Wednesday May 26, Chama NM to Cortez CO
Another perfect day in Biker Trash Paradise. Wouldn’t change a second.
A most wonderful experience way, way deep in the wild west boonies. I encountered several groups of wild horses. Four groups of four or five horses in each. Incredible !!!
Left Chama on US 64 West with the objective to not go to Pogosa Springs by way of US 84. That’s a great ride, but I’ve ridden it for I don’t know how many times. I think it is still too cool to head for the high Rockys.
So, where US 64 heads West outside Chama I took that fork in the road. It’s been many years since I took this route to Colorado. It’s a great ride and the road has never been patrolled whenever I’ve on it. The surface has started to deteriorate in several places, but not really bad yet.
Checking the Real Time Moto Road Trip Planner, I see a thin-line road out of Dulce that leads to several lakes and crosses the continental divide. Looks like fun. It’s a long-cut from US 64 back to US 64. The road doesn’t have a number on my map, but the map indicates that I should hit a T intersection at NM 537 and get back to 64.
I take the road in Dulce and it is way proved up with wide lanes, wide shoulders, and a smooth brand new surface. Nonetheless, I stay with the objective and continue. Soon, the brand new road ends and the expected thin-line road is what I’m riding.
Beautiful long views into Colorado and the Rockys, as well as the local mountains and valleys. At some places the road surface gets really bad, but it’s a great ride anyway.
Soon I begin to suspect that the map is not correct. While I can miss intersections when I’m eyeballing the scenery, I know I can’t miss a T-intersection. There have been no signs about anything along the road. Dulce itself is in the boonies and I left that behind many miles back.
I continue to explore and soon I encounter a few groups of horses beside the road. The presence and sounds on the bike really spooks these horses. There aren’t any fences in sight, and I haven’t seen any for many many miles. The horses sure don’t respond to me and the machine in the same way that domesticated horses do. I’m really really deep into the boonies. HVent seen any signs of civilization for many mNy miles. I conclude that they are wild horses. What an experience.
Eventually, the pavement ends. So I stop to review the situation. The only sounds out here are the sounds of the wind. And when the wind isn’t blowing, the only sounds are the sounds of nothing. It’s a beautiful valley that I’ve landed in.
I turn around to try to find the road that goes back to US 64, resigned to returning all the way back to Dulce if that’s what it takes. Which would double the pleasure of this long-cut ride.
I do make it to US 64, with the help of some locals who happen to be coming along the road.
US 64 from here to the next objective road is a joy. Nobody here but me, the machine, and the road. It’s a fun little run.
I stop at the Navajo City Roadhouse to sip a chilled Starbuck’s product and chat with a couple of guys there. Mostly, they chat and I try to listen. One of the guys must be a savant because he constantly throws out tidbits about everything from fusion energy to the density of various insects at different locations around the Navajo Dam Lake and the population and locations of several pre-history Pueblos and the relative size of the population of San Juan county then and now. And I don’t remember what else. He would not stop talking and would head of in a perpendicular direction all the time. He constantly used his hands and his eyes couldn’t look at you when he was talking.
The other guy would try to grab the conservation, but he always failed. I eventually simply said that I was going to ride NM 539 and left.
I take NM 539 across Navajo Lake dam and NM 173 to Aztec. The objective roads are a couple that lead to and across Red Mesa and leads me to US 160 West of Durango; NM 574, NM 170, and CO 140. Another great chunk of road and touring even when the wind gets big on the top of the mesa.
I ride into Cortez CO, settle in and do my laundary.
Another wonderful day riding, exploring, and touring the tiny-line roads.