Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Mexico State HOG Rally

From Storrie Lake I drove two hours to Albuquerque and pulled into the Elk's Lodge near the airport. I thought I'd have the whole parking lot to myself as there were no other vehicles in the lot. I had a nice view of the valley below, but it wasn't two minutes later a big motor home pulled in next to me and blocked my view. Oh well, they blocked the hot late afternoon sun.

I went to Albuquerque to attend the New Mexico State HOG Rally. HOG stands for Harley Owners Group. This was my 9Th HOG Rally in 9 different states.

Friday I joined the guided ride on scenic Hwy. 14 also known as the Turquoise Trail. We took a side trip up the 13 twisty miles to the Sandia Crest. At 10,640 ft. it was a 4,098 ft. climb from the highway. For an unreasonable price we were treated to a yummy box lunch. If you've ever been in Albuquerque and noticed all the radio towers at the top of the mountain to the east, well, here they are.




Here's the view I enjoyed while I ate my lunch.



OOOOOOH, look at all that chrome!!


The ride then continued on to the tiny town of Madrid, made famous in the movie Wild HOGS. We all gathered on the steps of Maggie's Diner, also made famous in the movie, for a group picture. I didn't get a picture of the group, but here's the Diner.




Here's some links to some info on the very funny movie
http://video.movies.go.com/wildhogs/
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/443367/wild_hogs_featurette/



It was a 140 mile ride through some very scenic countryside, with good company and good riders.

Back at the main rally site there was a spot to wash your HOG


Saturday I passed on the poker run, and went on my own ride up to Montano Mountain State Park to check out the camping situation for a possible future adventure.

Saturday night we had an over priced, but very delicious BBQ'd hamburger dinner, with all the timmings. After dinner and awards and prizes a band played. Due to unfavorable weather conditions, the Hot Air Balloon Glow was cancelled. = (
This rally didn't make the top of the list, but I had a nice time and met some nice people, as usual.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Storrie Lake State Park

I left Eagle Nest on Thursday Aug. 13Th and headed down Hwy. 434. There was a 5 mile stretch where the road was so narrow a line painted down the middle is not allowed. That 5 mile stretch was not only narrow, but also very twisty and steep in spots. I had visions of coming around a blind corner and meeting up with a vehicle even wider and longer than me. Well, there were a few scary moments, but I survived!!

I arrived a Storrie Lake State Park, dumped and filled, then tried to find a good camp spot. My first choice sloped too much to the starboard side, so I found another one but the cabana area was so filthy I continued on. I found an empty "Camp Host" spot, with electric, so I asked at the gate and I was told I could park there. So I did. It was very clean, level and a my favorite type, a pull-through!!!




My big activity while at Storrie Lake, which is near Las Vegas, NM was visiting Montezuma Hot Springs.



Montezuma Hot Springs.

A collection of hot springs bubbling out of the side of a hill, feeding a variety of rock and cement tubs. Though the springs were originally used by the historic Montezuma Castle Resort, they are now accessible to the public. Three groupings of hot springs has been diverted into rather rustic cement and rock pools and tubs along the side of the road in the small community of Montezuma. Originally the numerous indoor hot-spring pools were operated by Montezuma Castle and several other resorts. Though most of the bathhouses are gone now, and the hot springs are out in the open - they have been kept rather clean, and bathers tend to be orderly because the owners, the United World College, maintain stringent regulations for using the tubs. Pools and tubs range in size and temperature, and with a little experimenting, you can find the perfect soak.

5 miles north of Las Vegas, a series of public hot springs with curative - supposedly the site of an early 16Th century visit by Aztec leader, Montezuma II, the Montezuma Hot Springs can be just what the doctor ordered after a busy day of 'touristing'. Just across you can find the 77-room old hotel which serves today as the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West. 200 students study from 70 countries for two years - equal to the last year of American high school and the first year of college. Rigorous academics are combined with special wilderness activities and multicultural workshops to make well-rounded, world aware students. Other campuses are in Canada, Singapore, Swaziland and Italy.

I spent 6 days at Storrie Lake, with three visits to the Hot SPrings, before continuing on to Albuquerque for the New Mexico State HOG Rally.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eagle Nest II

I spent two and a half weeks at Eagle Nest State Park. It was a lovely place but the high altitude and my sinus/tooth problem kept me feeling a little yucky most of the time. But, on the good days I hopped on my motorcycle and went on some really great rides.

My first ride was about 150 miles and took me first to the town of Cimarron, then back to Eagle Nest and then around the Enchanted Circle. It was definitely enchanting.

Next, Doug Hubbard and I went on a 250 mile ride, first to Chama where we had lunch, then down to Heron Lake, where Doug was heading next with his RV, to check it out. I was definitely in Harley Heaven. This was my favorite type of ride - mountains, pine trees, rivers, lots of gentle S-curves, and a more beautiful vista around every corner and over every hill.

Here's a picture taken on Hwy 64 in the San Juan Mountains, looking west.


Another ride took Doug and me down Hwy 434 so I could check out the road and Storrie Lake, where I was heading next with my RV. It was another great ride, with more beautiful mountain views and terrain. There was a 5 mile section where the road was basically 1 and a half lanes, not the usual two lanes. So, there was no line painted down the center of the road. It was no problem on the motorcycles, but I was planning on pulling my 81/2 foot wide trailer down the road. I was a bit concerned, but my friend Joan pulled her 5th wheel UP the hill, so I finally decided I could pull mine DOWN the hill. On that day we had a big breakfast in the charming town of Angle Fire before the ride.

On my last ride, after breakfast with Doug and Bill Wynn, I left those guys in the dust and headed around the Enchanted Circle again, but this time took the road up to Taos Ski Valley, where I took a few pictures, then headed back to camp the way I came.

Here's a picture of the Taos Ski Valley




Here's a picture of some of the wildlife I spotted in the Eagle Nest State Park


Here's a few more pictures of the lake at Eagle Nest.



I took a field trip to the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire. It was originally a private venture, but is now a State Park.

http://www.angelfirememorial.com/

"The memorial was originally known as the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel and had its origins in a battle near Con Thien, South Vietnam in which 16 men lost their lives. Among the men, was David Westphall, son of Victor and Jeanne Westphall. Thanks to their vision and determination the memorial exists today to honor not only these 16 Marines but all members of America's Armed Forces."

Here's some pictures I took when I visited the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Chapel.







My stay at Eagle Nest State Park had to come to an end as I had to continue on my Great Summer of '09 Adventure.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eagle Nest

I'm a little behind in posting this entry, so this was written two weeks ago. I left Show Low on July 27th and headed to New Mexico to meet up with the WIN RV Club/Escapees Boondockers Sundowner tour of the New Mexico State Parks.

On Tuedsday morning, July 28th I left the Isleta Casino (just south of Albuequeruqe) I headed to Petsmart for some dog food. I took Annie inside with me for her first experience in a store. She didn't like walking on the slippery floor next to the shopping cart so I put her inside the cart, on top of the 30 pound bag of food. She didn't like riding inside the cart any more than walking next to it. She was glad to get out of there!! Then I hit Costco while the dogues stayed in the trailer. When I finished up my grazing and shopping it was around 12:30 and 92 degrees. I started heading north up Highway 25 toward Santa Fe. as huge black clouds loomed up ahead. I was looking forward to a good rain storm. Somewhere in Santa Fe amidst grueling traffic the rain started and the temp dropped 29 degrees, down to 63 degrees. It didn't last long, but did stay around 66 for quite awhile. Then before I knew it, it was back up to 90 or so. And somewhere between Santa Fe and Taos my digital temperature and fuel mileage readout stopped working. I'm sure going to miss it. =( I was going to stop for the night somewhere before hitting the long, steep, winding road up to Eagle Nest, but as long as I was driving I had the comfort of the truck air conditioner. So, I kept going and didn't stop until I pulled into the Eagle Nest Lake State Park Campground. I filled up my water tank, then parked, all in time for Happy Hour. There's 10 or so members of various RV clubs here, most of whom I know.

The weather is cool and pleasant and the scenery is gorgeous!!!!


I took this picture along Hwy 68 between Santa Fe and Taos.


If you don't like the looks of the clouds, wait 10 minutes and they will change.











This big red wagon toured the campground.