Thursday, August 14, 2008
Santa Fe or Bust
Today we embarked on our longest journey on our motorcycles to date. By the time we get home we will have traveled roughly 2000 miles!
Here is our itinerary:
August 14th ~ The Woodlands to Junction, Texas 367 Miles ~ COMPLETED!
August 15th ~ Junction, Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico 340 miles ~ COMPLETED!
August 15th ~ Carlsbad, New Mexico to Roswell, New Mexico est. 74 miles ~ COMPLETED!
August 16h ~ Roswell, New Mexico to Albuquerque, New Mexico est. 59 miles ~ COMPLETED!
August 20th ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico to Santa Fe, New Mexico est. 60 miles ~ COMPLETED!
August 25th ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico to Amarillo, Texas est. 275 miles ~ COMPLETD!
August 26th ~ Amarillo, Texas to Palo Duro, Texas est. 30 miles (home of the Cadillac Ranch ~ I'm going to paint them) ~ COMPLETED! (And Painted!!!)
August 26th ~ Palo Duro, Texas to Wichita Falls, Texas est. 246 miles (home of Brett, and where Shooter Jennings got Busted in Baylor County) ~ COMPLETED!
August 27th ~ Wichita Falls, Texas to The Woodlands, Texas est. 351 miles
Traffic in San Antonio close to Fiesta Texas
On our way to Carlsbad, New Mexico! Beautiful scenery started just out of Junction, Texas.
We stopped in Ozona to get gas and I was visited by two beautiful butterflies. No matter where I go on my travels she always manages to visit, letting me know that Butterflies are Free and Spirits Never Die. Unfortunately one butterfly was in transition. That is why it was on my motorcycle seat.
Here are some of the T. Boone Pickens Windmills that are producing electricity right now. We saw eighteen-wheelers moving huge parts for the windmills during our drive. Here is a bit about his plan:
Studies from around the world show that the Great Plains States are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world — by far.
The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America's electricity can come from wind. North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country.
Today's wind turbines stand up to 410 feet tall, with blades that stretch 148 feet in length. The blades collect the wind's kinetic energy. In one year, a 3-megawatt wind turbine produces as much energy as 12,000 barrels of imported oil.
Wind power currently accounts for 48 billion kWh of electricity a year in the United States — enough to serve more than 4.5 million households. That is still only about 1% of current demand, but the potential of wind is much greater. Read more about the plan here:
We stopped in Pecos to get some water for our evaporation vests and talked to a few very interesting characters there. One old biker guy wanted us to come to his 'store' 25 miles straight ahead. We never figured out what was in his store but he gave us a card, and, oh, yeah, he likes our bikes. And an old man has a brother who works for the Indian Motorcycle Factory and he gets to ride the motorcycles to check them out. Yeah, Pecos is a real happening place. It is the site of the Worlds First Rodeo ~ July 04, 1883... Don't blink or you'll miss it.
We made it! New Mexico. We crossed the state line on our bikes.
After making it to New Mexico our first destination was to be Carlsbad. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Carlsbad, New Mexico. We took it a bit easy and ordered Pizza Inn to our room as we new the next day would be a busy one with a lot of walking through the Caverns. Overnight the rains came, however, that morning by the time we we loaded up the rain had stopped. Let me just say this about Carlsbad. They do not know how to control their water. It stands in the streets as it came down from the sky. They have no water control system in the city. We put on our rain gear bottoms as we didn't want to walk around all day with wet pants.
Lovin' every minute of it!
Jerry In His Rain Pants Ready to Go!
Don't I look Sexy??? I almost didn't post this photo because of the strange occurance of the appearance of the front of my pants...
We made it to the Entrance to the Caverns and were ready to make the trip to the top.
It is really hard to put into words how beautiful it is driving the road up into the caverns. The winding roads make for a great ride on a motorcycle. The mountains in New Mexico are quite different from the mountains we have seen in North Carolina and Colorado. The trees are different and the rock is also different. They are beautiful, but different. Once we rounded the corner and came to the actual top of the mountain it was an awesome experience. We parked our bikes and went inside. There are a few options for touring the caverns. Two self-guided tours and several guided tours. We opted for one self-guided tour that took one and a half hours and the King's Tour which was guided and also took one and a half hours.
You may notice throughout my blog that some of the photos of Jerry going down the road might not be that great. Also some of the road signs might look imperfect. I have a mount on my handle bars that lets me take photos and movies while going down the road. Since I have a windshield there are times when the sun shines and makes a reflection or there might have been some bugs that have decided to sacrifice their lives in the only good way for a bug to go - on a Harley windshield. So although the quality is not perfect, at least I have a memory and a photo.
Here are a few shots of what the inside of the caverns look like.
Jerry giving me the "Patsy" during our break between our tours.
When we left the caverns we went to our bikes and there were several more bikes parked in the bike area. There was a bike there with a trailer. Since Jerry is interested in a trailer he looked at it a few minutes. We started to huddle up and then a couple walked out toward the bike parking. I was sitting on my bike and they guy walked over to the bike with the trailer. I asked him if it was his bike and he said yes. I asked him if my husband could look at his trailer and he said 'of course!'. Well, that conversation turned into about a 45 minute long visit. They were from Louisiana and had just come from Roswell, but had been to Sturgis. They had traveled 4000 miles thus far in their trip. We looked at their trailer and they told us the virtues of having it. They had just gotten it at Sturgis and were already in love with it and had seen the advantages. After looking over his bike, a 105th edition Harley Ultra, it was on to our bikes and their questions about our accessories and such. We made sure to tell them about the Silver Eagle Evaporation vests which they were really happy to hear about. They said they had almost burned up on their trip and were happy to hear there was a solution for the heat. They had not heard of the vest before. We had used them on the way and were not hot one single minute. They had a few more miles to go on their travels so we wished them a safe trip and they us and then we were on our way to ROSWELL.
Here is the link to the Silver Eagle Evaporation Vests:
As we left for Roswell GIZMO, our GPS unit sent us on a little detour. For some reason he sent us on a circuitous route that went to a dead end street. It led to some sort of private club. I have no idea what was going on in there but it was weird. We had to turn around and go right back out the same road and go back to the highway. I am one that believes that everything happens for a reason, so there must have been a reason for the one hour delay in time. I don't know, perhaps an accident was bound to happen on the freeway and we missed it because of this delay, or maybe we missed heavy traffic because of it. Whatever the reason is we saw a lot of beautiful scenery along the way. As I always say, It's not the destination, It's the journey.
As we headed the 'real' way to Roswell the rain started. We already had our rain gear on because we knew the rain might start at some time during the ride. It wasn't bad. That is until the last 40 miles. It wasn't so much the rain, it was the night. It got dark and with the rain it was just a very interesting ride to make it to Roswell. Once we made it there we took all of our things up to our room and walked next door to a steak restaurant. It was straight up 10:00pm and they close at 10:00pm. We walked in and the door person said that they were closed but the manager came over and said 'have you all been driving in the rain tonight?'. We said yes and he said 'come on in". I swear, sometimes when people see you are on a bike they are just so damn friendly! We went in and they had the most wonderful salad bar I have ever seen. It must have been 20 feet long and had everything known to man on it. I had that and cheese sticks and Jerry had a steak. It was just like a shelter from the storm.
The next day we went to the International UFO Museum.
The museum was interesting, however, I already knew most of the information contained there as I have done extensive research myself. My old acquaintance The Alien Hunter has a display in the museum. I was around before he was famous!
This Alien was created for the 1994 movie Roswell.
Even Walmart gets in on the theme of the UFO! Look at this bus stop in the Walmart parking lot. I was sitting at the bus stop with my friends, the Aliens.
And Walmart actually has a sign on the building with the UFO theme. So Cool!
Roswell has a beautiful courthouse. The Chaves County Courthouse is a beautiful building that has been added on to but the integrity of the original building has been left intact. Wonderful!
We left Roswell and headed for Albuquerque. The scenery was so beautiful. There are really no words to describe them. It's just something you have to experience. There are miles and miles of land with nothing on it. Just small squatty trees. Every once in a while you might see a few sheep or a few cows. This is the old Route 66. Going along I was imagining how in the days of old this was the only way to travel. Just one highway, Route 66, and it was famous. I have never seen a road so straight in my life. I told Jerry they had to have surveyed the road to make it that straight. There were hills, but no curves.
Finally, a break in the straightness! Clines Corners a famous stop on old Route 66.
When we got to the top of the mountain in Encino it was like someone turned on the air conditioning! It was so cold and it felt wonderful. There is nothing like traveling the highway on my Harley looking at the beauty of the mountains or just the beauty of the sky, listening to some great Allman Brothers or Alice Cooper and just letting my mind wander.
As we were driving into Albuquerque the sun was setting
The winds at night in Albuquerque pick up quite a bit. They were pretty high when we arrived at the hotel. When we got there we unloaded the bikes and went up to our room. This stop would be a treat as we were staying for three days. Aaron, our bellman was going up in the elevator with us as were two other guys. Aaron said to the two other guys, 'you're with a band, right?', and they said yes, 'James Blunt'. And I'm thinking, no, you're not with the James Blunt band, you ARE James Blunt! He had a beautiful accent. And not to be ungrateful for riding the elevator with a celebrity, but if it happens, why, oh, why, can't it be ALICE COOPER?????
We went to our rooms and unloaded and then went back out for food. As it was Sunday night everything closed at 9pm so we headed back to the hotel and ordered room service. I had a wonderful Cobb Salad and Big Daddy had a Hamburger.
Albuquerque has several areas of town that are interesting and have art and other things of interests to see. The first section we went to was called Old Town. There is a very old church there, San Felipe de Neri Church, located across from the town square. In the courtyard of the church there are beautiful grapes growing on the vine. as I was photographing the sign at the front door of the church a hummingbird visited.
As usual, if it's got bars on it, I'm gonna be standing on it!