Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Corey McGrath...Bicycle Tourer

It wasn't the normal set of circumstances that connected Corey with Eileen and me.  Usually, my cellphone rings or I get an email from a bicycle tourist who's looking for a place to stay for a night, sometimes a couple of nights.  We had heard about Corey from Jourdi Bosley, a young woman who'd stayed with us that had met Corey outside of Las Cruces on the St. Augustine Pass.  They then rode together to Las Cruces, NM, and on to Hillsboro, NM, followed by Kingston, NM, over Emory Pass and split up in the Mimbres Valley.  Corey was headed to the Gila Cliff Dwellings; Jourdi was headed to Silver City, NM.

While Corey had good intentions to get to the Cliff Dwellings to do some hiking before he came to Silver City, he encountered what many travelers have encountered...stores that were closed or didn't have the right kind of food to stock up on to head into the wilderness let alone continue on riding.  Change of plans brought Corey into Silver City on the same day that Jourdi had left Silver City...last Friday.  Corey called me, left a message, and I managed to contact him after a few tries.  His smartphone has some genetic issues.  Corey was at the library at Western New Mexico University, which is just two blocks from our house.  I was headed home from the grocery store with some beer and a few extra goodies.  Corey finished up what he was doing at WNMU and headed to the house.  He got to our house in time to help me take the clothes off the clothesline.  Just kidding.  We yakked; I took the clothes off the line.  Corey was traveling light.  He had bike bags like the riders who do the Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.  The bike was definitely more aerodynamic.  Handlebar bag.  Frame bag.  Seat bag.  That was it.  I'm a bit more in need of luxuries, so I travel with more stuff.  At 10 mph, why not bring things that make life more enjoyable?

On Saturday, Corey would be hitchhiking up to the Cliff Dwellings, so he needed some food.  We headed back to Albertson's where he selected some goodies that would get him through several days in  the wilderness.  Ah, those packaged food items!  On the way back to our house, we stopped at the Silver City Food Co-op and Corey picked up some bulk items to take with him, as well.  Back home, Corey brought some of his gear in, put his bike in the shed, and took a shower to get cleaned up.  I tempted him with a beer.  He gladly accepted.  There was a decent selection in the fridge.  After I got Corey his first beer, I told him that he now knew where the beer was, where the opener was, and that he could take what he wanted whenever he wanted another beer.  In the home I grew up in, my Mom would tell our friends/guests...this is what I have, where it is, and I'll get you the first one...after that, you can get what you want yourself, when you want it.  Eileen and I truly enjoyed having Corey stay with us.  Both he and Jourdi were refreshing guests.  Both in their early 20's, they have a vitality that I love to see.  Looking at life with just a bit of a twist, they're not setting out to conquer the corporate world, but have set out to see the world first.  Corey is now amongst those who have seen the Gila Wilderness and it has awed them, as it should  He nailed it in his blog, Travels With Cory By Bike, when he said that, to truly appreciate the Gila, one would need to really reconnect with the land and stay there for a while, quite a while actually.  So, Corey headed out last Saturday morning after we went to the Farmer's Market.

On Wed, Corey got back to Silver City and spent another night with us.  He had to suffer through food, beer, and some poorly botched oatmeal raisin cookies that I tried to make.  Corey was kind.  He said they were "good".  I told them that, if I'd bought one at a bakery that tasted like this, I wouldn't be buying another one...and maybe even would ask for my money back.  One of these days I'll make a good batch of oatmeal raisin cookies.  This wasn't a good batch.  Dinner was good.  The beer was fine.  And Corey's company was excellent.  He lives in Victor, ID, and is a ski instructor at the Grand Targhee ski area and is a NOLS instructor, as well.  At 24  yrs of age, Corey is doing some fun things and still has some goals he's been considering for a while now.  I really believe that this generation of young people is one of the best to come along in my lifetime.  Bright, inquisitive, and thinking differently than we did.  My generation brought you the 1980's, greed, Ronald Reagan, and that's led to Mitt Romney.  The first man to run for the Presidency of the U.S. who only agenda is to be President.  He has only other thoughts are on keeping the rich rich and the poor poor.

Thursday morning, Corey switched gears from backpacking to bicycling.  Loading up his Salsa bicycle, he was ready to go.  First things first, however...he needed a book or two to read while on the road.  Off to the town library, Town of Silver City Public Library, where Eileen provided him with a couple of books to keep him company whilst traveling.  We headed back to the house, where I changed clothes, put some proper cycling clothes on, and off we went up Snake Hill to Rt. 180.  I told Corey that when we were riding up Snake Hill not to ask questions that required more than monosyllabic answers.  LOL...

Corey was headed to Black Jack Campground for the night, then to Safford, AZ, for the hot springs/camping and perhaps a Warmshowers host.  I rode with Corey for about 12 miles or so.  At that point, I was going to head back so we parted ways.  He had a descent; I had a climb back to Silver City.  While we said our goodbyes, I do hope for our paths to cross again, down the road.

Here's a photo and some videos...three of the videos did the "Fast Donald Duck Voice" again...WTF?
Corey at the Continental Divide sign on Rt. 180

The video above is the only one with a "normal" voice...WTF?

When I think of Corey, where he lives, his desire to be in the outdoors, in the West...this song, "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie seems appropriate.  Stay true, Corey...and keep riding.  Slainte!