As I briefly mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I passed and met a fellow Southern Tier cyclist. I was leaving the area after touring the cliff dwellings, I met Carter Forney from Talkeetna, Alaska, who was cycling into the cliff area. We exchanged advice and contact info, sure that our paths would cross again. Since there was no cell service or Internet access in this valley, I stoped by a local General Store for refreshments and access to wifi so that I could make contact with my family via a text. While I was doing that a local cyclist rode up and noticed my bike and gear. A meandering conversation was started about AgAu and cycling and that is how I met Bo Hunter, a local and very talented arborist, who cycles and also rides his classic Motor Guzzi motorcycle. My plans to ride another ten or twenty miles toward Silver City and camp were delayed and then completely abandoned when Carter pulled up, having completed his tour of the dwellings. So with Bo’s kindness, introduction, and guidance we were able to camp at a nearby hot springs campground despite them having already closed for the season. So we were able to get a good soak in naturally hot water before joining Bo for a beer and some of that evening’s football game in which the Denver Broncos played well and won. We talked for hours and Carter shared stories of his work up in Alaska for Natural Resources, firefighting, and EMS. He is doing significant film of his charity/fundraising ride for his blog at http://www.riesen2ride.blogspot.com We decided to ride some together since it is safer to cycle in groups. The ride today was beautiful. Despite having significant damage in a flash flood a couple of years ago, this section of the trip reminded me a great deal of New England like Autumn weather and scenery.
It was a day of significant climbing back to the city so Carter and I accomplished a difficult 52.94 mile ride today. The day, however was made so much easier because it had started with an amazing meal with Bo.
He made breakfast for Carter and I and showed us around one of the most beautiful and peaceful living conditions I have seen. The cabin he has created is an inspiring insertion into our world. We parted with him after more conversations about the world in which we live and our connections to it. Little did Carter and I realize that Bo would later ride his motorcycle out that day to join us for a dinner and beer at an old tavern.
After a great meal, more conversation, and a quick look at the Old Opera House theatre next door, we said goodbye to Bo and Carter and I returned to Silver City. I stop by and picked up gear that I had left in Silver City and said goodbye to my amazing Warm Showers host. I headed back into town to try to meet up with Carter and ended up with an interesting multiple hour long encounter with some of the shadier aspects of Silver City’s night life citizens and travelers. While it ended up with me getting a very limited and rough nap for the night, I was reminded of valuable lessons about letting my guard down when it was late and I was tired and cold. Applying aspects of Aikido, I was able to avoid physical issues and blend with the situation to avoid significant risk. Just another lesson from the road that builds character and facilitates wisdom.