Day 11 on the Southern Tier Route

The highest elevation of the trip. After a restful 11.5 hours in the tent, we packed our gear and rode our bikes three blocks to a Daylight Dognut shop for breakfast. We ate granola and milk that Betsy bought yesterday along with coffee and - horrors: a dognut! Well fed, we headed east on US Hwy 180 to Santa Clara rolling up and down on the way. At Santa Clara, we turned north on New Mexico Hwy 152 and rode past the massive Santa Rita copper mine pit. After another rolling 10 miles, Hwy 152 turned north for a 16-mile climb to Emory Pass, elev. 8,238. At first, we rode up a valley with junipers on the grassy hillsides. After gaining elevation, we rode past ponderosa pines on north-facing slopes. We entered Gallinas Canyon (see photo) and passed the Lower Gallinas Campground, which was closed due to flood damage. But I got water from clear Gallinas Creek. Three miles farther, we ate lunch at Upper Gallinas Campground on a shady picnic table. Delightful. Up for another four miles to Emory Pass. The land to the east of the pass looked dry and burned by a forest fire. After a quick 8-mile descent, we passed through the hamlet of Kingston then down to tiny Hillsboro. No luck finding food for dinner. Onward for the last 17.5 miles of the day. After we climbed for a mile, we rode down a long slope toward the Rio Grande River at Caballo. About four miles from our day's destination, a hail and rainstorm drenched us. We arrived at the Lakeside RV Park cold and wet, glad to be there. We got a grassy camp site and set up the tent before more rain fell. After getting into dry clothes, we dined on frozen pizza and chili. 73 miles today.

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