The border crossing with the US was relatively painless. I made sure that the bike was successfully exported from Mexico so that the Bajercito wouldn’t slug me a whopping penalty in four months time, and then got a exit stamp in my passport that was as faint as the entry one. As I pulled up to the customs officer on the US side he asked if I had filled in the I91?After hearing that I hadn’t asked me to go inside. I was taken to the front of the large que of Mexicans waiting and soon found out that with a six month visa I didn’t have to. I think they were more interested that I had a Pakistan visa for some reason. But after about thirty minutes I got a “welcome to the United States Sir” and I was free to go. I made it to Pecos the first night and went off to find a large steak, only to find that the puncture repair had finally failed and the rear tyre was going down. I returned to the hotel and tried to fix it, but with little faith that it would still be inflated in the morning. It wasn’t.
Wallmart provided me with another puncture kit the next morning and on the ride up to Roswell I had to repair it again another two times.
Roswell New Mexico is a place that became famous in 1947 when it was reported that a flying saucer had crashed there, and the remains taken off to Area 51. Today it a small farming town with a lot of shops selling “alien” memorabilia. A bit of fun in the middle of the very large open plains of Texas and New Mexico.
|Roswell Alien Museum|
|I think they're hiding here!!|
I headed up to Clovis the next morning to meet the ex Tech Sergeant of the couple I had met way back in Peru. He had kindly invited me to stay for a few days which was fortunate in that I had to order the tyre from the local Suzuki agent and it wasn’t going to be for four days.
During that time we had great fun going up to Tucumcari on the old Route 66. This town in it’s heyday was “motel row” with as many gas stations catering for the travellers going out west. Today it’s unfortunately falling into decline and many of the old motels are closing and being boarded up, but there is enough to get a good feel of what it must have been like back in the 50’s and 60’s.
|Get your kicks on Route 66|
|Tucomcary The old signs are still here|
|This one is open and restored like the 60's|
After lunch in “Unburritable” a small relatively new café that does the most enormous Burrito’s we headed off to the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo.
Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm, and it consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of early Cadillac’s; the tail fin) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid in Giza in Egypt.
|The Cadillac Ranch|
|Damn, forgot the spray can!!|
|The Original Plans and costs!|
Another great place to visit in Clovis is the Norman Petty recording studio. In 1974 Norman closed the door and walked away. Not only is this a museum where the likes of Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and many other stars of the past recorded their music, but it’s a time capsule from the 50’s and 60’s with everything left the way it was. There was an apartment at the back of the studios where the artists could stay if they had spent all their money on fuel to get there and paid for the recording (which was charged by the song rather than the hour or day) could stay free of charge. It was wonderful to think of those artists sitting around talking about the music and producing some wonderful songs.
|The Norman Petty Recording Studio's|
|The original mixing desk|
|Just messing about|
|The Guest House|
|Everything in the Kitchen is still original including one of the first microwaves!!|
Finally I got to do one of the things I love most. Steve and I took his AR15 assault rifle out to the range to play. These weapons are banned in Australia, but are freely available here. So we spent the afternoon making some noise!!
|AR15 Everyone should have one.|
|Or a pump shotgun with folding stock|
A huge thanks to Steve and his wife for their generous hospitality while I was there.
On the Friday 29th April I left Clovis with a new rear tyre heading for Albuquerque to find the BMW dealership to get the Wombat serviced. Little did I know what I was in for!