David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
04/18  Release the Cows!
04/19  Need A List
04/20  Million Dollar Water
04/23  Peoria IL
04/24  Navigating the Grid
04/25  I'm in a flat land
04/26  Ghetto in the Fields
04/27  The Katy Trail
04/30  Hermann MO
05/01  Hermann to Jefferson City
05/02  The Mushroom Hunters
05/03  Enter the Ozarks
05/04  Ha Ha Tonka
05/09  Bennett Springs State Park
05/10  Barbed Wire and Mansions
05/11  Hello Arkansas
05/16  Up the Mountain
05/17  Muddy Roads
05/21  The Ouachita Trail...
05/22  whip-a-ree
05/23  Mena
05/24  Oklahoma
05/25  Farm to Market to Paris
05/29  Caddo National Grasslands
05/30  Salt Palace and Alligators
05/31  Highways
06/01  Waco
06/06  Waco Mammoth Site
06/07  10 Liters
06/08  Mayonnaise or Mustard
06/10  Llano
06/11  Enchanted Rock and Old Tunnel
06/12  High Fences
06/13  Kickapoo Cavern
06/14  Del Rio
06/19  Into the Desert
06/20  Cold and Wet
06/21  Bicycler Bottleneck
06/22  Chisos Mountains
06/23  Chisos Mountain Lodge
06/24  Terlingua
06/25  Alpine
06/27  Friday Night Light
06/28  Dust Devils
07/02  Crops in the Desert
07/03  Armpit of America
07/04  City of Rocks
07/10  Gila National Forest
07/11  Peanut Butter
07/12  Last of the Washboards
07/13  Quemado
07/17  El Malpais
07/18  Last Desert Stretch
07/19  Farmington
07/24  Colorful Colorado
07/25  Between a Rock and a High Place
07/26  Cinnamon Pass
07/27  3250 Miles
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Gila National Forest


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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