Go West Young Man!

32 Days and 5,536 Miles On My Vintage Motorcycle

Having ridden highway 412 for much of our journey we reach Springer, New Mexico and the wider swath of i-25. We stop for expensive gas and fruit at a small grocers. We're ramping up the Eastern edge of the Rockies and the weather hits you physically. The grey sky is claustrophobic and the cold numbs your body. Two girls at the grocer tell us about Cimarron Canyon, a severe pass en route to Taos. I catch glimpse of a thrift store and duck in to buy a large coat, but it's all Disney movies on VHS and bridesmaid dresses. Jordan and I ride up the i-25 onramp and realize we can't make it. There is most likely snow in the canyon and certainly in Taos. We head South for Santa Fe and looking over our shoulders at the cloaked mountains do not regret the decision at any point.

Springer, NM

I'm an old school mechanic like your grandpa. I swear by oil changes and whatever the circumstance I change mine when I've reached the bikes service limit. For this trip I've set the old Honda on an accelerated maitenence schedule. Every 1K miles for oil changes, two hundred miles for chain adjustments. In Las Vegas I picked up a couple quarts and some Ensure at the Wal-Mart and prepare to service the bike in gale force winds. Draining into a torn grocery sack becomes an especially offensive disaster considering the green times we live in. Gord thought this scene was hilarious.

"I"m not going green, I'm staying the same". - T. Ware

The ride South is no picnic and Jordan suffers for not having a windshield. I spend much of the time with my hands hidden beneath my gas tank, gathering warmth from my cylinder head.

It's dark in Santa Fe. I expected little from this town, maybe something of a truck stop. Turned out to be a wonderful, cultered city that I wish I could have seen more of. Hungry from being blasted South out of the mountains, Gord and I set out for an Arbys. Back home an Arbys receipt has an offer of a free roast beef sandwich if you take a short questionaire about their service. Jordan has dragged one of these free meal tickets all the the way from Arkansas with him, saving it for some special occasion I guess. Inside he orders and tries to trade in the coupon. They don't take them here, a thousand plus miles from where he got it. Who'da thunk? He has a nervous breakdown, yelling 'Goddammit!' at the counter and braindead teen dad. It was absurd.

After eating we aimed for a state park and, praise the Lord, never made it. I catch the word "Hostel" in bold letters and swing us around before making it out of the city. Hostels are so cool. I'm such a hippy (not really, I hate hippies.) But I really dug the hostel experience. The staff actually seemed concerned for our well being as the state park was at over 8,000 feet and treated us great. We got a private room, good conversation with other travellers and clean beds for 17$

Here's a real kick in the head, totally stocked kitchen!

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