Above: Bike, fully loaded
An entire summer has passed too quickly, most of it spent in Alpine and riding the White Mountains trails on our dirt bikes. That was the last time I was officially “on the road.” Then August came, an endless month, and I was back to work teaching a new crop of kids and wondering where my summer vacation went.
Finally, August was over. It took forever for it to be gone. Then Labor Day was here and gone, and at last, there I was, on the way to Taos, NM, for the 30th annual LOEBMWR rally at the Sipapu ski resort (http://www.loebmwr.org/TheRally/AboutTheRally.aspx), which is actually about 20 miles out of town.
Before I got on the road, though, I had to get through Wacky Wednesday at school, a stupid day when the kids leave an hour early and we have to meet in PLC groups, another useless travesty set upon us by government officials (and people who make lots of money off these “phases” that education goes through) who know nothing about education. When will it stop? The kids like getting out early, but hate the messed up day, and it makes my teaching life even more difficult.
So, at the end of the day on that Wednesday, I was sitting in a meeting and then a presentation, watching the hands of my watch move slowly toward 4 o’clock. (The digital clock on the wall made me know why the kids can’t tell time on an analog clock.) At last, the numbers flipped to 4:00, and I stood up. I’d had enough (so did everyone else). We weren’t quite done, but when I stood up, everyone took the cue. We were done.
I flew out the door of the school, and went home. I had carefully planned and packed, so the bike was loaded and ready. I changed clothes quickly, kissed my sweet husband goodbye, got on my bike, and I was off on my “on the road” adventure. While riding out of town, I did not regret any of my clothing or gear choices. Even though it was 108° F. (approx. 42° C), I was glad I hadn’t worn my mesh jacket, knowing that soon I would be in temperatures that could be as low as the 50’s or 60’s F. Sometimes I don’t even feel the heat, odd as that may sound. I am so used to it, and I am also so sick of wearing mesh.
I met up with my riding partner, Hal, in Fountain Hills, and he was on my other bike, Jewel, a 2006 F650GS. His 1997 BMW R1100RS was still in the shop getting the shock rebuilt, so I lent him my GS. When I saw Jewel all dressed up for travel with the hard Caribou cases, I thought she looked great, and then I didn’t want to sell her anymore.
Hal and I left Fountain Hills at 5:14 p.m. and rode at a good pace. Pearl, my road bike, a 2008 F800ST, felt great. I think the last long trip that she had been on was this trip last year. As I rode, I remembered why I love her so much, why she is such a great bike. Hal and I were trying to make it to Heber, AZ by the time the light faded because of the threat of elk jumping in front of us. As it was, we saw lots of elk near the road as we climbed up on the Rim. The sun wasn’t quite down yet, but the animals were out. The temperature had also dropped, as predicted, to a low of 58°F (approx. 14° C). That is a range of 50° F.! We pulled into Heber at 7:06 p.m.
After checking in at the motel, we walked up to the Red Onion bar and grill, our favorite place in Heber, and had a good dinner. I was super-tired, and soon after we returned to the motel, I fell into bed, dreaming of a full day of riding the next day, and arriving at our destination, Taos, NM!