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Old 10-20-2009, 06:47 PM   #16
EnderTheX OP
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Thanks for the comments. A lighter bike certainly would have helped me navigate the sand. I am looking to borrow some lighter bikes from friends to learn some technique. Trial by fire did not work lol.


Honestly I don’t mind riding alone, I have soloed most of my trips (car, SV650s, this BMW and most of my day trips). Luckily I am around many great people at work all day and have shared houses with friends for many years so I enjoy being alone for a while.


Meanwhile, the roads continued to amaze me near the Gila National Forrest. I stopped at this point because I had a serious case of déjà vu and swore I had been here before… kinda creepy lol.




Here is a road that was on Byron and my route from a couple days ago. We had turned around because the only gas station in town was closed and we did not think we had enough gas/daylight to make it through this road, instead taking slab to Silver City. It turned out to be really fun with a couple puddles.




At one point I got a view of the mine near Silver City. This is supposed to be on of the largest mines in the US/world and I don’t doubt it.




More on the road, this is Georgetown Road in NM. There are plenty of imbedded rocks and hills that make blazing down this road loads of fun.





After going through Gila National Forrest I continued west through the mountains. I was putting the outer knobbies to good use and the F800GS was handling the twisties perfectly. I really enjoy the upright dual sport style for carving these roads but I still haven’t forgotten how to ride my SV650S lol.





A view into the distance at the peak of the pass. I took a minute to soak it in knowing I would eventually return to my flatland home in Texas. People who live in mountainous should know how lucky they are.




A cool bridge on the way, one of my friends is into bridges so this one is for him!





After getting to the super slab I decided to race north about 80 miles to a town with a motel to try and sleep of my pulled hip muscle/tendon whatever. On the way a thunderstorm was looming over the road and I was trying to outrun it. It caught me for a few miles but I didn’t stop or get soaked.




I made it to my motel and crashed hard. That night I spend a couple hours on the computer in the lobby with all my maps folded out researching weather, twisties and dirt. Little did I know the next day would be the longest, most challenging, dangerous and exhilarating day of the whole trip…
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:04 PM   #17
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The next day started off innocent enough. This slab runs out towards the Lincoln National Forrest (my favorite NF so far). It is hard to describe how trippy it is to ride this laser strait road at 70mph for over 45 minutes with nothing around you. Mountains in the haze in the distance and a perfectly flat plain around you, I was amazed.





I tried a few riding shots, here is a movement + reflection shot.




After getting off the plain I came into an area with a name referencing burning plains, something?… I forgot the name but the black rock was amazing, there was an entire valley of this stuff and I have no idea how it got this way. Looks kinda like a lava bed surfaced and hardened.




Finally I am in Lincoln National Forrest. It is not hard to find awesome roads here. Everything seems to be open, roads actually exist, people are friendly, good place to be.




I was riding along a twisty highway and all of a sudden I am off the GPS path and the road looks really new. I look down into the valley below and I see this road. Wow!! This used to be the path but the very recent highway has diverted away from it. I doubled back and found the entrance, luckily it is still open, this road may soon be forgotten because there is nothing along it and no reason to take it (except for us adventure peeps).






More of this amazing road and the colors along it.




After getting back on the highway I was inspired to look for roads that looped off. There are several and I will definitely be back to enjoy them! This road ended up being really awesome. It is amazing they exist because nothing is on them but I guess the forest service guys need to access parts of the grounds.




Continuing on that road I take a break in the shade. You could not ask for better weather, I took a layer off to keep from sweating.




Close to the peak the road fades out for a bit but I am able to find it again on the other side. A few times it branches off in relatively new looking paths but I keep following the GPS.


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Old 10-21-2009, 05:07 PM   #18
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Continuing on the same road, came into some cool trees. My yellow GS seemed to fit in nicely.







Here is where the two shots above were taken in Lincoln National Forrest, NM.




One of the canyon roads, this was smooth and fast. Towards the end of this road it disappeared but another cool dirt road picked up.




Started to go through the forest, awesome weather.




Saw the remnants of a fire, there was a little bit of char in the area but it wasn’t a big blaze.




I don’t think you can go wrong on these roads. This one ended up in a dead end but coming back was just as fun!




Another go at a reflection shot. This road had many small rises or jumps that seemed built in. I’m not sure if they are intended to slow vehicles or help you stop going downhill but I got air of plenty of em.




On a very promising mountainside road I ran into these damn cows. The would not get off the road because the sides are very steep and they only continued to walk in front of me. Some of them were already jabbing at each other with their horns probably because they were agitated I was herding them. I eventually gave up because I wanted to use the little daylight I had left.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:47 PM   #19
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After riding out of Lincoln National Forrest, I was heading on a path to the south east. This runs through a reservation and connects with some small highways on route to a main town. The road started easy and was very fast gravel. I was lulled into a sense of complacency and blazed ahead. My GPS told me to turn onto a couple short roads that would quickly connect me with the highway. These were not well traveled but looked innocent enough at first.




It was already getting dark and I knew I would not be able to make town before nightfall so I was prepared to do some riding in the dark. The road quickly grew more primitive and began to fade away, I only had a few miles to go so I thought I could bounce over whatever came my way. Then…. I was faced with this:



I am sure most of you guys on light bikes are thinking “oh that’s no problem”. These rocks were huge, the way was narrow and I was already stuck among a couple rocks thinking about how to turn around. I walked up ahead to the bend and looked at what awaited me but the path was completely blocked by boulders. It was getting dark and I was exhausted…



I unloaded the bike and began to carefully turn it around. It took all my strength (which is not much) to maneuver the bike over the rocks, I even moved a few rocks that were in the way.




After one hour of getting back the ½ mile to a reasonably motorable road, I had unloaded the bike 3 times, dropped it one because I was tired, and it had gotten really dark. To top it off a thunderstorm was coming in and I remembered the gravel road I came in on had lots of flash flood warnings on it. I considered finding high ground, pitching my tent, eating an MRE and dipping into my stash of bourbon but I said fuck it and kept moving. This is where I was when I finally got out of that area (beware of this road, even though you could get over some of the rocks it really was totally blocked).




To make matters even more interesting I continued down the road I was originally on (the long way) but I stopped at a cattle guard with this sign. There was no gate but I did not want to go through this, the sign is pretty clear and the last thing I need is to be confronted by military peeps.




It took me three hours to get to the nearest large town (Artesia, NM). I road like a bat out of hell on the dark gravel roads, the dark narrow paved highway snaking through the desert, and the extremely dark super slab. The thunderstorm in the distance gave me a great light show the whole way, it only started raining close to town so I was not in danger of flash floods.

As I transitioned from the gravel road to the small highway I knew I would not be able to make it with the amount of fuel I had. I came across a small town that actually is not on google maps that I can see. The lights were on in one house and I managed to get a couple gallons of fuel from the old guy at home. When I got to the main town I filled up with over 3 gallons so I knew I would have ran out of gas on the way.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #20
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The next day I headed out to great weather. I was happy to be unhurt and well rested. This pump jack was within easy reach so I took a few pics.




There were some roads on the GPS I found that looped to my main track. I was really glad to find this fence road, it was very cool!




Hitting the highways I went south towards the Texas border. In the distance where the road seems to end is Texas in the Guadalupe National Park. There is no through road so I will have to back-track.




Here is where I temporarily enter Texas, it is good to be home J




This is where I ate lunch. Just barely into Texas and at a dead end. Luckily there was a great view and some picnic tables.




Mmmmmm lunch… An MRE and an energy bar, really not that bad…




My view for lunch.




Heading back to the main highway, this road seemed lonely on this beautiful day.

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Old 10-21-2009, 08:16 PM   #21
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When I arrived in Carlsbad I made a turn into the gas station and the front felt really squishy. Crap I have a flat tire. I think I got it on the road into town possibly on a bad cattle guard. I fill up with gas and air up the tire, it is holding some air so I limp to a nearby location that might have a jack. The F800GS takes over 150 pounds to lift the front tire off the ground with the center stand and I did not have someone with me, jack is the best option lol.





Mission accomplished, some guys let me use their jack and I was in the shade, this should be a piece of cake! If this had happened far from town I would have layed the bike over to get the front off, by this point I know I can pick it back up lol.




Partially unpacked tube, this is one of the ultra heavy duty tubes I brought with me.





Time to take off the front!




This is where I am on my knees with arms extended to the sky cursing Champion Motorsports of Roswell . My brake caliper nuts are rounded off, I had checked them before I had left when I was doing my nut and bolt check. This looks typical of a shop that did not have the torx socket and used a hex socket. I could not get one of the calipers off but luckily you can get the tire off with only one side caliper off.





While I was taking the caliper off one of the brake pads slipped out of place… This normally is not a big deal but I could not figure out how it went back in…




The damn pad would not go back into it’s place!!! Lol, I truly felt like I was either missing something or really stupid. Funniest thing happened, I will never forget it. I was completely frustrated and ready to throw something and some old couple pulls up in their RV. They are looking for a power drill and start talking with the mechanics. The man comes over and talks to me about what I am doing and I explain the situation with the brake pad. I am still messing with the pad and looking at him while I am talking and all of a sudden WOOP the pad goes in and sits in it’s place. I am shocked and I thank the man profusely for helping me get it in even though all he did was distract me lol.





With a trusty rock and my bead breaker tool the tire bead comes off quickly.




The tube I take out of the rim is thin, definitely not an ultra heavy duty tube. Before I left Champion Motorsports in Roswell the service guy assured me they had found ultra heavy duty tubes to install. This is the last time I let a shop supply my tubes. I take the tube over to the water reservoir in the shop and look for the leak… It is a pinch flat. I am really pissed off but there is little I can do besides install the true ultra heavy duty tube and move on.





Hooray I got the stem into the hole woot!!!




Finally the tube goes in and I assemble the bike.

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Old 10-27-2009, 11:52 AM   #22
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Well?!?!

Tell us more!!!

I know the story goes on!
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:18 PM   #23
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Ok guys, I am going to try to finish this report while I still remember everything. Editing pictures and writing is more tiring than I thought especially when the weather in Texas is absolutely gorgeous and all you want to do is ride!

Here goes...
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:31 PM   #24
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The next day I woke up in Carlsbad NM ready for another day of riding in perfect weather. I started to head down to the caves.

On the way into the national park…



There was a cool scenic one way road on the map I wanted to ride but it was closed. The sign at the gate stated the times it was open (and it should have been open) but I did not feel like going to the ranger station to argue, I had riding to do!





On my way to the Guadalupe National Park there were several roads on the maps (and Google Maps) I really wanted to take. They were pretty long and super twisty dirt. Only problem was two of them did not exist (one of them had a small sign on an impassable barbed wire fence (no gate even) that stated “No Project Access”) and the other was gated.

I was fast approaching the Texas border and was getting that fuzzy feeling of returning home even though I was more than 500 miles away and getting further away every mile. I love my state!





The area around Guadalupe National Park is amazing! If I am forced to ride on super slab this is where I want to be!



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Old 11-03-2009, 06:59 PM   #25
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Soon I was on this hypnotizing and desolate road… There was no one around and I stopped to take a picture for the “Lonely Road” thread. And no… the spec in the distance is not a car lol. (A few more dirt roads I wanted to take were gated here)




Here is a pic I took for the “Old Structures” thread. My angle to the building made it difficult to get the water tower and the building to appear strait but I chose the pic with the water tower seeming strait to accentuate the old building feel.




Ms. Peach I will miss your thread!! When I left for this trip her thread was still active and I was set on getting a few shots… This is me in the Davis Mountains (beautiful area with good twisties).

Not as easy as it looks haha!




Success!




Continuing on to the local observatory. I visited this area when I was a kid with my parents and still remember it. My dreams of becoming an astronomer faded as I got older and desired to be a social being but who knows… too much time in the city might see that desire return.





Back in small town civilization I find a great pizzeria and get some dinner. Highly recommend this place if you are ever near Fort Davis (it is on the south side of town where 17 and 118 meet)





I decide to head further down to Alpine to find lodging. I had originally planned on camping at the Davis Mountains State Park and I had picked out a good campsite, paid at the self pay station (after hours) and ridden to the campsite. When I took off my helmet and earplugs I heard not one but two neighbors playing annoying music from their cars while preparing dinner. I should have expected this and I should have removed my helmet while selecting a site. If there is something I can’t stand it is music while camping (also why I don’t care for non-primitive sites). Not wanting to confront the other groups and knowing if they turned it down it would only annoy me more I angrily sped out of the park and out of town, alone again.

(P.S. I love music (mainly hardcore and metal) but not while camping geez!!!!)

I was going rather fast and happy to be alone and absorbed in my ride on this flat and strait road, I decided to try some camera tricks!




As I rolled into town I was so struck by this building in the setting sun I had to take a picture. I wonder if the soil the bricks were made of is really that red or if they were stained…

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Old 11-03-2009, 07:30 PM   #26
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I make my way south in a very roundabout way to Big Bend.

Texas is vast, Texas is rugged, Texas is beautiful. I continue to be amazed by my state even after traveling through it for many years.




This train was spectacularly long and amazingly vibrant in the morning sunlight. I did my best to capture part of it.




Now the fun really begins. This road must be one of my favorites of the trip (Ranch Road 2810 from Marfa to the border). It starts as a fast sweeping slab in the middle of nowhere and transitions to dirt (dirt like don’t take your family car down here) and ends at the Rio Grande River. The lady at the pizzeria I ate at last night said this road and the next dirt road I was going to take today were in poor shape years ago. They have obviously done some work because it was well marked and awesome fun!





The beginning, I felt very alone out here (I like it).




Another one for Ms. Peach!!! This is probably the safest place ever for the full gear, double solid yellow, bike in the road, cross-legged, self-timer pose lol. By the way, looking at this picture reminds me how absolutely awesome the weather was, couldn’t ask for anything more!




More of the road, I approach the mountainous region where it will soon turn to dirt.




Ahh…. A wonder sight indeed!!



Gratuitous cactus shot!





This is my favorite section of the whole trip, the dirt section of this road near the border. It is quite doable solo with a big bike and you can make it interesting on a small bike because you might run out of fuel and the loose soil seems ideal for kicking the rear end out. I met a couple local guys part of the way who were enjoying a morning brew. They were worried about my fuel range and warned me not to go north when I hit the border since there are no services at the border or north of the intersection. I had taken precautions to fuel up to the brim before leaving Marfa so I should be OK.




Stopped to take a pic of the terrain, the road is nice and wide. “It’s looser and steeper than it looks blah blah blah…” lol.





This is very close to the border, the road turns into a perfectly graded gravel road that is SUPER fast. At some points I was in 4th gear doing 60+ mph seeming to float over the terrain. I have never felt anything like this before and the road was so smooth (for gravel) it let me explore my skill and limits as a solo rider.




Holy crap!!! It is a water crossing!!!! This is one of the biggest of the trip… Hey it is the summer in the desert, what are you going to do? Lol

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Old 11-03-2009, 07:44 PM   #27
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Great ride report. I recognized lots of the places but you found some stuff that I have never seen! Now I have to get out more!
The bar at Tia Juanas in Roswell is really cool, and you rode the Gila. The road to the cliff dwellings is worth the ride from Dallas. If you get out here again, hit Mule Creek (just west of Glenwood) and ride 191 south to north and loop out at Alpine, AZ. Definately one of the best for pavement.

Thanks for the pics and the report!
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:45 PM   #28
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I got to the border road and started south. This road (Hwy 170) is really interesting and has many many “dips” for the water that drains into the Rio Grande. Several of these dips I was able to get airborne at only slightly extra legal speeds, it was tons of fun.

I started north on Hwy 169 and found the same ultra fast gravel as I had at the end of the previous road. Time to kick up some dust!!!!





Purple cactus… Saw several of these and had to stop to capture one!





The only thing you have to worry about out here is yourself. During this trip and especially this day I have become introspective and relaxed. Worries from work, family, and friends fade away and I find no load on my heart or body as I contemplate the seemingly endless and remote road in front of me.





Windmill in the middle of nowhere, I ran over a small but nasty cactus parking for this shot and was really hoping I would not get a flat!

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Old 11-03-2009, 07:49 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordy
Great ride report. I recognized lots of the places but you found some stuff that I have never seen! Now I have to get out more!
The bar at Tia Juanas in Roswell is really cool, and you rode the Gila. The road to the cliff dwellings is worth the ride from Dallas. If you get out here again, hit Mule Creek (just west of Glenwood) and ride 191 south to north and loop out at Alpine, AZ. Definately one of the best for pavement.

Thanks for the pics and the report!

Thanks for the comment Gordy! I have a new found respect for NM and the quality tracks out there. I will be out there again soon!
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:57 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderTheX
Thanks for the comment Gordy! I have a new found respect for NM and the quality tracks out there. I will be out there again soon!
You found stuff in areas that most of us avoid! I think that Northern NM is the greatest, but forget about all that good riding in the south. Thanks for the reminder!
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