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Old 10-28-2014, 11:24 PM   #1
SpiritAtBay
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Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

Late in the week, my boss asked me if I’d like the following week off. Immediately I began thinking of a road trip on the bike. Scott (M38A1) is game, so without much planning, we settled on New Mexico and started packing.


Day 1: 13oct mon
We get a late start out of Kerrville as I wanted to start the trip with a fresh rear tire and Monday morning was the earliest it could be done. That and more last minute packing, arranging and rearranging and finally, at 2:00 in the afternoon we were off like the proverbial herd of turtles.



15 minutes out of Ozona, and it suddenly looked like we had been dropped into a western movie. Mesas and plateaus filled the horizon.

An hour more and we pass wind farms. Those gigantic spinning arms fascinate me. (Maybe it is as simple as a baby who is spell bound by a ceiling fan.) I spy a ranch gate with a sign on it, three prickly pear leaves in the shape of a windmill. Very apropos.

The mesas and plateaus become molded, soft, round shapes that look as comfortable as an old pair of Levi’s, except for the sparse covering of uncomfortable spiny, prickly vegetation.

Scott and I have no reservations and no set itinerary; we are free to roam as the wind blows us. The forecast is promising. From Alamogordo to Cloudcroft for the next 4 days calls for abundant sunshine, highs in the mid to upper 70’s, lows in the high 40’s.

Hard data for the geeks: Day 1, KV to Pecos, TX 319mi. Accommodations: Motel 6.

Day 2: 14oct tue


Frustration! It’s 39 degrees out! I should have brought warmer gear. Never mind that it will warm to 80 in just a few hours, I am cold now and I hate being cold. First stop: Wally World, long johns for me. Scott waits with the bikes while I scavenge breakfast from the store as well. The best I can do is fried cherry pies, which we eat in front of the Wal-mart. Humm, can’t say much for the ambiance…

It is noon and again, we are off like a herd of turtles. Pressing for Carlsbad, then Artesia…except I take the wrong highway and head us back toward Texas. Grrrr…. Scott corrects our course and we turtle on.

We camp this night for free in a tiny state park near Pinon NM. It is a beautiful, clear, cold night. Scott soon has a fire going and is busy with night time photography.









I determine that we will get a decent start in the am. And I don’t care how cold it is. With my new fleece long johns, I can handle it.

Not that we’ve followed any plan yet devised, but here is what I plan for tomorrow:
Breakfast in Cloudcroft, (which is only 15 miles away)
Ride Hwy 244 thru the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation to Ruidoso , possibly visit Nogal, then 380 to Carrizozo, north on 54, then 349 thru the Jicarilla Mtns.

Right. We turn in early. And the cold settles in. The temp begins a steady drop. Even in a 25 degree bag plus fleece liner, wearing the new long johns, sweats, winter cap, thick socks and gloves, I am too cold to sleep. It is a very long night…

Hard data: Day 2, Pecos, TX to Pinon, NM (near Cloudcroft): 283 mi. accomos: Kit Carson SP


To Be Continued...


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Dos Semanas En Mexico - Oct2017

Mexico Paved - Oct2015

A Week in New Mexico - Oct2014

Last edited by M38A1; 10-29-2014 at 10:23 AM. Reason: add pic links
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:46 AM   #2
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

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Old 10-29-2014, 05:03 AM   #3
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

+1
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:49 AM   #4
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

in
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:24 AM   #5
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

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Originally Posted by SpiritAtBay View Post
Right. We turn in early. And the cold settles in. The temp begins a steady drop. Even in a 25 degree bag plus fleece liner, wearing the new long johns, sweats, winter cap, thick socks and gloves, I am too cold to sleep. It is a very long night…
I determined a long time ago that the temp rating on a sleeping bag is temp at which you can survive not be comfortable.

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Old 10-29-2014, 07:44 AM   #6
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

You clearly didn't consume enough anti-freeze...

I woke up to frozen boots in August outside Cloudcroft many years ago.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:52 PM   #7
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

Day 3: 15oct wed
We wake to a frosty morning. I am not pleased.




We wake to a Beemmer that doesn’t want to start. (Well, that is not news with this bike. But he seems especially determined to not be disturbed today.)


The plan for the day is trashed as we realize that Scott’s bike will require professional intervention. After a couple of hours’ basking in the morning sun, the Beemer begrudgingly starts and we head to Alamogordo, hoping to find a mc shop that can replace the battery on Scott’s scoot.

I warm up in the bright sunshine with a sky of cloudless blue


First we eat. We need food in our belly's


Then we make our way to Alamogordo over the mountain at Cloudcroft and descend the other side.


The views are beautiful


After phoning a BMW dealership in ABQ, we dead head there, arriving around 4:30 and the Beemer finally gets the attention it felt it deserved. Sandia BMW ROCKS! We leave their place at 6:00pm when they normally closed at 5:30.


We find a nice room at a Studio 6 nearby, have Jason’s Deli deliver dinner and watch tv in bed. (I used much more than my fair share of hot water taking a long, hot bath, followed by a long hot shower. Yes, really.) We plan the next day with cake and DosXX


New plan: we will go thru the village of San Ysidro, ride thru national forests, hope to spy elk, stop at the Puye Cliff Dwellings, scoot thru Cundiyo, Cordova, Truchas, Las Trampas, ending the day in Taos.

Hard data: Day 3, Pinon/Cloudcroft, Alamogordo, Albuquerque: 269 mi. accomos: Studio6, ABQ

Day 4: 16oct thu
We follow the plan (!) and enjoy it very much. The weather is fine (as in couldn’t be better.) There are shimmering gold birch trees and towering cottonwoods. There is ever-changing and fascinating geology to gape at. There is the local architecture to appreciate. There are ropes of peppers hanging by front doors, drying in the sun… What’s to complain about?



The spectacular changing colors


What fantastic mountains


The Cliff Dwellings


Well, I will say that it seems anytime the road gets just a little bit interesting, the state of New Mexico slaps a 45 mph speed limit on it, puts up signs declaring it a “Safety Corridor” and doubles any speeding fines you might be so unlucky as to get.

Since my partner is a law-abiding citizen, this was a tad (seriously, just a tad, no more) frustrating for me. It would have, could have been more frustrating if the weather were not so perfect and the scenery so astounding. I was happy to trundle along and enjoy the sights. Seriously, I was.

We found a convenient RV park in Taos that allowed tent camping. We stayed there two nights and I heartily recommend that strategy; “base camping” for a couple of nights so that you can really explore an area. Plus saves setting up and breaking down camp each day, plus means you can scoot along relatively unencumbered. (No doubt most of you reading this already know this better than I.)

Home for the next two days


Avoiding the loose, treacherous gravel (ask me how I know) of the RV park, we walked to dinner, eating at Casa de Valdez, aka Tequila’s, aka Pete’s place. Had a terrific meal. I had chile rellenos (best I’ve had in a long time.) Scott’s chicken enchiladas were excellent as well. The sopapillas were so good I didn’t even put honey on mine.

Though the park was very much in town, the coyotes ruled the night, keeping us awake with their yipping and yowling. The song dogs and a sudden increase in traffic noise around 2am kept us from a sound sleep. However, we were warm and comfortable in the tent.

Hard data: Day 4, ABQ to Taos, 198 mi. accomos: Taos Valley RV Park & CG


To Be Continued...

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Dos Semanas En Mexico - Oct2017

Mexico Paved - Oct2015

A Week in New Mexico - Oct2014

Last edited by M38A1; 10-30-2014 at 08:35 PM. Reason: drop pic links in
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:03 PM   #8
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

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The temp begins a steady drop. Even in a 25 degree bag plus fleece liner, wearing the new long johns, sweats, winter cap, thick socks and gloves, I am too cold to sleep. It is a very long night…
I truly believe if a sleeping bag is labeled +25, -15, or -30 degrees, all that means is you will not die at that temperature. Not that you will be comfortable. Many of the sleeping bags I have purchased are now gone, but I still have 6..., or 7.

Have a very expensive mummy bag that is something like -35 degrees? Froze on the last hunting trip in Colorado. Even tried adding a small liner, long johns, flannel shirt, and wool socks to no benefit.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:35 PM   #9
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

BWDMAX and h2000fb, Ya'll are right of course.

when i bought this sleeping bag, i thought it would be more than adequate because i had never in my life camped out when it wasn't, at the least, in the 60's at night... Adventures with TWT folks have changed that!

RoadThing, I like your strategy; less worry about degrees and just get some 'proof'!

Frozen boots in AUGUST! Arghh!

PS: Scott (M38A1) is inserting the pix and some comments. the pix really make the story. Do check out the short video he made of the week. (See New Mexico-No Plans)

PPS: Thanks everyone for your interest!

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Last edited by M38A1; 10-29-2014 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

Ah, I see you found the James Canyon Campground. And my campsite. I do love New Mexico. Well, except for the "safety corridors" which seem to be more about revenue generating than safety.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:48 PM   #11
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

wait...did I read that right??..."law abiding"??...Scott???...surely the rules can be just a little bendy...
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:06 PM   #12
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

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Ah, I see you found the James Canyon Campground. And my campsite. I do love New Mexico. Well, except for the "safety corridors" which seem to be more about revenue generating than safety.
Yes, we did! Thanks for all your suggestions.

Agreed on the safety corridor issue. I'm pretty sure I saw at least one 50mph rated (and signed) curve in a 45 mph zone. Kinda silly.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:18 AM   #13
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:39 AM   #14
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

Great pics, Gina!

Now that I think about it, I recall putting on every article of clothing I had before riding out of Cloudcroft that frosty August morning. Then taking most of it off a very short while later when we descended to White Sands. The fact that summer temperatures could vary so dramatically was news to a couple of boys from the deep south of Louisiana!
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:02 PM   #15
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

The pix are 98% Scott's doing. Yeah, he does a great job w/'em
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:51 PM   #16
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

Gina, what a magnificent adventure! I am so happy you took the chance to get outta town!



And envious but we'll ignore that part...
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:29 PM   #17
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

Most excellent!
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:34 PM   #18
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

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Old 10-30-2014, 08:56 PM   #19
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

What is it with Beemers, Rocky Mountains, and batteries? My GS didn't want to leave Clear Creek Campground so I had to install a new battery in Gunnison Colorado. Could it be the bike's way of asking to stay on the curvy mountain roads?

Enjoying the trip report!
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:03 PM   #20
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Re: Turtling thru New Mexico w/no plan

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Gina, what a magnificent adventure! I am so happy you took the chance to get outta town!



And envious but we'll ignore that part...
Kat, you are right, just getting out of town felt joyful. The late start did not matter, as soon as we were out on the highway, it felt great!

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