Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Albuquerque New Mexico to Holbrook Arizona

We woke up early in Albuquerque. We’ve been picking up a time zone a day and haven’t adjusted yet. Watched TV until it was time to wander next door to Mickey D’s for a bacon and egg McGriddle. I checked and saw that, while our current location was a balmy 41F, it was 21F in Gallup, NM. Since we would be passing through Gallup on our way to Holbrook, we found some ways to kill time until things warmed up a bit.

It was close to 10:00 Mountain Time when we finally fueled up, stuffed a new rag where the fuel filler cap should be, and headed for the I-40 West on ramp was located. Typically, the ramp was closed but there were nice coloured signs directing us to an alternate ramp. I followed these for a few miles but then they stopped so I can only assume I missed the on saying to turn left. Not being one to ask for directions, I followed the road for a little further. Ten miles later, we were heading north into the mountains when I decided to turn left and look for an Interstate. Any InterstateJ)

I hadn’t realized how high we climbed until we ran downgrade for over two miles before encountering I-25. Dodged an accident scene in the southbound on ramp and ran several miles south before encountering and getting on I-40 West. The detour was interesting, though, because we saw a very pretty part of Albuquerque we would have otherwise missed.

This was the first time we got to run the Wing in relatively ideal conditions. We cruised into a light headwind at an average of about 85 MPH with occasional stretches up over 90. Despite the 75MPH speed limit, we were just keeping up with trafficJ) Since radio stations are few and far between, we ran with the MP3 player hooked into the Honda sound system and enjoyed some of the songs I had selected for the journey. The bike never missed a beat and, when we stopped for coffee and gas in Gallup, we had gotten 43 MPG.

The scenery along I-40 was a mix of red rock cliffs, black lava rocks, canyons, snow covered mountains, stunted trees and wide open spaces. It is terrain like this that makes traveling worthwhile.

We pulled into Holbrook and found Jack Foree’s body shop just down the street from the famous Wigwam Motel. Greeting exchanged and bikes admired, Jack cleared the wash bay so we could clean off three days of road grime and a flock of yellow butterflies that attacked us in the last 30 miles. Greeting exchanged and bikes admired, Jack took us to a nearby restaurant for lunch. He then cleared the wash bay so we could clean off three days of road grime and a flock of yellow butterflies that attacked us in the last 30 miles. Yes, I washed the bike.

After the cleaning, which is fairly easy with a Wing, Jack took us over to meet his wife Barb at the school where she teaches. One of her students, Cynthia, had corresponded with me by Email last winter for a school project she was doing on Canada. Jack took Sandy back to their house while I stayed at school and answered class questions on The True North Strong And Free. It was fun. I then took a tour of Holbrook and headed for Chez Foree to join Sandy.

When Jack and Barb got home we had supper and spent the evening swapping stories and songs. The Forees are the picture of hospitality.

We’re fading out now and are planning a 9:00 AM departure for Phoenix in the morning.

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