I’m really enjoying my trip so far. Right now I’m sitting in a restaurant overlooking Monument Valley. Around me are tall statuesque columns of rock towering above the surrounding desert. Everything is red, even the buildings, except where little green specks of plant life dot the terrain.
I woke up in Lubbock refreshed. After a good breakfast it was time to head out. If you had asked me what I was doing in Lubbock I would have had to answer, “nothing.” That’s because there is nothing to do there. In fact, it’s a great place to update your blog.
Something you’ll notice if you ever drive there it that it smells like oil pumps, that’s cause there are so many there. One thing that does overcome the oil smell are the feed lots for cattle. It’s amazing just how strong this place smells like money, and by money I mean shit. To be honest, I only passed a few, and they were right near the New Mexico border. And that is where the trip really began – when I left Texas and ventured into new territory.
Amherst, the shittiest place in Texas.
I found this funny: LLano Estacado means “Staked Plain,” but this sign, which happens to be right next to a cactus which resembles a stake, says it’s for the escarpments. That doesn’t even make sense.
It is pretty out there and not completely flat. And as you can see it does rain quite a bit.
Towards Santa Fe the topography gets more interesting, and you see canyons and cliff faces above green valleys. Quite nice.
At this point I was getting a little worried about my friend Mo. His name is Marco, but in college he was dubbed Mo by a drunk fraternity boy, and it stuck. None of his family call him that. He lives in Albuquerque, but he and his family took the week off to spend time at their property near Cuba, NM. I’d never been there and thought it would be fun to see, but he hadn’t called me or given directions. I texted him a note asking how to get there and hoped he’d come through. It turns out cell phone signals don’t do so well up there.
Finally, while eating a spicy italian sandwich from Subway I got the text. This happened just as a big rain storm was coming from the east, so I hi-tailed it out of there towards Los Alamos. It’s nice there, and I liked crossing the Rio Grande river with the canyon and cotton wood trees. While in Los Alamos I got turned around and asked a passerby for directions. Turns out I was real close, but the security there made it difficult to find the way. This guy was so obviously an academic, he could have passed for a professor in any large university: thin white beard, funny hat, sandals with socks, pink-orange polo, and shorts. Plus he sounded like he was high on drugs.
From Los Alamos I found roads 4 and 126 to Cuba. Part of the way was “gravel,” so I thought it would be fun to take the Vstrom.
A view along the way. This place has a name like “Large Valley” or something similar.
Then came the dirt road. It started out pretty nice with hard packed dirt and loose gravel on top. As the road climbed though, the dirt loosened, and eventually it was outright sand. I’m new to the “off road” motorcycle riding, and it became difficult. Eventually it got so thick that I lost it after a curve, and right before the pass too.
This stuff was like moon dust. When the bike stopped sliding I couldn’t even see it due to the cloud that was surrounding us. It was like driving on several inches of talcum powder – and no fun. Thankfully neither the bike nor I were damaged. I took this opportunity to answer nature’s call and continued riding feet down for the next 1/2 mile when the road packed down again.
Finally I was in Cuba and ready to see Mo. He was there with a sister, brother-in-law, 3 nieces, a nephew, and both parents. The mom gave me dinner, and we all roasted marshmallows until late. Mo and I camped out a short ways away while the family slept in the cabin – thankfully. It was a nice spot, and the sky quite clear between clouds. We BSed till late over some Tecate and Jack Daniels laughing about old times and friends we have or haven’t seen in years. It was great to see Mo again, and I look forward to getting back.
Wish I had taken a picture of him and his family who were gracious hosts and quite nice. I departed for Farmington where I could do a teleconference and grab some lunch. Lunch was interrupted however by a dust storm you’ll have to see to believe. I’ll talk about that and Mesa Verde next time.
And a link to all the pictures