Go West Young Man!

32 Days and 5,536 Miles On My Vintage Motorcycle

When you have tunnel vision it's easy to overlook a mountain range here, million acre forest there. On the outskirts of Alamogordo I began climbing into elevations not seen since the Sierra's in California. My wandering finger found Lincoln National Forest in my always handy atlas. Huh, whoda thunk it? Even less expected was just how high above sea level Lincoln was, a staggering 8000+ feet; the highest elevation of my trip. It was a beautiful and unexpected piece of country.

The lack of gas stations was horrifying though. As the sun set I found Artesia, Dee Dee huffing and puffing on fumes. In the pitch black I sped south for Brantley Lake State park, similar in many ways to the hellish Alamo Lake in Arizona. Except there were people here. I spent an hour talking with a banker and his family about our failing economy, eating weeners and beans his mother had made specially for me.

Leaving Brantley in the morning I locked eyes with a slobbering bull and fully expected him to charge and gore me to death. I escaped and found Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The long elevator ride down emptied myself and about eight other people into what I can only describe as an underground football stadium, but bigger. It took almost two hours of brisk walking to bring me back to the exit. The cool, humid air steamed off my jacket when I finally stepped back out into the sun.


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