We awoke to free range cows grazing near the camp site. It took a while to pack up, but we weren’t feeling any particular hurry. It was a lovely morning and we were in the Gila mountains…and ready to explore.
The first bit was through the forest, then along a stream bed that alternated being our road bed. It was the first challenging bit of terrain and we were eating it up.
Gotta love tight, winding forest roads.
Eventually the road opened up and we were back out onto the high desert prairie. At one point we were having so much fun we totally got off-route…and didn’t care!
It was a bummer, however, when we DID get back on the right road, since it was dried muddy ruts.
But I suppose it could have been worse–it would have been WET muddy ruts!!!
So eventually after a stop in the shade in a nice, cool valley,
we hit a seemingly endless stretch of get-her-done road
and finally came out onto pavement at Route 12.
Here we had a GPS consult. When that told us the nearest gas was 30 miles away on a stretch of boring pavement, I broke out the Benchmark New Mexico Atlas (a Godsend for this trip for it’s minute and accurate details).
The Benchmark Atlas unfortunately confirmed that we’d need to ride to Datil to gas up. The GSPD balked at being asked to go back to work, but eventually fired up. Then, fortunately, in Old Horse springs, there’s a nifty gas pump at a defunct hotel (or something of the sort), and they sold gas. Sure it was 50 cents more per gallon, but who cares when it saves 60 miles of pavement. So we gassed up, geared up, fired up…
The GSPD refused to start.
Luckily, there is an abandoned garage at the gas pump, so I suggested we push the bike into the shade and do the work there.
Poor Clark worked on troube-shooting the machine for a couple of hours to no avail. Seemed to be a started relay gone bad, and while being an engineer he had an entire pannier devoted to tools, spare parts, and emergency paraphernalia, the dratted relays were one thing he couldn’t fix roadside.
Because we were in the middle of nowhere and there was no cell reception, he then had to take my bike 30 miles down the road to Datil to find a land line and call for a tow. Two round trips to Datil and three hours later, at 8:30 PM the tow came and delivered us to Socorro (90 miles away and the limit of AAA’s “free” towing.) We Grabbed a hotel room and had mediocre Mexican food at midnight.