Hypothermia or Bust! Texans on a DR650 and a KLR try to escape the HEAT!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by mathewsturtevant, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    Austin, Texas to anywhere cooler. After months of triple digit heat, we gotta get out of this place. We bought a trailer off craigslist for $250 and made our escape from Austin to Ruidoso, N.M. to start our journey. I am sure there are several who would frown on the trailering out of Texas part, but ....107 degrees plus humidity..... be my guest. I have nothing to prove, leave that for some Harley forum.
    Read and enjoy

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  2. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    As I said, the furnace of Texas has been cooking me and for as long I can remember, this has been the weather report. I surrender. I make my retreat...

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  3. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    so,.......

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  4. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    yup..

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  5. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    We loved lounging and catching up with my father in the cool stormy evening, then the next morning loaded up and went for a short test ride around my father's neighborhood. It is amazing... I haven't been riding 10 minutes on my trip yet and the riding is far superior to any riding I have done in the curviest parts ot the Texas hill Country. (yes including all the roads around Vanderpool/ Leakey. Hardly anyone lives in the subdivision, it was in the 70's and the roads are in absolutely perfect condition.... and curvy!!
    #5
  6. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    test ride. This is Richard, enjoying the cooler weather of Alto, NM.

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  7. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    No super concrete plans other than heat avoidance. Even in the hot looking places, we're still at 6000 ft so it was in the 80s and we were cooking along. Fully loaded, but feeling good I got my bike up to 90mph and still had more left in the throttle. Wow, never done that before on the DR. but my bike was running perfect... new wheel bearings, new sprockets, new chain. Felt great.In Texas I am always afraid deer are gunna run in front of me, but here I could see eveything. We left Alto, then headed towards Carrizozo, Corona, then at Duran switched to a road named "3". Cruising along it looked a lot like the Texas Hill Country then BAM!! It loos like Mongolia or something............nothing for miles.......Awesome!!

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  8. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    see

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  9. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    I know I am beating a dead horse..:dhorse , but I found my self grinning ear to ear as we would pass by puddles on this pleasant, zero traffic road. I haven't seen puddles in many, many months... it was actual evidence that it rains here. I was starting to think rain didn't exist.
    When I returned to Texas, my garden, lawn and some of my trees are yellow and dead. The grass is crunchy.
    As we headed north I was eagerly looking forward to whatever the storm clouds wanted to bless us with. Then, the Worry Department(the most active, well used part of my brain) started thinking "Not a lot of Gas stations round here." Shut up Worry Department, I'm on vacation! We stopped at a very quite gas station,....hmmmm....closed. " Knock... Knock .. Worry Department here" I said shut up. So we go over to the digital gas pumps..which appear to be "on" . I swipe my card.........It says begin fueling so I try and ....nothing...
    O.k. I have prepared for this scenario (see photo) with 30 oz spare fuel. AND if we really need to we can siphon from Richard's KLR tank which is like a camel. The good news about being a neurotic worry-wort is I have already thought of all worst-case scenarios and usually have a plan.
    We cont'd north toward Vegas no problem, made it without even going to reserve even with 50 lbs of gear. Turns out I get better mlieage than I thought when it's ALL highway miles.

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  10. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    A church I have visited a lot over the years. It was special to show up on my bike.

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  11. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    vrmm

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  12. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    Haven't camped by this old friend in quite a while. I've paddled a couple hundred miles of it over the years. Sometimes up here, sometimes in canyons in Texas. Always a pleasure. the Rio Grande

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  13. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    yup

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  14. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    Writing before I forget. We had a great first day riding, only 20 minutes of rain near Mora, Nm. Lots of cool air. Taos seemed to have lost some of it's funky vibe to tourists and real estate but I will always like it.

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  15. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    I didn't know at the time, as I was scarfing down this breakfast burrito that I would be riding 360 miles this day..ending in some of the most challenging pavement in the U.S. The reason I didn't know was because I measured the map distances with the span of my fingers. Well, just like your intestines, curvy roads are a LOT longer than "as the crow flies". One of several lessons I learned this day.

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  16. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    We started real laid back, no worries.

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  17. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    yup

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  18. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    yup

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  19. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    We don't get these kind of critters where I live.

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  20. mathewsturtevant

    mathewsturtevant Motojournalist

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    You know, I have been a professional photographer for 20 years, and I can't express to you how bad I wish I had taken more photos this day. There seems to be a rule: The more inconvenient, pain in the ass, "I'm too tired, I'm kinda freaked out...to take photos"...the more you will wish you had taken them later. So, learn from my mistake, take more photos!!! It only takes a minute!
    So we rode up through Chama, Pagosa, Durango and I was REALLY tired. I think the longest I had ever ridden in one day was maybe 250 miles or so. I know there's people that ride 500 plus or whatever, but I am only started riding in the last couple years. Also, as I stated before I am a chronic worry-wort..and pretty sure also an agoraphobe. When others are thinking " yeah, more fun curves" I'm sometimes thinking " I hope I don't have a panic attack" and " Is the altitude making me weird-er?" It sounds totally stupid as soon as I am done with whatever fear thing I have made into a big deal, but while it is happening, it feels completely real. And it is amplified when it is a new environment, new experience, I am tired or hungry and far from home. This was all of the above. I 'm telling ya, it's exhausting being me. Anybody wanna trade brains?
    So, again, I know most people don't feel like this but I was getting really wiggy. Especially when I heard we still had 2 more hours to go on the million dollar highway. Maybe some day I will have worked though all this stuff, but for now I am amazed at guys(and gals) who ride the TAT solo, or to Argentina or RTW. You are my heroes. I hope someday I can be like that. I guess I am a work in progress.
    Up and up and up then down into Silverton, I had had a couple waves of low-level panic. But in the middle of this I learned something profound: I was so tired. I couldn't make it all the way to Telluride, not today, the sun was going down, it was getting late but I could ride just 20 more minutes. So from Coal Bank Pass all the way to Ouray I just kept telling myself...".I can do 20 more minutes." It was a powerful tool to get me back to being a happy camper.

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