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40 to Phoenix Day 8, Final Dash to Phoenix

Tuesday April 4, 2017
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Tags: Route 66

Click 2017 40 to Phoenix to see all the stories in this topic.

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 8:44 AM MDT Alt: 5976
Miles:556
Start Point:Moriarty, NM
End Point:Phoenix, AZ
Weather:Light snow in Moriarty before 6:00AM, 28° at 8000 feet on US60 going to Pie Town. Mid 30's until noon, then 40's up to 80° in Phoenix


The day started at 6,258 feet and ended at 1,376 feet. The highest altitude was 7,950 feet and the lowest altitude was 1,040 feet.


Click the icons or any point in the track log for more info.

Today marks the furthest west I will go on this trip. I was on the road at 5:50AM. The temperature was 37° and I soon ran into light snow. I am meeting my wife at the airport this evening so I had to make some good time.

This was a crazy day. I have never ridden in such strong crosswinds. Several gusts tried to take off my helmet. Then there was the snow, the snow plow and the mud. Then the temperature dropped below 30° and the wind chill got brutal. But my heated jacket and using my rain gear as a wind breaker kept me toasty.

Two years ago, the New Mexico Department of Transportation decided to spice up a particularly desolate stretch of Route 66 between Albuquerque and Tijeras by adding grooves in the road that will play music when you drive over them. If you drive the speed limit of 45 mph for the quarter-mile stretch, you can hear "America the Beautiful" play through the vibrations in your car's wheels. (more info)

I got some video riding this section of highway but I won't be able to add it to this blog until I get home. But check out the link above (after reading the rest of this blog).

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 7:51 AM MDT Alt: 4738

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 7:54 AM MDT Alt: 4738
I love this photo. I knew I wanted a photo of the cloud but I needed something in front of it. I saw this low building and knew it would make a great photo. The first photo is more correct from a composition point of view but I like the second one also because the cloud looks more foreboding. If anyone has an opinion on which one you like better, please leave a comment.

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 8:44 AM MDT Alt: 5976

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 8:44 AM MDT Alt: 5976

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 8:46 AM MDT Alt: 5957

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 9:01 AM MDT Alt: 6578
The VLA is a radio telescope with 27 independent antennae, each of which has a dish diameter of 82 feet and weighs 230 Short tons. The antennae are distributed along the three arms of a track, shaped in a 'Y' configuration, each of which measures 13 miles long.

The VLA is present in the 1997 movie Contact, as the location where the alien signal is first detected (more info)

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 9:33 AM MDT Alt: 6960

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 9:35 AM MDT Alt: 6975

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 9:39 AM MDT Alt: 6986

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 9:43 AM MDT Alt: 6977

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 9:54 AM MDT Alt: 6956
I screwed up and went to the wrong cafe. The people there were very friendly and I had a great plate of nachos. But our trip organizer had called ahead and the pie place said they would have 50 pies waiting. This place only had a couple of half pies. Some other folks came in while I was eating and had lunch. (more info)

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 10:15 AM MDT Alt: 7871

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 11:19 AM MDT Alt: 7739

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 11:22 AM MDT Alt: 7739

I had come a long way to eat pies at Pie Town so I decided to spread my tourist dollars around. I went to the other place and got some pie. We had some folks eating lunch there also.

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 11:36 AM MDT Alt: 7795

I also spoke with a couple of local men, Sherman and Norman

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 11:37 AM MDT Alt: 7806

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 11:44 AM MDT Alt: 7806

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 12:10 PM MST Alt: 6911

Apr 4, 2017 Tue 12:11 PM MST Alt: 6911

40 to Phoenix is a motorcycle ride organized each year by a fellow GWRRA (Gold Wing Road Riders Association) member. The group starts at Wilmington, NC and travels roughly I-40 to California with a side trip to Mexico.

Phoenix Arizona is the national headquarters of the GWRRA and many riders turn around at that point and return home. Hence the name "40 to Phoenix".

My goal is to write a blog about each day. I also have a phone app that updates my location on a map on this website every 10 minutes or so. Click here to see the map.


You may be interested in the next article, 40 to Phoenix Day 9, GWRRA Home Office.

The previous article is 40 to Phoenix Day 7, More Route 66 Photos.

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