Fueling up in Taos before we left
This morning I woke up for the last time this year in Taos, in the sweet little room that is where I “live” for two days out of the 365 that make up a year. I laid there in the depths of the comfortable bed and felt as I had every other year. I didn’t want to move, and I didn’t want to leave. I finally pulled myself out of the depths of relaxation and comfort, and got myself dressed. I had already mostly packed the night before because I knew I had to get going early, and as we know, that is not my forte. We had to get on the road quickly. Due to work, I had to ride all the way home today, about 550 miles. Not that I couldn’t, I just didn’t want to.
We went to breakfast and there was almost no one in the restaurant. We ordered, then we waited for our food, listening to the cook in the nearby kitchen sing along with the radio. Other customers came in. An older guy and a young guy came in, they were obviously golfers, and the older one went over to the spigot that dispensed hot water, and filled his coffee cup. “I’m warming my cup!” he announced to the whole restaurant. I felt like saying, “wow, did you want an award for that, for being so ‘clever’?”
A tall skinny guy came in and put down a duffel bag on a chair. Then he moved it to another chair. He moved it three times before he sat down and started reading a book that he’d brought. Mr. Fussy, I thought. Then he ordered from the regular menu, not from the menu of free choices the people who are staying at the hotel get.
Meanwhile, another guy walked in and went into the kitchen. He started to talk with the singing cook, and the conversation was really funny, about how he was on a “see food” diet. The funniest thing, though, was when the waitress walked past him with the the tall skinny guy’s food, I heard the man in the kitchen ask, “what is that???” and when I saw it, I knew why. It looked like a greasy blob of nondescript food, and I started laughing. I was laughing so hard, it was one of those laugh attacks that makes your eyes squeeze shut and the tears flow out of the corners of your eyes. Later, I laughed all day about that, but I guess you had to be there to think it was funny. That and me not being a morning person amplified the hilarity disproportionately.
We finished breakfast then packed the bikes. We met up with Bill, whose riding buddies apparently ditched him. He wanted to ride back to the Phoenix area, and asked the day before if we could mind if he joined us. Of course we didn’t mind! It was nice to have a third rider with us for a change, especially since he has a really cool bike! We met at the gas station, talked about the route, and then we got underway.
As we left Taos, I silently said goodbye to everything there that I love, looked at the beautiful mountains, wished I could stay forever. It was 46° and, despite dire predictions of constant rain, the sky was clear. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sky so clear as I left Taos, and it was cold. I had my heated jacket liner plugged in and on, and I felt great. Pearl, my F800ST, felt good, too, even though she was due for a major service before we left, and since Friday has been without a low beam headlamp.
We wove our way south on the serpentine road paralleling the Rio Grande. I knew after 30 miles we would leave the nice roads and most of the beauty behind until we got to Heber later in the day. I tried from the start not to have any muscles tensed. If the day began that way, I reasoned, it was going to be a l-o-n-g one. After all, I had about 550 miles to ride.
Tomorrow: our day of travel, and Pearl reaches a milestone (literally).