Day 17. No Pie for Jarral :(
|Day 17 Route|
Day 18. Silver City or Bust.
|Day 18 Route|
Finally I came to the work center. They have water spigots and the aforementioned soda machine. I, of course, didn't have change. I asked a ranger at the desk if there was a way to get anything out. He said he gave Ollie all his change. Ollie couldn't comprehend US money. Ollie! He said he'd ask the supervisor for the key. Soon enough he opened it up and I had 3 sodas and he had a couple of dollars that he stuck in the machine. I told him Eszter would be coming along sometime and I'd buy her one but then it would be warm...So I didn't. We talked for a bit. He was from Loveland CO and there was a big fire up there. After cleaning up, I asked what the road was like to Silver City. He gave me a look like it wasn't easy and started listing climbs and this and that and that it took a long time in a truck and he didn't go that way. I thought, "He must be exaggerating, I don't remember that much on the map." Sound the foreboding music.
Long story short, the road sucked. No it SUCKED. No it REALLY SUCKED! 40 miles of complete crap. It turned to wash board hell. Every inch of the road was made up of 4-6 in wash boards. And it went up and then down to bottom of every canyon in the area which was a lot of canyons. I thought that the old railroad line in Idaho was bad. This was much worse. Spectacular country really though. If only the road didn't suck so bad. I finally reached the highway to the singletrack section that they added to the race. The sun began to set as I cruised down the road. I found the turn off to the single track but with the directions on the ACA maps and even with the GPS, the trail wasn't easy to find in the dark with ATV race courses crisscrossing the area. It began as a very steep climb up a (volcanic?) ridge of sharp rocks sticking out of a hard surface. It wasn't easy to climb with slick worn out SIDI bike shoes and sore ankles. I reached an area where it leveled out a little and I tried to ride. I was tired. It was dark and the off camber trail was contouring a very steep drop off of the aforementioned rock. I finally decided that I couldn't make it to Silver City in this state. I had really wanted to go with minimal sleep after getting to Silver City. Not going to happen today. I could make it to the border sometime tomorrow still.
I laid down on the trail-the only flat spot-and went to sleep. I had ridden about 154 miles.
Start of Day 19. Mexico or bust.
|Hachita. There isn't ANYTHING here.|
About 10 miles from Hachita a man with no nose pulled up and said that all the hikers stayed in his yard. He even had a tour divide sticker on his jeep. I said, "Nope. Not stopping." as cigarette smoke wafted out and his little dog looked at me. I had drank a lot of my 5 L that I had refilled at the Separ store. My brakes were squeaking, my chain could use some lube and my tires could use some air for the pavement. So I went and found his house and fixed my bike in the shade. It was 104F or so. It could be worse. I filled my water again from his hose and poured water on my head. I asked his name and he said "John Hughs" I said thanks and road as fast as I could without getting all the boarder patrol on to me.
|The road to Nowhere Antelope Wells|
|The border shot|
|Anne and the kids were very happy to see me! And me them.|
|Grandma was addicted to the blue dots.|
|The whole crew.|
So what would I do different if I did it again? Definitely a razor. That beard is awful.
I finished in 18day 12 hrs and a few minutes riding about 150 miles the last day. The air cooled and we sat and had some beers and cold melons. I told Anne we should have Mexican and Canadian beer. She thought it odd but brought some (Negro Modelo and Labatt's).
The after affects. My body felt fine other than my ankles were still a little sore. I weighed about 172lbs. down from about 180. I also didn't really feel like riding my bike much. I did have really high blood sugars however. I didn't each much but it would skyrocket. I took double the insulin as normal and it would still be high. I had Anne bring me some new insulin just in case. I started using that in case mine had gone bad. But my sugars were still high. This lasted for several days.
The Tour Divide is a great race. I started thinking of how to shave time off....But don't think it'll happen again. Thanks to Anne for being such a good sport. Also thanks to Ma and Pa for driving us all up there and being so supportive. Also to Eszter and Josh. Eszter killed it finishing the next day. Josh is planning on heading back to Steamboat to finish his Tour Divide.
We leave with a picture of the pie Anne's mom made while I was gone not eating pie.(it was a damn good pie - almost as good as the fudgebottom banana cream she made when the lemon was gone. - AWR)