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"It ain't New and it ain't Mexico" Part 2. New Mexico scouting trips 2 & 3

New Mexico scouting trips 2 & 3. November 2017 and 2018


Scouting Trip #2

Our 2015 trip was a lot of fun and provided a wealth of knowledge,(read about our 2015 trip here!) but we'd just barely explored all of what New Mexico had to offer. In November of 2017 I returned to New Mexico to specifically explore the southern region; Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Ruidoso. Within these areas lay the Lincoln, Cibola and White sands National forests and parks along with countless forgotten roads and deserted towns. I was certainly intrigued.

If you're interested in riding New Mexico with MotoVermont in 2021, check out our tour page: New Mexico Tour 2021

This area is quite beautiful and I especially enjoyed White Sands and several of the Ghost towns I encountered like the town of Carrizozo pictured below.

However, Southern New Mexico lacked the diversity of landscape that we loved so much about Central New Mexico, where we had ridden in 2015... Scouting trip #3 below!


Scouting Trip #3

OK, we were now set on the area of Central and Western New Mexico. A region that stays fairly warm during mid Fall and provides a dramatic and varied topography.

This time, we had a crew. Riding buddies ranging from age 25 to 60 and ready to tackle the unknowns of a scouting trip.

For this trip we met in Los Lunas, NM. Just a few exits south of ABQ airport where some of our group arrived. On a beautiful early November morning we took off on sandy two track and arrived at our first stop; the ghost town of Riley, NM. Several buildings line the small town, including a beautifully preserved 200 year old church.

We loved riding the "wash" trail so much in 2015 that we made sure to add it into our updated route and tried to make that section even longer.

We arrived in Magdalena for the first time and immediately appreciated the authentic cowboy town with it's old west style buildings and dirt streets. Unfortunately for us then, but great for us on our 2021 tour, the historic Magdalena Hall hotel was undergoing a complete renovation. We found a nice motel just up the street.

Breakfast at the Magdalena Cafe?

Yes, Please.

Riding past the Very Large Array radio astronomy observatory.

We quickly rose about 5000 ft in elevation from Magdalena. It had been cold overnight and apparently a bit of snow had fallen at the top of Mt Withington.

Luckily, the sun had been shining on the summit and it was all dry from there.

Riding through a recent forest burn (below)

We wanted to find some fun, rough terrain on this trip and we were very happy with the results. This route was finally coming together.

Yes, there is some mud in the high desert.

Oops, someone's down. This is some tiresome and technical riding...

...but, we have burritos to get us through it all.

This is what I call: "Burrito a la tank bag" You see, the filling is wrapped tightly in flour tortilla then even more tightly in foil, bagged in plastic and shoved into a crevice of the tank bag. There it is jostled and gently pressed for no less than 3 hours so that all flavors are fantastically commingled. Now, break out some napkins and wet naps and voila!

Heading down out of the mountains through the high desert.

It is common to see several herds of animals in this area. Elk, caribou, deer, antelope and below in the distance, a herd of wild horses.

And, back to Silver City! We loved this town in 2015 and were eager for some respite and nightlife. We had a great dinner and closed down the local tavern known for their take on Tequila, aptly called Te"gila".

We stayed at the Palace on this trip which is fine, but we like the Murray hotel ever slightly more.

Having fun and enjoying another beautiful day riding dual sport motorcycles through New Mexico.

And then, into Chloride canyon. One of the most special areas I've ever encountered. An ancient native passage through the canyon that became a mining trail in the 1800's silver rush. It leads to the town of Chloride where we plan to stay in converted mining camps for the night on our 2021 tour. This time we only stopped at the museum and pressed on.

Heading into the canyon.

The historic (and mostly abandoned) mining town of Chloride has an awesome museum that could easily entertain for hours. The shop keeper is also extremely knowledgeable.

And on to the funky town of Truth or Consequences. A town that changed it's name for a gameshow contest in the 1950's. I can't make this stuff up.

Now, the town of "T or C" is a small oasis on the Rio Grande known for its abundance of nutrient-rich hot springs, quaint downtown and several art galleries. A most excellent place to end a week long dual-sport trip.

A few more days of scouting around T or C and then back to Vermont. We had a good basis for planning now and the route was really coming together. And, no broken bikes!

It can actually burn your nostrils a bit when riding past the miles of chili fields in the Rio Grande Valley.

Stay tuned for our 3rd and final installment of "New Mexico; it ain't New and it ain't Mexico" Scouting trip #4

If you're interested in riding New Mexico with MotoVermont in 2021, check out our tour page: New Mexico Tour 2021


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