Day 7, Down the I-40

I woke up in Abiquiu, NM in the most heavenly comfortable bed I’d slept in at a hotel for ages. I got myself out of bed, fixed my face (as if),  dressed, then Hal and I went to breakfast at the hotel restaurant, which was expensive (as dinner last night had been), but necessary, as we were going to be on the road all day. We packed up, then were on the road by 8:30, earlier than normal for us.

It was the usual ride toward Santa Fe. When we are on the way home from Taos in September, we follow the same route from Española, to the “Santa Fe Relief Route,” then to the I-25. In Albuquerque, we pick up I-40 and head toward Holbrook.

So, my riding day could be summarized in the following way: I rode 3-1/2 hours on the ugly, slab interstate, getting severely beaten up by the fierce wind and the wake of the trucks that continuously traverse this road (and aren’t usually very nice traveling companions either). I hated every moment on the stupid interstate, and I vowed I would never ride it again.

The closer we got to Albuquerque, as we went south from Abiquiu, the more the haze from the Wallow fire dimmed the sun, and the more I could smell the acrid smell of wildfire burning out of control. Maybe the smoke and particulates that are now in the atmosphere will have the effect of stopping global warming. One could only hope for at least one positive thing to come out of such a tragedy. It has been ever-present on this week-long vacation, no matter where we seemed to go, the south part of NM and now the north part. Also, we had no choice of route on the way home partially due to US 60 being closed at the state line because of the fire. This whole trip could have been so much better if the fire hadn’t been burning. In fact, everything could have been much better for everyone if the fire hadn’t happened. I hope the people responsible for starting the fire are severely punished.

I wish we could at least have ridden our favorite road from Tierra Amarilla to Tres Piedras, and then maybe even ridden NM 64 again. We should have done that, then ridden the 550 to Durango, hung out there for one night, and ridden back home in one day. It was a death march anyway today, and it wouldn’t have been that bad of a ride going the other route, especially knowing that I’d gotten to ride those great roads one more time.

This pretty plant made me think peaceful thoughts at the end of a day of being battered by the wind

When we pulled in off the road for the day, we ended up in a hotel with a bunch of Harleys, in town for a “camp-out,” but I found that ironic as they were all staying at the hotel, or so it seemed. I laughed to myself because some of them were out in the parking lot washing their bikes, and I thought about how I haven’t washed mine with a bucket and sponge since last July. I kind of like that patina of smashed bugs that builds up. Just kidding. I have wiped it off since last summer, but knowing that it’s going right back out on the road doesn’t make me feel real motivated to get every little speck of dust or  dirt off it. This bike has never been a “garage princess;” the first day I got it I rode it off the showroom floor and took it out for a 200-mile ride. That was Saturday. Tuesday morning I brought it back to the dealer for its 600-mile service. They thought I was joking when I made the appointment before I even left with the bike, but they know me better now. 🙂

Tomorrow – home, for good, at least until the next trip, which I hope is soon. BTW, my bike odometer is now over 41,100 miles, and I will have to have the bike serviced before my next trip. I am also concerned with the “cupping” on the front tire. I don’t really feel it that much when I am leaned over hard, but I want my equipment to be road-worthy. I seem to burn through a lot of tires and other things for the bike, but that’s what happens when you actually ride a motorcycle as it’s meant to be ridden.


One thought on “Day 7, Down the I-40

  1. When I was trying to comment on this a few days ago, before I found my work-around, I remember that I wrote about your returning without riding those alternate roads as being Hal’s fault. I also commented that you know it has been a good trip when you can still taste the bugs on your teeth days later. However, that sounds kind of gross, so I will not mention it today.

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