Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday June 4 – Day 16 – Chama, NM

What a crazy day this was. Lots of action. To start off, Tim and I decided to split up and meet in Del Norte. I was going to do it in two days, then take a rest day in Del Norte. Tim would do it in three and keep going.

So, I took off early looking for about a 50 mile day. The first part was all climbing – mostly up for about 20 miles. At about mile 22 I pushed up over the top of the last climb (including over some snowdrifts) and stopped to talk to a fellow on a dirt bike. We were shooting the breeze when a third guy comes over – a hiker. Turns out this guy was out shooting a documentary about the hikers out here. (The CDT – continental divide trail – is mostly off road but occasionally uses some of the same roads as the Divide Route.) Anyway, we talked for awhile, some of it on camera, and he filmed me struggling up the last stretch of the climb. I got his name (Mark Flagler) and took off.

I cruised down the hill, hit the Colorado border, and got all fired up. Not a mile past the border I hear this huge BOOM and start fishtailing. Turns out the whole right side of my rear tire was blown out. So, I tried to fix it with these tire boots I had in my repair kit (they’re supposed to be able to fix stuff like this) but that didn’t work – the only thing it did was blow out one of only two spares I had. So, with the last spare I patched up the tire with tape and the boots again and pumped it up to about 15 pounds – enough to keep it rolling walking – and started pushing.

I made it to the highway, and inexplicably turned the wrong way (first time on the trip – no lie). I was oblivious – just kept walking – but a mile or two down the road the filmmaker guy from up top stopped and picked me up. He knew the town and dropped me off at a campground where the UPS guy can find me tomorrow.

This place is pretty much an RV park, with a couple of cabins and a spot for tents. I’m the only tent guy. Lots of retired folks are hanging about. I met a couple named Ray and Ann who gave me a camp chair to use. Brilliant!

Day 16 stats:

25 miles
3000 feet up
one busted tire

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