Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010 Geronimo Trail, Lake Valley Back Country ride to Roswell

Today began with breakfast at McDonalds with another rider, Kelly from Arizona. He arrived late last night on his yellow Suzuki; said he’d been touring a few days but is now on his way home. We’d been to some of the same places but just missed each other so we had plenty to talk about.

After breakfast I gassed up and started for Roswell via a bit of round-about way on the Geronimo Trail and Lake Valley Back Country roads. I was barely on the road when I came upon the Santa Rita Copper Mine observation site and stopped for pics. I think I’ll reserve my comments on how it made me feel when I first saw the open pit. You can make your own judgments.

I was getting depressed looking at the carnage so I left to continue my ride to Roswell.
Along the way there was a small green road sign pointing to the small community of San Lorenzo so I decided to go see it. That’s one of the things I like to do best, explore small settlements just to see how the people are living.

San Lorenzo for the most part is not populated by wealthy people, at least in terms of material wealth but it’s a clean community and I could easily live there.

One of the houses in particular caught my eye so I shot several photos of it through the fence.

Sadly there had evidently been a recent brush fire and some of the trees and a few houses were damaged. Fire danger is a huge thing in New Mexico, more so because of the hot dry climate and limited water for fighting fires.

Leaving San Lorenzo I continued along highway 152 arriving at the Emory Pass Vista site with its spectacular views.

From there the twisting road leads down into the valley where I passed another rider on a dual-sport bike. Stopping in the little town of Kingston (or maybe it was Hillsboro?) for photos the rider I’d passed caught up with me introduced himself as Bill Novacek. Bill’s a typical rider, enthusiastic about his bike so he showed me several mods he’s done to it. As much as I was enjoying chatting about our similar riding experiences I had to force myself to get going if I were to make Roswell today. Meeting two interesting riders in one day was great.

Leaving the Lake Valley Back Country district I noted the dryness of the land increasing and it no longer possessed the natural beauty as the higher elevation areas.

Truth or Consequences, home of the Hilltop Cafe was my lunch stop and I enjoyed a nice salad bar and homemade green chili & cream of chicken soup. Spicy and delicious!

The town itself seemed a bit sad, lots of empty buildings and I couldn’t quite figure out what people did for a living there. Some towns are like that.

After that I passed by the White Sands Missile Range and the Trinity site where the 1st Atomic was exploded on July 16, 1945, just a few days before my 5th birthday. Ewww… That was really a long time ago. Tourism at either site is discouraged. Yep.

Two more smallish communities would be on my ride, San Antonio where I gassed up and Capitan, home of Smokey the Bear, now deceased. Even though Smokey’s gone there’s still a small museum and gift shop where you can pop for souvenirs and Smokey memorabilia. I went for the refrigerator magnet.

On my way out I paused to photo the little building that houses the gift shop. While doing so a lady who was lurking in the courtyard asked if she could take my picture as I posed in front of the sign. I opted out and moved right along; it just seemed like the sensible thing to do at the time.

Little old ladies can be a bit unnerving at times, eh? You never know for certain what they really want…

Back on the road again I finally found my way into Roswell where Garmin and Company directed me to the usual Motel 6. After checking in I hopped back on the bike and rode to the Red Lobster for dinner where I expect I gained 5 lbs. Maybe 12. No sense worrying about it now, I’m happy and that’s what counts.

Postscript: During the ride into Roswell I observed two giant green alien creatures, both at the local Ford agency but I suspect they may not be the real thing. You can’t always believe car dealers can you? Anyway tomorrow’s another day and I intend to spend most of it prowling through shops specializing in Alien paraphernalia…

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