Southwest Tour 2016​​

It had been a long time from my last long ride.  Building a house iced me in 2015.  It was a lot of work but the effort was worth it, my bikes are all cozy and roomy inside a 3 car garage. SW6

But, as it always does, the road was calling me.  I am never more alive than when I'm on a long ride.  Mired in election cycle that defies anything I've ever seen, I had to bust out.  If I could only take one long ride a year, "let it be in Fall" I said.  I love the Fall, and this year I wanted to go West.  Last year I rode North, before dropping South to the Blue Ridge for the Gathering.  I would have to skip the Blue Ridge in 2016.   I wanted a really looooong ride and that meant riding West.

I wanted to experience Monument Valley in the Autumn, and on the return, ride through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in Fall colors.  I accomplished that.   Folks, I had a great ride in the finest weather any Long Rider could ask for.  I met some great people and witnessed the kind of scenery you only see in movies.  It was outstanding.  

Nothing can compete with the lonely back roads of the Plains for letting your mind pass into a transcendental state.  The forgotton ghost towns you pass through, the majesty of Monument Valley, the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, and the great people of West Texas.  I got dose of all that.

The mount for this ride was the electrifying Yamaha FJR.  Lean, fast, agile, and equipped with the latest touring accroutments it blazed across the deserts and plains at speeds, if caught, I could have been jailed for.  In the mountains of Colorado it leaned curves all the way to the footpegs.  Equipped with new Michelin Road Pilots, I could lean the Yamaha with full confidence it was stuck to the road.

I spent the last few months upgrading equipment.  For the first time in my long riding career I was on a tour wearing something other than a Roadcrafter.  I had new gloves, equipped the zumo with the new TPMS, and new stove gear.  I knew I was going to be in a few isolated campgrounds and decided to revisit the idea of eating at my campsite.   Details about all that in the journal.

The tour covered almost 4k miles and 12 states, over 7 days.  It was a great ride and I'm happy to share it.

Day 1- Long Ride to Dallas

Day 2-Amarillo ride

Day 3- Nice ride to Santa Fe

Day 4- Monument Valley!

Day 5- Southern Rockies and Wolf Creek Pass      

​Day 6- Old West Town

  Day 7- Across Kansas in MissouriSW 7  

Day 8- Long ride home