On June 2nd, we arrived back home to Albuquerque. We were pretty worn out by this point so we wanted a chance to go home, regroup a bit before heading north to lots of family and plenty more adventure.
After pulling the cars out of the garage to get them running again, the next thing we did was work on our mountain bikes. Once we made sure they were trail worthy again, we hit the foothills trails and had smiles on our faces the whole while. We are so lucky to have riding like this so close to our home!
Next, out of the garage came the road bikes. We made plans with my parents to do a tour of the Oregon Coast, so we thought that we would start getting some good roadie rides in before shipping them up north. For our first roadie ride, we headed up route 66 to Tierjas. As usual, we got a pretty late start, and the temperature was already climbing really fast. The stretch on 66 was sweltering, and we just kept on cranking hoping that once we got beyond Tiejeras the temp would become more tolerable. After passing Tierjas, you quickly come to a ranger station. We always use this as a stopping point to use the restrooms and refill our water bottles. It is perfectly positioned since it is about ten miles from the house AND is at the base of where about ten MORE miles of climbing begins. It is so refreshing to ride through the Tierajas area as there are pine forests to ride through and the air is MUCH cooler since the altitude gets higher and higher as you crank up and up. At about mile twenty you reach the Morning Star store. This is another resting stop, as they have nice benches and tables outside of their store, and plenty of people who are AMAZED that we rode ALL the way up from Albuquerque.
By the time we reached the store we didn’t feel so bad except for the fact that our seats were telling us that they were no longer used to prolonged seat sitting. I was thankful though that I wasn’t sitting on that awful Peruvian seat that pained me to tears a few weeks before though.
After hydrating ourselves again we began the fast descent back to the ranger station. It is common for it to be pretty windy on this road and the crosswinds are common here. They freak me out, but today was calm. Also, the shoulder seemed much smoother and cleaner than it did the year before. Adam took off quickly, reaching speeds of over 40 mph. Me though, I am not as much of a hot dog and prefer to keep my speed down to 35 mph max! We were back down to the ranger station in no time and spent a few minutes drinking a bunch of water to get us through the 66 stretch and then back home again.
While on the bike path that runs parallel to Tramway (a street close to our house). It is very common to run across little critters, called Gunnison Prairie Dogs. They look a bit like squirrels, live in tunnel communities, and have a very complex social system. For more info on prairie dogs in New Mexico go to http://www.prairiedogpals.org. When Pat and Alicia came to visit, they brought the Lonely Planet for the southwest and brought it to our attention that the Walgreen’s that is only a couple of blocks from our house is listed as a great place to view a prairie dog community.
Stay tuned for plenty more as we revisit the northwest!