Day 9 – Gila river valley

It’s amazing that one can pedal through areas that seem desolate and then you reach a valley that’s green through irrigation. The actual river being outlined by a line of trees in the distance. I never thought AZ had this kind of agriculture.

It was a little windy today so the downhills needed to be treated with respect as the crosswinds seem to come out of nowhere. Fairly cool in the morning, so I started to get goosebumps on the downhills and looked forward to the next climb so I could warm up. It probably only got to 80 during the ride based on the temperature displayed on the bank in Stafford.

I didn’t think there would be a problem finding a room in Safford, but the mining industry here uses contractors and puts them up in the reasonably priced rooms in town. Won’t be an issue tomorrow as I called ahead to the campground in NM – the only game in Buckhorn. If I make it up the hills.

Looking ahead the Wednesday and Friday ride will be tough, maybe the last vertically challenging routes between here and the Atlantic. I hope.

I’m at 3000 and will be climbing to 6000 tomorrow with 6000 ft of climbing. Lots of ups and downs to get there. Thursdays ride is short to get me to Silver City and make the higher climb Friday achievable – or I find someone with a pickup truck that’s not too busy… I see mountains with snow on them now.

Yesterdays front derailleur fix worked fine today. Got to use the middle ring on the flats and gentle climbs on the last 25 miles of the route.

Favorite comment today from a youngster riding in a pickup truck – ‘you’re in a yellow banana’