The previous evening we had rolled into Marfa off the glorious 2810 road as the shadows were getting long. We stopped to gas up and do a quick search to see what kind of reviews we could find for local places to stay. We were tired and hungry and not in much of a mood to search about. Using Kerry's phone we read a few poor reviews of the local hotels and decided to take the advice we were reading and headed into Alpine, about 20 miles away. This highway cruised at nearly 5000 feet and was really quite cold. The local campgrounds looked like dried up weed patches - not the most inviting places so we decided to camp at the Hampton Inn once again.
Getting out of the area is no small feat as Big Bend is a long way from every where and west Texas is a pretty big place. This would be a day of exploring creative ways to entertain oneself while riding a motorcycle. For starters I drove up next to Kerry and took a few shots from the side. I guess she needed to adjust her mirrors because she didn't see me behind her anymore.
We drove back into Marfa to see what we missed. The Court House was a bit of a beacon.
We parked and walked around a bit. As we walked passed a store she noticed they had scarves so she went in to investigate. I stayed outside to do guy stuff.
I spotted this cool car. Cannonshot posted a picture of it in his RR but I had a slightly different take so I don't feel like I am infringing too much by posting my own shots. I'd say this car gets its' picture taken a lot more than it gets driven since it sure looks like it is in exactly the same spot when Cannonshot took his pictures.
This image on the rear quarter panel was pretty cool.
The statement over the windshield was bold as well.
I then noticed some construction activity going on across the street. The two guys were standing on top of this structure to pull off the 4x8 sheets of plywood after the guys below t would knock them loose. Darwin award?
While waiting for Kerry to finish her shopping I ran into the dude from Louisiana again. We chatted for a bit and he took some shots of our two Tigers. I think he was going to trade in his Vespa for a Tiger when he got home. He was talking about taking a trip to Alaska.
Kerry scored a new scarf and it even matches her bike. Very cool
. The collar on her jacket had been rubbing her neck raw and she hoped this soft scarf would help out a bit.
And now for the really long straight boring part - getting back to NM. We saw a blimp, some sort of Air Force thing.
This is what the scenery looked like the rest of the morning.
I was really wishing I had some highway pegs like I have on my KLR. I started looking around to figure out where they might fit and decided to stick my leg out to see if the crash bars would be an appropriate mounting location. Turns out the crash bars work pretty well so I just rested my calves on them for a while and enjoyed the scenery. I managed to twist my camera mount around enough to get this shot.
Now that I was comfortable swiveling the camera every which way, I took some shots of the dried up pecan ranch we were passing. After several miles of this I noticed a crew out in the trees clearing branches. Guess the trees weren't dead after all.
And then came the selfies. While shooting these at highway speeds you have absolutely no indication if the pictures are turning out or not. So I shot several dozen - they're free.
Eventually we got to Van Horn - woohoo. OK, Van Horn sucks! We gassed up and got on I-10. The only good thing I can say about I-10 is that the speed limit is 80 mph. We blasted the ~120 miles into El Paso but while doing so I got bored and decided to figure out what the ratio of truck to non-truck traffic was. I counted 57 trucks and 43 non-trucks... really exciting huh? If you cannot handle this kind of mind numbing boring road for half a day then do not ride your bike to Big Bend.
Once in El Paso we thought we'd grab a late lunch but the traffic on I-10 was horrendous and cars were actually stopped on the on ramp. Had we magically time warped all the way to southern California? This traffic sucks! We did actually get off at one point but couldn't find the Subway we had seen a sign for so we just got back on and kept going. Eventually we came to the next town in Suburbia - I think it was Sunland Park or something like that. We found a sandwich and took a much needed break.
While eating I decided it was a good time to figure out where the heck we were going. We had tentatively thought of getting out to Bisbee, AZ but that was still an entire state away and it was pushing 2:00 p.m. We decided to find highway 9 and cross the bottom part of NM and just figure it out as we went.
Highway 9 was a lot like west Texas, only a bit hillier and there were actually a few turns. I did like this road but the odd thing was that there were at least a million Boarder Patrol officers out. Seriously, our government is broke but we spend billions of dollars to fend off people who want to pick our salad for us?
More creative driving photos.
We rolled into Columbus, NM. Looked like a cool little town. There was a neat looking museum but it was just closing. We didn't need gas so we scored a couple more of those Frappuccino things from the gas station instead.
Didn't appear to be any worthwhile lodging or camping in Columbus so we decided to head on up to Deming. No sense in wasting a few good hours of sunlight when we could be getting a little bit closer to the twisty goodness that awaits us to the north.
It was Thursday already and we wanted to be home by Saturday evening to give ourselves one day to reintegrate back into reality before heading back to work Monday. That meant getting to Bisbee was out but we still had some cool roads to the north. Along the road to Deming I saw this crazy rig. That sure looks like a garage door to me.