Our first day of really being on the road! I’d missed it so much, that relaxed, happy feeling that I only get when I know I have a long day of riding ahead of me.
After an uncharacteristically poor breakfast at the hotel, Hal and I packed up and got on the road that today would lead to Taos, NM! We left at 8:14, early for us, but we were eager to get on the road.
The air was cool, and as we rode across the high windy plain of waving grass toward Holbrook, I found myself “not” thinking about anything related to work. It tried to intrude a couple of times, but I pushed it away. Be in the moment, I chided myself. All too soon we will be returning. Hal and I hardly talked on the intercom, I don’t think either one of us was really awake, nor had we come to the realization yet that we were actually on the road to Taos.
In Holbrook, we fueled up, and then began our day of “slabbing it,” in other words pounding down the interstate. I hate that, but it’s the fastest way to get somewhere. We entered I-40 and began the competition with trucks for space on the road. I was once again grateful for the big windscreen on the front of my bike because it was some protection from the buffeting wake coming from the lumbering behemoths. I always breathe a sigh of relief when we cross over the state line into New Mexico. The interstate smoothes out, and the annoying, bike-damaging “divots” in the centerline are gone. Arizona is horrible for so many reasons.
Our stops were the usual ones – Pilot truck stop, then Bernalillo (near Albuquerque), on to I-25 and then onto NM 599, the relief route around Santa Fe. It was there that we finally left the interstate and went north on 285 through Española, the lowrider capital of the world. We didn’t see any cool cars, mainly because we were too busy paying attention to the busy traffic; it was heavy traffic from one end of town to the other. At last, we were free, and into the Rio Grande gorge.
Once I get to that point, I know I am almost “home” to Taos. The beauty that begins in the gorge makes everything worthwhile. I saw many places that I thought we would be able to go back to and shoot with the cameras on Friday or Saturday. Soon, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains came into view, and we knew we were home.
After we unpacked, we had our traditional cup of coffee on the porch, pinching ourselves to make sure what we were experiencing was real. It was! It means so much to us to be on this trip.
After relaxing for a while, we went for a short walk and discovered a trail that took us to the scenic high plain that is so beautiful at sunset. We found many interesting things to look at, and each was a surprise hidden in the tall grass.
The golden light that floods Taos at the end of the day:
A secret grave, perhaps that of a pet?
Dinner was delicious, a wonderful concoction that combined fettucine alfredo with green chile sauce. Sounds weird, tastes amazing! We split a glass of house merlot that added to the enjoyment of the meal. After that, we watched the season opener of football on TV! I love football. I didn’t like the teams that played, but it was the season opener, so how could I not watch it?
It was a good day. I felt the most comfortable on this long day of riding than I’ve ever felt. The 2009 F650GS was a good choice to combine the two bikes I rode previously. The experience of riding the 2009 is all that I hoped it would be.
Next: Our first full day in Taos.