Del Norte, CO to Grants, NM
AWESOME WEEK!!!!! I realized that the past couple weeks I rambled a ton in my blogs so I'm gonna stick with a bulleted list of mind dumps from the week. Here we go:
- Indiana Pass (11,910ft) (or _______ as the locals call it) was super chill and fun with our Disney playlist to jam out to as we climbed. We also rolled into our friends Brad and Bruce part way up and took their 2,000 mile pic for them
- We met Cynthia and Bill while eating lunch at a nice picnic table in Summitville--a town that's not a town but has a mine and a bunch of old mining town ruins. They were so kind and Cynthia proceeded to unload half their groceries onto us which we were grateful for even though we had just resupplied in Del Norte. THANK YOU CYNTHIA AND BILL (and Bill, I hope you get back out on your bike after you heal up!!)
- We made a HUGE FIRE at one of our campsites and stayed up chatting with Brad and Bruce. It is SO NICE when you can have a legit fire out on the trail and makes it so much easier to stay up and look at the stars
- Cows. This past week something clicked between us. Not sure what it was but we get each other now
- Frost. Pretty sure we experienced the last of the frost for our ride and boy did we experience it. Katie's favorite mornings are ones where there is frost everywhere and then we get to start off with a shady descent :)
- twice this week we rolled into camp when it was dark and once when it was almost dark which made for some fun times and meant we had BOMB days of riding
- Katie lost her sandals while getting gnarly on a New Mexican descent
- FYI New Mexico has some super techy double track which is SO FUN
- We bathed with wet wipes every night this week aka there hasn't been much water
- El Rito (the town) only accepts cash in its two establishments. One of which is the best Mexican food around...and we didn't have cash. PRO TIP: If you are around while the post office is open you can get cash back there
- El Rito also has a great little community college where you can camp and chill Kenny the security guard and his trusty dog Scooby
- Abiquiu is clutch and has a shop with everything AND MORE. Including but not limited to honey sticks and burritos
- Ok, so a few riders told us about the climb out of Abiquiu as if it was the hardest thing in the WORLD. It is not the hardest thing in the world. In fact, Katie and I really liked it since it was technical so we didn't really have time to think about the fact that we were climbing. But yeah it wasn't bad at all and it was BEAUTIFUL!
- Two days this week we biked 50+ miles before lunch. One of those days we were motivated by the idea of getting lunch in Cuba and the other day we were motivated by water at a water tank
- I saw my first dead cow this week. It was SUPER DEAD aka was all bones and hide
- I saw my first lost cow this week which was sad because it was in the desert where there isn't much water and might end up dead like the other cow I saw
- One day this week Katie had a big milestone -- she biked the entire day without her jacket OR gloves
- I started taping up my ankles for my Achilles and I think it's helped a bit and know it's given me more sweet tan lines
- one day we biked 60ish miles in the desert and then climbed this mountain and ended the day surrounded by pines in this pine forest! So cool!! New Mexico rocks!
In short, this week has flown by and as I read back on my nightly journal entries I can't believe so much has happened! Something particularly notable about New Mexico is the gnarlines of their fire roads which makes riding super fun and bumpy and techy and awesome! We'll be finishing up our ride in probably a weeks time which is CRAZY! I honestly haven't thought much about post GDMBR life so I should probably get on that ;)
Sponsor SHOUTOUT goes to Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) for making a BEAST of a tire in the Wolverine!!! Between Katie and I we've only had one flat the entire trip (so far, knock on wood)!!! If the first 2,000+ miles weren't trial enough for these tires the last week DEFINITELY has been and they killed it! We heard of a few flats happen in this area with other riders but they weren't rolling on WTB tires so I can't say I was surprised ;) They've been awesome on all of the surfaces we've faced while also rolling quickly on pavement (when we get to do that). I know that I speak for Katie and myself when i say that the Wolverines are an AMAZING tire and have made our trip so much easier!!!!
-Starry night skies
-Having wood to make a fire
-Breakfast with Bruce and Brad
-Reaching our highest point in the ride: Indiana pass 11,900'
-Meeting-up with last year's ranger Amanda
-Broken tent pole
This week has been all over the place. It started with a bang when we made it up and over Indiana pass reaching out highest point at 11,900'. It was momentous. On our way up we ran into Bruce and Brad who we'd met earlier in the trip. We camped with them that evening at Stunner campground where there was firewood all ready for us to use! It turned into one of my favorite days of the trip with the great company, warmth of the fire and the amazing stars in the night sky.
The week rolled on with a few more hefty climbs but with those climbs came some help. While en Route we were blessed by some trail angels who helped us do our "wilderness grocery shopping" as Cynthia put it, who loaded me up with a bag full of food from her car. We've again been blessed immensely while on our ride And couldn't be more grateful.
We made it into New Mexico and didn't see much change scenery wise until making it to El Rito where we camped for a night. We rolled into town on sandy unkept roads, where we got a very Hispanic vibe. We were so excited to eat at a highly acclaimed restaurant in town, the only restaurant in town, but as we sat down at the table we realized it was cash only, which neither of us had. We left a bit bummed, but we're grateful when one of the locals offered to buy us some gatorades, as the whole town was cash only and there was no atm. I didn't know any place like this existed anymore.
I've been pleasantly surprised at the variation in New Mexico's landscapes. There's been a fair share of rock and sandy desert, but we've also been through a lot of pine forests and seen more grass than I've seen on the trails in a long time.
I've taken my fair share of naps during breaks this week and find myself living in my helmet as it makes for such a comfortable napping pillow and such a great conversation starter in towns. More than anything it's just so comfortable I forget I have it on, thanks to Bell.
Finally we've finalized our plans to head home. I'm two weeks we take a flight from Tucson back home. We will be biking from Antelope Wells to Tucson to extend our adventure a little longer. It's great to have some finally plans but so weird to have it be coming to an end. I've loved the journey and grown so much.
- Great Divide Milestones -
- FROM: East Palo Alto, CA
- DOB: 2016-01-01
- OCCUPATION: Arborist/Mechanic and Social Media Communications
What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure?
When Laura called me on the phone and said, "Hey I found this Ranger program while I was on the train today and I thought that you'd be a good PIC (partner in crime)."
Have you traveled by bike in the past?
Yes -- a couple of smaller bike packing trips
What is your goal for the route?
Our goal is to morph all of our random outdoor skills into a successful ride of the Great Divide!
What do you hope to get out of this journey?
I see this as a soul-searching adventure for 2 months. I want to be able to get away from my normal 6am-3pm job and be on an adventure that separates me from life's distractions. I want to share my experiences with various biking communities along the route and hope to learn from them as well.
- Great Divide Milestones -