First off I want to thank all the great souls on this site for inspiring us to do this. It was this post that got us hooked: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=704429. Thank you so much Henriette and Lars for sharing this great adventure with us. And now on to our story. Since we became inmates last Fall my wife and I have undertaken the task of learning how to ride off road on "big" bikes, learning how to work on them by doing routine maintenance and performing many upgrades, and researching the endless amount of information regarding gear, farkles, places, and everything else adv related. So far we have just been out on day trips close to home but we've been training and gearing up for our first bike packing trip. Kerry had never been on the front of a bike before this past winter. She took the MSF course in January and has been making steady progress ever since. This is a huge step for her to be heading out on a self-supported trip into to great beyond. As it is Spring in New Mexico we wholly expect the wind to blow 30+ mph from late February through mid-June so picking the right weekend to get out is critical. Last Saturday was hellish windy with brown dirt filled air as far as the eye could see, but this weekend is supposed to be picture perfect with highs in the mid 70's and very low wind conditions so we're going for it. We will be heading south from Tijeras towards Mountainair along the local twisty highway known as South 14 and then taking Forest Service Road 422 across the southern portion of the Manzano mountains where we'll intersect highway 60. From 60 we will head west about 10 miles and then turn southwest and head about 70 miles across the desert cutting behind the Sevillita National Wildlife Refuge and over to Socorro on what I expect to be reasonably easy dirt roads. After lunch we'll continue west on 60 over to the sleepy town of Magdalena where we'll stop into the ranger station to get any local beta we can. Then, the plan is to head south into the mountains and begin our search for a suitable camp site for the evening. This will be a short one night trip just to check out the gear, see how it packs and rides, and to determine what we should have left behind and what we should have had with us. Generally we prefer to not camp in campgrounds as we have found the bears seem to know this is a great place for snacks during the wee hours of the mornings. (Let me tell you about the time I was standing on the steps of our camper in my under wear at 2:00 a.m. banging pots trying to scare off the local black bear who was having his way with our trash. Yes, we were bozo's for leaving it out, but I digress....) If possible we'll search out a spot near a stream yet far away from any campgrounds, which shouldn't be too difficult as this is a seldom visited part of the state. We'll bring enough water just in case as water can be pretty darn scarce in these parts. So the first step is the gear list and the packing that ensues. Here is a picture of all our stuff laid out on the garage floor: We will pack all of this into our newly purchased Wolfman Luggage medium sized duffel bag, a double ended stuff sack, and the two Givi boxes/crash boxes/bike savers that came on Kerry's DR650. Our gear list includes: gloves, 2x each Croc's spoons, forks, knives Lexan bowls, 2x yellow plastic cups, 2x Brunton stove + fuel pot set dish soap + sponge + dish towel Gaz lantern head lamps x3 a couple of Bic lighters Big Agnes tent + sleeping pads (super comfy) Sleeping bags + liners home roasted coffee beans + filters and drip filter holder Mountain house freeze dried cuisine Oatmeal + dried fruit Cliff Mojo bars Trader Joe's chewey soft chocolate chip cookies Small bunch of clothing for off-the-bike camp-lounging time Puffy's, one each Warm winter hats cuz it gets darn cold in the mornings camp chairs scored at REI using our dividends + 20% off coupon last week the trusty Canon EOS40D trail-worthy DSLR to document this adventure Trail tools including big MSR tire irons and a c-clamp - I'm deathly afraid of getting a flat as my experiences changing tires have been quite traumatic so far. And that's it for now. We head out first thing in the a.m. Can't wait.