"I've Been Everywhere, Man" Living the song on two wheels.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by swedstal, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. WYO George

    WYO George I have no idea

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    I was worried at first when I saw the picture of all the motels, it was looking like a trend, but then you quickly redeemed yourself (not that I'm serious or that my opinion would really matter if I were) with tent camping in the "forest" by Santa Fe. I've been through that town a dozen times and only stopped once for lunch. I should stop in next trip to ABQ.
  2. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Just a silly house keeping question given your unenthusiastic thoughts on the city but unless I missed the answer, who checked Santa Fe off the list?
  3. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    Your side trip on RTE 66 reminded me of my trip in the early 2000's. I tried to ride as much as possible as well of the old road and stay at the local motels and eat at local diners also. Many locals appreciated that for sure. A famous quote comes to mind here...

    “Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.”
    ― Charles Kuralt

    Another one for Micky D fans....:-)

    "You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars.”
    ― Charles Kuralt
  4. HPPants

    HPPants Been here awhile

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    Spent a night in the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM in 2017. It was really neat to sit outside the room in the evening with a cold beer and the neon.

    Ride on, brother....
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  5. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO Supporter

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    You love New Mexico!! And Old Mexico
    @swedstal
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  6. stilcrazee

    stilcrazee Been here awhile

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    My dad moved to Rio Communities- Belen, NM back in 1973 but had purchased his home that was being built in 1972. My wife and I drove our VW camper out to see the area on our honeymoon in August of 72. We drove out every year thereafter to visit dad and made tourist type trips with him to Santa Fe and other places in the area yearly until he passed in 82. He had worked part time at a "convenience" store in Belen and became friends with many locals including native Indians. Several times while we visited we got to go into homes in the Isleta and Los Lunas pueblos to purchase silver and turquoise jewelry and receive fresh warm loaves of bread.
    In Santa Fe we found that most small business in city center were operated by people that had moved there to start and run their "artsy" businesses and weren't very interested in small talk. JMO
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  7. africord

    africord Adventurer

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    I'm surprised you didn't pack a spare set hidden on Annie. I figured that a spare set of keys at home when I'm on a tour probably won't do me any good. I've never lost a set, but I did misplace my keys on a tour last year. They showed up about two days later in a pocket it didn't remember using.

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  8. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    Brett,

    I think I started reading this a few days after you started but got behind on one of my many hiatuses from this site. A long time later I found it bookmarked and started reading again when you and your mom were riding together. It became clear really quickly that I needed to go back to the beginning. Since my family lives in NM, it has been great to have something to do after work.

    It's taken weeks but I'm finally caught up. I really want to say thanks for all of the work you put into this report. I've learned so much - I really believe if you aren't learning you are ossifying - about places I've never even heard of. It really is one of the best reports on this site. Take it from someone who has been here a long time, it is easily Top 10. Maybe even top five.

    Thanks again for your honesty, enthusiasm, thoroughness, and abiliity to let who you are show through. Even the crazy Jesus stuff. Especially the Jesus stuff because so many who claim to love him, deny him (or at least keep him in their pocket).

    On a practical note, you've made me interested in a bike I never would have been. If you go through southern NM, you have a place to stay. It's worth seeing more of NM. My son, a high school senior who rides a DR250 to school, would love to talk to you about gas mileage and travel. He claims to hate the DR but he really likes 70mpg. My wife is used to strange motorcycle people showing up at our house. I hope to run into you when you are up in OR.

    Oh yeah, you do realize you are going to end up a school teacher, don't you?

    DC
  9. 531blackbanshee

    531blackbanshee n00b

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    checking in from skiatook, oklahoma(30 miles north of Tulsa).
    i have enjoyed your travels thus far.
    nice to see oklahoma represented so well by the people you have met in your travels.
    if you find yourself in need of a place to stay on your way back through,or a shop for maintenance or repairs don't hesitate to get in touch.
    nineone8sixthree8oneseventhree8

    leon
  10. derblauereiter

    derblauereiter Mostly made of cheese Supporter

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  11. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding... Supporter

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    Bumped into Brett in Denver and again in Utah, missed each other all over South America then twice in a week our paths cross, great to meet him

    DSC00313.jpg
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  12. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    I've been on maybe a dozen week-long trips
    Did you get a pic of you two together? This is a historic meeting of two Advrider/Inmate legends!
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  13. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding... Supporter

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    brett did, i'm sure he'll post later
  14. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    A lot of words to get to that point, huh?

    Don't worry. I think I will always be a "mão de vaca." It's just who I am. They are really proud of their salsas there. I didn't get a chance to write about that, but I did try the red and the green.

    I did. Like a week later. After I realized that I didn't have anyone do it.

    Perhaps I should have made it a rule that the places need to be crossed off by a local, but that probably only happens about 60-70% of the time. I've done quite a few of them myself.

    Those are great quotes. I always tell people that they haven't seen Nebraska if they stayed on I-80 the whole way. It's really the worst part of the state.

    That sounds great. If I have a little more cash on the next time I pass through, I will definitely stay there. They've kept it up very well.

    Yes, I do! :-) I hope I'll be able to catch you in one of them in the future.

    Hmmm... Yeah, I kind of felt similarly. The thing that I really wanted to experience in SF was the melding of the three distinct cultural influences (Anglo, Hispanic and Native). I asked lots of locals about how best to do this and was mostly met with shrugs. There's a true Santa Fe somewhere in there, I just didn't find it this time.

    Good observation. Yes, I do have a spare set. It is packed in a system where one key leads to the next. Unfortunately, I'd hidden my ignition key so well that I couldn't find it that morning. It has now been located. :-)

    "Ossifying" is a totally new word to me. Thanks for sharing that.

    I never set out to write a "Top 5" RR, I just wanted to create something that was honest, entertaining and comprehensive. I want everybody reading this to feel like they can experience the journey with me. I believe an important element to this is allowing people to understand the "lens" through which you see the world. We all have biases and preconceptions, I just hope that I am honest about mine.

    Side note: I'd be interested to see your list of top 10 RR's. Please leave mine off for now, as it is still a work in progress. The last few chapters might really suck. :-)

    I don't know if I will be able to squeeze in southern NM this time. I'll make it down to the Tucson area and then we'll have to see. I'd like to be all done before the weather starts to turn. If not this time, I hope I can take you up on the offer sometime in the future.

    Thanks for this great comment.

    Oklahomans are the best! :-) I'll let you know if I pass through there again. If so, it probably means I am having problems, so I will reach out. Thanks so much for the invite.

    Ha! I actually left a sarcastic reply to that posting where I talked about how poorly my NC had performed on my trip. It was against the rules of course, so it got removed. :-) That's quite a deal though, huh?

    This was so special and so much fun! It is an honor to see Annie pictured with the RTW Paul watermark! I can't wait to tell more about our interactions. It was so nice to meet you! Keep an eye out for my trunk as you're riding around. :-)

    Oh yes... there will be stories. :-)
  15. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    Before my next update, I'd like to offer a bit of an apology:


    Upon re-reading my last update about New Mexico, I really don’t like it. It comes off as negative, poorly planned and even a touch egotistical. It really doesn’t seem to fit with my other writings. Normally when I’m trying to say something with any complexity, I will outline it and form a coherent thought. Many paragraphs in that post just read like a vomiting stream of consciousness. At the very least, I should have kept those thoughts safely sequestered within the bounds of my blog. This isn't really the place for those philosophical ramblings.

    I hope I made it clear that there is nothing to dislike about Santa Fe, or New Mexico in general; it was just that my visit there did not match the lofty expectations that I held for the place. There is obviously a lot to like there, I just didn’t connect with it this time.

    Thank you all for sticking with me as I continue to try to find my voice and develop as a storyteller. I can already tell that the following updates will have a more pleasing tone. :-)

    As penance for my actions, I will attempt to go two updates without calling this RR a “quality publication.” Don't feel sorry for me! I made my own bed!
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  16. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    Alright. It’s time to talk about my time in Colorado. I will do this in two or three updates. This first one will be more personal, so I'll keep it brief here. I'll get back to the quest and my connections with some ADV'rs in my next update.



    Colorado!

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    The mountains of this colorful state were to be the stage of the 2019 Anderson family reunion. We invaded from all corners, with Canadians arriving from the skies, myself slipping through the southern border and a Nebraskan caravan crashing in from the east.

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    Originally, we had planned this get together as a celebration of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Though my Dad was no longer with us in person, nothing would have made him happier than to know that we were still getting together to celebrate each other. He was definitely with us in spirit during our week together.

    Most of us, including yours truly, arrived on July 27th. I stopped only briefly to consume some pizza I’d taken with me from Red River, NM. An old baseball dugout provided a nice, shady dining room.

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    After bouncing up the rough road to our cabin, my nephew, Calvin, greeted me with some festive dancing.

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    Our cabin was just outside of Fairplay, measuring in at a whopping 11,300 ft (3,444 m) of elevation. The altitude caused us a few issues, but we did pretty well for a bunch of flatlanders.

    The days passed quickly while we were here. Between games, hikes, great meals and meaningful conversations, there were a lot of pleasant experiences to keep the time flying.


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    Our visit also coincided with the “Burro Days” festival in Fairplay. The highlight of the festival is cheering on the participants in the Burro races.

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    The long course is 27 miles and the donkey must be loaded with at least 33 pounds of prospecting paraphernalia (pick, shovel, gold pan…etc.).

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    One day we took a little trip up to Breckenridge. Mom had brought her riding gear along with Annie’s seat, so she got to ride along for a bit. We crossed Hoosier pass together.

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    @swedstal's wingmom returns!

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  17. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    Our family is reaching the stage where getting a family picture with everyone smiling and looking at the camera is a near impossibility. I probably should just keep working on my image editing skills.

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    Annie even got to be in one:

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    But when it was time for the Grandma-Grandkids photo, everybody was happy. As well they should be!

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    We checked out of our cabin, with mere seconds to spare before being charged a late fee.

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  18. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    Though our reunion was technically over, we evidently weren’t quite done “reuning.” We all headed into Denver together and spent a few more days together.

    Other than attempting to urinate on the stadium of the Denver broncos, there’s really only one other thing that every visitor to the mile-high city should do: Eat at the Casa Bonita.

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    This restaurant is a full on entertainment establishment. It can seat over 1,000 and employs a small army to feed and entertain their guests. They really went all out with its design.

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    Other eating venues are designed to look like an old mine…

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    …Or even an opera house:

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    Of course there are arcades, Black Bart’s cave, puppet shows, a caricature artist and more. Where else can you watch cliff diving while you eat?

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    I know that some people may like to diminish this place’s greatness, saying that it is “gimmicky” or that the food is not that good. But take it from me, as someone who has basked in the splendor of the Alaskan frontier and experienced the beauty of the Amazon rainforest, the Casa Bonita is the greatest thing that exists in the world. There exists no coherent argument against this absolute fact.

    :-)
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  19. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    After most of my family left, I still had plenty of work to do in the Centennial State. Thankfully, I had a happy home from which to originate my adventures. Brad, my brother-in-law, is originally from Denver and his parents, Dave and Beverly, graciously agreed to host me. Beverly’s sister, Diane, lives nearby and was able to spend lots of time with us too.

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    Beverly is originally from Texas and was the person who connected me to my SHMMBW in Houston (Back on Page 112, in case that acronym looks like gibberish to you). As a special thank you to her, I brought her a couple of peanut patties from Texas. They didn’t quite survive the ride in my trunk unbroken, but their taste was unchanged.

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    They really made me feel like one of their own during my time there. I was fed lavishly and given plenty of space to get my work done. I also received a generous anonymous donation while I was here. If it was from Dave and Beverly I definitely wouldn’t say that it was from them out of respect. Furthermore, I would also would never specify that it was in the amount of $100. I am way too classy to break confidentiality like that.

    It was great to have some quality time with my new nephew, Sage. If he pays attention, he’s going to learn a lot from his uncle. I taught him all of the intricacies of writing a solid RR:

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    I showed him the best times to add a b7 on top of the tonic chord to transition to the subdominant:

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    While perusing strollers, I explained the effects of wheelbase on handling. These lessons will be relevant for two-wheeled contraptions as well. :thumb

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    It was sad to see Elise, Brad and Sage leave, but I’m hoping my route will take me to see them again soon. Vancouver isn’t that far from Crater Lake, is it?

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  20. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    I stayed with Dave and Beverly for a few more days, finishing up my adventures in Colorado. It was so special for me to get to know them better. When it came time for signings, Beverly wrote out her message ahead of time to make sure it came out just right. I appreciate this type of commitment. :-) For all of their assistance, I had them accept the responsibility of crossing Colorado off of my list.

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    I left with many fond memories…as well as a key to their house still in my pocket. With as well as they welcomed me, I don’t even feel bad about keeping it.



    A few more anecdotes:

    The Patch

    You may remember that while I was at the Space Center in Houston, I bought a patch of one of the missions on which Nebraskan astronaut Clayton Anderson flew.

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    Getting this attached to my riding jacket ended up being a bit of a chore. We first tried to iron it on, but this was a struggle. In order to keep the surface flat, I had to hold it from the backside with an oven mitt. It did not go so well.

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    When we got into Denver, Beverly loaned us some sewing equipment to attach it in a more traditional fashion.

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    An inkjet! An inkjet! My kingdom for an inkjet!

    I’ve been trying to reprint the country flags that sit on Annie’s windshield. I shipped some sticker paper to Denver, but had a heck of a time finding anywhere that had an inkjet printer to use. Every copy shop/library just had laser. Honestly, I was starting to get kind of frustrated. On my way out of town, I made one final stop at a shop called “Ink it Over.” With a name like that, I knew I was going to have success.

    Earl, the guy working the counter, was amazingly helpful. He spent about half an hour assisting me and printed multiple test pages before we ran the real thing. After it was all said and done, he declined to charge me anything.

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    There is a long essay brewing in my mind, on the connection between frustrating circumstances and opportunities to make new friends. I’ve had so many experiences during this journey where something that appears negative ends up with me making a special new connection with someone. There are very few “frustrations” that I would change.



    My time in Colorado totaled 19 days, but that was still not enough time. This was one of the first times when I ran out of time to connect with all the people that I wanted to. There were other friends, family members and potential new friends for whom I just did not have time. But with this state’s proximity to my home, I know that I will surely be back.

    In the next posts, I will get back to our adventure. I met up with some ADV’rs and had a marvelous time exploring the state. “Colorado” was crossed off in this post, but next time I will detail my quest to find the perfect photo to represent the state. The visit to Grand Lake will be featured as well. Thanks for coming along!

    Stay colorful, everybody

    BA
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