WanderlustBy Sam Lepore
(see photos from this trip)
Subject: WanderBlast 6 - Tucson, Arizona
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 1999 19:46:10 -0700

    Well, *I* had a blast!

    Once the requisite live and learn tourist duty was complete at the Trinity site, it was great fun hanging out at the LOE 1000 bonus stop in the parking area. The long distance riding rally chose Trinity as a bonus location in it's "see all New Mexico in a day" offerings. While we were there, 36 of the 48 entrants accepted the offer and "blasted" in to Trinity. One fellow from Ohio even said the primary reason he entered the Rally was to come to Trinity. Then he rode off to the next bonus without actually visiting Ground Zero, 1/4 mile away. You see ... you have to get off the bike and walk there. Walking takes time. Distance rally riders do not like time off the bike. Instead, he said he'd probably come back next April when the site is open again. From Ohio. (And you think I'm crazy ... don't answer that.)
    LDRider Dane took a slight detour on his way from Denver to Houston to watch Warren and I play dueling keyboards. Unfortunately, the dual duelers in the dust turned out to be a solo Sam in the sun. Being a true LD type, Dane wasn't too disappointed ... after all, he came for the ride, not the destination.
    Local New Mexico IBMWR President and newspaper reporter Karen managed to get a commitment for a story about the motorcycles visiting the site. Apparently "every angle there is" has been done about Trinity ... but this was a new twist. I asked her to send an excerpt to the list. Next, Karen and I went for a day trip on New Mexico backroads I wanted to try. Ever the RAT (Road Anomaly Tourer ... that's a whole 'nuther story), Karen used the afternoon to get RAT points at the only Merchant Marine Seamen Cemetery in land locked New Mexico, a mere 700 miles from the closest ship.

    Next morning I determined to take a road out of New Mexico that I haven't already done this year or last year ... and that left only one choice! As I found myself on the hill overlooking El Paso, I could not see Rosa's Cantina below, so instead I aimed for a 2-lane alternative to I10 (ugh). NM9 traces the US border from El Paso to Arizona. It shows on most maps as unpaved in the middle, but it is paved all the way. Scenery in a word - desert. You've heard enough of that from me.
    The only interesting item in the trip was while I was sedately rolling along at 65 mph somewhere between Hachita and Hermanas. I looked over to the left, toward the border, and saw I was being passed by a Border Patrol truck. He was IN the desert and doing 80 or more.
    Arriving at Road Forks (yes, it is a town), I found the only gas station was dry and closed. Thanks go again to the Fuel Plus ... even though the reserve light had been on for a while, I knew I had enough to reach the next town. With 12 miles to spare.

    Alas, I could not avoid I10 again, but at least there was time enough to get off early and wander in on the Old Spanish Trail past the Saguaro National Park. Does every cactus have it's own Park? Where is Office Window Cactus National Park? :)

    Randumb thought: handwritten sign on the side of the road at a Tucson intersection: "I lost 40 pounds in 2 months. Free samples." Think about it. Ewwww.

399 miles 6:44 hours
Alamogordo US54 TX375 TX20 NM273 NMa003 NM9 NM338 NM145 NM80 I10 Colossal Cave, Old Spanish Trail, Tucson
Sam Lepore, San Francisco

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