A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: brendagerber07

Arizona...2 states to go

Slip slidin' away....the curves are deliciously

88 °F
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Hello folks,
Hoping to get a little writing done while sitting at the afternoon water stop waiting for the team. ( they are 5 miles out) we are at the side of the road on top of a hill so I actually have 4 bars and 3G. We left New Mexico for Arizona today. The Whitewater Lodge was a homey little place in Glenwood, NM.
Videos from yesterday:


We were greeted by critters, motorcycle travelers and a wonderful home cooked breakfast at The Golden Girl Cafe.


Our pony riders continue to keep up their tech skills after a hard day on tour.


The riders started at 7:30 again this morning after breakfast in our rooms. What a beautiful day and the scenery was spectacular . We rode out of the mountains and into the desert today. Temps here soared to 88 and the riders were back in shorts and shirt sleeves.


Here is the view of one of the declines as we rode through sections of both the Apache and Gila National Forests.


Evelyn and I met up with the team right at the Arizona border...perfect timing.


After another few miles we had lunch at a little three way cafe, and I use that term lightly. Sandwiches and a few chips and cookies still seem to satisfy the riders.


The curves kept coming and of course every rider's joy- the cattleguards in the middle of the road!


We watched the GPS to see what was ahead for the riders. Look at that orange line!


There were plenty of climbs and descents.


We saw some cactus on the roadside and also came upon a father and two sons. The 13 year old had just shot his first deer. He couldn't stop smiling.


Evelyn wanted me to put the deer pic up and tell you that this SAG team hunts down the supper before preparing our evening meal.. She has been such a joy to have along and I am ever so grateful to get to know her better.

The riders have stopped for their last water break and will finish the last 19 miles to the hotel. Ev and I are headed to the hotel, a Best Western, to check out laundry and pizza, IC, and Dan's beer.

Back with the stats of the day in an hour.

We rode 84.7 miles at 11.9 mph. We were in saddle for 7 hours and 8 minutes. Our accomplishments for the day include crossing our sixth state, 7 category climbs- ( 3 CAT 3's, 3 CAT 4's and 1 CAT 5.) We made our most thrilling descent so far. We have less than 600 miles remaining which means we have already finished 2000 miles. The team needed this day after the hard days preceding this. The climbs, descents and lack of gusting winds was refreshing. I think everyone came back today feeling jazzed.

I am including a few videos showing the rides today.

Goodnight to all from Pacific time, we are now three hours ahead of most of you.
Brenda and the Pony Riders

Posted by brendagerber07 15:45 Archived in USA Comments (6)

Putting in the miles

Day 22 in the books

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Hello all from Whitewater Hotel in sunny Glenwood, NM:

I will first try to include the pics from yesterday's trails.

Our stay up in the mountains was spectacular. The air was crisp and clean. The owner let us use the lobby for our dinner and the microwave to warm Aunt Joleen's pizza casserole. We were in bed at 8:00 Pacific Time, trying to figure out how to set our alarm so we would ride at daybreak MT. I couldn't believe when we woke up to frost on everything and temps in the low 30's. The riders got on the road at around 9:00 am Dan and Wynn road downhill at the start of the ride for at least miles.road surfaces changed throughout the day and the team ended with 62.7 miles at 13.7 mph. There was elevation change of 2050 ft. They were in the saddle 4 hours and 37 mins. . The team rode into Glenwood at 3:15pm and decided to be done for the day. We are grilling brats tonight and having a picnic to go with. We have a lovely shady spot and plenty of breeze. Sounds like a good place to rejuvenate.

Here are some sights along today's beautiful drive.

The riders are sitting around discussing whether or not they are starting to wear down. Between the wind, the terrain and the hills, it is hard to know. With only 662 miles they are gonna make it, but may need to readjust some distances per day.

I'd like to say that we finally saw a real live tarantula. He was a hairy fellow. But Dan wants you all to notice the road surface...Wynn thought maybe the Texan road crew came in to do that section of road.



So the day is in the banks and we are enjoying a rare evening off. Tomorrow we hope to make it to Safford, AZ. Happy weekend to all and an especially to my three kids and their spouses and Bret ,who are working so hard on my new kitchen. I can't wait to see you and the finished product and my five little grand girls!

Dan here:
The riders, Colleen, Wynn and I, were talking about the most difficult parts of the trip. We agreed that the hills were not the worst. The wind and road surface tie for first. The surface in Texas was by far the worst. So far New Mexico wind has Been tough to deal with. It swirls and gusts so you can't tell where it's coming from. We all agree that we can handle the hills. Even if they're 4 miles long, you just get in the right gear and grind it out.
We should enter Arizona tomorrow. Who knows what new adventures await us.

Posted by brendagerber07 16:05 Comments (4)

Continental Divide Conquered

Everything is flowing to the Pacific

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Short and sweet tonight and not many pictures either. It has been a long day with an hour sag into our hotel, which is called Mountain High Lodge. It will make for a quick night and an early morning, but what a pretty view. Our room has three double beds but no micro or fridge. The little lady running the desk is allowing us to use her microwave and set up our dinner in the breakfast area. We also found out that they serve breakfast on Fri, Sat and Sun. We are in luck, it's Friday!

The riders were on the road at 7:30 this morning having rested well yesterday. There was a lot of climbing today and the ponies ended up riding 94.2 miles at 11.6 mph. They were in the saddle for 8 hours. Most of today's riding was above 7000 feet in elevation. There were 5 climbs today, two CAT 3s, two CAT 4's and one CAT 5. We stopped to eat in Datil, which consisted of one combination gas station/ grocery store and Cafe. The scenery continued to change every few miles and then we reached the Continental Divide. Pictures were taken but no Internet capabilities to upload so you will have to wait til tomorrow. Plans are to get back to riding in the morning and try to make it in and through Glenwood.
We will try to give a more complete report tomorrow night when we get out of the Apache National Forest. The night sky is beautiful and we are so blessed to have this sweet place to lay our heads. Goodnight to all and see you all tomorrow .
Brenda for the team

Maybe I can talk the riders into taking another turn or two on the blog. Wynn has been busy reworking the maps every night and we have just had some grueling days when it comes to the climbing and the altitude.

Posted by brendagerber07 19:37 Comments (2)

Look what the wind blew in

Evelyn arrives and we get a rest day!

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So the best laid plans of mice and men...and we find ourselves another day in Socorro. The ponies mounted up and started off their day with a clear, calm day.




But ten miles up the mountain, the ponies were assaulted with a 30 mph wind and they just kept coming. By the time we got back to the hotel rooms it was blowing at 45-50 mph. Wynn said it felt like his bike was being blown out from under him. Even our mountain beast, Dan had to admit that the wind won this round. A call to the hotel got my attention as I was out cleaning the van and didn't hear my phone ring. We picked everyone up and headed back to Socorro. The Holiday Inn Express had our room still available for another night so we have an unscheduled rest day. Hopefully the weather report for tomorrow holds true and we will go back to 6 mph winds. Every one is enjoying the day of rest. Extra laundry got done, a time in the pool and hot tub, and Wynn getting caught up with some stuff at work- his real job. I should probably take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Neil and Mary Jo ( Wynn's and Colleen's bosses) for allowing them to take the time off for this adventure. It means the world to me and I know this wouldn't have happened at this time if their bosses hadn't been gracious and given the time off.


Here's a lovely pic of Colleen's arm...isn't it healing nicely? Dan's bruises look pretty good too, but he wouldn't show me. ha!

So now, I get to share a wonderful story on our trip. As you know, Wynn was very concerned about me being alone on the SAG for the last two weeks of our journey. All along, we had a secret in the back of our minds. Dan's wife, Evelyn had been working to see whether she could work out a way to join us for a day or two...well she did way better than that. She worked it out to be able to fly into Albuquerque to her cousin's house and be able to spend the rest of the tour with us. tears of joy for me, I'll tell you. The plan was to arrange a surprise dinner at The Owl in San Antonio, NM. This is rumored to be the best place around for Green Chili Cheeseburgers. Dan knew we were meeting Cousin Eda and Jim. As we entered the room it was kind of dark and Ev was sitting a few chairs down with her back to the door we entered. Dan went to hug Eda and Jim, not noticing Ev until Jim said, " Don't you think you know that person," pointing to Ev. I'll let the pictures tell the rest...excuse the darkness of the room.


What a great reunion. We all enjoyed meeting Eda and Jim and especially enjoyed pulling a fast one on Dan. Thanks to all of you that knew and kept the secret. Also a shout out to Jim and Eda for the wonderful care package, including a bottle of sparkling wine for the end of journey celebration, all kinds of snacks and fruit and of course the green chili chocolate chip cookies. The green chili cheeseburgers were amazing as well, even though some of us opted to get the Chilis on the side in case of weird stomach. One quick sidelight that I want to include is the Hot Air Balloon Festival that Ev got to attend. Thanks Eda and Jim!


I will end by saying how much I appreciate and need your prayers as we finish this great adventure. I must admit, when I knew that today's ride was cancelled and our hotels out in desolate West New Mexico would all be changed, I started to panic. Our first hotel in Datil was full for tomorrow night. The nearest hotel we could find was 74 miles away and I booked it. It will be a haul tomorrow after riding all day. We will actually cross over and stay in AZ and then SAG back the next morning. The team is going to try to ride a century tomorrow so the sag will be closer to 50 miles but we'll see how tomorrow goes. So tomorrow night's room has been booked. Then on Sat I knew there was a wedding planned for that hotel and rooms would be scarce in Glenville. I called and after several hours of waiting to hear back, I was called and the nicest lady said, we're gonna get you in somehow, honey. So we have a room in Glenville for Sat night...maybe we can get in on the wedding too. All that worrying for nothing, I wish I could say that I knew it would all work out, but that's how easy it is to slip off into my own little world of control. When things are taken out of my hands, I have to remember that there are no surprises with God. He didn't wake up this morning and say, "oh no, what am I gonna do? The wind is messing up their plans..." He already knew and wants me to trust him more and more. This is where your prayers come in. Sometimes I feel like the paralytic...I need to be carried before The Lord, because I have no faith of my own. Thanks and keep covering us!

So hopefully tomorrow I will be writing from Alpine, AZ. Pray for the riders as they travel up and down the mountains, through the passes and for their stamina after this wonderful day of rest.

Riding On,
Brenda and the ponies ( and my new co-pilot, Evelyn)

Ps. To Todd and Uncle Herman and Aunt Marian, we will do our best to contact you in the next few days when we see what our stops are gonna look like in AZ. Some changes will be made, but we really hope we can catch up with you all !

Posted by brendagerber07 13:14 Comments (10)

Windy Day Blows Us Into Socorro

A nice big room awaited us

79 °F
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Hello readers,
We are done for the day with our ride. We rode 6 hours in the saddle. 76.1 miles, averaging 12.7 mph.. The winds were predominantly from the south 15-20 mph, most of which were from the side. But the last 10 miles we had the blessed tailwinds. The ride included two CAT 4's and one CAT 3. So all in all, a great day on the ponies. The Rainbow Inn treated us well. I think I may have had a touch of some altitude sickness last night as I was quite nauseous throughout the night. I kept to clear liquids through the day and feel much better this afternoon after a good shower. I think the amazing thing about today's ride was how quickly the scenery changed. There were mountains, rock,sand and trees. You never knew what was coming around the next curve. Our team really enjoyed the downhills and I was really proud of how they mastered the uphills.


These were all scenes along the roadside as we travelled. We even crossed the Rio Grande river.


My favorite roadside picture happened in Carrizozo.


Tonight we have a special treat. We are going to The Owl restaurant for Green Chili cheeseburgers to meet up with Dan and Ev's cousins. They have been writing on our blog all along and have given us a lot of good advice for traveling through NM. I still am looking for the tarantulas and hear that this place we are going tonight is the best for Green Chili Cheeseburgers. We are all looking forward to meeting them.

So I'm trying to get the blog up early so we can enjoy the night. You never know what surprises we may encounter...
Keep praying tomorrow as we are suppose to encounter high winds and cold temps.
Good night,
Brenda for the pony riders

Just a quick note from the team to you. They would like you to remember the three causes they are riding for: Camp Patmos, a children's camp on Kelley's Island, OARBC scholarship fund for kids heading to college, and Wounded Warrior. These are all highlighted in an earlier blog, "Pony Tour de USA"

Posted by brendagerber07 14:19 Comments (5)

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