Sunday, May 22, 2016

When The Road Becomes The Destination - Day 17

Yesterday morning, after a good night's sleep, we grabbed breakfast at a little cafe. It was frequented by a large group of bikers. But when I'm not on or near my bike, I usually don't get recognized as a biker and it feels a little strange to walk up to a group of dudes in shorts and t-shirt and claim that you're on a cross country motorcycle ride and if they had a few tips for you. So I didn't and just ate my bagel and drank my coffee.

After breakfast we left to the north west to go see the Gila Cliff Dwellings. It was about 3-5 hours away. And after we got to the more scenic part of the road, highway 15, north of Silver City I started regretting to not having taken my bike. Curves, an empty road and views or just tons of trees on top of the high flat. 

The first part, until 15 meets 35, was mostly a narrow road without middle markers. After that, it became wider and even more beautiful. 

When we got to the Cliff Dwellings trail head, there were only a few cars, given that the place was so far out of the way. Which also makes you wonder what made folks in the 13th century chose that place to build their houses.

The answer came promptly. It was just fucking beautiful. A stream nearby, rocks that keep you sheltered from the heat and cold outside and a view that helps to see any predators easily and early. So, the US has ancient buildings. Take that, St. Peter!

I would have loved to camp out there. Well, that sounds like a great idea during the day when it's so hot outside but I'm sure at night, it would be different. Impressive moon and star light, I'm sure, but also strange sounds and all kinds of bugs, snakes, and other wildlife I'm just not used to in sheltered San Francisco. Still, would have been worth a try.

The trail was short and easy, though it had its tricky parts. We had to leave Sally in a kennel at the trail entrance and she was beyond happy when we freed her from prison and took her to the little creek that was nearby.

    Can you spot the tadpole?

We took a different road back to Las Cruces. 152 east to 25. 152 is one of the most beautiful roads, especially for motorcycles, I've ever been on. Every turn and the resulting view made me miss my bike more. No matter how much my butt still hurt. And there were no other cars! We pulled over at one point to let Sally check out yet another creek. And to have some fun with the camera.

And the most mind blowing sight was still ahead. We pulled into a viewing point at Emory Pass. And saw this:

I couldn't help myself. I had to let out a loud howl. I ran out of words. And I still haven't found any to describe the feeling that overcame me at this sight. There's a lot you can say about the United States. But they've certainly done a good job not only protecting huge parts of this beautiful nature in National or State Parks but also making it accessible so everyone of us can, theoretically, see theses places and understand what will be at risk, what will be lost forever to us and future generations, if we keep fucking up. 

At this point I thought we'd be done and we could just drive home and process and sleep for a while. And then we got to Hillsboro, NM. 

Look up 'idyllic' or 'quaint' in a dictionary and you'll see photos of that place.

The gorgeous sunset completed this fabulous day. Where we had one destination but found plenty along the road. I can truly say that I do love this country. And it continues to amaze me and exceed my expectations every single day and every single mile that I travel. 

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