Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 14 - Pine Springs campground at Guadeloupe Pass to Carlsbad, NM

52.29 miles in 3:55. (626.83 miles in nine days, averaging  69.647 miles per day)....ascent 568 ft (13,391 ft for the trip). The crazy statistic is that I descended 3179 of the 4403 that I climbed yesterday!
I got off to a slow start, having a spam sandwich breakfast while admiring my campground view. I remembered the howling and yapping of coyotes waking me up sometime during my short snoozes. I broke down and git out of there at about 10:30, knowing there was no rush to ride 55 miles  with a tailwind. The tailwind thing didn't always work out, as it was more of a steady smack in my right ear. The descent out if the national park was quick, as I did 6 miles in 17 minutes! On a bike! That's over 30 mph, on nice roads. Then US 62/180 began its boring, rolling gradual descent into Carlsbad. Yesterday and today, I saw my mountain for a total of 85 miles, coming and going. That's a big mountain, with big valleys on both sides. My experience for the day was seeing a dead, and pretty decomposed ringtail, but it's the first one of those nocturnal buggers I've ever scene. Mostly, I watched trucks hauling potash out of distant quarries.
About 30 miles into the ride, I came to the turnoff to the Carlsbad caverns. I had been tossing around whether or not to visit them all day. When I got to White's City, a commercial town built to support the national park, my decision was made easy for me. It was seven more miles, uphill, the elevator to the cavern was down for maintenance, which meant a 750 ft climb on two bad Achilles tendons, and a guy at the store told me it would take four hours to do the tour justice.....OK . .never mind. Pam and I will come back. I got on my bike and I had a nice ride into Carlsbad, even though I was just, tired. Got to a motel at 230, crashed out, showered, shaved, and walked a mile each way to mess up a Pizza Inn buffet. All u can eat for $10. Salad, pasta, pizza, that tasted nothing like I used to serve in 1974, when I worked at a Pizza Inn.
Don't forget to recheck my last entry for pictures that have been added.

One of the reasons I'd rather ride on the road than the shoulder

One of the birds of prey that I think monitored me on my ride from El Paso

Or was it this one?  There were four or five in different places!

Leaving Texas

Entering New Mexico

Made it to Carlsbad

Must be getting close to the Pecos!!!

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