An informal ride was set for 9:00 AM to accompany Jim S. as Lanny led him to a spot on the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge in the Wild Rivers Recreational Area, part of the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument. He would be spreading a portion of his late wife Cat's ashes. Her passing last year rocked VROC since she had been an integral part of so many gatherings. Sherm and Coyote rode, so VSP joined us in the Equinox. (I also have some of Cat's ashes to spread in Sudbury when I get home).
The road in from Questa was probably the twistiest I have ever seen to cross an almost totally flat area. We got to the official entrance where the user fees were on the honour system. Then we proceeded to a spot that overlooked the gorge.
After Cat's ashes were spread, Jim said goodbye to all of us. He was packed and would be heading back west towards his home in Fillmore, California. Lanny led one group back via a fish hatchery. while four riders chose to follow us to Rio Grande Gorge Bridge on US 64, about twenty miles further down the river.
The three of us returned to the Kachina to see if Sherm wanted to go to Michael's Kitchen with us for lunch. He said he was too tired, but Coyote parked his Burgman and joined us. I'm not sure why I drove, because Michael's was just down the street from the hotel.
We should have discovered this place sooner. They had a menu chock full of tasty looking items and the plates we saw coming from the kitchen looked exceptionally good. I wasn't too hungry, so I just ordered a ham and provolone sandwich on their own fresh baked roll with fries and gravy. They brought the gravy on the side because the kitchen staff would not put it on. It was very good and Sandy liked her bacon, lettuce and tuna open face sandwich. Michael's Kitchen has my recommendation.
Back at the motel, we found that we didn't even have WiFi in the lobby any more. The desk staff noted this, but didn't seem interested in dealing with the issue. We've found the folks to be very friendly but not at all motivated to serve the guests. It reminded me a bit of Fawlty Towers (Google this if you are too young). Young Miguel did take it upon himself to get back up on the roof and get us working for a while.
I took the car and fueled it at the Valero next door for $2.17 per gallon. The pumps were packed when I arrived so I pulled up behind a car that was just sitting there. I assumed that the owner had filled up and was inside paying. This rough looking gentleman came out carrying a bag of ice, which he broke up and split between a couple of coolers in the back seat. I figured he would leave then, but no. Now he picked up the nozzle and started to fuel the car. Then he went back inside, presumably to pay. The only thing that kept me out of trouble was Coyote's reminder earlier in the day that most of the folks around here were armed.
Supper was scheduled for 6:00, so the gang started to gather in the back of the main building. Susan eventually summoned us all inside. The meal was Mexican (or maybe New Mexican). I found it OK but am not familiar enough with this kind of cuisine to be able to pass judgement. Sandy had salad and corn because she avoids spicy food due to her acid reflux and Mexican food because she doesn't like its texture.
After supper, Badger presented a few gifts and awards. Slammer won a bacon lovers package for being the oldest VROC member present. Then they drew the 50/50 and the winner donated his half to the Episcopalian Food Bank as well, making it a 0/100 draw. That showed again he generosity VROCers are know for.
After supper, we congregated outside. The weather was perfect for mingling, which we did until it was time to reluctantly say goodbye. We'll see some in Kentucky next month, a few in Interlochen in August and many in Arkansas in September. 4E and Barb may be coming to Niagara Falls. Still, we hated saying goodbye.
Despite the issues with the Kachina Lodge (the subject of an upcoming TripAdvisor review), Badger and Susan deserve a hearty round of applause. They organized this at long distance and gave an excellent cross section of VROC a place to meet. Organizing is never easy, but folks like these who will selflessly take a risk and work very hard are what keep us together. My hat is off to the both of you.
Back at the room, we loaded the car as much as we could in anticipation of an early departure in the morning. Then we hit the sack for the last time at the Kachina.
Today's Route (97 Equinox miles):