The weather has been lovely up to now in Salida, but every morning I can see the snowline on the mountains creeping lower. So any faint chance of my setting off on the Divide Trail again has faded with the temperature. Anyway, its been apparent for some time I would not be able to make the border. To get to Antelope Wells (the final point of the Divide Trail, on the border with Mexico) is at least 20 days riding at my pace – New Mexico is a very big State! And at most I have about 10 days left. Plus there are some monster passes to get over before hitting the high plains. So if I’m to complete the whole ride, it won’t be this year.
I’ve been pondering whether its worth making a dash for the border by road, just for the sake of completing a ride completely across the country. Its approximately 550 miles from here to El Paso, the closest border town where I can reasonably get a train or flight back to the East Coast in time for my return flight. I’ve been warned that its quite a dull ride – many miles across featureless desert.
So I’ve decided for now to postpone that decision and I’ll set off by road to Santa Fe, which I’ve been told is the nicest city in New Mexico, with great architecture and a good biking scene (I’m getting a little addicted to hiring full suspension bikes and trying them out on local trails – the riding here in Salida is amazing, even without being able to get up on the more famous high altitude trails).
So, weather permitting (the forecast for tomorrow isn’t good), I’ll set off for Santa Fe, about 220 miles (3-4 days ride) south of here. When I get there I’ll decide whether to stay or to shoot for El Paso.