David Johnson's Travel Blog
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04/18  Release the Cows!
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07/27  3250 Miles
Bicycle Trip 2015
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Gila National Forest

2014-07-10

tl;dr: I am biking the North Star Road through the Gila National Forest, and it is kicking my butt.

Silver City has a lot more street people than I've seen in any city in a long while.

I'm still in "monsoon season". This means a storm rolls through at least once a day. Much like in Florida, but with more lingering. These storms are impressive-looking from a distance, but the amount of rain they can dump is as random as the direction they move in. Sometimes there's a sprinkle. Sometimes a downpour with hail.

I left Silver City this morning and made my way toward North Star Road, which will take me through the Gila National Forest. I did a lot of climbing to get there, and a lot more climbing once I was on it. This road is gravel, washboarded, steep and is part of the route for the Tour Divide race, in which people with more ambition and stamina than me race mountain bikes between the Canada and Mexico borders. I met four of these folks today. The first was gray-bearded old guy who yelled out, "It ain't going to get any better!" I replied, "Yeah, I'll probably be pushing my bike some." Understatement, it turns out. He finished up with, "No shame in that."

The second racer stopped and talked for a bit. He claimed he was in 30th place. All of these people had only a couple of days until they were finished. These people could bike 120 miles a day through mountains! The third guy had the most uncomfortable looking backpack I had ever seen. I never thought to get any pictures.

So it turns out that as I climb above 7000 feet, I begin running out of energy very fast. The washboards and soft gravel don't help. I don't feel tired so much as I have no strength. I'm such a wimp. Even slight slopes just sap me. I was pushing my bike up such a slight slope (after fixing a flat) when I met the forth racer today, a girl who smiled at me as if to say, "no shame in walking...wimp."

I made camp at an actual campsite in Rocky Canyon. During the night I thought maybe I heard wolves, but it was probably my imagination.

After peddling all day long, I only managed about fifty miles. I blame altitude. And going up hill. And the washboard roads. But really, after so many months of touring, you'd think I could handle this.

just some dinosour in Silver City


7080 Feet


Gila National Forest










mule deer






North Star Road


I shall push my bicycle


mobile office


narrow steep road


Rocky Canyon Campground

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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