Archive for April 6th, 2011


Day 13 – New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment

Route 78.

New Mexico truly is the Land of Enchantment. Here I'm coming out of the mountains on Route 78 into the Mule Creek Valley. Click on any image to enlarge.

5 April 2011 (posted the following morning). The biggest problem at the hotel I’m staying in is that my room is on the second floor. Coming upstairs to my room just now, after posting yesterday’s blog down in the front lobby, my legs are protesting loudly! I’m spent!

Though today’s ride was probably easier than yesterday’s (at least relative to elevation gain), I had worn myself out yesterday, so today’s ride was hard. I was also bucking a headwind most of the day—though, mercifully, it turned around toward the end of the day and helped push me up the gradual, 1,600-foot climb toward Silver City, where I am now. There was also a section of road today—Route 78 when I came into New Mexico (absolutely gorgeous)—where there are many steep dips and rises. On the elevation profile I have of the Southern Tier route, those level out, and the ride appears pretty-much flat, but on most of those uphills I had to shift into my lowest gear and really crank at 4 mph. Exhausting!

Read the rest of this entry »


Day 12 – Climbing into the Mountains Toward New Mexico

Climbing toward New Mexico

The notch in the far distance is the pass--preceded by lots of hairpin switchbacks. Click on any image to see a larger version.

4 April 2011 (posted the following evening). I’m at the Cole Creek Campground in Apache National Forest. Beautiful spot. As soon as I got over the pass from the west, ponderosa pine appeared; it’s great to see a tree again!. So it’s more than dust, gravel, and cactus at this campground, which is just over 6,000 feet in elevation.

Quite a day of climbing it was! I started around 7:20 at my WarmShowers host family in Safford. Over breakfast, I chatted with Mons Larson’s father—that’s the house where I’m actually staying. Real character. He must be at least 80, but is president of the Electric Co-op with 10,000 customers and seven or eight power plants—some coal, some natural gas; he also delivers excess milk to poor people and a soup kitchen. Also, a great sense of humor.

Read the rest of this entry »