I have been home for a couple of days now. Luis Diego is riding west, Tucson, Arizona and then up Route 66. Maybe Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks......maybe the Yukon. Luis will decide as he rides.
Luis has the Spot Messenger with him so we should be able to track him.
Four hundred ten miles today, very hot and windy. Luis Diego and I headed separate ways this morning. I am headed southeast about 675 miles back to Baffin Bay. Luis is headed west, but first he was going back to the huge dairy farm west of El Paso. He has an urge to spend a couple of days there studying American dairy farming techniques. Then he is riding west, maybe north up into Wyoming.
Rain is forecast for tomorrow. If it actually does rain I may hole up in Mexico for the duration. But realistically, I doubt it rains much and even if it does, I won't know what it is. Afterall, it has been months since I have seen rain.
On the road for nine days, we have ridden 3400 kilometers. Some days cold, some hot, all windy! It has been a great ride. Luis Diego, my friend from Costa Rica, is a great traveling partner.
Today we passed a large (very large) dairy farm and Luis suddenly stopped, turned around to visit. Over 11,000 head of cattle, all in massive feedlots. You can imagine the smell. Luis Diego was in his glory. In Costa Rica he is a cattle and horse farmer so he was at home. Luis visited for about 45 minutes and I suspect he will return there tomorrow. But now we are headed to El Paso, TX
Then we are off to Barnett's Harley where Luis is browsing among hundreds of Harley's. And Chuck? I am having a new rear tire installed. Tonight we will spend the night in El Paso. But first Luis Diego and I will visit Barnett Indian located down the street from their Harley location.
Later today we will do laundry and have dinner in a What-A-Burger, after all we are back in Texas.Tonight Luis Diego and I have to spend some time studying maps. Tomorrow we will part ways. Luis Diego will visit a dairy farm, ride to Winslow, Arizona, where he will ride Route 66 to Flagstaff, AZ and then on to Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks. And Chuck? I will head back to Baffin Bay. Yellowstone and Grand Canyon may be next year's ride.
When we crossed into Texas a few hours ago, there was a sign "Beaumont TX-901 miles". Texas is a big state. Luis will be carrying the Spot Messenger on with him, so you can track his travels. As for me, I wii be invisible. Yes! I have posted the Taos Puebla photographs.
Luis Diego and I were at the Taos Pueblo early Cinco de Mayo and spent about 90 minutes touring this historical pueblo. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the Taos Pueblo is over 1000 years old. with no running water, electricity or television there are still several families living in this Pueblo.
Then we were off to the skiing and fishing village of Red River. The ride there was beautiful, through the mountains of Kit Carson National Forest. Over 3200 meters high mountain passes, hitting the brakes to avoid the numerous Big Horn Mountain Sheep......life was great. Then on to Eagle Nest for fuel and finally to the alpine sky village of Angel Fire. Before lunch we were back in Taos and took a scenic ride to Santa Fe where we had planned to spend the night.
Luis Diego had an urge to visit Barnett Harley in El Paso. Barnett is the largest Harley dealer in the world and Luis had to see it. Over 600 new Harley's in one location, Luis was not going to miss this. by 2:00 PM we were headed south to El Paso, TX. Windy and hot, we were making good time and before dark stopped in Truth or Consequences, NM for the night. Tuesday will find us up early headed for Big Bend. I might even visit Barnett NMW and have a new Heidenau mounted on my BMW. I don't like riding mountain roads with the patch in the rear tire.
Later today I will post photographs of the Taos Pueblo.
Saturday Luis Diego and I spent our day riding in the Santa Fe area and watching the Kentucky Derby in the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe. Perhaps more important was our visit to El Santuario de Chimayo. the beautiful and revered holy sanctuary built in 1856. Later we rode to the Indian village of Truches and visited with three remarkable young Native American children. For a late lunch we stopped at the beautiful Casino, Buffalo Thunder. It was a great start to the day.
Next Luis Diego and I returned to Santa Fe where we once again visited many of the great sites (like the Cathedral of the Basilica and the Chapel at Loretto). A great day!
Arising early this morning, we found the day a bit warmer and we were soon off to Taos. But first we had to visit the Rio Grande River Gorge and walk across the magnificent bridge that spans this deep and beautiful canyon. If you look at the photographs we posted you will see the horned mountain sheep climbing the gorge. Then we were off to a site about three miles from the bridge, where there are several " Earthship Biotecture houses" occupied by a group of very creative free spirits that live life their own way.
Tomorrow Luis Diego will lead the way to the Taos Pueblo, a pueblo that has served as home to many local Native Americans for over 1000 years.
Now you really should take a look at the photographs I posted tonight. But be warned. It will make you want to visit Taos!
When Luis Diego and I first got out this morning it was 28 degrees fehrenheit but by 9:30 AM it had warmed up to 42 degrees so we started the bikes and headed to Santa Fe. The ride was surprisingly pleasant and we were checked into our hotel by lunch.
Then we were off to Santa Fe Centro, with it's fabulous shops, street vendors, great restaurants and a bounty of historic Spanish architecture. The city has a vibrance rarely seen elsewhere. But it is expensive. Luis Diego remarked "I think this is a rich city!" And he was correct.
Tomorrow we will ride to some of the interesting points nearby. Maybe Bandolier National Park, Maybe Chimayo, but we will not venture out until the temperature reaches 40 degrees.
Forty degrees fehrenheit may not sound cold, but it certainly seemed cold to me. And the forecast is for 29 degrees Friday morning. Right now I would trade the bike for a jeep, car ......
Luis Diego and I stopped in Roswell and had new tires mounted on the Kawasaki, and also had the oil changed. We were told that all would be completed in 90 minutes. Three hours later, we finally departed. By then rains were in the area so we had a challenging late afternoon ride.
Our goal was to reach Santa Fe by dark but we finally had to stop sixty miles south of Santa Fe. We will depart tomorrow when the temperature reaches 40 degrees fehrenheit. If it doesn't get that warm, we are staying here (where ever we are).
Our plan was to ride to Pecos before stopping tonight, but Ft. Davis beckoned. We had a really full day today, first riding the challenging and scenic River Road that winds it's way southwest from Terlingua to Presidio, TX. Of course it was then south into Mexico and down toward Chihuahua to the incredible Canyon Del Peguis.
Returning to the USA in mid afternoon, we headed to Marfa, only to stop long the way at the historic Milton Faver Ranch, established in 1855. I had never end ventured into the ranch believing it to be totally private. But this time we pointed our bikes up the caliche road, toward the mountains and "buzzed" our way right through the gate. Four miles up the road we passed over a hill and suddenly was looking at a totally restored fort and the most impressive Faver Hacienda. Massive, historic, beautiful and certainly an incredible ranch house All made open to Luis Diego and me, with a guided tour by Paula, who seemed to be the caretaker. This unplanned detour is the highlight of our trip.
Finally reluctantly departing we rode the 30 miles to Marfa, the art scene of West Texas. Of course, a visit io El Paisano Hotel was mandatory. Later heading north, we found the friendly town of Fort Davis where we re bedded down for the night. The local folks just Informed Luis Diego that the temperature would be freezing by morning. We had decided to be in Santa Fe by tomorrow night but I just saw on the Wether Channel that snow was expected in Santa Fe tonight. And neither Luis Diego nor I have cold weather riding gear. We may have to get a late start.
And, yes it posted today's photographs.
Eight hours and over two hundred miles, all spent touring Big Bend National Park! Yes, Luis Diego and I enjoyed our day. the views are breathtaking. The mountains, majestic. The desert all abloom with cacti and the wildlife, abundant. jackrabbits, kangaroo rats, cottontails, eagles and hawks, all challenging our rights to the roads.
Our stops were many! Santa Elena Canyon, Castolon, Panther Junction, Boquilas Crossing and finally The Basin. The Chisos Basin, certainly the most spectacular. The Basin, home to The Chisis Mountain Lodge and a great restaurant where we dined on salads and homemade chicken and dumplins. Tonight we spent an hour or so in Terlingua Ghost Town and now are back in the Chisos Mining Company Motel.
Tomorrow we will ride the River Road, The best motorcycle road in Texas. Then cross the Border in Presidio and ride south into Chihuahua to the Canyon Del Peguis. Maybe even spend an hour or two in Ojinaga, MX, then head north to Marfa, TX, home to many fine art galleries and the Pesano Hotel. The Pesano serve as home to James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of that great film classic, Giant. Where will we spend the night? I am not sure, either Marfa or Ft. Davis. After all Elizabeth will not be in town.
And Yes, I did post the photographs.
The last two times that I have stopped at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, TX, I have discovered mechanical problems in my BMW. Eighteen months ago, while riding with Wayne Weaver I discovered a minor oil leak. Today it was a large screw firmly embedded in the rear Heidenau. Two hours later, it was fully repaired and we are back on the road.
A cool room at the Chisos Mining Motel and dinner at the Starlight Theater. Can life get any better? Maybe it would be nicer if my face was not so sunburned! Tomorrow definitely requires sunscreen on the face and neck.
Today was moderately hot-96 degrees. we were on the road before 8;00 AM, stopping for photographs at the Pecos River High Bridge on Hwy 90 about 38.6 miles west of Del Rio. This is one of the most beautiful views of the canyon, the Pecos River and Bridge in Texas. Then an hour's stop at Langtry to visit the home of Judge Roy Bean. Ticos seem to love this park. Finally another 100 miles across the desert to Marathon and the minor tire problem.
Finally we arrived at Terlingua, the old silver mining ghost town that sits only minutes from Big Bend. Tomorrow we will spend most of the day riding in the Park and marveling at the unsurpassed natural splendor of this amazing area.
And yes, I do promise to post photographs tomorrow.
An early morning departure and Luis Diego and I were in Del Rio in the early afternoon. Today's ride was uneventful but "muy caliente". The temperature quickly hit 100 degrees ferenheit. Shedding the jackets, we rode briskly past Benevides, Freer, Encinal, and by early afternoon into Eagle Pass. Eagle Pass, a nice city sharing the border with Piedras Negras, Mexico. Soon we were in Del Rio, home of Laughlin AFB and Presa Amistad.
The bikes were running smoothly, purring there way through the desert, past wild turkeys, a buffalo or two and even a large snake by the side of the road. A countryside that is both stark, hot and dry but , at the same time, beautiful.
Del Rio! It is here that I always spend the night in the La Quinta. and almost always eat at Rudy's. Tonight is no different, Luis Diego loved the BBQ ribs, frijoles and slaq. Maybe some cobbler and ice cream later. tonight lights will be out early. Luis Diego is asleep by 8:00 PM most nights.
Tomorrow morning? A complimentary breakfast and then off on The 2006 BMW R1200 GS toward Big Bend. And Luis, he is on the 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan that seems to fit him nicely. Tomorrow promises to also be 'muy caliente" but the day will be fine. First a visit to Langtry, TX to the home of the "Hanging Judge", Judge Roy Bean. Then off to Marathon and the beautiful and historic Gage Hotel. On down through the desert into big Bend National Park. Maybe a stop at Stilwell Ranch to visit my friend, Kay.
And tomorrow night? I don't know but you can bet Luis will dine at the Starlite Theater in Terlingua, TX
Luis Diego and I will head out early in the morning, riding west. First across a portion of the King Ranch, then into the Eagle Ford Shale oil fields of south Texas. Finally into the Chihuahua, Desert with the great beauty and solitude that I love.
Luis Diego is a relative of Ricardo's and a friend of mine. Ricardo has been visiting with me for a month but today he departed for San Jose. And Luis Diego? I think I will show him Big Bend, The Peguis Canyon of Mexico and then maybe New Mexico. He really wants to ride Route 66 and I absolutely must show him Santa Fe and Taos. Of course our travels will be by motorcycle, I may even dance the BMW around a bit.
Departure? Tomorrow morning. where will we stop for tomorrow night? That depends on the heat.The forecast is for 102F.