I rolled at about one pm, planning only about a 30 mile trip because we were supposed to start getting wicked winds, and I just didn't want to beat my legs any more than they are. We may have 50-60 mph gusts for the next three DAYS! When I started, I rolled into a significant wind for about three miles, but my legs didn't feel bad. My recovery day did its job, but the lungs still feel insufficient at 8050 ft. In Downtown Alpine, US180 intersected with US191, and made a turn to the north. WOW! Suddenly the 20 mph steady wind is at my back, pushing me up the three mile climb out of town and over the 8500 ft pass. The sun was warm, the road was wide and smooth, the wind was helping me, and the legs felt good. And the fun hadn't started yet. Once the downhill started, it didn't stop for twelve miles, wind aided! I knew I was going to lose altitude, but this was TOO good. The land leveled out, and I cruised through beautiful scenery, and up and over one more pass. Then more downhill, and a final wind aided straightaway into Springerville. A neat little town, big enough to support a McDonalds, but I think I'm in the twilight zone, because it feels like the year is suddenly 1975. I went by a junkyard, and the old cars and trucks were well preserved, but none were from the 80's, let alone newer. The old mom and pop stores, motels, restaurants, and offices all had a 70's feel. Then I pull into a campground that Pam found, that claimed to be a 'vintage' KOA. (It was an old KOA that was sold to the present owner) Horse ranches all around. Buttes and bluffs, grasslands surround us. And my legs think this 7000 ft elevation is a breeze. What a difference a day makes! We restocked at a Safeway, grilled burgers, and listened to the wind howl for the rest of the evening.
While Mike was at church, I walked around our Luna Lake campground and enjoyed the beautiful Ponderosa pines and the birds singing. UNTIL, I came upon a 4 foot snake stretched across my path - so much for "it's too cold for the snakes to come out!"
|When I came out of church, our Jeep had relatives visiting it!|
|Starting to get a new view - and there is water!!!|
|My little Catholic church in the pines|
|One last look as we left Alpine|
|Going up again!|
|Passed a sawmill and a place that builds logs homes|
|Springerville has all sorts of murals of John Wayne|