Today Sunday, left the mountains of Globe, AZ, through the Apache Reservation, crossed part of New Mexico, dropped down thru El Paso only to land in the low scrub brush waste lands of Van Horn, Texas.
Previous memories of Van Horn are not positive. The final drive on my 2002 BMW disintegrated here trying to complete an Iron Butt 1500 miles in 24 hours ride. Was 925 miles into the ride, all going according to plan, when the rear wheel bearings gave up the ghost. The rear wheel started wobbling and wiggling. Had to rent a U-Haul truck to carry the bike home for repairs.
Route 70 east out of Globe crosses the Apache Reservation, winding along ridges, high plains and mountains. No cactus here but more desert flowers in colorful bloom. These are the state flower of Texas, Bluebonnets. They only bloom for approximately a month each spring.
Looking to the south towards Tucson, there is a mountain range, not sure of its name....
but what is the white spec on top?
Riding closer, we get a better look-see.
We are in the dry hot deserts of southern Arizona, and further south are snow capped peaks.
Maybe we need to rethink our travel plans. Was planning a swing up north and stop in Angel Fire, NM for a day or two, after all, this is April. Checking weather.com, temps this week there are a low of 28, not getting above 40 until close to noon, with a high of 52. Hmmmm...
Well, northern NM is out. I did not bring my heavy Alaska riding gear for this trip. I did bring the electric jacket which I have used most mornings.
Let's look at the map.
Option 1. Swing north at Las Cruces going up as far as Alamogordo and then due east thru west Texas to Waco, but have done west Texas many times.
Option 2. Ride Interstate 10 all the way back to Houston. Dreadful thought. Shoot me now!
Option 3. Stay on I-10 as far as Van Horn, turn right and go south thru Big Bend National Park. Haven't been to Big Bend in many years. Option 3 it is.
Now to get to Van Horn. the western access to Big Bend.
In Lordsburg, NM we get on I-10 east and roll on the throttle. The GSA/EZS gobbles up the miles cruising at 75, then at 80+ after we cross into Texas. Strong side winds coming north out of Mexico try to blow me out of the saddle but have no affect in the rig. It tracks where I point it and holds the line. No wander around.
Stopped at a NM rest area to re-hydrate. The thin mesquite trees do not provide much shade. They keep their small leaves year-round.
Spotted two different coyotes crossing the road today.
Overlooking Las Cruces, NM in the valley below, is a large bird that seldom flies. It can fly but prefers to stay on the ground... the roadrunner.
You can make up your own story about Wylie Coyote and this giant roadrunner.
Tomorrow, Big Bend...
Ride safe and far my friends,