We felt tired when we woke up this morning but excited about the day ahead. We would climb to our highest so far, over 8,000ft, and cycle through more stunning wilderness to our cabin for the night, just near Lake Roberts, NM.
We were sad to leave our new friends at Black Range Lodge this morning. After a yummy and healthy breakfast of oatmeal with apple and raisins, scrambled egg and toast made from home-made bread, all cooked expertly by Roberta, we were almost ready to hit the road. Then Matt turned up at our room, ostensibly to take a peek at Trusty and Steed (we cyclists are always curious to see what others are riding, carrying, eating, drinking etc), but actually he was armed with a large bag of the most delicious chocolate brownies that he had cooked last night…for us to take on today’s killer ride! After Catherine took a few great snaps of us outside the lodge, Roberta arrived with some peanut butter and jam sandwiches – how lucky were we?! A huge THANK YOU to all our friends at the lodge. We wish you all the best for the future, and happy cycling to Matt and Paige.
And then it was on to the event of the day. We set off into clear, beautiful, blue skies and snow-covered mountains. Having started off at a steady pace, we were surprised quite soon to find ourselves half way up the climb, and still enjoying it... Then, out of nowhere, a couple of carbon fibre cyclists appeared from behind us, with no panniers and only bottles of water for extra weight. We were ready for them to shoot past at a great rate of knots, but instead they pulled up alongside and effortlessly chatted as we plodded up the mountain. Hi to John and Dave (and their friends Suzanne, Sheryl and Lowell who we met at the top). Before we knew it, we were 8,200 ft high, at the top of the Emory Pass looking out at the view…awesome. The descent was also amazing, and pretty scary at times with all of the switchbacks, but really an absolute blast.
Making a fairly late stop for a lunch break around 20 miles from our destination, we were surprised to bump into Doug who had spotted our bikes outside the grocery store and decided that we were probably the mad cyclists who were coming to stay at his Cabins tonight. Turns out that this was a lucky twist of fate, as we had been expecting to buy the ingredients for tonight’s meal from the general store at the cabins. Doug soon put us straight on that one, explaining that the shop was closed and suggesting that we buy our food and alcohol there and then and he would take it to our cabin in his pick up, rather than us lugging it 20 miles at the end of a long day. Thanks to Doug, we were able to eat Chez Antoine this evening in front of a roaring log fire (expertly lit by the chef himself).
We’re off exploring tomorrow sans panniers …more then.