Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day Two: Remedial Road Lessons... (Finally!)

Day Two of My Summer Trip...

I woke up around 7 The next morning feeling ratHer hung-over from the prevIous dayS dehydration on the road. I took my time, getting a shoWer & pAcking up to leave before making my way into the diner portion of the Store/office of the hotel. I fixed myself A cup of coffee and a plate of french toast and sat down to eat as the owner of the hotel was wanderinG aRound clEAning up The store. We exchanged pleasantries and began to chat while I ate & he cleaned. He asked where I was From and where I was headed. I coUld see a spark of memory in his eye when I told him and he started to regale me with his own tales of a younger life on the road. It seems he was an old sChool biKer from ArIzoNa who used to ride up into Utah every chance he Got. When the time came foR hIm to retire & plant himself in one spot, this was the only suitable location. They bought the lanD & startEd the hotel & store and were workIng on a full serviCe restAuraNt to go with iT.
As I finished my breakfast I asked him about the fastest Way back to I-15. He just kindA smIled and Told me thaT if I left the 89 I'd be dOing my trip a Great disservice. As he Outlined my pAth I would only be losinG about 30 minutes And the rIde would be much more eNjoyable to stay on the State Highway all the way to I-70. Well, who am I to argue with a great ride?
My God, was he ever right! The first thing I saw was , as he had told me, the Sevier river that runs backwards! He had told me that it was the only river in North America that runs South to North. I have found, though, that there are a handful of others, but regardless of exclusivity, this was both gorgeous and weird! I was riding leisurely along just south of Panguich, Ut, enjoying the beautiful landscape (and glad to be out of the desert!) when I noticed a couple of hot-air balloons rising up above the trees.

I pulled over to take a couple of photos and get a drink before continuing up the road. A little farther up the road I saw a couple more balloons, so I pulled back over for some more photos.

Now convinced I had seen a beautiful sight and had the pictures to prove it I started off again, sure that I wouldn't need to stop again. Boy, was I wrong. As I topped the hill & rounded a curve this is the sight that greeted me.

I couldn't wait to pull over to get the photos. I swear there must have been a thousand balloons in the area! A banner stretched across the road announced it as the "Panguich Valley Balloon Rally". I was passing through on it's last day.
Beside the road was a Utah Highway Patrol car with the Li
ghts flashing. Apparently he was trying to keep people from pulling over to take pictures and causing what would pass for a traffic tie-up in Panguich. I got my photos and offered my apologies & headed on my way.
Pulling out the other side of town, I learned another valuable lesson. Never follow a pick up with a barking dog through a small town's residential district. After fueling up I fell in behind a farm truck with a farm do
g that was very excited by all the balloons. He was bouncing around the truck bed from side to side barking his head off. He was a beautiful dog (I'm a dog person) and I was getting a kick out of watching him... Until we pulled in front of another dog's house. It seems the resident dog didn't like the truck dog barking in front of his house and he came out to let him know, chasing the truck barking his head off. I damn near ran him over. I was seriously afraid he was going to get caught up in my front wheel. The dog was all over the road, so maneuvering was not really an option, so I got yet another test of how fast I can shut Kate down when something goes awry.
After getting out of town, I had only open road & time to reflect through out the rest of Utah. I did stop at a view point off of I-70 to get some pictures of Devil's Canyon, but I must tell you that the best View of it was from the highway right after the view-point. Sadly, I was not willing to push my luck and as I was being followed by another of Utah's finest, I didn't pull over for those photos.
My next lesson of the day came when I pulled over for lunch & gas and decided to call the Harley dealership that I was planning to visit to see when they closed. The Atlas I got from Harley listed them as open on Sunday, but that seems to mean little to the dealers... They were closed.
So I satarted cal
ling other dealerships along the way. I reached the folks at Aspen Valley Harley Davidson in Glenwood Springs and found that they were indeed open on Sunday, but in order to make it I was gonna have to push. So, I spent the remainder of the afternoon well focused on getting there on time. In the end I made it with a few minutes to spare.

I'm not sure how well you can see it on the blog, but in the photo of the gas station, you can ju
st make out the snow capped mountain under the corner of the canopy. I had never thought that I would be riding in places that still had snow on the ground, but I did!
I had been having wonderful luck with the weather so far, And just a couple of miles East of Glenwood Springs, that luck ran out. I started feeling water drops that I thought were splashes from the river beside the highway, as the sun was still shining bright and there were only a few clouds visible. The drops however got bigger and more frequent as the clouds started to show themselves, Culminating in a full-blown rainstorm. At this point I didn't have any rain gear except for my Leather, which I pulled over to don, thinking to myself that my next opportunity I was going to purchase a full set of rain gear. I pulled into Limon, Co. just after sunset and found a hotel. I was told by the clerk to park my bike right outside the door as there would be someone in the lobby all night & they would keep a close eye on her for me. Thanking her I lugged all of my gear (Is that why they call it "luggage?) to my room and spread my leather out to dry before taking a quick shower & heading across the road for food. After a great plate of grilled liver, ,a couple of Sam Adams and a quick game of pool, I could not wait to get back to the room to go to sleep. As much as I was enjoying the ride, I was definitely ready to arrive the next day...
Day three will follow soon, I hope you're enjoying the ride!
I'll catch you on the road!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holy Hell, I Want One!!!

I want to start off this post by offering an apology to all who have posted comments recently. I don't get on Blogger to check my comments, I do that on My email. I get on Blogger to write my posts, and then go to your blogs to read yours. I don't spend my time reading what I wrote, You know? Anyway, For some reason my Email provider has been dropping all incoming mail into spam which I rarely check because... well I hate spam (The Email kind, I actually really like the meat kind)
Anyway. I am now aware of the problem and will be more precise in checking. I hope you are all well and I am glad you didn't forget me!

You have to understand... My first Harley was a sportster...I love the bikes. I realize they're not practical for someone like myself who wants to take off on long rides with a passenger in some semblance of comfort, but they're fast, light, maneuverable and an all out blast to play on. I sold that bike so that I could afford to move my family to Southern California in a kind of "Gift of the Magi" scenario... I sold my Harley so I could move somewhere that has a 12 month riding season. It turned out to be the best move I ever made. I got to work in a dealership for a year, then found a job that would allow me to afford a New Bike, and with my kids getting bigger I needed a bigger bike. But in my heart of hearts there will always be a soft spot for sporties! I've found several models that I like over the years, but I don't have the available cash or the space for another bike... But If I did...

This would definitely be the Bike. The new Throw-Back to the Old school XR750. Harley's new XR1200. The Official description is ...
"Drawing significant design influences from the successful Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycles that set new standards for dirt track racing success over the last 30 years, the XR1200 features technical innovation to provide potent street performance and handling. In fact, Harley-Davidson dirt track racing legends Scott Parker and Rich King participated in the XR1200 development, along with European GP racing champion Adrien Morillas. The 1200cc Evolution V-Twin cranks out 90 hp with high torque. Rubber mounted to a new frame with a cast aluminum swingarm, the engine delivers exhilarating performance and responsive handling with less vibration. A unique upswept, high-volume 2-1-2 straight shot exhaust system includes dual mufflers and is finished in satin chrome. A sport-tuned Showa® suspension with inverted 43 mm front forks and twin preload adjustable shocks combines with lightweight black cast three-spoke wheels to make the XR1200 ride and corner with feeling. Specially designed Dunlop® Qualifier D209 tires connect the rider to the road, while Nissin® four-piston calipers and large dual disc front brakes provide stopping power."

I have a feeling you'll need saddlebags just to hold the Balls this thing has!
I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving (In the U.S.) & I'll catch you on the road!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day!

I just wanted to take a minute to offer my own Heartfelt thanks to all of those who have put so much on the line so that I could be free to write this blog. Our entire country owes you a huge debt of grattitude. Whether your service is in the past or the present, in war or in peace, I thank you all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Harley's "Build It To Win it" Sweepstakes

Hey Ya'all !
I'm a little late in posting this one, But in case you haven't heard, Harley has a new promotion going. In the “Build It to and Win It” sweepstakes, contestants can customize a Harley-Davidson 2009 model and enter it to win the bike they designed. Using the Genuine Motor Accessories Customizer, Anyone can choose a Harley-Davidson model and then select from hundreds of custom options, including Color Shop custom paint sets, Screamin’ Eagle performance components, hand and foot controls, custom front end parts and decorative collections, and place them on a virtual motorcycle. As the bike is created, each new component appears on a picture of the virtual motorcycle, so a customizer can see exactly what the finished custom Harley-Davidson will look like. After customizing, the bikes can then be saved in a personal profile “Garage,” along with a convenient, printable list of each component with its part number and price.

A contestant can customize, save and enter up to ten 2009 models between Oct. 15 - Nov. 6 and each will be entered to win. Representatives from the company will randomly select one bike, which will be awarded to the Grand Prize winner after the Nov. 6 deadline.
SO, Now I'm off to the customizer... I'm thinking "Night Glide"!
Hope you're all well & ride ready!
Catch you on the Road