Monday, August 11, 2008

(Day 11) No man’s land...

Monday, July 14, 2008
Day 11
Liberal, KS to Trinidad, CO

One benefit of riding solo is that you get to pick your own schedule. Today, I beat the sun up:

This was so cool that I'll share another one with you:

I put my camera away and just soaked this in for about 15 minutes.

For what seemed like 30 radial miles, there was just me, the land and the sun. There was nothing around to obstruct this 360 degree display of pure dawn. The sun promised to warm the chill out of the morning and gave me inspiration to race it westward. Life has never been so simple.

Well… except for those dastardly birds:

I was making some extreme westward momentum. For example, on one particular stretch of the OK/KS border, I gained -0.002 degrees of southward longitude and 0.500 degrees of westward latitude without making any turns… now that’s what I’m talking about… especially through No Man’s Land:

The few trees that were out here grew with the wind. I’ve never seen anything like it (there’s little to no wind in this picture):

Pictures can never tell the whole story. But, try to imagine riding alone on these roads and having seen hardly any sign of life for the past 60 miles (it looks the same all the way around):

It was actually quite laughable, but luckily, I was dealt a good bike and had enough fuel to reach Boise City, OK where I met DurtRider and his son. I hadn’t seen a dual sport the entire trip, so I pulled over and noticed the ADV sticker and knew it was just another one of YFFs:

I thought for sure DurtRider would be riding west on the same trail I was, why else would these bikes be in Boise City, OK?

So, I rolled into the café where they were ordering breakfast and introduced myself. I find out that they were headed east from Colorado back to their house… bummer. We told some lies about our trips, checked over each others bikes like dogs sniffing rear ends, and then parted ways. It was nice meeting you and your son, DurtRider. You’re an awesome dad for taking your son on a trip like that.

I got some gas and marched towards state number 3 on the day, New Mexico:

Ahh, some shrubbery and elevation changes:

I tried my best to get some antelope pictures, but they would dart off well before I reached them:

Not so with the cattle, they run AFTER you reach them:

Finally, some new scenery:

And, what’s this? Some real off-road riding? Sweet:

The Orangutan was happy:

It didn’t last long at all but at least the shrubs are getting bigger and the sky is beautiful:

And, by the way, so am I:

The lady who took this picture of me in Branson, CO was chasing 3 other TATers. They were from Missouri and we would eventually meet in Trinidad and Salida, CO but took different paths into Utah where I think their trip ended.

I was expecting to see The Rockies right after entering Colorado, but all I got was this:

I think that John Denver is full of ****.

Anyway, I didn’t get many pictures after this point; I was already over 250 miles on the day and was ready for a rest. I rolled into Trinidad, CO around 4pm and immediately look for Valcom Motorsports. I still had some tread left on my Kenda K270s, but I had already lined up some new rubber here in Colorado. Both fork seals were leaking pretty bad, so I had Valcom replace them as well:

Mmm, Dunlop 952 up front:

D606 in the rear:

Gotta love that. PJ at Valcom kept the shop open past business hours and gave me great deals on the tires, fork seals, motor oil and seal savers. Valcom rocks, if only dealerships on the east coast were as cool…

I got a spacious room at the Downtown motel:

And called it a day:

I had already scheduled tomorrow to be a rest day, so I walked over to the Trinidad Brewing Company, got some dinner, beer and wings (wings were a bad idea).

Trinidad seemed a little quirky and I didn’t really fit in, so I called it a night and would figure out what I would do the next day after some sleep tonight…

Total mileage: 2421
Daily mileage: 283
Wildlife observed: Long-eared rabbits, short-eared rabbits, 10 million birds, antelope
Favorite Sight: Spanish Peaks
Favorite Scent: Nose wasn’t working today
Favorite Sound: My thumper thumping
Favorite Taste: Water
Favorite Feel: New rubber = Awesome grip
Ailments: Jammed thumb

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