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Monday, April 16, 2012

Winds from H. E. double toothpicks

So, we thought the winds in Death Valley were bad. Dear God, the winds in New Mexico are horrible in April. This was one of the things I was concerned about with going to New Mexico in April, and we experienced the worst of it. We left Albuquerque Saturday (April 14) morning. Our first stop was Starbucks, then Sandia BMW Motorcycles. We didn't end up actually leaving Albuquerque until about 11 a.m. or so. We had 250 miles, which means we should have had plenty of time to get to Alamogordo by 6 p.m., the time we had planned to meet some friends for dinner at Margo's.

We decided to go through the east mountains to Carrizozo then through Ruidoso through the Mescalero Indian Reservation, possibly through Cloudcroft to Alamogordo. The first part of the trip through the mountains was great. The wind was not too bad. But then if flattens out onto a plateau and then the wind got crazy. By the time we got to Willard, we needed to take a break. We think winds were gusting at about 60 mph. We found a building we could hide behind from the wind. The pictures do not at all show the horrificness of the wind that day. At one point, I could barely see the lines on the road because of the dust. Here is a picture and a video, but in this, we are protected from the wind.

video

As we sat there out of the wind, a man named Felix stopped by and offered to let us come hang out at his house. We decided not to, although it was very tempting. He was very nice, but I was determined to keep going. So, we did. It didn't seem as bad as the 10 miles or so prior to Willard, so we continued. What I didn't think about before we left Albuquerque was that we should have just left all of our bags with Sully to bring down to Alamo, since he was coming a couple hours behind us. In Corona, we called Sully and decided to have him meet us in Carrizozo so we could put the bags in his truck.

We kept going to Carrizozo and stopped at the Four Winds restaurant for coffee (appropriate) and waited about 20 minutes for Sully. He also brought a ramp and tie downs in case I wanted to put my bike in the truck, but we decided to just put the bags in and I would try to continue on my bike. Steve was to call him if I just couldn't do it anymore. We had been told by several folks along the way that the wind was even worse in Alamo and the Tularosa Basin.


But we continued on to Alamogordo without the bags. That made a big difference and since it was getting later and later in the afternoon, the wind was slowly dying down. We made it to Margo's by 6:15. We had a few friends waiting for us.


Steve and I on the left, Carol and Jim Sullivan, Moises and Lynn Cardiel, Kathy Flores Hague, Mary and Duane Pirtle. 

Here is a picture of one of the bikes parked at Lynn's house. We stayed there in Alamo Saturday night. But this picture shows the dust covering the windscreen on the bike.


That night we went up to the Western Bar in Cloudcroft, my old stomping grounds from almost 20 years ago. It's always a good time. Sully, Glenda, Steve and I went up to sing some karaoke.



That's all for now. I'll relay our trip out of New Mexico on the next blog. At some point it gets a little boring in western Texas, so I might be able to catch up on the next blog.

1 comment:

  1. Wind gusts were reported at 70 mph along our route that day. Category I Hurricane Force winds start at 74 mph. Read the type of damage expected to be sustained to wood structured buildings at those speeds. Now picture a lonely pair of 500 lbs motorcycles trying to drive through that. I tried to convince Kelley it was unwise to attempt to continue riding that day as it was too dangerous. She said we dinner reservation for 6:00 pm... I could not reason against such sound logic as that.

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