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Eight Days, Eight States, Fall Ride.

Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
:sun: Well, here goes. Myself and four friends took off 9/26 for a Fall ride. In eight days we would visit 8 states and cover just a little over 2,900 miles. Lots of awesome scenery. Here is the route to wet y'all's appetites.

The route:
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The LC loaded and ready to roll:
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A teaser from Colorado:
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Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Day 1: Austin to Hochatown Lake SP, OK

With my 2002 VL1500 Intruder LC loaded and waiting I rode my DRZ to work my last 24 hour shift before heading out on the adventure. The ride for day one:

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The plan was for me to haul home ASAP after being relieved of duty and we would be off. My relief came early and I was home and ready to roll by 1050. I drove around the corner from my house to Perry's and we were one bike short. Oh well, so much for plans. :lol2: As always the motto for the trip was "Semper Gumby"; Always Flexible. A couple of calls later we made the plan to meet up in Hutto and ride on. So we topped off tanks, rode to Hutto and waited......

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The monkey was ready....

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While we were waiting there was much discussion about the idea of not wanting to be "that guy". "That guy" is the one who is always the last one ready to go, the one with all the problems, you know, that guy. That guy was slowing things down so rather than just sit at the side of the road sweating we rode on, 10 mph below the limit so he could catch up. And Catch up he did between Hutto and Rockdale. Since we got a late start and had a long ride ahead there weren't many stops for sightseeing. I was just trying to get us out of Texas to our camp destination for the night. We rode through a traffic jam in Rockdale caused by a couple of oversize loaded trucks. A couple of big boxes each as huge as a house and moving about 10 mph. Of course they wouldn't stop or move over to allow anyone to pass. East of town the road divided and we were able to slide past and continue on. One refueling stop in Palstine. We found this place just south of Dekalb about half an hour before sunset for dinner.

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Good BBQ and real friendly folks. :eat:

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We were the only customers at the time so we talked a lot about bikes and the trip and, of course, the food. It was dark by the time we had finished what we could. Not often does this bunch of guys leave food on the plate but it happened here. We refueled in Dekalb and made our way across the border into Oklahoma in the dark. Our camp for the night was at Hochatown State Park near Stevens Gap, OK.
 
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Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Day 2; Stevens Gap OK to Bella Vista AR

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We had arrived the night before about an hour and a half after dark. It's always "interesting" rolling into an unknown campground after dark and not having a clue where things were. Signage in Hochatown Lake is poor, at best. We ended up in the lodge parking lot asking directions from a group of riders from Houston who were busy polishing the bug splatters off of their rides. Their instructions were so helpful that we went straight to the office for more. :lol2: We declined the $110 per room lodge in favor of the primitive camping. After memorizing the map in the office we were off the find a spot. There was a heavy dew on the tents before we could even get the flies attached. :giveup: This is what we woke to in the morning. :clap:

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It's interesting to see a place for the first time the next morning. I'd rather set up before dark but that's the way it goes sometimes. Breakfast was a short 10 minute ride through the winding tree lined road back to Steven's Gap. Good home cooking all American breakfast. :eat:

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With bellies full we headed north. It was beautiful. :rider: Cool crisp air. Bright sunshine. Perfect road conditions winding through tall trees and plenty of curves to keep it interesting. It was cool enough that one of the guys had to pull of and layer up, for that moment he became "that guy." I don't have bike to bike comm so when I lost sight of the tail draggers I stopped to wait. Three had cb radios and two of us did not. Two of the guys even have their cell phones wired into headsets for longer distance comm. Not me, no way. I prefer the isolation. :zen: David had a cb on his wing so he knew what had happened. Once all were back together we continued on to Scenic Route 1; Tallimena Drive. This would take us east into Arkansas.

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Beautiful vistas off either side of the ridge that the road follows. A must do ride for any moto enthusiast. ;-) Fist stop in Arkansas was, of course, a Walmart. We waited in the parking lot for at least 15 minutes longer than everyone else for "that guy."

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Arkansas highways continued to please with the rural scenery and curvy roads. We road to HWY 23, aka The Pig Trail and road the entire length to Eureka Springs. The place was packed with bikes since this was the weekend of the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Rally in Ft. Smith. We met lots along along the road ending up at Beaver, AR and the famous Golden Gate of the Ozarks.

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From Beaver I called my Mom and arranged to meet her in Bella Vista for Mexican food. We treated here since she was letting us crash at her home for the night. She had enough room to accommodate all of us inside and a big enough basement to get all the bikes inside. Thanks mom! :kiss: Nice to have a place to check things out and do a little maintenance. David had to check out his front wheel for a new noise.

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Turned out to be just a little tire cupping causing a hum/vibe going into the corners. No problem.

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It took a little maneuvering but we got all the machines turned around and ready to ride out the next morning.



:eek2:
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
1,151
Location
DFW, Texas
Awesome trip pics. Sounded a little similar, in that my biggest trip this year, found me also leaving from a shift at work. My ridin' buddy arrived, and I was already relieved, and we headed out. Neat report, share more pics!:clap:
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Day 3; Bella Vista AR to Meade Lake KS

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The previous evening, after dinner, I rode to mom's house while the rest of the guys went to the local Honda dealer and to Walmart, again. We agreed to top of tanks on the way out of town the next morning. I told mom, "I bet they are going to go ahead and get fuel tonight and set me up to be "that guy" in the morning. Sure enough......

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I was set up. :giveup: After topping of my tank, they were still chewing the fat, so I rode on. :-P It only took them a few miles to catch me at my leisurely pace of 50 mph. I and one other guy, Gary, had the route in our Zumos so the rest pretty much had to follow. :trust: I had some surprise stops planned along the way. Unfortunately this added some tension to one of the guys. He was having a hard time following. I was riding an easy pace of 65 mph and this wasn't to his liking. He made this known by dropping back out of site the speeding to catch up and ride on buy until out of sight making it difficult to keep the group together. Tensions were rising. The boredom of crossing Kansas wasn't helping matters any. This is a scenic part. :giveup:

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This was the highlight of the scenery. About a half mile of fence line covered with metal art.

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The one rider that was not content with my ride plan had full comm including cell phone so I wasn't concerned about him getting lost. He knew the destination town for the day so I let him go on. What he didn't know was the stop I had planned as the surprise for the day. A reward of sorts for slogging our way across the plains. He stopped for gas and was waiting for us as we rolled into Dodge City. We rolled right on by and continued on since we wanted to get here before it closed for the day......

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This led to an unfortunate parking lot shouting match. :doh: I sat on the curb while David, who is professionally trained in mediation and conflict resolution stepped in to calm the frayed nerves and bruised egos. With tempers calmed we got in the museum for an hour before closing time. I enjoyed the stop. The place is a re-creation of Front Street, the main drag of Dodge City in the late 1800s during the cattle drive hey day. These guys found their accommodations waiting.

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And Miss Kitty at the long branch saloon was nice enough to serve up some refreshments. Sarsaparilla and Budweiser, the traditional drinks for the era.

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Several original buildings had been moved onto the site and were either restored or in the process. This was an old church.

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We ate supper at the Montana Mikes across the street and everyone got all they could handle. It was about 45 minutes to our overnight spot at Meade Lake State Park and after topping off tanks we got out of Dodge just before sunset. :lol2: Once again we would arrive in unfamiliar territory after dark.

Taking a break......more later.
 

Tracker

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
11,094
Location
down in a holler, Catawba County, NC
Nice pics. The lake sunrise and valley framed by pines are especially nice. Is the CO mountain Engineer Mtn?

Looks like an interesting route. I'm sure there's something redeeming about Kansas, but that looks like a long day and a half to me.

Tensions--why I like riding solo, or maybe one other at the most. Go when I want; stop when I want. Only person I get in a fight with is myself. Glad it worked out, though.


There was a heavy dew on the tents before we could even get the flies attached.
Why do you stick flies on your tent? I like my campsites without flies or mosquitoes. :mrgreen:
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Nice pics. The lake sunrise and valley framed by pines are especially nice. Is the CO mountain Engineer Mtn?

Looks like an interesting route. I'm sure there's something redeeming about Kansas, but that looks like a long day and a half to me.

Tensions--why I like riding solo, or maybe one other at the most. Go when I want; stop when I want. Only person I get in a fight with is myself. Glad it worked out, though.


There was a heavy dew on the tents before we could even get the flies attached.
Why do you stick flies on your tent? I like my campsites without flies or mosquitoes. :mrgreen:
Not sure if it was Engineer but it was that area. And, who said it worked out? Stay tuned.

Flies....funny. :lol2:
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Day 4 Meade Lake, KS to Colorado Springs, CO

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Late the night before I had initiated a group sit down to try and determine what was going on. Unfortunately the one with the problems refused to talk to us or join in the meeting. Too bad, the rest of us had a nice talk and were at a point were all was well amongst us. During the night a cold front passed through the area. It was quite a bit colder in the morning, both in temperatures and attitudes. At least it was a dry front. I awoke to this at the lake, another nice surprise.

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Here is the campsite.

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Nice park staffed by friendly people. When we arrived the previous evening we were greeted by the park ranger. Miss Kitty from Boot Hill had called ahead to let them know we were coming. The ranger told us to come by the office at 0800 and the coffee would be ready. :clap: So, that's what we did. We all had a cup and had a nice chat with the folks. A good start to the day. But like the Duke says, we were burning daylight. We went east from the park to US 83. We didn't want to turn left because that would take us to Liberal.....Kansas. ;-) So we went north into the head wind. It was pretty cold and a straight road with nothing but plowed fields on either side. By the time we got to Garden City we were all ready for brunch. But all the restaurants listed in Zumo's directory were closed. :shrug: We had to settle for McDonald's. :doh: And it was 1034 and breakfast was officially over. :doh: :doh: We soldiered on and ordered. Everyone but Chuck. He will not eat McD's. That set him off, again. Back to where we were yesterday. :shrug: We ate than motored on.

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Another long straight Kansas road.

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Finally we hit the Colorado Border and had to stop for the stereotypical border crossing photo. It was worth the posing. Can anyone name all the bikes in the lineup?

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Finding this marker reminded us of those who had gone down this route before us; way before us.

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Just crossing the state line into Colorado made the scenery more interesting. More towns. More buildings along the side of the road to see. Rolling terrain that had more character to the landscape. And an eye on the horizon for the first clue of the mountains rising in the west. There were a couple more incidents with the attitude before we could get to Colorado Springs. Once there I vowed to put it all behind me and start fresh. The first stop planned was one of those surprises I had planned.

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The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Three of us are firefighters so I knew it would have an impact. It did. I'll just let the pictures tell the story.

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Names from 9/11; 343 firefighters
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We grouped up and headed on to our destination for the night; my sister's home. We got prime parking inside a gate with the whole backyard for a campground.

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Of course membership has it's privileges so I got to sleep inside in the quest bedroom. :trust: Nice view of Pike's Peak from the back yard.

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Leslie and Luke fixed us up with a great dinner of steaks, grilled zucchini, cheesy taters, salad and cheesecake for desert. :eat: How could anyone not be happy. And for the moment, everyone was, I think.

Day 5 would be different.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Day 5 Colorado Springs to Montrose, CO

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It was a beautiful sun shining morning. :sun: A little cool but the temps were rising nicely. Our target for the day was Durango. But noooooo. :doh: Previously I had noticed that Gary's tires were BALD. That's right, no tread and we were heading into the mountains. He had called several shops in Pueblo and Co Spngs but being locked solid in moto shop tradition they were all closed on Monday. So Tuesday morning found us looking for tires. We ended up here...

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Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Victory and Polaris. Oh yeah, don't forget SeaDoo. "That guy" was doing it again. ;-) Gary was a good sport about it. He did apologize for not taking care of it before the trip. While they had the rear tire off they found the inner brake pad was almost to the metal. 40 bucks for rear pads installed. A good price on a set of Dunlops. His bike was the first one in. The Service Department did the best they could to get us on the road fast but it still took a long time. We ate breakfast just next door while waiting.

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Good food. A notch up from Denny's; not quite IHOP. The place was full of octogenarians who all gave us the twice over. We aren't exactly bikers but the riding gear makes you stand out from that crowd for sure. The attitude popped up during breakfast. It was a little embarrassing since I'm sure all the old folks heard the conversation. But I put it past and when the bike was ready we all were ready to get on the road. New rubber is nice.

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No way we would make Durango so we set our sights on Montrose. We rode the front range toward Canon City with intentions of stopping at Royal Gorge. The ride was pretty good to a point. Riding along 50 toward Canon City a Sherpa flew over and disgorged about 8 paratroopers. Cool. I was in the left lane with David next to me in the right lane. I was watching the paras while keeping my line steady. My peripheral vision saw David start to drift back and I glance in my mirror to see Chuck blowing past in between the two of us. He pulled immediately over to the shoulder and stopped. I just threw my hands in the air and kept going. Attitude was one thing but I had no use for unsafe riding. We rode into town and made a fuel stop. We ended up going to different stations since the one I stopped at was out of premium. I was first to catch back up to Perry and David. I told them that this was the last straw for me; something was going to have to change. So, on the side of the road in a parking lot we had another rider meeting. This took at least a half hour, I lost track of time. I won't go into everything that was said but we ended up agreeing to stay together. We would skip the gorge and try to make Ridgeway State Park south of Montrose for the night. I need to de-stress myself and since we would stay on the same highway all day I let Gary lead, he had the route in his Zumo also. The road got nice and the views got better with every mile. We were riding as a group again; except for Chuck. He dropped way back by himself. I could only see him on long straight sections.

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The first glimpse of aspens coming into Salida.

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East of Poncha Spngs heading toward Monarch Pass.

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This is one of those circumstances where the photos really do not do justice to the real thing. The aspens were beautiful. It had been 30 years since I had seen them in person since growing up in Colorado and the memories were flooding back. You really have to see them to understand the beauty. I had visited Colorado in the summer but never in the fall. We kept the momentum up and blasted up the pass to the summit. This is me. :-)

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We posed in front of the sign for a photo, Chuck stopped about 30 yards away and sat on his bike.

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After the photo we went into the gift shop for necessary stops and of course the purchase of some Colorado fudge. :trust: As we stood around the bikes chatting, Chuck moved over to where we were parked but parked behind the sign. :rolleyes: Whatever, I was in a good mood after getting into the mountains and listening to my Dwight Yoakum collection. ;-) We continued west with a fuel stop in Gunnison. On west past the Blue Mesa reservoir.

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And finally to our main attraction for the day; the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. We arrived about 1715. That's 5:15 PM for you that work on 12 hour clocks. :-P Not bad since the entrance station was closed for the day. If we were lucky, and we were, there would be no admission fee. :trust: The scenic drive consists of about a dozen stops at overlook points on the south rim of the canyon. The first stop...

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Perry and Gary...
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Chuck parked out of site from the overlook once he caught up to us. David went over to talk to him in his best mediator/conflict resolution manners. We could hear Chuck since he was talking very loud. He would have none of it. He was through with us. :shrug: Perry and I went on to the next overlook at the visitor center, which was closed, and hiked out to the point. You just walk up to the edge and all that comes to mind is, "Wow!"

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Two thousand feet down to the Gunnison River.

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Walking back up we met Gary and David. Chuck had left to go on to Montrose. We would not see him again. He and David would be leaving early the next morning to ride directly home on the shortest route. David came on the trip specifically to ride HWY550 to Durango and he would get to do that. Then blast home on Interstate with Chuck in tow so Chuck would not be riding alone. In the meantime the four of us would see the rest of the canyon. It's all good, the views that is.

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The sun was getting low so we stayed for the sunset. It was worth the wait.

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We all rode into Montrose in the dark, found a Mexican food restaurant that was open and enjoyed a very nice meal. After dinner we thanked David for trying to keep things together and wished him a safe ride home. David went to the hotel Chuck had booked and the three that were left found another. Gary, Perry and I would finish the planned ride starting tomorrow.

P.S. I haven't gone into details of the disagreements between all of us because I did not want this to turn into a debate on the merits of any viewpoints. I only mentioned it to show that sometimes group dynamics don't work out as planned. It could happen with any group. I feel like we made every attempt to make it work but in the end we split up. We would talk about it from time to time for the remainder of the ride but the stress was gone. :zen: Tomorrow is another day.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Day 6; Montrose, CO to Taos, NM

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We woke to a clear blue sky and a cool morning. Hey, it's Colorado. It's cool in the morning. We rode south toward Durango.

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I'm including this picture because it was one of those spastic accidental photos one takes while juggling a camera on the motorcycle. Honestly it was just a coincidence.

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As we rode on the views just got better and better.

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We rolled into Ouray with grins on our faces.

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Going south out of Ouray are a series of switchbacks that lift you out of the valley. They view from there is fantastic. I wish I could have pulled off for a photo but there were not any spots large enough for three bikes and I didn't want to risk a drop as they were all narrow and sloping away from the road without guardrails. You'll just have to trust me and go see for yourself. ;-) We rolled up on a stop for construction. Perry wanted to stop and look at a ravine we just past and there was plenty of room so I turned around and went to park. Perry did too. Gary didn't make it. We heard the sound of bike hitting the asphalt. The sloping roadbed combined with a couple of rocks made him drop the bike. He was ok but need help picking up. Minor damage: scratch on the fairing, bent light bar, and highway peg rotated out of position. Repairs commenced.

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And here is what we stopped to look at.

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Hooligan bikers. ;-) We rode on into the pass and into sensory overload.

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We stopped at the Red Mountain Mines to take in the scenery and catch our breath. It was really amazing.

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And, down the other side into Silverton.

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We stopped at the Grand Imperial Hotel for early lunch at Grumpy's Cafe.

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Plenty of dead heads on the walls.

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And even some art work. Caution: Open in a safe environment. :trust:

While taking that photo the waitress/proprietor walked up and said, "So, you taking a picture of my mother?" :lol2: So, I had to ask; like mother like daughter? No. We all had a great lunch of grilled chicken sandwich, fresh green salads and desert of strawberry/rhubarb pie. :eat: I had an Avalanch Amber. :chug: The place had a well stocked bar for the overnight guests at the hotel.

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Then it was time to see the town. It was approaching noon and the arrival of the Durango-Silverton RR so we strolled in that direction taking photos along the way.

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The train disgorged it's full load of passengers. You would not believe how long I had to wait to get this shot with only a few people in it.

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More of the town:

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57 La France pumper
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Time to move on. We continued south on 550 toward Durango. Then there it was; time for a new desktop photo. One for everyone. :sun:

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All the fall colors.
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On to Durango. We stopped for fuel and learned something. When something is bent don't try to straighten it unless you absolutely have to. :doh: Remember when Gary's bike fell over. This happened when he tried to bend the light bar back in shape.

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No problem. Nothing a little 100 mph tape can't fix. This would hold for the rest of the trip.

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Leaving Durango we would ride east through Pagosa Spgs then south into New Mexico. Along the way we came upon a real honest to goodness cattle drive. :eek2:

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This was awesome! we rolled past at a respectful 10 mph while on idle. The old cowboys waved and nodded. As we pulled into Chama the skies where threatening so we topped off with fuel and geared up for some rain. We had been dodging the clouds for quite a while, I decided to temp fate and dare it to rain. We hit US 64 east. This was one of the best riding roads of the trip. Instead of the tight switchbacks of 550, this road was all fast sweeping turns through the forest with beautiful views. I finally had to admit we were going to get rain so I stopped for a photo and donning just the rain jacket.

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On toward Taos and one more stop before calling it a day. The Rio Grande Gorge bridge. Note the big rig for some scale. The rain was all around us as the sun set and provided plenty of beauty.

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With the rain we opted for a hotel in Taos. A hotel with a bar and a full restaurant. :eat:
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
8,823
Location
Fort Worth
I'm enjoying the post, but I can only count 7 states on your original map. Are you counting Texas twice? (I'ts really big and it's the start and end point.)
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
5,490
Location
Salado
Great trip, too bad about the bad feelings. You can never tell how people are going to react. We rode the reverse of your route from Texas through New Mexico and Colorado this spring. The aspens weren't out yet then. Its just beautiful country on a bike. Even the flat spots are nicer from the saddle.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
Day 7 Taos, NM to Palo Duro Canyon, TX

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In the morning the skies over Taos were clear. Here is where we stayed.

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We packed up the bikes and got ready to ride before breakfast. While checking things out Perry noticed his rear tire was only holding 26 psi instead of the required 40. A closer look revealed a small dot of steel embedded in the tread. :doh: At least it was facing rearward and easy to get to without moving the bike. A pair of pliers removed the offending nail and let the rest of the air out.
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A healthy coating of rubber cement on the plug and insert said plug into the hole.

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Then off to breakfast while it sets up. The hotel room came with a full breakfast buffet. Makes the cost a little easier to swallow. ;-)

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One of the guys wanted to stop at the Radio Shack across the street. Once again, hooligan bikers that can't read signs.

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Repairs and shopping completed we were off into the blue.

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We stayed on 64 east and in no time found ourselves behind a semi with a heavy load. This was ok since the scenery was wonderful. Sorry, I neglected the camera since I was first in line behind the semi and had to keep an eye on him. As we approached Angel Fire I noticed a sign that led to a place that was not in the plan at all. I'm glad I followed it to the first Vietnam Veterans National Memorial; founded 1968. Official Website

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The words on the pad are "Dear Mom and Dad"
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This Huey was fully equipped except engines.
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Inside the chapel.
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After about an hour at the memorial we rode south through Angel Fire along the mountain range. Beautiful.....

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At Las Vegas we turned east onto 104 for the run to Tucumcari. Like the day before we had been riding around all the local isolated showers.

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Today this one would catch us. We had to stop along the shoulder as there were no turnouts and don our rain gear. The whole time there was only one vehicle that passed; going the opposite direction. We rode in rain for maybe 5 minutes.

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Into the sunshine again.

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The run into Tucumcari completed we coasted into the gas station on fumes. I ran my card into the pump and my travels finally caught up with me. "SEE ATTENDANT" :doh: The security flag had been raised. A call to AMEX and 10 minutes on the phone cleared things up and the card was working again. :clap: We met a nice fella from OK City on a new C90 Boulevard and had a nice chat. Then it was time to blast down the interstate. :yawn: We had managed to avoid them for all but the run from Pueblo up to CO Spgs but there was no good way to get to Amarillo from Tucumcari so we cracked open the throttles and tried to make it go by as quick as possible without risking jail time. Actually more people passed us than we passed IIRC. We turned south on 27 and rolled into Canyon for dinner. As we were polishing off the last of the chips and salsa one of Gary's cousins walked in the door with her husband. Small world. He didn't know that they had moved to Canyon. :shrug: We stepped outside and saw the storm we had ridden through in NM had caught up to us and was threatening rain. :eek2: We hopped on the bikes and hauled to Palo Duro as quick as safely possible, paid the man in the office, found our site (not easy there after dark) and got tents set up with about 10 minutes to spare before the rain came. Not bad, just light rain for about 30 minutes, most of the storm went north of the canyon. But I found my 15 year old tent had begun to leak through the fabric of the rain fly. :doh: I'll have a new tent for the next trip. ;-)

One more day and we'll be home. :rider:
 
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The last day, Texas again.

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Once again we awoke to see the camp we had made the night before in the dark at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

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We broke camp, I pitched my useless rain fly in the dumpster, and headed off to explore the park before breakfast. This is definitely a must see place for anyone's list.

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Sightseeing done it was time to go in search of fuel and food. We found the cheapest gas of the trip in Canyon. $3.19. Someone mentioned donuts and should we ask the two cops at the quickie mart. :nono: We resisted and asked Karen instead. She's the young lady with the nice Australian accent that lives in my Zumo. :trust: She had the answer and a few blocks later we were heading for sweet dough and coffee. :eat:

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These two were laughing at me taking a picture of the bikes in front of the store. So, guess what? They get to be on the internet also.

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With donuts scarfed and caffeine on board we head out for our next destination; Caprock Canyon State Park. South about 20 miles then east on what has to be one of the straightest, flattest roads on the planet.

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Finally we went over the edge of the caprock and made our way into the park. Add this place to your list of scenic spots to visit also. It's a long way from anywhere and less frequented than Palo Duro. If you like isolation this is the place to be.

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The deeper you travel into the park, the better the scenes get.

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Until finally the end of the paved road.

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On the way out we stopped at an overlook. Nice place to take a nap. :yawn: And it wasn't even noon yet.

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Found this guy hanging around.

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This was for scale. Nice to make new friends.

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Enough lounging about. It was well past time to get on the road. We wanted to make it home today and had a long way left to go. Perry's brother lives in Abilene and we were headed that way. So, in Anson, 20 miles north of Abilene, he made a call while we were stopped for fuel. He had to leave a message that we would meet him at a Whataburger if he could. But as we were gearing up to get back on the bikes his brother pulled into the parking lot where we were. He had seen the bikes and recognized us. He had been in the area on a job and just happened by. Small world, again.

Here is Ronny and Perry.

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Family reunion over we had one more stop to make, FOOD. We had avoided fast food the whole trip but we didn't want to take the time for a sit down restaurant so we hit the Whataburger.

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The monkey was still hangin' on.

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A little over 200 miles left to go. In the home stretch. I kept telling myself this is the most dangerous part of the trip. Anxious, tired, familiar territory. Going through all this made me more focused on getting home in one peice. The shadows were getting long after a long day.
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We rode around one thunderstorm between Coleman and Brownwood. As we turned south onto 183 we were treated to an awesome lightning show in front of us. I hoped to make to the gas stop in Goldthwaite before we got into the rain but, alas, our luck had run out. It was dark, there was little or not shoulder to pull onto, and it was raining, hard. We were close so we just tucked behind the windshields and rode it out. The rain let up some before we stopped but the lightning ahead of us indicated more to come. We fueled up and got out the rain gear. Heading south it wasn't long before we were in it again. Heavy rain for about 15 minutes between Goldthwaite and Lampasas. I only hydroplaned a couple of times. :eek2: And ran over some dead critter that I didn't see till too late to avoid. Like hitting a speed bump at 50. Then it all cleared up and the rest of the way was just a ride in the night. We were home.

Next trip: 10/14 Big Bend :rider:
 

drfood

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Great trip report Bruce! :clap:

I showed my other 1/2 the report and we will definitely be looking at Colorado next year.
 

RxZ

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Awesome ride! I am glad everything turned out safe, and that overall you guys had a great trip. Thanks for posting up this report.

RxZ(note to self: avoid Kansas)
 
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Great report and pics, Id love to do that some day. How did the LC do on fuel? was it able to make it ok from gas to gas? I know there are some long miles between gas out there and also how did the Venture and the LC do with carbs at altitude? Ive had an LC and thinking about a Venture someday. Thanks SZ.
 
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Amarillo, TX
CBAT that was a great trip report. Thanks for all the picks. I did a not so good report from my Durango trip just a few days ahead of you. Have you ever seen switch backs like Chama to Tres Peidras on another road?

Everyone has to make this trip. Up from Texas, I think CBAT's route down is also best going up. 104 out of Tucumcari, Las Vegas, Taos, 64 over to Chama. Beautiful ride.

Thanks again CBAT. It's a little easier to describe with pictures! lmao, at myself.
 
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Great report and pics, Id love to do that some day. How did the LC do on fuel? was it able to make it ok from gas to gas? I know there are some long miles between gas out there and also how did the Venture and the LC do with carbs at altitude? Ive had an LC and thinking about a Venture someday. Thanks SZ.
Thanks. No problem on the fuel stops. I have a G-tank which adds 2.5 gallons to the stock 4. My range is well over 200 miles. I also have the stage 3 carb setup with K&N cutout filter and jets. Better performance :trust: but it drops the milage to the mid 30's. One tank was over 40 mpg due to mostly downhill and slower riding. The LC could use a sixth gear. We all noticed a drop in performance on the high passes, even the injected bikes but not as much as the old carbs. Mostly notice climbing Monarch Pass because it's a faster road. Going over the pass between Ouray and Silverton and Durango where slower roads so the power loss wasn't as noticable. I will be looking for fuel injection on my next street bike though.
 
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Thanks. No problem on the fuel stops. I have a G-tank which adds 2.5 gallons to the stock 4. My range is well over 200 miles. I also have the stage 3 carb setup with K&N cutout filter and jets. Better performance :trust: but it drops the milage to the mid 30's. One tank was over 40 mpg due to mostly downhill nad slower riding. The LC could use a sixth gear. We all noticed a drop in performance on the high passes, even the injected bikes but not as much as the old carbs. Mostly notice climbing Monarch Pass because it's a faster road. Going over the pass between Ouray and Silverton and Durango where slower roads so the power loss wasn't as noticable. I will be looking for fuel injection on my next street bike though.
Thanks for the reply, I was wondering if it had the G-tank, I couldnt tell from the photos for sure, That kind of trip makes the g-tank well worth the $$. You guys really did it up right. That was a Super Trip. SZ.
 
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Re: Day 3; Bella Vista AR to Meade Lake KS

day3map.jpg


The previous evening, after dinner, I rode to mom's house while the rest of the guys went to the local Honda dealer and to Walmart, again. We agreed to top of tanks on the way out of town the next morning. I told mom, "I bet they are going to go ahead and get fuel tonight and set me up to be "that guy" in the morning. Sure enough......
BRUCE DOSN'T UNDERSTAND THAT HE WAS THE PROBLEM. HE HAS A CONTROLL PROBLEM. HE DID NOT WANT ANYONE TO KNOW THE ROUTE. HE WOULD SAY JUST STAY BEHIND HIM AND WE WOULD NOT GET LOST. THEN HE (ALLOWED GARY TO LEAD) AS IF HE WAS GOD AND HE COULD BE GRACIOUS ENOUGH TO LET SOME ONE ELSE HAVE ACCESS TO THE ROUTE. AND HE DOES NOT NOTICE THAT THE NEXT GAS STATION DOWN THE BLOCK HAS GAS FOR 30 CENTS A GALLON CHEAPER
 
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Re: Day 3; Bella Vista AR to Meade Lake KS

BRUCE DOSN'T UNDERSTAND THAT HE WAS THE PROBLEM. HE HAS A CONTROLL PROBLEM. HE DID NOT WANT ANYONE TO KNOW THE ROUTE. HE WOULD SAY JUST STAY BEHIND HIM AND WE WOULD NOT GET LOST. THEN HE (ALLOWED GARY TO LEAD) AS IF HE WAS GOD AND HE COULD BE GRACIOUS ENOUGH TO LET SOME ONE ELSE HAVE ACCESS TO THE ROUTE. AND HE DOES NOT NOTICE THAT THE NEXT GAS STATION DOWN THE BLOCK HAS GAS FOR 30 CENTS A GALLON CHEAPER
Chuck,
I knew this day would come. Can't you just let it go. :giveup: OK, it was all my fault, happy now? Yes I gave your brother the route for his GPS. I'd ridden with you before and figured we wouldn't stay together. And yes I agreed with the rest of the group that Gary would take the lead west from Canon City. And yes I have no idea what you are talking about where gas was 30 cents a gallon cheaper down the street. If it makes you happy, I'll give you the $1.20 next time. Oh, never mind, there isn't going to be a next time.
 
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Re: Day 5 Colorado Springs to Montrose, CO

We all rode into Montrose in the dark, found a Mexican food restaurant that was open and enjoyed a very nice meal. After dinner we thanked David for trying to keep things together and wished him a safe ride home. David went to the hotel Chuck had booked and the three that were left found another. Gary, Perry and I would finish the planned ride starting tomorrow.

P.S. I haven't gone into details of the disagreements between all of us because I did not want this to turn into a debate on the merits of any viewpoints. I only mentioned it to show that sometimes group dynamics don't work out as planned. It could happen with any group. I feel like we made every attempt to make it work but in the end we split up. We would talk about it from time to time for the remainder of the ride but the stress was gone. :zen: Tomorrow is another day.
I WAS NOT GOING TO GO INTO MORE ISSUES, BUT BRUCE SEEMS TO THINK HE IS PERFECT. HE BLEW UP WHEN I RODE PAST HIM OUT SIDE OF CANYON CITY. EVERY ONE ELSE KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. THE TWO GUYS THAT HAD CB'S KNEW THAT AS SOON AS WE GOT AROUND A TRUCK I WAS GOING TO COME UP AND GET OVER THE CREST OF THE HILL TO WATCH THE SHOOTERS LAND. BRUCE IS NOT A PERCEPTIVE AD DOES NOT KEEP AWARE OFHIS SURRONDINGS. HE DOES NOT WATCH HIS MIRRORS OR HE WOULD HAVE SEEN DAVID DROPPING WAY BACK WHICH ALLOWED ME TO MOVE OVER IN FRONT OF HIM IN THE LANE NEXT TO BRUCE. WHICH IN NO WAY IMPEDED HIM NOR WAS A DANGER TO HIM. FOR SOME ONE WHO DOSN'T WATCH THE ROAD I CAN SEE HOW THAT COULD BE A PROBLEM. WE HAD RIDDEN WITH BRUCE LOTS OF TIMES BEFORE AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM. NOW HE SAYS THAT WE DID. JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE TYPE OF PERSON HE IS. SO WHEN THE REST OF YOU READ HIS TRIP REPORTS JUST KEEP IN MIND THAT HE IS NOT TELLING THE WHOLE STORY JUST WHAT I CONSIDER A BLURRED VERSION.
 
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Tourmeister

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You've both said your piece, now let it lie. This is not the place to be hashing out personal issues.
 
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Wow! You guys covered some awesome places. Did they ever paint the Historical Marker at the road for the Viet Memorial Church? First time I came by there in '97 is was the Bright White Posts that turned me around to go see what it was about. Last time, '06, the posts and sign were soooooo faded out. Oh yes, the many boxes of Kleenexs in the Center were needed.
After one trip with a bunch of guys, you really quickly learn who and who not matches your agenda. ;-). Such is life. Me, I'm a Lone Wolf. Me and my moto sickle, no music, no radio, no nothing but ear plugs. Heck, mostly no plans. :rider: Never know where I'm gonna be and when I'm gonna pull into a motel for the night. :trust: Now , maybe, if I had some sweetheart of a lady with me, :sun: :lol2: :lol2:

Enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Now , maybe, if I had some sweetheart of a lady with me, :sun: :lol2: :lol2:

Enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for sharing.
Well,since you insist, I'd love to ride to Durango with you!
As long as I get to take the train to Silverton, stay the nite and return.

But I must warn you,. I have my own bike, camping equipment and GPS...
So I can lead, follow or get out of the way! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Sorry, just couldn't help myself posting that! :doh: :lol2:

The scenery out west is gorgeous, enjoyed the ride report. I really want to get back thru Co and Ut again... But I don't think I would go from Tx to Co by way of AR.... too much boring Ks in the middle. But then, the whole middle of the country is fairly boring; still riding is better than caging it. Except when the wind was trying to rip the helmet off my head.

The first dream ride I'm going to take is US 191 from Canada to Mexico, maybe hit a few New England states on the way there.....:rider: :rider: :rider:
Ya'll take care...
mary
 
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But I must warn you,. I have my own bike, camping equipment and GPS...
So I can lead, follow or get out of the way! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

As a gift to myself on my 62nd birthday, I gave up camping and just do cheap motels ;-)

too much boring Ks in the middle.

Actually, Western Kansas is very interesting and hilly leading up into South Dakota. Lots of Pony Express History there.


The first dream ride I'm going to take is US 191 from Canada to Mexico, maybe hit a few New England states on the way there.....:rider: :rider: :rider:
Now that sounds like a ride.
 
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Now that sounds like a ride.
Motels are nice, especially if they have lots of hot water, and even more so if they have hottubs or jacuzzis!

To me the difference between a really cheap hotel and one or two steps above is like $10-15. And a whole lot fewer creepy crawley "visitors" in the nice... spider and roaches and stuff like that..... but guys dont' care about stuff like that! :yawn:

Haven't had to chance to get to SD yet. Just have been across Kansas east/west a bunch of times, mostly on I70. I80 sucks, especially the 450 some miles across Nebraska... I do want to get to the Black Hillls... :rider:

Yeah, I hope to have a smaller bike sometime next summer. That would be better than my Deuce for that trip. All my trip have been get from point A to opoint B in a hurry. I want to go slow, see the scenery, and take tons of pics. My brother is supposed to be rebuilding me a 1974 Honda 350, slightly customized. I'll believe it when I have the bill of sale and the registration in my name in my hot little hands! <BG>

Mary
 
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Yeah, I probably won't be taking that route again. I'm thinking of following the Rockies up to Bannf, Canada. Once I get to NM I could stay in the mountains pretty much the whole time. There's always spots like the Great Divide Basin though. Next trip to AR I'll probably just stay at Mom's and do day trips from there. I've done that before and it's a good time. Dinner's ready every evening when I pull in. Great roads in every direction. :rider:
 
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An interesting route I did in the Summer of '97 was from Glacier Park coming down and crisscrossing the Divide as much as possible to New Mexico and then chilled at the BMW rally at Sipapu for a few days before coming back to Jennings.
Arkansas, what can you say. At times I base at Mena, or Jasper, or Marshal ( my favorite) and Mountain View. Just do day rides and back to a neat motel room with a cafe` right next door. ;-). I think my KLR knew ever mountain gravel road there at times. And my Street bikes knew ever twisty curvy road for sure. :rider:
 
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Thanks for sharing that experience, Bruce. Sounds and looks like it was an awesome ride.

BTW, where are you guys firefighters? Wherever it is, you have my respect and gratitude for doing what you do.

Dave
 
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Thanks for sharing that experience, Bruce. Sounds and looks like it was an awesome ride.

BTW, where are you guys firefighters? Wherever it is, you have my respect and gratitude for doing what you do.

Dave
Thanks. We've all got 20+ years with Austin Fire/Rescue. BTW: Dont' believe what you may have read about us in the paper. The AAS has a political agenda and they use us to further their agenda repeatedly. It's a great example of one sided reporting in the media.
 
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Thanks. We've all got 20+ years with Austin Fire/Rescue. .
My hat is off to you guys. I spent about 8 years in Dive Rescue here in South Louisiana before going back to the oilfield. Black water diving was very interesting. I think my passion was highway crash work though. Dang fires just oo hot. ;-)
 
T

Texfire

Looks like it was a good trip. One of my favorite parts of the country is the western slope in Colorado. Sorry to hear about group problems, but such things do happen, and sounds like you didn't let it ruin the trip.

I knew about the USFA memorial in Emmitsburg, but didn't know about the IAFF one in Colorado Springs. It's on my list the next time I'm in Colorado.

I'll have to get the GPS route from you sometime, always looking for good roads, and I'm thinking of a trip to Colorado sometime next year.
 
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