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Old 11-28-2009, 05:31 AM   #46
buls4evr
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Man you are making me so ready to head back to Deming. I have ridden these routes and more many times. BTW on 9 I routinely run 65 and have never had LEOs bother me. 20 over might get you in trouble at nite and not safe to do anyway in open range country there. Be cool around "towns" and in school zones but mostly LEOs are very cool there. Nice ride report and pix. I'm going out to load the bike now.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:44 AM   #47
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Last night I wandered the town in the darkness a while, trying to find anything going on after Thanksgiving, then swung into the Hot Licks Saloon next to the hotel to see if there was any activity. It was empty save the bartender. He said he was closing for the evening and I told him I couldn't imagine why :




Poor thing - all alone in the cold :(


One thing I remembered from the conversation with the hotel manager yesterday was that he said the town was literally vacated back in 1975 after the copper mine shut down. He said you could take a nap in the middle of main street as there was no one around. Also said they had organized races in the town through all the empty streets - I'm assuming cars - because there was nothing to hit except the walls :)


This morning I woke up about 5:30 am, feeling rested and happy to report having no "ghost encounters". I played Barry Manilow music all night to scare anything away so it worked well. Well, one scary thing did happen... my riding pants got up and walked around on their on, but I'm not sure that was paranormal. However, I will tell you the hallway area made the hair on my neck stand up every time I went to the room. Flipping through the "Guest Ghost Encounters" book in the lobby this morning, I saw myriad stories from previous guests who had sightings and weird experiences in the hotel. Room 6, adjacent to mine, seemed to have a lot of encounters especially. It's a nice hotel, jsut one of those that has a feeling you're not alone.

Aware of other guests who'd arrived last night, I tiptoed down the creaky hall and out into the crisp deep blue of pre-dawn over Bisbee. I walked downtown to grab a coffee at the Bisbee Coffee Company and waited for my brain to arrive.






Bisbee Coffee and a warm blueberry scone right outta the oven!





The sun was breaking over the mountains when I headed back to pack up








Z O'tel La More




Ohhh What a Pig In the Mooooorning! Ohhh what a pig all the daaaaaay!



Packed and ready! Yeeeee Haaaaa!



I was sad to see the morning come, cause it meant heading back towards Texas, but I was also filled with that rush of getting prepped and on the road. Bisbee's a cool place, and I'm glad I stopped and stayed. I really hated losing a day of riding, but the fuel stops in these areas are limited to begin with, and on Thanksgiving Day I knew the 2 gas stations between here and El Paso would be closed.

It was quite cold this morning, not sure what temp, but colder than any time on this trip. I headed into the morning sun, squinting and eyes watering in the cold air. The canyons leaving Bisbee, itself around 5500', were freezing and I couldn't wait to hit the valley floor heading for Douglas to warm up. Except I forgot cold air falls and the valley floor was even worse. After about 20 minutes, my always studly gams were freezing and had turned dark blue. Then I remembered I was wearing dark blue jeans. Whew.

Tagging behind a Border Patrol Tahoe into the gas station at Douglas, I topped off and then looped through the downtown section. Douglas is a border crossing town, sitting in the flat valley and has the classic old downtown with an old hotel, theater and old 50's era stores. I was too chilled and lazy to take off my glove for a pic, so use your imagination.



Even early in the morning, Black Friday was in full swing, as there were several Mexican clothing outlets downtown with racks of clothes on the sidewalks and lots of locals were already pushing and shoving their way to bliss.

Driven by an irrational fear of shopping, I headed northeast on 80 and soon was into the long stretches of massive valleys and thousands of acres of ranch land with cattle spotted here and there. To either side were low mountains and I was struck by the immense size of the grazing lands and ranch spreads. At one point, I saw a spotting post watching the valley from atop a high stone hill, the spotting scope peering over a huge mound of rock.








At one point, I passed two BP trucks on the side of the road with a group of illegals being loaded into the back of a truck. What always amazes me is that several of them were wearing bright colored clothing, like red and blue, as if they were going to the mall or something. I mean you'd think they'd understand the basic idea of blending into the environment if they're crossing a desert surreptitiously. Even I could spot a red jacket 10 miles away out there. For God's sake people, dress like a creosote bush or something! Better yet wear a cow suit and cross a ranch with the herd! For crying out loud!!! Sheesh.



After a bit, I passed a sign for "Skeleton Canyon" the name catching my attention, and then hit a tiny community named "Apache".

Apache



About 1/2 mile past, there was a cone-shaped stone monument. I pulled off, and read that this was where Geronimo finally surrendered to the U.S. Cavalry, ending the Indian wars, as he was the last Chief to fight. The sign said he had actually been cornered in Skeleton Canyon, and eventually agreed to surrender. It was really cool to have run across this spot.











One thing that I've pondered often on this trip, is the massive land area that Geronimo covered, moving the tribes over such harsh terrain, providing food and water and surviving in the harshness of that climate. It's actually an amazing feat of logistics, not to mention the fighting and evasion for so many years. Only when you are in the middle of the landscape, and have ridden for hours and days over such huge plains and mountain areas does it sink in...

From the monument, it wasn't long until I crossed the state line into New Mexico. It was with regret that I left Arizona, as I've had a blast, ridden absolutely beautiful areas rich with history, and met great, friendly folks everywhere I went.

Waaaah - hate to leave














I shot a few pics of the state border, then rodeo'd on into Rodeo, NM and shortly after, passed the entry road to Portal, where I'd started my Arizona adventure. It was a fun feeling knowing I'd made the loop.

Rodeo, NM



On the way to Animas, I had some major excitement. I actually came up behind another car! Eventually I even passed it!!! Though I'm being sarcastic, that's the only car I encountered in my lane for the entire stretch from Douglas to El Paso which is close to 220 miles. Not kidding. In the oncoming side I saw maybe 10 - 12 vehicles at the most. Soooooo, if you like solitude and little traffic when you ride, have I got the route for you! Repeat after me, "New. Mexico. Highway. 9."







It wasn't long until I was back in Animas and stopped to top off at the BootHeel Grocery again. This time, I did buy a pack of tortillas, the perfect motorcycle road food - they are flat, filling and fit perfectly under the lid of the tankbag The local ranchers were coming in to buy supplies, which in each and every case consisted of beer and ice. Or ice and beer. While I was gassing up, three cowboys came out and walked past, the third looking at me and spitting the longest tobacco spit I've ever seen, somewhat in my general direction, his eye never leaving mine. Mine left his to watch the stream that extended from his mouth all the way to the ground, completely unbroken. I was impressed. I guess. Anyway, I'm not sure he liked my horrendous helmet hairdoo...

BootHeel Grocery in Animas. Biggest seller is beer. Probably more gallons than gas.


Oh, and by the way, ain't no city-boy cowboys out there in that part of the country. You got the real deal in this area of the country.

From Animas to Columbus is about 80 miles, and as before, the road is long, lonely and a great place to ride. I counted hawks, almost hitting one sitting in the middle of a curve having his leisurely breakfast. I counted paisanos, who were out in force today. And most interestingly, every one of the 30-40 I saw were running across the highway from the same side. Every one. They all ran from my left to my right, or from north to the south. Weird. I counted Border Patrol trucks. I counted 487,632 bottles of beer on the wall until I got a headache.
















As I approached Hachati, I saw a man in a wheelchair tending his garden. He gave me a big wave and I honked back. It was touching and sad, because he was using a hoe from his wheelchair, and his entire garden was a patch about 4 feet wide and maybe 8 long, and was in an irregular shape, just in whatever shape he was able to make from the wheelchair. I felt sadness and hope simultaneously - sadness at the difficulty of what he was doing, and hope, because he wasn't wasting his life but instead living it as best he could. If I see him again, I will stop to meet him.

Somewhere between Hachati and Columbus, I saw a glint way ahead in the other lane, and slowed in case it was a mountie. Eventually, I saw it was another motorcycle, and as he approached, it was an old guy with a beard on an old cruiser with a huge windshield and towing a home-made trailer built from an old Thule roof carrier. He gave me a huge wave and smile as if happy to see another guy who enjoyed the lonely road as he did.

From Columbus, it's roughly one hour to El Paso, and the terrain becomes flatter and sandier the closer you get. At some points, you are very close to the border itself, and the entire Hwy 9 runs parallel to the old bed of what was the railroad built to bring copper from Bisbee to El Paso.

It is along this stretch that I saw the stacks of stone I mentioned before. At about 30 miles out from El Paso, I began to see stacks of rocks. Not often, but every once in a while. I photographed some very obvious ones, but sometimes it is merely two or three stones near a fence. Sometimes two or three stacked on 5 or 6 successive fence posts.

Whether it's just the fun prank of a drunk cowboy artist, or road signs for illegals, who knows, but if you head that way, keep an eye out for them.









The mountains around El Paso appear on the horizon



Beautiful colors on these trees as I entered El P



I pulled onto I-10 in Sunland Park exactly at 1 pm, and sunk into the bizarre sensations of traffic, society and congestion. All I had in mind was getting as far as possible as soon as possible and just hit it for Balmorhea. I had planned to shoot a few pics, but once my senses were violated I just went on. I gassed up in Horizon City just outside of El Paso, and despite hunger pangs couldn't bring myself to stop anywhere to eat.

At first, 80 mph felt strange and uncomfortable after days of riding slow, but it wasn't long until it didn't feel fast enough

Somewhere between El Paso and Sierra Blanca I passed a guy heading west on BMW 650 Dakar - the red white and blue one - and he was wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket and pants. We waved at each other so I'm curious if he's a TWT or ADV'er.

Surprisingly, I've seen very few bikes on this trip - mostly HD's and not a single GS except for the Dakar today :(

I stopped in Van Horn to gas up, and ate a quick burger since the coffee and breakfast scone had finally worn off with a vengeance. Kerrville was still 5 hours away and it was nearing 6 pm so I figured Balmorhea would be a good spot to stop. I've heard about the state park and the lodging there and figured I'd try.



The late light of day on the highway was absolutely beautiful and there's just something I love about west Texas skies. Indulge me:










































































The road into Balmorhea



I missed getting a cabin in the state park there by about 15 minutes, but found the El Oso Flojo Lodge in the little town. It's actually very nice and I'm the only guest at the moment.











As to the bike, the mileage issue seems to have cleared itself up. Can't figure out why, cause the bike was getting low 30's most of the trip until today. I got 46 mpg, then 43 mpg and of course on I-10 with the 80 mph limit it's down to sub 37. Weird.

More later gators!

LoneStar screwed with this post 11-28-2009 at 09:36 PM
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:52 AM   #48
yellowmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStar
Last night I wandered the town in the darkness a while, trying to find anything going on after Thanksgiving, then swung into the Hot Licks Saloon next to the hotel to see if there was any activity. It was empty save the bartender. He said he was closing for the evening and I told him I couldn't imagine why :




Poor thing - all alone in the cold :(


One thing I remembered from the conversation with the hotel manager yesterday was that he said the town was literally vacated back in 1975 after the copper mine shut down. He said you could take a nap in the middle of main street as there was no one around. Also said they had organized races in the town through all the empty streets - I'm assuming cars - because there was nothing to hit except the walls :)


This morning I woke up about 5:30 am, feeling rested and happy to report having no "ghost encounters". I played Barry Manilow music all night to scare anything away so it worked well. Well, one scary thing did happen... my riding pants got up and walked around on their on, but I'm not sure that was paranormal. However, I will tell you the hallway area made the hair on my neck stand up every time I went to the room. Flipping through the "Guest Ghost Encounters" book in the lobby this morning, I saw myriad stories from previous guests who had sightings and weird experiences in the hotel. Room 6, adjacent to mine, seemed to have a lot of encounters especially. It's a nice hotel, jsut one of those that has a feeling you're not alone.

Aware of other guests who'd arrived last night, I tiptoed down the creaky hall and out into the crisp deep blue of pre-dawn over Bisbee. I walked downtown to grab a coffee at the Bisbee Coffee Company and waited for my brain to arrive.



Bisbee Coffee and a warm blueberry scone right outta the oven!



The sun was breaking over the mountains when I headed back to pack up








Z O'tel La More




Ohhh What a Pig In the Mooooorning! Ohhh what a pig all the daaaaaay!



Packed and ready! Yeeeee Haaaaa!



I was sad to see the morning come, cause it meant heading back towards Texas, but I was also filled with that rush of getting prepped and on the road. Bisbee's a cool place, and I'm glad I stopped and stayed. I really hated losing a day of riding, but the fuel stops in these areas are limited to begin with, and on Thanksgiving Day I knew the 2 gas stations between here and El Paso would be closed.

It was quite cold this morning, not sure what temp, but colder than any time on this trip. I headed into the morning sun, squinting and eyes watering in the cold air. The canyons leaving Bisbee, itself around 5500', were freezing and I couldn't wait to hit the valley floor heading for Douglas to warm up. Except I forgot cold air falls and the valley floor was even worse. After about 20 minutes, my always studly gams were freezing and had turned dark blue. Then I remembered I was wearing dark blue jeans. Whew.

Tagging behind a Border Patrol Tahoe into the gas station at Douglas, I topped off and then looped through the downtown section. Douglas is a border crossing town, sitting in the flat valley and has the classic old downtown with an old hotel, theater and old 50's era stores. I was too chilled and lazy to take off my glove for a pic, so use your imagination.



Even early in the morning, Black Friday was in full swing, as there were several Mexican clothing outlets downtown with racks of clothes on the sidewalks and lots of locals were already pushing and shoving their way to bliss.

Driven by an irrational fear of shopping, I headed northeast on 80 and soon was into the long stretches of massive valleys and thousands of acres of ranch land with cattle spotted here and there. To either side were low mountains and I was struck by the immense size of the grazing lands and ranch spreads. At one point, I saw a spotting post watching the valley from atop a high stone hill, the spotting scope peering over a huge mound of rock.








At one point, I passed two BP trucks on the side of the road with a group of illegals being loaded into the back of a truck. What always amazes me is that several of them were wearing bright colored clothing, like red and blue, as if they were going to the mall or something. I mean you'd think they'd understand the basic idea of blending into the environment if they're crossing a desert surreptitiously. Even I could spot a red jacket 10 miles away out there. For God's sake people, dress like a creosote bush or something! Better yet wear a cow suit and cross a ranch with the herd! For crying out loud!!! Sheesh.



After a bit, I passed a sign for "Skeleton Canyon" the name catching my attention, and then hit a tiny community named "Apache".

Apache



About 1/2 mile past, there was a cone-shaped stone monument. I pulled off, and read that this was where Geronimo finally surrendered to the U.S. Cavalry, ending the Indian wars, as he was the last Chief to fight. The sign said he had actually been cornered in Skeleton Canyon, and eventually agreed to surrender. It was really cool to have run across this spot.











One thing that I've pondered often on this trip, is the massive land area that Geronimo covered, moving the tribes over such harsh terrain, providing food and water and surviving in the harshness of that climate. It's actually an amazing feat of logistics, not to mention the fighting and evasion for so many years. Only when you are in the middle of the landscape, and have ridden for hours and days over such huge plains and mountain areas does it sink in...

From the monument, it wasn't long until I crossed the state line into New Mexico. It was with regret that I left Arizona, as I've had a blast, ridden absolutely beautiful areas rich with history, and met great, friendly folks everywhere I went.

Waaaah - hate to leave














I shot a few pics of the state border, then rodeo'd on into Rodeo, NM and shortly after, passed the entry road to Portal, where I'd started my Arizona adventure. It was a fun feeling knowing I'd made the loop.

Rodeo, NM



On the way to Animas, I had some major excitement. I actually came up behind another car! Eventually I even passed it!!! Though I'm being sarcastic, that's the only car I encountered in my lane for the entire stretch from Douglas to El Paso which is close to 220 miles. Not kidding. In the oncoming side I saw maybe 10 - 12 vehicles at the most. Soooooo, if you like solitude and little traffic when you ride, have I got the route for you! Repeat after me, "New. Mexico. Highway. 9."







It wasn't long until I was back in Animas and stopped to top off at the BootHeel Grocery again. This time, I did buy a pack of tortillas, the perfect motorcycle road food - they are flat, filling and fit perfectly under the lid of the tankbag The local ranchers were coming in to buy supplies, which in each and every case consisted of beer and ice. Or ice and beer. While I was gassing up, three cowboys came out and walked past, the third looking at me and spitting the longest tobacco spit I've ever seen, somewhat in my general direction, his eye never leaving mine. Mine left his to watch the stream that extended from his mouth all the way to the ground, completely unbroken. I was impressed. I guess. Anyway, I'm not sure he liked my horrendous helmet hairdoo...

BootHeel Grocery in Animas. Biggest seller is beer. Probably more gallons than gas.


Oh, and by the way, ain't no city-boy cowboys out there in that part of the country. You got the real deal in this area of the country.

From Animas to Columbus is about 80 miles, and as before, the road is long, lonely and a great place to ride. I counted hawks, almost hitting one sitting in the middle of a curve having his leisurely breakfast. I counted paisanos, who were out in force today. And most interestingly, every one of the 30-40 I saw were running across the highway from the same side. Every one. They all ran from my left to my right, or from north to the south. Weird. I counted Border Patrol trucks. I counted 487,632 bottles of beer on the wall until I got a headache.
















As I approached Hachati, I saw a man in a wheelchair tending his garden. He gave me a big wave and I honked back. It was touching and sad, because he was using a hoe from his wheelchair, and his entire garden was a patch about 4 feet wide and maybe 8 long, and was in an irregular shape, just in whatever shape he was able to make from the wheelchair. I felt sadness and hope simultaneously - sadness at the difficulty of what he was doing, and hope, because he wasn't wasting his life but instead living it as best he could. If I see him again, I will stop to meet him.

Somewhere between Hachati and Columbus, I saw a glint way ahead in the other lane, and slowed in case it was a mountie. Eventually, I saw it was another motorcycle, and as he approached, it was an old guy with a beard on an old cruiser with a huge windshield and towing a home-made trailer built from an old Thule roof carrier. He gave me a huge wave and smile as if happy to see another guy who enjoyed the lonely road as he did.

From Columbus, it's roughly one hour to El Paso, and the terrain becomes flatter and sandier the closer you get. At some points, you are very close to the border itself, and the entire Hwy 9 runs parallel to the old bed of what was the railroad built to bring copper from Bisbee to El Paso.

It is along this stretch that I saw the stacks of stone I mentioned before. At about 30 miles out from El Paso, I began to see stacks of rocks. Not often, but every once in a while. I photographed some very obvious ones, but sometimes it is merely two or three stones near a fence. Sometimes two or three stacked on 5 or 6 successive fence posts.

Whether it's just the fun prank of a drunk cowboy artist, or road signs for illegals, who knows, but if you head that way, keep an eye out for them.









The mountains around El Paso appear on the horizon



Beautiful colors on these trees as I entered El P



I pulled onto I-10 in Sunland Park exactly at 1 pm, and sunk into the bizarre sensations of traffic, society and congestion. All I had in mind was getting as far as possible as soon as possible and just hit it for Balmorhea. I had planned to shoot a few pics, but once my senses were violated I just went on. I gassed up in Horizon City just outside of El Paso, and despite hunger pangs couldn't bring myself to stop anywhere to eat.

At first, 80 mph felt strange and uncomfortable after days of riding slow, but it wasn't long until it didn't feel fast enough

Somewhere between El Paso and Sierra Blanca I passed a guy heading west on BMW 650 Dakar - the red white and blue one - and he was wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket and pants. We waved at each other so I'm curious if he's a TWT or ADV'er.

Surprisingly, I've seen very few bikes on this trip - mostly HD's and not a single GS except for the Dakar today :(

I stopped in Van Horn to gas up, and ate a quick burger since the coffee and breakfast scone had finally worn off with a vengeance. Kerrville was still 5 hours away and it was nearing 6 pm so I figured Balmorhea would be a good spot to stop. I've heard about the state park and the lodging there and figured I'd try.



The late light of day on the highway was absolutely beautiful and there's just something I love about west Texas skies. Indulge me:










































































The road into Balmorhea



I missed getting a cabin in the state park there by about 15 minutes, but found the El Oso Flojo Lodge in the little town. It's actually very nice and I'm the only guest at the moment.










As to the bike, the mileage issue seems to have cleared itself up. Can't figure out why, cause the bike was getting low 30's most of the trip until today. I got 46 mpg, then 43 mpg and of course on I-10 with the 80 mph limit it's down to sub 37. Weird.

More later gators!
us "gators" can't wait to here more.
Here is a pic that I took last year at the little cafe in Rodeo, My wife and I were taking an exploratory run through southern AZ on my 1200GS to see if we wanted to come back in 2010 and spend more time in southern AZ needless to say we are getting our Dual sport bikes and our Camper ready and are heading that way sometime after the first of the year. In the meantime were sitting here in Illinois freezing our butts off and waiting for the first snowstorm of the season.. Thanks for the great report...
For some reason I can't seem to post a Pic so you'll have to take my word for it...
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:08 AM   #49
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Excellent ride report. As you left Douglas, taking the Geronimo Trail east over into NM would have been fun. Next time you are out here give it a whirl.
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:33 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by yellowmike
us "gators" can't wait to here more.
Here is a pic that I took last year at the little cafe in Rodeo, My wife and I were taking an exploratory run through southern AZ on my 1200GS to see if we wanted to come back in 2010 and spend more time in southern AZ needless to say we are getting our Dual sport bikes and our Camper ready
I'm jealous - you guys will have a blast I'm sure


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuffy
Excellent ride report. As you left Douglas, taking the Geronimo Trail east over into NM would have been fun. Next time you are out here give it a whirl.
Dang it Snuffy! I had planned on doing that and just plain forgot. Crap.
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:40 PM   #51
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Hey, great ride report & pictures. I want to take hwy 9 across NM down to Big Bend. Now I know what to expect.

I grew up around El Paso. Lived one summer in Presidio as a teenager. My aunt owned the hotel in Van Horn. Did a lot of the ride around Tombstone/Bisbee except on the road. My friend in Tucson graduated high school in Tombstone. He has a weekend place in Benson that we go to when I am over there. I much prefer Bisbee over Tombstone - far fewer touristas & better food. Lots of good riding in that area & lots of history also.

Thanks again for the report & maybe I'll see you if I can get back down to TX.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:17 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by VFR
Hey, great ride report & pictures. I want to take hwy 9 across NM down to Big Bend. Now I know what to expect.

I grew up around El Paso. Lived one summer in Presidio as a teenager. My aunt owned the hotel in Van Horn. Did a lot of the ride around Tombstone/Bisbee except on the road. My friend in Tucson graduated high school in Tombstone. He has a weekend place in Benson that we go to when I am over there. I much prefer Bisbee over Tombstone - far fewer touristas & better food. Lots of good riding in that area & lots of history also.

Thanks again for the report & maybe I'll see you if I can get back down to TX.
You really know the area man If I'd had a couple more days I wanted to work my way down to Big Bend from the El Paso side - I always come in from the east or ft. Stockton.

I just finished the last installment & will post it shortly and included a blurb at the end about gas stations on Hwy 9 - in a nutshell, Douglas to El Paso - unleaded/diesel in Animas at Boot Heel Grocery, Hachita had a gas pump in front of the little store but I don't know if it's operative since I didn't stop at the store, Columbus has a Fina with all grades. It's about 70 miles from Douglas to Animas, then 70 to Columbus and 70 to El Paso, so gas isn't an issue out there unless you're late at night or the stores are closed.

If you get over this way gimme a shout
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:03 PM   #53
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What an enjoyable report, I loved all the pictures and find that part of the country fascinating. For some time now I have been wanting to ride pretty much the same route you did, the idea being to get as close to the border as possible. I got the idea from reading this book http://www.amazon.com/Backbone-World...9456364&sr=8-1 , a chapter of which deals with life in the bootheel of New Mexico.

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great report.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:08 PM   #54
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Well, the lodge had great wifi and is quite nicely done - my room was very nice and had a huge tiled walk-in shower with the rain shower head. Recommended if you're in Balmorhea. I dined late, on the tortillas I bought in Animas

I was up and outside by 6:30 am, heading to the coffee room for java. Wandered out to the parking lot to look at the distant mountains in the pre-dawn cold. To my left in the darkness came the crow of a rooster, only to be answered to my right with the howl of a coyote. The crow and the howl answered each other for a while, before the coyote went silent in the ever-brightening dawn.



A few hunters who'd come in in the middle of the night, loaded into their pickups, the rattling diesels knocking in the cold air as they pulled out of the lot.



Lo and behold, there by the coffee pot was yet another Honey Bun. Couldn't help but laugh as this was the fourth of seven days in which I'd been presented with the glorious "Honey Bun" for breakfast. I never eat those things but this trip they were de rigeur. I should have called this ride "The Honey Bun Trail".

What's that under the microwave????




What is up with the HoneyBun thang?




The last hunter loading up








Another spectacular day!




Downtown Balmorhea




Fall colors




The store






The sun was up and it was feeling almost warm when I saddled up, but about 4 miles down the road I had to stop and add a layer.



It was back to 80 mph into the low morning sun as I hit I-10 east for Fort Stockton and more gas. It was going to be another beautiful and crystal clear day. All I can say is that the weather this week has been unbelievably good. There hasn't been a cloud in the sky practically the entire time.

I reached Fort Stockton pretty soon, and exited into town to fill up. The signs for Marathon and Big Bend National Park called my name so loudly. Man I love Big Bend so much and I wanted to just head straight south :( If I'd had another day, I wanted to ride down and through Terlingua on the long way home, but it wasn't to be.

While gassing up, I saw a 1200GS head by, the rider wearing a blue Darien jacket. As I tooled down the main drag surveying the place, I saw a white 650 Dakar at a convenience store with black Jesse cases on the side. All was well in the world again.

Funny thing has been how few bikes I saw in AZ this week, and the ones I did see were usually Harley's. It was fun to see a couple of Beemers again.

I stopped to see my old friend "Paisano Pete" as usual, and he was all dressed up for Christmas. His little concrete lion was still guarding him well.




A couple of times on the freeway, the bike felt a little weird so I stopped and checked tire pressure again before getting back on the freeway. I hate it when you've been riding and then get onto a different surface with just enough variation to make the front move around - and combined with the wind makes you feel like your front is going flat. There were a few areas on I-10 that did that, especially an area of fresh chip-seal that looks new and flat but really made the front end wander.



Between Fort Stockton and Ozona, there were more fresh deer kills than I've seen in a very long time. There were a bunch and it went on for a very long time. They were all fresh and I kept doing the numbers of how little traffic's on I-10, and the chances of hitting a deer, and realized there must have been one heck of a lot of deer crossing that highway last night. Sheesh.

I eventually caight up to a couple of Harley riders who were running about 70, and I slid past at about 83, giving a thumbs up as I passed.

Ozona came up after a while and I needed to make a phone call so I pulled into a gas station that was as busy as a beehive and I do mean busy. In the lot, I saw the same white 650 Dakar with black Jesse's, and I figured he must have gotten on 10 while I was stopped to shoot Paisano Pete and must have gotten there a couple of minutes before me. By the time I got the receipt from inside, the rider was out by his bike so we chatted for a sec. His name was Chris and he was heading back to Austin from a ride to California. Told him I had a ride report going on my trip to AZ and he said he'd look it up on Two Wheeled Texans, so Chris, if you read this, Hi and send me your email if you'd like these pics man




Chris from Austin


Before I could get going, a guy came up to talk GS's for a while, then wished me a safe trip. I got back on 10 and floored it for Sonora and Junction. After a few minutes, I could see Chris' Dakar come up behind me and we caravaned all the way to Junction in a high crosswind. There' s a plateau area from southeast of Junction that extends out towards Sonora and Ozona, and it is amazing how strong the winds can be in that whole region.

The dead deer toll continued unabated until Junction, where I pulled off to make another call, and Chris headed east on 377 for Austin. When I pulled into the gas station to make the call, the same guy who'd talked to me about GS's back in Ozona was there and came over to say hi again. He left and another guy came over to ask about the GS - he was planning on getting back into riding again and was considering a V-Strom. We talked a while before his wife muscled him away. The two Harley riders I'd passed way back came rumbling in, and as we walked past I said hi, but they were too cool to respond. Shoulda known. I began gearing up, and another guy walked over to look at the bike. Mike was from Marfa, and rides a 1200GS. He said to give him a call when I hit the area and we'd do a ride. Will do Mike.

Funny how the last 60 miles is the longest, and as I raced for Kerrville it seemed strange. The rush of riding, and yet to a place that meant the ride would be ending. That old feeling of returning to reality. No more new places and faces each day.

But hey, this is a week of Thanksgiving, and it couldn't be more appropriate. So much to be thankful to God for - the weather, the beautiful creation I get to experience, a safe journey and so much more.

Home at last


It was a great trip, just under 2000 miles, and Arizona is hard to beat - beautiful, friendly and real! Thanks for riding with me and all the nice comments!

Adios my friends




P.S. - a little FYI

I checked out the wire that broke in the wind gust and snapped the hinges on my case lid. It appears one case has a steel cable, and the other that broke was using picture hanging wire - it may have been frayed or pinched the weakened spot snapped. I've seen folks using picture wire for this, but be careful to get the good stuff if you do. Personally I'm gonna look for steel cable if I can find it.

I'm loving the GSA cases on the 1100 - they're easy to work out of and are large enough to carry way more crap than I needed ;-)

If you ride AZ Hwy 80 east and NM Hwy 9 between Douglas and El Paso, Animas has gas (unleaded/diesel only), Hachati had a pump in front of the little store there - don't know if it was operative or not, and Columbus has Fina with 3 grades of gas and diesel), I didn't notice if Rodeo, NM did tho.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:58 PM   #55
Timba
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Excellent report! Great photos and commentary.

Looks like you have a little slice of heaven there in Kerrville.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:47 AM   #56
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Great report!

See if you can find some stainless 1/16th 7X19 fishing leader- the sportfishing guys down on the coast use it a lot- to fix your lid keepers.

Tom
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:00 PM   #57
JayElDee
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Very much enjoyed the report, text and photos

I agree there is something about the Texas skies, something like the melancholy smile of a pretty girl.

shiny side up, LoneStar

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:16 PM   #58
LoneStar OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayElDee
I agree there is something about the Texas skies, something like the melancholy smile of a pretty girl.

John
Well said my friend
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:21 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBones
+1

I was ticketed for 73 in a 55 outside of Truth Or Consequences, NM at 2 AM years ago. Not one other car on the road, in either direction, during the whole interaction with the Officer, including the time it took him to flip a u-turn and come after me.
Bill Gates was arrested in NM for speeding in the 80's.
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:56 PM   #60
Mark G
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Hi LoneStar - I believe you rode past my house in Bisbee on Thursday or Friday. Just up the hill and around the corner from the Copper Queen Hotel - the house with the Giant Agaves in front. I used to have a 1990 R100GS PD with the red and white paint scheme and I thought it was coming back to haunt me - but then I saw you were on an oil head. Sorry I didn't see the ride report earlier - we had a good turkey with plenty of leftovers. You were right to skip dinner at the Queen - mostly snow birds.

Thanks for the great report.

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