Southwest Trip 2008
We are from Northwest Arkansas - We both love to ride - mainly we ride Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, just recently we were able to take our first long trip to Colorado, Utah , New Mexico, Oklahoma and back to Arkansas. It was a blast!! I have posted our log below. We ride a 1999 Harley Davidson Road King.
Our Trip to the SouthwestJune 22 , 2008Day One - We woke up early this morning excited to get on the road. By the time we got the bike packed (and Jerry cleaned it several times) it was 10:00. At that point we decided we were too hungry to hit the road so we did a last hurrah with Micah at Granny's Restaurant in Huntsville Arkansas. We finally hit the road by 11:00, beautiful fresh day, it did spit rain on the east side of Springdale but was really beautiful until we hit Enid OK then it felt HOT!! Went on to Woodward got a bite to eat. In hindsight we should have stayed there but we decided to continue westward..... or so we thought there was a detour and we were actually heading southward (who gets lost in the OK panhandle) after almost going to Texas we discovered the error of our ways and headed north on 15 back to Hwy 412 West. Whew the panhandle is some lonely road, until you have to go pee then it becomes Grand Central Station. We ran into some rain - a beautiful sunset - and almost hit a pheasant. We finally hit Guymon OK where we settled out weary selves for the night. We want to hit the mountains tomorrow so as it is now 2:00 am I better get some sleep. Traveled 234 miles today.
Shattuck Oklahoma during our little 'detour' we stopped and there were all these windmills
Day Two June 23, 2008
Didn't get much sleep but we both woke up ready to ride!!! Had our last stretch of the panhandle today. We have decided it is not fit for man or beast!! We hit the New Mexico line a little after noon, we kept putting off lunch because we wanted to hit the mountains. we finally stopped in Raton NM to eat. The area was very dry but we were hitting little spots of rain and had a great show with the lightning all afternoon. We drove a short distance north on I25 to Trinidad Colorado and took Hwy 12 Highway of the Legends. Very beautiful curvy, lots of views of the snow capped Spanish peaks. Temps started to decline rapidly, we had to stop and don our leathers. We went around Monument Lake and through some cute little town including Cuchara and ending up stopping in LaVeta Co. I kept smelling an overwhelming flowery scent and as we were talking to a nice rancher couple she told me it was the Russian Olive Trees. We ate an ice cream cone at a quaint little shop and then stopped at what looked like a bit of a seedy motel but turned out to be super cute and cozy. Traveled 324 miles today.
Hwy of Legends
Day Three June 24
Got up early this morning - partly due to the time change, had breakfast in LaVeta and we were on the road by 8:30. Traveled Hwy 160 west though a lot of unique and interesting towns. We met a couple in Alamosa who told us about a place in Creede Co very touristy, lots of shops ,we ended up eating at the restaurant they told us about
Greek pizza at the Firehouse Inn. Lots of people go to Creede to pan for gold. The road there from South Fork is pretty narrow with the Rio Grande on one side and a very steep mountain bluff on the other. As is common in Colorado we hit an afternoon rain shower and then came the hail. We had on our frog suits so we fared pretty well. We got back on 160 west and headed through Wolf Creek Pass - absolutely beautiful with the sun back out in full force. I think seeing from the motorcycle is exilerating the smell of the pinion pines and fir trees is overwhelming and the size of the mountains around you makes you feel small. We arrived at Pagosa Springs at around 5:00 found an awesome cabin w/kitchen and a grill so we decided to stay 2 nights. Had supper at Kps Cantina had Mahi Mahi fish tacos with habenero sauce and dark beer as Rachael Ray would say .....YUMMO!! Went down to the city market after supper got some steaks and breakfast food for tomorrow - Awesome Day.
Wednesday June 25 Day Four
Woke up to beautiful weather today. We fixed bacon and eggs and took out about 8:30 with plans to sight see. We went north on Piedra Road but turned into gravel to took a little hike and turned around. We walked through Pagosa Springs and checked out the hot springs got back to the cabin in the afternoon and I did some laundry and soaked in the spa while Jerry (you guessed it) cleaned the bike. Grilled some awesome steaks and enjoyed the cool evening and a beautiful sunset.
Thursday June 26 Day Five
Got up pretty early this morning fried some bacon and eggs and loaded up the bike and hit the road. I was sad to leave our little home away from home. went to Durango, unfortunately our camera ceased to work just before we hit the mother road 'MILLION DOLLAR HWY' so off to the Wal-Mart to spend way too much money on another one. Then its northward to the million dollar hwy- scenery is stunning. Lots of unique towns stopped in Silverton for lunch ate at the famous Handlebars restaurant. We had the jalapeno jack burger with split pea soup strange combo but super tasty, hit Ouray in the afternoon and ran into our daily afternoon shower, they call it dry rain b/c it basically evaporates before it hits the ground. After going through the San Juan Mountains and elevations over 11,000 ft (cold enough to have our leathers on all day)we got in different country in the Uncompagre National Forest. Found an awesome campsite at Ridgway State Park, grilled some brats on the grill and just enjoyed spending the evening by the campfire reliving our adventures of the day.Met lots of interesting people, one couple had ridden over 8,000 miles in 3 wks. WOW also met many people going cross country on their bikes.
MILLION DOLLAR HWY
Friday June 27
Woke up at the Ridgway State Park, snuggled in the sleeping bag, got up & ate some backpacker cereal , broke camp and hit the road. Went north on 550 to Montrose, mailed the box my new camera came in to Arkansas. From there we went to the Black Canyon Nat Park, (We have the America the Beautiful pass so we don't have to pay admission) It was beautiful, We decided to stop riding early today and find a motel w/poll in GJ. We took Hwy 50, however we found out there was a Country Jam in Grand Junction so no rooms to be found. We called ahead in Moab to see if they had a room, they did, so we headed west on I70 (without filling up on water in our camelback) We exited on 128 supposedly the scenic route. It got really scenic but not for quite a ways on deserted roads. Cisco where we were gonna stop for refreshments is nothing but a ghost town. Warning signs tell you not to leave the road or your vehicle if you run out of gas. But it does get beautiful, we finally came to what looked like a very pricey resort. We drank tons of water from a very kind pool maitre de who was bringing us water in beakers. We hit Moab abt 6:30 got a room at the Red Stone Inn. We ate some supper and then took a look around town.
Saturday June 28
Excited to see Arches NP we were on the road at 6 or so. Awesome, amazing colors and formations, feels like you are in a different world. We hiked to Landscape Arch and end of trail, and Delicate Arch. Just so glad we came however it is hot got to 106 today. Went a got a bite to eat for lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool. Moab is a neat town, lots of mountain bikers and river rafters, and rock climbers. After it cooled off a bit we took a ride out to Dead Horse Point State Park. This is a must see - Spectacular - the legend of the park is something like they would corral the wild mustangs out to the point - choose the ones they wanted and then would leave the rest to die. We got back in Moab ate a huge ice cream cone. Used the night time to get some much needed laundry done and get ready to head back to the higher elevations and some cooler weather. Some words of advice for those traveling by motorcyle in Utah
KEEP YOUR CAMELBACK FULL OF WATER AS WELL AS YOUR GAS TANK
ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN AND CHAPSTICK
AND WATCH OUT FOR THE TAR SNAKES
Sunday June 29
Headed out of Moab, took 191 south to Monticello ate at a true southwest restaurant all homemade, burrito w/ green verde salsa. Headed east on the Devils hwy (666) to Mesa Verde. We got there a little after noon and toured the Spruce Tree house and visited the museum, really interesting. We left MV late afternoon and headed to Durango, we had an elk jump out in front of us on 160. It sprinkled rain but not too much. We got a room at the Alpine (would not recommend this place). We met a couple from Ohio and visited w/them for quite awhile, then headed down to a Cowboy BBQ Place on the river. We ate an awesome pulled pord sandwich with cherry chipotle sauce and beer was sitting around in barrels on ice. Yum Yum. We are glad to be back in the cooler climate.
Monday June 30
Woke up late this morning jerry tinkered around w/the bike. I talked to the girls on the phone. We went to the Harley Dealership in Durango, Jerry got a t-shirt, then we headed east to Bayfield took 151, a big muley popped out of the ditch in front of us. we ended back on 160 in Pagosa Springs and ate lunch then headed south on 84 to Chama, ran into some rain again. We hit Chama late afternoon and got a cabin at Spruce Lodge. The prices were super reasonable, I think 50 bucks and the cabins were so cute next to the Rio Chama river. We made some coffe and osme tea and took a little walk had a muley jump out in front of us. We went to the train station and bought tickets for the next day, ate supper at the steak house in town. Great food. Met several other couples on bikes - ones from St. Louis staying at the same place as us. We sat on the porch for the evening and then hit the hay.
Tuesday July 1
Headed to the train station around 9:00 - boarded train around 9:30. The train got about a mile down the track and broke down so we were delayed about an hour and a half. After it got up and running it was a beautiful day. The train ride was great up to Osier but we were wishing we just bought half day tickets but the time we hit Antonito we were getting kinda tired of it. We rode the tour bus back to the train station and hit the fruit stand for some cantaloupe for supper and went back to the cabin to sit on the porch again. The smell of pines and a campfire by the river was relaxing.
Wednesday July 2
Left Chama glad to back on two wheels, motorcyle is the only way to travel. We decided we do not like the touristy stuff, we rather stay on the bike. We also decided we love northern New Mexico, the scenery is awesome and the weather was so cool in the mountains. We headed to Taos for some lunch and then headed to the Taos Pueblo. The Pueblo is really unique with the mountains as a backdrop the hay and mud huts with all the little Indian kids out playing was really something to see. I bought some earrings, we didn't eat any fry bread but smelled plenty of it cooking. We left Taos and headed on to Eagles Nest to spend the night. We stayed at the Economy Inn there. The owner were really nice and it was a really nice place.
Thursday July 3
After a raspberry and waffle breakfast we hit the road going east, it was about 7:00 am and just rounding the corner at Cimmarron Canyon and I spotted a big black bear along the road, Jerry was hesitant to stop and turn around thinking that he would surely be gone but turn around he did and there was the bear still sitting there. I got off the bike, he looked at me and I looked at him, he let me snap several pictures, then he started to raise up, I took this as my cue to get back on the bike and roll on. We were actually close enough to smell him and it was actually overpowering. It was not something I will forget too soon. We for sure have got to come back to this part of northern NM , it is just beautiful !!!! We made it as far east to Clayton NM to eat lunch and then stopped the night in Woodward OK.
Thursday July 4
We hit the road pretty hard today. The kids were having a get together for the the fourth and we decided we were going to try and make it. We did finally hit Huntsville around 3:00 in the afternoon and got a little nap in before the fireworks!!!
All in all an AWESOME TRIP , we are hooked and already planning the next trip ... all tolled we traveled over 2800 miles and we were out 12 days. I took a ton of pictures wish I could post them all.... lots and lots of scenery with each landscape being so different from the last. Utah is awesome for photo ops but a little warm. The mountains were an absolute blast and I will never forget the feeling of riding the bike through them. God willing we will again in 09 .
roadwarrior has been a member of our motorcycle community for 9 years, 277 days. roadwarrior's home location for riding is HUNTSVILLE ARKANSAS.
Hope my advice helped. Sounds like you had a great trip -- and you are definitely hooked!! Are you headed out west again next year? We are planning 09's trip and looking to go east and south (we went west the last two years). I think this time we will do less miles a day (we averaged about 425 miles a day this year) and spend a little more time in each location. But with each trip you learn a little something.
Tue Sep 2, 2008 at 6:03 AM
Wow! O! Wow! A bear!! How cool is that! Thank you so much for sharing your trip. I felt like I was there with you. I'm planning a ride to New Mexico from So. Cal. through Arizona. I'm looking forward to it.
Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 3:11 PM
Your trip looks great!! Where are you going next?
Mon Feb 9, 2009 at 1:03 PM
Great trip! I enjoyed reading the story and seeing the pics. Hope to read of your trip in 09.
Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 4:49 AM
Incredible story and pictures. Looks like you guys had a great time. Gotta watch out for the bears, though! Thanks for sharing.
Fri May 22, 2009 at 9:11 PM