Ride from Clayton to Albuquerque NM

Clayton – Roy – Wagon Mound – Fort Union – Las Vegas – Santa Fe – Madrid – Albuquerque

Ride to Albuquerque form Clayton with a stops at Fort Union and Johnny’s Kitchen for lunch. Took US 56 west to NM 120, followed NM 120 to Wagon Mound, then I 25 south to Santa Fe and NM 14 south, then east on I 40 into Albuquerque

Ride was 302 miles with a 5 hour 45 minute ride time.

Sunday March 25, 2012

The first leg of this trip is Ride from Albuquerque to Clayton NM

Google Maps
When you’re sleeping in a tent being an early riser isn’t a great habit to possess. When I woke up at 5:30 it was still dark outside and the coldest part of the day. Fortunately my sleeping bag was warm and I had my computer to entertain me.
 When the sun topped the horizon I got dressed and made the long walk to the bathroom. After the pause that refreshes it only took me 20 minutes to break camp and pack the bike.
For the return trip I packed my gear in the passenger seat, it made the bike more stable with wind. With getting an early start I planned on eating breakfast in Roy (about 2 hours away). As I rode the first 39 miles west on US 56 the air was cool and crisp.
I took a left onto NM 120 and followed this back road 60 miles into Roy. The land along the road was open and flat with the occasional old windmill marking a failed homestead.
NM 120 was the definition of a lonely highway, I didn’t see another person or vehicle till I was a couple of miles outside of Roy. This highway was perfect for a Sunday morning ride, just me the bike and all of God’s creation.
By the time I got to Roy I was ready to eat, unfortunately the only cafe in town was closed on Sunday as was the gas station.
About 8 miles west of Roy the highway drops down to cross the Canadian River. They are working on the road here and it down to one lane with a stop light.
At Wagon Mound I gassed up the bike, but found no place to eat. I was empty, but at least the bike was full. Got on I 25 and started south to Fort Union.
Took the time and walked trail (2 miles) around Fort Union. What an amazing place Fort Union must have been during the 1870’s before trains made the Santa Fe Trail obsolete.
I rode back to I 25 and started south for Las Vegas and what’s now going to be brunch.
The sign at Johnny’s Kitchen for the “Las Vegas Breakfast” combined with lots of cars made me pick this restaurant to break my fast.
It was a busy place with tables filling as fast as they were cleared, I came with the church crowd. The service was surprisingly quick and the food good. When the waitress set down my plate my hunger got the best of me and I started eating before I took a picture.
After lunch/breakfast I caught I 25 and started for Santa Fe. Because I had lots of chores facing me at home I gave some thought to running I 25 all the way into Albuquerque. But the amount of traffic on I 25 convinced me to take NM 14. It was the first really nice weekend of the year and NM 14 was packed with bikes. Pushing hard from Las Vegas got me home around 3:00. It was a great trip and I think motorcycle camping will become big part of my riding.

2 comments

  1. Mike Hess says:

    I never visited Fort Union but the amazing thing from Wagon Mound north is the remnants of the tracks of the wagon trains as they came over the prairie. You can still see the swales and ruts near the road that hundreds of wagons made as they passed through.

  2. Mike Frye says:

    Sure enjoy your ride reports and pics. New Mexico is very different from Indiana and that makes it all the more entertaining. Thanks for sharing.

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