Southern States Tour – Day 17

Day 17 Route
Day 17 Route

Today’s weather was close to ideal. Temperatures from high 60’s to mid 70’s. Light winds with moderate gusts were the only downside.

Day’s distance: 326 miles
Total trip distance: 3,137 miles

Despite getting up early, I didn’t get out of Bisbee until about 9:30am. I didn’t post to the blog last night and had to complete it this morning. Then I worked out my route details for today. Since the folks at Butler Maps haven’t published anything for New Mexico, I used motorcycleroads.com as a resource. Finally, I cleaned up, packed the bike, and turned in the key to the very friendly staff.

Again, I really liked the Eldorado and recommend it.

The ride from Bisbee through Douglas to the border consisted mostly of relatively straight roads and landscape that was only kinda sort of scenic. Sometimes you just have to get through it.

Interestingly, the folks at Butler Maps identified Hwy 80 between Douglas and the border as a ‘Lost Highway’, by that they mean “a byway that seems lost in time.” There was very little traffic along the entire length, and with a few hills and curves just north of Douglas, maybe it is an apt description.

Entering New Mexico lifted my spirits.

Hwy 80 at border of New Mexico and Arizona
Hwy 80 at border of New Mexico and Arizona

The landscape of New Mexico changed as I traveled north. Here’s the area near the border crossing …

Landscape near San Simon, AZ
Landscape near San Simon, AZ

and near Mimbres, located at the southern part of the Gila National Forest.

Near Mimbres, NM
Near Mimbres, NM

Today, my actual route differed significantly from my planned route. I intended to spend more time in the Gila National Forest along Hwy 152.

Intended Day 17 Route from Silver City
Intended Day 17 Route from Silver City

It turns out when I programmed the Garmin (GPS) this morning, I included an unintended way point, Mimbres. This can happen when I ‘move’ the default route by selecting part of the route and moving it over to an alternative road (just like on Google maps only more inclined to include unexpected way points).

I suspected the turn off Hwy 125 onto Hwy 30 wasn’t intended, but I followed it anyway. I didn’t have a map of New Mexico with me and also had no cell reception. When I reached Mimbres, the GPS recalculated the route by taking me still further north along Hwy 30 until it found a set of roads that could turn me around without a making a U-turn.

You see, one of the Garmin settings is called Avoidances. It allows a user to avoid tolls, ferries, U-turns, traffic, and highways. I had it set to avoid U-turns. The consequence today was another 7 miles of travel north when I shouldn’t have been on Hwy 30 at all. πŸ™

When I confirmed I was off my intended route, and without other resources, I chose to simply reprogram the GPS to take me to Las Cruces by the fastest route possible. No longer using my programmed route, I was directed to Hwy 61 instead of Hwy 152.

With a planned 300+ mile day, getting ‘lost’ was frustrating and time-consuming. However, it turned out that Hwy 61 was a really, really nice highway.

Hwy 61, AZ
Hwy 61, AZ

Hwy 61 led me to Hwy 180 and I took that south to Deming. It wasn’t as scenic.

Hwy 180, north of Deming, AZ
Hwy 180, north of Deming, AZ

Back on Interstate 10, I stopped at a rest area for a bathroom break. Inside the men’s room, there was music playing. It was the Rolling Stones singing “You can’t alway get what you want, but if you try real hard, sometimes you get what you need.”

Indeed, I got my beautiful road, despite it not being the road I wanted.

I powered into Las Cruces on I-10 and I-85, both of which have speed limits higher than anywhere in Washington. That was an excuse to crank up my beautiful beast and was fun, just a different kind of fun.

I have since changed the Avoidance setting preventing U-turns. I will also take a screen shot of the route details in case I don’t have paper maps or cell reception. This issue shouldn’t come up again.

I can’t wait for the next ‘issue’. πŸ™‚

PS – the odometer turned 25,000 miles while I was in Silver City. You go, Girl !!

One thought

  1. Good stuff! It looks like you are enjoying your journey. Mechanical therapy is good for you! Some friends of mine are down in the area you are staying working the Tour of Gila bike race.

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