Monday, September 25, 2006

Ride to AZ, Day 2

Day two was long, but the weather was much better. We left Albuquerque at 9:30 in the morning. We layered pretty good because it was still pretty cool out. Getting down to the turn towards Silver City it was pretty cloudy looking in the mountains, and sunny towards the south - but we decided to head into Silver City anyway.

Although it looks shorter on the map, google was right. Its a much longer trip. It winds through the Gila National Forest. Much of the road had 35 MPH speed limits, with 10, 15 and 25 MPH curves. But it was beautiful. Really the range of vegetation - coming out of the desert, then into desert mountain, then into mountain terrain. Not quite like CO, but still very lush. Cool stuff. We kept watching the clouds, and we hit some splatter here and there, and then it started raining. Not hard, but we could tell we were going to head into it. So we pulled over and geared up. About a mile further and we came out of the heavy splatter and it didn't rain for the next 30 minutes or so! By then we were coming into the valley on the other side of the mountains, so we pulled over and took the gear off. Around 2 corners and about 1/2 mile further, and you could smell the rain and the road wasn't just wet, but had water on it in spots. Must have just rained - but we never hit any again.

Stopped in Silver City for a late lunch and Tina was going to call her Uncle Tommy who lives near by - but we didn't have his number and Jaime couldn't find it at home, plus Tina was getting worn out and we had another good 4 hours or so to go. Still cool so we were still wearing leather jackets, although I did take my liner out.

Down out of the foothills and onto I-10. Going down the highway, saw a sign for Basken Robbins... Ice Cream stop! :) - That was in Bowie, NM. We didn't do much "ABC Rally" picture taking. Either too cold or tired to stop and take pictures of signs... but as we got close to AZ I started watching for the sign. There it was in the middle of the highway... great not going to be easy to stop with all the truckers going by and trying to stop on the left shoulder, but I slowed down anyway. Got close and noticed a turn-around. Woo hoo! Pulled onto it and got close to the sign. And as I postioned the bike noticed the NM sign was on the east bound side of the road, and right behind us. Tina got both pictuers with the bike in one spot. Sweet. :)

Got into Tif's about 6:00. Sun was still up - actually in my eyes for a while and the windshield was COVERED in bugs by now... CO doesn't have many flies, at least where we live. You'll see one, once in a great while. There were 4 or 5 buzzing us in Bowie as we ate our ice cream, and when I came out to gas up the bike, there was one on the windshield eating splattered insect remains. So anyway, the bike was covered.

Sunday I gave Capt'n Jack a bath. He needed it bad!

So that's about it. Have a good time here. Eating good food and swiming in the pool. We were thinking about heading down to Mexico, but Tina is pretty tired, so we'll probably do a short trip around here today while the kids are at work.

Because the trip was pretty long down here... yeah, its only 13 hours or so by car but its about 20 hours on a bike from start-to-stop. You stop more often, but you get on the bike in the morning and get off 10 hours later. In any case, Tina wants to leave Thur around noon. The plan now is to make Las Cruces, NM the first night. About a 4.5 hour ride (maybe 5 hours with a stop or two). Then up to Taos the next day if the weather up there looks good (forecast currently says it will be) - if not stop in Santa Fe. Taos is a 6.5 hour drive, so probably about 8 stopping for lunch, etc. That will be the longest leg. Then from Taos home, which is about 5 hours. Although that will take 3 days, and we'll spend one less night with Tif - :( - it will be less tiring for Tina and will break it up pretty good.

Our longest trip yet - and I enjoyed it when the weather was good. Which was most of the time. I'd still like to try Michigan in a couple of years... but we'll probably have to figure something like 5 days out for that, given this trip.

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