Yesterday I did my second 300 mile day to Santa Fe. Now I know that two 300 mile days is possible for me but I need a day to rest afterward. Still, good to know.
I got gas in Clovis, NM as planned. My next gas stop was going to be in Santa Rosa, NM about 105 miles away. I have that range on my tank but I wanted to fill my auxiliary tank just in case I got lost (unlikely, as I had been on HWY 84 since Early, TX and would stay on it all the way to Clines Corners.) I stopped as planned in Santa Rosa and had lunch and the fantastic Silver Moon Cafe on RT 66. It was my first non fast food or pizza meal in three days and it was wonderful. After I paid, the restaurant lost power. I got on my bike and headed towards a gas station. As my luck would have it, the whole town had lost power. That meant no gas to be had because the pumps were all electric. I realized this at my third attempt to get gas. I had fifty and then some more miles to my next gas in Clines Corners. I can maybe go 150 on a tank. Maybe. Not, however, going up and down hills in the wind. So I emptied my 1.75 gallons of spare gas into my tank said a prayer and headed for Clines Corners. My gas light came on about 18 miles out of Clines Corner. Even though I know for a fact that I have two gallons left when that light comes on and an easy range of 50 miles I still counted down ever mile until a gas station. I made it and still had a little over a gallon left in my tank. Thats maybe 26-30 miles for me. So that almost two gallons I put in my tank back in Santa Rosa certainly saved me.
Most of that day, I had been riding across the Llano Estacado, the Staked Plains. An area so flat and featureless I kept hysterically thinking that I would Stake a Plain for interesting landscape. The road however was surprising curvy for such a flat area. Eventually I rode over a hill and the landscape that opened up below me made me think of words like “Dry Gulch”. Flat no more the land gave me small ragged valleys of red dirt and scrub dotted with cactus. Like I had found the foothills of the foothills of the Rockies. Santa Rosa rose up out of nothing suddenly. One moment I’m riding in the landscape of desolate beauty that had been my companion for a while and then suddenly there was I40 and three travel centers and a line of charming building lining RT 66. I40 was a nightmare of high speeds, high winds and counting the miles to gas. Once I turned to go up to Santa Fe on 285 I was rewarded with gentle sweepers and hills all the way.
The hotel I’ve chosen is the El Rey Inn. I’ve stayed here before with The Diva on our Route 66 trip in 2009 and it’s as charming as I remember. My only problem was the altitude here in Santa Fe has been giving me no end of grief. I’ve never had problems before but my first night I got winded walking across my room. Ten hours of sleep has cleared up a lot of it but I’m having to pace myself. Today I walked around the grounds with my camera a bit then rode to lunch. Next I plan on sorting through some email and possibly watching a movie. Tomorrow I head for Durango, Co.
Until then, here are some pictures I got today: