Archive for March, 2012

A Week of Firsts…New Bike part 2

Better sunsets than the desert are difficult to imagine. It’s a gift that begins with a sharpened sky-line as the unwrapped details emerge from nowhere. Suddenly the fence in the distance is defined making even the wire more noticeable. Colors you can’t even imagine in nature become commonplace. A desert sunset can only compare to a desert sunrise.

I found myself leaving Lordsburg at an early hour for me, but the lighting made the departure well worth the sleep forfeiture.

I had decided that a good ride to Truth or Consequences would be to go over Hwy 152 from Silver City, NM. When seeking road conditions, the report said there was still snow up on top with icy road conditions in the shady corners, but I knew the daytime high was going to be in the 80s so how much ice could possibly be coating the blacktop around noon.

It was a perfect ride on an amazing road. In fact it was such a good ride, I didn’t bother taking many photographs. I was really busy having some twisty fun with my new machine!

The copper mine country near Silver City.

Jes one curve…

Near the bottom of Hwy 152 by the town of Hillsboro.

My Alaska friends now in TorC moved there due to Annie’s RA. The desert was simply a better fit for her health. Since their relocation, she is feeling better. I believe that desert air is working its magic.

I spent two glorious days with my friends, gabbing, riding around the desert, and eating David’s amazing cooking. Great, now to try and get on my unforgiving motorcycle pants.
In a brisk 35 degrees, I left David and Annie’s to get the new bike serviced in Albuquerque at R and S Powersports Kawasaki/KTM about a 2.5 hour boring ride.

I was greatly rewarded upon my Albuquerque arrival by two of my Two Wheel Female forum friends. We dropped the bike and had a great lunch together.

Nina on her big ol’ BMW 1200GS

Parking next to her made me feel like a red-headed stepchild and a tiny one at that. 😉

Colleen and I saying our goodbyes.

Colleen provided me with some AAA maps which were very handy and she sorted me out direction wise for a more scenic route to Taos, NM going through the town of Madrid (said as MADrid in NM). Madrid was the town they used as a backdrop to the film Wild Hogs. The road there was nothing special, but quite scenic and did at least have a few good twisty bits.

I stopped and got a few shots of the little artsy town.

Loved this car!

The diner they used in the film.

My favorite sign in town.

I had to get up close before I realized this was a fake cactus.

The surrounding hills.

Taos, NM

I arrived around dusk and found a motel. Tomorrow, on to UT via Colorado.

A week of Firsts…New Bike, New & Old Faces, New Ride Report

The drive to SoCal to pick up the new bike was trying at best, being we got into some horrid LA traffic, not knowing any better. Friday afternoon is not a good time to take any sort of freeway travel, and here we thought we’d make up some time and ended up in what appeared to be a very long parking lot. After nearly 2 long hours in bumper to bumper traffic we finally arrived at Hutchins Motorsports a mere 2 hours after we thought we’d be there. Sadly, our diabetic kitty required Gary to simply flip around and head back home, which made for a very long day. I on the other hand got a motel and an early morning start on my sojourn east to better weather to do the break-in ride for my new Kawasaki Versys.

We did encounter one very special Royal Enfield in Fresno when we stopped at a BMW dealer. Check out this totally decked out RE.

From the rear…Gary thought the gold balls were a very nice touch.

Where was his passenger?

The owner of the bike was a colorful as the bike itself.

The morning after picking up the bike I headed to Joshua Tree NP where I knew there would be a few twisties, even though the speed limit is 45, I figured I would get to feel the handling of the machine. The day couldn’t have been more perfect and the bike was a gas, without using much 😉

This plant reminded me of a little alien.

My first fill up…geeze!!

I made it to my friend Roger’s home near Phoenix around 6pm. He rode out to meet me, and we proceeded to his home for a nice night of family camaraderie. What a treat. His dog Snoop and I bonded immediately!

The following day after a very leisurely morning, he escorted me out to old Hwy 60 leading to Globe, AZ as I was planning on making my way to Lordsburg, NM.

I had a wonderful ride through Superior and Globe revisiting the photographs that were still fresh in my mind from my post regarding the old Hwy 60.
Both the following shots were shot while riding and sadly aren’t as clear as they should be, but you get the idea.

As I made my way to Lordsburg, the day was waning and the sky began its bedtime dress. I shot a few photos while riding that after I arrived in my motel, I quite liked the result! It was an amazing sunset.

A fit ending to an amazing day!

Tomorrow on to Truth or Consequences, NM and some dear friends.


I picked up the new Versys on Friday March 23 after a harrowing trip with Gary to Yucca Valley though the worst of the LA traffic on the 210, but more on that later.

Here are a couple of teaser shots of the bike and us, and in the next couple of days I’ll post a real ride report, but right now I’m having way too much fun riding the bike to the SW where it’s dry and sunny!!

Picking up the bike at Hutchins Motorsports.

Me, thanking my wonderful husband for his glorious support!

In Joshua Tree NP

The beautiful SW…

Wonderful machine, light and flickable, not lacking in power on the highway and simply a lot of fun!

More this evening!!

Test your skills…electronically!

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a great little test program for rider perception. It’s not difficult, but really tests your visual acuity. You are able to adjust the speed at which it displays the test. Try it first on the medium setting. I did quite well on the road signs test, but I missed one on the collision traps and that’s not so good! You can take it repeatedly, as it allows different scenarios.

It’s always good to keep our skills sharp, and if not out on the road, it’s good to have an electronic alternative for practicing!!

DO IT! 😉

Photo History of a section of US Hwy 60 in AZ…

I love finding old and new photos of an area to compare and this section of old Hwy 60 is no exception.
On the left a photo now and right an old tinted postcard.

US Hwy 60 was one of the first east-west transcontinental highways. It was commissioned in 1926, stretching from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Los Angeles, California. Today, its western terminus is in Quartzsite, Arizona (18 miles east of the California border), with the remainder of the route to L.A. being picked up by Interstate 10.

Today much of old 60 is reduced to dirt track and broken pavement, but some of the most beautiful canyons can still be seen by following the trail heads photographed by Preston the Yeti. You can read more about the trails and see more of Preston’s gorgeous photography on the Bellamy Trail-Queen Canyon, AZ trail site.

On the left a photo now and right an old tinted postcard.

Pinto Creek Bridge (the bridge that crosses Queen Creek on the new alignment)

On the left a photo now and right an early photograph.

The map displays the area of Hwy60 highlighted in this post.

The west entrance of the Claypool Tunnel. This tunnel was bored through the mountain in the early 1920’s, and was named for the city of Claypool, about 20 miles to the east.

PHOTOCREDIT:Rob Svirskas ©2004
On the left a photo now and right an old sepia tinted photograph.

The Queen Creek Tunnel built in 1952 replaced the old Claypool Tunnel on the new alignment.

PHOTOCREDIT:Rob Svirskas ©2004

After seeing photographs of the historic Hwy 60 and the gorgeous photographs of the canyon, I have learned I need to park my bike and walk more, as I’m missing a lot of the local beauty.

PHOTOCREDIT:Preston the Yeti