Yesterday we met a couple in Las Vegas who suggested several routes to Taos and mentioned the “Taos Loop.” I put the loop route into our GPSs and this morning we rode the loop after breakfast.
Along the way we stopped at the New Mexico Vietnam Veterans’ memorial. It has very artistic architecture and a very calming atmosphere.
The loop, also known as the Enchanted Circle Scenic Loop, goes over a couple of 9800 ft passes. I rode one of those passes in 2007 when I did the USA Four Corners Tour. Back then the winding road with its switchbacks intimidated me. 175,000 miles later the road is not intimidating and is now fun to ride.
We gassed up at the end of the loop and turned west on US-64. We stopped at the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge to take a few pictures. The gorge is quite deep and an impressive sight.
US-64 eventually rises over another mountain pass. The GPS showed a maximum elevation of 10,525 ft. – that’s not quite two miles high.
We stopped for a picnic lunch in Chama, NM, near the station yard of the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad.
We took the usual pictures around the yard.
As we were leaving Chama, a Jeep made a left turn directly in front of Beth. She put on her brakes, swerved to avoid a collision, and kept the bike upright. The Jeep hit her right engine guard, rotated the helmet lock, scuffed the lower fairing, and kept on going. Beth is just fine. I think I had more of an adrenaline shock than she did. We tried to find the vehicle, but it was long gone.
In the picture you can see the helmet lock rotated to the left. From this angle you should be able to look directly at the key slot. The scuffs are more difficult to see, but they are above and to the left of the lock.
We had no more incidents the rest of the day. We checked into the hotel and to Shark Week. We greeted lots of friends as we parked our bikes and wheeled our stuff to the room.
We went downtown and walked a few blocks of Main Avenue looking for a brew pub.
We found Carver Brewing and had dinner there.
Except for writing this blog, dinner concluded our many activities for the day. We are very grateful Beth wasn’t hurt and that the scuffs on her bike can be rubbed out.
Tomorrow we ride the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad excursion train.