The case of the diarrhoea dog

Well rested after our day off and re-stocked with biking gear we were set, supposedly. A super cruise downhill west of El Paso saw us cover our first 20 miles with speed but as we turned north heading to Las Cruces I heard a pop and a lot of hissing. “Eek, that can’t just be a puncture” I thought and rightly so. Upon inspection I found I had burst a tyre, my spare of which was very conveniently sat in a box in England waiting to be bought out to San Diego by my parents. I had spare tubes coming out of my ears but no spare tyre… of course!

Managing to catch the boys before they disappeared around the next corner it was now my turn to carry the luggage. Whilst they continued onward with minimal weight the amazing John was kind enough to come and pick me (and all our gear) up! What a star! We drove up the road into Las Cruces to the local bike shop and within minutes, my tyre was replaced, front derailleur straightened, chain lubed, gears tuned and brakes adjusted. I was as good as new!

Continuing on for a few more miles to meet the boys at our camp for the night we pulled up just as they too were arriving. Rolling down the window I expected to see two grinning faces but instead was greeted by two tired and frustrated faces and one very poorly pup. It turned out, about 10 miles before our camp Cisco’s had had a bad case of the sh**s! With no warning Bryce hadn’t been able to get him out of his bed in time so he was now wrapped in a roadside plastic tarp, the bed way past salvation, looking very sorry for himself! To make matters worse the camp we thought we could stay at was closed.

On the plus side there was a great bar next door and having not been subjected to the diarrhoea dog all afternoon and thus still chirpy I pooped (oh sorry popped) into the “Blue Moon” to ask if we could camp outside. Luckily the friendly barmaid Katie allowed us to set up at the back of the farting lot (oh sorry parking lot) and so with a rocky afternoon behind us things were picking up. We now had a free camp with access to toilets, water and most importantly beer! We did however still have a poo covered pup so waving goodbye to John we set about giving Cisco a bath.

Bathed and dried Cisco, and Bryce for that matter, were much happier and we had dinner in the car park. We were set up for the night and it had been an eventful day… but it was not quite over yet…

On the way back from a water run Zach got chatting to one of the guys sat at the bar – Scott. It turned out that he was renovating an old hot spring hotel a few kilometres away and, although the hotel rooms were as of yet unfinished, the hot springs were fully functional should we wish to come over and use them. Having not met Scott at this point and with the whole deal sounding a little too good to be true I was slightly unconvinced, thinking that perhaps we would find ourselves in a sticky situation! With Scott having already left after giving Zach directions to the hotel I went back to the bar for a chat with Katie the Blue Moon barmaid hoping to get a character report. A positive conversation put my mind at ease and we headed off to find the hotel.

The shortcut to the hotel was slightly Shining-esque as we pushed our bikes down a dirt road, climbed over a fence, skirted a “No Trespassing” sign and ducked through some bushes – all in the pitch black! Upon arriving at the hotel however we were pleased indeed to have made the trip! Scott kindly offered us a spare room and without further delay we filled the tub with incredibly hot natural spring water! Now when I say hot I really do mean hot. My time in Japan had given me some good training for hot water and I made it in, albeit slowly, with Bryce building up to it shortly after . Zach on the other hand looked as though he was going to pass out with just one foot in the water and nothing but grim determination and, I suspect, brotherly rivalry got him in to waist level. He didn’t make it look particularly relaxing though I must say!!!

We ended up staying for 2x nights as we liked it so much and Scott was nothing but hospitable. The hotel, in it’s hay day, had been quite a hot spot apparently and it was really cool wandering about the old place. Sections of the renovation were already under way but other parts were still untouched giving us a glimpse into another era. It seemed only right for the photos to be in black and white:

Mac Observatory to Safford-31

The Overlook Hotel…

Mac Observatory to Safford-29

The old diving board… I don’t think it would have been very functional set up like this.

Mac Observatory to Safford-30

All work and no play makes Jack… want to go swimming!

Mac Observatory to Safford-32

The biggest outdoor hot spring – we only filled the smaller one. Note the gazebo at the top!

Mac Observatory to Safford-33

Our private hot tub!

Mac Observatory to Safford-34

The boys trying their best to get in!

Mac Observatory to Safford-27

Zach and Cisco enjoy the gazebo. The boys put their hammocks up in here on our 2nd night. I climbed to the top of the hill and set my tent up there… a room with a view!

You may be wondering how Cisco is by this point…? The poor poopy purple pup! Thinking it had just been a one off  Bryce had slept with him, as per usual, in his sleeping bag. All started off well until around 3am when diarrhoea dog act II began and Bryce woke to find he had been unwittingly cast as the co-star! Thank goodness we were at a hotel with running hot water… better than a parking lot outside a closed bar!!


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