Thursday, July 7, 2011

Platoro to Chama

For both racers and divide riders alike, due to the recent fires near Los Alamos the route has been changed, mostly following the predetermined ACA alternates. Although I could have chosen to follow Micheal McCoy's advice to camp at Elk Creek Campground I choose to pedal all the way to Chama. Unknown territories and unknown adventures awaited. The days started following a forest road along "Rabbit" River, started to rain, which lead to hail. The only hail storm in the entire state of Colorado. This meant a layover underneath a favorable pine tree. At least it was not as painful as the one I went through on the way to Butte. A quick stop on the way to Horca for a warm cup of coffee and then it was on to battle La Manga pass, otherwise known as a five mile climb which takes about an hour an a half with a BOB trailer. Due to a later start I hit the heat and slowly moved on to Cumbres Pass, thankfully this pass sat at a similar elevation and I reach it without even knowing. I did not pass a train on the Cumbres and Toltec Railway which was initially laid in the 1880's. Although I am pretty sure that the railway station does make an appearance in the Ride the Divide documentary. From there is was a lengthy but downhill coast, reaching speeds of 40mph and loving every minute of it. Ones legs can often goes to sleep at this time and they rarely cooperate afterward. Either way, I passed the welcoming signs to the "Land of Enchantment" and closed in on the town of Chama. Eager to eat and sleep after a lengthy 50 mile day.


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