"It ain't New and it ain't Mexico" Part 1. Our first New Mexico scouting trip.
New Mexico scouting trip 1. October 2015
The Landscape of New Mexico and the southwest have always intrigued me; Arid, barren, wild beauty.
Spicy food, ghost towns and open ranges. A near complete departure from the lush forest roads and colonial era mountain trails I am used to riding.
5 years ago I had the opportunity to explore New Mexico by motorbike and so began my love affair with motorcycling in the Land of Enchantment.
3 days and 40 hours after this photo was taken we arrived in NM.
Fortunately, we have a friend and customer, Brad with a cousin in Santa Fe. Klaus let us park our truck, stay at his house and even took the time to lead us out of Santa Fe and to our first nights destination of Cuba, NM.
In just a few hours we rode from the relatively flat area around Santa Fe to over 10,000 feet
Our first taste of New Mexican cuisine. A combination of Mexican and Southern staples with a unique flavor and preparation. Delicious for certain.
Day 2 we were riding through the high desert. Spires and formations scattered about, it was totally foreign to us.
Plus, Our first gate to open and close. These soon became kind of a pain, but we sure did get a kick out of this first one.
From high desert to lava fields. This terrain was the most harsh we had encountered and the lava rocks were incredibly abrasive. The tires took a severe thrashing from the 100 or so miles through the Malpais. Super fun though!
A little respite in the funky town of Silver City. Good food and our first stay of many since at the historic Murray.
Downtown is a feast for the eyes after spending several days in the desert. A fun, funky town that reminded us of a small Vermont city.
We spent the morning exploring Silver City, then took a short ride up to Gila hot springs and set up camp about 10 feet from the 105 degree springs.
Just up the road form the springs are the Gila Cliff dwellings.
Feeling refreshed, we got a little more adventurous and did some exploring the following day.
Not without adversity of course... This flat was in a most inconvenient spot.
One of my favorite things about riding in the Southwest, especially New Mexico, is the abundance of well preserved artifacts; cars, trucks, farm equipment, houses, churches and entire towns. We just happened upon several during this first trip, but have made a point to seek out several more over recent scouting trips.
Did I mention the food?
Typically it's dry in NM, but when the rain comes it turns these trails and roads into complete muck. We found this out on our inaugural tour in 2019. Ruts from past storms are evidenced below.
Unfortunately this trip ended a day early due to some sheared stater bolts and an unhappy DRZ owner. This is a harsh and unforgiving environment for any motorcycle.
For this reason, we bring along backup bikes and a chase truck for our group tours.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below and check out part 2 below.