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Old 02-09-2013, 09:06 AM   #196
nickgindy
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Originally Posted by buls4evr View Post
I was doing my best to keep him out of the "mystery holes" girlfriend................
And that wasn't the first time.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:58 PM   #197
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WNWT Day 32

Thursday morning in Deming, NM. Jeff treated me to another great breakfast at Manolo's. Can't beat the 2-2-2 Special for $3.25 to get the day started right.

Great sun all day and temps in the 50's in the mountains and the 60's in the desert. Great weather for riding.

On the road and headed east. The goal for the day is to get over in the Carlsbad area. Skirted around the north side of Las Cruces and crossed the Rio Grande river. Kinda cool being able to walk out and stand right in the middle of it... that's dry.




East of Las Cruces, highway 70 runs through the White Sands Missile Range. Comparing Whatnextwander Missile to a Nike Anti-aircraft Missile.


Nice view heading down into the Missile Range.


I kept my head down and a keen eye on the sky. Luckily I wasn't on my Ural which I assume could be mistaken for a Russian military attack vehicle.

At the east end of the missile range is the White Sands National Park. White gypsum sand dunes look like someone dumped a giant bag of sugar on the desert. Nice ride out into the dunes and back. If I've learned nothing else on this ride, the Earth is an amazing place...


Somewhere along through here I went through a border patrol inspection station. There was a bit of a line and I was following a pickup with one of those hard bed covers on it through. As the pickup pulled up, they walked around it with the drug dog and it started getting really excited around the rear bumper and the tailgate. They let the dog work for probably two minutes, there is obviously something he can smell and I'm thinking I'm super-glad I'm not THAT guy.

The truck pulls to the side and it's a border patrol truck. It was a training deal for the dog. Pretty cool to watch though.

Rolled through Alamogordo, then the road got fun again, climbing and twisting up into the Sacramento Mtns and the Lincoln National Forest... it's amazing how quickly the landscape can change from brown, dry desert to snowy, green mountains. A couple shots as I started the climb... no snow yet at this point.


Can see the road cut along the side here...


Was getting to be after lunch. Jeff had recommended stopping in Cloudcroft but nothing there really pinged my food-dar so rolled on to Mayhill and ended up stopping at the Mayhill Cafe. I think I might be a sucker for buildings that look like this.


I went with my go-to motorcycling lunch. Grilled cheese with crispy bacon and tots. Was fantastic. And a hot chocolate cuz it was chilly up there!


I was getting ready to leave and a lovely older gal, probably 90 years old, grabbed my arm and asked if she knew me. I asked if she knew anybody from Iowa... well, she didn't so I probably wasn't who she was thinking of... she was disappointed because she was going to hug me if I had been who she thought I was. I told her she could hug me anyway. And she did, with a bonus kiss on the cheek.

She was with her old man so I didn't try to get her number.

Shortly after Mayhill I dropped down out of the mountains and the road straightened out for the run over to Artesia. Getting back into heavy ranching and petroleum work now. Artesia looks like it's really making a push to look nice. Had these huge and very cool sculptures all over town.


Headed south out of Artesia down to Carlsbad. The Carlsbad Caverns are actually about 20 miles south of the town of Carlsbad and I had seen a bunch of signs for Whites City. The Girlfriend helped me do some impromptu research and I headed on down and stayed a place in Whites City. Very close to the Caverns, but very limited on dining options. The cafe up the street from the motel I stayed at was open and I had the Three Enchilada Special. It was good, but not awesome.


308 mile day. Now 871.3 miles as the crow flies from home so made progress! Looking forward to seeing the Carlsbad Caverns on Friday.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:02 PM   #198
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Kisses?

Look at you sneak'n kisses from other ladies.

And I've been such a good girl.

I'm a little worried that you're cold in Texas..... It's pretty chilly up here, you're going to be in long johns everyday!! I'll do what I can to keep you warm

I love these smiley faces!!!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:56 PM   #199
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WNWT Day 33

Friday morning was breezy and low 50's in White's City. Carlsbad Caverns sit at the northern edge of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the 7 mile road up to the Caverns twisted and climbed up through the mountains.




You can see 90% of the Caverns on a self-guided tour. There's two self-guided options... "The Big Room" where you take an elevator down 900 feet then do a loop of the Caverns, or "The Natural Entrance" where you enter the original hole-in-the ground, hike down 900 feet over about a mile, then do "The Big Room" loop and elevator back up.

I like my caves like I like my cheap beer. Natural. The Natural Entrance it is...


Now, I admit I have been a little less physically active over the last few weeks as my normal routine but I assessed my hiking fitness and decided to go for it.


I started on the row behind this group of four. Ended up catching the two gals going into the downhill 180, dove to the inside, braked late, elbows up, and made the pass. The gal on the left had low heels on... wrong rubber for this track, I doubt she made it. I caught the two guys on an uphill ledge section... I doubled a couple of them and ran right between for the pass. In the clear and ready to lead this party into the tunnel.


This is the original entrance that the indians and then the first explorers used to enter the cave. Not exactly hidden...


I may not have investigated the mystery hole in Clifton, but I'm all in on this one.


I'm in... the backside of the hole. Kinda like the darkside of the moon, but not. In the summer, every night thousands of bats fly out to go feed in southern New Mexico and Texas.


I enjoy caves and have been through several and can say without question that this was the best I've been in. Spectacular and other-worldly. If you come anywhere close to the Caverns, you really owe it to yourself to stop and if you're physically able, definitely do the Natural Entrance. You get a great feel for how deep into the mountain you are descending and you see a lot of cave you'd miss just doing The Big Room. The hike down is a mile and goes down 900 feet. Feels like you're doing a shallow squat the entire time. Really gives your quads a work out. The scale and magnitude of everything actually made me dizzy a couple of times. Once you get to the Big Room, it's about 1 1/4 mile around. Think about that for a bit. The main room in the cave is over a mile around. 600,000 square feet. 16 football fields. Awesome. It's what I'd imagine walking on another planet would be like. The Girlfriend would love it so we might have to find a way to come back someday.

No pictures from inside the cave because there's just no way they'd do anything justice. You'll just have to trust me and go see it for yourselves.

Nice view of the valley from the parking lot though...


Done with my hike for the day, time to ride. As I had planned out my route for the day, it seemed like trying to end up around Abilene was the best bet for getting some miles in and still being able to find a place to stay.

Whole lotta open range and high speed straight roads with a few small towns thrown in. Did ride by a salt lake with a salt mining operation running on it.


Have a thing for old gas stations and have done a great job not stopping and taking all sorts of pics, but liked this restored station in Snyder, TX.


Going all the way to Abilene would actually have taken me a little south of where I was running so was happy to find a nice place to stay in Anson, TX. Rode out to Peacock's BBQ. Busy place with lots of families out having Friday night dinner. Went with the Cowboy Brisket Bowl. Chopped brisket, cowboy beans, and cheese. Great brisket. If I was doing it again I'd go with a sandwich or platter. The cornbread was superb and sweet talked my way into two pieces before I was done.


321 mile day. Surpassed 6000 miles for the trip. 692.5 miles to Home as the crow flies...
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:13 PM   #200
steve_k
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That brisket bowl looks good!
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #201
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Thumb Awesome stuff you are writing....

It's great reading the RR from all over the world but I gotta think the skinny blue highways of the US are just about as good in almost every way. Heck of a story here and I like your style of staying on the little roads. My experience has taught me there are far more stories and interesting things that can't be seen from the interstate highways. My cyber hat is off to you for providing us with this story about your travels.
Ride safe there man.....
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:39 AM   #202
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Great ride report so far.

Looks like the rain will have moved west by mid-morning. Hopefully you have clear weather.

Safe travels.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:13 AM   #203
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Hopefully you made it to Springfield okay. You should have had pretty good weather in Arkansas once the rain moved out.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:55 AM   #204
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Hopefully you made it to Springfield okay. You should have had pretty good weather in Arkansas once the rain moved out.
Yep, had a great ride to Springfield. Ended up being some of the best weather of the trip. Mid-60's and sunny all day. Arkansas definitely got some rain on Saturday night though! Roads were dry but water was everywhere else. Was a great ride!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:02 AM   #205
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WNWT Day 34

Saturday morning in Anson, TX... cloudy and cool 40's. Never cracked 50 degrees all day and ran through showers on and off most of the day making it a fairly gloomy day for travel. Never had to go full wetsuit because of the rain but had the rain jacket on and off a few times to keep my coat from getting too waterlogged.

Goal for the day is Paris, TX.

Was on 380, 59, and 82 most of the day. Roads weren't particularly entertaining, but towns were coming along more frequently and I really enjoy rolling through rural towns... trying to get a feel for their "pulse" in just the few minutes I might be there. Went by some great auto salvage yards through this part of the state. Most of the yards in Iowa seem to be crushing all their older stuff. Lots of interesting old stuff still sitting in the lots in this part of Texas. I like old semi trucks and I went by a huge yard that had probably 100 old trucks, very cool.

My buddy Chapman really wanted me to see some "Griswold Texas Vacation" kind of sites... so these photos are dedicated to you buddy.

Volkswagen "Bug"


Truckboxhenge


Huge steel bull


The worlds second tallest Eiffel Tower, complete with cowboy hat courtesy of Paris, TX. Pic actually taken the next morning but thought it belonged with the other pics


EXORG was pining for a pic of one of the hundreds upon hundreds of Texas Historic markers... here you go man. Random marker from Saturday's ride...


Crossed I-35 at Gainsville, TX. Captain Garmin said it was 665 miles back home that route... mmm, not fun enough. The Ozarks are calling...


Stopped in at this station but their card reader wasn't working and didn't look like they had Powerball so moved on...


My goal for Paris ended up working out perfectly. Looking at the storms forecast for Texas on Saturday night I was trying to get some good miles but be done before things started happening plus have the most options for routes North and East on Sunday.

Pulled into Paris, found a place to stay and just as I had unpacked I heard really loud crashing. Sounded like they were doing demolition in the rooms above me or something... I'm thinking "oh great". Nope, not remodeling. Thunder and lighting, then heavy rain. I sure timed that right. 315 mile day... now 548.9 miles from home as the crow flies...

Rained off and on all evening. The motel had an attached restaurant, I talked them into fixing me something off their breakfast menu and had a pretty average plate of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. Wasn't picture worthy.

When I checked in, I asked if I could park under the front desk canopy since it was supposed to storm. "Sure" she said. "Great" I says. Then she put me into the room absolutely farthest from the front desk. Didn't really realize it till I got there and as much trouble as she had checking me in (her first day by herself) I decided not to ask for a different room.

Bummer... no Speed channel to watch Supercross on... but good wi-fi and could watch the online coverage. Congrats on another race win to Davi Millsaps... really rooting for this guy to win the championship now.

Watched a line of storms form in west Texas and move across the state. They hit Paris around 4am. Wind and hail were the biggest threat. I went out and pushed the Triumph under the overhang in front of my room. Fell back asleep but I think it was really just heavy rain.

Several options for the next couple of days... needed to see what weather was like on Sunday before making a final plan.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:30 AM   #206
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WNWT - Texas Ranch Gates

With all the miles I put on riding around Texas over the last month... I've probably went by several thousand ranch gates. Some very simple and some over-the-top extravagant. I didn't take as many pictures of the good ones as I should but seeing all these gates, and the obvious pride a lot of these guys have in their property, it has inspired me to do something similar at my humble abode. I'm thinking it'll be something along this style, but much smaller...


Fancier gates





Farm accidents are no laughing matter...


These guys may not be popular at parties...
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Thanks to my 2014 Sponsor: Motorex
What Next Wander Tour http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853663
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:36 AM   #207
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Texas has the best historical markers and ranch gates. I need to start taking photos and downloading them to a thread if there is one. Lots of Indian vs Texas Rangers and US army markers in the hill country. The settlers must not have gotten much sleep in the 1800s. Enjoy the Talimena. Its like the Blue Ridge without the radar traps or traffic. Good riding in NW Ark. Are you going to stop in Branson for a Donnie and Marie concert?
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by Evomx971 View Post
Yep, had a great ride to Springfield. Ended up being some of the best weather of the trip. Mid-60's and sunny all day. Arkansas definitely got some rain on Saturday night though! Roads were dry but water was everywhere else. Was a great ride!
It's good to hear you had a great ride!!! I figured you'd have nice weather once the rain rolled west.

Safe travels.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:42 PM   #209
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Your ride reporting has become most excellent. Please squelch any thoughts of coming home for a while. We need you out roaming around for another month or so. Maybe a loop around the southeast?
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:44 PM   #210
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Your ride reporting has become most excellent. Please squelch any thoughts of coming home for a while. We need you out roaming around for another month or so. Maybe a loop around the southeast?
I'm coming to get you Ed and we'll head back down... you packed?
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