Today was a handfull of a day. We rode through the El Malpais National Monument today which reminds me of the depths of moridor out of lord of the rings. This is the second time Ive gone through this section, the weather was similar each time. Very windy with hail, freezing rain an dark clouds.
Starting off the day it was pretty nice with a tail wind. We got up an was making breakfast then a ranger pulled into the parking lot. She casually said hi an walked into the building which was awesome she didn’t give us shit for camping there.
It was pretty chilly in the morning then clouds started to get darker. We made it to La Ventana Natural Arch a huge arch out of sandstone. Its a impress arch an the little area it is in is very set back an amazing to take in. Its the beginning of a small section called the narrows.
About a 5mile long section of a cliff wall 300 to 500 feet tall that the road runs along the bottom of then on the other side the lava flows are about 50 or so feet short from the road.
Once past that section the winds started to kick in making progress slow goin. The shoulder of the road is very soft in sand so you make sure not to ride off the edge. Around 330 the rain started to come down making the last 20 miles of the day laborsom Temps dropped rapidly into the 30s which created a few little hail storms.
We met a few new people riding past us today as well as here at the toaster house. Two younger guys Max and Andrew, then we met another older gentleman Henry which seems very knowledgeable as well as hiked a few of the long trails. Also a couple that we have met briefly before are staying here at the toaster house .
When we got into town we stopped at the cafe an got some food they had some pulled pork sandwhichs left an potato salad which was yummy. Also got some pie with ice cream.
We are not to sure if we are goin to ride tomorrow cause of the weather also with the roads getting soak it can make them impassable with the rain. So we might have to take the highway to reroute to silver city instead of the main route.
A great an tough cold day, glad we made it into Pie town an excited to be narrowing the miles down.
Cranking out the miles today, we joined back up with the great divide mountain bike route. In total we did about 150miles on Route 66. It was a cool experience to see some of New Mexico Route 66. Today was one of the few days we had a tail wind. We got on the road by 845 this morning an kicked ass. The first 30miles we cranked out in about 2.5hrs after that we got a head wind an took about a hour lunch an had to stop to get groceries for the next 6 days or so.
The next section is passing through Pie town then to Silver City in total about 235miles. Todays ride was another change in terrain we merged into a more sandy area as well as went through areas with a few rock formation an large cliff walls that stretched for huge distances. Once outside of Grants the lava flow areas started to appear which are neat to see. The rocks are charcoal black an protrude out of the ground at all spratic of angles.
When we were on route to the grocery store I hoped on a bike path. It was a pretty sweet path for about 5 minutes. I was crossing over a bridge an wabaammmmmm!!! rattle snake from the edged snaps out at me on my bike as I passed without seeing him.
Luckly I was not clipped in an have superpower reflexes he didnt get me. But did get the heart pumping a bit after. Once calmed I got some cool pics of him. Kind of a little guy but enough to do some damage if he got you.
The sunset was amazing tonight with a spectrum of colors, yellow,orange, pinks, and purples. The last 10 miles we got to enjoy it as we entered into the El Malpais National Monument. I hiked this section back in 2014 an remember amazing sunrises an sunsets here in the desert.
A great an long day it was challenging at times with the wind. Wind ia one of the more physical challenges makeing riding much harder. The next few daysnhave high winds forcasted so hopefully there wrong, or if anything they have the direction of it wrong an it will be coming from the north.
A nice easy day today was. There were a ton of dogs barking pretty late last night as well as this morning so sleep was not its best. The weather was in our favor all day sticking in the high 70s an mid 80s sunny with some clouds.
We rode route 66 into Albuquerque today which was a nice route running parallel with the main highway 40. It was neet comeing into the city since it was all down hill you get a great view of the city as well as riding out we got an amazing view.
The ride in was pretty quick since we did all the climbing yesterday we got into town by noon. We hit the edge of town around 11 or so an started our way heading towards the main strip.
We stopped for lunch at the Route 66 Dinner I got a burger with green chilli on it as well as cheese fries an green chilli with a bannana peanutbutter shake so yummy.
We then made our way out of town riding to the west end of town. We passed a few of the museums that looked pretty cool. Albuquerque deffintly looks like a cool city to explore a little more one day. For now we have a task at hand to keep movin along.
After a few miles we found a sweet park that overlooked the city which was nice for a little break.
We planned to stay at Enchanted rv park on the edge of town. we got there around 5 an the lady said they didnt have tent camping but after a minute of convincing she called the owner an they said it would be ok for us to camp there. Super expensive 55 bucks for the night. They had a pool and a hot tub so we took advantage of that an got to take a shower so not to bad. The balloon festival is starting tomorrow so we shall see if we wake up to some hot air ballons all over the sky.
Yesterday was our off rest day in Santa Fe which was a great place for an off day. We Stayed the old section of the city which made it great to see thenneat architecture of the southwest. There is a square that had some art vendors selling odds an ends an a few good ones selling nice artwork.
We had breakfast at a cafe in the square then explored the area for a few hours.
After words we got chores done which include more food in stomach, get food to eventually put in stomach, maintenance on the bikes, figured out shuttle situation for getting to the border so we can be lazy an not ride an extrs 160miles to Elpaso, an booked a rental car to drive home once all finished with the ride.
10-4. Back on the road, today was a gorgeous day out weather wise. The road was pretty nice most of the day we are now on the Route 66 route from Santa Fe to Grants New Mexico where we will finish of the Great Divide Mountain Bike route. Im excited to be comeing close to the end. I feel its been a long journey from Jasper Canada an now so close to Mexico crazy to think about the distance we have rode.
The scenery was super cool today I’m finding the beauty in the South West desert conditions. There were tons of little flowers again. Then a few of the cactus look like they could be starting to bloom. I seen a few yucca plants that I believe we just missed there fall bloom there an awesome flower when out. We traveled through a area where the terrain was more large rocks of softer sandstone an bubbly kind of rocks an ground around them.
We also passed through a town called Madrid looked to be a artsy kind of small town quirky shops all over. We ended up riding 57miles today to make it a pretty good day with close to 4000ft total elevation gain with all the ups an downs I feel like I was riding a bike all day.
We got supplies to make my ever famous Gringo Tacos. There super amazing an if you want the recipe its pretty much a small pizza in a tortilla with butter an cheese cooked on folded over for a taco shape. So once we got to camp we started cooking asap. They turned out great an filled me up pretty decent.
Today was a long successful day of riding. We stayed at Ghost Ranch an got in a little late but ended up being a great night sleep an warm out. We woke up an packed up then head down to the welcome center to get some coffee. We sat there enjoying the backdrop for a bit then hit the road. The weather was ominous most the day looking it was going to rain at any moment as well as raining at any moment lol. We managed to take a few longer breaks waiting out the weather to pass over most of the day.
The first good break was in the town of Abiquiu at a gas station that happen to have a little restaurant as well as all the supplies for a apocalypse. I got a meatloaf sandwich that weighed a good pound as well as a bag of doritos. We waited maybe an hour while it rained off an on then hit the road. That was the first appearance of my hillbilly shoe covers of plastic grocery bags. They worked surprisingly great keeping my feet dry.
We had a long ways to Santa Fe by now so kept pushing on for a while. The ride was an amazing ride starting from Ghost ranch with big rock formations to crossing over small dried up rivers an seeing cactus all over.
We came into a valley I believe it was before Abiquiu it was a magical oasis looking down into it. The trees were amazingling green an tall. I believe most of the larger ones we have been seeing are dogwood trees.
The second stop was once we got near the highway heading into Santa Fe. at a McDonald’s. A huge storm cell moved in with strong gust of wind so we hungout for another hour or so then decide to tough it out once it calmes down. By now we had about 25miles or so left to ride an large incline into town. Once it was around 530 6 or so the rain started to come down. It made for a challenging evening being hot cold hot cold with rain gear on and climbing once you stop you get chilled.
We finally made it into Santa Fe around 830 or so at night an had to figure out were to stay. We decided to take tomorrow off for some rest as well as a chance to see a bit of the town. We got a room ay the Desert Inn of route 66. Kind of a cool old place in the old downtown of Santa Fe . We finished the evening off with grabbing some burgers for dinner with chili cheese fries and a few beers. A great day riding.
Today was another sweet day new scenery an good vibes!! Last night we got a fair amout of rain which made us think about the plan for the next few days. The section of trail is supposed to be tough an in the guide book it says if there has been rain an rain in the forecast do not take the route because the road turns to clay an is pretty much just walking the bike. There were still some nasty clouds while packing up then it started to clear up to clear up nicely. Was ready an riding we decided to go for it. The 2 mile ride to where we turned off the highway was sweet an smooth then we hopped on trail. The is a old time coal train that they still do trips with. Once riding up the road a bit we ran into a group of guys that were waiting to get some photos of the train. After chatting a bit we asked if they knew the forecast. Not looking good 60percent for the rest of the day an 100% thunder storms tomorrow for the area. Miles an I both looked at each other an was like lets take the road much rather not loose a few days walking in the mud it just wouldnt be fun.
We crossed over Cumbres Pass today after backtracking the route to the highway then headed towards Chama New Mexico. The pass was not to much more of a climb from where we were at so super nice. Once at the top we ran into a cattle drive an retreated up a small hill off the road so we did not get ran over.
The rise down was awesome an a little chilly.
Once in Chama we stopped at subway for lunch an to decide a game plan for the rest of the day for camping as well as next day. We decided to camp at the Ghost Ranch which is a popular stop for CDT hikers. It was another 45mile that should be some what easy the ride had 2500ft elevation gain an 3800ft loss. The ride was amazing an super happy we came this way. The terrain turned into a true southwest look. Sandstone everywhere an small little trees. We kept stopping every mile or two to get pictures then eventually had to start pushing to get so miles done. I noticed a few new flowers today, some purple ones with yellow center then a sunflower looking one red an yellow. We also seen some turkeys this morning a good dozen hens it looked like.
Once we got to the ghost ranch we tried to go check nin but they were closed so we went to check out the dining hall see if they were serving food. It was a no go on serving food but the lady asked us if we wanted her to make some to go plates we were excited to have that. It was curry meatballs an rice so yummy. The campsites it sweet so far it was starting to get dark but it has a little shelter that we decided to set our tents up under then we can pack them up in the morning dry when its raining.
Fall is here again!! So I think we just keep chasing the fall colors. We started seeing them a few weeks ago up in Yellowstone it seemed like then got out of colors an all the leaves were down for a few days. Then the colors came right back in all the full glory. Im loving it today was an amazing ride filled with the changing aspen trees glowing the mountain side.
We ended up getting in late last night after the giant climb, I was a little worried of feeling super tired today which did not happen. I for sure felt like I was riding bikes all day up a mountain if you can imagine what that feels like. Sleep was amazing once the other people in the campground turned there generators off by 1030 I clunked out right away. The stars here were amazing as usually millions of them bright as could be an able to see the milky way as well.
Once riding we had a few more miles of climbing up I think about 1000ft or so then we had a rough decent with hill smaller hills down to the town Platoro. We stopped at the cafe which happened to be the last day of the season to be open. The town was small more like a hunting, fishing, camping town. The one guy running the cafe had burgers or pulled pork sandwhich an fries. I did the pork sandwich that was amazing then a little amish pie with ice cream for desert so yummy. The guy offered us a cabin and shower for the night if we wanted to stay for 15bucks which is an amazing deal. We just got riding for the day an want to make it into New Mexico tomorrow so must push on we decided.
The ride from there followed a canyon with a small river flowing through it.
What an amazing ride from there to the next little camping town called Horco. The road ran parallel with the San Juan wilderness area. The mountains were very rugged an full of color from the tree leaves changing, to the sides of the mountains with high mineral contents causeing reds an greens it was amazing. The area is filled with old mines from the late 1800’s people looking for gold an other ores.
Once we made it to Horca there was a small gift shop we stopped at for a quick snack. They also happened to have small amish pies so I got 2 more of them. The one I ate right away was strawberry rhubarb my favorite of all. The other was chocolate but is frozen so figure Ill eat it in the morning. The lady there was kind enough to let us know they had wifi so that was awesome to be able to call Claudia an chat with her a bit. One of the hardest things about remote sections is no contact with loved ones.
Once all pumped up with sugar we started our final climb for the day with a 1700ft ride up over 6 or so miles.
It was around 400 when started riding we were planning on camping at a informal site marked on our map. Once we got to the place 9 miles out of town an at the bottom of another hug climb, the area is the front property of a few houses an maybe a ranch of a sort. There are a few fences with no trespassing signs up so we decided to camp on the grassy part next to the road. We are 100percent sure no one is liveing around here right now seems most everyone has left for the season. Most people that lived in the towns said once it snows usually in a week or so, its easy tobget snowed in so the 1st of October most everythung is close an people gone. It was another great day of riding. Im excited to get into New Mexico tomorrow. I just reach ove 2000miles on my milage for my computer. Im pretty sure its off about 2miles per 100miles. But in the grand scheme its been a long distance we have covered.