Start Time: 7:28 AM CDT
Stop Time: 3:29 PM MDT
Start Location: Jacksboro, TX
Stop Location: Tucumcari, NM
Lodging: Ute Lake State Park Campground
Breakfast: Campsite (cereal-almond milk)
Lunch: Whataburger (burger and fries)
Dinner: Campsite (PB&J on soft tortilla, peach and Rainier cherries)
Miles Traveled Today: 412
Weather: 77-95, Clear and Sunny
Route: US-281 to US-82 to US-287 to I-40 to NM-93 to NM-392 to NM-469 to US-54 to NM-540 to State Park Road.
Sweet Baby JIL turned over 50,000 miles yesterday. Considering I purchased her with 14,000 miles in May of 2013, I think I’ve put a few more miles on her than the original owner.
What a beautiful day today, clear skies all day, temperature started out at 77 degrees, and even though it ultimately got to 95 degrees, I was comfortable all day (love the lack of humidity out here).
What a beautiful sight these signs are. Got to see how the Aspen Classic Camper would pull at 80 MPH, and boy did she perform well. I almost forget she is back there.
Once I got my camper all setup (in record time I might add), I found out why they put all these windmills out here. Had to stake the dressing room down, and ultimately had to open all the screen panels so the wind could blow through rather than blow over. There is no way I could have slept with all the racket the wind was making blowing the tent to and fro.
My second cool find today was the Cadillac Ranch. I had no idea I would be passing it, but when I saw it, and all the people out in the field, I decided to double back and take a look.
Then I crossed another state line.
My good friend Lynn Ray had warned me about a really cool place right after I crossed the state line into New Mexico on I-40, so I jumped off the Interstate to take a look, and filled Sweet Baby JIL’s tank. Turned out to be my exit for the campground.
Boy these two lane roads in New Mexico go on forever. I think I can see 5 miles ahead of me at times. Plus there is very little traffic. I only passed 1 car in a 20 mile stretch heading out to Ute Lake State Park Campground.
I thought I would take a minute to describe my laundry methodology for those that camp on their motorcycle tours. My son-in-law, Kenny, who served his compulsory time in the South Korean army, described how they would put their clothes on the floor of the shower while taking a shower, and stomp on them to clean them. Sounded like a good idea for tour days, just alternate the clothes I wear, and wash what I wore that day when I shower at the end of the day.
When I took a look at the floor of the first shower, I realized I would need a plan B. So, I just wore my clothes into the shower, washed my hair a couple times, letting the shampoo run all down onto my clothes, then stripped them off and rinsed them out real good. Then I rung them out reasonably well.
After I finish showering, I take them to a sink and use a little laundry detergent and wash them again, rinse them, then I put them in a Walmart bag and take them back to the camper, where I hang them up on hangers to dry. The next morning they are always dry, so I roll them up and put them in the suit case to alternate back to that evening.
I have also found that instead of wearing underpants under my riding pants, if I wear my running shorts, which have built in underpants that are moister wicking, and dry really fast, I can just take my riding pants off at the end of the day, along with my boots, and put on my running shoes and go do my run/walk to get in my 10,000 steps (saves the time it would take to change clothes). I always wear long sleeve running (tech) shirts when I ride, which have all the same attributes as my running shorts. Both dry really fast (everything dried in about 10 minutes tonight with all the wind blowing through the tent).
The vast majority of today’s ride was as though I had the road all to myself, so not one Luddite Driver to contend with today (gotta love a safe riding day). Plus I just love the way Texas drivers move onto the shoulder of 2 lane roads to let you by. In the absence of people trying to kill me, I did find one major issue with Texas, and that was all the bugs (my bike is covered with bug guts, it’ll take an hour to get them all off in the morning).
Once again, it is altogether appropriate to thank my Lord for surrounding me with his angel armies to keep me safe and vertical.
Tomorrow I’m headed for Winslow, Arizona, and I think I’m supposed to find a flat bed Ford or something like that.