• Brian Rawson

Climbs, Wind, and Character - U.S. 360 Day 16 from Caballo Lake State Park NM to Kingston NM

My cycling journey around the American perimeter

31 miles – Total so far: 833 miles

My friend Dan Domagala tells me that climbing presents us with an opportunity to build character. Please also note that Dan is an avid cyclist who lives in Colorado and really has no other option but to climb. Given that today and tomorrow’s ride builds up to and ultimately crosses Emory Pass (the highest point on the Southern Tier) and the Continental Divide, opportunities will most certainly abound.

Had a quick breakfast and was off to face what ultimately became deteriorating weather conditions throughout the day. Early in the ride, what had generally been a Northerly route for the last few days turned decidedly Westward. Unfortunately, so did the wind. The first 12 miles were a constant incline into the wind, but no really intense climbing. The balance of of the ride was much more up and down, with a lot more up than down.

The landscape has completely changed to non-agricultural, with the exception of many free-ranging, scrawny looking cattle that literally “free-range” across the highway. The land started off rough and arid, but by the end of the ride, I had climbed into the mountains, replete with pine trees and a more typical mountain landscape. I ended the ride at Kingston, which is the entrance into the Gila National Forest.

Passed through the towns of Caballo, Hillsboro, and Kingston today. Hillsboro is a quaint little historic town, founded in 1877 following the discovery of gold. Today the gold is gone, but a nice little main street is not. A shout out to the wonderful lady who runs the Barbershop Cafe & Motel. She made a (correct) assumption that I liked homemade brownies, so she gave me three of them, again, free of charge. Two straight days of food goodwill. I’m beginning to see a trend here.

Another day without seeing other traveling cyclists. I’m beginning to think it is fairly late in the season to see Eastbound cyclists on the Southern Tier since the Texas desert would still be on their itinerary. Wildlife sightings included two very large mule deer between Hillsboro and Kingston. I cycled within a few feet of them before they leapt back in the woods.

A challenging, if not awesome ride planned for tomorrow through the mountains. Locals are saying it may SNOW in a few of the mountain passes tomorrow, so I’ll be pulling out my cold gear (minus the hot tottie) tonight in preparation.

It’s All Good.

Photo of the Day: Moving into the mountains

Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com

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