Tuesday, October 18, 2011


October and the Florida Keys, Part 2


Florida sunset.  It was spectacular and I took about a hundred photos.

The crew is here. Uncle Glen, Diana and me from Alaska, and Cyndi and John from Florida. Mike and Joyce came in to the airport on Saturday, Oct. 15, and then we took Mike to pick up their bike. What a kick. Boston through and through, and they are just lovely and so much fun to be around. We've got a super group and it's going to be one laugh after another.


Cheyenne and Cruiser, Cyndi's white shepherds.

We've spent a lot of time bar hopping, more in three days than I've done in probably 20 years. But each has been a great time with great visits with current, and new friends, and awesome music from my era, 50s, 60s and so on. Must be cuz there are lots of retired people here. Whatever the reason, I love it. Even got to dance a few times.


From left, me, Allen, John, Cyndi, Uncle Glen, Diana, Jimmy, Cindy, Mike and Joyce.  Terry, Cindy's husband is kneeling.  Joyce, Mike, Uncle Glen, Diana, Cyndi, John and I are heading for the Keys.

On Monday, the ride would begin. October 17. It never rains in Florida in October. Guess what. The Alaskans are here and the rain moved in.

We woke up to a light rain, and hoped it might move on. But there is a low pressure cell and it appears there may be rain for a few days. Wonderful. The up side is that the temperature would be in the high 70s / low 80s so it wouldn't be cold.

And that is what we rode in for 220 miles from North Port to the Hilton Hotel in Key Largo. On the way there were a few interesting moments. Coming up to a stop light, we had slowed when Diana and I hit our brakes. The back end of her bike, which is Cyndi's bike, slid out from under her. She straightened it up and slowly rode through the red light.

A split second later mine did the same thing. I looked ahead and saw I was on a collision course to hit Uncle Glen's bike, on which he was packing Cindi. I released the brake, looked to my left and saw no cars either there or moving into the interesection. I turned that way narrowly missing his bike, and also rolling through the intersection.

Diana and I both pulled up along the side of the street on the other side and wondered what had just happened to us. We weren't going fast, we did not hit any paint and no one else had skidded. We could only figure that we'd both hit an oil slick. Whew. A sigh of relief that we'd avoided a serious problem. We can only hope that the photo radar will not nail us and send us a ticket in the mail later, adding insult to a heartstopping moment.

We stopped about 60 or 70 miles down the road and had lunch at a Five Guys Burgers and Fries. They do burgers up right. A regular burger is a double. A small is a single patty. Yummy. The fries were homemade. What a great place to stop.

On we went, continuing in the rain. We gassed up at the Everglades Station, where a little river runs behind. Someone said there was an alligator so I went running across, stomping through a puddle. Well, guess it really didn't matter since my FXRG boots were waterproof and I had water on the inside up to my ankles. I never did put on the raingear they'd given, just my jacket and jeans. I made one concession which was to put on the helmet. We saw three alligators right there so I got a couple of photos. Love alligators.


Look at those beady little eyes.  I hope we see lots more of them.

We finally got to the hotel. It is beautiful here, but hard to really see since you are paying close attention to the road and other vehicles. Some of our idiotic drivers must have moved here. Had a red pick up trying to pass everything with oncoming traffic and pouring down rain on a two-lane road. Good thing a couple of cars moved over and let him in.

The Hilton Hotel is on the beach, which we could see from our room. We had to pay $15 per bike for parking and if you wanted Internet it was $12.95 per day. I think not. But the beds are awesome and we slept for at least 10 hours, soundly.

We woke up at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning (October 18). Uncle Glen made coffee for the Queen and Priincess. It's nice to have coffee in bed. But it's as it should be. Still raining off and on, but the weather looks like it's trying to change and get better. Hope so.

The weather did get better and we left amidst overcast and low-hanging clouds, but no rain. We stopped for lunch, and continued riding, onto the Keys, the reason for this trip. From key-to-key, over bridges, the 7-mile bridge. What a wonderful ride. It continued to be overcast, and got quite windy, but still a great ride as it was probably 80 degrees. About 15 miles out of Key West it started to sprinkle, then rain, then pound us. We hit monsoon-like conditions, ended up riding through a puddle the size of a small lake that came up to my floorboards. I put my feet up on the engine guards, hoping I wouldn't hit a pothole. The wind was hellacious, and we kept going, finally getting to the hotel. What a nice place, a Doubletree Inn. They gave us towels to wipe off with, chocolate chip cookies, and even had covered parking for the bikes.


Rain and wind from our window at the hotel tonight.

Last night the Hilton Hotel in Key Largo charged us to park, and nickel and dimed us for everything. Internet was $12.95 per day at the Hilton. No thanks. Doubletree head and shoulders above the Hilton. No more Hiltons.

Got to the rooms, ate and decided an early night was in order as we'd be doing the tourist thing tomorrow. Good night.

 

Saturday, October 15, 2011



October and the Florida Keys, Part 1

Uncle Glen, Diana and I all left Anchorage at about the same time, on red eyes, October 13. However, we were on different flights. They flew Delta and I flew Alaska Airlines, using a mileage ticket. Uncle Glen said that won't happen again. Those that travel together, fly together.

We arrived less than an hour apart on Thursday afternoon, and they went to get the rental car. I texted when I arrived and said I was headed to baggage. I got a text back that they were in the parking garage getting the rental, Hertz area. Second level. Got it.

After wrestling with two bags, pushing and pulling me on the escalators, I arrived at the Hertz counter but UG and Diana were nowhere in sight. What did we do before cell phones? A quick call and we soon discovered that I was somehow in the wrong place, perhaps too far at one of end the Hertz garage. As it happened, there were four different Hertz counters, each located in a different area. I was in area A, they were in B. Off I went.

As I trudged first down the escalator, across the roadway, back into the terminal and across, looking for another escalator, UG called. Where are you? I'm here, heading your way. Okay. Off I went again, down a ways in the terminal heading for those damnable escalators that were trying to kill me. UG called. Where are you? At the escalators, heading down then across to B. Again I grabbed my luggage and continued on. Again my phone rang. Where are you? I'm heading your direction; however, every time you call me, I have to stop to answer the phone because I cannot handle two pieces of luggage and talk on the phone at the same time. Oh. Diana popped on and said I'll meet you. Soon after we had a visual. Diana decided UG and I were Aretha Franklin and Betty White, both needing a Snickers bar to pull us off the edge.

Finally, into the car and on our way to a Cracker Barrell for food, and then to Cyndie's house for the first leg of the journey, to pick up bikes and so on. UG and I did the bike thing and went to WalMart to pick up water and snacks. It's amazing what you can fit into saddlebags and on the back when you aren't packing the kitchen sink with you. I also picked up a bag of emergency Snickers bars for Diana to distribute in the event of a diva sighting or a meltdown.



Dinner later with Cyndie, her John, and other friends, a beautiful sunset and all was right again in my world. A good night's sleep would also not hurt.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011




Labor Day weekend, September 2011

 
The patch for the remembrance ride, Sept. 11, 2011, 10 years.
A memorial remembrance run was planned for the 9-11, 10-year anniversary. While I did not know anyone who died that day, I remember my horror at seeing it happening on television.

I was getting ready for work, dressing, doing hair and so on. I came out of the bedroom and Biker Bill had he TV on. He was watching a movie that was placed in New York City, the twin towers being destroyed. I asked what he was watching. He told me … and it was not a movie.

It was an ugly, horrific sight taking place before my eyes, and I could do nothing but watch. I could not go to work and called in saying I was watching the terror attack on my nation, one of my cities, my United States of America. I had to see it all. I could not help myself and watched for hours, went to work, and came home and continued to watch for days until I could no longer take any more. It was disgusting, angering, frustrating.

Our nation has the best people in times of emergencies. Firefighters, police, medical professionals, searchers and their dogs, good Samaritans. They were all there that day to help. And in return, many of them lost their lives as they worked to save others.

The back of the shirt for the remembrance ride.  We will never forget.  I am proud to be an American, always have been, always will be.  The best people in the world live in the good ole U.S. of A.

Our memorial ride was to take place over three days, with a symbolic 911 miles being ridden in memory of that attack and those who died.


The group prior to taking off on the symbolic 911 miles in remembrance of the 9-11 Twin Tower attack.

On Friday, Sept. 9, the first leg of the journey, two of my own went down, due to rain and wet paint on the highway. It happened near Fairbanks, and I am grateful and thankful it wasn't worse than it was.

My friend, Birdie, was riding Number 1, and I was riding Number 2. It's hard to describe, except I keep seeing it in my mind, over and over again.

Birdie was up going around a slight corner into a straight stretch, leading us into Fairbanks those last few miles. Suddenly there were sparks on the pavement, and the bike was on its side. It spun round and round, with parts and pieces, and personal items being tossed on the wind as though there was no weight to any of them. Birdie was flat on her stomach, her head up, her arms out and she looked as though she was body surfing as she slid along the pavement, thankfully separated from the bike. The paint was the culprit but also her friend that day as she slid along, barely registering any damage on her body or her attire.

The bike continued to spin first one way, then the other. Then it caught, and began to cartwheel, finally digging in at the edge of the road, and coming to a stop just short of going over the embankment.

Omg, I was shaking, avoiding the debris in the road, riding past Birdie, coming to a stop a ways down the road. I couldn't get the kickstand down, or the bike parked. Finally, I was able to reach a stop and park the bike. I grabbed my cell phone and a pair of glasses and began walking back, picking up her personal items, cell phone, papers. I reached the motorcycle and hit the kill switch and turned off the ignition. My stomach was roiling and I wanted to throw up, my head was spinning and I was shaking like a leaf not knowing the outcome.
And then there she was, our tuff biker girl Amazon, walking around. She was up and moving. We spoke, and all she said to me was, “Put your fucking helmet on.”

Then I saw there was another bike down. When had that happened? Jon had also hit the paint slowing down because of the accident. His bike was scratched up, mostly on the brand new saddlebag he'd just put on, but the bike was rideable. He had a dislocated shoulder and rode to the hospital himself.

Birdie's bike was totaled. Of all the luck, a man came by minutes later and asked if he could haul anything. Yes, and they loaded the bike and Birdie and hauled both to the Harley shop.

By the time the rest of us had gathered up the remainder of Birdie's belongings, gotten back on our bikes and arrived at the shop, Birdie had a new Ultra Classic Limited purchased and rolled off the floor to get it ready for her to ride the next day. From accident to purchase??? Less than an hour. Could the rest of us do that?

Birdie and her new Ultra Classic Limited, 006 miles, Sept. 9.  Our tuff girl.

Birdie is our tuff biker chick, coming through the accident with some bumps and bruises and a very bruised and swollen knuckle. Our girl, our Princess. She's one that others are looking up to, and will continue looking up to. But hopefully she won't be doing this stunt again. EVER!!!

That day others came to our rescue in helping our friend and fellow biker. They stopped to offer medical assistance, to help pick up, to help load and haul both the totaled motorcycle and our friend. That's how people are in times of crisis and need. Thank you all.



Monday, August 1, 2011



Monday, August 1

The first day of August. Wow, where did the summer go? There's still time, but it all seems to have flown by this year. Of course, they say the older you get, the quicker time flies. I believe that is true.

I pretty much wasted the day. I puttered around the house a bit, but needed a nap bad. A couple of Beagles and I hit naptime for a few hours.

Hobbs got my little car, the PT Cruiser, started and I took it for a drive. The battery wasn't charging so he jumped it. I brought it home and will try to start it again tomorrow. He said something about some security system being on or something. It's all Greek to me. I just drive 'em, or ride 'em.

Called Susan, Dennis's sister. He got home from the hospital today and is doing very well. She'll probably stay until next Monday to help him out. I'll talk to her again in a day or so.

So, a lazy day … but I think I needed it, and the rest.
 


Sunday, July 31
A not so nice day. Cloudy, supposed to rain. YUK!!!

We met at Zookeeper's to ride out to the Valley for the HOG chapter 1836 anniversary party. It was going to be an eating kind of day. Still need to stop this.

Ride to the Valley, eat. Ride back to Anchorage, eat.

Hit some rain, but not enough to really matter. But it poured after we got to the Valley and the Harley shop there. We were out of it. Hung for a while and then the chapter did a poker run. Our folks elected to have lunch.

Just an ordinary day ... enjoying friends and a meal or two together. And that's all I have to say about that in the famous words of Forrest Gump!!!



Saturday, July 30
I picked up Susan, Dennis's sister from the airport early this a.m. She and I hit it off. Got her home, and situated and then back to our house to get a few hours sleep.

Up and at 'em early as a friend was coming through the airport and we were going to go visit him for a while. I still had about $14 left on that Starbucks card and was ready to finish it off.

We got out to the airport a little after 7 a.m. and found Ken. He and his wife now live in Arizona, but had lived here for many years, in fact in Soldotna where they acquainted us with Acapulco's Mexican Restaurant where I had my first and always the best chicken chipolte.

They kept a home in Soldotna for several years, but have now moved to Arizona lock, stock and dog. Visited her, Judi, on my trip this year and went to their Arizona home for the first time. She's done a beautiful job of decorating, and it looks like something out of a magazine.
Hobbs and I had a great visit with Ken, except I couldn't find the Starbucks card. We had coffee from some other place, and then I found the card, of course.

Left the airport and headed to the Corral for breakfast. I love their chipped beef on a biscuit. My Mom used to make that stuff when I was a kid. Loved it then; love it now. Filled up our growling tummies and then headed home. We had to get ready to go to a barbecue for a 60th birthday party for a dear friend. I was giving her one of the Joe Redington books because she was in the Ladies of Harley photo from the 90s that is included.

Went to meet Susan and show her how to get to Fred Meyers on Dimond, near Dennis's house, and then to the hospital. We spent time drinking coffee and getting even more acquainted. Then I had to run to get home in time to go eat again. Good grief. Too much food.

Had a super time visiting with friends at the Princess' 60th birthday barbecue. Great food, great friends. What more could you ask for????

Actually, what you always want for a blog is a topic. And sitting there enjoying the food, sun and camaderie, there it was, right across the street. The balcony to nowhere.


The balcony to nowhere.  And your thoughts on this would be???
Alaska seems to have a lot of things to nowhere ... the bridge to nowhere, the road to nowhere, and now the balcony to nowhere. It's just attached to the side of the house. No door or sliding windows, just a balcony. And it stands out because it's a different color than the house. It started some great conversation ... why is it there? Why is there no way to get to it? How do you change the flag that's hanging from it? We made up all kinds of things, most of which are not really publishable. Let's just say you can make your own comments and story about it. I'm only giving you the fodder to be creative.

Friday, July 29, 2011



Friday, July 29
Another beautiful day. Hobbs went out early to get his coffee and brought me back a paper. That was nice since he'd cancelled the paper while I was on vacation. I love my morning coffee and newspaper.
This morning it was back to the oatmeal and exercise bike. Felt good to have both as I've been way too bad about eating oatmeal and exercising while on vacation.

I was going to get out and ride early. That did not happen. I putzed around the house, unpacking, opening boxes and so on. We got ready then to go to the weekly biker lunches. Some of us have been getting together for probably five years now. Always good, and never know exactly which of us will show up. Today it was four.

After lunch I decided to take a ride, and ended up in Seward. I figured ice cream would be a good thing, but before that I wanted to look around a bit. Rode down to the water and looked out over Resurrection Bay which is always beautiful. Then the ice cream was calling and that's all I could think about.

Resurrection Bay, a beautiful area.

This dog was in the water and thoroughly enjoying himself.

Stopped to take a photo of Mount Marathon, all 3022 feet of it. It's the number that is on the back fender of Dennis's bike, and that's the significance. He's run the marathon before. Now I understand what the number was that I'd seen on his bike. I've only been up it once. My mom wouldn't let me go up when I was a kid, but a number of years ago Barb from Alaska Leather, another guy whose name I can't remember, and I climbed it. Four plus hours up, a little more than an hour or so down.

Mount Marathon, the stuff of dreams ... climbing, descending, breaking the race ribbon, winning the race on the Fourth of Jul, creating a memory that will last forever. 

Then I rode up past where my old house was. I lived in this house in the 60s and it's where I was when the 1964 Good Friday earthquake hit. It was also a house where my dad made home brew and I remember he stored some of it in the basement. It hadn't properly aged, so those bottles kept exploding periodically. You never knew when one would pop. The house seemed so large back then, but now seems small and in a state of bad disrepair.

There were a couple of guys standing outside so I asked if they owned the place and I could take a photo of it. Not them but the guy was probably inside and I could ask. Figured that would be the ethical thing to do. Walked toward the house and a German shepherd came out to meet me, barking and growling. I stood still and left my hands to my side so he could smell me. I don't like shepherds as I was bitten by them twice when I was a kid. I didn't go up to the door, but called out. No answer. I decided I didn't need permission and took my photo and left quickly.

My parents kept the house up so much better when we lived there, even if my dad did make home brew.

Gassed up and headed out of town. The day continued to be a gorgeous one and I was still wearing a sweatshirt and vest. No jacket today, and it felt nice. Funny, but the temperature was 66 when I left Anchorage, 40 degrees plus colder than when I was in the Lower 48 and some states, yet I'm still wearing a T-shirt and not dressed in electric gear and my jacket as I usually am. Was a very nice ride.

There wasn't much traffic going north as mostly folks were going south. That was great. Saw a cop with a client part way back to town, and all of a sudden he took off. There were no cars so it wasn't a speeder. Figured there was an accident somewhere, but never came upon it ... until ... nearly Girdwood. Traffic was backed up and there was a bad accident where you turn off the Seward Highway to go into Girdwood. Looked like a T-boning, but hard to say. Both vehicles were badly wrecked, but no people around so they must have gotten them out. The traffic was backed up 4-1/2 miles on the north side of the turn off. I was glad I didn't have to wait too long.
Traffic was backed up 4-1/2 miles coming from Anchorage toward Girdwood.  What a mess.

As I was heading back, I figured to pass a slow car or two. Then there was another cop with a client. Who would have figured since there were at least two, maybe three, at the site of the accident. But with this one busy, it was clear sailing. No way there'd be another one. Wrong!!! Less than a mile down the road there was another one with a client. Glad I wasn't really speeding, too much.

Tonight I'm picking up Dennis's sister from the airport and taking her to his house. That should be sometime around 1 a.m. Then sleep because another big day tomorrow ... riding and a barbecue for a friend's 60th birthday. Busy, busy. How did I find time to work???

Thursday, July 28, 2011



Thursday, July 28

It was an awesome day, beautiful, blue sky, fluffy white clouds.
Hobbs and I decided to take a ride up to Long Rifle for lunch, about 100 miles north. The lodge has a commanding view of the Matanuska Glacier, and also lots of dead heads for people to look at ... bears, goat, moose, buffalo and lots more. I think there is no finer view, as you can have lunch and see the glacier all from the comfort of the dining area.

Hobbs at Long Rifle Lodge with the Matanuska Glacier in the background.


From there we stopped at the rest area for yet another and slightly different view of the glacier. It was warm, the road was fun and there wasn't much traffic.

A closeup of the glacier from the rest stop.
I decided to go to the Harley shop to see if they had any poker chips. But on the radio I heard about this book about Joe Redington, the father of the Iditarod, the Last Great Race, 1049 miles by dog sled to Nome. It was a book by a lady I'd spoken to in March. She had a photo she'd brought by the bike show looking to see if someone could identify the people in the photo. Jaz and I knew most of them, and I wrote the names on the copy of the photo and left it. She must not have received it because I got a copy of the photo again with her phone number from Barry at the House of Harley.  So I called her. It had to do with the Ladies of Harley donating some coolers for a serum run back in the 90s. We met Redington and had a photo that she was going to put in the book. Awesome. This was the book.


The office is located in Wasilla, and I had never visited.

A statue of Joe Redington, Sr., and one of his dogs.  The statue is at the Iditarod headquarters.
 I had a call from Jaz and told her about the book. She rode out to Wasilla and we went together to get copies of it. The author autographed them and was really happy to meet us, knowing that we'd helped give her the names and that she'd spoken to me at one point. It was great.



Author Katie Mangelsdorf and me.

Phoned home and decided to meet Hobbs at Providence Hosptial so we could visit Dennis and Norm. Dennis may be home tomorrow. He looks pretty good but beat up. Norm looks pretty beat up, too. But considering what happened they're both really lucky.
Met Norm's family, which was nice. We already knew his wife, Linda, but hadn't met the kids.
Home to get the car and take Stacey to the airport. Then to bed.


Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26 and July 27



It's airport day. I'm sitting waiting.


Verlie dropped me off at the airport on her way to work. Found out my original flight was cancelled and those folks were pushed to the next one, which could present a problem for me getting on a flight until later. Lesson learned – call Hobbs before leaving for the airport to see how the load is or if one has been cancelled and I should wait another day.

I talked to him and it looks like I'll get on one today, although it may be the one this afternoon, rather than the morning and early afternoon one. That's okay. The price is right and I'm grateful to be able to fly on his passes. Being retired, it really doesn't present that much of a problem. If I had to get back to work, I'd have to call and let them know I might be off an additional day. Been there, done that. I did not get that T-shirt, though. The color was purple and I elected to pass on it.

Well, lots going on with flights. The first one at 11:30 left, without me. The one for 12:42 p.m. has been delayed, waiting for a flight crew that is hung up somewhere in flight, and not due in here until 2:30 or so. I'm still okay. Ate a sandwich and a piece of cake. Now I'm re-charging my phone battery since it's at half, and found a plug for my computer, too, so I can get everything recharged. I've not even gotten my NookColor book out yet. I'm just busy e-mailing, Facebooking, looking around, talking to people.


With the current flight delayed, people are bailing right and left, looking for other connections through other cities. If enough of them bail, I may get on this flight after all. It wasn't looking good since it had also been overbooked and they're trying to get everyone from that original Minneapolis flight on other flights.

Sat browsing photos.  Love to take photos of beautiful flowers.
I may finish off that Starbucks giftcard today, too. Been there twice so far. Originally for coffee, then the sandwich and cake. Still got enough for another coffee or two.


Otherwise, Hobbs feels bad because I can't get on a flight. Again, I say, I'm grateful to fly on passes and know the risks. If I had to get on a flight, I could use Alaska Airline miles since I have enough for a ticket or two. Plus I learned a few lessons today. The first one I told you about. The second was to check on the alternate routes right away after missing a flight. There was another one through Salt Lake City I might have gotten on if I'd been thinking sooner and called my travel agent ... Hobbs ... soon enough so he could get me listed. Next time.


Right now my best option is to wait for the Minny flight and hopefully make a connection that gets me home this evening. If it doesn't work, then I'll call Verlie and she'll come back and get me and we'll spend another evening together before starting over again tomorrow. All the options are good ones. However, by 5 p.m. I might be getting tired, and feel differently. Who knows. Nah, I'm sure I'll get out today. I usually do although I'm certainly not a pro at this standby flying.


But it is interesting and kind of cool because Hobbs can check the flights while I talk to him on my cellphone, and list me as we talk. He also knows if I make a flight, and even what seat I'm in. How cool is that? So, in addition to having Spot (who is not on for this type of travel), I'm not out of sight very often. It's good to know someone knows where I am nearly all the time.


I made the flight from Phoenix that finally got out at about 3:30 p.m. or so. Then I rushed thinking I had an 8-something out of Minneapolis to Anchorage. Couldn't find it. The ticket agent told me which gate and I got there as quickly as I could, finding out the 8-something was gone, but there was another one at 9:45. I made that one.


Finally got home about 12:30 a.m. Got to sleep, but not for long. An old friend was visiting and he, Jerry Henke, and Hobbs had set up an early breakfast. Of course I wanted to go see Henke because I'd not seen him for a long time. He and his wife now have a place in southern Arizona. Was great to see him at Jackie's Place off Spenard.

Hobbs, Henke and me at Jackie's Place.  Good grub.


After that there was a retirement potluck at Chugach, so I picked up a few things to take over there. The potluck was great and saw some friends. From there I visited my former co-workers, and a few others, and finally got out of there about 3:30 p.m. You'd think I was still there taking up space or something. But it's always so nice to see folks. I do miss a great many of them.


Went on the Harley Owners Group Wednesday night ride. A couple of the guys who left early went down, one hitting the other after a car apparently stopped quickly in front of them. It appeared things looked bad, but they'd be okay. Bikes??? Hard to say. Pretty beat up. Just glad the guys will be okay. I stayed on the phone with Daisy Corn, the girlfriend of one of them. Let her know what was happening, what injuries looked like from afar, and where they were taking them so she could get to the hospital.


I found out later that they both had broken ribs, scrapes and bruises, and one of them also had a punctured lung, and they'll be in the hospital for a day or two. But all appears well. Thank you, thank you.

Monday, July 25, 2011



Monday, July 25
Sitting here at Verlie's, drinking coffee. I got out of bed when she left for work, so I'm on my own for the day.


But I've been quite busy. I bought a Nook Color yesterday and have been learning how to use it and organizing things on it. I have some books to read on the flights home, or during layovers. It's quite a handy little thing, and now I only have one thing to pack rather than a couple of books. In addition to my camera, computer, cell phone, Spot tracker, purse.


The list of things to carry on the flight just gets longer, and heavier. Whatever did we do before all of this technology? I carried my purse, a book or two and a camera. That was it. No wonder there's no room in the overhead bins. Everybody travels like I do, and some with even more STUFF!!!


The day is slightly overcast. If I had any gumption I'd get on my horse and get on the streets. I am going out, but am in no rush. I should be as the temperature is supposed to get into the triple-digits, as usual. I'd better get moving.

Have you ever wondered what one of my travel maps looked like? I always highlight where I've been and there have been some interesting designs when you look at the overall trip. This one has a little peninsula-like leg out to the side from where I went to Kansas. Very strange one this time. Started at Phoenix, went north, then south, then west, then east, then west and then south back to Phoenix.

Phoenix to Canada, Utah to California, Idaho, to Montana, Kansas to Colorado, to Phoenix.  And that was just the high points.  There were a few other states that weren't named that Birdie and I both went through, or just I hit.  Crazy pattern on this trip.

Phoenix is my home base for all my trips since that's where the Lower 48 bike lives. Harlow is currently living with a Road King and a Sportster-hybrid. Verlie's bike started out as a Sportster, but is now a beautiful pearl white and gold, award-winning combination of a couple of different styles. It has a Springer front end, fat tires and a Sportster chassis. It's a gorgeous thing that Joe built for her based upon her design. It's won two first-place awards at the Laughlin River Run, one second place at the Easy Rider Bike Show in Phoenix and has been featured in magazines, so you know it's one hot-looking bike.

A little hard to tell how beautiful Verlie's bike is.  But you get t he idea.
The pearl white paint is offset by the 24-karat goldleaf. 
Was out and about and went to the shoe repair place. I'm having my boots lifted an inch. Verlie will pick the boots up for me when they're ready in a couple of weeks. Then I had lunch, wandered around a Target looking for Wal-Mart people – which I did not find – and then came back to the house. Took a little nap and then started doing some more reorganizing of stuff and packing.


Verlie got home from work and we sat around comparing computers and cell phones. We sit here and could e-mail each other if we chose. Too funny.


Did a bit more packing and I'm close to ready to hit the airport in the morning and catch the big birds that will carry me home. Harlow is in her spot, I've told her goodbye and that I'll be back as soon as I can. Miss Scarlett is waiting for me at home. Looking forward to taking her for a spin. Hope the weather is nice tomorrow.


See you all soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday, July 24



Another day to do what we wanted, whenever we wanted. Got up, drank coffee, cooked steel cut oats, ate fresh cantelope and cherries. Verlie went techie on me. She was setting up mobile hotspots, messing with her computer and just doing stuff she hadn't done before. Whoa, who knew? But glad she did since I can now post my last few blogs from this trip now.


Then it was time to get ready to hit the streets. We were going to the mall ... after we had lunch at Olive Garden, one of my two very favorite restaurants. Then it was off to Barnes and Noble, Victoria's Secret and Starbucks while we waited to go to the movie, Bridesmaids.


The movie was cute, and we enjoyed it. As we were leaving a huge thunder and lightning storm was going on. There was lightning all around us, beautiful, but scarey when it's something you're not used to experiencing. The show was pretty incredible, and along with it came wind. Hopefully there won't be the sand that they've had here in the past few weeks. Guess we'll find out tomorrow when we get up.

A favorite photo from lst year at Sturgis, the traveling wall is in the background.  This one's for you, Hobbs.

This year's travel blog is nearing a close. Birdie's excellent motorcycle adventure is finished; mine nearly so. But there's always the next great motorcycle trip just around the corner.


But maybe blogging is something I need to keep up. After all, where else can you post your thoughts and other adventures, photos of things you've seen and done and pretend you're a journalist of great standing?

Saturday, July 23



Another late morning. Coffee, and then Verlie and I pushed the bikes out into the driveway and washed them. 95 degrees and we were sweating like pigs.


Then it was time to get ready and hit the bricks. We had to go pick up Joe and Verlie's motorhome at Camping World (fun place with lots of cool stuff) get it back to the house, then we went to a shoe repair shop to see about getting an additional sole put on my boots, but they were closed. Figure it will help with the height of the motorcycle and moving it around. Verlie will take them for me. Then it was time for lunch at Red Lobster, one of my favorites when down in this country. It's one of two places we go when I come down here. The second is the Olive Garden which we'll probably hit tomorrow. It was so good.


Next on the list was going to the Chandler Harley shop. I wanted to check on getting a tourpack for the new bike, and ended up checking out putting a new seat and backrest on it, too. If I choose to do that, I'll probably order it in the early spring as Biker Bill and I are planning a trip in May. I'd come down a day or so early to get everything put on the bike, and ride away to meet him, possibly in Joplin, Missouri. Plans are still being considered.


Verlie and I also checked out the movie theater to see what was playing as we might do that tomorrow. And then we hit a couple of casinos. I didn't leave them any of my money, but I sure didn't take much of theirs. But let's just say, a win is a win.


Then it was time to have a bit of dinner at a Thai restaurant that was excellent, papaya salad, fresh spring rolls, yellow curry. It's so much fun to check out restaurants in other places that we don't have at home. Baskin-Robbins ... two scoops are best. Yep, I'm a true HOG, eat to ride, ride to eat.

Friday, July 22


Lazy. Didn't get up until nearly 8 a.m. We were up until about 1:30 a.m. talking, talking, talking. Started in talking again. Spinner and I hadn't talked in a long time, so there was a lot of catching up to do.


We finally got moving a little bit and she cut my hair for me ... it's Mohawk time again. Loving it.


Got dressed and out on the streets. Made a stop at the Arrowhead Harley shop, then went and had some lunch. Oh yeah, and finished off the cheesecake from last night.
This is the helicopter that they have at Angel Fire.

We talked to Verlie to decide where I'd meet her, loaded my bike and then I was out of the garage and on the streets. It was about 30+ miles. I took the 101 to 10, and exited on Eliot for the Wal-Mart, not to find those Wal-Mart people, but to meet Verlie. We hooked up ... pretty easily in fact, and went on the other 12 miles to her house. She's a pretty good leader. I didn't get separated or left behind a single time.


Got back to the barn, unloaded the bike and put it in the garage. We'll wash mine and hers tomorrow and maybe take a little ride.


In, with popcorn and homemade oatmeal cookies from Spinner. And that's all for tonight folks.


Thursday, July 21


Sat in my beautiful room this morning, drinking coffee, bloggin and looking out at the rock and mountains outside the window. No buildings, just scenery. It was a very nice place, the Monument Valley Inn in Kayenta, Arizona. It was a huge room, with a sofa, coffee table and desk with a chair. The bathroom was huge, but there was one strange thing. There was no toilet paper holder, just the roll sitting on the back of the tank. I find that rather odd since the room is just perfect otherwise, right down to beautiful artwork on the wall. I stayed and enjoyed the room and drank coffee since this was the most expensive one of the trip, $109 plus tax. The intent was to get on the road about 10 or so, and stop frequently after I hit Flagstaff since that's where it will really start to heat up. I will get to Spinner's sometime around 5. She gave me directions last night. Incredibly, all the folks I've visited have had places easy for me to find, or maybe they just give good directions??


This was one of the metal signs I saw during my travels; they are beautiful.  (This was on my out of the way travel yesterday when trying to find Angel Fire.)  There are many different types but this is one of fighting elk. 

The day was a superb riding day with the temperature just right, the roads pretty much clear of traffic, and scenery that made you stand up and pay attention. Red rock, tan rock, winding roads, tall trees. It was all there. I got the first 150 miles to Flagstaff done in good order. Had a bite to eat and then got back to it since I knew the hard part was coming with temperatures in the hundreds.


The second part of the journey was still pretty good for the first 30 or 40 miles, but then it started to heat up. I stopped at the Harley shop in Anthem and an employee there pointed me to the water. She said I looked like I needed it. She also told me to take a roadie, which I did. She also told me what time it was, but I didn't really comprehend.
Interesting to me that they shave the llamas for their fur and the beasts end up looking like groomed French poodles.  The tufts around the legs are patricularly interesting.

Now the hard part ... the last 30 miles into Phoenix, but surprisingly my vest and neck snake were working pretty well, and while I knew it was over a hundred, I was handling it well. I got on the 101, exited at Thunderbird and found a place to park in the shade. I couldn't find the directions to Spinner's, and thought I'd lost them. In reality, they were right where I left them, inside my mapbook in my saddlebag. And then I checked my phone, only to find out, in thinking I was late, I'd gained an hour and was actually a little early. Imagine.


I called Spinner who was on her way home. She told me to stay in the shade and she'd call me when she got home. She did, and I went along and found the house. She had the garage door open, and we slid on in.


Spinner and I just sat a bit, then went to eat at a Cheesecake Factory. I did not know they had WAY more than cheesecake. Chicken piccata is pretty good, and then we took home mango Key lime cheesecake. I had to get into it later, and it was to die for. Tart and sweet all in one, creamy filling, talk about decadent. I had to put it away.


So, tired, tired, tired. Gotta sleep. ZZZzzzzzzzz .........

Wednesday, July 20


The place I stayed last night was the worst one of the trip. When I checked in the man was nearly rude, and he was just nasty to his wife who was also helping check me in. He spoke to her in another language in front of me, and while I couldn't understand what he was saying, it was the tone ... a nasty, dirty, ugly little man. The name of the place was the Regal Motel in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Don't stay there.


On the road again at 8 a.m. I knew I had a lot of miles to get to Sun City to see Spinner, about 700, but I'd talked to her and she knew I'd not be in until Thursday afternoon. She had things to do anyway, so it all worked out well for me. I'll take a northern route through the mountains so I can avoid some of the heat and not have to do it until I'm only a couple hundred miles from Phoenix.


Since I now had two days to do those miles, I elected to to the route Biker Bill (AKA Hobbs) had mentioned, up to Angel Fire and around through Red River and Questa, near Taos. I took off and had a delightful ride, saw a couple of deer and a turkey right next to the road. The temperature was the best, T-shirt riding but not too hot. But I still had my hydration vest and neck snakes soaking in water since I knew I'd need them later.


I was on some real backroads, and then saw the sign ... gravel. What the heck's going on? I stopped, looked at it, and then decided it was not for me. I didn't know how far the gravel went and I didn't want to do 10-20 miles of it. (Hobbs told me later it was about 15 miles and not so bad, but I saw a lot of gravel, good-sized rocks and an opportunity for me to get myself in trouble out in the middle of nowhere all by myself.) So I got the bike turned around and backtracked. That was 60 miles or so out of my way. I hate to backtrack. But rather that than gravel. Yesterday the wrong town; today the wrong road, except it was the road I'd picked. It just wasn't a good one.


It took me a few miles to get unangry, but I was finally back on track, through Mora, and on to Angel Fire. Angel Fire is a beautiful little town, in a beautiful setting in the mountains. It's the site of a Vietnam Veterans Memorial built by Dr. Victor Westphall in memory of his son, David, who died in Vietnam in May 1968. It's the only state park in the United States dedicated exclusively to Vietnam veterans. The building sits high on a hill, and is visible from a distance, a white, futuristic-style that fits somehow.
This is the memorial chapel.

Doc did most of the work himself, and you can see that it was an incredible act of love. There's the chapel, that is truly a work of art. It's like a theater inside, with seating, and boxes of Kleenex for those who should need it. There is a light, photos and a wreath. Some have put down items that a loved one might have used. You can light a candle, which I did, in my mind to honor those who died, those who were there, those who still suffer from a war from which they did not come home heroes.


Inside the visitor center there is a museum dedicated to various people who died, a nurse, David, and others. It's a display of photos of men killed in action but David's is always in the middle.


There are other statues, including one that is called "Dear Mom and Dad" which reflects a soldier faced with the dilemma of writing home to his family, but not knowing what to say about what he's doing so they will understand, a Huey helicopter and walkway bricks for U.S. Veterans either living or deceased. Hobbs says there is a photo of him in this memorial. I wished I'd known before so I could have looked for it specifically. Next time. Maybe he and I can go together on a different road trip.
Dear Mom and Dad ...

While I was never in a war, and was very insulated living in Alaska, this memorial truly pulls at your heart because of the love shown, the dedication in memorializing a beloved son, and the honor bestowed on others who served in that war. There were other vets there and I could overhear them talking about the Vietnam war. Ihope that seeing this park and all it has to offer helps to heal their hearts and spirits.


From Angel Fire I continued to Red River and Questa, which is the Enchanted Circle, and a beautiful ride, with plenty of riding for those who like curves and scenery that will blow your mind. Trees, creeks, it's the best kind, and not so hot you couldn't enjoy it.


I reached Taos to gas up and then head west on Highway 64, to Farmington where I hoped to make a quick stop at the shop. While there two bikes and a caravan of cars took off. I was wondering what that was when a young lady leaned out of her car window and hollered at me, "Viva Los Montoyos." What was that? Inside the gas station, because there was an issue getting the credit card to work, I asked. The attendant said there was a family reunion. Too fun. I should have followed and maybe been invited to a barbecue or something. But I needed to get on the road.


Taos makes me wonder about things. I stopped to take a photo of some type of earth-friendly community. All the homes, and there are a number of them in this area, are built partially into the ground. They all have colors in the clay, appear to use tin cans and bottles as decoration, and look like something out of a science fiction movie. But they are beautiful in their own way, even making you think of other countries with spires and castles.
Earth-friendly building.


As I rode on I then saw a noose with an effigy of a person, with a sign that said this is how we still do it. It gave me the creeps and the chills. I did not stop to take a photo of it. Very strange.


Harlow is a hard-working girl, but she certainly isn't the Road King. She's not as agile in the corners, nor as quick as a bike that had a kit that allowed it to pass everything but a gas station. She's much more languid and laid back, but a pleasure to ride. I'm thinking of ordering a tourpack for her so she doesn't appear to be such a "Clampett" bike. And I'm tired of loading it in a certain way every day and still looking like a Clampett. We'll see.


I forgot to tell you all, when Onery was leading me to the Harley shop in Colorado Springs, I passed a guy on a blue bike, Road King I think. I waved, and he blew me a kiss. Then he ended up behind me. At the stoplight we chatted and he followed us to the shop since that's where he wanted to go, too. He was meeting his soulmate of 30 years he said. He was going to call her and she was coming there to meet him. He was a long, tall drink of water and quite pleasant, from Kentucky. But with his accent I had a bit of difficulty understanding him. But it was a brief and friendly encounter. I hoped his lady would come, be kind, and maybe there would be some joy. I left before finding out.


Tonight I did not ride in the dark, but it was close. It was still dusk when I arrived in Kayenta. Riding through the rock formations at that time of day was surreal. I marveled at the beauty since I've only ridden through here during the daylight hours. It's a totally different and unusual ride, and something that cannot be captured by a camera.


Got food, got fed, got phone calls done and got to bed.



Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Tuesday, July 19


I woke up to a beautiful day, packed up my pony and hit the road. Today's journey would take me to Colorado Springs, to see a friend who used to live in Alaska, Jenny, one of Hobbs' daughters, and possibly Richard from New York.


The weather was perfect riding, just right for a long-sleeved shirt and my vest. It wasn't too hot and I was hoping it would stay that way.


I followed I-70 and then took Highway 24, which went to Peyton, where Donna and Mike Luther live. When I'd talked to her she wanted me to stop by but I didn't think it would work. Actually it did since they live only a couple miles at most off the highway. So stopped by the house and visited with her, the daughter in law and grandkids for a little while. Then she led me to the Harley shop in Colorado Springs. I'd called Jenny and she was going to meet me there, which was wonderful since I'd not seen her in a long time.

Donna and me at the Colorado Springs Harley shop,.

Got my required shirt, chips and pin, and Jenny showed up ... so we went upstairs where there is a lounge for biker trash, and we sat and chatted for an hour or better. Then it was time to say good bye as I was heading down I-25 to somewhere. It was great to see them and have such a wonderful visit. Jenny looked really nice and I marveled at where the time has gone since she was in Alaska. She's so grown up now. Where oh where did the time slip away from us?
Jenny and me.

On down the road I got to Pueblo which is were my friend Verlie's mom lives, or so I thought. I was asking around as to where her address was, but no one knew. I called Verlie and she told me her mom lives in Trinidad, about an hour and a half away. So this time I didn't even get in the right town. I had to call her mom back and say I'd be late, that I'd be taking her to dinner instead of lunch. I told Verlie not to tell husband Joe. But she said it was too good not to. Once again, there's a reason I don't lead rides.


Trinidad was about 90 miles or so down I-25 and I got there and found Virginia's house. She had me drive her car and we went to a Mexican restaurant called Tequila's. I had my usual ... a chile relleno and a cheese enchilada. It was good, but they had something I'd not had before that the waiter called Mexican cole slaw. They serve it in a little bowl like salsa and I put it on chips. I think it had jalapenos in it, too, and it was soooo good. I ate nearly all of it. Got Virginia back to her house, and then packed up and left, heading south again on I-25.


I stayed on the main road since I knew I'd be riding in the dark and figured I was safer on a main road with more traffic. It was after 9 when I pulled in to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and found a room. Made all my calls to let Hobbs and Verlie know I was okay. Tried to reach the Pieps because I have nearly 700 miles to get to their place and know I can't do that tomorrow, so it will be Thursday before I get there. So I'll go through the mountains which will probably be a little bit longer, but way cooler, and I definately need that. The heat this trip has been eating my lunch so I need to stay in the cool parts as long as I can.


Night riding is not my forte' but it has its beauty, plus it was so pleasant traveling in the cooler weather. But I saw deer, and I'm deathly afraid of hitting something. Is that because I'm used to daylight all the time? I don't know. Do you?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday, July 19



I woke up to a beautiful day, packed up my pony and hit the road. Today's journey would take me to Colorado Springs, to see a friend who used to live in Alaska, Jenny, one of Hobbs' daughters, and possibly Richard from New York.


The weather was perfect riding, just right for a long-sleeved shirt and my vest. It wasn't too hot and I was hoping it would stay that way.


I followed I-70 and then took Highway 24, which went to Peyton, where Donna and Mike Luther live. When I'd talked to her she wanted me to stop by but I didn't think it would work. Actually it did since they live only a couple miles at most off the highway. So stopped by the house and visited with her, the daughter in law and grandkids for a little while. Then she led me to the Harley shop in Colorado Springs. I'd called Jenny and she was going to meet me there, which was wonderful since I'd not seen her in a long time.

Donna and me at the Colorado Springs Harley shop.

Got my required shirt, chips and pin, and Jenny showed up ... so we went upstairs where there is a lounge for biker trash, and we sat and chatted for an hour or better. Then it was time to say good bye as I was heading down I-25 to somewhere. It was great to see them and have such a wonderful visit. Jenny looked really nice and I marveled at where the time has gone since she was in Alaska. She's so grown up now. Where oh where did the time slip away from us?

Jenny and me.

On down the road I got to Pueblo which is were my friend Verlie's mom lives, or so I thought. I was asking around as to where her address was, but no one knew. I called Verlie and she told me her mom lives in Trinidad, about an hour and a half away. So this time I didn't even get in the right town. I had to call her mom back and say I'd be late, that I'd be taking her to dinner instead of lunch. I told Verlie not to tell husband Joe. But she said it was too good not to. Once again, there's a reason I don't lead rides.


Trinidad was about 90 miles or so down I-25 and I got there and found Virginia's house. She had me drive her car and we went to a Mexican restaurant called Tequila's. I had my usual ... a chile relleno and a cheese enchilada. It was good, but they had something I'd not had before that the waiter called Mexican cole slaw. They serve it in a little bowl like salsa and I put it on chips. I think it had jalapenos in it, too, and it was soooo good. I ate nearly all of it. Got Virginia back to her house, and then packed up and left, heading south again on I-25.


I stayed on the main road since I knew I'd be riding in the dark and figured I was safer on a main road with more traffic. It was after 9 when I pulled in to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and found a room. Made all my calls to let Hobbs and Verlie know I was okay. Tried to reach the Pieps because I have nearly 700 miles to get to their place and know I can't do that tomorrow, so it will be Thursday before I get there. So I'll go through the mountains which will probably be a little bit longer, but way cooler, and I definately need that. The heat this trip has been eating my lunch so I need to stay in the cool parts as long as I can.


Night riding is not my forte' but it has its beauty, plus it was so pleasant traveling in the cooler weather. But I saw deer, and I'm deathly afraid of hitting something. Is that because I'm used to daylight all the time? I don't know. Do you?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, July 18



Got up about 8 a.m. Ruth and I got my bike turned around, the tow truck came to pick up her car, and I went off to the post office to mail a package. When I got back to Ruth's I started getting everything packed. We had leftover lasagna from the night before for lunch and I finally got on the road. I think I procrastinate because of the heat, and I like spending time with my friends.


But get on the road I did, fighting brutal heat yet again. The hydration vest certainly helps, as do the neck snakes, but it still is not pleasant riding. Near the end of the day I also was riding into the sun, but at least the temperature was a bit better. I'd stopped for lunch to get some liquid, some food and hopefully some cooler temperatures. It was better, but not great.


Rode on to Stratton, Colorado. Wanted to get across the border. I called some friends to see if they could meet me at the Colorado Springs shop, Donna Luther (Onery), Hobbs' daughter Jenny, and Richard Aquilia from New York who came to our Alaska State HOG rally last year. Don't know who all I'll see. It'll be a surprise.


So, I've not stopped to take any photos because it's just too hot and I just want to keep moving. Maybe tomorrow. Eating my apple and peanut butter and some salt water taffy. What a dinner.
Sunday, July 17

Jgayle and I got up and did not rush. We didn't have to be out of the hotel room until noon, and we were going to visit the Harley shop. It was nice to feel a bit leisurely. Finally checked out and headed to the shop where we probably spent about an hour.


This was the cutest little trike.  Had to have a photo on it.  Wichita shop.  Very nice folks there.


The ladies washroom uses tool boxes for sinks.  Thought they were the greatest.
Then we decided to have lunch before we each went our separate ways, her back to Mesquite, me to Topeka to see my friend, Ruth.  We decided we wanted to eat at a Texas Roadhouse. I'd seen one somewhere on my way to the hotel, so I tried to find it on my phone. Who knew I could use it??? Figured it out and we found our way there. Was too cool.

Texas Steakhouse, YUMMY!!!  I've been before with JGayle in Texas.  This one was excellent, too.


Finally we had to say our goodbyes, and she headed south and I heated east. It's always sad to leave a wonderful friend. But off we went.


I took the Kansas toll road and stopped only once ... it was only about 150 miles, so not a huge number of miles to do. But it was still miserably hot. Found the exit Ruth had told me to take, called her and got to her house quite easily.


Ruth's car was making a very nasty noise, so she called a friend to borrow a car so we could go to the Prairie Band Casino. We've been saving money for three years at $100 per year each, and never found a casino, so Topeka was where we were going to win our fortunes.


We had a strategy. We would run the $600 through a machine of our choice one time and whatever we got was what we got. It had to be a dollar machine, preferably one that took two bucks a time.


Ruth and I wandered around the casino a couple of times, trying to find a machine that we both agreed to use to spend our money ... and maybe get some payback. Finally found one, a triple wild cherry progressive. We sat down and put $600 in ... and started to hit the maximum bet button and the pull lever. We played and played, and there was nothing coming back to us. Ruth was keeping track of the number of times we pulled ... still nothing. Crap, it was looking grim. Finally the machine started to pay something back. While we never hit a big pot, the biggest was $100, we ended up with $592 dollars after 300 pulls and bets. We played for about an hour, each spending $4 for the entertainment. So we took our money and had a nice dinner then home to bed. We had a good time, laughing when we hit, and calling the machine a "son of a bitch" when it didn't. It was fun, and we plan to do it again in a couple of years when we have the Women on Wheels Ride In in Billings. Hopefully they have the kind of slot machine there that we like.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday, July 16



Up and at 'em, but not so early. I left Limon about 9 a.m., heading to Wichita to meet Slider. She made the hotel arrangements in Wichita. I knew it would be hard for me to find it, being directionally-challenged and all. When I stopped for gas, I couldn't just gas, visit the rest room and go. I had to stay to cool down and drink water, and re-hydrate my vest. At one point the thermometer said 110 degrees; a few hours later it said 109. Yep, I sure could tell the difference.

I followed Highways 54/400. There's not much there. It's mostly very, very flat, and not even a lot of vegetation. Pretty boring. So why am I riding across flatland that is hotter than hell? I don't really know, except I really wanted to see Slider since I didn't get to see her last year.


I did stop at the Dodge City stop and they had a cooler with ice in the back that they said I could hydrate my vest and neck snakes. I was even putting it on my throat and down my shirt ... felt so good, for such a short period of time, though.


On the highway about 35 miles east of Dodge City, there's a long fence line that has all these metal sculptures on it. It's kind of like the sign farm at Watson Lake, but not nearly as large ... yet.

I took a photo of this sculpture because  of my boy Beagle Tuffy.


The whole fence and the sculptures are fascinating to see.  I'd have liked to spend more time, but didn't have it, and it  was just toooooo darned hot to be out in in standing or walking around.  It was bad enough to be riding in it.

Finally arrived about 7:30 at the hotel, after stopping at one to get directions. It was so good to see Slider. She'd had a blowout on her way up I-35, in Oklahoma. She showed me the tire and I had to say she was very lucky she wasn't killed as it was the right front tire that blew.


We went and grabbed a bite to eat, then ice cream for dessert, and to bed now since we both had a long, hard day. It's till 91 degrees. HOT!!!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday, July 15


I hit the Casper, Wyoming shop early, to get my shirt, my pin and my poker chips. From there I made some calls to see if I could get the Harlow bike in for its thousand mile check up. I wouldn't quite be there, but didn't want to go over. The Greeley and Loveland shops were too busy to take me. The Frederick shop said come on down, so I told Brett I'd be there as soon as I could. It was about 250 miles.


No stops except gas, restroom and go, go, go. I ran Interstate 25 although I reallyon't like them, and have been on them entirely too much this trip. But the shop was on the interstate and would be easy to find. That's always a plus for someone like me who is directionally challenged.


I made excellent time and got to the shop about 2:30. I'd have been a few minutes earlier but missed the turn and had to go two miles to the next exit and back.


The Frederick shop, High Country HD, is a great shop. They had someone drive me to a place to get some lunch, and then told me to call them and they'd come pick me up. The bike was finished when I returned as they put two techs on it. I then asked about highway pegs to help keep my leg from getting fried by the heat from the engine. This shop was more than accommodating, and they were willing to take me in when the others wouldn't. I give them excellent marks. They even gave me a shortcut to get me out of town and away from the Denver area which even I could follow, and did, and did not get lost or turned around.


Although maybe I should have lowered those marks some. I'd told Brett that my bike looked like the Beverly Hillbillies. He then called my makeshift bag a "Clampett bag" after the hillbillies. I laughed out loud at him. Brett was very nice, and he reminded me of Matthew Perry, the general look, smile, and he was more than helpful.

The lovely Harlow with her Clampett bag and other things piled high.  Whoever invented cargo nets deserves a big kudo.  There are two of them on this load, and so far I've not lost but one thing, the top to a rain suit that I'd tossed the pants from since they were all torn up from the pipes.  Bag, stuff, helmet, jacket.  Think there's a water bottle under there, too.

I got back on the road and took Highway 70 to Limon, and decided it was time to get off the road for the night. I called my friend Slider in Texas. We worked out a route for us both that gives us about equal miiles to travel and we will meet in Wichita, Kansas. It will be about 400 miles for each of us. We'll spend the night, party hardy, and spend some time together on Sunday before she has to head back home.


On Monday my intent is to go to Topeka to see my friend Ruth whose bike died in San Jose. It's being shipped home, and she was working on getting military hops back to Topeka. I had a voicemail from her today that she was in Colorado and expected to be home Saturday. Wonder where she was, and if our paths were close to each other at some point today. I'll give her a call tomorrow again to see if we can meet to spend our gambling money. That's a story for when it happens.


This trip seems to be one of purchasing knives. So far I've bought five, or at least that's what I remember buying. Two of them go on the bikes, they are a kitchen-style with a sheath so will be easy to carry and not cut anything like a saddlebag liner. I've also got a knife that will attach to the webbing inside the webbing of the saddlebag. Then I picked up one that looks like a bullet. Why? I don't know. Cuz I liked the looks of it, and cuz I could. Nuf said.


So it's time to hit the hay, so I can get on the road at a decent hour tomorrow.