We would like to thank Sarah Jennings and Cheryl Gibson as well as our anonymous donors for their generous donations.
The cool air by the river in the Payson pine forest campsite tempted us to linger a little longer as it was a welcome relief from the heat from earlier in the week. Reluctantly we packed up camp and loaded the bike to get on the road again. The process takes at least a good 30-45 minutes. We started back on the 277 to Albuquerque, enjoying the dramatic and changing scenery from pine trees to cactuses to beautiful red rock cliffs. The open road was especially windy. Highway 40 was even shut down shortly after we passed through it due to high winds. The road seemed never-ending and by nightfall, we still hadn’t reached Albuquerque but wanted to push on to our couchsurfing hosts, Janice and Dan Kostelnick.
We arrived late with 4 layers of shirts due to the wind-chill and were grateful to be met by Janice’s warm and welcoming hospitality. She kept a delicious dinner waiting for us and made us feel right at home. Janice is an exuberant, straight-shooting, creative soul who loves art. She was working on an amazing mosaic project on the wall around her house. Her husband Dan is an engineer and has a calm steady demeanor and sarcastic wit. The two make a good balance for each other. Dan had an awesome garage with every tool imaginable and helped me do some maintenance on the bike.
We are grateful to Yvonne Scott, another fellow couchsurfer, for writing about our World Hunger Exhibition on her blog. Yvonne lives and works in Albuquerque, NM, enjoying her granddaughters, mountains and year around motorcycle roadways. She is a landscape consultant and freelance writer on everything from Mongolian embroidery to her other passion: solo travel on the cheap.
Trying new things comes part and parcel with traveling around the world. In all my 28 years I’ve never even heard of a Flowbee, much less had my head shorn with one by an Italian ex-hippie. But thanks to our next hosts, Katherine and Bob Riolo, I can now cross that off my list! They were contemplating moving to work with the needy in another country after having gone to Nicaragua for one month. Inspired by the movie, The Bucket List, Katherine wrote her own list and was actually going to shave her hair for cancer at an event for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
During our stay in Albuquerque we had two slideshow presentations and lectures scheduled at the Albuquerque Main Library as part of our World Hunger Exhibition. We also had a display outside the library to spread the word about the expedition and fundraise and were able to meet Harry, a physician, who had gone to hear the presentation before ours by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). We are grateful to Joani Murphy, the library manager, for her assistance in coordinating our events at the library.
At the end of our stay, we met Steve, a kind-hearted and free-spirited guy and got to stay in his very cool bus/RV. Steve is a talented wood-working artist and photographer who travels around the world selling his art and enjoying other cultures. He rides a BMW 1200RS that smoked our ride by miles when we went out cruising together.
All told Albuquerque was very kind to us and we enjoyed our time there and the people we met. The flavors of the Southwest have been delightful thus far and we look forward to more.