Saturday, September 2. Rolled out of Grants at 6 a.m. and rode west on I-40 to Thoreau (91 octane available there), then headed north on NM 371 to Farmington. Pretty ride and no traffic (or construction). The next leg was north on US 550 toward Durango.
South of Durango I headed east on a county road that took me to Ignacio, Colorado, the main burg of the Four Corners Rally. Lots of scooters there, but my destination was a construction project we're building there for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. The project, a school and family center, is behind the big casino there. I met general foreman Mark Williams and toured the job. Some of the classrooms are complete and will welcome the first kids the day after Labor Day. Shot photo 03 of education specialist Ann Peck in one of the classrooms.
While there, I was also pleased to meet John E. Baker, Jr. (photo 02), chairman of the tribe. Through our project, the tribe is making a noble investment in its future.
Walter's lead product is an extended brake pedal lever for dressers and Road Kings. At $148 including tax installed, the lever was pricey, but I liked the idea of access to the entire right floorboard, so I put the dresser in line at Walter's tent. I shot a photo 04 while Walter did the deed, plus photo 05 of wife Cathy Crovo, who runs the business end of Walter's operation. Info about Walter's products is available at www.waltersworkshop.com.
Spent the night at the Super 8 in Farmington. The Chili's across the street has good food and draft Dos Equis beer.
Sunday, September 3. Rode back up to Durango via NM 170 which becomes Colorado 140, a better route than yesterday's under-construction US 550. Got to town in time to shoot photo 06 of the 9 a.m. departure of one of the trains to Silverton.
Left Durango about 9:30 for the scenic one-hour ride up 550 to Silverton (photo 07). Walked the main drag and shot photo 08 of the train's arrival. In the Gold King Dining Room (a saloon if I ever saw one) at the Grand Imperial Hotel (photo 09) I met Loretta and Roy Osborne (photo 10) from Odessa, Texas. Loretta rides a VW trike and Roy's mount is a fairingless '84 Tour Glide. Nice couple.
Monday, September 4. A leisurely day getting back to Albuquerque. Stopped at exit 140 on I-40 to shoot photo 14 (indeed, a numerical coincidence) of the historic 1933 Rio Puerco (Pig River) bridge, a 250-foot Parker through-truss that was part of old Route 66. While in Albuquerque I rode to the base of the tramway up Sandia Peak. Spent the night at the Super 8 just north of Albuquerque on I-25 in Bernalillo. Best I could do for dinner was the Taco Bell next to the motel.
Tuesday, September 5. A short trip down I-25 to Chick's. Asked service writer Sandra Wernicke to install the HD display stand and a pair of those fairing mounted mirrors so I can see better behind the bike around the tour pack rack T-Bag that I bought in Sturgis. Flew back to Dallas that morning and was back on the job in the afternoon.
Total trip – 867 miles. Saturday and Sunday in the Four Corners area were as good as any two days at Sturgis. This trip will be in my gun sights for 2001.
On a sad note, Tuesday's Albuquerque Journal reported five scooter fatalities in two days during the rally. Two of the deaths were a husband and wife on separate bikes, both hit by another vehicle. Sturgis 2000 had seven fatalities over a period of nine days, also regrettable but a much lower rate than Four Corners.
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