June 25 - 29
I left Anchorage Monday, June 25, exhausted after a full weekend of Alaska State HOG rally fun. It had been a very full weekend, filled with fun, friends and camaderie. But now it was time to get out of town, out of Alaska and pick up the bike in Phoenix and hit the road. All I had to do was get there.
The first flight from Anchorage to Minneapolis was a piece of cake, loads of room for standby passengers like me. Thank you, Biker Bill. There were rows of empty seats, so it was a very pleasant flight. I overnighted in Minneapolis at my favorite Super 8.
On Tuesday I headed back to the airport. The flights looked pretty good. But as they can, that can change in a heartbeat, and did. I waited, but flight after flight was oversold and overloaded. I heard later there'd been some flights cancelled, and those passengers ended up going through Minneapolis, which pushed me further and further down on the standby list. Three flights down, and one left at 9:54 p.m. I was Number 12 on the list, and it wasn't looking good. A few names were called and it looked like 11 people would get on.
I stood by the counter, to make sure if by chance my name were called that I was there. It was. But only because three people did not answer the standby call. They'd left the gate area. Their misfortune was my good fortune and I was on. Woo hoo!!! And I'm always grateful to get on a flight. Thank you again, Biker Bill.
My good friend of many years, Verlie, lives in Phoenix with her husband Joe. She picked me up and whisked me to her house.
On Wednesday, June 27, I'd scheduled my bike for a 5K maintenance at Chandler Harley-Davidson. In addition I'd been contacted through Facebook, that awesome social network, by a guy I'd known in the eighth grade in Whittier, Alaska. We'd both lived there. His mom was one of my school teachers and his dad was the principal of our small school. David was going to be in the Phoenix area and said he'd come meet me at the shop. He showed up and we had a great visit, and then decided to go to lunch nearby. You know me, always hungry, so off we went in his motorhome to the mall just down the street. We continued catching up and then headed back to the shop. My bike wasn't ready yet, so since I had my computer there we looked at photos.
The bike was ready, and clean as the pristine snow (white, you know). We tried to take a couple of photos with my camera, but it wasn't working. What? So, the good old cell phone had to do. David was staying with some folks near Scottsdale, so off we went, me following, to their place. About 2-1/2 miles away from their house I pulled up next to the window in the motorhome and told him I had to stop NOW!!! The heat had caught up with me (113 degrees) and I had to take a break.
We pulled into a mall lot and I staggered into a restaurant. Ice water and root beer floats were the order of the day. I was losing liquid faster than I could get it in and I was dripping all over … floor, table, seat. Finally it slowed down and I felt like myself again, but we were probably there an hour or so. Then off again to Bev and Dick's.
|Bev, Dick and David in their music room. Turns out we all have other friends in common since Bev and Dick were also in Alaska years ago. Reacquainted with an old friend and new friends. Loving it.|
|Dick and David in the music room. Dick was singing one of the songs he had done. A very nice easy sound, nice words. I did enjoy my listening time.|
|The music is made track by track by track. You can separate them out, or listen to just a few of them together. It's a rather fascinating process, and I learned new things. It was a good day.|
|David has a passion for his music. We talked about our passions, his music, mine motorcycle riding.|
Dick and David work on music together so I was treated to some wonderful sounds that passed my ears and brightened my day. Their sounds are unique and easy to listen to, but while I yearned for more, it was time to make it a wrap and head back to Verlie's, about 40 miles away. David would lead me back to the shop since I could find my way home from there.
|David and me, as I got ready to ride away.|
I'd called Verlie along the way until my cell phone went dead, but in the last call she'd told me there was a monsoon. While I hoped to miss it, no such luck. We ended up going along the edge which was enough for me, High winds, signs coming off posts and dust blowing. Then at the Harley shop after David and I said goodbye, I headed out into the beginning of rain and lightning. But the rain wasn't much, for which I was glad. Didn't really want to make the last 10 miles or so in pouring down rain. But it was enough to get my beautiful Harlow filthy dirty.
That night Verlie and I got packed for the trip on Thursday (June 28). She was flying to Albuquerque to meet Joe and rent a car for the drive to her mom's in Trinidad, Colorado. I was riding.
|Ready to rock and roll.|
On Thursday morning I headed out around 7:15 a.m., as I wanted to get out of Phoenix before it got really hot. It was only about 90. As I rode down the two southbound lanes of Gilbert Road, a car in the left turn lane suddenly pulled out, no turn signal. Must not have it on his black Lexis. I did an evasive action and avoided him by a whole six inches. My auto-finger, along with my horn and voice let him know he was Number One.
I rode up through Payson, then to Heber and Holbrook. It was a beautiful ride, and I was becoming one with this bike again. She's a cop bike and has an air seat, which is taller than the one on the bike at home. She's been lowered, and I've added one-inch to my boot soles, but she's still tall. But Harlow and I got our mutual groove back, and we swooped around the corners I love, the ones where you feel you're flying, the 50 mph ones that you can take at 70 mph or better. There wasn't much traffic and it was a ride to get the cobwebs out, the relaxing kind.
By about noon, I got to I-40, and headed toward Albuquerque. I was to call Verlie at 2:30 to see where they were, so now I was flying. The speed limit is 75 so I was running 80 or better, depending on traffic. Oh yeah, I was in the zone.
Finally got hooked up with Verlie and Joe at the far east side of Albuquerque. I stopped at a Carl's, Jr., and had a salad. And off we went, Joe leading and me in my usual Number 1 right position. Well, maybe not quite, but I was the good follower that I am on the road.
We turned onto Highway 84 and headed north. We finally got to Trinidad and Verlie's mom's house. I passed out and slept for hours.
Friday dawned bright with blue sky and sunshine. It's nearly always shining here, and I love it. But I'm an Alaskan girl through and through. I still do love the sun, though.
We weren't real productive, but it was time for a lazy day. I even had time for a nap which was much needed. I was still recuperating from a long, hard, exhausting but exceptionally fun rally.
|Working to get the swamp cooler running. A team effort and it was back in business, and cooling down.|
Joe had hurt his back and after a few phone calls to family, we took him to a chiropractor, who helped him out immensely. He's still walking funny, but making progress.
While Joe was getting worked on, Mom, Verlie and I hit the Wal-Mart. We got some fruit and some things for dinner the next day. I decided to make guacamole so got all the ingredients, and Verlie was going to make corn and some little green squash and pork chops.
Dinner, ribs for me, and then a drive to see an old church that I might like a phone with my bike in front of. It was a great drive, but not necessaily somewhere I'd take my bike. Dirt road, but then a locked gate. Oh well. The trip was well worth it. We saw deer and some elk. Then home where Uncle George and Aunt Lucille arrived.
I decided to make the guac so we'd have it for snacks. Then I needed to go to bed. Aunt Lucille asked, “Why is the white girl making guacamole”? I love that. Cuz I had a Hispanic friend who taught me with a recipe she got from Dr. Oz. They all liked it. White girls can cook.
|And me without my camera. I had to use my cell phone, but this is better than nothing.|
Enough. This catching up has taken a toll and is way too long. Adios, my amigos.
|Just to the left of Fisher's Peak, is their version of our Sleeping Lady. It's a man, laying down, his head to the right, then on down to his chest, and his feet. Mountains are always individual and mysterious with what you can see in them.|