Thursday, July 14, 2011
Pie Town to Valle Vences Campground
Pie town signifies many things other than pie, it all signifies the last and final ACA map (6 of 6), it signifies only 305.5 left to go and also a 4 days stretch with no services. It starts by winding through a corridor of National Forest Lands, skirting the barren plains of the San Agustin and then ventures into the Gila National Forest, whose watershed divides are so tightly packed, which can only mean one thing. Not that this can't be seen by the numerous switchbacks shown on the maps, rattling the nerves and soon the bike. I was not looking forward to the immoderately steep climbs nor descents but off I went. I had met the "caboose" of the Tour Divide while enjoying my slice of pie and has set out late (1pm) from Pie Town just so that I could enjoy that slice. The racer has soon caught up to me in a very familiar position, sitting under a tree on the side of the road, sheltering from a thunderstorm. Although the road was in decent shape, the rain quickly made it impassable. Not only had I spent time sitting out of the rain, but then I spent another half hour going 50ft. I have not experienced the infamous mud before, but it quickly bound around the drive train and at one point I couldn't actually see my tires! There was at least 2 inches of mud/clay surrounding the tires, and a wedge of dirt stuck in the fender of the BOB. Physics students take note, simple machines really do work, just not to my advantage in this case. The other racer had an equally difficult time and we pushed through to slightly drier ground, a better choice than staying put. Although this entailed pushing the bike with one hand and scraping the mud off with another. There was a single windmill along the way and I pulled into the campground close to 7pm after a short climb to third continental divide crossing of the day (and 23rd for the trip). Although there was mention of water in the campground there was none, although I met two motorcyclists that had just started NOBO on the GDMBR. They were able to spare some water and we shared stories until it was time for me to rest.