Socorro, NM

Box_Canyon

Paul & I had just bought a dozen doughnuts at a local grocery store when we found the location of a café adjacent to a bike shop. Truly a marvel of zoning. We setup our computer to upload photos and toured the local shop, Spoke-n-Word Cycles. I had some work done on my bike, all for around $0 total and was pleased with the modern upgrade they bestowed upon my drive train. Paul purchased two magazines, The Rocky Mountain Cyclist, and we had intentions of making it a few thousand feet in elevation before the sun set that afternoon.

Riding West on route 60 (We were happy to be done with the 500 or so miles of route 380) we immediately noticed a change in environment as the rock cuts on either side of the highway showed beautiful marvels of stone and dirt, in brilliant earthy pastel tones. As the sun set over the snow speckled peaks ahead of us we looked back and up at the towering walls of the box canyon, title Box by the local Bureau of Land Management. Paul and I felt a slight tinge of remorse at our lack of climbing gear. We instead opted to take a peek into some of the lower level caves and enjoy the pitted and potted surfaces of the granite-like formations.

The tube to my B.O.B. Trailer seemed to have more holes than a cheese grater. I had no intentions of wasting many of my valuable patches to fix it so I called the bike shop up and called in a favor. Gratefully, through a few acts of ‘Paying it Forward’ and relative kindness through those in the biking community, a tube was hand delivered to us at our place of encampment. The mechanic stayed until dark. We enjoyed the personal touch and the chance to experience situations out of the norm.

We started up a fire with relative ease and enjoyed a treat of spicy sausage in our Ramen noodle dish. We woke up to our first morning without frozen water and moisture and improved circulation in our hands as the desert started to warm up to a pleasant temperature of around 40º F. Only a few days away would be the Continental Divide and another milestone behind us.

About Clint Valentine

Clint is currently enrolled in two undergraduate degrees in Biology & Environmental Science at Northeastern University. He enjoys pursuits of endurance and distance which have included summiting many peaks in New England during winter alpine ascents, sailing the Atlantic in a vintage gaff-rigged schooner, rock climbing in five states including Oregon, and cycling 5,000 miles across North America. He has goals of pushing the envelope of his limits and combining his many outdoors interests into one big trip. He has a passion for photography and hopes to one day produce a documentary for a round-the-world tour.
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