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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  #1  
Old 1 Aug 2016
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Around the world on a pair of Australia Post Honda CT110's.

Hey all. We are part way through our trek across the globe on our little posty bikes. I don't know why we haven't posted up on here but I would like to start to share our trip with you all. I wont post up the past stuff, but please do feel free to head on over to our blog at overyondaonahonda.com to check out what we have been up to.
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  #2  
Old 2 Aug 2016
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T - We accidentally stumbled across this campsite late last night.. I had a glimpse of the word ‘camping’ as we zipped down a canyon in southern Colorado. Turns out that it is a good campsite! Right next to the highway, but sheltered enough by bushes and large rocky outcrops, and situated right on the banks of a fast flowing river! Plus as an added bonus, the early morning sun is shining right on the tent. What a nice way to wake up.





Today we are trying to cross into New Mexico. It is some 200 km’s south of us but we have a few errands to run in a town first plus a heap of blog to catch up on.

We packed up the camp and headed on out. The highway was reasonably quiet but soon we were turning off and down a much quieter county road.





The road was pretty rough with large cracks right across it. They were about 2 inches deep and 6 inches across and spaced every 5 meters down the road. This makes for some interesting albeit uncomfortable riding.



We pulled into the small town of Westcliffe where we stocked up on some food and topped up on some gas. Then we were off again. Direction, south.

C – Not too far out of Westcliffe we saw someone walking along the road, pushing a cart with the sign ‘Walk Across America’. Of course, we stopped to chat with him. Felipe is a super inspiring guy, who was previously living in a city and felt like he was in a rut. He got inspired to experience all that America has to offer, so he left his city and started walking. He told us his friends think he is crazy!!! He was truly a shining light and I encourage others to check out his Facebook page – ‘I am Felipe Gonzalez’. He makes origami in his down time and gave us a lovely crane with a really kind and thoughtful note. What a super guy!!! It is people like Felipe that change our world for the better. Goodluck on your adventure Felipe!!!!



T - The ride was pretty uneventful. Just a slog along a bitumen road. Some pretty mountains were extending away in every direction but they all had thick black clouds gathering over them. We both hoped we might out run the rain that we could see advancing across the plains towards us.



We passed through some small towns and eventually set our sights on a camp just 90 kms up the road. We were both pretty tired and looking forward to camp. Chantelles rear tyre was shagged completely and she had started to notice it moving around like a flat tyre a bit. So tonight we will change it.

We found our camp hidden away in a canyon. There were a few nodding donkeys around silently pumping up oil from deep in the earth and a few other campers too.



C – The camp was in a State Wildlife Refuge and although not well maintained, was a lovely spot. The peace and quiet was interrupted when a family arrived mid-evening and decided that every vehicle they bought with them needed to be tuned and serviced right then. I think at one point there was two pickups, two side by sides and two four wheelers running. Oh, plus the generator to run the trailer!!!!! Thankfully this didnt keep us awake as we were both exhausted tonight!!!

We set up our tent and settled down our usual ritual of dinner and some tv before it was lights out. I never changed Chantelles tyre out. Simply because I am tired. Maybe tomorrow?

Tomorrow we hope to cross into New Mexico somewhere around Trinidad area.

Update : As I sit here in Trinidad library I also am trying to work out how to fix Chantelles bike. The weaving she has been feeling turns out to be 7 broken rear spokes....We have 6 that we can replace them with.
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Old 3 Aug 2016
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2 August 2016

C – We woke early and went through our usual routine. Whilst Todd packed away the camping gear inside of the tent, I made coffee, tea and porridge. We got packed away quickly and hit the road, very keen to make it to New Mexico today. We are both pining for the desert and every fibre of my being wants some warm sunshine on my skin!!! We have had some amazing weather more recently, but Colorado has turned on the grey skies and rain for us and it’s been quite chilly.



We ventured 6km back down a rough, corrugated dirt road and followed the GPS instructions. Only 70km to go until we cross the border. We got within 40km, on a lovely gravel County Road which weaved through beautiful ranch land. There were many, many keep out/no trespassing/posted private property signs along the way on the fences. It all ended with a very strong gate with three padlocks blocking the County Road. Say what?!?!? We pulled out the map book, double checked the GPS – the road definitely existed, was definitely a named and numbered county road. A vehicle arrived and the ranch workers explained that the road still does go through, but is now gated and padlocked at each end. The worker told us where the owner lived and said we could go and ask for permission to cross, but he was not at all confident that the rancher would say yes. I am assuming some money changing has occurred with the local county here. This is not the first time we have seen mapped county roads blocked off as private property.



T – It was a strange thing. There were still county road signs at the gate and even speed limit signs a little ways in. A bit of a shame for us really as this was a gorgeous bit of road!

C - After backtracking and then turning east again we ended up in Trinidad. Going at slow speeds through town looking for the library, Rosie had a definite wiggle going on. Like the front tyre was flat, but I could see it wasn’t. She had this same feeling yesterday afternoon at slow speeds, but I thought nothing more of it once Todd had checked the tyre. When we pulled up at the library I said to Todd that something was definitely going on and suggested he take Rosie for a spin. He didn’t need to go far – yep, something is definitely wrong with her.

After a very quick inspection we discovered broken spokes. Seven of them. SEVEN! We only have six spares......





T – Bloody Rosie. She has given me many headaches with her rear wheel. 16 gazillion punctures, two broken spokes previous, a bent rim, and now this little nugget! She better watch her little red ass or she may find it in the sin bin.

C - You may remember I hit a cattle guard rather hard back in Montana and whilst Todd had straightened the rim the best he could, the rim is still not perfect. We figure it must be due to the rim not being true anymore.

After faffing around in the library, we pulled the bikes onto the kerb in the shade and commenced work. We managed to find a repair shop who advertises helping Trans American Trail riders with repairs, so ventured in there. Topar were fantastic, checking the rim and telling us that Todd did a wonderful job, the rim is very close to true and they wouldn’t recommend fiddling with it anymore.



As we need to order spokes, we decided to get them locally so that they would there to meet us in Roswell in a few days. We will need to be careful till then though – no rough tracks till we have some spares!



T – Seeing as we didn’t have enough spokes to suite we ended up having to rob two spokes from our front wheels. One from Rosie and poor old Mabel even gave one up for the cause. Gotta love that Mabel, who by the way has been performing flawlessly over the last 15 thousand km’s. Though I am not surprised that there are some cracks appearing in the bikes armour now. We have pushed them hard. Down crap rough roads and just the other day we did three massive mountain passes in one day. One of those passes topped out at 3899 meters above sea level and the other two at just over 3000 meters each.

We will need to get some spokes now and I am thinking of having the rear rims of both bikes respoked in LA with some nice fat spokes. If anyone can recommend someone let us know!



C - We left town really late, it probably wasn’t our smartest idea. It was 5.40pm and we ventured out towards Branson. We pushed on passed Branson, crossing the New Mexico border. The sky around us was all storm cells, with rain pouring down in all directions. We got nice and wet along the way, but found a lovely camp site in a road side pullout. No ‘no camping’ signs so we decided this was it. There was a shelter there, which looks like it used to house a picnic table, so we set up under the shelter, cooked dinner in the dark and fell into a deep deep sleep!



Onwards towards Roswell tomorrow – the weather forecast is promising me 99 degrees Fahrenheit ... fingers crossed!!!
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Old 4 Aug 2016
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3 August 2016

T - Man did it bloody rain last night! I am glad we were under that old shelter. It absolutely bucketed down! Thankfully Mabel stayed nice and dry. That’s the main thing!

This morning though we were greeted by screaming blue skies and a soft warm breeze as we crawled from our tent. It’s always nice to cross into a new place even if it is just a new state! Already the people here are waving at us as they drive past our camp. Friendly lot these New Mexicans!



We packed up camp and then we checked Rosies spokes, again, before heading out. I have placed some zip ties around the crossover points of the spokes in the hopes of minimising any more breakages.

We zipped down the road when Rosie started making a tick tick tick sound from her back wheel. I groaned. Another spoke Rosie? Already? But it was just a zip tie end that had gotten caught in the spokes and was flapping against the swing arm. Lucky Rosie, Chantelle was threatening to dump her in the ditch.







C – I am so annoyed about this spoke situation. We had no problems prior to me slamming into that cattle grid. All could have been avoided if I had avoided that big bump! Poor Rosie. I was determined to not put her under any more pressure and avoid the dirt roads. At least on the bitumen you are much more likely to spot uneven surfaces and avoid big potholes and bumps.

T - We have decided to avoid the dirt roads for now until we can either get the spokes sorted or at least have a big handful of spares. We have ordered some and should have them in hand in Roswell. Hopefully!

We were cruising along a mostly deserted highway today, which was very pleasant. We passed through some tiny little villages some with nothing more than just a post office and some falling down old timber homes.









We had a short pitstop at a tiny little mercantile where I had a Billy the Kid Sarsaparilla! Nom nom!





Then it was onwards to our camp site. Reluctantly we had chosen this one as it was the only one near us out here but it was 12 km’s down a dirt road. Normally not a problem at all! But with Rosies rear rim being an unknown worry we were very wary. But in we went anyways!



The ride was gorgeous! We turned off the bitumen at a little ghost town looking placed called Mills and headed into Mills Canyon. The road was relatively smooth for the most part and it wasn’t long before we turned down into the canyon for one of the two camps here. Then the road got rough. It wound steeply down the face of the canyon, large rocks sticking up out of the road, massive washouts cutting across in front of us. Then the inevitable. It happened.





C – We had two choices here. One was a camp set up for horses on the rim of the canyon, and the other down in the canyon. We both much preferred to camp in the bottom in, but I instantly regretted it the moment we choose that fork in the road. I should of spoke up, but decided if I took it really really slow, we would be fine. I crawled along in first gear, avoiding every single rock, rut and bump I could. Those I couldn’t, I walked her over, worrying about how we were going to get her out the steep climb slowly after camping.

T - PING!

Rosie snapped a spoke.

Damn you Rosie. Chantelle and I stood there. Both of us thinking of tossing Rosie and her stupid rear wheel off of the canyon rim. We turned around and I hopped on Rosie so I could get off and push her up the steeper rougher sections of the road. There was a horse camp at the top of the canyon and we both knew we should have stopped there.







We slowly trudged back up the hill. Me pushing like mad to get Rosie over the rocky stuff. Then Chantelle dropped Mabel. Poor little Mabel. This was becoming a bit of an effort, but I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the silliness of it all!

C – I was annoyed at myself for putting Rosie in this situation, knowing her rear wheel was not up to this and with no spare outer spokes, it was a stupid thing to do. I was fuming at myself about this when I lost momentum on a steep section, went to put my feet down and a rut was there, meaning poor Mable was leaning heavily by the time I got my foot down. I couldn’t hold her and had to let her fall. I then spent the rest of ride up even more annoyed at myself for making such a silly mistake and dropping Todds bike.

T - Finally we rolled into camp. Rosie sulking like mad about her broken bum and Mabel sulking about her little fall.

I pulled Rosies rims off and stole one final spoke from her front wheel. I wasn’t too happy about this but I knew that if we rode her with one broken rear spoke, we would have 7 broken ones by tomorrow afternoon.





With Rosie repaired and back together we watched as a nice electrical storm scooted right over us and then we retreated into the tent before the rain came down.





What a day. New Mexico is beautiful, Mabel is amazing, Rosie is a hag.

C – Poor Rosie, sulking, sitting in the electrical storm getting rained on. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day right?!?!?!?!?!

Tomorrow we continue south to Roswell. Hopefully we should be there in 2 days. It’s only 400 km’s.
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  #5  
Old 4 Aug 2016
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Damn posties, can't kill 'em
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My memory is becoming that good, I should be able to organise my own surprise party soon
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  #6  
Old 5 Aug 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucket1960 View Post
Damn posties, can't kill 'em
Sure cant! These poor girls have both been through hell. And yet here they are. Still going, albeit slighty bent and twisted here and there. From crashes with cars and each other through to battery fires, they keep on keeping on.
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Old 5 Aug 2016
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4 August 2016

C – We packed up camp and were on the road by 8.30am, both of us looking forward to pushing forth to Roswell. We rode through small country towns, some looking a little down on their luck.





T – It seems that the Interstate Highways have bypassed alot of small towns and they have all suffered for it. From boarded up homes to gas stations with holes where the pumps used to be.







C - The scenery was quite beautiful, but I was surprised at how green it was. I had envisaged New Mexico as being much more ‘deserty’. Then we came to a sign that indicated a steep descent was ahead. As we rounded the corner the steep descent was an amazing stretch of road which wound down off a plateau onto the lower plains. As we rounded the crest we both gasped. My, oh my, it was just beautiful. The nothingness stretched off way into the horizon, with bright red cliffs in the distance and a real desert feel.









As we descended, the heat turned up. We discussed how much it felt like we were riding through outback South Australia, with the ranch lands looking so much like the farming lands there. We were already pretty impressed by New Mexico, but that view just sealed it. New Mexico – you rock!!! On top of this, every car was still waving. The train drivers we passed today all leaned out the window and waved, with one even giving us a ‘toot’. Todd was very impressed and reverted to being a 7 year old boy for a little bit.

We rolled into the town of Tucumcarri, looking for a library to do some wifi tasks. We were both surprised to see the Route 66 sign!! Wowsers – we had stumble on the classic American route accidently and both were wonderfully impressed with the kitsch Route 66 signs and memorabilia. What a wonderful piece of iconic American history!!! We loved the old motels and diners and were enjoyed our short time in Tucumcarri.

T – Route 66! Route 66!!!!! I said ROUTE 66!!! I was very excited! The big old motel signs with the old fashioned lightbulbs! I loved it! We were only passing through this town but doing some of Route 66 was definitely on my bucket list!





C - We found a free camp on the outskirts of Fort Sumner, so set our sights on reaching this today. It was a warm afternoon, with a temperature display in Tucumcarri tell us it was 106. New Mexico – you know the way to my heart!!!! We gave the girls a few rest stops on the way to camp, allowing them to cool down before continuing into the hot head wind.





On our way to camp, we passed the sign lighting the way to Billy the Kid’s grave stone. We had to venture there today!!! Off we went and it was pretty cool to see the old cemetery and the graves there, with Billy the Kids being the most prominent. It was interesting to see that they have it well and truly locked down due to the headstone being stolen numerous times through the years.







We then found the Bosque Redondo Lake area campground and picked a spot in the shade. The feeling in the air was amazing as storms moved around us, the air building up humidity. It was warm and sticky when we ventured into the tent to sleep and after an attempt to get out of the tent for a toilet stop, I quickly changed my mind. Mossies everywhere. Millions of them. I ended up letting in about a colonys worth and then spent the next hour committing genocide.





Tomorrow, I want to see the Bosque Redondo Memorial and we may just visit the Billy the Kid museum before high tailing it to Roswell!
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Old 7 Aug 2016
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6 August 2016

6 August 2016

T - What an awesome day! Firstly I woke up in a bed. A super comfy bed! I am sure I must have rattled this house with my snoring last night. I slept so deeply and so well. The sun streaming in through the windows woke me up and I watched bleary eyed as the clouds scudding across the sky turned deep orange as the sun climbed up. Not a bad way to start the day!Chantelle and I were feeling rather lazy this morning and thought it might be nice to have breakfast in town. We convinced Sam that this was a good idea and that he should come along too! Lucky for Chantelle that he did. Rosie decided she didn’t want to ride today and went out in protest with a flat front tyre. Sigh. So we all piled into Sams Toyota and headed to the Cowboy cafe.



C – My poor girl. I couldn’t believe yet another flat! Oh well, we will fix that later. It was definitely time for breakfast! I have decided that we must of camped somewhere cursed and this cursed has passed onto Rosie. Her wheels just don’t want to keep rolling!

T - These Americans sure know how to feed a man! I ordered a breakfast feast consisting of pancakes and sausage and poached eggs. What came out was two enormous fat fluffy pancakes the size of a dinner plate! I struggled through one and took the other away in a box for later. Oh and I hear there is an Ihop here. I desperately want to go there. So maybe I will treat myself on Monday.We waddled from there back to the car and went to the post office to pick up the new spokes that had arrived for little Miss Thing and then tackled the UFO museum.



It was really interesting reading about the events of mid 1947 that changed the face of this town. On June 14, 1947, William Brazel, a foreman working on the Foster homestead, noticed clusters of debris around 50 km’s north of Roswell, New Mexico. Thus began the series of UFO stories involving cover ups, autopsies and alien craft. Whether you believe it was aliens or a weather balloon, it is one hell of a story and has certainly spawned an incredible tourism industry here.







C – The first part of the museum was fantastic. Displayed in chronological order, outlining the events of that time. Fascinating stuff!!! The second part of the museum is about UFO sightings and although it was still interesting, it was a bit of information overload!







T - After we had a wander through the museum we headed back to meet Karen at her place before jumping into Sams car and driving off to Lincoln. We were going to check out some of the Billy the Kid show that was going on there this weekend.On the way we stopped in at a place I had only dreamed about seeing. An abandoned Atlas Missile silo! I almost hit the ground running when I got out of the car and I was so excited to check this thing out that I may have peed a little.





These nuclear missile silos were created in the Roswell area in the 1960s in answer to ongoing sabre rattling between the US and Russia. They were manned around the clock by a 5 man crew, just waiting for the call to launch. However due to several accidents during fuelling exercises, the Atlas missile program was deactivated, the silos stripped of their missiles and any valuable steel before being handed back to the owners of the land they were installed upon.





We wandered down the entrance stairs and into darkness. Bats squeaking and flitting about. It was amazing. This one had no water in it which meant we could explore all the levels and tunnels. I loved it! I didn’t want to leave and being there bought back all the desires I once had to buy one of these and turn it into a home.







C – The missile silo was really interesting, and Todd was acting like our own personal tour guide, spieling out information about each room we went into. Karen, Sam and I were blown away by Todds knowledge about this! When we ventured into the missile silo, Karen, Sam and I lingered back – man, it was a long way down!













T - I ventured down to the very bottom of the massive missile silo itself. It was pretty rusty down there and I was a bit worried about the ladders and stairwells not holding up to my weight. But it was worth it!











After spending a nice amount of time underground we carried onto Lincoln.Lincoln is a very cool historic little town with heaps of 1800’s buildings and we had a nice wander up and down the street poking around the shops and chatting to the people there. We watched a re-enactment of a shootout before trying something called Indian fry bread. Like a taco but deep fried. So good.

C – Lincoln was a very cool little western town, with an authentic feel to it. We saw the courthouse where Billy the Kid escaped which was really cool! I love outlaw stories!!!!









T - Then it was back to Karens where we had a relaxing evening, after fixing Rosies flat and Mabel insisting on taking Sam for a hoon up the road.

C – I must mention here that Rosie’s tube showed no signs of leaking whatsoever. We were both a little confused and figured maybe the valve wasn’t put back in quite rightly. Poor Rosie – another flat that wasn’t her fault!!!!

T - We have a few errands we want to do tomorrow, such as some laundry and shopping and haven’t really made much of a plan as to what we are going to do. But come Monday, we shall be back on the road and heading for Arizona!
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Old 9 Aug 2016
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7 August 2016

T - We didn’t have too much planned for today. We are both feeling a bit tired and have decided it might be nice to have a day of leisure.

Karen had suggested a nice Mexican place in town for lunch so we knew that come lunch time we were going there! I wandered outside to pump up Rosie’s front tyre which seems to have a slow leak. Yay. Maybe I’ll take it off tonight and fix it.

About 2 seconds after I pumped it up it was dead flat again. Oh well. Karen kindly leant us one of her bikes so we could go into town. So we both hopped on and went in search of lunch!

It was quite odd to be riding a big powerful bike again. Plus this one was shaft driven vs our chain driven bikes and I really noticed the way it pulled slightly to one side as the throttle was opened up. We cruised into Roswell and plopped ourselves down in the restaurant.

Chantelle ordered a burrito and I opted for the cheese quesadillas. The serves when they came out were huge! But we were both starving and soon my tum was expanding outwards at an alarming rate. Bliss! I washed it all down with a nice cold Millers and a Dr Pepper! Healthy right?

Then it was back to Karens where I had a fiddle with one of her bikes that wasn’t quite happy. I suspect some bad fuel and perhaps even a blockage in the carbs. But I ended up getting it to run smoothly and the flat spot in the throttle almost tuned out. If I get time I will take it for a good run up the road.

C – After the amazing lunch, I managed to get all of our washing done and drying in the hot, New Mexican breeze. Then it was definitely time to tackle Rosie’s leaking tube. Luckily for me, Todd decided today was the day that I would be mechanic and he would be the lackey. Until now, I had managed to get out of actually changing a tube or tyre. Anyway, I have been Todd’s assistant a million times, so only needed minimal supervision. I was actually surprised that I managed it all without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, I think all my excuses for future tyre/tube changing events are gone now. Both of us searched and searched for the leak in the tube I took out, with neither of us being able to find it all. Oh well, another day maybe?!?!?!



Whilst I was changing my front tyre tube, Todd reinspected the rear wheel and bugger – he found two more broken spokes. It is the old spokes that are breaking thankfully. The ones we have already replaced seem ok, but the wheel definitely has some movement still. After watching copious amounts of Youtube videos, Todd had a go at straightening it out and re-tensioning the spokes. By the time he had finished, the wheel actually looked much better, with a much less pronounced wiggle. We have however, decided to head into Tuscon, Arizona, as there is an adventure bike builder there who is confident he can help us out with Rosie’s problem.

T - We just lounged about for the rest of the day. There was a lovely young couple from England that came in to stay later in the evening and we stayed up til after midnight chatting.

A nice relaxing day today. Tomorrow we shall make moves to head west towards Tucson.
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Old 9 Aug 2016
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8 August 2016

T - We were off today! It is always nice to stop and rest, but also really good to get going again and scratch my itchy feet.

We had to get some groceries and some oil in town before we left and also I wanted to try Ihop for breakfast! The couple who came in last night, Nomi and Ryan, were also quite keen to join us. So we hopped onto our packed bikes and the other two followed us into town.



Ihop. It was everything I dreamed of! Pancakes are my favourite breakfast food! EVER. I read and reread the menu. Unable to decide which decadent thing I would order. In the end I opted for the New York Pancake Stack which was full of New York Cheese cake bits! It was amazing! Super sweet but OMG.



C – Pancakes are not something I normally choose to eat, so I opted for the Breakfast Sampler. After chewing on some tasty bacon, sausages and eggs, I tried the buttermilk pancakes. I was very impressed! They were actually really yummy! But boy was I full. We had a great time hanging out with Nomi and Ryan, chatting about all sorts of travel things and learning more about England.

T - We went to Walmart to stock up our pantry and Oreillys to grab some oil. We said a goodbye to Nomi and Ryan as they were staying here for a couple of week. See you guys! Have a great trip!

We went in search of Karens work as we really wanted to see where she worked and what she did. But do you think we could remember how to get there? We rolled around for a while but by the time it hit 3pm we figured we either had to leave or head back to Karens and stay another night. We convinced ourselves to head west. Not an Easy decision.



C – I must admit it would of been very easy to slip in comfortableness at Karens! I could easily have chosen to head there for another night. But, on on!!



T - Thanks Karen for having us the last 3 nights. We have really enjoyed hanging out with you in your beautiful home. Make sure you count your cats, as I may have wanted to sneak Traveller into my luggage!

We hit a small back road that kept us off of the major highway right through to a place called Capitan. As we rocked up into town the thunder heads started to roll in. It was pretty hot out so we stopped for a quick cold drink before heading to our camp just up the road.









We set up our tent in a small flat area over looking a lake in the Smoky Bear State Park. We sat down and ate our dinner as we watched storms raging 360 degrees around us! It was insane! And so so beautiful.





C – The summer storms around us where phenomenal! I couldn’t believe that we didnt get any rain until nearly nightfall, with constant rain all around us. The storms looked really close and although I love to watch a brilliant summer storm, I do feel like a sitting duck in the tent when the lightening gets a little too close!!!!





T - As night time fell we started making moves towards the tent. The lightening flickering and flashing for quite some time before we switched of Everyone Loves Raymond and went to bed. After it got dark this place got a real creepy eerie feel and my skin was covered in goosebumps and all the hairs on my neck were stood up. Not a nice place for some reason. But only once it got dark. I daren’t tell Chantelle this just in case I freaked her out, but I couldn’t wait for sunrise.....

C – It was so weird that Todd told me this morning, as I felt a bit creeped out at this camp all night long. But only after it was dark. I didn’t say anything to him as it was already dark and we were in the tent. Weird!

T - Tomorrow we head for Arizona. Not sure we will make it, and I would like to stop and see the VLA satellite array associated with SETI.

Heres a short video from last nights camp showing the gloriousness of it all!

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Old 11 Aug 2016
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9 August 2016

T - I was awake before the sun came up today. I must say that I was pretty damn keen to pack up the tent and move on. I didn’t sleep too much last night!

We sat in the early morning sun and cooked ourselves some brekky and had a nice cup of tea while we decided what we wanted to do today. Rosie seems to have finished her spoke breaking episode, for now, but we are still wary of too much offroading until she gets the all clear.

There was a geocache nearby so we thought we would try to find it on the way out. After about 30 minutes of looking we never found it and gave up. Still have yet to find one in North America.



Then it was onwards. We had 3 turns to make today and that includes the one into our camp!

The road out was quite nice and soon we were heading downwards from the mountains we camped and across military bombing ranges. There was a big section we passed through called the valley of fire. It looked as though the whole place had in fact been burnt at some time, but it was just the massive lava flows that had once spread through this area. The black rock stretching for miles in every direction.







Then it was just slog out some bitumen for a while until we got to the town of Soccoro where we filled the bikes, updated the blog and turned west.





C – We were both super excited about getting to the National Radio Astronomy Observation centre to check out the VLA – Very Large Array. We first spotted one of the dishes as we rounded a corner. The road then became straight as we headed towards the dishes, with more and more slowly coming in to view. We both got more and more excited the closer we appeared to get, but really, it felt like it took FOREVER!





T - I had only ever seen it used in Jodie Fosters Contact movie and was well and truly impressed when I saw the large dishes spread out in every direction across the plains! Even more so when we got there and we were allowed to roam for free because the ticket office was closing!



It was quite interesting reading about the astronomy projects that go on here and the uses of the VLA. It was quite in depth and certainly way over my head!



C – We checked out the visitors centre then did the self guided walking tour, which basically walks you through how it all works. I find this field fascinating and although I can understand the concepts theoretically, the practical implications and nature of the science are waaaaaaaay out of my realm!!!





T - From there we raced towards gaps in the brewing storms that lay to the west of us. Thick black clouds hanging ominously over towering mountains while flashes of lightning chased us down the road.





It soon got to a point where we had to don our wet weather gear. Which just happened to be near a sign that proclaimed some ranchers love for the Obama team in Washington.



Lucky that we did put the wet weather gear on as it was soon bucketing down heavily. I enjoyed splashing Mabel through the puddles and washing all the mud and dust off of her undersides! Im sure she didnt enjoy it as much as me though. Then the leaks started and soon my manhood was tea bagging the pool of icy cold water collecting in my crotch. Very unpleasant, but it certainly made me sit up and wake up a little!

By the time we rolled into camp the rain had almost fizzled out. Just leaving crashing thunder and the odd bolt of lightning to keep us company.



Tomorrow we should get into Arizona quite easily!
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Old 11 Aug 2016
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Uh hah, now I've worked it out
I just spotted Scarlet and thinking, where have I seen her before ?
Traced it out through Jax/ScooterGal writings.
Call me slooooow
Enjoying your write up & travels T&C
__________________
My memory is becoming that good, I should be able to organise my own surprise party soon
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  #13  
Old 14 Aug 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucket1960 View Post
Uh hah, now I've worked it out
I just spotted Scarlet and thinking, where have I seen her before ?
Traced it out through Jax/ScooterGal writings.
Call me slooooow
Enjoying your write up & travels T&C
Hahah!

Thanks!!!
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  #14  
Old 14 Aug 2016
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10 August 2016

What a lovely little camp spot we had last night. Also as an added bonus we ended up being the only ones there!

Both of us were up bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning and the packing up of our camp seemed to go exceedingly smoothly. By the time the tea was boiling I had the tent shoved into its dry bag and the oils checked on the bikes.

There was a nice twisty looking road in our map book just inside the Arizona border and both of us were keen to check it out. It looks as though we may have fixed Rosies broken spokes issue, as this morning she didn’t have a single busted one! That makes me happy too!

The road this morning was so quiet. Hardly any traffic at all, and the few cars that did pass us were extremely well behaved, giving us a heap of room when passing and pretty well all of them waved hello. New Mexico is such a friendly place! We both really loved it.





Then we were into Arizona! A new state! At first we started to climb. Back up to nearly 3000 meters. And then we started seeing sign warning of the road to come. It made us both yell and scream in delight. No vehicles longer than 40 foot, 10 mph for the next 11 miles due to curves. Woohoo!





What a ride! What a road! Mabel was cornering so hard at speed that she constantly had a peg gouging into the bitumen. At times the sides of my panniers dragged on the road. What a blast! One corner ended just as the next one began. It was glorious!





Then the corners straightened out through gorgeous red rock canyon that eventually ended in a massive massive massive open pit mine. I couldn’t believe the size of this thing. It was so ugly but so amazing all at once.





We stopped in town for a bite to eat and to let the bikes cool down for a bit as it was over 40 degrees and the poor little things had been working hard. We are loving this heat and our skin is just soaking it up.









Once we had eaten and the bikes had cooled down we pushed on. We had a camp a fair way off and we were getting sore asses and both of us were keen to get there.

The ride from here just became a slog on a highway. We had some backroad dirt options but we still weren’t convinced about this rear wheel of Rosies yet and so thought we would play it safe until we could get it looked at by someone who knows what they are doing.

We rode and rode. Then the camp I had picked out came up. Down a very rutted, narrow, rocky, fenced off track. Dammit.





With no other option but to carry on towards Tucson we kept riding.

Eventually, just as it was getting dark, we stumbled across a free camp next to the highway. Good enough! We threw the tent up, scoffed some pasta and exhausted, crawled into bed.

Tomorrow Tucson! We are going to get this wheel checked out and a couple have contacted us through ADVrider and want to meet up! Should be a blast!
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Old 14 Aug 2016
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11 August 2016

Sorry for the absolute lack of photos today. But we have good reason.

We woke up to the sound of thunder and some light rain this morning. We had set the camp up under a nice group of trees so it wasn’t getting to wet which was good. We hurriedly packed up camp and opted to go to the nearby town of Winkleman for a diner breakfast today. Sometimes its nice to have a breakfast out right?

We strapped the bikes up with all our gear and checked the oils and started them up. While they were warming up Chantelle did a quick recce on Rosies rear wheel to make sure it was holding up well.

Which it......

Wasn’t. F bomb right there. 5 effin broken spokes.

We were both fuming. We had 7 spares left that were all too thin and too long. But I knew we couldn’t make it all the way into Tucson, some 120 km’s away, without breaking a heap more like this. So we stripped the stupid wheel out, took the bloody tyre of again, fitted all the spokes and tightened them up, all in the rain which had decided to pour down the moment I got out the tools. NOT HAPPY JAN!!

With the new spokes in place I had to go and find either a rancher or into town to find a mechanic to grind down the long bits that were sticking out of the rim.

I rode up the road to Winkleman in the thundering rain. Water pooled up on the road everywhere. The traffic whizzed by so fast and so close at times that I was constantly being showered with grit and water from their tyres. It’s fair to say that I was pretty unhappy at this point.

After some kind guys at a tyre shop took pity on me I turned tail and raced back to camp where I found Chantelle shivering and cold beneath the trees. We quickly put Rosie back together and raced off down the road where we found a diner and had a hot breakfast of eggs and toast with a side of hot coffee.

Then we slogged out the road into Tucson and the sun came out and dried up all the rain and dried us out too. This was better. We set the GPS to take us straight to the bike mechanic that we had been recommended to through ADVrider.

Here we met Frank. Owner of ZMW Adventures. We whipped Rosies rear wheel off, again, and he chucked it onto a rim truing stand. The rim ran nice and true. But it had a definite dump and a dip in it. After looking at our broken spokes Frank decided that the wheel really needed to be relaced, true and tensioned correctly which is what we all figured was doing the damage.

So with nothing for it we got in touch with Mike from Lambda Motorcycles back in Australia who immediately chucked a whole new set of spokes into an airbag and express posted it to Arizona. Hopefully they should be here Monday or Tuesday.

We had lined up a place to stay for a couple of nights here in Tuscon through Motostays. So we set off to find our hosts house. Frank kindly leant us his spare car for the night so we could at least get around.

Our host Eva was fantastic and told us we could stay as long as we needed to! Her house is right in downtown Tucson. We had a few cold s and sat around chatting before a quick midnight swim in her pool. Then it was time for bed. Its been a long long day and I need a good sleep!
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