Great Continental Divide Adventure Ride

Day 1 - Silver City, New Mexico to the Antelope Wells Mexico border, and back

Day 1 CDR mapThe first day’s ride was considered more of a shake-out, being the easiest with lots of asphalt, with the goal simply to reach the southern border, and ending up at the same hotel at the end of the day.  The route to the border at Antelope Wells from Silver City is 123 miles (246 miles round trip), and when we started it was documented that there was no gas along the way.  So some folks decided to carry extra fuel in the form of a Rotopax or cheap plastic gas container from the local Walmart bungee strapped to the back.  Others decided that if needed, they would swing out on the asphalt on the return path to Lordsburg to top-off.

The dirt on the day’s route (starting 15 miles south of Silver City) tended to be fairly fast, with only a modest amount of sand.  This sand tended be looser in the afternoon on the return as temperatures climbed and the moisture in the dirt evaporated.  We also explored the idea of taking a small section known to be more difficult (red route via GPS Kevin’s map), but the gate for this road was locked.  Passing the outlet of this section later, we noticed that this was probably rated harder because of what looked like a lot of deep sand at the road’s end.  We got lucky in the very small village of Hachita, about 45 miles from the border.  One of the locals just the previous week decided to start selling gas at a small improvised convenience store out in the middle of nowhere (junction of 146 and 9), thus taking the concern away on the range issue, while also providing a nice rest stop for drinks and snacks.  This ended up being the only available pit stop for the day.

After reaching the border, our team stopped for a group picture to document the official start of the ride before heading back.  An old church at the southern outskirts of Hachita was one of the most interesting sights along the way. While walking around the remains of this church to take pictures, I heard noises toward the back and found a backpack with some personal possessions (that I left in place) from what appeared to be from an illegal immigrant seeking shelter here.  We also encountered some mountain bikers doing the ride by bicycle. Asking one of them later, it takes about 2-3 months to complete the ride via this way, roughly following the same route.  As we encountered typically a half dozen such riders each day (and an occasional person on horseback), we tried to give them some courtesy by slowing down (or stopping for horses) in order to minimize our dust trail.

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Intro   Day 1   Day 2   Day 3   Day 4   Day 5   Day 6   Day 7   Day 8   Day 9   Day 10   Day 11   Day 12   Day 13   Conclusion

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