Yesterday was a day of firsts. The last three days in the desert had got in my head. I didn’t realize this until I crossed over the mountains and across the New Mexico State Line. Highway 78 East is a very twisty road from the Apache National Forest into the Gila National Forest. Trees, real trees. Green, tall trees everywhere. Rivers that run down canyons with actual water in them. Grassland ranches with cattle and horses grazing everywhere. My mood changed instantly. I look back now and notice how the desert had begun to weigh on my mind. Sometimes the scenery can not take away from the desolate straight aways that run on for miles in the desert.
78 East twists and turns up and down for 80 miles which took over 3 hours. I stopped many times for pictures and to take a video. New Mexico felt warm and inviting. The license plates for New Mexico read Land of Enchantment and after the desert this was a welcome change. Towards the end of road and and down onto Interstate 25 South I began a short quick run through more desert. Even this didn’t bother me though. I crossed the Continental Divide and the Rio Grande, which are both big firsts for me.
I decided the previous night to visit the White Sands Missile Range and White Sands National Monument. Highway 70 East takes you over the Mountains and down into a white sand desert for 27 miles. Military trucks, check points, signs that prohibit photography are all present until you arrive at the National Monument. This is a recreation of southwestern architecture and tours through the white sand dunes. I was taking a picture when a loud sonic boom shook everyone around. No wonder they have all the precautions. Saturday afternoon testings on the range.
Great day of riding and some interesting sights. Off to Roswell and Carlsbad Caverns today…..