Day 8 – Eagle Nest to Taos to Tres Gallina to Farmington, NM

Day 8 – New Mexico

Today Rich led a local ride at Recompense back in Maine.  Today GPS took us on a truly stunning ride through New Mexico.

The overnight forecast in Eagle Nest called for freezing precip so we wanted to head out – especially with the snow still on the ground there.  We got going at about 8:30 local time.  Have I mentioned just how long it takes to put on four layers on my legs and six on the rest of my body – plus a balaclava, neck warmer and then my helmet?  Plus plug in the phones, GPS, get the GoPro synced with Gregg’s Android, get way points in, clear yesterday’s stats AND load up the bikes?  So 8:30 is good. Even though we’re getting up at 5 or 5:30.

GoPro mounted and ready to capture some amazing footage

GoPro mounted on Gregg’s helmet and ready to capture some amazing footage

The ride from Eagle Nest to Taos on Hwy 64 is gorgeous.  The roads were wet, but we’d waited just the right amount of time before heading out and so there wasn’t any ice.  But that didn’t keep me from slowing way down and remembering – apex to apex in a straight line so as to not have to worry about turning on ice.2013-10-26 Ride out West 011

the last 20 miles on Hwy 64 into Taos

the last 20 miles on Hwy 64 into Taos

lots of curves in Hwy 64

lots of curves in Hwy 64

And as we pulled into Taos they were just launching the ballons of the Balloon Festival.  It had apparently poured in Taos overnight disrupting the Friday evening launches.  No precip in Eagle Nest.  I was happy there were wrong.  I was sorry to have not been able to connect with Taos friend, artist, pyrotechnic extraordinaire, furniture maker and now gallery owner – David Anthony Mapes.  But enjoyed our walk around town with Gregg and bumped into Jack Richard Smith who displays in David’s gallery.

downtown Taos

downtown Taos

hanging out under David's gallery sign

hanging out under David’s gallery sign

this lady had GREAT signs, but there were $40 a piece - it is afterall Taos

this lady had GREAT signs, but there were $40 a piece – it is after all Taos. – The other one I liked?  “Religion is like a penis – just because you have it doesn’t mean you should wave it around in public.”

Gregg in Taos

Gregg in Taos

an interesting local Taos character

an interesting local Taos character

chatting with Jack Richard Smith on Kit Carson Road across the street from DAFA (David Anthony Fine Art)

chatting with Jack Richard Smith on Kit Carson Road across the street from DAFA (David Anthony Fine Art)

another interesting bathroom mirror sign

another interesting bathroom mirror sign – this one in the public restrooms near Kit Carson’s house

I was sad to leave, but we still had miles to cover so we headed out Hwy 64 for the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

"The" coffee bus at the gorge in Taos

“The” coffee bus at the gorge in Taos

Gregg entering GPS way points

Gregg entering GPS way points

565' down to the Rio Grande

565′ down to the Rio Grande

crossing the Rio Grande Gorge

crossing the Rio Grande Gorge

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge - 7th highest bridge in the US 565' above the river and the span is 1280' long

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge – 7th highest bridge in the US 565′ above the river and the span is 1280′ long

leaving Taos in our rear view mirrors

leaving Taos in our view mirrors

Leaving Taos in our rear view mirrors we headed toward Tres Piedras and then turned south on Hwy 285 and then north on Hwy 84 and then west on 96 to Abiquiu Reservoir.

Highway 285 toward Gallina

Highway 285 toward Gallina

these are the colors of NM I adore

these are the colors of NM I adore

heavy rains the night before turned the Chama River redder than before

heavy rains the night before turned the Chama River redder than before

fall in the southwest

fall in the southwest

taking a break in Gallina on Hwy 96

taking a break in Gallina on Hwy 96

By the the time we got to Gallina we were ready for fuel and to get off the bikes.  The cashier at the gas station was giving very good customer service.  She was slow and steady with each customer.  As we pulled up to the pumps there must have been two or three customers in the store as it took about five minutes for her to turn the pumps on for us.  Turns out there had just been two funerals in town in a week so there was a lot to discuss with each customer.  When we walked in to pay we could see folks were buying one or two minis of Lord Calvert.  When the cashier discovered that were had come by motorcycles from Maine she said, “Hmmmm.”  Gregg and I just burst out laughing.  That has been, by far, the best response yet!  When I asked her about it she laughed and said, “Young lady, didn’t your mother teach you that if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all?”  We all laughed about that.

cashier at the Gallina gas stop

cashier at the Gallina gas stop

As we stepped backed outside a car with three people in the front seat and four in the back pulled up.  One of the guys in the back, in rather slurred speech, rolled down the window a smidgen and said, “Hey brother can you open the door?”  Thus we met Johnny and his family who had just come from the funeral of a relative who had “burnt up in a house fire.”  Johnny bummed a smoke from Gregg and we started chatting.  Johnny’s a biker too – but at the moment was thankful to have his mother driving him as he admitted to having gotten a tad liquored up at the funeral.  They were all very sweet.  Didn’t know where Maine was, but when I told them it was north of Boston they blessed us and told us to keep safe as they pulled away.  Decided to check the oil and sure enough – down 1/2 quart so broke into the new 3 spare quarts in the top/trunk bag.

family that was coming from a funeral - Johnny's Mom

family that was coming from a funeral – Johnny’s Mom

Johnny - local character who had just come from the funeral of a relative who died in a house fire

Johnny – local character who had just come from the funeral of a relative who died in a house fire

As we got to the intersection of Hwy 550 the weather to the left looked rather nasty so we decided to turn right and head toward Chaco Canyon and Farmington.

serious rain ahead, but at the intersection of 550 we decided to head away from the rain toward Farmington

serious rain ahead, but at the intersection of 550 we decided to head away from the rain toward Farmington

And as in the days before – the skies ahead were bright and clear again … and WARM!  Beautiful roads and skies as we crossed the Continental Divide.

finally warm - even Gregg is shedding layers

finally warm – even Gregg is shedding layers

crossing the Continental Divide on Hwy 550

crossing the Continental Divide on Hwy 550

2013-10-26 Ride out West 189

We pulled into Farmington just after 5 PM so I didn’t make it to Four Corners Harley-Davidson to buy David J. his tee-shirt.  Sorry Dave – tomorrow is Sunday so I’ll have to get you one – maybe in Texas somewhere.  A good day, great ride but not a whole lot of miles.

Day 8 ending odometer and GPS stats.

End of Day 8 - Farmington, NM 24,843

End of Day 8 – Farmington, NM 24,843

end of Day 8 GPS stats

end of Day 8 GPS stats

Have decided after looking at calendar, forecasts and routes to turn around and head back east to begin the long ride home.  Next stop – Texas.

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