I ended up staying with a very nice couple in Red Mesa who both work as nurses in the clinic. Tom had some good stories of when he rode mountain bikes around South America for a year with some friends after college. Around noon I headed out hoping to cross into New Mexico but had no set plans on where I would stay. Wispy white clouds marbled the bright blue sky. I was only twenty or so miles from the four corners monument and I could clearly see the mountains of Colorado to the north. I stopped at the Teec Nos Pos trading post for an ice cream sandwich and sat in the shade returning zombie like stares from tour bus enthusiast heading to the four corners. It felt both exciting and exhausting to start a new state. I’m not one to believe in superstitions, but it was a little strange how a black cat chased me across the border meowing like I stole his only can of Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken. When I got to Beclabito I called the Pastor from Shiprock around 5:00 pm. He was getting ready for the Wednesday night service but had a trailer I could stay in if I could make it.
It was 16 more miles to Shiprock and with the sun getting low, I was feeling ambitious. Unfortunately the desert put on an epic sunset and that of course distracted me for a half hour or so. The moon hung like a hammock in the sky. The wispy clouds turned into colorful brush strokes and left me smiling in the dark. With four miles left to go, the darkness turned my peaceful run into blinding headlights and uncertain footing. The air was cold now and my short sleeve shirt and shorts where no longer ideal running gear. Something charged straight at me from behind and the sudden approach caused me to spin around in order to protect myself. It was a wild horse apparently attracted to the blinking lights that littered Ruby’s frame. The horse ran next to me for a mile or more. His heavy hooves beating against the helpless ground. The powerful breaths from his nostrils made his efforts visible in the moonlight. We ran through the night trying to understanding each others motives. I have always loved running at night. There is something about the darkness that completely closes you in the moment. All your other senses are magnified and you feel completely in touch with your body as it slices through the night. I felt the horse and I sharing the same deep passion for freedom and life. In that moment we weren’t running to get anywhere, or for any reason. We were running just to run, and to us that made perfect sense.