My mule conversed with me recently (really) and she said that I needed to display some of the pictures from her past adventures. So, I am posting a pictorial review of recent expeditions.
Since I brought her home to my ranch a few years ago she has truly been low maintenance. With a daily toss of hay and a bucket of fresh water, she is ready for hard work and adventure at a beckoned call. Francis wanted everyone to know I am using a boring, five year old Samsung Galaxy Note cell phone with the standard 8.0 megapixel camera for all of the following images.
On the border of New Mexico and Texas
The plaque says...Frank A. Kindel, the flying paper boy of the Guadalupe Mountain.
Looking down at the valley near Texas from the New Mexico border.
Don't hike here without water or a personal location beacon. This part of New Mexico is typical Chihuahuan desert terrain: dry and rocky, with desert grasses, mesquite, ocotillo, saltbush, yucca, and various species of cacti.
Dell City, Texas has a “secret” dirt road that is a considered a back-door entry into New Mexico. I'll let you discover it.
Riding towards mile marker zero on the New Mexico side near the Texas border. It is very desolate until I saw a New Mexico police car waiting at mile marker zero. No donut stores out here...hmm.
The Texas border with New Mexico @ Dog Canyon.
Key West, Texas mile marker.
There is little shade but the views across the desert into the Tularosa Basin, with the Dog Canyon and the Sacramento Mountains in the back, offer a respite from a hard journey. You can ride to New Mexico via road 137 or hike in from the Texas side. You'll need to bring ample WATER and food.
The metal object in the middle of this picture reminded me of the Star Trek IV episode. This movie involved a large metallic space probe that entered into orbit around Earth and disabled global power on the planet and attempted to evaporate the oceans.
On this trip there was ample moisture in the soil. The abundance of rain was a welcome relief compared to the drought conditions of recent years.
Guadalupe Christian Camp sits on 150 acres of land that is located deep in the Guadalupe Mountains of Southeastern New Mexico. They have been hosting camps, retreats, and events since 1956.
The Permian Basin oil and gas drilling phenomena has been a boon for US jobs and resulting in decreased reliance on foreign source of energy. I did notice several posted signs that were against fracing. The fight over water rights has been a contentious issue in New Mexico for quite some time.
I had been to the caverns several years ago so there was no touring pressure to go inside the caves. I arrived at the parking lot and the heat was well in excess of 100 degrees accompanied with a face-searing wind of about 25 MPH. I turned around and went back to cooler elevations.
Lincoln National Forest sunsets can be dramatic, especially in the summer as the winds whipped up from the White Sands National Monument can cast a golden hue on the sun's rays.
My friend riding a KLR and I rode down to Timberon. The tiny city of around 400 people is located at the southern edge of the Lincoln National Forest, directly north of the Fort Bliss Military Reservation. Like the small bohemian town of Terlingua in Texas, this place has its collection of people wanting to live partly off the grid and away from heavy population centers aka - march to a different drummer.
The FZ09 did great on mild gravel roads with some minor pot holes. It you soften up the suspension a few clicks and drop about 5-7 PSI from the tires, the bike does track well on mild dual-sport roads, just be careful cracking the lower engine unit on a vicious rock or a severely cambered road.
Could this be part of a Cheech & Chong movie set?
Nope, actually the actor George Glenn Strange that played Frankenstein in the 1940s film was born here. The tiny city lies alongside New Mexico State Road 24 on the eastern slopes of the Sacramento Mountains. It has had a Post Office since 1880s.
This is looking down from West Side Road just south of High Rolls unto the yellow sands of the missile testing site called White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
West Side Road is a really fun, hard packed dirt road near Cloudcroft that slowly slithers up the side of a desert mountain. During heavy rains, this road can develop very large ruts, so it is best to check the weather conditions before riding on it.
A local golf course in Cloudcroft makes for a great place to go walking after dinner and catch a colorful sunset.