Friday, August 25, 2017

Another Adventure

Coming Soon!

This will not be a solo ride.  I'll have a friend with me. 1,026 miles. We are planning on camping overnight. No hotels!

DAY 1
Leave Alamogordo and arrive in Tombstone, AZ        
328 Miles, 5 hours

DAY 2
Leave Tombstone and go through Springervill, AZ then to Pie Town, NM,    
342 Miles, 6.5 hours

DAY 3
Leave Pie Town, Visit Chloride, NM, Deming, NM and then back Home to Alamogordo, NM
356 Miles, 7 hours

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN TOMBSTONE

THE PIE TOWN CAFE

CHLORIDE:




THINGS TO DO IN DEMING!

THINGS TO DO IN ALAMOGORDO!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Day 7

I got up early to enjoy that hot tub.  It's a good thing I did too.  The cold water valve did not work so I filled the tub up with hot water only and let me tell you - It was HOT!  In my feeble attempt to cool the tub down I filled up the hotel ice bucket with cold water from the sink and dumped it in the tub.  I repeated this process somewhere between 20 and 25 times but it didn't seem to make an immediate effect.   Fortunately, I was up really early and did not have to check out of the hotel until 10 am and I didn't have to be at church until a little later then that.  So time was on my side.  I waited, and waited and then finally the water was "cool" enough to get in.  It was worth the wait.



I ended up going to Sagebrush Church.  I had been watching their sermons on line at youtube and was quite impressed with the preaching.  It is what you would call a mega-church.  Something I have never been too crazy about but I have enjoyed the sermons and was quite anxious to hear one live and in person.  The pastor, Todd Cook, preached on Jonah and forgiveness.  It was a powerful message.  The church had kiosks in the front lobby with signs that said, "GIVE HERE"  I snapped a picture of it.  A few minutes later people were lining up to give their tithes and offerings via a card swipe.  I have never seen anything like that!  You will notice the people in the picture are quite casually dressed.  People don't seem to put on their best anymore when going to God's house.  I wonder if these people would dress differently if they were getting ready to visit the Oval Office with an invitation to meet the president. Perhaps this is what appeals people to go to churches like this.  You don't have to put much effort into going.  I will say that the environment of the church gave me an overwhelming sense of being welcomed.  I did an estimate on the auditorium I was in.  I think it had about 3,000 in attendance.  Sagebrush also broadcast their services to satellite churches in northern New Mexico.  I was told the overall attendance can vary, maybe even upwards to 20,000 people total.
The Albuquerque Police Department had a detail to assist with traffic coming into the parking lot. I had never been to a mega church and the experience was quite educational.




After church I ran to the mall and while there I tried a Boba Tea!  I had heard of this chain.  All they sell is pretty much tea, butt different kinds.  I had a "lollipop" - a sugar free mix of different fruit flavors.  It said 0 carbs and I don't know how they did it because it was certainly sweet enough.  It was also lightly carbonated but I didn't sense any of the carbonation.

Back to Alamogordo I headed!  I filled up with fuel at one of the last exits before leaving the city limits.  My GPS said there was another gas station in San Antonio, NM just after I turned off onto 380 so that would be my next stop for fuel.  When I made it to that station I went in and plopped two $5 bills on the counter and told the lady I wanted to fill up my cycle.  She then told me their pumps had quit working.  I asked where the closes fuel station was and she told me that it was 8 miles in the direction I had just come from.  I then asked if I could use the restroom before I left and she said that the restrooms had just quit working.  I was beginning to feel like I wasn't wanted in the store.

I went back to my bike, preparing myself for making a round trip of 16 total miles for fuel.  I had a reserve tank but this was not going to get me the 61 miles to get to Carrizozo - the next stop.  As I was getting ready to hop on the bike a lady came running over with a one gallon gas tank.  She said that the Lord had impressed upon her heart to give me the gas that she had in her truck for her lawn mower.  I offered to give her $5 for it but she refused.  I put it in the tank and headed off to Carrizozo.

I was glad to get there.  My friend, Roger, says that the last leg of a motorcycle trip can be the most fatiguing.  He was right.  My dad suggested a few days back that I should get a wrap-a-round back support at Wal-Mart.  I'm glad I took  his advice.  But still, I was a little saddle-soar.  I filled up with gas, bought a large fountain diet soda and a water for the road.  I sat down for 30 minutes listening to some old timers at the next table talk about...of all things, a local art gallery.  One of them said a few minutes later that he had just bought a Honda Shadow 750.  That peaked my interest.  I told him the Shadow 1100 outside was mine and I was just finishing up a trip from St. Louis.  He said, "Dressed like that?"  I laughed and told him I had just come from church in Albuquerque and that I didn't change into my riding gear, I just wanted to get on home.  He said he didn't know if he could do such a "hard ride."   I didn't think of it as a hard ride.  I have spaced out 1900 miles over 7 days.  That's about 271 plus miles per day.  Grant it, some days were longer, some were shorter.  I think the longest day was from Killeen, Tx to Brownfield, Tx.  366 Miles.  It's all very doable.  You just have to stretch a lot.  I did find one stretching exercise that I could do while I was seated on the bike and in motion.  I would keep my posterior seated and square in the seat and my head stationary looking ahead.  I would then twist my torso to the right several times and then to the left.  I would do this several times and it only took less than a minute.  It gave me a great deal of muscle soreness relief.

Well,  I'm back home and thinking...I may have to do a shorter version of this again.  Several, in fact.  It's been a great ride.  Maybe I'll do the Grand Canyon next.  Maybe my other favorite place in the world, Tombstone, AZ.  I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Day 6

I got ready to leave the hotel in Brownfield, TX but not before stopping off in their huge breakfast room.  Do you see the people in this picture?  They are in town for a class reunion.  Brownfield Class of 1958.  I sat down to eat a some eggs and have a bowl of oatmeal and began listening to them talk.  It was kind of hard because there were several conversations going on at the same time. The average age of these folks, 77.  They seemed older than that to me. As I was listening and thinking, I realized that these folks were just one year older than I am now when I graduated high school in 1988.  They don't seem so old to me now.



After breakfast I headed off to Albuquerque.  It rained on me hard for 88 solid miles.  My jeans were soaked completely.

I had travelled 136 miles of long desolate highway when my engine began to sputter.  I knew immediately what had happened.  I had been running  against the wind and uphill in a lot of spots which cut into my miles per gallon.  Yep,  I ran a out of gas.  I was only 4 miles from the first gas station in Roswell.  I pulled over, turned on the reserve switch, and off I went.  When I got to the gas station I went in to prepay.  An older woman came up to me and began talking very fast in Spanish.  I just looked at her confused.  She then said, "Your are not from around here." And then moved on to someone else.  I have no idea what that was about 

It quit raining before I got to Vaughn, NM.  106 miles to go.  I stopped for fuel, stretches, and a few phone calls.

I ended up stopping two more times for fuel befor I got to the hotel in Albuquerque. I went to dinner at an Indian food restaurant.  I can't even tell you the name of the place, but the food is very different.  I had a dish that was made up of spinach and some sort of cheese.  It was surprisingly good. It was a little sweet but really good.  I then went into "Old Town". I stopped in a park and listened to a Mariachi band play.  I really want a pair of those pants!







I was in Old Town for about an hour and a half.  I'm back at the hotel now and getting ready to prepare for church!  Then it's home sweet Alamogordo in a few hours!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Day 5

I left my cousin's home right around 9 am but not before being treated to a bowl of fruit yogurt and granola. The kids were still asleep so I left my goodbyes with their mum and dad.

About an hour into the ride I decided to stop at a little rest area to stretch.  You have to do that on a bike or you can develop some interesting sensations that are not so pleasant.  I climbed to the top of a little hill and saw this marker.  Across the way was the peak of it's subject.






I was going to make my first stop in Brownwood, TX but when going through Zephyre I saw a little corner gift shop on the right that was intriguing so I stopped.  I saw this piece of pallet art and I snapped the photo of it thinking I may have to duplicate it for my studio.



The lady at the shop told me a little bit of the history of the building.  Part of the history included it being a hamburger shop where kids use to hang out at.  I mentioned that I could almost smell the hamburgers cooking and the lady said that without exaggeration the best burgers in the world were made and served down the road at the Diamond R Cafe.  How can you resist investigating a claim like that?  I had to circle back about a block but it was worth it.  She was absolutely right.  I ordered a cheeseburger, 1/3 lb. with a side of seasoned curly fries and in unsweetened iced tea.  The waitress asked me if I would like the burger with A sourdough jalapeƱo bun..."YES, PLEASE!"  It was a little earlier than I had planned for my lunch...but then again it's never too early for the "best burger in the world!"






Growing up I always loved watching the television show Bonanza.  One of the best characters on the program was without a doubt Hoss.  He was a true gentle giant.  While not originally from O'Donnel, TX, he and his family lived there for a while and the town claims the actor who played Hoss, Dan Blocker, graduated from their school.  I pulled into O'Donnell looking for a memorial to him that I had read about.  It's a very small town, population 831. I didn't find the memorial right off but after driving down several side streets I saw it in the middle of a corner park.  Around the corner was a storefront that I understand was operated by the family.  I spent a few minutes there thinking what a better world this would be if more men were like Hoss.






I think Hoss would agree with the sign I saw just around  the corner of his bust in the park.



The local museum was right across the street.  I was disappointed that it was closed.





Back on the bike and off to Brownfield.  I didn't have any hotel reservation but was able to get accommodations at the Holiday Inn.  I checked in and they gave me a room on the second floor.  They then told me the elevator was out of service.  Well,  my back is aching a bit and I didn't want to carry my big bag up the stairs.  They said a technician would have the elevator fixed in about an hour.  I asked if I could leave it in the office until then and they said sure...I was in no hurry.  I put the bag in their office then went on out to get my smaller bag and my tank bag, locked the bike and headed to room 217.  I opened my door and was surprised to see the big bag setting on the bench...now that's customer service!

I'm staying in Albuquerque tomorrow night so I called ahead and made reservations at the Best Western.  I spent a few extra bucks and got a jacuzzis room.  Today I covered over 366 miles. Tomorrow I have about 361 miles go before I reach my destination. 

I should have done this 20 years ago. 

Well, that is about it for the day!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Day 4

I got up from the "Best Value Inn" and anxiously headed to the breakfast room hoping for a banana and some juice. No such luck.  A pipe had broken and the room had soaked floors and counters so they closed it for the day.

I did lock my handlebars on my bike. I never did this on my old bike for fear of taking off and taking a tumble. I created an ingenious two part solution to reminding me to unlock the bars.  I put my TSA lock through a decorative hole on my cruise control clamp and a rubber wristband around the throttle and brake. Worked like a charm. 




I left on an empty stomach but not feeling the hunger ad much as I was feeling the need to ride.   I was determined to see that Eiffel Tower.  When I made it I found a gentleman cleaning the parking lot. He told me at one time the tower was made of wood but a tornado came through and knocked it over so they rebuilt it out of metal. The tower is now over 80 feet tall. He said at that time it was the second tallest Eiffel Tower in the world until the city of Paris, Tennessee built one that was 4 inches taller. So then they became the third tallest. That is until someone had the ingenious idea to put a cowboy hat on top. Back to second-place they wept. Then Las Vegas built one that was extremely tall. Just put them back into third place.  Just a few feet away from the tower was the local veterans memorial. It was extremely complicated and very well-built.








For this trip I have purpose to take the back roads. I stopped along several small towns on my way to Killeen.  In Wortham I ate at Joe Fridays. It's a great diner decorated with fantastic Americana. I ordered the 1/3 pound cheeseburger with lemon pepper fries. The lemon pepper was just a little bit too much for me but thankfully I had some ranch dressing to go along with it. My waitress was a young lady named Carson. She was in school studying radiology as well as court reporting. She was very friendly and checked on me several times. My meal came to $10.78. I hardly ever leave a tip over 20% but I was so impressed with Carson that I left her a $10 bill. The service was fantastic the environment was inviting and if you ever find yourself anywhere close you should stop in.






I finally made it to my cousin's home. 
I took this picture to send to my mother. I love the look on my cousin's wife's face.



I spent a little time in his office just doing a little goofing off.


Later my cousin's wife treated me to a light coloring of my eyebrows.  



I also had a cup of English tea with Milk.  Catherine is from England and really knows how to make this. 


Off to bed I went.  Looking forward to a full day tomorrow. 


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Day 3

Well what another fantastic day!  I did a little laundry at the hotel and while it was drying I treated myself to this delicious breakfast. Wouldn't you know it...Biscuits & Gravy!


I took 40 East about 20 some odd miles and then went South on 177 through Shawnee and continued south taking the back roads to Paris, Tx.

I stopped off near Ada, Oklahoma at Golden's Gas & Grill for some stretching, some fuel...and a Dr. Pepper 10. This store is real neat, a true piece of Americana.  You are reminded of this when you walk across the old wooden floor.

 I had already fueled and was taking a moment to enjoy my sofa when a young lady in her mid 30s pulled up to the pumps. Making small talk, I asked her what the local main industry was and she said a lot of people worked at the casino down the road.  I asked her what she did aind she told me a sad story about how she was stuck in an extremely abusive marriage.  She told me she was able to work up the courage to run and she had been stable and safe for several years.  She then told me that she now organizes efforts to create women's shelters around the country to help other women.  She was kind enough to take this picture for me.  




I


I guess I left Midwest City too early because I arrive at my hotel in Paris, TX around noon.  The manager said I was too early and my room wouldn't be ready until about 3:00.  I waited in the lobby for a while and made a few phone calls, letting my family know where I was.  I looked up on a mantle to discover a metal piece of artwork fashioned into a motorcycle and another one into an Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat on top. Around 1:30 the hotel staff let me check in...I guess they wanted me out of the lobby. 





I had steak fajitas at Don Lalo's Restaurant.  They were really great tasting.  I was going to take some leftovers back to the hotel room and I asked for a box to put them in and then I remembered that I had taken all the luggage off my bike and had no place on the bike to carry my "Doggie Box."  So that was my excuse to finish the plate.  Not regrets there.





It was a good day.  I may see more of Paris in the morning before I leave town!













Day 2

It was definitely an eventful day. I left the hotel at almost 8 am and headed to see if I could find the Bonnie and Clyde house from which they made their famous escape under a storm of flying lead.  I pitched in the location into my gps but no luck.  I didn't recognize the  house when I got to the address. I  circled around several times with negative results so instead I filled up my 4.2 gallon tank with premium and headed off to Broken Arrow where I spent a couple of hours with my niece, her husband and her new baby boy.


Then I headed for Midwest City by way of the turnpike. I got off in Bistrow and took a great scenic ride on old 66. The ride was fantastic.  I stopped in Arcadia and visited Pops,  home to over 700 flavors of soda. I picked up a Pops ball cap for Seth and a treat for myself.  I had heard and read about Moxie soda and had even seen advertisements from the 40's and 50's for this long forgotten soda but I had never seen it in the stores until now. I didn't even know they still made it. The taste is like a cola with a bit of caramel that seems to be infused with some other unknown substance which to me is somewhat indescribable. Not bad. 



Then down Hwy 35.  This was the most intense ride through big city traffic so far. 

After checking into Best Western and meeting up with a friend I visited the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. If you ever get a chance to go there, do. I felt an extreme sense of sadness as I walked the grounds. I remember watching the events as reported on television. To be right on the grounds where so many people died is a very sobering and somber experience.









It was a good day. It was a good ride. I have a little bit of laundry in the machine here at the hotel and I'm just waiting for it's completion.
It's almost time to pack up and head out.