Field Updates #23

Gabcast! Field Updates #23


5 Comments Add yours

  1. BikerBob says:


    Be sure to buy 3 days worth of food at the Super Wal-Mart in Grants. It is on the east end of town. You have to make a 1/2 mile detour.

    There is a gas station/junk food store at the intersection of I-40,Rt 66 and NM117 about 5-7 miles east of Grants (depending on where you are measuring from). However, I don’t think it is open 24/7 and I don’t know the hours it is open.

    After that there is absolutely nothing you can count on until Silver City, which is about 200 miles away. There is no store at NM 12 near the Plains of Agustin as marked on the ACA map. There never has been and probably never will be. Someone at ACA screwed up royally, and racers and tourers are getting into a bind.

    There are no stores in Pie Town. The Daily Pie Cafe is open 7am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday. The Pie-O-Neer Cafe (575)772-2711 doesn’t open until 11 am and is only open either Thurday, Friday, and Saturday, or Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I don’t remember which three days.

    If the Toaster House in Pie Town is locked, then there is free camping at Jackson Park, which is across from the Pie-O-Neer Cafe up the hill 1/2 mile or so from the route. The sign at the entrance says that the camping is to the left, but better camping is to the right. There is water, Port-a-Potties, and picnic tables. The trash cans are near by too. It is a good place to camp and get cleaned up.

    THERE ARE NO STORES until Mimbres and that little store closes at 5 pm. It is just slightly off-route on NM35 near the post office.

    Diana Esterly at the Geronimo Guest Ranch (575) 772-5157) near Wall Lake (about 8-9 miles south of Beaverhead Work Center) told me that the monsoons have definitely arrived in the Gila. Simon Kennett reported the same news about the Gila yesterday.

    If lightening is near by get away from your bike and squat onto the balls of your feet to reduce your height and also your contact with the ground. (As per National Weather Service -NWS) Lying face down increases your ground contact, which they don’t recommend.

    In terms of water between Grants and Mimbres there are several fairly dependable sources. The El Malpais Ranger Station, which is 11 miles sorth of I-40 on NM 117 is open 8:30 to 4:30pm Thursday through Monday. So, it probably won’t do you any good this time. The BLM campground a couple miles south of that is DRY – No Water! There is no water at the Narrows picnic area either.

    So, from Grants it is about 45-50 miles to the Thomas Ranch, and they leave water out for CDT hikers. There is a little sign on the gate just south of the building on the road.

    Of course, there is no excuse for not finding water in Pie Town.

    About 7 miles south of Pie Town there are some trail angels who live water out in an old metal green Cooler beside the road. This year it had a bright ride sign on it. It is free to hikers, cyclists, and equistrians.

    At the Valle Tio Vences campground, which is 30 miles south of Pie Town there is a black pipe and facuet on the left side of the road. Nevertheless, a lot of people still don’t see it. Personally I don’t drink out of that algae filled hot water tap (black pipe in the sun?) If you chase the pipe up the hill you go by a bathtub that is totally fill of bright green algae. Follow the pipe up the hill a little further (crawl under the non-barbed wire) and there is a big spring box. The water still sucks there. Go up the hill another 50 feet and there is a small spring box. The cement cap isn’t too heavy, and the water is pretty good. I’d still filter or treat it, but it is much cooler and cleaner than the water by ther road.

    When you roll down to NM 12from Valle Tio Vences CG and discover that there is no store where the map says there should be, don’t get too emotional. Eat a Snickers Bar that you bought in Grants. Then go over to the church and top off your water bottles again at the outside faucet.

    There is a windmill and a couple of water tanks as you start into La Jolla Canyon. Earlier this summer I found a dead squirrel and about 5 baby squirrels floating around in the top tank. So I both filtered and treated that water. I use chlorine dioxide to treat water, but you have to wait 4 hours (or triple the dose and wait at least an hour if you are desperate). However, there is no reason to be desperate.

    Next there is Elk Springs (private. If there is anyone around, then I am sure they will give you water. Otherwise you might need a GPS to find it. There are a couple more ranches and cowboy shacks along the way to Beaverhead Work Center.

    At Beaverhead Work Center there is a hose next to the office door. The soda machine would only take coins when we were there, but if anyone is around they might be able to help you out.

    Geronimo Guest Ranch is about 9 miles south of Beaverhead Work Center. You can’t go off the road at Wall Lake. A lady came down to the lake from somewhere and sat on her 4-wheeler under a nearby tree with a rife when we passed by there. She never said anything, but she sat there on her 4 wheeler until we passed. It is clearly posted.

    The good news is that the folks at Geronimo Guest Ranch will give you water for sure if you are passing by at a civil hour.

    The next water is in Black Canyon. The stream was really flowing a month ago. In fact I took a dip in there before I climbed out the other side of Black Canyon.

    Next is Meason Spring. It looks like a cattle trough on the right side as the road bends around it. There is a wooden structure that is about 6-8 feet wide and 4-5 feet tall right beside it. You have to filter or treat it, but it is wet.

    That is about it until NM35. You go by a cafe, that wasn’t open when we went by. The ranger station has a outdoor faucet towards the south end of the walkway. If they are open, then they will let you use the bathroom and get water from the cooler inside.

    There are houses along NM35 and a little store just a tad south of the Georgetown Road turn. The Mimbres Cafe is 2 easy off-route miles south of the Georgetown Road turn. You definitely want to try to refuel before you do that climb. So, minimally save a Snickers Bar for this point in the trip (It’s level to the border, right? NO, WRONG!)

    Good luck!


  2. BikerBob says:

    It is time for you guys to change the batteries in your SPOTs. They take AAs – preferably lithiums for the constant voltage as they weaken. Any AA will work, they just need to be changed more often. The Super Wal-Mart in Grants is across the street from the Best Western. Get stocked up!

    Pam or vegetable oil helps keep the mud off the drive train and pedals if you get into much mud, but you want to keep it off the rotors or rims – depending on your brakes. (At least they won’t squeal!) Grab some paper towels to wipe the drive trail down between mud bogs. The monsoons seem to have started in the Gila.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Mary, I am back from vacation and catching up on your travels. The end is insight for you and I an just blown away. No words to describe what you have accomplished and I cant wait to see you in person after this amazing path you chose. Take care of yourself on the final leg. EVERYONE at IA is there in spirit at the finish line with you!!

    See you soon!!


  4. brendan says:

    I’m getting excited to see you finish this! (We all want a Fleecer woo hoo! At the end)


  5. ojulius says:

    I drove through Cuba last night (Wednesday) on my way home from Albuquerque. I was thinking of you the entire time!!


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