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hachita

Silver City is the last town we will pass through in the USA. We linger a while, spending five nights on the lounge room floor of our hosts, before Jeff and I set off at around 5PM on a cold evening with snow predicted for the next day. Cass opts to spend another night in Silver City to finish up some last minute business.

We ride in gathering darkness, into a headwind, uphill, out of Silver City on the highway, covering around twenty miles before turning off onto a gravel road. We make a hasty camp without the comfort of a campfire and dive into our tents. It rains during the night and by morning the precipitation has turned to snow. We huddle in the tents until mid-morning hoping the weather will improve, eventually setting off, still into a stiff headwind, this time on heavy wet sand. We are supposed to be losing elevation but whatever downhill gradients might exist are not discernable in these conditions.

Jeff studying notes from an out-of-date guide at an uncertain intersection.

Jeff, rugged up against the icy wind, studying notes from an out-of-date guide at an uncertain intersection.

A piece of wood on the ground provides a missing clue that sets us straight.

A piece of wood on the ground provides a missing clue that sets us straight.

Our destination is Hachita, some fifty miles away, a virtual ghost town, which none-the-less has a functioning Post Office where Jeff is expecting a food box. We spend all day battling the icy gale and arrive in Hachita at sunset and set up camp beside an old water tower on the outskirts of town.

Water tower on the outskirts.

Water tower on the outskirts of Hachita.

Camp at dawn. Jeff favours a tarp over a tent.

Camp at dawn. Jeff favours a tarp over a tent.

In the morning the sun rises and the wind has dropped. Jeff sets off to the Post Office to get his parcel and spreads out his goodies on a group of picnic tables to organise. I wander the town, checking out abandoned buildings and the detritus of human settlement.

The cafe and store clearly has

The cafe and store clearly hasn't been open for some time.

An abandoned house.

An abandoned house.

Love this old bike.

Love this old bike.

The Saloon is also closed.

The Saloon is also closed.

The astute reader might have noted that I mentioned that I was meeting three guys in Pie Town and only two have been introduced so far. Jeff’s brother, Jason, is the missing member of the team. He has spent the last couple of weeks visiting a friend who offered him some temporary work in Albuquerque. Jason is intending to rejoin the ride in Hachita and we are also expecting Cass to meet us here in time to cross the border together the tomorrow.

Some time towards mid-afternoon we are all assembled and organised and set off towards the border which is around fifty miles away.

Everybody is finally assembled and almost ready to go.

Everybody is finally assembled and almost ready to go. Cass, in the foreground, Jeff, in red, and Jason, in green.

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