Friday, June 17, 2016

Quebec Road Warriors Riding Route 66
 Andre and Jean contacted me to create a motorcycle trip across the West on Route 66.  We spent time via Skype planning out their trip in detail.  The plan included shipping their bikes from Quebec to Las Vegas, NV.  From Las Vegas, we mapped out a detail route across the Southwest heading toward Santa Fe, NM.  The route gave them the opportunity to experience two lane open highways, stunning landscape, National Parks, and the wondrous Monument Valley, a personal favorite.  Right from the beginning of the ride they experienced sun, rain, snow, and fog.  True road warrior initiation!

After Andre and Jean arrived in Santa Fe we spent a couple of days riding together in the area.  I shared with them several of our incredible local two laners, including riding into the Galisteo Basin with a stop at the Mine Shaft in Madrid. (Some of the best riding in New Mexico)  Of course a trip to the historic Santa Fe Plaza was on the list.  

Historically Route 66 went directly through Santa Fe.  Old Las Vegas Highway heading east from Santa Fe is part of the original route.  The plan was for me to ride with them for two days and get them started west on Route 66.  From Santa Fe we saddled up and headed east on Route 66 to Las Vegas, NM.  
At Las Vegas we broke from Route 66.  Heading south toward Tucumcari we rode on one of New Mexico's little known jewels, Highway 104.  Dropping off the mesa takes your breath away as you press and lean into the curves.  The road is yours.  Not another car in sight.  Nothing can put a bigger smile on a biker's face.  When we pulled over for a short break, all of us were grinning ear to ear.  One simple word from Andre and Jean...WOW!
Tucumcari's Safari Motel is a Route 66 classic.  Beautifully restored rooms with beds you can really appreciate after a long day's ride.  Dinner at Dels with a cold beer and a juicy steak, another Route 66 classic.  After dinner we poured over the maps for Route 66 west.  I had supplied Andre and Jean with a special set of Route 66 maps.  Many riders think Route 66 is I-40.  Not true.  With the right maps one can ride most of the original Mother Road West to the Pacific.  Outside the sky was aglow with the neon of Tucumcari tonight.
Bright sunny morning.  Plenty of coffee, eggs, hash browns, sausage, and toast at the original KIX Diner got us off to a good start on the Mother Road.  We rode the original route west from Tucumcari jumping onto short sections of I-40 and then off again.  
 We road through Palomas, Montoya, Newkirk, Cuervo...ghost towns of the past.  Stopping west of Santa Rosa it was time for me to head back to Santa Fe and for Andre and Jean to follow Route 66 to the Pacific. 

It was a lot of fun planning the trip for them.  It was even more fun to see those oh wow moments and get to know two of our Canadian brothers.  Each night they kept me posted via text as they rode west, including a photograph of Jean seeing the Pacific for the first time.  As I say quite just doesn't get any better.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, June 13, 2016

Breathing Hard in Bokoshe:
After 6 years of documenting the devastating health problems of the people of Bokoshe, OK caused by the flagrant disposal of coal ash, Pulitzer Prize winner, Inside Climate News, an online publication, contacted me and together we worked to publish their story. Here is the link: Breathing Hard in Bokoshe.

be strong, be safe, Carlan