I have been on the road touring on my 30 year old Novarro Ponderosa Mountain Trail Bike for about three weeks now. The bike has been in storage for these long decades and was never really used much. In excellent shape. Along with the bike I dug out the following items to work as panniers from the dark corners of my man cave, my storage area: Two waterproof compression duffles made by Seattle Sports for front panniers, a heavy duty water proof camera bag made by Water Shed to use as a handle bar bag, and two plastic water proof ammo can boxes converted for use as rear panniers. Then I ordered a Blackburn front rack, a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Tires and some heavy duty tubes. Then I put together a tool kit – and low and behold I am set for the road.
Thus far I have traveled from Carson City to the Southern boundary of Joshua Tree National Park, fighting head winds all the way south. What a battle trying to keep a loaded bike on the road with Mack Trucks barreling along from behind in a high wind. I’d rather be on a mountain top in a Thunder Storm.
I am doing short days, making adjustments and figuring things out as I go along. The learning curve has had a ruthless and sharp cutting edge. I am learning and that was the whole idea of trying something new.
Can you teach and Old Goat new tricks?
My ultimate destination is rather a blur, but like a true Vacilando I do have direction. I am headed farther south in the California deserts across Joshua Tree National Park, then on to the Parker area on the Colorado River or to Slab City on the Salton Sea.
If I start feeling more comfortable with this bike touring mode of travel, perhaps I will connect with the Southern Tier Bike Route across the Southern states of this great nation to Florida. We will see.
Please pray for me, I need all the help I can get.
I am hitting the rowdy road on a far different agenda. On a bike! I am out of my element and the learning curve is high. I am deathly afraid of the traffic on the highway. I am used to dealing with bears on the trail and not semi-trucks. Wish me well. I need it.
Keep Gliding On!
I am seeking donations to help with my Going Loopy project. If you feel it worthy, you could buy Glider a burger on the trail, or a motel room, or whatever. Maybe even pay for a hair cut and a beard trim if you think I appear to unruly.
After a long and lazy winter and spring on the hot spring circuit I am finally back on the Continental Divide trail again. A beautiful girl working trail magic on me, is giving me a ride to the Trail Head at Elk Park near Butte. Heading Nobo to Canada, then floppin’ back to Butte. Then headed Sobo as far as summer and fall will allow. Never stop Gliding On!
What a strange, wild and wonderful trail we tread. I have reached the end of the line for my autumn hiking season in New Mexico. I stopped hiking in Northern New Mexico in late September. Having began hiking from the Arizona trail starting May first, I have been on the trail for a long time. I have only hiked about 900 miles this year, but I spent many days on the ground out in nature. I took long stays in most of the trail towns getting a feel for the local scenes and geography. I met many very interesting and helpful people over the past months, but only two hikers on the GET and handful of CDT SOBO’s between Cuba and Pie Town. Because I often carried extra food, I hiked slow days and spent more time on the trail alone without seeing anyone for days on end. Very meditative. Played my ukelele a lot. Really enjoyed having it along.
Echoed the words of Woodie Gutherie. I ‘m walkin’ down the line, I’m walkin’ down the line. I’m walkin’ down the line. My feet will be a fly’in. Let me tell you bout’ my troubled mind.
I found the Grand Enchantment Trail challenging.I feel I had a successful experience hiking from The Arizona Trail to the Continental Divide Trail. North from there, after the Gila Wilderness and all that wading in the West and Middle Forks of the Gila the route used a lot of road. Most of the route finding was far easier on the CDT in New Mexico then on the Grand Enchantment Trail. (The GET is actually more of just a route.) I found the road walking on the CDT sometimes a relief, not having to worry too much about being off track.
Now I am kind of lost in a different kind of way. I have not decided where to continue on the quest of hiking the Great Loop. In the mean time I have staying at the Oracle Chalet Village Motel. Rather squandering my Social Security funds. I have just needed a rest from camping and have been enjoying the amenities of civilization we take for granted. But then how strange to have a TV and to be following our crazy presidential trail. Yikes what culture shock.
Next year I will start southbound on the CDT from Glacier National Park. That will not be until June or July. I am excited to think about that.
There are Mexican Grey Wolves in AZ + NM, but they don’t prowl with me. Not with the Lone Wolf.
I have changed my hiking mode this season, being very much a Vacilando. I’m soaking in the local culture and the hot springs!
Not much to be inspired about as far as distance and miles, yet the experience has been rich. To use a cliche: smiles not miles. When will I be in NM again?
Now I am hiking North in September Monsoon weather. The monsoon came late, but there are no problems with water sources. The rains filling tanks and pools.
The long and winding road seems to never end, keeps calling and beauty and adventure are ever present.
Lot’s of mountain bikers riding the CDT bike trail. Shared with them at the Toaster House Hostel in Pie Town. Thinking a bike might be the way to go. What do you think?