October 1, 2017 It’s only Sunday and the excitement of my upcoming trip is tangible- some 750 miles from Owasso OK to Dell City Texas for my first ever Back Country discovery route through the “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico. I’ve made it my duty and goal to track and document anything that comes about as I do these trips moving forward in the attempt to pass this on to my (future) children and hopefully instill in them the sense of adventure that seems disappointingly missing in society today, and would be humbled if others found inspiration in my exploits through travel. I continue to be flattered with blank stares of astonishment when I tell my peers about my ambitious travel plans- ride to the starting point, traverse the 1,200 miles of (mostly) unpaved roads to eventually finish in Antonito, Colorado. Additionally, we will ride further north to meet up with some friends of my fathers for a bit of fly fishing before turning our wheels towards home. My Father Steve and Uncle Loren will be my travel companions for the BDR, and my dad and I will split up from Loren as we “cross the Finish Line” in Colorado. It would be unkind to mention my Uncle without listing his previous accomplishments- riding from Nixa Missouri to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and venturing to Utah on his VStrom 1000 for an appearance at his High School Reunion. Along with his stories of riding through Deadwood and Mount Rushmore, Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman’s Long Way trips, and an unhealthy obsession with eventually living life on two wheels, I took it upon myself to drink the Kool Aid and purchased a candy red 2005 VStrom 650 to get into this “adv craze” back in August of 2016. To my astonishment my staunchly “no motorcycles!” parents did a complete 180 and now regularly ride on their Africa Twins with me. This comes as a shock to me still as my father purchased my Uncle’s VStrom 1000 and rode for the first time in 23 years – hint, that was about how long it has been since I came into the picture- from Houston to Tulsa… Back to the Present, we all have different bikes but the same crazy longing for travel sans four wheels. With a trip to the Talimena State Byway and Big Bend National Park under my Father, Uncle, and I’s belts we’ve set sights on the next big off-road adventure. For this trip meticulous planning has been underway since a slightly alcohol-fueled pow-wow around the mesquite tinged smoke of a fire in a wigwam at Planet Marfa in… Marfa, Texas. Amazed at the capability, ruggedness, and pedigree of my (at the time) Uncle’s bike during the Big Bend trip – a BMW F800GS- I set my sights on a proper Dual Sport Bike. Going back and forth between the BMW Roundel, Honda’s venerable revival of the Africa Twin, KTM and their 990 Adventure, and Husqvarna’s scrappy TR650 Terra, you can see that I had my work cut out for me! Hours of research and firsthand experience on a R1200GS, my father’s Africa Twin, and a brief jaunt through my Uncle’s neighborhood with his F800GS certainly narrowed my search to two brands and three bikes- now I was getting somewhere. Then arose the opportunity of a lifetime- my Uncle decided to purchase a new bike for his stable, and asked if I would be interested in buying his Beemer. HELL YES I WAS! Knowing his meticulous care for the bike and work put into it I would be a dummy and a fool of a nephew to pass on that. Now, with four days to go and an amazing bike to travel with, adventure couldn’t be here any sooner. Now for a brief rundown of what my fellow riders will be “living on” for the next week- my dad will be on his Africa twin, and most likely making a point as to how incredible it is, with its Dual Clutch Automatic transmission… so I am mentally preparing myself for that upcoming dialogue. I’m also keen to see how will go about his packing situation as he chooses between his Bumot aluminum panniers (which make his bike look akin to an ice cream truck by the way) or Bumot soft bags for durability with the rugged unpleasantness that we may deal with in Southern New Mexico. I find myself astonished with the bike’s less is more simplicity, and fully acknowledge its prowess on pavement and off. My Uncle has come to a decision between the sensuous Ducati Multistrada Enduro and the take no quarter KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, with the shockingly attractive pumpkin orange Austrian (no, not Mr Olympia himself) emerging victorious. A technological marvel replete with rider aids and creature comforts, we are all excited to see this fighter jet of a bike tear through the landscapes of New Mexico. I only stop my writing to resume reality and start the dreaded chore of packing now..