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Back from AZ and NM

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Sorry, no pics of the trip. I left the camera at home. Probably a smart idea as I'd have lost it in a crash I had. It was a textbook perfect roll into a sidefall per my martial arts training after I sailed over the bars. Came out of it AOK. Anyway...

I left work and headed towards San Antonio. Met with Ivan on Saturday and rode some empty land near his mom's house. Came back, met the family and rode Red Sands Dunes for a while as his mom was making lunch. The sand got deep...it was all deep...but in places it was deep enough to swallow a bike if you didn't stay floating on top of it. Looked like there was a lot of miles of sandy trails behind the bowl. It was a fun afternoon and good to meet Ivan and family. I had to get on the road though and Ivan's sister was eyeing me like a piece of meat.:banghead: Thanks for the tour and the really spicy food...that made for a couple emergency stops that evening!:banghead:

Upon leaving San Antonio, I drove straight out to Green Valley, AZ (25 miles S of Tucson) to meet my friends, CAP and Buck. Got in around 10:30, checked in and headed straight to the "Wet Spot." That'd be the bar attached to the bowling alley. They were already trashed by the time I got there and working on the local wimminz. We got kicked out around 1 am after CAP was just starting to get into a scrap with the husband of a rather pretty married woman. :banghead: A good start to the week and hopefully telling of things to come!

We hit some wide open spaces in the morning and got up to speed on a utility line trail. Every power tower had a 2 ft rolling jump under it and you could easily sail 30-40 ft. Some places had washouts across the trail and CAP thought he could double the washouts. Front end made it over both but the rear hit the last one and jolted him over with no chance of recovery. Got some serious rash on the shoulder and arm and a bloody, ripped shirt. Good material for sympathy sex later if he doesn't get us kicked out again. After the warm up we found some singletrack with lots of sand whoops. Got into some dead end stuff and figured we'd cut our own trail to get back towards a trail that would take us where we wanted to go. Buck and I rode past some cactus that snagged us good. It took about 50 yards for the pain to set in and realize we had something stuck in us. Looked like baseball sized balls of cacti with 1.5" long needles stuck in our arms and thighs. We stopped to pry the prickly balls out of us and that took a while. We had to find some sticks to pry them out as they were embedded about an inch into us. Felt like someone superglued my skin to something then proceeded to rip my skin off! Looked like a bloody pincushion when all was done. Just a small injury to start the trip off. Chased some cows, rabbits and mule deer. Man the deer out there are huge...and probably tasty! The creeks were dry with silt and deep sand. Miles of it. The Desert IT on the rear was everywhere. I did my best to stay on top of it in 3rd gear but had to drop to 2nd occasionally. The knobs are starting to tear from getting sideways on the hard pack and rock and I couldn't get any traction on anything.

Well....it turns out that Green Valley is the Pensacola of Arizona. The place shuts down at 8 pm, except for the casinos and has it's fair share of retirees and those on the border of retiring. :worthy:

The next day took us to Gunsight Pass. The trails were better and had more elevation. More turns and climbs. I was happier. I'm used to tight woodsy single track and the high speed featureless trails of the previous day bored me quickly. Had some dunes too to play on. Terra Firma was better everywhere. Recommended place to ride for desert stuff.

Spent the eve in the casino and made 70 bucks at the blackjack table.

Day 3 in AZ was spent off the bike. Buck had lawyer stuff to do so CAP and I went to Guitar Center to show everyone in Tucson how to play guitar. Apparently no one paid attention.:D We were looking for live music that rocked and the employees recommended a few places. OMG did those places suck!:ride: The first place didn't have a bar! And the band was crap too. Garage quality, if that. The second place had a bar but no band.:banghead: The 3rd place had a bar and 3 bands....then they started playing.:banghead: What the hell was that crap?! A mishmash of sounds totally incoherent in tone and key, vocals that were just plain strange, no rhythm, no beat and the wierdest, ugliest crowd of people that apparently that have never heard decent music in their life. No amount of weed or acid could make them sound better. We all agreed we should've went to the strip bars. But as college wasn't in session yet, it may have been those same ugly and wierd girls on stage and the waste of a cover charge as well.

Day 4, we went into Coronado National Forest and rode the hundred miles of double track. What a beautiful place!:) Who'd have thought that there would be lush praries with ranches on top of those mountains and greenery growing from those rocky ledges. Lots of dead end trails and a few loops. All real hard pack and rocky with rolling hills. Got some minor climbing in, spitting large rocks from my rear tire, but it was mostly high speed sweepers so I practiced some supermoto/flat track turns as they came up. I don't get to do that in TX. Also recommended but it is equally suited to dual sport machines.

We spent the wee hours in the casino playing blackjack again. The dealers were blackjacking us to death. Lost my 70 from the other night and 50 more fresh bills. Kind of a lame place, dead, no hot waitresses in skimpy clothes and Kenny G was playing in person. Gotta go to Vegas for the good stuff.

Day 5 in AZ, my friends go back to San Diego and I drive to Socorro, NM by way of scenic Gila National forest. I have to say that 152 between Silver City and I-25 rivals the best sport bike roads in the USA and I've been on a lot of those. And oh, the scenery! I stopped on a scenic viewpoint and chatted with a guy named Fred who had "chucked it all", took the money he made over the past few years as a truck driver and bought a '08 KLR650 with the goal of riding until he ran out of money. I had a bunch of AAA maps and he had none, so I gave them to him after pointing out a bunch of places to "must visit." I have about 280k road miles on bikes so I really don't need maps to get from point A to B. Made it to Socorro a couple hours later, ate at the brew pub and sampled the porter and stout. A real tiny town but that place made up for it. Watched some Olympics then showered at a $30 Motel 6 and crashed in anticipation of a really hard solo day of riding at Gordy's Pass.

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I drove west and south a bit to see the very large satellite array (can be seen in the movie Contact). Can't get too close to it. Hung out in the visitor's center and viewed it from the fence line. Then I drove back to I-25 and another 10 minutes north to the Gordy's Hill trailhead. Being a Friday, I expected I'd be the only one there. A dinner of garlic chicken alfredo and 2 heavy beers was catching up to me. So after I removed the 450X from the MotoJackRack attached to my receiver, I gave the rack 2 pumps to get it further off the ground, dropped trou and did my thing. The bike rack makes a great toilet seat when there are no facilities anywhere! Moved the car to another location when I was done for obvious reasons, put on my boots and warmed up the bike. Only 85 degrees that day. Gonna be a great day.

First look is a choice of climbs. Real steep sandy stuff only for 4WD rails and moderate slopes of hard pack and rock. I made the easier choice, climbed over the firt hill and just let the front wheel take me wherever. I had all day so I just kept going easterly to get in all the miles I could stand. I had almost 4 gallons of fuel and 200 oz of Gatorade in the dual bladdered Camelback. This, my friends, is the place to ride. Lots of climbing and decending, dry riverbed running in the wind carved canyons, dirt, sand, rock, whoops (butt loads), single track and ridge running...also eagles, wild horses and deer. Pretty technical stuff. Impossible to get any rhythm going and really tests your skills. If a D rider like me can do it, it's definitely doable by anyone. But, I like to climb, not everyone does.

Places like this that are so vast ( a couple hundred miles of trails) and you must follow trails, you can not cut your own trails, it's mountainous and filled with canyons...when you're in something, you're in it for the haul, so a tracking GPS like the Garmin Rhino is a must. I didn't have any such thing, so when I thought I was heading back towards the trailhead, I ended up somehwere I'd never been or that I'd already done and couldn't get back on track. I was out there for 6 hours and 65 miles (including sanity breaks) and was starting to get low on fluids. As I got halfway through the 2nd bladder, I was starting to think I may not ever get out and should start scratching my last words into the canyon walls. Another hour and the panic attack would no doubt set in due to exhaustion and the feeling of hoplessness. Every turn seemed to take me in the opposite direction I wanted to go, further away and the terrain would just not allow me to alter my path. A lone eagle soared above my head and followed me for 90 minutes and I looked to it for enlightenment, but it wasn't guiding me out.

After a sanity break on one of the peaks, sitting amongst a group of wild horses, and examining my landmarks thoroughly, I planned on an epic riverbed adventure that seemed previously unpassable. Being a dried up section of the Rio Grande from eras past, there are small water falls that only guys like David Knight and Taddy B would attempt. I turned back before, but not this time. A bunch of on and off the bike throttlings and climbing along side the bike up the boulder stewn falls got me into some new territory and new trails. Eventually those new trails got me going the correct direction and I found my 4 wheeled mount waiting for me. A fantastic day of riding on some of the best terrain I've ever experienced.

Boots off, bike on rack (away from my excretements) and into the SUV headed towards Roswell on 380E. Miles of nothing but no lights in the sky above me. Crossed the border of TX and crashed for the night in the back seat. Up in 6 hours and another 10 hours to Houston.

2700 miles by 4 wheels and 350 by 2 wheels, lots of money in gas, $50 bucks lost at the casino and another good adventure to look back on.

All the places we went were double track mostly. Single track was harder to find but very good when we found it. A mapping GPS is a necessity if you want to get back to the vehicles. Signs and maps? Forgettaboutit. The rednecks and indians out there shotup every sign sticking out of the ground. Seems the majority of people that go to these places drive in a certain distance, stop, get drunk and leave all their trash out there. We found lots of trash at these dead end trails. A real shame to desicrate a beautiful place. The weather was great too. Didn't get above 90 the whole week unlike on the CA/AZ border.

That said, I'd visit the places again. NM is over AZ IMO though...much better riding. Perhaps a pure NM trip for next year. Gordy's Pass, alone, could entertain me all week.

Sucks to be back at work now!:)

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Would have been great for you to take a couple days off and experience eastern AZ. The orange bikes outnumbered me.

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Would have been great for you to take a couple days off and experience eastern AZ. The orange bikes outnumbered me.

LMAO!! That's too funny but sooo true. I was up at Bullhollow a couple years ago and it seemed like 90% of the bikes were orange. Then a kid from Colorado rolled in on a CRF450 and blew everyone away....Eric Rhoten is his name and I think it pissed a few of the cult riders off....But I digress....I would love to get out East and ride a little. I enjoy being the odd duck on the Honda:thumbsup: We'll get something going for sure!👍

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So...there's a story here somewhere involving your sister...care to elaborate?? :worthy:

Dehydration in the desert is the culprit for his delusion 👍

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