Picture Intermission – Land of Enchantment BMW Rally – Days 3+4

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Part 2 of 2 of my ride out and back to New Mexico for the Land of Enchantment BMW Rally!


Did you miss Days 1+2?

I kicked off Day 3 with a stop for brunch in Taos before heading back to the rally for my second presentation. This street sign was so close to being the perfect photo prop!

The afternoon prior I had overheard someone mention that they really liked a restaurant called Orlando’s. I decided to give it a shot, and I figured it was a good sign when they had motorcycle-only parking.

Sitting down at the counter, things were still looking good as I appreciated some of the art.

Once I saw this guy’s shirt, I knew I was in good hands.

Somewhere under all that cheese and chile there’s a couple of enchiladas. While my primary goal in New Mexico was to present at the rally, my secondary goal was to have as much green chile as possible.

I gave my second presentation, stuck around to answer some questions, and then packed up to hit the road. Before I left, I made sure to get a photo with Gary.

Then it was just a matter of trying cover as much distance as possible. I had plenty of miles on the GS by this point, but it was >90% highway and I hadn’t fallen in love with the machine yet.

There were constant rain clouds but I got lucky as they were almost always to the side of my route.

Last time Vy and I were in Albuquerque, she found out about a bakery called Golden Crown Panaderia. Among other things, they’re famous for their green chile bread. On our last trip, we bought a loaf and snacked on it for days on the road, and we loved it. So I figured I should grab another loaf to bring back home to Vy as a surprise.

The cruise control on the F850GS works phenomenally, which allowed me to capture this photo of a sunset that was ruined by cloud cover. One thing I don’t understand is that the cruise control shuts itself off if you use the quickshifter to shift up, because that doesn’t happen with the R1250GS. Maybe there’s a setting I missed, but it just seems like an odd thing to have differ between both bikes. I also have to say that I love the dash. It’s large, it’s vibrant, and it’s easy to read. Definitely a highlight of the bike.

I called it a night in Williams, Arizona and got an early start the next morning.


Last day on the road. I was pleased to see that my Bike-urious sticker was still on the bumper of this VW bus in Seligman. I put it there just a few months ago when I was riding back from the Kawasaki Versys launch – did you see that picture intermission?

If you’ve traveled on roads like Route 66, you may have seen the mini billboards of Burma-Shave. It’s a fun story, though the signs were killed off when the company was acquired by Philip Morris. Now the only signs are replicas, and I’m not sure who puts them up. Here’s an example that I may have “fixed” by replacing a word. Sort of ruins the rhyming scheme, though…

Here’s another photo that required use of cruise control.

Somewhere near Yucca there’s an abandoned truck repair shop.

You’ll know you’re nearby when you see this suspended semi about two stories up in the air!

Someone’s really into Chevys.

Also in Yucca is Area 66, an ex-desert home that’s been converted into a museum about UFOs.

I didn’t bother going in, but I thought this sign in the parking lot was interesting. Ford’s proving grounds in Yucca are just a few blocks away, though it was bought by Chrysler in 2007. At one point, Harley-Davidson was also doing some testing here, but it’s unclear if that’s still happening. I wish there was a way I could have done a lap with the F850GS!

As you’ve surely seen by now, a lot of my time has been taken up by the new auction site – I know it’s causing Bike-urious to suffer a bit, and for that I apologize. I promise I’m working on it and still trying to figure out how to best utilize my time considering all the motorcycle endeavors are part time for me. I bring all this up because while I was on a dirt road near Lake Havasu, I had to put up a new bike on the site. The F850GS became a mobile office once I turned my cell phone into a hotspot. The wonders of technology!

My off-road shenanigans eventually led me to Lake Havasu, though I couldn’t figure out how to get closer to the water than this while off pavement.

A quick stop at Parker Dam, which is actually the deepest dam in the world. It’s 320 feet tall, but 73% of it is hidden below the riverbed. This photo is from the Arizona side.

Parker Dam Road is an 11 mile route that follows the Colorado River. I ended up in a game of cat and mouse with a local trooper as I passed him going a little too fast (but not fast enough for him to pull me over, I guess). Later on I stopped to take this photo and I noticed him go by me. I took the hint and stuck at the speed limit (not just for the cop, but for the possibility of seeing a burro on the road) and passed him as he was hiding behind a rock outcropping. This happened three more times on the road as I’d stop for a photo, he’d pass, and then I’d pass him again in a different hiding spot. Not today, copper!

The sign wasn’t a lie.

I pulled over and watched this guy criss-cross the road 4 times, almost getting hit by a Subaru Outback in the process. Eventually he made his way up a hill and I figured it was time to keep moving myself.

Once I got back on the freeway, I decided that I should just get home ASAP to unpack some boxes (I’ve just moved) and get prepared for a Kawasaki dirt bike launch. The one surprise I encountered was a passing a pickup truck with a sweet supermoto on the back. I looked over to the driver to give him a thumbs up, and then I realized it was Max Hazan! He must thought I was odd until I lifted up my visor and it clicked.

Within 4 days I had covered about 2,050 miles on the F850GS, seen some old friends, made new ones, given a couple of presentation, and enjoyed some time on the road. I never truly clicked with the BMW, unfortunately, but I’ve still got it in my garage for a little bit longer so I’ll try to vary up my riding and see if it eventually makes a connection with me. For now, I’ve got a Kawasaki review to write up!

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