Day 12: 50 miles: Arizona/New Mexico:
Stu’s birthday. Started at 5:20 am, the earliest start so far. There was an early chill and cloud cover, but that burned off over the day. Stu went to Dr. Boren of Boren Chiropractic for an adjustment in Safford, AZ. The course was straight, meandering through some low hills. By the afternoon the course was a windy, hilly, two-lane road with 1 foot shoulders. There were long uphill switchbacks, the hardest, but Stu ran his. We ended just past the NM state line at Mule Creek. We camped in Apache National Forest, AZ.
Route: 70 East to 191East to 78 East
Day 13: 50 miles: New Mexico:
We started just east of the NM state line. It was the coldest morning so far. Stu bundled up in every piece of clothing he owned. The road was a ribbon in the wind: up and down up and down. There was no traffic. Going north on 180, the Woolleys and Bill Sweet joined us to camp. We climbed up to Saliz Pass at 6436 ft. It got dark early and we finished early at Cottonwood Camp at Apache National Reservation.
Route: 78 East to Highway 180 North
Day 14:50 miles: New Mexico:
We left in the morning from Cottonwood Camp. It was a lot of uphill terrain. We passed the continental divide at 7312 ft. After that it was a perfect day. It was a long straight downhill with cloud cover, tailwind, and a 4 ft shoulder. We slept on a pull off just before Horse Springs, NM.
Route: Highway 180 North to 12 East
Day 15: 54.5 miles: New Mexico:
Leaving Horse Springs in the morning we saw elk. There was a chill in the air and some good clouds and that made for good running conditions. There were rolling hills. Later in the day the winds got up to 25-35 mph. Stu was wishing for a hill to shield him. We stopped just west of Magdalena at 6548 ft.
Route: 12 East to Highway 60 East
Day 16: 52.5 miles: New Mexico:
Left toward Magdalena. There was a cloud cover and chill just like the day before. Stu saw his first snake and got his first headwind. Stu said he felt like he was running with weights on. We dropped into a Valley in the afternoon. Going through Socorro, Stu had interviews and Ivan Gati and Herb Ross met us on I25. Route: Highway 60 East to I-25 North
Day 17: 51 miles: New Mexico:
Stu tried some new shoes for 8/10ths of a mile and went back to his old ones. We got off I5 at 10 miles to go back to route 60. We crossed the Rio Grande. Stu was attacked by puppies. We were in flat desert at high elevation. In the afternoon there were hills and 35mph winds. We finished just past Mountainair, NM at 6495 ft.
Route: I-25 to Highway 60 East
Day 18: 52 miles: New Mexico:
In the morning it was 48 degrees. There was a lot of straight downhill. The elevation was 6400 ft. We were on open plains with stunted shrubs. At the end of the day there were very gusty headwinds. We finished near Vaughn, NM, elevation 6280.
Route: Highway 60 East
Day 19: 53.2 miles: New Mexico:
We started before 6:00am in Vaughn. It was the coldest start so far. The forecast called for highs of 78 degrees and a chance of rain. The terrain consisted of rolling hills. We had storm clouds all around us and had a few sprinkles. We finished near Santa Rosa at the beginning of I-40.
Route: Highway 60 East to Highway 54 East to I-40 East
Day 20: 57.8 miles: New Mexico:
We were on I-40 all day. Stu ran his hardest to get off the expressway because of the horrible traffic. It wasn’t as cold because we were 1400 ft lower than before. The course was rolling expressway and lots of pebbles in Stu’s shoes. At 50 miles we exited to Tucumcari on a quiet back road. We finished near Tucumcari, NM.
Route: I-40 East
Day 21: 50 miles: New Mexico/Texas:
We started near Tucumcari on a totally cloudless morning. The terrain was gently rolling downhill. We entered the Central Time Zone. The Texas border was at 48 miles. We camped by the Texas border.
Route: I-40 East to Highway 54 East