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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Beat the Heat Cinnamon Roll Ride

July 22, 2012
Colorado, USA

It is gonna get warm here today. Our whole summer in Northern Colorado has been far warmer than we are accustomed to, but I am not complaining (well maybe just a little bit) because I know my Texas/Oklahoma friends and family have been sweltering under triple digits for weeks now.

Anyway, we were not about to waste the last day of Tim's vacation sitting around the house. We rolled out about 10am celebrating the fact that our skies are clear today. It has been well over a month now that we have dealt with the haze and smoke from wildfires all across the front range. The south end of Horsetooth Reservoir looked fine this morning and it was busy with boat traffic. We rode on by and through Masonville and around no name lake near Chasteen Grove.

Tim turned west on Hwy 34 and said let's go to Glen Haven for coffee. I replied that it sounded like a good idea to me. We gave a nod to The Chief as we went by and honked as we rolled by Beavers Den Leathers. We rode Hwy 34 through Big Thompson Canyon turning northwest onto scenic CO Rd 43 at the fork in the road near Drake CO. CO 43 is also known as Devil's Gulch Road and if followed to its end the road will junction with Hwy 34/36 in Estes Park where one may choose to ride into the city or travel toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Glen Haven is eight miles from Drake along this road.

Scenic Devil's Gulch Road

We took our time but it was not long before we had rolled to a stop in front of the Glen Haven General Store. The place was doing a brisk business. A row of motorcycles were parked out front and bicycles were parked beside the building. The line was out the door. As we saw a few people exiting we understood why - in their hands were giant cinnamon rolls! Oh boy!

A happy guy

The Ride - Glen Haven General Store - Devil's Gulch Rd CO

What a pleasant surprise! The cinnamon rolls were fresh baked, giant-size, reasonably priced and very tasty!

After enjoying our rolls and coffee we chose to ride back to Hwy 34 rather than continue on to Estes Park via Devil's Gulch Road. At the junction of Hwy 34, we decided to turn west and up anyway. Ha! We made our customary stop at the rest area in Estes Park and looked for fish in the water from the bridge. I am fairly certain Tim looks for fish in the toilet bowl - hahaha! Yep, we saw them - lots of little brown trout. We continued on the peak-to-peak highway (Hwy 7) and despite the look of the clouds turned toward Nederland (Hwy 72).

Troubled skies near Nederland CO

There is road construction on Hwy 72 (loose gravel and oil). At least, they called it road construction on the signs. Really all we could tell they have done is top it and make it look pretty and by doing so have disguised the defects and road damage. For shame! Such a waste of tax dollars.

The skies got even more interesting as we covered the last few miles to Nederland. They spit on us here and there and it had just come a decent shower as there were puddles beside the road. Nederland was jammed pack with people and it appeared some sort of festival was in full swing so traffic was crazier than usual. With an eye to the skies and indulging our natural aversion to crowds we decided to ride out of there choosing Boulder Canyon as our exit strategy (CO Hwy 119). We traveled Boulder Canyon often in a car when we lived in the western suburbs of Denver but this is the first time we have ridden it on a motorcycle. Other than being as busy if not busier than we remembered it - we enjoyed the ride down. (Between dark skies, drizzle and me bobbling the camera, the pics of Boulder Canyon did not turn out as well as I would have liked. I did shoot some video so I might have salvaged a bit of the ride. We will see when I get around to editing video clips. Worse case scenario - oh dear - we might have to take another ride through the canyon.)

Boulder Canyon

There is a falls in Boulder Canyon but I missed getting a pic of it. We laughed as we got to the end of the canyon because there was standing room only in Boulder Creek, apopular spot for tubing and other sorts of water hijinx.

Lady Liberty - Loveland Lake - Stormy Skies

The skies were threatening as we exited the canyon and as usual we got the heck out of Boulder as fast as we could. We put that storm in our rear view mirror only to ride up on another one and another one. We stopped for an overdue stretch and a bottle of water at the city park in tiny Mead CO. Then we finally brought our hot bodies home.

Today's ride = 181.2 miles

Slide show of today's ride (98 photos):

Alternate link to this slide show

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Dealership and Brunch at the Red Rooster Ride

July 21, 2012
Colorado, USA

Riding in at night last week, Tim noticed a spotlight was out on The Ride so today's Harley excursion included riding to Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson for a replacement bulb. A part we had ordered had also come in so we made short work of that errand. The part is a pigtail connection that allows the running lights to stay on when the bright lights are on. Somewhere in between the house and the dealership we rolled over 38,000 miles on The Ride. Tim's goal is that 60,000 mile patch by the end of summer. We are within approximately 1200 miles of that goal.

Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson

The Ride at Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson

Crop Duster looked like it might be an Air Tractor (made in Texas)

River is running low

We rode a while but the day was getting hot and we were getting hungry. We stopped at the Red Rooster on Hwy 66 east of Longmont. It is a cozy restaurant nestled in an industrial area we have ridden by a couple of times but never stopped. The place was packed and we had to wait a bit for a table. From the looks of the meals going by, it would be worth the wait. What a nice surprise. The Red Rooster is clean, nicely appointed and the food was reasonably priced and served up in generous portions. YUM!

Red Rooster - Longmont, CO - I love the sign that says "Danger Men Cooking"

B&G aka biscuits and sausage gravy with eggs and hashbrowns x2 - YUM!

The day was just too warm to ride and I think we are still a bit tired from last weekend's road trip. So, we took a roundabout way home and chilled for the rest of the day.

Clouds building over the High Park burn area

We hope we get some rain out of those clouds

It's HOT! Don't laugh Texas - ha!

Today's ride = 104.8 miles

Biker Friend/Veteran/Patriot Guard Rider goes down

July 21, 2012
Colorado, USA

Doug Whitaker, biker friend, USAF Veteran, Patriot Guard Rider, Blue Knight and all-around good guy in the North Texas area went down in a fatal one vehicle accident yesterday between Wichita Falls and Vernon Tx. He will be missed by many.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Doug - may he rest in peace.

Times Record News Obituary

KFDX - Escort for Doug Whitaker

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Road Trip #3 Day 6 - The Unintended road home = over 600 miles

July 18, 2012
Colorado, USA

From Wendover, UT to Home

We had a crappy cup of motel coffee and rolled out of Wendover UT about 8:30 this morning without looking back. On our minds was crossing the Great Salt Lake Desert for the first time and seeing the Great Salt Lake. A few miles out on I-80 coffee and breakfast somewhere in the Salt Lake City vicinity became an intermittent topic of conversation. We were happy to be riding under sunny skies - warm and dry. It was windy.

Great Salt Flats - UtahWell, the Great Salt Flats and the lake are something to see. The vast expanse of it is impressive and we agreed it was a happy circumstance that we were not traversing it on horseback or wagon as the pioneers had done. We found it interesting to note that tire tracks led off highway into the salt flats at several points along the way and noted as well that from the disturbed terrain some of the off-road jaunts did not end happily. And all along the way people had signed the roadside by arranging bottles and rocks or used sticks to draw hearts and smileys and initials in the sand.

I-80 rolling east through the Great Salt Lake Desert

By the time we reached the Salt Lake City metropolitan area we had talked ourselves out of venturing into the urban areas of the city itself. Instead, we found gas and traveled I-15/84 north toward Ogden UT. We found Dee's Family Restaurant in Ogden UT, arriving in time to order a healthy brunch. YUM! Dee's was clean, the service fast and friendly and the food arrived quick, hot and plentiful. I repeat - yum!

While we were relaxing over the last cup of coffee, we looked at the map and talked about what to do with the rest of our day. We decided to ride east on Scenic Hwy 39 through Cache National Forest and decide when we got to the Wyoming border where to end the day. Landing in Wyoming would not be my choice but we agreed that riding around The Flaming Gorge again might be fun tomorrow. Hwy 39 is a scenic, forested, gently winding road following a river at times and traveling through a well populated area for a good ways. We traveled by small farms and the Snowbasin and Powder Mountain Ski areas. We enjoyed it more when it broke out of the more populated areas and the trees and cliffs offered some protection from the winds for a while.

Hwy 39 - Utah
Scenic Hwy 39 - Utah

The photo above is from a beautiful pulloff. Too bad the serenity didn't last as a few miles down the road we ran into another batch of nasty road construction.

In the tiny town of Woodruff UT not far from the Wyoming border, the road east split. We pulled off in a church parking lot for a stretch and a drink of warm water (no place selling cold drinks in town) under some shade to consider our options. The road split here (as did our minds) and north or south was the choice. South on Hwy 16 would put us in Evanston WY on I-80 or thereabouts for the night. Pooh says I. North on Hwy 16 would put us in the Bear Lake area. Better says I. Well, perhaps not. We ran into another stretch of nasty road construction traveling north. Now, when I would have zigged west on Hwy 30, Tim zagged east. He was mumbling something about !!&%$^%&^$!! road construction and how he remembered the towns of Kemmerer and Diamondville as cute little towns with restaurants and small motels. That is not how I remembered them at all. The only thing of note I remembered about the area at all is that it was touted as the Fossil Capitol of the world (which has me wondering if it was talking about rocks or the inhabitants) and that the mother store of JC Penneys sits on a corner just off the square in Kemmerer. Typical of Wyoming in summer the winds were howling and the skies were beginning to fill with ominous looking clouds.

We rolled into Kemmerer, stopped for a few minutes on the square, rolled out of Kemmerer and stopped again at a convenience store just outside of town [Diamnodville] for ice cream and a fountain drink. There were a couple of small motel prospects but the food offerings didn't appear to be up to snuff for Tim.

Wyoming!So, we headed southeast on Hwy 30, thinking we could make easily make Rock Springs for the night. We ran into more road construction and more wind and rain that came out of clouds Tim had called just virga clouds a few minutes before. Ha! Well, it is rodeo season in Wyoming and there was not a room to be had in Rock Springs. We rode on to Rawlins - same story. After choosing the Best Western in Rawlins as a last resort, I finally blew a gasket when the clerk suggested we pay for a smoking suite at what can only be called an exorbitant rate. I looked the man in the eye and said something to the effect that it would be a cold day in hell when I paid that much to stay in bohunk Wyoming. In the next breath, I told Tim gas er up, we are 200 miles from home and home is the end of the road today.

And that's exactly what we did. It was a windy, wet, and eventually cold ride. We stopped in Laramie about 11 pm at Shari's where we had coffee and pie. That's where the pictures end. When we rode out on the last leg of the trip that would put us in our own bed for the night, we added another layer of clothing. Along the lonely and dark stretch of Hwy 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins Tim complained about needing to adjust the lights. When we checked them after getting home he noticed we had lost both the low beam headlight and the right auxiliary light. I'm not surprised with the rough roads we traveled.

It was just after midnight when we rolled into our neighborhood. I'd say we were a bit road-weary after 622 miles. We are somewhat surprised to be home on day 6 of a 10 day road trip - but sometimes you just have to know when to call it a day or a ride. No big deal. We still have the rest of the week off and all of Colorado right out the front door - I reckon we will manage.

As we settled in for the night I remembered to wish Tim a Happy Birthday.

Total miles for Road Trip #3 = 2152.6

Slide show of Day 6 part 1 - from Wendover UT to near WY on scenic Hwy 39 = 67 photos:

Alternate link to this slide show

Slide show of Day 6 part 2 - the long road home = 100 photos:

Alternate link to this slide show

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Road Trip #3 Day 5 - The road to Wendover UT

July 17, 2012
Colorado, USA

From Twin Falls, ID to Wendover, UT

Day 5 found us a bit lazy this morning. After the great Mexican food last night neither one of us were wanting a big breakfast so we had a couple of cups of coffee and a light snack off the Continental breakfast bar at the hotel. We rolled out about 9:30 am in shirt sleeves under sunny skies. Yippee! Our first stop was the visitor center at the bridge we crossed coming into town yesterday. The I.B. Perinne Bridge is a truss arch, four-lane bridge crossing the Snake River Canyon via Hwy 93. It is 1500 feet long and 486 feet from the canyon floor. In the 1970s it replaced a cantilever bridge originally built in 1927. The bridge is named for a pioneer of the area, Perinne is credited with the founding of Twin Falls.

Free-Base Jumper I.B. Perrine Bridge - Twin Falls, ID

At the visitor center we watched a motley crew of base jumpers packing and preparing chutes and saw a few take the plunge. We visited with the friendly and somewhat elderly volunteers manning the visitor center. One asked if I knew who Evil Knievel was. I immediately wondered if this was the canyon he tried to jump in the 1970s. When I answered of course, she said let me point out the ramp he used to launch his jump. We stepped out the door and she pointed to a mound of dirt on the canyon rim to the east. That's it, she said. The ramp is on private property now but it is clearly visible from several vantage points in the area. Kool!

The Ride with the Evil Knievel Ramp in the background. It is well known as the site of an unsuccessful 1974 attempt by Evel Knievel (1938-2007) to jump the Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2.

The area around the bridge is well-developed so we strolled under it on one of the walking paths, admiring the construction and watched a couple more base jumpers. We stopped to appreciate the statue known as The Twins. A friendly jogger stopped and offered to take our photo.

"The Twins" Sculpture southeast side of Perrine Bridge by Idaho Artist David Clemons

Tim and Vik with The Twins near Perinne Bridge - Twin Falls, ID

Next up we rode a few miles east of Twin Falls to visit Shoshone Falls. According to the literature, this falls is called the Niagara of the West. Shoshone Falls is 212 feet high. That's 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls. It flows over a rim 1000 feet wide. I also read that Shoshone Falls has existed at least since the end of the last ice age, when the Bonneville Flood carved much of the Snake River canyon and surrounding valleys. Here's something interesting I learned, the falls is a total barrier to the upstream movement of fish (spawning runs of salmon and steelhead could not pass the falls). It is an awesome sight and we had the perfect day to enjoy it.

Tim & Vik Shoshone Falls

We enjoyed the morning, especially the warmth of the day. It was almost 1 pm when we rolled out of Twin Falls, heading south on Hwy 93 toward Nevada where we planned to pick up the interstate (I-80) and head east. The winds were up and all along the way we watched some of the tallest and widest dust devils we've ever seen ravage the land on the sides of the road. Fortunately, we managed to avoid riding through the middle of one. And, of course - what's a day in road trip #3 without road construction! Just over the border of Nevada we rolled through a tiny town called Jackpot. Yep! You guessed it - nothing but casinos with the obligatory casinos and restaurants and very little else. We stopped in Wells, NV for gas (Yikes! $4.69/gallon) and decided lunch was a good idea.

We noticed a small restaurant called Bella's Espresso House and decided to give it a try. They were busy and the waitress was quick to mention why - a fire fighter training crew bus had just arrived and they were working like the devil to fill their orders. We said just bring us some coffee and take care of those boys first. Truthfully, it wasn't that long of a wait and my BLT was great.

While we were waiting on our food, I used the WIFI on my smart phone to figure where the next point of civilization might be and looked at a potential stop for the night. It looked like Wendover (a town that sits both in Nevada and Utah) at the edge of the Bonneville Salt Flats was the stop. We were hoping there might be a Bonneville Speed Museum or something like that. The wind was howling all along I-80 which did not surprise us at all. We travel I-80 across Wyoming all the time - it's the same there.

The Ride rolled over 37,300 just as we rode up on the salt flats. What an awesome sight. It has been a great day and we enjoyed riding in the 80s.

Riding up on the Bonneville Salt Flats

We saw the site outside of town where a proposed Bonneville Speed Museum will be built - but, there is no existing location. Bummer!

We are staying the night in Wendover, UT. We cruised town, stopped and quickly decided against a couple of hotels before grabbing a room at the worst excuse for a Days Inn I have ever seen. Take my advice - don't do it. But we will manage it for one night. There is no restaurant close by so pizza and wings delivery is on the way.

Today's ride = 213.5 miles

Slide show of today's ride = 118 photos
Alternate link to this slide show

I.B. Perrine Bridge
Shoshone Falls
Bonneville Salt Flats

Monday, July 16, 2012

Road Trip #3 Day 4 - The road to Twin Falls, ID

July 16, 2012
Colorado, USA

From Darby, MT to Twin Falls, ID

We turned in early and rested well last night so we were up and at 'em earler than usual. And, we saw no reason to be hanging around Darby. It was a chilly morning. We patronized the convenience store again this morning, buying gas and sharing a cup of almost drinkable coffee. We rolled south out of Darby about 8:30 am. The temps had not yet risen to above 40 degrees and we knew it would be a chilly ride over Lost Trail Pass. We had light winds and diffused sunlight. Oh boy!

This scenic stretch of road (Hwy 93) follows the Bitterroot River. We were grateful for the patches of sun along the way because it was downright frosty in the shade especially once we began the ascent of Lost Trail Pass (elevation 7014). At this point we were riding about half a mile west of the Continental Divide.

Shortly after the summitt we crossed the state line into Idaho and as we rolled down the pass we were thinking - coffee and breakfast! Our first stop today was the North Fork General Store because that was the first place that looked like it fit the bill. We walked in, found a stoll at the bar and ordered coffee first quickly followed by eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and biscuits. The service was quick and friendly, the establishment clean and cozy and the food was good. We talked to a local who commented on the Ride and asked where we were headed. South was our reply as we had not really decided the route. He asked if we were in a hurry. Not particularly was our answer so he told us a scenic way to ride south which would take us through the Sawtooth Recreation area. We said that sounded good to us and thanked him for his time.

Slide show 1 of 2 for today's ride = 120 photos

Alternative link for this slide show

We continued south on Hwy 93 and while we were filling up the tank in Salmon, we talked to yet another friendly local who introduced himself as Kenny Rogers. He also said the Sawtooth ride would be a good one, said if we liked to shop Sun Valley was a fun little town for that and then mentioned the Craters of the Moon area as worthy of our attention. OK - it sounded like our day was set with new sights and attractions.

Just past Challis ID and the Deadman Hole Recreation Site we followed Hwy 75 south. The ride through the Sawtooth National Recreation Area was every bit as scenic as our local tour guides said it would be. I found out later that Clint Eastwood's movie Pale Rider was filmed in this area. The road wound beside the river through steep canyon walls, lush riverbottom lands and on a sunny day would no doubt be spectacular. In many places steam rose out of the rocks right beside the road from the hot springs in the area. We rode through the tiny gold and silver mining town of Clayton on the edge of the Sawtooth Rec area where a smelter was once located in the late 1800s.

It wasn't long before we noticed a good dip in the temperature and rain through a notch in the mountains. We rode most of the way in rain. We rolled over 37,000 miles on the ride somewhere around Galena summit (elevation 8990) when we were riding in the clouds. We finally rolled into the town of Sun Valley. It reminded us of the busy little ski towns of Colorado, none of which interest us in the least. So, we stopped at a gas station, topped off the tank with gas (the price of which raised an eyebrow - ok both eyebrows). We warmed up and had a cup of coffee and decided we would head a bit further south before calling it a day.

We continued south on Hwy 75 noticing signs for the Richfield Canal and the Magic Dam. The temps were a bit warmer. We were surprised when we rolled through lava fields just before reaching the kool little town of Shoshone. We heard somewhere in the middle of the lava fields are ice caves.

As we arrived in Shoshone we started thinking about where we wanted to be for the night. We decided Twin Falls ID might be just the right dose of civilization we were looking for today so we rode another 21 miles or so south.

As we rolled into town we crossed a bridge and a humongous gorge that will be something to check out tomorrow. We took a quick tour of the main street of Twin Falls but found ourselves back-tracking to a Super 8 sitting next door to a Mexican Food Restaurant we saw as we rode in.

Margaritas! La Fiesta Mexican Food Restaurant right next door. Food was great! Just the thing to warm us up after a damp, chilly ride.

Slide show 2 of 2 of today's ride = 119 photos

Alternative link to this slide show
Today ride = 346.7 miles

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Road Trip #3 Day 3 - The road to Darby MT

July 15, 2012
Colorado, USA

From White Sulphur Springs MT to Darby MT

We lingered a bit at the motel this morning, trying to let the day warm up a bit. Eventually, we grabbed some gas and a cup of convenience store coffee and rolled out about 9:30 am toward Townsend chancing Hwy 12 for at least another 33 miles. It was partly cloudy and about 40 degrees. It was nice to put what remained of the storm clouds still boiling over the foothills in the rearview mirror.

If Townsend had anything to offer, I do not recall what it was because we turned north and rode on through to Helena in search of breakfast and coffee. We found donuts and coffee in Helena and talked about which direction we would ride today. Further west or south?

West won the toss so we continued on Hwy 12 and for a while traveled under partly sunny skies and mild temps.

MacDonald Pass (elevation 6320) Hwy 12 near Helena MT

We eventually hooked up with I-90. This part of the interstate is scenic and we enjoyed the sights along the way. We ran up on what looked like a controlled burn or at least the fire fighters had managed control. Given the wildfires we have seen this year, any sign of smoke is cause for concern. Before long, we found ourselves in chilly Missoula MT and riding through more rain. By this time we are tired of riding the interstate, tired of little orange signs and a bit disgruntled with the chilly, damp unseasonable weather. So, we abandoned the idea of riding further into the northwest territory and headed south on Hwy 93 with at least a stop in the quaint little town of Darby MT in mind. We had ridden through Darby a couple of years back during a logging festival of some sort and remembered it looked like a fun town.

As we pulled into Darby, we considered the time of day and the stretch of road we would have to travel south to reach another point of civilization (that being Salmon ID) which we knew included riding over a Lost Trail Pass. Traveling east would likely mean a night in Butte - nah - so we happily called it a day in Darby.

After riding Main Street a couple of times and considering the limited choices available we rolled up to the office of the Mountain Spirit Inn and checked into yet another over-priced, no frills room.

By this time, all we had on our minds was food. And beer. But mostly food. As we strolled through downtown Darby on a Sunday afternoon well before 5 pm, we found not one restaurant in town was open. Having almost resigned ourselves to convenience store food, we sauntered into the only place in town showing signs of life - the Sawmill Saloon. Well, we agreed the day wasn't a total loss as we at least found the beer. The Sawmill is a charming place in the rugged tavern style. We immediately felt at home. We were greeted with a friendly smile and served before we had settled into our chairs. About halfway through the first round Tim says - I smell pizza. Well there's nothing wrong with the ol' boy's sniffer because sure nuff, the bartender was cooking pizza in a counter top oven like my Grandma used to cook cinnamon toast way back in the good ol days. We ordered pizza without asking what kind of pizza. Our server said it would be a bit of a wait - we said no problem. Even a frozen pizza sounded better than whatever the convenience store had to offer.

Afterwards, we patronized the convenience store on the way back to the motel, loading up on sweet and salty snacks. We spent the rest of the evening roaming around the logging park and the Veteran's Memorial across the street and lounging around in chairs in front of our room. TV reception is bad. WIFI connection is worse. Yawn!

We have yet to decide which way we are headed tomorrow but Idaho of all places is looking pretty good.

Today's ride = 269.4 miles

Slide show of today's ride = 89 photos

Alternative link to this slide show

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Road Trip #3 Day 2 - The ride to White Sulphur Springs MT

July 14, 2012
Colorado, USA

From Casper WY to White Sulphur Springs MT....

What a day! After consuming what was edible at the hotel's so-so continental breakfast, we rolled north on I-25 about 8:15 am under mostly sunny skies, picking up some smoke haze, wispy clouds and light winds. Travel was easy along the interstate. The terrain in this part of Wyoming is rolling hills and plains. I-25 changes to I-90 just outside of Buffalo WY.

Soon we were rolling through downtown Sheridan WY and shortly after that, rolling across the state line into "Crow Country" Montana. Between the state line and Hardin MT we traveled through the Crow Indian Reservation and the Battlefields of the Little Bighorn. We toured the Little Bighorn National Monument last year - it is worth a detour. Our first stop was for thermos coffee and a cookie snack in a small city park in Hardin MT.

The skies grew more overcast as we rolled along. We did not tarry in Billings, MT but turned north on Hwy 87 traveling across what is known as the Bull Mountain area. It was a nice 50+ mile ride with moderate road construction going on between Billings and Roundup. Lots of old buildings, barns and cemeteries are the roadside attractions in this area. Roundup was a quaint little town with interesting old architecture. The day was cloudy but warm so we stopped for gas and ice cream at an Exxon station sitting at the junction of Hwy 87 and Hwy 12. We chatted with the locals passing by, most wanting to know where we were headed, none of whom had much to say when we we answered west.

Soon we were rolling west along Hwy 12. Riding what the map said was Scenic Hwy 12 was the idea for this road trip and getting as far west as possible. Leaving Roundup we had in mind Townsend as a potential overnight stop, but with an eye to the skies agreed that Harlotown or White Sulphur Springs would do if either town offered decent accomodations and eateries.

We had not traveled more than five miles before we ran up on a rafter (aka gang) of wild turkeys. We put-putted by them remembering the turkeys that darn near took us out on the Enchanted Circle ride in NM earlier in the year. Ha! A little further along we noticed a large white building visible from a good distance away. As we approached a side road (Hwy 3) we realized the building was accessible from this road so we took a quick detour through tiny Lavina MT in Golden Valley County.

The large white building is the old Adams Hotel. Here is what I learned about it from a quick search on the internet. The Adams, was built by L.C. Lehfeldt and completed in 1908. It had twenty-two rooms including the huge dining room, lobby, kitchen, and bar. Upstairs, at the head of the stairs was a large parlor. It was probably the most elegant of its kind in the area, having pure linen sheets, down comforters, a decorated china bowl and pitcher in every one of the carpeted rooms. The Adams was known for its warm hospitality. This building remains as it was originally built with all of its grandeur, secrets and memories and is now owned as a private residence.

Rolling along on Hwy 12 again, it wasn't long before we saw a road construction sign that said - Motorcycle Advisory - Road Construction Ahead - Consider Alternate Route (What alternate route?) We rode up on Hwy 87 with road construction. Hwy 3 was a questionably tiny road that led south to the interstate (we think). The next paved road was Hwy 191 heading north or south near Harlotown both of which led us far away from our intended destination. What this sign should have said is Go Away. Turn Back Now. So, in utter defiance, we continued on.

The clouds gathering overhead finally started spitting on us about Ryegate MT. We picked up the road construction at Shawmut MT. Harlowtown looked like a nice town but we decided to travel on. White Sulphur Springs was less than 60 miles away. The road construction got worse and pretty soon we were riding along on muddy bedrock in rain. Yikes!

There are two rather large lakes visible from the road between Harlotown and White Sulphur Springs - Bair Reservoir and Lake Sutherlin, the latter being the closest to White Sulphur Springs and we agreed it was scenic when you could take your eyes off the road.

We had sunshine riding into White Sulphur Springs but clouds gathering toward the west and south were a clear indicator that Mother Nature was not done having fun with us today so this is where we stopped for the day. We checked into the over-priced and no frills Hot Springs Spa Motel. Having ridden soggy most of the afternoon, the fact that the main attraction for this motel was the pool was not a selling point for us at all, but alternative accomodations didn't look much better. While I settled in and checked in with the Folks, Tim rode off in search of a car wash because the bike was filthy. He was back before I knew it, reporting the sole one stall car wash in town was out of order. Oh well!

A short stroll on Main St under ever-darkening skies took us to the friendly door of a local watering hole known as the Stockmans Bar and Steakhouse. If anything could put the shine back on the day it would be a couple of our favorite brews and a great burger. Stockman's delivered both with a smile and friendly conversation. It is too bad we had already checked in for the night down the street because it would have been tempting to spend the night at this great little establishment. We had hand made bacon swiss burgers and sweet potato fries - excellent!

Make a note if you are ever through White Sulphur Springs MT stop and eat at the Stockman's Bar and Steakhouse - 117 E Main St, White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

After a couple of hours, we strolled back to our motel just before a thunderstorm came through with a fury complete with lightning, wind and rain. We had a short blackout in town. Two things dominated our conversation while we were sitting in the dark. 1) We were glad we hadn't washed the bike. 2) We were glad we made it through that damn road construction today because it would have been much worse in the aftermath of this storm. So. I guess alls well that ends well.

Today's ride = 462.3 miles

Slide show of today's ride = 141 photos

Alternative link to this slide show

Friday, July 13, 2012

Road Trip #3 Day 1 - The ride to Casper, WY

July 13, 2012
Colorado, USA

Road Trip #3 was not supposed to begin until tomorrow morning, but the afternoon was so fine (hot but fine) Tim decided to burn a few extra hours so we could get a head start. Of course, I was ready. The bags were packed. We rolled north on I-25 just after 4 pm. Typical of travel in Wyoming, we hit strong winds and iffy skies just past Chugwater. We spent the last 150 miles into Casper dodging crap flying out of the back of pickups, trash blowing across the road and recovering from one micro down-burst after another. We nailed a five gallon bucket. That was scary.

We rolled over 36,000 miles on this Ride a few miles outside of Glenrock. The original plan was to get as far as Buffalo but with night encroaching quickly, winds howling and nasty looking skies between us and that destination we decided to call it a day in Casper. Pooh! It's a long story, just suffice it to say that after spending a couple of years living in Casper I will never intentionally stay the night in Casper - ha! We roamed around Casper for a little while before making the Days Inn the bed of choice. Burgers at the Platte River Restaurant next door took care of our hunger pains. That's all - the place had a it'll do menu, nothing to get excited about. The cafe oddly enough, had beer signs hanging on the wall but did not serve beer. Hmmm... A trip across the street for a six-pack on the way back to the hotel took care of that problem. A couple of Michelob Ultras took the wind blown edge off the day.

Slide show of today's ride = 22 photos (it was too windy to get good shots)
Alternative link to this slide show

Today's ride = 238.7 miles

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Road Trip!

July 12, 2012
Colorado, USA

I should say road trip coming up PDQ. This is me checking out the blogger app for my smarty-pants phone. Maybe I can make a post or two from the road. Posts are behind... I am working on it.... well, sort of. To ride or post - hmmmm... decisions, decisions.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Before the rain ride

July 8, 2012
Colorado, USA

We rode out under troubled skies looking for a patch of blue on the horizon. We didn't find it. Clouds lay seige in all directions in our little neck of the woods so we brought ourselves on home after about twenty miles as the winds picked up, thunder rumbled and the clouds spit a warning. We almost got settled on the patio before the first splatters of rain. Soon we were sitting at the edge of the garage just like some Texas-Folk we know. Ha!

Troubled skies

Bringing it home after just 20 miles or so

No complaints - even a short ride takes the edge off a day

Garage sittin' - we learned it from the best

Today's ride = 22 miles