Still keeping a loose format here. Rather uneventful days anyway...

Hitting the road feels weird for the very first time. I am not relaxed at all and constantly monitor the traffic with concerns. So these lunatics actually got to me... Fortunately drivers treat me well again today. I refuse that this is the only reason but probably has its fair share: I have two American flags waving at the back of my bike. It was the idea of Renadé to put them on to maybe get those breed of drivers with their patriotism. Great idea!

I don't make it far after the start and stop at the local milkshake place, Taylor Freeze, that was already closed when I came into town before Christmas. I have a delicious banana milkshake.

I am headed to Portal, where I plan to stay a night with warmshowers host Ron before continuing towards the Mexican border for New Years.

Feeling somewhat melancholic both days. Christmas away from home? Being tired after the booster? Being generally tired after my race across the US? The aftereffects of the bad experience on the road before Christmas? Realizing that the first big chapter of the trip is soon to end and a new, uncertain adventure is waiting? - No idea, maybe a mix of it all!?

I pass countless cotton, pecan and pistachio fields.

I pass Bowie, hometown of the movie character Rambo. Sorry if anybody from Bowie reads that, one of the most devastating poor towns I've seen so far. Maybe that is also a mood-infused perception.

Enyoing a nice little off-road day towards Ron's place in the beautiful Chiricahua mountains.