The Road To Sipapu
by Marina Ackerson
I arrived at Sky Harbor at 8:15 am, and the R1100 had fresh tires by 1 pm. Met up with the Rim Riders at 5:30 am next morning for the run to Flagstaff. The route included brunch in Cameron on the Little Colorado, distant views of Monument Valley, through Four Corners, and resting in Cortez, Colorado, for the night. The next morning brought rain that stayed around for most of the day. I was thankful for the new boots on the R11. I guess what I thought were really big rain drops must have been hail on the high pass over the San Juan Mountains. I set the Gerbing electric jacket to “blast.”
My plan was to camp at Sipapu, where I was to meet up with daughter Kristin from Victoria, BC, Canada, and the LOE riders I had ridden with at Paonia; but after a cold, rainy day, decided to stay at the Days Inn for a hot shower and good night’s sleep. I had the good fortune to meet some great folks who invited me to have dinner with them ala New Mexico fare, and took me along in their SUV. I caught up with Roger and Craig at breakfast in the morning.
Saturday morning I rode into Sipapu and met up with Kristin and Elsa & Howard. Howard showed off the curvy, scenic, New Mexico roads. It was absolutely fabulous riding.
The club dinner, chicken enchiladas, including fruit desert topped with ice cream gave us energy to dance the evening away to a rocking good band.
Kristin and I left the rally with Elsa and Howard, following them to their place in Rainbow Valley, Colorado, on the backside of Pikes Peak. Roads don’t get any better than this, and Howard even took us on an unmarked dirt road which he called “Pass Road”. I wish I had stopped for a few photos of the scenery.
Kristin left the next morning and I spent another day resting up. The aspens were starting to turn and the temps beginning to drop. I waited for the fog to lift before leaving Elsa’s (9400 ft elevation) on my solo journey back to Arizona, again with electric jacket on. I rode Cumbres Pass from Antonito to Chama with hardly another car in sight. The steam train did surprise me chugging through the valley below. Spent the night in Bloomfield, New Mexico, and headed in to Phoenix the next day, via Flagstaff where I could see a rainstorm falling next to the Peaks.
Yet another memorable week’s ride on spectacular roads, with the bike just singing and best of all….great BMW people.