So I head north back toward Utah.
Unfortunately I ride the US 285 in Texas which is packed with oil field trucks!
Of course that is GREAT for business but is somewhat bad for the tourist (me) as the semi-truck to car ratio was (scientifically speaking) SCADS of trucks to very few cars and motorcycles... (haha)
I had four locals approach me and tell me emphatically to ride careful.....not the normal, 'be safe' type of warning, but they stressed how dangerous this two lane undivided road is... One of them told me this is the most dangerous road in Texas.
And I was dutifully careful.
Another thing about that area is the ubiquitous "HELP WANTED" signs. Along with the bustling bee hive on steroids atmosphere - their economy is booming!
I was munching on a sandwich in a gas station parking lot and happened to ask a guy standing near a truck beside me, 'what are the jobs that all these people are doing...'?
Before he could answer, his crew boss jumped out of the other side of the truck and trotted around and said to me, "What kind of work are you looking for?"
"No no", I replied, "I just wondering what type of work all these people are doing."
"Ohhh"....he seemed very disappointed that he hadn't found a worker.
But he then explained the local industry (oil field) was crazy busy. He then warned me very seriously to 'keep my eyes open and ride very very carefully?"
When we parted he told me, "Go with God and be safe".
I did and was.
Back on the road.
I make it to Roswell, New Mexico where I stay overnight.
On the road again I pass the VLA, Very Large Array.
Farther west I ride to Pie Town, where I felt it was my duty to taste test the pies at the Gatherin Place Cafe.
I picked my pie off the shelf and it was still warm from the oven, the kitchen is on one end of the building, where three magicians....errrr, cooks were busy making pies.
When I finished the lady at the counter said, "You ate the entire thing by yourself, not many people can do that!"
I'm not sure how I feel about that comment....
Fat and happy I continue on to Springerville for an overnight rest, then the next day I ride to Flagstaff where I'll have dinner with former V-Strom buddy, now Super Tenere buddy Howard.
A building in Snowflake, Arizona.
The LDS Temple in Snowflake.
Don't forget Winona!
Howard and his wife treat me to a very delicious dinner at a nice Greek place....can't remember the name.
After the tasty meal and great conversation I return to my room and rest for a long next day.
And the next day IS a long one. I make a comfort stop somewhere north of Flagstaff....
Near Lee's Ferry, Arizona.
Annnnd 520 miles later I'm home....
...note the gentle yellow hues that I have delicately festooned my windscreen with.....
It was a super ride. I went mostly intending on seeing the Marfa lights....mission accomplished. I also wanted to see Big Bend National Park, but that will have to wait until the next time.
Marfa is indeed a beautiful town, but if you stay overnight lodge in nearby Alpine to save big bucks.
I re-discovered that Texas is a state chock full of good people! The interactions I had with local folks was interesting and gratifying. Win win.