Tuesday, 10/15 – Los Cruces NM to Ozona Tx

A long deceased friend of mine, Don Davis of Don Davis Aviation in Henderson, Kentucky was a light aircraft avaitor. Back in the day he and his wife Jo were barnstormers. They flew their byplane from town to town giving the locals rides for a nominal fee to finance their travels. After he retired he bought a Goldwing and started touring. 20 years ago he talked me into taking my first long road trip on a motorcycle. We rode from Owensboro, Ky to Colorado to do the Colorado 500 charity road ride. His days of long distant traveling in a Cessna 172 taught him one important fact. An internal combustion engine requires fuel and you never pass up a chance to get some. Opportunity fuel.

West Texas is a desolate place. On a scooter with just over 3 gallons of fuel I use the Don Davis theory out here. If the trip meter has over 50 miles showing and I see fuel I buy it. Even doing that I came to fuel stops twice yesterday on fumes. The first time was in Balmorhea, Tx. The low fuel light had been on forever when the sign said Food and Fuel this exit! Yahoo! There it was…Marquez Cafe. It was 50 degrees and pouring rain ALL day. Cold, wet, hungry and on fumes it was a welcome sight. 3.34 gallons went in the tank. Think it holds 3.4. When I walked in the door I encountered the proprietors…Mario and Maria Marquez. Their trucking business had gone bad. This little hole in the wall building in the middle of nowhere Tx was available for a song so they did took what was left and rolled the dice. I asked Maria if they had Tacos. 15 minutes later 5 mini beef softshell tacos laid before me. They were the best I have ever had! Or else I was famished but I’m fairly certain both were true. We talked business and politics a little and scooters. Maria loved the Kymco. Mario wanted to by my ride for his loving wife so badly. I looked around and didn’t see an airplane to get me home so I had to pass.

These kind, happy hearted people were the high point of my cold and extremely wet day. Truly an oasis. Their belief in America and Capitalism was inspiring. I left there wishing them success.

My 7 year old Harley-Davidson FXRG waterproof leathers with about 200,000 miles on them decided they wers no longer waterproof. 50 degrees, windy and hard rain for 450 miles had taken its toll. At 6 pm I came across a Super 8 and said yes. Its over. Turns out it had a pool and a hot tub in an atrium. A massive can of Budweiser and an hour soak in the hot tub did the trick. Time for sleep. Hopefully the weather will turn my way tomorrow. Either way I must go. 1375 miles to Daytona and my bed. 6000 miles down and 1375 to go.

Hope Maria gets her scooter…

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Phoenix to Los Cruses

There comes a time in every long distance tour when your thoughts turn to home. Looking at my maps while eating yet another hotel breakfast was that time. Good weather forecast for the day and a full tank of fuel in the Kymco were calling. Time to ride.

Phoenix rises out of the desert like an Oasis. Perhaps it was a mirage?

As soon as I left Phoenix I was back in the high desert rolling West along I-10. At some point the two lanes were calling and 80 West appeared so I took it. No traffic, beautiful cactus plants and a chance to do some 60 mile per hour sight seeing. The sign said “Tombstone 26 Miles”. Cool. It was time for lunch and Tombstone sounded just right. I parked the bike and took a walk down the dirt road to the wooden sidewalk that led to the historic Crystal Palace saloon.

The shootout at the OK Corral took place on a cool October day just like this one. October 26,  1881 to be exact was the day the Erps took on the lawless Cowboy gang. Ike Clanton and the boys still lay in the ground that they call Boothill Cemetary. When I fired up the Kymco it sounded so good. Steel Horse.

Tombstone cost me a couple of extra hours and I lost an hour crossing yet another time zone. The hotel bed felt good and as I turned off the Weather Channel the forecast was for heavy rain across much of Texas. It is over 900 miles from one end of Texas to the other along my path which is I-10.

Tomorrow sounds like a true grit kind of day.

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Beauty

Beauty

And the setting sun gathers all the colors of the sky and slips away as a sign of a day well lived by the Universe…and me.

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Need light at night!

Need light at night!

The cockpit gauges are very well illuminated…

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New Mexico sunset

New Mexico sunset

The setting sun and New Mexico in the rear view mirror.

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500cc single

500cc single

The business end of the 500cc single. No worries. My GTi 300 did the same thing. Looks cool.

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Choose your path…

Choose your path...

Leaving Tombstone I was struck by the wide open spaces.

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