Day 10 on the Southern Tier Route

Last night was cold! A fellow we met at the post office told us that the low temp two nights ago was 28 degrees. We arose at 7:00 A.M. - later clockwise than usual because yesterday afternoon we crossed into New Mexico and Mountain Daylight Time. We headed out with cold fingers, gloves, and jackets. The climb proved useful in warming us up. We biked through more excellent-condition grassland for 10 miles to US Hwy 180. We turned right and rode through a valley with piñon-juniper woodland on the side slopes and grasses and shrubs near the highway (see photo). In nine miles we stopped at Buckhorn, a wide spot in the road, for coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and conversation with the local ranchers. In 10 more miles, I scored a pint of chocolate ice cream at a convenience store. In three easy miles, we crossed the Gila River at low flow with fairly clear water. We then began a 23-mile climb to the Continental Divide and 1600 ft of elevation gain. That doesn't sound like much, but the sustained climb provided plenty of exercise. Mesquite and grasses were plentiful on the hills. We finally topped out and descended to Silver City. We visited the Gila Hike and Bike shop then ate a late lunch at Nancy's Cafe. We bike six blocks to the Silver City RV park where we decided to stay for the night. We liked the soft grassy camping area. After showers we made plans for tomorrow - especially where we would get water. I read the newspaper, and  Betsy walked next door to the food store. We like Silver City and the RV park. 59 miles today.

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