…in New Mexico.
A slight baptism of fire after crossing the border into what I’d been forewarned was rougher roads territory. I’d been anticipating washboarding of the flat sections, not the rocky, muddy steep terrain that greets you fairly quickly after crossing into Carson National Forest.
Needless to say that I used the form of transport commonly known as ‘walking’ for both the particularly bad uphill and downhill sections.
This bit took me half an hour to push up 0.5 miles (up Brasoz Ridge):
I’d been planning on doing it near the end of the day to get to a campsite which has water (a rare resource here), but was totally sapped of any energy a good 2 miles or so before I reached it so put my tent up there and then, listening to fervent rodent alarm calls and coyotes howling as I
drifted off to sleep barely slept.
The next day I was pretty unimpressed with New Mexico thinking it was just a rubbish version of Colorado but it soon came into its own with some amazing terracotta landscapes and my first cactus!
My highlight so far though has been meeting this dude at his little shop in Canon Plaza, a collection of houses you ride through on the stretch to Abiquiu. His wife Sylvia has raced the Tour Divide and was in the film of the event, Ride the Divide. Now they have this tiny shop to serve cyclists: hot burritos and chimmy-changas when the racers come through and junk food for when the normals pass. He spots you from his ranch house and races down on his ATV (all terrain vehicle, or quad bike) to serve you.
We all know you pay over the odds for food in remote circumstances so I took it easy and only bought 2 ice creams, a tube of Pringles (small), packet of Skittles, cinema-size box of Whoppers (like Maltesers) and some Starburst.
There’s a book to sign as well:
I’m currently in Abiquiu deciding what to do next as southern New Mexico is getting a battering from the tail end of hurricane Odile. It’s fine where I am right now but need to be cautious about heading into the wilds with flash flood warnings and potential to be stuck when the road turns to clay. Still, there’s worse places to be spend a day contemplating plan of action: