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Colorado .......packin' & hackin'

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bmwhacker, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Here we are, Montanans temporarlly enjoying the wonderful and lovely Tornado Alley of Texas. In fact, last week the storage building 100 yards behind me had its' roof blown off............Anyway it's time for a break and after a quirk of fate I have 9 days off work.. :clap ,in a row no less. We've made a few few Texas rides and over to Taos New Mexico on Memorial Day so now a longer adventure is in order. Bike maintenance has been done this past week and everything is falling into place.
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    Meet the "Old Hag" .......THE BIKE ...NOT MY LOVELY NAVIGATOR!.....(better watch myself or I'll get my ass kicked).
    My navigator ,a former BMW /5 rider, has been re-assigned as sidecar navigator and assisstant. She has put up with dozens of my hair brained trips, including rain, snow, ice wind, mud,.....you name it , she's been in it.
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    Here she is again, "happily" (NOT) :chace frozen to the seat during a Labor Day blizzard last year in Montana. [​IMG]

    This is the Navigators' old ride...now when the "girly" color came about it never crossed my mind that I may have to ride the bike. Well low and behold I ended up riding "Greta" more than once.....luckily I'm secure with my manhood as the the ribbing :lol3 I took from riding buddies was excrutiating.


    Well enough about us and our boring existance.....Saturday Morning we're on the road!!
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    69,934
    Your navigator's a real trooper! :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    The Navigator / Trooper even managed to navigate a Honda Trail 110 over the Logan Pass - Going To The Sun highway one summer.............
    [​IMG]

    This was the Navigators first solo riding road trip to Death Valley. She bravely rode the 450 miles on this little Honda 350-4. This little 4 banger hit 70 mph at about 8000 RPM. Vibration was the order of the day and she suffered for hours. We stopped at dark at Tecopa Hot Springs to set up camp and she was in agony as her neck was stuck in one position. The night the photo below was taken her friend and her decided to have a peppermint schnapps marathon. They were both suffering the results the next morning. I think she did it to dull her senses in preparation of the 500 mile Honda ride facing her. We left for Yuma and were winded out at Searchlight NV. for the night. We awoke to 6" of snow the next morning. Stuck in The Roach Motel in Searchlight NV. for two nights! Luckily the roaches had been treated for fleas before we arrived. A bit chilly riding out the next day.
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    The Trooper with her "Greta' a fews years back..... On a ride to the Black Hills I subjected the Navigator to her first taste of inclement weather riding. We ran out of day light and got into a summer night thunderstorm. To top that off we found ourselves on 15 miles of freshly roto milled interstate. She nearly had her knees planted into the toaster tank by the time we reached Gillette Wyo. She never even whimpered. (Only complained that I had once told her that we shouldn't ride at night or in the rain and should avoid deeply grooved pavement).
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    She's ready for this Colorado Road Trip.......I can always count on the "better half" of the crew.
    #3
  4. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Finished up maintenance on the bike this morning...I'd ordered a special wheel bearing greasing tool on Wed. via Express Mail.....It didn't show til today. Took the front and rear wheels of and gave the wheel bearings a shot of lube. Yesterday I gave the Old Hag a bath at the car wash. I use a couple of Tarp straps as a safety measure to help hold the bags in place, as pictured. I removed the bags at the car wash and when I went to roll

    [​IMG]
    the bike out of the wash bay I made it about 8 feet and it felt like a wheel or brake was hanging up. I pushed and pulled and the bike just wouldn't move any further. (?) I backed it up a bit and tried again to no avail. WTF! Now whats wrong......finally I look behind me and see the tarp strap hooked on the wash bay grating and I have it stretched out about 8 feet long. What a moron......looked like a cartoon. Well we got out of Fritch Texas at about 10:30 AM after the wheel bearing service. About 30 miles out I came to the realization that I'd left the damned computer internet card stuck in the other computer.....back we go......Finally on the road at noon!
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    Approaching a Rest Area in New Mexico we see a big Harley piled up in a heap in the road. Looked like someone pulled out in front of him. Not a good day for that guy....The Navigator got a couple of photos going buy but the bike wasn't in any of them. Above is the approaching shot....
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    We stopped at what we thought was a watering hole for a minute....ends up it was an Art Galllery advertising "cold drinks". There was a bike out side so we went in. Above is "Tony Bernal". Not only did he provide us with cold drinks but he gave us a nickel tour of his art gallery. Very talented guy. He does stone carving, painting, bronze work and jewelry. Tony is located about 40 miles east of Trinidad Co.
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    We ran all afternoon in about 95 degree temperatures. Things started cooling down as we got closer to Trinidad. Watched a huge thunderstorm to the West . Looked like it was hitting the Raton Pass area. We turned towards Trinidad and were heading right into this:
    [​IMG]
    By the time the blazing fast Old Hag got there the storm pretty much died of old age.....we only got a few drops of rain.
    The Navigator has many skills to tap from. She has a sibling with a hearing disability so is fluent in sign language. My signing is limited to a couple of words....Under great duress, I got the Navigator to show you one of my two known words;
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    Riding into Trinidad our camping plans were pretty much dashed...another major thunderstorm was in our planned direction. Fighting tooth and nail I got the Navigator to accept fate and settle for a motel room for tonight.
    I'll make it up to her later in the trip and find a nice, wet soggy campsite.
    Trinidad has a lot of interesting old buildings on their historic main street.
    [​IMG]

    This one reminds me of the Munsters' House.

    Well, all and all a boring post tonight. We'll try to do better tomorrow...

    The Navigator sends her regards....in sign language no less....Adios for now.
    #4
  5. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Pretty rainy last night, glad we hit a Motel... This morning I changed out the BMW Carb. jets for higher elevation before moving out. About a 10 minute job. Left Trinidad Co. around 9:00AM and headed out CO. Highway 12 West...known as "Highway of Legends". Very nice ride, hit 9941 foot elevation @Cucharas Pass. Lots of major thunderstorms going on around us all day. Missed every one of them. Got a few drops now and then but nothing to speak of.
    [​IMG]
    This is the "Stonewall Gap". Had doubts about the weather looking at this. But rain never did materialize.
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    Passing through the"Gap".
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    Some knarly looking clouds...
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    Lake above the Stonewall Gap

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    I thought we'd get a dose of fog but never did....

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    The Navigator Contemplating the map.....:ddog
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    All right...she made up her mind...we go that way.:nod
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    Lots of holes in this rock wall, looks like it's ready to fall down any day.
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    Another big thunder head over there, luckily......
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    Luckily with the Old Hag, these signs can be ignored.

    We made it to Alamosa Co. around noon and headed towards South Fork Co. on Highway 160. This will get us onto Highway 149 and eventually Gunnison Co. Have 2 major passes tocross, one at 10901 feet elevation and another at 11361 feet.
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    Lots of these types of formations along the route.
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    Over near Creede Co.
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    North of Creede.....
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    Approaching the first pass @ 10k feet.
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    Made it ovet the big passes. The bike did pretty good considering the grades and elevation. Speed limits are low too. Not too much traffic up here.
    Big ass fish aroung these parts. This is in Lake City Co. @ 6:00PM Contemplated staying here but a crappy old looking cabin was $125.00 a night. I told the guy he misunderstood me...I only wanted to rent it...not buy it. He didn't have much of a sense of humor so we headed on to Gunnison Co. Didn't see any decent looking campgrounds.....
    [​IMG]
    Canyon outside Lake City on Highway 149 heading towards Gunnison.
    Quite a few miles of canyon along the river.
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    Blue Mesa Reservoir
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    Blue Mesa Reservoir at Highway 50
    We made it to Gunnison around 7:30 PM. Found a decent misquito infested KOA`Campground for the night...Got a tent site next to an electrical plug so here we are........Beautiful night, not a cloud in the sky....tomorrow we head towards Montrose Co. and then?????????
    #5
  6. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
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    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    We pulled out of Gunnison Co. around 9:00 AM this morning. The Navigator had a couple more cups of coffee than normal so an early rest stop was requested. Our plan was to head straight to Montrose Co. today. With the rest stop request I pulled into a Marina / Boat ramp turn off which was also the beginning of Highway 92. After a quick review of the map we ended up on Highway 92....This was a very great choice as thie scenery along this route was awesome. I always thought the Montana Beartooth Highway was #1 but this road is right up there. We covered quite a few miles today...ending up in Telluride Co. at 8:30PM tonight. This was not a planned event as prices in Telluride are rediculous. I won't even say what a room costs here....We had a great dinner at a Bar & Grill and retired to our room at 10:00PM. The map below shows yesterdays route in yellow and todays route in blue.......
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    We're planning on hitting every scenic marked route possible on the map in the next few days....then down into New Mexico to do the same.....
    Todays photos are in somewhat of a chronological order....
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    Blue Mesa Reservoir along Co. Highway 50

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    The Navigator contemplating the next "rest" stop....
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    Blue Mesa Res.
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    View from Co. Highway 92 heading North
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    Miles and miles of twisty's heading up Route 92...
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    Gould Reservoir. visited with a guy on a Harley for a while here...he took the following photo....
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Time for a break at Crawford Co. A few miles prior we came across another motorcycle crash...appeared that a Harley rider missed a corner and ended up in the ditch....lots of law enforcement and rescue people...didn't look too good.
    I managed to get nailed by a bee or something right before the accident scene....he hit me ass first right below my right eye..had my face shield up....minutes later another one found his way into my shirt and stung me 4-5 times in the left gut....felt like a burning stick got me.
    [​IMG]
    Made our way to Delta Co. then to Whitewater Co. Then turned south on Co. Highway 141 the, "Unaweep Tabeguache Byway". This route goes for over a hundred miles towards Telluride Co. Looks alot like the red rocks of Utah...I guess it is nearly in Utah....
    [​IMG]
    The "Gateway"
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    I think this was an old mission or something.....too lazy to stop.....

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    Big Rock along the route....

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    A series of Buttes....

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    Deep red colored rock

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    Day light is fading...

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    "Hanging Flume" along the canyon wall. This flume, built in the 1800's ran for miles. Fed the Hydraulic mining operations. Can't imagine how they built this thing so many years ago.......

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    Try to read this....good luck....

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    Getting Late....

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    Getting real late...approaching Telluride. Couldn't even find a gas station..The Navigator spotted one before did......We're here for the night.....
    #6
  7. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,835
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Enjoy Colorado. It is a great place to ride.
    #7
  8. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Tuesday....We spent our day today on "tourist stuff". There's only one free thing in Telluride and that is the Gondola Lifts...They run up to the top of the mountain then down the other side...Quite a veiw of the valley from up on top.

    [​IMG]
    The Navigator at "Mountain Village".
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    Mountains around Telluride....
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    Telluride sits in a dead end valley...at the end of the valley sits "Bridal Veil Falls". I think it is on private land....
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    I'm not sure what the deal is with the building / house or whatever it is sitting on the cliff face. Looked like part of the falls goes under the place.
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    Leaving Telluride we headed for Cortez Co. Wanted to spend some time at Meas Verde. We were there years ago for a very quick visit...wanted to look around a little closer this time.....We got to Cortez around 1:00 PM and got a room to unload all our gear. Then off to Mesa Verde...about 10 miles from the motel.
    Saw this sidecar rig at one of the overlooks, never talked to the owner.

    [​IMG]
    We hiked down to this set of ruins..they allow self guided tours....under the watchful eye of Park Rangers.
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    More ruins....
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    We signed on for a Park Service Tour of this ruin...
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    Miles and Miles of this type of terrain....There is over 600 sets of ruins in these canyons...there was a brush fire off in the distance...helocopters and fire bombers were attacking it....

    [​IMG]


    There IS light at the end of the tunnel!



    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Wednesday....Headed down o Durango Co. from Cortez...Stopped at a BMW shop in Mancos Co....Our old camera is not working properly....photos appear kind of "washed" out. ???????
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    Stopped and bought an oil filter for the bike...looked at their riding boots but nothing fit right.
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    ...nice pose......
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    Colorado to New Mexico.
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    Navajo Reservoir...north end in Colorado...south end in New Mexico

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    Lots of house boats...
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    Navajo Dam....Temperature was up near 100 for awhile...had a rain shower with 95 degrees and sun above us.
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    Approaching Dulce New Mexico...we're staying here tonight...tomorrow we'll explore a few New Mexico back roads....
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. The Toad

    The Toad on the go since...wait. where am I ?

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,283
    Location:
    Location, Location.
    Nice report... looks like we were in a few of the same spots at nearly the same time....
    #10
  11. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
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    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    From Dulce N.M. we headed south on 84 past Abiquiu Reservoir, then turned onto 96 to Cuba N.M. Decided to run a series of North / South scenic routes. We saw a lot of "ecclectic" looking folks around Cuba. Finally saw a tent along the street welcoming the "Rainbow Family". Seems that group is having their big pow-wow out there in the backwoods of the National Forest. Saw a few cool old "hippy" looking buses along the highway. Looked up the "Rainbow Families" itinerary for this campout and seems they are 26 miles out in the forest. 3 mile hike to their actual campsite from their parking area. Might have been fun to attend but no 3 mile hikes for me.........I wanted to take highway 126 to Los Alamos but after inquiries deciced against it as it is not paved..my map showerd pavement but all the locals I spoke with told me otherwise. Didn't want to run the hack on rough gravel roads......
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    This is what the sign called a "soda dam' which blocks the creek. An outlet cames through into a swimming hole. Near Jemez springs.
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    "Battleship Rock". We headed into Los Alamos via highway 4, a slow twisty little mountain road with some serous grades. Drove into Los Alamos and proceeded to get lost in a residential area. Had to go through the security checkpoints for the Los Alamos Laboritories.
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    The Atomic City Transit Bus
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    Los Alamos sits atop a series of mesas. Downhill no matter which way you go. Eventually found our way out of town and headed north through Espanola then to highway 285. Saw no campgrounds for quite a few miles. About dark we came to Ojo Caliente which is a hot springs resort. Over priced, misquito / ant / bee infested campsites...only good thing was their hot springs pools. They have 7 different pools with supposedly different types of water.
    We picked up our camp site, in a fog of misquitos early Friday morning. Rain drops hitting the tent woke me at 6:00AM so we picked things up and hit the road.
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    The closer we got to Taos the wetter things got. We had a view of Taos from the Rio Grande Bridge and it was a wall of water....decided to sit a few at a nice rest area while the worst of the storm moved on.
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    Rest area break while the storm passed below us.

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    Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
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    Navigators view of the gorge while crossing.....

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    Stoppedat a McDonalds in Taos for a McBreakfast....caught the MC Cop through the window....they have MC Beemers.
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    Hit rain immediately after leaving Taos....Rained like hell all the way past Mora N.M. Finally got out of the mountains towards Wagon Mounds....
    [​IMG]
    Canadian River Valley
    Was going to run all the way home today but was pretty much worn out by 6:00 PM. Stopped for the night at Clayton N.M.
    #11
  12. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    "Round House" at Trinidad Co.
    [​IMG]
    Blooming Cactus

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    Fog / Mountains along Co. Highway 12

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    Cuchara Pass Summit

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    Slumgullion Pass at 11530 feet

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    Black Canyon of the Gunnison

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    San Miguel River
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    Mesa Verde Ruins

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    so many roads ......
    #12
  13. #1Fan

    #1Fan Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,028
    Location:
    Lakewood, CO , USA
    :d:d:d
    #13
  14. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,944
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Left Clayton N.M. at 9:00AM. headed back to our temporary home base in Texas. Bike was running crappy and then it dawned on me that it was still jetted for the higher elevations...A quick stop and 10 minutes later we were jetted properly and on the road....I carry 4 different pairs of main jets and a pair of needle jets for about any elevations we encounter......


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    The last view of anything that resembles mountains as we are leaving New Mexico........
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    Welcome to Texas......
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    Sanford Dam / Lake Meredith.....8 miles from "home"

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    Made it home at 3:00PM and was greeted by a huge gully washer thunderstorm at 7:00PM. longest ride we have taken and arrived home with mixed emotions.......ready to go another 2000 miles.......
    #14