Posts Tagged ‘Rockies’
Posted on June 7, 2010 - by Nadia
Day 3: June 6, 2010
From just past Gladstone, NM to 2 miles west of Cimarron,NM
64 miles, including two backtracking down this canyon.
The Cimarron River of the Oklahoma Panhandle has nothing in common with the Cimarron River of New Mexico except a name. The Oklahoma version seldom carries water above the surface sands, for one thing, which is why it is sometimes called the Dry Cimarron.
The wetter version greeted me with a booming thunderstorm today at the mouth of Cimarron Canyon, the eastern most reaches of the Sangre de Christo Mountains. This marks the transition from the plains to the Rocky Mountains and the start of tourist traffic.
As I wave goodbye to the plains and the relative ease of ticking off the miles, I offer this photo reflection on traffic jams:
I am so dreading the climb up Cimarron Canyon to Bobcat Pass that I wanted to get as close to it as possible for tomorrow’s start. So here I am, camped in a thunderstorm 100 feet below the sign that says No Overnight Parking, Next 6 Miles. I scouted two miles up and talked to a guy staking out the only layby that was at all viable as a camp spot. He didn’t know the score up here any better than I. When I got to the sign it became clear it was going to rain. I scooped up my stuff, did my best to discretely erect a blue tent in a brown landscape and climbed in just as it started to rain in earnest. My bike, trailer and gear bag are stuffed under a tarp behind some trees. They’re better hidden than I. I’m so tired I don’t care that my view is of traffic 50 yards from my tree shrouded spot. I wish it was dark, I’d just conk out. Here’s a recap:
This morning I absolutely flew the first 25 miles to Springer with tailwind and a downhill trend. The last five dragged a bit as I was bonking. I had a slow start despite being up by 6. I packed quickly only to discover two tires punctured by goathead thorns. One was the trailer. I patched that and replaced the front, wheeled to the end of the ranch drive, checked everything for goatheads and removed two new ones. They didn’t seem to have punctured the tube, yet clearly one nicked the front as it has a very slow leak that seemed to get worse as the day went on. Coming into Cimarron I didn’t know that tire was low and it felt like I was pedaling in water. I’ll ride the first 6 miles (and 1500 feet) to the campground then spend my recovery time patching both full size tubes that flatted today.
I dropped into Springer and it was like changing seasons. Suddenly there was moisture in the wind and the scent of honey suckle. Aahh. I made my way to Rebecca’s Café and had an absolutely fantastic breakfast of juevos y chorizo con sopapillo and quantities of iced tea. It was already hot out and the AC was cranking. The waitress was a delight and her four-year-old son followed her around sporting an adhesive handlebar mustache. In the hour I was there he announced he was with the FBI, a policeman and a banker. Very cute.