Elevation: 6,875 ft.
Distance: 102.2 mi.
Odometer: 2,780.9 mi.
Keeping the rainfly off the tent last night was a good idea. Nice cool airflow. Woke up to peasant pancakes prepared by David, the best breakfast I've had in a long time. Thanks again, David!
I'd been psyching myself up for today since it's likely the last day of lots of climbing. After Cuba, it's a coast down to Albuquerque, then a hop over one last ridge before flats all the way to Austin. Had to climb almost 2,000 feet of net elevation today and cross the Continental Divide in the process. Looked to be a tough day, but maybe one of the last.
Met a group of cyclists doing a coast-to-coast supported tour called Bike and Build. A few stopped and we talked for a minute. Unlike Texas 4,000, they all had different bikes, and most were wearing a Camelbak. We traded business cards, and I fully intend on checking out www.BikeAndBuild.org (and you should too).
A slightly late start to the day, a trip to the store, and a conversation with some other cyclists meant I didn't get enough miles done in the morning, and on a long, slow day, that meant I'd be riding in the afternoon. Luckily, I had tailwind most of the day, which made it a lot easier than it could've been. I gained most of the elevation early and kept hoping that it would flatten out and get really easy, but it never did. Rolling hills all day. Late in the day the road curved and the wind shifted the opposite way, giving me headwind right when I was getting tired. Finally came over one last big hill and crossed the Continental Divide. Take that, Pacific Watershed! Mostly downhill for the next eight miles into town.
One thing I didn't remember was how many trees are around Cuba! But I remembered how to get to the church we stayed at during Texas 4,000, though no one was there this time. I tried my luck at another church, and the priest not only put me up in a hotel, but gave me some fruit, including the best peach I think I've ever eaten! Big thanks to Father Tim at the Church of Immaculate Conception.
David and Heidi in Farmington had recommended a New Mexican restaurant in Cuba, and I remembered Matt McCabe of Texas 4,000 recommending it too. We didn't get the chance to go then because the place burned down about a week before we got there. It's been rebuilt and I was curious enough to go.
It’s weird to go to a restaurant by myself. The food was good, but not so good that I understand why it's as famous as it is. I guess I've been spoiled by Austin, where you can find good Mexican food anywhere. But if you're ever in Cuba, NM and you're hungry, Bruno's ain’t bad!
from Pedal for Potatoes