The wind weather report is a little hard to believe but today is our ride into Albuquerque by the back way. This is the recommended ride. Weather channel is calling for 45 mph sustained wind with gusts to 60mph. Really? We head out early back through Capitan. West on Hwy 380 we come down out of the mountains much less dramatic than the day before. Then the wind hits! They weren’t joking. We drive straight into it until the town of Carrizozo which is famous for being close to where we tested our first atomic bomb. The white sands are here too and blowing like mad. North on Hwy. 54 we see signs for road construction. They are expanding the road to add another lane, Florida yes, Atlanta yes, but here I am having a hard time with this road construction as we are the only ones out here other than the road construction trucks. The construction crew is having a difficult time in the wind.
Ahead we turn left on HWY 55 the beginning of the Salt Mission Trail, once an important travel corridor. But things have changed, we literally travel for 55 miles without passing or seeing a car. Eyes are open for wild animals because we don’t need to have an incident as it could be days before we are found!! The wind gets stronger as the temperatures rise. This area was very important for the salt as the name implies. We arrive in Mountainair for lunch, once the pinto bean capital of the world before a long and severe drought in 1940. Not much here now difficult to even find a place for lunch.
Back on the road the trail now has the Manzano mountains to our west which help to buffer the winds slightly. The road becomes more interesting winding along through small farms at least there is life and some traffic. The final miles down to Moriarty is a long winding drop exciting after we are exhausted by the winds. Moriarty has a long history as a trading community and railroad stop for salt, beans and wool and later being on Route 66, now it is just an exit to I40 which will take us west into Albuquerque. Can wait!