Well, it has been a few days since my last entry. Lack of internet access and fatigue are my major excuses. We left Silver City with a temperature of 40, a threat of rain, and the prospect of climbing to 8228 feet. On this ride, your mind and body speak volumes. At the first SAG, a blowing rain and cold wind convinced me that this was the day to catch a ride. So I rode in the SAG to Emery Pass at 8228. What an awesome site!
That night we stayed in Kiingston, NM, a former thriving silver mining town and the largest city in New Mexico in the 1890s. At one time it supported 23 saloons, 14 grocery and general stores, a brewery, three newspapers, and an Opera House. The establishment of the new gold standard and resulting silver panic of 1893 dropped silver prices 90%. The town dried up almost overnight. Most of the buildings were either torn down as residents carried the materials with them to other locations or have fallen into disrepair with time. The Black Canyon Lodge, our residence for the night, was once a garrison for the cavalry and is constructed from the ruins of a casino and saloon.
It is one of the most charming places I have ever stayed. There were bedrooms in every nook and cranny, my assignment being in the bunk room, where I almost had to sleep on the top bunk. We enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner, cooked by the owners. The "parlor" was heated by a wood stove. But, we were warm and comfortable.