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Thursday, June 30, 2011

mBSc Sighting Advisory

June 30, 2011
Colorado, USA

mBSC""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5624071522041994770" TEXAS -- This just in...





Monday, June 27, 2011

Million Mile Monday Ride

June 27, 2011
Colorado, USA

Good ol' VernsAfter a long weekend away, there was not much time for a ride today, but we managed to log about 27 miles in a DAM ride to lunch at Vern's and back... So we logged a combined 54 miles for Million Mile Monday hoping someone else can take up the slack this year.

UPDATE 06/29/2011 = 4376470 is total Million Mile Monday miles for 2011

The HorsetoothThe Horsetooth (rock formation) at Horsetooth Reservoir

Vik enjoying HOG Million Mile Monday lunch ride

Tim enjoying HOG Million Mile Monday lunch ride

One of our favorite rides is just a couple of miles from home

PGR Mission: M/Sgt Allison M Ringwood, USAF, Retired

June 27, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas -- Members of the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders and other PGR Patriots stood the flag line today in honor of M/Sgt Allison M Ringwood, USAF, Retired in Wichita Falls, TX.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this Veteran. Rest in Peace and thank you for your service!

Source Obituary: North Texas PGR, M/Sgt Allison M Ringwood

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mini Road Trip #2 - Day 3 - Tejon Street Bike Fest and More

June 26, 2011
Colorado, USA

Day 3 of 3 - Sunday - Tejon Street Bike Fest

Riding out of Cripple CreekAfter another restful night at our charming B&B, we rose a little earlier and packed The Ride for the trip home by way of Tejon Bike Fest in Colorado Springs. That accomplished, we sat on a bench in front of the B&B with a cup of coffee enjoying the view of the town and the mountains beyond on what was a beautiful, sunny morning. We were eager to ride and any other time, we would have already been rolling but no way were we leaving before breakfast. Ha!

Breakfast today was croissant french toast, stuffed with cream cheese and smothered with a caramelized banana sauce, egg bake (sort of like quiche only better) with a southwestern flair today and a fresh fruit cup. Oh my goodness! Again, no pics (didn't even think of the camera before lifting a fork.) Do you ever have a meal that's so delicious, it makes you wonder if you could get away with kidnapping and keeping the cook? Well, I was sore tempted to test that very idea with our host and most excellent cook, Kathy. Ha! We found ourselves dining with a couple from Oregon, the woman from Oklahoma setting up the casino, the director of the play, Calamity Jane, Lysa Fox and much to our delight one of the stars (and Tim's favorite) of the play, Rebecca Myers. Once again, we lingered over breakfast and coffee enjoying the company of such a diverse group.

Mineworks at Victor, COAfter saying goodbye to our hosts, we rode out of Cripple Creek and took the short ride over to Victor. We love the history and the architecture of Victor, but the winter was not kind to the roads in the area, especially the streets of town. What a rutted, dusty, gravely, bumpy mess they were - hardly any pavement left. Nothing much appeared to be open, so we rode in and out of Victor in a matter of minutes and continued on our way to Colorado Springs.

The ride down the scenic, but busy canyon on Hwy 24 from Woodland Park to the Springs went well. Lots of bikers were merging in all along the way. The spectacular weather must have contributed to the number of motorcycles present at the Tejon Street Bike Fest this year. The streets were lined solid with motorcycles and parking was hard to find. Knowing we would likely not be staying the whole day, we finally settled on a quiet spot beside a bank with a few parking spots on the side of the building about half a block from all the action. We had full sun, no wind and temps in the high 80s or perhaps low 90s. Hot! (Don't laugh, Texas.) We strolled the streets, looking at bikes, people watching, checked out the food vendors and the street vendors. The beer garden was already doing a brisk business and all the bars were overflowing with people hanging off balconies all along the street. One of the bands scheduled to entertain was just getting started.

Tejon Street Bike Fest - Pikes Peak in the backgroundTejon Street Bike Fest - Pikes Peak in the background

Tejon Street Bike FestTejon Street Bike Fest

Tejon Street Bike Fest

Tejon Street Bike Fest - just a sampling of the bikes that lined the streets of downtown Colorado Springs today

John Deere Biker Guy with BabeThe best thing about Tejon Bike Fest is people/bike watching. Lots of patchers walked the streets today. There is always a constant flow of bikes cruising the main drag. One of the fun things to watch was John Deere farmer/biker guy making the rounds of the street again and again. At least one time through, he had picked up a female passenger, probably not his last hitchhiker of the day. At one point, we heard a distinct rumble and along with the rest of the crowd, turned to watch four custom Harleys roll in. They were all very nice rides, but that is not what makes them worth mentioning. No, it was definitely the passengers on the rides that turned heads all along the street. We were standing directly across from the place they chose to park. Perched on the fender (I said fender) of each of the rides was a scantily clad woman with a rag (I said rag - as in 12x12 piece of terry cloth) under their bare (I said bare - as in buck-naked) butts. Think baby-doll pajamas/hot pants/g-string meets Harley. Good grief! What a spectacle, that had some wagging their heads, some dropping their jaws and some grinning from ear-to-ear. LOL! Sorry - no pics of bare butts here. Ha!

Tim - Tejon Street Bike FestTim - Tejon Street Bike Fest

Vik - Tejon Street Bike FestVik - Tejon Street Bike Fest

Before long, we were both thinking there is not much different from last year's Bike Fest. Tim said, let's get the heck out of here and ride. He did not get argument from me. We rode west and up... traveling home through Deckers, pretty much the way we had ridden Friday. We stopped once again at the overlook at Long Scraggy Peak, talked to a couple from Idaho who had tried to ride Pikes Peak today but found it was closed for a race. This was their first time along the Deckers route and they were enjoying it. We explained about the Hayman burn area and pointed out Long Scraggy Peak.

Forest Fire near homeAs we neared home, we saw smoke billowing out of the forest west of Boulder/Longmont. This turned out to be yet another forest fire in Four Mile Canyon. We hoped they would get this one contained quickly.

This road trip was 431 miles and three days of perfect weather and fun...

Slide show of the day's ride (85 photos):

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mini Road Trip #2 - Day 2 - Donkey Days - Cripple Creek

June 25, 2011
Colorado, USA

Day 2 of 3 - Saturday - Donkey Days!

Tim - Donkey Days - Cripple Creek, COCripple Creek, CO -- After a restful night in our cozy room (The Womack Room) at this wonderful B&B, we were ready to enjoy a day on foot in Cripple Creek, CO. I know, we do not usually stay off The Ride that long during a road trip... but, Donkey Days sounded like fun and there was a whole day of festivities of which to partake. We moseyed down the stairs shortly after 8 am, helped ourselves to a cup of rich, dark coffee and found a comfy seat in the front parlor, admiring the stained glass windows and Victorian era furnishings. Our host had mentioned breakfast would be served at 8:30 am. We would be dining with four other guests including the director of the musical, Calamity Jane we enjoyed last night, a young Denver couple, and a woman from Oklahoma engaged in setting up a new casino. Before long, we engaged in easy conversation among ourselves while we lingered over breakfast and coffee. Oh my goodness! The breakfast was outstanding! A generous helping of a wonderful quiche (Kathy calls it an egg bake), strawberries and cream cheese waffle and a fresh fruit cup. Absolutely scrumptious! I did not take a pic - what was I thinking? Ha! I believe the thought in my head was dig in! YUM! Needless to say, we started our stroll through the streets of Cripple Creek with a pleasantly plump smile on our faces.

The Last Dollar Inn B&B (26 photos):

Here are a few details about Cripple Creek and the Last Dollar Inn B&B:
On October 20, 1890, Robert Miller "Bob" Womack discovered gold in a creek bed near his family's ranch in what came to be known as Poverty Gulch. If you stop at the overlook before entering town, this is the area just below it. He called his find the El Paso Lode. It is alleged he sold his claim for $500 and a bottle of booze. About five million dollars worth of gold was extracted from the vein he discovered. Sadly, Womack died penniless in 1909. With that find, Cripple Creek became home to the last Colorado gold rush.

In 1896 several fires destroyed the business district and a few homes. The city rebuilt in brick and today most of the structures along the main streets are remnants of that post fire reconstruction. The Last Dollar Inn is a brownstone constructed in 1898 by a New Yorker who modeled it after the brownstones of his hometown. The house has a colorful history. It was home and office to the bookkeeper of the Rittenhouse Mine for a while. It became a Parlour House for Sporting Women at one point in time. Later it was owned by Leland Feitz, local historian and museum curator for several years. Feitz sold the home (I believe in the 70s) to Linda Goodman (famous astrologer, mystic and poet). Our host Kathy, seemed surprised when I said I knew about Linda Goodman. A couple of Linda Goodman's books still have a place in my library today. Actually, I have a book on Myers Ave (Cripple Creek's red light district) written by Leland Feitz in my library as well. The front upstairs bedroom of the house is allegedly the same as when Goodman lived there until the early 1990s. Goodman is responsible for the gorgeous Saint Francis of Assisi window in the front parlor, the image of Alice (of Wonderland fame) in the front door and many of the crystals embedded in windows and doors throughout the rest of the house. The house was renovated and converted to a B&B in 1996 shortly after Goodman's death in 1995. Goodman was not living in the house on Carr Street at that time, but rather in another home on the edge of town. The current owners (Chip and Kathy Gregg) purchased the B&B in 2007. They are the best!

Linda Goodman's bedroom at the Last Dollar Inn B&BLinda Goodman's bedroom at the Last Dollar Inn B&B.

Donkey Derby Days (now in its 80th or so year) dates back to the 1930s when a group of local business men decided a festival in Cripple Creek would help attract summer visitors. They built a race track and arranged for the first Donkey Derby Days festival. Today's celebration (and Donkey Race right down Main Street) is inspired by the town’s resident donkey herd, distant relatives of the original donkeys from the town’s Gold Rush days. The donkeys freely roam the area.

[An amusing excerpt from Roadside America, One more thing Cripple Creek has that is a bit unique -- a wandering herd of donkeys. These animals are purported to be the descendants of the donkeys that worked in the gold mines (500 mines) before electricity got here. The donkey herd wanders where they want and eat what they want, whether its your lawn, your flowers or your trash. Tourists often make the mistake of rolling down car windows and offering some sort of "goodie" to the donkeys. The next thing the poor tourists know, there are 6 donkey heads inside the car waiting for the food. Up here (9,494 feet) we call this the Cripple Creek tourist trap. (Have you ever tried to get a donkey's head out of your car after you've just fed it?) While distressing for the tourists, it's extremely entertaining for the locals. By: Steph Hilliard, 11/20/1999]

Tim - making friends - Donkey Days - Cripple Creek, COAnyway... we strolled down into town after breakfast, under warm, blue skies, shopping the street vendors, wandering in and out of little "gotcha" stores, people watching, petted donkeys and peered at wolves, goats and other critters in the petting zoos. Soon, we were lined up on the street awaiting the parade. We chatted with a man who seemed strangely familiar to me. After a few minutes conversing it dawned on me this was Bob, a man we met in Gunnison, CO two years ago on our first 4th of July ride. He was surprised I remembered him. Small world, said he. Agreed. We enjoyed the parade with the usual lineup of classic cars carrying assorted dignitaries and vehicles advertising businesses in or near the town, children and their pets, a large contingent of Shriners and horse back riders. Also, the colorful heritage groups put in an impressive appearance including people dressed in gold rush era and Victorian clothing, a couple of Indians, mountain men and a few gunfighters, saloon girls, sporting women and their escorts, even a man on stilts.

Mountain ManWe would see Mountain Man periodically throughout the day, from the first thing in the morning, to the parade, to the street dance where he wore out a few young girls, trying to keep up with him... ha!

After the parade, we people watched some more, sitting at a little table outside a cafe where we found ice cream. We took in the donkey call contest which was hilarious. The donkey race was fun. They line the contestants at the west end of Main Street/Bennett Ave. The object is to race to the east end of the street. The donkeys are not ridden, rather they are led, complete with packs through a series of obstacles. It's very entertaining, considering as soon as the shot rang out to start the race, the donkeys went in every direction except the one they were intended and some were not happy with being led at all. Crowds were cautioned, runaway donkeys were likely - and sure nuff, one of them slipped his tether right in front of us. Ha!

As the afternoon progressed, we sought respite from the heat (don't laugh Texas) in a nice little bar and grill called The Creek where we sat at the 100 year old bar and sipped a couple of cold brews while admiring a juke box signed by Rod Stewart, not to mention the food that went by. We will visit The Creek again when we are hungry.

Scenes from our Donkey Days adventure (116 photos):

Before long, we were back to the B&B to freshen up before heading over to the far end of town for a steak dinner at the Wildwood Casino. I purchased the tickets in advance thinking the size of the crowds competing for restaurant seating would be larger than it was. Hmmmm...

First of all, when we arrived at the tent set up in the parking lot, shortly before 4 pm no one was there to take our tickets, and no one was cooking. So we picked a spot at a table like several other people and sat down to enjoy the music offered by a band out of Colorado Springs called 6035. Great classic rock cover group! Second, we watched as several casino employees desperately tried to get a beer without six inches of foam out of the keg that apparently had been rolled none-too-gently across the parking lot. Duh! Then, we decided to purchase a couple of Bloody Mary's which liked a bit being cold enough. I managed to get them down. Tim wrinkled his nose at them. Finally, someone arrived with bottle beer that liked a whole lot being cold enough. Good grief! You'd think this was the casino's first prom. Third, the steaks finally got to the grill - first time I've ever seen 50 or 100 or so steaks grilled in a single double-sided rack and flipped all at one time. The other food finally arrived. When the first batch of steaks were ready, there was confusion about the line. People who had just arrived, beat the early arrivals to the line. Part of the line wound through the tent and blocked seating. Someone who thought they were in charge addressed the line under the tent saying they needed to move outside the tent (meaning get in line behind the johnny-come-lately-group). Nobody budged. Ha! Fourth and finally, maybe it was the double whammy of lukewarm Bloody Mary but, by the time we got within sniffing distance of a steak, the whole thing just seemed ridiculously funny. I heard the people in front of me say things like I'll take mine WELL. I'll take mine RARE. I'll take mine this or that. I'm looking at those steaks thinking you'll take MEDIUM WELL aka MOSTLY RARE and call it whatever you like. Donkey snort! Worse! The cutlery was so thin, it wouldn't cut the steaks so men (including Tim) were popping out pocket knives just to carve them into bite size pieces. The prongs of the forks would barely pierce the meat. Some people just resorted to eating their steak cave-man style. The steaks passed muster as edible. The sides (beans, potato salad, water melon) were nothing special. Let's call it HO-HUM. Don't get me wrong, the group (Lions Club or Elks or something like that) cooking the steaks worked hard and did the best they could and we do not regret donating whatever portion of our tab went to them. On the other hand, we didn't see much evidence of support or concern from the casino. Hence, we won't bother to patronize the Wildwood in the future. The best thing about the steak dinner was the music of 6035!

After enjoying a couple more luke warm beers and a few more songs by 6035, we found ourselves taking a stroll back to downtown Cripple Creek. As we rounded the corner onto Bennett Avenue we heard the band performing at the Street Dance fire up. Arch Hooks (a good ol' geographically-challenged Texas boy, now from Colorado Springs) rocked the streets of Cripple Creek for the rest of the evening. It took a few songs, but yeah pretty soon people were dancing in the streets. During a break, we wandered back up to The Creek for a couple more beers. After the street dance, we strolled slowly up the street, reluctant to call it a day but not really all that interested in the casinos. We quietly let ourselves into the B&B... tomorrow, we ride.

The City of Cripple Creek, Colorado
The Last Dollar Inn B&B
About: Donkey Derby Days
About: Linda Goodman
Why Did Her Lover Flee? Is Her Daughter Dead? Linda Goodman Seeks Answers in the Stars from People, May 1979
About: Robert Bob Womack of Colorado
6035 Rocks!
Arch Hooks - Wow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mini Road Trip #2 - Day 1 - The Ride to Cripple Creek

June 24, 2011
Colorado, USA

Mini Road Trip #2 - The Ride to Cripple Creek

Day 1 of 3. Friday. Donkey Days here we come! Ha!

Yeah we rolled out of our drive this morning just before 8 am, Tim without sleeves, me in a denim jacket. The sky was blue, the winds were light and the day was warming fast. Cripple Creek is a favorite spot for us in Colorado. It's a leisurely day trip. We have been visiting the historic little town since the 1980s. So, when something came through my email about a festival called Donkey Days, we decided to ride on up and check it out over a long weekend.

First stop was at Fatso's Diner a few miles and one town south of here where we had our usual $2.99 biscuits and gravy and coffee on the front patio. We like the B&G plus it is inexpensive and quickly served. A great way to start a day of riding.

We had all day to get to Cripple Creek. I had a little luck finding a nice B&B for the two nights we planned to stay. More on that later... I'll post a brief description now of the day's activities and fill in the details later...

Our ride took us the lazy way (off the interstates) to the northwest side of Denver. We traveled through Boulder to Golden on Hwy 93 and around C470 to Morrison, riding on through this time in Bear Creek Canyon to Evergreen and out Hwy 285 to Pine Junction where we swung south on the road to Deckers, eventually rolling into Woodland Park. We made our usual stop at the Long Scraggy Peak overlook before riding on to Deckers Corner where we stopped for Ice Cream. We did not stop in Woodland Park, but turned west for the short trip toward Divide Colorado where we finally began the last leg of our riding journey - the 18 mile scenic ride to Cripple Creek.

The Ride - Mount Pisgah Cemetery - Cripple Creek COWe stopped briefly at the Cripple Creek overlook (it is worth the stop) before riding on down into town. We arrived a bit earlier than check in for our B&B so we did a ride-by, then meandered our way up and down the streets (all the streets in Cripple Creek are either uphill or downhill), looking at 1800s architecture, refreshing our memory about the layout of the town and finally wound our way up to Mount Pisgah Cemetery and the Veterans War Memorial which includes a static display of a Huey helicopter (Bell UH-1C-BF Iroquois #9541 circa 1965 (c/n 1441) and a howitzer. The cemetery was established in the 1890s and it is full of interesting historical characters. We plan to return in September for the Cemetery tour.

Last Dollar Inn B&B -- Cripple Creek, COLast Dollar Inn B&B - Cripple Creek, CO

When we arrived about an hour early at the Last Dollar Inn B&B on Carr Street we were greeted by Kathy, one of our hosts who was out watering the lawn and fussing over the flowers. She invited us in for an afternoon cup of coffee, complete with home-baked cookies and a short chat before showing us to our room. Our host Kathy is warm and friendly. The Last Dollar Inn is a lovely Victorian Brownstone with quite a history (details later). We are staying in the Womack room, cozy and bright, with a full bed, and private bath with shower. We are delighted!

Guacamole Bacon BurgerAs soon as we tucked our belongings away, freshened up and secured The Ride, we were off on foot to walk the streets of town. Many vendors were already set up on the streets for the festival tomorrow. As we strolled, we checked out the menus posted on the doors and windows outside the casinos which had restaurants.

We settled on supper at Dynamite Dicks Dining Emporium located on the second level of the Midnight Rose Casino. It was a good choice. We ordered a couple of beers, an order of beer-battered onion rings and a couple of Guacamole Bacon burgers. YUM!

The Butte TheaterWe finished supper in time to walk back up to the B&B (I did mention all the streets in Cripple creek are up or down) before walking down to the Butte Opera House where we had tickets to see the opening night performance of the musical, Calamity Jane. What a great place to see a wonderful musical! The Thin Air Theater Company offered a great cast with beautiful voices. We loved it. We met the director of the play earlier this afternoon as she is staying in the same B&B.

Rebecca Myers aka Katie Brown in Calamity JaneRebecca Myers aka Katie Brown in Calamity Jane

Alan Wales aka Wild Bill and Hannah Duncan aka Calamity JaneAlan Wales aka Wild Bill and Hannah Duncan aka Calamity Jane

The Butte Theater is an 1890's theater refurbished for modern use. Owned by the City of Cripple Creek, the Butte decor includes Victorian-era wallpaper, and period chandeliers. A 1,350-square foot stage spans the main room, with seating for 199 guests including some tables. There's also a bar and a snack bar in the theater.

We should have been ready to call it a day after the theater but as we walked the almost deserted streets now we thought we might gamble a few of Tim's hard-earned dollars away at The Brass Ass Casino. The Brass Ass is the oldest casino in Cripple Creek. We picked the Brass Ass mostly out of nostalgia. We remember The Brass Ass as an awesome tourist attraction, long before Cripple Creek became a gambling town. I still have a shot glass, salt shaker and gold plated swizzle sticks from the Brass Ass (a gift from the Folks from the first time they visited Cripple Creek). We poked a few bills in the penny slots, won some, lost some, won a few more and since we equate most dollars spent with a tank of gas for The Ride, we agreed to call it a night and walked up the street (I did mention all streets are either up or down in Cripple Creek, didn't I?) again to the B&B.

We are in our cozy room, reading literature left on the bedside tables for our pleasure and enlightenment. We are looking forward to a day on foot tomorrow... stay tuned for details promised, reviews and tomorrow's activities.

This is a slide show of the day's ride, a few stops, Cripple Creek, the Veteran's Memorial, the B&B and other activities = 127 photos.

Link to this slide show just in case it doesn't load

The Last Dollar Inn B&B
Mount Pisgah Cemetery
The Butte Opera House
Dynamite Dicks Dining Emporium
The Brass Ass Casino

PGR Mission of Respect: Todd Wayne McMurtry

June 24, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas -- Patriot Guard Riders of North Texas will stand the flag line today at the memorial service for the son of one of their own. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this fine young man.

To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.
-- Thomas Campbell --

Rest in Peace Todd Wayne McMurtry

ARCHER CITY — Todd Wayne McMurtry, age 36, of Wichita Falls, Texas passed away Monday evening, June 20, 2011, in Wichita Falls.

Services will be held at 9:00 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2011, at the First United Methodist Church of Archer City with Roger Deerinwater, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Archer City, and Rev. Beth Kellner of the First United Methodist Church of Archer City, officiating. Interment will follow in the Archer City Cemetery under the direction of Aulds Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2011 at Aulds Funeral Home.

Todd was born February 22, 1975 to William Charlie McMurtry and Sandra Kay Triplett McMurtry in Archer City, Texas.

He was a 1993 graduate of Rider High School where he played on the varsity tennis team. Todd loved his family and spending time with them. He had a deep love and respect for his grandfathers and could identify traits that he acquired from both of them. He also loved going to the Ranch, the McMurtry home place, where he enjoyed the open spaces that he and his dog, River, could roam.

Todd was a jack of all trades and could do anything that he set his mind to do; however, living life was the most important thing to him. His favorite pastime was riding motorcycles and he recently took a road trip with his father to Colorado where he could ride up and down the mountains and see the country. He also enjoyed reading and was highly intelligent.

Survivors include his father, Charlie McMurtry of Archer City; his mother, Sandy Triplett McMurtry of Jacksonville, Texas; his sister, Traci Rigby and husband, Trevor and their children, Seth and Kate of McKinney, Texas; his father’s fiancĂ©, Brenda Goforth of Archer City and her daughters, Kari Goforth of Lawton, Oklahoma and Erica Goforth of Dallas, Texas; grandmother, June Triplett of McKinney; two uncles, Larry McMurtry and wife, Faye of Archer City, and Kenny Triplett and wife, Tammy of Gainesville, Texas; three aunts, Sue Deen and husband, Carlton of Archer City, Judy McLemore of Archer City and Lynn-Anne Triplett Longoria of McKinney; and several cousins.

Serving as pallbearers will be Chad Deen, Matt McLemore, Mitch McLemore, James McMurtry, Jeff Sweeney and Clayton Triplett.

The family suggests memorials to:
The Humane Society of Wichita County, P.O. Box 3648, Wichita Falls, Texas 76301

Todd and Charlie - Colorado/New Mexico Road Trip 2010

Source: Times Record News.com, Todd Wayne McMurtry

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raising Ol' Glory on the first day of Summer

June 21, 2011
Colorado, USA

Tim with flagWe celebrated the first day of Summer by raising Ol' Glory... long may she wave...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Ride - Day 2

June 19, 2011
Colorado, USA

Mini road trip #1, day 2 -- Happy Father's Day Tim! Let's ride. We passed a tolerable night at the Silver Spur Motel in Lake City, CO. Now, it was time to work our way home. It was tempting to head further south, but we traveled north on Hwy 149 (back the way we came just yesterday).

Hwy 149 near Lake City, COHwy 149 near Lake City, CO

The Ride - The W Cafe - Gunnison, CO First stop was for breakfast in Gunnison. An old-timer we met on the road a good while back recommended The W Cafe in downtown Gunnison. The sign hanging from the awning near the entry states simply Where the Locals Eat. Again, our timing was pretty good as we were immediately seated in a booth. People waited in line after that. The W Cafe is really small but cozy and pleasant. Very clean. One cannot help but notice the framed certificates lining the wall behind the desk at the entry. I believe the W has been voted Best Breakfast in Town since 2001. Our coffee cups were sitting on the table filled with rich fresh coffee as soon as we got the word out. Our waitress was friendly and efficient. We both ordered a two egg breakfast with hash browns and bacon and a biscuit. The biscuit was about twice the size of a normal biscuit. It was all good. We will return and check out the rest of the menu soon.

After breakfast we made a quick stop at Walmart for camera batteries. I put a new set in that lasted about ten shots. There's nothing like getting over-priced duds.

We headed east on Hwy 50 and rode up Monarch Pass (elevation 11,312). For the second time this weekend we cross the Continental Divide. This is one of our favorite rides in Colorado. We never ride up that we don't browse the Monarch Crest store and snap pictures from the parking lot. The parking lot was filled with lots of other bikers, many of them on longer road trips than we were this weekend.

The Ride - Monarch PassThe Ride - Monarch Pass, CO - Elevation 11,312 - Continental Divide

Soon, we were off the pass and rolling on through Poncha Springs and Salida again. We continued on Hwy 50 toward Canon City where we stopped for gas. We immediately came out of the leather jackets. I put a Father's Day call in to Dad. A short while later I heard a rumble and looked up to see a whole pack of Cobras rolling into town. Kool!

Hwy 50 - Arkansas River - near Canon CityHwy 50 - Arkansas River - near Canon City

After buttering up with sun screen, we continued east on Hwy 50 rolling toward Pueblo. We had forgotten just how scenic is the canyon ride east of Gunnison with the Arkansas River rushing along beside the road. The Arkansas was filled with people out enjoying the white water. Our intent was not to ride all the way to Pueblo. We usually take Hwy 115 into the southern end of Colorado Springs near Fort Carson. Highway 115 was closed today. Rats! That meant we would ride all the way to Pueblo and then north on I-25. By the time we rolled into hot and dry, windy and dusty Pueblo, the ambient temp on the Harley was sitting near 100 degrees. We got sand blasted by a dust devil that crossed the road just ahead of us and once again while sitting at a stop light. The skies of Pueblo were also filled with the haze of smoke from the wildfires raging in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

The odometer clicked over 20,000 miles while we were riding through Pueblo. We were happy to turn north on I-25 to get the blasted winds on our backs. By the time we rolled the 37 miles into Colorado Springs, clouds had filled the skies and the temp had dropped 40 degrees. That's a temperature drop of 40 degrees in less than 100 miles. Traffic on I-25 stacked up and stalled before we could get through the city. We got off on Hwy 83, stopped to pull on our denim jackets and headed north to Denver. As we approached C470 which hugs the foothills, storms had built and the way home was looking a bit ominous. We rode away from the clouds on the foothills, catching I-70 to I-76 and home via Hwy 287.

We played catch us if you can with one nasty little cloud near Boulder. We played chicken with another cloud as we neared Fort Collins. About five miles out we ran into light rain and arrived safely home, if a bit damp after 415 miles today. We parked The Ride in the garage and hopped in the pickup, polishing off the the Father's Day Ride for Tim aka Mini Road Trip #1 with a couple of margaritas and mexican food.

Total mileage for this mini two day road trip = 826 miles. The Ride rolled over 20,000 miles near Pueblo. We have earned the mileage necessary to qualify for the HOG 40,000 mile patch. That's 40,000 miles since late Summer 2008 on two rides. The Ultra will be 14 months old the 28th of this month.

Remember, clicking on the photos in the post reveals a larger version

Slide show = 93 photos:

Happy Father's Day

June 19, 2011
Colorado, USA

Happy Father's Day

Click on the pic for a larger view.

Happy Father's Day DAD!

June 19, 2011
Colorado, USA

Happy Father's Day - DAD!

Happy Father's Day Tim!

June 19, 2011
Colorado, USA

High Country Ride

Click here to play

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Ride - Day 1

June 18, 2011
Colorado, USA

Let's call it mini road trip #1. We rolled out (in leather jackets) under troubled skies in our area this morning, scooting south on I-25 toward a patch of blue sky. If one travels early enough in Colorado, the reward is the sight of hot air balloons drifting along with the northern Rockies as a backdrop. We saw three balloons as we neared Longmont (a favorite launching spot in this area). At the north end of the Denver Metro-Mess we swung west toward the foothills having had enough of stupid cannot-be-bothered-to-wake-up-before-I-drive-and-text mostly comatose drivers.

Blue Cow Eatery First stop was for breakfast. Today we chose the Blue Cow Eatery in busy, biker-friendly Morrison, CO. We got lucky in our timing as the place is usually packed with a line of people waiting to be seated. We arrived to a half empty dining room. Even though it was somewhat chilly, we chose a sunny table on the plastic-enclosed back patio. You could hear the creek rushing by just beyond. Breakfast was a pleasant surprise. Of course, I ordered biscuits and gravy and Tim a big traditional breakfast (country-fried steak and eggs). Both entrees were served with country fries and plated nicely with a variety of fresh fruit on the side. The coffee was good and hot. Service was prompt and efficient. Very clean. The decor is laid back and comfortable. This was our first time at the Blue Cow. We will return.

Tim's breakfastTim's breakfast at the Blue Cow

Vik's breakfastVik's breakfast at the Blue Cow

As expected the day stayed sunny and clear, but it was still cool enough for leather jackets as we traveled west on Hwy 74 (Bear Creek Road). After only a few miles we saw a sign that said the road was closed ahead for a parade in Evergreen. No problem, we turned south on Myers Gulch Road which evolves into Parmalee Gulch Rd and eventually dumps out on Hwy 285. The last time we were on the Gulch roads in this area, we were in a cage and the Harley was not even a dream.

Traveling busy and seemingly always under construction Hwy 285 over Crow Hill, and into Bailey, CO we discovered it was Bailey Days. The festival was just getting started, but it looked like a good crowd was gathering. We sat in traffic for a few minutes as a couple of law enforcement officials directed pedestrians across the highway. We rode on. Neither one of us much wanted to admit it, but the chaps would have been a welcome piece of apparel as we made our way over Kenosha Pass (elevation = 10,001) and into the South Park Basin. Yes, this is the area from which the animated sitcom, South Park gets its name. Be on the lookout for those stinkers Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny.

Looking west from Hwy 285 near Fairplay

At Fairplay, we stopped for gas and a cup of thermos coffee. The mountains were gorgeous this morning. Photos just do not do them justice.

Ready to ride a little warmer, we rolled further south on Hwy 285, passing over Red Hill Pass (elevation 9993) to the small town of Buena Vista. This is a great ride with nothing but eye candy mountain views. Buena Vista sits in a high mountain desert surrounded by the Collegiate Peaks -- Mt. Princeton, Mt. Yale, Mt. Columbia, and Mt. Harvard, of the Sawatch Range. We cruised the short main street in town and rolled on toward Salida, veering off to cruise downtown there as well. Salida was in the middle of one of its white water festivals and some of the streets were roped off. The rivers are raging so I'm sure it was a good one this year.

The Ride at I Scream - Poncha Springs, COWell, we had put enough miles on breakfast to have ice cream on the brain so we stopped at I Scream & Stuff in Poncha Springs for a hot fudge sundae.

The next leg of our journey would find us traveling Hwy 114 west over North Pass (elevation 10,149) and the Continental Divide. The first part of the ride took us through rolling landscape of the volcanic Cochetopa (Ute - pass of the Buffalo) Hills. This is just west of Saguache (say-watch). The second part of Hwy 114 is through scenic canyon lands. The road junctions with Hwy 50 just east of Gunnison.

We looked at a few motels on our way through Gunnison but since it was only mid-afternoon, we were not really ready to call it a day. The decision was to ride Hwy 149 to Lake City, CO and maybe bunk there for the night. After gassing up and stretching our legs, we rolled west out of Gunnison past the eastern edge of Blue Mesa Reservoir which was not all that blue today. Snow runoff has made most of our waters murky.

The last time we rode this highway known as The Silver Thread between Lake City and Creede was on the Softail in 2009. We rode from South Fork to Gunnison on the 4th of July. This time we were riding it in the opposite direction on the Ultra.

The Lake Fork of the Gunnison is the river that runs just beside the road, sometimes so close you could dip a toe in without getting off the Harley and at other points it swoops way below, raging through the deep canyon walls. The waters were churning and running swift this day.

Lake Fork of the Gunnison River - Hwy 149 COLake Fork of the Gunnison River - Hwy 149 CO

We cruised the town first, taking in a few of the sights. There was an event in the park. Runners were coming in after a 50 mile foot race. We finally chose the rinky-dink Silver Spur Motel in Lake City as our bunk for the night. Most of the cabins along the highway either showed no vacancy or were likely priced out of our budget. When I say rinky-dink, I simply mean small, unkempt and dated. It is a double decker. We stayed on the ground floor. The place is old. When was the last time you saw velvet paintings on a brown paneled wall? The room was musty smelling (old curtains and bed spread, and even older color-undetermined carpet). Opening windows to the crisp mountain air helped. Now, don't get me wrong, while the motel was old and not very well maintained, it was clean enough and we slept well enough. (In fact, we've stayed in worse.) It is a bit pricey for value received. The owner is talkative and friendly. She told us how to work the heater (which we didn't need) and advised we get our ice now as the motel crew is not on site after 8 pm. She even gave us a buy one/get one coupon for beer at the bar next door that she recently acquired. So, while the Silver Spur does not get a smiling recommendation, if you ever find yourself in Lake City for the night, it might do.

Strolling the community gardens - Lake City, CO We checked in, put our things in the room, secured the Harley and strolled the town, reading the signs posted on historic buildings and rambling through the community gardens. One of the things we remembered about our last ride through Lake City was a little eating establishment called Southern Vittels. We had the best apple pie there (baked locally) and swore we would make it back to eat there again. There's catfish on the menu!

Tim and Vic - Southern Vittels - Lake City, COTim and Vic - Southern Vittels - Lake City, CO (Catfish, BBQ Ribs and Apple Pie - YUM!)

Even though the day was cooling off fast, we seated ourselves on the front porch of Southern Vittels and ordered a couple of beers. Tim had BBQ ribs. I had catfish. YUM! And yes, we both had a piece of apple pie. And yes, it was as good as I remembered. The service was great and our waitress was cheerful and friendly. You'll find everything you need to know about Southern Vittels in the restaurant views on this blog.

After our most excellent meal, we strolled (maybe a better word is waddled) through the rest of the town, read a few more plaques and paid our respects at the Veterans Memorial. Soon, we found ourselves in for night and just about ready for bed. The motel did not offer WIFI but as it happens the town's free hot spot was just across the street so I had no trouble connecting. I briefly checked in with the world. And then, we turned in early...

We rode 411 miles today.

Remember, clicking on the photos in the post reveals a larger version.

This is a slide show of today's ride = 146 photos:

Dad rides in 66th Annual Archer County Rodeo Parade

June 18, 2011
Colorado, USA

Dad in AC ParadeDad rides in 66th Annual Rodeo Parade -- Archer County, TX (photo by Brenda - thanks girl!)

PGR Mission: MM3 Robert Sanchez, US Navy, Vietnam - Wichita Falls, TX

June 18, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas -- North Texas Patriot Guard Riders will participate in the Archer City Rodeo Parade today before riding out on a mission to stand the flag line at the memorial service for MM3 Robert Christopher Sanchez (age 62), United States Navy, Vietnam Veteran.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this Veteran.


Obituary Source: Times Record News.com, Robert C Sanchez

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day Lunch Ride

June 14, 2011
Colorado, USA

Tim - Flag Day 2011This is the kind of smile you get out of Tim when you suggest that mowing the grass can wait in lieu of a ride for lunch on Flag Day.

We celebrated flag day biker-style today on a BTGTWR -- before Tim goes to work ride.

Yep, the day was fine - blue skies, warm, very few clouds, and just a bit breezy. We decided over coffee that the lawn can wait one more day for mowing. I mean, it's already waited for us to roll past the weekend and yesterday. Ha! We decked The Ride out with American flags and would you believe it only took 81 miles to get to Fatso's (actually about 10 miles away) for a BLT and a bacon cheeseburger?

It's a grand old flag after all - and any reason we can come up with to celebrate our country and the joy of riding the Harley - well, we're up for it.

The Rockies glistened in the distance all during the ride today

One of the best things about riding a few miles east is a view to the west.