Our first big climb started around mile 18, but we had been steadily and gradually climbing since we left the hotel. The first climb took us to 2,651 feet at Gonzales Pass. It was no worse than riding Rt. 103 from Chester to Proctorsville - just a long, low-gear pedal. We had a teaser downhill into Superior, where we started the 10.4 mile climb to 4600 ft. Went through one tunnel, which was fun at first because I was the only person in it and made noises to hear their echo. When the traffic started to race in, the noise became deafening and it was a bit terrifying because there wasn't much room in the lane for a car and me. Last year's riders were turned around at this tunnel because of snow. Not the case this year!
This sign was heartwrenchingly deceiving. It came at mile 37 according to my odometer, but according to my cue sheet the top of the climb wasn't until mile 40.2. My cue sheet was right. Had another teaser downhill, then right back uphill. After that it was mostly downhill to Claypool, then some uphills to Globe (elevation around 3800 ft.).
In Globe I detoured through Historic Globe and then down to the Besh-ba-gowah indian historic site and ruins. The site is on the national historic register and was well worth the $3 admission. The Hohokan indians populated the area eons ago. They mixed with other tribes and eventually became the Salado (this is all according to the video at the site), who occupied the area from 1100-1400 A.D. They disappeared from the scene around the same time as the Anasazi - probably due to drought.
Saw more of those cute long-eared bunnies, and three "dead skunk in the middle of the road stinkin' to high heaven." Saw some of the prettiest scenery on the trip, but didn't want to stop too often and try to pedal again uphill. Was a bit unpleasant with lots of traffic on the route (mostly on US 60), but most people tried to move over as they passed. I wish they knew how much we would have liked to have a good shoulder on the uphills to get out of their way!!
Bike stats: 62 miles (yes, Kak, detours count); 6 hrs. 24 minutes riding time; 445 miles total for the trip. Food: three small pacakes, one blueberry minimuffin, orange drink and coffee for breakfast, banana and two Go Lean bars on the road, bean burrito in Globe, and tonight we go to the Country Kitchen restaurant next door.
Tomorrow is a sag driving day.