What Next Wander Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Evomx971, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    No mounting issues on the Neotec. I was able to use the clamp-on mount (more secure than the stick-on method). There's pretty much one spot you can put it so it doesn't foul where the faceshield comes down but fairly easy to figure out. I have the chin curtain in and there's a bit of a trick to getting the mic fed up through the chin bar when you lower it but you get it figured out pretty quick. Everyone I've talked to on the phone while riding say they had no idea I was on a bike. I imagine I end up yelling on my end just because I assume I'm talking over some wind noise... but it isn't needed.
  2. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    It was a fantastic ride! Lots of piled snow on the sides of the road and just one section of about 40 yards of re-freeze ice that I saw in plenty of time. I took 78 east to 180... another great road, what a great flow to it! Met buls4ever at the 78/180 intersection and we headed back to Deming for the night. Taking two lane over to the Carlsbad area today. Might check out the Caverns in the morning before pressing on to the east.
  3. Jeremy J

    Jeremy J n00b

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    Loving the ride report. I especially enjoy when someone comes through my area and hearing how an outsider experiences it.

    I have a SMH10 too and can't say enough about it. I don't make it a point to talk while riding but when I have had to take a call the caller never knew I was on my bike. I mainly use it for some music on the long rides. Fits pretty well in my Arai RXQ.
  4. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Thanks man! Next is to talk some of my riding buddies into getting them. Well, except Travis. :lol3
  5. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Wednesday morning in Springerville, AZ... which is at 7000 feet. That elevation manifests itself in several ways.

    One... the altitude doesn't seem to affect the Triumph too terribly but once I pass 7000 feet I can really feel it start getting neutered.

    Two... I've been getting great sleep on the trip even though I'm in a different town and and a different bed almost every night but I didn't sleep very good in Springerville and had a low-grade headache that was hard to shake all night and in the morning. I blame the elevation.

    Three... it gets cold at night. Woke up to 27 degrees and frost on the Triumph...
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    Four... may or may not be attributable to the elevation, but as an experiment, I tried every seat in the breakfast area at the motel and the tv was always at least partially blocked by this hat. :lol3
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    Going to ride Arizona's Devil Highway today... Route 191 formerly Route 666. Apparently the signs kept getting stolen and the 666 put some people off. Definitely don't want ice so waited until about 10 before hitting the road. 37 degrees but strong sunshine and it felt great on the bike. Another great weather day for riding.

    Springerville is on a bit of a plain but you quickly climb about 1000 feet and start getting into the mountains. I liked how symmetrical the mountain on the left was.
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    Swoopy road down to Alpine. I was told I could get a 'Devils Highway' patch or sticker at the "tackle" shop. Well, there's like 15 buildings in the town and I think 10 of them say 'bait' or 'tackle' on them. I was successful on the third stop. Went with a Devil's Highway shot glass and cup of hot chocolate. I sat out in the crisp mountain air, sipped my hot chocolate, and contemplated the bad luck I may have wrought upon myself by purchasing a "I survived the Devil's Highway" souvenir BEFORE actually riding it. :eek1 You plays the cards your dealt...

    After Alpine, headed south, for about the next 100 miles, the Devil's Highway earns it's name. Starts out curvy in the pines with quite a bit of fire damage apparent. Lots of logging trucks and equipment working on the north end. Runs through Hannagan Meadow where the elevation flirts with 10,000 feet. There's a short section in the middle that runs fairly straight on a high open plain at around 9000 feet, then the real fun starts. The posted speed limit is 25. The first sign says something like "15mph curves next 11 miles"... then you get that section done and the sign has "10mph curves next 16 miles" or similar. Fabulous fun and rather challenging considering how pretty the scenery is.

    The road itself is good asphalt and signed well. The conditions were generally sketchy when I rode it, but that's what I get for going through there in February. Only one short section of thin ice that was easy to see coming. The logging trucks were dragging mud, twigs, and chunks of bark onto the road up in north part. A few corners were sprinkled with pine cones. The number one challenge was the fairly thick sand everywhere. Several people had warned me of elk on the road but only saw one small deer in the whole rip.

    All said though... it just demanded attention and respect. Had a great time and now want to run it south-to-north and when the sand is off. My favorite corner is a 3rd-4th gear right hander that falls away and Devil's Highway had a bunch of them. Ahh!

    Ok... enough narrative. Picture barrage.
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    I think there's 5 different mountain ranges in this view.
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    The last section of 191 runs through the Morenci Copper Mine. The scale of this place really can't be captured in a picture. One of the most impressive things I've seen on the trip. It's miles of this...
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    They are using those enormous Caterpillar dump trucks... the two story tall ones with ladders up to the cabs and they look like ants moving around down in the mine.

    Everything is covered in red dust.

    I've ridden some similarly entertaining roads, many on this trip, but never a stretch this long. After 100 miles of probably the best road I've ridden... finally landed in Clifton to fill up on gas and get a much deserved drink of water. :clap
  6. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    :clap...:ricky:dg..:snore
  7. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Location:
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    Wow! that road looks sweet! While reading your report I was trying to figure out where you were and where you were headed, seemed strange to me so I looked at the map. Now it makes sense, it is February and you are heading south! :D As I recall the very northern part of that road in AZ that heads up towards the four corners was very open with as much wind as I have ever ridden in. Leaning into the wind with the sand coming across the road for a few hours actually sand blasted part of my paint. Anyway, we were headed north and it was August! Looks like great fun and I would say you are headed the correct way! :D
  8. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Yep... staying below I-40 for as long as I can before making the run north to Iowa. I've gotten into a couple open, windy areas, nothing too terrible, have been in worse in the midwest but I'm sure it can get nasty down here. One of the trickiest on this ride was actually on I-8 up into the mountains in Socal... 70mph, twisting up into the mountains, fair amount of other traffic including trucks, and the mountains would block and unblock the wind at what felt like random times.
  9. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

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    I'm an Iowa boy myself, now living in northern Arkansas. If you're riding through the Ozarks, let me know and I'll try to point you toward a couple great roads.

    And if you happen to be riding through Mountain Home, AR, let me know and I'll buy you a beer in exchange for the best sights to see out west, since I hope to ride that way in May.
  10. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    PM sent...
  11. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Devil's Highway slain... gassed and hydrated in Clifton and ready to head back to New Mexico and hook back up with buls4ever.

    Just your average, everyday mystery hole next to the gas station...
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    Clifton was actually a neat little town. Obviously heavily influenced by the longtime mining operation. Sits right at the base of a mountain. Cool old buildings on a little, narrow main street. Most are almost getting to the point that they'll be hard to save. The town really deserves to be "restored".
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    Headed east out of Clifton on highway 78. I kind of figured I was done with the twisties. I was kind of really wrong. Loved 78 from Clifton to the New Mexico border. Climbing, twisting, falling... higher speed than the Devil's Highway but with a really great flow. Top 5 road ridden on the trip for sure. Some great views as well.
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    Met up with buls4ever at the intersection of 78 and 180... poor guy had been waiting there in the middle of nowhere for a long time. Was chatting up some riders heading west on a Gold Wing and an older ST1100 when I rolled in. Good to see Jeff again.

    The original plan was to head to Las Cruces and hang out with another inmate over there but it was starting to get late so decided to head back to Deming instead. Fine with me. Buzzed down 180... straight road, but I hadn't been down this stretch before. 271 mile day. As the crow flies, 1000.9 miles to home. Hmm... lost a few miles today. Oh well, was well worth it for the riding. :clap

    Back in Deming and we're both starved. Headed to Si Senor's for some really good mexican... had the taco, enchilada, tamale combo that included a tasty sopapilla. [​IMG]

    Grabbed a six of Dos XX (because yes, we are that interesting), did some route planning and discussed the intricacies of DRZ jetting, CZ clutches, and Puch shift fork replacement. Normal inmate talk. :D Of course Jeff is a true 'vintage' guy and I'm really more of an 'evolution' guy.

    Decided I should see Carlsbad Caverns since I'll be passing so close, so the Thursday route will take me over there...
  12. TheGirlfriend

    TheGirlfriend Adventurer

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    Did you get any closer to the mystery hole ?? It might have been a way to Carlsbad Caverns...... Darker, but still an adventure!!!
    :raabia Miss You!!
  13. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Didn't investigate... that would have been one heck of a shortcut if it led to Carlsbad!
  14. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    I was doing my best to keep him out of the "mystery holes" girlfriend:evil................
  15. TheGirlfriend

    TheGirlfriend Adventurer

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    And I thank you for that!!:clap
  16. nickgindy

    nickgindy KLR Basher

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    And that wasn't the first time.
  17. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Thursday morning in Deming, NM. Jeff treated me to another great breakfast at Manolo's. Can't beat the 2-2-2 Special for $3.25 to get the day started right.

    Great sun all day and temps in the 50's in the mountains and the 60's in the desert. Great weather for riding.

    On the road and headed east. The goal for the day is to get over in the Carlsbad area. Skirted around the north side of Las Cruces and crossed the Rio Grande river. Kinda cool being able to walk out and stand right in the middle of it... that's dry.
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    East of Las Cruces, highway 70 runs through the White Sands Missile Range. Comparing Whatnextwander Missile to a Nike Anti-aircraft Missile.
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    Nice view heading down into the Missile Range.
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    I kept my head down and a keen eye on the sky. Luckily I wasn't on my Ural which I assume could be mistaken for a Russian military attack vehicle.

    At the east end of the missile range is the White Sands National Park. White gypsum sand dunes look like someone dumped a giant bag of sugar on the desert. Nice ride out into the dunes and back. If I've learned nothing else on this ride, the Earth is an amazing place...
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    Somewhere along through here I went through a border patrol inspection station. There was a bit of a line and I was following a pickup with one of those hard bed covers on it through. As the pickup pulled up, they walked around it with the drug dog and it started getting really excited around the rear bumper and the tailgate. They let the dog work for probably two minutes, there is obviously something he can smell and I'm thinking I'm super-glad I'm not THAT guy.

    The truck pulls to the side and it's a border patrol truck. It was a training deal for the dog. Pretty cool to watch though.

    Rolled through Alamogordo, then the road got fun again, climbing and twisting up into the Sacramento Mtns and the Lincoln National Forest... it's amazing how quickly the landscape can change from brown, dry desert to snowy, green mountains. A couple shots as I started the climb... no snow yet at this point.
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    Can see the road cut along the side here...
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    Was getting to be after lunch. Jeff had recommended stopping in Cloudcroft but nothing there really pinged my food-dar so rolled on to Mayhill and ended up stopping at the Mayhill Cafe. I think I might be a sucker for buildings that look like this.
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    I went with my go-to motorcycling lunch. Grilled cheese with crispy bacon and tots. Was fantastic. And a hot chocolate cuz it was chilly up there!
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    I was getting ready to leave and a lovely older gal, probably 90 years old, grabbed my arm and asked if she knew me. I asked if she knew anybody from Iowa... well, she didn't so I probably wasn't who she was thinking of... she was disappointed because she was going to hug me if I had been who she thought I was. I told her she could hug me anyway. And she did, with a bonus kiss on the cheek. :rogue

    She was with her old man so I didn't try to get her number. :D

    Shortly after Mayhill I dropped down out of the mountains and the road straightened out for the run over to Artesia. Getting back into heavy ranching and petroleum work now. Artesia looks like it's really making a push to look nice. Had these huge and very cool sculptures all over town.
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    Headed south out of Artesia down to Carlsbad. The Carlsbad Caverns are actually about 20 miles south of the town of Carlsbad and I had seen a bunch of signs for Whites City. The Girlfriend helped me do some impromptu research and I headed on down and stayed a place in Whites City. Very close to the Caverns, but very limited on dining options. The cafe up the street from the motel I stayed at was open and I had the Three Enchilada Special. It was good, but not awesome.
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    308 mile day. Now 871.3 miles as the crow flies from home so made progress! Looking forward to seeing the Carlsbad Caverns on Friday.
  18. TheGirlfriend

    TheGirlfriend Adventurer

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    Look at you sneak'n kisses from other ladies. :crash

    And I've been such a good girl. :thumb

    I'm a little worried that you're cold in Texas..... It's pretty chilly up here, you're going to be in long johns everyday!! I'll do what I can to keep you warm :rogue

    I love these smiley faces!!!
  19. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Friday morning was breezy and low 50's in White's City. Carlsbad Caverns sit at the northern edge of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the 7 mile road up to the Caverns twisted and climbed up through the mountains.
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    You can see 90% of the Caverns on a self-guided tour. There's two self-guided options... "The Big Room" where you take an elevator down 900 feet then do a loop of the Caverns, or "The Natural Entrance" where you enter the original hole-in-the ground, hike down 900 feet over about a mile, then do "The Big Room" loop and elevator back up.

    I like my caves like I like my cheap beer. Natural. The Natural Entrance it is...
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    Now, I admit I have been a little less physically active over the last few weeks as my normal routine but I assessed my hiking fitness and decided to go for it.
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    I started on the row behind this group of four. Ended up catching the two gals going into the downhill 180, dove to the inside, braked late, elbows up, and made the pass. The gal on the left had low heels on... wrong rubber for this track, I doubt she made it. I caught the two guys on an uphill ledge section... I doubled a couple of them and ran right between for the pass. In the clear and ready to lead this party into the tunnel.
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    This is the original entrance that the indians and then the first explorers used to enter the cave. Not exactly hidden...
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    I may not have investigated the mystery hole in Clifton, but I'm all in on this one.
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    I'm in... the backside of the hole. Kinda like the darkside of the moon, but not. In the summer, every night thousands of bats fly out to go feed in southern New Mexico and Texas.
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    I enjoy caves and have been through several and can say without question that this was the best I've been in. Spectacular and other-worldly. If you come anywhere close to the Caverns, you really owe it to yourself to stop and if you're physically able, definitely do the Natural Entrance. You get a great feel for how deep into the mountain you are descending and you see a lot of cave you'd miss just doing The Big Room. The hike down is a mile and goes down 900 feet. Feels like you're doing a shallow squat the entire time. Really gives your quads a work out. The scale and magnitude of everything actually made me dizzy a couple of times. Once you get to the Big Room, it's about 1 1/4 mile around. Think about that for a bit. The main room in the cave is over a mile around. 600,000 square feet. 16 football fields. Awesome. It's what I'd imagine walking on another planet would be like. The Girlfriend would love it so we might have to find a way to come back someday.

    No pictures from inside the cave because there's just no way they'd do anything justice. You'll just have to trust me and go see it for yourselves.

    Nice view of the valley from the parking lot though...
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    Done with my hike for the day, time to ride. As I had planned out my route for the day, it seemed like trying to end up around Abilene was the best bet for getting some miles in and still being able to find a place to stay.

    Whole lotta open range and high speed straight roads with a few small towns thrown in. Did ride by a salt lake with a salt mining operation running on it.
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    Have a thing for old gas stations and have done a great job not stopping and taking all sorts of pics, but liked this restored station in Snyder, TX.
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    Going all the way to Abilene would actually have taken me a little south of where I was running so was happy to find a nice place to stay in Anson, TX. Rode out to Peacock's BBQ. Busy place with lots of families out having Friday night dinner. Went with the Cowboy Brisket Bowl. Chopped brisket, cowboy beans, and cheese. Great brisket. If I was doing it again I'd go with a sandwich or platter. The cornbread was superb and sweet talked my way into two pieces before I was done.
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    321 mile day. Surpassed 6000 miles for the trip. 692.5 miles to Home as the crow flies...
  20. steve_k

    steve_k Long timer

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    That brisket bowl looks good!