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Ride Report: Houston to Albuqurque and Beyond

Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
1,496
Location
Tomball, TX
I get a week more vacation than my wife and I always need to find something to do with it. This year I planned to head west on a solo motorcycle trip to visit my dad in Albuquerque, NM.

I did a relatively low number of miles each day so that each morning I can hit some local roads ands explore a bit. I also have not done such a long road trip before so I was not sure how much saddle time I could tolerate. My explorations are not included in the miles indicated below.

9/3 - Austin, Fredericksburg and Junction – ~280 Miles
9/4 - All the way to Fort Stockton – ~199 Miles
9/5 – On to play in Carlsbad & Dark Places – ~139 Miles
9/5 - Cloudcroft, Ruidoso, Roswell and aliens - ~245 Miles
9/6 - On to Sandia Crest and Albuquerque – ~236 Miles
9/7 - Rest in ABQ ( well maybe a little golf) – Zero Miles
9/8 – Do Jemez Mountains, Bandelier, Los Alamos & Santa Fe – ~220 Miles
9/9 – Iron butt from Albuquerque to Brownwood - ~560 Miles
9/10 - Brownwood to Houston - 260 Miles

Trip on a 2009 Yamaha FZ1 with the following Touring Setup:
  • Bags Connection Saddle Bags (Twisted Throttle.com)
  • Tourmaster Duffle
  • Nelson Rigg Solar Tank Bag
  • Cramp Buster (Could not have done this without!)
  • Zero Gravity Touring Windscreen
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
1,496
Location
Tomball, TX
Day 1 - Sept. 3rd

Day 1 - September 3rd

Austin:
Breakfast at Waterloo (2222 & 360)
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Fredericksburg:

Shots in front of our favorite Bed & Breakfast, Rose Hill Manor.
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Wildseed Farms for a few gifts for the family:
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Lunch at Altdorf Biergarten:
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Awesome Chocolate Shop - True Artisans: Sent my wife a box since she was jelous I was going without her.
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Junction Texas:

Not a whole lot to do in Junction. Got a shot from the sceenic overlook before entering town.
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Got this nice shot along the Llano River just outside of town.
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Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
1,496
Location
Tomball, TX
Day 2 - Sept. 4th

Tuesday, September 4th was planned to be only a short 200 mile ride from Junction to Fort Stockton. Don't ask why I planned for such a short leg. Knowing what I know now I would have gone all the way to Carlsbad. That being said and knowing it was a short tide I took a detour to Fort McKavitt.

Fort McKavitt: - I went here to kill time but I found it very interesting. Glad I stopped.

Hospital Facility
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Old Tools of the healing trade...
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...and when things go horrible wrong....
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Barracks Ruins
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Barracks:
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Schoolhouse:
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Fort Stockton:

Nothing to do here but run from giant road runners and watch the locals at Wal-Mart
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Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
1,496
Location
Tomball, TX
Day 3 - Sept. 5th

Left Fort Stockton at 5:30 (CST) am and made it to Carlsbad Caverns by opening at 8:30 (Mountain).

Carlsbad:

Road to Carlsbad Caverns was a nice little road.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5whmzDeIbQ"]The Road to Carlsbad Caverns - YouTube[/ame]

The Caverns were pretty amazing. Can you imagine a 75 story building like Wells Fargo Plaza downtown (The Green Giant) burried under ground? That is how deep you decend in to the caverns. Thankfully you get to take an elevator back up.
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Lincoln National Forest:

These clouds forshadow what I am in for. (82 West out of Artesia)
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No photos in Lincoln National Forest. The only time it did not rain was the 1 hour I was in Big Daddy's for lunch. Below are some short clips of my rainy ride.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j7WxEV7kt4"]Lincoln National Forest - YouTube[/ame]

It was raining so hard going up 244 out of Cloudcroft to Riudoso I did not even bother turning the GoPro back on. Shame to because that was the most beautiful part of the ride through Lincoln National forest. Next time!

Made it back to Roswell for the evening. Another place where there is pretty much nothing to do.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
1,496
Location
Tomball, TX
Day 4 - Sept. 6th

Roswell to Albuqueque

Roswell:

Home base of all the aliens in the area. Pretty sure most of the staff and patrons were from another planet. I sampled the local Roswellian cuisine.
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Sandia Peak:

Short video of Sandia Crest Road. Not the most sceenic of all the roads I took but by far the most curvy and fun. You will see about 40 motorcycle cops at the top (2 waved me by on the way up) that were on a training excercise.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1ubnJt6TWY"]Sandia Crest Road - YouTube[/ame]

A few photos from the top of Sandia Peak
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After that it was on to my dad's place in Albuquerque.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
1,496
Location
Tomball, TX
Day 6 - Sept. 8th

Jemez Mountains, Bandelier (actually went to Los Alamos and Sante Fe but no pics).

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJXlB4Tqb4Y"]Jemez Mountains & Valles Calderas - YouTube[/ame]

Jemez Mountains:
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Valles Calderas (crater in the center of the Jemez):

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Forest fires damaged the area about a year and a half ago....
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Bandelier:
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Fires in Bandelier last year too.....
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After Bandelier I went on to the Science Museum in Los Alamos and in to old town Sante Fe for a late lunch. I have been to both places so many times it just never occured to me to take a photo.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
1,496
Location
Tomball, TX
Conclusions

I am back home safe and sound. I did a Marathon run from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Brownwood, Texas totaling 560 miles on Sunday. I'll never do that again! Got to have breakfast with Carl (ThePopularJock) Monday morning which was great. He is such a nice guy. It was then a short 260 miles today to finish the trip and get home.

Total Miles: 2232.9

Things I am glad I took with me:
  • Touring Windscreen - Slight tuck and no wind and very quiet.
  • Cramp Buster - Could not have done this trip without it.
  • Ibuprofen - Plenty of aches and pains during this trip. Start poping pills after 4 hours in the saddle or so.
  • Chain Cleaner and Lube - Cleaned and lubed on the side of the road twice. Just used red shop towels rather than scrub brush. Did a proper cleaning at my dadas place.
  • Preparation H - It soothes the burn!
  • Tools - I had to take the tank off. When I left Bandolier National Monumnet my speedo was reading ZERO no matter what. I have seen it do this for a split second but not as long as it did. In Los Alamos I took my tank off and checked all the connections to my Speedo Healer. Everything looked good so I started to look for a motorcycle service shop in Santa Fe. By the time I got down out of the Mountains (46.9) miles later it suddenly dtarted working. Not sure if it was teh altitude or the cold.
  • Ziplock Baggies - Kept all my electronics and wallet dry when I needed.
  • Sena SMH5 - In combination with my iPhone and GPS software I always knew where I was and where I was going and even with my tunes. BTW - I could hear my wife just fine on the phone even at 70mph.
  • Tennis Shoes - There is plenty to walk around and do at most of my stops. SIDI boots are great on a bike but blister factories when walking around. I never would have done Carlsbad Caverns in MC boots.
  • Rain Suit - I only needed it one day but I am sure glad I had it.
  • Clothes Wahing Detergent - Washed a few garments at night to get the funk out.
Things I wish I had with me:
  • Friends - That is the only thing that would have made this better
  • WiFi Hotspot - Cheap Motels do not always have reliable internet. Of course even a mobile hot spot would not have worked most of the places I went.
  • Bigger Gas Tank - Would it really be that hard for Yamaha to find room for at least one more gallon? Jeez! I felt like I spent more time at gas stations that I did driving! ;)
I plan to do this again next year. Only difference will be working in the Twisted Sisters on the way out.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
11,253
Location
Far East DFW
Nice ride report. Way to go touring on the FZ1. Like you, I found that touring on the FZ1 though doesn't produce enough miles and isn't too kind on the body, along with that annoying fuel thing. Looking forward to my trip on the FJR next month.

Great pics, I bet you crapped your pants over all those cops though! :mrgreen:
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
919
Location
Fort Worth
It was my intiial plan. I read several reviews of the place and decided against it.
Good choice.... very goofy!

Nice report and pic's. Lived in the "Q" and the pictures of the Crest brought back memories of my son and I hiking up there.
 
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