Trip report: July 4th trip to Albuquerque

2018-07-09

I decided to do my first Saddlesore 1000 from East Palo Alto to Albuquerque on July 4th. Here’s a rough report of how it went:

Day 1

Left at 5:45am. I made sure to wear my american flag socks (https://www.stance.com/the-fourth/M310BTHE.html) to celebrate July 4th. I don’t like the wind on I-5 so I opted to go through Fresno on US-99. Overall an uneventful day. Made it to Albuquerque by 11pm. The hotel front desk clerk agreed to be my Soresaddle witness. Then I got some Waffle House.

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Day 2

Left Albuquerque, headed for the Roswell UFO crash site. Took some photos, and as I was leaving it started raining really hard. There was lots of lightning all around me, and then a bolt struck a small hilltop just ahead of me (the sound delay was less than half a second). I panicked a little bit, and decided that the safest thing was probably to just keep going straight and gtfo asap. When I got to Capitan NM it wasn’t raining. I got gas and ate a gas station chimichanga, and it started raining again. The strongest wind was on this section of US-54 north of Tularosa. There was also a sandstorm which made it worse because I couldn’t see the roadside plants and tumbleweeds to anticipate the gusts of wind. Rode to White Sands national monument to hide a geocache for my parents. By the time I was done hiding it, the rain caught up to me again. Rode through Las Cruces to El Paso. Tried Whataburger for the first time.

Roswell crash site, where first contact was made

Roswell crash site, where first contact was made

Storm near Roswell

Storm near Roswell

What a burger

What a burger

Aside: It turns out there are at least 2 different locations given as the original UFO crash site. I went to the coordinates listed on the wikipedia article (33.968333,-105.243333), but I later learned that there is a plaque installed around 4 miles away (33.950029,-105.314218).

Day 3

Ate breakfast at Chico’s Tacos in El Paso. Decided to ride along the border as much as possible. Went to Tombstone AZ to the site of the OK Corral gunfight. Went to Tucson, ate delicious enchiladas at Poco & Moms. The next morning I had Eegee’s.

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Day 4

Hottest day. Forgot to fuel up before I left Tucson. Almost ran out of gas riding into Gila Bend. The temperature hit 48’C going through Dateland AZ, and I had to pull over and find some shade to cool off.

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When I arrived in Yuma AZ, I found that a Circle-K had a brand of spicy ghost pepper chips that I had been looking for everywhere (Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper). I made the mistake of buying a bag and eating some of them. They taste like spicy salt, and it made me feel even more thirsty for the rest of the day. I had seen a documentary called Scrapper (2011), so I wanted to check out Niland and Slab City. I also wanted to see Salvation Mountain. Left Slab City and rode off-road on some dirt mounts. Went too fast and almost bailed sliding down the side of one of the hills. Then I almost bailed 2 more times on the dirt road heading back to the highway. Decided to take it easy for the rest of the day. Took a quick detour through Palm Springs. Made it to Santa Clarita and called it a night.

Day 5

Ate at an awesome sandwich shop called “Final Score”. I wish a had a windshield for this section of I-5. Got stuck in a bit of traffic just west of pacheco pass.

Trip route

Trip route

Final odometer reading: 2797mi.

All photos

https://photos.app.goo.gl/5zSvT9BkQ7PHydzn6