We rode from Tombstone Arizona to the Camino Real Hotel in downtown El Paso Texas yesterday. Our route was New Mexico Highway 9 that is a narrow two lane road that rests on the desert floor between mountains. The local call these flat lands between the deserts a “Sea of Desert”. I agree. This particular road is never more than a half mile from the Mexican border. Many times you can see the small black fence and little green signs that are spaced about 100 yards apart indicating that crossing this fence and you are in Mexico. There were no cars except for the frequent Border Patrol trucks. It was actually a fun rode with many dips where the road would drop down 10 feet or more. These are folllowing the natural terrain and they are water runoffs. The bottoms were full of dried mud and when those big Dunlops ripped through the dips they would kick up large dust clouds.
Our time in Tombstone was really fun. Reminded of a different place and time as the town is much the same as it was in the late 1800’s. The cowboy shootouts were perhaps a bit hokey but the buldings and landscapes are the same. I was reminded of the spirit of those who built this country. Freedom, independence and working to earn your own place in this world were the order of the day then and now. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company built it’s first powered two wheeled machine in 1903. The boys built those early bikes in a small wooden building that but for a mistake by a contractor would be standing today in Milwaukee. They were doing some renovation and expansion and he tore that original structure down in the process only to be told later that it was to be a National Landmark and a pure treasure. Can you say “You will never work in this town again!”? Tombstone has not been without its problems in that area as well. The town was burned nearly to the ground twice but both times they rebuilt the town. Their motto is “the town too tough to die”. After more than 100 years of building motorcycles through World Wars, The Great Depression and more, the Harley Davidson Motor Company could very well adapt a similar motto.
This morning we will be firing the 110 cu in powerplant up and departing from the beautiful and picturesque Camino Real Hotel. The domed bar is reason enough to come see this place. It is massive and was built with stone and mahogany surrounding the stained glass dome that towers above the bar. The contrast between last nites Sagebush Inn in Tombstone and the elegant Camino Real is amazing.
We are headed in the general direction of San Antonio where we plan to take a day off the bike and spend two nights there on the Riverwalk. While home is beginning to call us both to continue to ride East, we are not rushing the trip. It’s the journey and the destination right?
I heard from Dana Brown yesterday. He is the son of the legendary Bruce Brown who created the original On Any Sunday. Dana has put the finishing touches on his new film “On Any Sunday…the next Chapter”. He called to let me know he can be on the Talking Motorcycles Radio Show this Wednesday night at 8pm Eastern. I’m overjoyed to bring Dana on and learn who will be the modern stars, what type of motorcycles and motorcycle racing will be featured and so much more. We will post a link to the Internet Radio Show here on this blog too in case you are curious about the newest iteration of a classic motorcycle film!