Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Lucky Day Trinidad, CO, Sunday, 09 September 2012 11:35pm

I meant to leave Santa Fe at around 10 this morning, but as I was saying goodbye to Rusty and Merin, Rusty mentioned wanting to get a GoPro camera and capture time-lapse photos of trips. It was something that I'd been thinking about as well, and it struck me: if not now, then when?

So I ended up spending a while shopping in Santa Fe, since it's the last place I'll be for a while where I was confident I could get all of the things I needed. It turned out that nobody stocked the particular setup I needed, so I had to cobble it together out of parts from REI, Best Buy, and Target. Anyway, I now have a handlebar-mounted camera. We'll see if this results in great pictures, or just an even-longer backlog of photos to process...

I rode up to Taos, along the Rio Grande Gorge, which was really beautiful. It's a river valley with a windy road and steep rocky cliff walls. I had a tasty lunch in Taos, and assembled the camera. I'm going to have to play around with different mounting options and see which ones work best. The camera doesn't have a screen, so feedback about how things look isn't immediate.

After lunch, I headed down US 64 through Taos Canyon towards my next stop in Trinidad, Colorado. It was another gorgeous ride, with lots of fun curves and beautiful scenery. After half an hour, I came to a startling realization.

When I was fiddling with the camera mounts, I got my toolkit out from its storage space under my motorcycle's seat. To do that, I had to take my tent (which normally sits on the back seat) and cargo net off of the bike. I'd put them down on the curb. And then I rode away without putting them back on!

I turned around and headed back to Taos as quickly as I could, calculating what I should do when I got back and discovered that my tent was gone. Probably the best plan would have been to go tent shopping in Taos, because the next few stops on my route are increasingly remote. And by the time I found an appropriate replacement tent, it would probably be late enough that I should just spend the night in Taos, rather than trying to push on to Colorado, taking the chance of arriving after dark and in a rainstorm (ominous clouds kept sending down occasional drops. I was also sad to contemplate losing that tent, because I like it, and it has some history. It's been around the world with me, and was the tent I used when camping on the Uzbek steppe.

An hour after I'd left, I returned to Taos to find my tent exactly where I left it. Phew.

So now I've ridden half of Taos Canyon three times. Of all of the rides on this trip so far to re-do, I have to say, it was probably the best. Beautiful riding.

I was also lucky in the later part of the ride. After passing through Taos Canyon and Cimmaron Canyon, there's a stretch of high plains approaching the Colorado border. Along US 64 there, I got to see my first big wildlife of the trip: pronghorn "antelopes"! There were a few pairs or trios grazing close to the road, and a herd off in the distance. I got some pictures of some of the less skittish ones.

Trinidad is a little... quieter than its travel brochure (picked up at the motel in Santa Fe) would have you believe. I had to try several restaurants before I found one that was open at 8pm on a Sunday. I ended up eating pasta with good spicy italian sausage at a restaurant where the waiters sing.


woo! sonic (Anonymously) Monday, 10 September 2012 3:22am

excited about your time lapse setup and also finding your tent where you left it! also i forgot my password here and the 'forgot password' page is broke. STOP YOUR VACATION AND DO TECH SUPPORT

aneel Monday, 10 September 2012 7:05am

Sorry, it's broken enough that the last time I looked at it, I decided it wasn't really worth fixing.

g-na (Anonymously) Monday, 10 September 2012 8:49am

Pronghorns, how exciting! They are definitely on my "want-to-see" list.