Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Farmington to Carlton National Park a wreck and then Taos

Left Farmington around noon after picking up a quart of two stroke oil and some pj1 chain lube. I had spent the morning looking for something to pad the seat with no luck. I forgot to get breakfast so I figured I'd get lunch on the road. I headed out Of town over the animas river. Into a land of oil and gas wells through low mountain desert.
This whole section was full of prarie dogs ground squirels chipmunks and mice. I watched as they spooked on the side if the road as I passed. Something i no doubt would have missed at higher speeds.
I pulled into a small valley with a gas station the first I d seen in three hours. There was no food store in town so I bought a piece of beef jerky. There was a food cart in town but the owner was asleep and I decided not to wake him. Here i talked to a few people who help keep kids off the streets by teaching them how to repair and ride little pit bikes. I always thought that giving kids the opportunity to have fun learning a skill can make a positive change apparently others do too.
I only had 80 miles to Taos. Then I hit a green mountain. First off there was roadwork for 20 miles with traffic stopped for almost an hour. Which gave ms time to talk to some of the others waiting. Then the path steepened i spent the next three hours climbing switch backs in 1st gear at 10mph. Atleast the scenery was epic. A rain storm caught me halfway up but at the top I found a lakeside national park campground and clear skies i decided to stop and ride into Taos in the morning. At that altitude the temps were inthe low 40s. After a cup of rice I went to sleep. Overnight the clouds must have raised and a small rainhad fallen. In the morning I was packed to ride the 59 miles to taos at 7 only to realize I had a flat rear tire. I installed my repaired tube from the day before and it went flat before i arrived on the road. After replacing that tube I set off. It was a downhill ride past ranches. Into tres piedras a new ghost town with shuttered gas stations and convenience stores.
I had come to Taos to sees an architect I admire and his earthship homes. A few miles outside trespiedras I saw a subdivision of these homes he has started. I was so engrossed by the site that I rode off the road into a sand dune. The bike seemed fine and my luggage was fine if dusty. Needless to say I did this directly in front of his office I rode on a few miles meaning to find a place to death and shower before returning to talk. Within five miles I realized I had bent the swingarm on the bike in the crash. The tire was now fouling the frame and the chain would not stat tight. So I spent 4 hours disassemblng everything from the engine back at a turnout next to the rio grande canyon. I now know more about how the bike is put together. I found I could bend the swingarm back into allignment. This troubles me as much as the fact it bent in the first place.
With the bike As good a s new I rode into Taos and ate a hamburger my first real meal in 36 hours. Taos has a vast number of pueblo style homes after unloading the bike inrode around town and out into the suburbs after sunset i bought some camping food at a convenience store and went to sleep. a long day for only making 59'miles

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