Wow- in case we were not sure, I’d say we are on an adventure ride.
We left camp White Trash at about 8:30 AM. The idea was that Chaka drove the road about 2 and a half hours to Cuba, and we took the trail. The weather was cool, and the ride was great. There was one point where we were travelling about 60 MPH on asphalt, and suddenly the road turned to gravel. I’m not sure if I missed the signs, or there were none, but it shocked me. The second shock came 3 seconds later when I realized that Todd had no intention of slowing down on the gravel. Oh well, I’ll keep up. We went up a mountain, took some photos at the top, and then down the other side. It was a park, and a Monday morning, but we only saw 3 other cars the whole time we were there.
After leaving the park, we traveled gravel roads for a while, then asphalt for about 30 minutes, and made it onto the unmarked Continental Divide Trail, and that is when things got interesting….
We were travelling dirt roads, with sandy spots. You could go about 20-25 MPH, and the views were tremendous! The day was flowing really well. We got lots of great pictures, and even saw some Elk. Eventually, our road turned into less of a road, and finally into an open desert, with giant canyons carved away from rain that made us backtrack time after time. We tried to follow the GPS directions we had, and the map, but nothing was working.
So, we criss crossed the desert for about 2 hours. We made very little progress since we could only go 4 miles per hour, and we were getting tired since we had to use a lot of energy to stay upright. We stopped to talk about it, under a tiny shady tree. The reality was that we were lost in the desert, we had only the fuel in our bikes plus one gallon, we did not have that much water, almost no food, and no shelter. We could see several thunderstorms approaching. We were wondering where to take shelter from the lightning, and also how quickly the rain would dry up so we could start riding again. Suddenly we didn’t feel so smart. As a matter of fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that we were starting to get scared. We both felt we were close to our destination, but the sure bet was to backtrack to Grants. At this point, I sent this text message, hoping that at some point it would be delivered
“It’s 2:30 now. We are turning back to Grants. Should be thee by 5:30-6:00 if gas holds out. We will call then, right now we are at N 35.37.412 W 107.26.804 near Thoreau NM.”
We found our way back to a dirt road (and I use the term road very loosely), and 15 more dirt roads, 8 gates, 100 Elk later, we ended up at a paved road. The only problem was that we were on a coal mine’s property, and there was a locked gate between us and the road. Eventually, we got through the gate, and road 35 glorious asphalt miles back to Grants to get gas, water, and snacks.
I make this sound easy, but it was not. Todd crashed his bike, we both thought we were spending the night in the desert, and we were covered in sweat with little water left.
Todd and I will be packing differently tomorrow.
How did we get there?
Oh- we took the paved road to Cuba. It took 2 and a half hours, and that meant we were riding our bikes for 11 hours today. And when we got to town, there was one hotel room left at the last of 3 hotels. We took it!