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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    Thanks for reading along. My travels have taken me all around Navajo Lake. I've seen it dry. Lovely country in that area and really good riding.

    I usually research my rides a lot better than this one and have a better idea where I'm headed and looking for.
    #61
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  2. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Man, I really agree. I was presently surprised and hope to go back some day.
    #62
  3. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Appreciate it, Dessert Storm.

    ....more on the way.
    #63
  4. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    After a fairly long hike back and once again back on Yeller, it is on to the next settlement.

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    The remaining wood in most of these ruins is original according to an info plaque I read earlier in today's adventure.

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    .....and look at this big momma. A multi-ringed kiva? or arena? Man, I really wish I had more time or there was a camping spot available.


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    Time to exit the park. I had a way to go to find a decent sleeping spot.

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    Backtracking the washboardy bitch. I didn't mention it before, but on the way in we rattled the speedo cable loose and the actual cable fell out so I was searching the incoming side of the road as I was running 55mph to negate the bumps. Searched to no avail.

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    #64
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  5. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Then south on US550.

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    "Breathe deep, the gathering gloom...." Late Lament ~The Moody Blues

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    We stopped in Cuba, NM for fuel and a study of the map. There was a motel right across the street and don't think the thought didn't cross my mind. I tilted towards finding a camping spot in the nearby Santa Fe NF.

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    We were just hunting for a spot to camp. Took the first right and started climbing.

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    Found some ruts and what appeared to be a clearing that had started growing back leading off to the right just before I had decided if we didn't find a good camping spot real soon we would head back to Cuba and the comforts of the motel. It was gloomy and getting cold in the higher altitude.

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    Turned out to be a fine place to put up for the night.

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    It must have been a spot for hunters to park their 5th wheelers a season or two ago. Worked for us. These are magical moments, when hope seems to be draining away and you dig a bit deeper, then, poof. Lookie here.

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    I forgot to reset the Garmin this morning and had to adjust the originally reported mileage and time travel.

    This was kind of an off evening. The convenience store in Cuba did not have Coors so I was drinking Bud, which ain't so bad. I had been facetiming Lois every night and I was out of touch with my peeps due to the remote area I was in. The thought of the motel and its comforts (compared to the tent) kept popping into my mind. For whatever reason, when I sleep at altitude I always have stark and frightening dreams. Being chased, screaming at the top of the lungs but no sound will come out, trying to run and the legs don't work. Fortunately, I only woke up once.

    We got this.

    But to top things off, I broke my readers (1.25 magnification) while taking a piss when I woke up that one time I mentioned in the middle of the night. I carry a spare pare in the tail bag for occasions like this, but the "snap" I heard when it happened set the tone for the next morning.

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    #65
  6. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 5, Wednesday, October 2, 2019 -- Santa Fe National Forest, NM to Storrie Lake SP, NM.

    230 miles, ~8 hours

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    So the bad juju from the busted readers kind of kept coming this morning. Once I realized that phone service was gone, I plugged my phone and camera into the 12V on Yeller before turning in last night. Might as well start off with a full charge. This morning I found the camera battery dead and the phone at 15%.

    I figured I would crank Yeller and see if that might speed things along. :jack

    Rrrrr Rrrrr Rrrr.

    Nothing.

    At least it was turning over. I took the camera and phone off the charger and went to do my morning readings. Maybe the rising sun would help things out.

    I decided not to let this potential catastrophe bother me and sat down to enjoy my coffee. I read a couple chapters of the Bible every morning and the daily Upper Room followed by a peek at Daily Zen. Zen was out of the question as the only access I had was online, but zen is a lifestyle and I dwell there. When I go on an adventure I always get a paper copy of the Upper Room so I was covered for the most part. I will look at Zen later. Remember, routine.

    Long story short. I had my coffee. I did my readings. I packed everything away into the Givi (thanks Mom Too and Lois). I loaded Yeller.

    I had faith.

    I hopped on Yeller. Yeller cranked first try. Karma.

    We took off down the mountain. I was too grateful to notice anything but the road for the ride back into Cuba, NM.

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    And then I had my first little slip of the adventure in celebration (and relief). First food indulgence of the trip.

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    Back into the "civilized" world.

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    It doesn't take much, and it's so easy....
    ......to come out of the wild. But, as I sat there eating my Sausage Egg and Cheese McMuffin I could only think of finishing and getting back on Yeller.

    Thankfully, I got my shit straight and went back off the map. Breakfast was tasty though, I will admit.

    "Into the Wild" ~Jon Krakauer

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    #66
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  7. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    I am not sure any of you noticed the rear tire on Yeller back at the McDonalds, but the wear was a strong factor in deciding to start making our way back home.
    #67
  8. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    It seems so strange to look at these pics and see a yellow fairing instead of a red one. 67K miles forges a strong bond between man and machine.

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    I have been down some of this road before on Red, but Yeller needed a looksie and I had a plan to shoot east over to US84 south into Santa Fe.

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    Not sure where we got off of NM4, and don't really care. We just winged it.

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    Most of you know the drill. Gain altitude, nice smooth gravel becomes rocky and challenging. Nobody has a clue where I might be right now.

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    It was great until it turned into single track and rocks. Our goal was Storrie Lake SP, NM. All I knew was that it was ESE. So we stuck with that. Had to make a few turnarounds.

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    But it was worth it.

    Not sure what road this was, but we were glad to get off the rocky stuff.

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    #68
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  9. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Then it was back to some altitude for a while.

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    Here is where we popped out and all I knew was that Los Alamos was to be avoided.

    Been there and done that. :dirtdog

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    I generally try to avoid interstates if at all possible, however, the possibility of a shower at Storrie Lake, SP persuaded me to take a walk on the wild side.

    I25 east was not so bad, well, most parts of it.

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    The (now AA battery powered Garmin) was my speedo. Nice to have a backup. I couldn't get the distal end of the cable to stay screwed together, the threads were somehow stripped. Probably from the thrashing around it took when it came loose. The proximal end was inaccessable without a major tear down of the faring, shrouds, etc. I was concerned that it might wind up in the spokes as it flopped around, wouldn't you be?

    So I dug into my bag of goodies that I used to carry on Red in that awkward looking tool tube (kind of resembled a pipe bomb if you looked). Bag resides in the trunk that Diane and Ray were kind enough to give as a Christmas present.

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    #69
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  10. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Correction:

    I think I was still on NM502 south and called it I25 east. I will admit that I am too lazy to go back and correct the error.:hmmmmm

    Just sayin'.
    #70
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  11. terryna

    terryna Adventurer

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    awesome,thanks for sharing[​IMG]
    #71
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  12. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Much appreciated, terryna.

    More on the way.
    #72
  13. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Talked to my good friend, Blake, who was down in Ruidoso, NM, and decided to head down that way tomorrow for a visit.

    Then took off to ride through Pecos, NM, as those of you who like Tilting at Windmills will recognize the river as a kind of obsession for me.

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    Why not, right?

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    A little congested at first.

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    But we were determined and stayed the course.

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    And to our surprise, another sort of ruins to look at. The park was closing and I noted an opportunity (on the road less traveled) to have a quick peek at the attraction and we took it.

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    Then another coincidental meeting as we made our way to Storrie Lake SP. This was an unplanned getaway. I generally spend hours trying to make stuff like this happen. Things were just unfolding in an uncanny way on this adventure. :ear

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    Not so bad for an interstate ride.

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    Getting there just in the nick of time. That shower is gonna' feel amazing.

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    Sooo. Park was closed for the season. Gates were up. The little spikes that kept one from coming....

    ......"in through the out door" Raspberry Beret, ~Prince

    had a missing tooth and Yeller proceeded to lead me astray. The bond was consummated.

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    No shower, but a nice evening.

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    #73
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  14. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 6, Thursday, October 3, 2019 -- Storrie Lake SP, NM to Ruidoso, NM (Blakes place).

    200 miles, ~5.5 hours

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    Having disposed of the morning rituals, we backtracked down I25 to NM3 heading south to Villanueva, NM. That was the road less traveled that stuck out on the page torn from the Rand McNally.

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    And it seems a bit more of the Santa Fe Trail.

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    Yep, the skies threatened to darken. Been down this road on every ride I've taken. The tempest. Mother Nature rearing her ugly head.

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    But boy, this was getting good.

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    It looked like we might miss the weather. For a minute. :(

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    #74
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  15. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Following the Pecos river for a while was an unforeseen treat.

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    Really fun riding and I just picked it off of the torn out page from my old Atlas this morning.

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    The temperature kept easing down. The moisture continued to accumulate on my helmet shield. Been here, done this. Need to stop and put the rain gear on before long. Before it becomes too late.

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    At least we had the road to ourselves. Really a good thing when you need to pee (no pics).

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    Did not take any pics with my camera on the stint south on US54 because of the heavy gloves and rainsuit. Got a couple on my phone.

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    Wound up in Carrizozo, NM. Hungry. Made a peanut butter roll up and called Blake in Ruidoso to let him know I was getting close. Finally a shower was in my future. I did not tell him that I was seriously odiforous.

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    I kind of regretted peeling off the rain suit, but was determined not to put it back on again as we headed back to the mountains.

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    The cloud cover was cool to look at. The ambient temperature was making me wish I had put the rain suit back on.

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    Gaining elevation it got chilly once again. I was determined to get to Blake's without suiting back up again. The shower would cure all evils.

    A tent in the rain or a bed in this casa?

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    With a spot for Yeller.

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    Another fine day of adventure.

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    #75
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  16. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 7, Friday, October 4, 2019 -- Ruidoso, NM (Blakes place).

    0 miles, ~0 hours

    No map to share.

    Failed to mention that we went to a place called Club Gas / Club House last evening. Had a few too many adult beverages and stuffed my gourd on some fine enchiladas. :beer :dukegirl

    Really did not want to take off in this. It simply felt like a good day to just chill on the veranda.

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    So I did, after breakfast at Tina's Cafe.

    I love how odd it feels to be inside and to sleep in a bed again after being in a tent for several days. Takes a couple nights for the body to adjust to the restricted comfort the narrow width of the Therm-a-Rest provides and the amplified night time nature noises and then it takes a couple nights to adjust to the confines of quiet indoor sleeping and the vastness of mattress.

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    I used the shower, but had access to this if it tickled my fancy. LA would have spent hours soaking in here.

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    Blake dragged me out to eat at Alto Cafe. Second, third, and fourth culinary indulgences of the adventure and well worth it. :thumb

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    #76
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  17. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    The throes of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to wind down, and so is this RR. We have been and still are going through something out of a well written sci-fi or Stephen King novel.

    Masks.

    Social distancing.

    Test results and reported, confirmed cases and deaths.

    Fear of repercussions for having the audacity to cough or sneeze in public. We've all observed behavior that is startling.

    Sanitizing and toilet paper shortages.

    Walking through ruins on this trip and the ones I have shared in earlier RRs always makes me wonder -- because there is no solid explanation as to where any of these people went. Vanished without a trace.

    My plan is to live in the present and enjoy.

    Maybe that is what that line in my little notebook was meant to remind me.

    "Joy Always"

    Have a Drink on Me ~AC/DC

    :1drink
    #77
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  18. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 8, Saturday, October 5, 2019 -- Ruidoso, NM to Wichita Falls, TX (home).

    494 miles, ~10 hours

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    The skies had cleared. The air was warm, albeit a bit moist. The road was calling. This was going to be a long slog. I welcomed it and said adios to Blake.

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    Not a bad road to start out with on departure. Interesting at least.

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    Then we started wondering if it would be another wet one.

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    But there was a beacon, standing proud, that promised that the cloud would lift. OK, I had to do this. Work on Monday beckoned.

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    So we just thumped along on Faith.

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    Enjoying the fresh mountain air and considering if it might be a good time to put the rain gear on.

    Time to get outta Dodge.

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    #78
  19. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

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    Nice!
    #79
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  20. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Caught a wonderful tailwind. Been here before so I just documented the return visit with a quick pic.

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    And hit the throttle. :ricky

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    To become a flatlander, once again. East on US380.

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    Guess where?

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    Leaving Roswell, NM, there was one last cloud threat.

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    And one last, sad, good-bye (until next time). Hey Jim, AKA Pecos Pisser. :rofl :wave

    I always love heading out, west of the Pecos.

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    #80
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