Sunday, January 8, 2017

What We Came For!

This morning it was cold, but finally, blue sky! People started rolling out of tents earlier than the first day. Today we had just a mile and a half on the highway until we dropped onto the dirt. Pat, Harry, Brent, and I rolled out together. Herb was wanting to ride with us, but he was still eating, and we wanted to get going, as we had a lot of climbing. I could definitely feel the weight of the extra 4 to 5 liters of water I was carrying to get me through today and tomorrow. I got used to it though. We missed the turn off the highway, but as is the case with the Garmins, we caught it quickly.

We were riding on a perfectly packed sandy road. Sure, there were ruts and some mud, but overall the road was great. At one point, we came around a corner, and I could see a massive hill. Pat and Harry were ahead of Brent and I. I looked at my Garmin, really hoping that wasn't the way. Turns out, it wasn't! I yelled at Harry and Pat saying we were supposed to turn left. They came back, also relieved they didn't have to go up that wall.

We dropped into a canyon on a bumpy, rutted, and rocky descent. It was a blast! At the bottom, we rode on some fairly flat terrain for awhile. We came across a couple of camps of riders that had not stayed at Albergas Tenamo last night. They weren't leaving quite yet. We continued on. Eventually, we caught up to Marty. I was now getting nicely warm, and he was removing a layer. We all had a snack, and Marty and Pat took off a wee bit before us. That was the last we saw of them. We'd already had to walk up one steep rutted part. That was not easy, but it sure was easier pushing MC without all the weight and the panniers getting in the way!

We started climbing. Now we had to climb out of the canyon. It was okay. There were still some places we had to walk, but there were also parts that I was able to ride up, but Harry wasn't. I just have a lower gear, I think.

At just before noon, we stopped for lunch. A few riders came along. One was Patrick. He is doing a "Faces of the Baja Divide" photo project like the "Faces of the Great Divide" project. He took our photos, and took down our names, where we were from, and what bike we were riding.

We had done 20 miles before lunch, and we were pretty happy about that. We still had a lot of climbing to do, but we decided we would ride until 3:00, then find a campsite. I didn't think we would reach the top of the climb today, but we did.
We came down for awhile as we did not want to camp up at 4200 feet in the cold. We are still pretty high up, but we found an awesome campsite on soft leaf piled dirt. Several riders went by, but none opted to stop. Even Herb went by with someone else. I guess he won't be riding with us. Lael and
Nicholas also went by, and yelled, "Great campsite!" The younger people seem more comfortable riding later into the afternoon. We were happy to stop while the sun was still shining. Besides, we did almost 30 miles, so we should only have about 35 to Ojos Negros tomorrow, and most of it downhill.

I'm really enjoying the ride. Brent, Harry, and I are pretty evenly matched. Brent is working pretty hard on some of the hills, but he's still battling his cold, and I think he is carrying more weight than me. Even if I get ahead of him, he's never more than a couple minutes behind.

Tonight we are looking forward to a much quieter night without the whole group, and no traffic (okay, a truck just went by, but that's been the only one).

Today's ride was what we came to do--ride in sunshine, on dirt roads in Mexico!

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