"It ain't New and it ain't Mexico" Part 3. New Mexico scouting trip #4
New Mexico scouting trip 4. November 2019 Author: Eric Milano
Scouting Trip #4
We now had a 95% complete route. Still a few question marks, but we had alternate routes for those and we were very confident we could make fuel and lodging each night with a small group. I reached out to a few past customers and we formed a group of 5, plus photographer, Bob Locicero.
Our group arrived at ABQ airport Saturday afternoon and we began riding Sunday morning.
We were on the trail within 3 miles and it was a beautiful, crystal clear day.
Lunch at the old church and then onto the wash road which we all enjoyed very much. Imagine riding through a 200 yard wide river plane with little banks to jump off and small streams trickling through. Too much fun.
We arrived in Magdalena with plenty of time to fuel and relax. Day 1 is not super long, but it's a good work out and introduction to the type of riding we will be doing over the course of the tour; trails with embedded and loose rocks, sandy two track, water crossings and some maintained dirt/paved roads.
This time the Magdalena Hall hotel was open and renovated. Very nice rooms inside the historic "cowboy hotel".
Big breakfast and to-go burritos at the ever-so-delicious Magdalena Cafe, then a quick stop at the Very Large Array observatory. These radio telescopes are on train tracks and get moved around according to what they are looking for. Astronomers using the VLA have made key observations of black holes and protoplanetary disks around young stars, discovered magnetic filaments and traced complex gas motions at the Milky Way's center, probed the Universe's cosmological parameters, and provided new knowledge about the physical mechanisms that produce radio emission.
And, back to the trail...
And back out of the mountains and into the small town of Datil and the Eagle Guest Ranch. A country crossroads motel with an attached restaurant serving up cut to order steaks and homemade pie. One of the best and most unexpectedly delicious meals of the trip.
We had one vegetarian with us on this trip. There weren't a lot of options for him, but he was always able to find something that would suit his diet, even at the Eagle ranch.
And, pie. Did I mention pie?
Quick tire change. We had a couple of flats and one fried rear brake caliper. We easily changed the flats. A motorcycle/dead head shop in Silver City, Black Moon cycle, took us in, cleaned and flushed the brake fluid and all was good.
Adobe building on the trail.
We added a few more ghost towns and forgotten farmsteads on this go around. Everyone really enjoyed these relics of the old west.
Tank bag burrito lunch at an old homestead that we just love to visit.
While up on this mountain we saw a storm coming in. We decided to alter our plans a bit, but we still hit a bit of rain which in turn produced some nasty mud. Worst I've ever seen. A few more detours and we were out on pavement and the storm passed. We were soaked and called it an early day. Day 4 is typically a somewhat early day anyhow so we can rest up a bit.
A mess of caked up and very slippery mud.
Reserve is a cowboy town with a good vibe. It has a cool thrift store, a few restaurants, market and this spot that makes a very decent espresso.
We stayed in lovely cabins in Glenwood, New Mexico and dined on pizza, which wasn't great, but a departure from our usual burrito fare so we were all pleased.
A BBQ pavilion is now available and we plan on a big cook-out and campfire for the 2021 tour.