Albuquerque – Socorro – Bosque del Apache Refuge – Truth or Consequences – Hatch – Radium Springs – Las Cruces
Ride to Las Cruces with breakfast at K & I Diner, lunch at Blue Moon Bar in Radium Springs, walk around Old Mesilla and a night at Mission Inn—- Took I-25 south to Socorro, then took NM 1 to Truth or Consequences, then NM 187 to Hatch, then onto NM 185 to Las Cruces.
The ride was 240 with a 5 hour ride time.
Sunday March 11, 2012
I had planned this ride for Saturday, but a storm hit and forced me to delay it 24 hours. When I woke up Sunday to snow covering our yard, I gave some thought to moving it out another day. But the sun was shining and it looked like it was going to be a nice day. We packed the bike and started south.
Before we left town we stopped at Grandma Warner’s K & I Diner
for some breakfast and to give the sun a chance to warm up the temperature a little more.
We split one of their Ham Steaks with eggs and hashbrowns. That’s my half of the ham in the picture, I’d already eaten my egg and started on the ham before I remember to take a picture. The portion at K & I are not small.
After a great breakfast we started south on the Interstate to Socorro. It seemed perfect riding weather to me, but the wife got a little cold on this part of the ride.
After about an hour of Interstate speeds we arrived in Socorro. In Socorro we gassed up the bike and moved off the Interstate onto NM 1.
We stopped at the Bosque del Apache Refuge. Six weeks ago when I last rode NM 1 there were thousands of birds here. It was an amazing site, one I wanted to share with my wife, but this time there were only a few birds and we had to search to find them.
NM 1 runs beside the Interstate, if you look close you can see the semi truck crossing the landscape.
After you ride south past the Fort Craig turn off you will see a rest area for the Interstate, look to the left. There you will see, in the middle of nowhere, the “Gateway to the Sun”, it a steel sculpture commemorating El Camino Real.
There is a lot of nothing it this part of New Mexico and I love it.
NM 1 ends about 10 miles before Truth or Consequences, so we went back on the Interstate. We took the first T or C exit so we could ride through the town.
Took a gas and bathroom break and headed for NM 187. NM 187 starts in Williamsberg right next to the interchange, it’s easy to miss.
NM 187 runs right past Caballo lake, then crosses the Interstate and moves into the Mesilla valley. The place where all the great tasting green chilies are grown.
The landscape goes from desert to farm land and pecan orchards. It’s an amazing transformation.
We had planned to eat in Hatch at Sparky’s, by the line was too long. So we headed to the Blue Moon Bar in Radium Springs.
The Blue Moon menu is easy, they sell burgers with fries and booze.
The bartender was friendly and the food was good, making it a nice place for lunch.
We rode NM 185 into Las Cruces and checked in our motel, the Mission Inn.
The room we got was clean with lots of space. It was on the first floor and we could park the bike by the door. We unpacked the bike and removed our extra gear and headed to Old Mesilla.
It was a nice afternoon, around 70 as we walked around the plaza.
It was a Sunday and many of the vendors were packing up early.
We walked around, looking in the shops.
As we were getting ready to leave a guy started playing the blues in the plaza. I would have spent the rest of the night listening to him play, but my wife was ready for dinner. So we called it a day and headed off for dinner and our room.
We started the day with snow at our feet and ended it with a sunny springlike day. It’s March in New Mexico and that snow never had a chance at lasting. For me it was a perfect day to ride, while my wife would like it a little warmer.