I was able to ride 66 miles today in the dry heat and doing a great deal of climbing. Breaking in a somewhat new saddle as quickly as possible and pushing myself to go as far as I safely can, is a strain on my body and psyche. I rode by such great beauty and amazing landscapes but was constantly amazed at the overwhelming efforts made by our border patrol here. The border wall, electronic surveillance devices, nearly constant patrol cars, pop-up identity checks, ATVs patrolling the hillsides, helicopters buzzing about, and processing centers all show me the considerable effort this country makes to secure our border with Mexico. Makes me wonder about the costs and values we express by all of these social resources devoted here as it contrasts with the beauty of the desert. Having frequently flown over these parts and looked down upon what I previously saw as emptiness, I now smell, see, hear, and otherwise sense the liviness and magic of these lands. I am thankful for being on a bicycle. Even if it is tremendous work, the sensations and connections that I get to perceive are incredible. Being contained within a metal box, wether an airplane or car, my senses are dulled and I am cut off from the world. Freed by being on a bicycle, I can experience this world as I travel at a pace in which I can enjoy and appreciate it.I am thankful for my family for supporting this trip. It is an amazing gift that gives every day in so many ways.