USA: Silver City to Silver City – via Antelope Wells

It’s been a while since we wrote anything and the title of this page may confuse even further…

Silver City seems to have a peculiar gravitational field, even more so that Pie Town and the Toaster House. Some of our delay leaving was our fault, but events conspired to add more. Briefly, we spent 12 days here getting various things done and waiting for a replacement credit card to arrive from Australia. We then left and had a nice easy ride to the Mexican Border at Antelope Wells (so completing the GD MBR), but struck a mechanical that has sent us back to Silver City.

During our initial stay in SC we made lots of friends, fixed up our bikes (boring list in the ‘broken bits’ page) and got our plans for a route through northern Mexico firmed up. We also met lots of puppets (both large and small) and Sarah went on a bike ride/hike up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings and nearby Jordan Hot Springs. This means that she’s out-stripped my total distance by 180km and is soon to hit the magical (why?) 5000km mark. As I get to write most of these entries, we’re sticking with his total so far.

Sarah's new frame bag from Scott/Porcelain Rocket
computing, unaware of those watching and plotting my down-fall (photo S.Hedges)

The bike house is where we stayed most of the time in SC. Jamie, Andrew and Ben form the core with enough complete bikes between them to keep a village on wheels, never mind a puppet for every occasion and copious Sourdough bread. Gretta was back in town from Minneapolis to do some roofing for a friend. She brought her friend Jenada with her and Jenada ready to move to SC by the end of her visit. I got to play some tunes with Gretta (she’s a real-life Fiddler on the Roof with a passion for Transylvanian fiddle music :-)) including teaching her a mind-twisting 7/8 tune. Cat with her sons Aeneas and Noah also looked after us with Cat joining us for a great dose of single-track south of SC.

Puppetry central - all those with any urge to create enter here.

We also stayed with John and Martha – initially a weekend house-sit which extended for a couple of days. It was great to talk about Medicins sans Frontiere and other medical aid work they’d done in Liberia and Angola.

Having fixed the bikes up (so we thought) with much help from Gila Hike and Bike (a very highly recommended bike shop who also have a decent store of general hiking stuff) we left town.

Jay, Bill and Jack of Gila Hike and Bike thinking they'd seen the last of us...

After a road section out of SC we got back onto dirt roads and heaved a sigh of relief at being back in our element. Getting to camp-o’clock with beautiful wide-open spaces around us and getting our camp set-up filled us with a great sense of home.

Yuccas poised to menace passing cyclists
Avoiding sewing holes in tires or feet with these things seems a good idea
thinking supper thoughts at our last camp (well off the road) before the Mexican border (at the first attempt) (photo S.Hedges)

The ride to the Mexican border was flat and pretty fast.

Riding alongside the interstate before a blessed turn towards Hachita and the border. This stretch gave washboard AND lots of traffic. The road cyclists are welcome to keep busy roads.

The night before getting there I realised that my fork was leaking oil and playing up in a bigger way than could be ignored. (It’d been serviced in SC). We decided to get to the border and ring Gila Hike and Bike in SC from there (we don’t carry a phone). They said the fork needed fixing; so here we are back in SC. In the usual way it took us an afternoon to bus/car the distance that’d taken a couple of days to ride. Happily, Gretta hadn’t made it out of town either due to car troubles, so we got to say goodbye properly and she got to learn another tune from me.

So – the grand-plan is to ride south again tomorrow with a brand-new fork for me thanks to the bike shop, cross the border at Antelope Wells and probably write again in Nuevo Cases Grandes or Madera (5-7 days or so).


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