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Old 11-18-2008, 07:16 PM   #91
viola-tor OP
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Originally Posted by a1fa
Heheh! I am enjoying all this violation. I watched How it's made on Discovery channel and they were showing how these carbon fiber violas are made.
Well, we might as well all see it, eh? There's a few "errors" in it, but I found it very helpful and informative when I was considering the carbon fiber viola.

Part. 1




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Old 11-18-2008, 07:23 PM   #92
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Here's part 2. Also notice the comments for both vids. Many are negative, even though most also mention that they haven't actually heard one! It's all the player...

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Old 11-18-2008, 08:12 PM   #93
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Now I’m warmed up with the Orange Freak, let’s try some more dirty action!

I plan a second day of exploring in the canyon, thinking I’ll figure out how to connect Bear Lake to Hyrum Canyon via dirt. As I’m suiting up a friend offers to do a photo shoot of me and the new bike with his new camera (sorry, can’t remember which kind). Well, this doesn’t happen everyday! He’s headed up to Bear Lake in his car anyway and suggests we stop a couple places in the canyon for some cool shots. Okay! The only problem is that the launch time gets pushed back, back, back. Now it’s afternoon... Friggit. I’m a little worried about getting caught on a gnarly dirt path in the dark... oh well!

I think this is the best one:



Another:



I brought the Black Death along too, ‘cause eventually I want to get some nice promo photos done of me with the viola and bike, so why not give it a test? It didn’t turn out great, but it’s something. We needed a wider angle lens to get more of the bike in there...



The sunlight reflecting off the carbon fiber weave looks pretty cool, almost like fiber optics conducting light (it also looks super-cool under stage lights!). When I get a new “uniform” I’ll have some nice photos made, hopefully in some bad ass, off-road scenery if I can coax a photographer out to the boonies...

Uncle Paul and I made four stops for the photo shoot, then he headed on to Bear Lake as I cruised up to Tony Grove, since I hadn’t seen it this summer. Nice little road up there with some new pavement!



No hiking this time, I’m on a moto mission! Let’s get to some dirt already, sheesh... After some ice-cream! This part of the state is renowned for it’s fruit, raspberries in particular near Bear Lake (where a raspberry festival is held every summer). In Garden City (which is where UT Hwy 89 bumps into Bear Lake’s west shore) there are a number of establishments trying to make you fat with their famous raspberry milkshakes, burgers, fries, onion rings, ect. It’s a great little topper for a half day ride to have an ice cream break in the middle!

These things are huge! I think it’s better to split them, they’re seriously gluttonous.



Lot’s of beach goers getting lunch, I spy this nice one in line.



But, as if to punish me for my wandering eye (and camera), I also see this. Be careful how many of these shakes you eat!



There are usually a handful of bikes coming and going, and this pristine honda six-cylinder pulls up. Wow, this guy takes great care of his bike, it’s flawless! Like it’s been in a time warp. It’s in better shape than my KTM which is only days old...



I stop in at the gas station for some advice about where to turn off to access my intended dirt path. Along the side of the store there is a BMW F-650 Dakar with all the tell-tale signs of a gritty adventure bike, so I circle the parking lot to have a look. No ADV stickers on it anywhere, but otherwise it looks like it’s on a big trip. I glance around to see if the rider is about, then continue about my business.

A really nice attendant dude in the store gives me a detailed map of the whole valley for FREE and points out the route for me. It’s amazing what a little friendly conversation can accomplish! Great guy.

As we're chatting another man approaches and in a European accent asks if I know about BMW’s, motioning to the BMW roundels on my sleeves of my Rally II suit. I answer “yes, I know a bit about them” and notice he’s wearing a BMW baseball hat. He proceeds to tell me that he’s broken down and asks if I know where the nearest BMW service station is. I’m a little confused and assume he’s talking about BMW cars (he’s wearing street clothes), but after some more dialogue I realize he is the rider of the F-650. We sit outside as he tells me about his adventure, and he’s visible upset. It’s interesting though, he seems to be dodging some of my questions.

“Where are you from?”

“Europe.”

“Yeah, where in Europe?”

“The north.”

“Oh?”

[pause]

“Denmark.”

He gradually starts to open up as I explain that I can probably help him. As we visit I learn that he’s been touring North America for nine months! Damn. As the discussion progresses he also tells me that he’d never been on a motorcycle before preparing for this trip. He got some rider training in Denmark and then bought the bike in New Mexico to start the trip. Damn, a real adventurer! He’s distraught almost to the point of panic because of his broken-down bike which also confuses me a little (since it IS a motorcycle adventure, after all. Break-downs seem to be a regular occurrence, at least for me!).

Needless to say I changed my plans for the day right then and there in the spirit of good moto-karma. I’ve been assisted more times than I can count on my motorcycle adventures by selfless folks who just want to give the gift of giving, and now it’s my turn. I have the knowledge, the means, and the time to help out this global adventurer, so that’s what I’ll do.

We continue to talk as I brainstorm the options, and I start to see why he’s so guarded with his speech. He’s no doubt had the exact same conversation with Americans ten times a day for months on end, and he finally reveals that his “shut-down” answers shorten the exchange. Too bad, in my opinion, part of the fun of traveling is opening up to other people and in exchange them opening up to you, but I digress. By his own admission the Danish are not as “forward” with their emotional state as we Americans. And what do I know? This guy’s been traveling for months, so maybe when I’ve traveled in his shoes I’ll feel similar...

I’m impressed with his gear, fully ATGATT astride one of the most proven world-ride machines outfitted with many tasty farkles: Jesse Luggage (albeit missing ADV stickers), dry-bags, laptop, GPS, full camping gear... This guy did his homework! I feel that I did a lot of research as a beginner but I continue to learn and have yet to embrace some of the sensible technologies that Jesper the Dane uses.

I assure him repeatedly that breakdowns are no big deal, in fact I’m surprised it took him nine months! I add that many times the break-down turns out to be one of the most memorable if not the best part of a motorcycle trip, due mostly to the way people come together to aid a vulnerable adventurer. I’m not sure he completely believes me. He want’s his bike fixed NOW. (I’m unable to diagnose the breakdown with my limited knowledge, my guess is something to do with the charging system, battery, or injection system, but these are only guesses, it’s beyond my expertise “in the field”).

The nice guys at the store tell us we can leave the bike locked behind the store out of sight for the night, and I convince Jesper that he should ride back to logan with his bare-essentials on the back of my KTM to hang with my musicians for two nights. I promise him his own room with a clean bed and private bathroom, plus some lively company with the after-opera-performance musician crowd. If the timing works out perhaps I can even take him to a performance! On Monday we’ll return with a car and trailer that I’m sure I’ll be able to borrow once I explain the situation so that I can take him to the Salt Lake City BMW dealer which will open on Tuesday. For being an emotionally reserved northern European I thought I detected a tear of happiness in his eye... He keeps saying “I can’t believe you are doing all this for me, you are an exceptional American!” To which I reply: “See? Breakdowns bring out the best! This kind of thing happens to me all time!”

Jesper the Dane with a rare smile on his face:



His stuff fits easily in my empty soft bags, so the only awkward piece of luggage is the Black Death, which I have him wear on his back for the ride back to Logan through the canyon. He’s kinda nervous about riding as a passenger, and I learn that he’s never done that before either, except for one cross-town flight of terror he experienced in Guatemala. I guess I’d be nervous too... I assure him I know what I’m doing with thousands of miles carrying a passenger and promise to be nice, with the disclaimer that I like riding twisties appropriately. He didn’t quite understand that last part... I was gentle with the throttle and lean angles and we arrived in Logan no problem. After the opera players returned we arranged a spare room for him, and even got him online to email his family back home. It’s all good. Paula (my special little moto convert!) agrees to let me use her car and sweet “Trailer in a bag” for the rescue mission, and she even wants to come along in the morning, as long as there’s time for a Bear Lake raspberry shake...

We have a day to kill so I take him for a hearty breakfast with a violinist friend of mine.



Naturally our conversations gravitate to the differences in cultures that Jesper has observed, and he’s not exactly flattering about everywhere and everyone that he’s met. He tells us that most of the news from the U.S. that is broadcast in Denmark is about the whacky gun laws we have (they have very limited gun ownership), they think we’re nuts! He also thinks the European social model is great, and wonders with frustration why other parts of the world don’t emulate the success that the Europeans have. He points this out with examples such as American’s fitness level (fat), health care (on your own), unemployment/homelessness (apparently there simply aren’t any homeless in Denmark, according to Jesper), religion mixing with politics, and others. A pretty interesting dialogue, to be sure! I guess he’s kind of a picky eater too, so he wasn’t thrilled with the cuisine in much of Mexico and Guatemala. But his report wasn’t ALL bad, he planned his route (and amazingly stuck to it! And I mean mile for mile...) from start to finish over the entire nine months to maximize his view of the mountains and curvy roads of North America. He liked that very much, as would I! When I asked him if he knew of ADVrider he said he’d done some research online, but wasn’t an inmate.

I gave him a little tour of Logan via the KTM and explained some of the history of the Mormon culture. He was puzzled to say the least! Then we headed over to the Tabernacle for a chamber music and aria recital (wearing our moto-gear, naturally!) featuring many of the instrumentalists and singers from the opera company. Par for the course Jesper reveals that he’s NEVER been to any sort of classical music concert. WHAAA?!?! Never??? Hmmm, I thought the Euro-System was so great, Mr. Euro-Pants... Anyway, it’s my honor to introduce him to live classical music, which is really the way it should be appreciated.



I can’t tell if he’s bored or what (Northern Europeans...), but he told me afterwards that he got chills during a soprano aria, so I’ve done my job!

Okay, let’s go get this bike! Yet another first for Jesper: loading a bike on a trailer. He’s VERY nervous about this. I eventually just take over and tell him I know what I’m doing (which I do, from learning everything the hard way!).



Now off to SLC! I know exactly where the BMW dealership is from previous breakdowns, grrrrrr... We lock the bike up at the bay doors and I drop Jesper off at a youth hostel a few miles away. He’s only a few days away from ending his adventure, selling the bike, and returning to Denmark. He had no job waiting for him, no plan at all, and seemed worn out and ready for the ride to come to a close. It was interesting to talk with someone who was at the end of an epic like that, whereas my much-shorter-ride is only beginning. Best of luck Jesper! (The problem with the bike turned out to be a bad spark plug wire, he emailed me a few days later.)

Okay, it’s time to make some tracks for myself. Logan has been a great vacation and I feel rested and recharged, but it’s time to get rolling...

viola-tor screwed with this post 11-19-2008 at 09:50 PM
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:42 PM   #94
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Needless to say I changed my plans for the day right then and there in the spirit of good moto-karma. Iíve been assisted more times than I can count on my motorcycle adventures by selfless folks who just want to give the gift of giving, and now itís my turn. I have the knowledge, the means, and the time to help out this global adventurer, so thatís what Iíll do.


Karma will be good to you!!!!
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:26 PM   #95
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I’ve got two days and one night to meet my best friend Tarren (Bugman98) in Buena Vista Colorado. I know the ride is possible in one day, but I want to enjoy it a least a little bit. He’s taking two days to ride from Oklahoma, so Buena Vista is roughly half way between us and will put us within striking distance of all kinds of good riding and vast array of fourteen-thousand foot peaks to climb. Excellent...

Paula (the owner of the “Trailer-In-A-Bag”) escorts me away from Logan for a hundred miles or so, leaving enough time for her to return for the evening opera performance. It’s kinda strange to ride “with” her in formation since we so often ride two up. Chicks in leather on sport bikes... Oh baby! It’s fun to see her carving up the turns in my mirrors. Yes, Grasshopper, you are ready... What’s that in your tank-bag map-pocket???



It’s threatening rain so we have our suits at the ready and I go ahead and put the rain covers on my luggage. The Bear Lake view point is worth a few minutes, even if it’s overcast.





That little Ninja 500 is a great bike, no doubt. Between us we have put that motorcycle through the wringer for thousands of hard miles, and it keeps ticking away. What’s that noise? It’s a lawn-mower shaped like a motorcycle!

My rescue mission of the Dane took my off-road day from me, so we double up on the KTM down to the beach of Bear Lake, just because we can!



The clouds look awesome as we get out into the plains and head towards Wyoming. I like riding when it’s cool and overcast like this, partly because of not needing sunglasses. We fail at finding a hip place to eat lunch, so we settle for Wendy’s salads. Ehn. Paula opts for the rain suit for the ride back to Logan. Here’s where we say our goodbyes...



On my own again. A road sonata for KTM and solo viola... I already miss my friends, but I know there’s some great adventure waiting for me in Colorado, and it’s time to get it on. I’m shooting for Flaming Gorge to camp for tonight.

The light is getting low as I enter the National Recreation Area, so I start searching for some free camping. I bypass a couple of pay campgrounds. There’s GOT to be some freebies here somewhere... Ah HA!

And what's this I spy? A fellow ADVrider! And not only that, a solo girl ADVrider!!! How cool is that? I must be in the right place, eh?

Ms. Chiff:



After I set up camp we sit and chat into the night about the joys of motorcycle touring. Nice. Naturally my music profession is mentioned, so I take the opportunity to play a mini-recital for her under the stars. I think it was a hit! It’s really hard to just start playing at a high level, I get much better after a warm up, even if it’s only a few minutes. What I’d like to be able to do is play like a top level musician with NO warm up, simply open the case and WHAMO!!! There it is... This is hard to do, the fingers don’t want to do that after operating a motorcycle all day, so I’m finding that I should play some easy but flattering selections to start with to give myself a warm-up lap that still leaves a good first impression. I’ll need to refine this technique over the coming months... Hey Ms. Chiff, I know you have some pics, post ‘em up!

I knew I had a nice camping spot, and the morning light allowed me to get some better pics of the place. Not to shabby!





Ms. Chiff rolled down to say goodbye. We’re a couple of shutter-happy riders! (that's her taking my picture! )



She was on her way to West-Fest, which I’d never even heard of (I haven’t spent much time in the ADV rally forum), and she strongly encouraged me to come and bring the Black Death to the Rally (doesn’t that sound awesome? “Bring the Black Death to the Rally...”). Hmmmmmm, Tarren and I will be in that area, perhaps we can swing through Lake City, we’ll just have to see!

She’s got this sweet little Kawasaki 250 (KLX?), that’d be a great bike to have as a second dual sport along side the 990, apples and oranges. Or more like Cantaloupes and Kiwis...





Not that anyone here needs to hear it, but why the hell do people ride with no helmets? And more perplexing than that is why people ride with a helmet strapped to the bike instead of their head! I don’t get it, if you’re gonna bother bringing it along, why not pack it on your stupid head? It seems that this trend goes for almost all makes and models of motorcycles across the country...



I naturally take the scenic route and find a couple of pesky mountain passes in my way as I wind my way through Colorado. I have a waterproof camera (Pentax W-30), but somehow I don’t take it out for photos as I’m getting drenched up top. Cold! Whenever I find myself getting cold on my summer adventures I repeat over and over to myself in my helmet, “Not Texas Not Texas Not Texas Not Texas...” and then I feel better!

Tarren doesn’t have all the mountainous terrain to cover coming from Oklahoma and across the plains of eastern Colorado (lucky bastard! ), so he ends up getting to Buena Vista hours ahead of me. He'll just have to wait! I press on in the worsening storm, finally up and over Monarch pass, down to Salida then north into Buena Vista. Goodie...

Just wait until you see where we get to stay!

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:42 AM   #96
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Really interesting and fun to read RR. +1 Keep it coming!
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:26 AM   #97
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Being a classical musician means that you’re part of a world-wide fraternity, kinda like being a motorcyclist! Both are also highly mobile, party by choice and partly out of necessity. I have friends and colleagues scattered across the country (and the world) most of whom I’ve shared rehearsals, performances, and social interaction with. I have a particularly strong connection to Buena Vista.

In Texas I met a very talented family of musicians that I became close with, and Harvey and Jo retired a few years ago and chose to escape the scorching suburbia of Texas mega-cities in favor of small mountain town life in Colorado. On only a moments notice Jo happily agreed to house me and my friend in “the house that music built,” her dream home outside of town overlooking the Arkansas River with a view of the Collegiate Peaks. Not bad.

The house is pretty ridiculous. Jo is an accomplished concert pianist and owns THREE Steinways, the primary one being her nine-foot concert grand piano. They designed the house themselves around that piano, with the “living room” being a performance space that can seat 60-odd concert listeners. The stage where the piano sits can also fit a small instrumental ensemble such as a string quartet and has track lighting above it. The blinds behind the piano can be raised for a view (and windows opened for the sound!) of the Arkansas River splashing away only a few feet away. Un-be-live-able. I guess it just shows that with hard work and perseverance even starving artists can enjoy a piece of the good life!



Jo and Harvey are true inspirations. In their seventies they are both extremely active in the things that interest them, Harvey (a flutist) being well studied in eastern meditation, Alexander Technique, Ti-Chi and other “internal” practices, Jo being a AVID adventurer. Her hobby is climbing mountains of the world. Seriously, this pocket-sized pianist climbs several 14,000’ peaks PER WEEK. Most people my age can’t do that, let alone folks in their 70’s. All this in addition to being musical artists of the highest caliber. I feel lucky to be friends with such great people AND to get to perform with them on a regular basis, as I’m sort of their “un-official” violist. Sweet!

Jo, Tarren and I go for a little local hike to stretch out:





Tarren contemplating the forces of erosion whilst scratching his arse :



Harvey and Jo are also into eating healthy, natural and tasty foods, so we eat GOOD! Buena Vista has only a few restaurants worth eating at, so I guess you get good at cooking out of necessity! I have a feeling these two were already good...

Yup, we’re really roughing it now!



Tarren and I both psyched up for some big hikes, so we start making a plan of attack with Jo’s extensive knowledge of the area. Before any climbing happens Jo has another interesting activity for us: attending a town meeting hosted by Senator Ken Salazar focusing on designating a new wilderness area which is sure to be a lively debate between the “hikers” and the “ATV-ers.” Let’s go!

The turnout is incredible, apparently one of the largest attendance records for a town meeting in recent memory.



It’s beyond standing room only, there are people straining their necks out in the hall!



I’ve performed for events with high-level politicians a number of times (including some presidents!) but this is the closest I’ve been to a senator who wasn’t reading a prepared script/speech. It was pretty cool to see Senator Salazar work the room and make everyone and their views welcome, even if they differed from what he’s trying to accomplish.



The senator taking notes on Tarren’s comments:



There are strong opinions on both sides of the proposal to designate the area in question as wilderness, but everyone is respectful and polite, and at several times the tension is broken with a humorous comment that lets everyone laugh at themselves a little bit.

Like most issues I find myself somewhere in the middle. I love the outdoors, and hiking is sacred, there are places that no vehicle should go, it just wouldn’t be right. A big part of the joy of hiking and back-country camping is the “getting away from it all,” which most certainly includes cars. There’s also the environmental side of the argument, but I’m not gonna open that door... However, there are mountain roads and trails that have been around for generations that aren’t bothering anybody, so what harm is there in letting them continue to be accessible to the 4WD crowd? Once they’re gone, they’re gone. I now own a rough-n-tumble motorcycle that’s capable of terrain like that in question and I’m excited about the possibilities of using it. But, as always, it’s a few rotten apples that spoil the whole bunch. Even one ATV rider ripping up a stream bed leaves an impression not only on the land but more importantly as a lasting reputation of recreational off-roaders in the minds of others. What to do? (That’s a rhetorical question!)

I talked with these nice folks representing the Blue Ribbon Coalition (I'm pretty sure they took my picture too!):



That was interesting for sure, but enough of all this seriousness, I want to get back to adventuring! I didn’t bring any music with me for viola and piano, but Jo is a real pro and fan of the viola, so she has a few standards in her library. I make a mental note to carry at least something with me on future trips. She’s pretty impressed with the carbon fiber instrument, and after a few bars slide by we both forget about it and just play. That’s what I’m talking about...

We’re just having fun, so Tarren and Harvey get to hear a performance with plenty of mistakes. Jo’s missing many of the viola parts so I’m reading off the piano score over her shoulder. Teeeeeny little notes!



Whatever we’re about to play here I guess she had the part for... This is the "standard" spot for me to stand.



Another still life!



All this from traveling on a motorcycle! This is too cool...

viola-tor screwed with this post 11-20-2008 at 11:17 AM
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:29 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Footprint


Karma will be good to you!!!!
Let's hope so! So far, so good...


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Really interesting and fun to read RR. +1 Keep it coming!
Okay, I will! Thanks for watching.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:42 AM   #99
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Your a good person for helping out that stranded fellow! Something I have done too, and it feels great.
Karma will come back to you for sure.
Again, totally digging your travels and thanks for keeping the trip alive...

PS-Still getting out on the 990? I'm watching it dump snow out my window right now
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:52 AM   #100
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Your a good person for helping out that stranded fellow! Something I have done too, and it feels great.
Karma will come back to you for sure.
Again, totally digging your travels and thanks for keeping the trip alive...

PS-Still getting out on the 990? I'm watching it dump snow out my window right now
I sure am! I love my bike. It's prime riding season in Texas right now (sunny in the low 70's ), at least IMHO. I'm working hard on this report to try to get it caught up to the present day, it'll take a while...

Sorry to hear about the snow... Snowmobile? Those are fun too!
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:24 PM   #101
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Wooooooooo! I'm in the story now!

Could you please not mention the part about how I screamed like a little girl when I had to ride on the back of your KTM in order to get to that trailhead?
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:35 PM   #102
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Wooooooooo! I'm in the story now!

Could you please not mention the part about how I screamed like a little girl when I had to ride on the back of your KTM in order to get to that trailhead?
Okay, sure. It'll be our little secret... ya pansy!

Good to *see* you here!
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:54 AM   #103
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Let’s get to some motorhikeling! After consulting with the alpine expert (Jo), we settle on Quandary Peak for our first big climb. There’s no such thing as an “easy” 14er (that’s short for 14,000 ft. peak), but Quandary is popular and of relatively mild difficulty, considering. It sounds like a good pick for a first attempt, especially for Bugman who’s coming from a low elevation.

The best way to hike 14ers is to get up VERY early and start hiking before dawn, the reason being that you really don’t want to be on top when the early afternoon lighting storms move in, it’s best to be back below the tree-line by noon. Uhg, so that means we need to suit up and ride the bikes in the cold, dark Colorado night to reach the trail head in time... Grumble...

Jo is amazing, she leaves breakfast and snacks out on the counter for us. She won’t be joining us; it turns out she’s hiked FIVE 14ers in the past week, so she’s taking a break. Good thing, we might just get embarrassed... Off we ride. It’s cold. It’s dark. AND the roads are wet. Are we having fun yet?!? Not Texas Not Texas Not Texas...

The trail head parking is already filling up, we will certainly not be alone on this hike!



Upward, HO! The hike is a steady uphill march, no flat spots. Pretty soon we both want to stop and peel off some layers; what great cardio!



It’s mostly overcast, but occasionally the sun peeks through.
Snack break above tree-line, about half way up:





That’s where we’re headed!



It seems that most peaks ramp up the angle of ascent at the end, and Quandary is no exception! Huff-Puff-Huff-Puff... There’s about fifteen people at the top enjoying the view and fueling up on snacks. There’s a cold wind and the cloud cover definitely adds to the chill factor. Okay, it’s now or never, it’s time for round two of...


























PEAK PERFORMANCE - ormance - ormance- ormance...





The assembled crowd of hikers whoops and hollers with surprise as the Black Death reveals itself at 14,271 feet above sea level (plus 5’ more, if you count my personal elevation holding the viola ). It’s so damn cold my fingers will barely move, but I try my best to hack out a couple melodies. Everyone is snapping pics and having a great time despite my frigid scratching; another random act of VIOLAnce. LOL! Okay, another carbon fiber test passed... Note to self: Lose the goofy hat for the victory photos!





Mmmmm, strange lunch: Natural peanut butter, carrots, and dried apples on a tortilla.



Quandary Peak just got VIOLATED!!! Let’s get outta here. Back in the trees...



We found out later that Quandary Peak is actually one of the most deadly of the Colorado 14ers, my guess is because of it's "low difficulty" inexperienced hikers climb it and then goof off near the cliffs, and statistically there will be more dumb-asses per mile hiked on these popular trails.

There was gridlock heading the opposite direction on our ride home, but we happily zoom along heading south glad not to be stuck in it. At a gas stop we hear that the cause of the traffic backlog is a motorcycle vs. 18-wheeler match up. Not good. The news we heard was that the biker went wide and hit the semi head on as the truck driver locked up the brakes and rolled the whole rig trying to avoid him. Big mess. Be careful everybody, this is sad to hear.

Back to B.V.:





Glory-be! Harvey and Jo are good to us, there’s a great dinner with wine waiting for us tonight. Oh, yeah.







What’say we crash an ADV rally next, eh?

viola-tor screwed with this post 11-21-2008 at 06:36 PM
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:27 AM   #104
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Our gracious and generous hosts insisted we hang around for a pancake breakfast the next morning. Who are we to argue?? Pancakes, pianos, senators, and BEDS for cryin’ out loud... Okay, seriously, we need to get on the road or our Mountain-Man Membership Cards will be revoked. Naturally it’s early afternoon by the time we launch (I also get suckered into another CF viola demo for some of Jo and Harvey’s friends), so we charge up Cottonwood pass just in time for those afternoon showers. Perfect timing!

On the way out of town we saw some cowboys; some town festival, Pioneer Days (?) or some such thing. Everyone looked like they were having a good time!



Bugman is on street tires, but by all accounts Cottonwood is pretty mild, so we decide to push on through to loop around to Gunnison from the North.









I think we’re about to get wet...





Again, where no viola should go: Off pavement, in the rain, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Violate. Damn this is fun! (albeit cold and wet fun... )







I let Tarren take the Orange Beast for a spin for a few miles once we descended out of the rain. As I threw my leg over his bike (a BMW K1200RS like mine!) I was shocked by how low it felt, I almost jumped over the thing! The K1200 isn’t a small bike by any means, I just find it amazing how fast one adjusts to new equipment, this is true for instruments too. I also noticed that I wasn’t going to be able to ride his bike with wearing my viola backpack because of his packing system, so he gets the whole viola-tor experience, Black Death and all! I’ve very particular about people riding my bike (as in, I don’t let anyone ride it but me!), but I was feeling unusually adamant that he try it.



Hmmm, territorial markings of the natives? I’m not sure what that blue road kill is...



We’re arriving on Saturday night to West-Fest, and neither of us knows what to expect. Eventually we find the group of cabins where everyone is staying (and we hear some rubbish about a guy named Arlen and his alleged suckiness. ). There’s a cabin with a number of folks milling about on the porch so I decide this is as good a place as any to try to get the skinny on this event. Who of all people is sitting there? Ms. Chiff, the rider I camped next to in Flaming Gorge who invited me to the rally! Cool. As we chat with whoever is around Bugman finds himself in a conversation with a guy that was a player in a little, rainy low-side experience he had in New Mexico a while back. Small world...

Everyone is headed to the city park for ceremonies, so we mosey on over. Usually Bugman is the life of the party, and neither he nor I are big coffee drinkers (we’re plenty hyper as it is!), but for some reason he had two mugfulls of Jo’s potent brew this morning, and he’s suffering some strange bad trip now. It’s weird, I can’t seem to shake him out of his stupor, literally like he’s inebriated. I’m honestly worried about him as he can’t manage to park his bike. Of course I tease him about it too, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t??? No more coffee for you mister, sheesh!



DKADV getting a dress installed. Weird, I’m not sure what this rally is all about, and I’m a little frightened...



Ms. Chiff sees us and tells us we’re just in time for de-n00bing. Great... As the crowd of n00bs is whittled down I realize that we’re going to be some of the last victims.

This is perfect! The Black Death is with me, so I decide to challenge myself in this VERY public, VERY harsh environment. Oh boy, I haven’t played for two days and have been gripping the handlebars vigorously all day, this is gonna be tough to sound good without a warm up... Here we go!



Waiting for the moment, T minus 5, 4, 3...



My god, I need some pants that fit properly, that looks like a clown suit! Anyway, lot’s of people smiling back there, so that’s good!



I most certainly can play much, much better, but I suppose I’ll count this as another test passed. For those of you who were there (and everyone else too), come hear me after a warm up sometime! I’m a professional, but the adrenaline and nerves of getting up in front of people never really goes away, so this is part of my own personal challenge that I hope will make me a better artist. Of course there was some heckling and the requisite “Play some Skynard!” comments, but I’ve heard it all before... YFF’s! I can deal with the likes of you!

We score a cabin porch to pitch the tent on, and shoot the $hit with other motorcyclists from across the country who enjoy riding in challenging environments. As I mentioned way back in the report, I think I’ve only ever seen a handful of KTM Adventure bikes EVER, but here at the rally I’ve seen at least ten 950/990’s. Bitchin!

Tarren rocks us up some fajitas with his camp stove and riders keep putting beers in our hands. Thanks!



I’d love to ride some of the trails around here, but Bugman and I have plans (and he needs to get DS bike!), plans that involve another early, early morning...

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Old 11-22-2008, 05:38 AM   #105
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