It's been many years since I've seen my Uncle and Cousin who live in California. After the passing of my Father a couple of years ago I began thinking it might be time to spend time visiting family. This solo road trip would take me over 3K miles round trip to make that visit happen.
Preparation For The Trip
As you know from following my media outlets, Margaret no longer rides. That meant I was going to make this trip alone. I bought a new Harley Street Glide Special in May of 2022. I wasn't able to ride for almost 5 months until I was medically cleared by my cardiologist. Once she gave the go-ahead, I began gearing up for the trip.
The stock bike needed some add-ons to make it ergonomically comfortable. I had already changed the handlebars and for the trip added a rider backrest and footpegs. Storage space also had to be addressed because the bike doesn't come with a touring pack. I went in a different direction this time and added a tail bag instead of a trunk. I really ended up liking the versatility of the tail bag. It was easy to use and I could just take it off the bike and carry it away still packed.
It took a few days to plan my route. I didn't want to just take interstate roads to get there. This would be my first time riding through Arizona and California so It was important to plan some back roads to enjoy the scenic views of those states. The plan was to ride about 450 miles a day for three days to get to my destination. On the return trip, I planned 5 days to be able to ride some popular motorcycle routes in Arizona.
The first week of October I headed out. The first-day destination was Roswell, NM. There isn't much scenery leaving Fort Worth, TX until you get further West in the Sweetwater, TX area so I just took I-20 initially. There wasn't much to see of any note on the interstate. Once I got to Sweetwater, TX I left the interstate and took US-84 to Post, TX. This leg of the ride provided great long straight roads and lots of agriculture as far as you could see. There was an incredible amount of wind turbines and getting close to Post, TX, the oil and gas rigs were aplenty.
Leaving Post, TX and the overwhelming smell of drilling, I took US-380 all the way to Roswell, NM. The sights were pretty much the same along the entire route. Lots of open country full of agriculture, wind turbines, and drilling rigs. It was a beautiful ride though and a good first day on the trip.
I arrived about 3 hours ahead of schedule in Roswell, NM. A Best Western let me check in early which was awesome after riding all day. While unloading a couple of other riders rolled in looking for a room as well. They were heading home from a 4K road trip that took them into Montana and Oregon. There was a highly-rated restaurant within walking distance where I got some of the best enchiladas ever. The portions were so huge I could only eat half of what they served. If you are ever in Roswell, NM be sure to have a meal at Cerritos.
Closing Out Day 1
After a fine meal and shower, it was time to rest for the next leg of the journey. The ride was good, I felt strong and ready for another day. I was looking forward to Day 2 because of the roads ahead of some of the sites along the way.