Sunday, October 5, 2008

Day 2 - Silver City, NM

This morning started early, we were on the bikes by 6:30. The only problem was that it was pitch black outside and we were in deer  country. So we decided to head over to the Sands restaurant for breakfast and wait for the sun to rise. It might have helped if we had looked at the sun rise time which Weather Underground reported as 7:55.

With breakfast complete and day light starting to break we filled up the tanks across the street at the Loves truck stop. Then we headed north on 54 toward the Guadalupe Mountains park. In the distance we could see the rain coming. It was only a matter of time before we'd finally meet up with it. As we entered into the mountain pass we get a little sprinkle but manage to get to the other side of the park before the rain starts. We continue on to Artesia where we turn west onto 82 toward Cloudcroft.

So far the rain is staying away as we climb higher and higher. As the elevation rises the temperature is dropping. Just as we are about to pull into Cloudcroft we have clouds rolling across the road. Then 100 feet later the novelty of riding through the clouds disappears and the rain starts. Big, huge drops start hitting us and hitting hard. We find a covered area in front of a motel so we pull over and put on rain gear. I decided to go ahead and plug in my electrics controller since I already had the Gerbing jacket liner on. That turned out to be a good choice. Between the elevation and the rain, temps were down right chilly. It rained all the way down past Almogordo.

Once west of Almogorda we had a chance to dry out as we rode past the White Sands missle range on 70. Then as we got to Las Cruces the rain returned for for a short while. By the time we stopped for fuel just north on I-25 though it had stopped. So we took a few minutes to adjust riding gear and look at the radar. We had sun shine to the north but there was also dark clouds far in the distance where we were headed. I decided to check the Micatech cases to make sure they were staying dry in the rain since I had drilled holes in them. Everything seemed to be staying dry.

Sure enough just after we turned off I-25 onto 152 toward Silver City, we met up with the rain again. The first part was frustrating because the rain was coming down, the wind was blowing, and the road was getting twisty. By the time we reached Kingston I had passed Doug and was waiting for him to catch up. After a slight suspension adjustment to his wing and we were ready to go on.

The rain was starting to subside and the road was getting even more twisty. The drier it got the more I cranked up the pace. It was getting fun. Uphill, down hill, left turns, right turns, fast sweepers and tight u-turns. This road had it all. The Dragon in Tennesse has nothing on this road. The speed limit on much of the road was 30mph and the corner signs ranged from 10 to 20mph recommended speeds. Let's just say it was real easy to do 2x + the recommended corner speeds. I was smiling ear to ear the whole time. The GS was just pulling non-stop the whole time and didn't skip a beat. I still had ground clearance left with the exception of one tight right hander that was heading up hill. A quick touch down of the right foot peg reminded me that I was using most of the bike in these corners. Time to hang off the bike a little more! This is a fun road and will be one of my favorites anytime I'm coming out this way.

Once through the twisties I regrouped with Doug and we rolled into Silver City and found the Motel 6. By 4pm local time, we were checked in, had the bikes parked and covered and started on our evening drinks. Total mileage for the day was 460 miles with an ample amount of rain tossed in. The next 2 days should get us to Hope, Az and then onto Kingman, Az. The daily mileage numbers should get lower but we are looking for more and more twisty back roads.

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