Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tuesday, May 23 – Day 4 – near Mimbres, NM

We’re camped at about 6500 feet now – almost 2000 feet higher than yesterday. And I can feel it. All in all though it was a great day – good weather, no mechanicals, and – best of all – stuff to look at! We’re in the mountains now, baby. This was our first day on the official ADV Cycling route, and this gravel sure beats that desert highway.

We started out a little after 7 AM, with 20 miles to the first town (the name escapes me now). I had a double QP with a shake. Then we talked to the ranger, who said that the route through the Gilas was OK and that there was some water around, although not much. So we stocked up on 7-8 days food and 2 days water and headed out into the mountains.

Today was the first real mountain stage, and the grades came one after the other. We gained about 2000 feet of elevation total, and gained and lost a lot more going through the foothills. Tim says this place (scenery and people) reminds him of Colorado “before they (screwed) it up.” Everyone has been extremely friendly so far – just good people.

We saw deer and wild pigs today. Tim is afraid of the pigs. He has seen movies (Snatch in particular) where pigs eat people’s feet. (“Never trust a pig farmer” says the character in the movie.) We’re in the trees now and everything is starting to change.

Both bikes will be tuned up in the AM. Tim is having some shifting problems. I want to adjust the rear brake (again) and make sure everything is tight. The downhills just shake the crap out of everything – to an extent that is hard to believe. Also, strapping stuff on top is not going to work anymore. I lost bottles, sandals, you name it virtually the second we got into the gravel. From now on, everything goes in the panniers.

Day 4 stats:

40 miles
3000 feet up

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