Friday, June 10, 2016

Trees. Sweet sweet trees, and a Nero.

Day 4 - June 10
13.9 miles 
Total 105.8
Day - Moving Avg 5.7
Day - Overall Avg 2.1

Today was a near zero for us. We had several errands to run in Silver City for the next leg and decided that we should allow ourselves some acclimation time.

We slept in until 6:30, waking to clear skies. Last nights downpour passed over us, and it looked to be another warm day. Fortunately, as we ran errands for most of the morning, the temperature was a comfortable seventy five degrees. Grabbing food for the next four day leg, was enjoyable as everyone that helped was super friendly. Apricots was pleased to find a food co-op in historic downtown, a block from our breakfast, and a couple blocks from Gila Hike and Bike.

Groceries purchased, we stopped in at the bike shop and bought some chain lube for Apricots. Unfortunately, somewhere in transit, her oil opened up and spilled into her handlebar bag. 

As the day was getting hotter, we grabbed some cold beverages to fuel us with electrolytes for the impending 1000 foot climb. We sat drinking our coconut water and Gatorade, deeply questioning whether we wanted to take a full zero in the lovely Silver City. In the end, I convinced Apricots that it was going to be a short leg to lunch in Pinos Altos, so we set off.

Climbing out of the desert, we started finding more regular tree coverage, and enjoyed the climb far more than any previous mile. We even marveled at how the "harder" portion actually felt a little easier. It was a well designed road alternating climbs and level portions which helped us catch our breath. Additionally, we both feel that we are getting better Acclimated to the elevation, around 7000ft.

Arriving at Pinos Altos, we looked for a lunch place, only to find out the only place in town was an old saloon and bordello. The saloon still operates, but the ladies have taken permanent leave from the business. A local informed us that Butch Cassidy use to hang out at the bar back in the 1800s. I am not sure of the validity of this, but it was interesting, and all the paintings, photographs and artwork would seem to indicate the truth of this statement.

Unfortunately, we arrived two hours before the bar opened, and three hours before they started serving food. Fortunately, we arrived just as a afternoon thunderstorm decided to drop rain and hail on us. We took shelter on the porch until the bar opened. Once inside, we enjoyed the atmosphere while drinking water and beer. Apricots is a sucker for beer. (She insists at it is her duty to sample the local microbrews wherever we travel).

After the meals were had, we enjoyed a beautiful cool calm ride down a winding road, free of traffic, free of scorching sun. There was a seeming explosion of trees on the west side of the continental divide. When we hit the low point at Cherry Creek (not flowing), we were both blown away by the sudden aroma of greenery that is more likely to be found the northwest than in the New Mexico high desert.

A few miles later, we set up camp at McMillan Campground.

Back to early mornings and long days tomorrow.

...As an aside, the Tour Divide Northbound race started today. We anticipate seeing extreme cyclists blazing past tomorrow, as most of them probably made it to Silver City today. We may have even seen one pass us today. He was moving too fast to say anything more than hi. (Apricots even mistook him for a car at first.... Seriously, you can't make this shit up.)

Live life at a slower place.
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Live life at a slower place.

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