Alright! We finally got on the train to New Mexico! But, when we arrived at the train station in San Jose, CA we were informed we could not remove our bikes from the train in Lordsburg as we planned. The next closest staffed station was in El Paso, Texas. Should have researched this better! But, it all worked out. We changed our ticket and made it to El Paso Late Satyrday afternoon. Temps were in the high 90s and immediately after leaving the train all moisture was sucked from our bodies.
First the bikes go on the bus...
...then they go on the train.
We started riding North West, back toward Silver City, NM where we could pick up the trail on the GDMBR. El Paso seems pretty gnarly, but to be fair we were probably just on the main strip mall drag. And it was a drag...
Our first camp on the outskirts of El Paso on the site of a future housing development. We were up at 5:30 AM (way to go Aaron!) to make our escape before the construction workers showed up.
We finally make it to New Mexico, still on a road we never planned to ride on. It's good to be flexible when bicycyle touring. Another tricky thing is that we didn't have any maps for this portion as it was unplanned and no access to maps or internet. Luckily, we called in some brothers to help: Tommy, Cody, and Patrick. Coulnd't have done it without their help.
Our second pirate camp on the edges of the Rio Grande. Good swimming too! Coyotes yelped at night!
North of Las Cruces, NM. We begin to see evidence of the smoke from the Gila Forest Fire.
The dry ground beneathe the Pecan groves. Lots of pecan orchards in this part of New Mexico. These trees provided many moments of good shade in the 100 degree heat.
We even rode through some orchards for a bit to hide from the sun. Plus we were just itchin' for som off road ridding.
Yes, a camel.
and a donkey... best friends club.
Stefanie's Bane: 5 flat tires so far, all from this evil plant.
You can't tell, but Aaron is actually emptying 30 or more cockroaches from my pannier. MMMMmmmm.
Third pirate camp! YES!!!!! On the shores of Lake Caballo, another excellent swim spot.
This was a HARD day. We left Caballo Lake at 7 AM and finally made it to Hanover, 15 miles East of Silver City, by 8 pm. Lots of climbing. I'm guessing 5,000 ft. Luckily there was pizza at the end!