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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:
    2,265
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Thanks Belstaff! We're adding it to our agenda :D


    Lol it's true - the difficulties suck at the time but they are the ones remembered and discussed later
    #41
  2. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,161
    Location:
    Texas
    I maybe late but I am here!
    #42
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  3. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    What I never expected when I got into adventure riding years back would be the door it opened to the people I'd meet on the road.

    It has been a mosaic of folks, interesting and not so interesting, but there have been many jewel moments along the way.

    This morning was one of those times of introspection and self appraisal. Kim and I had camped in a very low rent site, complete with meth heads and down and outers.

    As I worked feverishly on the bikes in the ever hotter sun, a tattooed guy with long, black, stringy hair and brown teeth slowly made his way to us on a walker. I stopped working on the bike and introduced myself. Nick began talking to us and we chatted about many things. He had been born with Muscular Dystrophy and had become a tattoo artist in Michigan. When the big BP oil spill occurred in the gulf he, along with his brother and father went to work in the clean up to make extra money.

    What they did not know was that the chemicals used in the process were neurotoxins. Nick was severely disabled and his father died. Luckily his brother did not suffer as much.

    Nick and his wife had been living on the road for a while in a broken down Winnebago, she working odd jobs and "flying a sign" - panhandling for money on the corners.

    He was happy to be in Colorado because he loved collecting rocks and minerals as best he could and proudly showed us a slab of turquoise he kept in his pocket, it's origin highly guarded. We talked a long time, about many things including organic farming which was his expertise. Nick was very intelligent and well read, going into deep discussion of microbiological processes and their effect on organic foods and vegetables, amongst many other things. He talked of the difficulties of living on $722 a month for disability with $65 in food stamps. He and his wife mainly lived on BLM and National Forest land in dispersed camping where, as he said, they could live on $10 a day in gasoline for their generator until his health issues forced moving near a town for the doctor. He said it was hard and he hated that his wife had to work odd jobs and beg for money on corners, as he said it was demeaning and difficult being judged.

    I watched as Nick struggled away through the grass and dirt with his twisted body pushing the walker, his shared dreams of a hopeful future for his wife ringing in my thoughts.

    I went back to work on my bike and a while later I heard my name. Nick was slowly coming back through the grass with his walker to my bike and he said "I have something for both of you." He dug into a collection of rocks and pebbles in the pouch under the walker seat and handed me two small rocks, veined with sparkling green. He said he wanted us to have them as memories of our stay in Colorado.

    I shook his hand in thanks and asked where he'd found them. He answered "when I'm in my walker all I can see is the ground, so I look for stones as I go..."

    As he struggled away, I gave the rocks to Kim and told her the story. Tears came to my eyes, eventually dried by the dusty, hot breeze and thoughts of the stones in my own heart.



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    #43
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  4. Timba

    Timba Luckiest Man Alive

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Hill Country of Texas
    :2cry Damn man, that's a touching story.
    #44
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  5. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,093
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Greetings from NZ LoneStar!

    Loving this already :clap

    Subscribed

    Best wishes to you both

    Shane
    #45
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  6. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Well, I was a bit miffed to discover that I'd left Texas without canceling my vehicle import permit from my last trip to Mexico - Real De Catorce... Deja Vu. My plans to visit my riding buddy MotoHank and return the permit near Laredo before Kim and I left on this trip didn't happen... in the rush to leave it was forgotten. It was due in August, about the time we hoped to be in Jasper so it was a hell of a lot closer to head back from Ouray than Canada. We did a fast 2 day run to the border to deal with it and finally made it back up to the Gunnison area before heading north.

    From the Ouray area we saw the Black Canyon and then headed over Grand Mesa, driven away from camping near the lakes by massive mosquito swarms, instead staying overnight in Collbran during a fierce rain storm. Our goal was Steamboat Springs for the 4th of July parade and fireworks. I'd been blessed to live in the Boat for a while and really enjoyed the time there. They have a fantastic fireworks show and I figured it would be fun to see the place again.

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    We got a late in the day start and took I-70 for Wolcott and 131 north, the canyon from Glenwood Springs to Eagle just an amazing ride along the river, duly enjoyed by The Butterfly. The day was late and we rode in spitting rain, racing to beat the sunset and find a place to camp for the night near Steamboat.

    Road Damage here on ADV had foolishly asked me to swing by sometime, so I shot him a message and by the time we got cell service again in Steamboat he'd responded and offered to let us stay a day. We decided to take advantage of the offer since it was late and we were tired, plus the thought of trying to find dispersed camping nearby with the crowds who'd arrived for the 4th in the dark wasn't appealing.

    Rob and his wife Carol are absolutely awesome, opening their home to us and their garage for the bikes. I'd communicated with Rob on ADV and finally bumped into him at the Horizons Unlimited rally in Grant, CO a couple years back.

    We stayed up way too late talking, and were groggy the next morning for the 4th of July parade, but it was entertaining despite the massive crowds and heat. We eventually peeled away and sought cool breezes on the bikes, riding 20 Mile Road to Oak Creek and then south for the local parade in Yampa. It was a small town hoot and we enjoyed it. From Yampa we rode back north to Buffalo Pass to look for a campsite for the next day.

    Parked for breakfast under the Bird Shit Rainshower Tree (as we discovered later...)
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    "The Band" in Yampa
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    Post Parade Partaking
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    A break by the river for a bacon and brie sandwich at Sweet Pea Cafe
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    Rob had invited us to watch the fireworks that evening with a group of his riding buddies - Timboat, Tiger Jimmy, and Ron - from the roof of Tiger Jimmy's house. Pink Floyd's Pulse album was an appropriate musical backdrop for the fantastic fireworks, preceded by grilled flora and fauna on the back deck, laced with laughter and BS.


    Ron, the fireworks are the other way...
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    The next day we spotted a couple of GS's camped up on the pass and stopped to chat. One rider was from Connecticut on a 1200GSA and they had been riding the Colorado BDR when his friend on a water boxer dropped his bike and smashed a side case. He was in process of beating it back into shape when we said goodbye and headed up the mountain a bit further.

    We made our campsite on Buffalo Pass at about 9000' and managed to just beat a big, windy rainstorm getting the tent up and staked out.

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    The site offered a great view of the valley below as well as sunsets that were so unreal the photos look doctored. Evenings were cool and we slept like babes.


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    It was a day or two later as we rode down for town that Kim had her "up close and personal" moose event. We were riding down the forest service road about 30 mph, Kim in front a few yards ahead when suddenly a huge dark brown blur exploded from the roadside brush next to her, about 10 feet or so ahead and running full speed. He came out at a slight angle but almost parallel with her bike and passed right in front of her fender then galloped very fast down the road ahead before disappearing around the next switchback.

    We were both stunned at the size and sight, and I finally got the words out to stop. Kim was shaking from the suddenness, proximity and close call. After a minute or two I proceeded down, peering around the corners to see if the moose had gone on or was now pissed and waiting in the middle of the road.

    She followed me down about 75 yards behind until we cleared the area and we had a laugh about it. It was a very cool experience to see such a big moose so close, running a few feet ahead.

    This was the second "moose event" of our trip, the first coming at our campsite 25 miles north of Pagosa Springs again at 9000' in an aspen grove. We'd arrived late in the day and had begun setting up camp when I saw a moose watching us from the trees about 100 yards away. I called Kim over to see him and then he began trotting downwards toward our area. As he got to within about 50', he stopped dead in his tracks then turned toward us. At that point he began to walk quickly straight at us and I told Kim to prepare to run for cover. Instinctively she yelled and clapped her hands and startled the guy, who stopped then moved behind bushes next to him. We were concerned and watched the bushes uneasily for a long time. I had just hung a bear bag near where he was, and needed to add some food to it but we never saw him leave the brush so I waited until well after dark to head back over. We spent the evening looking over our shoulders.


    At our earlier campsite north of Pagosa Springs...
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    But back to Steamboat... the "Yampa Valley Curse", sanitized a bit for tourists, states that once you come to the valley you will never leave. It seemed to be working as we stayed longer than expected, continuing to bump into folks I'd known and finding things to do and roads to explore.

    My GSA had come with TKC 70's on it from the previous owner and I'd done my best to wear them out quickly so I could get some Heidenau's laced on. Road Damage offered to let me ship some in and put them on with his tire changer, but I found some in stock at Grand Junction BMW and they were able to squeeze us in for a service and set of tires in a couple of days.

    Rob's wife Carol is a fantastic artist and they invited us to attend the sunset happy hour on the ski mountain our last night in the Boat. Carol paints alongside the live music stage, inspired by the music and atmosphere. It was a great night and we caught a beautiful sunset before the evening ride down on the gondola.


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    The highly prized, rarely seen, and much sought-after "Road Damage Was Here" sticker...
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    The next morning we had to head south for Grand Junction, and after packing up camp I spotted a moose and calf in the trees along the roadway down. We got stopped and found some gaps in the trees where Kim grabbed a few shots.

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    Damn that autofocus
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    From Steamboat we rode on west for Craig, Maybell and Highway 57 south towards Meeker. Rob had suggested57 and it turned out to be a really nice ride south. By the time we got in the Meeker vicinity we were starving and for some reason a bowl of chili sounded great. We found the Meeker Cafe on the old square and chili wasn't on the menu but ordered homemade meatball soup. It was so good we ordered again :D Our waitress was from Guadalajara and was excited to hear that we were planning to ride Mexico and after talking with her a while we geared up in the fading light.


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    Yum
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    Scenes from a cafe...

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    The road south was bathed in the setting sun and fiery pink clouds above the cliffs were a perfect ending to the day.



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    #46
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  7. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,265
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Gunfight at the KOA Corral



    The Iron Butterfly and I had to camp in a really, really, really "interesting" RV park that was part meth lab, part drifter, part retiree and full/part-time/other residents.

    We ran up to the local gas station for a bit and missed all the excitement. Here's how the story unfolded according to our nearest camp neighbor:

    A man, let's call him "Bubba A", was walking along the road in the RV park when another man, "Bubba B", peeled out from his camper in his pickup and raced through the RV park, narrowly missing Bubba A and showering him with dust.

    Bubba A shouted at Bubba B to slow down and yelled a curse word. Bubba B spun his truck around and raced back to his trailer, coming out with a pistol and jumping back into his truck.

    Bubba B raced down to Bubba A's location, to find Bubba A coming out of his trailer with a baseball bat.

    Bubba B jumps from the truck with a cocked pistol to confront Bubba A in the roadway. (Editor's Note: Never bring a bat to a gunfight)

    "Bubba C", apparently Bubba A's father, erupts from Bubba A's trailer carrying an AK-47 and yells at Bubba B to get the "F*ck outta here! You ain't gonna shoot my son!"

    Bubba B gets back in his truck and goes back to his trailer.
    Bubba A and Bubba C go back in their trailer.

    Normalcy returns to the RV park.

    Life just don't get no better than this Jethro!
    #47
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  8. knvduhon

    knvduhon n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    Nice RR I live in Katy Texas also

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
    #48
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  9. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,617
    Location:
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    And such is life in the now dope infested state of the "Rocky Mountain High". Johnnie boy would be so pleased w/how his efforts to single handed ruin a once great state have succeed.
    #49
  10. ShenandoahRider

    ShenandoahRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Near Harrisonburg, Virginia
    It doesn't sound like that encounter was pot-fueled; more like redneck-fueled!

    Colorado is still a great state!
    #50
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  11. Trip Hammer

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

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle
    Take that shit to CSM, for fucks sake. And work on your fucking spelling and grammar. Pot smokers are the mellow type:lol3 Carry on, LoneStar. Really enjoying your writing and photography:clap
    #51
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  12. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,280
    Location:
    Satellite of Love
    It's always something/someone else's fault, eh? My state could sure use some of that tax revenue...we're 1.3B in debt...

    Enjoying the RR very much...please continue!
    #52
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  13. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Lol! Posting from a room in an old tiny rundown motel in Walden, CO. Ran out of daylight to find a camp spot and there was a lot of forest fire smoke ahead towards Encampment so we called it a day and found an el cheapo room in the sold out town.
    Hard to say how much pot has affected the state, but it sure affected a guy riding a brand new Ducati. We stopped in Silverthorne at a sporting goods store to find The Butterfly a new insulated water bottle and as we pulled into the lot I saw a guy laying on his side on a motorcycle with the engine screaming. I pulled up and managed to do a ballerina type move to get off my bike with the giant duffel bag on the back without falling myself. The guy had a brand new Ducati 939 in pearl white and had fallen over in the lot breaking off the brake lever, smashing its Led handguards, crunching the pipe and knocking off the rear blinker. I was busy trying to help with the bike and Kim noticed his balance seem to be a bit off. He was in an adrenaline rush and upset that he dropped his brand new Ducati, and though he was very nicely clean cut and quite the style man I noticed when he came into the store after us he did seem a bit... what would you call it... "stoned"?
    At least it's helping the Italian economy somewhat :D
    #53
  14. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
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    After our uplifting experiences in the trailer park, Kim remembered she had a free night at a condo in Keystone, so we blew the wheels off heading east for a night of relaxing, showers and a chance to get some wifi. The next day in Keystone was a much needed break and we got caught up on email, paying bills online and such.

    About the only excitement was a guy who dropped his brand new Ducati in the parking lot of a sporting goods store as we rode in. I turned the corner to see him laying on the ground with the Ducati engine screaming at redline. He was up before I could off my bike, but he was dazed and in an adrenaline rush. We surveyed the damage to his new bike and I grabbed a wrench or two to get the blinkers back on. Kim said he was having trouble with his balance and we figured he was on a "Rocky Mountain High".

    From Keystone we headed north for Rocky Mountain National Park, my heart secretly dreading the tourist train that lay ahead, but it had been 9 years since I'd been through and The Iron Butterfly needed to see it for sure. Kim's new front tire didn't solve the low pressure warning, as it again occurred and we've come to the conclusion it is the tire pressure sensor. In order to cancel the warning light, we have to run the pressure higher than normal...

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    After a brief stop in Granby for a power bar lunch, we entered the park and immediately stopped at a traffic jam. Just off the road was a large bull moose ignoring the crowd and chewing on some willows. We watched as he wandered off then we continued on, stopping at a couple of campsites but as expected there were none available.


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    The ride over the mountains was stunning as the skies were clear and we managed to find ourselves in traffic gaps, having clear road ahead and behind. Of course those moments were brief, as the park was slammed with tourists and stupid drivers. Instagram viewers take note - at a couple of the overlooks, a couple of suv’s unloaded the driver and passengers, who dutifully suited up in all their hiking gear, backpacks, caps and such, just to walk the 50 yards on the sidewalk to the overlook and take selfies in their gear with the mountain backdrops behind them…

    By the time we made Estes Park we were tired, hot and ready for a break. We found an EconoLodge with one room left and paid through the nose for it. Again, to be expected at a National Park.

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    The next morning we had conversations with a couple Harley riders who were surprised to hear of our long term trip, but wanted the blog address.

    Our goal was to make the Snowy Range later that day, however we stopped at the top of the park and spent some time just watching the sky and enjoying the wind and sun. A curious marmot decided to hang with us for a while, trying on my FirstGear jacket but deciding it smelled too bad.


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    The afternoon slipped by as we made our way down the park, getting stuck in the parade of cars on the roadway until we passed beautiful Grand Lake and then stopped for gas in Granby.


    Yep...
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    Highway 125 north for Walden was quiet, smooth and free of traffic, a beautiful and welcome relief. As we crested the Continental Divide and rolled into the valley south of Walden, we could see the smoke of forest fires ahead covering the road.



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    Luckily the smoke was north of Walden and the day had gotten late, too late to try to find a camping spot. All the rooms in town were booked, but we found an old motel that the new owners were willing to help, renting us a room in their old house. The 6' ceiling didn't agree with me well, but it was a bed and not too expensive. The evening was spent enjoying homemade cobbler at the Antlers Hotel and a walk through the sleepy town at dusk.


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    #54
  15. Trip Hammer

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

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle
    Spectacular shots as always, Lonestar! I figure you could make a little scratch selling some photos to any small towns' official website!:clap. Walden looks inviting in that light..
    Thanks for bringing us along!
    #55
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  16. grindstone

    grindstone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    mid-Missouri
    In. If you get to Greybull, Wyoming I bet you would get some fantastic photos of Devil's Kitchen. Northeast of town. 44.534434, -107.970582
    #56
  17. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey Trip thank you! Some days I'm really uninspired to shoot lol

    Thanks GStone - appreciate the coordinates! Will go there
    #57
  18. Oznay

    Oznay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    Lake of the Woods,N.W Ont,Ca
    Sure enjoying your great pics..
    #58
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  19. rebelmark

    rebelmark Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    95
    What kind of riding jeans are you wearing? This is an awesome RR so far and I'm loving the pics. We have ridden through CO in some of the same places so your stories bring back some wonderful memories.
    #59
  20. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,265
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey Rebel! My pants are the BMW City Pants (1st version) and are supremely comfortable. End up wearing them around when off the bike a bunch. Kim bought the City II version and loves them as well. They aren't waterproof but I use Goretex rain shell pants that can be zipped over quickly. I found the denim and also a grey pair here in the flea market pretty reasonable.
    #60