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Now I'm hooked on winter riding. As long as there is no snow or ice, there's less traffic, better motel rates and less dust.

On the spur of the moment, I packed up and left for the nearest I-10 on-ramp, eastbound.
My svelt Burgman just had an oil change and a rear-end lube job so I felt confident especially with the odometer at 3,700 miles. This bike needs a trip!

Semi-trucks have no mercy here in the southwest, as they'll approach the Burgman to within about 10 feet before swinging out for a lane change.
Keeping my speed up to at least 75mph makes for better timing for other cars and trucks to change lanes. After all, speed limits for some are just a starting point.

After a KFC lunch at the Willcox off-ramp, I started to cringe at having to get back on I-10 and it would be another 100 miles until Deming, NM before I could get back off the interstate for the 2-lane northeast leg on State 26.
That leg of the trip was pleasant with just a handful of passing traffic while climbing over the Continental Divide and the sun almost to my back.
With a direct sun toward the rear of the bike, it can glare off of the instrument panel right back into my eyes.

You can always tell when you're approaching an interstate highway again because everyone around drives a little faster. The northbound I-25 leg was much regretted because it was the same 10-over-the-limit habit that defeats the purpose of touring when the priority is time and speed instead of looking and enjoying.
At dusk on NB I-25 and 155 miles on the gauge, I started to look closely at the milage signs to make sure I'd make it. An AN400 will do 75mph and will pass cars from there up into 85 to 90mph but the miles per gallon figure drops off at about 65mph.

Socorro has plenty of older motels at under $30 a night so I took the $27 one. The next day, I rode north on I-25 again just far enough to see the Sandia range ahead plus the valley that takes US60 eastbound but I turned around and went back west on US60.
No, I wasn't pressed for time and I wanted to go to Winrock Place in Albuquerque to buy a pair of pants. What I did to turn back was that I got it in my head that a half-gallon of orange juice looked good that morning and I guzzled the whole thing down and it was good. But there's this little detail called digestion and I knew that maybe I'd make it to Belen because the last time I was in Belen was 1986 and ofcourse I'd make it but just try telling your digestive system that not only has it been betrayed but that in the next 53 minutes it would have an emergency stop in Belen, right? Wrong.
This works at home and all I'd have to do is stick close by while the half gallon of OJ sought out what ever means necessary but in between Belen and Socorro my guts weren't buying anything I was trying to say so I went back to that little gas station in Socorro.

I made sure that I returned to Tucson on as many 2-lane mountain roads as I could. As for $2.20 a gallon gas on the interstate, forget 'em.


Here's a shot, high in the mountains at 6,000 feet.




A snapshot of a Very Large Array antenna west of Socorro.



And that motel in Socorro. Don't laugh, the heater worked just fine.

 

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The motel might not be fancy, but the price is right and it's got the same microwave as I havehere. . It'd make me feel right at home .... if it was't so neat :p
 

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I asked the front desk for a quiet room in back - away from thumper cars and other noise.
After checking in and bedding down, the next door room opened up and they
played the TV loudly till midnight.
 

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AJ, thanks for sharing - don't know if I like the sound of the interstates (sounds very familiar!!) - good pics thanks for sharing. The motel didn't have a load of 'black & whites' parked outside did out - I would have thought the bars at the window would have been clue enough! :D
 

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I did my share of staying in $30 rooms last Summer when touring. They all had a decent bed and plumbing that worked. Anything beyond that was a bonus! TV reception was usually marginal. One room didn't have a chest of drawers & the parking lot was gravel. But a good night's sleep and a hot shower was all I really needed - and for that, they were fine.
 

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Driving further north into Albuqerque would have had a nasty effect on your digestion all on its own. Albuquerque drivers are aggressive. So much so that the federal government had to be called in to deal with the problem in 2004. They departed in tears :cry: . Winrock Mall is currently being renovated, so there is another good reason to turn back. If you are ever to return to Socorro this winter be sure to check out the 'Bosque Del Apache' to view the birds wintering there. :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
.....News that touches your life

Sounds phonetically like a hamlet in Southern Illinois called Boskydell.
But they were a different tribe altogether.
The New Mexico wildlife and bird chirping is really nice. I'll check out
the Bosque Del Apache place next time.

The motel microwave is a .6liter/600watt Sharp. From what ABQ, Billmeek and Pauljo have said,
those amenities are first class, in the $30 range.

I lived in Albuquerque in fall '86, and that aggressive traffic was one of the reasons I left.
Is that for real, that the fed had to come to town?
Cable TV in Socorro had abq news on it with bloody-body-news programs at 6 and 10. I get that in Tucson.
Oh, and did I tell you about the wonderful winter weather (sarcasm) we have here.

Those chains do make noise!
NormanB, the pics loaded in at over 1mb each, so I recompressed them
down to modem loading sizes for your viewing pleasure.
Here in Tucson, many drivers look both ways for Cops!
And we do have a local phone number to call to report aggressive drivers
but I'd be on the phone too much if I use it.
Have you looked closely at the TV picture with the Capitol Dome and the title
Inauguration - something or other.

The Socorro trip turned out to be a big reminder that someday
soon, I should quit the Rat Race.
 
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