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Old 09-05-2013, 12:33 PM   #46
Pantah
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Hey I just found this RR. In 2011 me and another rode it to Chama. Then I went west and left my bike in Scottsdale and flew home to Boston. My buddy went to see a friend in Angel Fire, then rode to his home in Salt Lake.

I don't remember the hill past Pinedale. I don't remember anything challenging on the Lander Cutoff at all. We found the going tough on the Oregon Trail, though. We followed it past Atlantic City before getting lost. We bushwacked it to Riverview Cutoff.

We fueled in Farson so Rawlins was only about 170 miles. We cruised the Empty at about 65mph.

That water crossing wasn't too full for us. I came up on it going too fast and barely got stopped. Turned out the bottom was firm with only one hole that we could skirt. We hit another one on the plains before Salida.

That section south of Del Norte was my favorite I think. True it was full of babyheads and was tiring, but it sure was fun. We took a jeep trail up to the top of Greyback Mountain from that road.

I want to go back next summer and ride the Forever West route from Steamboat through Dinosaur Monument to Salt Lake.

You folks sure are good campers. I can camp maybe once every 4 days or so. Thanks for the write up. Looking forward to the finish.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #47
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One more thing. My oldest son had a Ural. He rode it through Baja. By the time he was done every spoke was loose and the wheels wobbled. The clutch was pretty shot too.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:46 PM   #48
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Great RR!

I have a question, I notice Alex is packing, did he go into Canada? What did he do with his sidearm while he was there?
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:20 PM   #49
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Pie Town. Very cool. Rolled thru there a couple years ago. Do I remember a Windmill Museum? Oh, regarding the interesting folks out East. If you go, be careful in Vermont. I was told they still eat their dead up there. Or was it New Hampsha?.......
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #50
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I don't remember the hill past Pinedale.

You folks sure are good campers. I can camp maybe once every 4 days or so.
The hill past Pinedale was on a 15-mile stretch that ran parallel to Hwy 191 before cutting across it to 353. As for the camping, it made it easier since we had the dogs. Paying anywhere from $0 to $20 for a camp site also beats the motel rates. But if money were no option and all motels were dog friendly, you'd find me enjoying a shower and real bed every night.

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I have a question, I notice Alex is packing, did he go into Canada? What did he do with his sidearm while he was there?
We didn't go into Canada. Even without the sidearm, we were a little worried that for whatever reason the dogs might've been an issue, even if we told them we were going right back into the US. I think I read in another thread that there are lockers on the US side where you could store a firearm if you're going into Canada.

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Pie Town. Very cool. Rolled thru there a couple years ago. Do I remember a Windmill Museum? Oh, regarding the interesting folks out East. If you go, be careful in Vermont. I was told they still eat their dead up there. Or was it New Hampsha?.......
There is indeed a windmill museum, as well as the Very Large Array. As for cannibalism in Vermont or NH, eating the dead is ok -- eating the living is a lot less ok.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:48 AM   #51
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The hill past Pinedale was on a 15-mile stretch that ran parallel to Hwy 191 before cutting across it to 353.


Oh yeah - We skipped that 15 mile section. we had to find the Oregon Trail and that would make for a long day already.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:39 PM   #52
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I'm still enjoying your report, zina!
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:18 PM   #53
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I'm still enjoying your report, zina!
Day 16 on its way...
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:28 PM   #54
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DAY 16 - JULY 19 - FRIDAY
Pie Town, NM to Silver City, NM

The morning starts with Alex capturing a feeble kitten he had seen the night before. I dip my pinky in water and try to get it to drink but it does nothing; even when I push my finger between its lips it doesn't react. The kitten is perilously close to departing for the spirit world.



It won't stop shaking so we put it in the microwave. Don't worry, we use the defrost setting it's half the power!*



Nita, the homeowner, stops by so we implore her to take the kitten. Her boyfriends works at an animal rescue shelter so even if it's a dog-only shelter, maybe he'll know what to do with it.



Nita takes a pic of us in front of the Toaster House before we head over to the Good Pie cafe.



This is where Alex almost goes apeshit: The Good Pie doesn't open until 10:00 on Fridays. Nita knows the owners so she asks if they'll make an exception and open early for us. Sadly, they can't because their Friday night dinner is popular and they use the morning to do all the prep work. There is an upside, though: It just so happens that a woman from the cafe (owner?) wanted a cat so the helpless little mewler with the unfortunate Hitler moustache now has a home.



All is not lost on the pie front. Nita likes to bake pies and she happens to have a blueberry one at home. We break out the Jetboil to heat water for our instant coffee and in minutes she's back with a whole pie.



Riding the Good Pie's propane bomb, Dr. Strangelove style.



The kids will look back on this and smile.



I don't think I would've even noticed this windmill museum had Nita not told us it was right along the road. It just looks like the property of another urban escapee convinced that contrails are actually chemtrails.



This Very Long Baseline Array in Pie Town is one of ten radio telescopes in the US. The ten antennas simultaneously collect faint radio signals from objects in space. We're going to find out if aliens prefer talk radio or album-oriented rock.



Your broken record moment: The road between Pie Town and Highway 12 is...easy.



We regroup at the highway and start thinking about our gas options. There's no fuel between here and Mimbres, which is a long ways off.** This is when we realize that from Pie Town we were supposed to head west to Quemada to fill up and then backtrack to Pie Town to begin our journey south. The town of Reserve is about 30 miles southwest of us so we head there for gas.



But not until we make friends with these beasts of burden. Lola is very good and doesn't bark. Simon, on the other hand, has a Napoleonic Complex and will not shut up.



We can get gas in Reserve, but if we want to complain that'll require a lot more riding. Turns out that Reserve is the county seat of Catron County, the largest county (by area) in New Mexico. Amazingly, there is not a single stop light in the entire county.



Rather than backtracking to where we turned onto Highway 12, we cut down Forest Road 94 to hook back up with the tracks. Should you forget to go to Quemado like we did, this is a nice alternative.



Not as fancy as other Continental Divide signs we've taken pictures of, but still just as special.



Not sure what type of rock litters the road. Quartz?



This part of New Mexico is all about turning, turning, and then more turning. You don't want to be too tired here or you can easily overshoot your turn and create additional work of having to drag your bike back up the hillside.



After hours of climbing up and down mountains and working switchbacks, we're ready for a break. Lower Black Canyon Campground is nearby and I'd love to call it a day, but it's still a little too early for that.



As we get closer to Silver City we come upon Chino, one of the oldest and largest open-pit copper mines. I'll pass on drinking any well water in this area.



We go through Fort Bayard to get back into the Gila National Forest so we can find a free camping spot for the night. Although the place looks abandoned, it's now Fort Bayard Medical Center, administered by the New Mexico Department of Health as a long-term care nursing facility that also has a drug rehab center.




We find a relatively private camping spot...until a truck parks not too far from us. The boys are looking at it, wondering what's going on. After a short while the truck leaves. (The following morning on our way out I see a used condom near where the truck was parked that's what was going on.)



This scene of turmoil is not too far from where we pitched camp. There's no evidence of a homocide so we don't feel a need to pack up and leave. However, I doubt Alex is going to leave his gun in the Ural's trunk and I'm sure not leaving my bear spray on the DRZ.



I'm really not kidding when I say that all Simon thinks about is food. I'd like to say that I want his single-minded simplicity, but since all I care about is getting on two wheels I guess he and I are not so different after all.




218 miles, 6:05 hours moving time



-----------------------

*Yes, this is a joke. Everybody knows you boil a cat to warm it up.

**We went into Mimbres to get gas, but the station was out of business.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #55
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Rather than backtracking to where we turned onto Highway 12, we cut down Forest Road 94 to hook back up with the tracks. Should you forget to go to Quemado like we did, this is a nice alternative.



.
There is a town in New Mexico named "Burned" (Quemado)? I suppose that's no stranger then the town in AZ named "Garlic" (Ajo)

Really enjoying the ride report! Makes me want to go buy a Ural and hit the road with my dogs. Do you think two large dogs (65lbs/95lbs) would fit in the Ural hack?
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:59 PM   #56
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Do you think two large dogs (65lbs/95lbs) would fit in the Ural hack?
Unless you could make them both sit very upright, the answer would have to be no. I think Lola is around 85 lbs and she pretty much takes up all the open space; I'm gonna assume that the smaller of the two dogs would not want to spend all his or her time wedged into the nose of the sidecar.

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Old 09-12-2013, 02:36 AM   #57
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Unless you could make them both sit very upright, the answer would have to be no. I think Lola is around 85 lbs and she pretty much takes up all the open space; I'm gonna assume that the smaller of the two dogs would not want to spend all his or her time wedged into the nose of the sidecar.
They would probably be ok for a short trip, but that's it. They both ride sitting upright together in my single cab Ranger.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:32 PM   #58
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DAY 20 - JULY 20 - SATURDAY
Silver City, NM to Antelope Wells, NM

While eating our nutritionally suspect fast food breakfast, a woman stops and says "I recognize you!" As a Facebook friend of Pie-O-Neer (in Pie Town), she saw the photo of us that was posted. We felt like rock stars!



We cruise the 30 miles of pavement out of Silver City to our dirt turnoff. Wayne and I wait for a while but Alex doesn't show up. We know that on pavement the DRZs are gazelles while the Ural is a musk ox, but we also know it shouldn't take our heavyweight comrade that long to arrive. We head back up the road and eventually find Alex. He had swapped out a flat and is packing up just as we arrive.



Another 30 miles of dirt gets us down to I-10. This is officially the last dirt we'll do on our trip and it's a beautiful day for it.



This is also the last Continental Divide sign we'll see. It's becoming a day of finalities. *Sigh.*



Representative of Hachita: The better days have been left somewhere far, far behind. This is one of two (TWO!) gas stations no longer in service.



V is for Victory, as the border is nigh.



We make a brief stop so Alex can fuel his thirsty musk ox.



It begins to pour on us as the border comes into sight. But minutes after it starts, it stops and we're back to clear skies. It's a final cosmic message that we hadn't been challenged enough on this journey so this little dose of rain should remind us of our overall good fortune.



We pull over just shy of the actual border crossing. Between the gun and the dogs, we don't want to get trapped in an International Zone of Misunderstanding and Incarceration.



This sign is far enough away from the men in uniform so we pose for a photo.



But leave it to the freakishly ebullient Wayne to wander over to the office to see what's up. He returns to tell us that the border agents are cool and that they have a water fountain if we want to fill our bottles.



The Antelope Wells border crossing is a whole lot less sexy than the one at Roosville. There is nothing here but the offices on both side, a large inspection building on the US side, and a smattering of structures where some of the workers stay.



Now that we're fairly confident we won't become victims of extraordinary rendition, we take another photo at the official line between Mexico and USA. We don't look like terrorists, but the cream of the jihadist crop can come in many forms. Lola could very well be a 20 pound Miniature Pinscher wearing a fat suit made of C4. Danger is everywhere.



On our way back north we pass the Welcome to New Mexico sign. Their slogan is a little inaccurate so I fixed it for them.



The customs agent told us there's a wall where cyclists who finish the CDT sign their names. While we go in search of it (we never found it) Alex takes off ahead of us. When we finally start down the road we see this big ol' wall of rain...is Alex getting hammered?



We get a light smattering from the edge of the mass but most of the rain, in fact, was generously unloaded on Alex.



When we reach the I-10 we stop to put the spare gas into our tanks before the final leg into Lordsburg, where we'll stay for the night. While we're hanging out, a Border Patrol truck pulls up and the agent starts talking to us about riding since he is also a dirtbiker. He tells us about riding along the border and how even though he's an agent, he wasn't immune from getting hassled by The Man. The customs agent at the border didn't want his picture taken so I assume this BP agent is also photo-averse. I settle on a shot of his truck pulling away.



A train on the I-10 guides us towards Lordsburg.



Our official Continental Divide ride is over. Since leaving San Diego Wayne, Simon and I have gone 4,400 miles, 2,700 of it from Canada down to Mexico. We couldn't have had better travelling companions than Alex and Lola. Baja Mexico next...?



234 miles, 4:52 hours moving time

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:34 PM   #59
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DAY 18 - JULY 21 - SUNDAY
Lordsburg, NM to San Diego, CA

Parted ways with Alex and Lola, our compadres with whom we've had great times under various levels of duress. They say that if you really want to know if you'd get along with someone you should go on a road trip with him or her. I'd bump the test up a level by adding unpaved roads, mechanical issues, lots of mosquitoes, and the lack of walls to take care of basic needs.



The first couple of hours out of Lordsburg is pleasant, but as we get closer to Arizona, the heat and humidity begins to climb. Monsoonal weather is blanketing the southwest and as we drop in altitude the air grows stifling. Combined with the buzzing and buffetting from goading the DRZs into giving us 75 mph, it makes for a headache-inducing ride. There are no toll roads between New Mexico and home, but make no mistake, we are paying.



One reason for leaving the dog at home: You can avail yourself to the luxury that is air conditioning. Instead, we find the wall that has shade and then sit our ass down and eat our lunch while our Klim pants feel like crockpots stewing our legs.



Many roads are washed out. The arid desert has its moments when it's anything but.



Even the normally sun-worshipping Simon has had enough and seeks refuge in the shade of the DRZ.



As we approach Yuma the rain starts coming down but it offers little cooling. Instead of being hot and humid, it is now hot and clammy.



The rain stops so we get a refreshing ice cream cone. Nothing says "Living the scrappy life" better than downing it near the dumpsters.



Grinding out the miles towards El Centro, CA. Looks like California won't be cutting us any slack weatherwise.



After weeks spent at anywhere from 4,000 to 11,000 feet, we're back to sea level...lower in some spots. We're crazy rich with oxygen!



Soon after cresting I-8 from the desert floor, my DRZ starts to sputter and then dies so I coast onto the shoulder of the freeway. At least the I-8 near Jacumba is lightly travelled so it's not a stressful place to crap out. I also feel like I'm finally on home turf and could probably drum up a truck ride home from a friend if needed.



Did I run out of gas? I look down and there's at least a third of a tank remaining. I'd experienced this problem before in another rain storm and the culprit was a blocked fuel vent hose. I yank the hose off the cap and the bike fires right back up. Phew! I catch back up to Wayne, who's waiting on the side of the freeway.



On the I-15 an old yellow VW bug in front of us blows its motor and coats us with oil. I don't dare touch my visor even though I'm having a hard time seeing. The oil alone wouldn't be so bad, but it's raining and I feel like I'm looking through dirty gauze. Soooo close to home but at the same time so far, thanks to this latest development. (I don't have a photo for this moment, but it deserves memorialization.)



And just like that, it's all over. Good night, faithful DRZs...until next time.



588 miles, 9:03 hours moving time

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:28 PM   #60
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That was awesome, zina. Do it again for us anytime.
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