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.



Some photos from the drive by tour of San Francisco, Women on Wheels July 2011.


A sea lion at the end of  Pier 39


Some of the graffiti you see on the  sides of buildings.  There are quite talented griffiti artists and some very elaborate work.
Terry and me gettiing eaten by a shark at Pier 39 in San Francisco.
Birdie and me at the Dudley Perkins shop in San Francisco.


Crooked Street in San Francisco.  The gardens are maintained by the people who live in the area, and cars go down through all of the little switchbacks.  It's a beautiful and fun street to see.  We just walked down along side where there are walkways.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, July 14



Yippy, skippy, let's ride. Today I head out, to parts not necessarily known.


Actually I did have a plan, mostly. Ride down to Casper, Wyoming, and then just keep going. I'd like to get to Texas to see my friend, Slider. Don't know if I can make it ... with the time frame I've set for myself. I will need to get a 1,000-mile checkup. Did 500 or so today, so tomorrow I'll be close and I'll have to make a call or two to try to schedule it.


It was a great day of riding, though. I saw lots of antelope and deer, had a couple of rain showers, mostly ridden between and I rode slow, fast, and then in the middle, working on breaking this bike in. I'm sure I've done more than I needed to, but that's okay. Tomorrow is another story. Let's rock and roll.


The day was a quiet one, too, just Harlow and me, getting acquainted, knowing each other and how we will get on. I know I did trade having the handlebars switched out and no more neckaches to not being able to get the kickstand up. On my other bikes I'd just ride forward and the kickstand would come up, or at least start so I could get it to kick up. This bike won't let me because you can't start it unless the kickstand is up. I had to have some construction guy come kick it up for me when I had to stop to wait for a pilot car. How embarrassing. I'd also forgotten how hot the new engines get ... so I can foresee a burned and blistered leg in my future. Maybe highway pegs would help although they'd have to be turned way in because of my little stubby legs. The sacrifices one makes to ride like the wind on her iron pony.


But in for the night. Tired. I didn't sleep well last night ... cuz I drank Coca Cola. How I love it, Classic style, from a bottle. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Wednesday, July 13



The bike went to the shop. The guy in service kind of blew me off again ... he has a police bike, the idle is slow and it dies. He just starts it up again. He also said that he didn't know if they could look at it today or do the oil change. I told him I'd called yesterday and been told if I left it for the day they could do the oil change and a few other things. I wasn't happy.


I walked through the dealer floor and there were two cop Electra Glides, a white one and a black. Well, to hell with it. I just went ahead and bought a new bike. The ashtray on the Road King was full and it was time to move it along. I had it lowered front and rear, touring bars put on it, and a few other things done, all today as I wanted it and that was part of the deal. Imagine, they were able to push other folks back some to get this bike ready for me. The sales guy, Kaes, the parts guy Rickie and the finance gal Barbara were awesome. At 6 p.m. I was able to ride away on the 2011 white Electra Glide Classic. Her name is Harlow, after Jean Harlow. She's sweet and beautiful and handles like a dream, and she has saddlebags that lock. Woo hoo.. And the best part is that now service will have to fix the Road King in order to sell her. But I sure hated to part with her. Each bike I have becomes a part of me, and parting with them is difficult. But I've also learned that when things start to need repairs, and I mean major repairs, it's better to let them go. I kept my '93 Heritage way too long and she broke down, major, each year and there was a lot of down time. I just don't want that anymore. But I will always keep the '84 as she was my first Harley.


Spent some time loading and will finish up in the morning getting everything ready to ride. Where to go? Kansas? Texas? Or somewhere else? I just don't know. Phoenix is next week. This week is mine.

Tuesday, July 12



Birdie and I left her friend Cindy's house and headed for the Spokane shop. It wasn't there ... moved. She couldn't find the address in her GPS so we weren't sure how to get to it. A lady came out of the store and we told her and she said she had to load a few things into a truck and then would lead us over there. That was very nice. Turns out the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene shops are owned by the same person, they've merged them and they're now in Spokane Valley, under either Lone Wolf or Timber Wolf HD. It was their grand re-opening. Hung out there, got our required shirts and then went out to the parking lot to load and go on our separate ways.


We were off Highway 90, Birdie going west, me going east to Belgrade. Off we went out of the parking lot to do our own rides again. Separation. It's so sad. I got over it within minutes; bet Birdie did, too. We had a great time, though. She's a great traveling companion.


I headed east, running mostly 65 or 70. I was enjoying the ride, the gentle curves of the interstate, but watching the cloud cover ahead of me. It appeared I was going to run into a storm.


Rode on. Took the cherries left from the other day and put them inside my vest so I could get to them while riding. Yep, eating cherries and spitting the pit out as I went. It was great. And then they were gone. But as Birdie said in a Facebook post, I brake for cherry stands. And I saw a sign for another one, so I stopped, bought two pounds of cherries, some apricots and some huckleberry jam. Cherries for Jan and me and for Don and Donna, apricots for all and the jam for our English muffins. Yum.


Was running intos storms, thunder, lightning, rain. The first one soaked me, but I wouldn't stop to put on more clothes or a helmet or gloves. Stubborn? Nah. The second storm wasn't as bad, but still more rain and I was nearly dry from the first, but it remained cloudy and questionable weather. I'd fought headwinds and at 90-some miles on the odometer my gas light went on. So then the search began for a gas station, and slowing down to 50 mph to make it last as long as I could. I saw a sign for services, but it seemed I couldn't find it. Finally, in Deer Lodge. I had 109 miles on the tank, and took 4.445 gallons. And I breathed a huge sigh of relief, put on my sweatshirt and gloves and headed on, into a couple more storms. But this time I stopped to put on my jacket and helmet because I was freezing.


Pulled into Jan's place just about 7:30 p.m., changed clothes and went to get friends Don and Donna's and go out for Mexican food.. While we were sitting there Don said to go with him, there was something I had to see. It was. Three horses tied up outside the bar next door while their owners were in getting a drink. One of them came out to have a smoke ... big hat, chaps, the whole cowboy outfit and routine. The Marlborough man in person, or so it seemed. Was too funny. Of course, my favorite was the horses. I was close enough to smell them, and I love the smell of horseflesh. There was a brown and white pinto, a bay and a dun. A couple of my favorite horse colors.


Back to the barn, and then Jan and I stayed up til 1 a.m., talking, laughing, reliving old times. How do we still find stuff to talk about? You'd think we'd get talked out, but no, there's always something. That's a great friend, a good friend. And we just take up where we left off.


To bed, to bed.

Monday, July 11



We left between 8:30 and 9 this morning. Daisy cooked breakfast for us so we'd not be riding on an empty stomach. What a nice girl she is.


The ride today was Highway 95. It was beautiful. We crossed the Weiser River several times and followed the Little Salmon and Salmon rivers for miles. They're beautiful, with water falls, dams, large rocks and rushing water. It was just very pleasant, and I'd do this road again for sure. It's mostly two-lane, which is always a plus, and runs through a lot of small towns, which I also like. You get to see some of what makes a state so great.


Then we rode by something that I had to do a U-turn to take a photo of ... a bed and breakfast, but it's a little building in the shape of a Beagle, with a Beagle pup. It's the neatest building, and I could not pass it up. It was near Grangerville. I wonder if they give you a Beagle to snuggle with for your night's stay. If I ever get back that way again I have to try to stay there. I wonder if I could somehow get back there. Maybe not this year. Decisions, decisions.


We pretty much just rode and arrived in Post Falls about 5 or so. We stayed at a friend of Birdie's, Cindy, that she used to work with. Cindy just got down here two weeks ago, moved from Alaska as three of her kids live in the area. The fourth still lives in Alaska and will probably move here in a year. Beautiful home, and wonderful hospitality. We have such great friends.


Unbelievably, saw a dead moose along the highway. Also saw some elk in a pen, so don't know if they raise them for meat or what. I also saw on a sign today, elk tacos. Would have liked to have tried them. Gotta ride, gotta ride.


So, when a truck with hay comes along in the opposing lane do you hold your breath for a moment until it passes and then take a deep breath just so you can smell it, the sweetness of it? I do. I love that smell. And the smell of cut grass, and so many other things that you smell while riding. That's one of the joys of riding ... and one of the not so joyful things too ... dead skunks and other things, hot tires and brakes ... but you're in ride, not just observing objects as they pass by you.

Called Jan in Montana. She wants to take Wednesday off to spend with me, so I'll probably be there Tuesday and Wednesday nights. No Internet there either.

So, all for tonight.

Sunday, July 10



I was up and moving on the road by 5:30 a.m. Time was awasting and I had 350 miles to go and a water park on the brain. I rode, stopped to gas up and rode again. It was gas and go all the way. And the only game I saw was one deer. How much did I miss?

Daisy had sent instructions on how to get to her dad's place. I was hoping to arrive by noon or noon-30 since water park time was 2:30. I missed a turn, but arrived just in time for lunch and then to make a quick stop at the Harley shop and then hit the water park.


Daisy said she'd been watching me on the tracker and she was telling everyone she knew I'd be there. Her dad said he thought I'd be in around noon. I nearly made it. Daisy has known me for a long time and that when I get something in my brain, I'll do anything I have to to make it happen. 700 miles? Nothing when there's a mission. And it was over two days after all, even if one of those days didn't start until 4 in the afternoon.


Birdie had made the Idaho state HOG rally and picked up my packet for me, too. She entered and received the award for the most miles ridden to get to the rally. The award was etched onto a primary cover. It was awesome, so she finally got a mileage ridden to the rally award, and got the best one. Congrats to her. She deserved it, and ended up with one that's very nice.


The water park was absolutely a ball. I did all the chutes, the wave pool, the lazy river, everything. It was so much fun. Birdie did some of them twice, but by then I was almost dry, a little on the cool side, and totally worn out. Daisy and I sat and waited for the rest of them for a while and then went to shower and get ready to leave. It was a great day.

When we got back to the house Daisy's dad had made dinner for all of us ... Birdy, Daisy and me, Daisy's sister and her two kids. We had pot roast, mashed taters, carrots, gravy and salad. Then there was leftover carrot cake and ice cream. Yum. I was so full I could barely get myself to bed.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday, July 9

Terry was up at 0-dark-thirty. I did not hear her get up or leave. I finally got up about 6:30 and visited with Ruth and Sylvia a bit before they left. Sylvia was dropping Ruth off at the Kawasaki shop to wait for her bike on her way to the airport to head to Virginia.


I stayed at the hotel and arranged for a late check out, as well as a shuttle to my shop which was within the 5-mile radius.


At noon I'm still waiting. So I called. Mike told me they were about an hour out from finishing, so I made arrangements to be there between 1:30 and 2. When I talked to Ruth her bike was to be finished, too.

I got to Hardtailz and started getting everything ready to go. Ruth pulled in and was waiting for me, so I hurried to finish, started the bike and turned it around. Ruth's bike wouldn't start. Ron from the shop pulled it in and it appeared to be the battery. He charged it up, but then said it might be the charging system. So Ruth called to get AARP to haul it back to the Kawasaki shop who told her if it was the charging system, it wouldn't be ready until at least Tuesday. I elected to head out once I knew she had all of her arrangements made.


It was the perfect riding ... T-shirt, vest, not too hot, and even not too much traffic. I wanted to get to Winnemucca, Nevada. It was that kind of day when you needed to hit a rest stop and get some food, but the riding was so great you didn't. Finally, I had to stop and hit a Del Taco for take out soft tacos. Ate them sitting on my bike, and then hit the road again.


The road got dark, but I just slowed down. Didn't figure to make Winnemucca since I was still 110 miles away, but thought I could do Lovelock, about 55 miles. Hit Lovelock about 10:30 p.m. And packed it in for the night. Will hit it again early and try to get to Daisy Corn so I can join her and Birdie at the water park tomorrow.


All for now. Need a little sleep.
Friday, July 8



Decided it was best to send Birdie on her way to Idaho and have someone look at my bike here in San Jose. I don't feel comfortable with the noise it's making. The San Jose shop kind of blew me off, too many bikes, 30 with appointments, not enough time, try to look at it if I got it there but I got the distinct feeling they'd rather I didn't show up. I was not pleased about the treatment but what could I do?


My friend Ruth, from Kansas, had a clutch replaced here at a Kawasaki shop and suggested I call them. Dave said he had a guy with lots of Harley experience so I'll try there first.


Felt sad at sending Birdie off. She's a great traveling companion, plus there goes Edith, the GPS. I've always found my way before, but she's done a great job of getting us places, even when I doubted her. I was looking forward to spending a day at the Idaho State HOG rally with Birdie and Daisy Corn (Stacey). If they get me on the road today I may still get up that way and get to the water park with Daisy Corn and her friends on Sunday. That would be great fun, and Birdie should still be there, too.


I must be not so good with having to stay since I've had a horrible time making coffee. Tried to make two cups in this fancy coffee maker, and spilled it. Then got two cups made, finally, and spilled one in the bed. So had to pull back the sheets and one of the many pillows. Coffee is down through the mattress pad, too. What a mess that made. I guess hotels see that now and again, but I don't like making messes like that. CRAP!!!! Maybe I should quit drinking coffee, but it's one of the few vices I have left.

Hooked up with Ruth, Sylvia and Terry. Ruth's bike is at the Kawasaki shop and I'm taking mine there to see if they can help me out.


Martin at the Kawasaki shop listened and then suggested a guy who has a shop who specializes in working on and building Harleys, Hard Tailz, Ron. So we took it over there. He called me later to tell me it was the cam tensioners. So they're doing the work. I'd had them replaced four years ago at the Michigan Women on Wheels Ride In. Guess they aren't good for that many miles. I've put 20,000 or so on the bike since then. Plus I had a broken motor mount. So I should be back on the road tomorrow.


The upside was that Sylvia and I went to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum that houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America. We saw mummies, lots of statues, and even went through a replica of a tomb. It was very interesting and I was so glad to get to go. There was an actual cat mummy called Bastet who was a protector of the home. Very cool.


Terry and Ruth had eaten by the time we returned to Sylvia and I went to a place called the Fish Market and had scallops and shrimp. It was very good, with home made tartar sauce and au gratin (sp) potatoes. They were so tasty. I also had a side Caesar salad, which was not the best.


Back to the hotel, packing and to bed.
Thursday, July 7



Up but not quite as early as we have been when traveling. Went down to breakfast then over to the meeting place to wait for the bus that would take us on our drive-by tour of San Francisco.


Once boarded we were heading to the Dudley Perkins Harley shop to pick up our tour guide as she lives close by there.


We had what they call a "drive by" tour, driving all over the place but only getting off a few times for photos. I do believe we were in places most people never get to unless they live here. Our guide was born in San Francisco, and lived most of her life here.


There were colorful murals painted on the walls of buildings and she (can't remember her name) said that gangs usually left those buildings alone and recognized other graffiti artist's work. Maybe a kind of consideration? I don't know, but thought it interesting. Some of the murals were so beautiful and while it was difficult to get photos of them in a bus, I took a few that give a flavor of what you might see. There were all kinds, including religious for various parts of the city and their cultures, animals, and flowers. They are all beautiful and interesting to see.


We got to walk down what's known as the Crooked Street. It's a little street with switchbacks because when there were horse and carriages it was easier for them to go up and down if they did it at an angle. I'd guess kind of like skiiing and traversing the hill rather than just heading straight down. The street is planted with bushes and flowers that are all maintained by those who live in the neighborhood and is quite a sight.

The Golden Gate and Bay bridges were part of the tour, and we had lunch down on Pier 39. Birdie and I just grabbed lunch on the go so we could do a little power shopping and see the seals at the end of the pier. Even stopped by Bubba Gump's, from the movie "Forest Gump" with Tom Hanks. It's one of my favorites and would have liked to eat there, but time did not allow.


We hit Treasure Island, drove by the Presidio and saw so much I can't even remember it all. But I do have photo back up of a lot of it.


Many of the homes are built to a code of 1 inch apart, to allow water to drain through. You can see that some truly are like that, but many more do not have any space at all. Lots of them are colorful and there are Victorian-style ones with bay windows to allow more sunlight in and to give the feeling of spaciousness to the home. Space is at a premium and San Francisco is not a truly big town. It's a small piece of many others, and actually only has about 800-850,000 people. It just seems so large because they all connect.


The bus let us off at Dudley Perkins Harley shop. It's a new one or at least newer than when Jaz and I were down here and rented the bikes for a week. Then we had to ride them up from underground from the shop which is where the service area was. It was located downtown on a bunch of one-way streets that made it difficult to get to it. And we didn't have a GPS back then to help us out. GPSs are very helpful in big cities and worth their weight in gold.


Some of the ladies on the bus were grumping because they don't own Harleys and thought it a waste of time to stop for a half hour or so at the shop, but they had goody bags for us and coffee and cookies. Plus, of course, the opportunity to get a shirt and some poker chips!!! lol I love it, of course, since I never met a shop I didn't want to buy a shirt at on my travels. That's all I intend to wear for the rest of my life ... and I've got a lot of them to wear ...


Got back to the mansion and had a little time to get ready to go to the banquet. It's always nice, and you get to say good by to your new friends and old before they hit the road the next day. It's also the time for the awards to the ride in committee, longest distance riders, oldest, and so on. We were so sure Birdie would get the award for the longest distance ridden to get to the rally. Alas, it was not to be. A lady rode from Novia Scotia, Canada and beat her out by 400 miles or so. Guess she'll have to go again, maybe to next year's South Carolina event.


Said our goodbyes to everyone and headed for the barn as Birdie was leaving early to get to Boise to join Daisy Corn for the Idaho State HOG rally. Me? I would be left behind to see about my bike.
Wednesday, July 6



It's great to be somewhere for a few days. No nesting going on, no packing, no loading of the bikes.


We got up and over to registration by 7 and then went to eat breakfast. We both tried the eggs Benedict. Not bad. But not the best I've ever had. But sometimes ya just gotta try it.


Got geared up to go on the long ride, 137 miles – from the mountains to the ocean. It was a great ride, lots of twisties and back roads, some that were basically one-lane trails. We even passed Alice's Restaurant, which is an old Arlo Guthrie song. Stef (Jaz) and I did a bunch of these roads back when she and I rented Harley's and rode around for a week. Jaz and I went in Alice's, but don't remember if we ate, drank or just looked around.


A lone hawk or something was hovering overhead as we did the slow, twisted ride, possibly waiting for something to happen and we'd become his road kill?  Foiled again.


Had lunch in Davenport, and then rode a few more back roads back to the rally site at the Hayes Mansion. The mansion is gorgeous, manicured lawns, blooming flowers, bathrobes and slippers in the rooms, fancy soap. Very lovely place.


Tonight there was a barbecue at a park, and four cops and their bikes stopped by. Two Harley's, and two of something else that I can't remember. But still very cool. We got to visit with them, and of course, I had to have a photo.


Back at the hotel Birdie went to the pool. I'm tired and wanted to drink water and play on the computer. Maybe tonight I'll get a good night's sleep since we don't have to be anywhere until 8:30 a.m. We're going on a San Francisco tour, on a bus. So our first day off the bikes. A good thing since you need a break now and again.

My bike just didn't sound right today, though. Need to make some decisions.


So, I believe I'm all in for the night.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5



I know that my photos don't match but I wanted to get some in so it wasn't quite so gray.


Hoover Dam July 4.  It was great.  Cool and not too many people.  Rather than ride across the new bridge, we elected to walk over and back.  We got to take a lot of photos that way and actually see something.

Starbucks coffee on my coffee card from the Pieps. Thank you, Pieps. Tasted great. Then we walked back to the motel for a continental breakfast, and got to the shop before 8 a.m. First in line for service. Sitting waiting for our services and tires. Glad they could help us. We're only a couple hundred miles from San Jose. We can do that before breakfast most days, as long as I have my coffee anyway.


Found a hat with a cop shop badge on it. Gotta have it to ride the cop bike ...


I also thought of a new idea for the HOG Christmas party for a fund-raiser. More on that later. I sure wouldn't want to give it away, and I need to run it by the officer group first. It's what I do while sitting on that bike for mile-after-mile-after-mile.


We've talked to some great folks here at the shop, people getting service, people that work here. It's always interesting to meet new people with different perspectives on riding, new riders, riders that are first-time Harley owners.


There's an old green bike on display at the Bakersfield shop, and the owner, Vince, is 93 years old. His birthday was July 4. They had a huge celebration for him. Would have been nice to meet him, but at least we've seen his bike. It's a 1941 high-compression flathead, spray painted from a can, a rich Kelly green is my take on the color. He rode it to California in the early 40s from Indiana. Roads weren't so good back then. No interstates, and probably a lot of dirt. The shop has framed the original $400 sales receipt for the bike ... back then that was a year's wages.



Another cool thing that happened at Vince's party was that Whitey Thomas ????????) from the Glen Miller Band, most of you may not remember that, was there. He is also a pretty fair age, but he played the horn ... wish I could have been there. The Glen Miller Band was music maybe a little before my time even, but an era of music that I still love. Chattanooga Choo Choo ... pardon me, boys, is this the Chattanooga Choo Choo, track 29, and so on. Great stuff. Must have been one hopping kind of party.


I cannot help myself.  I have to take photos of wind farms.  This one had a variety of turbines, and they were so close together you'd have thought they could touch each other.  There were hundreds of them it looked like.

While we were waiting Birdie and I decided to go to lunch since there were a few ples within walking distance. We passed up a McDonald's since we could see a Denny's in the near distance. I don't usually like them, but it was still better than McDonald's. So Denny's was the place of the default choice. I had a cranberry, apple, chicken, glazed pecan salad that was actually pretty good. While we were waiting we looking at the multiple menus and there was one item called a nutrition menu. I started looking through it to see what the calorie counts were for some of the things we were eating. I decided that if you have to ask how many calories are in something, you shouldn't be eating it. Eat on. Everything in excess continues to be my motto.


As we were eating my phone rang. It was Harvey checking to see where we were because Spot had not tracked us anywhere. We told him we were doing maintenance, tires and other sundries ... brake pads, neck bearings or something, heated grip issues. Today was the best day to do to them since the rally was just registration, opening ceremonies and a meet and greet that we may get there in time for. I called and told them we'd be a late registration, and we just decided we'd chill today. We're about 200 miles from the rally site, maybe a little less after talking with some folks who have come through the shop today.


It appears we will run the 99 to 46 to the 101 and then cross over into San Jose. It should be a little cooler. It's over a hundred out there now and it's only about 2 p.m. Hot!!!


We finally got out of the shop a little before 5. They appeared to be very thorough and the front end is not clunking anymore.


As we were riding, it reminded me of the Facebook Farmville game. On the left side of the road there were trees in bloom, colors of dark rose, pink and white. They were all lined up, just like I used to line them up when playing the game. They were beautiful.


We came upon a mile or so of the little oil rigs, the ones that look like birds pecking the ground for worms. To the right they were as far as the eye could see. To the left, they weren't as deep, but they were dense. It was like a little community of birds pecking ... up ... down ... up ... down. They look like happy things.


Rode hard, gas and go, gas and go. We finally arrived in San Jose, after the sun had gone down, four or five lanes of traffic, and people all over. I just follow the tail lights. I was starting to wonder where we were when we were riding through a residential area. But I thought, Edith had not yet steered us wrong. (Edith is the name I've given Birdie's GPS.) And that was so, as we came upon this long driveway with a beautiful white stucco (I think) facade. Then I realized, this was the real mccoy ... a California mansion. It's Hayes Mansion. We parked on what may have been a sidewak, went inside and got registered.


Our room is located very near the festivities area. As we rode around looking for it, I asked a lady what the number was up above her head. Turns out it was Mickey from Texas. She was very sick last year, and looks super this year. I also saw a few other Texas folks that I tried real hard to offend a few years ago. Didn't work. They just seem to like me for it. I'll try harder next time. So good to see all of them. Found Ruth and Sylvia from Kansas, too. Got all my peeps in a row.


So, tired, but don't know if I can sleep. The room ... all I can say is WOW!!!!!


Wednesday, July 6

It's great to be somewhere for a few days. No nesting going on, no packing, no loading of the bikes.


We got up and over to registration by 7 and then went to eat breakfast. We both tried the eggs Benedict. Not bad. But not the best I've ever had. But sometimes ya just gotta try it.


Got geared up to go on the long ride, 137 miles – from the mountains to the ocean. It was a great ride, lots of twisties and back roads, some that were basically one-lane trails. We even passed Alice's Restaurant, which is an old Arlo Guthrie song. Stef (Jaz) and I did a bunch of these roads back when she and I rented Harley's and rode around for a week. Jaz and I went in Alice's, but don't remember if we ate, drank or just looked around.


The ocean in this part of the country is beautiful.  Would have liked to spend more time wandering around and putting my toes in it, and walking in the sand.  But we needed to get on the road again and get to our lunch place.


 A lone hawk or something was hovering overhead as we did the slow, twisted ride, possibly waiting for something to happen and we'd become his road kill?  Foiled again.
Had lunch in Davenport, and then rode a few more back roads back to the rally site at the Hayes Mansion. The mansion is gorgeous, manicured lawns, blooming flowers, bathrobes and slippers in the rooms, fancy soap. Very lovely place.


Beautiful rooms and the accommodations make you feel really pampered.

Tonight there was a barbecue at a park, and four cops and their bikes stopped by. Two Harley's, and two of something else that I can't remember. But still very cool. We got to visit with them, and of course, I had to have a photo.

Was nice of the cops to talk with us and let us take photos.


Back at the hotel Birdie went to the pool. I'm tired and wanted to drink water and play on the computer. Maybe tonight I'll get a good night's sleep since we don't have to be anywhere until 8:30 a.m. We're going on a San Francisco tour, on a bus. So our first day off the bikes. A good thing since you need a break now and again.

So, I believe I'm all in for the night.