Our journey started a week before the AGT rally. After heading to Columbus Ohio on Friday night we got a early start Saturday morning, straight to Cincinnati on the interstate and then state route 50 across the bottom of the Indiana and Illinois to just outside St. Louis.
The first thing in the morning, of course after crossing the Mississippi River in St. Louis we missed our exit, but it did turn out not all that bad as we got to drive by the St. Louis stadium. And then back on the interstate all the way to Oklahoma City. Before heading to the hotel we took in the memorial of the Oklahoma City bombing. Next day back on the interstate to Amarillo where we stopped and had lunch at the Big Texan, we warned them that Lou was right behind us. After lunch started the most miserable part of our trip, from the Amarillo to Roswell on route 60 and 70 is nothing but a desolate wasteland. It was 104 degrees with 30 to 40 mph gusting crosswinds.
Dry heat my ass !!!!!
Up the next morning heading south to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, we hiked 850 feet down and then several miles inside the cavern. We are not big cave people but this cave is a must see. We headed back north and then west to Alamagordo, where after unloading the bike at the hotel we wandered over to the Chilli's next door and made it to happy hour. Next on the agenda White Sands National Monument, and then a quick stop at City of Rocks State Park (I believe someone on the site told us to stop here) very interesting formation of rocks out in the middle of nowhere. And then onto the Gilla Cliff Dwelling National Monument, and then down to Silver City for the night.
The next day we tackle the Coronado Trail, here is the narrative from the official web site,
""Coronado Trail Scenic Byway is a stretch of U.S. Route 191 between Springerville and Clifton, in Arizona, USA. The road is narrow and winding, dipping from one curve to the next and itís said to have 460 curves. The highest point of the road is located 4 miles south of Hannagan Meadow, in Greenlee County. It reaches 9,370 ft (2.743m) above the sea level. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Arizona.This road is very exciting and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns. It was named after the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who explored this area in 1540 on a quest to find the Seven Cities of CŪbola. The highway is the primary route to access Canyon de Chelly National Monument.
This infamous road is tightly hairpinned and bumped, an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the traveler over the mountains. This is a very dangerous mountain road with many sharp curves and little or no shoulders on steep cliffs. The entire road is paved. Itís one of the least traveled federal highways. This is a meandering, moseying, slow-motion drive. The 123 miles of pavement between Springerville and Clifton feature 460 curves skirting the eastern edge of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Thrilling, scary and dramatic, but speedy itís not.""
I guess that beats the hell out of that measly little dragon's tail thing!!!!!!
The next day we head over to Montezuma Castle National Monument and then north to Walnut Canyon National Monument, heading back east we drove right by Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, we were warned by several people that this was a huge ripoff and if you read Sweet Lou's narrative he concurs. Onward to the Petrified Forest National Park. With a quick stop in Winslow so we could stand on the corner. Onward to Gallup to hit the hotel.
The next day we drove up Sandia Crest, which overlooks the city of Albuquerque then headed north through the little tourest trap town of Madrid. And then to our hotel in Santa Fe for the next five days. Took the next day off for laundry and rest and then met up with a gang on Sunday night meet and greet with the AGT rally. We had several days of riding in northern New Mexico and and some great trips planned by the hosts. Our last day there we went and visited the Los Alamos museum. Took off the next morning and headed back home. Somewhere in Illinois my saddlebag flew open and sucked out my Cleveland Browns hat, some lucky bastard in Illinois' got a free souvenir. And then of course when I woke up the wife at 4:30 AM just east of Kansas City and told her we were riding the rest of the way home needless to say she was not a happy camper, but over 750 miles later we were home at about 8:30 PM. Over 5,800 miles,
(BTW the AGT ralley is from the Volusia Riders Board)