Miles Today: 77
Miles to Date: 10,579
States to Date: 26
Today was a banner day for cycle touring. The weather was perfect for my long ride from McNeal to Portal, via Douglas, but I enjoyed many long, gentle descents and had the wind was at my back most of the day.
I explored the town of Douglas, whose declining downtown is anchored by the Gadsen Hotel, named for the Ambassador to Mexico who added this area to the United States as part of the Gadsen Purchase of 1854. Douglas enjoyed a heyday as a smelting town for the nearby Bisbee copper mines, and has many vintage early twentieth century houses to mark that period of prosperity.
The climb up Guadalupe Pass is a gentle six to eight miles along Arizona 80, followed by many more miles of gentle descents to the New Mexico border. I met a pari of heavy loaded cyclists heading the other direction and I stopped at the Geronimo Obelisk, commemorating the 1886 end of the Indian Wars. I pedaled over the state line to Rodeo, NM where I took a break at the cafe before veering back into Arizona to stay with my Portal host.
With several more long days on the horizon it’s nice to fantasize that every long distance day could be this easy, but that’s unrealistic. Better to savor this one day gift of easy cycling.