Day 42 - Silver City, New Mexico

I climbed the mountain. I am wiped out, and I only went 46 miles. The lodge I stayed in last night was right where the climb gets steep. So first thing in the morning it was 8 miles of switchbacks up to Emory Pass. Here is a view from halfway up.

BigClimb1 (171K)

Here is another view from almost to the top.

BigClimb2 (297K)

You can just barely see the road way, way down there. This is about 8000 feet in altitude, and it's not desert anymore. It's pine and juniper forest.

I was pretty excited to get to the top.

EmoryPass (340K)

All the people it the cars that passed me near the top honked, waved, and clapped their hands. It took me two hours, almost the whole time in granny gear.

It only takes about 20 minutes to coast down off the mountain. It would be faster except all the hairpin turns in the switchbacks are 10 mph, so you have to ride the brake. Here is a picture coming down the other side. You come down in a canyon.

PaybackCanyon (280K)

What made today so hard is that when you think you are done climbing, after you've coasted about 20 miles, is there is another great big 6 mile climb. I planned to eat when I got to the bottom of the first big mountain, but I couldn't find the restaraunt, so all I had for the next big climb was a Luna Bar. I think another factor may be that I haven't had any Gatorade all day.

I was completely starved when I got into Silver City. Luckily, there is a really great Mexican restaraunt that had a one pound ribeye special, and was it ever great. Served with enchiladas smothered in green chilis on the side. That sure hit the spot.

The amazing site of the day was the Santa Rita open pit copper mine. Here is a panorama shot.

PitPan (39K)

Pictures do not do this justice. It is a couple miles across. There are mountains of rubble that have been removed from this. It's just astonishing.

Even though I did not cover many miles, today was a pretty big day. I'm taking tomorrow off, because Silver City looks like a cool old town, and it's supposed to be very windy, and I have to be in Tucson on Thanksgiving, and there's no point in getting there way early. I am ensconced in the Palace Hotel, which is a historic and cheap hotel downtown.

Here is the map of the road which goes ever upward.

Actual42 (129K)