Monday, August 2nd - Day 30 - Riders on the Storm

Albuquerque Travel Blog

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Right away an apt song to accompany this post is \"Riders on the Storm\" by The Doors...

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So I take off from Show Low Saturday morning destined for Silver City. A vietnam vet who was riding in the taxi after his shift so he could chat with the lady driving told me I had to take 260 on the way to Silver City through a place called Springerville, but the weather wasn\'t so hot so I had to break the promise I made to him and skip it.

Along the way I got drenched... again... But it cleared up, and I got into Silver City, finally found a McD\'s for wifi, but had trouble getting connected. I don\'t know why, but eventually it worked. So I was then able to start searching out motels and whatnot. Those who don\'t know, Silver City is not as illustrious as it sounds.. in fact, even the line-cook came out and asked \"What are you doing here?\" \"Just passing through on my way to Albuquerque. Why?\" \"Man there is NOTHING here... go to Las Cruces, it\'s Saturday!\"

Sounded logical enough to me, lol! So I geared up and headed back on the road. And hit more rain.

But yet again, it let up as I got into town. I couldn\'t help but notice as I rolled off the freeway near Main street that the place looked next to deserted. A guy leaving a gas station said there\'s absolutely no nightlife in Las Cruces.... The guy working the station said there was a bar about a block away. I was somewhat dismayed.. I mean, I had just missed a good restful night of sleeping and blogging for you good people just so I could travel an extra 1 hour south out of my way?!

\"Well, what are all those lights over there across the highway? It looks like somethings happening over there... what\'s there?\" I asked the station attendant.

\"Oh that\'s Telshore.. It\'s so far away...\"

\"What? That\'s a 5 minute drive, what are you talking about?\" He looked at me stupified.. as if all these years he\'d been stuck on this side of the highway due to some unwritten rule and had just realized that all along he could have traveled there at any time to enjoy the scene... lol..

So I made my way over. Hotels, gas stations, restaurants, shopping malls, lined the streets and lit the night sky with fluorescence.. and above it all on a pinnacle... HOOTERS...

Now honestly, I think the food is awful and the outfits for the girls are tacky as hell, but realistically if anything happens on a Saturday night, these girls will know. So I went in and had a couple beer and some salad (I wasn\'t even hungry, I was there for information, not sustenance! ) And within minutes I had names of the three best spots in town and the inside scoop that two would be better than the one. It just so happened that Azul was a lounge in the hotel I had called about a room. $79 for veterans. Sounds decent.

For a long time I never considered myself a veteran because I certainly didn\'t go through any of the things that \'veterans\' have gone through... but I have come to the realization that I was prepared to do more, and I HAVE been in danger regardless of whether it bothered me or not, it doesn\'t take away from the reality that I am a vet. And I only started letting myself ask for the discount about a week ago. It\'s nice that these american motels and hotels honor the discount even for a foreign serving member.

Anyway, the room was swanky! I was so impressed! Actually the whole hotel was really nice. Definitely influenced by Vegas 10 hours away.

The lounge/nightclub was quite entertaining as well and I knew right away that leaving Silver City was the right choice. I mean we only have so many Friday and Saturday nights in our lives. We may as well make the most out of them!

The next day I took the highway north to Albuquerque. More rain. But the stewing, broiling, clouds, curling in anticipation to let fury down upon the road traveler conjures up some of the most picturesque backdrops to the rolling landscape, so dark, and grey, and ominous. I love it. I also love how the sheer volume of water falling from the sky is enough to blank out the horizon. As well, I don\'t mind how much cooler it is in the rain than the heat. I even saw 19.5 \'C at one point! (67 \'F)

I got into Albuquerque around 4pm. Nice city! Home of UNM. My couchsurf host had told me they wouldn\'t be in town til later that evening so I set up a coffeehost, but upon arriving and checking in with them both, found out that my couchhost had cancelled their last scuba diving session and I could leave everything there rather that show up at the coffeehost\'s BBQ in full leathers and all kit. Gladly!

So I dropped everything off, and got squidified (shorts and a t-shirt, trunks in hand for the pool!) and picked up some highly processed danishes and Miller Genuine Draft from the grocery store on the way to the BBQ-Birthday party. The coffeehost\'s friend was turning 28.

Well wouldn\'t you know it, they were naturalists and all the food was organic. Boy did I feel like a knob, hahah! Oh well, it just meant I had gifts to leave with my couchsurf host because I brought them back with me.

The pool was really refreshing. And despite the rain I\'d had en route, Albuquerque although humid, was lovingly hot. Another blessed evening. 

I left the party at the invite of my couchhost to grab a bite and see a bit of the university scene, which naturally on a Sunday night when school was out for the summer was a bit slow. Nevertheless the ostrich burger was amazing! Supposedly the ostrich meat is so lean it has to be mixed with a bit of beef still. It was suggested I try the green chili while in this area and it had been added to the burger. Deer jeezus.... I will never do that again. I actually had to order milk to fight the spiceyness! I\'m looking forward to embarassing myself with tex-mex in a few days, lol! Thanks to Traverser of Powerslide for suggesting that scrumptious condiment. Anyway, that was at a place called Kelly\'s where they have tango dancing every Sunday night. The whole area was really great. More of an artist/hippy kind of community than anything. No fear of having some idiot trying to fight you while you\'re just trying to enjoy a few pints.

This morning I woke up and went to Roosevelt park which I\'d seen on the ride in so I could FINALLY get some calisthenics done again. I wish I had time to get in a bit more exercise... the more calories you burn, the more food you can enjoy! lol! 

On that note, McDonald\'s has released 3 variations on the Angus Burger as well as a whole gambit of burgers on kaisers for the summer!! I can\'t help but want to try them all! No I\'m not kidding, lol!

Anyway, the park was sweet and the soft grass, humid with the evaporating sprinkler water was welcome under my weary bare feet as I ran circuits. It was extremely lush.. best grass I\'ve run bare foot on so far this trip.

Riding helmetless the few blocks to the park as per the rules of New Mexico was a nice treat as well. Read TREAT, Mother... I\'m not making a habit of it and I\'m not doing it on the highway so please don\'t call me full of worry and anxiety...

I rode on towards Santa Rosa New Mexico at noon after a great breakfast at Mannie\'s where I enjoyed my second french toast of the trip, this time with pecans, bananas, and blue berries. I\'m supposed to enjoy some mexican inspired breakfast food as I leave Dallas I believe so don\'t worry, I won\'t miss out.

More rain. Apparently it\'s monsoon season in these states. Here I was fearful of unending heat scorching me out of my leathers, and cool refreshing buckets of rain splash down on me every day. No biggidy. The one bad thing about motorcycles; not having a windshield wiper. There were times I honestly could almost not make out what was in front of me, lol! That\'s what makes it EXCITING though!

And then the unthinkable happened... wait... too much suspense, let me clarify, I was now in an area without rain again, but for some reason this stretch of major interstate was left in disrepair and there were this massive potholes. Finally, I hit one.. 2 inches deep, 2 feet long. The impact so great, I actually let out a guttural \"HURGH!!!\" sound... but riding on, everything felt fine. 20 minutes later though my warning light was on and my rear tire air pressure sensor was blinking furiously and indicating a rapid pressure drop. I made my way to the shoulder and checked the tire. Not a sign of deflation at all. Started the bike again, pressure readings back to nominal... so something had happened to the sensor from the impact.

I arrived in Santa Rosa. My couchhost had warned me \"There\'s nothing there... except for Blue Hole... a massive sink hole that filled with water and that people dive in. And route 66 goes through there, but that\'s it\".  I checked into a Super 8,and while washing my bike noticed I had dented both rims from that goddamn pothole. HOW DARE YOU, GOVERNMENT OF NEW MEXICOOOOO!!!!! hahaha... Well, the tires still work.. It\'s going in for service in two days, I\'ll get the good word on what I should do. Don\'t feel like forking out three grand to replace them, and that\'s just a ball park, could be more, could be less. We\'ll see.

After that I made my way to Blue Hole. It\'s awesome. I can\'t understand why more people don\'t hang out there! Well, okay, it\'s cold. I found that out the hard way. There were some old people (grand parents I shall presume) with some kids up top where I was overlooking the hole. They wouldn\'t let the kids swim. I can\'t imagine bringing kids to a big hole people dive into and not letting them partake. That\'s like going the ice cream shop, looking at the multitude of flavors, then leaving, lol! What a vacation! Anyway, I asked them if they were generally good honest people, and they said yes, so I set my camera to Video and handed it to Gramps. And proceeded to dive the 15 feet into the water. What a rush! Cold too! I\'m gonna post the vid on my facebook for people to get a kick out of.

Getting to do that random dive was just another thing that has made this such a grand adventure.

Take care, ride safe



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photo by: vances