Silver City - Las Cruces (186 miles)
Our morning ride begins in Silver City on 15, an extremely scenic, single-lane road that heads to the Gila Hot Springs. Backtracking some to 35, meandering south along a green valley, we take a left on 152 to race over one of the best 26-mile stretches of road in America. Using first and second gears, we zip through one sharp curve after another and I'm having the time of my life. I have never seen such a perfect road for motorcycling: scenic, with intense corners, and a great surface.
Following too closely as my dad brakes in front of a curve. I have to react quickly but only use the rear brakes, which causes my KTM to stand up and head straight for the cliffs. Sliding to a halt, I get off, and when Dad circles back to check on me I tell him nonchalantly that I just wanted to stop for the great view. I'm not sure he bought that one; but later, in Hillsboro, I did remember to thank him for buying a great lunch as we were leaving the Barbershop Café.
Riding into the afternoon on 27 south, we swing through rolling hills on sweepers in wide-open countryside where the horizons are boxed in by huge ranges, the San Andres and Organ Mountains, that border Las Cruces to the east. Towards Hatch, Highway 6 throws in an 18-mile straightaway until we take a right on 185 and cruise to Las Cruces beside the Rio Grande. All in all, the roads we traveled today comprise a great route that's not too tiring. By 4:30, we're checking in at the Hilton Hotel.