Sturgis

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

babe1Sturgis the good the bad and the ugly

This 2009 trip to Sturgis is my tenth year in a row so I think I qualify to write about it. I have spent 1 day there and I have spent 6 days there during Rally week. The first year was the 1 day trip. I really didn’t know what I was getting into and wasn’t prepared for the madness. I headed directly for Sturgis and before I knew it, there I was on Main Street with 1000 other bikers going 1 mph down main street, too much to look at, screaming people, loud, wild and my clutch hand was about to fall off and I thought my Harley was going to melt down. It took me an hour to go two blocks and I was rather intimidated. Somehow I managed to find a side street which was only  a little bit better, then I eventually came across the interstate on- ramp and ended up in Wendover Nevada at the Salt Flats for Bonneville Speed Week.

The second year I had decided I wasn’t going back, too crazy for me and I already could say I had been there before. I live close to an interstate highway that just happens to be a main route to Sturgis. I hear the noise from my house and on Sunday morning I drive down with my coffee and watch groups of bikes go by on their way to Sturgis. Monday; I have so much work to do this week, can’t get away, that evening I go back to my spot and watch the bikes go by late into the night. Tuesday; you know I am starting to get caught up at work, you know maybe I could just go for a day on Friday; Wednesday; I am loaded and gone. That year I experienced the full gamut of Sturgis and now I can’t stay away!

The joke is you can tell when you are getting older by the pictures you bring back from Sturgis. The first few years the pictures are all of babes, good looking babes, trashy babes, half naked babes, full naked babes, painted babes, clothed babes, leather clad babes. Then as the years go by, there is more pictures of motorcycles and scenery than babes. I must be getting old, (all my friends are for sure) because this year I have more pictures of motorcycles and scenery than babes. It probably had a little to do with the weather, its just hard to raise the camera of a babe in a rainsuit or hoodie looking cold. Still had a few pics to prove I am just old, not gay.

babe 7

babe 3

 babe 8

  

babe 6

 babe 4 

   

babe9

 babe5

Sorry Guys, but my mom is reading this, she knows me well but gotta keep it somewhat clean. Sorry Girls, regardless of what MI Gal thinks there were a lot of younger guys at Sturgis this year and it was good to see. In years past the younger guys were riding sport bikes, but this year I see more and more younger guys on Harleys. I also notice a lot of young military guys and that is also good to see. Yeah, I like Sturgis for the babes.

The Black Hills

The Sioux and other tribes have been living in the Powder River Area and the Black Hills following the buffalo for generations. In an effort to keep the Indians from harassing the immigrants traveling the Oregon Trail a Treaty in 1868 guaranteed the black hills area to the Indians. In 1874 Custer lead an expedition to the area with enough men, horses and equipment, it left a trail still visible today. Custer was sent by the government to investigate rumors of gold in paying amounts. In 1875 after negotiations by the government to buy the black hills broke down, all hell broke loose leading to Custer biting it at Little Big Horn and the Indians biting it at Wounded Knee. The remaining survivor Indians of the area ended up on the Pine Ridge Reservation on the southern part of the Badlands  and miners and homesteaders claimed the Black Hills with government protection. In a previous post I mentioned what I thought of the Badlands and the Sioux got screwed. There are so many museums in the area, it will take me another 10 years to visit them all. I like the Black Hills and Sturgis for the history.

Want a place to ride your motorcycle with plenty of good roads, winding highways, great scenery, monuments to visit, caves, rivers, canyons, open prairie, lakes, mountains, neat old towns to explore then the Black Hills is your ride. Add in 200,000 other motorcycles during Sturgis Rally week and you will never be lonely or bored.  There are still many roads I have not been on yet and I do my favorites every year. If you only have time to ride one, make it Spearfish Canyon and then hang out for awhile at Cheyenne Crossing. Every gas stop, convenience store, parking lot is an event. Need a break, hang out on Deadwoods Main street and watch the action, donate a few dollars to the Casino’s, visit the historic buildings and take in a wet T shirt contest all in the same block. Visit the stoned presidents (Mt. Rushmore) and remember the sculpter did not even start on it until he was 62 years old, motivation for us guys over 50. Visit the Crazy Horse Monument and wonder if it will ever be finished in our lifetime. A must do for me every year is to visit Trout Haven and have pan fried fresh trout! I like the Black Hills and Sturgis for the riding.

bh lake

stone prez

bh bikes

hill city

road

STURGIS……….And then there is Sturgis itself! Anything goes, well almost anything, the cops have really cracked down on nudity in the City Limits. People go to Sturgis to be seen so if you like to people watch, this is the place. The crazier the better chance of being seen. Want your picture taken, then wear a Viking helmet with 2 foot long horns, even better a horn right in the middle. Make your motorcycle look like a tractor! Wear chaps and a G-String! Hang all kinds of gaudy crap on your motorcycle, paint it psychedelic colors. Stretch your bike until its longer than a car. Pull around a coffin with your motorcycle. If you don’t want to be seen then wear a black shirt with blue jeans and ride a black motorcycle.

Need something to do? Bring money, shop until you drop, anything you want can be found on any block. T shirts, patches, cups, hats, riding gear, jewelery, food, booze, want a Harley Davidson fishing pole; they have them. Need a tattoo, pick from 100 artists while everyone watches. Want a painted body, air brush artist waiting while everyone watches. Need a new outfit, change right there and try it out, again while everyone watches. Need your bike washed, bikini bike washes are everywhere. Want to sing Karaoke topless, go for it nobody cares whether you can sing or not, be a star! Bring money, even the cops have to stand in line at the ATM machines. Speaking of cops, they import them but I think they must qualify because they are pretty cool about everything, want a picture of yourself being handcuffed they will oblige. Want to keep your camera, don’t take pictures of Hells Angels and Sons of Silence. Bars are everywhere, live bands, people dancing on tables, bars and mud pits, there really isn’t a dance floor anyplace because everyplace is a dance floor. The whole idea is to have fun, be a little crazy and survive in one piece. Oh yeah I like Sturgis!cops at ATM

 

TRACTOR MC

STURGIS MAIN

STURGIS 3 WHEEL

DANCING ON BAR

MAIN STREET

BLACKBERRY SMOKE

STURGIS MAIN 3

STURGIS MAIN 2

LAST RIDE

BIKES………. Ten years ago the ratio of Harleys to all others was probably 100 to 1. Now the ratio is probably 20 to 1, all bikes are welcome nobody cares anymore. I prefer Harleys but the parking lot at my motel was a mix of Yamahas, crotch rockets, home made choppers, three wheelers, gold wings and Harleys. I think at least 60-70 percent are trailered. I really don’t get why you would trailer a full dresser (geezer glide) and nothing looks better to me than a fully packed up bike held together with bungee cords!

Harley brings out the new 2010 bikes, Indian is making a comeback and there in full force, every chopper builder you see on TV is there. The neatest new bikes to me were the brand new 2010 “58 panhead” look alikes. Pay attention and you will see a 1930’s harley go down the street, followed by a 46 Indian Chief. Real old school bobbers, Orange County style choppers, Beemers, sidehacks, v8 powered bikes and trikes and tricked out scooters. Every style, every type, every like and dislike motorcycle in one place. Noise making, heart thumpin, eye catching motorhead overload! Yeah I like Sturgis for the bikes!42 wla

 

wild paint

new chief

ol skool bobber

69 mc

new pan

A good friend of mine strongly recommended that I keep politics and religion out of this blog which reminds me of an old bar joke.

Bar Patron to Bartender, ” What church you go to?”

Bartender, ” Oh no, no religion discussions allowed in my bar!”

Bar patron, “Okay then, who did you vote for?”

Bartender, Oh no, no political discussions allowed in my bar!”

Bar Patron, ” Damn, how about sex, is sex discussions allowed in this damn bar?”

Bartender, ” Oh yeah, sex discussions is always allowed in my bar!”

Bar Patron, “Good, screw you!”

So against my buddies better advice, here goes! The main reason I like Sturgis is that I am pretty sure I am going to get along with everyone there before I even meet them. It is one of the most patriotic places on earth. There are American Flags flying everywhere, flags flying off bikes, flag stickers, flag paint jobs,  flag patches and flag pins. Every biker there has at least one including myself. Vets, they are everywhere, vet pins, vet patches, vet logo’s, vet license plates, honor guards, and veteran biker clubs of all types. It was good to see a lot of young veterans with Iraq, Desert Storm, Afghanistan patches, kind of reminds you how this whole biker thing got momentum after World War II, when vets returned home and needed a release. Not too political yet, huh. How about this, if only the people in Sturgis voted, Sarah Palin would be President by a landslide!

Well, Sturgis was fun, wish I could stay but I have to go eventually and now is the time. I had a blast!

Guess I will be leaving on the bike that started it all for me. Peter Fonda’s Easy Rider movie bike known as “Capt America”

See Ya!easyrider

Day 15

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

The blog is a couple of days behind and reality is that today it is time to go home. I will continue to post the last couple of days and I also have a couple of themed posts I want to do so make sure you keep checking

A good friend of mind took off on his own motorcycle journey a few days ago. He has been reading this blog and emailing me private comments. I asked him to keep a diary, slow down and have fun and hopefully I gave him some ideas and safe riding tips. He has been gone a couple of days now and I received this email from him last night. I found it rather humorous and describes rules of the road on a motorcycle so well that I thought I would share some of it.

Sleasy Rider Journal,

Coeur’d Alene Idaho this evening, 1120 miles, things zI have learned:

Harley’s get mad and puke, no reason they just do. Altitude, lugging, insufficient RPM’s, lack of attention, or just to mess with you, they once in awhile load up a little oil in the heads, burp thru the valvecase vents to the air cleaner and dribble oil out the filter case. You can obsess all you want, good old truthful HD mechanics will acknowledge it but won’t try to explain it.

Don’t overpack hardbags, they will pop open and donate your latest $135 Harley jacket to some other dork 20 miles behind following you that recognizes it not to be a piece of truck tire.

(From old Harley rider ata a gas stop). Don’t believe in heat gauges or oil coolers. HD designed a big reservoir of oil, they test the hell out of their motors in the Arizona summers and if they thought they needed them they would have put them on the bike.

Stop and get your rain gear on when you see rainy clouds, not when the rain starts.

Hail, NO!

Again, Hail NO!

Don’t overdrive the day.

If you set something on your Harley, the probability it will fall off is proportional to the cost of the item, unless you bungee it, it will fall off and hit the ground. Cameras, cell phones, or brand new helmets.

Speaking of bungees, if you want your nice t-bag rain cover  to stay on your t-bag, don’t rely on the elastic opening. Strong side winds , driving rains and passing trucks will rip it off and take it.

Every driveway is a potential dragon cave with a motorcycle eating dragon.

Even with the crappy weather, its still better and more fun than workin! On to Seattle, the sun is shining.

Ride on Pedro and thanks for the email, unfortuantely I can identify!

Well it is time to leave Sturgis, the bikes,new chief

the great roads, scenery and neat places

neat road

The crazy streets of Sturgis and the girlspastys

and now if I could only remember where I parked my bike, I would leave?where did i park my bike

Day 14

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

Cat is out of the bag and I am in Sturgis now, but I did jump ahead and left out the last day of getting here. How could I leave out the Corn Palace in Mitchell South Dakota. I know, I know, the Corn Palace? I though the same thing but the closer I was to Mitchell the more signs along the highway, the more I had to go see what the Corn Palace was all about. The Palace is actually a Civic Center, but the outside of the building is decorated with corn designs and updated annually. Its not all corn though, there is wheat, milo, and grasses thrown in.corn palace front

Various scenes from history in the form of picture panels surround the building and some are quite impressive. In a way it was the worlds largest bird feeder!corn palace lincoln

Western Ho and hit the highway again. This time in Chamberlain I took the route through downtown on a route I had not been before. At the end of town I stopped at a place that I had wanted to stop at in the past but never seemed to have the time. The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center is located within the boundaries of the St. Joesph Indian School. Unfortunately they would not allow pictures inside the museum but it was well worth the stop. It is set up as a tribute to the Sioux Nation and was the most authentic Native American Museum I have ever been in. sioux museum

Next stop, (see why it takes me so long to get anywhere!), was Dakota Ridge. A lot of scenes from the movie  Dancing with Wolves was filmed in this area and many scenes filmed in this 1880’s town. It is a popular gas stop on the route to Sturgis and I have stopped here many times, but this was the first time to visit the old town and the museums inside of each old building.  One building dedicated to the movie made me want to watch it again. (if i can sit still that long) and walking out into the street reminded me old cowboy songs. 1880s town

There is another brother that did not get named after the Younger Outlaw Gang and even though he is the biggest outlaw in the clan, Casey was named after rodeo legend Casey Tibbs. There was a whole building dedicated to Case Tibbs in Dakota Ridge and he must have been from this area.

casey tibbs

Another area is dedicated to Saddles, lots and lots of saddles! Hey Chief, I am pretty sure your saddle is 1880 to 1910, I will send you some pics when I get back.saddles

I plan to do a special Buffalo day on the blog when I get back, but couldn’t resist adding this pic now

buffalo bike

On to Sturgis as soon as I post bail.jail

Day (damn I can’t remember) updated!!!

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

Finally, I can’t remember what day it is. It didn’t take  this long last year on the Sturgis trip. Best part about taking off on a motorcycle trip is not caring what day it is, not caring where you are going and not keeping up with the news. A normal day for me in civilian life includes reading 3 or 4 papers on the net, listening to news on the way to work and then watching the news at night. It is a hard habit to break, but once I don’t do it for 2-3 days then all of a sudden I don’t miss it so much. Seems as if the world and life is a little easier now. Lets see, all I suddenly care about is whether the motor scooter is right and tight and what the weather appears to be. I don’t need a weatherman on the tube or the net, just look to the skies and use my judgement. Don’t need a map, use the sun and look to the skies and head the general direction on what looks to be an interesting road.

I am a little late posting this morning because I finally slept in a bit. The closer I get back to Sturgis the more bike traffic there is and these guys kept me up half the night, wish I could remember what we talked about to put in the blog .bikes at motel

The road to get me to this point took me through Europe, towns like Luxembourg, Neu Ulm, Dassel, and Holland. The signs are a mix of Indian Names mostly starting with “M” and the towns are named after the rich German, Bohemian and Finnish cultures that have immigrated to this area. My dad always called me a wild Bohemian when I was little and it took me years to realize it had many meanings. I couldn’t resist getting off the highway and touring the streets of New Ulm, having visited the cathedral in Neu Ulm Germany I knew this town with the same name had to be neat and I was not disappointed. High on a hill was a gigantic statue of some sort so I headed for it. What I found was “Herman the Cheruscan!”herman front

Herman the Cheruscan united the German tribes to fend off the invading Romans in 9 AD. He looks like a viking to me and he is in Minnesota! For $1.50 you could climb to the top of ole Herman, couldn’t resist that. Sign said it is the second highest statue of this type in the US, second to The Statue of Liberty. It did’t look that high but i found myself clinging to the inside the whole time I was up there.waving from hermann

From up here you can see the strasse of New Ulm. Riding through the Strasse of Neu Ulm gave you the feeling that you were truly in Germany, where is the Beer Garden?new ulm main street

Nice quiet streets of New Ulm. how relaxing, but on to Sturgis and looks like they have been waiting for me, the party has started!! It only took me 3200 miles so far to get here!

sturgis main

Day 12

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

After leaving the Mississippi headwaters the plan was to follow the river for awhile on what is called the Great River Road which goes all the way from the Headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, I am thinking that would make a great trip too! The compass in my head wanted me to go south but the signs said, nope the river heads north.  There are signs showing the National River Road route so I decided that maybe I should follow them even though it feels like I am going to cross the Canadian border soon.start of great river road

The river starts out as a 10 yard wide clear flowing stream and is hard to believe at this point that it turns into the muddy raging river that I witnessed in St Louis last year. The river road is turning out to be a great road, tree lined, winding, no traffic and perfect scenery. The deer  stands bother me a little and heighten my internal radar to pay a little closer attention, where there are deer stands, there are deer and there isn’t much room between the road and the woods. A bridge up ahead, slow down and sure enough, crossing the Mississippi River.miss river noth of start

The road finally makes a big loop east and then gradually starts trending south. I am starting to see why the license plates have the land of 10,000 lakes on them, the road weaves between one lake after another and all look  like a place you would want to stop and fish. Every gas stop is a bait and fishing supply stop. I thought Beer, Bait and Ammo was big in Arkansas but they have the market cornered up here. Wish I had time to stop and fish! I eventually wind my way to Brainerd and the river is getting wider.miss river north of brainerd

The other thing the gas stations have is ethanol in the gas and my Harley likes it once it is running but it is doing funny things trying to start. Ethanol laden gas must be harder to ignite because the ole scooter has never  been this hard to start. I try to find a gas stop without ethanol and it can’t be done. I haven’t came across any deer, even a dead one on the side of road so I think all the deer stands must be yard art. The dead raccoons and skunks were everywhere though. Oh yeah, lots of dead skunks, smell them a quarter mile away and smell them 5 miles afterward. I have a friend who told me that skunk smell clears any kind of headache so every time I smell a skunk, I think of that and the smell doesn’t seem to bother me anymore, saves on advil too. I couldn’t figure out how to fit this next pic into the story line so I will just throw it in here. Supposedly the largest bird statue in the world and I like Crows so had to take a pic.big crow

No interesting charecters for awhile, I need to get back to major Sturgis highway I guess. In fact I am starting to get anxious to head west, I’ve had enough of trees and water for awhile, I need the open space and its time to roll that throttle on the high plains.kid in sidecar

These people agree!

Day 11

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

Let me start by saying that I find myself looking forward to reading the comments every night as much as many of you say you look forward to the daily posts. I get almost as many emails from those I know who are reading and between the comments and the emails you the readers have made it fun for me too. I don’t know all of the people commenting but I do know a bunch of you and the diversity of the readers and commenters really amaze me. I would love to have them all in the same place, sit back, listen and watch. I am glad that I can take you out of your daily grind, even if just for a little bit and have you ride with me.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I don’t know what my father knew when he named my brothers and me after the outlaw Younger brothers, but he did, Jim, Bob and Cole. Brother Jim hasn’t weighed in on the comments yet, but he is a psychiatrist and is probably busy trying to psychoanalyze all of this and I am sure that would keep him busy for quite awhile. I don’t need much of a reason to go someplace but on this years Sturgis trip I decided I would like to go east, figured out about how far I could go and still make the last two days of Sturgis and picked Minnesota. Pulled out a map and started googling Minnesota History which is a great way to explore new territory. The James/ Younger outlaw stories of the Northfield Minnesota  Bank robbery came up many times and brought back old memories of studying my namesake before. I thought it would be really neat to take a picture of me on the scooter (iron horse) with my mask on and maybe even some play gun pistols in front of the Northfield Bank.  Now that you are set up….. I entered Minnesota ( I like saying Minnesotio) and was so tired of seeing old barns and corn that they were both starting to lose there color and the corn was growing so fast it was starting to block the view of everything else.

b and white corn field

Sooooo, I withdrew some  money legally out of the nearest ATM and decided to fore-go the Northfield Bank Heist idea. Maybe the church in Sioux Falls got to me, but the Bank heist didn’t turn out very well for Cole Younger in 1876 and I was having second thoughts about my idea with the mask and play guns.  The map showed lots of green and blue to the north and none of the roads were straight and I had a new idea forming in my head now. It didn’t take long until the ride north started taking on better scenery.

typ minn road

Last year the ride to Sturgis followed Route 66 from Amarillo to St. Louis and the goal then was to stick my feet in the Mississippi River and then make a left turn and head to Sturgis. The new idea this year was not to just stick my feet in the Mississippi but to walk across it. When you spend most of you life in the west you just assume the headwaters of all the major rivers start at some spring or glacier high in the mountains. I had never even thought about it much, but where does the Mississippi start, where are its headwaters? I started tracing it back on the map from the Twin Cities until even with my magnified glasses on I could not tell where it started. Following it on the map into Northern Minnesota and everything on the map just kind of blurs and turns blue, what the heck is going on?  Back to the Internet. 2o miles north of Park Rapids Minnesota it said, so I set my destination for Park Rapids.

It was dark, cold and raining when I finally made it to Park Rapids and found a place to stay. The place I stayed was on the Fish Hook River but I have never seen a river so still and quiet. It was a beautiful setting and the reflections on the water made some great pictures

still water

The next morning I took a walk across this bridge

red bridge

I walked across and on the other side was a boy fishing. “Catching anything” I asked. “Yes I caught a catfish, I think, it had stingers, that’s a catfish isn’t it?”

“Yes, I think that’s a catfish, what’s your name?”

“Owen” he said.

“Opie?” I said.

“NO, Owen!”

owen

The headwaters of the Mississippi river start in a lake. History has it that every 20 years or so, some explorer would claim to have found the headwaters and then name the place after himself. Eventually someone was smart enough  to actually ask the local natives and Ozawindib of the Ojibwe tribe  lead Henry Rowe to the headwaters which was the overflow from Lake Itasca.  I think part of the confusion then, was the same confusion I had trying to find the source of the river on the map. When you come from the south following the river you expect the source to head south, but it flows north before it actually bends its way back south gathering up all of the other runoff and turning into the mighty “Old Man River”.

Once I found the Itasca State Park and entered from the east, I took the road of all roads north to the headwaters, found the parking lot and started hiking for the river source. It was crowded and even though it would have been nice to have been there without all the people, I was relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one who was crazy. I peeled off my boots, rolled my pants up and slowly entered the river.

miss river cole cross

I could feel the current pushing me and the gravel bottom felt good on my feet, talk about being in tune with mother earth! I stopped looked out over the lake and watched the river begin 10 feet in front of me. Memories of the river in St Louis last year came flooding back to me.

miiss river cole cross 1

Wow, this is incredible, this is where it all begins, the mighty Mississippi River! This is what I came for and worth every rain soaked mile. Come on now, would you have done this with me if I hadn’t drug you along? They say if a raindrop falls here in this spot, it will take 90 days to reach the Gulf of Mexico, about the same time it seems to be taking me to get to Sturgis. As Horace Greeley once said, “Go West, young man”, I saddled up and did. Sturgis or Bust.

Day 10

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

“You going to Sturgis” I am headed east and the rest of the two wheel world is heading west towards Sturgis, but at gas and rest stops you can’t tell which way anyone came from. It is assumed that if you are riding then you are headed to Sturgis.

“Yes, eventually, in fact I just went through there a few days ago and will be going back, but first I am going….” They look at me like i am crazy. It is kind of neat to be headed the other way right now because I can see them all coming at me, its like a moving motorcycle show and quite entertaining. So far it is about 10 riders to every 20 trailers and it is obvious that some of the riders just unloaded from the trailer and are being followed by chase vehicles now. At every stop it is starting to be mini Sturgis and the excitement on their faces show. trailersgoing to sturgis

All those trailers headed to Sturgis! What would Sturgis be without all the good looking girls and all the crazies and how else would they get there if they didn’t go in cages and trailers, in fact I am glad the crazies aren’t riding! I have been keeping up with the Sturgis news at nights and they are predicting a larger turnout than last year. Based on the traffic headed that way I would agree but the local predictions are based on statistics and not what they see. The stats they use are number of accidents, arrests, tickets and worst of all, fatalities based on this time last year. All statistics are up from last year.  I did see one upside down in the median and saw some stupid riding that scared me.

Headed east and  am sick of corn fields, lots and lots of corn fields! The old barns are neat, the wind mills are neat, multi windmillls 1

round barn

I ended up in Sioux Falls SD on sunday morning. I could see this large old church steeples above everything so I headed for it. Some of the best city riding is early on Sunday mornings, no traffic and easy to go through the middle of big cities. Sioux Falls isn’t all that big a city but the ride through it was really enjoyable and had a really good feel to it.  I think I like Sioux Falls.

church in souix city

So, where am I headed?

It’s been pretty slow financially so I been talking to Jesse, Frank, and brother Bob about changing that. Jim is trying to talk us out of it, but says he is in if we do it. It is too hot around here right now and the agents are around all the banks and the trains, besides I don’t want to take these poor peoples money so I think we should rob a bank in Minnesota. Them dumb blockhead farmers should be easy to handle and I hear there is lots of money in the Northfield bank.

Cole (Younger)

Day 9

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

I spent the night in Murdo South Dakota which has one of the neatest motorhead museums you will ever find. Building after building of old rare cars, motorcycles, tractors and memorabilia. I had accidently stumbled on this place last year and wanted to come back but once I was there it seemed like I had seen it all before so this time I did not spend much time. There are a couple of Cole cars there and some other rare autos you may not see again so if you ever get the chance it is a must do.

i was anxious to get to the Missouri River

missouri river

First View of the Missouri River!

I love rivers as much as I love the mountains and the Missouri is one of my favorites. On last years trip to Sturgis I had followed the Missouri River from St. Louis back to this exact place and it was good to see it again and brought back memories from last years trip. I love the old bridges and the history that follows the River, I wanted to cross this old bridge but road construction prevented it so I had to take the boring interstate route acrossed it,

missouri bridge

While I was in the area I took the opprutunity to visit one of the many Lewis and Clark exhibits which is also another passion of mine. On last years trip I probably stopped at 20 such exhibits and had a hard time getting anywhere fast because of it. This year I needed to make better time. While there I took this pic of some of the instrurments they used in their travels for communication, mapping, documentation and it reminded me of my post on gizmos. There isn’t a lot of difference when you think about it. It gave me a great idea that I may have to pursue later on in life. Wouldn’t it be neat to retrace Lewis and Clark’s route using their diaries and sketches converting them into a blog with todays pictures and maps? Of course I would have to do it on a motorcycle. Merriweather Lewis was know as a great observer and documented everything he saw. I would read his blog today if he had one. They say that everytime Lewis and Clark went out they came across something new and wonderful.

lewis and clark

I stopped in Mitchell SD for gas and this guy pulls up with a trailer hauling two motorcycles. He caught me examining the trailer trying to figure out the mechanicals and couldn’t resist showing me how it works. I did a video of it and think I can build my own, especially after he told me it cost $5600!

tilt trailer

More on trailers and Sturgis later.

The road was calling so after watching the Hells Angels in action intimidating everyone else at the truck stop I startede to head east again, I have another river to see, but before I left I couldn’t resist this fella.

floppy eared dog

Todays post short because some hard riding ahead to get to the Mississippi! No time for spellcheck and phrasing either!

Cole

Day 8

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

I don’t intend to spend time in Sturgis until the last few days of the trip but I couldn’t be this close and not check it out early. I have been to Sturgis only once when it wasn’t bike week and it didn’t look the same, in fact I was sure it wasn’t the same place. It looked like a sleepy ranching and farm town and driving a car down main street seemed wrong! During the rally, main street is motorcycle only and there is barely enough room to walk. The rally officially starts this coming Saturday and this is only Thursday so I decided to check it out.

thursday before sturgis

There were a lot of vendors set up already and more setting up, actually quite a few people already but nothing like next week and it will be interesting to compare this same picture shot next week. I believe they officially block off main street Friday night to start the rally. While I was there I took the following Picture of this Old Indian Chief Motorcycle (this one is for you Chief!) The owner was trying to kick start it but the old scooter wasn’t cooperating. I commented that on my old Panhead kick only bike, the number of kicks to start was usually the same as the number of people watching so I would go in the store and not watch. He said, “I have owned this bike long enough to know when its time to just walk away for awhile” and he went in the store with me. When I came back out he was riding out of the parking lot.

old indian chief motorcycle

It is the 69th annual rally this year at Sturgis and that makes for some interesting artwork on the shirts this year, use your imagination. I rode around Sturgis for a bit only because I could and stopped to get gas. There I met a guy with a two dogs riding on his bike and I am a sucker for dogs, especially the floppy eared kind so I started talking dog talk to them and petting them. The old codger who owned them was struggling trying to get his credit card to work because he was having a hard time seeing the screen, after preventing him from putting diesel in his bike I decided he was having a hard time seeing anything.  I asked where he was going? ” Hey, me and my buddies are sleeping in some guys lawn on main street, its just a couple of blocks, wanna go, hey you can stay there, the dogs are pissed at me, hey I didn’t know it was so far down the canyon, hey come over to our yard” It was damn early in the day, but appears the Sturgis party has already started for a few. I told the dogs “It’s okay, he isn’t lost, his map is just broke that’s all” I think the dogs understood and wanted to go with me, but I secretly followed him to where he was going to make sure he made it okay.

I left Sturgis headed east and couldn’t resist stopping at the rest stop between Sturgis and Rapid City. I was walking the stairs up to the welcome center when I turned around and saw this couple and their high dollar chopper.

new bikers

Shortly after that,  this couple pulled up and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of both. You have your new style bikers with trailers fancy clothes, neat but not practical high dollar chopper and the old style bikers who look like them and their bike just rode through hell.

old style bikers

I then got a lesson from the lady at the travel center. “Where you going do you need a packet on the black hills?”  I said I would take a packet, but asked if she had anything on Pierre? She said, “Honey, Pierre is in room 20 and would love to see you but if you mean Pierre, (only she pronouced it peer)  here you go.” I said so is that how you say it, I just got a lesson in South Dakota history didn’t I? She laughed and said, I know its French and should be pronounced like you said it but up here we call it Peer and lets don’t even get into how we pronounce Bell Fourche. She was great travel host and such a great sense of humor. I found this next picture humorous as I was leaving the travel center.

video surveillance

On to the BADLANDS! Not much to say about the badlands except for they are appropriately named. Here is what it looks like entering.

riding into the badlands

There were actually people camping there and I had to ask myself why? I suppose if you like snakes and fossils it is a great place or maybe if you are a landscape artist but all I could think about is “No wonder Russell Means is so pissed off!”

leaving badlands

On to one of my favorite places when I go to Sturgis. If you go to Sturgis and need a day trip and some open road, go to Wall South Dakota and Wall Drug! If you can think of it they probably have it at Wall Drug. I had watched poker on TV last night and thought my skills were good enough so I made a date for a poker game behind Wall Drug.

card game

Luckily I got out of there with most of my money and my life, but I did get the girl!

picture girl

Bought a few souvenirs and made my way back to the highway with a smile on my face, I think Wall Drug will make you feel like a kid again and I had a smile on my face as I left.

in front of wall drug

On the way out I couldn’t resist a picture of this. As side note, there are a lot of motorcycles pulling trailers this year. I am guessing they don’t know how to pack using rubber bands and old clothes?

57 chevy motorcycle trailer

I will end today with the following bit of humor

related to sign

Gotta roll, it is a long way to the river!

Cole

Day 7

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

What day is it? It is der Mittwoch (Wednesday)

Guten tag, Wie geht’s (Hello, how are you?)

I am practicing my German because when I pulled up to the parking lot these two bikes were there first. I studied the tags for a bit and finally recognized them as German.

german bikes in lot

In the morning it was easy to spot them taking in the free continental breakfast at the motel since they were the only two bikers there. I asked if they owned the motorcycles with the German tags and they said ” Ya” I said good morning  in my best German, they gave me a second take and I thought, crap I must of messed that up. They started speaking German back and while I caught parts of it, I couldn’t keep up and had to give in and admit I did not understand. I asked their names a couple of times and never could get it right so I will just call them Hans and Heidi until they email me later and I can see their names in writing. Hans is a good looking dude with long grey ponytail, turquoise feather earrings and a really weathered vest with lots of American patches. Heidi was a great looking lady who had a terrific smile and they both had a great laugh that made you want to laugh with them. They had shipped their bikes to Denver and had been in Yellowstone the same time I was. They were headed back to Denver today to meet another friend who was landing tonight at 8pm and then they were headed to Sturgis. They had been to the US many times on bike trips but Hans said this was last time they would ship their bikes because it was gettingexpensive and the government was making it hard to do all the time so next year they will just rent. They had ridden all over the states on past trips but acted like they had never been to Sturgis during bike week. I gathered that by the questions they were asking, but could have been my bad understanding. I did impress Heidi with my directions giving the highway numbers in German. Hans promised to email me when they get back to Germany in 3 weeks and I wrote him directions to this blog. Will be fun if I see them again in Sturgis later.

hans and heidi

The road took me east and north not really sure where I was headed for sure so I looked to the skies for a little clarity.

smoke signals

Someone was sending smoke signals that said “go this way”

eagle says this way

The Eagle confirmed the way

devils movie

Where is it they are taking me?

ride by devils tower

Ah ha!  Devils Tower! If you have ever seen David Mann’s painting called “Ghost Rider’ the above picture was suppose to be a spin off of it or at least my version with thermos shining!  Thanks to the nice looking lady who used my camera and had great patience whoever you are? I also had her take a video but haven’t figured out how to embed into the blog yet.

pic at devils tower

There are many legends, folklore, and scientific reasons for how Devils Tower came to be but I subscribe to the following true story of how it really happened.

Many, many years ago when there were still many buffalo and no metal rails with cross ties and Custer was still a sparkle in his momma’s eye, two young Sioux children were playing in the meadow. Out of the woods came three big bears and they surrounded the children. The medicine man heard the children screaming and he went running to their aide only to realize three bears was getting closer to the children and he would not get there in time to fight them so he stopped looked up to the sky, started dancing and shaking sticks to the sky when the ground under the children started rising and rising  and rising taking them to safety high in the sky. The three bears still attempted to claw at the ground as it rose creating the long claw marks you see in the above picture. They say the children are still up there playing and the medicine man turned into a hawk who now circles the  tower protecting them.

Rolling East!!!! Cole

Day 6

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

What a day it was yesterday and I ended up in Sheridan which is one of my favorite Wyoming towns. The rain had finally quit coming down out of the Bighorns and the valley below was green, fresh and warmer, I almost kept going because the riding was so good. The rain stopped, but was replaced with critters and those critters were getting closer to the road all the time. I have a rule that I don’t ride at night and that includes evening when there are this many critters wanting to say hello so I stopped in Sheridan for the night. After a fine dinner, lay out the rain clothes to dry and check the baseball scores I settled down to catch up on the blog. I kept hearing ” Is that all, $3.50 and pull up to the next window”  The motel I stayed in looked great from the front but the noise was coming from the back? Opened the sliding door to the back to find the Dairy Queen drive up window in my back yard. Damn, I hope they aren’t open all night? Oh well, make the best of it and a chocolate dip cone sounds pretty good later and besides it looks like I can park my bike almost on the back deck.dairy queen drive up 1

I wake up to look at what appears to be winter outside; cold, windy, dark low clouds swirling and of course rain! Its 45 frigging degrees! If there was a theme song playing in the background for the last three days it would be “Raindrops keep falling on my head”  Going   to work on my psyche today  to enjoy this ride today, but “I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’ Because I’m free Nothin’s worryin’ me. I kept singing  that last line over and over, okay pysch work done, “Lets Roll” no more whining about the weather! AND look at that wonderful Wyoming road! rain on the plain

GIZMO’s

gizmos 5

I have been asked before, “You really take your laptop with you on the motorcycle?” Yes I do and a few other GIzmo’s too! What you see in the above pic takes the place of 40 lbs of tools, a briefcase, folders of work, maps, big books, and allows me to work from the road on a motorcycle. ” Hey boss, I am in Gillette and I am sure I met with some customers today, think I can write this one off on expenses? You know, I think I can keep up with work just fine riding around writing travel stories, what do you think boss? Okay, maybe not quite as effective, but does allow me to stay in the loop at work and keep up with the higher priority decisions from the road.  The little blue GPS is something I debated using for a long time on the bike, the fact is I like getting lost and if I turned it on it would give me directions and I hate that! Neil Peart who some view as the greatest rock drummer ever and a member of the band “Rush” also happens to be one of the best motorcycle travel writers ever and named his GPS “DUFAS” (check out the book, ghost rider by Neil Peart) I named mine DUFAS JR. Sometimes Dufas helps me find my way out of a jam when I am low on gas, but the best use so far is Dufas can locate  the nearest Starbucks in the middle of nowhere.  Dufas is also a damn tattletale! I turn it on in morning and end of day it gives me history, sometimes embarressing history like, Moving time, 3 hours 20 minutes, stopped time, 4 hours  30 minutes, top speed, 89 mph ( i was passing a truck) avg speed 24.7 mph. Hey there was a lot to stop and see today! Sometimes Dufas tells me which way to go and I get to practice being a man and don’t go that way.  Did you know some of the best paved roads in the mountains go for 20 to 50 miles and then end with no way out? I think Dufas has a sick sense of humor.

While BRO BOB is assistant chief of the Kansas Deleware Tribe, I am  also a member and assistant chief of the FUCARWE Tribe. The Fucarwe’s are a nomadic tribe of warriors who travel by iron horse and roam the mountains and plains looking for wild game. They often stay up late practicing ancient rituals and consuming too much firewater. Most of the time they wake up in the morning look around and say “where the Fucarwe?”

fucarwe tribe 3

Okay, I had to keep today light hearted for a change and the sticker on this bike at a gas stop says it all!

missing person 4

The damn Dairy Queen closed before I got that DIP CONE!!!

Lets Roll!

Day 5

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

CODY WY.

Another rustic cabin type motel, only this one has one of the best beds I have ever slept in and I would highly recommend the Cowboy Lodge to anyone visiting Cody Wyoming. It was still raining at check in and the owner even offered up his car if I wanted it. There was a chuck-wagon restaurant with country show next door but Bubba’s BBQ was about a mile up the road so off into the rain again for BBQ.

cody motel 1

Didn’t get to sleep in because even though I am on vacation it doesn’t mean I can ignore work completely ( at least not this early into the vacation, it gets easier later) and I had a couple of early morning conference calls to participate in.  After the calls, it was an easy laid back morning and off to downtown Cody to tour around and shop. Downtown I met a Shaman with a feather and a crystal ball and willing to read my fortune for 50 cents, not one to pass up a bargain I stuck my quarters in the machine and Shaman printed my future for me. He said a call from a stranger will have a pleasant surprise for me ,damn, now I have to start answering my cell phone. He also said that those who have tried to interfere with my happiness will soon find out they have no influence over me at all, ole Shaman pretty darn smart so far. Then he said my calm spirit will see me through emergencies, good omen for a trip like this I think. 50 cents seems like a pretty good deal to see my future.

Finally leave Cody and head east towards the Bighorns. I have taken the southern route from Cody to Sheridan before and decided to take the northern route this time even though the road construction signs were telling my not to. Something seem to be pulling me that direction. The route took me through Powell and then Lovell and on up into the Bighorns. It was a 10 percent grade to the top and  on top before getting deep into the mountains I found  a spot to park and look out over what appeared to be the whole state of Wyoming, at least the plains. I have posted the pic but it didn’t really do it justice.

Bighorn basin 3

Deeper into the mountains a sign appears “Historic Medicine Wheel”, turn left and road immediately turns to dirt and becomes one lane, oh well I’m committed now so I  keep going.  Another couple of miles and the one lane road ends at a parking lot and the remainder of the road is blocked off and turns into a walking trail. I ask the ranger if Ineed to sign in or anything and she said “No, but it is a 1 1/2 mile trail to the wheel”.  I looked up the trail and almost chickened out, it was late looked like rain and that darn trail was steep but hey, I’m here and already committed and the wheel was now becoming a magnet.

long walk medicine wheel 4

The Medicine Wheel is estimated to be 10000 years old and how it got there or the reason it is there is shrouded in mystery but it is still in use today by native Americans as a place of spiritual meaning.  The wheel measures approximately 80 feet in diameter and is made of rocks with a central cairn and 28 rock spokes radiating to the outer rim. Placed at various intervals around the rim are six smaller cairns of which 5 touch the outer rim leaving one of the cairns about 10 feet outside the circle. The wheel is a place where many have experienced their vision quest, a place of ritual, a place of prayer, a place of lasting vision. Native Americans and others have left offerings around the perimeter of the wheel.

medicine wheel 5

medicine wheel offerings 6

I slowly circled the wheel taking in all of the offerings left by others and on the second trip around around I stopped on the west side of the wheel in front of one of the cairns. Facing the east I put my hand on one of the posts and I am not sure what happened next, I seemed to be in a trance and the wind came up and blew really hard for 2-3 minutes. I think it was 2-3 minutes, it could have been longer, I lost all sense of time. When I came to, the wind had stopped and I looked over and saw a young lady looking at me like I was a ghost. I smiled at her, but she just continued to stare at me, I turned and walked the other way and started the long trek back down the trail. I seemed to have a lot of energy I didn’t have before, I felt warmer too.

medicine wheel view 7

The above picture is a the view  from the trail leading to the Medicine Wheel. The wheel is located above 10,000 feet and near timberline,  there was still snow in a few spots along the trail. I finally made it back to the trail head and sat on my bike a minute looking back towards the top of the mountain where the wheel is and all I could do was say WOW.

I slowly made my way down the dirt road back to the pavement where I met another biker who was stopped.  He asked if the dirt road was good enough for a motorcycle and if it was worth seeing the wheel. I told him the road was good enough for a motorcycle but once you got to the trail head it was another mile and half of walking. He said “f ck that” and started his bike and turned around. Stupid white man I said to myself.

I headed east and the road gradually climbed in altitude and eventually came to the road construction the signs  had warned me about and suggested that I take another route. It was my lucky day because they must have been rained out and even though the signs warned of flagmen and long delays, I never saw them and was able to cruise on through, albeit at 25 mile an hour. I have read about people travelling to Alaska on motorcycles and they described the road as a muddy path where they would often spin out and fall over, pick it up and go again only to spin out and fall over again. Eventually they would make it over the hill only to repeat the process again going uphill. The road I was on now had turned to mud and I was going uphill and thoughts of the Alaskan highway tales filled my mind.

alaskan highway 8

Did I spin out and fall over? Stay tuned.

Cole

Day 4

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

Characters

I am outside wandering around the parking lot of the motel  drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette when I can’t resist taking a better look at this old style passenger snow cat type sled  out by the main drag. It is mechanical, has a motor, looks old so I am naturally attracted and start looking her over in detail. She has the name DeLacy painted on the door right above where my hand was as I slowly pulled the handle to see if it was locked. It wasn’t locked and I looked inside. Wow, this looks like a Hot Rod, its got a sun super tach, wooden homemade dash, a B&M ratchet shifter and a huge old looking steering wheel. The bucket seats in front are custom and the seating in the back is shaped in a horse shoe pattern.

Delacy and Old Hippy 1

“She’s a beauty isn’t she”

Oh no, busted!

“I’m the driver of that sled, been driving this one for 18 years.” Mike had walked up behind me and started giving me the history of DeLacy. She was designed and built by a fella named Bombardier and the snow coaches as they are called are also called Bombardiers. Built originally in 1939, they essentially use the same design now as they did then. They were used for school buses, rescues, mail and military transport and they are still used for that today only now they are mainly used for tourist. I will have more pics in my main website since it is truly a motorhead wonder once you start looking at it. This one has a 5.3 liter chevy vortec , fuel injected with a turbo 400 transmission. Mike was there because in the summer he provides hotel shuttle service for tourists and was waiting for his South African passengers to come down from their room. Mike has lived in West Yellowstone all his life and considers himself one of the luckiest guys alive. I agree he just might have one of the best jobs ever. He said that he was just an ol hippy and didn’t need much to make him happy. He bummed a smoke from me and I offered him a light. “oh no this is for later after I dump the passengers off” I asked if he needed matches to take with him and he replied, “no I have a lighter so I can smoke a bowl after I let them off at the airport” I see where the old hippy thing comes from now.

Paul in West Yellowstone

I wandered downtown to the main drag in West Yellowstone seeking a cup of coffee from the little coffee stand I spied the night before. I found it, bought a cup of jo and sat down and there was Paul. First thing i noticed was a grey ponytail hanging out from under his doo rag and a tattoo of an eagle on his neck. Both hands covered with tats and all of the tats were black. They looked like prison tats to me, the kind done with black ink from pens and done with crude instruments. Paul spoke first and then Paul spoke some more and Paul spoke last, Paul like to talk. He is from Lake Charles Louisiana and now lives in New Mexico because that is where the railroad started sending his checks so he figured they wanted him to move and work there. He wants to move, too much crime he says. He is retired from the rail road now and travels around on his motorcycle looking for a woman. Most he finds think he is too old and most say they already had one like him and traded it in for a younger better looking model. Paul had lots of stories and was great coffee company. For some reason I expected Paul to still be there when I left town later that morning  telling stories,  but he was gone.

painted Buffalo 3

On every corner of West Yellowstone there are buffalo statues painted by different artists. I really like this one and wondered what it would look like in my pasture. Maybe I should come back August 29th and buy in one in the auction that benefits the downtown urban renewal projects.

Gotta go get wet and been saving lots of money on sun screen.

in front of waterfall 7

Day 3

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

tepee

Spent the night in Thermopolis Wyoming at a motel connected to the worlds largest Hot Springs pool and I finally figured out what wasn’t in my pack, ….my swimming suit.  It was late and I don’t think they were going to be very proud of me soaking in the minerals naked so I had to forget  the hot springs. The pic is a fountain where the  flow of  hot springs is upward and over time the minerals harden to form what they call a Hot Springs Tepee. There were two in the park. I don’t know how long they have been growing these monsters but i thought they were really cool.

Day 3 started with my normal trip routine. I overslept, okay not that routine but the one where I find gas, orange juice and take my trip vitamins. For some reason I can’t remember to take them at home (or choose not to), but on a road trip I do well. At the gas station there was another Harley and an older couple at the pumps getting gas. When they were done they pulled up beside me while I was doing the vitamin orange juice routine in the shade. I noticed the Nebraska tag so I struck up the conversation first by asking what part of Nebraska they were from. They were from Norfolk and said they had left on July 7th and rode to Fairbanks Alaska and had only been in the rain once.  Surely  that is a good omen. We talked awhile and  I’m thinking I hope I am still riding at their age at what I estimate to be mid to late 70’s!
My route was pre-planned to John and Tracy’s near Meeteese  Wy which means “Meeting Place” in Shoshone.  I also learned that Butch Cassidy was once a Meeteese resident and that the Black Footed Ferret is the town mascot. Amazing what you can learn by reading a road sign.  I missed the turn to John and Tracy’s but when I went by on the hill and looked down at where their place was I thought I saw somebody sitting out by the fence so I waved before turning around. When I finally found my way down the winding dirt road whoever it was sitting on the fence wasn’t moving and it was also nobody I recognized. I later learned the old Indian’s name was Victor. “Where the hell did you get that?”  “Get What?”  ” That old Indian sitting on the old plow!” “Oh, that’s Victor, I was hauling trash to the dump and Victor was sitting in the bottom, I couldn’t leave something like there now could I?” I have to admit I couldn’t leave something like that in the dump either. John initially took Victor with the intent of sitting him on a friends toilet seat as a joke when nobody was home, but he got caught in the act so he rode around town with Victor in his truck and took him home. He had to leave town so he just left Victor in his old trash truck and called his wife to tell her that an old Indian named Victor whom he  found at the dump was going to stay at the house while he was gone. His wife was not impressed and you can only imagine the rest of that conversation. ” It is okay, he will sleep in the truck” Only after she got home and finally decided to go talk to Victor to see if he was alright did she meet the real Victor.
victor
Â
east entrance pic 4Where do you like to go in Mexico?
I don’t.
You ever taken a cruise on a ship?
Nope.
You ever been to Europe?
Yep.
Ever been to Hawaii?
Nope.
It goes on and on whenver the topic of vacations comes up. Most people I talk to figure vacation means the most exotic places or you have to do a cruise or fly. Not me, and I really can’t believe you have lived until you see the largest ball of twine in Cawker City Kansas or Jessie Jame’s hideout in Merimac Caverns Missouri or a Pony Express Station in Nevada. Maybe not the most exotic places, but people from all over the world come to the good ol USA to see them and best of all I can visit them without flying or taking a cruise ship. Okay maybe they don’t come to see the above places but they do come to Yellowstone National Park. I stood behind them in every line today, couldn’t understand a damn word,  but they smiled and took my picture. I was amazed at the foreigners who had rented Harley’s and were taking a riding vacation American Style, they were everywhere and most are going to end up the same place I am at Biker Mecca; Sturgis. I think they got it right!
clouds panaoramic pic 4b
Yellowstone. Once you enter the East Entrance from the Cody side you are immediately struck with the beauty. You look up and note the road is not that far from timberline and there is still snow on the slopes and glaciers. A lot of rain this year and everything is green and lush. The areas that burned a few years ago are now full of wildflowers in all colors! Buffalo, Elk, Deer and Raptures are everywhere. The Buffalo are mostly on the road making fools out of the tourists and playing chicken with the motorcyclists. I let them win every time.
wildflowers pic 6
buffalo pic 9
The Buffalo like to stand in the middle of the road stopping traffic but only when it is raining hard so I get extra soaked. The tourist like to stop in the middle of the road stopping traffic to take pictures of anything that moves but only in the hard rain so I get extra soaked. I know they couldn’t understand English because signs everywhere said do not stop in middle of road and do not bother wildlife. I wanted to post a sign that said please keep moving because I am friggin soaking ass wet!  Wouldn’t have mattered.
To add further misery, what is that little white ice stuff falling from the sky?
And why are all those motorcycles shopping at the same time?
rain sleet pic 5
Enough whining, if you don’t ride in the rain then you don’t ride. A soaked lady rider I met today told me she was real tired of hearing that . She was not a happy camper.
Cold, wet, tired, hungry, it all goes away when you get the chance to experience a once in a lifetime world wonder like Old Faithful. I waited and waited and waited and true to her name she came. It was truly awesome and I am so glad I waited. I got even withthe Buffalo too, Tenderloins, medium well with a cold beer.
See ya tomorrow and kisses!
old faithful pic 8

DAY 2

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

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 but 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.

motel in walden pic 1

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.  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 main streetpic 2

Walden is a really good place to visit on a motorcycle and 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 got rained 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 day   deep Africa. Here we were in Wyoming, and in the bar with us were  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!

Wyoming Plains pic 3

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 Sturgis 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!

wind river soaked 8

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.OLD ROCK PIC 6

It’s late and there is so much more to tell but I must sleep, tomorrow Yellowstone!

horse in house pic 3

see ya tomorrow

DAY 1

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

Poudre River
Poudre River

Doesn’t feel like Day 1 because i am getting ready to head to the office. Was up late last night packing and getting the bike ready but didn’t get that done either. Somehow later today i know it will all come together. Do a few packing things this morning, head to the office, finish a few work items and patiently wait for my turn on project reviews and hopefully head out in dry weather later. Have decided to go through Poudre Canyon to Walden Colorado and maybe make Saratoga Wyoming tonight.

Hey we’re off, a lot later thanI expected but it feels good to finally be on the road.  Have never been happy with the digital camera that I currently have so I stop at Walmart to buy one that I do. Off course it needs charged so today’s pics are with the current camera. Buying the camera was a story in itself that I will save for another time!  Stop to get gas and have my first encounter, well actually my second encounter not counting the lady at the camera department at Walmart that asked way too many questions. This was my first encounter with what seems to find me on every motorcycle trip. People who want to talk! My job requires me to talk, talk talk, I have blisters on my ears from the cell phone , and have to talk to people constantly whether it is fellow co- workers or customers and one of the main reasons I enjoy riding so much is I don’t have to talk to anyone and they can’t talk to me. That is until I stop, which I do often. My wife says I have “that look” whatever that is, and  that makes people think they can walk right up and talk to me. I guess the bad ass biker look isn’t working for me or else people like to talk to bad ass biker looking people. So, “what kind of bike is that, where you going, i had a harley once, my brother has a harley, where you from, my dad has a harley, wanna buy some grass.” I think the best one ever was when i was first in line stopped at a road construction project and the flagger said “my life for yours” That one always stuck with me.

Anyway it feels great to be back on the road and now in Poudre Canyon. WOW, why has it been so long since i have been here! Following the Poudre River on a winding mountain road, a good road too! Rock walls on both sides, smell of pines in the air and lots of foliage from all the rain this year.scenic mtn lake pic 6

I even found a dirt road

i even found a dirt road

Lake at Cameron Passpoudre falls pic5Poudre Falls

I do notice smoke a couple of miles off the main road and smell it too. I hope it stays wet because there is a lot of tinder with all the early rains and the beetle kill pines.  I do run into an occasional mountain shower but nothing serious, it only enhances the smells of the forests. It is also getting colder as i get closer to Cameron Pass. I always stop to take a pic of the bike on Mtn passes with the pass sign in the background and even though i have been over this pass before i don’t remember a picture, at least not a digital picturemoose pic 9 . Sorry about the pic not being real clear but the elevation is 10,276 ft.  Shortly after i go over the pass i see what i thought was a huge boulder moving. Okay i know its high up here but a boulder moving doesn’t make sense so i turn around. As i get closer i can see a huge black brown looking thing moving in the bushes. I initially thought it was a bear but as i got closer it was a moose. I pulled over to get the camera out and it is only about 30 yards away. I was trying to be quiet (yeah on a harley, right) and in a hurry thinking it was going to run off. Whatever berries or flowers it was pulling off the bushes must have been tasty because it could care less whether i was there or not. I shot about 10 pics and then cars started stopping everyplace and taking pictures. Of course i couldn’t understand half of them and of course they kept trying to get closer until it decided it was time to go back into the woods. I try not to stereotype but does every oriental person come stock with a NIkkon around the neck?

moose pic 10

I never made it past Walden and found a rustic log cabin type motel to hole up in for the night. Seeing the moose was a real highlite of my day! I am sitting outside on a cool but nice night writing this and life is good!

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Day Before

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

DO NOT GO WHERE THE PATH MAY LEAD, GO WHERE THERE IS NO PATH AND LEAVE A TRAIL.

It is the eve of day one and here i am in the shop playing on this damn computer instead of getting ready and i am so not ready.

Here is the bike i ride, its a 2005 Springer Classic  This years motto

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

save the soul
LET”S ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The art of packing a motorcycle for 2 weeks. I know some that only take a couple pair of pants and wear chaps everyday but i hardly wear chaps anymore so here is what i do. During the year i save all underwear, socks, shirts and jeans that are worn out and have holes in them. I roll up tight with rubber bands and pack. When the “holy” (I’m so blessed) clothes get dirty they go in the trash making room for all the souvenirs i buy along the way.
packing 2
Yep that’s two weeks worth right there!
Ok, i might have to do laundry once if i happen to be close to a laundromat during a rain storm