I went back to the room to make up a plan. I had two choices: 1) slog my way in 20 mph winds up to Monument Valley, a beautiful place, but something I had seen before, and it would take about 3 hours or 2) head eastbound and use the 20 mph wind to push me along. I chose the later and headed east on AZ 160. I wanted away from the snow and a tailwind is always better. I really wanted to take Scoot to the Valley, but it was not to be. Here are pictures of snow in the mountains and a some of the monuments in Monument Valley.
As I rode along all morning on the left side of the road was snow and overcast. On the right, crystal blue skies.
In Teec Nos Pos US-64 begins. If I stayed on this road it would take me to my Mom and Dad's house in North Carolina and on down to the Atlantic Coast.
About 30 minutes out of Farmington, NM the overcast caught me and it got real cold. I pulled into AJ's Diner and parked out front. When I walked in you would have thought I had lived there all my life. Almost everyone spoke and the waitresses came over and we immediately started talking about my ride and they knew I was cold and bought coffee. I lingered for a long time warming up and feeling right at home. Everyone that came in Barbie, my waitress, and the other waitress, told them I had ridden across country. Barbie came out to say good bye and Scoot and I headed out of town.
For the next hundred miles or so, again there was nothing but beautiful vistas. The skies had also cleared and though it was cold, it was a lot better than when the clouds had caught up to me. There was very little traffic in my direction but in the opposite direction there was a constant flow of large trucks and dozens of white pickup trucks. This is gas and oil country and I think most of them were related to this business. I later learned the traffic was because of a wreck that had closed the road for 4 hours.
We entered the Apache reservation and eventually rolled into Dolce. It has nothing but a few small casinos and the headquarters for the Apache reservation. It is in the middle of nowhere but a very lovely location. I just cannot figure out where the people come from to gamble.
I pulled into the visitors center in Chama to inquire about accommodations. The girl there told me that there were several in town, but if I went across the street to the hotel I could walk to the restaurant. I decided that was a good idea, but first I would ride into the town to see if anything was there. I was pleasantly surprised to find a small down town area with old restored buildings. The main attraction is a restored small gauge railroad that runs up to Colorado and back over a 6 hour period. The place felt good so I checked into the Chama Inn for the evening.
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