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:
    2,274
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    We left early from our friend’s home in Sidney after a pancake breakfast (gotta keep in shape ya know) for the short ride to the ferry terminal. There was a long line of cars, but we slowly inched forward for the ticket booth, only to see a set of 4 GS’s roll up into the line behind us.

    It was a nice sunny morning and the U.S. Customs officer was quite friendly - a real surprise - and after looking at our passports waved us through without the usual questions. Our position was first in line, and a few moments later the 4 GS’s rolled up behind us for first loading.

    [​IMG]

    We spoke briefly with the riders, two ladies on 650 GS twins, and their husbands on F800Gs and R1200GS Adventures respectively. Kim and her husband Burke, Angie and her hubby Richard (IIRC!) were from Bend, OR and were returning from a couple of weeks riding in Canada.

    [​IMG]

    Shortly after, we were motioned to board and rolled into place near the front of the ferry for the ride across to Anacortes, Washington.






    [​IMG]


    Kim had old friends in Anacortes who’d been neighbors in Dallas and it was good to get a chance to meet them again. They were staying in a beautiful RV park in a nice 5th wheel while waiting for a home purchase to go through and we snagged a camp cabin there for a couple of days.

    Anacortes was a beautiful area and our friends gave us a brief tour of the area, including a stop for burgers at The Brown Lantern in the downtown area. Anacortes was one of those areas that is easy to understand why folks want to live there.

    The following day, we jumped a ferry back to Orcas Island to see a couple of my friends who’d built a cabin on Orcas a few years back. It had turned out that they were up from Dallas that same week and it seemed somewhat miraculous that we’d been randomly invited to stay in Sidney, which was so close to Orcas and Anacortes on the days that both our friends were there as well. funny how that happens at times...

    As we waited for the ferry, mild terror ensued when we saw hundreds of school kids milling around waiting to board the ferry. I began to sweat at the idea of being trapped on an island with screaming children and my flashbacks began about the years I served as an adult Boy Scout Leader for our local troop. Behind us sat two GS’s, an 1150 Adventure and a Red/White Anniversary version of the 1100GS like I owned previously. The owners weren’t particularly friendly and informed us they were parent chaperones for the kids we were watching below.







    [​IMG]




    As I pulled over to the roadside to check directions to our friend's cabin, a car with California plates laid on it's horn behind me and I thought "Wow, it's SOOOOO nice to be back in the U.S. again". As I cocked-and-locked my middle finger, the car pulled up alongside and it was our friends laughing. They'd waited for us at the landing in a rental car. After laughs we followed them out to their well hidden cabin in the woods... and I might add I NEVER would have found it in spite of well written detailed directions.





    Orcas proved to be a really nice surprise, both for beauty and the lack of development. The little settlements were nice and not glaringly touristy and the day was spent touring the island with our friends. As evening neared we were exhausted and made for the ferry to wait an hour to catch the last late night run, only to find that the earlier ferry had been delayed - the lady at the ticket booth radioed down and they held the ferry until we were able to get on board. It was a blessing as we were spent for the day.


    [​IMG]


    We made it back to the camp cabin and crashed in earnest. Since hitting Vancouver Island we’d been in some form of rush to get to certain places at certain times. Spending so much time with our hosts and friends added up after so much solitude and we were both ready for some downtime to catch up. Suddenly being thrust back into civilization, traffic and appointments was harder than expected...



    Our plan for the next few days was to leisurely make our way down the Pacific coast, camping and spending time on the beach as much as we could to decompress. The 4 months of nonstop travel were catching up. Daily stresses of finding places to stay, planning routes, setting up camp, being bear-aware at all times, tearing down camp, riding quickly and cautiously day after day, staying with folks and staying up late talking, yada yada were all taking little pieces. A leisurely ride south sounded good indeed. As a matter of fact we were both sort of in shock to be back in the U.S. with all the trappings - traffic, stores, etc. Mexico was calling...

    Late that evening Kim’s daughter called and said she’d like to meet us in California if possible, as she had a long weekend coming up and free flights out and back. The idea sounded fun, as she is a motorcyclist and would really enjoy the ride down the coast even if on the back of one of our 1200’s.

    The next day broke sunny and in the 50’s, perfect riding weather for our southward trek. We said goodbyes to our friends and headed for the Coupeville-Port Townsend Ferry an hour or so south and made the ferry.

    [​IMG]






    [​IMG]








    Port Townsend was a very interesting town, and we rode around a bit before stopping in front of the courthouse to check maps. As we sat, a man walked over and began asking about our trip. We ended up talking with him about different routes and things to see. So many folks have been so nice on this journey and we never tire of conversing, even if we’re tired (:D)





    We’d gotten an update from Kim’s daughter as to schedule and she could make the flight to Portland the next day, otherwise it wouldn’t happen. The decision was made to change course from our original plan to go west out to Port Angeles and around the Olympic Peninsula and instead head for Astoria, Oregon to make the Portland Airport the next day.

    Our path lay due south towards Olympia, until the crossroads west towards Aberdeen and out to Westport to see the North Pacific. Somewhere on the way, we stopped for gas and were shocked to see the two couples we’d spoken with in Port Hardy - Jeannie and Mark, the man who’d been taking pics of our bikes while we had breakfast and a spitting image of Dustin Hoffman, as well as their friends Harold and Sarah. They were heading back to Redding, California. We all laughed and actually hugged each other in surprise. It was fun seeing them again if only for a moment. It’s been surprising how many times we’ve reconnected with people randomly like that.

    We rode out west to the viewing point in Westport and got off the bikes as the sun was beginning to get a little low. On the viewing platform sat a couple with binoculars watching the bay.


    [​IMG]



    As we struck up conversation, their British accents were a pleasure to hear as they discussed their travels around the world. They were intense birdwatchers, having spent years traveling to see various species and were currently watching this area for a certain seagull. From Westport, they were to fly to Barrow, Alaska to see another type of gull they’d not seen before. I was a bit envious that they were able to travel the world at will, though I admit less so at the thought of birding and sitting in chairs for hours with binoculars. Not knocking it, just that I’d rather be riding yaks or motorcycles in exotic places. Still, we had a great exchange and wished them well, as did they to us.

    Astoria was still a ways away and the day was late, so I knew we’d be getting there at dusk most likely and warned The Butterfly. The ride south along the coast on 101 was very nice, whetting my appetite for more in the next couple of days.

    It was indeed dusk when we finally crossed the long bridge across the Columbia River and tooled through the town looking for coffee. McDonald’s was once again our friend with a buck cup o’ java.








    While we searched for motels on the phones, Kim got a text from our friend Ronetta in Alaska. Apparently her sister lived in Vancouver, Washington and wanted us to spend the night with her that evening. If we’d gotten the text earlier it would have helped in planning but as it sat now, it was dark and we were tired. Against my better judgment and with no desire to ride after dark, we made the decision to go ahead and stretch for Vancouver, with the upside that it would at least be closer to the Portland Airport.





    We gassed up and got going along the Columbia River east. It wasn’t fun, as we were both tired and riding in the dark is a major no-no for me, especially after living in the deer infested Texas Hill Country. I told The Butterfly to stay as close to the centerline as possible to keep away from the roadside and we tucked in behind a car to let them lead and take the brunt of any deer.

    The drive to Vancouver was a very, very long one it seemed and by the time we finally hit the city we were fried. It took a while to find the house and it was close to 10:30 when we finally got our gear off and settled on her couch. We stayed up talking until well after midnight, and I must have sounded drunk from exhaustion as I have no remembrance of any of the conversation. Unfortunately our host had to get up at 2 am for her work schedule so she only got an hour or two of sleep. Her partner had to be awake at 4 am and out the door at 6 am so Kim and I were up and out about the same time. We found a Mickey D’s and slumped in the chairs like zombies until the light rain subsided and the day began to dawn. Crabbiness was rampant.

    It turned out one of Kim’s best friends was visiting Portland the same day, so we made plans to swing by and see her while there. In addition, Kim’s daughter let us know that her flight time would not be early as expected, but instead arrival would be about 4:30 pm. It happened to be Friday as well, so I knew the way out of town for the coast was going to be a nightmare.

    We met her friend for coffee and caught up, then headed east for Multnomah Falls to fill some of the time before the flight arrived. It was pouring rain and there were hundreds of tourists packing the parking area of the falls as we rolled in. The short climb to see them was easy, but we both were terribly under-impressed. Alaska and Canada had so ruined us for spectacular beauty that we had feared our reactions would be that way. And it was. Milling herds of tourists swilling down ice cream and buying souvenirs didn’t help.

    From the falls we took the old Historic Columbia River Highway back for Vancouver, an amazingly beautiful stretch of road that got us smiling again. We spent time at the Vista House overlooking the river valley, definitely a good stop for sure.



    The rains to the east were approaching as we got back on the bikes and headed for the Portland Airport, Kim excited to see her daughter again after so much time on the road. She appeared at the Arrival Lane already dressed in her Dainese leathers and gear with a small travel bag. Kim had wanted to let her daughter ride on the back of her bike, but after strapping both duffle bags and luggage on my back seat, she didn’t feel safe with Alexis aboard. Afterwards, a small crowd had gathered to watch the sideshow of us in gear on bikes from Alaska and Texas swapping bags and feverishly strapping things on as the security car sat with flashing lights behind us.



    It seemed forever by the time we got moving, Alexis excitedly shouting to me from behind through her AGV helmet while Kim asked a thousand questions in my headset. I felt like a translator at the U.N. who was moonlighting on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the same time... :D

    The traffic was indeed a nightmare and lasted for hours as we slowly crawled southwest towards Neotsu and Lincoln City in the fading light. Rain threatened continuously but never seemed to hit us hard. It was dark when we finally made Lincoln City and abandoned the idea of a campground for a cheap motel.
  2. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,289
    Location:
    Valley of the Sun
    I'm at work hanging on every word, guys! :clap It's so cool when ADV heroes like yourselves pass through my neck of the woods up here in the PNW. Makes me jealous sitting here at work and not riding along:doh By the way, you couldn't have found a better place for lunch in Anacortes - The Brown Lantern!!!!!:clap:photog I make a day of it and ride up there for lunch from Seattle at least once a month. I'm sure the weather will improve for you guys as you head south. Looking forward to it from my office here at work :(
    LoneStar likes this.
  3. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,274
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey bros! Was great to meet you two - we froze our butts off so hope you guys had some good weather for the trip back!
  4. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,233
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    N! Loving the RR and pics. I can't help but laugh when Lonestar refers to someone as older...... ;)
    Kingpf likes this.
  5. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,274
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey Trip :D

    You're a lucky guy to get to live in that region. Kim and I really loved the area and have been fantasizing about living up there someday.



    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk
    Trip Hammer likes this.
  6. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,274
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Dude, I have to dye my hair grey just to reduce my overall sexiness and mojo... otherwise I can't go out in public safely.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk
  7. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,274
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    The next morning we left Lincoln City and headed south along the coast towards Gold Beach. The unfortunate reality was that to make San Francisco and her daughter's return flight, we would have to make serious time along the coastal highway. It seemed doable on paper but in reality I knew the trip would require long days on the road with little time for stops Despite that, it was good to see family and share the time on the road.

    [​IMG]







    [​IMG]

    It was a brilliantly sunny and clear day, the ocean was blue with tufts of aqua and the views were great. As we made Depoe Bay, we stopped where people were gathered at the viewing area. We peeled out of gear for some whale watching and sho’ nuff there were whales cruising the waves below.

    For several moments only the waves would be seen, then the great, grey back of a whale and the telltale puff of mist would signal a brief sighting. A first for us all and we really enjoyed it.

    [​IMG]

    Seeing and riding the coastal highway was fantastic, the curves and high overlooks, the ocean and rock formations below. Alexis was enjoying the ride from the back of the Beemer. tapping and pointing out something here and there. More stops for distant whale sightings below...



    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]

    We eventually made Gold Beach for the evening, getting a motel for the night. Kim enjoyed the beachside hot tub, listening to the sound of the surf til closing.



    The next day we were excited to get to see some redwoods for the first time. On the map I noticed that there were several redwood preserves and parks in region, a surprise as I just assumed there was only one. The Drury Scenic Byway was a real treat, a beautiful road with the magnificent trees flowing by.

    Harbor seals in Crescent City
    [​IMG]







    Due to our time constraints, I didn’t shoot a lot of photos which I regret in retrospect, however sometimes it’s nice just to feel like you’re riding with no cares and leaving the camera holstered was nice.

    One of the highlights of returning to the US was at least I could stream Pandora again, and just listening to music and riding the curves felt great.

    Traffic was something we’d had to get used to again after the thousands of miles in Canada and Alaska, and there was quite a bit more than expected on the road. In one congested area of twists and turns, a white pickup emblazoned with fire department logos came barreling up on us, his yellow lights flashing and passed us on double yellow line curves. He was driving a bit crazy and since his siren wasn’t on it didn’t seem he was heading for a fire. Jackass driver noted.





    A while later, the fireman and truck came racing up behind me on the scenic byway, riding us about 10-15 feet behind, then racing out again in a blind curve and catching up to Kim, sitting about 15 feet behind her. He continued to ride right against her for a mile or more. I was seriously pissed and Alexis leaned around asking why he was such an asshole. Kim finally slowed to about 10 mph and he jerked around her and tore off ahead. About a mile ahead we came up on him sitting behind a parked car on the roadside with his lights flashing like a cop car. We rode past and I got off and walked back to him. He immediately started commanding me off the roadway like a cop. I’ll let your imagination go, but serious words were exchanged and I told him exactly what he was and where I could put him. He was a serious asshole suffering from severe control issues. Kim said he was one of those creeps who probably couldn't make the police force and was now trying to live out his fantasy...

    [​IMG]

    A couple of moments later a Park Ranger showed up at the scene and Kim went up to the ranger, explaining the situation and wanting to report him. It was a bad scene and the guy seriously needed to get tossed off the force based on his driving both earlier on the main roadway and then after endangering us. Notes were made, yada yada but I’m sure nothing would come of it.

    From that experience, we at least continued unmolested through the forest and enjoyed the ride. Our plan was to continue until Leggett, where we were to jump off Hwy 101 onto Hwy 1 out to the coast again where we wanted to camp. Kim wanted to stay and enjoy a slow ride and walk in the redwoods, asking us to go ahead and find a camping spot where she could catch up to us.

    Alexis and I took off as the day was getting late, stopping at Leggett and waiting a while for Kim. There was no cell service so we rode back north about 15 miles but didn’t see her and still had no cell service. We decided to head back to Leggett to wait. As darkness approached we got worried that some how we’d missed her and went briefly to the small store to check for wifi so my phone could call out over wifi. None was available so we rode back the 400 yards to the intersection and waited again. It was beginning to get dark and I thought maybe we should ride on to the beach 30 miles ahead just in case she’d somehow slipped by us. Hwy 101 was an incredible motorcycle road, super tight and twisty but about 3 miles in I decided to turn back, as I didn’t want to leave Kim to ride it alone in the dark.

    Again we waited until well after dark by the roadside, eventually giving up and looking for a motel… the only one available in the area being a couple of miles away in South Leggett. A ride over in the dark led to a dimly lit sign and no cars, however a knock at the door proved the owner/manager there.

    He looked questioningly at us, probably a bit surprised and a little suspicious for some reason, until we explained the situation, having lost Kim somewhere. He was happy to lend us the land line phone and Alexis got voicemail, but after repeated attempts got Kim on the phone. Apparently she had ridden by during the 10 minutes we’d left the roadside to seek wifi and had also missed the turn at Leggett. She was safe and had found an RV Park to camp in for the night.



    From the conversation, the motel manager surmised Kim had ridden south to Laytonvile and then taken a county road over to the coast - his comment being that it was a very bad one to have taken. We asked if there was a place to get any food, as we were starving. He said no, but then felt pity and offered to make us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It sounded like steak and lobster to us and I offered to pay him for his kindness but he refused. He finally loosened up a bit and the conversation drifted to the marijuana growers in the region, telling me this was the hot spot in California for pot growers. In fact he told me where there were fields of plants across the road, pointing out into the darkness, and how many were there, commenting that there were far more than “personal use” could account for. He said there was an unspoken agreement between the growers and he, that as long as they left him alone, he left them alone. In addition, several big ranches in the area had just been bought by tobacco companies in anticipation of California legalizing pot the next year.

    We finally got into the rooms, our host bringing PBJ’s and chips as well as a couple of Cokes to the room. It was a major relief to know The Butterfly was okay and the long day hit hard. Sleep came easily to say the least.
    dondesmo, drbuzzard, shuswap1 and 5 others like this.
  8. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,668
    Location:
    Bay area
    That road over from Laytonville is awsome! Branston road? A friend of mine lives in Laytonville he is an old Flat tracker. About a year ago, Leonie and Peter ( Amsterdam to Anywhere) needed a place to camp, so I placed a call, and they camped on his property.
    LoneStar likes this.
  9. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,274
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Ya know Grynch... that road looked great on the map and I wish we'd ridden it. :D

    Hwy 1 from Leggett to the coast was an absolute blast - we hauled butt in those tight twisties until the coast and would LOVE to run that section again and again. My passenger Alexis rides a Ducati Monster and I had to show her what a loaded Adventure two-up could do :D :D
    shuswap1, Grynch, superminoh and 2 others like this.
  10. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,668
    Location:
    Bay area
    Today was gorgeous in San Jose, however, it is supposed to rain tomorrow evening. where are you guys holed up?
  11. MaNDan

    MaNDan 'Old Japanese cycles & '26Chevy truck

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    312
    Location:
    Wild midWest -USA
    I just found this adv report (way late). It looks great, so I've got some catchin up to do.
    LoneStar likes this.
  12. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,134
    Location:
    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    >"Hwy 1 from Leggett to the coast was an absolute blast - we hauled butt in those tight twisties
    until the coast and would LOVE to run that section again and again."

    That road is better going 'up' (east) !
    The downside on that road is summer... with RV's; people frozen at the wheel... kids puking etc...
    LoneStar and Trip Hammer like this.
  13. Ken0312

    Ken0312 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    McKinney, Texas
    I'm really enjoying this RR along with all pictures and videos. That's for taking us along. Be safe.
    LoneStar likes this.
  14. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,274
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Everything kicked into high gear… the increasing traffic, the deadline to make the airport in “The City” and a general desire to keep moving fired us up. Mexico has been calling my name and the desire to get south was hitting in earnest.

    Needless to say, Highway 1 continued to amaze as we poked our way south towards San Fran, the traffic, RV’s and road construction keeping the pace slow. Due to the deadline to get to the airport, stops were limited and we pushed hard


    [​IMG]


    Alexis had a pipe dream to make a flight at 4:30 that afternoon, but the traffic kept getting worse the farther south we rode, and I had to laugh at the posted “Speed Limit 55” signs along the way.




    [​IMG]


    As the day got late we finally gave up and stopped in Petaluma at an Irish Pub in the downtown section to cool off and tank up. After an hour or so we geared back up for the Interstate and San Francisco, arriving at rush hour and the setting sun on the Golden Gate Bridge. It was our first time to see it and San Francisco.





    The flight issue required Alexis to take a very early flight the next morning so I found a relatively inexpensive motel in the vicinity of the airport and we all crashed for the evening, with one stop for some great Chinese food.
    We were up at 4 am the next morning and I dropped Kim’s daughter at the airport about 4:30, blearily looking for a cool coffee place to no avail… riding around for probably 45 minutes in various neighborhoods before finally giving up in frustration and riding back out to the airport area to the only breakfast spot I’d seen...

    [​IMG]

    After finally waking up, I hit the motel to find Kim packed and ready for the day’s ride. The plan was to cut short some of our time in California and get to Utah for the parks and Highway 12, one of my favorite areas on earth. The rushed pace, traffic and such had hit us both hard since crossing the border back into the U.S., and getting back to some solitude was about all we could think of.

    From SF, we hit the throttle and I-80 for Sacramento and then Reno, NV. The long buzzing drone of engines on the interstate and the remaining early morning fatigue lulled one into a brain dead stupor, simply getting to the destination as fast as possible being the only motivation of the day.

    Gassing up outside Reno and swallowing a sandwich was the excitement for the day, finally reaching Fallon for a motel as the day wound down. After the magic of the riding for months in the places of the recent past, we both were feeling the down turn of emotions as this phase of the journey was nearing it’s completion.

    The next morning as I walked out with my duffle to toss on the back of the bike, I heard a voice to my left and turned. An older gentleman stood by the doorway to his motel room, waving and with a weak smile said “God bless your travels!”… I thanked him and walked over to say hello.

    As I reached to shake his hand and introduced myself, he said “My name is Vasco.” I hesitated for a moment, the name recalling childhood history of explorers from long forgotten history lessons. He reached to pull up the sleeve of his t-shirt, exposing a frail arm with a large flourish tattoo with "Vasco" and "Portagee" now a bit faded. As he pointed at the tattoo, he said “I am Vasco the Portagee!"

    He then asked “Do you know history? No one knows history anymore.” I said that I did to some degree… He then asked “Have you heard of Vasco da Gama?"

    I responded “Yes, he was a world renowned explorer” - that much I knew though I couldn’t recall the specifics of what his fame was for at the moment. Vasco began to shake physically and tears came to his eyes. He said “No one knows history anymore and I can’t believe you know that name.” Through aged, tear-filled eyes he proudly said “I am the 18th generation grandson of Vasco da Gama. I was named for him to carry on the family lineage."

    I told him I was very honored to meet him and he shook my hand again. Once more he lifted his shirt sleeve to show me the tattoo of his name, then he lifted the other sleeve to reveal a tattoo of Christ on the cross, the image shrunken on his now withered arms. He again pointed to the tattoo of his name and said “This is who I am” and then pointed to Christ on his other arm and said “and this is why I’m still alive."

    I could see that Vasco was struggling some physically and asked him if he was okay. He said that he was about to drive to a doctor’s appointment for a bad concussion, one that had happened months earlier when he fell off his front porch. The local hospital told him he was okay, but he said he knew he wasn’t as his head felt like it was full of fluid and he had serious trouble remembering things after the fall. He’d not been able to convince anyone of his fall and said they never checked him for a concussion despite his repeated story and complaining. In frustration he’d driven to Fallon to try another doctor.

    About that time Kim came out of the room and saw us, coming over after tossing gear onto her 1200. I introduced her and told her what was happening. We offered to drive him to his appointment, but he insisted he was okay to drive. Vasco asked about our trip and where we were going. He’d had a Harley for many years but could no longer ride. Vasco said he used to say “Have a safe trip” to motorcyclists but now prayed for them instead. I told him we’d love to have his prayers for us. He gently placed his shaking arm on mine and asked God to protect us as we rode. When he finished, Kim and I both put our hands on his shoulders and prayed for his concussion and cloudiness to go, and for God’s blessings to fall on him. He cried softly and thanked us, grasping both our hands and holding them.

    [​IMG]

    I told Vasco I was honored to have met him, and that I needed a picture of him to remember by. He smiled and said “Wait a moment” disappearing slowly into his room and returning with his NRA cap for the picture. After the shot, I shook his hand again and we watched as he slowly climbed into his pickup and backed out. With a wave he drove away slowly.

    Kim and I prayed for Vasco again as we rode out for Highway 50, the “Loneliest Road in America” and the Utah border. It was a sunny and warm day, thankful to be alive and thankful to be riding through the Nevada desert in the fall and not the summer.

    The loneliest road was a wonderful ride. The seclusion and lack of people and cars made the ride very nice, with beautiful sweeping vistas of nothing but rock and desert mountains.

    KimCam:









    It was ride we both enjoyed, passing eventually a few cattle in the sparse landscape, along with the carcasses and bones of dead cattle sprinkled randomly along the roadside. It was an odd sight and one wondered of it was drought, disease, redneck gunshots or cars that caused the remains, all within 50 yards of the road and spread a mile or so apart.


    [​IMG]

    As the day drew down, we turned south in 487/21 and passed the entrance to Great Basin National Park. It was a park I’ve never heard of and the temptation to once again use the National Park Pass was abated by the threatening rain storms around. High winds ended the thoughts of entering the park, and instead we pulled off to suit up for the approaching rain clouds to the southeast.

    We were lucky to have only mild spats of rain and some winds on the ride down to Milford, UT. More rain lay ahead towards Cedar City and Zion NP, so we decided to look for a motel. Kim located one at a great price and we arrived to an old motor inn off the beaten path. The clerk was waiting for us, proudly presenting our keys and pointing to the notebook he’d made for things to do in the area. It was painfully obvious he had almost no clientele and had excitedly waited for us to arrive, going into a full presentation the moment we walked in the door. He was very nice, but also one of the people who made you feel awkward with long pauses and stares. We both felt a little weird at the awkwardness but were glad to find a clean room after some of motel experiences.

    That night I Googled "Vasco da Gama" to refresh my memory, Vasco having been the first to make the trip around the south tip of Africa and make it to India, singlehandedly building the Portuguese empire by establishing the spice trade route... would have been the equivalent of a moon shot landing at the time.

    Interesting the jewels one finds hidden in dusty, forgotten corners.
  15. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,567
    Location:
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    My Marta since a sophomore in high school "Education ends w/a death certificate not a diploma" something new every day, we never stop learning which coupled w/Native American words of wisdom "you learn nothing when your talking"are words to live by.
    LoneStar likes this.
  16. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,233
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Great update!
    LoneStar likes this.
  17. Mudclod

    Mudclod Mojo Moto

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    21,486
    Location:
    Killeen, TX.
    Man that Vasco story was awesome. Thanks.
    LoneStar likes this.
  18. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    749
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    You two have good hearts. Love the reporting!
    LoneStar likes this.
  19. freewaystreak

    freewaystreak Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    181
    Location:
    El Paso, Texas
    Love the ride report, the area you are heading into is my favorite part of the U.S. did our honeymoon there. 1 week, 6 states. Highway 12 is my favorite! Look forword to your pics and words!

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
    LoneStar likes this.
  20. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Increasingly Grumpy Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    18,528
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Finally read all of this report. been catching up with over the last week. Thanks for taking the time to write it and share it with s.