Thursday morning in Deming, NM. Jeff treated me to another great breakfast at Manolo's. Can't beat the 2-2-2 Special for $3.25 to get the day started right.
Great sun all day and temps in the 50's in the mountains and the 60's in the desert. Great weather for riding.
On the road and headed east. The goal for the day is to get over in the Carlsbad area. Skirted around the north side of Las Cruces and crossed the Rio Grande river. Kinda cool being able to walk out and stand right in the middle of it... that's dry.
East of Las Cruces, highway 70 runs through the White Sands Missile Range. Comparing Whatnextwander Missile to a Nike Anti-aircraft Missile.
Nice view heading down into the Missile Range.
I kept my head down and a keen eye on the sky. Luckily I wasn't on my Ural which I assume could be mistaken for a Russian military attack vehicle.
At the east end of the missile range is the White Sands National Park. White gypsum sand dunes look like someone dumped a giant bag of sugar on the desert. Nice ride out into the dunes and back. If I've learned nothing else on this ride, the Earth is an amazing place...
Somewhere along through here I went through a border patrol inspection station. There was a bit of a line and I was following a pickup with one of those hard bed covers on it through. As the pickup pulled up, they walked around it with the drug dog and it started getting really excited around the rear bumper and the tailgate. They let the dog work for probably two minutes, there is obviously something he can smell and I'm thinking I'm super-glad I'm not THAT guy.
The truck pulls to the side and it's a border patrol truck. It was a training deal for the dog. Pretty cool to watch though.
Rolled through Alamogordo, then the road got fun again, climbing and twisting up into the Sacramento Mtns and the Lincoln National Forest... it's amazing how quickly the landscape can change from brown, dry desert to snowy, green mountains. A couple shots as I started the climb... no snow yet at this point.
Can see the road cut along the side here...
Was getting to be after lunch. Jeff had recommended stopping in Cloudcroft but nothing there really pinged my food-dar so rolled on to Mayhill and ended up stopping at the Mayhill Cafe. I think I might be a sucker for buildings that look like this.
I went with my go-to motorcycling lunch. Grilled cheese with crispy bacon and tots. Was fantastic. And a hot chocolate cuz it was chilly up there!
I was getting ready to leave and a lovely older gal, probably 90 years old, grabbed my arm and asked if she knew me. I asked if she knew anybody from Iowa... well, she didn't so I probably wasn't who she was thinking of... she was disappointed because she was going to hug me if I had been who she thought I was. I told her she could hug me anyway. And she did, with a bonus kiss on the cheek.
She was with her old man so I didn't try to get her number.
Shortly after Mayhill I dropped down out of the mountains and the road straightened out for the run over to Artesia. Getting back into heavy ranching and petroleum work now. Artesia looks like it's really making a push to look nice. Had these huge and very cool sculptures all over town.
Headed south out of Artesia down to Carlsbad. The Carlsbad Caverns are actually about 20 miles south of the town of Carlsbad and I had seen a bunch of signs for Whites City. The Girlfriend helped me do some impromptu research and I headed on down and stayed a place in Whites City. Very close to the Caverns, but very limited on dining options. The cafe up the street from the motel I stayed at was open and I had the Three Enchilada Special. It was good, but not awesome.
308 mile day. Now 871.3 miles as the crow flies from home so made progress! Looking forward to seeing the Carlsbad Caverns on Friday.