Sunshine and spectacular terrain - Metro US

Sunshine and spectacular terrain

Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle were a blur: I rode through both states in a day and a half. I was tired of the rain, and knew the sun was shining in New Mexico.

Sure enough, just east of the border between Texas and New Mexico the sun came out. The heat hit me like a blast furnace. But after all those cool wet days it was a welcome relief.

The rain doesn’t make it to the lee side of the Rockies so much of the New Mexico landscape is baked rock. Tumbleweeds rolled across the road in front of me.

I rode a desolate route north to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and all I could think of was Hotel California by the Eagles. If I had a breakdown, how long would it be until the locals found me?

Luckily, I have a Micro Track GPS device, by Global Tech GPS, that is my eye in the sky. It monitors the bike as I ride along.

If I did have a mishap, my wife would receive an email notification and she could locate me from the coordinates the system provides. It gives me peace of mind to know she’s watching out for me.

I was surprised by how beautiful New Mexico was. I rode up into the mountains close to Taos where the air was cooler. I rode through deep canyons, coming out onto plateaus with snow-tipped mountains visible in the distance. But it’s a lonely state. I didn’t meet anyone while riding; few cars and fewer motorcycles shared the road with me.

It was another story when I crossed the border into Colorado. Cars and bikes were everywhere.

Colorado is split down the centre by The Rockies. The snow is still hugging the peaks refusing to give into spring. The rivers are flooded with runoff, and rumble as they cascade downhill. I rode through a fantastic canyon that had 600-foot walls on either side. The Arkansas River roared down beside the road.

In Colorado the back road towns like Salida and Leadville were all built back in the early 1900s.

They look as though they could have had a few gunfights on the main street. In fact Doc Holiday is buried in a town called Glenwood Springs, Colo..

These two states are rich in history from the gunslingers of old to the Indian Wars fought in the hills and valleys of New Mexico.

I stayed in those parts for three days and I can say the riding is out of this world. For great views, warm weather and clear skies, New Mexico and Colorado have it all

Road trip
Metro columnist Michael Jackson is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. On Friday, he’ll head out for a six-week solo motorcycle trip across the U.S. and Canada — but to make things even more interesting, he plans to have something of a mobile office, managing his small business, a printing company, remotely while he’s on the road. But will Michael really be able to put work aside at those times when he’s trying to enjoy his trip??Will his bike break down, wreaking havoc on his itinerary and budget? And will he go stir crazy travelling by himself for six weeks? Follow his adventures every Wednesday in Metro to find out.

– Michael Jackson has embarked on a six-week motorcycle trip around North America. Track his progress at www.adventuremotorcycleroutes.ca.

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