A 2001 Space Odyssey - California Wedding 1

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MapMaster, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Climatic conditions contradict current cylinder compression and crafting creative curmudgeonly complaints of covid constraints can't be contemplated, so it's time to saddle up the wayback again for another one score years ago cross-country ride.

    Packing list:
    20 year old journal notes deciphered: Check (damn, I can easily read my printing from that time period, nowadays deciphering mid Kingdom hieroglyphics takes less effort than figuring out notes I scrawled less than a week ago)

    4x6 prints from 7 rolls of exposed 35mm film freshly scanned: Check!

    Alliteration arrays activated: Aye Aye Cap'n!

    Okay, let's ride. There's dead horses to beat:
    :dhorse
    upload_2021-2-13_21-13-24.jpeg

    One horse towns to honk at:
    upload_2021-2-13_21-14-2.jpeg

    And hoodoos to hoot at:
    upload_2021-2-13_21-17-7.jpeg
    #1
  2. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Background
    In terms of grand designs, creating ride reports of all of my cross-country rides may not rank very high on the list of the greatest achievements of mankind, but it does wonders for easing my PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome). :deal
    I've kept a journal on all of my major rides and the past two winters have allowed me to do a few retro reports. I do this to play with words; share tales with yff's, family and other riding friends; and to have something to bore fellow residents in the old folk's home with when I'm in my dotage. :gerg

    Links to my other musings if any of y'all are interested.

    This was my third motorcycle sojourn across the U.S. for a wedding, but the first one between Pittsburgh and California. My cousin Joe was getting committed in Sacramento. :crash
    In July! :knary
    At least he had the good sense to declare shorts and Hawaiian shirts as the dress code for men. :rayof

    The intended year long break from work starting the previous spring was stretching a bit longer than planned, so I had no problems with a time budget. And last year's two-and-a-half month trip to Alaska had really fine tuned my long distance travel routine, so getting ready for this trip was no sweat. The bike was in good shape after a thorough winter freshening, a bit of map study identified spots of interest to mold my on-road routing, and arranging some visits with family and friends along the way was the extent of my preparations.

    The packing configuration:
    upload_2021-2-13_23-17-40.jpeg
    #2
  3. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,256
    Location:
    sunny san diego
    IN!!
    #3
    MapMaster likes this.
  4. MongoLikeCandy

    MongoLikeCandy It Never Gets Easier, You Just Go Faster

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1,598
    Location:
    Under A Rock
    #4
    MapMaster likes this.
  5. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Getting West

    The first day's objective was an easy one, I headed through West Virginia to my friend Dan's place near Hurricane (hurrican in the local patois). I stretched it to 333 miles, in part because I hit a flagger controlled construction zone where the radio chat between the two female traffic gatekeepers was amusing. The girl that stopped me clicked the mike and said she had a motorcycle rider waiting. The reply was, "Is he cute?" and "Is it a Harley?" We chuckled at my being been immediately ruled out and as the wait was going to be a longish one, I swung a u-turn and noodled on even more backer back roads to get around the obstruction. :deal
    Dan's two boys were aged 18 months and 3 years at the time. I've met them a few times over the years since, but I'm sure mutual recognition would be beyond any of us at this point.

    It was good to catch up with the family and I was well set for the next day's Kentucky crossing. Would that the Bluegrass state have been as well set up for me. This was back in the bad old days when cell phone accessible weather radar apps were a yet to be realized wet dream of some programmer. The forecast was for isolated light and showers. A deluge was isolated over me for most of the day. When I finally cleared the rain, it was hot and very muggy, 97 degrees greeted me at 5:00 pm in Hayti, Arkansas! Still, I made it to Walnut Ridge for the night. The house specialty at the bbq place there that I chose for dinner was fried pickle slices, that was a hard pass. 20 years on, I have gotten more adventurous on the culinary front, but I'll still decline that particular cuisine choice.
    :puke2

    This was the first picture of the trip:
    upload_2021-2-14_18-51-32.jpeg
    I don't know where it was taken, but I'm sure it wasn't in Kentucky.
    It's close enough to the start of the trip to include now (I've got to do something for those whose eyes glaze over in the presence of too much text. :lol3

    Confession time: :shog
    My normal delusional state does not readily admit to doing anything wrong in regards to mapping out a motorcycle trip, but I really screwed up my first two-wheeled foray through the Razorback State. I'll blame the weather, though it was not a completely wet day. I chose to run US 412 all the way across the northern part of the state. :baldy
    Not that 412 was that bad, but a later trip revealed how rich the options are on either side of that path! I have since made amends and played in the Ozarks a few times since. :ricky

    Part of the routing choice was based on entering Oklahoma so that I could complete the personal collection of all 50 states. (I hadn't ridden in all of them yet, that milestone lay a few years in the future.)

    Oklahoma presented me with an odd encounter. I stopped in Welch and another rider pulled up and asked how to pick up route 59. He was already on it and we were right in front of a sign for it, so I pointed it out and said he'd found it. He then asked another guy the same question, right in front of me. I thought I was speaking English. :scratch :dunno

    After three days of steady riding I landed in Arkansas City, Kansas. I was looking forward to the real West tomorrow.
    #5
  6. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Vision Quest II

    On my trip to Alaska the year before, I equated a ride across the Great Plains to the Native American practice of a vision quest. Trekking west for two days, in lieu of fasting for four, can prompt hallucinations.

    As I made my way through western Kansas the heat built up and the senses were numbed. Southeastern Colorado was more of the same. Near Comanche National Grassland, small exposed rocks slowly rose from the ground and developed into bluffs encroaching from the left. Clouds grew on the horizon mimicking distant mountain tops. The cliffs loomed larger and then, as though fearing their presence would be detected too early, retreated back into hiding. Suddenly I was surrounded by them in a broken landscape. The road dipped and flashed over an arroyo containing a stagnant pool hiding unknown denizens awaiting a chance to attack. Scrub pines were now covering the slopes of the bluffs, attempting to camouflage them by softening their appearance. Fallen trees, their bleached white roots resembling Medusa's viperish tresses, writhed in the blazing light, poised for a venomous strike. A gap-toothed windmill continued to draw water up for a group of bovines watching my impending demise from their stationary perspective*. The bluffs were now herding me towards a gaping maw that appeared between two advancing mountains. Puffs of cloud mounted the cliffs on the right, waiting to close in behind me like a cavalry patrol to cut off any escape.
    :yikes

    And then a lone microwave tower, a completely alien shape for the locale, broke the spell, jolting me out of the dream state. Vision quest indeed, that was quite the trip. :bmwrider

    * Hindsight view: Think of any of Larson's cows in the field cartoons. :lol3
    (But don't post them here - they are copyrighted. :deal)

    Excepting the vivid mirages, nothing was deemed film worthy for the day, though a short stretch of road without any fencing looked odd and unnatural compared the rest of the near 500 miles of fields and ranch land I passed by. I was tired and pulled the pavement plug earlier than usual to stay in Trinidad, Colorado for the night.

    I got really high the next day, but I'll save that tale for tomorrow.
    upload_2021-2-15_21-9-3.jpeg
    #6
  7. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'll Pass, Thank you very much.
    Seven mountain passes between ninety-four hundred and eleven thousand feet for the day. I love riding in Colorado!

    I don't dwell on annoyances, another stretch of good road is usually waiting. So I didn't record, and don't recall, any of the details of a less than stellar breakfast stop in La Veta, but the paper record of the experience is as follows:
    The food - forgettable.
    The coffee - regrettable
    And the gas pump jockey - lamentable.
    I don't rule out going through there in the future because CO route 12 was a nice enough transit, but I'm not likely to plan a stop there. :D

    Somewhere along the way today or earlier (I didn't do a very good job of noting locations after I got the film developed):
    upload_2021-2-16_23-18-29.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-16_23-19-42.jpeg

    Climate considerations were an influence on the day's plan. Great Sand Dunes Nat Monument looked interesting, but it was still before noon and I didn't want to stop that early and face more miles later in the heat.
    Mesa Verde was on the radar, but the afternoon was another scorching one so I hung a right in Durango to seek out higher elevations and was rewarded with cooler temps and a fairly unobstructed ride up U.S. Route 550, the Million Dollar Highway, to Ouray (you-ray).

    Pretty sure this is a view of Silverton from route 550:
    upload_2021-2-16_23-20-11.jpeg

    I camped in Ouray and enjoyed a good soak in the town's hot springs pool.
    Chatted with the campground neighbors, enjoyed a beautiful sunset that for some reason, put me in mind of cooling magma (did I mention it was HOT earlier today :lol3).

    And I liked one little boy's comment in regards to the stars, "They come out when the Earth shuts down."
    #7
  8. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2019
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    In!
    #8
    MapMaster likes this.
  9. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    We're not in Kansas anymore Toto!
    Yeah, that was true the day before, but while Colorado is beautifully majestic, Utah is really an otherworldly and magical land.

    I was an avid skier while the knees lasted and had heard of Telluride having a unique vibe, so I poked my head into that town as I looped southwest from Ouray.The mountain scenery was spectacular. Almost immediately after thinking that the Alps had nothing on Colorado, a sign for the Matterhorn appeared.

    In Telluride, I settled down for a bit of people watching with a coffee and breakfast bagel. Nothing out of the ordinary - just a guy on a unicycle walking his dog.
    :photog
    upload_2021-2-17_20-55-46.jpeg

    The cloudless July day warmed up quickly as I headed for Monticello Utah on what was then U.S. Route 666. Coincidence? I think not. :mad?

    The transition from the alpine terrain of the Rocky Mountains to the high semi-arid plateau of southeastern Utah is not especially abrupt when you're rolling through the boundary area, but when you're fully immersed in one versus the other, it's a stark difference. After Blanding, Utah the transformation was complete.
    upload_2021-2-17_20-57-38.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-17_20-58-5.jpeg

    From there I headed for Capital Reef National Park on UT 95 and 24. The route passed through Fry Canyon. Fry Canyon in Utah in July is not inappropriately named. The long hot run was eased by loading the 'stich with ice in both the back vent pouch and pants pockets. With the low humidity this was quite effective air-conditioning. An hour for the ice to melt, another hour of evaporative cooling from drying clothes, and then it was time to refresh the supply of frozen cubes.

    The Colorado River/Lake Powell crossing was at Hite. The marina wasn't too impressive, but the overlook was cool.
    upload_2021-2-17_20-58-37.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-17_20-58-59.jpeg

    A slogan the town of Kanab, UT uses is, "The Greatest Earth on Show" and I think the state has adopted that for the wider region. It's very apt.
    upload_2021-2-17_20-59-41.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-17_21-0-10.jpeg

    A bit of badlands topography was part of the mix as well:
    upload_2021-2-17_21-0-43.jpeg


    upload_2021-2-17_21-5-9.jpeg

    Petroglyphs at Capital Reef were interesting:
    upload_2021-2-17_21-8-6.jpeg

    I went beyond the junction of route 12 to land at Bicknell for the night.
    #9
    Mcahron, Ginger Beard and Suncoaster like this.
  10. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Also Sprach Zarathustra

    I got an early start and back tracked to route 12 to head south to Bryce Canyon National Park through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

    A portion of UT 12 is a hogback that runs along the spine of a ridge overlooking canyons on both sides. It presents a truly unique perspective, I felt like I was balanced on a twisting knife edge before it dropped down to the floor of the valley.
    upload_2021-2-18_21-43-41.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-18_21-44-16.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-18_21-45-18.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-18_21-46-5.jpeg

    I reached Bryce around noon and met this group of riders from Seattle; Lance, Kay, Jolie & Louis, and we ended up hitting most of the Bryce viewpoints together.
    upload_2021-2-18_21-47-39.jpeg

    It was refreshingly cool all day, the road through Bryce lies between 7,700 and 9,100 feet.
    The views and the fantastical shapes of the hoodoos were enchanting.
    upload_2021-2-18_21-49-50.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-18_21-50-32.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-18_21-51-11.jpeg

    Well, they call them hoodoos, but they look like monoliths to me. :evil
    And though I didn't see any discarded bones, it certainly looked like the ground had been beaten with clubs (titular movie scene reference :deal).
    upload_2021-2-18_21-51-54.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-18_21-53-18.jpeg

    I camped in the park that night, attended an evening ranger program and enjoyed the sky show of stars and distant lightning after that. A great day!
    #10
  11. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Serendipity and Much Ado About Nothing

    I started the second week of the trip with an 0-dark-30 wake up. The intention was to watch the sunrise ignite canyon color cascades, but rain ruinously reined in those plans so some secondary snoozing substituted.
    I had two days to reach Davis, CA just west of Sacramento for the Thursday wedding, so I still managed a decently early start.

    When the campground I did depart, delightful dirt displays dervishly danced through the morning. Vermilion, rust, ochre, crimson, cardinal, and other vocabulary exhausting hues of red; along with myriad shades of yellows and brown thrown into the mix as well; were revealed around every bend. But the real surprise came on UT 148 along the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The brilliance of Bryce Canyon compressed into a four mile wide, 2,000 foot deep amphitheater.

    A visual stunner:
    upload_2021-2-19_22-40-38.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-19_22-41-22.jpeg

    While very similar to Bryce, it was primarily limestone as compared to the sandstone of Bryce. The geologic explanation was that both formations arose from opposite ends of the same enormous ancient lake.

    I had know of Bryce Canyon before the trip and it was a decided destination. Cedar Breaks was pure happenstance. I noted it on the map as I made my routing choice for the day, but had no idea what it was. Supreme serendipity. If you're ever in the vicinity, don't miss it.

    After that I swapped the denser mountain terrain of southwest Utah for the wide open basins of Nevada. While not conducive to maintaining my favored tilted horizon perspective, I enjoy the really distant views that you only get out west.

    With all the space, it's easy for UFO's to land:
    upload_2021-2-19_22-42-7.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-19_22-42-37.jpeg

    Had a good laugh at an open range cattle caution sign (black cow on the yellow diamond) with the bovine below a flying saucer.
    Didn't get the pic because I thought I would see more of them later, but that didn't happen.

    I don't understand why everyone makes a fuss about ETs.
    Funny looking creatures piloting very fast, but odd looking machines, dressed in protective suits made from exotic materials, and wearing visored helmets, right?! I hang out with those guys all the time.
    :freaky

    Racked up many miles on the odometer getting to Tonapah for dinner. I pushed on after that with the intention of stopping for the night at Coaldale. A small dot on the map at the junction of U.S. 95 and 6. A few abandoned buildings were the only structures visible. A busy lightning storm and very gusty winds presented a severe challenge to verticality as I continued on to Hawthrone. I would have liked to stop to sit out the worst of it, but I was already the highest point in the area. I didn't want to become a stationary target.
    :permazot
    #11
    Mcahron, wetwider and dano619 like this.
  12. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Shanty Town :evil
    The next four days of this adventure are bundled up in this post. And no, I am not casting aspersions on the city of San Francisco, even though describing it as a shanty town during the initial gold rush era and after 1906 quake would not be completely inaccurate. :deal

    Yesterday's tense but extended finish at least had the benefit of making today's ride more of a leisurely jaunt. I only had to go 300 miles, but an early finish wouldn't work given a check-in time of 3pm, so another hot afternoon would be in order. :knary

    I savored my time at elevation:
    upload_2021-2-20_22-50-43.jpeg

    My recorded impression was that CA 108 through the Sonora gap was the most extreme mountain pass I'd ever ridden. Much time and many more passes have passed, fading any specific recollections of that road. Regardless of ranking it was still a blast and one that I wouldn't hesitate to shape a route to take in again.

    I tried to keep the image of this patch of snow in mind for the later stages of the day (it didn't work):
    upload_2021-2-20_22-52-18.jpeg

    Riding in July is a bit like the guy who goes around smacking his head into walls. Asked why he said, 'because it feels so good when I stop.' :baldy :lol2

    The afternoon wedding was in an outdoor garden setting. I left the bike at the motel and rode in my brother's air conditioned car. Stupidly, I forgot the camera.
    :becca

    It was very nice casual affair with a good family gathering afterwards.

    The next day was a short ride for a visit with an ex-coworker in Berkeley, CA. The Bay area was literally cool and a very welcome respite.
    I let Jean Ann play tourist guide in the local area and the next day we went into San Fransisco where she shared my nautical history interest enough to agree to spending most of the day at checking out various ships on display. (An Alcatraz tour would have been fine too, but those were booked solid for the next week. Reserve a tour in advance if you plan a visit there.)
    The only operating WWII US submarine, the USS Pampanito, was not available at the time, but the Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien was of great interest and the ships at the Maritime National Historical Park were quite interesting as well.
    Of particular note was the steel-hulled three masted sailing ship Baclutha, first launched in 1886.
    upload_2021-2-20_23-5-34.jpeg

    Interesting not only because it represented the end of the era of sailing commercial ships, but because of a ranger led, etymology centered, audience participation program based on a sea shanty.

    upload_2021-2-20_23-6-8.jpeg

    Like my rides, this tale has a few tangents, so bear with me.
    Currently sea shanties are quite popular, but 20 years ago, this was my initial exposure.

    Tangent #1: If any of yinz are cringing at 'shanty' and mentally insisting that it's should be 'chanty' (or chantey, shantey, or chanty); lighten up. Most references I find online are to shanty. And the origin is commonly credited to the French word chanter, which means sing, and is pronounced shan-tee. So the shanty spelling is the most accurate representation of the French term and that's good enough for me. (Besides, that how I learnt it! :D)

    The presentation did not go into the origin of the term, but explained that shanties were sung to coordinate physical work by the crew in weighing anchor, hauling yards, or other heavy team work.

    The phrase "Flogging a dead horse" was the actual subject of etymological study.
    Tangent #2: Do not confuse etymology with entomology. Even though a dead horse will certainly attract insects, and given that motorcyclists probably examine the internal contents of more bugs up close than anyone else, I'm not going to address that subject here. :lol3

    As presented (and somewhat confirmed by current online searches), sailors of the era were 'recruited' by agents contracted by the ship owner to supply a crew. The agent would get the first month's pay of each man they supplied, so the crewman's first month of labor was not for their own benefit. (Other sources cite the reason as debt interest incurred on an advance of their first three months of pay.) Hence the flogging the dead horse, no matter how hard they worked, it wasn't gaining them anything. To mark the end of this financially fruitless period of labor, they would construct an equine effigy and hoist it to a yardarm, singing an appropriate shanty as they hauled away. I don't remember the full song, but the response included the lyric "poor ol' horse, dead ol' horse", which we sang as we reenacted the ceremony on deck (though we didn't cast it overboard as was actually done at sea). It was a good time and one of the more engaging programs I've participated in.
    upload_2021-2-20_23-8-16.jpeg
    #12
    Mcahron and KryzHatch like this.
  13. KryzHatch

    KryzHatch Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
    Note that French also use the word "Chanter" in marine language.
    "Chanter les caps" which means "Sing the caps/course" is when the boat change the course, the helmsman "sing the caps" he is coming through to inform the man on watch.

    KH
    #13
    MapMaster likes this.
  14. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Homeward Bound

    While the time budget was not constrained, unfettered flights of financial fantasies were grounded and the homeward trek began. That didn't mean I couldn't indulge in some roaming along the way. Idaho route 12, home of the now famous 'winding road next 99 miles' sign, was on the radar.

    After clearing the valley, the chosen route led off with with more Sierra fun, but there was no snow this time going over the slightly lower Carson pass on CA route 88.
    I started crossing Nevada on U.S. 50, labeled the 'Loneliest Road in America', but I gotta tell you, it's not worthy of the claim.
    upload_2021-2-21_22-56-18.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-21_22-56-38.jpeg

    I branched off onto an even lonelier road, NV 722, where I dodged cows and survived a kamikaze strike from a bird to my helmet. It didn't hit me flush, but the tick from its feet was audible and a look back confirmed its demise. :(

    It was another beastly hot day and the finishing northbound segment of the day to the 'town' (though that is really stretching the meaning of the word) of Battle Mountain, NV did not provide any relief. The next morning there was no joy in the forecast going further north through the eastern deserts of Oregon, so I recast the plan that had been firmly carved in jello and opted to continue due east to reach the higher elevations of Utah and Colorado sooner. That did entail a few segments of interstate, but in the Great Basin country, I wasn't giving up anything in regards to twisty roads, so it was an acceptable option.

    Unusual for me, I hit three western states in one day as I crossed Utah and reached Green River, WY for the night. UT route 39 east of Odgen, was a fun road and I was treated to warm (visually) evening light and a pretty sunset.
    upload_2021-2-21_23-0-38.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-21_23-1-9.jpeg

    Utah did live up to its moniker of The Beehive State, as testified by seeing many an apian* abode and a considerable collection of black and yellow insect debris on the faceshield. :nah

    :mully
    * Now damital! It's bad enough that all them fancy dictionary sites don't recognize faceshield as an acceptable comppound word. Don't go putting that squiggly red line under apian when I type it! It means related to bees you vocabulary deficient cretin of a spellchecker!
    :becca
    #14
    Mcahron likes this.
  15. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Rocky Mountain High - again :D

    Some Colorado map perusal in the room revealed a small dot labeled Cowdrey, which happened to be the name of a couple that I had become good friends with during a six month work stint in England about 5 years ago. Collecting a souvenir picture or two of their namesake town became one of the day's goal.

    So after a bit of slabbing into the morning sun I headed south on route 789 to exit Wyoming. This led to a souvenir of a different sort. The road was wide open and I was proceeding somewhat briskly, in the distance an ore hauler pulled out from a side track and built up speed on a reciprocal bearing. As we neared direct opposition, I saw a stream of rocks leaking from its hopper. I commenced immediate whoa lever application and a shift to the outside of my lane, but a tapered shard, about one inch in diameter and two inches long had my name on it. It bounced up, cleared the windshield and slammed into my right collar bone, just below the edge of the shoulder pad of my Aerostich jacket. Damn that hurt! Nothing broke, but one hell of a colorful bruise developed over the next couple of days.

    Cowdrey was about what I expected which was not much, but it did have a post office and I got a postcard for Mike & Jean and sent it from there. His brother Liam joked that a near desolate one horse town in the middle of nowhere was appropriate given the family history. :lol3
    upload_2021-2-22_21-59-52.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-22_22-0-47.jpeg

    A few miles down the road I stopped at the North Park Pioneer Museum in Walden (cool little town) and found some interesting records of doings in Cowdrey in the 1880's & 90's. Hazel, the curator pulled out the record of one Edna Martin's diary. Entries for a few Cowdrey's were mainly of untimely deaths - a Mrs. Cowdrey killed when a storm blew off a roof, a Charles Cowdrey died of pneumonia after swimming across a river.
    upload_2021-2-22_22-1-15.jpeg

    Even with those diversions, I had made good progress and able to thoroughly enjoy an evening ride through Rocky Mountain National Park. Beautiful scenery, cool, a bit of rain at one point, lots of elk.
    upload_2021-2-22_22-2-49.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-22_22-3-16.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-22_22-3-45.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-22_22-4-11.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-22_22-6-6.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-22_22-4-55.jpeg

    upload_2021-2-22_22-7-39.jpeg

    After leaving the park I wanted to clear the Fort Collins area, but went too far in terms of ready accommodations. Rooms weren't to be found in Julesburg or Big Springs and I ended up landing in Ogallala, Nebraska for the night - not the best of places but it served well enough.

    I noted that farm smells are much riper at night. :topes :lol3
    #15
    Mcahron, snglfin and dano619 like this.
  16. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It seemed like a good idea at the time...

    A consequence of the previous night's late finish was a welcomed lie-in to ten a.m. The late morning weather check settled me on a Nebraska/Iowa crossing and map study identified interesting itinerary items. The SAC museum and Homestead National Monument in NE, and John Wayne's birthplace and the Bob Feller museum in IA were possibilities that I might pick from as the day unfolded.

    But sometime after moving out around 11:30 (with ice already packed into the suit), I got the notion to see just how far I could ride in a twenty-four hour period. This became a case study in how not to do a Saddle Sore 1,000 (an Iron Butt Association term, I'm not a member and had no intention of getting any official certification for the effort, I just wanted to see what I could do).

    It was hot, I'd been on the go for over two weeks, the previous day had been a long one, I would hit two time zone shifts - shortening available daylight (though this would lessen time in the hottest part of the day); all of these factors contributed to making the 'day' a very long slog. Frequent stops throughout and fog during the night didn't help. I really struggled in the early morning hours and napped on a rest area picnic table for a bit.

    I was lucky and pulled it off anyway, reaching Ohio and logging 1,065 miles at the 24 hour mark (1,085 total to a motel), but it was a stupid effort. I definitely wasn't as alert as I should have been.

    This assessment did not come to me with the passage of significant time and the supposed wisdom that comes with age. I pretty much reached that conclusion as I spent the rest of the day and the ensuing night in a Motel 6 room outside of Dayton, OH. As far as making time goes, I'd have been in better shape after knocking out back-to-back 600 miles days (which I've done on more than few occasions).

    One not unwelcome surprise was that I discovered that Iowa actually has some hills! :lol3
    #16
    Mcahron likes this.
  17. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,641
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Wrap Up - maybe :evil

    The last day was an uneventful run across Ohio and up to home. The usual case of gethomeitis at the end of a ride manifested itself, so I opted to slab it the whole way. I didn't record any comment about the weather, so the heat must not have been too bad. :lol3

    Trip totals were 18 days, 6800 miles.

    Not having created a ride report at the time, my journal jottings jolted me on just how much was packed into this trip. I suffer from an embarrassment of riches in regards to memorable motorcycle moments, so while there wasn't anything that I had completely forgotten about, I would have been hard pressed to assign many of the individual events to this particular trip. Prior to this exercise, the only ones that I could readily and absolutely accurately associate with this particular jaunt were Escalante Staircase, Bryce Canyon, and San Francisco. So the memory refresh was needed and I've enjoyed the reboot.

    I have a few panoramic picture sets that I haven't figured out how to stitch together yet, so I may come back to this with an update later. That may be after I a retro report for my 2007 trip - California Wedding 2 - which was an absolute blast. :ricky

    Cheers!
    #17
    Mcahron, Samspade and LewisNClark like this.