The sign says it all – I love this place!
I woke up in the middle of the night last night and lay in the fuzzy warmth between sleep and wakefulness. I started thinking about how much fun it was going to be to get on the dirt bikes, and I thought about the logistics of getting dressed to ride because I had left all my moto gear out in the car. Or, had I?
Suddenly, my eyes snapped open. I couldn’t recall where I’d put my riding pants. In fact, I couldn’t even recall packing them, or even taking them out of the closet where they “lived” at home. I knew with a sinking feeling that I had not packed them at all. Here I was, on my much anticipated vacation, after all the waiting, and had not packed all my favorite moto pants. It meant that I would have to ride in jeans for the duration, or try to find a rugged pair of pants somewhere at a local store to wear for at least part of the time. sigh Do the challenges never stop?? I don’t know what this trip is trying to tell me. Maybe that I need to just stay home and ride horses? But that isn’t completely what I want. I don’t want to give up dirt biking or the long distance riding, which I haven’t really even done the last two summers. I will dial it back a little, yes, so I have horse time, but I won’t give it up.
Not surprisingly, when Hal and I compared notes, he realized that he hadn’t packed his riding pants either! That’s how we are, always on the same page. Now we would both have to ride in jeans at least part of the time, and try to find him a rugged pair of pants as well.
We walked again to breakfast at Alpine Grill. We enjoy it there, and they always have good food. The day was partly cloudy already, and I could see the dark clouds building. We were going to have to strategize about how to shop for riding pants, and still maybe get some riding in. We thought we’d try the local thrift shop first (cheapest option first!). You never know, right? Someone might have just turned in a pair of motocross pants that they’d outgrown, and I could fit right into them. But, oh no, it couldn’t be that easy, although Hal did find a nice sport jacket and pants for $2. Yes, two dollars.
On the way to the thrift shop, I got a cute photo of a darling little burro in a field next to the street. His mom was there, too, not far away. Hal called him “a burrito” since he was so small. I don’t think that’s exactly the right term …
Of course I couldn’t resist the little guy, I had to pet him:
With his mom:
We continued our tour of Alpine. We walked past the library, where a very cool BMW motorcycle was parked. At least that guy’s BMW was in working order, unlike mine. It looked like a real adventurer’s motorcycle, too, dirty, covered in stickers, worn bags attached to it. After the library, as we walked down the street, we passed a lovely old stone house, some interesting trees, and a restaurant called The Bear Wallow Café. I’ve never been in there, but it seems to be a favorite among riders. The pie is supposed to be good!
A real adventurer’s bike:
A stately old house (can you see the dog guarding it, in the lower left corner of the photo? I hoped he was tethered):
Only on the main street in Alpine can you find a row of lovely trees like these:
Back at the lodge, I thought we should go for a short ride before anything else as the clouds were gathering quickly. Hal thought we ought to find pants to ride in. We started calling places that could have pants we could use, starting with a motorsports place in Show Low. Surprisingly, they didn’t even have any riding pants. It’s just as well, I might have been tempted to spend too much money on something I didn’t really need. Then I said, “as long as we can find some heavy duty pants, like camouflage hunting pants, that could work.” A place in Springerville, the United Drug and General Store supposedly had some, as did Allred’s Western Wear. Hal’s the driver, so he made the choice to go to Springerville right then.
So, the quest for pants began. We got in the car and as soon as we got down the road, a blinding rainstorm began. It was wonderful and cozy in the car, but it made me think that the rain was not going to let up for the rest of the day. We drove past Nelson Reservoir, and there were a couple of guys out in the middle of it on a fishing boat, in the downpour. Bet the fish were biting!
Springerville is only 26 miles away, so we were soon there. At the United Drug place, all they had were children’s size camo pants. I used to (recently!) be able to wear a size 14 Boys’, but not anymore (oink). I am not much bigger, but sadly I can’t fit my middle-aged wideness into them. So then we went over to Allred’s.
When I walked into their store, just as heavy rain began to fall outside, I immediately loved it. It smelled like the good leather smell of saddles, and they had really nice clothing. I tried on some Wrangler camo pants, which fit, and then some gray-green Carhartt pants, which were also great. I had to make a choice, even though they were on sale, because I couldn’t get both. I chose the Wranglers, which were less money to begin with. I will try to find those Carhartt pants on sale sometime when I get back home. I can ride horses in them, too, if I want. But for now, I couldn’t be extravagant and spend too much money, especially since it was my own dumb mistake that let me get out of the house without packing my riding pants! Hal found some nice black Carhartt pants that fit him, and he got those. (I don’t think he likes camo pants, but I, on the other hand, love them.)
On the way back to Alpine, it continued to rain heavily. I noticed as we passed Nelson Reservoir again that the fishermen had given up. The place was deserted except for a few ducks gliding on the top of the water. They were having a fine old time in the rain, probably enjoying themselves immensely now that the humans were gone.
We took a short detour through Nutrioso, since we’d always wanted to drive that road and see what Nutrioso was like. There were a few widely scattered homes down the narrow road on large pieces of land. Everyone’s home has those sloped metal roofs (so the snow can easily slide off) and lots of firewood piled somewhere on the property. I don’t know why that lifestyle appeals to me so much lately, maybe because I am tired of the constant overcrowding, and the heat, and the “busy-ness” of Phoenix. A person just gets tired of the relentless sensory overload of living with thousands of other people always nearby.
The rain continued late into the afternoon, dashing hopes of riding today. But, at least now I have pants to ride in, and tomorrow is another day!