Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ride to AZ - Day 1

Left the Springs about 8:30 AM. Plan was to head south to Walsenburg, then west to Fort Garland, south to Taos, Santa Fe, and then Albuquerque. Cloudy when we left, but wasn't raining. That was no longer true by about the time we got to the south ead of town... Not so much what I'd consider "rain" as it was "splatter". Pretty much when cars turn on their wipers every once in a while. So we didn't put on rain gear. We were hoping it wouldn't actually come down much.

By the time we hit PPIR or so, it was was raining. Stayed that way all the way through Pueblo. We had thought about stopping in Pueblo for breakfast, but I wanted to just keep going - hoping to drive out of it. By the time we hit Colorado City, we were cold and I was stressed enough, that we stopped at a diner there. Lots of locals. Talked to a waitress that did a similar trip one year.

"Headed north out of Red River and it was beautiful in the valley. By the time we came up into the mountains it was sleeting, and stayed that way all the way to Denver. Bought a rain suit after that - best investment ever."

Yup... we have rain suits so are staying dry. Folks said we'd probably come out of this after hitting Raton... about 100 miles south. Good and bad news. I didn't want to stay in it that long, but at least we'd come out of it. Talked to a rancher on the porch.

"Man, bad day to be riding. Hey", he said with a twinkle in his eyes, "I'll make you a deal. I'm heading to Phoneix this afternoon. Leaving around 5:00. I've got a 28 foot trailer. You can put the bike in it, ride in the truck and stay nice and warm."

I almost took him up on it. I was NOT having fun in this... but then he just smiled, said good luck, shook my hand and left. We got suited back up and hit the road. About 10 miles south and the rain stopped. Thank you Jesus! By the time we hit the pass, we could see blue sky (or at least lighter sky) on the other side, and there were bits of sun.

Stayed that way most of the way south. Would hit some splatter once in a while, but nothing bad. God was watching over us. Dark skies, light skies and a patch of blue. Where the best spot was, that was the way the road turned. This helped us make time, as my avg speed in the rain is about 60 - whereas I'll do 75 if it is nice out.

Hit Albuquerque about 5:15. Tina was exhaused. I gave her one bag, and by the time I got everything else off the bike, she was asleep. So I called the kids, told them where we were, and called Alan and told him we weren't going to be able to make dinner.

I went and got dinner from Cracker Barrel - about the worst customer service experience of my life - especailly after riding all day. The brought my food out, I didn't hear them call my name, and they never called it again. I asked 3 times if they could check on my food - and after about 30 minutes they were like, "Oh, its been sitting here the whole time." Sigh. And then they ripped me off and didn't give me the soda I ordered and I was too ticked to notice it till I got back to the room.

Oh well - did talk to a guy from Boston while I was waiting. Discussed Digital, the No Name, etc. Typical Boston guy. It was fun. :)

Logged in and checked work... I was up till 11:30 on Thur trying to get a kit done. Close but no cigar - couldn't tell from status if it was out or not. Guess I'll go look around. It really needs to get out Monday.

Guess that's about it... Tif said it was 91 yesterday and "not a cloud in sight". Today's ride should be great. The plan is to head through Silver City - which we'll do depending on the sun. When we get to the fork in the road... totally depends on the weather. We follow the sun. :)

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