Tilting at Windmills -- A Simple Getaway

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Animal Instinct, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Report #7

    A retrospective study on a solo ride that took place in fall of 2019.

    I thought I might just skip sharing this one as I dreamed of the adventure I might take this spring. The COVID-19 pandemic kind of prodded me into whipping a RR together for you FF's to look at while you "work from home."

    This trip was a fly by the seat of the pants ordeal. My odometer read 1175 on Red's replacement, Yeller. I jotted the mileage down and headed west.

    Those of you familiar with my adventures will notice a few recurrent themes.

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    Here is what it looked like, for the most part.

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    #1
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  2. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Glad to see you back on the road and the board, Scott. Really looking forward to your report.
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  3. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks, David.

    Hope all is well in your world. Please tell Barbara we said, "Howdy."
    #3
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  4. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 1, Saturday, September 28, 2019 -- Wichita Falls, TX to Oasis State Park, NM

    398 miles, ~9 hours

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    When I took off I knew the limiting factor would be the stock rear tire. Usually good for around 3000 miles. That meant I had maybe 2000 miles with luggage and all.

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    I kind of make a game of getting out of TX by a different route each ride I take. A little research found a shot through Lubbock and on to Oasis State Park, NM that might be of interest.

    It has been a while since I have been on an adventure. Lots of unplanned inconveniences crept into my life. A bit of colorectal cancer here, a back and neck surgery for Lois, all in 2018. It seems all that is behind me now, but I have learned that you never know what is waiting for you just around the corner and you best appreciate the present.

    I took this one not too far down US82 west just to see if I still had the nack for on-the-fly pics. Practice, if you will.

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    Having settled that point, I patiently waited for that magic moment when the ride gets its groove on.

    And waited.

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    It hit me just before arriving in Rule, TX. The 12V charger for the Garmin I use kept shorting out. It was doing this towards the end of Red's career and I installed a brand new charger on Yeller. You would be riding along and glance at the Garmin only to find the screen dead. I had batteries for it as a back up and put a new set in.

    Simplify.

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  5. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Then it was just good old helmit time heading west.

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    Buzzards. Always a fun target for the camera.

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    The Garmin had no routes plotted into it. Before leaving, I tore TX, CO, NM, and UT out of the old atlas. I had planned to take US82 west to Lubbock but somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn and wound up on US380. It worked out well because I was in no hurry and it kept me south of the rain for the most part. Around noon a strong south wind began working on us for the remainder of the day. The temperature was ideal for riding today.

    Cool sign display on US84 heading NW from Post, TX to Lubbock.

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    Got rained on a bit as we approached Lubbock, but managed to stay dry for the most part and avoided donning the rain suit. Here is where I regret not plotting the route before leaving. I knew where I wanted to be and got a bit frustrated having to pull over and Google the location several times. Patience and persistence pays off.

    What is this???

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  6. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    My, oh my.

    .....and this is Yeller's "End of the Innocence," ~Don Henley

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    I will do my best not to show ALL the pics I took here, but if you find yourself in the Lubbock area with a little time to spare, I recommend this stop.

    $7.50 to enter the museum.

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    #6
  7. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    This place is humongous, and what a great find for those with a leaning towards these beauties!

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    With a massive wall painting.

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    And lots of windmills to tilt at. This sort of indulgence can only lead to dissapointment for Yeller on our future escapades.

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    #7
  8. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Feeling really good about having dodged the rain and about the museum experience, it was time to head into NM.

    State line, TX289 (I think) to NM235.

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    And immediately we stumble onto a herd of Pronghorn, fastest land mammal in N. America.

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    Of course you have to run with them!

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    Then stop for a little history. Keep this one in mind because we will bump into it again in TX on the way back home. It ties the loop together real tidy like.

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    It is such a blessing to be out riding again!

    Feelin' Good Again ~Robert Earl Keen

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  9. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    NM206 to Portales for fuel....

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    ...then a short ride to the night's lodging.

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    Debated putting the rain fly on. There is some saying about preparation....

    Enjoyed one hell of a storm in my dry 2-man tent, patting myself on the back for taking the extra 3 minutes to secure the rain fly. :clap

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    #9
  10. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Barbara and I came back through Lubbock from Tucson. Didn't know there was a windmill museum there.
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  11. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    Always a delight to see another "Tilting . . . " report, Scott. With my 2020 trip plans in limbo, sharing 'helmet time' with you on Yeller is just what the Doctor ordered!
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  12. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Me neither. I found it about two days before I took off. It deserves a full half day at least. I took like a million pictures. There is an entire wing dedicated to millstones that were powered by windmills in there. It is well worth the price of admission.

    ....and the longest electric train track.

    If you ever make it back out that way, you must check it out! :nod
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  13. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks, staticPort.

    As we all adjust to this COVID-19 pandemic, we are all in limbo.

    I love your sig line. JDowns visited us here in the Falls and we hooked up again in AZ while he was waiting on his dui orders from central TX. I have never met a more positive spirit in my life and he may never realize it, but he had a major impact on our lives. A kindred spirit. Shout out to John Downs. :wave

    Ever grateful that we crossed paths on the road less traveled.
    #13
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  14. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    I am doing my best to get this report to you FF's. Photobucket is being a bit uncooperative at the moment. Might be a COVID-19 pandemic glitch.

    Just know I am trying. :photog
    #14
  15. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the American Windmill Museum is,

    "The largest windmill museum in the world,"

    https://windmill.com/

    That is what I meant when I alluded to spoiling Yeller on the first trip.
    #15
  16. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 2, Sunday, September 29, 2019 -- Oasis State Park, NM to Heron Lake State Park, NM.

    409 miles, ~10 hours

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    Yeah, call me crazy, but I am dedicated to my morning rituals and beard stubble rubs around and catches on the padding of my Shoei, detracting from the quality of helmet time.

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    Gotta' have creamer in my coffee, and peanut butter "tacos" are safe, easy to make, and just hit the spot when you hit the hanger stage.

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    I decided to have a go at the back way into Ft. Sumner, NM and was really glad to see the skies clearing after last night's roaring tempest.

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    Was really groovin' on things until....

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    Rerouted using the paper map along this sandier than desired road and.....

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    Sometimes things just don't work out. Always good to have a plan B.
    #16
  17. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Time to take the pavement which entailed a considerate amount of miles in the direction I had just come from. NM 267 north to Melrose, NM. Backtracking, but happy to be out riding. :ricky

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    A stint west on US60 to Ft. Sumner.

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    Then NW on US84. Today, the strong south wind was a nice and appreciated tailwind for the most part.

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    This is the time. Now. So I got it this time.

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    #17
  18. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    Camped at Oasis State Park in the same exact campsite a couple of years ago on my way to a rally in Datil. Experienced one of the wildest weather nights of my life. Tons of lightning, howling winds, radar was packed with red echoes, and....maybe ten drops of rain the whole night. The winds were so strong I actually wore my helmet inside the tent in case one of the trees decided to fall on me...and for some reason, the folks at the airbase decided it was a PERFECT night to practice rough weather touch-n-go landings...most of the night...The next day's weather was perfect for the ride west on 380...thanks for posting the pics!
    #18
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  19. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Stopped for fuel and a bite in Santa Rosa, NM.

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    Bumped into an old friend.

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    Did a short stint on IH40

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    Then found US84 northwest and bumped again

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    and a little further on felt the need to do a bit more exploration.

    (Had to do a U to get this road sign just in case you are as infatuated with the Pecos river as I am)

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    Heading west on NM 386 a good sign at the start....

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    ....and we find ourselves on the bank once again. Forgot to dip a toe in this time as we have done in the past.
    #19
  20. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for looking in, twowings.

    That night I got a deluge and it felt so cozy in the tent. I came dangerously close to blowing off putting on the rain fly.....

    Funny you bring Datil, NM into the picture. I have passed through there several times in the past after having to reroute rides that went afoul due to weather or washed out roads.

    Regards,

    Scott
    #20