Stuck in Mud 70 miles from Nowhere
Camping at the City of Rocks State park, New Mexico, USA
City of Rocks to Head of the ditch campground
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Day 79 (part 1) - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. I survived the storm with ease thanks to the protection of the City of Rocks. I failed to pay the fee and sheepishly waved at the ranger as he drove by. I exited the spectacular park. There were corners and trees for the first time in days. I hit the incredible Emory Pass by chance and posted my letter to Grandma at a tiny town of Hillsboro. I arrived at Truth or Consequences. I saw a sign “Vote Republican”, then another “Vote Democrat”. Odd for a country town. It had a surprisingly HUGE art community. The town scattered with galleries and stores with local pieces. It must be the name. It’s a drawcard. I checked out some stores and got a vibe for the community. One of the gallery owners told me about a 7,000 strong ‘Mexican’ force to invade the USA - they need a wall. That wasn’t the opinion I expected. I left and headed to Gila. I found a huge squiggly road through it. I calculated the distance at roughly 130 miles. Achievable. There’s a campground on the other end.
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Day 79 (part 2) - I headed to Winston for my last fill up the ‘dippy’ road. I asked the attendant of distances, road condition and fuel. “I don’t know, from here it’s all dirt”. It began as a beautiful road. It turned to dirt. No problem. It dippped into a large plain. Dark clouds loomed in the distance. I began my decent. There was 60 miles left in the trek. I saw a 4x4. I hadn’t seen a car for 30 minutes. I was so remote. “How’s the road up ahead”, I’d waved him down. He looked me up and down, “it’s a bit muddy, you should be okay”. I continued and took a wrong turn. I did a U-turn and the front sunk 4 inches in and I fell. There was another 4x4. I waved it over and all 4 hunters jumped out and helped me up. The ground was slick and my boots heavy with mud. I thanked them. They left. I continued 500 meters further and got stuck again in a pool of thick mud. The rear tire fell into a rut and it spun. I took off weight jumped off and pushed. Nothing. I took off my jacket from the heat. I tried again and the bike slowly clambered out of the pit. I took a break. The road up for a mile exactly the same. No cars in sight. I contemplated staying the night here. I had 60 miles to go and no idea the road condition. The rains had battered the plain. I’d see how far I’d get. Pushing on more and more unpredictable mud pits. The bike slid left and right. The mud caked the tires. I tried different techniques. Nothing worked and I thought it’d wouldn’t end. Somehow I reached a boundary and the road was coated in aggregated stone. Grip. I thanked god and continued. I met a driver who said the road was good ahead. I made it 20 miles and found the road on my route closed. With no reception I found a sign that said ‘Highway 12’. I took it. The road condition deteriorated again but stayed okay. I followed it for 12 miles checking my bearing North. I came to a beautiful open and empty grass plain and headed out. A car followed. I felt safe. It was dusk when I got 12. I asked the hunter behind me where gas was and kindly offered some. All good. I headed into the dark mountains. I found the fuel and asked of nearby campgrounds. I was guided 30 miles to a secluded alpine site alone.