Sunday, February 12, 2012

1981: Bike touring from Silver City, NM to Animas, NM

The other day I posted on Kent Peterson's blog about when touring from Mexico to Canada  in 1981 and meeting a cyclist in Socorro NM who had a stash of 700c tires when I needed one. 

Been thinking about this lately...

Today I was telling Tania about that same ride, but when I was heading to Mexico via Animas and NM Highway 9. It was June, southern NM and already triple digit temps. I rode from Silver City to Lordsburg, then to get to the Animas highway, I rode about 8 or 9 miles of I-10 (that sucked). Made it across the Lordsburg Playa (dry lake bed) then turned south onto NM 338 towards Cotton City and Animas (in NM’s bootheel) . 

Don't know what the temps were exactly but it was just after high noon and all the water I had probably was 2 small water bottles. It was hot (did I say that?) and riding along the edge of the Lordsburg Playa was like being the rider at the beginning of High Plains Drifter, everything was all shimmering. I kept riding forward because I didn't really have a choice. In the distance I could see some trees which were in Cotton City (Cotton City might have a pop. of 100).

I was hot and getting desperate and I knew there were not any stores in Cotton City so no place to get out of the sun. I was going to need water. 

I was about 3 miles out and I could make out a building which was surrounded by trees. My plan was I was going to have to knock on their door for water. I didn't have a choice. 

As I got closer, I could see that this building was a church and it had shade and a sprinkler turned on watering the lawn! Small miracle! 

I parked my bike and jumped in the sprinkler and drank. I drank at least a waterbottle full and felt good. As I lay there in the sprinkler, I actually felt chilled when a minute before I was overheating. I spent about 10 minutes there in the shade and the sprinkler then decided to ride to Animas. 

It was hot again. I got to Animas feeling defeated.