Sunday, June 14, 2009

Altitude Sickness, Taos New Mexico, Day I

Friday was a little bit shorter work day than usual. Since I just finished installing three new tires on the BMW / Sidecar we decided that we should get busy and begin wearing them out. The Texas Panhandle has some what limited exciting looking ride areas so looking West we see New Mexico. What the hell, only a couple hundred miles to some mountains. Let's go! Darian is a pro at getting ready at short notice, she was packed up and ready within an hour. I loaded the bike and checked things over. We decided to forgo camping this time so left all the camping gear behind. I rolled the bike back to leave and realize that the sidehack tire is way low. Bummer. Figured I must have pinched a tube when installing it last night. Pulled the hack wheel off, and found the valve core was not overly tight. The core looked kind of crooked so I swapped it out. Still had a tiny bit of leakage out of the stem. Damned inner tube stem has a bad sealing surface. Installed an o-ring sealed cap and all leaks ceased. Off we go.

Leaving our area we crossed the Sanford Dam which is where we are presently working.......I marked out the area of our job site.

The day was mostly clear and about 90 degrees. Northwest Texas is as flat as Northeast Texas.....................
Finally New Mexico....The mostly featureless Texas terrain gave up to some more interesting New Mexico terrain. The New Mexico sharp shooters are just like the MT. sharp shooters. Can't stand to see a road sign without bullet holes.

New Mexico Rest Area Warning Sign.......we watched but never saw any.

We headed Northwest towards Raton New Mexico. Some very nice country in this area. We decided our final goal would be Taos, New Mexico due to the fact we had never been there. The BMW started running real ratty as the afternoon wore on. Altitude sickness, I figured.
We worked our way over towards Cimarron New Mexico. It looked like a good end goal for the day. Raton has lots of motels but Cimarron looked like a sizable town on the map. We were climbing higher and higher and the bike was running badder and badder....We arrived at Cimarron around 6:30 Mt. Time. Ends up that there are only two motels in town and a big Boy Scout thing and wedding going on. I knew I should have brought the damn camping gear! No room at the inns. We sat around outside the motel discussing our next move for a little while.....either 40 miles back to Raton or keep going west. The Motel manager came out and offered us her daughters' (who was gone for the night) room. Darian went in and looked...dirty underwear, clothes all over, the room looked like a disaster area. We'll pass....I'd about had enough for one day....finally the motel girl came out and lo and behold they had a double reservation for one guy. We had a room after all. Good. There was a decent cafe next door. Unfortunately all the Boy Scouts were eating there too. I talked to one of the Scout Masters and was pleased to hear that Scouting is still popular. Scouting does add some ethics and discipline to kids...lots of kids these days are missing that. Seems like a lot of parents have never heard of morals, ethics, discipline, etc.
Gravel parking lot at the motel and a punk employee kept driving back and forth in his Mustang stirring up clouds of dust...... I dug into my on-board spare parts bin and found I had a pair of R75/5 135 main jets and a pair of smaller needle jets. Hopefully I can come up with a workable higher altitude jetting combination in the morning. We will be going up in altitude a lot more tomorrow! Great ride...Great day!

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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.