Las Vegas, New Mexico – Denver, Colorado – (Ooops… forgot to check mileage again. Like 350 I think)
Our morning ride took us away from the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas…
…And up the Santa Fe Trail through horse-land! North of Las Vegas the desert disappears and the high plains take its place. Yesterday was all about red rock and sage green; today was vibrant green fields filled with spots of yellow from America’s flower, the Black Eyed Susan (or at least that’s what we’ve always called them. If I’m wrong, please let me know!).
It seems they line every highway across the country, such happy little greeters. The farther north we went the more the landscape shifted from wide flat expanses to gradual hills… And the saddest road cut you’ve ever seen. Wait a sec. I’m at dinner with Brian. Let’s see if his most memorable landscape feature was the same as mine. Stand by.
Ding! Ding! Ding! He said the same thing! The sad, sad road cut. Since we didn’t stop along the way to take pictures, let me see if I can paint you a worthy image.
First, cue up the Lonely Bull by Herb Alpert. Its been on my mind since last night’s trumpeter, and as I rode this section, my own trumpet version filled my helmet. It wasn’t pretty. Here. I’ll give you a link. (Not to my helmet version. The real one.)
Okay. Got it playing? Proceed.
It’s morning. The sun hits the stalks of wheat-like weeds along the roadside making them look as if they’re glowing from the inside out as they dance in the breeze. Palomino horses trot across the vast prairies. Cows stand around ponds doing what cows do. Big red barns rise from the grassland in stark contrast. Tractors lie in wait for the day ahead. The sky is blue–not as vibrant as the New Mexico skies but still lovely and filled with post storm clouds. It is mostly flat.
And then you round a bend. Way off in the distance there are small mounds that are probably much bigger mountains, but they’re still far away.
In front of you, though, is a hill. Quite tall, and not at all wide, like a column sticking up in the middle of the flat grassland, a proud little hill, special in its surroundings. But guess what? Instead of veering the road around it (not much of a veer) they cut right through the middle of it, ruining a perfectly majestic little hill by sticking a road through its guts.
I don’t normally notice road cuts through hills, but this one was just so blatant! Poor little hill.
For the most part the road was straight, but we did hit one section after we crossed into Colorado that had some nice sweepers. There are times when you just feel completely in tune with your bike, and this was one of those times. Man! I was workin’ those curves! In ’09 when we made the trip to Denver, we took the scenic route through the mountains, a much more challenging route, and at the time, I didn’t have a lot of curvy road experience so took it fairly slow. I was ready to test how far I’d come… but… the road straightened out again. BOO! Maybe on the trip home.
Oh! And I’ve got to give props to my “Carb Whisperer” feller. For a while now, the bike has had a flat spot just as you rolled on the throttle. Not anymore! He tuned that flat spot right out, and now she scoots when you pull the throttle! Thanks, baby!
We had to keep moving this leg because Brian had to be in Denver by five for a meeting, and we wanted to get cleaned up first, so the only stops were gas stops. In Pueblo, the pump lock somehow got engaged, the auto-shut-off didn’t work, and I sent a geyser of gasoline all over the bike, me, the ground, the pump, as I frantically tried to undo the lock, so the rest of the trip, I reeked of gasoline. Plus, I felt pretty darned humiliated. Oy.
The rest of the journey… I won’t bore. You. Traffic. Cities. Ew. Although Trinidad looks like a cool place! We’ll have to go back and explore sometime.
Now we’re in Denver for a few days, where I can ditch the helmet hair. While Brian goes to his meetings, I plan to have some me time. We’re staying at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown. It was a bank building in 1929, and the first high-rise on seventeenth street.
It sat vacant in the 80s, then in ’93 a full renovation began, and it became the Magnolia Hotel. It’s a lovely, boutique style hotel, and we happened to get a suite, complete with kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bath. Plus… they serve cookies and milk at night. 🙂
Over the next three days, I have some work of my own to do. I’ll share with you, my faithful readers (mom and dad), and give you a sneak peek. In 2005, I wrote a novel called MOTOR DOLLS. Over the years, it went through many transformations, had an agent, went through the whole madness of the publishing world, even had interest from the biggies, like Penguin and St. Martins, but it ended up drifting pretty far from my vision and frankly, became a mess. It’s now been restored (hopefully) and when we get home from the trip, my first print copy, the proof, will be waiting for me. If it looks good, and everything is right, it will be approved for printing and available for sale! This week I need to finish the website and the eBook versions, so I’ll be quite busy. Once I get everything going, I’ll post links on Facebook, and get the FB Motor Dolls page active again, and start promoting. Until then, here’s a sneak peak at the cover…
Stay tuned for more details!
Thanks for reading. We’ll be back on the road Wednesday for more exciting adventures!