GO AZ Motorcycles Peoria
Ten, Nine, eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One — a great flash of light, a mushroom shaped cloud rising into the desert sky, a moment that changed the course of civilization. The first nuclear bomb was ignited. Fast forward to October 15, 2022 and you are waiting at the Stallion Gate of the White Sands Missile Test Range waiting to goto the exact place where the the bomb was first set off. Wait, this place is top secret? radioactive? Radiation is dangerous right?.!
A day before we all meet at GoAZ Motorcycles of Peoria and were greeted by Andy , General Manager and Emily Marketing Director of the dealership. After doing our usual meet and greet and ride registration we talked about the ride. The first day would take us to Socorro NM, the closest city to the entrance to the historical sit. It would be 400+ miles. The 2nd day would goto Roswell, NM and end in Mesilla, NM.. another 450+ miles day and a 300+ mile day to home on day 3. On top of that a last storm of the season was threatening rain and lightning for the entire trip. Wow, hope ya have your rain gear!
We left GOAZ and headed eastward on AZ60 till we got to Show Low where we stopped for lunch a favorite resto called The House. Alway so good and fun. You could spend a whole afternoon relaxing there. But you got a schedule to keep, Socorro by evening. Ahead of you is the famous PIETOWN and 2 places were actually open and the Government site VERY LARGE ARRAY (deep space radio signal dishes)… made famous in the movie Contact. It seemed very sparsely populated in comparison to other times there. We found out the sight is being dismantled for a new array of potentially hundreds of dishes be used there, and you can only visit by appointment. Gas can get to be an issue between Show Low and Socorro. There is gas in Datil but getting to Datil can be little iffy and its very small station. It was getting late in the day, a loss of an hour crossing time zone and being October meant dark came quickly.
Socorro can best be described as Socorro, sleepy, place. We ate at the El Camino resto, the Mexican fare was fine. Most ppl wanted to crash early as there was little to do and we needed to be on our way to the entrance of the site at 5:45a the next day. It was a long day in the seat ! after dinner Walmart and gas seemed to be the happening thing. .
October 15, 5:45am.. its dark and only one gas station is open in town all else is closed. No McDonald’s nothing. Thank god there is a Walmart, some of us went there after dinner the previous night. We roll south at 5:45 am prompt, the lines there to enter can be miles long. This time we are 25 vehicles from the gate (yaaaaaaaay). On our last visit we were about a mile from the gate. We still down and do the 1.5 hr wait till it opens at 8a. The sunrise was a gorgeous orange, red maybe from rain in the region, maybe from radiation lol, maybe rain.
The wait is always entertaining, sitting in the barren sorta radioactive desert on a narrow road. Don’t put the dirt in your mouth, did I say there are NO facilities out there! The SledgeHammer(Todd) brought his own coffee maker and others had protein bars and food from Walmart. Coulda made a ton with a food truck. Eight am came and the gate opened, show your license, get a look over from a sec/mil police and you were IN. Does the gate mysteriously protect you from radiation within? You could imagine in the day people getting prepped for this GADGET(as it was called) to go boom or something. Riding my motorcycle across this checkerboard of roads across the land felt very surreal. Its about 10 miles into the facility before you reach the parking lot.. it also felt like I had to give more throttle to go forward, some force pushing the bike away. Motorcycles get their own area in the lot. Umm where am I? A simple nondescript sign says TRINITY.. This flat piece of desert has a parking lot, lots of security, a few vendors selling food (weird there was no fire or flame cooking the food, it was just cooking, porta potties and a few vendors. Was I cooking also?
A quarter mile walk gets you to ground zero. Signs warn you not to pick up green glass, made when the bomb detonation melted sand into radioactive GREEN glass. Around the area are signs on the fence surrounding ground zero telling about the events there. A really complete history interesting story is told walking along the fence. At the center is a monument with a plaque dedicated to ground zero and the events that took place. A vendor had a nice selection of shirts and other items. The shirts they said NEVER get dirty, they repeal all dirts and smells. They were also made proudly at the White Sands Missile Testing Range. Cool !
The site just this small piece in the quiet New Mexico desert where a moment in history occurred. We grabbed pictures and bid farewell to the site. I imagined a mushroom cloud in my mirror as I rolled away from the site. Rolling eastward we were now heading towards Roswell, NM. ALIENS, nothing is more fun than ALIENS ! We arrive Main Street and find the alien museum and many alien shops and LUNCH. A nice Mexican resto with a home made tamale/taco special… Im In…. Some visited the Alien Museum which also has displays about area51. I missed the pictures of the alien elementary school showing youthful alien happily playing. But the gift shop is always a must. Somehow they are always out of green glass in a bottle. The alien cookbooks are always interesting how they adapted our recipes for their own taste.
Full from lunch it’s time push to end the day in Mesilla NM, next door to Las Cruces. Could be three or four hours away. Did I say everything in NM is far away from another. Lunched up, sleepy and tired we head off. In partial horse go home mode I roll through Alamogordo, NM and don’t gas. So does Steve Stoops, Well approaching Las Cruces my fuel light is on and the gas situ is desperate, those of you who know ElChinoLoco and Senor Stoops know we push our gas to the absolute limit… This was not looking good !!! I was slowing, pulling the clutch in on downhills, watch my GPS count down to a station. We finally got to a station, Stoops had 6 or less miles on his computer, I had 2/10s of a gallon. Others took the route through CloudCroft and Ruidoso, NM. Happy to get out of the seat today. People met up at the D.H. Lescombes Winery and Bistro resto.. a nice dinner was had.
The weather reports from home were saying big storms were hitting the valley hard and heading eastwards. Lotta discussions about routing home were being tossed about. I got up at 4am the next day, looked out it was clear in the high 50s no wind , no rain.. Im leaving. About 75 miles out I saw a head light approaching. It ended up being Señor Stoops. We paired up and dodged storm cells and ran the i-10 all the way home. We found later others went up through Globe/Superior and go whacked by some rain and thunder (see pic with lightning).
It was a long 3 days in the seat for everyone. Thanks to all that came out to make the trip a great time. Lotta laughs and good times and really little to no weather (luck) across a weekend that it was supposed to be horrific. I would say let’s do it again soon but this ride is in the alien/nuclear rotation. It could be 3 years before this comes up again. Thanks to our corporate sponsor GOAZ Motorcycles. AZRATPACK is a AMA Chartered Club and an affiliate of the Southern California Motorcycle Association.
Stay tuned we will release a special set of photos from the trinity site visit.