dog fell backward (I had told her to lay her ass down) and clunked her head on the door.

Thankfully, once we made it out of the hole she sat up, after a bit of struggle to get her ground and started panting like the happy dog she is.

RootlessRoutes
Waldo Mesa Road Madrid New Mexico

How could .3 miles take so long. I swore the GPS was stuck.

As soon as I got close to what looked like the turn for Waldo Mesa Road, the map would expand showing it to be further ahead.

One more gaping hole in the road, of course it was also on the right. We made it through and were once more on level ground. Now making our way up a mild hill covered with huge sharp, rocks for gravel. (don’t they know what gravel is in New Mexico?)

We completed the last turn in the road and the roadway mellowed.

Flat dirt, no holes and I was pretty sure the light shining up ahead was the light for our AirBnB.

As we got closer though I groaned. The house was just as pictured, but subsequently on another fissure ridden hill.

“For fucks sake!”

I turned onto Waldo Mesa Road and stopped in front of the gate. I got out and took a deep breath. It may have been quite a challenge getting here, but I was in the New Mexico desert and it was beautiful.

Grateful in Madrid

I was so grateful to have made it I could have kissed the sand below my feet.

I took a few moments to appreciate my surroundings and remind myself how lucky I was to be here at all.

The AirBnB was adorable and it was surrounded by the scrubby, rolling hills of New Mexico.

Even in the dark it glowed with a tinge of pink. If I had to have 2 flat tires, then better in this place. I was infinitely glad to be there.

Roadie whimpered. She had to pee.

Leaving the SUV on the road I helped her out of the back seat and escorted her to our new digs.

The key was on the table as promised, so I let her in and went back down the hill.

Pulling the SUV in was not easy. The Aviator sat at a precarious angle but I really wanted to get into bed and sleep.

After hauling everything we needed for the night, I loaded the cold stuff into the fridge, washed up, changed and fell fast asleep.

Madrid New Mexico. About as bleary a picture as I felt

Madrid, New Mexico.

Good night!

Madrid New Mexico | Part II | Google Maps Hell

Madrid New Mexico

Only 7 miles from Madrid and I was most certainly not the carefree dog in the car hammock. (click for Part I)

I was driving a heavily loaded SUV with a dangerously low tire along an unfamiliar roadway with sharp turns, steep inclines and little between myself and the edge.

The dog was snoring. Swaying without a care in the world in her hammock in the back.

Madrid New Mexico
A dark entrance over the pothole covered unpaved road into Madrid

It was after 3am. The dark of night before me was nothing more than what looked like an empty abyss.

Highway 14 coiled up a steep grade with little between us and what was a likely harrowing end below.

In the pitch of night it was impossible to see more than a few feet around, but easy to surmise the depths that lay beyond the edge of the tenuous roadway.

Only 6 miles to Madrid.

The console indicator kept demanding attention to its unmitigating message “Air pressure dangerously low”.

We weaved down to more level ground and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Just 5 more miles, just 5 more miles.

I Curse Thee, Google Maps

The tire had gone flat earlier in the day.

Against my better judgement I filled it with Fixaflat and headed back out.

With only 16 miles to Madrid, I figured it should at least hold that far.

It was after 1am. I’d covered well over 900 miles that day. An unplanned detour added 4 hours to the drive but I thought it worth the experience.

Skyline Drive took me miles out of the way in Utah. It was also likely to blame for instigating the troubles we were experiencing now.

Skyline Drive, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Utah
Skyline Drive, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Utah

Well worth the added miles and the trouble, but trouble I was now in, nevertheless.

With so few miles to go, we just had to make it. Just HAD too.

Almost To Madrid

I drove with care towards Madrid, switching from my preferred WAZE to Google maps, just in case I lost signal out there in the middle of nowhere.

I love WAZE. She has directed me safely across countless cities and unfamiliar continents, but she is limited when signal is lost.

Google Maps allows you to preload maps, so if signal is lost you still have a map to follow.

But then Google Maps did what it does and put me on 57A, a gravel road, full of potholes the size of gullies.

I do not see how at 1am, in the middle of the desert, this was a better option than the paved highway only a few miles out of the way.

57A between 25 and 14. is not a worthy shortcut, remain on the highway and go the extra few miles to go around.
57A is not a paved road. It is a farm road for local use and not to be trifled with via anything but a 4WD or off road vehicle.

It is not the first time Google Maps has pulled this shit and it is why I prefer WAZE. WAZE acknowledges that easier and safer is at times better than faster, far more than does Google.

Only 3 miles to Madrid.