Shortly after we passed the hunter's cabin, we found that our trail once again ended at private property. The map showed the trail continuing to our destination but we weren't in a hurry to get there, so we backtracked again to a more frequently travelled fire road. At this point, Andy switched to reserve...apparently, he had been riding like an ass the previous day and limited his range to about 110 miles+ reserve (what were they thinking with that little tank??). My map showed that our only option to the north was San Miguel...approx 30 miles. There had been some discussion earlier about the availability of fuel there...fortunately, we took a straight shot to the pavement and south for fuel. Andy's tank ran dry about 10 miles shy of our station. Luckily, I still had my 1 litre "auxiliary" tank on my handlebars. That got us there. It was later confirmed that there was no fuel in San Miguel....would have been sol.
After fueling, we headed back into the national forest.
Andy in motion
Andy...our road back toward Ojo can be seen in the valley behind Andy
As we neared Ojo Caliente, thoughts of hotsprings and prepared meals motivated us to try a "short cut" across a washed out piece of ranch land. The riding was great, although a bit sandy for the klx, until we came to this damn gate.
Andy walked down the hill to the ranch house and asked the nice lady if there was a way through (so we wouldn't have to backtrack through the sand)...She showed us the "old drive" which was a 60* rock hill sliding into the back yard. Andy dumped his bike...again but we made it down and out to the main road. As we rolled into Ojo, the rain closed in again
After dinner, the sky opened up in a torrential downpour. There is nothing like soaking in the hotsprings (outdoor), at night, in the pouring rain, after 8 days of dirtbiking.
The next morning, we said our goodbyes over breakfast and I headed out early. I chose a slightly different route on the return trip, hoping to avoid the pavement stretch on I25. As I switched county roads near Punta de Agua, I remembered a ruin marker on my map. Just outside of town was this pueblo church...it is the most complete existing example of pueblo architecture. Tribes settled in this area around 1200ce--I believe the church was constructed between 1300-1500. The massive walls and stone floor provide a welcome escape from the heat. The temperature difference was amazing when I stepped inside....nice and cool.
The altar would be opposite the entrance, straight ahead
I spent the next two days dogding storms, working my way back south to Ruidoso
Outrunning a storm
And rode back through the dome wilderness area
I made it back to the cabin without incident...ahh, the cabin
When I returned to the cabin, I thought I would have satisfied my riding itch for a while..not so. I could have left again the next morning. My bike performed flawlessly and I had zero "getoffs". The trip totalled about 1350 miles. I have a new respect for these guys like StrikingViking who spend their time and energy writing these reports. Thanks for the motivation guys