Gratitude Rides and ¡Buen Provecho!

Soundtrack: Tears in Heaven by Tommy Emmanuel and Igor Presnyakov
We had our best Thanksgiving ever this year.  To kick it off Thursday Mai and I rode the Bosque Trail from Tingley Park and did the loop in the South Valley.  Past the National Hispanic Cultural Center the riverside is complimented by open fields filled with geese and Sandhill Cranes.

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We were pretty awestruck.  These friends from the eons will be with us in Albuquerque through late winter before they migrate onward.  We saw quite a few cyclists, roller bladders and runners swing by us while we watched birds.  Most paid attention, but a few seasoned locals zoomed straight on by.  I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the presence of this bird life just as I never bored of the regular deer and elk sightings we made in the high country of Arizona.  Awesome.

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Our ploy to stimulate sufficient appetites for dinner worked well.  We shared Thanksgiving with new friends at their home on Adams Street a few blocks from the University.  They cheered me up with refreshing conversation on their bike commuting routes to work and school and their optimistic and open minded bent on the possibilities for a more bikeable and walkable city culture.  Commuting by bicycle reduces stress and parking is cheap.  When you live close to your everyday destinations in a city with 360 bikeable days per year, bike commuting is a natural and nimble way to get around.  A healthy pleasure.

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The dinner was over the top outstanding!  Our hosts told us to wear comfortable clothes and bring tupperware.  As I filled my plate for seconds it became apparent the loose fitting clothes allowed my belly to become living tupperware.  People laughed at me, as usual.  We also came home with full containers from the festive abundance.  Today all gone.  Ridiculously good!

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To top off the celebrations today I rode with three friends around the mountain via the Hagen road.  On that road you ride into these multicolored rocks of reddish brown and charcoal hues.  Up against the deep true blue sky you sense the presence of eternity.  My companions were so good on the twenty mile dirt stretch I didn’t see them even on the distant horizon.  As I plodded away through the sandy pits walking my bike along with my cleated shoes I couldn’t find another foot imprint on the ground, only three sets of tire tracks.  Those guys are bike ninjas.  Much respect and gratitude that they waited for me to immerge from the desert road and home we went together.  The birds and fields, river and open spaces, people and food here are building up a sense of place and concrete community in my life, a distinct and relaxing peacefulness resonating from a deep feeling of being at home.  Querencia.

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