Thursday, October 7, 2010

Safford, AZ to Silver City, NM

From Safford, we climbed a couple of small peaks then ate lunch in Three Way at a Ranger Station.  Following lunch we started a gentle uphill for several miles.  Along the way, we encountered thousands of big grasshoppers on the side of the road, so numerous you couldn't avoid squashing some of them.  They would jump and hit us in the chest and get caught in our spokes.  Then we saw our first rattlesnake nestled in a depression of a rumble strip on the shoulder of the road.  We very carefully took his picture and went on our way.  We were fighting a terrific headwind which made going uphill even more difficult.

Then we traversed over a tough peak of 6,295 feet.  The ride over the mountain was taxing to say the least.  We camped on the mountain in an isolated campground and awoke to thunder and lightning and spotty rain during the night.  Leaving the campground at daylight, we reached Buckhorn after 25 miles and ate breakfast in a Mom & Pop grocery store, then kept pedaling until we reached Silver City, just after the Continental Divide, at about 4:30 Mountain Time.  We were hosted overnight by Robert and Jenny in Silver City and treated to showers laundry, and a spaghetti dinner. 

We needed a day to catch up on e-mail and phone calls so will spend the day here, with a Warm Showers Host.  Silver City is an old mining town of about 11,000 people, setting at a little over 6,000 feet in elevation with a nice climate.  Tomorrow we will tackle Emory Pass, 8,226, which is the highest point on our ride.

                                   Rattlesnake in road
                                   One of thousands of grasshoppers in the road
                             Long road in New Mexico
                                           Crossing the Continental Divide as we enter Silver City
                                      Colorful mural in Silver City


  1. Wow, I just caught up with the last week of posts. You are bringing back so many memories of our desert trips -- the wide open spaces, desert flora, and the rattlesnakes (beautiful to observe safely). But we were in a car or on foot, never on a bike, and never in such heat. You two amaze me. Thanks for the vicarious adventure.

  2. Dear Bill and Ann,
    We ae enjoying your blogs--they bring back lots of good memories. Plus they (blogs) are a good length, and they don't become boring, but are always interesting.
    We went an a 3 week car trip--Portland area to see Todd (son) and Don's mom. Then Eastern OR to see my brother and sister. Then up to Flathead Lake. We went on 2 bike rides about 40 mi each.
    Thanks for the phone calls. We laughed when you mentioned Live Oak Springs--we didn't shower there either.
    It sounds like you must be in some better weather now. It's hard for us to imagine riding in the heat like you did.
    Love, Don and Pat