Day 2 started out well. A friend works for a hotel chain and has a generous friends and family discount, so I had a decent room in Albuquerque without a huge hit to my trip budget. Hah. I said “trip budget”. As If I planned that well.
I had conference calls from 11:00-1:00. So I got the bike mostly packed, gassed up, took my calls and then hit the road for Arizona. Albuquerque to Gallup was gorgeous. Clear blue skies, gorgeous terrain, good roads but windy as hell. 40mph gusts, but after rain and hail that seemed easy, the wind just kept me focused. After a quick stop for gas and food I headed out for Holbrook, Az. Same thing, gorgeous terrain, heavy winds. In Holbrook after a quick stop for gas, I jumped down onto 77 to Showlow.
It was funny, in Gallup a random stranger introduced himself in the parking lot and started talking to me. He started telling me about how his truck broke down and I thought he was going to ask me for money but he didn’t, just want to talk and wished me a good ride. In Holbrook someone saw the military emblems on my bike and we had a quick chat before I headed out.
After Showlow was the highlight of my day. I jumped onto Route 60 and hit the Salt River Canyon. It wasn’t quite Deal’s Gap, but it was still a blast. Lots of great curves, and traffic was moving at the perfect pace. Frequent pull-outs for the breath-taking views and photos.
Before the trip I bought a new leather jacket. It’s a re-release jacket and there’s a picture of one of the originals made over 50 years ago with the new one.
The company that makes it has a funny, snarky guy who handles their social media. When you look at the picture, you can see how it was originally whiskey colored just like the new one. But you can see how most of it has darkened, a lot with age. OnFacebook, people keep saying stupid things like they should’ve made the jacket in the darker brown. Their social media rep said “It took 50 years to make that jacket, but we have confidence in you, you can do it!”
That jacket was perfect from Denver all the way to Superior, Az. But once I hit Apache Junction and started transitioning into Phoenix it hit 92 degrees, even though the sun was down and I started sweating up a storm. I’ve only had the jacket a couple weeks, I’m well on the road to that 50 years of patina. This makes me happy.
The sun started setting just outside of Globe. It was tough, I really wanted to get to my folk’s house. Other than getting home at the end of this trip, there isn’t a real schedule to this, but I wanted to get here Friday night so I could have some time with Dad before his operation on Monday, so I didn’t stop to take a lot of photos. But the sunset was so amazing on 60 outside of Globe. I’d pull over on the shoulder, take a photo, get back on the bike, then start riding again, and 200 feet down the road, the scene change just enough that I wanted to pull over and take another picture.
It was great to hit my parent’s place after 8 hours on the road and 900+ miles in 2 days.