Lael stopped at the Toaster House this morning in Pie Town. I spent a night there with three CDT hikers back in 2011.
Lael camped on the climb out of Abiquiu two nights ago, reporting that as she pushed up the steep technical climb in the dark she fell a few times, once landing on he rib without injury. Shaken, she stopped for the night and resumed at a faster pace in the AM. Once descending to Cuba, she hammered the pavement for the rest of the day, covering a total of 220 miles to camp just before midnight. She began riding at 4AM today along a wide gravel road to Pie Town.
Daytime temperatures are warm in southern New Mexico, and nights are warm. Seasonal monsoons– manifest as afternoon thunderstorms– are still in force, although they ebb and flow on a daily and weekly basis. There may be several clear days followed by several stormy afternoons. Lael reported minor precipitation on the last few days in NM. In fact, I think she has seen some precipitation on more than half of her riding days since Banff. There continues to be a low risk of thunderstorms today, Saturday, while the threat of afternoon rain returns in force on Sunday and Monday. Lael mentioned several freezing nights in Colorado, including one night when her water froze outside Doyleville and she shivered through several hours of sleep. That morning she began riding before 4AM to warm up. I suspect last night was more pleasant, with forecast low temperatures around 50F now that she has left the high mountains. Daytime temperatures are forecast in the mid-80’s today.
Lael just checked out of Pie Town, arriving 32 hours ahead of the pink LW bubble, and over and hour faster than the male record set by Jay Petervary in 2012. She has been behind this pace since stuck in the mud before Lima. If she pushes hard to the border she may stay on pace with this time, finishing sometime on Sunday night. If she pushes hard, she may be into the Gila by this afternoon if and when any rain falls. The roads around Pie Town present a high risk of clogging when wet due to the nature of the soils. The Gila is rocky and sandy, underlain by granite. If she pushes hard to the border she may stay ahead of Sunday thunderstorms as well. There is one final section of dirt south of Silver City that could get messy when wet. From Pie Town, Lael is just over 300 miles to the border.
Follow the yellow LW bubble on the Tour Divide 2015 Trackleaders page.