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Day 3! May 20, 2007

Posted by jonpierson in Uncategorized.
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turtle.jpg  ctdcrossing1.jpg   samandclide.jpg 

Right now I’m writing from an internet cafein Silver City, NM, 130 miles north of the Mexican border.  After a long ride yesterday, we took a half day, which turned out to be about 30 miles.  The crew spent the rest of the day in the Silver City RV Park.  Took me a while to get my hammock up, but once I did I was out like a light.  For dinner we headed to the local brewery, always a treat, especially after days in the woodgroup.jpgs!  Our last stretch before pulling into town was about 50 miles and that was all dirt road with no service.  No Starbucks, no phone service, etc.  You are completely reliant on yourself and your companions.  This route requires bike touring and camping experience.  Without both of those things, you are up against the odds.  We actually already had a rider drop out.  I won’t mention any names, but he simply wasn’t cut for this.  Now that we’re down to 5, I feel out group is riding stonger, and worried less about a “weak link.”  We are all mentally and physically strong and fully aware of the challenge laid before us. 

I am taking it day by day, and really just enjoying the full experience.  The sunshine, the clouds, the rain, the people, the abandoned ghost towns.. it’s all part of the experience.  The pain of riding through mud and rain at the end of a long day and still pushing on.  These are the challenges I seek out, and now they are mine on a daily basis.  Everything I have learned up until this point is being tested.  And it feels GREAT!

 We’ve been seeing quite a bit of wildlife on the tour.  Jackrabbits, antelope, snakes, lots of birds, and yesterday I really think I saw a baby Gila Monster.  I’ve seen 4 in my life, so I think I was able to positively identify it.  I mention it because it’s the only poisonous lizard in the US.  Plus it was a baby.  Plus when I saw it I was biking through the Gila National Forest!  The Gila is well known because the wilderness area was designated as America’s first “wilderness area.”  This is greatly in part due to one of my personal conservation heroes, Aldo Leopold.  If interested, I’d highly recommend “A Sand County Almanac.”  It’s a conservation classic.

So, everything else is good.  Michael has experience some bike and stove problems, but we got both of those resolved today.  I had a thermarest pop on my first night out in the town of Hachita, but now I’ve purchased a cheaper and lighter alternative, still made by thermarest, but this ones made out of foam.  There are thorns galore in southern NM, and the ones that popped my pad were called goatheads.  So far I’ve had no flats (knock on wood) and I am thinking it’s because of my slime tubes.  They are self repariring.. when you get a flat, the slime oozes over that area and seals it up.  Atleast I think thats how it works.

So that’s about it for now.  We’re at 6000 feet and tomorrow we rise up to 8,000 during a ride of about 45-55 miles (distance depends on where we choose to camp.)  Thats another nice thing about this trip.  Camping is generally free, today is the first time I’ve paid on this trip, but I get soft grass, showers and night time security, oh yeah! 

Thanks for following the blog.  Keep in touch with me and I’ll do the same.  -JB

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