May 6, 1914 Springerville to Santa Fe

In His Own Words

Day 4. May 6, 1914: Springerville, AZ to Santa Fe, NM

On the morning of May 6, I started down the mountain, making sure that my brakes were limber and ready for work. I left Springerville with an early start, the next station I had in mind being Magdalena. From Magdalena I rode to Secur, New Mexico (now called Socorro), and from there started for Albuquerque. At this point I started on a desert stretch, which was exceedingly hard going, passing through 90 miles of alkali desert. Scattered here and there over this trail were the bleached bones of cattle and old-time prairie schooners, and to me it seemed like passing through the “Valley of Death,” after seeing these, the monuments of pioneers who had started out like many others to make history. These sights did give me a creepy feeling, because I figured if I ran out of water or gasoline, or if my machine should break down, that the Indian motorcycle would be the monument that would mark my last resting place.

I finally landed at Albuquerque, breathing easy because I knew I had placed almost the worst of the route behind me. I stood on the edge of the desert with my hat in hand, bidding it good-bye, and hoping that I could stick up a record which no one else would attempt to pull down, because no matter how often one crosses the Great Desert, he is apt to go among the missing. And yet—should this record of mine ever be lowered, I will again stand ready to cross the desert on an Indian. That day I had gone without dinner, and in Albuquerque I made up for it with a big square meal, and feeling so fine after this meal, I decided to continue on and make Santa Fe, New Mexico before turning in.

The road between these two points was over mountain cliffs, but it was just like a boulevard, and I certainly did burn up the gasoline. This hung up a record of 350.3 miles for that day’s riding and at Santa Fe I put up for the night. Before I went to bed at Santa Fe I had another good meal.