I’ve got two days and one night to meet my best friend Tarren (Bugman98) in Buena Vista Colorado. I know the ride is possible in one day, but I want to enjoy it a least a little bit. He’s taking two days to ride from Oklahoma, so Buena Vista is roughly half way between us and will put us within striking distance of all kinds of good riding and vast array of fourteen-thousand foot peaks to climb. Excellent...
Paula (the owner of the “Trailer-In-A-Bag”) escorts me away from Logan for a hundred miles or so, leaving enough time for her to return for the evening opera performance. It’s kinda strange to ride “with” her in formation since we so often ride two up. Chicks in leather on sport bikes... Oh baby! It’s fun to see her carving up the turns in my mirrors. Yes, Grasshopper, you are ready... What’s that in your tank-bag map-pocket???
It’s threatening rain so we have our suits at the ready and I go ahead and put the rain covers on my luggage. The Bear Lake view point is worth a few minutes, even if it’s overcast.
That little Ninja 500 is a great bike, no doubt. Between us we have put that motorcycle through the wringer for thousands of hard miles, and it keeps ticking away. What’s that noise? It’s a lawn-mower shaped like a motorcycle!
My rescue mission of the Dane took my off-road day from me, so we double up on the KTM down to the beach of Bear Lake, just because we can!
The clouds look awesome as we get out into the plains and head towards Wyoming. I like riding when it’s cool and overcast like this, partly because of not needing sunglasses. We fail at finding a hip place to eat lunch, so we settle for Wendy’s salads. Ehn. Paula opts for the rain suit for the ride back to Logan. Here’s where we say our goodbyes...
On my own again. A road sonata for KTM and solo viola... I already miss my friends, but I know there’s some great adventure waiting for me in Colorado, and it’s time to get it on. I’m shooting for Flaming Gorge to camp for tonight.
The light is getting low as I enter the National Recreation Area, so I start searching for some free camping. I bypass a couple of pay campgrounds. There’s GOT to be some freebies here somewhere... Ah HA!
And what's this I spy? A fellow ADVrider! And not only that, a solo girl
ADVrider!!! How cool is that? I must be in the right place, eh?
After I set up camp we sit and chat into the night about the joys of motorcycle touring. Nice. Naturally my music profession is mentioned, so I take the opportunity to play a mini-recital for her under the stars. I think it was a hit! It’s really hard to just start playing at a high level, I get much better after a warm up, even if it’s only a few minutes. What I’d like to be able to do is play like a top level musician with NO warm up, simply open the case and WHAMO!!! There it is... This is hard to do, the fingers don’t want to do that after operating a motorcycle all day, so I’m finding that I should play some easy but flattering selections to start with to give myself a warm-up lap that still leaves a good first impression. I’ll need to refine this technique over the coming months... Hey Ms. Chiff, I know you have some pics, post ‘em up!
I knew I had a nice camping spot, and the morning light allowed me to get some better pics of the place. Not to shabby!
Ms. Chiff rolled down to say goodbye. We’re a couple of shutter-happy riders! (that's her taking my picture!
She was on her way to West-Fest, which I’d never even heard of (I haven’t spent much time in the ADV rally forum), and she strongly encouraged me to come and bring the Black Death to the Rally (doesn’t that sound awesome? “Bring the Black Death to the Rally...”). Hmmmmmm, Tarren and I will be in that area, perhaps we can swing through Lake City, we’ll just have to see!
She’s got this sweet little Kawasaki 250 (KLX?), that’d be a great bike to have as a second dual sport along side the 990, apples and oranges. Or more like Cantaloupes and Kiwis...
Not that anyone here needs to hear it, but why the hell do people ride with no helmets? And more perplexing than that is why people ride with a helmet strapped to the bike instead of their head! I don’t get it, if you’re gonna bother bringing it along, why not pack it on your stupid head? It seems that this trend goes for almost all makes and models of motorcycles across the country...
I naturally take the scenic route and find a couple of pesky mountain passes in my way as I wind my way through Colorado.
I have a waterproof camera (Pentax W-30), but somehow I don’t take it out for photos as I’m getting drenched up top. Cold! Whenever I find myself getting cold on my summer adventures I repeat over and over to myself in my helmet, “Not Texas Not Texas Not Texas Not Texas...” and then I feel better!
Tarren doesn’t have all the mountainous terrain to cover coming from Oklahoma and across the plains of eastern Colorado (lucky bastard!
), so he ends up getting to Buena Vista hours ahead of me. He'll just have to wait! I press on in the worsening storm, finally up and over Monarch pass, down to Salida then north into Buena Vista. Goodie...
Just wait until you see where we get to stay!