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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gulf to Gulf on a Harley

I just returned from a motorcycle trip to the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California. The trip took me through seven states, two countries, and covered 4,408 miles.

Eight of us left Denver Sunday morning and arrived on Mustang Island TX. late Tuesday evening. Mustang Island is one of the barrier islands that guards Corpus Christi Bay. We stayed on the island at a rental cottage in Port Aransas TX. It was insufferably hot and humid.

We went to the beach Wednesday where I swam in the Gulf of Mexico! Late Thursday evening a friend and I rode our motorcycles on the beach; it was a little difficult but different and fun. The highlight of the Port Aransas trip was visiting the USS Lexington aircraft carrier anchored at Corpus Christi Texas. The Lexington was commissioned in 1943 and decommissioned in 1991; it is now a floating museum. I was able to tour the flight deck and the bridge, but didn't have time to tour the rest of the ship.

Saturday a friend and I set out for the Gulf of California. Along the way we visited Big Bend National Park TX., and spent a few days in Phoenix Arizona. Big Bend National Park has a lot to offer visitors, but it didn't make a big impression on me. We rode through South Mountain Park when we were in Phoenix.

Friday we took our passports and headed south to Mexico. We bought Mexican auto insurance before crossing the boarder; US auto insurance isn't any good in Mexico. We spent several days at Las Palomas in Puerto Pe┼łasco, Sonora, Mexico. This was the first time I've been outside the United States, so crossing the boarder was the highlight of the Mexico trip! Swimming with a school of fish in the Sea of Cortez was another landmark event.

After returning to the USA Wednesday, we made a picture and shopping stop in Sedona Arizona. Thursday we rode east to Gallup NM. then north on US481 to Shiprock NM. This is very flat and barren land interrupted only by the occasional large rock formation jutting out of the ground. The largest of these stark rock formations is Ship Rock, the remnant of a 30 million year old volcanic eruption, rising 1,900 feet above the surrounding plane. We stopped for the night in Chama New Mexico.

The last day of the trip may have been the most challenging. I was almost run over by a steam locomotive in Antonito CO., we encountered a lengthy construction delay south of Fountain, a nasty washboard dirt road, heavy rain and hail at Monument, and stop-n-go traffic in Denver. It took three hours to travel from Fountain to my apartment.

The trip included two countries (USA, Mexico); seven states (Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Sonora); lasted 20 days, and covered 4,407.8 miles (7,093.6 kilometers). It was a good trip in spite of the heat and humidity.

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