New Mexico. The end in sight? Del Norte to Cuba

Finally, the end of the Great Divide mountain Biking trail is in sight; I now only have 500 miles or so left to the Mexican border. Although there are a few high passes left, most have now been ticked off as I edge to safer territory for the approaching winter months.

I left Del Norte (CO) in high spirits having been very well looked after by Gary and Pat; two cycle touring enthusiasts that have a strong emphasis on mountain biking and lightweight travel. I hoped that perhaps I could take a leaf out of their book and learn to travel in a more minimalist fashion. For the next next 23 miles out of Del Norte up Indiana Pass it was an appealing concept, as I struggled up the long steep gravel road and an elevation change of 4000 feet with four days of food on over-laden bicycle.
image

Indiana Pass: it was a good feeling to reach the top since it is the highest point on the whole trip at 11910 feet. Fortunately, there was no snow at the time.
image

Half the day gone during the climb, I ended up pushing myself to get to a recognised campspot (Lake Fork) just after Platoro only to find it closed as I am so late in the season. Since I was tired I sneaked in anyway and set my camp up in the dark having the whole campground to myself.
image

image

Day two from Del Norte: entering New Mexico; the final state on the Great Divide trail. A good feeling.

image

image

Day three: Brazos Ridge (in the evening then just before sunrise). The effort to get up there was worth it.
image
But don’t go there when it’s raining; the road becomes impassable…
image

image

image

image

Day four: I reached Abiquiu in the afternoon and headed up another huge ascent, camping just shy of the top. The road was rocky and sandy and proved to be extremely hard work after a long day; it was also surprisingly hot.
image

Packing up before day break, well below freezing; the shortening days mean having to make the most of every minute of daylight.

After camping in a beautiful setting overlooking Cerro Perdernal mountain, I endured a roller coaster of a ride down to Cuba over excessively rocky terrain. There was an unexpected 46 mile stretch of no water that mildly concerned me as I was losing a lot and every creek I came to was covered in grass (from mile 149 to 195).  I expect to have similar experiences for the rest of my time in New Mexico.
image

Empty cattle tank; highly disappointing
image

Parched earth

After arriving in Cuba, I decided to wait out a couple of days whilst a nasty looking storm approached. I left my bike at the Cuban Motel and headed into Santa Fe for some beers and to stay with my cousin Steve. It was a thoroughly enjoyable break from the bike.

I’m now enjoying a rare night in a motel. I would highly recommend a visit to the Cuban; Flora and Marcos went beyond the call of duty for me. They fed me, looked after my kit and drove 50 miles to the train station at Sandoval County so I could get the slick new Rail Runner train system to Santa Fe ($8). The other option is to get a bus to the train station but timings can be awkward with the transfer.

I’m told the next 119 miles to Grants are supposed to be some of the most incredible on the whole Great Divide route. An impressive claim indeed on a trail of such beauty and diversity.

image

I’m now minus a beard; hopefully it doesn’t get too cold before Mexico…


Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: limits in /home/nicho182/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: groupby in /home/nicho182/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: limits in /home/nicho182/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: groupby in /home/nicho182/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: limits in /home/nicho182/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: groupby in /home/nicho182/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

7 thoughts on “New Mexico. The end in sight? Del Norte to Cuba

  1. Awesome – great to make it to the last state despite the winter well done nick. How is the bike holding up? I think you need a Mexican style moustache for the last part, also it is movember.

    • Yeah feels great thanks Dave. Bike is really good, I’ve had a few things I had to fix but it’s held together well considering the monumental beating it’s taken. Moustache is a good idea for these parts but really enjoying the clean feel at the moment!

Leave a Reply to Jo Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *