Jornada del Muerto

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Re: Jornada del Muerto

Postby dogman dan » Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:26 am

Interesting route, I'll have to ride it someday. In general, the original tracks of the camino de real have not been covered by rail lines or county roads. But they are out there, very close to existing roads. The point where the journey of death ended was the river crossing near Fort Craig.

I live on the southern end of the journey of death, and from Engle down to the Upham exit on I 25, the road is brand new and paved. An excellent route they paved for the spaceport. Its not on most maps, but its a great ride on the street bikes. Cops seem to not know it exists, and the corners are mostly big sweepers. Space port employees seem to drive it at 80 mph.
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Re: Jornada del Muerto

Postby RJMirabal » Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:10 pm

:eek: 8) :lol:

Very cool. That's one road I wish I had taken when I had my RZR 4 wheeler. This is the time of year to do it if you can avoid most of the wind.

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Jornada del Muerto

Postby SandyBallard » Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:59 am

EXTREME SOCIAL DISTANCING: Since social distancing is currently so much the rage, the Missus and I figured we would try to get as far away from as many people as we could the other day. So where better to go than the Jornada del Muerto (translation: Journey of the Dead Man). On our dual sports, we managed to travel in a few hours what used to take the conquistadors of old many days to navigate. The route we took ( went from Highway 380 near San Antonio (of Owl Cafe fame) south across some of the bleakest, most desolate country I have ever seen, ending eventually at the nearly deserted town of Elephant Butte. If you like desolation, this is the place for you. We kind of enjoy small doses of bleak, so we planned to camp out there at the Jornada del Muerto Wilderness Study Area. But the wind was howlin’, as it is wont to do this time of year, so we abandoned our plan of a night under stars and headed home to our relatively wind-proof adobe abode, an option not available to the Spanish explorers of previous centuries.

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I don't think the road we traveled was exactly the same route taken by the Spaniards of yesteryear but it was a pretty good road. 66 miles of dirt which had enough patches of shallow sand in the northern sections to provide a few little backend wiggles. But the road got more gravelly and overall better as we headed south. No steep hills, rocky sections or significant ruts to contend with. As is true of most dirt roads in New Mexico, I would not want to be out there when it got wet. The return route from Elephant Butte involved mainly riding the frontage road of I-25, which is actually a really nice, scenic ride. We did have to get on I-25 for about 2 miles to cross Monticello Canyon, but there was so little traffic it was not an issue on our underpowered dual sports.

Anyway, we managed to complete our next-to-the_last section of the NM Back Country Discovery Route. All we have left is the traverse of the Gila, from T or C to Reserve, which we hope to accomplish as soon as the mountains green up a bit.

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