If you like what you're about to read, let me know! I had such a good time that I'm going back this weekend (Sept 29/30)! (And I could use a riding partner)
Last year, I proclaimed the Taos ride to be the best of the year. This year, I'm proclaiming it to be the 2nd best of the year Followed by the Devil's Highway trip I did back in April.
My good friend Brian braved the early morning cold and sleep depervation to ride down to Colorado Springs to meet me at 7am.
I was a little late and we were on the road by 7:30 heading towards Canon City.
Following a quick breakfast in Canon, we made our way to La Veta and highway 12.
I found myself stopping at all the usual places that I did from my trip last year.
A small reservoir/dam and pretty scenery. This time of year is perfect because you have the combination of warm days, changing colors and no traffic.
The rest of the riding was fast, fun and luckily uneventful. My radar detector saved us from the New Mexico state police who set up a trap immediately after crossing the border. My radar started flashing to Brian and I as we rounded a bend going at least 20 over, giving us plenty of time to slow down to the speed limit.
Welcome to New Mexico!
We exited on the last Raton exit (Highway 64) and began speeding our way to Cimmeron. A big bike, top case and flat straight open road as far as the eye can see. My MPG readings read somewhere around 20-25 for most of that. I'll let you do the math...
Before long we hit Eagles Nest to get this nice picture.
Following Eagles nest there's more twisty roads and eventually you hit Taos which is reminds me of Aspen. Maybe the New Mexico version of Aspen but a lot cheaper.
No pictures for Taos, once again.
About 7 miles outside of Taos is the Rio Grande Bridge. An impressive structure...
64 is a boring road until you cross Highway 285, at which point it immediately becomes a very, very fun road or as Brian dubbed it "The race track".
I wish I brought my GoPro because it was mile after mile of no traffic, no cops and triple digit twisties. Man, what a lot of fun!
There's a nice pull over with an overlook. The picture really doesn't do it justice.
From here it was on to Chama for another refill and the last 108 mile push to Farmington. We were making great time to make it there by 7pm which was the sunset time.
About 30 miles east of Farmington we came across a wrecked Harley. He had crashed about 3-5 minutes before we got there and a caravan of Uhauls stopped to help. No one knew quite where we were but one of the good citizens was on the phone with 911. I gave them the GPS cordinates and flight for life arrived about 10 minutes later along with paramedics and a state trooper.
The Harley rider was named John and elected to wear only jeans, a tshirt and a cap. No helmet.
I did not take any pictures out of respect but it was the worst wreck I've ever seen. It appeared fatal to me given that his forehead was crushed in. He was alive and conscious but didn't know his name (at first), date, where he was, what happened. He asked "where am I?" -- we would say "New Mexico" and 30 seconds would go by before he asked the same question again.
I've been searching crash reports to find out what happened but I feel for the guy, he was in a lot of pain and there was copious amounts of blood.
After the helicopter took off we continued on to Farmington. We booked a hotel at Motel 6, took a shower and changed before heading out to find food.
The motel 6 was hard to pass up at $46 for the night but upon returning from dinner we saw some shaddy characters wondering around and decided it would be best to park the bikes in the room with us.
Brian got his FZ1 in, no problem but Big Bertha on the other hand, had about a half inch of clearance on either side but none the less she fit!
I woke up several times through out the night to drunk people and loud music so waking up at 6am was only "semi" hard. We rolled the bikes back out and began packing up.
Good thing we parked the bikes in the room!
Day 2 was back home via 550 through Durango to Montrose, always a popular route.
In Durango we caught the train as we were leaving.
Million Dollar highway was as fun as always all though I definitely prefer it going from Ouray to Durango as opposed to Durango to Ouray on the big FJR.
Following lunch in Montrose it was off to the Black Canyon.
Always a lot of fun.
That ended up being my final set of pictures. We managed to largely avoid the ran going up and over Indie pass and into Buena Vista. Heated gear was nice to have but not required at this time of year.
By the time I made it home, the trip computer (GPS) read 1,024 miles. Not a bad way to spend the weekend!