Silver City to Gila Hot Springs (Riding Day 16)

52 miles of some amazing terrain were pedaled through today.  It is incredible to experience some of the race course of the Tour of the Gila.  It is a demanding terrain of hills, switchbacks, inclines, sharp declines, and some rough roads.  At the same time it is an amazingly beautiful park, forest, and wilderness.  The air is thin and my sea-level lungs were struggling with carrying my packs up and down the hills but the ride toward the cliff dwellings was immensely enjoyable.  Photos may not ever capture the subtle beauty of the rocks, trees, changing leaf colors, or the unexpected appearances of animals but here are a few that try to:

gila-forest

gila-road

I hope you enjoy the beauty as much as I did riding through here.  You’ll have to use your memory or imagination to match them with the sounds of wind whispering through pine needles, the crisp smells of falling leaves, and the sounds of red tail hawks sailing over the deer that scamper underneath.  Add in some heavy breathing, sweat, and achy muscles as I reach and pass the summit:

gila-height

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