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Old 06-06-2013, 11:28 AM   #76
zekester63 OP
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I divert off the OAT for a few miles to find Ingalls. I'm not sure what I was expecting really, but it really is in the "middle of nowhere", with very few people living in the "town". Anyway, here's a few shots of the old Hotel and Saloon. Interesting history here.













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Old 06-06-2013, 11:37 AM   #77
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I realize that it's starting to get late, and as I said earlier, I had plans for the evening that I didn't want to spoil by staying out riding too long. So I get back on the OAT, follow it for a bit east, and then decide to slab it home on Highway 33. Nice tailwind and a truck I let stay a decent distance ahead of me clearing the way, let me put some miles behind me pretty quickly!

I stopped in Drumright for a few shots on the way through - but didn't do get any shots of the painted buildings. Next time I will for sure. I'd been through there before, but for some reason it seems different when on a bike. Maybe it's just me.





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Old 06-06-2013, 11:41 AM   #78
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That's it for another ride, so here's a shot of my trip stats.

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Riding!



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Old 06-18-2013, 09:15 AM   #79
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New Mexico Bound!

Later this week okraider81 and I are heading to New Mexico for a few days of dual sport riding. We're meeting another friend in Santa Fe (not sure if he's an inmate or not ... yet ), where he has planned 3 days of riding and camping for us in the mountain ranges surrounding Santa Fe, and north to Taos. I can hardly wait!

We're hauling our bikes out there to save time (ok, I'll admit I don't have any real desire to ride 650 miles of slab in a hurry just to get where we want to start our trip). We've both got some new gear to try out, and staying out for 3 days (camping) will give us more experience for doing part of the TAT (unfortunately not until next year).

Hopefully I'll have some cool pics and a RR to post soon!

Happy riding!

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Old 06-18-2013, 09:19 AM   #80
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looking forward to it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:48 AM   #81
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Wow

you've got a cool thread going here. Lots of old buildings, places, train stuff, and bridges. All things I like to discover when I'm out for a ride. You have a lot of photo's of old bridges like the one below. Did they use to be train related? I noticed many have lengthwise planks and couldn't help wonder if these replaced old rails or are they just placed for auto traffic. Thanks for sharing and keep it going, good stuff!
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:01 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
you've got a cool thread going here. Lots of old buildings, places, train stuff, and bridges. All things I like to discover when I'm out for a ride. You have a lot of photo's of old bridges like the one below. Did they use to be train related? I noticed many have lengthwise planks and couldn't help wonder if these replaced old rails or are they just placed for auto traffic. Thanks for sharing and keep it going, good stuff!
Admiral, I'm really not sure about the bridge - I just find some of them interesting and something different to see. Also helps to have some goals or destinations along the way to see/find. I like your idea of geocaching - I have considered that myself, and if there are any/many around this area it might give me another reason (excuse) to get out and ride!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Riding!

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Old 07-17-2013, 12:38 PM   #83
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New Mexico - June 2013

Pre-trip:

Okraider81 has a long-time friend (inmate “Steve in Santa Fe”) who lives in NM. He’s been riding a long time, both on and off road, but only recently picked up a DR650 and got into dual sport riding. Now he’s hooked. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were planning a long weekend of riding and camping out there, with Steve leading the way. We didn’t want to ride all the way from the Tulsa area to Santa Fe, so we had two options: 1) use my 14mpg SUV and trailer the bikes, or 2) use Okraider81’s little pickup, that normally gets 25mpg, to haul them. The choice was simple. What neither of us realized though was that the little gas miser isn’t used to this type of load, especially when driving into a headwind nearly the whole way there. Ironically (and somewhat comical...), we ended up getting as low as 15mpg on the trip out there.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:42 PM   #84
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Day 0: Tulsa to Santa Fe

We left around 1PM on Thursday after loading the bikes and securing the load. It was a rather uneventful journey, passing by the usual landmarks along I-40 (e.g. the giant crosses near Groom, TX, the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, etc.) but as previously mentioned, there was a very strong headwind most of the way which created dust storms in western Texas and eastern NM. I’m not sure how people who actually live in this part of the country deal with the dust, as it was even bothering me inside a closed up vehicle.



We made it to Santa Fe fairly late, where Steve had arranged a place to meet so he could show us to his place. About 10 minutes later we arrived, grabbed a few things from our bags, went over to Steve’s guest house and hit the sack - excited for morning to arrive!
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:44 PM   #85
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Day 1: 231 miles
Santa Fe and surrounding areas, Santa Fe National Forest, Rio Grande - Buckman Road, Cochita Lake, Madrid, High road to Taos - Hwy 76, Camp near Truchas

Map of the day:




Here's the obligatory “before” shot - I’m on the left (zekester63), riding my WR250X (aka Roxy) with “R” wheels for this trip; Steve is in the middle, riding his blue DR650 (don’t know if Steve has named it, but he often referred to it as tractor, pig, trusty, etc.), and Okraider81 is to the right, riding his plated DRZ400 (aka QE2).



It’s only been a short time since our ride, but already it seems like ages and the memories are quickly fading. Okraider81 and I were reminiscing just the other day and sad about how quickly the trip came and went. Anyway, I need to preface this report saying that I’m no history buff, so I will just be presenting these pictures and noting what I can recall. Steve, on the other hand, is an OUTSTANDING guide, and we’ve recommended that he seriously consider taking this up as a pastime (wow, imagine getting paid to ride...).

The vastness and variety of the area surrounding Santa Fe was absolutely amazing. From over 10,600’ forest roads, to what seemed like “Death Valley”, and everything in between, and Steve knew it well (and by the way, he doesn’t use a GPS or maps... says he just looks on Google satellite view and remembers where to turn, etc.).

So off we went, a little bit of slab towards Santa Fe, and in no time hitting a forest road north of the city, heading up towards the Santa Fe Ski area. Before we knew it we were at an overlook, sitting at an elevation of 10155’. Amazing scenery when you’re used to the rather “boring” (no offense intended) terrain of Oklahoma.









Okraider gave me this next picture, and at first I'm like "who's the bald guy?". Unfortunately that's me...




From here we rode a different route down into Santa Fe for a quick tour of the city. I loved the city, all the adobe buildings, and how clean it was, and am looking forward to visiting again with my wife when I have a little more time to spend there. I’m not much of an artsy type of person, but was shocked at the number of galleries and studios there were, and artists with their easels, painting along the Santa Fe River, that goes right through the city. With the DRZ only having the stock tank, we didn’t want to wander too far off without full tanks, so we stopped to top off the tanks as well. I was getting excellent mileage so far, so I only needed about a gallon at that point.


Camel Rock:


Break time at local coffee shop in Santa Fe:




After thoroughly winding our way in and around the city, tanks topped off, and thirsts quenched, we headed out of town. What awaited us next I don’t think anyone could have anticipated, or at least Steve was acting innocent about. Although I had my GPS with and tracking us, I really wasn’t keeping track of where we were actually at or going. Apparently we were heading over to see the Rio Grande. The road leading out there was the worst washboard road I’ve ever experienced in my life - from start to finish. Seriously, it was about 10 miles of relentless washboard, with talcum powder like dust covering it, with occasional sandy areas. I joked about it either being Steve’s way of treating us to a New Mexico style “massage”, or a way to find out how serious we were about our desires to ride with him!

About halfway into what I later referred to as the “washboard road”, we found a nice place to stop for pictures and a couple minutes off the bikes. Being near the end of June, it was already quite hot, so just about any time we stopped, Okraider and I had to remove our jackets. Steve however, seemed just fine with his left on unless we planned an extended break.





The first couple pictures are what I’ve dubbed as “Okraider’s Ground Shots”. There will be more to come later in this report:




We made the rest of our way down to the Rio Grande and found a nice, little, shady spot to cool off. As per normal, Steve had some story or historical knowledge to drop on us about that location, a nearby road, or something. He’s like a walking history book.





It was a nice and cool break by the river, but it was time to move on. None of us were terribly excited about the 10 miles of washboard road back out again, but we didn’t have any other options but to just do it. We hit it a bit faster on the way out, completely dusting out whoever was riding second, and especially last (happened to be me I think, this time). Faster was somewhat better, but didn’t make it any more fun hitting the spots of 6” deep sand every so often. Oh well, that’s what you’re supposed to do in sand anyway.

I’m not sure how far it was, but before long we turned off on another rarely used county road. Okraider said that some of this area he thought looked like we were on the moon.



We took a short break, finding the only shade we could find. Seem to recall it was a cedar.

Apparently this branch is from a “Joshua” tree. I’d never seen anything like it before.


Another of “Okraider’s Ground Shots”:


The road was pretty nice, with only a few rough areas of deep ruts caused by 4x4s during the rainy season.


The further we got, the worse it got though, until we were in an area with a lot of lava rocks. It was very interesting terrain.




My current background at work:


A short ways back, there was a “Y” in the road, and Steve decided to take us left, saying he had been the other way and that it was rather technical. Looking ahead from our photo stop, this is what we were facing, but fortunately there was a trail that led us down to the bottom:




Apparently the name of this hill was “La Bajada Hill”, which, amazingly enough, was part of the original Route 66. We managed our way down the trail, albeit rather slowly. There were a couple areas of at least bowling ball and larger sized jagged rocks to maneuver, but mostly the trail was ok. At this point we were mostly concerned with making it down the hill safely, so none of us snapped any pics of the technical areas. Even if we had though, pictures never really do the actual difficulty level of the terrain much justice.

Once down from what I then called “lava rock trail”, we found a shady spot to talk about our “adventure” down the trail, our close calls, and how we barely escaped death several times. On a serious note though, I suppose if you weren’t paying attention and did end up going off the trail, it would have been a rather bleak situation. And without proper armor on the bikes, it would have been fairly easy to damage our bikes on some of the jagged rocks.



Okraider... always hungry.


From there we rode a few miles across the desert out to the highway, and then west to Cochiti Lake for a short break and to top off the tanks again.





After our break we headed out again, riding quite a few miles on pavement. This was fine with me though, as I had been eating quite a bit of dust the past couple hours. Okraider and I seldom knew where we were really going, so we just enjoyed following our fearless leader. Other than the washboard road (which really I guess was worth it...), so far he had been doing a great job, and there was really no reason to question him at this point.

We rode through this tiny town called Los Cerrillos. Had I known it was so interesting looking, I would have been a bit snappier getting the camera ready, so I only got a couple shots that don’t do it much justice.







Next stop was Madrid. Didn’t know what awaited us until we got there. Come to find out that this was the scene for much of the movie “Wild Hogs”. We stopped at “Maggie’s” for a look, but it’s not a diner now. It’s a souvenir shop basically. We parked in what shade we could find, took some obligatory pictures and looked around inside.



Looks like break time at Maggie’s for Okraider.


It was already late afternoon and we had some distance to cover still, so we headed north out of Madrid, and took the scenic route on Camino Los Abuelos (btw, it’s ALL scenic out there in my opinion) back towards Santa Fe. Lots of wonderful roads and scenery to just soak in. (BTW, this first shot is over my shoulder - I’m not riding on the wrong side of the road!)





We planned to camp that night, but since we were going back through Santa Fe, we figured we might as well grab something quick and easy before heading up into the mountains. Subway was the choice.

Into Santa Fe and a bit more sightseeing:




We topped off the tanks yet again, this time knowing that we would be heading up into the mountains to set up camp for the night. I don’t think I ever put more than 1.4 gallons into the tank the whole trip, but with a stock tank on QE2, we made sure to keep all of our tanks topped off any time he wanted to fill up.


While eating our subs, we had the bright idea that we were going close enough to Steve’s place on our way up into Carson National Forest, that we might as well stop in to rinse off the dust from the day. It turned out to be a great idea, as it was rather hot the whole day as well.

Back on the road again, we rode about 30 miles northeast up into Carson National Forest, taking the “High Road to Taos Scenic Byway”. We passed through Truchas, and a few miles turned off onto a forestry road, following that in a mile or so until we found a spot that looked good for camp. Not another soul to see, pretty good view and a clear night awaited us.

Okraider and Steve wanted to be manly and just lay on their tarps, but I set up my little tent, feeling pretty sure that it would protect me from the wolves and bears in the area. Okay, maybe not, but it would at least keep the mosquitos and other flying and crawling critters away, and I wouldn’t need to smell like OFF all night either!



I think Okraider was making his nightly coffee at this point:




Glad I always bring earplugs when traveling and/or camping, Okraider and Steve talked late into the night, catching up on old times.

Stats for the day:
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:32 AM   #86
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New Mexico - Day 2

Day 2: 147 miles, 378 miles total
Truchas, Carson National Forest, Water Crossing, Trampas, Rio de Las creek,
Acequia de Abajo de el Valle, Taos, 10000’+, Aspens, Grande Del Rancho, Rio,
Penasco, Trampas Medio Campground

Map of the day:



Morning came and I was first one up. It was a beautiful morning. The others were still wrapped in their sleeping bags and tarps trying to stay warm.











I don’t recall if this was dinner the night before or breakfast, but Steve had brought along a MRE to eat, and unpacking that and giving a play-by-play of what he was eating was quite entertaining. I guess we all had our own “war stories” to tell about eating MREs, C-rations, K-rations, etc. Okraider reminded us how much things have changed since the days of C-rations, where you would get a small package of Chiclets chewing gum, a book of matches, and yes, a small pack of cigarettes. They also included every boy’s favorite item, the P-38 can opener. I told the others about my experiences with the Norwegian style MREs, distinctly remembering some “crackers” that were included that had a big “warning” on them to drink plenty of water while eating them. They were obviously very dense and dry, so I suppose they expanded to fill you up as you ate them and drank water.



After a thorough check for loose parts on our bikes, we set off on day #2 of our adventure, spirits high, bodies not too sore, and bikes all running great. When you’re in relatively “new” surroundings, it seems there’s always something that is worth of snapping a few pics of. Okraider and I have both been to this area many times before, but almost always in the winter, for skiing at Taos Ski Valley. Quite the contrast visiting in the summer, and having no other purpose than exploring and soaking it all in.





Before long we were back in Truchas, then heading east up into Carson National Forest, looking towards Truchas Peaks. These are the times that you just wish time could stop to soak in all the beauty. Steve quickly had us off on another county (gravel) road, which was probably one of the best “trails” of the ride. Definitely a 4x4 only trail, we could see that recent rains had caused others to leave ruts on both sides, often 8-12” deep. We didn’t have any problems with these as long as we rode the center or outsides. It did make for tricky navigating though if there were obstacles in our paths.







The trail improved ahead, and we enjoyed the brisk morning mountain air, smell of pines and serenity of the forest.



Before long we came across a beautiful little area that I thought would be perfect for camping, with a little creek running right along side. I set a waypoint on my GPS, hoping that if it worked out right, maybe we could camp here that night.



There was a nice sized water crossing up ahead, so we took a short break to enjoy the surroundings and discussed our plan ahead. The water wasn’t too deep - maybe up to the axles on our bikes at most. One thing I have learned (the hard way) is not to underestimate water crossings though.





Steve went through first, and got set for taking video of Okraider and I crossing. It was fairly uneventful, but I always find water crossings fun. After crossing the creek, we intersected with another road that was maintained. It was a dead end that headed up to some trailheads and another camping area called Trampas Trailhead Campground. I noticed one of the trailheads was taped off, apparently due to a fire hazard. There were also several signs posted throughout the area that campfires were prohibited. In fact, while we were there, there was a small section of the forest that was actually on fire near Santa Fe, but it didn’t affect any of the areas where we were riding.





Here’s another shot of the water crossing, from the opposite side:



We headed down the mountain, passing through the tiny village of El Valle. I was riding last in the pack, and although Steve and Okraider weren’t necessarily going very fast, I started trailing behind. We had previously made arrangements that when we came to an intersection/junction, that we would stop and wait for everyone, in case someone had issues. I didn’t have any issues at this point, but there was something about this stretch of mountain road that just seemed to mesmerize me. It was so peaceful, I was enjoying the smell of evergreens, the views were magnificent, Roxy was running well, and I was standing on my pegs just taking it all in, barely putzing along at 15-20 mph, stopping to take pictures whenever I felt like it. For some reason, it almost seemed surreal. FINALLY I was riding in the mountains, in absolutely perfect conditions.

I’m not sure where this bridge actually went, unless it was just for the landowner to be able to cross the creek. It looked a bit much for just that though, so who knows. There seemed to be remnants of a road, so maybe the road I was on went that way many moons ago.



A lot of interesting formations along the way, most of which I didn’t get any pictures of. I guess at this point I hadn’t mastered the art of taking pictures while riding, as I do much more of the following day (although I don’t recommend this - obviously it can be dangerous, yadda, yadda..).



The local church in El Valle. There couldn’t have been more than a handful of homes along this stretch, so I’m really not sure who all would attend the church. I was also surprised to see that the sign was in English, as the majority of the landowners in this area were Hispanic.



The local cemetery, surprisingly larger than I would have expected to see there in the middle of nowhere. It was established in the 1750s, according to the sign at the entrance.







We get back out onto a main road and then start making our way to Taos. While stopping for another picture, I noticed that the signs in New Mexico look just like they do here in Oklahoma





We get into Taos, top off our tanks, and then head into the town square for some lunch. Steve is nearly a local, so he knows the way in and out of downtown, avoiding most of the traffic. After gassing up, Steve spots someone on some mega-ultra-expensive-fancy Beemer touring bike, so being a BMW owner himself, he rides over to talk to them.



We arrive a little before The Alley Cantina opened, so we had to wait a few minutes. I think Okraider was debating whether he would ride that duck until the restaurant opened, but decided not to because I already had my camera out.





I must say that this place serves one of the best, and by far the tallest mountain of nachos I had ever seen. Appropriate for where we were I suppose. Highly recommend, but just don’t ask for separate checks or you’ll get charged a few bucks extra for some reason.



Having been in Taos many times before, we didn’t waste any time “sightseeing”, so we headed out of town, east on highway 64. We had driven that several times in cars before, often talking about how this road/canyon would be so fun on bikes. Well we were finally doing it - we didn’t straighten out all the twisties, but we sure had a nice ride through there for several miles, until we finally turned off the highway onto a forest road. I happened to notice (sorry no pic) that there was a sign that said something about 4x4s only...or no cars - something to that effect. Sweet!





We climbed and climbed to over 10K feet elevation. We found a nice grassy spot with a bunch of Aspen trees, so we stopped for a quick break to soak it all in. Many of the trees had “grafitti” carved into their bark.



Here we see Okraider in his natural habitat:



While we were stopped here, much to our amazement we see a Honda Accord full of passengers drive by. Go figure. Maybe it was a rental.

We proceed on, riding alongside a creek most of the way, crossing every so often on small bridges. It was fairly warm, so at one point we stopped to cool off a bit by the water. Okraider had a bandana around his neck and I was using a beanie buff. We would rinse these in cold water each time we stopped near water, and with the low humidity (rapid evaporation) they were really a great thing to have. Highly recommend if you ride in hot weather. There was a pile of rocks leading across the creek where we stopped, so I walked out into the middle to sit down.









Somewhere along the way...





A bit further on, we passed the highest point of our trip so far, which according to my GPS, was 10,640’. We didn’t stop there, but did once we got to a meadow, which was still over 10,300’.













We continued on for a while on a series of awesome forest roads until we made it back out to a highway. A short distance later, Steve had us off on another forest road heading back up into the mountains again. Looking on a map later, I realized that at one point we were not far from the small ski area called Sipapu. I’d been to Sipapu several years ago, and I think it’s a great little place to take someone that is learning to ski, and it is also very reasonably priced compared to some of the bigger ski areas. Taos is still my favorite ski area though.

By now it was late afternoon and we had already put on nearly 80 miles, so once we came back out of the forest onto main roads, we found some gas in Peñasco. We discussed our plans for camping and decided that since we weren’t too far from the spot I had marked a waypoint for earlier that day, Okraider and I would just head up that way. Steve had some things to take care of at home, so he would ride on home to his family, and then just ride back up to our campsite in the morning and we’d start day 3 from there. So Okraider and I headed up to the campsite and set up camp. We found an awesome little spot right next to a “noisy” creek that was sure to put us to sleep in no time. There was a road a stone’s throw away from our campsite, but it was a dead end, so there was no traffic at all that evening.





The elevation here was 8900’, so it was starting to cool off fairly quickly. We had already changed out of our riding gear, but had to put on some extra clothes now, as it was quite cool in the shade. I have several pictures that Okraider won’t allow me to post at this point...I suppose he hadn’t consulted with his fashion consultant before the trip. Really the pics aren’t a big deal - just picture different colored thermals with shorts and t-shirt on top of them. It was worth a few laughs though, but also a stern “none of those pictures get posted to FB or ADV!” from Okraider.

After we got everything set up, we made ourselves some dinner. Okraider made himself some coffee afterwards, and we sat for a little while discussing our adventures so far. Good times. Okraider’s “coffeemaker” consisted of a coffee filter with coffee in it, held together by his Leatherman, steeping in his boiled cup of water, tea bag style. Seemed to work fine for him.



I’m not even sure what time it was at this point, but we were both pretty tired from the day, so we decided to just get into our tents and call it a day. I’m pretty sure we were both out in just a few moments.



Who needs the “sleep” app on their phone playing ocean waves or rainforest sounds when you have the real deal? Besides the root that was right under my sleeping pad (that I could live with), it doesn’t get much better for sleeping than this!



Another.Awesome.Day.

Stats for the day:




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Old 07-19-2013, 11:02 AM   #87
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New Mexico - Day 3

Day 3: 162 miles, 539 miles total
Dixon, Rio Grande Gorge, Lower Taos Canyon, Sugars, Espanola, Velarde, White Rock, Los Alamos

Map of the day:



After a great night of sleep, not hearing each other snoring or anything else for that matter besides the water in the creek, we woke up around 6AM to a quite brisk 36°F. Fortunately our sleeping bags (we both had liners) had kept us warm throughout the night. We made ourselves something to eat and warm to drink and then starting packing up, expecting to see Steve promptly arrive at the agreed time of 7AM. Well, he was about 20 minutes late...but it turns out he had ridden about 10 minutes from his house when he realized he’d left his wallet at home, so he turned around to get it. That sounded like a reasonable excuse, and we didn’t care anyway because we really weren’t ready to leave by 7AM anyway. It was pretty cold packing up that morning, but mainly it was just our fingers since we had already put our riding gear on. At that point I was more than ready to get on the road, since I have heated grips on Roxy. I had also brought along some hand warmers, so after using them for a few minutes I put them in Okraider’s gloves without him knowing, so they would be warm when we started riding. Ya, I’m not always harrassing Okraider.

Steve arrives and we head out, back up the trail we had been on the day before, but in the opposite direction. This was an awesome trail, so it was fun to get to ride it again.

The Ponderosa Pines in this area were magnificent, although the picture really doesn’t show much of them. Steve took a few minutes to drop some knowledge of Ponderosas on us - specifically about how fire resistant they are because of their deep roots and somewhat fire resistant bark.




I’m guessing this place had been there quite a while. Okraider goes up for a closer look. I’m guessing there was a Hummingbird nest somewhere, as there was one irritated little bird literally dive bombing the area...not specifically Okraider. He would fly basically straight up 30-50 feet, and dive nearly straight down to about 5-6’ above the ground and then head back up again. We’d never seen anything like that before.





More random shots along the way:



The mountains in the distance are where we spent the night and just came from:



This is the little village of Truchas, where the “High Road to Taos Scenic Byway” passes through:





Being a Sunday, the local market wasn’t open yet.



We were looking to fill our Camelbaks and get a mid morning snack by now, and since the market in Truchas was close, Steve came up with another idea. He knew of some friends that had a pottery studio not far away that we could probably stop in for some water and to use the facilities. They were there and welcomed us with open arms.



Here’s a poster they had inside, showing the “High Road” mentioned earlier, with their gallery marked with a red X.



They had all sorts of cool pottery and glass stuff there.







We left there and rode through a really neat area with awesome rock formations and narrow cutouts for the road. I only got a few pictures though, missing most of the real cool stuff:













We headed into the little town of Dixon, apparently with a population of around 1500, but I would have guessed a lot fewer. We went to the only store in town, and since it was Sunday, it wasn’t open yet. Fortunately it was scheduled to open in a few minutes, so we just waited until the owner showed up. It was a great little market - lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh baked bread, and the usual other things in a small town grocery store. Oh and they sold watermelon by the slice.



Okraider in his not so uncommon pose - sitting and eating.



While at the market a friendly, Hispanic man by the name of Leroy came to talk to us. He was interested in what we were doing, and talked for quite a while. When I came out he asked me where I was from, and I told him Oklahoma. He asked if I like it there, and I could tell where he was going with this... He said he had been in the panhandle area once, and didn’t like it, and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to live where there are so many tornados. Kinda hard to argue with that. Apparently he had a place there in Dixon, but actually lived in Colorado. Steve or Okraider might have more to share about this guy though since I came in on the tail end of the visit.

We headed out of Dixon and up to a trail Steve knew about. I have forgotten what he told us about it, but I vaguely recall that it had been the “road” many years back. Once we got there I was amazed though, as this “road” was barely more than wide enough for a 4 wheeler, presenting plenty of switchbacks and technical areas. It was fairly steep too, so it was a 1st gear type of trail. Sorry, no pics of the trail.

We reached the top and had a look around. I guess there was a rock quarry or something up there.





I guess Steve felt like there wasn’t enough water for the vegetation...







Back out on the road again, we headed back into Dixon, along the way seeing a group of people, who had obviously just been by the nearest sporting goods store, purchasing all the desert/boonie hats they had in stock.





This is where the switchback trail left the highway, and if you look closely, you can see some of the easier portion of it just to the right of that guard rail.



I’m not sure what was going on here with the nearly dead trees, but several places in a row had similar looking trees.



We stopped by the local church in Dixon for a couple pictures. Services were still going, so I didn’t want to get too close taking pictures. The sign showed the most age. I think if adobe maintained, it lasts for a long, long time.





We had quite an agenda ahead of us still, according to Steve, and this was our last day. So we left Dixon towards our next destination. A few shots along the way.





Next Steve took us up a fairly steep, gravel road, with plenty of switchbacks. It only led to some homes at the top, so we turned around before we got there. The road was loads of fun, as long as you didn’t get carried away near some of the edges. On the way back down, Steve was showing off his skills, with his foot out and controlled sliding the corners...this, mind you, on his 650. Me on my little 2-fiddy could barely keep up with him.







Next we headed up into Rio Grande Gorge State Park for a look. It’s an awesome canyon of twisties with the Rio Grande running along side of it, but unfortunately the speed limit here was only 25. Along the way we saw kayakers, rafts full of tourists, fly fishermen, and people swimming. There weren’t many rapids along this particular section of the river, but it would still be fun to float down. I noticed several outfitters there in Pilar, as we turned to head into the canyon. I also noticed that the local law was also out enforcing the 25 mph speed limit.




The main road basically ended and if you continued, you crossed over the river and it was gravel the rest of the way to the top of the other side of the canyon. We had a tight schedule though, so we only went up a ways to check things out. Not too many miles further north up the river was the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, near Taos. We had seen that before though, so we didn’t ride on to check it out. Quite an amazing sight for those who haven’t seen it before.

















What looks like we might be heading for our demise, we’re actually just stopped for a picture...



After we got back down to the river on the main road, we stopped by the bridge. It was obviously a popular spot for swimming, as many locals were there with their kids braving the cold water.





After a few minutes there, getting our bandana and beanie buff rinsed and re-wetted, we headed out once again. We were ready for lunch too, and Steve had something great in mind. Just down the road a ways, in Embudo, was a place called Sugar’s. It was a little roadside “tin shack” alongside the Rio Grande, and appeared to be a quite popular place for being kind of out in the middle of nowhere. Okraider and I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently this place is quite well known. There was no inside seating, but there were tables outside, mostly with shade. The three of us ordered burgers, but they are also known for their BBQ, brisket burritos, and a variety of other things. Sugar’s was named after their bulldog, who passed away in 2004. Sugar’s is run by Nancy (who took our orders), and her husband Neil, and it’s a place that I’d highly recommend to anyone.



The “Sugar Burger”, loaded with all the yummies (lettuce, cheese, green chilis, mushrooms, bacon, and a hefty size burger):



Right next door was a gift shop that we didn’t go check out. A couple was selling fresh vegetables out near the road too. It seemed so hot to be sitting out all day like that, but they did have some shade, and it’s amazing how cool it actually can be in the shade there, despite how it feels otherwise. That’s another thing I love about that area, and the thing we noticed the first night we arrived - that it might be really hot during the day, but come evening you can open the windows and enjoy the cool breeze while sleeping.

Feeling like fattened calves, we waddled back to our bikes to press onward. Great food, but it sure would have been nice to take a nap by the Rio Grande about now. It was getting to be time to start looking for gas again, so along the way stopped for gas in Velarde.

A few miles further down the road we got off the main highway and crossed over the Rio Grande, so we were now on the west side of the river, heading southwest. It was so obvious that the river ran through there based on how green the immediate area was. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that this was all farmland. Lots of nice farms along this area.

Random pics along the way:







Everywhere we were we saw fences that were made out of various lengths of trees/branches. I don’t know why they’re like this, when many of the places also had barbed wire or other fence on the outside as well. Edit: (note from Steve) "Those post fences you mentioned in your ride report are called 'coyote fences'. The early settlers would build these stockades to keep their sheep safe from predators and the style is very popular still..."

(Sorry this one is blurry...)


We passed through the town of Espanola, and were now headed to White Rock. Steve said there’s a neat lookout area there we should see.







We made it to the observation point in White Rock. Steve had several stories to tell us about this place - like people driving their cars off over the edge, etc., most of which I’ve forgotten the details of already. I’m sure you’re asking yourself why I even mention that if I don’t retell the stories, but I’m thinking maybe if Steve wants to tell them here, he can.















Steve also pointed out several areas we had been to the first day, including the “washboard road” that led us out to the river. I guess it’s in this picture, in the large wooded area just to the right of the river. It felt like worlds apart from where we had been, but like I said starting out, I really wasn’t keeping my bearings on where we were, but just following and enjoying the ride.



We left White Rock and were headed up towards Valles Caldera, which was a volcano measuring over 13 miles in diameter, and according to Wikipedia, erupted over a million years ago. Unfortunately we were running short on time by now, so Steve told us a little about it and we decided to turn towards Los Alamos instead.

We rode past several areas of the installation there, but didn’t try to get in to look around.









In town, we stopped at the location of the original Los Alamos Ranch School for Boys. Steve stayed with the bikes and gear, while Okraider and I went in for a look. It felt a little strange that once upon a time Albert Einstein and a team of the world’s foremost scientists had probably all been right here as well, working to develop the first atomic bomb.












Inside there was a poetry reading or something going on, so I didn’t get to snoop around too much, afraid of bothering them.





When we got back to the bikes, a nice fellow that was there with his family playing in the park, offered to take our picture. As you can see, Okraider was getting a bit “friendly” at this point...



We weren’t too far from Steve’s place now, and Steve had made arrangements for us to go to dinner with his family that evening, so we decided to head in that direction. Although riding 540 miles in 3 days doesn’t sound like a lot, a good portion of that was on forest roads and trails, so we were pretty tired by the end of the third day. This is also more than Okraider and I are used to, especially riding back to back days like this. It’s a cumulative thing, especially if you don’t have a comfy seating arrangement.

Heading back also brought with the realization that the trip was coming to an end, and that was sad. I know that I for one sure wasn’t ready for the adventure to end.



Headed out of town... Steve told us about the local airport runway, and how the end of it just kind of disappears at the edge of a hill. I tried to get some pictures, but wasn’t very successful.





It was a nice ride down from the plateau where Los Alamos is located. I really liked it there, and would have no problem relocating to that area some day if I was able to find sufficient employment.











We joined Steve and his family that evening at Gabriels. Great food to end the trip. I think I had the Rellenos de Sante Fe.





On our way into Santa Fe we could see smoke from the forest fire. Fortunately it didn’t affect our trip - there were a few doubts before we left that the forest might be all closed off when we get there. Fortunately Steve found out that they weren’t closing up everything until Monday, the day we were heading back home. That worked out great for our trip - obviously not so great for anyone in that area.



Stats for the day, and our trip:




Thanks to Okraider for hauling us out there in his pickup.

Thanks again Steve for being an awesome host and guide. We had a blast and hope to get to ride together again soon.

I also want to thank my beautiful wife for letting me take off occasionally to do stuff like this!

Happy Riding!

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Old 07-20-2013, 03:19 PM   #88
gbmaz
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Looks like you guys had a fun time. Steve is a great guy to ride with and full of information about the area. Hopefully you can come out for another visit and he can take you through some of the areas in the northern end of the Jemez Mountains. So much more to see in NM.....

Steve sent me the link to your RR after he took me on some of the riding that was his "plan B" for your trip. Trust me when I tell you "plan B" would have been just as beautiful.

Steve had invited me to join you, but my schedule did not match up. Hopefully I can join you if you come out again to ride with Steve.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:14 AM   #89
zekester63 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbmaz View Post
Looks like you guys had a fun time. Steve is a great guy to ride with and full of information about the area. Hopefully you can come out for another visit and he can take you through some of the areas in the northern end of the Jemez Mountains. So much more to see in NM.....

Steve sent me the link to your RR after he took me on some of the riding that was his "plan B" for your trip. Trust me when I tell you "plan B" would have been just as beautiful.

Steve had invited me to join you, but my schedule did not match up. Hopefully I can join you if you come out again to ride with Steve.
Hey George, sorry it didn't work out for you to join us, but it sounds like the "plan B" riding you guys rode was great riding as well. I'm sure just about anything out there is pretty awesome riding.

We definitely want to come back again for more riding...but it probably won't be until next year some time, and hope to have a little more time then too.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:58 AM   #90
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Three County Kind of Day

It Was a Three County Kind of Day

Trip map:


I found myself with a few hours without chores or other commitments, so I decided to jump on Roxy and just go for a ride. It had been a few weeks already since my trip to NM, so I was itching to get back in the saddle again. I had no goal or destination in mind, and with the heat we’ve been having lately, wasn’t even sure I’d last that long all geared up.

I rode west to Sapulpa, filled up the tank with real gas, and then decided to head northwest, towards the Keystone Lake area.

I noticed a sign for Discoveryland, and decided to go see where it was. I’ve lived in this area for over 13 years, and never once seen the play “Oklahoma”, which is what Discoverland is known for. I’d heard it was closed this season again for the second year in a row due to declining attendance.



As much as possible, I like to avoid the main roads while out riding, and am always game for a dirt/gravel road. Here’s a few shots of the variety of roads I ended up riding:











I wish this picture showed it better, but this farm really stuck out like a sore thumb to me - enough so that I turned around to grab this shot. It’s just not very common to see a place so well manicured as this one was, especially out in rural areas. They must mow over 15 acres, extending much further to the right than this picture shows, into a wooded area, out to the road, etc. It really looked like a park.



I crossed over the dam at Keystone Lake, and then headed north into Osage County, into the Osage Indian Reservation.

There’s a group of inmates here on ADVRider that have done a pretty good job putting together a big dual sport “loop” around Oklahoma, and they’ve called it the Oklahoma Adventure Trail (OAT). I’ve reported on parts of it before, but on today’s ride, I accidently did about 30 more miles of it than I knew at the time. I knew the OAT went through this general area, but wasn’t sure exactly where, and I didn't have the tracks loaded on my GPS to know for sure.

So, come to find out, I picked up the OAT on the NE end of Keystone Lake, and ended up following the exact route all the way to Barnsdall.

There were a few muddy sections after the morning rains, but didn't really have any issues with them, despite not having my knobby tires on.

Here's some pics from along the way:











The campground at Bull Creek on Skiatook Lake is a nice campground. I’d never been to this part of Skiatook Lake before. There was only one family tent camping in the whole place.







An Okraider81 inspired “ground shot”...



Birch Lake, near Barnsdall, has camping with facilities as well (and also a swimming area there, if you want to cool off a bit) at the Twin Coves Recreation Area. I stayed here on a church men’s retreat a few years ago, so I thought I’d pop in and take another look. Just a few people swimming.











Passing through Barnsdall, I noticed this place:







I found some nice twisties on some backroads on my way back into Tulsa.







I noticed a sign indicating something of historical significance, so turned to see what it was. I wasn’t even sure I was on the right road at first, but then saw another sign. All I saw was a cemetery, but there had apparently been a mission there at some point.





Across the street was this church.



I tried to avoid the major highways into and through Tulsa, but it’s not easy when the Arkansas River skirts the city to the east. Here’s a shot of the city, from the northwest side of town.



I passed by Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa’s #3 attraction according to Trip Advisor.



I turned east on Charles Page Blvd, passing by this hill that brings back memories of climbing it on road bikes (the pedal type)... I get winded just looking at it now.



And 100’ further up the road is this strange place called the “Cave House” (http://cavehousetulsa.com/) that I’ve passed by many, many times, but never knew what it was nor stopped. According to a sign out front, they give tours for $7.50/person. I had to Google it just to see what it is; it was fronted as a chicken restaurant in the 20s, but supposedly it was really a speak-easy.



I rode through downtown over to the north end of Riverside, and grabbed a shot of a new-ish Route 66 landmark.





I always thought this round apartment/office building was interesting. I actually visited a chiropractor some years ago that had an office on the 31st floor. Apparently his practice is still there.



Thanks to generous private donations over the years, Tulsa has been able to develop an awesome set of paved trails along both sides of the Arkansas river, with the east side very park-like. On the east side, there are two trails much of the way, one for bicycles and the other for pedestrians. It starts at the 11th street bridge, and continues approximately 10 miles south all the way until it becomes the Creek Turnpike trail.





There’s also a pedestrian bridge over the river to the west side.



All in all it was another nice, little ride. About 126 miles in all. I wished I had worn my Camelbak, but I did have water with me and also wore my “beanie buff” around my neck that I try to keep wet for its cooling effect.

Trip Stats for the day:



Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Riding!

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