Just like that, it was back to the desert heat of the Valley of the Sun. I spent the ride, which was anything but technical, pondering the trip and what I’d seen. There were so many great experiences this trip that it was hard to pinpoint a favorite. The bear on Day 5 and the bison on Day 6, as well as the entire trip through Glacier National Park are certainly top of the list. I'm already considering a return to some of these parks to spend more time soaking up the amazing scenery.
Coming out of Durango, I stayed off the more popular highways, namely 160 into Cortez and the Four Corners area, instead taking County Road 141, Wildcat Canyon Road, which is a great stretch that connects up with Colorado Highway 140 and that takes you to the border. The speed is faster, but it’s gradual curves and not technical. I do recommend slowing down as soon as you see the New Mexico state line sign, though. The roads take a turn for the worst the moment you cross the border. It’s hard to do even the 55 mph speed limit on New Mexico highways because of the condition.
I climbed back onto a mesa and traveled the reservation south of Farmington, cutting over to Highway 491 via Indian Route 5, which is a fast section of highway, but be warned that went they slow you down to 45, it’s because the road is very bumpy. I don’t think it was graded all that well through the last section of the process. Lastly, I traveled through Gallup (and 20 miles of construction), then Holbrook, Arizona.
The weather held off today, giving me only a slight sprinkle as I bulleted down Highway 277 toward Heber, Arizona, and Highway 260. The heat returned quickly as I dropped down from Payson, Arizona. But, I was home.