Day 38: Arrey, NM to Hillsboro, NM

Short day today. Just 27 miles. We left Arrey kind of late, around 9. It was chilly this morning so we laid around a little longer and let the sun do its work. Riding north out of town, we started slowly climbing up toward the pass and after about 5 miles we turned left onto highway 152. What's that I feel? A tailwind! The first in I don't know how long. Too bad we were climbing and couldn't take full advantage of it. But at least we didn't have a headwind. What a relief.

Then all of the trouble started. Brennan's tires have had slow leaks for the past two days now. I gave him the pump to carry today so he could add air as necessary because I have a bad habit of r-u-n-n-o-f-t-ing, especially with a good wind at my back. I realized it had been a while since I had looked back to check on him and when I did so, he was nowhere to be seen. Ah, crap. I feared he had a full blown flat so I backtracked and luckily he was just adding air. The second time we weren't so lucky. This time I had gotten really far ahead and when I looked back, I thought I saw a tiny speck on the side of the road. I went to turn around, no cars in my lane. I got about two feet from the center line and noticed a truck was coming in the other lane, so I stopped and waited for it to pass. And what was I greeted with for this patience? A big middle finger in the windshield. I returned the gesture emphatically; I had done nothing wrong. How rude.

When I finally reached Brennan, about 3/4 of a mile back, he was walking along with a flat rear tire. We swapped it out and hit the road again.

The climbing got steeper as we neared the town of Hillsboro but the descent on the other side made it all worth it. I cruised into town at 40 mph. This town was the last stop for supplies before we reached our camping spot just outside Kingston so we pulled into a little cafe and ordered some lunch. I had tamales covered in green chile sauce. Brennan got a cheeseburger. And we topped it all off with a slice of bumbleberry pie covered in ice cream. YES!

Brennan's left knee began hurting pretty severely today so we decided to cut off the last 9 miles and hunker down here in Hillsboro. We are camping in the city park for free. Right on.

I am excited to get to the top of the pass. 8,228 feet! Let the climbing begin!!!

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