Day 7 – riding out of Kansas into Oklahoma and New Mexico
Start of Day 7 – Liberal, Kansas
Gregg mounted the GoPro camera on his helmet having downloaded the app to allow his camera to serve as a monitor and we got ready to play with it for the first time.
I have to take a minute here to talk about gadgets. This is a VERY high tech ride. Margarita is now wired with a SAE-to-cigarette lighter cable from the batter tender. In which is inserted a USB plug. From there the Garmin GPS is connected. And from the auxiliary mini-cigarette (European) port on the bike I have another cigarette lighter adapter and I have my regular car charger for my cell phones charging either my personal BlackBerry or my work Samsung Galaxy III phone. The phones are in dry bags, in my tank bag under the MotoCentric rain cover (thank you to CycleCase Richard for that). And it’s a bit of a mess of wires. But it sure is nice to be powering up the Garmin and at least one phone. I still feel like an analog girl living in a digital world.
Unpacking at night entails a whole lot more cables and charging – GoPro, Scala headsets, computer, uploads to ADVRider to stay connected to “the boys back home” – who this weekend are at Recompense. Hope Kaw4Life is having fun. It is a rather an impressive routine of cables and cords for a motorcycle trip.
I think it’s fair to speak for both of us to say we were ready to get out of Kansas. It is SO flat and windy out here. Take note: in the picture below the horizon is flat, but see the angle on the windscreen of Gregg’s bike? Even HE is getting pushed over. The forecast was for 20-30 mph winds and I think they were right.
In sailing it’s called being heeled over. In flying it’s called crabbing. On a motorcycle it’s just downright scary. Turns out Tigger’s don’t like heavy winds – be they gusty or steady. Riding in a straight line when your bike is leaning over at 15+ degree angle takes a little getting used to.
Regardless I was ready to leave Kansas in our rear view mirrors. Hello Oklahoma and the National Grasslands.
Even more welcoming was knowing we were about to enter one of my favorite states: New Mexico. Their state tag line is “Land of Enchantment” and I couldn’t agree more. Three times in the past 21 years I have seriously considered relocating out here. I was just here in May of 2012 and thought about it then. I love the history, culture, cuisine, people, colors, quietness, topology – there is just something about it that speaks to me. Soothes my soul. And heaven knows I’m in some serious need of that these days.
We stopped for lunch in Des Moines, NM at Sierra Grande Restaurant.
Stuffed sopapilla with red and green New Mexico chili. YUM. A real local joint (the only one for miles) filled with men who were bent and broken from years of hard work and ranching.
Onward – didn’t quite make Taos but had a heck of a lot of fun on Hwy 64 from Cimarron into Eagle Nest. Gregg was giddy with delight at finally being able to lean into something other than the wind.
Thought about camping and pulled over on 64, but there was someone in there running a generator and I didn’t want to listen to that all night. Gregg walked up and found a site by the babbling brook. But they wanted $10/vehicle. So we continued on and decided that it might be less expensive to get a place in Eagle Nest rather than Taos. Probably not the case but I was tired and better safe than sorry. Yes – that’s snow!
24,560 ending odometer and one tired Tigger.