GDMBR #4: Adios, New Mexico!

With a mix of wonder, gratitude and relief, we made it 620 miles from the Mexico-New Mexico border nearly to Colorado before we ran into deep snow.  As we did hiking the Continental Divide Trail, we’ll leap over Colorado for now and continue north on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in southern Wyoming.

Sections of Porter’s route in northern New Mexico have been steep and rocky. Even the descents were too dangerous to pick up speed. Deep sand at the bottom turns the front bike tire sideways, as Porter learned the hard way on a couple of spills. But mostly he’s managed to “keep the rubber side down,” as bicyclists say! 

Meanwhile, I hiked high above Ghost Ranch, Georgia O’Keeffe’s landscape, one of my favorite trails in the country.

From Abiquiu, we headed to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, where we soaked in the iron, soda, arsenic and lithia hot springs from subterranean volcanic aquifers that have been flowing for thousands of years. Amber and Porter declined to join me in the mud pool and opted for the private kiva pool instead.   

Next up: Wyoming, Montana, and Canada! 

Amber says, “Remember, keep your rubber side down!” 

28 comments on “GDMBR #4: Adios, New Mexico!

  1. Thank you Gail, Porter, and Amber for an inspiring report on your epic adventure. Good luck with the remaining portions of the trail.

  2. You guys earn those spa breaks. Myself, I prefer to just spa. Day after tomorrow we will be soaking in Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
    Then we’re off to Ireland for some walking—–emphasis on walking, not hiking.
    We really must discuss the philosophical differences here!!!

    • Truth be known, Jerrie, Amber says to tell you she prefers those spa breaks too! So exciting that you’re soaking in Blue lagoon in Iceland! Yes, we absolutely look forward to getting together this fall to discuss our respective adventures!

    • Thanks so much, Pam! Porter and I are sure he bounced, relatively speaking, up from his crashes, because of the strength and resilience he developed from your training!

    • Melanie, the mud pool was fun! They have a sign up with the whole procedure to follow: get wet in the outdoor shower (overhead buckets), slather on mud from a fountain coming up from the ground, lie in the sun to let it bake on, get in the mud pool, then shower off all the mud. I think you’d enjoy it!

  3. Bravo on the completion of your traverse of New Mexico, Porter, Gail and Amber! It was May 31, 2015 that Alan (FROST) too, hit the deep snow of CO. After post holing for 2 days he came home for 2 weeks to let it melt. It was June 16, 2015 when he headed back to where he got off the CDT to resume his tramp north.

    On June 27 he heads back to West Yellowstone, MT to once again resume his north bound hike. Tell OG to keep a lookout for FROST. ?

    • Ina, we’re glad to hear that Frost will resume his northbound CDT hike! We’ll definitely keep an eye out for him. The hiking trail and mountain-biking route are different, but they do overlap a bit.

  4. G&P! Congrats on your progress, and your well-deserved break at Ojo! Hope the rest of the trip is beautiful and inspiring. And that you get lots of tailwinds, and the downhills are gradual and the uphills are short! Thank you for taking us along for the ride!

    xoxo, P&G

  5. You are both intrepid in your own ways. Mostly you lead colorful and persevering lives that we love following. Safe and thrilling journeys.

    How fancy Ojo has gotten!

    • Marian, yes, we hear that Ojo has developed quite a bit from its earlier days–probably not as quiet as it once was but still lovely. Hope you’re having a colorful summer yourself!

  6. So good to read about your great adventures!
    You are an inspiration in ever so many ways.
    Love, Tree

  7. You two look wonderful — and the scenery is most appealing as well!


  8. Lovely! Good ol’ Colorado with its snow.
    A friend’s father makes the trek to Ojo Caliente on a regular basis. He reports that the iron soaking pool is the best therapy he’s found for his rheumatoid arthritis, now that most prescription medications have “stopped working”. I hope the soaks revitalized you and Porter on your adventure!


  9. Weather and trail conditions in Colorado are so predictable–NOT! Just a hop, skip, and a jump to Wyoming and hopefully some smoother riding. I’m with Jerrie–I’ll wait for you all at the spa! I am heading to New Mexico later this month possibly and may stop for a night at Ojo myself. I love that area by Ghost Ranch too–something so vast and peaceful about it. Happy trails– xo

  10. Hi Gail & Porter,

    I just recommended your book to a young man from my church, a student at Iliff who is exploring hiking the Appalachian Trail 🙂

    Always enjoy hearing about your travels.


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