Wednesday Day 6 - Dirt, sweet dirt at last

We woke up early as planned but still feeling the affects of the Tequila. We went back to sleep and tried again a few hours later, this time having progressed to the hung over stage. I always seem to get sick on Tequila, so I had to clean out the sink (eeeeeewww). We packed up and headed accross the street for a hearty breakfast.

The dirt road began with a nice gravel road, FR239 but some became narrower and a much looser surface. After getting around a road grader, things improved a lot. The deep freshly turned gravel behind the grader played havok with the steering. We buzzed through the woods, getting occasional canyon valley views as we climbed the mountain.

After crossing the mountain we hit a much more desert type set of dirt roads, the most interesting and challenging featur being the deep arroyo river channel crossings. Although most were dry some had mud in the bottom and very steep walls, an intersting ride for 800 pounds of man and machine.
After crossing alot of dirt and several gates, we stopped at a remote crossroads to enjoy lunch of power bars, gatorade and water. The remoteness and quiet of this area was astounding. off to the west we code see a mining operation and see some dust rising but could hear nothing. The dirt roads stretched as far as the eye could see. This was really scenic country and I wish I had more pictures.
To get a sense of the scale of the arroyos, check out how small I look riding through one of the medium-large ones. Several stories deep some of them were 100 feet across. With Wayne's 200mph water plume ringing in my ears I was thankful for the dry weather that morning. There were other challenges as well, some cows had staked out a spot blocking the road and required a close up Suzuki visit to move along. The canyons and vista were beautiful, and we got a much closer view from the dirt roads than from the interstate. The last 20 or 30 miles of dirt that day were particularly tiring, alternating between hard exposed rocks and soft sand that plowed the front end out left and right constantly. Just as we were nearing the end of the dirt, dark storm clouds and sprinkling rain bade us to deck out in Grogg Toggs (Don was smug in his Darians) but we prevailed and zipped the last 10 miles up hiway 44 into Cuba NM. Everyone we have asked about the weather has lamented "it never rains here" and hoped it will rain on us, and so far it has rained every day. So much for the arrid desert.

We checked into the Cuba Lodge just as we rolled into town, with plans to eat dinner at the diner accross the street, but the owner recommended a joint allegedly run by her cousin, a claimed denied at the restaurant. We walked what she said was a "five minute walk, two with your long legs" but actually turned out to be more like a mile. Not a terrible walk, but the 123 dirt miles in 6 hours added to the tequila recovery made it seem like a lot more.

Upon returning to the room, I took off my boots and the smell was unbearable. The boots spent the night in the unplugged refrigerator in the room so we could have some relief! The Cat Piss Socks had to go in there too.