Bakery Quest - a year hacking the US with our kid and dogs.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by szurszewski, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Heyload

    Heyload Bent but not broken Supporter

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    Ah, Okay. I was stationed at Altus AFB from '83-'91...went back from '03 to '07...still go there to visit my daughter and friends...and I'm currently trying to get back there for the new KC-46 program.

    Somehow my road always leads there....
    #61
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  2. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Hmmm - have to check with Laura on dates but her mom was also stationed there, as were the friends of hers who live there still. I'll see what Laura says and report back!

    Edit:
    Laura's mom, Major Patricia Murray then, was there from about 79-82; her friends, Richard and Toni Starkey (sp?) were there around the same time as well and maybe later too.
    #62
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  3. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Josh, roadscholar here from the other forum, just catching up. I follow the Rockies section on ADV and Mountains and Rivers is a great guy but I think Silverton and Ouray are two towns you don't want to miss. I checked, they both have a couple bakeries but are definitely worth a look, ya never know. The 4J campground in Ouray is already closed for the season, the KOA north of town has cabins (edit, looks like they're closed already) but Weber RV park almost to Ridgeway stays open year round and has cabins, Sam the new owner is great and pretty flexible for whatever your needs. Plus 550 is a road you have to see.

    From Montrose I'd take 50 east and try to spend a little time in Salida, great little downtown and as you know Whip has a store there. It has 5 bakeries but 3 are really coffee shops so who knows. Another cool little town is Buena Vista with just 2 bakeries : ) Of course Gunnison is on the route and Crested butte is about 30 minutes north on 135 and both of them are worth a look too.

    If you decide to spend more than a day or so in the Salida area I have a camper van and homemade toyhauler combo in storage there you're welcome to use. Just let me know and I'll overnight some keys to Larry's store and get you access. It ain't the taj mahal but has air, heat, microwave, etc. and will sleep 3 comfortably : )
    #63
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  4. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Thanks Bill. Laura is keen to make a run from Denver up to Mount Rushmore before flying back to Portland early 11/6, so we will probably just spend one more night between here and there. Trying to figure out if it will be in Salida or Montrose... Got some other stuff to do online first (our house officially closed yesterday, and we've been in the middle of figuring out where the heck our mail went, etc.), and then we'll look into that.

    I did talk to Whip already - they are at a trade show and then I think going to DVD after - it would be more fun to hang out in Salida when they're there, but I think it will be a bit chilly for us by the time they get home.
    #64
  5. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    I think see what the weather looks like in the morning to help pick your route. We had some moisture this evening, just light rain, but can become icy overnight. If its clear, Silverton and Ouray are a beautiful drive. Montrose is a great town. Center of a lot of recreation. A Great Harvest just closed, so that could be good opportunity in a down town space or bad that it couldn't make it.
    #65
  6. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    I figured you were in touch with Larry but you're welcome to the camper whenever if you want, just LMK.
    #66
  7. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    light dusting of snow here in Telluride. Roads look just wet. Once the sun hits, all should burn off quick. Dress warm, whichever road you go. You may even want to see what Wolf Creek Pass got for snow, because you could run east to Del Norte (I think) then cut up to Salida on 285.
    If you do come over 145, there is a great little coffee shop in Rico, just past the gas station. Little shack. Good coffee and burritos.
    #67
  8. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Thanks for the update - packing up all our junk and looking at weather maps now - looks like we won't be "too" cold today, but might get a bit damp midday. That's all ok with us as long as we don't run into any ice :)

    At least we don't have to worry about falling over - but I don't have any desire (well, maybe a tiny, stupid part of my brain does) to see what happens when you start spinning a sidecar and trailer combo....
    #68
  9. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Looks like a slim chance of snow at monarch pass this afternoon, so we are going to head east across 160, starting with -late- breakfast in Durango, and then head north on that highway I have just forgotten up toward salida.
    #69
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  10. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Travel safe!
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  11. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Aww, I barely made it over Monarch in a blowing snowstorm once on a GS, but it hadn't stuck on the pavement yet. Stopped at the top for a pic and a couple with a dog in an airhead sidecar rig motored across like there was nothing to it. But I get it, Colorado weather can be tricky.
    #71
  12. Dirt1st

    Dirt1st Adventurer

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    See you guys tomorrow afternoon.
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  13. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    It's not so much the weather I'm worried about exactly. How to put this? Laura is her mother's only child, and Jeremiah is the only grandchild on either side. I haven't had anyone express a concern for MY safety, but I have, more than once, been reminded that I'd better take care of the lady and boy...in particular, my mother-in-law's kind of kooky friend/neighbor/landlord said she would come for me, in this life or the next, if I let anything happen to Laura or Jeremiah, and, frankly, I believe her :)

    Fortunately, we are tucked in safely in Salida, so I have made it another day without incurring Maria's wrath.

    IMG_1319.jpg IMG_1322.jpg

    This is the first time in a week or more with good wifi, so I will try to get some updates done here and on trycheckthis.com blog. At the least, I'll get up some pictures!
    josh
    #73
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  14. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Excellent, I see you're in good hands! :thumb
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  15. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Since everyone else is asleep (dogs included, though they did get out for a bit of a romp already), and since I'm enjoying the quiet and the view here in Salida, I'm going to hop in the way back machine for a couple thoughts on the Bay Area. Second, some people stuff, but first: Bike Stuff!

    As you may recall from a couple of pages back I mentioned stuffing a larger "rear' tire onto the front wheel and under the front fender of the rig. The tire has been fantastic and the tread is so deep I can't really see any wear yet. That's fantastic because we chewed, burned, cupped the heck out of the almost new stock-size front tire in just a few thousand miles of hack use. The downside, as you might recall, is that it was rubbing the mounts (even after I inverted the body nuts) for the fender, as well as just a bit on the back and front fender sections. Not so much an issue on the well-lubricated roads we found in northern CA, but the dry roads just about melted through the front. I was contemplating a "bobber" look with just a token little strap fender on teh front, but Russ, with whom we were staying suggested cutting up some plastic to move part of the mounting forward and up a bit. And it works great!

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    Well, it works great other than putting the fender higher which puts it closer to the fairing trim around the oil cooler....

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    Quote from Ted Porter: Wow - you are grossly under-sprung; but I'm sure you know that already.

    Yeah, we know that. New shocks are on order and I'm hoping we get a little more space here with those added (but I'm also planning on adding the Hannigan Steer Lite brackets which, I think, will effectively lower the front as well...sigh). So far though it only hits on harsh bumps, and I do try to avoid those! No (noticeable) damage so far.

    That night, like between 6:30pm and 3:30am (I'm a slow worker, ok?) the dogs and I made a royal mess of Russ and Peggy's garage putting on new brake lines, also from Ted Porter at the Beemer shop (he was kind enough, on a Thursday afternoon, to take them directly to the post office and ship them to arrive the next day in Fairfield - much appreciated, as were the included coffee candies which were a huge help around 1am or so...). Here's Culprit offering assistance, and Eddy checking to see if dogs can eat old brake fluid (he decided that was a no):
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    I'm sure some of you have been waiting with baited breath (whatever gross thing that really means) as to the solution to my triumvirate of issues mentioned back whenever I did (clunking over bumps, loss of rear brakes, rubbing fender). Well, you saw the fender up above, and the other two issues were the rear brakes. First, we'd pretty much run out of fluid. Where was it going? One of the pressed swivel fittings on the really expensive quick disconnect setting it free. Bummer. And it was the bike side fitting of course. I thought I'd brought the stock banjo bolt (Hannigan uses a double banjo at the bike's rear caliper so you can connect both the stock line and one running over to the hack wheel), but of course I didn't. I also have a spare quick disconnect, but I didn't bring that either! So, I swapped the car and bike sides of the fitting and strapped the one on the bike out of the way until I can get the replacement sent.

    Now the thunk. I could feel it over progressively smaller bumps as we rode from Ft. Bragg toward Pt. Reyes Station, and it felt like it was right between my feet...so I assumed the center stand or something. Nope. Sidestand? Nope. Shit. Can't be the front end because I can't feel it in the bars, but checked all that anyway. Front of the swingarm? Nope. Back of the swingarm? Nope. Oh - hey - is this brake caliper supposed to be held on by TWO bolts? 'Cause this one just as one! So it was swinging loose down there and transmitting it's displeasure at such up through the swingarm and into the "frame" right up between my feet.

    Russ happened to have a correct diamter bolt which he was kind enough to cut down to the proper length. I guess the jerk who put the thing back on after the final drive was rebuilt musn't have torqued it properly (hint: I was that jerk...). Also, I can post this here because none of our parents read ADV ;)
    #75
  16. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    And then people stuff - really, much more important.

    I suppose we haven't been on the road that long (my trip log/journal, which was a choice ADV Secret Santa gift, speaking of kind people, and which I've been trying and mostly not failing to keep up to date says this is Day #28), but we have met and been treated well by a LOT of folks - some we knew well, some a little, and some not at all. One of the arguments in favor of the sidecar rig for this trip over a much more practical thing, like a 90s Toyota Previa, or something more protective and off road capable like a first gen 4Runner (note - neither of those are things Laura suggested, though she would have happily driven the 4Runner and probably refused to even get in the Previa), is that it would both slow us down and, more importantly, put us out in the open.

    Jeremiah is new to this road trip thing, but Laura and I are not. For instance, our honeymoon was spent driving from North Padre Island/Corpus Christi, Texas to Anchorage by way of Key West and then Prince Edward Island. We did that in, oh, six weeks. (And to get TO our wedding, we'd already driving from Anchorage to Texas - pretty much straight through). It was a great trip but we spent almost as much time driving any given day as we did stopped, and we missed a LOT of things (we didn't stop other than fuel and food and maybe some pics between Key West and Washington D.C.). So, this time we wanted to take away the ability to just go, go go, and specifically the ability to sleep in the truck (our former adventure vehicle was a full size Chevy with a tall canopy and a roof tent, you know, before they were so hip). We figured that way we'd have to see more stuff and we'd be forced to meet more people (we're both pretty shy and introverted; well, we're both shy - I might not be such an introvert).

    We've been to half a dozen or more of our National Parks, any number of state and local parks, a ton of big and small towns and cities and seen countless other very cool things, but they people we've been fortunate enough to interact with along the way are really the best part. Unfortunately, like the park ranger at the entrance to Mesa Verde who not only let us take the dog trailer all over the park despite the clearly posted no trailers beyond the campgroup policy but also called dispatch and asked to let the patrol rangers know we were ok, I have failed to get pictures of almost all said people. I do everyone once in awhile though, and here are a couple that didn't make it into the timeline where they should have:

    Thor, who invited us dogs and all to stay with him in CA,

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    and our cousins - some of whom live in Fairfield where we were staying with Peggy and Russ (of whom I have no pictures sadly!), and one who just happened to arrive in town the same time we did:

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    Thanks world!
    josh
    #76
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  17. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Ok - let's see if I can get us back on track. When last we saw our intrepid travelers they had just left Vegas heading for a bit of Route 66 and then on to The Grand Canyon.

    In case you've never piloted a motorcycle before (seems unlikely, yeah?), this is what it looks like from the front seat (and this is why I don't bother to take many pics with my helmet cam):

    S10C0047.jpg

    and this is where we stayed at the Quality Inn in Kingman, AZ. I don't know what the motel used to be called, but it clearly predates the current franchise and, in addition to being pretty cute and having good sized rooms (with tile floors) at a reasonable price, has quite a collection of Route 66 and related memorabilia.

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    and another desert sunrise - I'm really enjoying these (Laura probably would too if she ever saw one):

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    After Kingman, en route to the Canyon, we stopped to check out a fairly cool tourist spot - Grand Canyon Caverns - which was conveniently surrounded (covered?) by shade trees.

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    #77
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  18. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Grand Canyon Caverns (in no way associated with the park, but semi-recently renamed to its current moniker when they figured out that the air source for the cavern was coming from the Grand Canyon itself) has been a tourist attraction for almost a hundred years now, and, as you can imagine, is pretty touristy. There are paved paths, fences and rope lights all over the place (all after you make it through a well-stocked souvenir shop), and you can only go in on very scripted guided tours (well - not entirely true; they have been exploring a new and very large cavern which you can do a more free-form tour with hard hats, ropes and knee pads instead of paths and fences, but you gotta be 12, so that was a no-go for us). All the same, I've never been in a dry cavern before and Jeremiah has never really been in any sort of big cave, so it was fun for that.

    If you're into that sort of thing they have a "room" you can rent overnight,

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    and the cavern is classified as a civil defense shelter, so there's plenty to eat and drink if you get peckish or thirsty (it is VERY dry down there) during your stay

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    All in all it was a bit more than we usually spend on tourist stuff, but Jeremiah did get in free for some reason, and I think we all had a good time. Afterward we made a bee line for the south entrance to GCNP stopping only for groceries just outside the park (tip: the grocery store IN the park is WAY less expensive, and kind of amazingly well stocked) where we met the Rowa family. As often happens, we found them checking out the rig when emerged from the store, and as often happens they asked the usual questions (where are you from, where do you all sit, do you camp in that trailer...etc.). I think they're on a probably more amazing adventure though - they've been full timing for a couple of years now in an RV, which I suppose is not unusual, but man - count how many of them there are! We feel like we're doing well, four weeks in, to get along with each other - and there are only three of us - MOST of the time; I'm not sure I can imagine if there were seven of us!

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    We were hoping to get in to the campground and set up before dark, but we didn't quite make it. We DID though get one of the few remaining open sites in Mather CG, which was good (I had forgotten about it being a weekend - the park was mostly empty the next night). Here's Jeremiah doing a little school work by aid of his light up LED camp nose.

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    #78
  19. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Jeremiah was a BIG fan of the Canyon and is set on going down to the bottom - he's currently torn on whether it would be cooler to ride a mule or hike it, but unfortunately because the dogs aren't allowed below the rim (and because his parents are squishy and out of shape) we had to skip that this time. I think I see birthday trip back here in his future though.

    I somehow didn't take any pictures of the canyon, which is probably ok because many of you have already seen it, and there is this thing called "google image search" on another thing called the "internet" and 90% or more of what you'll find there is way better than what I would have taken with my iPhone.

    Instead of majestic splendor, you get some random crap pics I took.

    Cute shot of Jeremiah (that's the Canyon in the background, see?):

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    We had our first campfire of the trip - insert joke about fanning flames here (and hope wife doesn't start reading ADV ride report):

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    Since Drone said, nearly a month ago, let us know how the dogs are doing, they are doing well. Even the 14 year old shepherd, who is starting to have trouble with stairs, is fairing much better now that we're getting out and walking more (we were pretty shitty dog parents in Portland and for the most part they saw our house and yard and nothing else for weeks on end) - though the several miles we did along the rim this day wiped them both out.

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    The next day was Halloween, and apart from that being fun it was the day our house officially closed. We celebrated by driving to Cortez NM so we could see Four Corners (special Jeremiah request, but we were too late in the day, so we circled back the next day) and going to sleep. Ok, we split a beer first - well, Jeremiah refused to partake, but did participate in the toast.
    #79
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  20. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Four Corners:


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    #80
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