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Thread: Retirement ride coming up NC to NM and beyond

  1. #1
    Registered User Brian-NC's Avatar
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    Retirement ride coming up NC to NM and beyond

    After 26+ years of service in LE, I'm retiring June 1st. I'm thinking of riding from NC over to New Mexico then my wife will fly out and join me. We'd like to ride some of the not to miss rides in New Mexico and then go north into Colorado for hwy 550 etc. Anyone have any suggestions for New Mexico stunning vistas and routes? Also like to hear about those rides that just aren't impressive so maybe we'd could avoid wasting time.

    Thanks in advance for your imput.
    Brian-NC
    (Matthews)
    Current bike
    2010 RT Ostra Grey

  2. #2
    On a Ride
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    Hey Brian, Congrats. I rode something similar to what you are considering not long ago and had a blast. Here's a northern New Mexico journey, along with a ride up to Durango. A relaxing two days. The semi-circle around Taos is known as the "Enchanted Circle". Sweet. So is the Cimarron Canyon approach to the circle from the east on U.S. 64. The itinerary could include the Cimarron/Taos/Circle for a day, then the ride to Durango for a day. There are also some rides south of Santa Fe, towards the SW part of NM if interested.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=C...1&sz=9&t=m&z=9

    Steve

  3. #3
    172526
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    Retired in August '11. It will be everything you imagined. Enjoy the ride, savour the journey, it is well earned.

  4. #4
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    yes Brian, hearty congrats on your retirement!

    Having lived most of my adult life in Santa fe, and attending college in Las Vegas, you are talking of home! lol

    There are many indian pueblos between Albqurque and Santa fe. One which used to be very friendly and easy entrance was Santo Domingo. As I remember about 20 mi. S of SF
    There is also an old road (hwy 14) the back road from Albq>SF with several old mining towns named Cerrillios, Madrid, and Golden. I'd highly recomend Hwy 14 on your way north.
    The little town of Lamy which is roughly SW of Santa Fe is a very interesting old western town with a great restraunt. Lamy is as far as the Santa Fe RR ever made it...that's where they ran out of money! lol

    Santa Fe is beautiful with much to see & lots of great riding locally. Be sure to visit the oldest church in the USA just off the plaza (right beside the Inn at Loretto)! There is a sprial staircase inside the Chappel at Loretto which is amazing, and also has an amazing story to go with it. http://www.santafenm.info/churches.htm Google the The Miraculous Staircase-Architects and engineers have come from worldwide to try and figure out how it is supported-none have yet!
    Maria's Mexican Kitchen is still one of the best places for local cruzine. There is a great french pastry shop on the N. side of The Inn of the Govenors hotel on San Fransisco St. on the Plaza which is worth a visit! Canyon Road is a good journey too, really artsy craftsy, and visit El Farrol Restraunt for a drink on the veranda. La Posada Inn on E. Plaza St
    is a great stop for a lunch or dinner. Off of east Palace, head north up the city streets into the foothills to see some of "old Santa Fe", and don't be afraid of the one lane dirt streets~! It's a beautiful 17 mile ride up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin from downtown-good twisties, and great views.

    285 N then left on 502> Los Alamos you will see Black Mesa which is an old and probably still used indian burial ground.

    North on 76 from 285 is a wonderful road, and takes you through several ancient spanish towns including Chimio. In this area is where arguably the best green chili is grown. Rancho de Chimio is a great little inn, and even better restraunt!! highly recomend a meal here!

    a trip through the Rio Grande Gorge is a great ride! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge

    Las Vegas is a unique and picturesque little town. The Plaza Hotel on the old plaza is where Teddy Roosevelt lived, during the 'Roughriders" days. He had the entire top floor leased for himself. Just North of LV is a littel town of Montezuma. There you will find an old Resort hotel built in the 1800's
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montezuma_Castle_(hotel)

    I could go on, and on and on........
    If you want, feel free to email or PM.

    Enjoy your trip!
    Ken F
    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  5. #5
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-NC View Post
    After 26+ years of service in LE, I'm retiring June 1st.
    First of all, congratulations!

    I did a search earlier today to find an old thread about retirement but couldn't locate it.

    My last day at work was this past Friday. Although I won't be officially retired until April 11th, I am for all practical purposes retired now. And yes, that should give a clue about the massive amount of accruals available, that I am off using accruals between now and April 11th. I could never get more than a week and a half off during good weather, which is one reason I am retiring. I have 30.5 years in as a civil engineer in my last position, mostly in road and bridge construction. I'll be 63 in one week, another reason to retire while I can hopefully still do some long road trips on the bike.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  6. #6
    Sam...I am
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    Pre congrats on the retirement.

    Don't stop your sights on only NM & CO. Go to UT!

    Get this map at Auto Club.

    IMAG0504-S.jpg

  7. #7
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    Nm/co

    Congrats on the retirement.......ride hard!!!

    Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos.....all the scenery.....all the New Mexican cuisine!!!! If you're an NRA member, the Whittington Center southwest of Raton, NM is a sight to see. From Taos to there is a beautiful ride. So many "back roads"!!

    Definitely the Enchanted Circle around Taos. The "High Road to Taos" from Santa Fe to Taos is great, too. From Taos, head to Chama, NM via the "long route" as I call it. From Taos, head north on Hwy 522 to San Luis, CO (lots of open space scenery, beautiful vistas (stop at the Wild Rivers Recreational Area about 30 minutes north of Taos near the town of Questa....look down a 1000 ft canyon to the Rio Grande River...then north to San Luis, CO (the oldest town in Colorado and just across the NM/CO state line...west to Antonito. West on Hwy 17 takes you over the San Juan range of the Rockies, over La Manga and Cumbres Passes, both over 10,000 ft!! This roughly follows the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.....much better IMHO than the Durango Silverton RR.

    Chama to Pagosa, to Durango and over the Million Dollar Highway. Then back east on Hwy 50....maybe north to Leadville, Colorado's highest city.

    So many choices.....so little time!!!

    BTW, if you need any service, check in with Basin Motorcycle Works, just west of Durango in the little community of Mancos, CO on Hwy 160, for one of the best independent BMW wrenches anywhere.
    Piperjim

    '95 R1100RS
    '61 John Deere 3010 LP

  8. #8
    Registered User Brian-NC's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for your replies! My wife will be flying out to meet me in NM because she doesn't have all the time in the world. She's still working full time so her vacation time is limited. We've focused on NM and CO because of the time restraints.

    I road a friend's K1600 GTL yesterday... big mistake! Now I'm trying to justify trading my 2010 RT for a new GTL The extra room for passenger and overall long distance comfort will come in handy. In 2006, I rode my 2002 LT out west for approximately 6K mile ride. It performed flawlessly. The only way to do a long ride like that again on my RT is to spend some serious money on a custom seat, better windshield, GPS/mounts, aux driving lights, etc...

    I told my wife about the ride on the GTL last night and she said.............go get one, you deserve it!

    Best wife ever and no, you can't have her

    Keep the info coming and thanks again.
    Brian-NC
    (Matthews)
    Current bike
    2010 RT Ostra Grey

  9. #9
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    yep, sounds like you've got a keeper!

    My wife & I did exactly what you are planning a couple of summers ago.. I did a SS1k to Santa Fe, and she flew out & met me there, then we did
    the tour of NM & Southern Colo then back to Missouri together. All on a R1100RS with a stock seat.....so I'm sure you could do it on an RT!
    It's a great excuse for a new m/c though!!!

    Ken
    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  10. #10
    Registered User Brian-NC's Avatar
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    Retirement ride NC to NM has been changed to Nova Scotia...

    There's a disturbance in the force....

    My navigator (best wife ever) said that she would rather go north for our epic ride instead of battling the extreme heat of southwest Texas and southern NM. She went on to say the better time for a trip to that area would be September/October for the splendor of Fall. She has a point so, now, we've set our sights on Nova Scotia and the Cabot Trail.

    I checked the average temps in that area Maine/Nova Scotia for June and July... daytime temps around 65 - 70 with nights down to the 40's. So there's the answer, we're going there instead. NM and CO will have to wait for another time.

    With that being said, any advice on Nova Scotia?
    Brian-NC
    (Matthews)
    Current bike
    2010 RT Ostra Grey

  11. #11
    172526
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    Nova Scotia and the whole Canadian / US maritime region is absolutely stunning in the fall colours. Chances are you will hit some cooler days with some rain but mid Sept - early Oct are still very rideable. Days do get a little shorter so look at the sunset tables and plan your ride days accordingly.

    We drove the Cabot in a car a couple years back in the first week of Oct and the temps were in the mid 80s.

  12. #12
    On the Blue Roads RevWillie's Avatar
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    Thumbs up come by "Bikers Breakfast" before you leave

    Congratulations, Bryan!

    Now that you have some "spare time", you need to come to Bikers Breakfast @ Carolina Brewery& Grill at the US-64 (bypass), and the US-15-501 intersection in Pittsboro, NC. Sponsored by The Gonzo Touring Team (MOA#247), it is a good place to talk to riders that have ridden in those directions, and a good place to get some breakfast and meet some riders (of all brands). I know that "Ossifer Bob" has made some rides out the way you are examining.

    Hope to see you at the Breakfast sometime soon!

    Rev.
    Onward, through the fog!

  13. #13
    Registered User Brian-NC's Avatar
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    I guess I should've clarified my time of departure. I'm planning on leaving mid June and returning sometime mid July, maybe August...

    The northeast should be rightly thawed out by then as well as Nova Scotia. The only big chance to take is the potential for rain, and lots of it. That combined with fog could possibly shut down an entire trip.

    I'm still game, especially if I land a new GTL.
    Brian-NC
    (Matthews)
    Current bike
    2010 RT Ostra Grey

  14. #14
    Registered User Tewster2's Avatar
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    I am also retiring from LE soon and have made many trips through NM, CO, UT, WY, ect. When you do decide to go west, here are a few of my favorite destinations:

    Monument Valley UT (stay at the Gouldings campground)
    Moki Dugway and Valley of the Gods Road, UT (gravel but any bike will do)
    Durnago, Hwy 550 Million Dollar Hwy (Siesta Motel in Durango, in-expensive and nice folks)
    Hwy 141 CO
    Grand Mesa CO, (awsome veiws at End OF The World Road at the top)
    Hwy 50 and 92, CO (simpley beautiful)
    Pikes Peak, (careful with altitude sickness and paved all the way to the top)
    Hwy 128 from Moab to I-70 along the Colorado River (spectacular and very isolated as you get closer to I-70 at Cisco)
    Canyonlands and Arches Parks in UT outside of Moab, (Adventure Inn in Moab, nice owners and not expensive)
    Grand Tetons and any road in WY
    Beartooth (Hwy 212 on WY MT border (probably the most beautiful road in America IMHO)

    Just a bit of forthought about riding across the plains in June. The temps last year when I rode across NB and IA were in the lower 100's with a 50 mph cross wind out of the north. Sucked.

    There are many videos on You Tube that I have used to plan trips to various locations in the west. Have fun!
    Last edited by tewster2; 02-24-2013 at 03:51 PM.
    Tim2

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