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Old 08-26-2005, 09:13 AM   #1
yater OP
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Crossing New Mexico on a dr350

I found myself with 18 days to kill starting the first week of august. Determined to escape the Texas heat, I decided a retreat to the mountains of New Mexico was in order. I have access to a cabin in Ruidoso that would serve as my home base for the ride and would allow storage of my truck for the 10 days I planned to be on the bike. After very little preparation and packing, I loaded my '98 dirt model dr350 and headed to NM, taking a slight detour through cloudcroft to enjoy the mountain air. After a couple of nights relaxing at the cabin, I overloaded my dr350 and headed north. I have a buddy in Taos who owns a first rate mineral springs resort in Ojo Caliente...about 40 miles southwest of Taos. I would ride to Ojo Caliente where he would join me for a 2 day ride north into the vast national forest surrounding the resort. SHAMELESS PLUG: the spa/resort is surrounded by national forest and accessable by BLM roads...it serves as an excellent destination or home-base for adventure riding.--

I cut the 400 mile trip north in half, staying the night in the posh motel 6 in albequerque


The trip consisted of mostly gravel county roads and forest service roads. Fuel was a concern since my bike sported the stock tank, so I opted for an "auxiliary tank" strapped to the bars. I actually assumed that some of these smaller towns would have fuel but it was not the case. I stretched my range to about 190 miles between stops and got a consistant 70mpg! This is a lonely stretch of gravel somewhere between capitan and Ancho


yater screwed with this post 08-26-2005 at 02:52 PM
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:40 AM   #2
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wow, touring on the dr350. you gotta be tough. mo pics please
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:28 AM   #3
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Many of these gravel roads cross indian reservations and are relabled "BIA" (bureau of indian affairs) roads...I'll say that my delorme atlas was absolutely worthless when it came to road marking--it was wrong about 90% of the time but I could follow my intented route with a compass, reference point (mountains), and a little common sense...no gps on this trip. Some of the villages on these remote bia roads were nothing more than a few trailers and a post office, surrounded by reservation with 40+ miles of gravel to the nearest civilization. It seems like there are 2 dogs to each resident, therefore I was unable to get pictures

I was naive in thinking Ancho would provide a cold drink and possibly fuel...the town consisted of the "house of old things" museum,a few deserted buildings, and a railroad.

Ancho


the railroad


After crossing the railroad, I was in for the longest pavement stretch of the trip...highway 55 up to mountain air was a long straight stretch with a few opportunities to veer off onto county roads that parrallel the pavement. These gravel stretches were full throttle wide open for miles. The dr350 is NOT the ideal bike for long hauls on pavement but I found her sweet spot and made it work. Slide, on advrider, mentioned the gran quivira ruins and I blazed by a sign that I thought I recognized...so I whipped it around to check things out



I discovered that the gran quivira ruins were only 1 mile south of my location and had to stop...it was a welcome break from the drone of my 606s!

From what I understand, gran quivira served as a trading post for many of the pueblo tribes dating back to about 1300ce. Their vantage point from this hilltop is amazing




This may have been some kind of grain storage. The water trap was located down hill... a huge levee to pool the runoff.




I was most impressed by the church. Construction is said to have commenced in the mid 1600s and was abruptly halted in about 1670...I'm not sure why. This would not be the last (or the most complete) of the pueblo churches I would find.




yater screwed with this post 08-26-2005 at 11:41 AM
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:39 PM   #4
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Mountainair, NM (yes, one word) was a short jaunt from the ruin site via gravel county roads. I was certain I could find fuel there and was dying for a redbull...I found both. After a break in the shade to review my maps, drink my redbull, and enjoy a tuna salad snack, I decided to hightail it to route 66 and west to albequerque. I was equipped to camp but it was still relatively early (about 4pm) and I wasn't about to sit around and wait for cool weather. Albequerque was my ONLY chance to stop before enduring another 150 miles of off-road fun...so I endulged myself (see pic of bike in room at top of thread) I also walked across the street to see dukes of hazard and found it entertaining after a day of riding...and MAN Jessica Simpson makes a fantastic Daisy Duke

The next morning I headed out at daylight and passed several GS guys doing the same...the temperature was brisk and not a cloud in the sky. Today's ride would include a short backtrack up 66 and a 30 mile gravel stretch on old madera road heading north.

old madera road



If you look closely, you can see the ghost town along the creek bed. I guess this was a mining town at one point...maybe someone knows what they mine here?


Old madera road spit me out on a casino infested intersection with I25, about 8 miles south of my intended route (22N). I fueled up and made short work of the interstate stretch (a little hairball on the dr350) and ducked back into the bia system...heading north toward the Jemez mountains and dome wilderness area

Again, my map was totally wrong and showed bia19 at this intersection....the road was marked FR149. I was a little concerned because I immediately started rocky switchbacks into the wilderness and wasn't certain of my heading. Fuel is always a concern with a 2 1/2 gallon tank.

FR149


Pictures don't do this justice. This was a nice 2000' drop into the valley below



yater screwed with this post 08-26-2005 at 08:43 PM
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:27 PM   #5
thegraydog
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Great trip, great report. Keep going!

What can you tell me about the DR350? How heavy, last year made? E-start? I have a drz250 and a dr650se....have only toured on the bigger one.
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegraydog
Great trip, great report. Keep going!

What can you tell me about the DR350? How heavy, last year made? E-start? I have a drz250 and a dr650se....have only toured on the bigger one.
For reasons unknown, I recently sold my 2000 dr650, otherwise, I would have taken it...But the adventure is in the ride. I have nothing but praise for the dr350. This is my second....the first was a '97se (factory dual sport) but I found myself replacing the "se" parts with dirt model parts. I found it cheaper to buy the dirt model and plate it. I had the suspension done by scotts and added the baja kit..I also LOVE the pumper carb compared to it's CV counterpart on the street model. The only thing I lost was e-start but this thing ALWAYS fires on the first kick so it's not an issue to me.

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Old 08-26-2005, 05:12 PM   #7
Foto Veloce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegraydog
Great trip, great report. Keep going!

What can you tell me about the DR350? How heavy, last year made? E-start? I have a drz250 and a dr650se....have only toured on the bigger one.
I have a DR250ES myself. Longest ride so far was 90 miles. Man that looks like FUN!!
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