Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tour Divide 2014 Day 6 Cuba

A 3am start for a road ride to Cuba.  No wind and dark when I left Grants, then Milan and up the highway towards Ambrosia Lakes.  It was surprisingly cold and I had little traffic, then it began to pick up as work related traffic for the mines began passing me.  I wanted to get this ride done before afternoon winds made it hard to ride.  The dark was nice to ride in, but my LED flashlight that I was using for a light would drop out every so often.  Not sure if it was battery related or something in the light, but I switched it out with the spare I brought and rode into the sunrise.

Once I passed the Peabody Energy El Segundo mine the traffic dropped to nothing.  The mine was off in the distance and was surprisingly smelly, considering I was a long way from the diesel engines being used to rip the coal from the ground.

Coal mine ( with dragline in the center )

Still have base layer on
 I continued riding to White Horse and then up to Pueblo Pintado, where the route turned a bit southeast towards Cuba.  Made a stop at a combination laundromat and convenience store along the reservation and talked to the owner.  He sees all of the TD riders, its the only thing out there for miles in each direction.  Lonely country.

Empty country

And for a time I thought it looked exactly like a piece of Wyoming that I rode across two years ago in the Big Ride on our way to Newcastle.  Rangeland with mountains in the distance.  There was a mountain to the southeast that could have been a stand-in for the Devils Tower.

I kept seeing these little flowers growing through the cracks in the road.

Wyoming ( not really )
It was time to make some time and the wind was good, so didn't take any other pictures before Cuba.  I passed through more reservation country, saw a couple of fellows walking on the side of the road.  They jokingly asked for a ride and I waved.  About 10 minutes later I saw them in the back of a pickup truck and they waved at me as they passed.  And I also saw a lot of horses, just loose on the side of the road.  In one place there were about 6 of them.  A couple appeared to be spooked by my bike and I was glad they didn't run into the road and the light traffic passing me and them.

Had to stop outside Cuba for road construction where we got flagged through a newly tarred section of road.  Fresh tar on the bike and my legs and socks.  Then Cuba appeared and I went to the Cuban Place, and had a nice grilled ham and cheese and the usual gallon of iced tea and a chocolate shake.  I got there before they closed at 3, so maybe 10 1/2 hours for 120 miles.

El Bruno's was recommended, and I got their steak and enchiladas.  Was delicious and I couldn't eat it all and took the leftovers back to the hotel for the next day's ride to Abiquiu.  It would be a hard ride of nearly 80 miles across the Santa Fe National Forest.

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