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Old 11-20-2012, 06:31 PM   #44
AteamNM OP
Wonna Be ADVrider
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Sandia Mountains New Mexico
Oddometer: 4,050
Day 21
Sunday - November 11, 2012
The Final Push Home, I got this.

I was anxious to get on the road and with the change into mountain time I was up early and took some time in organizing my clothes for Sunday. 7 total garments on top, 2 layers of poly long underwear, North Face ski pants and then Klim pants with the blue rubber rain pants as a last resort. Like using first gear on your bicycle.

Surely there will be no more gremlins, not this close.

I stepped outside in the morning and it was 29 degrees. The wind was still very strong but it was at least clear and sunny. Less than 200 miles, we are almost to my residence Jo Jo.

Another abandoned building. Nothing here.

The next leg was to Fort Sumner, 70 miles away. It was hard riding but I was doing well. Just very cold. I actually stopped at the museum for Billy The Kid and took a few cell phone pictures. Closed on Sunday’s.

Then another long stretch of nothingness west to Vaughn.

I used to joke that the only reason a town exists here is because the horse died. Honey we are home, get out. The horse just died.

So I am riding through Vaughn and leaving the town limits the wind gets really bad, throwing me all over the place and then I realize exactly what is happening. Another flat tire. Unbelievable! I stop and again consider my options. I am 90 miles from my residence, I have a 21 inch tube, I can fix this and make it. I can go in limping all the way, I don’t care. I turn around and start pushing Jo Jo again. Also about a mile out of town but I can see the town, I can get there.

I went inside the first restaurant in town and the owner called up Mark who owns a pseudo tire store and he answered. Mark came to the restaurant and asked how he can help. I just needed a warm place to try and install a 21 inch tube in a 17 inch tire. The culprit was a two sided drill bit that ripped the tube in about 4 places, unbelievable. He said no way but we can try. We got the tube in as best we could and I put 45 psi in the tire.

It took a while to get the rear brakes to work and line up properly putting the rear wheel on but we finally got it mounted correctly and I was off again to Clines Corners on the interstate. Just one minor set back. I leave Vaughn for the second time and cautiously travel the edge of the road and go about 50. At Encino I can go west and take back roads as a final leg or stay on the same highway NW and get to I-40, Clines Corners. So I decide to stay on the main road and continued north out of Encino when again, the rear end of Jo Jo starts break dancing. The 21 inch tube did not work, I am totally screwed now.

Jo Jo, alone on the side of the road. I suppose she was feeling the sense of failure as was I.

I made that dreaded call to my wife. It was very hard to hear her and the cell phone reception was spotty. My step son was going to come and get me in my truck. Should be maybe an hour and a half? It is 2 PM, I can wait. So there I was, stranded on the side of Highway 280, a ranch can be seen many miles away. Nothing here but wind. So I may as well go for a walk.

I found a small wash or a wallow where cattle bones were scattered in desiccated mud cracks. I walked to a culvert under the road. This would be a great place to sleep for the night if necessary, at least it’s out of the wind. I walked, I waited and then a car stops, the first to stop in 2 hours. At a distance, it had the LTD cop car look.

As I approached his passenger window, he was holding this card.

Rick is a motorcycle rider, he was visiting his girl friend in Roswell. He was heading home to Albuquerque. He talked on and on. We discussed politics, his work in the VA, his girlfriend and life in general. He was a an old wacky Viet Nam vet.

Then he blew me away.

He pulled out this little brass container, pulled out a plastic straw and took several snorts of cocaine.......

He said he would offer me some, but he had just enough to get home. Wow, only in America does a 74 year old guy chat with a stranded motor cyclist in no where New Mexico and snort cocaine. He finally motored on and the temperature was dropping into the mid 20’a as was the sun. A bleak feeling when you have to wait and depend on someone.

After while, and well past when the step son should be here I called him and he said he was 50 miles away. I waited, I walked. No one else ever stopped. As I sat leaning against Jo Jo, my thoughts were simple. Fail – fail – fail. I DNF’d. I did not finish. My friend Ray texted me later, he said so far and yet so close.

Around 5:15 I see my truck approach. After removing the bags and gear, we loaded Jo Jo into the truck. I let my step son drive me back to my residence.

At this point the ride is over. I remove 6 upper layers as we drive away. The failure feeling is over bearing, idle chat about the day, about his last girlfriend. He drives, I feel numb and also again an empty stomach reminds me that I have lost over 20 pounds on this trip. I really should eat more. We stop at McDonald's, I can only eat a handful of fries and one of two simple cheese burgers. Matt helps me unload the bike from the truck into the garage. I have finally returned.

My mother gave me a long time ago this little picture that hung in my bathroom as a kid. It is a picture of a Victorian out house. The caption speaks so much to me. I totally get that.

AteamNM screwed with this post 11-20-2012 at 06:54 PM
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