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