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Lincoln County, New Mexico

By Kevin Mickle

I live and work near (but not in) Lincoln County, New Mexico, and I can say that Lincoln County and Lincoln National Forest offer some of the best rides I've ever been on. The weather is great for riding almost 9 months out of the year, 12 if you bundle up good. Ruidoso (not spelled Riodosa), on US70, is the home to two motorcycle rallies each year; the Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally (formerly Aspencade) in September and the Aspencash Rally in April. The ride East on US70 to Lincoln (of Billy the Kid and Smokey the Bear fame) is well worth it.

Cloudcroft is about 30 minutes South of Ruidoso via BIA-10/Dry Canyon Rd. and is a great little town to visit. Pick up a fried turkey leg from Allsups for a filling snack while you gas up. From Cloudcroft you can take the Sunspot Highway to Sunspot Solar Observatory or US82 towards Alamogordo (not Albuquerque, that's 3.5 hours North) and pass through the only tunnel in the state of New Mexico.

In Alamogordo you can visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History. To get to White Sands National Monument just take US70 about 15 miles West. If you're passing through, you need to stop in and at least drive through the park. It's the largest white gypsum sand dunes in the world and it is breathtaking. I think it costs $5 per vehicle, but don't quote me.

If you continue West on US70 you'll drive straight through White Sands Missile Range. The highway is closed occasionally (for an hour at a time) for missile launches. If you get stuck in a road block, keep your eyes open and you might see the missile launch, and sometimes you can even see the mushroom cloud of dust when it hits it's target. At the White Sands Missile Range main gate, you can tour the WSMR Museum and learn all about the history of the US missile program. Admission is free.

Continuing West on US70 will take you to my place of residence, Las Cruces, New Mexico's second largest city, and the I-25/I-10 junction and if you're in the mood, you can take I-25/I-10 South to El Paso, Texas and spend a few hours bartering for a fake Rolex with the vendors at the Mercado in Juarez, Mexico. I got mine for $40, and even I think it may be authentic.

Oh, and one more thing...if you like mexican food, there is no better part of the country to enjoy it in than Southern New Mexico. So be sure to stop at some Mom and Pop mexican restaurant and order away!

Adios friends and ride hard!

For further information, visit New Mexico


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