I decided to stop by the International UFO Museum to take a picture on my way out of Roswell. On my way northbound I met a biker at a gas station with enough badges on his jacket to be convincing on his advice: he told me to head towards Albuquerque and hop onto the 550 a lot earlier than I was planning to. I decided to follow his advice.
Unfortunately, I decided to hop on even earlier than before the 550 starts, around Cedar Crest. From there I’d follow the14 to the 536 to the 165, which then becomes the 550.
I decided on the Cedar Crest part because the roads I just listed looked very twisty and fun on the map.
At first they were great: lots of switchbacks climbing a mountain on reasonably good road. I decided to try to take a video of them with my phone mounted on the handlebars. The video ended up being of poor quality since the vibrations reverberated onto the video. (I tried keeping the bike between 3500-5000 rpms on the climb.)
It eventually came time to hop onto the 165 section. That’s when I realized I’d signed myself up for a much bigger adventure than I knew. 165 is a completely unimproved road with sand, mud, potholes, gravel, and rocks. It was the kind of road you’d go out of your way for if you wanted to go on an adv bike.
I filmed about 13 minutes of it. I may upload all of them or trim it depending on the size.
I ended up fighting through that road for about an hour before I got onto the 550.
Nothing but 5-15mph coasting downhill and using lots and lots of rear brake.
This adventure put me behind schedule to make it to Durango. I intend to change my route up and go up the 550 past Durango and then make my way east to Colorado Springs where I have a contact waiting for me.
Sundown caught me long before Durango, in a little town called Cuba, NM.
I ran into some guys at a gas station and we chatted for abit. They said they were with a church and said they could put me up for the night. With nowhere to sleep in Durango anyway, and unwilling to ride at night, I took them up on their offer.
They have these little cabins for road weary travelers to sleep in, furnished with cots, and even some solar panels.
They fed me me some Navajo tacos last night and let me shower in the morning. They also had me take a picture of their business card so I’d let the world know that they’re here: they don’t mind hosting bikers at all.
I hope to make it to Colorado Springs today.
(Shoutout to Rex and Wesley at Lybrook Ministries for all their generosity.)