Great Divide, ALCAN and Dalton, and Costal Highways

Motorcycling Adventure #2

40 days, 10,700 miles, Jun-Aug 2011

Ray Jardine

Day 4 2011-06-24Grants to FS-250, 269 mi page 5 of 41

At a fuel stop in Pueblo Pintado, I met this adorable Navajo pup. I bought him a treat while in the store, and then sat outside in the shade with him, enjoying breakfast.

This was his expression as I was leaving.

I had heard reports of mountain bikers complaining of the rocks and rough road through NM, and was experiencing that myself (but was not complaining   nevertheless, I chose to ride the pavement today just to make an easier day.

I would see about a hundred mountain bikers throughout the next two weeks, and most were involved with a border-to-border race along the GDR. This morning I saw a few front-runners going like blazes, 20 miles off route riding the payment (not making a judgment call, just an observation).

Main street, Cuba, NM.

From Cuba I made a 17-mile navigational error (read: not watching the GPS - mounted on the bike right in front of my face   and had to retrace my tracks to get on my intended road.

I like to ride for a couple of hours, and then find a place to stop in the shade. The orange stowbag is carrying my quilt.

Abiquiu Reservoir in northern New Mexico. A refreshing sight after all that desert scenery.

Friendly guys, nice bikes, and an improvisational way to carry the gear.

At a fuel stop in Chama I saw this famous narrow-gauge steam train - the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

The road led along the railroad tracks through a gorgeous forest backdrop.

My motorcycle is my companion for this summer, and I love riding it. And that's why I like to photograph it, especially in front of beautiful scenery (shown here at La Manga Pass). But I might note that I do not necessarily recommend this particular brand and model. There are many good ones to choose from, depending on what a person likes.

Back on the offical route, the road drops down into this pretty valley.

Then follows the Conejos River.

Showing off my Tarp and Net-Tent. I have to fix that wrinkle by pulling out the corner guy just a bit farther - nice and tidy like.

A beautiful campsite if ever there was one.

I was hesitant to ride on the grass, but the general area is meant for camping and there were several other campers nearby - and this spot has been camped at many times.

I'm taking many photos of my Tarp and Net-Tent because they are among my favorite items of gear. And I really like the Royal Blue color.

I'm using a 2-person Tarp and Net-Tent on this trip, for the extra room they afford. My riding suit is very bulky due to its foam padding (armor) on the inside. Nevertheless, both the suit and helmet fit easily inside the 2-P Net-Tent, leaving me plenty of room to lay down.

The 2-P setup is not that much more heavy and bulky than a 1-P setup, and the motorcycle has plenty of room to carry them. But if I were hiking or peddling, I would use the 1-P because without the riding suit and helmet the 1-P would fit me better.

To learn how to use this type of shelter, refer to The Ray-Way Tarp Book Essential and to see the tarp set-up in action, see my 2010 A.T. Gear Video.

The story has 41 pages. This is page 5.
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