The Mobius Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DR. Rock, May 23, 2008.

  1. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    While we were sitting around, waiting for the filters to dry in the afternoon sun, enjoying the cocktail hour, actually, a guy pulls in on a black tiger.

    Gets his gear off, and introduces himself, (Jim), and we get to talking.

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    He's from Kansas, collects vintage bikes, was riding to the 4-corners area, spends half the year in Costa Rica, his wife also rides, but was currently sport-fishing in Baja. Made his fortune developing and producing equipment for milking goats. Super-nice...

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, KCDakar posts on the NE forum asking for info on an upcoming trip to NYC. Being on the tent-space list, we invite her to stay with us, and in the course of getting to know her, she mentions that she once owned a vintage bike... Now, I know only one person from Kansas period, but I ask... hey, on our trip we met this guy... the goat-man... Straight away she says "Jim!" Anyway, turns out they're all great friends, and the standard six degrees of separation was pared down to none, and a loop of coincidence and friendship was snugged tight. Small world, eh?

    Now this guy...

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    He came up and was asking about our trip, and told us he was from Texas, working construction (paving) on a job. Hell of a commute. Anyway, he asked why we were in Liberal, and we answered maintenance, mostly. He asked if we had seen the sights? :scratch No, such as?... we asked.
  2. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Well. Apparently, Liberal, KS is know as the location of the house that inspired Frank Baum when penning the Wizard of Oz.

    So, as the cocktails wore off, and the sun was setting, we saddled up in search of the Yellow Brick Road.

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    OK, maybe they weren't totally worn off. :dunno

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    Who knew? :dunno

    And there it was:

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  3. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    The museum was closed, otherwise, we'd have gone in for sure...

    But there were other things to see:

    THE yellow brick road...

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    The characters:

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    And a display of some cool old farm machinery, which started to look a little spooky illuminated by our headlights in the dark.

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  4. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Huh? :loco

    "[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Newcomers to Liberal might be amazed to see people dashing down Kansas Avenue on a chilly winter morning, pancake skillets clutched tightly to their apron-covered chests as they race. But that just means it's Pancake Day, a holiday all of Liberal celebrates."

    Learn more here!

    So the guy tells us we can't leave Liberal without eating pancakes (I was wondering why the main street was called Pancake Blvd), so the next morning we woke up early,

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    Mmmmmm.

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  5. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Jim was packing up as well, and we said our goodbyes...

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    And we were back on the trail, rested, refreshed, bikes humming...

    Life is good.

    :ricky:ricky

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  6. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    for the day was Black Mesa State Park, almost all the way out on the OK panhandle.

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    It felt good to be excited about riding again, and the weather looked like it would be nice for camping.:D
  7. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    We came upon a short section of road which I've thought a lot about since. The terrain had become more and more arid, with the vegetation adapting... scrub bushes, low grasses, cacti.

    This section was about 1/2 mile long only, but it was desert. There were some graders moving the sand onto / off of the road, but that patch of land was devoid of plant life, and in the wind, dunes were starting to form.

    I wondered if the same process of drought started the dust bowl. What isn't clear to me is that this little patch of desert had started during one of the wettest winter-springs ever. Global warming?

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    I've since read a little about how deserts form... it's called "desertification".

    It was as if a little patch of desert started, and then the sand accumulated and as it drifted over adjacent land, killed all the vegetation, creating a bigger patch and it seemed to me with nothing to stop it, there is potential of spreading like an infection across the land. The graders (there were several at work) were kind of pathetic in the wind... you could tell in about a day, the road would be drifted over again.

    We struggled to get across. I wonder what's going to become of it by the end of the summer.

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  8. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    On up ahead, you can see that the road is sandy, but there's still some land cover and plant life alongside:

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  9. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    It was turning into another windy day (note wind sock)

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    And more wide-open spaces, without a lot of cover...

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    Adobe bricks?

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    But good riding nonetheless:

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  10. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    I was getting a little Andrew Wyeth thing going:

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    I guess you had to be there to really get it like I was...

    oh well
  11. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    A tree:

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    Driving across the panhandle, I appreciated what a harsh environment it can be, like a tundra... We've watched the motoDVD's of riders on trips that cross the mongolian plains, the Himalayan steppes, the Atacama desert in South American you have to cross if you want to ride all the way down, etc... We had a little of that feel crossing this area.

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  12. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    What a great report. Love the fast loading pictures also as it's kinda slow internet here at offshore Louisiana. WarLoop Road.
    What a memory on my first encounter running solo on my then new '00 KLR650. Your trip reminds me so much of mine. Great wife you have there. Thanks for the memories.
    Oh yea, my wife was kinda on me back then about my solo travels in remote places and possible injuries and the sort. When I mentioned that I would just probably become part of the food chain she was not amused none at all. :evil

    Thanks for sharing. Great job.
  13. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    We re-entered more cultivated land, and signs of human habitation:

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    This was Boise City.
  14. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    It was relatively early in the day, and we were far from our destination, I was starting to get a handle on how remote the area was, and so we took the opportunity to pick up some groceries for dinner.

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    Scenes from Boise City:

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    If this is the biggest community concern, things are OK in Boise city:

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    Boise City is also where we filled our tanks, and the two-liter bottles in the Sweetcheeks with gas. We would be leaving the TAT the next day, and I had calculated about 200 miles to the next "maybe" gas station, in Maxwell, NM... If not there, we'd have about another 28 miles to known gas.
  15. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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  16. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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  17. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    ...off in the distance on the horizon, we could see the Capulin Volcano which we would attempt to ride up the next day. I lined it up with the GPS, and it seemed to be the right direction. Can't remember exactly how many miles away, though... but many.

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  18. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    We were seeing more and more antelope. We came upon one group, and there wasn't a good place for them to clear the barb wire fence. One by one, they slipped under, but this one guy was indecisive... jump over, or scoot under. We slowed down to let them clear, but then he'd just run down the road, delaying the inevitable that we would overtake and pass him.

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    Finally, he decides to go through the fence, and gets a prong caught... :doh and starts thrashing around. I ride by him, and stop... double back intending to unhook his horn from the fence.

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    The look of sheer terror in that animal's eyes was quite disturbing. As I was dismounting the bike, he finally broke himself free, and scampered off, leaving a few tufts of hair in the barbs. I felt bad for the guy, but man, that's some hyperactive survival instinct. :dunno
  19. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    We see the Mesa's in the distance,

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    And eventually arrive at the campground and pick a spot.

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    Which is almost rejected because of a red ant presence, the potential consequences of which are roundly debated. :turkish

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    I try to convince LDF that the ants do not represent a mortal threat, and we set up camp...

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    She remains skeptical...

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  20. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Picking up the groceries in Boise City was totally the right call... there's nothing open at the camp ground... a general store up the road looks closed from last season and currently abandoned.

    It wasn't a long day,

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    So we decide to go for a hike:

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    This would be cool... but we'd have to drive there, and that would cut into our gas reserve... oh well, another time.

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