Lost then found then lost again

Favorite Southwest resupply options. I love them vegan chili ramens – which I haven’t seen since Said Valley on the PCT in 15. Also, once you get far enough spin every bodega & grocery has instant dehydrated refried beans – perfect cold soak food with Fritos!

Made a fancy custom rain cover for my fancy Brooks saddle… dodging afternoon rainstorms our of Taos.

Branching with the best of them in Cuba, NM. It’s interesting coming back after hiking thru on the CDT last year and seeing how my perspective has changed.

Steel horses and dirtbag cowboys. Riding through the American West reminds one of many conflicting narratives – black cowboys, soldiers paid cash for scalps, a million miles of barbed wire, shooting bison from the train, the violence and genocide that surrounds how these spaces are occupied & my privilege in being here. It’s a lot to digest, but the long views lend themselves to meditative thoughts and potentially change… tho there are still uranium mining railings outside Grants (the largest federal SuperFund site) and endless ‘NO TRESPASSING’ signs.

Good luck finding this or yourself – spiraling ever inward & outward simultaneously, away from and into an invisible center.

Into the world… again

After a mile of hikeabike we finished the climb to Marshall Pass – probably the high point for us, we would find out later, as we rerouted around massive remaining snow outside Del Norte. Cruises into Seargents for some super overpriced French fries and severely limited resupply, then onwards…

Town park between the tracks and the highway in Monte Vista, part of the reroute. At least there was a liquor store across the street…

Into Taos – we figured it would be easier to ride the Taos Plateau straight from Monte Vista rather than route back to the Divide. It was hot, empty and beautiful – and involved an itchy dip in the Rio Grande (probably too much pesticide?).

Long views leaving Colorado. After Seargents it was a long grind ringing the valley before descending into Del Norte. It was an exercise in getting the legs back – 2 days of climbing, 10,000ish feet. The flatish reroute our of Del Norte came as a welcome relief.

Sunset from the ‘M’ hill, Manassa, CO – home of Jack Dempsey and one million mosquitoes. We ended up traversing much of the southern San Luis valley which was pretty, but a buggy hell around sunset. We climbed an extremely steep slope to try and get a breeze but the bugs just followed us…

Finally in NM with the cacti blooming by the Rio Grande…

Winter in Leadville

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Fresh tracks on the trails at Colorado Mountain College. Built and maintained by the local bike club, the Cloud City Wheelers, these trails are groomed a couple times a week – especially after new snow. I beat the groomer this time, but because it was 8 degrees the ride was still pretty firm. I can almost feel my toes now…

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If u need to ask why live in Leadville…. view of the Sawatch Range from Long and Derry Hill.

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The local snowmobile club grooms county and forest roads on the East side of town. Here Jack the dog and ski our way up CR3A on some fresh cord. There’s often nobody out there…

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Cold, also dead. The Evergreen cemetery is a few blocks for the house… there are some ornate tombs and headstones from the late 1800’s. The cemetery informally peters out into some pine forest with snowmobile and snowshoe tracks … you’ll often find random headstones with the markings worn off next to a tree deep in the forest. 

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Harpo – mane skiing down the pipeline. Lots of terrain to explore on the east side of town…

Borders & Reflections

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Done & done – 2900 miles border to border, triple crown, and 11,000 trail miles down. What’s next?

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The southern terminus is a Crazy Cook, a nowhere place in on the NM/Mexico border, just a little bump on the panhandle 85 miles away from any roads.

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Life is harsh out in the desert. Everything is sharp, the sun intense, and the bones bleached dry.

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I was skeptical about the southern terminus, expecting another anticlimax. I’m happy we were there at sunset, where the light turned spectral over the western mountains. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but as the sun descended behind the hills there was intense pink and blue banding fading into a perfect butter yellow sky.

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We waited for hours at the road after walking the 85 miles back – no luck hitching, only a couple of cars. Finally we got a ride from border patrol – we didn’t bother telling him Huck was a Danish national on a dubious visa.

 

New Mexico

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Frosted flakes outside Chama, NM. And I thought it was going to be warm in the desert…

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After a morning of 100 or more river crossings, Huck and I decided to seek out higher ground. We spend the majority of the day wandering around the Gila Wilderness far from any trail, thru tall grass and wide open pine forest.

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Ghost bike for a cyclist killed by an automobile outside Silver City, NM.

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Those desert skies tho – I’ve never seen any sunsets so chromatic, and it got better the further south we headed.

Into the Desert!

Checking out the new scenery headed into Ghost Ranch NM

Finally! At the Colorado/New Mexico border… 800 miles left!

Winter tarp lyfe – almost not frozen!

Following Huck into the snow, Carson National Forest, NM

Sunrise on the tall grass.. NM

Warmer than it looks? I can almost feel my feet…

Into the Desert!

Checking out the new scenery headed into Ghost Ranch NM

Finally! At the Colorado/New Mexico border… 800 miles left!

Winter tarp lyfe – almost not frozen!

Following Huck into the snow, Carson National Forest, NM

Sunrise on the tall grass.. NM

Warmer than it looks? I can almost feel my feet…