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Old 05-26-2004, 03:16 PM   #136
Rogue 1 OP
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Rogue 1 Radio is back on the air!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peachmaan
Now, lets see what Oct 21st had to "offer"...
Ok... Most of my Finals and all of my Term Papers are done! (wheeew) and that funny pounding in my left temple has magicaly gone away. Peach has the right idea so... let the tale continue...


Hello faithful true believers and greetings from myself, Silver, Rose and the newest member of Team Odyssey, Hal 9000
.
I have nothing more to open with other than, "I'm having the time of my life."

Monday October 21st



I am awakened by the mooing of cows, hungry cows, hungry cows that are not being fed. Seems there is a pen full of calves 40 feet from my tent. They sound just like those gag cans you turn upside down to hear "Moo." (Spoken like a true city boy)

It's chilly, not like yesterday, but cold nevertheless. I enter the shower house and hug the space heater for a while, "Where have you been all my life?"

Julie thinks I look like a superhero... cool...


Break camp, shower, say my goodbyes and good lucks to Dave, Julie and Mr. Bauers and I hit the road late at 10 am.



I am not far from Zion National Park (1/2 hour) and I enter using The Gardiner's pass. I am caught off guard when the ranger asks why I was charged $20 on a motorcycle and in a brilliant burst of inspiration I stutter that we had the bike on a trailer coming through earlier... have a nice day.





























Lucky shot...












Now that I have the laptop to dump pictures onto I have become a maniac photographer! I've started taking shots to use as wallpaper.








I got tired of taking my helmet off/on every 3 minutes as I am stopping to take pics every 30 feet...




Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
Zion (noun)

Synonyms HEAVEN 2, Abraham's bosom, bliss, Canaan, Civitas Dei, elysium, empyrean, New Jerusalem, nirvana, paradise
2
Synonyms
UTOPIA, arcadia, Cockaigne, fairyland, heaven, lubberland, paradise, promised land, Shangri-la, wonderland


Zion is everything I was set up to expect and more... utterly fantastic. The road winds through canyons and peaks, granite and slate, layered, glacial rock formations abound. Again, I find myself on scenic overload.









Towards the terminus of the park, I am paused in a line before a tunnel cut through the rock, Zion Canyon sits on the other side. The ranger waves us on and the mile tunnel has 10x15 foot openings cut through the living rock on the right, allowing an occasional glimpse into the canyon outside.



I exit the tunnel and stop for a moment out of respect for the vista and peaks that lay before me, rising from the valley floor, 1000 feet below. In fact, I spend 15 minutes just staring at one mountain face in particular, trying to imagine the climbers route.















The decent to the valley floor reminds me of the pics I've seen of the Swiss Alps and the Fjords, downhill, hairpin, downhill, hairpin, etc. At the base of the gorge, having dropped down too 3300 feet, the temperature is noticeably more comfortable and the oxygen content is markedly higher.



I exit the park and enter Rockville UT at about 12 noon. Another quaint, artisan populated tourist town. Clean and well laid out, local craftspersons hawk their wares out of picturesque shops. Restaurants and souvenir stands sit beside small, nice-looking homes with well groomed, flowered front yards. Where's "The Beaver?"


Damn good intel on Mexican Insurance and leaving the US on a vehicle with a Lien on it!

(and Guns)

I check my cell phone which has been unusable since just outside Salt Lake and, finding I have service, make a few important calls, primarily, the one to obtain insurance coverage in Mexico. Nancy at Mexico Insurance Professionals (mexpro.com) is just about the most helpful person I've ever dealt with (and she stands in some great company). We talk about my options and settle on an all inclusive policy with coverage of $25,000 on the vehicle and all personal effects inc. liability for $286 for one month. Expensive for home, but given the potential for disaster south of the border, I think it's a pretty good deal.

In addition, she is happy to contact Joe at BMW FS Customer Service and make all the arrangements with them for me. Between her and Joe, the Lien holder "Permission to Leave the Country" letter (signed and notarized) and my insurance cards and policy paperwork will meet me at my hotel in Las Vegas tomorrow. Wow, this turned out to be an easy, trouble free experience. (Feel free to spread the word on this one Court!)

Worried about the possible dangers I may encounter in Mexico I acquired another form of insurance while I was in Salt Lake City. I have been given custody of a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, 2 spare clips, a good supply of hollow point ammunition and a hip holster by... lets call him Bob for the sake of anonymity.

Looking for Intel on how likely it will be that I will have the need to use this insurance I test the water with Nancy at MexPro.

"So... you guys insure a lot of riders in Mexico?" I ask off-handedly.

"Oh yes!" is Nancy's enthusiastic reply.

"I guess a lot of people have problems down there? Accidents, theft... crooked cops... bandits?" I probe.

"Not at all... In fact the percentage of claims aside from your standard get-offs is quite small. We've found that thefts of tourists bikes are very low as well." she tells me, my fears diminish.

"That's great to hear Nancy. It goes a long way toward making me feel more confident about the border crossing. I had been thinking about picking up a little protection when I got to El Paso."

Now things go to hell...

"A weapon, you mean a firearm, a gun?" she asks... and the tone of her voice is not one that indicates awe, it is more like are you out of your freakin' mind!?

"Well... I figured a little extra protection would be a good idea,"

She cuts me off quicker than a wife whose husband just arrived home 3 hours early.

"That would be such a bad idea Sean! Bringing a firearm into Mexico is about the worst crime they have on the books! If they even find a single bullet on you or in your bags... even an empty cartridge, it's a mandatory jail sentence! Don't even think about bringing a gun across the border!"

"Wow Nancy, I am so glad I asked! You have saved my butt. It's good to know this."

"Ok Sean... glad to be of help, good thing you didn't buy one already. I'll make sure all of your paperwork is waiting for you at the hotel in Las Vegas." She says with a smile in her voice, "Enjoy the ride and call me if have any problems."

Well Ollie, thats another fine mess you've gotten us into. What the hell do I do with the Sig???

(To be continued)

I clear the town of Rockville and find myself once again on the high desert plains. Open country, big BIG sky. The climate is even drier, if that's possible. The road is fast, the sky is blue and the world is my oyster... (as long as I don't think about the weapon in my pannier).



I pass through a 2 building town strangely named Virgin, Utah. None to be seen... believe me, I checked.



These guy's have an interesting security system... balance of power...


Where I am coming from...


Old West Ghost Town (replica) in the middle of nowhere.




Oh yeah... AND I'M GOIN' TO VEGAS BABY... VEGAS!!!




The Virgin River Canyon

Out of Zion NP, ST9 takes me onto I15 South; Las Vegas is 165 miles away. Between St. Georges UT and Mesquite NV lies a 20 mile stretch of Interstate 15 that cuts across the most northwestern corner of Arizona through an area known as The Virgin River Canyon.

I'd heard about this legendary piece of road from assorted traveler's years before and was reminded about it by Mike before I left Salt Lake. The road curls through a massive chasm cut by the river which runs deep and wide beside the highway. Legend has it that aside from being a phenomenally cool, twisty, scenic, kick ass run, it is almost unheard of to see a law enforcement officer on it.

Out of the jurisdiction of the Utah and Nevada State Patrol and too remote for the Arizona boys, the run is a neutral zone of infinite possibilities. (I know you're reading this MarkJ)

All I can say for sure is I didn't see any Troopers and I didn't see anywhere for them to park, the rest I leave to your imaginations, your wrists and your cojones.



Shooting these pics at speed was an interesting experience!




I will also let you know that when you exit the canyon and get on the straights, slow it down because AZ does patrol the flatlands and you might end up meeting my new friend, AZ Trooper Mark Nelson.

I come over a ridge doing about 90 mph when I see the big Crown Victoria on the center median and facing my way. Damn! Why fight it. I slow and pull right up onto the center pass and begin to dismount the bike as the Trooper exits his car and walks towards me... smiling. Smiling?

"Nope... not gonna give you a summons. Not on that bike." He says as I remove my helmet. I rub my ears thinking I must have misunderstood what he said.

"That's the new BMW R1150GS Adventure ain't it." It's not a question but rather a statement of fact.

Mark smiles one big ass shit eating grin, shakes my hand and introduces himself to me. Will wonders never cease?

If you're not, I repeat NOT, riding a GS Adventurer, he will write you a ticket! Mark tells me he keeps a picture of the GSAdv on his desk. It's his dream bike! Buy the damn bike Mark!

Within minutes Marks partner shows up in another cruiser and verifies the legitimacy of Marks statement.

"Oh yeah! He loves that damn bike! Got a picture of it on his desk for months now, we like to give him hell about it!"

... VERY Good Cop! (future AdvRider)


The guy's wish me luck and good journey and as I pull away I once again remember the 9mm locked in the pannier. I feel the heat come up in my face, the hair stand up on the back of my neck and a vacuum pit opens up in my gut. Big deep breath, calm down... that could have been a lot worse.

Until I can ditch the pistol I'm going to have to be more careful about drawing the attention of Law Folk.

I cross the State Line into Nevada at 2:30pm and stop in the first town I hit. Mesquite lies right at the border and is obviously here for the convenience of "Mormons gone wild."



Hot desert breezes, palm tree lined boulevards, t-shirts and chinos. Hard to believe I was trying to fornicate with an electric radiator only seven hours ago. Old men shuffle about in Hawaiian prints and gambling is every where you look... casinos? Pshaw! They have slot machines in the gas station mini-mart and video poker at McDonalds!

In just over 2 hours, I've descended from 3600ft to 1700ft and the average temperature has risen 25 some odd degrees. It's hot and I like it!




Thanks for reading... more to come...
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:13 PM   #137
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The road to Vegas!











But it's a dry heat...


Desert Flora


86 miles through the desert to Vegas and the run is cake, straight, flat and fast. At 3:30 I see the towers rising in the desert haze like Eldorado. (Anyone here read The Stand?)

The Sky Tower (Las Vegas Strip)


What an amazing place; the sheer magnitude of what has been built here defies description. The strip that Robert Urich used to cruise through in his red T-Bird as Dan Tana when I was a kid is gone. In it's stead, an "R" Rated Disneyland of wonder and magic. It seems each new hotel keeps out doing the last for attention and as such, they have brought something from every corner of the world and set it down on one long street in the middle of the desert.

On my right, Monte Carlo, the ocean parked right in front of it, on my left, The Venetian, with a full Grand Canal inside (including Gondola rides piloted by operatic Gondoliers and a grand Piazza that has you actually feeling like you’re in Italy). Next on the left is Paris, the Eiffel Tower rises 20 stories up out of a building that bears a remarkable resemblance to The Louvre, the Arch Di Triumph stands by its side. The Mirage, with its gold tinted mirrored windows that reflect everything else that surrounds it. Further on, Excalibur, the entire entrances corner, a magical interpretation of Arthur's "Camelot" (and bearing a strong likeness to Walt Disney's Magic Castle). Next to that The Luxor, a full sized onyx pyramid, from its summit, a tower of light shoots skyward and can be seen from space.





The view from my room...


Finally, to my residence for the duration of my stay, The New York New York Hotel and Casino (all this way and I'm in NY again)... an uncanny replica of the NYC skyline is the theme... The Statue of Liberty stands in the NY harbor flanked by two fire fighting tug boats... the entire hotel IS the NY skyline and a 4 loop roller coaster completely encompasses the facility, the effect is pretty amazing.

My friend Joe T has hooked me up in a big way and my rent is paid for the next 2 days. (Thanks for everything Joe!) I've crossed another time zone and have found an extra hour to party. The temperature at 9pm is 70 degrees and it's great to be outside in a t-shirt. I meet up with Joe and he shows me the sights (ok, mostly the insides of bars). Want to see the hottest club in Vegas? Go to the Rum Jungle at The Mandalay.

The inimitable Joe T. and his guest...


The Grand Canal at The Venitian


Wedding Vegas Style


If you don't think too hard, you feel like you are outside in Venice


Pavarotti slumming...


Amazing


Gotham City


The Piazza


Just a photo of a neat print for sale in the hotel...


We hit a bunch of Casino Clubs, the names of which are all a blur. We exit the Rum Jungle as I am somehow unable to strike up a decent conversation with a woman that can combine brains and beauty... or at least have enough of the latter so that the former no longer matters.

While waiting for a taxi outside the hotel, I spy a stunner off to the side of the building. I tell Joe T. to go on with out me. He wishes me good luck and gets in the cab... I'm on the prowl.

Gorgeous, dark hair and complexion... nice jeans (not to tight) T-shirt, well filled but not obnoxious, nice shoes (not fancy), great skin (little make up), easy smile (and she's looking at me while she flashes it)! Oh my God I'm in love... For the last couple of hours I've seen more fake this, enhanced that and hootchie outfits than I can begin to relate... this is an honest to God good looking woman that dresses like a human being!

I walk over and say hello... she smiles again... my heart has little wings that are just flapping around inside my chest.

"Let's get a drink I say,"... she says she has something she has to do... I say blow it off and join me... she tells me she can meet me later... I say great! She asks where I'm staying... I tell her... she asks for my room number... !?!?!!?


Aww shit! she's a hooker!?! (And I thought she liked me) Man I thought I was doing pretty well too.

Drunk, horny and heartbroken I return to my room and pass out.


I love Vegas Baby Vegas!



More to come... thanks for reading my story.
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``~~~=o&o> Rogue1

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Frank Herbert , "Dune"

"I never drive faster than I can see... other than that it's all in the reflexes..." BTILC

"Remember the face of your father." Roland the Gunslinger


http://rogue1.smugmug.com

"T.A.L.R. Redux 2007" HAS BEGUN!!! Visit the "I once was lost..." Website

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Old 05-26-2004, 05:30 PM   #138
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Thanks for taking me along today! Great pics and storytelling. The gun, you could have just given the gun to the cop. With your luck dealing with cops you would have revieved a medal! Guns/Mexico bad news. Hope ya did well on the finals. You should put your pics and story on a CD and narrate it. Keep it up.
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Old 05-27-2004, 05:33 AM   #139
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Outstanding!
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:42 AM   #140
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I knew that since you able to write this repor, that you didn't try to take that firearm across the border.

My first thought when you mentioned it was...


By the way, what camera are you using? Excellent photos
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:58 AM   #141
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Rogue,

I love your ride report and the pictures. Instead of spending a boring Thursday ignoring work I read your thread from start to finish. Hurry up and post more. AS they say from my part of the world...proper job!

I am rather taken by your litte logo =o&o>.

Surely as GS rider it should be =o&o~

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Old 05-30-2004, 03:54 AM   #142
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I know you have a regular life........ BUT 4 days since your last post...

Thanks, for writing this ride rep. ... (continuing it very, very soon)
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Old 05-30-2004, 06:49 PM   #143
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Motorofficer

Great photos, great trip. Thanks for your insight. Just for your info. Your Motorofficer friend was not an Illinois State Trooper. You wouldn't pass an ISP Motorofficer (at least, not this one). Best guess he was from the St. Louis metro area.
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:53 AM   #144
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Must read more..... please keep going....
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Old 06-02-2004, 12:18 PM   #145
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nice report rogue..drop me pm next time you're in the city..

my office is just out of the frame to the right..
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Old 06-03-2004, 12:16 AM   #146
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Took my last final today...

Sorry about the delay... I've been putting back in the stuff I left out in the email reports... it is Vegas you know... AdvRider gets the whole story with only slight editing... here goes... (those of you virgins out there may want to skip this part)

Tuesday October 22nd



At 8:45am it's warm and hazy and I'm outside the local BMW dealer for the re-torque on Silvers heads (required at 600 miles after the gasket replacement at BMW SLC). I go to open the Touratech canvas bag on the back of Silver and realize that I failed to close it at the hotel... wallet, camera, Hal, sunglasses. looks like everything is here, whew.

SLC and Yankee Trader are a perfect study in differing philosophies. BMW SLC is an installation; a modern, clean, efficient, professional, cavernous, fully stocked cornucopia of motorcycles and riding gear, a beautiful boutique and service center, staffed with sales consultants, service professionals and certified technicians.

Yankee Trader BMW is a "bike shop", staffed with guys that sell bikes and the mechanics that fix 'em. Harley Davidsons and BMWs share the floor space; everyone is in worn, garage grey coveralls. Zippo cases, head wraps and leather chaps, this place is old school and that's cool with me.

I meet Gary, Ed, Willie and Richard. Silver needs to cool down and the job will take a while. I grab a few dozen donuts to grease the wheels and from out of nowhere the place is full of cops (interesting how that works, huh? Wink) getting service on their RTPs. (The donuts work)

Ahhh crap!

At 9:45 I realize I've lost my cell phone. I guess something did pop out of the open bag. I've lost every contact number I've collected over the last 2 years and the phone numbers of every person I need or may need to get in touch with on this trip. Not to mention the ability to call for help if something bad happens. I dial my number from the shop, it rings 3 times and goes to voicemail, it's still on, didn't break when it hit the ground. I'm really messed up over this.

I meet a fellow traveler named Lee, owner of a BMW R850R and frequent visitor to Mexico (no last name, no email, hey Yankee Trader crew, if you know who this guy is, send me some contact info, I want to thank him), he gives me some valuable advice on where to go, who to see, what to avoid and what not to eat in Cabo, La Paz and the mainland.

There is a gun dealer a mile up the road from the bike shop and I take a walk to ask for advice or assistance with the Sig Sauer pistol. My plan is to ship it back to its legal owner in Salt Lake City. I explain my situation to Scott, the manager. They are as helpful as they can be. If I want them to ship it I have to have paperwork. Scott confides in me that if I break the weapon down into its individual parts and pack each one separately I should not have any problems FedEx-ing it. They rarely check overnight priority packages originating within the U.S. He warns me not to send the ammunition as it is an explosive. Sounds like a plan.

At noon, I call my cell number again; ready to offer a reward to whoever answers the call. It goes right to voicemail, it's either been run over or it's been turned off... damn. This is a disaster.

Silver comes off the lift at 1pm. I run a few errands, including picking up a few Fed-Ex boxes for the pistol parts and head back to the hotel. I park outside and ask for the lost and found, hoping for a miracle. At that moment one arrives and Angel Vasquez (Queens Native now NY Hotel Security) rolls up on his bicycle and asks if the phone was in a leather case.

I tell you now, as God is my witness, I fell on my knees right there in the middle of the driveway. Angel, (hmmm... coincidence or divine intervention?) my latest savior, thanks again.

As we walk inside to get the phone Angel tells me he saw all the 212 and 917 numbers in it and knew it had to be a guest from NYC. He found the phone by the exit from the garage, right next to the speed bumps, which explains how the phone popped out. I'm lucky it wasn't the laptop.



At the front desk, I find that Nancy (of Mex-Pro Insurance) & Joe (of BMW FS) have fulfilled their promise and all of the necessary paperwork for Mexico has arrived. I love it when a plan comes together.

Once back in the room, I break down the Sig into its individual components, wrap them up in newspaper and seal them in their individual Fed-Ex boxes. I fill out the shipping labels and head back to Fed-Ex. Total fees for Overnight Priority AM delivery; $102. I call the owner of the weapon to inform him that they are in transit. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. He agrees to contact me the second they arrive so I can stop worrying.







Off to the Guggenheim Museum (housed in The Venetian) to accomplish one of the prime targets of my journey, to finally see "The Art of the Motorcycl Exhibit."

I missed it in NYC (even though I had a small hand in setting it up) I missed it in Bilbao Spain (because I never went ok?) and I missed the gala Grand Opening Ride To Vegas, that became infamous because of Lauren Hutton's near fatal crash, because I couldn't get away from my previous job.






Silvers brother longs for freedom... he can't escape... he valiantly tells us to go on without him...


The first thing I see as I arrive in the Guggenheim is Silver's twin, up on a pedestal in the gift shop by the entrance! (I have to admit, that was the best part of the show for me).

Inside, the exhibit spans the entire history of two wheeled transportation and does a fantastic job of linking the motorcycles effect on culture and sub-cultures over the last 75 years. Montage clips from movies like Easy Rider, The Great Escape and The Wild Ones are projected on the walls. 25 foot high photos and screen shots ala Roman Holiday (Gregory Peck and my all time favorite, Audrey Hepburn on that Vespa) and Steve McQueen jumping the barb wire fence in The Great Escape (it wasn't really him you know) and Marlon Brando in his famous pose from the Wild Ones (he rode a Triumph in that film, not a Harley as most people think) are everywhere. Classic photos of famous racers from the turn of the century through the modern era... and the bikes... oh, the bikes... too many too list from the earliest right through to Italjet.

No photos are allowed, yeah sure... I break the rules and snap a few without the flash... bad Sean. J [Insert self flagellation sequence here]







This would be one lopsided sorry race...










Back at the hotel, I catch a ride on the NY Express Roller Coaster, the most expensive roller coaster the German tourist sitting next to me has ever been on. Peaking at the 32nd floor of the hotel, it's worth the $12 to say "I did it."

The big surprise on this ride is that from the street and most of the areas of the hotel, you can't see the loops and won't know they exist unless you ride it or someone tells you. They sure caught me by surprise, round a corner 300 feet above the Vegas strip and you see... Holy Sh**!




I stop at Coyote Ugly for a quick beer on the way up to my room. Franchised now, it's a rip off of Hog's & Heifers in NYC... 5 minutes of looking at the pretty but pretty useless bartenders and I still don't have a beer. If these gals worked at Hogs they'd be out on their asses in a proverbial NY minute! I pick up a beer from the guy at the stand next to the elevators it takes 10 seconds, that's service.

I spend the afternoon letting the staff bring me Margaritas on the rocks by the hotels magnificent pool. The sun is hot, the water is cool, the drinks are cold and the scenery is tasty.

The roller coaster goes by about every three minutes. It carries 24 screaming people. My mind does some quick math. Each run grosses $288. At one run every 3 minutes it does 20 runs in an hour; $5760. If the ride runs from 10 AM to Midnight it makes over $80,000 a day!

Holy amusements Batman!








This place has everything!














...and I mean EVERYTHING....


Including the Brooklyn Bridge






I meet some ladies of less than stellar repute...

Joe and I hit a bunch more hot spots that night and I end up back in the hotel lobby alone again. Sitting at one of the 100 bars just shy of 3 AM, I say hello to a damn fine looking girl as she passes. She stops and I ask her to join me. Her name is Barbara. She says she's with her friend at one of the other bars and asks me to join them. I say yes, of course!

As we walk through the casino she turns to me and asks "So, what are ya looking for honey?"

Oh great, another prostitute. She sees the look on my face and tells me not to worry about it.

"You're a cutie," I just might have to do you for free." She say's as she laughs.

We enter the other bar and I follow her to a table where she introduces me to her friend Lisa. Wow, Lisa looks even better than Barbara. I thought professionals only looked this good in the movies.

"Look what I found!" Barbara say's.

"Oooo, he's adorable." Says Lisa.

"He's not a customer."

"Is he a cop?"

"Are you a cop?" Barbara asks me.

"Nope... not a cop," I reply.

"Well you sure are a hottie. Why don't you just buy us a drink and hang out a while." suggests Lisa.

That's fine by me. As I approach the bar I begin wondering where this is going to lead. I have a mix of good thoughts and bad. On the one hand, this could end up being a very fun evening. On the other hand, I could end up getting ripped off or worse. Hell, I don't know what the deal is here... this could be some kind of LVPD sting operation. Going to jail for soliciting is not something that rates high on my list of "things to do" on my trip.

We sit and talk. They tell me how f***ed up their job is and how screwed up there customers and bosses are and if I didn't know what they did for a living they could be talking about any job in the world.

The conversation is, how can I put this to make it acceptable to all... racy? (And that's a very mild description)

At 4 AM, Lisa turns to Barbara and states that it doesn't look like they are going to find any more work this evening. Barbara agrees and they ask me what room I'm staying in!

And that is all I am going to say about that night...






More to come...
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``~~~=o&o> Rogue1

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Frank Herbert , "Dune"

"I never drive faster than I can see... other than that it's all in the reflexes..." BTILC

"Remember the face of your father." Roland the Gunslinger


http://rogue1.smugmug.com

"T.A.L.R. Redux 2007" HAS BEGUN!!! Visit the "I once was lost..." Website

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Old 06-03-2004, 12:41 AM   #147
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Eek Oh God... I hope my mother doesn't read this

Wednesday, October 23rd

Vegas is too much fun and I stay an extra day (that plus I didn't even get to sleep until 7 AM) I finish Update #3 by noon, catch lunch and get some rays by the pool (I know... your all cold and don't need to hear this).

I got a call at 10:30 AM informing me that the packages have arrived in Salt Lake City intact and undetected. WHEW! OK, now I can breathe. With that situation secure I am back to my old carefree self.

My JVC MiniDV camcorder is pretty messed up. I can't get the tape out and it is obviously torn up in the loading mechanism. Through the internet I have located a small television/VCR repair shop. I drop the unit off and the tech tells me he can have it ready by tomorrow. "Please," I beseech the tech, "The tape in that camera means more to me than the camera itself. Whatever you do, save the tape."

Dinner on the Grand Canal at The Venetian (this place is extraordinary) and then over to The Palm and up to the famous Ghost Bar. I think that I normaly might have a problem getting in here but there is a big rodeo in town and next to all the cowboy clones I look downright continental.



Here is the glass bottom terrace


Off the strip, on the 55th floor, this place offers the absolute best view of Las Vegas. From the terrace, you can see EVERYTHING! The terrace floor is made of clear plastic/glass and allows you to look straight down to the parking lot, close to 600ft below. Standing on it is not for the faint of heart or vertigo sufferers.





Last stop, Joe takes me to a great dive off the strip called The Double Down. This place is a bar, local hang and knowledge only. With reasonable prices and real people, this is my kinda watering hole.

A band is blowin' and banging out some serious blues. When I look towards the stage I can't believe my eyes! Up on stage singing with a killer blues jam...

It's "Joliet" Jake Blues! Sonovabitch! I've been looking for him since Chicago!


(Ok, not the real thing, but an incredible simulation... right down to the name tatooed on the knuckles!)

Come to think of it, I haven't seen one Elvis. NOT ONE DAMN ELVIS! I've been robbed.

The Candy is on the left... the kiss is on the right... oh what a tuff place the road is...


While I stand watching/listening to the band, the very attractive young lady standing too my right suddenly puts her arm around my waist. WHOA! I look at her and she looks at me very seriously and says "Kiss me".

Never one to question so important an order, I do as the lady tells me.

She is a very good kisser.

(Pause for effect; whew) This was no peck on the cheek.

Our lips part... we breathe... I think she liked it as well...

She says thank you and explains about the guy that has been hassling her.

I kiss her again... yup... still good.

I am pleased to see she obviously enjoyed it as well.

I am her escape; Her Knight in shining CE Knox armor.

He leaves thinking she is with me.

Believe it or not... this is where things get complicated.

Moments later her friend starts talking to me. Her friend is a struggling actress that should be modeling for Playboy. Okay, maybe not Playboy, but definitely Hustler. I am only human.

Her name is Candy; Candy B******. (I shit you not!)

"Are you an actor?" she asks, "You're an actor aren't you!" She has already decided I am.

"What are you doing in Vegas? Are you filming here?" she continues on her own track. "You're filming aren't you!"

I say the only response that can't screw me up no matter what happens, "I can't talk about it." (Oh my God I'm going to Hell)



Her friend disappears and Candy is all over me. I'm shameless in my manipulations. My caloric intake goes through the roof.

Candy rides the Pony!




I know what I want to come back as...




And that's all I'm going to say about the rest of that night as well!


Why? Because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. (And I don't want to get sued)


Thanks for reading my story... more to come.
__________________
``~~~=o&o> Rogue1

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Frank Herbert , "Dune"

"I never drive faster than I can see... other than that it's all in the reflexes..." BTILC

"Remember the face of your father." Roland the Gunslinger


http://rogue1.smugmug.com

"T.A.L.R. Redux 2007" HAS BEGUN!!! Visit the "I once was lost..." Website

Rogue 1 screwed with this post 08-13-2006 at 03:11 PM
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Old 06-03-2004, 01:15 AM   #148
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Leaving Las Vegas!

Thursday October 24th

I wake up. I am in pain. Some parts won't move. Some parts move in ways they never have before. I am pissing in three separate directions. My head hurts.

I can't stop smiling.

No hot shower ever felt as good as the one I have this morning. How do you spell relief?

H O T S H O W E R ! ahhh

I take 3 Aleves an Echinacea and a couple of Vitamin C. I pack. I check out. The biggest expense I have is the room service and high speed internet. I load Silver. (Thank you Joe T)

It's sunny and warm and the weather is perfect for riding. Angel the security officer sees me off as I leave the hotel, Silvers packed, Rose knows the way and I'm heading for Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

A quick stop at the TV repair shop to pick up the camcorder finds a semi functioning unit (it needs some more parts) a completely chewed up tape in a plastic baggie (tech says a good Video transfer company can salvage most of it) and a heart stopping bill for $125 dollars (ouch!).

Rose guides me clear of Las Vegas and onto 93, south east towards the mountains that frame Sin City.

The air is dry and the sun is hot as I make my ascent. I cant resist checking out a little hotel hawking 99 cent margaritas and enter to put one to the test. Best gimmick I've seen on the road to date... 10 minutes, 1 so-so margarita and 15 bucks in the video poker game.

Lake Meade


I like the way you can see the reflection of the road/camera in this shot





The Colorado River Valley... breathtaking














I reach and cross the Hoover Dam, security is heavy and I am shooed off the structure while stopped to shoot a picture of the American Flag waving in the breeze; blows my feeling of national pride right out.

Still a damn fine looking Flag


Loudspeaker: [crackle] "Sir... SIR! On the motorcycle... you can't stop on the dam. Please move the motorcycle."

"OK, OK" I say under my breath as I shoot a few more pics.

The loudspeaker crackles again, "Sir, you must move the motorcycle. Stopping on the Dam is prohibited."

"Do I look like a terrorist?" I ask (under my breath) as I swing my leg over the bike and pull out.

(Yes, I took some Dam pictures and no, I didn't have any Dam questions).

Two hundred yards later I stop right in the middle of the Dam, jump off the bike and shoot some quick pics... again; Bad Sean.









I enter Arizona, marveling at the spectacular view of the Colorado River Valley and high above it, created by man, the grandeur of Lake Meade. Onto I40 East, Rose tells me I have 246 miles to travel to reach the Grand Canyon. I resign myself to the fact that I probably won't make it today.











With Jackson Browne and Bob Seger serenading me on the Autocom, I enter the Arizona and am awed by the desolate beauty that stretches to the horizon.



High on the list of places to avoid


Silvers thirsty and I pull off at a nothing exit that has a gas sign. Dolan Springs AZ. 10 miles off the highway I go right past the station (if you can call it that) and have to ask someone where it is. I pull into Star Country and see the two lone pumps sticking out of the dusty earth towards the back of the building. $1.98 a gallon for 87 octane and thats it. Crap gas, overpriced. Silvers almost empty, I pump 2 gallons because I have no choice, and only 2 on principle (plus I don't want a full tank of this sludge).

Inside, I discover a can of Bud is $1.25, $2.25 if I drink it on premise. What a tourist trap, it's like one of those last chance gas places.


No such thing as full service here





More to come...
__________________
``~~~=o&o> Rogue1

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Frank Herbert , "Dune"

"I never drive faster than I can see... other than that it's all in the reflexes..." BTILC

"Remember the face of your father." Roland the Gunslinger


http://rogue1.smugmug.com

"T.A.L.R. Redux 2007" HAS BEGUN!!! Visit the "I once was lost..." Website

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Old 06-03-2004, 02:06 AM   #149
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Robert the Barber (Kennys son)


Everything happens for a reason.

Just before I reach the highway I notice a sign for a barber and figure 20 days is enough growth to take a shot at repairing the damage caused by "Hurricane Flo" back in St. Louis.(Which I find great irony in as Flo lived in Arizona). I meet Robert Steck, son of Kenny Steck, whose name is on the shingle and who is off throwing away Roberts inheritance in Vegas.



Robert looks my head over, agrees it's a bad haircut, and says "I can promise you this, I wont make it any worse."

Good enough for me and I sit in the chair. We hit it right off and he tells me he's moved back to this area to be close to his folks after they had a bit of an incident.

Great Story

Seems a young gang banger on the run out of Vegas and hiding locally decided they'd be easy prey for a quick score. After staking them out for a week, he broke in during the night, handcuffed them at gunpoint, put them in their car, and drove them out to 2 previously dug, unmarked graves in the desert.

Roberts dad, Kenny, at the age 70 something, is apparently one tough old bastard. He manages to get his pistol out of the glove box (he and his wife still cuffed) and its gunfight at the OK Corral time. The kid takes off, and Robert's parents make their way out of the desert in the dark. Kenny doesn't see very well without his glasses and almost gets himself shot when he raises his gun at the approach of a State Trooper that finds them the next morning; luckily the trooper recognizes him at the last second, holds his fire and identifies himself.

The kid panicked and wrecked the car, was caught, confessed and will be gone for a long time.

What can I say; it was worth the price of the haircut just for that story. The cut is finished; the head is much improved and to top it off, Robert, against all my efforts otherwise, refuses to take my money! Another fantastic encounter with a truly good hearted human being on the road, there is hope for us yet.

He's right! Its not worse!


Robert and I go over my map, looking for possible alternatives to the Interstate and I see that US93 intersects with I40 at Kingman. A thin, curvy line breaks off and runs parallel to the north, east bound and is labeled 66.

"Is that ‘Old Route 66?"
I ask. The answer is yes and I'm off to see a little history.






Back on the highway, feeling damn good about life, people and my new haircut, I continue southeast into Kingman AZ, a town given legendary status by the song and 50's TV show, "Route 66."

"Well if you ever plan to motor west, travel my way, take the highway thats the best. Get your kicks on Route 66... Well it rolls through St Louis, down to Missouri, Oklahoma City looks oh so pretty, you'll see Amarillo, Gallup New Mexico. Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow and San Bernardino."

Anyway, I'm excited to see it; nothing town that it is, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a hokey tourist on Rt66.

I pull into a gas station to finish quenching Silvers thirst as 3 buses loaded with Asian tourists arrive simultaneously. Cool, even hokier tourists; now I can proceed unnoticed. In seconds, the mini mart/souvenir shop is a mob scene. It's like downtown Chinatown at rush hour. Lines 20 deep for the bathroom, everybody picking up packages of food, trying to identify their contents and the faces on the two, utterly overwhelmed, 16 year old counterpersons are priceless.


Armed with a new and improved haircut, our hero surveys the road ahead...


Lets be up front about this, apparently, there is nothing to see or do in Kingman AZ. Not counting the obvious attraction of its geographic locale on a road that probably hasn't had any real draw aside from the song in 35 years, the only reason I consider staying is its row of national hotel chains competing for guests at the common low rate of $29 a night.

It's 5pm, and the sun is low, about to set, as I elect instead to try to cover a few more miles. I make my destination for the evening Peach Springs AZ, 60 some odd miles further on. The town is north of 66, close to the Canyon and the map looks like I will be able to catch a road along the edge in the morning.





Miles to date


At dusk I stop and sit by the side of the road and watch a hundred car transport train pass by, the desert floor shakes as the mili-ton beast makes its way into the darkness.

The sun has set and the chills come on strong. Somewhere along the way, I crept up in elevation from 1600 ft to 4800 feet, big change from the balmy night air of Vegas and I need to find somewhere to warm up, grab something to eat and don some of my warmer gear. Up ahead, on the dark stretch of road near Truxton, in a deserted area, I see a single, blue neon sign in the window of a small squat structure. The hand painted, dimly lit placard above the door reads "Frontier Bar." Hitching posts cordon off the area immediately in front.

I enter.

Inside, one customer, a middle aged gentleman dressed in auto service attire sits, at a plain no nonsense bar. The barmaid, a round native American woman that spends at least as much on her hair as she does on her meals eyes me warily as I quietly take a seat a few feet down from her other client.

The room, brightly lit by overhead fluorescent lights, boasts unadorned off white walls and a light, scuffed linoleum floor. A huge selection of junk food hangs behind the bar. The World Series is being played on a 17" TV and it's like a slap in the face to me as I realize I had no idea it was going on... this is game 5.

Sofia


Rick


After a few uncomfortable moments, I learn Rick and Sofia's names and we chat about local hunting on the Indian Reservations, the weather (snow is coming in the next 2 days) and the benefits of the new micro fiber technologies in cold weather.

Sofia
is related to every person in the area, being a half breed, and is the resident town gossip. She knows everything. The discussion gets my full attention when they tell me that Peach Tree is on the Hualapai Indian Reservation and it'll cost me my left testicle to get a room in the only hotel they have there.


In addition to that, the road north I planned on taking has no egress and I'd wind up at a dead end. Pays to get local info.

Rick tells me I should have stayed in Kingman and I'm tempted to agree. I learn Rick owns an auto repair shop in Kingman and as Sofia tempts me with a room at her motel across the street, the joint starts jumping...

Get the wagons in a circle... here come the Hualapai!

Within 15 minutes, the place is packed with loud, heavy drinking Native Americans, insisting Rick and I join them for a shot. Truxton, and the Frontier Bar, are strategically located on the very edge of the Hualapai Reservation, and alcohol is strictly forbidden on the Reservation.

We are surrounded; literally. The Hualapai are all around us and the biggest loudest guy in the group, whom I can only refer to as Chief, insists that we have shots with him.

The Chief (with the bandana)


"You will drink Tequila with me," he says in a manner that allows no room for refusal (and I swear he said it exactly like that!) I blink and we've downed three in less than five minutes. I can't believe how hard these people are hitting the bottle.

The Tribe




The Squaws


My digital camera creates quite a stir and everyone wants their picture taken… things start to get a little dicey when two of the women (round and toothless) start hanging on me to get there photos taken (and God knows what else).

I should have seen this coming

Then things go bad and it all happens pretty fast... the stereotype of American Indians and fire water rings very true here and 20 minutes after they arrive, a fight breaks out between one of the men and one of the women... the commotion rolls into Rick and I, and I find myself pulling the man off the woman after he slugs her a good one on the jaw.

As these situations usually go, in 2 seconds, the whole bar is in on it. I take a shot in the kidney from someone behind me and my elbow reflexes up into what must have been a jaw. A hand grabs my collar on the right and my arm rises up and over for the pin, my left hand, open palm, comes around to a solar plexus and a head drops out of sight as knees buckle. This happens while the sharp pain in my kidney has my nuts feeling like they are going to drop into my boots. (Must have been a helluva shot as I am wearing my riding jacket). It looks like the women are in it as deep as the men. Mostly grabbing and wrestling now. Then as quickly as it began everyone is pulling each other off and back.

A minute later, order is restored and the original instigator is expelled from the premises (once he is able to find the door). The patrons act as if nothing happened and return to their drinks, the ones still upright, and order refills. Sofia is glancing around the room like a T-9 Terminator marking targets and the undercurrent in the room indicates that still waters are running deep.

Everyone is on edge, and still pounding down the tequila as Rick and I look at each other and wordlessly agree it is time to for the palefaces to get the hell out of Dodge. Nope, I won't be staying in this town tonight, no way, uh uh.

Outside, Rick gives me his card and lets me know my best bet is Seligman, an hour, give or take, farther up the road (55 miles). Freezing my butt off, I throw caution to the wind and tear along 66 at speeds better left unmentioned (screw the Elk, Moose, Bear and Deer, if one is going to get me; so be it). I stop only once to witness an amazing moon rise, ultra clear in the cold crisp mountain air. Huge on the horizon; it turns gold, then yellow and finally bright white through the clouds that pass in front of it. Wow.

Reaching Seligman unscathed, I grab a great bowl of chili and an order of jalapeno poppers at the world famous OK Saloon. The bartender, Darlene, recommends a room at The Deluxe as the "decent" hotel is full.

An East Indian woman meets me at the desk and gives me a rate of $55. I inform her that I had been told the rate was $35. She looks at me from under her brow and asks in an abrupt tone of voice, "Who told you that?!?"

"Darlene down at the OK Saloon recommended you and told me a room is $35 a night." I shoot back at her (I have found that asking a town local the going rates for rooms is a good rule of thumb when looking for cheap hotels, prevents gouging).

She agrees to $35 and hands me they key.

The room is crappy but clean and I fall asleep instantly at 10:30pm while an old rerun of Star Trek; Next Generation is playing on the TV...

365 miles today, and alot more excitement than I'd bargained for.


Whew...

More to come... thanks for reading my story...
__________________
``~~~=o&o> Rogue1

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Frank Herbert , "Dune"

"I never drive faster than I can see... other than that it's all in the reflexes..." BTILC

"Remember the face of your father." Roland the Gunslinger


http://rogue1.smugmug.com

"T.A.L.R. Redux 2007" HAS BEGUN!!! Visit the "I once was lost..." Website

Rogue 1 screwed with this post 08-13-2006 at 03:27 PM Reason: bugs bugs when does it end?
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:46 AM   #150
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Talking Ok Doug, Peach, Zero etc... this should be keepin ya busy...

The Deluxe Motel on Route 66... don't pay more than $35 a night


Friday October 25th

I wake early, 6:30am, after a good nights sleep. Outside, it’s very sunny and very, very cold. The thermometer in front of the office says 37 degrees, and after Las Vegas it feels like 20 (funny how fast you get spoiled). For the first time in weeks, Silver is covered with dew. As I load her up, I see the early morning sun on Old Route 66, lighting up the souvenir shops, gas stations and restaurants, crystal clear in the brisk wintry air. Three Japanese cruisers style motorcycles pass me and the wave is one of camaraderie and mutual understanding, recognizable by the traveler.





Silver is packed, Rose is ready, and they have their work cut out for them today; RT 66 East to I40 East, through Williams AZ to 64 north and then onto 180 north to the Grand Canyon. 125 miles and that’s just the itinerary for the morning.

I exit RT 66 and stop at a cow crossing sign that someone has stenciled a silhouette of a UFO on… pretty funny.

The truth is out there...


The ride is gorgeous but uneventful. Highway 180 northbound to the Canyon is populated with thick aromatic pine and the scent is strong and invigorating, yet only slightly hilly and agonizingly straight. This serves to reduce my excitement and dulls the anticipation that I should be feeling.

I pay the $10 National Park entrance fee and spend 20 minutes trying to find a route to a good view, alternating between the directions from the ranger and Rose. All of the old access roads that led to the canyons edge are closed. Too much pollution from the cars is degrading the view. I finally get close enough to park and walk to the edge…

…whoa…whoa… I mean… whoooaaaa… wow, ok… it’s big… very, very big…



















Obligatory "what a jerk" move...




This is one big hole in the ground!

Pictures and words can’t come close to describing it. You have to see it… period. At 7100 feet above sea level, looking down into this magnificent chasm, cut into the earth over countless millennia, I begin to feel like I’ve actually accomplished something special just by having managed to make my way here.

OK… enough of that… gotta go…

The “getting here” and “seeing it” held more importance to me than the view. Seeing the Grand Canyon was the goal, first and foremost. In all honesty, I got more pleasure from the Badlands, The Burr Trail and Rockies than I did from the Grand Canyon. I’ll attribute a good bit of this to a lifetime of inundation by movies, pictures, books, brochures, and advertisements etc, all featuring this special place, and guiding me to a certain level of jadedness. I have no doubt it's better if you spenf more time exploring/riding it... Sorry…

Out of the park, southbound I am experiencing some time confusion. When I left Las Vegas yesterday, I was on Pacific Time. An international timeline divides Arizona and Nevada and I crossed it, yet the time here is the same as Vegas. It will take me 2 days to figure out that Arizona is the only state that doesn’t utilize Daylight Savings time. To quote the gas station manager just north of I40, “We don’t go for that city crap here.”






My goal at this point is to make it to Jesse Luggage Systems (manufacturers of the best adventure touring panniers and top cases in the world) in Peoria AZ (just outside Phoenix) to meet Al Jesse himself and his staff (I am using their products on Silver and would really like to get a locking top case before I enter Mexico).



The good news here is that with my extra hour, its 12 noon and I am going to ride through some very beautiful country. Sedona has been recommended to me by more than a few people. The bad news is Jesse Luggage closes at 5pm, it’s Friday and my route puts the distance at 255 miles.

Five hours to do 255 miles?

Time to get to work.

I head south at high speed and catch I40 East towards Flagstaff AZ. The mountain peaks in the distance capped in white, indicate that ski season has already begun here.

North of Sedona heading towards Flagstaff... ski season is under way... (yes the speedo says 90 mph)




I detour from Flagstaff and catch 89A south to Sedona. The road winds through thickly vegetated twisties and canyon walls and suddenly descends at a rapid pace deep into a valley. The road down is intense both for its technical challenge and its magnificent views.

As I drop in altitude and the climate changes for the better, I find myself out of winter and once again in the fall, complete with all the changing foliage. Thick stands of Birch, Oak and Maple vie for my attention, screaming with color in the early afternoon sun. The valley is lush and green, winding along a stream past fantastic little cottages deep in the heavy growth.

Not for the first time, but certainly for the first time seriously, I picture myself living here in this small piece of Nirvana. The urge to stop and make a closer inspection is strong, but my desire to get to Peoria is stronger. In Sedona, the town proper, I find another great little artists/tourist center.

A call to Al Jesse at 2pm informs me that they were planning on leaving early, Al will wait for me, but I really have to make some time now… how about we condense this…

ZOOOOM! Uh oh… State Trooper… I pull over to Trooper Rob, he smiles, clocked me high, he waves me to go… I mention Mark Nelson and Gary McBride, the two AZ troopers I met before I entered Nevada… he knows Gary and I’m gone with a big thank you.

ZOOOOM! The decent in elevation continues. Peoria at 3:50pm… 160 miles of tech roads and interstate, feel free to do the math… by the time I exit the beltline in Peoria; the temperature is scraping 85 degrees.

Jesse Luggage's address isn’t in Roses memory and unable to find the factory, I ask a cop on a Harley… no clue, no help… hmmm… who’s the best person to ask for directions… BROWN! The UPS guy knows exactly where to go and 2 minutes later I’m shaking hands with the man, the myth, the legend, Al Jesse and his lovely wife and better half, Julie (Julie Jesse?).

Al Jesse and the Personal Touch


Julie Jesse


Great folks! They have a dinner engagement that they have delayed to wait for me and after a quick tour of the small, well equipped plant, Al gives me a better than awesome deal on a 35liter top case for Silver… and installs it himself!

The Factory... where it all happens


Julie offers me a Kit Kat while I wait, most likely to keep me out of Al’s hair so he can finish the job and get their butts out of here to start their weekend.

We pose with our steeds


Thanks for waiting for me


AL and Julie are pretty accomplished travelers and give me some great advice on Mexico, and while looking at the map, figuring out my next destination, we see Tombstone AZ. Plot a course Mr. Sulu. En route is the installation for the “Biosphere 2” Project and AL say’s that will be a great place to see. It’s in Oracle AZ.

You guy’s were great! Thanks for waiting for me, thanks for the Kit Kats, thanks for the advice and thanks for the sweet deal… the case will prove invaluable as have the panniers, but mostly, I’m glad I finally got to meet you. Tell Niel I’m sorry I missed him!

Armored Transport!


With Silver now set up like Fort Knox, I hit the road again and only a mile or two from the Jesse plant I stop and watch the sunset over a field of cotton… cotton in Arizona? I pick some (you got a problem with that? Chuckle) and map out a route to Oracle AZ, 128 miles away and promising to make this one heck of a long day…



Keeping busy...

More to come...
__________________
``~~~=o&o> Rogue1

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Frank Herbert , "Dune"

"I never drive faster than I can see... other than that it's all in the reflexes..." BTILC

"Remember the face of your father." Roland the Gunslinger


http://rogue1.smugmug.com

"T.A.L.R. Redux 2007" HAS BEGUN!!! Visit the "I once was lost..." Website
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