Dances with Tractor-Trailers (7/4/2017): OK to NM, 561 miles (0.1 miles gravel)

After all of the trouble shooting in OK City, I wasn’t feeling confident about the motorcycle, but I was also really tired of staying in one place. I had already done the best diagnostics I could without actually pulling the stator, so I hit the road and pushed hard for New Mexico.

I figured Route 66 was probably just more of the same through OK and TX and jumped on the super slab out of town. It was shortly after jumping on the Interstate that I realized my brand new soldering iron wasn’t situated well in the bungie net. Unfortunately, I was negotiating an Interstate exchange while following a couple of cars who couldn’t seem to see the lane lines and all I could manage was to readjust the soldering iron on the fly. By the time I had free space to get off the highway, my brand new soldering iron had taken a nose dive off the motorcycle. I guess it had seen the direction my summer was going and decided to pick it’s own path.

On the way through Texas, temperatures reached up to and just beyond 100F. Around lunch time, there weren’t a lot of food options, so I decided to find out what this Hunt’s Bros pizza was that I was seeing signs for everywhere. It’s crummy microwaveable heat lamp pizza, in case you were wondering, too. I did have a nice chat with a local OK farmer and his family who had come to the gas station for lunch. They had come in for lunch, too. I guess it really was the only place around.

After Texas there was still a fair amount of Interstate riding to do in New Mexico before I could turn off and head for the nearest National Forest with twisty roads. This is when the wind picked up and started blowing the heat down my sleeves. It was windy enough that I stopped for gas early to check the weather and considered calling it a day at only 4 pm.

Without any hazardous weather advisories and no big storms forecast, I pushed on and continued my dance with the tractor-trailers as we pushed up into the hills. The gusts were big enough that some truckers had pulled off behind the blocking hills to wait out the wind.

I made it to my turn of the Interstate without incident to ride up to Las Vegas, NM. The Hillcrest restaurant has some great dinner platters. I was considering desert when I noticed that I was running out of daylight and had only about an hour to make it to a campsite.

I made it to Morphy Lake just before sundown. It is by far my favorite pay campsite from the summer at the time of this writing.

It is a high elevation lake surrounded by the mountains. The scenery is perfect. The campsite was less than half full, probably because fireworks are prohibited, and the only sounds I heard all night were the sounds of nature. I will definitely be returning whenever I pass through Northern NM.

I spent the evening sipping whiskey and watching the stars. If I wasn’t so terrible at sitting in one place, this is exactly where I would have chucked my travel plans and parked it for a few days.

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