Like I said in my previous post, we had plans to wake up early and go hiking! That is exactly what we did. Here are a TON of pictures:

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Whew! We woke up and were out of our host by 7am. We went in search of coffee, tea, and breakfast and ended up at Santa Fe Baking Company:

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They had awesome food and awesome morning beverages. I had “Morning Thunder” black tea with a breakfast burrito and it was amazing! After everyone was satisfied, we headed towards St. John’s College where the trail head to Atalaya Mountain is located. We hiked up to around 9000 feet above sea level and took a ton of pictures at the top. We got lost a little on the way up and it was a great workout! We also got a little more lost on the way down. But we made it! Here are some cool pictures of me at the top:

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We also got some pretty cool group shots at the top:

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And finally, we had to do 25 pushups at the top as well:

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Something else that’s cool is that I learned about a plant called Lamb’s Ear. It’s really really soft even though it doesn’t really look like it. This is a picture:

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After our hike, we went back to the host and split up. My group went to the bike shop where we retrieved Eric’s bike because he had snapped his shift cable, Kenny got new shoes because his broke, and I got new handlebar plugs. We talked to one of the owners and he helped us figure out the route we should take to Taos! There are two ways you can go. The “low pass” way through a valley which is flatter and shorter, but more dangerous, or the “high pass” way which is longer, a LOT hillier, more scenic and much safer. The high pass route was highly recommended by everyone we talked to and since it was said to be safer, we decided on that one.

We left the bike shop in search of food and ended up at a hole in the wall called Horseman’s Haven. It was around 3:30pm and no one was there. The place was highly reviewed on yelp and was recommended by a local. We all ate amazing food! A few of us had burgers, and some had enchiladas with green pepper chili that burned their mouths like crazy. After stuffing ourselves, we headed downtown to hang out one last time. I bought some stickers for my bike and even a tshirt! All I brought with me are tanks, pinnies, and one white tech tshirt that is now really dirty. So it’s nice to have a darker cotton one now as well.

We headed back to the host to get everything organized for our ride into Taos. I had some bike maintenance to do. I am going to share some information with you all and I hope that the gods of flat tires don’t become upset and seek vengeance. I finally had to change the stock tube in my rear wheel. Until now, I’ve been riding on the original rear tube that came with the bike back in March. I think that I got some sand stuck in the valve in Pensacola, FL and ever since, the valve hasn’t been working properly. It finally got to the point where it was slowly leaking too much air. It was time for it to go despite the fact that the tube itself was in perfect condition after having ridden 2500+ miles. Now my rear wheel joins my front wheel in having its second tube ever. Fun fact: the tube in my front tire is the same one that I rode 10 miles on with a clif bar wrapper in my shredded tire on Day 1 of the 4k. That tube has held up beautifully since then and is still going strong! Now I can only hope that my good fortune continues.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that we got two floor pumps donated by a local bike shop! This is a really good thing because we already lost two of ours, and I blew up the remaining pump on our ride into Las Vegas, NM. I was just pumping up my slow leak rear tube and POP! I thought I blew the tube, but actually I blew a hole in the hose of the pump. Whoops. I don’t know how it happened or why, but it rendered the pump useless. Sorry team! Good thing we have new ones now!

It was getting late so I started blogging and helped Aaron with the route into Taos. Then I fell asleep knowing all too well the hills that awaited us in the morning.

That’s about it for our rest day! Please comment and share your thoughts! I love hearing from you all! My next post about our ride into Taos will be coming shortly!

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