06/05/23 Gila Hot Springs to Mesa Campground - Training Ride - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2023

06/05/23 Gila Hot Springs to Mesa Campground

The plan was to begin at the top
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Linda came by with her truck in the morning, as promised.  I loaded my gear and bike in the back and we swung by her cabin to load ice into my water bottles before heading up the hill. Linda’s spending the summer in Gila Springs, lives in Silver City but is an Alaskan through and through.  Her offer to take me up to the top of the hill took a load off my mind as I was getting ready this morning, but unfortunately we both misread the road and I got out about 3 miles from the summit.  But I did avoid the really steep switchbacks at the start which I was certain I’d have to walk, so it’s still a big win.  Both general stores at Lake Roberts are closed today and tomorrow, disappointing.  I don’t really need anything but there are cold things and other treats in stores and I was looking forward to it.

Lots of smoke in the morning, probably wasn’t very healthy puffing uphill.  A headwind later on blew the smoke away and my mood improved noticeably 

So, it turns out that not 100 yards from where I turned around the other day, not wanting to ride down to the lake to camp, there’s a perfectly fine campground up on the mesa.  I should learn how to read a map. Anyway, it looked nice and with less than 16 miles for the day I decided to stay the night. 

As I was dozing in the shade waiting to get motivated to set up my tent, Michelle drove by looking for her husband and twin sons who are biking the divide while she’s following along with a truck.  I told her about the hot springs which she took her family to once they appeared, and after they all drove over to visit me. They’ve driven from Georgia to ride the divide, Dad riding with the sons as far as Colorado then the boys will continue on their own. Michelle was equally disappointed that the stores were all closed and, determined to get me a treat, whipped up a delicious turkey and cheese sandwich with Dijon, which I ate on the spot and was much more satisfying than the stuff I’ve been boiling. So far I am only encountering good people on this trip.

Linda dropping me off above the switchbacks
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Chilling at Mesa Campground
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Michelle and family dropped by to visit and make sandwiches
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Today's ride: 16 miles (26 km)
Total: 477 miles (768 km)

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