Boy am I thankful that this day off was less eventful than my last day off. I slept in until 8 AM, then rode my bike over to be the first customer of the day at Gila Hike & Bike, the local bike shop recommended by several people. Martyn and Chris did not disappoint and were able to fit an overhaul of my bike into their schedule.
I walked back to our motel to learn that the car that had been rented for a day trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, 44 miles from here, was too small to accommodate the 6 of us who wanted to see them. I volunteered to stay back, as I live close enough to Silver City that I could feasibly make my way back here, someday, which is less likely for the guys from Washington, Virginia and Amsterdam.
Instead, I went to breakfast with a couple of the other riders, then explored the historic downtown area of Silver City, which has a population of about 9900 and is home to Western New Mexico University.
For such a small town, it has a thriving arts district and impressive murals and public art installations. I walked through most of the galleries, gift shops and antique stores and came up with about 4 favorites.
Among them was an art co-op run by a handicapped fellow who labels his work “assemblage” art. He had some pretty wild stuff going on in his shop–most of which my granddaughters would not approve.
There were, of course, a few historic sights, including a cabin recreated for the set of “The Missing,” a 2006 Ron Howard movie.
He donated the cabin to Silver City, and it sits on the homesite where Billy the Kid lived with his parents from 1873 – 1875. Now that’s historic, don’t you think?
Later on, I emptied my panniers so Ken and I could make a grocery run to Wal-Mart. Both of my panniers were topped off with groceries on the way back to our motel when we ran into 3 of the guys walking to a steak house for dinner. We turned around and followed them. Had a nice dinner, then headed back to the motel to get ready for tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another day of climbing that crosses the Continental Divide two more times. The weather forecast calls for rain, at least through the morning. We are all nervous about what awaits us up the road.