Posted by: Huw Thomas | October 21, 2010

Bullet holes & Cold Beer

When we cycled through Yellowstone (8,319 ft) I told Carolyn that was as high as we would have to go on this trip. Ooops!

Tonight we’re in Angel Fire, New Mexico, sitting at about 8,500 ft. Tomorrow we’ve got to go over a pass that’s about 9,200 ft high. Oh well, I didn’t mean to mislead her… I just hadn’t studied the map carefully enough.

We came into New Mexico yesterday (Thursday) over the Raton Pass – a mere 7,800 ft or so. We did the pass first thing in the morning and thought we’d done the hardest part of the day. But then we turned off onto Highway 64 and met our old enemy – the wind.

Not much to stop the wind out here...

It turned into a long day’s ride, which was why – with about 12 miles to go to our destination of Cimarron – we were really glad to spot a roadside bar in the small community of Cold Beer.

Yes, there is a place in New Mexico called Cold Beer. Admittedly, the bar is the only building in town and the mayor (bar owner Roger) was responsible for the name.

The town - and first citizens - of Cold Beer

Happy to escape the wind for a bit, we went in for a couple of drinks (actually a lemonade and an ice tea) and chatted to owners Roger and Lisa. Turned out to be a great move as – after hearing about what we’re doing – Lisa not only offered us a bed for the night but also then took us out to dinner at Cimarron’s historic St James Hotel.

We didn’t know but Cimarron was a major town on the old Santa Fe Trail and the St James Hotel was a regular hang-out for the likes of Billy the Kid, Jesse James etc. In fact, you can still see the bullet holes in the saloon ceiling!

We were really glad to have accepted Lisa’s kind invitation as it poured with rain last night – and otherwise we’d have been in our tent. Today we cycled to Angel Fire to give a talk to the local Rotary Club. It was a beautiful ride but getting up here has just about finished us off for the day!

There's snow on them thar hills

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