Following the last meeting I had in the Phoenix area with the Mesa 4 Wheelers, the weather headed north was starting to concern me and I was anxious to head to Albuquerque for a meeting with the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Association.
I chose to ride a lower route rather than the way most follow that leads north through Flagstaff and across through Gallup. I am glad I did. Weather being the deciding factor, the northern route would have been a bit chilly. I can also tell you now (from firsthand experience) that if you ever have the opportunity to ride (or even drive) 152 out of Silver City, NM east toward Caballo Lake State Park, it is a must do. On a motorcycle it is a gloriously curly road that takes you through the lower Gila National Forest and up over the 8000+ Emory Pass overlook that takes your breath--if not from the beauty, then certainly from the altitude, or the joy of the ride.
The meeting in Albuquerque with NMOHVA folks was a valuable experience, as were the next couple of meetings further north in Colorado with the leadership of the Trail Preservation Alliance (TPA) in Colorado Springs and the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO) in Denver. By then, I had met up with my wife and the winter weather had relegated my bike to the trailer... something that after 18,000 miles of riding made me feel both strange and relieved at the same time.
One more day and I found myself pulling finally into the driveway of my home that I had left some four months earlier. It would take me too long to describe here what I was thinking at the end of this experience, but I am sure it will come out in bits and pieces and stories over the coming months and years as we move forward with the next phase of the Turn the Tide effort here at BRC. It is fair to say that I'm looking forward to the road ahead and where this all leads.