Tilting at Windmills, A Masked Campaign Around Southeast Utah

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Animal Instinct, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    I originally wanted to title this ride report, The Mask and the Motorcycle, playing on Beverly Cleary's book titled, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, that drew my young imagination years ago to an ongoing love for motorcycle travel. Then I thought better of it. I have already given Beverly credit in an earlier report, but a quick Google search shows her to be 104 years old and the recipient of numerous literary awards.

    Thank you, Beverly, for making Ralph S. Mouse a fixture in my mind and a motivating superhero forever.

    Ride Report #8

    This was a 17 day, 4300 mile, unplanned, solo adventure.

    Things turned out well. Mostly.

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    Well. Mostly.

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    #1
  2. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    The week before takeoff, I was going through my worn out gear and discovered this.

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    I carry a couple of these with me in my tool kit. Just in case.

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    And, wha-lah. Good as new.

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    #2
  3. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

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    :lurk

    First in! A KLR (orange even!) and 3 Step...what could be better.
    #3
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  4. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    Glad to see you back on the road again, Scott.
    #4
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  5. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Hey HardWorking Dog,

    Thanks for dropping in. Just to set the record straight, Yeller is yellow, and yes, there is nothing much better than a visit to 3-step. :D
    #5
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  6. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks David, hope all is well in your world. Tell Barb I said howdy.

    Appreciate you looking in. I have quite a tale to tell on this one.
    #6
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  7. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

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    partial color blind, I've always liked that one best whatever it's called.
    #7
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  8. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 1, Saturday, September 12, 2020 -- Wichita Falls, TX to Black Mesa State Park, OK

    414 miles, ~8.5 hours

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    The plan was to leave yesterday, but the rain and gloomy skies persuaded me to wait a day.

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    It is getting difficult to find non-repetitive routes out west from Wichita Falls. I did find something worth looking at though. The skies remained overcast, but the promise of clearing was in the forecast.

    No fences here on parts of what used to be the Waggoner Ranch.

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    US 287 North. See the Medicine Mounds off to the west?

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    FM 680 North would be a unique crossing into OK.

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    I have wanted to explore this road for a good many years. This bridge was what I was wanting to gander at. I stopped here to eat a couple slices of leftover pizza. While doing so, a weather abused, pot bellied, and friendly ranch hand and his wife in a beat up 90's era Chevy pickup and an even more questionable gooseneck cattle trailer approached from the OK side of the Red River and stopped to see if needed help. They offered me a beer and told me that a few years ago this bridge used to be a wooden suspension bridge that swayed when you drove over it.

    Maybe I should have explored this road a few years ago. Time has a way of cheating us out of a lot of wonderful experiences if you do not respect it. I regretted not taking the ranch hand up on that beer as I watched the couple drive into TX.

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  9. BillUA

    BillUA Las Vegas, NV

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    In!!
    #9
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  10. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    An hour or so north of here is the Black Kettle National Grassland and the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site where Lt. Col. George Custer and his 7th Calvary attacked a villige of Cheyenne on November 27, 1868. Eight years later, Custer would make his last stand at Little Bighorn.

    After a brief visit to OK, we were back in TX.

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    And lookie here. A mention of the four sixes ranch, which recently sold.

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    Several miles later.

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    Then back to OK, "staring straight into the shining sun."
    Coming Back to Life ~ Pink Floyd

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    I got to Black Mesa State Park at sunset and a dude named Wilber, from out east, Florida maybe, that was towing a GS behind his Honda Civic, I think it was, asked if I wanted to set my tent up on his site as he was sleeping in a hammock. I took him up on his kind offer and we had a few beers and talked adventure riding. He was meeting a bud to do part of the CO section of the TAT.

    A great day.

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    #10
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  11. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

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    87!!!

    I knew oran yellow is the fastest color.
    #11
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  12. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    In for more
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  13. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Been here awhile

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    100% in!
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  14. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Day 2, Sunday, September 13, 2020 -- Black Mesa State Park, OK to Lake Creek CG, CO

    356 miles, ~11 hours

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    Wilber booked it at daybreak. I rolled out of my mummy bag and surveyed the dew on my tent and wondered if Wilber was soaking wet, and based on his hasty departure, if he had actually paid for the camping spot like he said he did. Realizing that it would take hours for the tent to dry in this shaded and humid spot, I rolled it up wet, had my coffee as I packed my gear, and took off early.

    The actual black mesa is a bit north of the State Park and is the high point in OK at 4973'.

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    Today was going to be an accomplisment because I was taking my time to go out of my way to see something I have attempted to see on two other occasions. Weather and time had prevented my previous attempts.

    Hard to complain about this weather, right?

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    Hello, CO! There's something I really love about that sign. :rofl

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    You all know I have a little fondness for windmills, so when I saw this one I figured I would take a pic.

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    As I was dropping my camera into its little pouch on Yeller's handlebars some stones caught my peripheral vision and I saw just enough to want to turn around and investigate. The place had burned, but what remained suggested that this was a really neat place back in the day.

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    #14
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  15. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    I mentioned drinking my coffee this morning while packing my stuff on Yeller. I have to have creamer with my coffee and I get the Coffee Mate in the little cups that don't need refrigeration. Thing is, I like the plain flavor and I got a whole box of the French Vanilla. As I write this memoir, 5 months after the fact, I can still taste that shit. Walking around that neat house, I remember belching and cussing myself for such a grievious oversight. I'm also hard headed and masochistic, so yes, I made myself finish the box before getting normal creamer. Bet I check twice next time.

    Also of note, I bit the inside of my lower lip on Day 1. I got it again today while innocently munching a handful of trail mix. You ever do that? Bite the hell out of the inside of your oral cavity and then continue to do it day after day? Does it anger you as it does me?

    Enough about me. Back to the mission we were on.

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    Windmill and Wind Turbine. Harness the wind for the benefit of mankind. A lot to look at heading North on US 287.

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    See the car sitting on that silo?

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    US 287 takes a westerly jag, we kept heading north. On this.

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    We had arrived.

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    I enjoyed lunch here in the shade at the Historic site headquarters, that is, until I bit the exquisitely painful spot on my lower, inner lip again.....

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    A great wrong was done here. I first heard of Sand Creek Massacre in a ride report on ADV years ago. I have since done a bit of research and have a rudimentary grasp of a past we were never taught in our American History classes in high school.

    Chief Black Kettle and his wife managed to escape Sand Creek Massacre only to be killed 4 years later in the Battle of Washita that I mentioned earlier.

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    #15
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  16. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    I spent a good hour reflecting here and then headed west. To the rocky mountains.

    Closed, due to COVID-19. I would have had a beer at this establishment based on principle alone.

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    Yesss.

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    #16
  17. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Always a welcome sight. Heading north on CO 69.

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    I was headed for Hayden Creek CG, but saw a sign for Lake Creek CG and decided to give it a peek. If things didn't suit, I would probably still have time to backtrack and make it a ways further north to Hayden.

    Things suited and I set up my still wet tent next to a babbling stream in time for supper.

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    Great riding day. Big blue skies, minimal wind, mild temperatures, and a biggie checked off the bucket list. I slept like a babe.
    #17
  18. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    I've been reading a book that has the Sand Creek and Washita battles in it. Not sure whether I've shared this with you before. Great book. My second time to read it.

    Attached Files:

    #18
  19. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

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    I'm liking the ride report so far!
    #19
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  20. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    #20
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