Up with the first light we continued south toward Silver City. The roads were long, smooth, and straight which means fast.
We were able to maintain speeds of 55-60 through this section. It sounds easy but you still had to have total concentration as you scanned the road ahead for rocks, animals, ruts and whatever else might make you take evasive actions. In less than an hour we arrived in Pie Town. Pie Town is all about pies, duh. Pies were not a priority of my planning so it just happened that we were there at 0830 on a Sunday morning and everything was closed up tight.
: We got some photos and moved on.
A windmill museum.
And a bit of humor. People out here always have a good sense of humor.
A bit further south we stopped here for our Sunday morning church.
Moving on we traveled through areas of open plains broken up by short sections of forest.
The roads had all be in real good condition until one section of about 15 miles where there had been rain and the road had been rutted by trucks. Had to go slow to make sure we didn't get tied up in the ruts. The ruts where about 8 inches deep. There were some mud puddles to go around but no real problems.
We eventually got into the Gila National Forest which was a very nice section. Tall pine trees with very little undergrowth except grass gave it a park like feel. We set up a couple video fly by shots. You decide which you like best.
Mine of Perry on his KLR.
Perry's of my DRZ.
As we climbed the switchbacks to the top of the mesa we were treated with nice vistas.
A sample of the trail as it dropped to a creek bed.
The road dropped down towards Mimbres and I was watching my fuel get real low. The route kept changing along with the new roads so I wasn't sure how far we had to go. This section is why I brought the extra fuel pack because I knew it was a little beyond the range of my 4 gallon tank. We hit the asphalt and kept the speed down to the 45 posted limit which is barely using the throttle. Now on reserve, having already tipped the bike to get the last few ounces to the petcock we reached the turn to Georgetown Road which heads west toward Silver City, another 35 miles or so. About a quarter mile past the turn I spotted a store that had large above ground tanks out back so I figured they had fuel. YES! We both put in a couple gallons to get us to Silver City and went back to pick up Georgetown Rd. Georgetown was a fun road with dirt twisties. Very good riding.
We rode past the Santa Rita
mine on our way into Silver City.
Decision time again. I knew from research that the trail south of Silver City was all fast riding. First some desert then asphalt for the last 65 miles. There is a store in Hachita that has gas but no credit card reader so if it's after closing, no gas until Columbus, NM. I thought we could make it with my extra 1.5 gallons but it would be after dark for the last leg of 45 miles from Hachita to Columbus. No real camping until Columbus but there is some commando camping in Hachita if we can't get fuel and decide not to ride after dark. After discussing options we decide to go for it and make a run for the border and take whatever comes along. So we left Silver City around 1530 heading south. It started out sandy and not as fast as I thought as we made our way through creek beds. Then we climbed up to the top of the rolling hills and started to make good time.
We crossed under IH 10 to find a tourist stop selling fireworks and snacks. Not quite beer, bait and ammo but pretty close. Make sure you drink plenty of water in the desert or you'll end up like the guy in this car.
For the next 10 miles we rode a dirt road that went along IH 10; a dirt "access" road if you want to call it that. 65 mph standing on the pegs kicking up a dust cloud got us some strange looks from folks traveling IH 10 and a thumbs up from a Goldwing rider that rode along with us for a short while. :rider:
The dirt road led us to the highway heading south toward Hachita. NM 146. I had to stop and insert earplugs for the long highway run. The one complaint with the Nolan N-102 is wind noise. I don't get it on the Harley behind the shield but the DRZ has no wind protection and with 150 miles of road ahead of us I wanted a little protection.
We rolled into the store at Hachita at 5:45; the store closes at 6. Good timing. There are no card readers on the pumps so if the store is closed, "NO GAS FOR YOU!" We topped of our tanks and fuel concerns disappeared.
Heading south to the border is a nice two lane road. I was surprised at the scenery. Very nice with mountain ranges and plenty of vegetation of the desert variety.
Perry got a photo of me taking a photo.
Shortly after this picture there was a sweeping corner with a cattle guard at the exit. Just beyond the cattle guard was two cows in the middle of the road.
: I stomped and grabbed brakes and slid to a near stop while the beasts ambled off the roadway. The next cattle guard was less than a hundred yards away.
No issues from here to the border. We passed a couple of Border Patrol trucks parked along the side of the road. We waved and were not followed. We got to the border and it was locked up tight. This crossing is only open for business hours. We were there pretty much all alone. Plenty of ops for posing.
Photos done we head back north using what daylight was left.
We got to the place were I nearly hit the cows and one of them was back on the road. She must like the warmth on her hooves. This time I was well prepared and as I rolled up, she ambled off and out of the way. It was getting dark as we arrived in Hachita and we rode the next 44 miles to Columbus in the dark. Perry noticed my tail light was out so he stayed close as we plodded along at around 55 mph so as to not out run the lights on our bikes. We passed several Border Patrol and a couple of National Guard observation posts without getting too much attention and arrived in Columbus. We pulled into the state park campground and set up for the evening.