This Place They Call Sturgis

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

It has been fun taking everyone along on the trip with me and I hope you enjoyed as much if not more than I did. It is my last day here and I have a few annual rituals to partake in and then the ride back home. I have really really enjoyed the comments and will answer a lot of them when I get back.

The rest of my fellow men are still showing up to trade in their wares.

And with any luck maybe they can trade in for this old indian

Or with a lot of luck this newer model (providing I don’t trade for it first)

Yep Buddy that is an airplane motor, these guys are crazy!

In the meantime I must participate in annual pow wow and festive dancing

And it gets wilder by the hour.

If you go looking for me, then I am here someplace.

But don’t look to hard, I may not want to be found, I am happy here!

The Hills are Alive

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

“All together now, sing”

“The hills are alive with the sound of Music”……. At least it is music to my ears.

A New York based group opposing noise pollution has made claim that the governor of South Dakota should be arresting people instead of leading the ride to Mount Rushmore on the first day of the Sturgis Rally. The governor’s response? ” We don’t mind a little noise, it is just the sound of people having fun.”  Just the biggest soap opera on bikes ever made. “Welcome to Sturgis!!

I have finally found this place they call “STURGIS!” where all the metal horses go!

The pretty maidens even want to wash my metal horse!

Some of the natives have very strange metal horses!

SOme natives make fun of those who bring metal horse by wagon

I happen to like the native costumes

And at night the costumes become festive

The Indians even have their own metal horse

And do strange native dances

And play drums real loud and have strange names like “Guns and Roses”

After night of too much firewater, I need a medicine man bad and this only metal horse they let me ride home!

Butte and Can’t talk anymore

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

As I write this, I have logged 2700 miles and would expect another 600 or so before I get back to home base. A little less than the last 3 years but this year I didn’t want to get to far away from Sturgis and have to push it hard to get there.  I have recently read a book on the history of Montana so I knew I wanted to visit Butte. You can google Butte and learn all of the details but here is my quick take. Once known as the richest hill on earth during the 20’s, Butte now looks like it could fall apart and crumble any minute. The city is surrounded by these underground mine frames.

The underground mines were controlled by the then: three copper kings. With the advent of electricity, copper prices were high and the three copper kings were constantly trying to out manuever each other and gain control. One of the copper kings lived here.

The copper kings built their mansions and then surrounded themselves with their own doctors and lawyers and their mini mansions surrounded the king’s mansion.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the sign on this house that was next to the copper king, it kind of reminded me of the company I work for and I wonder when we will have a full time lawyer on staff.

If you love old wrought iron fences like I do then you should visit Butte, it is full of them.

Eventually one of the copper kings joined up with Rockefeller and the underground mines were shut down and converted to open pit mining. The company became the Anaconda Mining company. In 1977 ARCO bought the Anaconda company and then shut it down in 1982 due to low copper prices. They resumed some mining off and on floating with metal prices and eventually shut down all in 2003. In the process one of their largest pits starting filling up with water…..extreme acidic water and then became the largest environmental disaster on the EPA’s superfund list. Arco is responsible for the clean up which has only recently begun. Guess who owns ARCO?

There are 100’s of Victorian style houses that are begging for restoration like this one.

 The alleys are filled with treasures like this one. I would love to go pickin in Butte, I am sure it is full of neat old stuff that can be bought very reasonably.

Hey! This guy didn’t get the memo that all Elkhorn Trucks should be backed in! (inside joke)

Now that I have bored you with History Class it is time to turn this pony around and head to Sturgis. The road took me through Billings. Hey I didn’t know Gilly was here? (another inside joke)

I would like to tell you a lot more about Butte and work some more on the phone and blackberry but I am getting close to Sturgis now and I can’t talk anymore.

Why can’t I talk to you any longer?

Well, like I said, 2700 miles, my butt hurts, my back hurts and I need to get a topless massage!

8emessourit

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

It seems as if the commenters think “Two Feathers” has lost his way and became one with the road that goes nowhere?

“What you have done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do-especially in other peoples minds. When your traveling, you are what you are there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.”  William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways.

 It is time to leave the Yellowstone National Park.

It was time to figure out where to go from here, I could go anywhere I wanted and what a great feeling that is! I parked by a canyon to ponder a bit, my health feeling quite tolerable and thoughts of doing this forever.

“Okay Mr. Hawk, which way now?”

“Oh really, a place with three forks, much history, and a place to mark the end of this journey before turning into where the sun comes from? Okay I will go there now.”

“What is this place, there are kids having fun?”

“There are people fishing? (at least she is, he is doing all the work)

“There are dogs swimming?”

“Three forks, one river, what is this place?”

“Oh, I get it now, it is the 8emessourit, the Algonquian word for “people with canoes made of logs’ later shortened to Missouri!”

It is time to turn this metal horse around, have no doubt it will find its way to the land of many metal horses with warriors drinking firewater and offering the pretty maidens many gifts! In fact, I better keep Chief Guyasuta’s phone number handy, you never know when you may need a good medicine man with the power of the white mans law.

I really appreciate all the comments, every one of them! The names have kept a lot of people guessing and been fun too! Keep it up, it only gets better from here as I close in on Sturgis!

Yellowstone and the Bear

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

When somebody screams “Sharks!” on some beach on the ocean everybody gets out of the water as fast as they can. When somebody screams “Bear!” in Yellowstone, everybody grabs a camera and runs for it.

Third trip through Yellowstone and all the trips in the mountains I have never seen bear in the wild. I have seen the old pictures and movies of when the bears would come up to your car in Yellowstone, but they have done a good job of making the  bears wild again. To see a bear now in Yellowstone is rare. This year there have been two fatalities related to Grizzley Bears in Yellowstone, but I still would like to see a bear in the wild. This fella will have to do for now.

Just like the Medicine Wheel, I wasn’t planning to go through Yellowstone again, but when you are this close how could you not. I rationalize that there are roads inside the park on the north end that I haven’t been on yet. I wasn’t expecting a parade in my honor when I got there, but hey I will take it!

I call this next picture Sheena

Made me miss my dog!

While I was watching the parade my Homies from the Kansas Patriot Guard, the Police and my official mascot the “Crow” guarded my motorcycle.

It was time to leave West Yellowstone and enter the park. Traffic seems a lot less this time, maybe related to the economy or maybe everybody is scared of the bears. The sign at the entrance does indicate that all the campgrounds and motels inside the park are full though. I ended up doing two full days in the park when I only planned one. This is part of the reason!

A biker I had met outside the park who was going to Yellowstone for his first time asked me what my favorite part was?

“Oh, the waterfalls!. Now wait, what I really like is on a cool early morning looking out and seeing all the hot thermal springs steaming on the hills.”

I am standing by a creek looking at all of the cut throat trout through the clear water, looking around at the mountains and the thermals when all of a sudden I hear a splash. I could barely grab my camera in time to get this once in a lifetime expirience! I wonder if this Osprey has a fishing license?

Somehow I got turned around and ended up in the south end of the park again when I meant to be in the north end. Maybe I wasn’t lost.

“Hmmmm, maybe all these cars are stopped for a bear? Nope, another herd of Buffalo. Wait, another traffic jam, maybe it’s a bear? Nope, a bunch of Elk, thats cool. What are all those people stopped for? Maybe a bear? Nope, three moose laying down by the river. Oh well, maybe some other day.”

Getting late, need to find my way out of here. I am on the north end now pointed the right direction and only 10 miles or so before the north end park gate at Mammoth Springs. “Hmmm, maybe, no there is only two people stopped probably some more buffalo.” I zoom on past. “Wait, hey, turn this scooter around, wow, yes yes yes!!!!”

Beartooth Highway

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

“You can’t park there.”

“I’m just taking a quick break, my butt hurts, I will be gone in a minute.”

“Okay, but I got 90 Rotarians coming and I need all the parking space I can get.”

’90 what?”

“Rotarians! They reserved the whole inn and they are going to be here any minute. You gotta move.”

“Okay okay, but you aren’t going to get 90 people parked here.”

“I know. I don’t know what I am going to do, most are coming in an old Yellowstone tour bus from the 30’s. You gotta move, they are going to be here any minute.”

I had just pulled over to rest in a place called Bear Creek inn. It was the first place I had seen to pull over in the last 50 miles. The guy telling me I couldn’t park there was a nervous wreck. He was pacing back and forth from where I was parked to looking up the highway, chain smoking. The parking lot was maybe good for 20 cars or 50 motorcycles. I could tell he was nervous about me wanting to go inside and eat or worse yet for him, drink and mix it up with his Rotarians.  I had been in Montana maybe a couple of hours and this was my greeting?

“Where you going, Beartooth? I wouldn’t go up there now, look its raining. They say it’s bad lightining up there too. Where is that damn bus, I don’t know what I am going to do.”

The guy was driving me crazy so even though I wasn’t ready, I fired up and left him standing there looking up the highway and pacing. I was only 20 or so miles from Red Lodge Montana where I planned to stay the night only now I was worried it would be full of Rotarians and I might have a hard time finding a room. Here comes his damn bus!

I think the guy is going to be okay, the bus wasn’t full and there was maybe 6 or 7 cars full of Rotarians following it.

Red Lodge Montana! What a neat town and starting to see a lot more motorcycles. Room was easy to find too. I had the best pizza I ever had at a little restaurant called Bogart’s that was full of local memorabilia and Humphrey Bogart pictures.

I wasn’t sure what to expect on the Beartooth highway, all I know is a lot of bikers talk about it and Charles Kuralt calls it “America’s most beuatiful road.”  Everybody in town is either talking about bears or the highway.

18 incidents of black bears entering homes in recent weeks, sounds like the highway is appropriately named!

Nothing could prepare me for the Beartooth highway. I thought I had ridden the best mountain roads already with Trail Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park and The Million Dollar Highway between Durango and Ouray but nothing yet compares to this road. Up and up and up switchbacks that seem to never end. I think I am about done with them, look up and see traffic at least another 2000 foot above me on more switch backs. 100’s of motorcycles going both ways and the ones coming down seem to be dressed warmer than those of us going up. I finally get to an observation area that I think must be the top because the parking lot is full and a lot of bikers are digging in bags for more clothes. The view from this area shows the roads below.

I take off expecting to reach the top just around the corner, okay maybe the next corner, well just over this rise and around the next corner. Holy cow how much further, I have been riding in frozen tundra for 10 miles now! Snowpacked glaciers, high mountain lakes and………ROAD CONSTRUCTION! Somehow I got stopped in gooey tar in the construction zone, there must have been an inch of tar stuck to my tires and they were picking up every piece of gravel in the road. Ka-thump, ka-thump ka-thump, it felt like I had a flat tire and the bike was wobbling all over the place. If it wasn’t so cold up here I would pull over an try to scrap it off. Oh well it has to wear off eventually doesn’t it? It took 10 miles but finally the tar on the tires was almost off. Somehow I ended up in Cooke City on the other side of Bear Tooth highway feeling as petrified as this guy.

I love the Bearthooth Highway!! Next stop Yellowstone!

Return to the Medicine Wheel

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

“I just had to stop and see what this sign said. Where you headed, Sturgis?”

I was stopped at a historical marker when this lady in an Audi pulled up and was asking me this question. The sign at the marker was telling how the rock outcropping in front of us was called Fortification Rock and how the Indians would go there before battle and it would give them protection during battle.

The sign said the rock formation is better know for something else now.

“Eventually Sturgis, but I have a few places to go first.” I said.

“Like Jackson, that is where I am from?”

“Maybe, not sure yet.” I had no intention of going to Jackson since it is only a little bit better than Aspen,  but did not want to hurt her feelings.

” I wouldn’t go hiking out there in those shoes.”

“Why?” she said as she looked down at her sandals.

“That is why.” I said and pointed to the picture of what Fortification Rock is better know for now.

Once she looked at the picture, she then looked down at her feet, hopped in her car and hauled ass. Darn, she was kind of cute too.

I work the Wyoming area a lot and always knew I was crossing some of the great wagon trails west. I have even stopped where the signs said “crossed here” but I couldn’t tell where. This time was different though. The sign said Overland Trail crossed here and this time I could see it.

” From the Platte west to Ft. Bridger….is one almost uninterrupted panorama of barren hills, sandy plains, ugly tortuous ravines and blank desolation….All life and living things, seem to be gone…..” Quote from Overland Trail traveler, Demas Barnes..1866

Well ol Demas, I can identify and testify!

I awoke in Sheridan Wy to walk outside and find this.

Someone knows I am planning to return to the Medicine Wheel today. I did not set out this year to return to the Medicine Wheel but the closer I got to it the more draw it had on me, (To see the first trip, click on 2009 day 5 of last years blog.) The weather was looking a little iffy but there was no stopping me now. I made it over the east side of the Bighorn Mountains and then up the dirt road to the Ranger shack and faced the long uphill hike to the wheel.

With feather in hand and some sage my buddy Jeff put in my saddle bag I started the hike. Last year, I never stopped walking until I got there not knowing what to expect. This year I was a little more prepared, had water and planned to hike it in stages. The Ranger didn’t question my intent this year like last, but I did tell him if I didn’t come back pretty soon to bring the 4 wheeler up and get me. I finally stopped at what I thought to be halfway. Looked up and still had more to go.

I made it! Walking clockwise around the wheel and the experience was surreal as the last time.

I spent well over an hour there and found the spot I stood in last year….felt the wind, the sun on my back and closed my eyes.

Independence Pass

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

Private, No Trespassing, Private, Private, stay away you aren’t welcome. I think everything in Aspen must be private, I have never seen so many “Private ” signs in my life. It is a beautiful place, but I have never felt welcome there. I stopped for a minute by the airport outside of town to put on my rain suit and there must have been at least a 100 private jets. It could be my imagination but it sure looked liked the bastard in the Mercedes sneered at me as he drove through the “Private No Trespassing ” sign by the gate where I was parked. With the rain suit on, I cruised through Aspen as fast as I could dodging all the cars who were trying to run over me. I am not kidding, three of them turned left in front of me like I was suppose to stop and let them have the right away even though it was mine. I had to pee, but have tried that in Aspen before and you can forget it, they don’t have public restrooms. I finally made it out of city limits and headed up the road for Independence Pass, my favorite in Colorado. I was going around the last corner before the National Forest and saw this guy flying around looking for a place to pee.

I told him to follow me on the road to Independence Pass

The reason you can’t see me in the next picture is because me and hang glider guy are in the Aspens peeing and guess which way the water runs from here.

I have ridden Independence Pass quite a few times and don’t think I will ever get tired of it. It has it all; curves, perfect scenery, history, ghost towns, and deep drop offs. No guard rails on the side that falls off a 1000 feet really gets the adrenaline going and when it is on your side, you ride in the middle of the road and when it is on the side of the traffic coming towards you they drive on your side! Holy cow get in your own lane dude!!

Once you pass the ghost town of Independence, it is multiple hairpin curves and switchbacks and it always rains. Those are raindrops on the lens in the next photo showing the cool road.

Finally at the top for that all important picture that says ” I did it!” Before I left , I had to be the camera man for three other people so they could say they “Did it!” too.

This is for all you people burning up in the south. Yes, there is still snow up here, nice and cool 53 degrees on this ride. I think that makes the wind chill at 40 mph about 0 and I am dreaming of burning up in Texas.

I have a favorite place on some cliffs that I found about 11 years ago on my first trip through here on a motorcycle. It is at the base of the highest peak in Colorado, Mt. Elbert at 14440 feet and a few miles outside of Twin Lakes Colorado.

MT. ELBERT

Favorite Place

 A quick biker lunch in Leadville and head north over Tennessee Pass and through the Camp Hale area.

And how can you not stop and take a picture of the Redcliff trestle bridge.

Yes it sucks to be me today! I took my time, stopped a lot, and two passes in one day. It was a good day!

Loaned these guys some loc tite  (never leave home without it) to  re tighten the exhaust on a Harley. In exchange, they gave me a cold beer. They are all part of the Buffalo Soldiers Riding Club and this chapter was from West Virginia. They had been to Vegas and were now heading home.

Seems like I have been in Colorado for a week now, I could just stay and keep riding these mountains forever, but it is time to head north and see what Wyoming has to offer

See ya

McClure Pass and rainy lazy day

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

“Where you guys going?”

We were sitting around a table outside the motel room telling lies and drinking beer when the good looking fellow riding a dresser asked the question.

“We aren’t going anywhere tonight.” Jeff said with laughter.

Good thing too, we were already in no shape to ride.

“Where are you going, Sturgis?”

“No, I am headed home to houston, I have been to Alaska and on my way home now.”

We told the fellow why we were there and that tomorrow Jeff, Mitch and Bill would be going home and that I was; well going somewhere but would end up in Sturgis eventually. Hearing that he was from Houston, I just had to ask what he did for a living and sure enough he was involved in the oil and gas business. We talked about his company and I told him about our company. See, even when I am out travelling trying to be lost to the world, I can’t quit working and selling. I didn’t push it, but he did ride back to Houston with my name and email address. He also said he wanted to get his story of his ride out on the web someplace. I am hoping he makes contact so I can read about his ride. He did have a comment that I found amusing.

“I am ready to get home, I have had enough scenery.”

I enjoyed riding with Jeff, Mitch and Bill and our riding styles were very compatible, but I usually ride alone and after two days I was ready to take off.  Bill had headed back to Moab early in the morning before I had even gotten out of bed, he was not going to miss church. Jeff and Mitch headed south and I said my good byes and headed north, well kind of north and then east.

I have a map of Colorado mounted in my shop with the roads I have ridden colored in and my goal is to ride all of the paved roads in Colorado. I had a few in mind this morning and couldn’t wait to get started.

Gas up in Delta and then turned right and headed back towards Hotchkiss. It was feeling great to ride alone in the cool morning with overcast skies. To live in modern times with the ability to see so much country in such a short span had me feeling lucky. My thoughts wandered to the days this part of the country was explored by other than the people native to the area. It happens a lot when I ride and take in the scenery. I can’t ride by and not stop at historical markers though and part of the reason I never make good time.

Those poor guys had to ride mules to explore!

I eventually made my way to McClure Pass, considered one of the lowest passes in Colorado at only 8763 feet but you wouldn’t know it by the surrounding mountains and the awesome terrain. It felt like 10000 feet to me. McClure pass was named after Thomas “Mack” McClure who had a stage stop near hear sometime around 1884. I can’t imagine trying to pull these hills in a stage coach with real horse power!

The rain started coming down after Icrossed the pass, but I was feeling good and it didn’t bother me. I could tell by the clouds behind me it was raining harder so I was in front of the main storm. I was a little concerned because of all the flash flooding the news had been talking about for the last couple of days and the Crystal river was anything but Crystal, it should have been called the Red river with all the red mud in it. Even with the rain, the road was great!

I took that picture with the camera pointed behind me at the clouds and storm I was trying to outrun.

I had decided I wasn’t going to make Independence Pass today and was starting to wonder if I would even make Glenwood Springs before the rain got so bad I couldn’t ride anymore. I was crusing along thinking I shouldn’t stop anymore when I came across this.

I had to turn around and check them out. The Redstone Coke Ovens and the beautiful town of Redstone. I live and Colorado and try to read about everything I can, but have never heard of Redstone. The town was founded by John Cleveland Osgood who started a mine and ran the coke oven operation which turned coal into high grade coke which he then sold to the largest employer in Colorado at the time, Colorado Fuel and Iron. CF&I was getting rich by supplying the rail companies all of their steel. Ol John Osgood was a fairly large employer too with 550 people. John believed that if his workers and their families enjoyed good living then they would be happy workers and not strike. In order to keep them happy he built the Redstone Inn for the bachelors and 84 Swiss chalet style homes for the married men. He also had electricity, indoor plumbing, schools and medical. He was eventually bought out by a fellow named Rockefeller who shut the company down. There is a lesson in there somewhere?

While I was checking out the history and the sights of Redstone the storm caught up with me.  By the time I made Carbondale, the idea of doing Independence Pass today was history. I pulled into Glenwood Springs and the lady at the motel desk handed me a towel. I used it to wipe the rain off, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off if I tried.

The Fucarwes of the Gunnison Black Canyon

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

” You did what?”

“Yeah me and the ol lady were stoned out of our minds screwing in the car at the Bay Bridge Park and a cop knocks on the window and said I needed to move my car”

“Wow, you wouldn’t get by with that today, they would throw in you jail forever.”

“That isn’t all, when I moved the car, somehow I went the wrong way on the Bay Bridge and they had to shut down traffic in both directions, then the cops lead us all the way around until I was going the right way.”

“Holy shit Bill, you one lucky dude!”

“I know I am. Very lucky, I am glad those drug induced days are gone, I am lucky to be alive, lucky I have kids and a wife who still love me.  I’m good now.”

Bill came from Pennsylvania in the 70’s, he ran out of bus ticket near Green River Utah but still had some peyote buttons left and somehow landed a good job and settled in Moab. Name a drug, Bill has done it, name a bad trip and he has been there. An addictive personality and he knows it. With the help of Preacher Dick, a loving family and good friends he is a survivor. His vice now is church and riding motorcycles way to hard and fast. I nicknamed him Speedracer Bill the first day. He can’t take off slow, ride slow or be in the back and he rides everyday! Bill is now part of the Fucarwe tribe.

“What the hell?”

“What’s up Mitch?”

“There is a tampon in my windshield bag where I keep my sunglasses!”

” You might need that later!” Jeff said as the rest of us rolled on the ground laughing.

Mitch’s scooter was broke down, so he borrowed his wife’s Indian for the ride. His wife Cindy owns and runs Lone Rider Motorcycle Parts in Moab and had to stay home and run the shop while Mitch was out playing, but she got even with him. Never doubt a Fucarwe though, Mitch made good use of the Tampon. Bill was having flashbacks though thinking it was a big doobie!

I normally like to ride alone, but figured the chance to ride the Gunnison Black Canyon with Jeff and Mitch would be a good way to start this years trip. I have ridden part of the black canyon before but had never ridden the entire loop. It is now my number 1 motorcycle road in Colorado. The road is good, lots of curves, some straights, uphill, downhill, loop to loops and a few butterfly hills all with scenery that can’t be matched.

There are two sects to the Fucarwes, there is the whofucarwes

And then there are the wherefucarwes

And even though we didn’t know where we were or who we were we still had to eat. Based on fellow member Danny’s recommendation we ended up at Zacks in Hotchkiss for lunch. I would never had found it on my own and even though some of the group had been there before, they still tried to go past it. Danny guided us to the place with his smell of the bbq ribs.

For 4 bucks, two smoked chopped beef sandwiches with chips and a coke.

“Where the hell did Randy go?”

“He wanted a Corona, they didn’t have any limes and he refused to drink one without a lime, so he went to the store.”

They now have limes at Zacks!

On the way to Hotchkiss we went through Crawford, but I never did see Joe Cocker. We eventually ended up back at Montrose but only after Dave took us on a shortcut through orchards and dead man curves to go around the road construction on the main highway. This part of the ride might have just been my favorite. Once back in Montrose, we stopped at the Harley Davidson Dealership where there was a bike show, a car show, live band and more to drink. What a great day and largely because of this man Kent!

I had a great time, a long day and some new friendships. I think I could live in Montrose! My new friends, Kent, Dave, Randy, Danny, Val, Bill.

Thanks Guys! I haven’t laughed that much in a long time!

The Nurse, The Red Fox and Montrose

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

I have been talking to this nurse I call Red Fox over the Internet and we decided to meet in Montrose Colorado and do some riding together before I continue my quest for Sturgis. We are set to meet tonight so I set my sights  west and for Monarch Pass. Leaving Buena Vista and the college named  mountain peak views behind I head for Poncho Springs where I will intersect Highway 50. Its a short ride from Buena to Poncho but I am looking for something so instead of going right and  towards Monarch Pass I go left and within a couple of miles there it is!

 It is only my second day and already I have found “Metal Horse!” It is made out of car bumpers and I WANT IT!!

Now that I have that pic, I can continue with business and ride over Monarch pass.  I have a new camera and a holder around my neck that is designed so that Ican take pictures while  riding. No better place than going up Monarch Pass to try it out.

Pretty darn cool, it works but then I see this sign! I love signs like this when I am riding but not when I have a camera in my way.

Down Monarch and the long grade into Gunnison. Just a few miles outside of town I see flashing lights and as I get closer I can see  cop cars and a bunch of motorcycles. I recognize that patch, it is the patch of  the Hells Angels. The cops give me the eye as I idle by and the Angels seem to be taking it all in stride. When I get to Gunnison every motel and every corner is filled with Hells Angels. I pull into a gas station and a couple on another Harley pull in to get gas. “What the hell is going on?” I explained to him that it was the Hells Angels annual USA rally and there was about 500 of them scattered in town and surrounding hills. I would have took pics but kind of like to keep my new camera.

I pull into Montrose and found a place to get a quick bite to eat. I look out the window and there is the nurse getting gas next door. I cut lunch short and walk over and we have a big hug. “Lets head to Starbucks and catch up!” so off we go.

The Nurse. Go ahead admit it, but all nurses are not female. This nurse is my internet and now real life riding bud. Jeff is a travelling Operating Room Nurse. He works short term contracts, normally 13 week terms and then packs up and goes somewhere else. He is in love with the Navajo Nation so whenever he can, he contracts out to work the reservation and right now he is located at Ft. Defiance. He is a nurse, but really hates sick whining people so he prefers O R where they just knock them out, fix them and then let somebody else deal with the sick and whining when they wake up.  Jeff doesnt have a bad bone in his body so I think he may have exagerated that part a little bit. We discussed his work, talked about health care in general and then about Ft Defiance. Being a Kit Carson buff, I knew a little of the history of Ft Defiance but when he told me that the hospital has walls lined with old photos from the 1800’s I knew a future trip is in my plans before his contract is up.

The Red Fox. When Jeff first arrived at Ft Defiance he was out checking the res in his pickup and thought he saw a dog running through the ravine, he pulled over and could now tell it was a red fox. The fox disappeared into the brush and Jeff continued on. The next day, he was out on his motorcycle and decided to go back to the same spot. He was about to give up when the fox came out from the brush to say hello. After a stare down the fox disappeared back into the brush only to reappear with a kit in its mouth. It dropped that kit, went back into the brush and came out with another. Jeff has been told by tribe members he is blessed to have something like that happen and to Jeff it was a welcome to Ft Defiance Reservation.

Jeff carries this fox fetish with him all the time and I was fascinated by the story. Jeff has many stories about life on the reservation but we soon changed our conversation to riding. Tomorrow we meet up with a bunch of his friends and my favorite bro in law and ride the Gunnison Black Canyon. I can’t wait!

Big Views and Mountain Passes

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

Mmmmm Sensory overload! Avoiding the interstate as much as possible I find myself going from the north end of Federal Blvd in Denver to the end of it on the south side of Denver. Mostly Mexican but also Oriental, European and BBQ. Its lunch time and I smell every one of them. Try doing that in a car! I’m hungry now, but I can’t stop yet, I just barely got started!

Trying to decide whether to turn west now or continue south, go around the corner and there it is; Pikes Peak! Going south for sure now, I have always wanted to ride to the top of Pikes Peak and my date with the nurse isn’ until tomorrow so Pikes Peak or Bust! By the time I get to Colorado Springs the rains came, my hunger is overbearing so I pull into that staple of life McDonald’s. I’m sitting there eating the big mac and watching the traffic out the window and see the newest boost to the Colorado economy, a medical Mary Jane store. I am thinking to myself, does anyone really go in them places and buy marijuana? I can answer that now, YES they do! In the half hour I was there five people walked in and walked out with little white sacks. Other than one kid who looked like a stoner, the rest looked like my neighbors. How convenient too, across the street from McDonalds. I’m sure there is a Baskin Robbins around here someplace.

Between the rain and work related phone calls, I ran out of time to go to the top of Pikes Peak. I can do that some weekend, its close enough.  The rain finally lets up on the west side of Wooodland Park and I go over my first of what I know is going to be many Mountain Passes. Wilkerson Pass is a small one and I know of no significant history or even how it got its name but a Mountain Pass nonetheless.

After passing a group of Hells Angels gassing up in Hartsel I end up staying in one of my favorite Colorado towns of Buena Vista and also one neat little motel. Jackie and Phil own the Pinon Court Motel and treat you like gold, plus a little garage to park your scooter.

I am already at 8000 feet above sea level and the big views around make me even higher!

I have the urge to put myself in places I shouldn’t be, dangerous places I don’t belong, unfamiliar places I don’t know. It is a vice worse than smoking or gambling.

No I don’t plan to go back to Hartsel .

Two Feathers

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

two-feathers

“Grandfather?”

“Yes, Two Feathers.”

“I see things and I hear things, Grandfather.”

“I know you do.”

“No Grandfather! I see things other people don’t see, I hear things other people don’t hear!”

“I know you do Two Feathers. I knew the moment you were born. You see no bad in people, you see their souls, and you hear their souls. Your name is Two Feathers, one feather is the energy of all its former attachment, and it gives you strength and vision. The second feather is the quill for telling the story of all you see and hear and together they help you fly. If you believe you can fly….you will. You must tell their story to the skies. You have worked hard, you have studied and you have listened to your elders, it is time you go find the mountains and the rivers, go find the sacred place.”

“Yes grandfather, I know I can fly, the corn is over my head and I feel the skies pulling on me. I feel the earth moving me, but I don’t know the way; I don’t know where to go?”

“Go to the sacred place in the Black Hills , the place where all the metal horses go, the place called Sturgis!”

“I don’t know the way Grandfather, how to I find this place the metal horses go called Sturgis?”

“Follow the Eagles, follow the hawks, follow the crows, follow the hunters who fly, they will show you the way.”

“But, they don’t all fly the same direction how will I know if I am going the right way? I will be scared in the rain, the thunder, the wind and the dark.”

“Sometimes they will take you a different direction, but there is a reason and they will always end up where you should go. They will keep you out of danger, Trust the feathers! You have a gift Two Feathers, go. Go see the things and hear the things that only you see and hear, tell it to the skies at night. The rest of us will look to the skies from our stone and wood teepees and the skies will tell us what you have said. We will tell others and ride with you on your way to where all the metal horses go. Your metal horse is waiting, go now two feathers, go ride!”

“I ride grandfather, I will leave now.”

“Two Feathers?”

“Yes Grandfather.”

“I have some old friends who ride metal horses. They belong to the Fucarwe Tribe, find them and have a little fun, tell them Chief “Great Rolling Stones” said hello.”

“Yes Grandfather I will find them and I will find this place they call Sturgis. I will find them both if it takes me many miles and many days, I will find them.”

that-way

Will Two Feathers find the Fucarwe Tribe; will he find this place they call Sturgis? Will the hunters that fly take him the right direction? Will the wind blow him over, will the rain wash him away, will the sun melt him or the mountains freeze him?  Look to the skies everyday and find out what Two Feathers has seen and heard, and help him find the way!

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Cole