3442 miles $6,170 in donations

To continue to follow the ride at back to Fla click here or go to http://www.scooterdiaries2010.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 10, 2010


Scoot, Bob and me headed out of the Hill Top B&B around sunup. There was a strong fragrance of roses in the air as we left. It turned into a long and interesting day, so get a beer or glass of wine and sit back for the ride

I thought yesterday was windy, but boy was I wrong. Winds today were forecast to be 25-30 in the morning and up to 40-45 in the afternoon. Headed into the wind, I was down to 25 mph.  In the crosswinds, I was holding on to stay on the road. Downwind I was doing 60mph up steep grades. Other than 19 miles on AZ-26, luckily there was no traffic. In almost 100 miles I counted 10 cars and a school bus. It was so windy I was afraid to stop to take pictures because the wind kept trying to blow the bike over.
After I crossed the Rio Grande River the first stop today was border patrol and some of Sue's people. I did not look like a "citizen", but after some negotiation they let me go.

I crawled up to the 9,000 foot Emory Pass, but so did everybody else. My only problemwas that it got cold, so I dug out the rain gear again for warmth.

I did my first inflight refueling today. Probably could have made it into Sliver City, New Mexico, but when the low level light came on and stayed on, I put the gas in. This is my first experience with newly redesigned gas cans and I think they got it right this time.

I was riding along, whining about the winds, when I saw 2 bikers on the side of the road and only one bike, so I pulled over to investigate. It was a bicycle built for 2 and they really had something to complain about. The winds were killing them. They were from Washington state, but had started this journey on 1 April in Jacksonville, Fl. We visited a while and discussed pulling them to Sliver City. We all saddled up and continued into the wind chamber.
Got my "Gucci" coffee when I rolled into Sliver City and then went looking for lunch. This is a small world story. I found a very small cafe with just a few tables and all were occupied, so I asked a gentleman, Bob Allen, if I could join him. Ironically, he was from Boca, Fl. and was on a solo trip  also, only camping. He gets the same questions I get about my wife. The world gets smaller. He flew helicopters in Vietnam, also. And smaller; with my former boss at the airline. And smaller; he had worked for my buddy Ed of Lafayette in Egypt. That is a lot of coincidences.You never know who you will meet. The good thing was we both agreed that this was excellent mexican food.

I mulled over staying in Sliver City or pressing on. It was only 1:30 and I wanted to make some more miles. The decision was made when the B&B I chose would not give me a discount on the room. I visited the City Tourist office and they set me up with a room in Glenwood, 64 miles down the road. We crossed the Continental Divide just outside Sliver City.

The ride was much better out of Sliver City. The road was flatter and though the wind was still blowing, it was not like on the other side of the mountain. I was back cruising along. I stopped at the Last Chance just "because", where I met Amber. We had a long chat and she wanted me to get a picture of their slogan, "If your wife drives you to drinking have her drive you to the Last Chance".
I rolled in to Glenwood and the Los Ornos Motel and Cabins about 3:30. Jeff, the new owner, was trying to sort out the swimming pool plumbing to no avail. I got a nice little single cabin for $60. The place was very clean and the grounds well kept and he is still working to upgrade place. From what I saw in this little town, it was the best deal going.

This is just a small collection of 4 mom and pop hotels and 3 mom and pop cafes, a bar and a gas station. None of which are open much. I wandered around and met some interesting people. First was Gary Conquest. He was born in Deadwood, SD and has been a wrangler for 47 years and still is. He came here out of Wyoming to winter here and work a little.. When he does not have work around Glenwood, he has a free lunch at the senior center and visits around this small community. He had great stories and was neat as a pin. He walked down the street and had that cowboy swagger as he walked.
Next was Tim. Tim was born in this area and been wrangling all his life. Calls himself "the last of the true cowboys". He had just finished 14 days driving 500 head up into the highlands for the summer. I found him sunning himself in front of the local bar, that was closed. He was not all dressed up like Gary, but still in his working clothes. He and Gary both had weathered faces beyond their years.

Dinner was at Mario's. I did not have the pizza as suggested by Jeff, the owner of the cabins where I was staying and he was right. Had a sandwich and there was nothing exciting about it.

Back at the cabins, Jeff had checked in the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt, who were honeymooning on their go-fast bikes. She could not have weighed 90 pounds, but had set her all time best speed record today, 141 mph. I have no idea how she did not get blown off. Jeff had built a fire and we sat around watching the stars come out and in these dark hills it was a beautiful sight.

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On of the reasons I work with the James Dean Byrd Foundation to raise money for Escuela Bilingue los Algrarrobos is because they try to help themselves.  Every year the school has a flea market.  Though markets are common, the flea market of just used items is not familiar to them.  Besides the items sold, the parents cook food and sell it.  This year was a hugh success. Raising $1,000 is a big deal in this small town. Here is the email from Christine, the Secretary of the Ecuadorean part of the foundation. (In her email she says this is the "first" , it is just the first for this year.)

On saturday 7th, we organized the first activity to raise funds for the School: the Flea Market. Thanks to all the donations we got, we had a game "THE TOMBOLA" with 260 prizes,(all donated) and we filled 2 classrooms with clothes, shoes and other items. We collected $1000 approximately, with that money we cover half month salaries, to us is a success, considering that the most expensive item was $5.00.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your support.I'm attaching pictures of it before we opened to the public.
I'll keep you informed about our progress.
Christine Michelet
Secretary of the Foundation
James Dean Byrd.