SgtMarty wandering around Earth

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SgtMarty, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Saturday, July 24, 2010
    -----------------------

    We again chose to sleep late rather than go to the campground for the breakfast being served there. After we had eaten in town, we again headed for the event site. I made a detour to a used clothing shop in town, and I bought several items for the evening's silliness.

    There was a large pit on the field that had been filled with water for us. The two logs spanning the pit had already been there from the lumberjack games.

    As usual, there were a lot of KLRs there, but most of the bikes were BMWs or KTMs. A lot of other bikes as well. We managed to get many of the KLRs lined up for a photo, but it was a haphazard affair.

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    Because my bike had street tires and lots of luggage that I didn't want to pull off, and because I was in relaxation mode, I did none of the local rides. Laurie was happy to skip all the dirt roads, and even the local paved roads and scenery weren't much of an attraction after being on the road for seven weeks.

    On the other hand, most riders were attacking the hills. The hills fought back on occasion. Here's Hayduke's KTM front wheel. He wasn't the only one with this kind of ding.

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    There were three kinds of beer, and two were on tap at any time. So, for those who were done riding for the day, refreshment was on hand. The food was great, too. BBQ pork and chicken galore.

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    When the sun was near to the horizon and things started cooling off and most people had been fed, Putts called for the games to begin. We moved to the bleachers, where I had the noobs sit in a separate part of the stands. Most noobs were honest, but I found a few who were hiding (trying to avoid any embarrassment). Laurie had the camera, so these are her photos.

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    While folks were getting their beers refilled and taking their seats, I started a simple obstacle course using logs. Any of the noobs who participated were automatically de-noobed. There were several participants, and after each pass, I moved the logs closer together and they went through again. The ability to keep your bike moving smoothly at very slow speed while weaving through the course is very important. Here's your winner.

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    A few KLRs took part, but the only bike to fall down was a KLR. After helping him get his bike back up (he didn't really need my help), I threatened to throw the shoe he had lost into the water-filled pit. The audience was in favor, but I spared him.

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    After the obstacle course, Putts took over and welcomed everyone. He thanked those who deserved some applause for their work for this year's rally, then handed the reins back to me.

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    Putts had concocted a Devil's brew of moonshine, habanero hot sauce, bacon, and other mystery ingredients. The brew had been intended as a punishment for those were not able to answer their Question, but a few of the noobs asked if they could just drink the vile liquid and get it over with. I guess they thought that it would be safer than having to walk over a saggy log suspended over a flooded pit. Putts agreed, and half the crowd of noobs swarmed him for their poison.

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    I had warned them about the drink, but did they listen? No, they did not. I had tasted it before the festivities, so I knew how bad it was.
    While those who had partaken of the drink were struggling with their health, I had each of the other noobs file down, one by one, and introduce themselves to the large crowd of spectators. In West Fest tradition, each noob was then asked a question by myself or by someone I selected from the crowd of veteran West Festers. If the noob answered the question correctly, they were de-noobed and could join the vets in the stands.

    As intended, not many noobs were able to answer the question, so there were consequences. I gave most of the noobs a choice of either walking the log over the water, wearing something that I had in my bag of cheap dresses, or they could sing and dance for everyone.

    Nobody sang and danced, but several men and women ended up in unfortunate attire. I made the men remove their pants, but I had less luck with the ladies (as usual...).

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    I had gotten a tiny teddy-like bit of lingerie that was intended to be a teaser, but at one point, Putts put it on and danced around in his tighty underwear. No photo from Laurie of Putts, but here's the lingerie so you can imagine it in your head.

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    I had made a point of having a few dresses and one purple shirt that weren't too bad. One gal (I don't want to mention many names) did switch her garb for one of the noob dresses, but I later saw that dress on another gal while the no-longer-noob had switched back to her boring clothes.

    Dave, originally from South Africa, was one of the noobs who had a special demand made of him when he couldn't answer his question. The joke he told involved taking off his pants. (Dig Dave's pointy leprechaun sandals.)

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    Most of those who chose to walk the log did so without falling into the water.

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    Some of the kids tried to mess with some of the log-walkers, but only one guy fell into the water. When he knew he was doomed, he took a stylish pose into a big splash. Laurie didn't get the splash, but she got him climbing out.

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    When this cutie was up, someone in the crowd suggested that she might bypass her question by doing a "favor" for Putts for a certain amount of money. Hey, he's a buddy, so I checked my wallet to see if I could help him out.

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    Unfortunately, we couldn't come up with enough money, so I put the Question to her. Even more unfortunately, she was able to answer the question and I didn't get a chance to trick her into the teddy.

    When the de-noob ceremony was over, Putts gave me a box full of prizes to dole out. I had already given one of the sheepskin seat covers to the winner of the obstacle course, but I had several left. The axe-throwing contest got scuttled when someone broke the axe before we even got started, and there were only a few who would have participated in a log-running contest, so I started improvising. I had already gathered up all the used tires that riders had changed out, so I started a tire-bowling tournament. First, just the ladies.

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    Then, after the men had had their turn, I ran a log-rolling competition. Again, I was taking advantage of the environment so that I didn't have to work too hard.

    It was dark by then and folks were wandering back to their campfires, so I walked around the event field giving the remainder of the gifts away. Some inmates had contributed to the event, so they got a prize, others were just too cool not to give stuff to. In the end, all I had left were some stickers and a final seat cover (the seat covers were donated by Barb at Alaska Leather, so kudos and thanks to her). Putts said that I had done enough, so we were done with the give-aways. He took the last stickers and said I could have whatever was left, so that's how I ended up with the final seat cover. (Full disclosure provided here at no extra charge.)

    The beer kegs were still calling my name, but I still had to ride back to the hotel, so we called it a night. Had a blast, met new friends, enjoyed the company of old friends, and I'll see them all again another time.

    .
  2. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Sunday, July 25, 2010
    ---------------------

    We had another late morning, and after some final good-byes, we hit the road. Back south-west, 388 miles to Montpelier (where I had gotten my riding pants' zipper fixed over seven weeks ago). A hot, dry ride. Didn't take as many photos as usual.

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    Sometimes the road was really good, especially when they had just re-built the road.

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    When it was really hot, both Laurie and I had surging issues with our motors. Mine was worse, and I suspected the thin vinyl vacuum line that I had put on the petcock weeks ago. When it's that hot, the line gets soft and the vacuum in the line causes it to collapse. When that happens, the vacuum is partially interrupted and the vacuum-operated diaphragm in the petcock delivers less fuel to the carburetor. The surging we felt was the result. I realized that we had a slight tail wind at the time, so there was less effective airflow over the bike to carry away the heat. Things got better as the afternoon wore off and the wind changed.

    We decided to skip Craters of the Moon this time around, so we cruised through Pocatello (stopping for a snack and a cold drink) and found a hotel in Montpelier where I lazed around while managing lots of photos.

    .
  3. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Monday, July 26, 2010
    ---------------------

    Yet another hot, dry day. We passed through Green River, Idaho, continued past Flaming Gorge, Wyoming, through Vernal, Utah, and ended up in Craig, Colorado. A four-state ride today, 372 miles.

    Photo interlude:

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    In Craig, we wimped out in a large Holiday Inn and quickly found our way to the lounge where we ate and played Uno. Laurie had another rare win.

    .
  4. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010
    ----------------------

    Our final day of riding was ahead of us. In no time, we rode through Steamboat Springs and over Rabbit Ears Pass.

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    It was a cooler, cloudy day, so that was nice. Rabbit Ears Pass had been almost chilly. It warmed up again as we got lower.

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    From Kremmling, I chose to take highway 9 south, since it was a road I hadn't ridden before (as far as I could remember, anyway).

    When we got to Interstate 70 at Silverthorne, I relented on my "no more Interstates" mantra, and we zoomed into the tunnel under Loveland Pass and out the other side into rain. By the time we had gotten down to Georgetown, I was ready for some hot chocolate.

    Getting home after that was just a bit more Interstate highway and other familiar roads.

    We hadn't been home in almost two months, but everything was the same. I felt about the same when I had gotten home from my ride around South America.

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    Well, there were a few more weeds in the cracked driveway.

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    The end.

    .
  5. nigelcorn

    nigelcorn Wannabe.

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,035
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thanks for the RR, I really enjoyed it.
  6. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Laurie will probably do her own "Afterthoughts" addition later.

    .
  7. Kyler

    Kyler Geezer

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    Jul 21, 2007
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    Location:
    Just north of Keedysville, MD
    As usual, magnificent!:clap
  8. olebiker

    olebiker Old buzzard bait

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
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    5,986
    Location:
    Kingston ON Canada
    Thanks for taking us along I enjoyed it.
  9. LaurieD

    LaurieD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Larkspur, Colorado
    Actually, I wasn't even on the bike at the time.
    I was parked on a less than flat surface, and thanks to my too-long kickstand, the bike was unstable.

    When I got on the (non-kickstand) side, put my duffle on the seat and started tightening down the strap (pulling it towards me - big mistake!) the bike came my way and sent me - and it - crashing down into the petunias! :rofl

    And Marty didn't get a photo ...
  10. Delilama

    Delilama weestrommer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    Warren V.T.
    SGTMARTY.Thanx once again for a great RR.Now go somewhere East,like Vermont,you will love !:clap
  11. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,018
    Location:
    Auburn, CA
    As always, another fine report from Sgt. Marty.:clap

    It was a real pleasure to finally meet you and Laurie at West Fest, and I'm glad that her afterthoughts were more than "just a paragraph or two", which is what she told me she'd thought she'd write.

    Warmrockgrl (the Mrs.) and I are holed up in a motel in Ritzville, WA, which has to be the most inappropriately named place on Earth. :lol3 We've still got about a week on the road to go.................
  12. redninja

    redninja Will ride 4 scenery

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    472
    Location:
    LOVELY Ignacio, CO
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    Soooooo.....y'all live in a big red rock???:poser
  13. redninja

    redninja Will ride 4 scenery

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    472
    Location:
    LOVELY Ignacio, CO
    Just kidding...I've seen the other house pics on your website, and your neighborhood looks really cool.....
  14. LaurieD

    LaurieD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Larkspur, Colorado
    My Afterthoughts
    ----------------------
    An adventure is just that - an adventure. It will not necessarily always be warm, or dry, or even fun, but it's not supposed to be. Instead, you get
    -- experiences to have
    -- memories to keep
    -- stories to share

    Those of you that are reading about this trip have most likely read about Marty's previous adventures - the drama, the suspense, the babes and booze and rock 'n' roll - well, okay, maybe not so much rock and roll ...
    - riding hard on the Dempster and Dalton highways
    - meeting Sasquatch and confronting bison and grizzly bears
    - the miraculous rescue from being stranded in Chicken, AK
    - the anguish of the multiple engine failures in South America
    - and on and on and on
    So this trip was probably a surprise: mild, sedate (even - can you say - boring?) by SgtMarty standards.

    For me, however, it was quite a challenge and it turned out to be a wonderful adventure. We were gone almost 8 weeks and we rode over 10,000 miles. We went places I've never been, saw sights I'd never seen, and I met wonderful people along the way.


    Preparation

    - Since I'd never been on a motorcycle trip longer than 6 days, and since I hadn't ridden the KLR for two years (because it donated parts for Marty's trip), and since my dirt skills are sadly lacking at present, Marty planned a nice, easy trip on pavement with lots of time to meander hither and yon, so we could do long days or short days or take a day (or more) off to do touristy stuff.

    - Marty and I put in a lot of time getting my bike ready for the trip, and I learned more about the basics. (Now, don't laugh, but I had never changed my own oil on a motorcycle before. I have now...) The only thing that turned out to really be a problem was the fact that when we changed out the suspension right before leaving, the result was that the kickstand was now too long, something I had to manage the entire trip (I got good at dismounting on the 'wrong" side of the bike).

    - I came up with sort of a plan to get all the bills paid and the important stuff covered while we were gone (the stuff I had done when Marty was traveling) and hoped I got everything taken care of. (With someone going through our mail and alerting me of anything I missed, we did seem to do okay on this part.)

    - Unfortunately, things didn't work out for me to do any real "prep" rides, such as the multi-day camp-rides Marty had done before taking off in 2008, so my personal preparation consisted of a couple of short check out rides, followed by packing a bag, strapping it on the bike, and hitting the road. If I could go back and change one thing, this would probably be it.


    Discovery

    - The ride itself was a wonder - all the different places we went, the different scenery and wildlife, the different towns, the history and the people and just the vastness of the whole area we covered. I can't even do it justice - I guess I'll have to go re-read the report!

    - I hadn't realized the mental and physical toll that being on a bike every day - especially a thumper - would take. I found that after a while my knees, arms, shoulders, and hands would get tired and achy, and as the trip wore on they seemed to start to get achy faster and take longer to recover. Moreover, at times I became scatterbrained, or indecisive, clumsy, or just plain not thinking clearly (or not thinking at all) - which, believe it or not, is not typical for me (no comments from the peanut gallery, please!).

    - I was surprised by how much the weather began to affect my mood. With so many days of rain and clouds and cool weather, I could actually feel my emotional energy rise and fall along with it, and that was hard at times.

    - I also had a chance to use a lot more of my gear than I had anticipated. It seemed that I was always wearing 4 and 5 layers, and it's a good thing I brought so many different types of gloves since I wore each of them at one time or another - even the heated ones (in the snow and sleet on Gnat Pass while on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway in British Columbia). Good thing I brought all that stuff!

    - Speaking of stuff, I seemed to have done a decent job of picking what I packed, as I didn't seem to find much missing. I bought an eyeglass repair kit, which I never actually needed, and I acquired a permanent water bottle as a prize at D2D, but other than that I seemed to have what I needed - or Marty had it, since he carried all the tools and spare parts. (My biggest omission was not bringing my own tire pressure gauge - can you say oops!) One of the best things I brought, other than the heated gloves, was some stuff called Glide: basically, it's sort of liquified baby powder, and I used it on my feet to make sure I didn't get hot spots or blisters or anything. Worked like a charm, and I even had new boots.

    - One of the best things that happened was Marty coming up with the canasta cards, and later teaching me to play Uno. It made a really nice end to the day, much better than TV or watching each other use the laptop. When you've been together as long as we have, you don't always have a lot of things you want to chit-chat about, so the card games are a good alternative for spending time with each other.

    - Another one of the best things that happened was when we started taking more time to enjoy the ride as we went - finding and riding neat scenic byways, stopping and playing tourist every so often (Skagway, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks, Valdez, the national parks, and so on). A wise man, Grant Johnson of Horizons Unlimited, says you should plan to take twice as long to go half as far; while we didn't do that, we did start pacing ourselves differently.


    Learnings

    Some of you have asked me to offer encouragement to your "other halves" ...

    - I guess my overall comment would be that if I can do this as an out-of-shape 50-something with crappy skills and nominal preparation, then you can do some sort of a trip too - maybe a different trip, one that suits what the two of you want to do and where you want to go - but something.

    - I wouldn't start with two months unless you've actively planned and prepped for that length trip, but figure out a way to get started - maybe a week or two, maybe combine being on a bike with time off the bike - whatever it takes to find something that appeals to both of you. Then use the next trip - and the next - to build up from there.

    - If you need help figuring out what to take, or how to organize, or whatever is the challenge, there's a whole community of folks willing to help you figure it out. All you have to do is ask.

    - You don't have to be comfortable on dirt to have an adventure - you can focus on where the roads go, what you see and do, and who you meet rather than what surface you ride. (Although riding dirt does let you go to some neat places you can't get to any other way, and have wonderful adventures - so if you can acquire the skills so much the better. I'm still working on those.) I went from feeling sort of like a fraud (because how could I be having an adventure if I wasn't riding gnarly dirt) to accepting that I've now done a ride worth being proud of, something that a lot of folks haven't done and would like to do. And I can do more next time...


    Bottom Line

    As we rode home, I was both glad to be home again and sad that this trip was over. I was grateful to (and appreciative of) Marty, for planning this trip and being willing to do it with me, at my level (he IS a gem, isn't he? I'm always appreciative of him - awwww).

    In short:

    -- I had some great experiences
    -- I gained wonderful memories
    -- I have stories to share

    Hope you enjoyed them. Feel free to post on the thread or to PM me if you have questions. :freaky

    LaurieD
  15. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    11,294
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    ^ Nice post, very thoughtful and honest
  16. olebiker

    olebiker Old buzzard bait

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    Kingston ON Canada
    Thanks Laurie it is so nice to see so many other couples that ride together beyond going to the local coffee shop. That was a nice wrap up to the trip.
  17. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
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    11,643
    Location:
    Westminster Colorado
    Way to go Laurie and Marty. :bow

    It is always an extreme pleasure to read about your travels and adventures.

    Marc
  18. ROYAL COACHMAN

    ROYAL COACHMAN Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
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    Location:
    Defiance, Mo.
    What a deeply honest, insightful post Laurie
    It was a honor to meet you and Marty at West Fest
    I have thoroughly enjoyed Marty's reports and think it is wonderful Laurie got to experience travel on two wheels.

    Safe and happy riding to you both

    Glen
  19. TchristianU

    TchristianU Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    56
    WHAT! just have both :rofl :wink:
  20. LaurieD

    LaurieD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Larkspur, Colorado
    Likewise, Glen - glad you stopped by to say so long, and I hope your ride home was wonderful.

    We'll see you again ... :norton