19 Feb 0700…woke at 0630….since I’d stayed at the Cracker Barrel it was only fitting that I go inside and partake of a short stack of flapjacks and coffee…yummy to say the least…on the way back out to the van I spotted something wonderful…yep a flat tire…first one of the trip…so far…fix was easy as the spare comes right out of the cradle under the rear of the van.
Got the tire changed and googled tire repair places near me…the Giddens Tire Center was right around the corner. Great folks there…they repaired the tire with a heavy duty patch on the inside and got’er remounted in about 30 minutes…all is well. Short bolt had gone straight into the tire. I’m glad it happened in the parking lot of the CB and the tire shop was near 🙂 I highly recommend those folks if you’re near the intersection of I-8 and I-10 south of Phoenix.
Anyway got back on the road and had an un-eventful drive over and down to Lordsburg NM where I stopped for lunch along the railroad switching area. They were connecting trains while I made a couple of really healthy Natan’s hot dogs for lunch along the tracks. Have I mentioned I love watching trains?
Money spent for fuel today (I topped off before I stopped for the night at Len’s place in Silver City NM….$65…breakfast was about $10
20 Feb 1338….Up and at’em early this morning…left Len’s home around 0600 and headed to Maccas in Silver City for coffee…last night Chris, Len’s wife, made Brats, tater tots, and fruit for dinner…what a treat…Len and Chris are way above average folks and their hospitality is top notch…thanks so much guys for a great evening 🙂
Heaven is Hwy 152
Took Hwy 152 east out of Silver City…OMG I’ve now found the BEST Moto road in all of North America! Dozens and dozens and dozens of miles of beautiful tarmac that goes through the Gila National Forest…elevations over 8 thousand feet, no traffic, beautiful campsites along the road, super quiet, stunning views, and did I mention motorcycle heaven? It’s gonna need to be secret between me and you folks ok?
Hwy 152 ends at I-25…simply my favorite road now. I will be coming back in about 7 weeks…will unload the 250 and spend a couple of days riding back and forth…it’s that good.
Stopped in Sorocco NM for fuel and coffee then headed east on Hwy 380. A short ways out of town I came to the Trinity Site. It’s where the first atomic bomb was detonated at 5.29 am on July 16, 1945. The site itself is only open to the public two days a year.
Valley of Fire Recreation Area
Stopped for the night at the Valley of Fire Recreation Area. I’d taken my mom on a trip out west in 1999 when I had a Fleetwood Discovery diesel motorhome. We spent a night here. When I saw it coming up on the GPS I knew I had to stop to relive some great memories of that trip. Good times. They’d built a really nice shower facility since then and I needed a shower so it was a no brainer to stop. It only cost me $9 with my senior parks pass…and that also included power if I wanted it. I’m all self contained so I didn’t plug in.
The showers are very nice…the water is not hot but not cold either…could be a bit warmer but overall great….super clean and the whole building is heated. If you’re just traveling through you can grab a shower for $6…a good deal.
Oh and I want ya’ll to know it’s gonna freeze tonight and the wind is blowing like hell…perfect…my kind of night.
Money spent today….$34 for fuel…sausage and biscuit/coffee $3….oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies from Walmart $11….campsite $9
I know lots of folks but have very few that I call friends. These two rascals are two of them….Roger and Patrick….postmen from the area I used to live in…Western North Carolina. Riding buddies that are a lot of fun and consummate liars…just like me 🙂 When we’re together not a minute goes by that one of us is trying to impress the other two about his exploits with winning world championship road races and dating numerous super models over the years. They also have their own Youtube Channels that are well worth your time or when you need something to put you to sleep….:)
A nice way to end the day…good night.
20 Feb….Left the recreation area and headed to Lincoln NM…a town made famous by Billy the Kid. The whole town is the best preserved town in all of North America from the late 1800’s. Here is a link that explains it better….Lincoln Historic Site.
Inside the museum
Anyway…stopped for the night in Big Springs TX…Walmart time!
Just woke up from a nice nap here behind the Cracker Barrel in Kerryville TX….this is my home for the night. It’s amazing the things I dream about…I talked to a telephone pole about my journey…don’t know the meaning but here’s a few thoughts.
Traveling is really great and at the same time it’s not…I love being on my own, going where I want, eating what I want, where I want, spending as much or little time as I want at any number of beautiful places, waking to a new sunrise each morning, and just being with my thoughts, music, and the van to talk to. But…
There are only so many small stores to pull into for a coffee, only so many telephone poles to count as they fly by…only so many times to pull in for fuel hoping someone will come over and ask where I’m going, how long I’ve been on the road, how much does the van cost…only a small sense of time as I look for the next mile to click off, only so many times to see a family out having a good time, only so many times to think about what my life has in store for me.
Today I enjoyed the female voice on the GPS talking to me. It would be neat to have a travel companion…a worthy distraction for sure…to share the journey and to show them the places I love…and to argue with 🙂
I’m alone in the van but I’m never really alone…many friends along the byways…some new, some old, some I’ll never meet because sometimes I’m like a squirrel in the middle of the road…running hither and dither not bothering to stop for a chance meeting.
I think I’ve a bit of the doldrums I get on every long ride/trip…tired a bit but already thinking about coming back out west with the buggy and bike. Maybe I’ve had too much time to myself without the pleasure of riding the bike or trying to roll the buggy up side down. In the future I’ll be sure to have a couple more small pleasures besides the van.
I decided a few days ago to not head back to Alaska this summer…wow, two summers in a row I’ll not be in the arctic after so many summers enjoying the riding…I just can’t get excited about riding that far north again. Many have asked about meeting up in Canada and Alaska but I hope they will not think less of me if I take a pass. Who knows, maybe I’ll get the bug to do some more long distance rides on a bike but for now the urge is not in me. Maybe the comfort of traveling in the van has spoiled me….maybe…probably.
And another thing…it’s really hard for me to eat well on the road…I hate cooking…it’s one pot meals or nothing at all…sometimes…seems most stuff is bread based and I hate that…fresh fruit, veggies, and lean meats are things I know I need to eat but are a pain to shop for and prepare… a nice restaurant is a welcome experience along with a home cooked meal at a friends casa as I pass by. All good.
Don’t get me wrong…I’ll be traveling as long a I can…and that’s worth the effort.
23 Feb 1635…I’m back…snapped out of my doldrums and had a wonderful drive across Texas today…dozens of tiny towns along the backroads…really neat…some are doing fine…some are blowing away and depressed…love traveling on Sundays…no traffic to speak of and I can travel slowly and enjoy the scenery. I’m at the Cracker Barrel (go figure) in Lake Charles LA for the night…one of my favorites…nice and quiet and the waitress even smiled at me when I asked her if I was sitting in the “large tipping area” 🙂
Mom called three times today asking where I was…she’s excited about me getting back to help her with some things…she’s doing really well.