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Oct 07

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Day 4: Breaking my 1st Commandment and a Gun Fight

I had a hard time sleeping last night.  I think this schedule of getting to sleep as soon as it gets dark messes me up.  In addition, while most of my body was warm, my face was cold and my nose got stuffy.  To add aggravation to this, my dislocated clavicle makes it hard to sleep on my right side.  All in all, it is a mess,, and sleeping in a tent when it is cold, its for the birds. Still, Hueco Tanks is an awesome place.  I shot some pretty awesome sunset photos there, even though the ones I caught the day before in Seminole will probably the banner photos of this trip.
At any rate, I was up just before sunrise, and packed within the hour.  I left the park with a feeling that this is a place I need to come back for the third time.  I rode towards El Paso but then deviated North of it and was treated to some of the best riding so far, the pass over the Franklin Mountains State Park, West of El Paso.  What an awesome combination of rocks and downhill riding.  Wow.  However, after that, I broke my first commandment, minimize time on the interstate.  Today though, I spent over 200 miles on IH-10.  The only redeeming aspect of it was that my options were few for this stretch, considering I needed to make over 400 miles. The cross through Southern New Mexico was uneventful.  Even the border patrol guys waved me through.  Once I entered Arizona, the winds started to pick up.  Just before the major southern winds picked up I had stopped for lunch, and noticing signs of what was in store ahead of me, I removed the beak from my helmet, and lowered the windshield to minimize the sail effects that help cross winds whip the motorcycle around.  So, I was riding with the BeMWu angled over, but thankfully the wind was steady.  In both New Mexico, and in Arizona there were 30 and 20 mile stretches where signs on the side of the road warned about sandstorms and zero visibility.  Thankfully all I got were dozens of sand devils dancing in slow motion on the side of the road, sometimes partnering in beautiful choreography with pecan and walnut trees.
So far I though it all would be a pretty blah day with the exception of the sand devils and the Franklin Mountains.  But things really picked up once I left IH-10 and started heading south towards Tombstone.  The high desert started unfolding and the ride to the town that makes a living thanks to the Gun Fight at the OK Corral was just great.  When I got to Tombstone I heard a rattle from the motorcycle, but did not pay much attention to it.  I parked on close to the court house and started walking around.  This is a town that enacts gunfights three times a day, and most people seem to go there to relieve childhood fantasies that involved cowboys, guns and saloons.  Having found out that I had gained two hours from Texas time, because Arizona does not do daylight savings, I had the chance to really hang out here.  I did pay $7 to watch three nasty looking guys ‘shoot’ each other.  However, I also had the chance to have some really good mango and pomegranate sherbet, while hanging out and talking with a couple from Prescott.
The final stop was the historic courthouse.  Only in the south will you find a sweet looking lady who, with a southern and polite drawl will encourage you to visit every room and the ‘gaaallows’ outside.
From there it was back to the motorcycle where I finally realized where the rattle had come from.  The nut of one of the two bolts that secures the windshield had fallen off.  This caused the windshield to rattle.  There wasn’t much I could do at that point, so I just pul the bolt in my pocket.  I left Tombstone and headed to Rio Rico via Patagonia and Nogales.  Wow.  Thanks Steve Turley for the tip.  This is just absolutely spectacular, and no pictures could do it justice.  I literally was sailing on the BeMVu through a rolling landscape of riparian forests, and hills covered by an ocean of green, yellow swaying grasses, with heads of yucca with their flowering stems protruding over it.  I was wishing I could have spent the whole day like this.
Alas it had to come to an end, and I eventually rolled into Nogales.  There I spotted an Autozone, where I managed to find the bolt I needed to fix the windshield somewhere in the back corner.  From Nogales it was just a few miles up the road to Rio Rico, where I am spending the night in a real bed, and had a real shower.  What a treasure.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jaderiderjourneys.com/2endslavery/2013/10/07/day-4-breaking-my-1st-commandment-and-a-gun-fight/

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