Motorcycle Travel; I use to think a tent a sleeping bag and the great outdoors was the only way to travel on a motorcycle. Maybe age, maybe a little more money, maybe common sense butÂ I prefer to stay in motels now when I travel. I have a friend that says roughing it is a Holiday Inn with a black and white TV. I like ground floor, rustic looking with a lawn chair out front. You always see motorcycles outside motels like this so I must not be alone. The North Park Inn in Walden fit the mode perfect.
It even came with neighbors! Never did get their name but they were from north of Santa Fe and on a fisihing vacation, although I never did see any fish so i really think they were on a drinking vacation and that they did most of the night.Â They had enough stories to fill a book but none about motorcycles so I will save them for later.
Good ol Walden Colorado! One of the few unspoiled Colorado towns left, by that I mean it is still a little rough around the edges and not yet full of rich yuppies. I did see signs though that it may be headed that way. I settled for gas station coffee so it has a ways to go before the fufu coffee houses show up. I have lots of good memories in Walden, my best friend grew up there and we visited often in the early and mid 80’s when both of us were single and drank a lot. Single and drank a lot should give you an idea of what I am talking about. My friends brother and parents still live there so after coffee and packing i went to visit them. After that, it was fill with gas and look down main street thinking ” I hope it never changes”
Walden is a really good place to visit on a motorcycle andÂ I did see lots of them in town and in surrounding area. I barely made it out of town until I smelled rain and then felt rain, a lot of rain! I stopped, put on rain suit which I wouldn’t take off until Day 2 was almost over. Last year i was 17 days and 3900 miles and never gotÂ rainedÂ on until the last day, this year may be rain every day the way it is starting. Oh well, if you don’t ride in the rain then you don’t ride. With the rain, the smells of the clover, sage and pines is almost over powering so I will take a little rain just to experience those smells.
The mountains are always awesome riding but I think the Wyoming Plains also have their own beauty. The big sky’s, the solitude the wide open spaces and long rolling roads are underrated. The rain and the ever present dark clouds and rain only enhanced the beauty. I stopped just outside of Saratoga and was just enjoying the quiet solitude, the wide open expanse, watching some Antelope and Hawks when it started to thunder and lightning in the distance. I decided i better quit daydreaming and head out for Saratoga and try and beat the storm. I didn’t make it. I found out that my new T Bag isn’t waterproof, must be why it came with a rain cover. It was probably one of the hardest rains I have ever ridden in and then it quit as soon as I hit City Limits of Saratoga. Saratoga is a well kept secret in Wyoming just like Walden is in Colorado. The fishermen know about it though and signs of them were everywhere. On one of Steve’s and my wild trips to Walden we stopped in Saratoga about 8 at night looking for something to eat and a beer. We went inside a bar on main street and when we walked in all I could see was people sitting in chairs facing a screen next to the entrance. It was dark and took a minute for my eyes to focus, maybe a few minutes because we had been drinking since we left Evanston some 200 miles earlier. Once I got a little focus, I seen black people running around on the screen and looked like they were on fire, the people in the bar facing the screen were laughing. “Oh shit Steve, its a KKK meeting!” We were about to exit stage right when the waitress ran up and grabbed us. “It’s okay, its home movie night and Ted is showing movies about his peace mission to Africa” She made sure we found a seat, took our orders and we watched Professor Ted, pony tail, Tye dye shirt and all explain the cultural events of the dayÂ Â deep Africa. Here we were in Wyoming, and in the bar with us were Â Bikers, Cowboys, Hippies, Millionaires, fisherman, hunters and oil field workers all getting along, drinking and watching home movies. Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are!
Leave Saratoga and two miles out of town it starts raining again!
Rained all the way to I 80 and I hopped on it and headed for Rawlins. Outside of Rawlins I stopped at a truck stop to gas up and maybe wait out the rain. While i was getting gas I noticed a big ol ugly looking biker standing under the awning. Looked like he was waiting out the rain and I noticed his 2008 special edition Wide Glide was packed up like mine. I filled up with gas pulled away from the pump and was headed in to get a cop of coffee when here he came. “Where you headed, which way you come from, nice bike, name is Tom, Tom Davis, held out his hand and we shook. Tom is a retired Transit Authority Bus Driver from Provo Utah and a nicer man you will never meet. He looked the big burley ugly mean biker but I think he would have give me his leather jacket if I didn’t have one. Bought the bike as his retirement present, left his wife a note that said he was going to Minnesota to visit his daughter and left with a whole 40 miles on the odometer. Said if he told her he was going she would have said no, sell the bike so that is why he left a note. He now has 3700 miles and was headed back to Provo to see if she would let him back in the house. We talked about his ride and how he learned about his bike as he went. He said some bikers in Cheyenne showed him the thumbscrew for the throttle lock (Bikers cruise control) yesterday and how stupid he felt about it riding all that way wondering what the hell it was. He stopped in SturgisÂ on his way back and to hear him tell it, Sturgis was in full swing. He bought the leather vest, had a bunch of patches sewn on it and was living his dream. He was in no hurry and willing to wait out the rain even it if it meant staying the night. I was in a bit more hurry so I left him standing there under the awning and took off. I wish you well Tom and hope we cross paths again!
The rain lighten as I turned North and headed towards the Wind River Range. I have ridden through Wind River Canyon before but it has been a long time so i was anxious to see the old rocks again. Signs showing the ages and types of the different formations really humble a guy. Touch a rock that is 400 million years old and do a little meditation. Seems a shame that a rock is that old and we only get to live 60 to a 100 years if we are lucky. Just enforces that we have to make the most of it and hope for the 100 and not the 60. For me, that is what these rides are about, don’t want to be telling the grand kids I spent it all on aluminum siding.
It’s late and there is so much more to tell but I must sleep, tomorrow Yellowstone!
see ya tomorrow
Trackback from your site.