Today we spent 115 miles on dirt after leaving the Silver City , NM KOA.
We are ten vehicles from , Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Illinois and Québec. Jeeps, FJ Cruisers, a series 100 Land Cruiser and finally a slow and lumbering vintage FJ60 (mine).
During a stop, one of the Jeeps did not start and after much trouble shooting it was determined the main battery was bad and the aux battery was switched and the Jeep started. Brecken split off to get a new battery and will link up with us later.
We climbed up to 9020 ft through scrub forest then pine forest as we gained elevation. We made a quick stop at a Forest Service latrine and noticed signs warning that we were in bear, cougar and grey wolf country. Hopefully we get to see some.
At about 8000 ft, we entered an area recently devastated by forest fire. At 9000 ft we entered aspen forest and the temperature dropped from 100 to a nice chill.
Jake took us to a very nice camping site http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&cp=21&gs_id=4&xhr=t&q=33.462896/-108.633713&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=936&bih=424&wrapid=tljp133763595723100&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=erS6T-LWLaXUiALog9H2CQ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CBEQ_AUoAg
where we made camp on Bear Wallow road and shared some food and stories around a large campfire
Tomorrow we head back out to the dirt.
After a cold 32 degree night, we headed back out and spent another 32 miles on dirt finishing up at Mogollon Ghost town . This old mining town is not really a ghost town as there are some inhabitants along with a museum, café and curio shop. We aired up and having a CO2 tank made that effortless while listening to the hum of air compressors slowing inflating tires.
From Mogollon we headed to the Alma store on NM 180 to resupply and gas up. Believe it or not this store still was renting VHS tapes. The poor clerk was very busy with the eleven of us buying gas, ice and drinks. http://almastoreandgrill.com/default.html before we headed back to the forest.
After an hour on pavement we were back on dirt running the Mogollon Rim Road in Arizona. After a very dusty and rutted drive we arrived to the Deer Springs Fire Lookout elevation 7256.
We spent a nice night with nice 50 degree sleeping weather.
After a total of 50 miles of dusty and rutted roads we hit the pavement and headed to Mormon Lake and the Overland Expo. We made camp on a large field with hundreds of other Overlanders.
Kudos to Jake for leading us and planning the route. Our group was like herding cats and Jake did a great job of keeping us in line.
Thanks to George for prerunning some of the route and for being the tail gunner.