The Adventures of LoneStar & The Iron Butterfly...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LoneStar, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    So, we left our jobs, sold our stuff and hit the road...

    [​IMG]

    It's been three weeks and we're having fun, and we're just now able to get the ride report going :D




    Here are a few pics from the trip so far...

    [​IMG]







    [​IMG]





    Kimberly, aka "The Iron Butterfly"
    [​IMG]






    [​IMG]


    Update soon...

    Gracias amigos!
    #1
  2. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,953
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Tuned
    #2
    tfarmer and LoneStar like this.
  3. jlambo

    jlambo Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,176
    Location:
    Lyman, Me
    Nice shots, in....
    #3
    LoneStar likes this.
  4. Oznay

    Oznay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    352
    Location:
    Lake of the Woods,N.W Ont,Ca
    In..
    #4
    LoneStar likes this.
  5. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey guys! Sorry we've had little cell or wifi but the photos above are from northern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado.
    #5
    chilco charlie likes this.
  6. sonnyb

    sonnyb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Fort Worth TX
    tuned
    #6
    LoneStar likes this.
  7. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hotter'n Hell and Silvery Too

    We camped near Durango, where the temps hit 100º daily and the lack of breeze in the pines left a smothering feel. We were much closer to town than our last campsite, which made things easier, but at the same time the heat made going to "town" completely undesirable.

    After a day or two of sorting the camp and chilling, we took the bikes and headed for Silverton and Ouray to escape the heat. Progressing up Hwy 550 into the elevation, I watched the temperature drop until we rolled under a rain cloud near Molas Pass, which at 10,900' or so made for a cool 70's experience.

    It felt good to be moving on the bikes, once again flying on the ground high into the mountains, sweeping through the curves and switchbacks, one's breath taken away by the immensity of the mountain beauty around.

    A short break for gas, a small quantity of ice to keep our stir-fried chicken cool and a tire pressure check was the only break on the way. Kim's bike has had a low tire pressure warning for a couple of days, but both my digital gauges had shown it to be well within or above the recommended pressure. I had finally assumed that it must a failed sensor in the front wheel, but in a last act of desperation had her pull over again to try and deflate the tire quickly to see if it would trigger a reset of the monitor.

    Before proceeding, I again checked the pressure with my digital gauge and then again with the gauge on MotoPumps compressor. Both showed 34 pounds and the BMW warning showed 23 lbs. I had an old Slime analog needle gauge in my kit and when I tried it for a third opinion, it read exactly 23 lbs... same as the BMW sensor warning.

    Hard to imagine that both my new MotoPump and Slime digital gauge would be identically 10 lbs off, but I went with the 23 and added 10 more to the tire which took care of the warning. It's a bit disturbing to think Kim had been running with low pressure in the front, though 23 is fine for dirt roads and front end traction. Previous to this I'd gone through all of my tire pumps and gauges and found several to be reading high, so I massacred the lot and bought new gauges and pump. The new ones all read identically and I was happy. Until this episode. Maybe someplace I can find a calibrated gauge to find out which are accurate.

    But back to the story... Hearing exclamations of excitement in my headset brought smiles. Having ridden so much solo and experienced so much wonder, I really enjoyed hearing someone else experiencing it for the first time.

    Kim has had riding experience, but this is her first true long term adventure ride and we've been getting her up to speed - pun intended - riding some dirt with loaded cases and getting a feel for her new bike, an F700GS. Previously, her lowered F650 left her confidently flat footed, but the taller 700 still has her a bit tenuous.

    The road slipped under easily as we made descent from Molas Lake and Pass towards Silverton, until we hit the pullout that overlooks Silverton. I hadn't been to Silver Town in a very long time and the view over the old mining town was nice to see again.

    As we rolled into town in the cool overcast air, Kim was excited to see the old town and that a step back in time still existed. We cruised the side streets before stopping in front of the old hotel to walk and grab some coffee. Our meal of stir-fried chicken with garlic went down very well on a bench in front of the coffee shop, along with a caramel macchiato from within.

    It was fun watching the various bikes, folks, jeeps and UTV's roll by. After a bit, two BMW water boxers idled up to park, a bit dusty and dirty. After they dismounted and settled down I asked if they'd come over the passes. The lady rider, whose name I can't recall said they had indeed but were exhausted. Turns out she and her male travel partner had ridden up from Katy, Texas for a one week trip and ended up Silverton for the night, having had to cancel their attempt to get to Lake City over Cinnamon Pass due to rain and fatigue.

    We talked a bit about the bikes and gear before letting them go find a hotel for the night. Kim and I wandered a bit more around the town before huffing, puffing and staggering up the hillside to the "Christ of the Mines" statue overlooking the town. The spot seemed like a good place to pray for a miracle of instant weight loss, instant getting-in-shape and instant adjustment to the almost 10,000' elevation so that I could breathe, but alas no miracle occurred. Instead we headed downhill when the rains began to spatter us and looked for protection and sustenance within the Brown Bear Cafe, a hot blob of peach cobbler with ice cream and coffee seeming fairly miraculous at the time.

    Our plan had been to hit both Silverton and then Ouray that day, but we enjoyed the time rambling around Silverton and decided to go for Ouray the next day instead and chill in the hot springs.

    It was beginning to get late, but I suggested we ride out towards the pass roads from Silverton until we felt the need to turn around before dark. The rain felt good as we rode out into the canyons and up to the basin.


    [​IMG]

    Stops here and there filled the time and Kim did very well as the road narrowed and roughened, climbing in elevation toward the approaches for Cinnamon and Engineer. As the light faded, multiple UTV's with poncho clad tourists made their way past us, their blue-tinged LED headlights warning us of their approach far away.

    [​IMG]



    The Iron Butterfly
    [​IMG]



    LoneStar
    [​IMG]

    As it darkened, we turned around and made our way back down for Silverton and the ride back to our campsite near Durango. Tucking in behind a speeding truck for seeming protection from deer on the roadways, we were back to our site just as dark rolled in.

    [​IMG]
    #7
    dondesmo, bobw, ONandOFF and 9 others like this.
  8. SpiritAtBay

    SpiritAtBay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    203
    Subscribed
    #8
    LoneStar likes this.
  9. ShenandoahRider

    ShenandoahRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Near Harrisonburg, Virginia
    Beautiful photos from a beautiful place!
    #9
    LoneStar likes this.
  10. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,761
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Impressive photos with great colour.
    Nice area to bike.
    #10
    LoneStar likes this.
  11. SCHMEEL

    SCHMEEL Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Columbia City, IN
    Scribed


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #11
    LoneStar likes this.
  12. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    400
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I'm in for the adventures!
    #12
    LoneStar likes this.
  13. sonnyb

    sonnyb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Fort Worth TX
    keep it coming
    #13
    TM1(SS) likes this.
  14. HuckIt

    HuckIt Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ

    Awesome picture!
    #14
    MrKiwi and LoneStar like this.
  15. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    #15
    uintamts, rodr and dedad71 like this.
  16. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    A Bit of Backstory...


    Kim and I have been on the road for about month so far but are just really beginning our year-long trek.

    I've been wanting to travel for a while, unencumbered by deadlines and responsibilities as in the past where all my solo trips had to come to an end to return to "reality".

    Kim and I met about two years ago and she came on board for a long term travel period of life. Over the last couple of years I divested myself of most of my possessions, as well as my home, to be able to fund time on the road. The plan had been to explore Mexico, Central America and then south for Tierra Del Fuego, taking a year or so in the process.

    Kim's riding experience has been on dirt bikes with some street riding, so when she decided to get her own bike after a couple of two-up trips with me to Mexico I pushed her towards a GS so that we could travel together. She first bought a lowered F650GS to get comfortable riding again, then when the decision was made to do this trip, she purchased an F700GS for the smoother highway vibes. I too decided it was time for a new chapter in life and sold my faithful 98 R1100GS Anniversary to go with a newer R1200GSA. In a bit of coolness we both bought our bikes on the same day!

    New bike day
    [​IMG]


    Kim's "new" 2013 F700GS being relinquished by Peter from Colorado
    [​IMG]


    My "new" 2012 R1200GSA with previous owner Dan
    [​IMG]

    My beloved 98 and the new beast
    [​IMG]

    Kim's life and travels had been mainly in the eastern U.S. and I felt it would be good to explore the west a bit before heading south - a chance to air out untested bikes and gear, giving her some time to adapt to a taller and heavier laden bike on some dirt as well as a chance to see some amazing land.

    Though we are traveling by motorcycle, after I sold my home and Kim dropped her condo, the reality of being literally "homeless" set in and I bought a used Sprinter van to have as a home for our future return. In three weeks we outfitted it to carry both GS's and all necessary gear, tools and ramps in the rear, as well as all our remaining belongings - literally a tiny house for our future. As we have no home base any more the decision was made to park the beast somewhere out west as a base camp and eventually return to it from the motorcycle travels for a respite, before parking it for good and heading south across the border.

    That said, we make our plans but God guides and we are enjoying each day for what it is and setting no deadlines.

    I hope you will join us in our journey... good times, bad times, warts, farts and all.

    We don't know where we're going, we don't know when we'll get there, but we do know why we're doing what we're doing :D
    #16
    dondesmo, bobw, nupe and 32 others like this.
  17. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,761
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Great story....Luv it !!!

    Happy travels to you both.
    #17
    extreme11 and LoneStar like this.
  18. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Lessons in Northern New Mexico

    A few weeks ago when we left Texas for southern Colorado, by happenstance we found a great camp site overlooking the valley in Sugarite Canyon near Raton. Plans to stay a day turned into several, the cold evenings and 80º days feeling so good after the sweltering heat of Texas.

    Our camp neighbors were Lyle and Janda, world adventurists and explorers in their late 70's. Well read and intellectual, we had many interesting conversations and I hope that I can achieve 1/10 of their efforts in travel.

    From Sugarite Canyon, we explored many roads in north central New Mexico and returned each day to an evening rainstorm it seemed. Our intention had been to stay a day or two, however we enjoyed it so much that we stayed far longer than expected.

    [​IMG]

    Kim had her baptism of fire in adventure riding in 2 consecutive days, and looking back I have to chuckle a bit. The first real challenge for her to face came during a late evening ride back to the campsite. As we rolled into the canyon, a severe storm blew in with intense lightning, high winds and pouring rain. Lightning is a real fear for anyone, but Kim had had a very bad experience in it years before and was having to face that fear directly. As we turned onto the rutted camp road and headed up the mountain in the midst of this, heavy hail began pouring as well.

    In my headset I tried to joke about it as we rode through the mud, rain, hail, wind and lightning. She wasn't responding other than to say how soaked her riding pants were, as we hadn't had time to toss on rain gear. Luckily she had her Klim Altitude jacket on and my Firstgear Kathmandu did it's job well.

    The next morning we laughed about it - at least she'd gotten it all out of the way in one fell swoop the previous evening - and we rode south for Taos and the Pueblo.

    [​IMG]


    Roadside wreck of a house was a good spot for a portrait
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    Returning to Raton
    [​IMG]

    After a good nights rest, the plan was to ride a forest service road near Cimarron and we headed south for some more ride time.

    For those who've ridden the road from Raton to Cimarron, you well understand the beauty of the vast plain the road edges through. You may also remember the winds that can accompany the scenes. As we raced south for a forest service road outside Cimarron, there were several afternoon storms rising ahead, and the cool shadows and sprinkles were appreciated. Just as we were exiting the edge of one of these, I saw a small tornado of tumbleweeds cross the road ahead of Kim, followed by what seemed to be a microburst gust of wind that blew her sideways across the road. I rocketed past as she went off the edge, her voice in my headset loud as I tried to wrestle the wind and get stopped. In my mirrors I couldn't see her but heard her voice. As I got stopped and the burst blew past, I turned around to see her sitting about 30 feet off the road in the midst of a roadside prairie dog community. She was shaken but hadn't dropped the bike. After a couple of minutes to recover, she motored through the dog holes and back onto the roadway.

    In less than a day she'd ridden lightning, mud, rain, hail and wind, plus the pleasure of being blown off the road in a microburst.

    [​IMG]

    A few miles later we hit the forest service road near Cimarron and rode back deep into the canyons heading northwest. After an hour or so of riding, a large storm began rising ahead, so we turned back.

    [​IMG]

    We'd gone a few miles back down the road, when I turned to my left to see a large cinnamon black bear on all fours on the roadside. He was between two bushes and about 20 feet off the road. I yelled excitedly "Bear! Bear!" in my headset, which freaked Kim a bit. She was ahead of me a few yards and unsure where the bear was or whether I was warning her that he was coming for her. We both got stopped and looked back, spotting the bear as he took off in a full run away from the road and down into a riverbed, clearing the water and up the hillside in a flash before pausing to look back at us. He then continued to run up the mountainside pausing every 200 feet or so to turn and look back.

    As we continued back south, the storm behind us grew as did a few other cells over the plains. We headed hard and fast back towards Raton, but the black skies ahead didn't seem worth the effort, especially after having experienced the wind earlier.

    We had gone a few miles and decided to wait out the rain at the Colfax Tavern roadside grill, which sits in the middle of nowhere thankfully.

    [​IMG]


    We toasted the ride and bear sighting with a beer and burger before the skies cleared and we headed for Sugarite Canyon.

    [​IMG]
    #18
    fastredbike, dondesmo, bobw and 8 others like this.
  19. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,249
    Location:
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    Lone Star & Iron Butterfly :
    Here after AKA--LSIBF by me. I am in for the duration no matter how long it takes, I have been in on several life style change rides w/several couples, ie, Lisa & Simon Thomas,(2ride the world)- Margus&Kariina,( Estonia w/love)-Dan&Sara,(freedomwwride) & RTW rides w/many solo rides of fame--Raidoman, Misery Goat, Crashmaster,--in fact to many to list so you are joining great company & I have a nack for picking the great ones. So what drew you guys to my attention?--Well, Lone Star Beer is a favorite & IN A GADIVA A VITA is the worlds premier rock song, so lets ride---
    #19
  20. Eigerhiker

    Eigerhiker "This is an Adventure"

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    Subscribed!
    #20
    MaxV10 and LoneStar like this.