Dr. Greg & Milledue II go "HOME" to Hemet, California... "Ride Reports" or "Day Trippin'"?? This is just a measly 8-DAY ride, and I was going to put it in Day Trippin', but the rules clearly state that week or longer rides belong in Ride Reports, and I always follow the rules... So, here amongst the RTW rides, is my meager 8-day trip on Milledue II (2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring) from Albuquerque, New Mexico to my HOMETOWN of Hemet, California. And back. A WARNING to Potential Readers of this Ride Report Mostly this is a trip for this 65-YO geezer to take a quick look around his old birthplace and see a few old high-school buddies; doin' "research" for my upcoming memoir. So most of it is pictures and talk about grumpy old men who spend lots of time griping about the government, etc. Just so's you know what you're in for... A brief eDUCATIon about Milledue II Milledue II (shown ready for the trip below) is a 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring, and is my second of two identical bikes. Milledue I had an unfortunate encounter with hoarfrost in southern Colorado in November 2010 and was totaled. Milledue II is stock, except for: 1. TT Zega Pro 45L cases --- I don't travel light (camping gear). I LOVE those cases. 2. Tuneboy Electronic Cruise Control --- Absolutely wonderful for long trips! 3. Laminar Lip (bolted on, DAMHIK to do that) 4. Sargent lower seat & rear luggage platform Milledue II has accumulated about 33,000 miles (Milledue I had about 12,000 at his demise) and has pretty much been bulletproof. Way too fast for an old guy like me, but...it seems to fit me (I'm 5-8, 150) and well, so far so good. Day 1: Albuquerque, New Mexico to Fool Hollow Lake (Show Low, Arizona) With less than 300 miles to cover the first day I didn't leave too early. Like most of you, I avoid the interstates, so I was gonna take I-40 WEST from Albuquerque to Grants, NM, where I would turn SOUTH on NM 53 and head into eastern Arizona. Started out with a full tank (I have a 200+ mile range), and was gonna refuel in Grants. Uh-oh, no gas station at the junction of NM 53. Oh well, there's gotta be something on ahead. Famous last words in the US West backcountry... El Morro National Monument Not having found a gas station yet, I came upon "El Morro Nat'l. Monument." Now I've lived in New Mexico since January 1977 and I've never been here. Gotta stop. There was a short (0.5-mile) hiking trail (and some longer ones), but I contented myself with watching the 20-minute film (always like those) and wandering around the museum. I always like the sense of "history" one gets from seeing where the pioneers came through, what the American Indian settlements were like, etc. Probably shoulda majored in History in college instead of Mechanical Engineering (of course then I'd never have found a job...) Some more pictures of El Morro... Lots of "inscriptions" on El Morro...although since it's sandstone they're eroding fast... Naturally the "inscription" area is fenced off, since even we modern humans seem to like to leave our inscriptions. Oh yeah, didn't find a gas station till Zuni, New Mexico. About 150+ miles. A little closer than I like, and I definitely wouldn't have made the next town. BTW, about 11 miles out of Zuni I turned SOUTH on AZ 191, which I'm sure some you know has that "infamous" section from roughly Alpine to Morenci...GREAT ROAD! The section I was to be on wasn't quite that great... Lunch at TLC'S FAMILY KITCHEN The next town was St. John's, Arizona, and the first restaurant (out of two) that I arrived at was TLC'S: It was just about lunchtime, and the place was jammed: good sign. A "cute-as-a-bug" little girl very formally led me to a counter stool...I REALLY wanted to snap her photo to put here, but I just didn't feel like I should. I mean, a creepy old guy like me taking a photo of a cute little girl. There was a local sheriff sitting at the stool next to me, and I felt he might take a dim view of my photographic exploits. Had a great burger, too...dunno why I didn't take a picture of THAT! There are a number of upcoming "food" pics, but I guess I just forgot this time. Got out my map, no wait, I think I used my iPhone, and found it was only about 50 miles to my campground at Show Low, Arizona. So I took my time and had a nice, leisurely lunch. Fool Hollow Lake State Park (Show Low, Arizona) Sure enough, left St. John's on AZ 61 and less than an hour later I was pulling' up to the guard shack at the State Park. Snapped this pic while waiting: which RV would you rather have? There is both an "RV Area" and a "Tent Area;" found my spot with no problem. Nice little concrete slab for Milledue to rest on: camping area back in the trees (lake still further back). I always bring the "New Mexico" State flag along when camping; I've seen numerous Texans with the "Lone Star" camp chairs, etc., so I try to "fly the New Mexico flag" on certain occasions. AHHHHH, camp set up, folding chair set up...time for the Doc to relax with a little bourbon, And I finally figured out what that Zega Pro top case is good for: For some reason, I'm never very good at "sunset" photography. This was my best attempt at Fool Hollow Lake: Spent an uneventful night; when the moon rose at 2230 (I was asleep by then) the coyotes awoke me, but I never mind that. My host "Scott" the next night in Wickenburg, Arizona had warned me that "it was gonna be cold at Show Low" but I replied that I was a tough guy. Yeah, right. Turned out that it was 46 deg F the next morning: not bad at all. Next day: Show Low, Arizona to Wickenburg, Arizona.