Day 5 – Santa Fe, NM to Pagosa Springs, CO – 294 miles

Not much remarkable about this morning. I had set an alarm to make sure I was ready for my 1 hour webinar for my course, and tried to get as much ready around that as I could. Call over, I had my continental breakfast in the Inn, and set off. Once again, the morning was largely spent getting from one nice road to another – about 100 miles or so of hot highway.

In another carriage-way coincidence, the highway I rode this morning is the I-25, which is a main north-south route through Denver. I headed south from Santa Fe to get around the mountain range that runs north to siuth just east of the city. Around the southern tip I navigated and stayed on the I-25 as it made its way north, but after some mileage, I turned off at Las Vegas. No, not that one.

The route took me through pretty but unremarkable roads up a series of passes and forests until I reached Taos. Taos is the basin for a number of ski resorts, and the town is very well geared towards visitors. I had a quick lunch on a local tavern, and walked the town square as I ate my ice cream. I had hoped the ice cream would cool me down, but no such luck.

Back on the bike to hit some more hard miles, and 10-15 miles or so out of Taos I crossed the rio Grande gorge – which was grand indeed. Very impressive. I didn’t stop to walk back to the bridge for pictures, as parking was a good few hundred yards past the bridge, and I was already overheated in my bike gear.

Not long past the bridge over the Rio Grande, I passed a number of buildings that were strange to behold. I hope the GoPro camera captured some of these. I notice that the signs referred to Earthship Biotecture. I will stop now to do some reading about these odd buildings and dwellings

OK – not much wiser on the matter. It seems like the place I went past is the HQ for a community that builds sustainable dwellings. They have a visitors centre, and seem to like to construct these buildings with a very science-fiction-ey feel. Take a look here if you feel so inclined.

The roads improved after entering the final frontier. Bigger mountains, prettier forests, and even a deer that tried to kill me by running across the road just in front of my bike. Fortunately for both me and the deer, we did not collide. I somehow slipped back into Colorado without paying much attention – but I can tell you one thing; there was very little population almost anywhere the whole afternoon.

I got to my evenings destination around 6pm. Pagosa Springs is a pretty little mountain town, permeated by a light smell of sulphur. There are hot springs everywhere, including the motel which is providing me a roof for the night. I did not go for a soak as I ran out of time between planning and blogging and going to grab some food, but I might do so in the morning before I head out. I have quite a big day planned tomorrow – 50 miles more than today, which was in itself the longest of the tour so far. Twisty canyon roads and steep ascents and descents are not quick miles on the bike, and Google maps suggests I have the best part of 8 hours riding tomorrow. Todays guesstimate as 5hr40. Anyway, I might skip the hot springs.

See ya next time, for my final and exciting night in Glenwood Springs. TTFN

By popular request, todays route can be found here.

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