HCBMWR Fall 2013 Trip

Date posted: 10/30/2013

A group of 16 HCBMWR members, plus a couple of friends, made the fall trip to New Mexico last weekend. The group used the Hotel Artesia in - you guessed it - Artesia as a base camp. "Why Artesia?", some asked. Well, it's an easy day's ride from Austin, it's centrally located among several points of interest in southern New Mexico, it's large enough to have several good hotels and restaurants, and there's a lovely view of a refinery. OK, so you can't have everything. But the hotel was excellent: good rooms, a great dining/hanging out area, and a bar! And they roped off an area of the parking lot just for us. The town is actually quite nice, showing evidence of the oil boom in mostly good ways.

We rode out on Thursday, most of us meeting up in Llano for breakfast at the Hungry Hunter. We had a good breakfast, although one who will remain nameless got the last of the hash browns. We'll just refer to him as "Mr. Smith".

We had a nice late lunch at the Red Mesa Grill in Big Spring, then rode the last stint into Artesia, picking up at least one nail and getting to town about 5:15 or so. We then had some good Italian food at Piccolino.

Friday started out rainy, but most of the group braved the weather and headed south down to Sitting Bull Falls, and Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks....picking up another nail along the way. A smaller group went in search of a tire in Roswell, then turned that into a nice ride to Ruidoso. Dinner on Friday night was Mexican food at La Fonda. They set us up in our own room, with great service and good food...can't beat it. Actually you can...they don't sell beer.

Saturday was the ride to Cloudcroft. A large group headed there, made a gas stop in town, then headed up the Sunspot Highway. Beautiful scenery and a great road, although it is probably much better when there's no black ice; unfortunately that was not the case this day. So a little adventure ensued and Plans B, C, D, and E went into effect. But we ended up with some good riding and most of us ended up enjoying the day.

Saturday night was a very good dinner at the Wellhead Restaurant and Brew Pub. They do serve beer, and good beer. At least we Texas folks thought so.

Sunday morning started out cold for the ride home for most of the group, although a few adventurous types headed farther west for more riding. Evidently tire plugs don't like the cold either, and more tire adventure ensued, culminating with a session of group tire patching in Fort Stockton. But that was ultimately successful due to an appearance by the Incredible Hulkbaker. The rest of the trip was mostly your basic I-10 cover-the-miles, but we did do an inspired little detour on TX 290 through Sheffield and by Fort Lancaster State Historical Park. A great little break from the interstate drudgery, and highly recommended for your next I-10 jaunt.

So, all in all, a great little four-day weekend. We didn't get to do everything we wanted to, but then you never do, do you? Save some for next time...and there will definitely be a next time.

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