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Perpetually Intermediate
312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally took my first ever bikepacking trip this weekend with four other fellow MTBers new to the bikepacking scene, an overnighter to kick things off and test the waters. We started in northern New Mexico, near Taos, and rode fading Jeep roads north through the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument and into Colorado, across the river on an old railroad bridge, then camped along the riverbank near the very start of the Rio Grande Gorge. 70 or so miles all total, kind of rolling to flattish, with occasional ravines, but it felt like 1000 on day two as we rode back into a strong headwind of 35-45 mph, with some gusts strong enough to almost blow us into a barbed wire fence. Our gear ranged from custom made or brand name stuff to knockoffs (Moosetreks and Rock Brothers) to makeshift dry bags and straps, and the bikes ranged from 29 plus/no suspension to 29ers with front shocks to 27.5 full suspension.
Some moments: Jupiter (?) rose around 10 or 11 and cast an amazing shine on the river, and there were more stars than I've been able to see in a long time. Also: rattlesnakes, a water filter near disaster, bighorn and antelope, redwinged blackbirds and bats, some roasted asparagus, lots of energy bars, horned toads, freeze dried goodness, a little bit of "route finding", strange things diving into the river late at night, muskrats or maybe even otters, a chupacabra croaking in the reeds, some ******* shotgun blasts to keep things real, GIGANTIC VIEWS IN ALL DIRECTIONS, the not so distant San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains shimmering with snow, and epic camaraderie amidst grand scenery.
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Crossing a low divide into Colorado
Plant community Grassland Soil Ecoregion Fell

Ute Mountain, a 10,000 foot shield volcano was the midpoint. We passed between this and the gorge.
Sky Cloud Landscape Plain Ecoregion

Big views of the rift valley, distant volcanos, and the San Juan Mountains
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Snack and view break
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The Rio Grande Gorge. It gets much deeper further south, and we rode north to where it first starts.
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A cool tributary canyon (dry) that provided a rare "tucked in" feeling amidst all the sky and sun.
Goats Rock Goat-antelope Goat Horn

Fellow checking us out.
Plant community Soil Trail Grassland Dirt road

One of the smoother sections. Most of the route was on old Jeep roads ranging from this to loose babyheads to barely discernible grassy tracks.
Vegetation Plant community Hill Ecoregion Plain

Ute Mountain with Colorado's 14K Blanca Peak in the background.
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We rode into Colorado and across the Rio Grande on an old railroad trestle.
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The very start of the 100 mile Rio Grande Gorge with Blanca Peak.
Body of water Nature Mountainous landforms Natural landscape Water resources

Almost to the campsite.
Body of water Coastal and oceanic landforms Water resources Water Shore

Riverside camping...otters, bats, coyotes, ducks, geese.
Body of water Sky Coastal and oceanic landforms Water resources Waterway

Dusk. It would be a night of endless stars, at least until the moon rose around 3 am.
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Packing up.
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And here is where the wind really started to blow...
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My rig
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Group pic on the bridge

1,889 Posts
I applaud your fantastic adventure! Who in your group came up with the idea and then planned out the route? Ingenious because you're in dry country but with periodic access to the river for water.
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