From the Land of Enchantment to the Grand Canyon State

We made use of the wifi rays leaking through the walls of the Rose Valley RV Office to get another blog post off this morning before leaving this pleasant stop. I complimented the host on the neatness of his park, the use of antique farm equipment as ornamentation, and the proud display of the American flag at the entrance to the park.

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Adjacent to the RV park was the Memory Lane Cemetery, listed as “historic” on our Adventure Cycling map set. Cathy always finds cemeteries interesting and intriguing anyway, so we drove STella down the central street of the well maintained resting place for Silver City residents long gone. And, as usual, we found some interesting “characters”.

Close examination of the photos will show that John Bullard founded the mining town of Silver City at the age of 20 and was promptly “killed by Indians”. Thomas Wood, on the other hand, lived to the ripe old age of 78. I’m not at all sure that the “14 notches on his six shooter” was going to be a good resume at the Pearly Gates, however.

The day was warming up quickly, and I had planned on an 80 plus mile day and Cathy had two “hot spots” located on the New Mexico Birding Trail that she was anxious to explore.

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The States are doing a good job of trying to make the routes that are most accessible to Cyclists also visible to motorists. 

Cathy will add her “bit” to this blog as she was yet again successful in adding to the growing “life list”.

Milestones aplenty today, along with Cathy’s bird list. We have been zig zagging across the Continental Divide over the last several days, and today, according to the map, is the last time we’ll do that on this trip west.

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I gave the trusty Trek a good washing down last night, but it’s hard to tell that in this picture. 

I passed by the Tyrone Copper Pit Mine shortly after leaving Silver City. It is a huge complex and covers many square miles of excavation in open pit mining. They have been “reclaiming” some of the open pit excavations for the last several years, and it is a mammoth undertaking. It is the second largest mine in the Southwest and there are over 650 people working there. The size of the machines used in this business are hard to believe.

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There was a substantial amount of “up and down” leaving Silver City, but the road ran straight as an arrow, and what a pleasant road it was. By the time I was a dozen miles out of town, I was experiencing a near perfect “10” on the biker’s scale. All 5 of the key elements; air temperature, road surface, wind speed and direction, terrain, and traffic were as close to perfection as a biker would dare to hope for. I didn’t even add “no aches or pains”, as I’ve now come to expect that as the norm.

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For all the Conway descendants out there, I couldn’t help but stop and take this picture and wonder for a good long while how our Great Grand Parents of Tyrone, Iowa would have reacted to this incredible part of the country I have been able to explore and enjoy.

Our planned mid-day stop was in Lordsburg, NM, about half way to the end of the ride. The last 5 miles into town was a gentle but steady down grade on to a low lying basin and I was loving it. The birding was so enticing in Willow Creek near Silver City, that Cathy was delayed in arriving at the meeting spot. I was happy for the extra rest and waited for her to arrive.

It was nearly 2 pm when we shoved off from there, and she had another place to check out for bird life. My route had switched to a more north westerly  direction and was as straight as if it had been etched with ruler across the flatland basin. About 70 miles into the ride, I crossed into the 7th of the 8 states that make up the Southern Tier Route. Hello, Arizona!

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This milestone came up quicker than I had expected. My average speed for the day was a little over 15 mph. That’s a first for this entire ride!

Luckily, Cathy had passed me again going down the “home stretch” and I flagged her down to get more water. I went through a lot of it today, in spite of the coolness of the air.

Her accomplishments exceeded my today, so she can fill you in with her exploits.

Willow Creek is part of a National Forest, and this morning it was as close to idyllic as it’s possible to get. Perfect air, blue skies, gentle breeze, wonderful trails in a beautiful forest, and lots of birds made my morning! I got a new one for my list, the bridled titmouse. Cute little thing! I  saw this unusual squirrel, too . Also cute!(Not my photos, by the way. My camera isn’t nearly that good.) 

After lunch, I stopped at Verdin Bridge, near our overnight spot, and was happy to get another “lifer”, a Bell’s vireo. I know you’re all happy for me! 😉

And that, dear readers, gets the ST blog finally caught up!

Thanks for your patience, and most importantly for your reading and your comments.

We do love having you all along.

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “From the Land of Enchantment to the Grand Canyon State”

  1. You’ve made it to Arizona!!! I went to bed and woke up to find you’re all caught up! Great blog taking us along the perfect biking elements. Well, all except the rumble strips shoulder so-called bike lane! It could be closer to the white line and give you guys a good wide smooth lane! Great pictures and I love that Cathy added more to her life list! My Dad was such a lover of birds. I wish I’d thought of keeping a list! Heck, I’ve got my bird book my Grandma Graham gave me….I guess it’s not too late to start! We have an adorable tufted titmouse here in San Antonio! I know we sure disnt have them in Iowa!
    So happy to be riding along with the two of you! What a great journey we’re on together! As always….hugs and love and abundant prayers!!!

    Like

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