Day 413-414 – Silver City, NM
As I just putting my sandals into my pedals Brett (pic) came up and started talking about my trip and his experience using mules for transport, hunting and camping. He is planning a trip along the Great Divide and told me about The Long Riders Guild a website dedicated to cross country travel by horse. Very cool and a different type of hard than bicycle touring – mode of travel is also a companion, there is less cardio, but more maintenance.
I knew this was going to be a tough day because I had tget through 70 miles and over 6,000+ feet of elevation gain in order to get over Emory Pass to Silver City. The ride went well until I got to the top of the pass and the bolt holding the right trailer axel to the frame sheered off. It broke off inside of a 1 1/2″ long metal bit that acts as the nut/spacer attaching the axel assembly through the 1/2″ diameter hole in the tubular frame. This means I couldn’t use any spare bolts in my tool kit. Grrrrr.
A bit of MacGuyvering later I figured out how to use the bolt attaching the wheel along with several washers to reattach the axel assembly to the trailer. The broken bolt had 3 threads left so I could still use it to hold the wheel on. It took me an hour to figure out, which was a good thing because I was there long enough to get a bunch of water from a hiker that I would end up needing for the long ride ahead.
The wheel held all the way down 3,000 feet of downhill. I did see a few camping places, but I really wanted to make it to Silver City, a motel and a cold beer. I kept switching between riding and walking because my legs were spent.
I finally made it to a motel on the outskirts of Silver City at 12:30 am feeling a mix of accomplishment and dumbassness. After checking in to the motel I had just enough energy to make it the half mile to Walmart to get dinner and find out New Mexico doesn’t sell alcohol past 12am 🙁
The next morning I was destroyed so stayed in bed most of the day, which totally defeated the purpose of pushing to get to Silver City (dumbass feeling from last night) so I would have extra time to explore it.
I finally made it out at 4 PM to check out the historic downtown and happened upon The Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery where I had a good time talking to my bartender Dustin. He is also in a band called Run on Sentence, which I am listening to as I type this and I like. Not always the case for music by bartenders that serve me. The food and booze were great. I really liked their green pepper vodka.
As I was about to leave Brock came in to tell Dustin the latest about his car, which Brock was working on. I got to talking to him and he asked if I had eaten, and if not, would I like to come to his place for dinner.
I had already eaten, but I couldn’t pass on the invite. Boy did I luck out. I got a ride to his place in the sidecar of a Russian motorcycle he had been working on. Fun, fun, fun! I posted a video of the ride on my twitter feed on the actual day.
Brock’s wife, Cait, was fine with me coming unannounced, than you, and I enjoyed meeting their 3 dogs and seeing the house. They are in the process of fixing it up and I could see the pride they have in bringing it together. Brock built a workshop in the back yard and cut all the joist with a handsaw that was his grandfathers. In that way his grandfather was there for the build and I really appreciated hearing that bit of detail. Being a mechanic there were a couple of trucks and a motorcycle in varying states of repair.
On the back of his work truck is hand painted quote from Hamlet by the character Polonius – a nod to Brock’s background as a theater engineer – as in the guy that makes all the stuff that moves and dazzles and is not an actor or actress.
Cait works at Chino mine, 2nd biggest open pit in the world, doing environmental engineering work, specifically on the waster water recycling they do for the leaching process used to concentrate the copper ore within the ore body itself. I saw part of the mine last night for the road brightly lit up and would have loved to have see it in person. I geek out on stuff like that.
I also got a chance to meet Brock’s sister, Holly, who studying cellular chemistry, and her boyfriend, Rob, a native of Silver City that also works in criminal justice.
I can’t say enough, how honored I am to be invited into someones house and have them share a bit of themselves and their world with me. It left a lasting impression of Silver City, which is good because I didn’t have time to do any more exploring.
Thanks so much everyone for having me over for dinner everyone!