07 Ridin' The Rockies HOG Tour - #8 Heading Home

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June 29th 2007
Published: June 29th 2007
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I participated in the Ridin’ the Rockies HOG Touring Rally that was held June 25-28, 2007. The plan for the week was to spend some time with my cousins before the rally started then take the long way home after the rally. I rode my 2005 833 Sportster from KC to the rally and back home. The following is a ride report of the ride.

Friday 29 June 07

Friday morning was the start of my journey home. I wanted to take the long way home. Every year I try at least once to return from CO by way of NM, OK and TX, reentering KS in the southwest part of the state. The ride toward Wichita, KS on Hwy 54 is awesome. I have not traveled on Route 66, but from what I read about it Hwy 54 is a lot like it. Hwy 54 was the route of the Cannon Ball stage. There are some great historical markers on this route. Every town boosts some little strange attraction that brings a smile to your face just thinking about. There is an old round barn, which is one of my favorite stops what a neat building. I wrote about it another blog from last year (06 WY HOG Run). The Dalton gang has a hideout somewhere along 54. Dorothy’s house is also on hwy 54. Every town seems to find something that is a tourist stop for those traveling the hwy. Enough about Hwy 54 I am still in CO.

Waking early I watched TV for a while then checked out. I am expecting to get to Raton NM at the very least today. I know it’s a great ride home once you get to Raton. Traveling the southern part of CO to the NM line has always been HOT and pretty. I took the small highways to Pueblo CO cutting a diagonal from Breckenridge to Pueblo. The ride was great, I was on some new roads and met some people along the way that had been part of the tour and some that had not. One woman pulls up at a stop light and starts asking about my helmet. I use a Caberg Justissmo. Great helmet, it has a sunshield slides down inside the helmet. So there is no need to wear sunglasses as I just slide the sunshield up or down when I need it or not. Anyway she said she had been considering buying one, but they are a little pricey ($300 or more) and she wondered how I liked it. She had followed me part of the previous day and saw I was wearing one. That was probably the funniest conversation of the day. One the surface its not that humorous, but add traffic, 4 motorcycles, a pair of loud pipes, full face helmets and the communications becomes more humorous.

As I am traveling through Pueblo I see a Zoo directional sign. So a quick turn and I am set. The Pueblo Zoo will be a Road Kill Safari picture as we can use up to 5 zoos as long as they are from different states. This is my second Zoo, I picked up the Nashville zoo in route to NC earlier this year.

As I enter Pueblo the odometer on my bike rolls through the 80K mark. From Pueblo its back onto I-25 heading south. A stop at the NM state line for my ABC’s of Touring NM picture. I ride on into Raton NM which is about 10 miles from the state line. Now it is about lunchtime and I am hungry. I have been in CO for over a week and didn’t get a chance to have any Mexican food, so I know today is my last day to get some of that great SW Mexican food. I have stayed in Raton a few times and there is a café right on the main drag that offers Mexican and American food. Today I find it is under new management the banner out front also states it now offers Mexican food and steaks. Fine with me, in I go. I am seated at a booth (argh) that I can see the Effie out the window. Something about when every stitch of clothes you have on a trip is strapped on to the back of bike, ready to be carted off in 1 minute makes me uneasy. Anyway a bowl of chips and a smaller bowl of salsa set me up for a while. 3 waitresses and they all think one of the others is helping me, so I motion one over and give her my order. Then I get 3 drinks delivered as now it appears they are all going to serve me. Anyway I get the Colorado burrito and it hit the spot.

Full, way ahead of schedule and beautiful weather, it’s a great day. Out of Raton it Hwy 64 East. East and home it getting to that point in the trip when sleeping in my own bed gets more and more appealing. The route takes me by the Capulin Volcano National Park, I stopped on a previous trip so I didn’t stop this time. Once into OK its not long before I take the 30 mile detour south (on Hwy 385) to pick up the TX state line, turning around I get a picture of the OK state line. Back into OK and heading toward Hwy 54. I am giddy. Through Hooker OK, reminded of their humor “Support your local Hooker”, “Never met a Hooker I didn’t like”. What a hoot. I want to get to the KS line before I quit for the day. About 7PM I pull into Liberal, KS ready to find a room for the night. Not up for a lot of shopping around I found one that had a big over hang and head into the office to price check. $35 for the night sells me, and yes, ‘you can pull the bike right up on the sidewalk under the large overhang, and no problem you want that room because there is not a curb getting on to the sidewalk. It’s a 2 bed room, but if you don’t use the 2nd bed I will not charge you for it.’ It was a family owned motel. As I am unpacking one of the other residents came over and talked to me. She was impressed that a solo woman was riding all over the country.

So I stay the night here and all night I hear water running. I can hear a toilet running from faraway, so I checked mine a couple times but all night long I hear the ‘swishhhhh’ of water going through the pipes in the wall. At 3 AM the neighbor yelled a couple times, at who I don’t know, but then he proceeded to take a shower. So I went to the restroom and flushed. End of shower.

The blogs for this trip start here:07 Ridin' The Rockies HOG Tour - #1


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