Today we rode 42 mountainous miles, yesterday we did 71, for a grand total of around 770.
We crossed our highest pass yet at 6355' on our way into Silver City. I had previously made contact with a couple on the Warm Showers list who have been generous enough to host us for the evening.
I had to explain the Warm Showers list to my then-girlfriend Karen the first time I told her some girl from the Warm Showers list was coming to stay at my place for the evening. It's an online network set up to give touring cyclists potential contacts throughout the world - possible offers of shelter, laundry, warm showers and, if you're lucky, food.
Our current hosts, Patrick and Eileen, live in an original adobe brick house built in the 1930's, a few blocks away from downtown:
That's Patrick's grandmother's spinning wheel against the wall.
Upon our arrival in Silver City, we cleaned up and Patrick took us out for lunch and showed us around town. The main street from the town's early days when it was a working silver mine is now a 50' deep ditch that the locals call the "Big Ditch". Rain and floods over time slowly washed out main street, until eventually there were numerous pedestrian bridges crossing over. The wall of water that smashed into Silver City in 1895 destroyed much of main street, and the remaining businesses began using their back doors for entrances. Main street is now one block over, and the curbs on the street get as high as 2' or 3' to accommodate the water that still floods the town.
Silver City has survived the closing of the silver and then the copper mines by transforming into an art mecca. There is a food co-op, several gourmet coffee and deli shops, lots of arts and crafts shops, and an active downtown restoration and revitalization effort. There are even two bike shops in a town of 10,000!
For dinner Patrick and Eileen served us spaghetti with home made sauce, and for dessert Patrick made me a nice espresso to go with the blueberry pie from the local deli. It sure it tough out here on the road.