Saturday, July 19, 2008

Leaving Mesa Verde, Entering New Mexico

It was with a bit of regret that I left Mesa Verde. Not only the National Park, but the connection to the people that somehow managed to not only live in those harsh conditions, but to somehow build homes that lasted over 700 years. It is amazing how much I heard and saw in the 1.5 days that gave hints as to the personality of these ancestors, as they are called now. I decided not to take a ride on the other road in the park so that when I go back, with Ann, we will have something new to share together.

I did wake up pretty early and got going on eating and packing up. I can do it all in about 1 hour, much better than my departure at Valley View. Here are two pictures, one of the moon and one of the tent site before packing up. As you can see the camping sites are well wooded and set in a nice place.

I said yesterday that my neighbors with several whining kids departed but they were replaced by a tent nearby with one giggling boy. Several voices all too low to be understood or to keep me up, but this boy giggled every minute or two for what seemed like hours. The joys of camping. Anyway it was almost full moon, and I could not resist trying to take a photo of it. I used the weird tripod I got for Christmas from Pat and the self timer. It worked out well.

On the Road back East...

I decided to not re-trace my path back to Dodge as I had encountered so much paving and other road construction, not to mention snow at higher elevations. I choose to cross northern New Mexico on US 64 starting in Shiprock. The map showed divided 4 lane which I assumed wrongly was going to be at speeds near interstate, or at least like Colorado, 65 MPH. No, this whole road was 55 mph max, but most of it is 25 and 35 mph. Really. So it took forever and that is why I am in Clayton, New Mexico right now. But wait, there is more.

I stopped here because I did not get wet today, but it was raining all around me. Remember the water theme from the last few posts? I was trying to break the curse. When I got here the ground was real wet and I choose to stop playing Russian Roulette with my dry clothes. If I had continued I would have arrived in Dodge City in the early hours of the morning and no-one would be happy with that.

But as I entered Clayton, I took the first motel on the outskirts of town, and then went to get dinner. As I entered town, and crossed the railroad tracks, I went through an unexpected dip and it was full of water, and I got splashed with nasty water. This is the same town that I passed through riding my old BMW back from Altus, OK in 1972. I got taken by that same dip in the road filled with water back then. Pretty 'deja-vu all over again.' I don't think I ever knew the name of the town, but is the same tracks and same deep drainage culvert.

On the way here I got to see Taos and thought you would all like to see how the other half live, so here is a photo. This is west of Taos. I am not sure if one is allowed to take photos in the town without permission. Pretty arty. The cops ride BMW motorcycles just like Beverly Hills.

I also crossed the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge which is almost as tall as our New River Gorge (West Virginia version, but amazing in any case. I tried to take a photo, but the bridge was shaking so much I could not walk out there. Unreal. Google it to see a picture if you want. Better yet, take a ride to see it yourself, maybe you are brave enough to walk out there.

I will caption up some pictures and put them up as promised RSN (real soon now) But here are a couple more for your viewing pleasure, including one of the guy who rides beside me. Take a look at July Trip Silly Stuff for starters.

Oh, and I can't think of a lesson learned besides that nasty water, but here is a sign for you. I was riding along thinking that the view was so much like the defition of infinity. It was as if you could see forever, and this sign appears. Click to see the big version to read the sign/



anilia said...

What a lovely moon! Hugs all around from me when you get to Dodge!

Peter said...

Hey Man,

Glad you could drop by on your trip, that was a good expedition up Plum Creek. How did you manage to pick the same campsite Barry and I had in 1983!!!????

OldBikeRider said...

If you want to see the campground photo that Peter mentioned, Click here.

It is amazing what things appear when you pay attention to the stream of data coming out of life itself.

(now that sounds like philosophical stuff)