Zen On Dirt

Rainy day photo dump – Round 2

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Before I get to the photos, for record keeping purposes:

Day 13 was spent hanging out in Grants. Grants isn’t nearly as terrifying as I remember it and we spent some time hanging out in the hot tub between bouts of work.

We did go to the post office, and got soaked by a passing storm. And we got dinner with Rick at Cafecito. Their bean and guac-stuffed sopapillas are pretty much divine.

Now, on to the more interesting stuff – photos!

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We left Silver City with the information that a small general store would be open at Lake Roberts, thus, we left with minimal trail food. Said store was closed…which caused a brief moment of panic until we found snacks at the mom and pop cabin rentals next door. $50 of snacks later, we were on our way into the Gila.

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Smoke seemed to be moving in each evening. Our boogers may have been black, but the smoke made for some amazing sunsets.

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We found a hiker the next morning. He was booking it up a steep hill and it actually took us a while to catch him. He was doing a 5-day circumnavigation of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness to our east. I love it when people put together creative routes. I do wonder what backpackers carry in those huge packs…

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The famed Beaverhead soda machine. Officially out of order for good. Tour Dividers beware.

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Leaving Beaverhead. When the scenery was still good and the wind hadn’t picked up…we were actually enjoying road touring for a little while. It’s good in small doses…but yeah, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that there are no Tour Divides, or other long road tours, in my future.

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We got on the trail the next morning. It was beautiful.

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Until we hit the burn area. Then it wasn’t so beautiful.

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Then it was beautiful again.

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And it kept on getting better. 2,000 feet straight down on narrow, fun trail. BIkepacking doesn’t get much better than this.

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A smokey sunset on top of Mangus Mountain. There were good things in the future…as in a belly full of food for the first time since Silver City.

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Pie Town! We tried every flavor during our stay except for blueberry. I had the NM apple and green chili flavor twice.

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The motley crew at the Toaster House.

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Funny shit. Literally.

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Spork’s stepmom had sent him some cookies in a care package. They had pretty much everything in them: M&M’s, chocolate chips, nuts, cranberries. We were lucky that he shared them and we were able to enjoy them after getting shut out from the Chain of Craters singletrack. (And Mom, if you want to send a care package, we’re doing a mail pickup in Chama. We like Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies, Gummy Mangos, and Chile Mangos. 😉 And those chocolate hazelnut cookies they stock over the freezer section. )

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Rocks are cool. Lava is cool. Hiking diversions from a bike route are cool. Lava is not easy to walk on in bike shoes, even if they are hike-a-bike shoes.

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These lava tubes were created 10,000 years ago and stretch 17+ miles. The world is such an amazing place…I’ve got no words to describe it.

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I was just going to comment that we hadn’t seen any bear scat for a while when we came upon these. Two bears, heading in the opposite direction from us. Baby prints from the look of it.

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It’s been unsettled weather in Grants, and while we both know that we have the ability to push on and endure the elements, we haven’t really seen the need to, so we’ve been hanging out in a posh hotel room, working, soaking in the hot tub, and eating cheap Mexican food at El Cafecito.

But, we are going a bit stir crazy, so it’ll be good to get back on the trail sooner rather than later.

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