We hated to leave Silver City but we have to stay on schedule. Back to the usual McDonald’s breakfast and on the road.
The day started out with 3 substantial climbs to be followed up with a difficult climb to our highest elevation of the ride. We rode up to the top of Emory Pass with an elevation of 8,228 feet. Our total elevation gain, for the day, was 6,957 feet. Once we reached the top of Emory Pass, we went to an observation look out and we could see Caballo Lake some 37 miles away.
Our only saving grace for the day was that the temperature didn’t exceed 85 degrees.
The downhill was great. Hang on tight and weave your way down the mountain for over 19 miles until we reached the unincorporated town of Hillsboro. Here we had lunch in the only restaurant in the town. The best part of the lunch was the ice cream at the end.
The state park had a good restroom with very good showers, so no hose shower this time. The one problem was it’s not close to anything, so I had to have my first dehydrated meal. It was easy to make because all I had to do was boil 2 cups of water and pour it in the package and wait 9 minutes. Even I couldn’t mess that up. What I also like about it was the only thing I had to clean was the spoon I used to eat it.
The moon was almost a full moon so being out by a lake, in the dark, the moon seemed huge.
The Silver City Presbyterian Church went above and beyond to make us welcome. Not only was there plenty of room to spread out, but they provided us with dinner the first and second nights and breakfast the second morning. They also entertained us with a quiz of New Mexico for dummies quiz. It was a lot of fun and the teachers in our group did very well.
On our rest day, 8 of us went to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. It is the only cliff dwelling that you can actually go into the dwelling itself. They had a National Park guide, who was very dedicated and informative and talked to us for close to 45 minutes.
On the way down from the dwelling, an older gentleman, not from our bike group, fell about 8 feet hitting his head. Our BIKETHEUSFORMS has been a National Park employee and administered immediate first aid until the one site Park Employees arrived. It was going to take over 2 hours for emergency personnel to arrive but before we left they had the man stable.
The remainder of the day was filled with laundry and bike cleaning. Then our last meal by the church.
We intended to start out at McDonalds but we couldn’t find it, so we settled on Arby’s and settled is the correct word. Arby’s didn’t have any pancakes so we had to eat breakfast burritos and these did not compare to what we had in Safford.
Once on the road, we began a climb that seemed to last forever. It was only about 15 miles but when you include the head wind it was a trying ride. The trouble with these types of climbs is it messes with your mind because you can’t see the climb until you look in your mirror or stop and look back, then it becomes a reality.
It was a beautiful morning. The clouds hung over the mountain tops. The temperature was in the 60s and 70s most of the morning. After the initial 15 mile climb, we still had 5 mores steeper but shorted climbs.
Once we arrived in Silver City, we stopped at the local bike shop where I purchased a new cell phone mount, since the zipper on my bike bag broke and I had been holding it together with duct tap each morning for over a week.
Then to the church at which we will be staying to the 2 days. Yes we have reached our second rest day.