Jun 25, 2012

Los Alamos Loop

So, the urge to see something a bit further from home had been gnawing at me. Plus, sometimes you just need some time along on a motorcycle. It's great for the soul.
View Highway 4 loop in a larger map I started by heading down to Route 66 for some coffee and breakfast. A 250 mile day was no big deal so I wasn't in a huge rush. When I stopped to top off the tank I was shocked at how cheap gas had gotten! Too bad I didn't own a tanker truck. Photobucket I road north along Highway 550 to Highway 4. Just after entering the reservation I had to stop and get a picture of how red the dirt had become. A little like Sedona, but with it's own color. Photobucket Photobucket A clean bike is a happy bike. Photobucket I love how you can be in an area that is high desert and as long as a river is nearby it gets so green! Photobucket Great tarmac along here. Photobucket This road might get crowded for all I know, but for a Saturday morning at about 10, it was empty! Photobucket I rolled through the little town of Jemez Springs. I could see if it was later in the day I'd want to stop here and hang out for a bit! Photobucket Photobucket Some old ruins just off the road that I was too cheap to pay and check out up close. Now I'll research what they are and then I'll have an interest to check them out next time. Photobucket Jemez Spring is right along the road. I'm bringing my trunks for next time. The water was nice and warm and it was bubbling right out of the rock on both sides of the road. Photobucket The main spring just gushes water. Pretty impressive! Photobucket Photobucket You can climb up inside the dome of mineral deposits in the previous picture and this is what you see. Photobucket Pretty amazing really! Photobucket I was just SO enjoying the miles of pavement with very few cars or bike. There were tons of cyclists on the road, but they don't take up a lane so they don't count. Plus, I'm a cyclist so what do you expect me to say. I do have to say that people are so darn friendly. I stopped to take a picture and a cyclist road by smiling ear to ear at what a beautiful morning it was and said hello, have a great ride! I've never had that happen before. I tend to get glares from different user groups. The hikers hate the cyclists hate the motor cyclists hate the 4x4ers hate the quad people and everyone hates shooters. Too bad I'm in all of those groups and many more. It felt good to have someone just offer a nice hello regardless of what you were on. Photobucket And lean left! Photobucket Just like Arizona, New Mexico has some interesting city names! Photobucket Time to sit down and enjoy some water. Just down stream from the bridge I was sitting on were several folks fly fishing. I need to go with my buddy Westy to learn how. Photobucket Photobucket Okay, I'm torn between resting in peace and enjoying the breeze in my face. Just like a dog, I choose breeze in my face. Time to go. Photobucket High atop a nearby tree was the nest of something! I have no idea what though! Photobucket More folks fly fishing. Photobucket Fenton Lake. Pretty, but too many people for how good I had it today. Photobucket The sweepers, oh the sweepers. I was loving this. Where are the rest of the Hungry Horses when you need them! Photobucket Eventually you pop up in a huge crater. These entire mountains were formed from an ancient volcano and you are either riding along the rim or in the caldera of the volcano. Pretty cool! Photobucket Sadly, in addition to the fires going on in NM right now, a big one took out a good portion of the trees in this area last year. Photobucket Ahhh, sometimes it's fun to carve the turns and really rally the little Triumph. Not today, I was barely putting along at 50 enjoying it. Photobucket As you near White Rock you descend and enter more of a high desert. Photobucket Being so close to Los Alamos means they take security pretty seriously. I didn't feel like going for a hike after these. Photobucket There were many others. I was perplexed as to why they had so many versions of basically the same sign which was "go away" Photobucket Stay on THIS side of the signs. haha. Photobucket Approaching the town of White Rock. Photobucket Overlooking the Rio Grande below. Photobucket Photobucket I got a kick out of this. Not too often you'll see a sign like this. Photobucket I headed into Santa Fe hoping to sit in the old Spanish square and relax. Not today. It was tourist central. I kept on keeping on and road toward Santa Fe brewing. I love their beer and so I thought I'd stop by the brewery to check it out. Turns out they were having a chopper show today. What luck!! Photobucket Nice upstairs patio. Photobucket Photobucket I love the Happy Camper IPA. They have it in cans at Costco here! Killer deal for a great beer! The Java Stout is just dangerous! As much caffeine as a cup of coffee along with a strong beer. Lookout! Photobucket Lots of Bandidos in this part of the country. They seem to be the largest MC in NM as far as I've seen. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Tell us how you really feel! Photobucket Photobucket Gotta love the old Cushmans. Photobucket Photobucket He must be a deer hunter with all that 30.06 ammo. Photobucket Next up I road towards the little town of Madrid. It's an old coal mining town. Pretty neat little place. The food is pretty good. While I was there the power went out and it seemed like the way the crowd jeered that it was a pretty common occurrence. Gotta love a place with personality. Photobucket Photobucket From Madrid I realized it was getting late and I was BEAT. Riding with an open face helmet and no wind fairing in this dry air takes it out of you. I was feeling like being home. About half way home from Madrid a nice thunderstorm cooled me off which I really didn't mind. The pain of rain drops at speed? I did mind that a bit, but I'd rather have that inconvenience that be sitting at home or shopping at a mall. That's for sure.