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

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Hey Vikingtazz,

    Great to hear from you. Booger is still in the stable but is suffering from sad neglect.

    LA's neck and back surgeries have left her less than eager to ride much anymore.
    #41
    Vikingtazz likes this.
  2. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Yeah, I know what you mean. This is the first one I have visited.

    Glad I did!
    #42
  3. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    OK, still glancing back on occasion.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And then the top.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Magnificent ruins up here.

    [​IMG]

    My favorite picture of the whole trip. That beam, coming down into (or perhaps coming out of the sipapu) of the kiva. And these are some really large kivas compared to the ones at Mesa Verde. Just sayin'.

    [​IMG]
    #43
  4. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    I was in no hurry. I had no planned destination for the remainder of the day or for tomorrow for that matter. So I just drank it in.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Heading out.

    [​IMG]

    Then a slow, relaxing ride south on CO151.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Heaven on earth and all to ourselves for the most part. Just thumping along breathing in the landscape and the colors. The thing most folk don't realize about solo moto travel is that the things we take for advantage on a daily basis become startlingly meaningful and apparent. The smells, the colors, and the feel of the wind caressing you and your bike suddenly become significant in a unique way that is hard to describe in conversation.

    Know what I mean?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Back into NM just like that. On a road less traveled. What a gift.

    Not dirt, but a backroad. A state line crossing that most will never see. Yeller and I own it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hoping to camp around here somewhere. We are in this area because of a few words from an old guy back at Chimney Rock. Originally, I was thinking of heading into UT, visiting 3-Step, and possibly a look at Moab. The wear on my rear tire and that sentence from a stranger regarding Chaco canyon altered that plan.

    For the better.

    [​IMG]

    I found a spot and decided to go in search of an adult beverage. Meeting up with the San Juan river for the second time today. It was magical; not having anywhere to go or be. No time constraints. Thump, thump, thump. If you look at the Garmin map for today, you will see the loop I made to locate a brew.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Just riding along. Me and Yeller.

    [​IMG]

    They even have a Texas Hole up here....

    [​IMG]

    Is that an honor or a dis?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lodging for the night.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #45
    Cav47, twowings, bomose and 2 others like this.
  6. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Day 4, Tuesday, October 1, 2019 -- Navajo Lake State Park, NM to Santa Fe National Forest, NM.

    181 miles, ~7 hours

    [​IMG]

    Sunrise at Navajo Lake State Park. A gentle breeze greeted me from the north. Later on it would turn into a gusty blast from the south. Mother nature can be, and ususlly is, a vindictive old bitch.

    [​IMG]

    Always pour the creamer in first. No stirring required that way.

    [​IMG]

    Then wash the dishes.

    [​IMG]

    Coffee cup serves as shaving aid and sink, coffee receptacle, and dishwashing sink. Gross, but practical and simple. Riding in the clutch side saddle bag it usually also gets heat sterilized on most days in the locations I ride. :-)

    The problem with having too much time on your hands is what I am about to put you FF's through. Stay the course because there's some pretty cool pics coming up shortly.

    Pack the Givi for ergonomical advantage.

    This is how I pack my stuff. I do it the same every time. My routine, like doing elective surgery (I am a retired Veterinarian -- think spays and neuters), requires little to no thought and is very difficult to mess up.
    Camp chair in back, Therma-rest in front, tent one side, Kelty mummy the other side, clothes in middle, sheet on top one side, and towel on top the other side. This settles about 10 minutes after take off and makes a fine back rest.


    [​IMG]

    Make sure all zippers are in place. Clutch side and pointing toward the rear fender. I do this because I have ridden hundreds of miles with a towel flapping behind undetected.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I just strap my shit on and cinch it down good. It leans and shifts, but never comes off or causes a problem. Through the years I have had many a slow speed get-off and the only challenge encountered was righting the bike. I have graduated from bungees (for the most part) to those thick black rubber ties.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Secure it with a couple rubber bungees.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then put the rain gear on top for easy access with a net that I got at Walmart. Saddle bags stay on. Brake side is the beer cooler; food, cooking utensils, stove, and maps on the clutch side. I never have to think about where anything is.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #46
  7. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Forgot one thing. The purple rain gear bag serves as a pillow and I carry a pillow case along. It does not fit really well, but when you put the sheet inside the Kelty and put the pillow case over the rain gear bag it comes together to make a right comfy bed at the end of the day. :gerg

    <end of long winded manifesto on packing and gear>

    It is pretty simple, like me.
    #47
    eaglescan, Cav47 and staticPort like this.
  8. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    So, yesterday at Chimney Rock, I bumped into this nice gentleman that was as pleased with the ruins as I was. He said something about Chaco Canyon ruins. He said something about the long, bumpy dirt road going in, but that it was well worth it.

    I was hooked and this is where I was headed today. Karma of the road less traveled.

    These are just leaving Navajo Lake.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is where I found the adult beverage yesterday evening. I was prepared and determined to ride to Bloomfield, NM if necessary. Good Karma.

    [​IMG]

    More good helmet time. I believe this is south on US550

    [​IMG]

    I kept seeing some cool and colorful stuff to my left (east). Finally a road led off in that direction.

    [​IMG]

    A bit washboardy, similar to the road the kindred spirit suggested yesterday, but worth it in the end. There are a lot of pots of gold that reside at the end of bumpy roads, I believe.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Fun to see what so many miss rushing to arrive at point B. We all have our agendas. No matter your socioeconomic status, time is the most valuable commodity. Can't buy it, best use it while it is still at your disposal. It is the greatest investment with unfathomable dividends.

    "Running to Stand Still" ~U2

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #48
  9. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    #49
    bomose, i4bikes and staticPort like this.
  10. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    380
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    :thumb Thanks for posting
    #50
    Animal Instinct likes this.
  11. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Chaco Culture National Historic Park should be coming up on the right. Just thumping along with not a worry one.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    "Destination Unknown" ~ Missing Persons

    Yep.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It is a long way out there to the canyon. This is one washboardy basturd. I would never suggest driving a car out here. Yeller and I had consumated the marriage a couple days ago so we agreed to run this road at 50mph to negate the bumps and it worked out well. We had to stop for a photo op along the way, but we flew down this road with reckless abandonment.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Thanks for looking in! :wave
    #52
  13. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,092
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Beautiful big skies and breathtaking locations! :clap
    #53
    Animal Instinct likes this.
  14. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Thanks, RedDogAlberta.

    Good hearing from you again. Let's see what the rest of day 4 has in store.....
    #54
  15. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    We arrived.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then took the self guided tour after a brief repast in the visitor center parking area.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And there is more.

    There are several "towns" spread throughout the canyon. I was not expecting this, but rather a single large ruin like what we encountered at Chimney Rock yesterday. Mesa Verde has cities like this but they are spread much further apart.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Chimney Rock kivas were the largest I had ever encountered. These simply dwarf them. Massive.

    I had hoped to camp here, but the campground was full. This made me have to kind of rush, which I accepted, knowing I had not planned to be here in the first place. We will figure something out.
    #55
  16. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    I reluctantly realized we would run out of time but I was determined to embrace the experience and at the least, get a few pics of each of the ruins. It was hot and a recently inherited "click" in my right knee said differently.

    Me and Yeller agreed, "Challenge accepted."

    I was gazing down into these massive kivas and a dude with a Harley tee came up (this was before the COVID-19 mandated social distancing recommendations) and said, "Kinda' makes you wonder what they did down in there."

    I said, "Yep."

    That was the extent of our conversation, but if you ever visit I will wager the same thought will float through your mind as you study the layout.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Look at the intricate placement.
    Don't you wish you had the time, patience, and skill to do something like this?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Heat, time constraints, and knee be damned. I elected to hike to the next ruins as there were some items of interest along the way that the vehicular route would miss. Of course that would mean revisiting the hike to get back to Yeller.

    See the next ruins in the background?

    [​IMG]

    Petroglyphs.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And spots where they sharpened their tools.

    [​IMG]
    #56
  17. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    And the next ruins, you know, the ones seen in the distance a few minutes ago.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This one is just huge! See the next one in the distance?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Kind of had a fling with this raven. It refused to allow a flattering pic.

    [​IMG]

    Yeller was over there in the distance with the cars you see if you look real hard.

    [​IMG]

    Let your imagination run with the ruins...

    .....what was it like to live here?

    [​IMG]

    Hey, raven.

    [​IMG]

    Each and every time I tried to take the pic, the raven turned its head.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I finally gave up. The raven will remain.....

    ....."Nameless here for evermore." The Raven ~ Edgar Allen Poe

    What did they do in there a thousand years ago?

    [​IMG]

    There was a stairway that led down. I took it.

    [​IMG]

    So. You are walking along these corridors and your imagination starts to wander. These huge kivas with odd and small rooms, these corridors, where does this finally lead us? What went on here?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Pause and reflect. Dwell in the present and explore the past. Be thankful.

    [​IMG]
    #57
  18. Cav47

    Cav47 Look, Lean, and Pray!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    Midwest
    Just awesome. Thank you for the posting. As a former history teacher, I love your attention to asking the Why and What to your experiences.

    I tent camped a few years ago with a buddy at Navajo Lake. Many of your pics around the area look similar to mine and the images I carry in my head. Good to hear you are healthy again.
    As my friend @HPPants says, you need all 3 of these to really enjoy life. Time, money, health. Take advantage IF those 3 align, because you know it is only temporary.
    #58
  19. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    east tn
    I had no idea of the scope of these ruins! You have moved Chaco Culture National Historic Park from "maybe someday, if time" on my *Future Visit* list to "Absolutely Must Experience this Place". Nicely done, Sir!
    #59
    Animal Instinct likes this.
  20. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,097
    Location:
    On the cut
    Great report and photos! Looking forward to more :clap
    #60
    Animal Instinct likes this.