We woke up in our campsite “Almost Heaven”, and headed back into Pie Town for some breakfast pie. Yes, it’s that good.
After that, we drove on a dirt road. It was pretty smooth, and for the most part we were able to travel at 50-60 MPH. It took us an hour or two, and I really started feeling comfortable on the bike. There were times in the beginning when I’d come into a corner a little too hot, and get nervous., but I had to remember that the correct way to turn a dirt bike is by opening the throttle. The only problem in doing this is your mind does not want you to. So, you kind of have to shut your mind off, and get on the gas. And it worked well.
During this stretch, we saw some interesting solar/windmill set ups on houses way out in the woods. My guess is that they were living completely off the grid. We also saw this little grave yard.
An old cemetery
So, as my confidence was growing , we returned to the pavement. It was a let down, although we were riding some wide open roads with a few sweeping turns through some very large ranches. It got me to wondering how you get all the cattle to come in when their day has come. It must be like fishing- trying to find your cows. We logged about 25 miles, and then turned onto CR 42. There was a sign at the beginning stating that the road was impassable when wet. We had heard this from several of the locals, too but it was mostly dry today, and it was very easy to ride around the wet parts. This road was hard packed red dirt, with some volcanic looking rock fields from time to time. It was a much slower road, with top speeds hitting about 45 MPH, and some points where you nearly had to stop. I took extra caution on the bigger rocks, since I did not want to bend one of my Marchesini wheels, or to get a flat. This road was a hoot really, and we carried a pretty good pace.
Time to clean the Marchesini
At one point, we came upon a watering hole for cows, and there were 10-12 cows scattered around. The trail circled around this hole. As we went very slowly around here, the cows stood their ground, and even began stomping their feet and snorting at us. I kept a hand on the clutch and a sharp eye expecting to have to outrun a cow, but they decided to leave us alone.
My Ducati started having problems downshifting. It would go down one gear fine, but you had to lift the shift lever back up with your toe. This started to bother me, and I thought the cause was the bolt that I stripped out yesterday, so we decided to take some time to repair this. We ran all around town, and finally found a 10mm Heli-coil at Napa. We also had to buy a drill, and drill bit. We snuck behind a hotel so that we could use a little bit of electricity, leaned the bike over on the tail gate of the truck, and our Chief Technical Officer took over. He worked quickly, and fixed my bike up nicely. It feels great now, and is shifting well. As a bonus, I don’t have to worry about my kickstand, or lean the bike on trees anymore. We did these repairs in Grants, NM and that was enough time in the “big city”.
Better than a bike lift
White Trash- the Campsite
Tomorrow, the bikes will go one way, and the truck will go the other for the full day. We decided to stay relatively close to Grants, so Chaka does not have to backtrack too far in the morning. We took a mountain road to a dirt road, and found a little campsite. I choose it since it had a fire pit, but in doing so, I overlooked the gobs of trash everywhere. There are casings from a .22 (some live still), bottles, cans, cigarette packs, dirty toilet paper, and tons of other trash. It looked better after dark, for sure. Anyway, from this site we decided to take a short excursion, which was the highlight of my day. We left all of the gear in the truck, and Chaka rode on the back of my bike. We continued up the road for about 10 miles. We saw large cows,
New Mexico free range cow
And amazing views
I even took some pics of the bike because I’m proud of how it has been handling
The Ducati on top of the world
The ride was technical enough to keep speeds under 20 MPH for most of the time, and it was really an enjoyable and relaxing jaunt. There were lots of elevation changes, larger rocks, and sharp turns. It was nice getting to share some of what we are doing with Chaka, and also it was a good trial run for what I hope we can do in a couple of days, which is ride over Mosquito Pass from Alma to Leadville Colorado with Chaka on the back.
We ended the night at Camp White Trash with a nice fire, another Ramen Noodle dinner, and a sky full of stars.
Todd and Chaka relaxing at Camp White Trash