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Old 02-26-2015, 07:34 AM   #1
New Mexico Boondocker OP
Chasing snow
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Joined: Nov 2011
Location: East Mountains near ABQ, NM
Oddometer: 78
My ride and fly...from 88* to 17* BRRR! San Antonio, TX back to NM

Last week I made a deal on a 990 Adventure located in Texas. Despite snow in the forecast, I wanted to make the trip since I had work in Texas at the same time and the seller was leaving on vacation for a week. I think we all know what it's like to have new bike fever! While it would likely be cold, I have decent cold weather gear since I also ride snowmobiles so I knew that even if I got into snow close to home, I would be ok. Even though I didn't bring my cold weather gloves, I thought I would be ok. Boy, that was foolish!

The bike turned out to be as described and I struck a deal.

A few days later after a few nights of I was ready to hit the road on the new scoot. Departure time 0600. I was pumped! I turned south on I-35 and got ready to take 90 down to Del Rio.

I made a pitstop in Hondo to grab some coffee and make another check on the bike. This is the first big adventure bike I've ridden and the first one with panniers. In fact, I haven't ridden bikes much at all in the last 20 years but I bought a KTM XC-W 500 in October and started drinking the orange kool aide. So far, I am really digging the new big bike.

I was keeping an eye on the weather and things did not look good at home for my projected arrival. I made a stop at bike shop outside of Del Rio. The owners were super nice and I picked up a cold weather mask.

I moved to New Mexico a little over a year ago and lived in Texas for the 12 years prior to that. I haven't seen Lake Amistad so I eagerly anticipated seeing how it weathered the severe drought. It looks like it's seen better days. GPS says this was part of the lake at one time.

Obviously this isn't the most scenic area of what's left of the lake but it offered some off highway rocky area to explore. Notice the water lines on the bridge supports. Holy cow the lake is low. I bet this was a good swimming hole when the water was at normal levels.

Riding along 90 was great. There are plenty of sections to pass and the scenery was good. The Pecos river seems to be suffering the same fate as Lake Amistad.

Cruising on my way to Marathon. I made good time through here. I had a good headwind here but twisted the throttle all the way open to see what I could top out at loaded down. The power was good!

I turned south at Marathon and stopped at the picnic area to "hydrate."

Looking south

After a nice cruise I entered the park. I'm glad to see Big Bend for the first time on a bike. So much fun!

Next post coming up.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:04 AM   #2
New Mexico Boondocker OP
Chasing snow
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Joined: Nov 2011
Location: East Mountains near ABQ, NM
Oddometer: 78
Post 2

I planned on spending more time on the road but the weather forecast was getting worse. I knew I had to high tail it home. I spent a little time exploring a few of the dirt roads.

I plan to come back here and explore more of the backcountry. I wish I hadn't waited so long to see Big Bend.

Temps were great!

After weaving my way along the park and enjoying the ride, I finally came to Terlingua. I stopped at High Sierra to hydrate yet again and managed to link up with a couple of riders from Midland.

I had a couple beers and some damn good enchiladas. Heck, I hadn't eaten all day so anything would have been good at this point. From here, I rode with the guys from Midland back to Alpine. I checked out the Marfa lights and stayed overnight in Alpine. In case you find yourself in Alpine, check out the Holiday Inn Express. Not only did I wake up smarter but they have covered parking solely for bikes and the whole place was clean and quiet.

I didn't take a many pics for the rest of the trip home. I scooted along 90 up to Van Horn and covered that ground running triple digits most of the time. I just missed the heavier rain that came out of El Paso so I only had to dodge a few drops. My original plan was to ride the mountains up to Ruidoso and back to my home in the East Mountains. I scratched that plan last night as snow and freezing rain was already coming down. I had to slab it home.

Aside from some boredom on I-10 and I-25, I experienced the WORST crosswinds as I left Elephant Butte. Temps were in the 60's here.

I went about 20 miles north and the cold and the wind kicked in. I was riding at a pretty good right list to keep the bike straight. I saw a few people on GS's up by Belen heading south. The worst wind was down by Isleta. I really had to concentrate on keeping things in line. Temps were now in the 20's!

As I got through Albuquerque and headed up I-40, the temps got lower and lower. Flakes were falling and the headwind up the canyon was intense. I had to stop in Tijeras to warm up my hands even though my house was only 15 minutes away. Forgetting those winter gloves was a big mistake! I rode carefully from here back home as a few other locals warned me of black ice from the freezing rain earlier. Fortunately, I didn't have any mishaps. When I got home, there was snow in the drive and the temp was still falling. It was 17* when I pulled the old girl into the garage.

My takeaways - 1. Don't forget the winter gloves again. 2. I still love solo travel. 3. It's GOOD to be home.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:09 AM   #3
Joined: Jan 2014
Oddometer: 15
Congrats on the new orange stud !

Last year I went a similar route and your pics made me trip back in time That's a long boring ride to cruise the NM dessert in August heat, I didn't stop at Amistad but I saw many trucks towing their boats never imagined it was so death.

Those guys at TT Bikes are a small shop but with great passion. They were lifesavers for a guy that before the trip messed with his trans oil and almost killed the bike at Carrizo Springs, Im happy we drove to TT instead of leaving the bike for days in any of the other garages options.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:18 AM   #4
spinning the wheel
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Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Oddometer: 787
Cool bike, great report!
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:26 AM   #5
On dry land 4 now.....
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Santa Fe NM
Oddometer: 4,937
Congrats on the new bike.
You missed the best part of Terlingua if you missed the porch at the Starlight.....
Arggh ya scurvy dogs, thar's Pirating to be done!

Growing older every day but never growing up.

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Old 02-26-2015, 09:57 AM   #6
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Oct 2013
Location: CO
Oddometer: 1,494
She's a beauty, enjoy.
(Hope to have a 950 in the garage by the end of this summer)
My first car was a motorcycle.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:05 PM   #7
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Edgewood NM
Oddometer: 105
Nice! Congrats.

My dad and I both ride 950's and are in the east mountains as well. hit us up sometime. ;)
USFS Trail Ambassador.
2004 KTM 950Adventure
2009 Husqvarna te310
1995 Honda ST1100
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:19 PM   #8
Thumper jockey
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: FlaWaCo?
Oddometer: 5,352
Amistad is OK but if you go back visit upper free flowing Devils River...fantastic!!!
"Get yourself to the hills and be uplifted, assuming you got some good knobbies"
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:15 PM   #9
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Oddometer: 60
Congrats on the new bike.

She's a beaut! Now prepare to melt a couple of credit cards!

Seriously though, if you ever need a hand, have a question, or just wanna ride give me a holler. I'm just about finished with my 990 (if I say it enough it might come true right?)

This is a couple of iterations ago!
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"A zest for living must include a willingness to die." ~R.A. Heinlein
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:51 PM   #10
New Mexico Boondocker OP
Chasing snow
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Joined: Nov 2011
Location: East Mountains near ABQ, NM
Oddometer: 78
WOOHOO! Awesome...thanks for the replies! Thanks for the invites as well! I would like to get together and do some exploring on the KTMs!
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