Man trip 2021 Sipapu NM Area

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by UnclebudinTX, Sep 12, 2021 at 7:43 PM.

  1. UnclebudinTX

    UnclebudinTX Half Moose Whiskapalian TEX-LEX

    Jan 18, 2011
    Plainview TX
    Man Trip 2021 Labor Day weekend

    For the last 3 years my son Tyler and I have made a man trip with our dirt bikes each summer. We have been to Cloudcroft twice and this year we chose Sipapu NM . We usually do it earlier in the summer but we had a family vacation in July to Pagosa Springs and my daughter getting ready to go off to college and my trip to Great Falls Montana for the MOA rally and I think I made a trip to Austin there too.. BUSY! We almost missed our man trip. Tyler is a freshman at Plainview high School and in band and this band takes a lot of time and weekends, it’s kind of messing up our dirt bike time, but what can you do? Looking at our busy schedule I figured out that Labor Day weekend was going to be our only shot at man trip 2021. But Tyler had to play in the band at a home football game and we were not sure what time we would get out of town..

    Turns out 11pm Friday we leave for NM. I took the safe route of as much interstate as I could, I27 to I40 and then 84 to Las Vegas and then 518 to Sipapu.. We had reservations at Sipapu Resort in one of the suits, and when we arrived at 4am the key was taped to the door with my name on it. We slept late… So we eventually get down to Forest Road 76 La Junta Canyon road.. We parked at the very end of the road closest to Hwy 518. We unloaded the bikes and took off down FR76. Every camp ground was packed and a lot of ATV’S and four wheelers on the road. We took one of the side trail roads to get out of the dust and up in the trees, a nice trail that led to another trail that led to another trail.. I soon realized that none of these trails went back to fr76 or toward the truck. We had no map, just my Garmin gpsmap64st which I don’t know how to use to its full potential. We followed some four wheelers for a while but they were inexperienced and therefore slow, So we went around.. I told Tyler you aren’t lost till run out gas or give up, so we just kept going. The trails are not marked very well so I can’t really say “we were on trail 12” I just don’t really know. We eventually got to Fr439 and road it to the intersection of 518 and fr439.. I had cell signal so I used google maps to figure out where we were.. We were 13 miles the opposite side of Sipapu, 16 miles from the truck. We were both hungry and I am diabetic, my blood sugar was fine. I wasn’t really worried about it, just hungry. We opted to make a run for it and took the pavement back to the truck. Our bike are not dual sport, they are off-road, my KTM 450sxf that I have tamed down for the trail (it is a full motocross bike) Tyler rides a KTM 350xcfw a very popular trail/enduro bike. Tyler at least has a head light, me not so much. As I hauled ass down 518 I realized this was Tyler's first high speed street ride, I told him to be careful in the turn that those knobbies were not made for leaning on the pavement. I also realized we were running about 15 mph over the posted speed limit.. I slowed it down.. No need to pile on the violations, if we did meet one of the local do right boys. We made it to the truck unscathed and made a sandwich and took a little nap in our lawn chairs. We rode a few more hours and then returned to Sipapu and to our suite where we had a nice stew dinner that I had previously prepared and froze just for this trip. Here is link to a video of part of the days ride.. Here is spotwalla track for day one,,I don’t think the sport is sending as many pings as it used to, couple with the fact were in the forest and many of the pings just didn’t get through,,

    Saturday night was sorta quite sorta not.. The Sipapu Resort was hosting a wedding down by the pond. But everyone was parked right outside our doorstep at suit 103. People were walking back and forth to freshen up their drinks, it wasn't a big deal. We were just chilling in our room, Tyler brought his guitar and he is self-teaching a few songs… The internet is pretty good so I was surfing and chilling while having an adult beverage. Quiet time started at 10pm and they shut down the bar at the wedding about that time and people began leaving. Now you gotta understand suit103 has no a/c so we had the windows wide open and could hear everything as people were finding their cars and leaving. At approximately 10.30pm a very upset young man named Kevin screamed to everyone in the valley “ I have had enough of this shit! Im gonna kill myself” He sped off about 100 feet and his truck dies and everyone swarms around it and the chaos continues. Did I mention this was a Hispanic wedding? Much of what was being yelled at Kevin was in Spanish. I did gather that the groom and the two of the groomsmen tried to beat Kevin up because he supposedly punched the Bride, his sister.. Kevin was crying profusely and swearing to his mother he did not punch the bride sister.. Some female voice was trying to settle Kevin down and was offing weed to him and anyone who would get Kevin out here.. It was announced that the cops were probably on their way and everything got real quite real quick. One young lady walking by our window summed it as “wouldn’t be a Mexican wedding if some didn’t get in a fight.” Don’t accuse me of being racist I am just reporting the facts.

    Day two. We slept later than I normally do but this was a vacation and my normal 5.40am was just too early. We stopped by the gift shop to buy a battery for my insulin pump and the ladies in there were talking about the “Kevin incident” from the night before, They were making a list of what to do next time to avoid such a problem. I could have offered a few suggestions, having planned a few events back home that involved a cash bar ,but I just wanted to go ride. In Texas you can lose your liquor licenses for allowing outside alcohol,,

    We parked at the same place on Fr76 and rode down it till we found a side trail or two that we wanted to try out. We headed up one that looked inviting, it was steep, the 450 was eating it up, right up till the moment that it was not eating it up. I stopped, I could go forward, I could go backward so I fell over…On to a evergreen tree-bush, my knee was twisted under the bike and could get the bike off me and couldn’t move my leg to get out and the evergreen was stabbing me in the back about a million places and the bike was running I couldn’t reach the kill button. Tyler rode past me and walked back to rescue me as he has several times in the past. WE figured this was not a riding trail, this was a hiking trail and we left the scene of the crime via fr76. We went way down fr76 and finally took a trail off to the right that crossed some meadows and streams. I told Tyler to find us a shade tree to stop at to catch our breath and drink some water. So he did and we took some pictures, cooled down and preceded another 100 yard over the bluff where we found the most beautiful mountain lake. It looked like a mirror, you could not tell where the sky began and the lake ended. It was awesome; we rode past it and went down the trail a little ways till the trail just disappeared. So we turned around and went back to lack and took some pictures, elevation at the lake was over 10,000ft. Well, my 15 year old son decided it was lunchtime and the truck was at least 10 mile down fr76 so we hauled butt to the truck for a sandwich and a little short nap.

    So after lunch we headed back down fr76 and found a trail we had not been on yet. It turned out to be a fantastic trail that gained a lot of elevation and had some challenging rocky roads, we came to a clearing that I thought was the top of the mountain.(11,000+ elevation) An ATV was parked there and four people were looking down the mountain, one armed with a bow and arrow. We stopped and I asked them if they knew where this trail came out. The one guy said it doesn’t come out anywhere that direction it just goes to the top few 100 yard s away, then pointed at another trail and said that’s the good road that will take you back to the fr76. He then asked if we had seen any deer, we had not, it was deer season and all the atv’s were messing up there hunt. We took the good road down to fr76. We decided to go down fr76 as far as we could to see where it goes. Fr76 goes along way and there are signs that say “not suitable for passenger vehicles” and at times it is barely a trail and then it gets better, It gets very rocks and very washed out, and some at points you think you are at the end then it get very good. I was keeping an eye on the time at 10 min till 6 I told Tyler we needed to head back to the truck or we were going to get caught in the dark, on fr76 with all of its potholes. We wanted to know how far we had gone so I reset my gps trip odometer and set a marker on the gps for later. When we got to the truck it was 19 miles. We roughly rode close to 65-70 miles that day.

    We returned to Sipapu to warm up a meal I had prepared the week before and froze it for the trip. It is one of Tyler’s favorites called Hunter style chicken. It is basically chicken thighs cut up and cooked with onions and bacon, then you add crushed tomatoes and Heinz 57 sauce, served on rice or noodles. No drama in the parking lot this night, we slept well.

    Monday we headed home, stopped in Las Vagas for gas where I noticed one of the hubs on my trailer was slinging grease. The temp of the hub was 207 and the one on the other side was 119. I carried a set of bearings for the trailer in my parts box but I just taped the cap with a hammer to seal it better and we proceeded. Stopped in Santa Rosa and the temp of the hub was normal. On to Endee NM and Russel’s travel center. They have a small car museum and a lot of automobile memorabilia, and Rt66 stuff. We stop here every time just to see if anything has changed, they do rotate car inventory. It is a cool place. Made it home with no problem with the trailer hub, I am going to repack it before our next trip, just for fun.

    One of the great things about riding trails on two wheels is you get to see stuff not many people get to see. You can go places not many people get to go to. There getting to be more people out there everyday but it still better than going to the office
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    ZiaThunder likes this.
  2. Carl_Mega

    Carl_Mega Been here awhile

    Mar 1, 2008
    Well, riding dirt bikes and playing music are two of my favorite I hope your kid continues to do both. Used to do the drunk thing at weddings too but really Tyler should skip that one. Trust me (and I'm sure Kevin would agree as well) on that one.
    UnclebudinTX likes this.