Going to Grant from Cuba is risky if Divide riders stay on the route. The route goes through beautiful waterless and barren landscape for three days but if there is rain riders have the possibility of getting stranded for days. The clay soil is unrideable when wet and will clog up the drive train to the point that a bike will not roll. Worst are the arroyos which is Spanish for a wash. They are dry creeks that temporarily fill and flows after a rain or flash floods following thunderstorms. The arroyos can be deep and if caught in one during a storm riders can be swept away. So in short, riders should only travel on route if there is no rain in the horizon for three days. There was only afternoon rains in the forecast and rain late in the day on the third day so we went for it. I’m glad we did as the scenery was beautiful and there were few cars. In fact, there was little of anything except cows.
The first night of camping on this leg was probably my favorite camping spot. It was very quiet and we could hear the crickets chirping and coyotes howling during the night. Our camp site was on a bluff and we had a great view of the valley and distant mountains. It was warm and we kept our rain fly open all night and we could see the night skies filled with stars. The second night of camping we had an equally nice camp spot but the wind howled all night keeping us all awake until the early morning.
Finally we feel like we are in the New Mexican desert. The Rockies extend into New Mexico and finally give way to the Sonoran desert half way through the state. You can actually feel the change from the increase in temperature and dry air. It’s surprising that I drink 32 oz of water or more per day from the change in climate. My appetite is suppressed in the heat and normally I would be happy about this but given all the riding I find that I must force myself to eat to keep up my energy.