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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Picnic Ride

August 26, 2012
Colorado USA

Watcha want for lunch? How about some chicken? Popeyes? Yep. Let's Ride.
And, that's what we did. We rode to Longmont and picked up some Popeyes Fried Chicken and then rode to one of our favorite little parks in sleepy little downtown Mead and had our chicken. Then we took one of the lake routes home.

132 miles or thereabouts.
Slide show = 21 photos
Alternate link to slide show

Monday, August 20, 2012

Road Trip #4 Day 4 - The road home - brrrr....

August 20, 2012
Colorado USA

Well... after a great night's rest at the Hotel Eastin, we packed up and rolled out of Kremmling CO just after 8 am, bundled up because the skies were gray and threatening and the temp was struggling to get to 40 degrees.

We traveled Hwy 34 east to Granby, marveling at the skies and the lush, green terrain and surprised because we had forgotten about Byers Canyon. But really after a few miles, the only thing on our minds was a warm place to park for a while, lots of hot coffee and a big steaming breakfast. The Chuck Wagon Cafe was the place we chose mostly because it is the first stop and we know the food, while not fancy is always good. We ordered the works and lingered trying to let the day gain a little heat. Before leaving, we added another layer to our clothing.

We backtracked a bit out of Granby, deciding to travel Hwy 125 north through Rand and Walden rather than ride through Rocky Mountain National Park in inclement weather. It was cloudy, sometimes damp and very chilly for most of the ride. We saw geese headed south as we were mounting up. It's August for Pete's sake! It did not feel much like summer.

Along this stretch of road is Wilkerson Pass at the Continental Divide (elevation 9683). We fueled in Walden and rolled along familiar Hwy 14 dodging rain clouds through north park and down the Poudre Canyon. We were grateful there wasn't rain in the canyon as the burn scar is going to be prone to flash flooding, mud and rock slides for a long time to come. The waters ran black at the end of the canyon. Temps rose to near 60 degrees as we rode down the canyon, a welcome respite from the chill of the higher elevations. Woo Hoo! A heat wave!

We rolled in just after 2 pm, ready to shed damp clothes and warm up a bit. We rarely do so after a ride but today we had coffee instead of beer on the patio. Ha!

Slide show of today's ride = 132 photos
Alternate link to this slide show

What a great Vet Rally weekend! We cannot wait to do it again next year!

Today's Ride = 457.6 miles
This road trip = 765.4 miles
Total mileage on The Ride = 39453 s'miles!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Road Trip #4 Day 3 - Dad thinks we are lost

August 19, 2013
Colorado USA

After paying our respects at The Vietnam Traveling Wall we rode out of Cripple Creek on Teller Road 1. We have never traveled it before. The last time we even thought about traveling it, we discovered it was a dirt road. That was many moons ago.

Teller road 1 was a great ride. Once we hooked up with Hwy 24 we rode with a gusty side wind while we traveled west. By the time we rolled up on the junction of Hwy 285 (the usual way north for us) the day had warmed considerably, the donuts had worn off and ice cream was on our minds so we decided to visit Buena Vista to the southwest and a little burger joint called K's. We love the scenic ride into Buena Vista with the spectacular view of the Collegiate Peaks around every curve. When I spoke with the Folks later Mom said Dad thought we were lost. By the end of the day he was sure of it. Ha! The Ride's mileage rolled over 39,000 s'miles just before noon and we were having a blast.

The scenic road to Buena Vista

Ice Cream at K's in Buena Vista

Slide show of the ride from Cripple Creek to Buena Vista = 60 photos
Alternate link to this slide show

After our refreshment we traveled up Hwy 24 to Leadville. This was cold riding so back in our jackets we went when we stopped in Leadville. Leadville (known as The Cloud City) sits at 10,200 elevation. Aside from its history, Leadville bears the distinction of being the highest city in the USA. We have camped near there. It can get a bit frosty any day of the year. We decided to travel Hwy 24 for another 30 some odd scenic miles through Red Cliff, Minturn and on to Vail. We haven't traveled that route in a long time and we fell in love with it all over again. The mountains along this stretch of road were home to the Army's 10th Mountain Division who trained for winter survival during World War II at Camp Hale. Not much is left but foundations of buildings at Camp Hale but there are interpretive signs in the area. There's a memorial at the Tennessee Pass Continental Divide scenic pullover. This is a high scenic ride along a great road... one of the best in Colorado we think. We love the high bridge that crosses the Eagle River along the way. Just before the road descends into Minturn, the ghost town of Gilman, an abandoned mining town can be seen near the Eagle River bridge. We traveled east on I-70 as far as Hwy 9 and turned north. Hwy 9 is also a great, gently winding road that skirts Green Mountain Reservoir.

Slide show of the ride into Kremmling = 102 photos
Alternate link to this slide show

Kremmling is where we hung our helmets for the night. We rode the main drag and decided to give the historic Hotel Eastin a shot. It doesn't look like much from the outside. Just a little long plain building sitting on a corner. It is painted pink. We are so glad we stopped! We were greeted by our hostess Maryann who was sitting in a corner doing needlework when we walked in to the cozy parlor near the front desk. Our hosts Maryann and Walt are friendly and full of information about the hotel and the area. The hotel was built in 1906. A sarsaparilla plant occupied the lower floor while the upper floors were operated as a rooming house. The building housed a barber shop, shoe shine shop, drug store and a dress shop through the years. The Eastins acquired the building which they converted to a modern hotel catering to traveling salesman in the early 1900s. The Eastin family ran the hotel until mid-1990s. Being a book lover I found one bit of history about the hotel extremely interesting. According to our hosts, Zane Grey the western author, inspired by an image of a horse and rider seemingly chiseled into the cliffs on the edge of town wrote a book called the Mysterious Rider (1921). Maryann showed me the small room overlooking main street and the cliffs beyond which they were in the process of remodeling as the Zane Grey room. They were also trying to acquire a first edition of the book from the Grey's heirs to display.

Artwork by western artist Charles Russell is displayed throughout the hotel which has a very Victorian/Old West atmosphere. The halls are long and narrow, the stairs steep, the deeply colored floral carpet plush. The doors all bear a western name. Our room was clean, cozy-comfortable and decorated with western charm. Our room had a nice private bath. There is no a/c at the Hotel Eastin but a/c is rarely needed at elevations above 7000 in Colorado. The fan on the desk and an open window were more than sufficient for our needs. Hostel rooms which Maryann was kind enough to show us, are located on the lower floors, very popular with hunters and fisherman as well as rafters she says. I bet. They are sparsely appointed but look clean and comfortable.

We had a great supper at The Quarter Circle Saloon just a few steps away. My fried shrimp dinner was fantastic and Tim says the same about his steak. We strolled through the town after supper and found the mysterious rider in the cliffs that inspired Zane Gray to write the book of the same name. Unfortunately, the photos are not clear enough for me to point it out. Oh boy! I guess that means a trip back sometime for better pics. If the Hotel Eastin is at the end of the trail - no problem!

Slide show of the Hotel Eastin and Kremmling CO = 36 photos
Alternate link to this slide show

Today's ride = 272.8 miles

Road Trip #4 Day 3 (part 1) - The Road to The Wall

August 19, 2012
Colorado USA

We rolled out this morning with the intent of riding up to Cripple Creek one more time. We had jacket temps but sunny skies. First stop was The Donut Shop in Woodland Park where Tim ordered the biggest item (cinnamon roll) in the case. I had a chocolate/Bavarian crème fix. The donuts and coffee were OK, but we have had much better. The ride up to Cripple Creek was about as fine as it gets. Lucky us! We get to make one of our favorite rides three times in three days.

Cripple Creek was rumbling early but today was a ride on through to the high school where the Traveling Vietnam Wall was set up. Today we paid our respects to the fallen with a special nod on behalf of our friends to Pascal C Poolaw 1922-1967, US Army and Gary C Johnston 1948-1970, US Army. We were disappointed that the Gulf War Memorial was not present because this is an American Veteran's Rally not strictly a Vietnam Veterans Rally (not sure what is up with that).

Slide Show of The Wall visit = 58 photos
Alternate link to this slide show

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Salute to American Veterans Rally - POW-MIA Ride

August 18, 2012
Colorado USA

Woo Hoo! What a day! Of course, we started the day with the POW-MIA recognition ride. We rolled away from our cozy motel just before 7 am under bright blue skies with the temperature hovering just over 50 degrees. We could tell it was going to be a beautiful day. We had rain overnight and we could see where the road [Hwy 24] had been cleaned of a couple of minor mud slides in Waldo Canyon area.

Tim - Registration - POW-MIA Ride 2013
We arrived in Woodland Park at the staging area with a few other early birds and registered to ride in the 25th Annual POW-MIA Recognition Ride. As soon as we had the ride parked we walked over to have our traditional rubber pancakes, sausage and coffee. Ha! It's a tradition and the donation goes to a good cause. Then, we walked among the bikes and watched them roll in. What a huge turnout!

Finally, we got the call to mount up and roll toward Cripple Creek. Hundreds of bikes were still in line for registration. Bikes stretched out for miles in front of and behind us. The weather was perfect, the road and the scenery as beautiful as ever. Flag waving crowds lined the side of the road. It is a one of a kind experience - this ride. A patriotic proud-to-be-an-American biker experience.

Slide show of the POW-MIA Ride (120 photos):

Alternate link to this slide show

Arriving downtwon Cripple Creek - Veterans Rally 2013
Rounding the corner to the cheers of thousands in Cripple Creek, we were blown away to see this was the biggest turnout we have ever seen for the rally. Normally the crowd and bikes thin out near the top end of the main drag. Not so this year. Bikes and people lined the main street all the way to the end and down the back street. We parked the ride as we have in the last few years, preferring the back street near The Old Homestead. We had plenty of time to walk up and still watch hundreds of bike roll in.

Slide show of riders still rolling in after we have parked and walked up the street (20 photos):

Alternate link to this slide show

Soon we were strolling to the tiny park where the ceremonies are held every year. We listened to the excellent patriotic program mc'd by Jim Wear (promoter of the event). There is always music and testimony and stories of American heroism. There are flags snapping in the breeze and we were happy to see Bady the three legged Soldier Dog again. Bady is a military patrol dog who lost a leg in the service of our country and credited with saving over 100 US Soldiers. At the 2011 rally, we were honored to see Bady awarded with a US Army Honorary Combat Badge.

And then there are the flyovers. I love the planes zooming out of nowhere overhead. They are tricky to catch but I give it an effort every year.

Slide show of the flyovers (41 photos):

Alternate link to this slide show

We had catfish, twisted taters and lemonade for lunch before shopping the vendor booths. We strolled the streets looking at bikes and bikers and veterans. Tim signed the Veteran's wall for himself. I signed for Dad. We met an 85 year old biker/veteran who had ridden in the POW-MIA ride that morning and enjoyed a chat with him. He told us he had wrecked the BMW he was riding only the year before and got pretty bunged up when a texter teen ran a stop sign and almost did them both [him and his bike] in. He said he put himself back together and then had the bike put back together and was keeping on - keeping on. He flirted a kiss on the cheek out of me and then sprinted off down the street before my feller caught up with him. Ha!

We spent sometime looking at war memorabilia in the Hall of Heroes upstairs at the Big Jim Saloon.

Slide show of the Rally (111 photos):

Alternate link to this slide show

Thunder and clouds put a good many of us in mind to get on down the mountain. We rode part of the way in a nasty little rain shower with intermittent pea-size hail. We didn't stop to suit up as some did. The skies finally cleared, and we dried out as we rode along. The rest of the ride back to the motel went well.

It was about 5 pm when we decided to walk the short distance to a little dive we know called Mo's Diner. It's nothing fancy but the burgers are good and the beer is cold. The waitress brought us a sample of the green chili the diner is known to serve on their breakfast burritos. It was awesome. We had not been in the diner long, before a couple of trikes rolled up out front. We chatted at length with the two couples. The guys were Vietnam Veterans/ALR Riders from Kansas if I remember correctly. We love the stories and one of them had plenty to tell.

After wishing the old vets happy trails and safe travel home, we kicked back with a couple of beers in front of our room at the motel and chatted with some of the other guests until well after dark.

Today's ride = 87.1 miles


Salute to American Veterans Rally Information for 2013

POW-MIA Recognition Ride 2012

August 18, 2012
Colorado USA

Video slide show of the POW-MIA Recognition Ride from Woodland Park CO to Salute to American Veterans Rally in Cripple Creek CO - Wooooo-Hooooo!

POW-MIA Recognition Ride 2012

Click here to play

Friday, August 17, 2012

Road Trip #4 Day 1 - Vet Rally Friday

August 17, 2012
Colorado USA

Oh man! What a great day! We love riding to the Salute to America Veterans Rally in Cripple Creek, Colorado every year. So, we rolled out just before 7 am in jackets because after a damp evening the night before it was chilly with the humidity. Most mornings in Colorado are cool and clear - it's one of the things we love best about it. Skies were blue if a bit hazy. We have had smoke haze most of the year because of the wildfires and drought conditions. In northern Colorado we haven't had our typical summer Wyoming-type winds to clear the smoke on out and it has been unusually HOT. My Texas/Oklahoma friends are laughing I know. Even the hot air balloons were hanging lazy and listless in the sky as we traveled our typical route south.

The Ride - Country Road Cafe
The Ride - Country Road Cafe - Kitteredge CO
Breakfast at the Country Road CafeHwy 287 to Interlocken (Rd #128) to Indiana Street to Hwy 58 to Golden and Heritage Rd/Hogback Rd to Morrison. Although there are a couple of cafes that serve a great breakfast in Morrison, we thought we'd look a bit further down the road. We traveled Hwy 74/Bear Creek Road through the canyon rolling to a stop at the Country Road Cafe in Kitteredge. We have ridden by many times - we will not be making that mistake again. The mountain lodge atmosphere was comfy. We chose to dine in this morning but the patio business was booming as well. The place was immaculate and the wait staff friendly and efficient. To call what they served just breakfast is to understate it. The pancakes alone were nothing short of amazing (both in size and taste) and this is the first time I can recall thinking the eggs were the side dish.

A meal without beer is called breakfast
This is Tim's new motto...

The Ride - Long Scraggy PeakNeedless to say we rolled away somewhat heavier than when we left because we tried our biker best to clean our plates. Traveling through Evergreen on Hwy 74, we veered across on N Turkey Creek Road to always busy Hwy 285. We smelled it first and then saw a thin plume of smoke on the horizon past Bailey and wondered if we were in for another wildfire. The wildfire season has been horrific in Colorado this year. Before long we had turned south on Rd #126 aka Deckers Rd. The day was warming and we started peeling off layers when we pulled off at the Long Scraggy Peak overlook.

The ride was going well and we were making good time. We rolled along Hwy 67 and into Woodland Park about 11:30 am and decided we would ride on up to Cripple Creek. We usually ride up to see what's going on in Cripple Creek on Rally Friday. The plan was to check out the road as it had been closed only a day before due to a sink hole. Last night it was reported the road was open with one lane traffic. What we found would determine whether we participated in the POW-MIA ride this year. So we followed Hwy 24/67 west to the town of Divide then turned south on scenic Hwy 67. This is one of our favorite rides. It is always beautiful and always interesting no matter what season we ride it. Today we ran upon a small herd of goats.

Mountain goats
Heads Up! We have goats!

The Ride - Rally FridayThe traffic was indeed down to one lane near the sink hole, but it didn't look to be much of a deterrent for the POW-MIA Ride so that was a GO as far as we were concerned. Everything and everyone is laid back on rally Friday... it was a good crowd today and a great lazy ride. We shopped for our rally shirts, patches and pins, wandered through some of the booths, admired some rides and did a little people watching. We like just strolling the streets of Cripple Creek.

As the shadows began to grow long we decided to mosey down the mountain the same way we rode up. As we rolled along Hwy 24 towards The Springs, we were saddened to see the effects of the Waldo Canyon Wildfire on the landscape. We also noted some areas that appeared to be having trouble with mud slides. If you ride through this area when its wet... keep that in mind. We rode into the Old Colorado City area and found a station where we topped off the tank so we'd be ready to roll first thing in the morning, then we checked into our favorite lodging, The Mecca Motel. After icing down a six pack of beer and freshening up a bit, we strolled about a mile to a favorite eating establishment, Savelli's Pizza. There's always a wait at Savelli's because the dining area is small, and they do a brisk take-out business, but we do not mind. The beer is cold and the eggplant parmesan is worth it!

Eggplant Parmesan at Savelli's
The best eggplant parmesan on the face of the earth - YUM!
We mostly waddled the mile back to the Mecca and after tucking the ride in about 7:30 pm, we kicked back on the porch of the room and watched a lightning show play across the mountains. We visited with a couple of other tenants and then called it a night. A short while later, a storm rolled off the mountains and we had rain. Hopefully, it will move on through and leave us a fresh and dry start in the morning.

Slide show of today's ride = 127 photos:

Alternate link to this slide show

Today ride = 219.8 miles

Already Rolling toward our Weekend Plans

August 17, 2012
Colorado, USA

Salute to American Veterans Rally 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We're off to the Salute to American Veterans Rally

August 16, 2012
Colorado, USA

Rolling out tomorrow to the Salute to American Veterans Rally in Cripple Creek, Colorado.

What follows is a video of the POW-MIA Recognition Ride 2011 (most photos taken from the back of the ride). This is the one rally we would never miss and this is the rally by which we judge any other rally... motorcycles, mountains and military appreciation - that's tough to beat in my books.

See you on the back side of the weekend... if you are out and about - ride safe!

POW-MIA Recognition Ride
Aug 20, 2011

Click here to play

2011 POW-MIA Recognition Ride Slide Show (78 photos)

Alternate link to this slide show

2011 POW-MIA Salute to American Veterans Rally Slide Show (73 photos)

Alternate link to this slide show

Monday, August 13, 2012

The behinder I get...

August 13, 2012
Colorado, USA

Yeah, yeah, yeah - for those of you who are wondering - we are well and we have been riding - just not posting about the rides.

FYI: The road trip to New Mexico in June is up. The road trip to the northwest in July is not... stay tuned - got a rally this week and then a Labor Day ride and who knows what will distract me from this blog in between or after that. I will get around to it eventually... it will snow or something sooner or later (Hopefully later).

'Til then - thanks for checking in - ride safe - that's the plan on our end. -V-

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Baby Shopping Dealership Ride

August 12, 2012
Colorado, USA

It was just a little ol' long way around to the dealership and back ride. Actually we were baby shopping. My niece is about to give us a grand niece. There's a baby shower coming up and Tim thinks we should get the little gal off to a good start with some Harley-Davidson branded baby duds. Mission accomplished.

Other than some classic cars rolling in from a car show somewhere nearby and a few bikes that looked like they were travelling out of Sturgis that's about all we saw today. Even a short ride can put a smile on the day. We have a rally coming up at the end of this week - stay tuned.

Today's ride = 92.3 miles

Sunday, August 5, 2012

08/05/2012 Poudre Canyon/Buckhorn Canyon Ride = 164 miles

August 5, 2012
Colorado, USA

We don't get too many shots of us together on The Ride. Our neighbor Al kindly took this shot as we were rolling out this morning. After being under the weather for a few days, I had a test ride yesterday and told Tim this morning I was ready to get on the down the road a few more miles. So we decided on one of our favorite rides.

We have not been up the Poudre Canyon or Rist Canyon or Buckhorn Canyon since the 3rd of June this year because of the devastating wildfires. The High Park Fire started June 9 and most of Colorado and the surrounding states have been on fire the whole summer. Saying that it was a gorgeous day just does not do it justice. Spectacular might be a better description. Today, the skies were as clear as we have seen them in a long time.

It was sad to see the charred acres and trees but the Poudre running black just about broke our hearts. Mother Nature will take care of all that eventually but there are parts of the countryside that will not recover its former glory in our lifetime. It's easy to see that mudslides in some areas will now be an issue. So far, the season has been dry.

Slide show of the ride up (part 1)= 78 photos

Alternative link to this slide show

We were lucky today. There are moose in the Cameron Pass area and we were lucky enough to see a beautiful bull moose on our way up the canyon today. There's nothing like seeing one of these majestic creatures in the wild.

The best shots of the moose I could get with my little rinky-dink camera (14 photos)

Alternative link to this slide show

We stopped the progression of the ride at the Moose Center. This is a usual stop for us. Sometimes we picnic and then ride on up to Wyoming. Today we roamed around, had a cup of thermos coffee and since the winds were already up, decided we would ride back down the way we came. This is one of those rides that is great to backtrack - and we love riding the river. On the high end the waters were running much clearer. On the way down we decided a stop at Glen Echo for lunch sounded like a pretty good idea. My BLT was really good. Tim said his burger was really good. That's really no surprise - we have never had a bad meal at Glen Echo. The establishment is always clean, even on the busiest of days and the staff is always friendly and efficient.

Just past Stove Prairie Landing we turned south on Stove Prairie Road (#27) and surveyed the considerable burn damage in this area. We continued on through the Buckhorn Canyon area deciding against riding Rist Canyon which we know got hit really hard by the fires. At Masonville we turned east again and road over the "tooth" - Horsetooth Reservoir before calling it a day. A really nice day.

Slide show of the ride down (part 2) = 63 photos

Alternative link to this slide show

Today's ride = 164 miles

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Serious Texas Supper Ride

August 4, 2012
Colorado, USA

After being under the weather for a few days, I was ready for a ride when Tim rolled in this afternoon. It was just a short supper ride to Serious Texas after which we took the long way home. Fresh air and good BBQ. Yep! I am feeling more like my real self today.

Today's ride = 49 miles

Happy Birthday Nezzie aka Mom!

August 4, 2012
Colorado, USA

Today is my lovely Mom's birthday. She goes by "Nezzie" among the biker buds. She is known affectionately as "Punk" to Dad aka "Frosty". Lucky we are to have her represent the best and brightest faction of the family. Happy Birthday Mom!

The following is a slide show of Inez's 75th Birthday Scrapbook.

Alternative link to this slide show