To Moab for Ice Cream

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gregdee, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. gregdee

    gregdee Motocampist

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
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    Location:
    Tijeras, NM
    Day 11
    This is the final day of our trip and it was going to be a long one. We had to get from basically South Fork, CO all the way home to Tijeras just outside of Albuquerque. The day's ride turned out to be right at 300 miles taking us 9 hours 44 minutes and 19 seconds, according to the GPS. While we were packing up that morning we were visited by one very curious hummingbird. This little guy was checking out every colorful thing we had in hopes of finding a quick meal. Sorry dude, no sweet stuff here.

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    From our camp we headed up Park Creek Rd., past the turn off to Summetville, and headed south towards Stunner Pass and Platoro. There is a several mile section where you just cruise across the top of the range. This is a great place to be on a morning like this.

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    Descending towards Stunner Campground we rode under this peak which I think is Lookout Mountain. All the iron in the ground turned this peak a nice red color. Unfortunately the sky had clouded up some so the picture doesn’t do it justice. The camera stayed put away for the rest of the day.

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    Following the CDT route we rode over Stunner Pass to Platoro and then headed south along NF250 to highway 17. The south section of NF250 is super busy as far as dirt roads go. Fortunately it was raining as we rode along it so the dust wasn’t bad at all. We ended up riding this again over Labor Day weekend and the dust and traffic was less than pleasant. I would avoid this route in the future. Instead, coming up the other end of NF250, getting to it from just north of Antonito, past the Terrace Reservoir and through Jasper to the north side of Stunner Pass is a much more pleasant route. That was the route we took back on day 2.

    Once we got to highway 17 we decided we wanted to come down into Taos for lunch instead of following the CDT route south from Cumbres Pass south into NM, saving that for another time. We rode down 17 into Antonito and then headed east through Manassa, crossing the Rio Grande and catching highway 522 south into NM. The ride across the valley was actually pretty cool and would be better suited to bigger more street oriented bikes, but we managed just fine.

    We later learned (thanks to Big Dog) that there is a very cool (if you are into wide open endless views) mostly dirt route that can be taken from 8<sup>th</sup> street in Antonito all the way across to Costilla just over the border in NM. This shot is from a different ride but it gives you a sense of the openness of the area. I find it exhilarating to ride through such places.
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    We rode through Taos and stopped at the Gudalajara Grill on the south end of town. We’d eaten here plenty of times before as we have been known to ski bum more than a few winters at Taos Ski Valley. I had the giant pizza-sized Aztec quesadilla and Kerry had the fish tacos. The place isn’t fancy but the food is pretty darn good and they have roasted jalepenos in the condiment bar:evil.

    With tummies full, from the south end of town we took highway 518 and flew the High Road to Taos south into Pojaque. I love this route and never tire of it. I highly recommend it to anyone passing through the area. From Pojaque it was 100 miles of slab skirting Santa Fe and then down 14 through Cerillos and Madrid to get home. Not a bad way to end a trip. We were tired and satisfied and we still had one day to readjust to real life before getting back to work on Monday. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    THE END​
    #21
  2. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

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    Excellent- :deal
    A bit jealous
    #22
  3. jnclem

    jnclem True Airhead

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    Location:
    Gunnison, CO.
    Nice! We used to live just outside of Tijeras, now in Gunnison. We know most of that route, but haven't done it yet on a motorcycle. Great trip report. Makes me want to get out there.
    #23
  4. Calibob

    Calibob Lost Soul

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    So Cal
    Thanks for sharing,
    Gives me some great ideas for visiting my daughter in college in Colorado!
    #24
  5. gregdee

    gregdee Motocampist

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    Tijeras, NM
    Gunnison eh? I loved the riding through the Cochetopa hills. The scenery was fantastic and there was virtually no one around. I had laid out an alternate route cutting from 114 right at the top of where the twisties through the canyon start over to Hartman's Rocks coming in on CR38 but I don't know if it would have worked. I really enjoyed exploring that area and I am certain there will be other trips.
    #25
  6. JPBark

    JPBark n00b

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    May 3, 2008
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    Location:
    Kentucky
    Man, was it hot there last summer! But you are right, it is a nice place, though we did no off-road stuff. Wear your mesh suit!
    #26
  7. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    Sep 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Sunny (sometimes) SoCal
    Man, what a great report!!! I've run the pavement sections you were on, but a sportbike is not quite suited for the dirt & passes, although I've been on a few. I did Grand Mesa for the first time last year--what a great ride. That one out of La Sal to Naturita isn't bad either. Ate at that store & camped across the street.

    Thanks again, you have some great riding areas there.
    #27
  8. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Just South of Phoenix, Arizona
    Cool trip and a nice report. My wife and I went to Moab for our honeymoon. Lots of great riding in Utah and Colorado. We can't wait to get the bike back to that area.
    #28
  9. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    NW Arkansas
    Great report! I have ridden some of those roads. Love it"
    #29
  10. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Canton, NC
    How do you 2 get along....
    she zings you about your broken doo-hickey
    you zing her for her air cooling
    she zings back saying it's oil cooled not air cooled
    you zing her back about 3rd gear blow ups
    I just wasn't aware KLR's and DR could exist on the same ride....this is special. Maybe, just maybe the rest of us could learn from you to and stop the fighting, the thread hijacking and just accpet they are both good bikes.


    Seriously though....good report. :D
    #30
  11. gregdee

    gregdee Motocampist

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    Location:
    Tijeras, NM
    So long as the right wrist differential is appropriate we can get along just fine. From the few times I've commandeered the DR, I've learned that she could out run me if she tried.

    Been teaching her the finer points of riding in the dirt on a CRF250X. Next year's trip report will definitely step it up a notch. Stay tuned....
    #31
  12. gregdee

    gregdee Motocampist

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    Tijeras, NM
    Mesh suits indeed. We were both wearing mesh jackets. Earlier in the summer we had been wearing full pressure suits but just couldn't handle the heat. On training missions along our local sections of the CDT we ran into some folks riding through boarder to boarder. We picked up on their gear choices and made the switch to armored mesh jackets and rain gear. Worked well for us.
    #32
  13. Deseret Rider

    Deseret Rider Been here awhile

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    East Central Utah (Deseret)
    Greg-----Nicely done. I encourage you to ride often and report as you've done this one. Good pictures and interesting commentary. I know the country that you covered here and have rode the same trails----and so I know what a good job you've done. Keep it up.

    Oh----and one last comment in passing----My vote for the better machine would go to the DR 650 if only because Rod Currie (from http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=834987 the Sibirsky Extreme report) is quoted as saying that the KLR is the machine that does everything----badly! Ha Ha What does he know? :wink:
    #33
  14. McRuss

    McRuss Been here awhile

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    Texas Hill Country
    You say true!

    PS, Sorry I didn't stop by your place on my way back from AK but was beat (rode from Salt Lake) and had serious 'horse to water' syndrome.
    #34
  15. McRuss

    McRuss Been here awhile

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    It would have worked just fine. I lived in Gunnison for many years and rode that route often.
    #35