We enjoyed paved roads out of Silver City for the climb into the mountains. The Gila hot springs and Cliff Dwellings National Monument were far enough off route that we decided to hitch in. The RV driven by an Alaskan remote pilot and his wife let us take our bikes, which meant we could stay overnight at the hot springs. The historical Cliff dwellings were great to see and the hot springs campground by the river, under the cliffs were superb. There was a price to pay – a big climb back out the next day to rejoin our route.
We had a couple of long days, typically on the road by 7:30 in the cool of the morning, biking thru the very warm temps in the middle of the day and rolling into camp late afternoon.
The terrain was varied, from forested hills, dry grassy rolling ranch lands, volcanic cones and the Plains of Augustan – a huge old volcanic caldera which apparently hosts the VLA (Very Large Array – the movie Contact was filmed there) – 27 massive satellite antennas that take advantage of the clear skies to talk to space.The dirt roads were in pretty good nick and when they weren’t our fat tyres smoothed the way. We camped at free Forest Service camp grounds and practised the art of hanging our food at night just in case there were some hungry black bears.
Along the way we have met up with Alex and Brian, also heading to Canada, and Rob who is cycling back to Colorado
Despite the heat and the aches it was a great 5 day stretch, topped with the early finish in Pie Town (population 60) and a big cooked breakfast before searching out the Toaster House, free accommodation for bikers and Continental Divide Trail walkers.
Enjoy the pics, they make it look flat riding but we can clock up 1500m over a day, and maximum (so far) of 55 miles (88km)..