9.25.2006,10:31 PM
Day Nine: Follow the Red Canyon Roads
I'm back in Taos. Not by my own volition. Long story.

Everyone woke and regrettably trudged through packing and readying to depart. I suspect all of us shared a sad sentiment that our stay at the cabin and canyonlands was over. I know I didn't want to leave.

As usual, it took me an hour to pack the bike. Being a methodical person (usually), every item on the bike is anchored well. I was the brunt of jokes while packing, everyone all packed and ready to go, leaning on the wooden rail watching and waiting for me. Nonetheless, I have peace of mind when riding that nothing will fall off.

We had a group picture taken in front of the sign for the cabins and then we were all on our merry seperate ways. Bob from Canada rode with me south to Monticello where we both gassed up. I then rode east and he continued south. The others rode to points north and beyond.

Backtracking on Hwy 491 and 160 into Colorado and Durango I was afforded the views that I missed on the way west because of the rain, snow and hail. I turned south onto Hwy 550 and down into New Mexico, past Aztec and turned east onto Hwy 64.

The ride through the mesas and over the arroyos was wonderful, reminescent of Arizona. Few vehicles were on the highway, which meandered through canyons and around mesas spatterered with pinyon pines. It was a pleasant ride with some curves and elevations, a few hairpins. Enough to keep me alert and awake.

I intended to stay overnight in Chama, which would be a total of nearly 300 miles for that day. Little did I know.........

I rode >500 miles in less than eight hours, including lunch at Denny's, two peestops, three gas ups, and a jaunt around Chama searching for a room: No Vacancies.

Nowhere to go and nowhere to stay. No backtracking, so the only option was ride forward. Which meant Taos: 65 miles east.

That meant riding over the mountains, cold, ice on the road, construction (waiting 1/2 hour for freakin' pilot car), scanning road sides for deer and elk, freezing my fingers and racing the setting sun.

I didn't have the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and ride as much as when I rode it west, but it was just as beautiful, and the trees had changed color in these past few days. There was snow on the sides of the road and roads were still wet from melting snow. As late in the day as it was, and cold, ice was on the road, too.

Other than a RV in front of me, I was the only other vehicle on that road tonight.

I made it into Taos just after sunset, finally having to stop just before town to switch from sunglasses to regular ones.

Rode into same motel I stayed in for two nights last week. They gave me a discount for riding nearly 600 miles. And I have a fireplace in my room. And a tall mug of hot steaming coffee.

I'm beat........

I'm ahead of schedule. I may stay here another day. Whattheheck.....don't wanna go home anyway.

BTW: V-strom (blue) sighting on Hwy 550 going North in New Mexico. We saluted each other as we passed. V-stroms rule!
posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤