Photos of Andie, yeah, all right, there'll be more, but you'll have to put up with the story as well
One thing that I kind of, sort of, forgot to tell Andie when I arranged to buy two XR650Rs is that they're kick-start only. Ooops. She was none to happy to discover that she was going to have to try to kick over that beast all winter long. Her first few attempts were not encouraging. For our first few rides, the ones in UT, I had to start her bike for her every time, and she wasn't too happy about that either. While in NM she worked hard at learning to kick it, but it wasn't going well and she was considering selling the bike. I even contacted another inmate in ABQ who was selling and DRZ to see if she could test ride it. Well, I guess that's the encouragement it took because not half an hour after I sent that message she went out and kicked it over on her own for the first time!
Since then she's perfected her technique and is able to start the bike reliably, but she'd still prefer electric start
So, after learning to kick-start, working on the bikes, and getting fat over Thanksgiving with the family, it was time to get out on the road. We ran into a problem registering the bikes in NM as our local DMV office wanted to see a "Nader sticker" that says the bike was street legal from the factory. Oops. They didn't care that both bikes were already registered street legal out-of-state, no sticker no plates. We were more than a bit bummed, but a quick search here revealed that we might have better luck at High Desert Title in Albuquerque. Very good advice indeed, no hiccups at all. With the bikes plated and insured we breathed a huge sigh of relief and headed for Elephant Butte where a buddy of mine lives when he's in the US.
What was supposed to be a couple of day visit turned into ten days of hanging out, riding, drinking beer, and enjoying the lake. If you haven't been to Elephant Butte, it's actually a pretty cool area with a good amount of riding. The lake level is so low right now that there's a ton of riding to be done under the "high water mark" where you can leave tracks as you please because it will be under water again someday. Good stuff. No pictures of that riding as we didn't want to stop!
We also took a spin down along the Rio Grande river with a short excursion up towards the Turtle Back mountain. The riding along the river was nice fast dirt for the most part. The climb up towards the mountain turned steep and loose pretty quickly, so we headed back down.
Nice weather in EB:
The going gets a bit rough:
Andie didn't want to ride down this hill, so I rode my bike down then hiked back up to ride hers down. Not bad at the start, but if you look close at the second pic you can see why she didn't want to ride!:
Open scrubland near the river:
Andie happy to be off the mountain:
and enjoying the river crossings:
Another ride we took was to go out and try to check out Spaceport America
southeast of the lake. It's a mostly paved road to get out there, and once there there's not really much to see. Eventually there's supposed to be a visitor's center there, but not yet. No pictures as we couldn't get close enough to make any pics worthwhile with phone camera. We were able to ride around the far side of the facility and explore the valley a bit on some dirt roads, but you'r boxed in here between the spaceport, White Sands Missile Range, and Ted Turner's ranch.
Near the Spaceport:
We also got to spend a nice day out on the lake on a friend's boat. Nice change of pace from riding the bikes:
Andie getting her 'Merika on:
We had a great ten days in EB and could have spent more time easily, but the road was calling at it was time to get out there again. The van was lonely!!!