Author: Jamie Butler

Southern New Mexico

Bikepacking New Mexico

Winter is closing in. I can feel it. The air is super crisp and bites hard at the ears and nose. We’ve been cycling every day with long rides on weekends. We’ve been wanting to go bikepacking just one time before winter descends and we lose all opportunity until next spring. So we decided on a spontaneous week long trip to New Mexico bikepack a loop in the desert over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Medicine Bow Rail Trail

The World at 10 MPH

My new bike is rad, but I still prefer my vintage 1991 Trek 970 ^. There’s just something great about it.

We knew when we moved here that we wanted to get some junker bikes to ride around on. Just something simple, nothing pretentious. It was surprisingly difficult finding something decent that wasn’t hundreds of dollars or completely rusted out. The local police auction was promising, but the bikes went fast and split decisions were made… That didn’t work out. Against every fiber of my being, I gave up my soul to the devil and registered a Facebook account to be able to access the marketplace. This led us to a late night drive into Fort Collins at the urging of a seller, and we bought a couple of bikes at deep discount out in front of a storage unit at midnight. It felt a little like a clandestine drug deal (but I did confirm the bikes were not reported as stolen). Now we have way nicer bikes than we ever planned for.

The Fish Crew, Fort Collins, CO

Eating and Pooping

I purchased some aquatic plants from an awesome fish store in Fort Collins and discovered some invertebrate hitchhikers among the roots. They have settled in comfortably at home and all acquired names pretty quickly… It is now my mission to keep them alive, well-fed, happy, and under constant god-like surveillance. I can’t count the hours I’ve spent staring into their habitat on my desk, watching all their antics (mostly eating and pooping) instead of getting my work done.

Wyoming

Gastropods, Ghost Towns, Pyramid Builders, and a Moose

What do a geologist and his rock-obsessed girlfriend (me!) do in a brand-new state with six extra days? They go on a geologic tour of the state, of course!

We are just home from a car camping loop from Laramie to the Wind River Range and everything in between. The car was a bit heavier on the return because of, well, ROCKS. This obsession is a little out of control…

Almost immediately up the highway, we whizzed right by a roadside building that I recognized from my online research. We screeched to a stop and turned back to take a closer look. This historical stone hut made up of thousands of dinosaur fossils sits below a bluff where craptons of dino fossils have been excavated. Apparently, these discoveries contributed a great deal to the collective knowledge of the creatures of the Jurassic. The “Dinosaurium” looked abandoned and in serious need of repair. I’m guessing that any new fossils discovered are used for science and not to patch up this early 20th-century hut…