This sign outside a church in Animas, NM, caught my attention. It's something about the cowboy, the horse and the cross. It's conjures for me the western theme well. I've no other pictures of Animas, it was just a crossroad town in the middle of the ranchland in extreme southwest New Mexico. It's a harsh land. Hot and dry and lots of bright sun. But the desert flourishes with it's bit of seasonal rain. And the flora, though most of it seems out to kill you, has grown on me. I took awhile for the Florida scrub to get into my heart, but I think that the desert southwest is finding a spot as well.
As of this writing, I'm home in Bisbee, Az. The summer heat will drive me north again. So there's another adventure awaiting. More to follow...
Buckhorn Ranch was a solid off-road adventure for the Twin. Fully loaded I'm weighing in with about 100 lbs. of luggage. At 185 lbs. the total gross vehicle weight with a full tank of fuel and rider, I'm at about 800 lbs. The extra 120 lbs of luggage rides fairly high on the motorcycle, making for a tall center of gravity, and worthy of consideration in selecting off-road routes. A highly technical route with either deep sand, or large rocks is absolutely out of the question. But usually a county-maintained road is manageable for me. With one year of off-road adventure riding behind me, I consider myself an amateur. Knobby tires have helped a great deal, but the more difficult terrain of some areas are still way beyond my skill level. Plus, I'm riding alone. A tip-over even at standstill is something I can handle, but a crash in desert terrain could be a real issue. I'm often out on rarely traveled routes. On a positive note, between cell-phone and ham radio communications, I'm rarely out of touch with civilization.
So Buckhorn Ranch took me on a 25 mile ride that ran relatively parallel to Hwy 180 south. I came to a familiar spot on 180 and headed down into the city. Silver hasn't changed much since I'd moved away in 2015. But the lockdown is more restrictive than in Arizona. Masks are to be worn in public, and the restaurants are only serving to-go meals.
I really only stopped here in Duncan, AZ for lunch. It's a turnoff town as I shuffled north from Hwy 80 through Lordsburg, NM and eventually to Hwy 180 on the way to Silver City, NM. The restaurant here boasted local beef and a really great hamburger with applewood smoked bacon. The staff was nice and the clientele socially distanced very well. No one wore masks. The video was made using a Canon still camera with a video feature. I'm not excited about using the cell-phone camera for video, and will post links to my YouTube channel using both cameras. We'll see how it goes. The prime video equipment for comms on motorcycles made by Sena. I'm saving up...
I can't help feeling some sadness and loss witnessing deforeststation by fire in the once heavily wooded areas north of Silver City. This land is home to a wonderful section of the CDT, Continental Divide Trail. Hiking this trail has always brought me closer to nature and my experience with what I've come to know as a, "tree shower." The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide I trade with the ponderosa pines present here. Still, there are great expanses of open timberland to become immersed in.
Westward into the setting sun, I approached the NM section of the Coronado NF. As I entered the mountain pass, the desert became a dense mix of washes and alligator juniper trees. The area is still 15 miles north of the Mexico border, but still heavily patrolled by the CBP officers. One officer stopped to help me navigate a deep arroyo that had washed away a paved section of road. Though their militia-style maneuvers are resented by local land owners, all of the individual officers have always been accommodating as I roam the borderlands.