Leaving Del Norte, CO, we faced our biggest challenge of the trip (in my option). It came in the form of a 11,910ft pass called Indiana. We started in Del Norte (elevation 7500ft) and spent the entire morning (23 miles) getting to the summit of this monster of a climb. It really felt good to conquer such a beast after having such troubles with Marshall Pass. We topped out around 1pm and took some fun pictures to take the stress off of such a hard climb. We knew the rest of the day wouldn't be much easier as we still had to cruise through an EPA Superfund site and find somewhere to camp.
After lunch we cruised down the hill to Summitville which was declared an EPA Superfund in the 1980's. It was quite a sight as half of the mountain is completely missing. The water around the site was not even safe to drink after filtering it which made it difficult to find a spot to camp. Finally we could not push on anymore and pulled into a spot that seemed to have a few other people camping around it. We asked them where we could get some water for the night and a couple of folks graciously gave us some water so that we could make it through the night. Without them, I am not sure what we would have done.
In the morning we headed to the up Stunner Pass and over to Platoro, CO for some canned soda and snacks. It was a tiny little town and luckily some fellow riders of the divide heading North had warned us that the water there was not safe to drink, hence buying gallon jugs of water and soda. It saved us an ER visit which we are grateful for! While in there, the owner warned us of a mudslide about 12 miles down the road that had happened the night before. We thought "Oh No! A repeat of Marshall!", but luckily it was easily crossed by bicycle (but not by Jeep as we witnessed first hand!).
Bombing down the other side, I looked at my altimeter to see we were losing 171ft/minute. Not really sure how fast we were going but it was fast. We were going so fast, we almost missed the signs telling us we were entering New Mexico, the last state of our trip! We had decided to sleep in a little canyon at the border as it seemed to be the only running stream around for a while.
Well I guess that is it for now, I am being kicked off the computer here at the library. Hopefully I can finish this update in a couple of days in Grant. I will also be able to e-mail all the people back home at that point. Have a good one guys!
-Keith and Nat