To our delight, this was one of those truly great-to-be-out-here days. We needed it after yesterday.
To the general store for provisions. For me that’s Fig Newtons, Skittles, and a can of 7-up. Oughta last 40 miles, along with 4 liters of water and the Pop-Tarts I had. Certainly reflects a riding mode, being so carb intensive.
South down NM32. The air was humid but the prevailing coolness kept it all quite marvelous (especially when thinking of the weather in Phoenix). And with almost no wind, the conditions were MUCH better than yesterday.
The morning brought a slow climb with a few slopes thrown in. I made it a ride plan to stop every 5 miles, which seemed to work well. I actually felt surprisingly good but decided to let recovery takes its course.
I soon came across a young elk roadside. He got caught on the wrong side of the barbed wire trying to get away from me. I sat for quite a few minutes watching him as he nervously ran back and forth. Finally he found a spot low enough, sprung over, and bounded away.
Twenty straight miles of mild climbing, nothing too bad. Phil and I both stopped in the woods at the 20 mile marker and explored around for a while. So quiet – really lovely.
Around the 30 mile mark, a sign announced 2 miles of 8% downhill. Back in 2008, we’d had such headwinds that I didn’t even remember this hill, but today – wow. I let it rip, reaching 42 mph, and even that with some modest braking due to turns. Jack would’ve topped 50 easily.
Winds picked up and swirled around, mostly helping. The route continues in a long slow descent into Apache Creek, and then another 12 miles descent into Reserve. Marvelous easy miles. Great to be out here.
First order of business in Reserve: beer at Uncle Bill’s Bar, a Dos Equis and Blue Moon which soon turned into two. We chatted it up with the friendly bartender and locals. I asked about the weird looking melon plant I’d seen roadside and learned they are some kind of stink gourd, known for their horrible smell and toxicity.
We hit the grocery for tomorrow’s ride provisions. For me, that’s more Fig Newtons, a cherry pie, V8, and some Fritos for tonight. Then off to the Frisco Lodging office to check in. We got a key and some vague instructions to find the “chalet” across from the town’s post office. It wasn’t too well marked but we eventually found it, a great little homey apartment complete with kitchen, bedroom, and roll-out sleeper. Phil kindly opted for the sleeper – I don’t think I would have fit on it.
A kitchen – wow! Unexpected. While Phil showered, I took off to the grocer again for sirloin steaks, Zatarain’s dirty rice mix, frozen broccoli (they had no fresh produce), onion, garlic, seasoning salt, and then cold pinot grigio from Uncle Bills.
After my own shower, we enjoyed a Yankees-Red Sox game, munching on Fritos and nuts while I cooked. When I turned on the front right burner, it popped and the whole place went black. We managed to find the breaker outside, but had to wait 15 minutes for the satellite to reset to get the game back. Turns out 2 of the burners were defective, so I had to limp along on the other two. Phil had to run out for butter since I’d forgotten it. But all in all, dinner ended up pretty good.
Marathon game ended after 5-plus hours of play in the 16th inning. Yanks win 4-1.
Great ride today – nothing but smiles. Gonna get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow. We have many miles to go and many feet to climb.
Distance Today: 56.3 miles