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Old 06-03-2004, 03:14 AM   #151
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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…













Around 7pm, having ridden as if the banshees are on my tail for an hour or so, I stop at The River Bottom Bar in Florence AZ for quick rest break. One Corona as Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” plays on the juke box. God help me… I think I’m starting to like country music.

I blast down ST 79 south, its cold again at 4500ft, and the stars are so thick in the sky it becomes hard to make out the constellations. I witness another breathtaking moonrise just before I reach Oracle.

Bathroom break... I see this over the urinal... only in America (ok... that probably isn't true)




Moonrise in the desert... the cactus grow high


Outside the town I stop at the front entrance to the Biosphere Compound. The site is marked by a magnificent boulder with the name of the facility carved into it. It is lit beautifully at night.







I make a quick stop in the mini mart for supplies, a sandwich, some soup and water and advice on a place to stay. While I’m there, 3 separate groups of college students come in to buy beer… 2 are turned away without ID. Biosphere is run by Columbia University and there is a campus nearby.

There is only one hotel in this rinky dink town, The Chalet Village & Locksmith (I’m not kidding here) and each room is an individual cabin in the shape of a… you guessed, ski chalet.

The girl at the mini mart told me the rooms are about $30 a night and Marny the innkeeper seems pissed that I know it… “Who told you that?” she asks as I fill out the registry card. Where have I heard that before?

The first room I enter is pretty gross. Aside from the usual stuff, there is a ½ joint on the fridge, used condoms in the over flowing trash and all the towels have been used and scattered around the shower stall.

DO NOT STAY IN THIS MOTEL HELL!






Marny shrugs and gives me another key. This room, having been serviced, is only slightly better. Stains on the bed cover, the door looks like it’s been busted in a few times, no reception on the TV, human hairs on the pillow, duct tape over the holes in the floor, etc…





By now it’s pretty obvious to me that this place is a popular spot for the students to have parties. I’m too tired to care and I watch the static on the TV while I eat my dinner.

540 miles today, wow, RT66, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix and the Ski Chalet Motel & Locksmith. I sleep like the dead.


Ok folks, update 7 complete. Tune in next time when our hero says “I ate what?”…

Peace and happiness to you all and follow your dreams.


Thanks for reading my story....

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

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Old 06-03-2004, 03:50 AM   #152
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Biosphere 2, Oracle Arizona

“Do something, everyday, that scares you” Baz Lurhman.

Friends, roamers, country folk, lend me your ears… Hello all and welcome to yet another episode of Roamin’ Rogan’s Road Rave… humbly titled, Update # 8… many thanks to all of you who have written back to me and shown your support.

What say we get right to it…?

Saturday October 26th





The weather is partly sunny, very cool in the shade. Silver now has 8184 miles under her belt(s) and I have been riding for 40 days and 40 nights. I slept the night away fully dressed and on top of the covers, afraid of what I might find if I pulled them back. I shut the TV off, left on through the night, the static drowning out the sound of passing trucks. A cold shower in a cramped stall (don’t step on the duct taped holes, hell, don’t step on the floor at all) and my tooth brush scrubs away the after taste of the cardboard like sandwich I ate before I went to sleep.







8:30 a.m., I start repacking Silver, preparing to clear out of Motel Hell. The area looks even more desolate and depressing by the light of day. Outside the room, a young boy of about three years walks over and watches me intently. His older brother, maybe 4, plays near another motorcycle parked 3 cabins away. I finish loading Silver and don my riding gear, the hi-tech Dainese Jacket and full face Arai helmet, with it’s iridium mirrored blue face shield illicit a look of pure fascination. I probably look like a power ranger to him… I wave and say good morning… he smiles, sticks out his tongue and runs over to his brother, now climbing on the other bike; a fitting climax to this small section of my history.


I climb onto Silver, punch her start button, and with a quick rev, I bid good riddance to this hole they call a town; don’t think I’ll be adding Oracle to the list of cool places to live.







6 miles down the road to the turn off for Biosphere 2 and the sun is burning away the clouds. I ride along the twisting, hilly, desert back roads, passing a mining area peppered with blast warnings and signs forbidding the use of radio transmitters. Through the main gate, the corner stone reads “Biosphere 2 Research Facility, Columbia University”.




A little further on, the road forks, visitors/tourists to the left, academia (only) to the right… hmmm, a dilemma… My New York kicks in and, as I hate being a tourist, I break right with a devilish grin. Let’s have a little fun… what’s the worst that can happen?

I reach a security gate; pull up with my face shield down, mirroring the guards features, he raises the gate before I can come to a complete stop and I pass with my NY Plates, unmolested. Hmmm, I guess there not worried about terrorists here. I follow a white van around the back of a building while checking out the facilities. The place looks like Moon Station Alpha on that old TV show, Space 1999. The Biosphere bubble rises above the tubular framed, glass enclosed greenhouses, very futuristic looking.








I park in the Columbia Faculty area, no charge, no questions, inconspicuously snap a few photos and survey the area. If I were a terrorist, this place would be toast. I feel like James Bond infiltrating Goldfinger’s compound, the only part missing is the mechanical voice counting down the minutes to the end of the world, “Two minutes… and counting.”

This is fun.






Near the entrance to the main buildings, I see a tour starting and I stroll over and melt into the crowd; not an easy task for a 6’3” biker carrying a helmet and wearing what looks like an armored ski jacket in the middle of the desert. The Bond theme plays in my head… one free Biosphere tour… coming up!





The tour is fantastic and the tour guide is a Spaniard that moves and sounds amazingly like Ricardo Montoban. Biosphere’s only purpose is the study of the effects of carbon monoxide on the global environment. The facility houses four separate enclosed, sealed environments, real, accurate and totally self sustaining, from bacteria to plants, animals and insects; in fact, they have no current data on the populations of the environments, as the laws of nature and the food chain run free and unchecked.







The bio chambers house an ocean; complete with self a sustaining, living coral reef, a desert, a marsh and a rainforest. The specific target of the study is to find out how deforestation and the depletion of our resources affect the ability of nature to convert carbon monoxide into oxygen. One of the ways this is accomplished is to vary the levels of CM in the greenhouses.























Manhattan during the Ice Age




Our Guide


The desert will be closed till futher notice...




Worlds largest species of sea anemone (stands taller than me)






The results to date have shown that if we continue on the course we are on now, and we don’t find a way to duplicate photosynthesis mechanically, the earth will be uninhabitable within 300 years. A sobering thought… humanity better get its shit together, or within 9 generations we will have destroyed the planet. Anyone remember the Andromeda Strain?




More to come...
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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


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Old 06-03-2004, 03:59 AM   #153
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Ok… enough biological doom saying for today… Off my soap box and onto the road… out of the compound I head west on Hwy 77, nothing to see here except a new housing community at the foot of a mountain range; condos ‘r’ us, and more desert. A short 13 miles later 77 intersects with 79 and turns south towards Tucson AZ. I can’t say much about this town… small downtown area and the rest looks like a strip mall next to a highway… boring, plain and totally forgettable. The only apparent redeeming quality of Tucson seems to be that they have at least 30 golf courses in an area just a little bigger than Manhattan.

Have you seen this woman?


I pass three “Grandma’s” on Harley Davidson’s, at least 60 something’s, and find out they have ridden all the way down from Oregon, following the lead Granny’s son, who is piloting their chase vehicle, a giant, well equipped RV. Way to go ladies!

Damn crazy biker gangs!


I stop at a Pep Boy’s to pick up a few supplies, namely 2 heavy rubber tie down straps to replace my bungee and 4 containers of Super Octane Booster gas additive for Mexico, as recommended by the boys at BMW of Salt Lake. I jump back onto 77 south, which runs into I10 East in the heart of the [small] city and, a mere 84 miles from Oracle, I exit I10 at Benson onto Hwy 80 south to my current destination, the legendary Tombstone AZ, which lies approximately 30 miles further south.




I pass through areas bearing legendary Native American names; Apache and Cochise. Nations nearly wiped out during the United States expansion into the west.



The road in is twisty, hilly and reminiscent of movie shots featuring cowboys racing over hill and dale on their swift steeds, chasing or being chased. Silver is more than up to the task and, as I overtake/pass a group of touristy Harley riders I try to imagine what it must have been like 120 years ago, before engines, paved roads and all the other modern advancements… heavy moment… time travel is very cool… The sky is clear, bright, blue and BIG in the most stylized sense of the word.

I'm on the road to Tombstone... may God ave mercy on my soul.



Thanks for reading my story... more to come...

Follow your dreams...
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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, 06:19 AM   #154
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1st, thank you for updating this thread, in this marvelous manner!!!!!
(It was worth waiting for such a long time. -made my day)

2nd, you have a double post ..... just mentioning it for the dial up guys...
(Wednesday, October 23rd)

3rd, keep it coming .... The report is grrrreeeat!

D.P.
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Old 06-03-2004, 07:46 AM   #155
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Keep writing, this thread is great. Now going to work has meaning... to read your continuing saga. When are you taking your next trip?

Ken
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Old 06-03-2004, 07:47 AM   #156
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Wow! Great story. You gotta PM me more details about your female encounters
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Old 06-03-2004, 01:16 PM   #157
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What do you want on YOUR Tombstone?

The road in is twisty, hilly and reminiscent of movie shots featuring cowboys racing over hill and dale on their swift steeds, chasing or being chased. Silver is more than up to the task and, as I overtake/pass a group of touristy Harley riders I try to imagine what it must have been like 120 years ago, before engines, paved roads and all the other modern advancements… heavy moment… time travel is very cool… The sky is clear, bright, blue and BIG in the most stylized sense of the word.



Tombstone AZ, for the sake of the record and for the 1 out of 10 million people that might not have heard of it or it’s history and have not seen at least one of the 30 movies that have been made about it, is the town that insured Wyatt Earp, his brothers Morgan and Virgil, Doc Holiday, Big Nose Kate (Doc’s girlfriend/prostitute) Ike Clanton, Johnny Ringo and the rest of the infamous “Cowboys” a premier place in the history, lore and myth of the west.
Some of you (the ones that actually read my previous updates) may remember my stop for lunch at Doc Holidays in Aspen Colorado and my expressed desire to visit this historic place, the home of the “Gunfight at the OK Corral”.

I don’t expect much from Tombstone… a tourist trap with a few fake buildings ala the movies, maybe a souvenir stand on the OK Corral sight. A strip of stores selling cowboy hats, plastic marshal’s badges and fake 6 shooters surrounded by a conflagration of restaurant chains, gas stations and hotels. My plan is to have lunch, snap some photos, say “I was here” and split.

Man… am I off base… on all counts…

Affectionately known as “The Town That Wouldn’t Die”, Tombstone sits as a reminder of simpler times, wilder days and the painful birth of the civilized west. It is also a Mecca for people from every corner of the country that wish to live their lives in that long gone atmosphere.

Tombstone, to put it simply, is a very cool place.

I enter the little town at High 2pm. Tombstone has one road in, and one road out. As I enter the town proper, I pass a laundry-matt and a gas station mini-mart next to the tiny “Boot Hill Cemetery” with a big sign (guided tours) on my left, on my right, a rural style restaurant and the local post office. More boring than I expected, nothing here, not even a McDonalds (no complaint there).

The road bends left and I pass a plain wall on my right with a sign identifying the spot as the (rear of) Ok corral. The streets are empty. It’s Saturday afternoon and the streets are empty… What gives…? I expected a cheesy tourist ghost town and this (aside from the desert) could be any town near the Jersey shore in the off season.

There’s the town hall, quaint classic and obviously late 19th century, not a person in sight. Look, an internet café next to the Adobe Lodge Hotel. I contemplate lunch there and heading back to the highway, but instead hang a u-turn and then a left onto the next block and BANG… I’m in old Tombstone… complete with cowboys, marshal’s, ladies in frilly frocks, horses, carriages, stage coaches, shops and saloons and cantinas… the whole town is functioning and 2/3 of the people are dressed in 1880 fashions.





The street is paved and I’m told that foreign tourists complain about that, the citizens respond “Hey, we have to live here and we like it this way”. Makes sense…
The shops run up and down Main St. The info office is in an old bank on the corner, to my immediate right is the town gunsmith, and they are a REAL gun shop, complete with everything from antique collectable classic six shooters to long nose 357 revolvers and Gloch 9mm’s. A cowboy, long oilskin duster swinging in the breeze passes me as I park Silver. I’m tempted to find a leather strap to throw over the hitching post. A group of men women and children stand on a street corner, all dressed in genuine classic clothing, they talk while the children play, just another normal Saturday afternoon. The sidewalk is a raised wooden boardwalk, just like the old days and townsfolk interact with tourists like one big happy family.



I find the center of town, which isn’t hard as the whole place is about 8 square blocks, pull up in front of Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, formerly the original Grand Hotel, and tether Silver up next to the other horses. In through the old time swinging double doors, I cross into the 1880’s and their having a party, a wedding to be exact, everyone in classic clothing.









Against the wall on a raised platform, a scruffy old miner type tickles the ivories on his Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. The drum machine carries the beat and he breaks into my old favorite, “El Paso” by Marty Robbins. (I used to play that song on the juke box on Sunday afternoons in the Pubs of the Bronx with my father. I have strong memories of him tied up in that tune and whenever I hear it, I’m a kid again).



At the bar, to wash away the trail dust, I order a tequila and a beer from the bartender, Mike, dressed in a red satin vest, western goatee, dress Levi’s and a pistol on his hip; Mikes from southern California (you can see the remnants of the surfer in him). I can’t stop smiling here. Mike tells me he’s been here for 6 months and he loves it. Next to him, the other bartender looks like Wild Bill Hickock, he moved here from PA 10 years ago.



“What’s it like here on a Saturday night?” I ask, “A blast” replies Mike.

Looks like I’m going to stay in Tombstone for a while.
The groom comes over and the shots flow. Standing next to the groom, I meet the owner of the nicest hotel in town (according to him), the Sagebrush Inn, Roger, and he tells me his place is fully booked with an entire French wedding party and I wont be able to stay there tonight.

They all agree, this is the only town in America that you can dress like this all the time and it’s considered normal. More shots with the groom, Ron from El Paso (this guy is really putting ‘em down). Both Ron and Roger warn me away from El Paso, “Shitty, dirty town” they say, “and stay clear of the border towns, that’s where you’re most likely to run into trouble.”



The owner of the Sagebrush and the Groom (plus 1)


We talk about the times Ron has stayed at the Sagebrush and the two separate occasions he found him self with an extra roommate. Once he found a scorpion in the toilet, how’s that for a wake up call? And another time, having forgotten to lock the door, a guy, blind drunk, mistaking Ron’s room for his own, stumbles in at 3 am, takes off his clothes and climbs into bed with him and his honey. When he finds them in the bed, he asks them to make some room so he can lie down… Ron gets the guy out, but discovers the next day that the visitor left with a mismatched pair of boots, Ron’s left and his right. Ron’s not too concerned, because the guy also left his wallet and all its contents... more shots?

I hang for another while, close my tab and head off to the other side of town (2 blocks) to the Adobe Lodge, where I’m told they might have one room left. I pass Bat Masterson on a pay phone.


The sign outside the Adobe reads “No Vacancy”, inside; I’m told there is ONE room left and I can have it… whoopee! I unload Silver and get settled in. Nice room, small, clean and well appointed with a firm comfy bed, and a nice view of the desert hills.




A room with a view (The (not quite) Last Room at The Adobe Hotel


Not bad... especially compared to the last one...


On the terrace/walkway, checking out the lay of the land, a Marshal (ala Kurt Russell’s Tombstone) escorts two 1880’s ladies to their rooms. We say hello, having met at Kate’s.



The men’s and women’s styles are very similar to that of the movie “Tombstone”, starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer and Sam Elliot (I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that is because they are both historically accurate). The movie is playing almost anywhere there is a TV and almost everyone is a Marshal. Too much law here… where’s the “Bad Guy’s”? I am tempted to get a Red Sash and stir up some trouble (wink).
Into the parking lot pulls a white rental car, and after a trip to the office, the vehicles inhabitants exit with a key to “the last room” (chuckle, I wonder how many more last rooms there are). I meet Jens Manke and his wife, from Germany, touring the west. Jens works for Hewlett Packard and is not shy about telling me that his system would have been better than and as small as “Hal 9000” (my Vaio). Ok Jens, but unless your giving it to me as a sponsor, I’ll stick with Hal. Very nice couple, we talk about Silver and share some info about places to visit on the road.

I head out around 7:30, Bat Masterson is still on the phone (I wish I had taken that picture), and check out some of the other saloons, the town has quieted down and thinned out some but Ron the Groom is still hanging in there, pounding shots at BNK’s… the man is amazing (where’s your wife?). The owner of the Sagebrush, Robert, tells me the French are having a bash and I contemplate crashing the wedding.

I return to my room. Damn, Bat’s still on the phone! I relax a while and head back into town to see what’s up at 9pm. Now the joint is jumping. Ron’s still throwing back his shots; the man has a liver like Schwarzenegger. How can he possibly stay on his feet? His wife and the rest of the wedding party occupy a few tables in the center of the floor.

Beleive it or not... they are having a costume party tonight (Holloween)

Behind the bar, tall, strong and weathered, reminiscent of Lorne Greene, “Pa” on Bonanza, I meet the friendly owner of BNK’s, a New Yorker, Glen Weinberg (I think, this ones hard to remember, I’ll check later) He’s been out here for 26 years, commuted to and from NYC for the first 12 years, then retired to run his business’ here. He made his fortune on Madison Avenue; put the Joe Namath in Pantyhose commercial together in 72… great guy. Jens is there with his wife and we have a beer together, this is not their first time in Tombstone, I let them know I hope it won’t be my last.

The evening is cool and comfortable. Lets see what’s happening at the Sagebrush on the other side of town (3 ½ blocks). I pull up, park and survey the scene. The hotel is set up with 2 long buildings (each housing about 8 adjacent rooms) extending back from the beat up pavement of the road and creating a courtyard in the middle. The gravel yard is filled with French revelers, dance music blares from a rented stereo system and a good portion of the crowd is dancing on a makeshift plywood dance floor to the right. Towards the rear, a bonfire is surrounded by another group; children toast marshmallows in the flames.
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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


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Old 06-03-2004, 01:19 PM   #158
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I crash a wedding in the desert....

I walk towards the back, past the dance floor unnoticed and find the bar. Two tables, one covered with champagne, the other with red wine… got to love the French. The bar is set up next to a massive brick fireplace/grill. A sign above explains that it was built for John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara when they stayed here years ago, cool (probably out here shooting a film). I ask the bartender for a Vin du Rouge and she asks if I’m with the party… shhhh! I wink, she smiles and I walk out into the fray. I know eventually someone will come over to talk to me and it takes less than 2 minutes…

I am watching the dance floor as the music plays. They are a good looking group, two of the girls are stunning; one a brunette with short cropped hair in black leather pants, the other taller with a long blonde mane. They both have killer bodies.

“Bonjour, como va u?” I am asked by a gentleman wearing a black cowboy hat with a Fu Manchu mustache.

The music stops as I begin to answer and the two women from the dance floor make a beeline to our position. Behind them, three of the men follow.

Before I can answer, I am surrounded by more people.

“Why are you here?” is the sum of the questions I am being asked.

“Someone invited me in town this afternoon…”

“Ok… great… fantastique!”

“You are on a moto? From New York? Solo? You are a traveler?”

“Qui” I reply.

“Tres Magnifique!!!”

I meet Gilles (the chef), Bernard, Pascal (the groom), Helen (a US citizen, fluent in French and the bride), the dance floor girls; Caroline (pronounced Caroleen) Depres, an amazingly attractive girl with a look reminiscent of every 60’s café scene and Elisabele the blonde. I meet François, Philippe, Georges, Helens sister, brother in law and their 2 boys and the rest of the crew, too many to remember all their names. It is a bit overwhelming.

That’s it… I’m in.

Half of them are bikers in France, that and a “traveler” to the Europeans is a special thing indeed… very different than the US. The champagne flows, the music plays, the dancing continues.

I discover that Pascal and Helen, for reasons only the French could fathom, decided to ship their entire wedding party to America, get married in the desert in Tombstone and then tour the west with their friends and family as their honeymoon… AWSOME!


I offer the services of my MP3 player as their selection of music is very limited and the party really gets going. At 11pm, Gilles is on the dance floor in drag… dressed like a show girl/flapper from the 20’s, complete with feather bola, in a mini that leaves nothing to the imagination. Oh boy.

Another French cowboy asks me in broken English “Are you fey?”

I laugh… there’s that damn “gay” question again. I smile and say “No”…

He looks disappointed, poor guy. He speaks to the two girls from the dance floor and they make their way over two me. Caroline and I hit it off very nicely. We talk the rest of the evening and the heat between us is palpable. Unfortunately she is engaged.
Eventually, the neighbors start complaining, they show up in boxers saying that they can here the music on the other side of town (4 blocks). Its midnight, and time to head back to my hotel. My new friends invite me to their barbecue tomorrow night and I have to decline as I will be back on the road. We agree on breakfast and I bid them adieu.

The goodnight kiss from Caroline has me floating back to my room.

I have traveled over 8000 miles to the middle of the southwest desert to the remote and ancient town of Tombstone to party French style… unbelievable.


It’s been another exciting, adventure filled, very long day… exhausted, I slip into a coma like sleep at 1am.






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 06-03-2004, 08:19 PM   #159
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Talking I know what I want on my Tombstone...

If a picture is worth a thousands words... imagine what this says...



My French friends and I console each other, lamenting our dearly departed brain cells... oooo


Sunday October 27th

Whew.

Hung-over from the lethal combination of beer, tequila, champagne and red wine, I wake up late (and still too early) at 10am, puffy, stiff and in severe pain. I break open the Alka-Seltzer and use it to wash down 2 ibuprofens, 2 Echinacea tablets and a vitamin C.

Can you say arrrrggghh?

The hot shower helps a little; I dress and head outside to pack Silver. Tombstones elevation is about 4600ft. The weather is cooler than yesterday, and the wind has picked up. Cloud cover is heavy… it looks like rain cometh. Great, been a while since I’ve seen my old friend, figures he’d find me in the desert.


I check out of the hotel and head over to the Sagebrush for coffee. I am really starting to like coffee, something I have never had a taste for. It sure helps on the road though.

Carrotte consoles me


My French friends look like I feel… many brain cells died a valiant death last night. The coffee is strong and hot. My hosts complain that they cannot find good coffee in this country. Caroline stays close the whole time. Her friends are ribbing her in French about her attraction to me. The feeling is mutual.
After two cups of joe and some doughnuts I have to bid my new friends adieu. I have chores to do and I still want to see more of the town.

Caroline begs me to stay another day and it kills me to say I have to go; another kiss. Oh God. Something tells me the engagement is off.

I say my aurevoir’s (did I spell that right?) and head over to the laundry matt near the entrance to town; I depleted my supply clean clothes back in Vegas and some of my shirts are starting to voice their lack of appreciation.



Outside the laundry, a passing local, seeing my bike under the grey cloud filled sky, finds that he is unable to resist telling me that I’m going to get wet, “Thank you sir.”

The Assay Office


Laundry done, I head to the center of town to see what I missed yesterday.

I am just in time for a reenactment of a stagecoach robbery (stagecoach played by a 3 wheeled electric wheel chair). Hilarious situation leads to a lot of shooting and the bad guy’s loose.



Everyone in town has the coolest cowboy hats; I do a little shopping and try some on. Damn I look good in a cowboy hat… with great difficulty; I resist the urge to buy one.

A pair of Goldwing Trikes... roughing it




The Legends of The West Bar, newly renamed, where Morgan Earp was shot and killed while playing pool is still here… the only structural change being the installation of bathrooms when indoor plumbing was invented. Ironically, the bathrooms stand where the pool table used to be.



"In March, 1882, Morgan Earp was shot while playing pool in Campbell & Hatch's Billiard Parlor.
George Hand of Tucson recorded these events in his journal*
"Mar. 19. Morgan Earp died today from a gunshot wound he received while playing billiards in Tombstone. He was shot through a window from the sidewalk.
"Mar. 21. Frank Stillwell was shot all over, the worst shot-up man that I ever saw. He was found a few hundred yards from the hotel on the railroad tracks. It is supposed to be the work of Doc Holliday and the Earps, but they were not found. Holliday and the Earps knew that Stillwell shot Morg Earp and they were bound to get him."
http://discoverseaz.com/History/TStone.html

This picture hangs on the wall in the bar, showing what Campbell & Hatch's used to look like... the window in the back is where Morgans assassin fired from


This is what stands on the spot Morgan was shot today... progress?


The French crew are scattered all over town and continue to press me too stay and join them for dinner, my resistance weakens with the passing of the day and the increasing threat of rain. I don’t want to find out what happens in the desert when it pours, my understanding is that flash flooding is common and Silver can’t swim, only wade.



Inside the Bird Cage Theatre... over 140 bullet holes have been counted in the walls


Centerfold/Sex Symbol circa 1882


The plaque









The original Bird Cage Theatre is still intact and perfectly preserved. The Palace Saloon and Dancehall has been fully restored and is open for business in all its former glory, beautiful. The Oriental, where Wyatt Earp “acquired” a 25 0/0 stake of the house Faro game is now an old style clothing shop, but the interior remains intact.

The Oriental


While standing outside to take a picture, two delicate hands cover my eyes. It is Caroline. She has been looking all over town for me. I confess that I had hoped we would meet again. She is happy to see that I am not wearing a cowboy hat and I thank Karma for having helped me resist buying one earlier. We decide to see the rest of the town together.

The OK Corral (the sign on the right reads "Walk Where They Fell)


We check out the “OK Corral”… it’s not much too see in and of itself, which is at it should be, but it’s wild to think that I’m standing where the famous fight occurred.

We see Roger from the Sagebrush and he smiles and asks if I had a good time last night, having seen Silver parked outside.

He looks at Caroline, her arm wrapped around my waist, turns red and gives me a wink.

There’s Ron, the groom, haggard, eyes narrow slits, and he looks like the reaper is on his back.

A shy cowboy outside the Longhorn Restaurant


We have lunch at The Longhorn Restaurant, also owned by Glen from NY, apparently the richest man in town. The table is inlaid with old posters from the late 1800’s.

One is an open decree to the local prostitutes, listing Big Nose Kate’s name among other known offenders, requiring them, when out and about during the daylight hours, to remain on the shaded side of the street, hence the birth of the term “Shady Ladies”.

The menu tells the legend of “The Swamper”, the custodian at the grand hotel, and his little room in the corner of the dark basement of the building. Here, in this cave like space, he dug a deep hole into one of the silver mines that ran under the town, and for years, pulled silver out of the rich vein he found without anyone discovering his secret until after his death. It hints at the lost hoard of silver, never found, that may yet be hidden somewhere in the hotel. This, I have too see.

Out of the Longhorn, we pick up a few postcards and head over to Kate’s, sure enough, in the corner of the basement, past the crowded souvenir shop, is a caged doorway leading to a cave with a cot, a track with one of those iron carts, and a big hole in the floor with a ladder leading down into the darkness.









This town reeks of history.

The Crystal Palace








We talk to a few folks outside the Crystal Palace; all in old west outfits… one of them is from New Jersey, here for about 6 years, another from Washington, 8 years, another from Miami, 2 years. Just out on a Sunday afternoon, they love it here. I say I’m from New York and they tell me that there is another NY’er here.

“See that little Mexican guy across the street... the one that looks like Pancho Villa? (And he REALLY does) He’s Puerto Rican, from 167th street in NYC”… son of a gun. None of these people is being paid for this; they are here because it makes them happy… what a great way to live.



Bad weather cometh


... and bad times... Whistle The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (you can see the rain miles away)


Carotte (her nickname) and I head back over to the Sagebrush. It starts to drizzle as we arrive and we both decide it would be much better if I didn’t leave town in this weather. What a surprise. I ask her if she’d walk me back to the Adobe to see if I can get my room back and the look in her eye tells me more than I need to know.
I re-register at the Adobe as my old friend the rain really starts to come down hard. Sneaky bastard, waited to see if I’d get on the road.

The woman at the desk hands me my compact flash card reader/PCMCIA card, a very important part of my equipment, absolutely necessary to transfer pic’s from the camera onto “Hal” and clear the card. I left it in the room when I checked out earlier, good thing I stayed! That item costs as much as a night in the hotel, everything happens for a reason, the karma of the road.

Carotte helps me up to the room with my luggage and once inside the dam breaks open.


And that’s all I’ll say about that… except that I will never ever say a bad word about the French. I love the French... a lot.



A few hours later, after dark, we head back over to the Sagebrush. The rain comes and goes, alternating between light and heavy, it’s cool, actually cold, and most of us are hanging in the rooms while the grill heats up. Gilles, continues to entertain, and is one heck of a chef. Actually, he is a chef. He has prepared some classic BBQ fare with a decidedly French flavor, sautéed steaks, shrimp and tuna lemon rice (with saffron?), fresh baguettes, etc.

Gilles (Chef and flapper)


The Groom


My French is improving by leaps and bounds as most of them speak little or no English.



While the meal cooks, some of my hosts express their disappointment at the lack of availability of certain illegal substances. Tombstone is a dry town. I hereby state honestly and for the record that I do not indulge, preferring to limit my substance abuse to alcohol and nicotine… however… one does acquire the strangest things on the road (remember the joint in Oracle? You didn’t think I left it there, did you? And there were one or two other contributors who shall stay nameless to protect their identities.

One must take advantage of what the road lays before one.

And yes, I know that I have quite a few servants of the law reading this, but its part of the story and I want to remain accurate… (Hi Bobby, Judy, Noreen, John, Mark, Gary, Tom and Clint, your cover is blown).

It’s not much, but I’m a hero… seems I now have many places to stay in France.

At the tables set up outside, it’s dinner for 35. I am encouraged to drink as much of the champagne, wine and beer (wow, they have 10 cases on ice that I never noticed) as possible, they leave tomorrow for the Grand Canyon and don’t want to have to carry it all. I comply. Dinner is grand. Champagne by the fire (the wine is too cold now and tastes like grape juice), good conversation (what I can interpret) with wonderful friendly people. Caroline and I are having quite an evening.




It is an interesting group/mix


Great Fire


Around 11 the rains come hard and the party breaks up fast.

We say goodnight to everyone amid winks and ahas! and Caroline and I retire to my hotel to continue improving international relations between our two countries.

I promise the crew that I will join them for a real breakfast before we all get on the road in the morning.

Great day... not much in the way of sleep...



Thanks for reading my story... I hope you are enjoying it

Follow your dreams
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Rogue 1 screwed with this post 06-04-2004 at 06:08 AM
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Old 06-04-2004, 03:19 AM   #160
therev
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Great story and it is good to see that you are performing above and beyond the call of duty and even putting in extra hours riding off the bike in order to spread the good word about GS Adventure Riders. I am sure that there should be some sort of equivalent of the Iron Butt award for you and I guess that some members could think of a suitable name (Iron Member?). Most of my long rides at the moment are through Central Turkey and there is not much of anything going on but I can thouroughly recommend Eastern Europe for your next trip.
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Old 06-04-2004, 05:25 PM   #161
12bridn
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Rogue1, you have inspired me to take to the open road and become a smooth moving ladies man. All I need to do now is get the smooth moves and the ladies...
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Old 06-04-2004, 10:46 PM   #162
Doug Matson
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R/1, after reading last night I was so tired I couldn't even reply. It reminds me of a combination of TV shows, Then came Bronson, Route 66, and Sex and the City. I can't wait to get back on the bike. Keep it coming
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Old 06-05-2004, 08:01 AM   #163
bvkamp
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We need to come up with some kind of Pulitzer Prize for ADVrider ride reports. This one gets my vote.
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:42 PM   #164
UtahDirt
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Hmmm....
Rogue has outrode, outshot pictures, outdrank, and apparantly outscrewed most of us in 4 months
I say we cook him and eat'em


Great read
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:53 PM   #165
Rogue 1 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahDirt
Hmmm....
Rogue has outrode, outshot pictures, outdrank, and apparantly outscrewed most of us in 4 months
I say we cook him and eat'em


Great read
__________________
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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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