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1 pxEver since I saw the pictures that Mark Juarez, a neighbor friend, took on his motorcycle, I knew that I wanted to do that too. So, on June 27, 1987, I took off on my first solo long distance ride on my '86 Kawasaki Concours.

I decided to head to Oklahoma to visit relatives and then ride through the Colorado Rockies on the way home. I thought I was going to camp along the way, so my older sister, Marla, lent me her pop-up tent that I could easily fit on the bike. Marla also lent me her camera, so the following pictures were from that camera which also had a collapsible tripod.

My brother, Brent, warned me that it was going to be cold when I rode through the desert, so I dressed appropriately. I left Mom's house at about 11:00 PM. I also took notes and the following are the notes exactly as I wrote them.


3:03 AM Blyth
Cold my ass. I was sweating. Took off jacket. Radar detector went off probably saved my butt.
(241 miles)

880 miles - Clives Corner, AZ
Radar went off like crazy. Pissed me off.

Everything went like clock work. I arrived at Prescott, AZ at 6:30 AM and then at Flagstaff at 8:30 AM, just as I planned. Passing through Prescott, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon is much like the Angeles Crest Highway, except the roads are much better, hills are greener and you have to look out for animals. Not like jack rabbits, but like cows. There are signs that say beware of animals, then I see a yellow sign with a cow on it. Just what I need to do is broad side a cow. I'd round one turn and I'd see cattle grazing on the side of the road and they weren't even fenced. They were about 10' from the road. Kind of spooky, but funny.

Ate breakfast in Flagstaff, then I went to buy some suntan lotion. It was a drag trying to find any.

Filled up at Gallup, NM. I'm starting to see the same people on the road and we talk while getting gas. People are really friendly. You can talk to them very easily.

On I-40 through New Mexico it all looks the same and it's really boring. There are mountain plateaus all around and a straight highway.

I started to feel real tired and nothing seemed to help. I put on some music I like and cranked it up, but it just bored me. I didn't want to take any more (No-doze) pills, so I stopped at a rest stop. I tried to sleep but couldn't. I end up taking the pills. Good thing I did. It pepped me up enough to get me to my destination of Tucumcari, NM.

On the road, I'd go through periods of ups and downs. I think the pills were the cause. One time I'd feel sluggish, next I'd be happy as a lark.

By the time I arrived at Tucumcari, NM my eyes were bloodshot, but I felt like a nap would do me wonders. I stayed at the Raintree Inn for $26. Showered, then went to sleep at 8:30 PM. Had a wake up call for 4:30 AM (NM time, 3:30 our time). I felt real good. I packed my bags and I left. I was about 350 miles from OKC.

I gassed up in Wilderado, NM and also bought Nicole a t-shirt that says, "Texas". The fellow who runs the station also has a souvenir shop. I think most places along I-40 have souvenir shops. But, he was really friendly. So we talked for a while about the governor of Texas and income tax. Then I was on the road again.