Monday, October 02, 2006

1860 miles

Well, we are back. Friday we made it to Espanola, NM. We had planned on making it to Taos, but were too tired, plus it was starting to get dark. We left Holbrook plenty early, but headed SE down 180 (I think it was) and into the south entrance of the Petrified Forest National Park. This was a very cool ride. 28 miles through that and the painted desert. AZ has some spectacular country. The ranger at the gate drives a Harley, so gave us all the scoop on portions of the road to watch out for, etc. :)

Turns out that I-40 is a MUCH better drive than I-10, in terms of scenary. It was pretty for the most part. I-25 -> I-10 is probably faster, but coming through the Salt River Canyon, etc. was worth it, and then I-40 itself was nice too. Plus we picked up a little Indian jewelry. :)

Headed north out of Albqu. and ran into an accident. We were sitting on the road for probably an hour in stop-and-go traffic. Plenty of people jumping the median to head back to town and take a different road north (which we don't know - so we stayed on the highway). Finally after about an hour, 3 motorcycles went down the right shoulder in about a 10 minute period. I waited a few more minutes, then followed. If I would have done that in the first place, would have saved us an hour.

Got into Santa Fe, found the Harley shop and bought a few things and asked how long to Taos - an hour an a half or two. Yikes! Made it to Espanola and stopped for the night. Ate at Joanne's - which had "authentic" southwest food. Awesome blue corn enchilladas with local green chiles. Yum.

Next day I let Tina sleep in, and we headed out around 10:00. Made it to Taos... totally wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it was a mountain town, but it is in the foothills. No mountains roads in... and none out. I was told we'd go through some twisty roads, but nothing. Maybe if we had turned to Red River at Questa... but we weren't sure where that would come out. Or maybe if we had headed east out of Taos towards Raton. But we just went due north, which was pretty flat.

Hit the CO state line... and saw clouds and mountains with snow on them. Yup, out of the desert and back into the Rockies. But the clouds were sparse, and we were in foothills most of the way. East out of Fort Garland to Walsenburg. Last time: raining, hyper-planning, etc. This time: sunny and warm. MUCH NICER. :)

Stopped in Pueblo for a bite to eat and to stretch and then home.

1860 miles total. A great ride. I'd do it again next week if we could, it was so fun. And great time with Tif and Brian.

Definately our last "major ride" for this year - but we've got a few poker runs coming up, so I'm sure we'll get some short rides and some day trips in. When we left it felt like winter was around the corner. Coming home it was in the 80s and nice. We'll see what fall holds for us, in terms of riding!

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