Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Into the Arid Zone

I'm a bit pushed for time right now as it's approaching 3pm, and I've got about 18 miles to do to get to my camp where I'll have a layover. I've been pushing steadily for a week since Sante Fe, and it's time for a break. New Mexico was fantastic, dare I say enchanting? Last night was my coldest of the trip, 24 deg. F. I slept out in the open in a grassy region with a few stunted pinyon pines and not a breath of wind. It was a solid 12 hr. lock down in the bag. I probably have a few more nights like that until I get to lower elevations. I'll be over 7,000 ft. again tonight as far as I can tell.

So I've finished my last "new" state as I've explored and biked some in Arizona before--though not in the eastern half of the state, so this will be new country. I am feeling strong and riding well, but I'm starting to feel the pinch of shorter days, and these cold mornings make early starts pretty uncomfortable, so I'm usually scaling back my mileage. It's fantastic country, so why not?

I'll write more when I've got the chance. I may be able to post once more before I get to Prescott. My concerns right now are whether or not I'll be able to bike over the mountains to San Diego. I didn't bring my fire resistant cycling togs with me!

Be well. Biker Scotty signing off from the wilds of Arizona.

New Mexico mountains from a high camp:

The big wide open outside Socorro, NM:

Working the grade towards the Continental Divide:

Mountains north of Route 60, NM: