Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BMW Rally 2010 - Day 13

I woke up before the alarm clock this morning but waited for the alarm to sound before getting out of bed. It was a routine morning, until I tried to get some hot tea. They had the breakfast area locked up, no access at all. And there wasn't even a coffee maker in the room to heat up water. But we persevered and packed the bikes, then got our tea and a light snack to get us down the road.

We pulled out of the parking lot by 6:45 and headed east on 160 into town. We didn't get far before I saw a Subway that was just opening, so we stopped in to try their breakfast menu. The chain is still getting their act together regarding breakfast, such as they aren't open early on the weekends. But the breakfast sandwiches are very good. By 7:30 we had finished our breakfast and back on the bikes.

We rode another mile or so into town and then turned south on Hwy 84. We crossed the state line and took the obligatory state welcome sign photo. So long Colorado, Hello New Mexico. 84 turned into 64 and we continued through Chama. In Tierra Amirilla, where we stayed on Hwy 84.

In Hernandez, we took a short little detour to get over to Hwy 68 and headed north for a short ways. Then we turned off onto 75. This turned out to be a fantastic find. It was a rural curvy road following through a quaint valley. The temperature was in the low eighties and the curves seemed unending yet calm. We passed through a few small villages and had to skip a road the GPS wanted to take us on as it was closed.

We picked up Hwy 518 south and continued our travels along a great countryside. The curves seemed to be getting better. As we rode into Mora, we stopped for gas as we had traveled almost 200 miles since filling up the tanks. I managed to get 50mpg on the BMW and Reagan got 40mpg on the Spyder. It always seems that when I get up into the mountains, my mileage increases.

After the gas stop, I wasn't expecting anything special along the route. But we found some more curves. When we got to Las Vegas (New Mexico) we had to get through town and around some construction and then picked up Hwy 104 toward Tucumcari. We'd been on this road 2 years ago, and I knew it was just going to be hot, long and straight. Well, it was hot and you could see the road for miles ahead. But along the way there were stretches of little curves to keep you awake. It was nicer than I remembered.

We rolled into Tucumcari around 1:30 local time. Then a turn down the historic route 66 where we found our hotel. It was an older Travel Lodge, but the room was clean and food was within walking distance. We'd arrived eary enough to get in a nap before dinner. After our nap, we took a walk down the road to a trinket shop, it seems Tucumcari is really struggling. Several of the mom & pop motels were closed. It's clear the town needs to do something to pull travelers off of I-40 if they want to keep this old historic section of town alive.

We travelled 333 miles in 6.75 hours today. The pace was easy but spirited in the twisties. Tomorrow we're heading to Abilene, and then home on Friday.

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