Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unrally XI

Today was quite an adventure.  It started normally enough, at 5:45am (way too early).  I woke up, checked my email, and started packing to leave.  Got some coffee and a bagel, and hit the road about 7:45 or so.

Headed northwest on US 64, the same US 64 that runs through NC.  I had picked out a route to bypass Capulin  Volcano, going around it on the back side.  Unfortunately, I folded my map in such a way that I could not see the road numbers, so I missed most of the loop and instead rode the same road Gary and I rode in 2007.

Saw some antelope along the way, and got a picture of one way down the road.  There were several packs of them off to the side in the pastures.

Since I was riding right past the entrance to the park, I decided to ride in, ride to the top, take some pics, and head back down.  I did exactly that, missing a deer by about 10 feet on the way up the volcano.  I was going very slow, so it didn't scare me or even get the heart racing.  Pretty much "Oh yeah, there's a deer".

Along the way, I crossed a number of cattle grates.  Out west, in a lot of areas they don't use fencing to keep the cattle in one contained area.  They are essentially free range cattle.  But the fences always do come to the road at one point, with fences on both sides of the road terminating at the edge of the road.  Because a gate is not practical on a public road, someone discovered that cattle will not walk over a grate.  So, they build these heavy-duty grates and put them on the road where the fences terminate.  Keeps the cattle in!  Here's a pic of one.

From the volcano, I got back on US 64 and rode to the next town, Raton NM.  There, I wanted to do a loop that would bypass the Interstate and take me to the next town, Trinidad, CO.  So, I found the road I wanted and rode down it about 15 miles.  At the Colorado line, the road turned to dirt.  Since it was at least 10 miles of dirt, I turned around and retraced my route back to Raton.

Since it was gettign towards lunchtime, I decided to eat there and to check to see if my phone would get a signal.  Lunch was good; a cheese omelette with toast and hash browns.  Breakfast is always good for lunch!  While waiting on the food, I played with the phone, but could get a signal only for a few seconds right after restarting it.

The night before, I called Verizon to see if they could help me to get a signal.  After several attempts, nothing worked.  Finally, they suggested that I go to a place with a known good signal and to see if it would receive the signal.  If that didn't work, they said to do a factory reset.  So, when I got no signal, I decided to go to a Verizon store so they could check it for me.  After eating, I asked for directions to Verizon, and took off for the store.

When I could not find it, I stopped and asked someone else for directions.  The lady I talked to told me that the store had just moved, and she didn't know where.  So, she called the number and discovered that they had moved--out of town!  Darn!

I decided to go on to the next town, Trinidad to see if they had a Verizon store.  About 20 miles later, I turned off the Interstate and into Trinidad.  Found the store and went inside.  The service rep worked on the phone, repeating most of what I had done last night; nothing changed.  Then he did a factory reset.  Nothing changed--still no signal.  So, he called Verizon service and, after about 15 minutes, told me that the phone was broken and they were going to give me a new one (actually refurbished).  So, it is being shipped to my motel in Salida CO, where the rally is being held.  Hopefully that will work out okay.

Luckily, I had carried my old phone with me, just in case...  So, I took it into the store and they re-registered it so that I'd have cell phone  coverage and email.    It worked just fine.

From there, I rode west and north on a smaller road to do a loop before getting serious about getting to Salida.  It was fun!  Went over a pass at over 8,000 feet--the air got cooler and it was a very pleasant ride.  Went through one shower, and the temp lowered to 60 degrees, the coolest temp of the trip.  Got a little damp, but it felt great.  However, in about 5 minutes, the temp was back in the 90s.  The high for the day was 100, with most in the mid 90s.  Not as bad as earlier on the trip.

The road to Salida was uneventful except I came up on a BMW rider and decided to follow him to the motel.  He rode a lot like I do, so it was a fun ride.  Got to the hotel at about 4:45 and picked up my registration packet.

About the "Unrally".  I'm not sure why it's called that, but I plan to find out.  I think that they called it an unrally because there are a lot of genuine rallys, and they wanted to call it something different--hence the unrally.  This is the eleventh one.

Today's ride was about 370 miles--not too far, but I'm tired.  I think all of this going is catching up with me.  Early to bed tonight.

Tomorrow a group ride of about 300 miles.


  1. Great post and excellent pictures. Glad you experienced some cooler temperatures.

  2. I was thinking about a smart phone. Just want to make sure I do not get one like yours! Be sure to tell Mr. and Mrs. Whip hello for me. Gary

  3. Great pictures!!! Wow! Over 100 degrees...I'm so happy I'm in Pennsylvania where it is only in the 90's! Karen