Day 74 - Silver City to I-10
I was somewhat sad to say goodbye to Silver City and William, my host, this morning as I had grown fond of the town and the great people I met. It is a very eclectic town with something for everyone, including a travelling vagabond like myself. To William and Glenn and my new friend Jim, thanks for making my stay so enjoyable.
The ride into Silver City as you may recall was an amazing downhill experience. Well, as you can imagine, around here what goes down then goes up, so the climb out of Silver was exhausting. The vast majority of the first 28 miles were up hill, occasionally offering up a descent, which only meant you lost valuable altitude which would then need to be regained. This went on exactly as William had described, so I was at least mentally ready for it. The most challenging point was crossing the Continental Divide, again, and then realizing there was still one more brutal climb up and out of this range.
Finally, at almost exactly mile 28, I crested the the top and was greeted with a sweeping panoramic view of the valley below, with the ever-present New Mexico mountains off in the distance, ringing the valley almost as if they were sentinels guarding the way. The treat now, 15 glorious downhill miles to the intersection of 70, just a couple of miles outside of Lordsburg. It was one of those down hills that was sloped just perfectly, enough of an angle to give you a good 22 or so mph, but not so steep that you had to spend half your time on the brakes. It allowed me to just cruise down the mountainside and into the valley, all the while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
From there it was up and into Lordsburg and a stop for more bananas. In my quest to find the cheapest form of snacks, I have discovered that out here bananas are incredibly cheap, often in the .49 cents/lb range making them one of my favorite go to foods. They don't do so well in the heat, so it is important to get a few ripe ones and a few green ones in hopes that they don't go bad before you eat them.
Lordsburg gave me the impression of a fairly dusty and dry southwestern town, not at all what I had been used to up in the Gila area. I got my bananas, found a McDonald's to re-charge at, and then hopped on I-10 with all the hustle and bustle of a world I left behind a couple of weeks ago. It made me realize just how special it was to pedal those crazy graded farm roads up and over the mountain passes, nary a car or truck to be seen, just beautiful mother nature patiently waiting for you to soak it all in.
I managed to make it to one of the rest stops and have set up camp here with a number of other weary travellers. There is even one of those monster RV's out in the lot, sides extended, satellite dish pointed up. I see these huge RV's all over the place and I just can't figure them out, but each to their own, and if it makes them happy then more power to them. At the price of gas, which I see across the street is over $4/gallon, I sure don't know how they do it?
Tomorrow I push on to Tuscon, hoping to get in a good 60-70 miles before the wind kicks up. It is a constant issue now as the spring winds are in full force, and unfortunately, they blow West or South West every day. The odds of me getting a tail wind are zip!
Lastly, I had some time in Silver to research other cyclists that are out on the trail, some simply seeking adventure, others searching for meaning, some doing both. There are two pretty amazing women that are cycling the ancient Silk Road, starting in Istanbul and working their way to India. It is a fantastic journey, with a great story and they have some amazing pictures, so be sure and check them out here, and if possible, donate a few dollars to their 'Scurvy' fund. I just love that!