New Mexico Cultural Ride

Susan O'Brien

October 2014

. Gail Ben-Jamin and I wanted to do a ride to Mexico but take time to stop and see some site. We still did 1290 miles in four days and had lots of fun.

We rode over Mule Creek pass to Silver City and then through Deming to Los Cruces getting there about 6pm.  Thanks to a recommendation from Ross, we hit La Posta in La Mesilla for a fabulous New Mexico style dinner.  A walk around the square and then back to the hotel for the night.  

Friday morning we visited the Farm and Ag Museum which had a great cowboy exhibit and some really nice western art.  We hit the road for Cloud Croft about 11:30 taking the main route to Alamogordo which looked totally different without a torrential downpour of rain we experienced earlier in the month. We rode some roads around Cloud Croft then back down to Alamogordo for a couple of stops at Pistachio Farms on the way back into town.

An early start to Ruidoso took us back up to Cloud Croft and off on 244 which has been freshly gravelled with no striping when we were last there.  Well, it was striped and clear of gravel so we had a wonderful ride through low lying clouds into Ruidoso and the Hubbard Museum of the West.  Very nice exhibit on horses (it's next to Ruidoso Downs) and horse drawn vehicles.  They had a special travelling exhibit of Hohokam pottery (most of which came from the Tucson area!).  We had lunch in Carrizozo at the crossroads of 54 and 380, then zigzagged up 55 to Gran Quivira Ruins -- a pueblo dating back to the 1400's.  My camera battery died, so I didn't get photos but you can click here to see what we saw.

Really wonderful sights and part of a civilization that is now incorporated into the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.  After wandering around the ruins we continued on to Mountainaire where there is a National Park Visitor Center with a great video on the surrounding ruins.

We spent the night in Socorro after having another excellent meal and headed west on 60 on a cool Sunday morning with our heated gear on and rain gear at hand.  We rode all the way to Quemado, dodging huge, looming black clouds before finding breakfast.  This time, we put on the rain gear and headed home through the same weather you probably experienced coming back from Alpine --hail, rain, wind and cold.

I have to admit, we weren't on the road at 7:30 am each morning so that was nice.  We had two days under 300 miles so that was nice.  We stopped for "sight-seeing" and that was nice.  I'm sure Gail and I will do more of the same in the future.

I've put 4000 miles on my bike since Prescott, so I'm off to GoAz for service this week.  Still in love with my bike which is now 1 year old and has 16,000 miles on it!


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