Day 31: Hopewell Lake Campground to Abiquiu (55.5 miles, 2,566ft)
Worried that we might encounter awful muddy surfaces again due to the night’s rain, we got up extra early, rudimentarily serviced our bikes, and got on the road by 7:30am. We climbed a few hundred feet to start the day, but from there we traveled mostly downhill for the first 20 miles to a paved road at Cañon Plaza—a small collection of houses in various states of repair. Another five miles of paved descent brought us to Vallecito—another tiny town—and from there we began a relatively mild 800ft climb on dirt forest roads to our only pass of the day.
Thankful for the mild terrain (and the excellent, improved gravel road surface) we made it to the top in no time. We had a small lunch and enjoyed the ensuing descent down to El Rito, where we joined another paved road. From El Rito, we followed the paved road the next 16 miles to Abiquiu, our day’s end point.
We had planned for our friend Mark—a Santa Fe resident—to come help us shuttle our bikes and ourselves to his family’s place in Santa Fe, where we’d have a rest day. As we were waiting at a gas station, however, we met a young couple and their daughter, fresh off a backpacking trip in Colorado, who offered to help us drive our things to Santa Fe. Thankful for this generous offer—apparently you don’t look dangerous when traveling with 2.5 year and 7-month olds—we packed up some bags and took off for Santa Fe.
This was a bittersweet drive for me (Matt)—I’d be ending my trip in Santa Fe and traveling for Chicago, while David would be continuing for the final 550 miles with Anna, Silas, and Eleanor. Happy for the rest, but sad to see the trip end, I had a fun day with everyone in Santa Fe (boxing up and shipping my bike in the process), before catching a Chicago-bound train (via Lamy, New Mexico) the following day.