4am is a good time to wake up on a trip like this. You can take it easy getting up and easily be rolling by 5 to enjoy nonexistent traffic, great temps, and the sunrise. Plus it’s a nice mental boost to have covered a lot of ground by the time what I normally consider “morning” rolls around.
Of course, you have to go to bed pretty damn early to get a full night of sleep. I have no idea what failed inside my brain but a) I forgot about losing an hour to the time zone change and b) I stayed up WAY too late anyway. Still got up on time, but this ended up dooming progress later.
US-82 through Cloudcroft, NM is an amazing route. High elevations, trees, curvy roads, and craploads of people out on bicycles. Once you’re out of the trees though, New Mexico is basically an endless oil field. There was so much going on so close to the road, it was actually pretty cool to see.
To my surprise, the drivers of Texas were ramarkably friendly.
I had a stretch goal in mind of making it to Wichita Falls, but maybe 30 minutes out of Lubbock I crashed hard (read: figuratively) and started getting sleepy. No bueno, Lubbock for the night it is. Lost another hour to time zone changes, but this time I’m getting to bed DAMN early.