Day 8: Show Low, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico (HOME!)
And on to the 8th day of this little trip: the day that pushed this mundane report into the "TRIP REPORTS"
forum. I still feel it shoulda gone into "Day Trippin'" but---like I said---I'm just following the rules...
Since it was a chilly 36 degrees, and I had all day to go 250 miles, I stayed in the sleeping bag until EVEN I
had to get up. Took my time breaking camp; even longer than my normal two hours. Some guys can get on the road in a heartbeat...not me. Takes me two hours. At home, too.
Oversize Load Ahead!
About 20 miles east of Show Low on AZ 61, I saw a couple AZ State Police cars approaching, lights flashing like crazy. OK, I know the drill, pull to the right and stop. I had just about come to a stop when THIS BIG MOTHER
came up...talk about a wide load:
As is usually the case, the photo doesn't do it justice. This was the WIDEST
thing I have ever met on a 2-lane (or for that matter, any) road. Still don't know what the heck it was...probably our tax dollars at work.
Between St. John's and the Zuni cutoff on AZ 191 these "humps" reminded me of similar formations I'd seen elsewhere in northern Arizona:
Ah, the wide-open American Southwest. This is looking out over the valley of Zuni Wash in eastern Arizona...
Back in New Mexico
A few miles after turning off AZ 191 onto 61, this bullet-riddled sign announced that I was back in my (adopted) home state:
BTW, the "green & red" things on the sign are chiles (spelled with an "e" to distinguish them from the quite different "chili"...) Supposedly the New Mexico "state question" is "red or green?" As in which chile do you want with your (name your food). And the bullet holes, well, New Mexico is a pretty "good" state to live in if you're a gun enthusiast. As I am. In fact, if I'd a been packin' my ol' .357, I'd a stopped and blasted another hole in that sign. Ha ha, just kidding! Really.
As we in New Mexico say: "thank Heaven for Mississippi"...saves us from being #1 (or #50) on a lotta lists. Now I personally have had a WONDERFUL
time on every trip through Mississippi, but I'm just sayin'...
Still, it's good to be back in New Mexico. In addition, I'm on tribal land:
Don't know much about the Zuni Indians, and---like someone in a hurry---I rode right past a "historical marker" talking about the Zuni tribe. Maybe I'll do some research of my own.
Just look at those "mesas" in the last two pics...that just says "New Mexico" to me. Pretty country.
Took a few more photos while riding thru west-central New Mexico...I'll just shut up and let you see the pics. Looks like a Western movie...
Remember "El Morro" National Monument? When I passed thru there on the way west, I declined taking any of the "scenic hikes," but I thought that today I might stop and do a little walking. Then I looked at the time on my GPS: Holy Cow I lost an hour! I had forgotten about the time change from Pacific to Mountain time at the AZ/NM border! I figured Mrs. Greg would be worrying about me if I stopped, so I contented myself with just another couple photos from the bike:
Not long after El Morro, one crosses the Continental Divide on NM 53. No, it's not as impressive as, say, Colorado, but it's still cool (I mean literally, at least this time of year)...
I had my heated jacket liner on "LO" and it felt about right...the rest of the run up to I-40, and 70 miles of slab, was uneventful (and that's good).
So it had been a good trip: no tickets & no crashes. I ended up getting home a little before 6:00 (hadn't changed clock on bike yet; it's a pain). I had ridden 206.0 miles on that tank, and had consumed 4.156 gallons of fuel.
Let's see, that works out to 49.5669 MPG
...let's just call it 50 MPG. Not bad (of course I had a tailwind).
The 1198 Testastretta 11-deg mill hadn't missed a beat. After 36,000 miles it still doesn't use any oil between changes (7,500 miles). Like a good watch, it just keep tickin'...
I've dropped it on the left side a couple times; haven't busted the water pump yet! In fact, I haven't put any "guards" at all on the bike (except the Touratech handguards to replace the ridiculous stockers which I broke off immediately).
If I ever sell this bike, somebody will be getting a WELL USED
Ducati Multistrada 1200S. But, I mean, aren't we supposed to RIDE
the darned things?!?
After getting home, I even cleaned the chain! Man, it hasn't been THAT
clean in a long time.
So I visited my old stomping grounds in Hemet, California. Boy, it had changed, and mostly not for the better. But what had I expected?
Y'know, what I had NOT
expected was to enjoy seeing the PEOPLE quite so much. And even though I claim NOT to be much of a "people person" (typical engineer) I guess maybe that's not as true as I had believed. That itself was worth finding out. So the trip was a success.
And I had kinda come back to liking the Multistrada 1200S again. Counting its predecessor (remember, no apostrophe), I've ridden close to 50,000 miles on the 2010 Multistrada 1200S. And in all that time I had NOT ONE
major problem. Minor glitches, like rain affecting the starter switch, and the lack of a functioning rear brake (really not minor, but mine seems unfixable), but no showstoppers.
Regardless, I had become a little less enthusiastic in my feeling for the big twin. I was more of a fan of my old '06 Uly, which had caused me much more trouble.
But the MTS1200S's performance on this trip was just wonderful. It did everything a bike could do, and did it well. I'll admit to be a little interested in the new LC BMW GS, and I'll test-ride one sometime soon, but as things stand now I can't imagine parting with the Ducati. It is smooth (just enough vibration so you know it's an engine
), and SO DARNED POWERFUL
...and the Tuneboy electronic cruise control makes it SO COMFORTABLE
on long rides...it would be hard to go to anything else. And I really like those Zega Pro cases; Touratech did a nice job making a "narrow" rack for the Multi (unlike the new GS).
Mrs. Greg & I are leaving tomorrow for Pagosa Springs, Colorado for a week of R&R; I'll ride the Duc and she'll drive the VW Golf TDI up there. I'll do some riding in southern Colorado next week; undoubtedly including the north side of La Manga Pass, where Milledue #1 bit the dust. But there can't be hoarfrost on that road THIS
time of year, can there?
Famous last words. Thanks for reading, and let's all have a summer with no crashes. For me, eleven major fractures is enough...