Saturday, July 18, 2009

last climbing day of the trip - reached new mexico

Current Location: Dulce, NM
Total Distance Traveled: 2685 miles

We've taken it a little slower the last two days since we're ahead of schedule and since we're in pretty high elevation. The last two days we've probably gone only about 90 to a 100 miles. We needed it. Yesterday we slept for 12 hours. I went to bed at 8 pm and woke up at 8 am. I don't remember the last time i've slept that long. The beauty of yesterday's sleep was that it got down to about 35 degrees so i could snuggle deep into my sleeping bag and sleep like a baby.

Today was the hardest ride of our lives. We rode from Antonito, Colorado to Dulce, New Mexico and we knew we were going to climb. We started at 7890 feet and off we went. It was pretty flat for about 20 miles then it was uphill for the hardest 7 miles i've ridden. We went up a 7 to 8 percent grade averaging about 5 to 7 mph. The views became magnificent. We went from desert to a forest. slowly but surely we made it to the top which was 10,230 feet. We took a lot of pictures at the top and we felt like beasts.

We descended down the mountain at speeds of 25-30 mph for 11 miles into New Mexico. This is our 12th state. Only 2 to go.

Funny thing happened yesterday. I was in a fast food restaurant and I went into the bathroom to change into my bike clothes. I thought about it and decided I really needed a shower. So I take my shirt off and start putting water into my hair and on my chest. I get soap from the dispenser and put it in my hair and start washing my body. I make a little mohawk with the soap, when this elderly man walks in. He just stares at me wondering why this half naked guy is taking the closest thing to a shower that he can in the fast food bathroom. I just smile and say I have no alternatives. He laughs and laughs. I smelled a lot better after that shower though.

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