|First one of the day|
|Santa Fe County|
|Guess where we are|
The next day business begins. New Mexico has 33 counties and last year Sam and I toured the perimeter of the state and picked up 20 of those counties. Now I lack just a swath down the middle of the state. Thus far in all the counties traveled I had previously logged caches. We left Chama before breakfast because there was no place to eat there at our pre 6:30 am departure. Our route would take us through a northern slice of Santa Fe County on our way to Los Alamos. Before getting to Santa Fe County we stopped for a neat cache in some trees in Rio Arriba County. To my surprise we were the first ones to log it this year. After getting some breakfast in Tierra Amarilla and shortly before reaching Los Alamos County we stopped to pick up a couple for Santa Fe County. One was at an overlook and the other was a Travel Bug hotel that didn’t have any Travel Bugs. The road up to Los Alamos was winding with lots of traffic and a 45 mph speed limit. We made two stops to pick up caches where on one Yancey almost knocked himself unconscious by banging his head on a steel girder under a bridge where we were searching for the cache. As far as I can recall that was the only injury of the trip.
|A couple of rough riders|
After taking care of these two counties we had to backtrack and head northeast for Mora County. I was particularly concerned with this county because of the three caches I was able to locate two were a ways off the beaten track. We did have some nice riding on the way once we were able to pass some very slow traffic along Highway 21 up to Hwy 75. We were on Hwy 75 just a short distance before it merged with Hwy 518. My GPS headed me on a different route than what I had figured from the map. When we came to the little town of Moro I overshot the road my GPS indicated I was to take. So I stopped and turned around knowing Yancey would follow. Apparently he hadn’t seen me turn off just a half block from where we had stopped. After I saw he hadn’t turned I stopped to wait and after a few minutes backtracked to the main road. I was going to tell him not to follow me anyway because it was an unpaved road and didn’t look real great. However, he was nowhere to be seen. So I proceeded in the direction we had been going before I turned around and had just gone a short distance when I noticed on my GPS that one of the other caches was right there. So I stopped and about that time Yancey appeared coming from the opposite direction. He said he had gotten within about a half mile of the cache we were originally after but encountered a dirt road. I guess all’s well that ends well because I just had to hike about 100’ to find the nearby cache at a cemetery. That took care of Moro County.
We followed Hwy 518 as it turned south toward Las Vegas in San Miguel County. The first cache in Las Vegas was a caboose in a little park. I’m quite sure it was gone because with the hint it should have been an easy find and the person before us hadn’t found it either. By the way, it was really hot – like 107’. So we proceeded down Hwy 518 for about 10 miles to an old cemetery where there had once been a town. We were in luck this time so that took care of San Miguel County although we did pick up one more down the road a ways that I thought was gone but Yancey found it.
|Great menu too|
We were on the home stretch for the day heading toward our motel in Vaughn. Before getting there we stopped in the little town of Pastura and bagged a couple of caches for Guadalupe County. After unloading at the motel I got another one near the motel for that county. In front of the motel was a diner fixed up just like the ones of old. It also served as the office for the motel. We had dinner there that night and it was very good. This day we traveled 302 miles, finding 10 caches with 3 DNF’s.