Heart of the West ADV 'Roundabout'

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by byways, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. WU7X

    WU7X The Old Fart

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    Tony,

    Now that all my ROF gang has their COVID shots, we are gearing up for this September. SWMBO and I will be stopping off in Cody to pick up our new Boykin Spaniel before joining the others. Probably start in Rawlings and at least get the southern half done this fall. I think that putting our start off until this year ended up being a good idea. Plan on stopping off in Idaho Falls to say a quick hello on the way through.

    Dale
  2. byways

    byways byways

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    I am glad to hear that, Dale. Please do keep me posted on your progress. While I never really know for sure where I will be so far in advance, I will plan on a rendezvous with you and the others.

    I have my shots as well. Man, don't we all long for the good ol' days when rain, wildfires, bears, mosquitoes and wild-eyed hunters racing to their favorite campsite were all we had to fret about ...
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  3. byways

    byways byways

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    Some wildland travelers mistakenly assume that Wyoming's wide-open spaces are largely public lands. Yet much is not, particularly in its southern reaches, and especially along any source of surface water.

    Wyoming is a confusing quilt of public-private ownership and mixed uses. Signs seem rarely to denote which is which. So HoW follows only verified, publicly accessible roads, right of ways and easements. While there are plenty of nasty barbed-wire cattle-management gates, there are no locked gates. :clap

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  4. byways

    byways byways

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    Just about everyone mixes camping with lodging. For the latter, we advise booking early to nail down an airy room with a view ... :kumbaya

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  5. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off

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    Easy fixer upper
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  6. byways

    byways byways

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    BYO chinking!
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  7. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off

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    I've paid for rooms similar in my day. Anything with a roof. :rofl
  8. byways

    byways byways

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    Oh, so now he wants a roof ... :lol2
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  9. byways

    byways byways

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    It is spring at last! Yet in this genre, patience is a virtue even for the speediest and most agile travelers. This is along our optional HoW connecting route from Southern California -- an epic journey by itself ...

    [​IMG]
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  10. byways

    byways byways

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    One's wheeled adventures must begin somewhere, sometime. Mine began 50 years ago, June 17, 1971 ... and evolved into a vagabonding life that has led to Heart of the West ADV Route and similar journeys.

    I was 17. I'd graduated from high school two days before this moment. Ahead lay a summer's journey throughout the U.S. and Canada, one I shared with a friend ... and thousands of other curious young people who, thumbs out, lined interstate on-ramps in those days. The freight train we were riding across the Mojave Desert, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, stopped for some reason, deep in the middle of nowhere. Soon a crew member came back to where we were sitting on the tracks. All he said was, stay off the tops of the boxcars, where we'd ridden for a time after hours on an open flatcar. It was Day 2 of my first "trip of a lifetime," which led by thumb and rail throughout the U.S. and Canada. How did your adventures begin?

    Me on tracks (1 of 1).jpg

    The train and the trail ...

    freight train.jpg
  11. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    Mine was pretty simple and also 50 or so years ago. My older cousin rode motorcycles so when we would go to visit I always want to go with him as a passenger. Since that was only 3 or 4 times a year he tolerated me being a passenger.

    One day my cousin asked me if I was ready to learn to ride. I didn't give it a second thought and screamed YES!! He had a friend that had a Honda 90 who was willing to let me use to learn to ride on. They were only 2 years older than me and we were all teenagers so my training consisted of "This is the clutch, shift 1 down and 3 up (I think that was the pattern), this is the back brake, this is the front brake but don't use it, and this is the throttle, let's go". I rode up and down a gravel road a couple of times and they determined I was ready to tackle a trail. I was having a blast and I willing to follow them since they determined I knew what I was doing. We headed up a single track and I was still having a blast until I hit a rut, it threw me up the hillside while doing an unplanned wheelie, then threw me over the bank on the other side. I think the back tire was still on the trail so it wasn't like I went very far down. One of them was behind me so he stopped and while he was making sure I was OK and dragging the back up the other returned. My cousin asked if I wanted to return or if I wanted to continue to ride to the top of the mountain. I wanted to continue. My face was scratched and bleeding a bit but I was OK so riding we did.

    That was back when safety gear was blue jeans, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes. No helmet, gloves, goggles, etc..... I have learned a lot since then. That was my start and I kept riding. I can't imagine life without motorcycles.

    This is the type of bike I learned to ride on:
    Fullscreen capture 6162021 44546 PM.jpg
  12. byways

    byways byways

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    What a great story! I'm glad you recovered, survived and thrived. And that bike ... Man, I longed for one of those. Fortunately, when my older brother went into the Army I got use his '62 (?) 305 Superhawk, a big bike back then.
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  13. miken0vf

    miken0vf Been here awhile

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    Only 3 months to go!
    Sept 19-Oct 10 2021, I'm HoW bound! Starting from Denver area.
  14. byways

    byways byways

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    You should have a great trip, judging by the good conditions I encountered during recent inspections of HoW's western frontier ...

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    Campfire bans appear to be universal throughout the Western states now. They are likely to remain in place for the rest of the '21 travel season. Please comply ... :thumb
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  15. byways

    byways byways

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    Recently, returning to Idaho from Canyonlands in Utah, we followed a fellow towing a large utility trailer loaded with various moto-toys through the mountains ... safety chains dragging on the pavement and showering sparks like fireworks. We were about to pull alongside and let him know, since negligence is sometimes the cause of catastrophic fires. But someone else got to him first, and he immediately pulled over. Good for him, but he should have inspected his rig sooner.

    We've all heard by now that the West is a tinderbox, with wildfires of unprecedented intensity and number for this time of year. Most are human-caused. While Heart of the West ADV Route has so far has been spared, one never knows when a trailer's dragging safety chain or a negligent group's illegal campfire will change that. As wildland travelers -- and having once come across a burning abandoned campfire -- we think about such things continually. Before you strike a match out there -- campfires are banned pretty much everywhere now -- we hope you will as well.

    Have a look at how your federal-government hotshots live, work, and put their lives on the line on our behalf ... seasonal temps who until recently labored in dangerous conditions for $13.45 an hour to start (President Biden recently increased starting pay to $15/hr), with few or no benefits, rudimentary hand tools, emergency shelters -- and each other -- to wield in sustained face-to-face combat with the enemy. They don't get medals, not even for the most heroic actions. Just roadside memorials.

    This recent photo was taken by a firefighter with the Beckwourth Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) during Northern California's Lava Fire. The photo is making the rounds on Instagram. The hotshot who took it asks that only the crew be credited, not him -- so typical of their humility and commitment to each other.

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  16. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    My maternal grandfather was a firefighter out here in Ventura County California starting back in the late 1930's and eventually retired as a Battalion Chief in the late 1960's. I thought you would get a kick out of this picture of my grandfather (on the left) with the first paid hand crew in Ventura County in 1941:

    img079.jpg

    Note that most of the guys on the crew were high school aged volunteers who were pulled out of school to fight local wild land fires. My father joined in as hand crew member in 1944 and later became a full time firefighter, which set him up to marry the captain's daughter!
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  17. byways

    byways byways

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    What a great chapter in your family's story, Strong Bad. And that photo is just precious. One cannot overstate the strength and courage of men and teenagers like them. Today, that photo would include at least two young women as well.

    Looking back over all those decades, as far back as Idaho and Montana's Great Fire of 1910, one has to wonder why the federal government relied for so long on kids, draftees, volunteers and -- today -- low-paid, seasonal, young and truly dedicated men and women -- to fight one of nature's most cataclysmic events. They should be treated like and paid like firefighting professionals, not "forestry technicians."

    Many may not have noticed that this past July 10 marked the 20th anniversary of Washington State's Thirtymile Fire, in which four firefighters, some in their late teens, died. One survivor, a 22-year-old woman, saved not only herself, but two adult campers by squeezing them into her one-person emergency shelter. The military would have awarded her at least a Silver Star. But she was just a wildland firefighter, a lowly seasonal temp.
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  18. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Our government should fight fires like they fight wars, but budgets and bureaucrats get in the way.

    Not utilizing resources like the Air National Guard and instead relying on contractors is something I just can't get my head around.

    I lived in a insurance company red-lined high fire hazard area for 35 years. My fire insurance is through USAA. USAA contracts a private firefighting service who will come out and evaluate and recommend modifications for structure protection every spring. If a fire does come into the area, you've given them permission to come in and spray foam your house. The local fire fighter's union is going ballistic not wanting outside resources "in their way".
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  19. byways

    byways byways

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    A couple of thoughts:

    You've seen winged air tankers in action, I'll bet. So you might agree that it may require an inordinate level of skill and daring. I don't know how many Air National Guard pilots can or would do what those pilots do. Perhaps most.

    The money to pay hotshots properly is there. Heck, I have two family members who earn $450 per shift driving water trucks for a fire contractor. They don't get why hotshots do what they do for $13.45/hr.

    Also -- and this is my "soap-box issue," as you know -- we could pay for many things -- fair pay for hotshots included -- if Congress would just rescind the exemption under which even foreign mining companies are allowed to take gold, silver, lithium, etc., free of charge from the same federally managed lands that hotshots are recruited to protect, sometimes with their lives.
  20. byways

    byways byways

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    Although hot and a bit smoky in Idaho yesterday, it was a good day for some two-up fishin' ...

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