The motel provided breakfast, including make-your-own waffles. Breakfast didn’t start until 7:30 am. I shared the table with some UC Berkeley students who were doing a whirlwind tour together in a car.
Perhaps a mile before the summit, Fabian (from Duncan, a couple days ago) pulled up to me. Their group had taken the Gila Alternate, so was just catching up to me, even though I was going slower. I noticed that Fabian was using his granny, so I shifted down, too. A few minutes later, Adam passed me.
The descent was hard, on account of the steep grade and sharp turns. My hands got tired from grabbing the brakes so much, and I had to pull over to rest. The grade was better after 4 miles. I went by Kingston, turned my head to look at it, then continued right on to Hillsboro, which was 8.5 more miles, but all downhill.
As night fell, I heard the other guys talking about how it was only a total of 400 feet climbing the next day, and that they could make the 112 miles to El Paso, arriving early. Not me. Radium Springs was my stretch goal at 66 miles, with a fallback of staying at Hatch.