The title really sums it up. I traveled to Roswell, NM, then proceeded south to Artesia. From there, I rode west on US 82 to a little town called Cloudcroft, and then to a place in a national park called sunspot. That New Mexico ride along 82 has been the best yet. There isn’t much in the beginning, but towards the end things just got better and better. For starters, the road gets progressively twisty. Then awesome flat landscapes with some canyon like formations start appearing. Suddenly you’re climbing elevation through beautiful mountain scenery. The road rides the mountains with a cliff edge on one side looking out into a continual valley scenery. The whole ride is quite lengthy and simply gets better as one goes along. Camping sites begin to sprout up along the route. Eventually I found the turn I needed to make my way to the sunspot center in the park. If the roads before were a little nerve wracking, the ride after that is outright terrifying. At first the long gradual turns are inviting for high speed. The added rigor of extremely long downhill portions makes it feel like a roller coaster ride, except here your ride isn’t on rails to keep you safe. Eventually you are forced to slow down as there are more than enough blind turns that get progressively sharper through them to catch a speeding biker by surprise. I’m not saying I went some absurd speed, but adhering to the speed limit set for keeping 18 wheelers safe on a motorcycle on such an intense road is outright blasphemous. The turns aren’t the only thing that can catch you off guard though, at one point I came up to cows walking along the middle of the road after a sharp blind turn. I almost bailed several times, and several times more I underestimated the turn, and had there been another vehicle or a cow after the turn I likely wouldn’t be typing this journal right now. Eventually I made it to the viewing place. The view from the top of the mountain is indescribable. I haven’t yet gotten a chance to put the photos on my computer but I am certain they won’t do it justice.
Though the view here is particularly amazing, the entire last few hours have been spectacular. It really got me thinking about life and about why I chose to do this trip in the first place. I’ve realized, I’ve hardly stopped. Even the few stops I’ve made so far weren’t remarkable. I’ve stopped in bars and wifi spots and the like for the most part. Yet even with that, I feel like I’m having the time of my life. I realized, in the most cliché way it can humanly be said, that it truly is about the ride, and not the destination. The exhilaration and freedom I experience being on my bike with the wind pounding my face and wind-burnt knuckles is something impossible to describe to a cager.