Day 8 started with bone chilling temperatures, but also the knowledge that a long climb waited to warm us up. Started day with a slog up through a pine shaded valley passed Pine Shadows Spring, which was a really nice spring in the middle of the deep pine forest. We took the opportunity to soak our bandannas and freshen up. After the spring the climb pitched up over the Abo Pass where there were mule deer in plentiful numbers. We got an excellent downhill off the backside of the pass down to a main road. On the paved portion of the day we stopped for some drinks at Tajique Market and met a number of locals drunk driving to pick up more beer. Everyone was incredibly nice, which is surreal given the number of open carry firearms omnipresent during social interactions. After an afternoon riding the paved rollers of Highway 337, we arrived late afternoon at the 10 Points General Store where we met our new best friend Ernie, the owner. Ernie was welcoming and happy to be helpful with suggestions on navigation (we ignored his suggestion that we skip "Mortuary, NM" (that would be Moriarty, NM) though we we agreed that being up in the hills where it was green(er, relatively) was really nice and his love for his area was easy to understand.) In addition to the support and resupply, Ernie ended up offering us up his (40 acre) back yard for us to camp in, which we ended up doing. Seen in 10 points store: bumper sticker that read "I'll be knee deep in brass before you take my ass."
It's safe to say we'll never forget Ernie. If you are ever in the area, pay 10 Points a visit and tell him hi for us.
Day 8 highpoint: 10 Points
Day 8 low point: the lack of shoulder on 337.