The Almost Virgin New Mexico BDR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bigmo, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

    Joined:
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    I must admit, I have never been a big “ride report” kind of guy. Don’t get me wrong, I like reading them, but usually give up after I soak in what I expect to see right up front. I also think that almost every place one can ride has some kind of fairly well executed report in place…so what value can I add? In this case, the New Mexico BDR is brand spankin’ new. In fact, I believe we are only the second group (not associated with the BDR itself) to do the vast majority of the ride. That’s pretty cool in itself. I believe that’s mainly because we did it WAY earlier than ideal. Life. Work. It all gets in the way.

    The first group (by 3-4 days) was led by the famous (infamous???) Big Dog. He just posted a report too - check it out here:

    http://www.bigdogadventures.com/NMBDR2016.htm

    So here we go. It’s late April 2016 and our starting point for the New Mexico BDR is Tucumcari. Why? Because it allows us to get to the bottom (we ran it south to north) fairly easily, and then once we were spent – we could zip back to the truck with relative ease. My goal was to keep the transit legs to and fro under 250 miles. And we did. I did a nice 50/50 route from Tucumcari to our starting point near Carrizozo, NM. We chose Carrizozo as it was right where we felt the BDR got “interesting”. There is a bit further south, but the NM BDR is a massive ride at over 1200 miles. Even if we chopped off a bit in the south and the snow cut us off as we edged to Colorado, we still would get 900+ route miles in…yikes!

    This is my second BDR. I did the Colorado two years back and loved every mile. That being said, I did that ride in late July (maybe early August). Riding in late April made the decision a no-brainer. This past summer, I took the family on an epic cross country RV trip. We spent a few days in New Mexico and I was really impressed with the state and the diversity of terrain. I knew this was a state I wanted to explore…so the fit was perfect. If you want to stop reading now…the NM BDR flat out rocks! I know that the BDR teams refer to Colorado as their “crown jewel” – but I simply liked the New Mexico ride better. The terrain seemed to radically change every few hours. If you woke up in the desert…you would bed down in the high mountains (or vice versa). We saw everything from 90 degrees and scorching sun to 25 and snow (in the same 24 hours). Sand, rocks, mud, dirt, trees, cactus, horses, antelope, elk…it never stopped. One thing that still sticks out to me is that on day three (or maybe four), we hit what was the most desolate place I have ever been. I happened to glance at my odo when we passed a truck of hunters, and then for the next 6 hours and 120 miles of movement…we saw no one. Not a soul. I am not sure how many places are left in the US where 120 miles of motion = zero people. I am not sure why, but it was a highlight of the trip for me.

    So let’s get at it…

    We unloaded at the Tucumcari Flying J. We had no pre-approved place to leave the truck. We figured we would sort that out when we got there. I wandered in and found the manager behind the counter and asked if we could ditch the truck in their lot for a week. She is a “Jeeper” and gave me all sorts of places to see and gave us an enthusiastic thumbs up. I felt good knowing the truck had essentially 24/7 eyes on it. The Tucumcari Flying J literally has a line of trucks coming/going 24x7.

    PS - if there is an interest in getting from Tucumcari to a good starting point and doing it 50/50, just let me know and I will post up the GPS. It's a great option for those east of NM that plan to "trailer" to a decent starting point.

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    Bikes? Just two of us on this trip…and we ride together all the time (mostly dirt). I was testing out my new DIY “Mo Rally” CB500X – what a killer little bike! It was escorted by a 800 GS. Absolutely zero bike drama…no flats, nothing broken, nothing to adjust…the bikes simply did perfect. One word of warning, don’t even think of doing this ride without a real knobby of some kind. We both were running TKC80’s and they did perfectly. There is such a wide variety of terrain (and weather) that anything shy of that is asking for trouble.

    Off we go. Right into dirt two track cutting straight towards our starting point south of Carrizozo. It looks dull, but was an absolute blast. Some of these dirt roads are smoother than pavement and 60 mph feels safe in places. We kept the speeds in check and just let the miles click by. Some of these roads go on for 20+ miles with no intersections. These are BIG ranches and just sections of BLM land. Beautiful in it’s own desolate kind of way…

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    Here is my first (and really only) bit of advice: bring food, water, and camping gear. I know most guys do…but some folks like to restaurant and motel it the whole way. New Mexico is covered in the most powder I think I have ever seen. I call it dust…it’s probably glacial loess…but I don’t really know what that is. What I do know that is when it rains, you are done. Period. I’ve ridden my dirtbikes through nasty mud slogs before…this is different. The only thing that is mobile after rain here is on four legs or tracks. Wheels are of no value. There is no "I am going to man or skill this out"...

    We were moving fast towards our goal and a massive thunderstorm obscured our view of the high desert to the west. A few BIG rain drops started slamming my face shield and wind screen and then the wall of rain hit us…for like 3-4 minutes. The road went from moon dust to unrideable grease literally instantly. We “outriggered” as long as we could and JUST before I threw in the towel, we punched through to a road section that was miraculously untouched. From our “high” perch, I could see which roads were wet and which were not. Had we been a minute later, we would have been camping on-spot. Adventurers 1, Mother Nature 0. That was close. To reiterate...bring food, water, shelter!

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    The rest of our push towards the BDR route was uneventful. I did scratch one bucket list item off – I am fascinated by the big wind turbines. My brother in law works for Siemens and has offered to get me IN one…but it just never worked out. Our dirt road in the middle of nowhere took us right through a massive field where they look like dandelions popped up for sun! Very cool! Just FYI, they are as big as you might think. The tower base is probably 13’-15’ across. They are silent sans for the massive blade cutting the air. FYI, New Mexico is ridiculously windy!

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    Since we left Tucumcari at lunch, by the time we neared the route, it was time to starting thinking gas, food, camp. A natural fit was Carrizozo itself and there is a REALLY nice campground just a couple miles north. We learned it was a NM state park that was recently acquired by the feds and converted to a National Recreation Area (Valley of Fires National Recreation Area). Everything was literally BRAND NEW. The nicest shower/bath house I have ever seen. Great sites that were spread out…tent only sites too. Cost? $7!

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    Even if you are not camping, it is worth a stop here to see the awesome lava flow (malpais I think – see NOT a geologist). There is a mile loop that cuts through the flow, which goes all the way to the White Sands National Monument. I was stunned by the variety of flora and fauna here. This was really cool, and I am not typically a desert lover. It’s worth a walk! There are a bunch of viewing points with the history of the eruption, flow, and the impact on the landscape. We both really enjoyed the Valley of Fires quite a bit.

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    We set up camp on a killer overlook of the malpais flow. We watched the sun set to a quality cup of dehydrated decaf coffee. The wind was killer, with gusts to 40+ mph…so no fire. We were spent. Shortly after this pic, the sun set and a blanket of stars covered us from horizon to horizon. I had not seen that since I left the service...I sort of missed drifting off to sleep that way. I left my rain fly off intentionally. The temps were still hovering around 65. How many times does one get to see a natural blanket of stars?

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    Time to aim at White Sands Missile Range tomorrow. It’s west, desolate, and sandy. Fun!
    #1
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  2. tft

    tft Spends to much time on advrider. Supporter

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    Looks awesome!
    #2
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  3. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

    Joined:
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    A few Carrizozo and White Sands tips:

    Logistics: The Four Winds Restaurant (in "downtown" Carrizozo) is quite good. One of the better chicken fired steaks I have had. Gas is 24x7 in town. Camping is either in the USFS just to the west (dispersed), at Valley of Fires (what we chose), or further along the BDR route by 15+ miles.

    I started having GPS issues as we neared Carrizozo...as did traveling group number 1. These may be temporary...hard to say, but they are doing testing at White Sands that can disrupt all GPS use. So, please plan accordingly. In the first group, all of their GPS units stopped working alltogether. When we went through, we had vertical fix issues and would up with wonky elevation readings. In both cases, the issues stopped after a few hours. Big Dog mentioned their units just stopped receiving a fix. For those that stare intently at their GPS units...make sure you have some decent spatial skills around White Sands. Bring a compass!

    One can check the Notice to Airmen to see if this continues into summer. Here are the current GPS related NOTAM impacting the area:

    https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/noticesAction.do?queryType=ALLGPS&formatType=ICAO

    NAVIGATION (UTTR GPS 16-02) GPS (INCLUDING WAAS, GBAS, AND ADS-B) MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE WI A 474NM RADIUS CENTERED AT 401840N1133428W (BVL 147026) FL400-UNL DECREASING IN AREA WITH A DECREASE IN ALTITUDE DEFINED AS: 428NM RADIUS AT FL250, 349NM RADIUS AT 10000FT, 355NM RADIUS AT 4000FT ABOVE GROUND LEVEL, 335NM RADIUS AT 50FT ABOVE GROUND LEVEL DUE TO GPS INTERFERENCE IMPACTS POTENTIALLY AFFECTING EMBRAER PHENOM 300 AIRCRAFT FLIGHT STABILITY CONTROLS, FAA RECOMMENDS EMB PHENOM PILOTS AVOID THE ABOVE TESTING AREA AND CLOSELY MONITOR FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEMS DUE TO POTENTIAL LOSS OF GPS SIGNAL. DAILY 1500-1730. 02 MAY 15:00 2016 UNTIL 05 MAY 17:30 2016. CREATED: 29 APR 07:05 2016
    #3
  4. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Am so anxious to read your story and see your pictures.
    You said you weren't much of a ride report guy----------but your enthusiasm--attention to detail and pics really shine thru------and your just getting started with it.

    Nice to put a face with a guy I have heard about and communicated with some.

    Those Honda 500's are awesome aren't they ????--------don't have to tell you that.

    Thanks for posting your story up. Everybody will enjoy it.

    BigDog
    #4
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  5. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
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    Idaho
    :lurk

    Thanks for posting this Ride Report BigMo.

    I appreciate how you have done simple and inexpensive mode to your CB to make it yours. I also like to see another rider riding cast 17" rims and tubeless tires into the wild and somehow surviving against all odds and popular myths.

    The NMBDR is one I would love to do so I am really excited to see the rest of your report.
    #5
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  6. TroyWolf

    TroyWolf Student in the art of less

    Joined:
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    491
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    Overland Park, KS
    Yeah, Sean might be able to put together a decent ride report, but try riding and camping with this guy for a week -- UGH! The guy is always complaining and arguing about where to eat, etc. "I'm too hot.", "I'm too cold.", "I don't want to eat Mexican food again.", "How much farther?!" ...I had to ride his bike for him whenever the trail got technical.

    :rofl

    HA! Actually, HUGE thanks to Sean for basically making this ride happen for me. He did 100% of the logistics and is an excellent rider and an even better human. Zero drama--bike or otherwise.

    Oh, and I guess those BDR guys deserve a bit of thanks for creating the route! The tracks were perfect of course, but the map is VERY high quality and useful. Sean and I highly recommend anyone doing the BDR invest in the map. THANKS, BDR FOLKS!

    and...Hi, Big Dog!
    #6
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  7. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Hey Troy------------been years since we rode together and have seen each other--------I almost asked if I had met you guys before when I saw the pictures of you guys.
    Sure looked familiar-------and it was you. Awesome.

    BigDog

    This picture of you on you old KLR is still on my website.

    044 TroyAtSpeed.jpg
    #7
  8. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    In! :lurk:lurk

    Looking forward to this report! :thumb
    #8
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  9. overlander

    overlander Gravel Travel Tours Supporter

    Joined:
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    Wicheetaw, KS but longing for Texas
    Wow Troy and big dog on the same page and a new trail in a state Ive only ridden through to get somewhere else? I'm in on this for sure!
    #9
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  10. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
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    We woke early and after some more dehydrated coffee and dehydrated breakfast (which is pretty dang good FWIW), we headed northwest. We knew that trying to plan food around towns was a no-go. So we brought enough Mountain House food for the whole week. Whenever we were in town, we grabbed fresh tortillas (it’s New Mexico after all). They make a great way to enjoy breakfasts, lunch, and dinner on the trail.

    The BDR quickly gets remote. My daughter is a horse lover, so I stopped to photo any open range horses I stumble upon. This trio caught my eye with a newborn getting his legs under him. He had no fear of me until mom got nervous when I got about 50’ away.

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    Ranch roads were fast and quickly dissolved to two track that turned west. The terrain starts to change, and the mountains to the west get closer. I saw a few of these today, and many more this trip. I HATE snakes…all of them. I have no idea what they are, and don’t really care…

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    After a quick trek through the backcountry, we turned towards White Sands. As we neared 380, the stop sign was down. My good turn of the day was to remove it from the shoulder and place it in a spot that the county would notice. Stop signs are big and heavy! Who’d a thunk!

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    You will pass a few signs that warn that 380 closes during testing. It was Sunday, and testing on Sundays is not too prevalent. It does happen, though, so plan for a possible delay. The 20+ miles on 380 was really the only “long” stretch of pavement. It brings the mountains right to your feet when we turn south to parallel the western boundary of White Sands.

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    The Butler map noted potential deep sand along this section. Like any BDR, conditions likely vary wildly depending on the time of year and the weather. The area was dry, but it had rained within the previous week…so the sand was no issue for us. This section is nearly 100 miles of fast desert sand/dirt. Most of it is adjacent to the actual missile range. You can see here that as long as you stay on the road, you are good. Avoid the edges as the sand gets deeper.

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    We stopped at this cool 60’s fuel truck that the Army just left on the fence line. It is not a hulk…although it has no shortage of bullet holes. It is amazingly preserved. Now I see why my dad came to New Mexico to buy classic cars! Why did they leave it here?

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    I honestly thought this section was going to blow. Surprisingly, the area has its own unique beauty. There is a historic ranch (just remnants) in the area. I have a buddy into high end barn wood furniture and he would flip over this stuff! I paused to think what life here was like 150 years ago – heck 75 years ago! I like to think I can adapt and make the most of my surroundings, but wow…these pioneers were men’s men and women’s women. These people were tough stock! Further back, the natives that called this home were legendary. I cannot imagine scraping a life out of this landscape. Impressive isn’t the right word.

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    This was the first of many stupid signs. More on that later. This was one of many in the area mentioning fishing…ummm…ok. The “road” entrance had a 10’ deep drainage cut right in front of it. Maybe it is 20 years old and just looks newish. I doubt this area was ever popular with anglers…not in the last 50K years anyway!

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    After 100 or so miles, we neared Elephant Butte Reservoir. I just spent the summer out west, so I knew what the reservoirs looked like. For those that don’t know…they are low. Seriously low. Heck, some are gone. You can see the annual “bathtub rings” mark the level as they drop year by year. I know this isn’t a joke…but at some point, this trend becomes really serious… TORC – or Truth or Consequences for you outsiders – well, it wasn’t what I was expecting. It was a bone dry fueling place for urban boaters to fill their boats for the very crowded reservoir. We quickly fueled and moved through TORC. The mountains were west – we could now see them. I could smell them. The smell of pine was on the air!

    We transited through Winston. We both had 200+ range – so fuel stops were generally every other “BDR stop”. Winston was the first “urban” place in New Mexico that impacted me emotionally. I am not quite sure how to put this, but Winston is simply flirting with third world living. For those that think they need to leave the US to do mission work – let me direct you to Winston. I felt dirty riding my cycle through town – standing on my pegs soaking in the town like a weird movie. Lots of folks just out and about…nothing to do. Only two businesses in the whole town…and nothing nearby for 25+ miles. Most folks appeared to be living sans power and water. Some waved…some just stared. Still thinking about Winston...

    Just after Winston, you maneuver through what looks like someone’s front yard and enter Chloride Canyon. Let me be blunt – this is an absolute gem. Chloride Canyon may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever ridden. Period. I looked at the time and noticed we would be sleeping here. Perfect! The Butler map mentions crossing the creek 100+ times. I counted 74…that’s a bunch. Even in the spring with recent rain, the deepest crossing was a foot deep at the most. Most were just 4-6 inches. The ride is stunning (not sure of a better word). Slowing down to take it all in was easy to do…Butler mentions taking it all in…and we did!

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    We found a great spot to camp (there are LOTS of them). Green grass, a creek, a fire ring, and our own cave. We set up camp and realized we forgot to call our wives…ooops! I noticed a nearby peak on the adjacent ridge that was 500’ up. We headed up with our phones. LOTS of scat on the trail. This is a wild area with lots of “locals”. At the top, no signal. The ladies know what we are doing and shouldn’t worry…we can call tomo.

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    Another night in the tent…fire…decaf coffee. It’s cooling off fast. By the time we racked out, it was near freezing. Lovely!

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    Tomorrow, we head straight west into the mountains. We move quickly up to 7K, 8K, then 9K+. Temps drop, the trees change...goodbye desert. Hello high country!
    #10
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  11. ChadKTM

    ChadKTM n00b

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    Looks like a great time! I knew you guys were about done with "Real" dirt bike riding and see you found a good fit.

    Chad
    #11
  12. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

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    Says the guy on a quad...
    #12
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  13. MotoChron

    MotoChron Got Dirt?!

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    Loving it! Especially since I just got a CBX! Looking forward to more.
    #13
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  14. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
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    586
    A little semi-related topic...PLBs. A riding buddy (I use the term lightly) has had a PLB for a few years that I have been semi envious of. I like the simplicity and lack of any kind of subscription service. This ride was supposed to be a trio - and our "team doctor" was going to accompany us. He ditched us, and that left the two of us. I figured I would seize the opportunity and buy a PLB of my own. After an evening of research, I settled on the Fast Find 220 by McMurdo Marine. It had everything an adventurer needs in a VERY compact package. $225 to my door from Amazon. It's about the size of a 2003-era candy bar cel phone.

    Once you spend the $225, you are done. Registration was easy (and free) with NOAA. I already received my confirmation info and "activation" sticker. It's simple. Pull tab, press on, wait for search and rescue to arrive. I like it. There are lots of complexities when it comes to medical issues, insurance, etc.. However, I am not an idiot...if I activate it, something horrible happened and money is meaningless at that point.

    Here is mine next to my wallet for size reference:

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    When I mentioned above that we forgot to call our wives (honest), my wife mentioned that she didn't worry as she knew we had the PLB. That's pretty strong advice there...
    #14
  15. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    586
    Ok, back at it...

    We woke up to bone chilling cold. During the night, I wound up putting everything I had on except for my Goretex gear. It probably dropped to 25ish. My bag was comfort rated to 40 degrees and extreme rated to 30 degrees. I had a thin liner too…bottom line, it was cold! A herd of cows woke me up. They wanted our camping spot. We were bogarting all the good grass I guess.

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    Pee, fire, coffee. That would make a good t-shirt no?

    More breakfast, breaking down camp (we are getting good at it now)…and we are on our way.

    Eventually, and sadly, Chloride Canyon comes to an end. The end is at Monument Park Cabin. I assume this is one of the original homesteader spots. It was a stunning location. Huge mature pinions and junipers, great fresh water, and great views. The cabin was in surprisingly great condition. It must be the New Mexico climate. While we were rooting around near the cabin, I kept running through my mind what it would take to move in. Too much HGTV and Fixer Upper…my wife has a girl crush on Joanna Gaines…

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    View from the front of the cabin.

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    We leave the cabin area and work our way towards Reserve. This area of the Gila National Forest in stunningly remote. There is simply no one around. We saw a small group of campers just west of Winston, but then nada for 50+ miles. In the dirt…no tracks. It was our own forest. I kept thinking how low the user per acre ratio is here. So much lower than any other USNF I have been to. Time for a snack. Thanks Cliff. I have no idea why this pinion was cut down (tree poachers???). But it made a perfect spot to chillax and warm in the intense sunshine. We were above 7500 feet now…

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    Remember remote? How many times do you see signs like this? This is just west of Beaverhead Lodge (I think that’s the name). It’s a rockstar hunting lodge that has its own airfield. Troy was like “Sean, what’s this weird thing on my GPS?” “An airfield, that makes no sense…” My idea of an expensive hunt is buying steel shot for ducks…something tells me this place is spendy… So the 57 miles of one lane road begins. A mile from this sign, it is just a two track that meanders through the forest seemingly forever. I guess that's why they have their own airfield!

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    We enter an area of the Gila that was devastated by fire. We deduced later in Reserve that it happened around 2008 (although there was some disagreement there too). In some areas, it looked like we tested another nuclear weapon. Literally nothing standing but some burned trunks. Grass was growing as were saplings. In 5-10 more years, this ridge will be beautiful once again. It amazes me how fast areas like this can recover from such devastation. I watched a little chipmunk get plucked by a hawk (or maybe an eagle) and shredded in flight. Cool. Sad. It had its own beauty too (I know I have used that before - but it did). This fire really impacted the locals. In Reserve, we we were discussing the fire, a local asked us to describe what it looked like. He wanted to know, but was too saddened to go see it himself. Said he just cannot bring himself to see it.

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    We stay on the main route and opt for the “harder” section. Butler calls this section “Very Rocky”. They need to come ride the Ozarks. MO and AR were cut out of the dirt issuance…all we have IS rocks. I guess in comparison to all dirt, it was rocky, but the ascent was totally doable on any big bike. I’ve always like rocky road anyway. This was high caliber big bike riding IMO. It simply doesn't get any better than this!

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    The ascent continues up Bear Wallow. Up to near 10K feet. The sky is beautiful, we can see for miles…and Troy gets one bar of 4G. Time to call the ladies! I believe we are on top of Eagle Peak (maybe a local knows). The view is stunning here! No phone bars, but 4G allowed us to Gmail our wives and send data to SMS. They both confirm. Smiles all around (and I am sure happier wives). It had been well over 24 hours since they heard from us. Western NM is THAT remote... We had been trying the phones at every turn for 50 miles.

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    Two VERY happy dudes! Lots to be thankful for.

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    The road up top is amazing. If one didn’t know better, this feels like Colorado. As soon as we start heading down the mountain, I was simply giddy with New Mexico. I had several days to just think now (it's why I love adventure riding). Work was cleared from my mind and all the hard problems in life were sort of sorted out (in my head anyway). I have about 7-8 more years of work until retirement. I made up my mind on this road…we are moving to New Mexico by 2024!

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    Bam! Our first problem.

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    A pretty big downed pinion with nothing but slope on one side (up) and slope on the other (REALLY down). It’s move it, cut it, or ditch this ride. We opt for a combination of one and two. But it took some time and absolutely killed us. Working at 9K for flatlanders is tough business. We made it work, time to celebrate and BDR on!

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    Are you serious? Downed tree number two. Just ½ mile from that last.

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    We knew only one group had been this far on the BDR (ever). When I saw the second tree, I asked myself what the chances are that two giant pinions fell across the road in the past 2-3 days. Chances? Low. This one was big. Too big to move and our trail saws were arm powered…and my arms hurt. We opted for the dirtbiker solution = a ramp. This was the first time I wished I had my KTM in lieu of my CBX. No worries. We had that sucker ramped in 15 minutes. Easy going down. Not easy for folks going up (north to south route).

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    Game on! We are rolling again. I am zapped now, but the sun is getting lower and my tummy was growling. All we have to do is get off the mountain and find some food in Reserve. Camping is everywhere here – if you don’t like what you see…wait 5 minutes. Based on our previous night's shivering exercise, we knew that camping at 9K feet was a terrible idea. We needed to get down below 7K or we would be spooning. My spooning days are over!

    Oh $%&@%*!(@& - are you kidding me?

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    Now I am worried…going back is not a great option. This tree is BIG and is blocking the whole road. The root ball cannot be bypassed and the hill above is steep – 45 degrees steep at least. There was not enough clearance to drag our bikes under either (that’s what we do with dirtbikes). Hmmmm…

    We huddle and decide we are “all in” at this point. We are now three big trees in and I am very concerned that even if we make it past – there could be another, five, heck 58 more trees between us and Reserve. Just then, I see an F350 easing our way (on the other side of the tree). It was a forest service vehicle. Cool! I holler “Hey, do you have a chainsaw?” He yells back “Nope.” He backs away, turns around, and vanishes. Gee, thanks brother! The GREAT news is that we know if the F350 got there – this is the last tree! The bad news is this guy didn't give a hoot about leaving us on the mountain behind a massive downed tree. Oh well. Still smiling!

    So we do what I do best…cut trail. We cut a killer single track access trail about 200 feet back and clear all the obstacles. Troy found it funny I was so concerned about scratching my pants in the sticker bushes. My wife got me new Monarch Pass gear for Christmas and I LOVED it. I sort of like the waterproof part too. Sticker bushes and Goretex = no Bueno.

    [​IMG]

    A good hour or so into our trail busting and we have a great route. This works south to north, but the reverse would be nearly impossible on anything but a real dirtbike. Until the USFS cuts this tree, this is a show stopper north to south. Here is Troy ready to rock our new fresh single track. In full transparency, he got to watch me "clean" in dab free on the CBX!

    [​IMG]

    Free at last! More great forest road and lots of stupid signs. Let’s remember that we are like 50 miles from anything at this point…and 20+ miles into this road we get turn signs for every turn and now bump signs too. What do those cost? $500 each?

    [​IMG]

    FYI, there was no bump. It was ironically one of the smoothest parts of the two track.

    Reserve at last!

    Reserve has gas. It was a solo station, and looked like it was not 24x7. I apologize, I forgot to ask the hours.

    We ate at Carmen’s. Cool place with cool people. The waitress (Sarah) was incredibly interested in the BDR. She met one of the BDR guys from Oregon (forgot which one) and she wants to meet more adventurers as they wind through Reserve. Ask for Sarah – she is great. A bit of a chatter too!

    Full belly, now it’s time to bed down. We found a great dispersed campground (Gila NF) and it is empty (of course). Cost? Free. It's just west of Luna, NM and is symbolized on Butler's BDR map (buy the map folks).

    [​IMG]

    Someone left us a ton of cut firewood (thanks). It was already cold…and the phone said low 20’s. We got camp setup in record time. We even took a hike down the creek. Beautiful area. Why is no one here?

    My daughter is giving me selfie lessons. I was happy here. It's been a GREAT day! My mental refreshment meter is pegged. Once again, throttle therapy is the right treatment.

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow we turn northeast and head across some massive reservations and we shed the forest for desert.

    PS - Luna has a gas station too. Nice lady owner. She confirmed 8-5 daily and sometimes open until 6 on the weekends. They have a little general store with some basic necessities. It is on the west side of Luna and about a mile from the campground.

    PSS - my phone says a strong chance of snow. Lovely. Drift off to bed...smiling of course...
    #15
    CalamariKid, Shaggie, mshell and 3 others like this.
  16. advmoto66

    advmoto66 Ride On!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,852
    Location:
    Dirt Bike Nirvana Phoenix, AZ
    Enjoying your efforts in putting this RR together. NM is a favorite and special place for me. Love NM green chili on every and anything!!
    #16
    bigmo likes this.
  17. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,233
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Good stuff!
    #17
    bigmo likes this.
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    36,138
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Sweet!
    #18
    bigmo likes this.
  19. msteward

    msteward Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,239
    Location:
    Spanish Fork, Utah
    Well will they wake up with snow on them or not?

    I say snow. Just a dusting though.
    #19
    bigmo likes this.
  20. Taillight

    Taillight Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Texas
    Very cool report. DONT STOP.
    #20
    bigmo likes this.