On the Road Again

2008 December 21
tags:
by Levi
Leaving Silver City

Leaving Silver City

The preparations finally done, today my father and I left Silver City… kinda late. As one may expect, after spending a handful of days in one place, we’d managed to spread out in Joe and Deb Kelly’s house, and hadn’t bothered/wanted to pack the night before. Add in breakfast, last minute copying of important documents, and finalizing which of our items won’t make the cut to journey to the end of the world, we decided to stay in the U.S. one more day, and instead head to the Chiricahua National Monument – an amazing place filled with trees, mountains, and towering spires of rocks that leave those of us with a background in physics calling bullshit.

The path to Chiricahua that made the most sense from our starting point involved going what some may call the “back way,” which consisted of a 20 mile dirt/gravel one-lane winding mountain road. We failed to anticipate that the road would hit altitudes greater than 7000 feet, which left us navigating tight gravel turns covered in snow and ice with near-sheer drops of thousands of feet to greet us should we misjudge the traction on our overloaded motorcycles. We made it through without incident, and with my mind reeling at the implications of months of this yet on the horizon.

We made it to Chiricahua as the sun was setting, treating us to a panorama of physical beauty my pitiful point and shoot camera failed miserably to catch. Like something out of a Wile E Coyote cartoon, there were massive slabs of rock teetering on pebbles. Great craggy spires shot from the lush mountainside. Cool stuff!

We headed out the paved exit through a valley. The retreating sun passed below the surrounding mountains, leaving our surroundings in near-total darkness, but with a sky still holding onto some semblance of blue. Winding down the road, I was left to gaze in absolute awe at great columns of cracked rock, completely shrouded in darkness, sweeping out giant swaths of fading blue sky.

From there, we rode in darkness on highways so straight you don’t need the sun or civilization to tell you you’re in the desert, even if the temperature is anything but an indication. I write this from our overpriced Motel 6 room-for-the-night in Douglas, AZ – one mile from the Mexico border. Tomorrow things start to get really interesting… More pictures and “Interesting things” after the break.

Interesting things seen today: A sign with an American flag, bald eagle, and the words “Patriot Social Club for Motorcyclists,” a real road runner, 30+ minutes and 20 miles on one road only seeing one other vehicle, more goddam snow!

Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument
Me @ the Chiricahua National Monument
Me @ the Chiricahua National Monument

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