Monday, August 6, 2007

We need bigger pizzas!

Well well well, we have finally hit a (open!) library in New Mexico in the little town of Cuba. I will try and remember everything we have done in the past week or so as it has been action packed!








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!).


We hit the pavement again and pulled into a little cafe for lunch. The prices were way to high so we just borrowed their picnic tables to get out of the sun for a bit. We enjoyed some shade before beginning the climb over La Mangas pass and getting into New Mexico! The climb was all on pavement but don't be fooled, it was steep. It took us a few hours to top out and when we did, surprise surprise, we were greeted by cows (we see hundreds each day).

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

5 comments:

mom and dad said...

YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB OF KEEPING US INFORMED AND SITTING ON THE EDGE OF OUR SEATS UNTIL THE NEXT ENTRY..GREAT PICS ...YOU BETTER BELIEVE YOU'RE GOING TO GET THE BIGGEST BEST (HOME COOKED) BRKFT WELCOME WHEN YOU RETURN...CAN'T WAIT...COUNTING THE DAYS NOW..
...SAFE TRIP. LOVE,MOM AND DAD

Anne Moore said...

Hi Keith,

Your Mom and Dad were here Aug. 2-4 and we had a blast with them!! You should have seen them riding the surf at Nauset Beach - especially your Mom - she was like a seal in the water!! We also went to your Dad's favorite: a Cape league baseball game where the "Cardinal" mascot hugged your Mom. Ask her - she'll show you the picture. At the Land Ho! we had beers with Claire and we all discussed how great your blog is and how well you write. It's like waiting for the next chapter of a good adventure book!

Best of luck in the weeks to come - you're almost home!
Love, Anne and Denis

Unecrn1 said...

You guys are as I said before - simply amazing!

Wow - the last State you'll be riding through, which means the end of your journey, and the end of your novel. I'm not so sure I'm ready for the novel to end, but it sure would be great to see you home again!

I can't wait to see all the pics, hear all the stories, and of course hang with you too!

C-ya on the next leg...... hahahhah

T.

Mary said...

Hey Keith,
Emily and I have been following your amazing journey....I was worried when there was no posting between 7/30 and 8/6...what a relief when you guys had a new post...Emily is in Jackson Hole,Wyoming right now...keep up your spirits....you must be soooo muscular at this point....Do ya think you will ever want another PBJ?
Love, Mary, Kyle and Emily

Anonymous said...

Hi Keith and Nat!
I am one of the many riders you saw in New Mexico (we were riding in the Tour of the Nations). It's so great to read your blog! I'm the one (of many I suspect) who gave you some food to take along. My hubby also did a bike trip across the US when he finished high school about 32 years ago! You guys are amazing and I know you had a great time. So glad you have finished! WhooHoo!
Mary Ellen Coe