Iron Creek Campground, New Mexico

Emory Pass would be our big obstacle today. The highest point on the tour, we reached an elevation of over eight thousand feet. There was snow on the ground as we crawled switchback after switchback. The air was thin and cold. The pale sunlight was distant.

I waited for Steve to crest the last hill. Our day nearly over, we coasted to the first campground on the other side of the pass. It was a United States Forest Service campground with no water. We had brought enough water to make dinner and coffee in the morning, however. Tomorrow would a a long, satisfying downhill.

We decided that we would ride north tomorrow to Gila Hot Springs to see the cliff dwellings. The route crossed the mountains again, then dropped into the Gila River valley. We would do more climbing and descending, quite a bit more in fact.