ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-14-2009, 06:18 PM   #61
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
Northward to Washington!...

At Dave's suggestion I took I-5 only as far north as Salem, OR, where I turned west on OR 22. After leaving the Salem area this turned into a beautiful little two-laner. Had to stop and take a pic of my namesake:


A "Buell Park," eh? Sounds like just the place my trusty Uly could get some R&R. Alas, its fate was to keep heading towards the coast...

This is my last name. Gotta catch it wherever I can...


Here are a couple pics from OR 22 on the way to US 101 at Hebo, OR...


Just beautiful country; temp in mid-70s.

I guess I hit US 101 just north of Cloverdale.


Oregon is SO beautiful...



[b]US 101 to the Columbia River at Astoria.

Now this stretch---along with going through Bakersfield---was just a little frustrating. Traffic was VERY HEAVY. And to top it off I encountered my first (and mercifully last) big pack of Harleys. I guess I share minimal DNA with those guys, but that's a stretch. There were a group of 25-30 bikers in typical close "formation." Two-lane road, hard to pass. And---of course---they're riding under the speed limit. Well, Dr. Greg's gotta get through...

Nothing for it but take 'em a few at a time when possible. This has the consequence of allowing me to experience what "riding in a pack" is like. Well, IMHO it sucks! Noisy, scary, my nerves were REALLY on edge. Finally got through. And of course then I couldn't stop anytime soon, because they'd probably pass me again. Definitely not my style.


Lewis & Clark...

I stopped at the Lewis & Clark visitor center near Astoria (not easy to find, IMHO). Took one pic of their "charter"...


Uly at the parking lot at the visitor center...



Over the Columbia!

Got lost going through Astoria (thanks GPS), but finally got straightened out and approached the bridge over the mighty Columbia. The "high portion" is on the south side, as seen here:


I had intended to snap a pic from the highest point. I have to take both hands off the bars, dig out my camera, take the pic with both hands, etc. Camera out, I approached the elevated part:


Once I got up on top, it was just [b]TOO WINDY!![/b} I chickened out. Took a pic after getting across the whole thing...

You may be able to see the elevated part of the bridge in the far distance; it looks like a "ramp." It was darned impressive...

My first "park" in Washington and it didn't have a very nice name. I guess L&C arrived (and stayed) through a pretty dismal part of the year...


I took 101 up through Raymond, WA, then 107 to Montesano and WA 12. Stopped of at Olympia to see fellow Uly owner JPhish (John). He had just ordered a pizza (it was about dinnertime), and the pizza and I arrived at the same time! Perfect. I figured to stay a while so I even had a beer (which I never do when I'm riding, y'unnerstand).

Here's John and his '08 Uly. He's had a few issues, but his KLR and ST1300 never get ridden anymore; the Uly is too much fun! I know the feeling...


He also took a pic of Dr. Greg at his beautiful house.



SEATTLE!

Here's a pic from the UW campus to prove that I made it!


Much more to come...

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 02:02 AM   #62
daveel
"Who me?"
 
daveel's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Location: PNW
Oddometer: 224
Hey Greg, good to hear you made it back to N.M. Looks like you had great weather up the coast, it's always sunny in Oregon..... You've given me a bit of the Buell itch, we'll see where that goes. Having you here was the next best thing to taking a ride, maybe in August. Were you able to follow the Lewis/Clark trail at all?
Dave
daveel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 11:50 AM   #63
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveel
... You've given me a bit of the Buell itch, we'll see where that goes. Having you here was the next best thing to taking a ride, maybe in August. Were you able to follow the Lewis/Clark trail at all?
Dave
Dave, take a ride on a Uly and see what you think. They're not for everyone, that's for sure.

No, I was pretty much on a schedule, so couldn't follow the Lewis & Clark trail. Would love to go back and repeat some of this trip with more time.

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 04:51 AM   #64
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
In Seattle, mostly near UW.

The UW campus is very pretty; here's their big fountain (Mt. Rainier in the distance):


Lotsa green grass up there...


Here's a better pic of the fountain and Mt. Rainier. The weather was like that the entire time I was there...70s-80s and sunny. I'm ready to move. Oh yeah, there's the other six months...


Random shot of the greenery on the sidewalk; the Seattle University District is very pretty.


The Banquet.

At most conferences, the middle day there's an evening banquet. Well, the organizers of Robotics Systems and Science '09 went one better: a cruise out to the Kitsap Peninsula, and a traditional northwest salmon dinner at the historic Kiana Lodge.

Here's a picture of the boat leaving Seattle...


I'm sure some of you recognize that skyline...


Of course Dr. Greg was happy to see this below deck...a pint of ale awaits!


Glad I wore my heated jacket liner!


Under the bridge...what beautiful country! Washington is the "Evergreen State" and I do believe it.


Disembarking (is that the right word when you're leaving a ship?)


A view towards the Kitsap Peninsula...Kiana Lodge is in there somewhere.


The grounds of the Kiana Lodge were beautiful.



I completely forgot to take a photo of the actual salmon dinner, but it was GOOD! In fact, after I finished stuffing myself (and a couple more ales) I felt a bit like this guy...


The ship awaits our return to Seattle...


And my attempt at capturing the nighttime Seattle skyline:


Next segment: Packing for the return trip and a mini-crisis!

Don't worry, mini-crisis was averted. Mrs. Greg has a case of food poisoning, so I'm minding the store for the time being. I'll resume this RR ASAP.

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 03:41 PM   #65
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
Mrs. Greg is recovering from her food poisoning, so let's get this ride report going again...

The 1909 "Alaska-Yukon-Pacific" Exposition.

While walking around the UW campus, I found this great exhibit on the 1909 AYP Exposition. I'm a sucker for stuff like that, so I spent an hour looking at all the stuff. To quote the exhibit,

"IN THE SUMMER OF 1909, the City of Seattle and the University of Washington hosted the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. With a design created by the renowned Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm, the Exposition transformed what was then a mainly wooded campus with a handful of scattered buildings into a sculpted parkland... The Exposition, organized by a group of Seattle business people, showcased the resources, industries and beauty of Washington state, while promoting Seattle as an economic gateway to Alaska, the Yukon Territory and the Pacific Rim. The state Legislature mandated that at least four of the fair's nearly 70 buildings, most of which were built to be temporary beome a permanent part of the University..."

It was all very interesting. One thing that caught my eye was this statistic:


Yikes! I didn't know life expectancy was THAT short only 100 years ago!? Man, I'd be 14 years on borrowed time by that figure...the "good old days," huh?

Mini-Crisis: where are my Bungee Cords?!?

Got all packed up; bags outside in front of the hotel ready to affix to the bike. But...where are my bungee cords? I use two to tie down the dry bag, folding chair, etc. Thought sure I brought them into the hotel, but they're nowhere.

Now the Seattle "University District" is not the kind of place with a Wally World close by. I lamented my plight in the lobby and "Heidi" (shown below)

heard my cry of desperation and gave me the phone number of a pharmacy within walking distance. I called and yes, they had bungee cords. I hotfooted it down there and bought these babies,

which were nicer than the ones I had been using. Yeah, I know, I should get some "proper" straps (forget the name, but I know the ones). Next trip.

After getting the Uly loaded (note the new straps) a gentleman walked over and began admiring the Uly. "Good taste," thought I, and we proceeded to have a nice chat.


Turns out he is Steven Kimble, General Manager of the Silver Cloud Inn - University Village. He is also a rider. I told him I would plug his hotel; it truly was a fine place to stay (my employer UNM is picking up the tab). Nice swimming pool, good breakfast, and I suppose an exercise room (didn't use that). So if you're in Seattle and need a place to stay, I recommend it. I promised Steve I'd send him a link to this RR (if I ever get it finished).

North Cascades here we come!

My next destination was the Spokane, WA area, and
my Uly buddy JPhish in Olympia recommended that instead of I-90 (ugh) I head north to Burlington then turn east on WA 20 through the North Cascades. That sounded like just the ticket! Unfortunately after the bungee cord debacle I had to take the shorter of the two possible routes through the North Cascades, however I'd still go through all the North Cascade portion. Excellent.

It was another beautiful day as I rode north out of Seattle on I-5, then turned east on 20. Here approaching Hamilton, WA:


Even though it was the Thursday before the 4th of July weekend, there was surprisingly little traffic away from the towns,


Approaching from the west, this is the first thing that looked like a mountain,


I hadn't fueled up since well before reaching Seattle, and it was hard to tell from the map which of the little towns had any services (many didn't). I was grateful to see this sign; also the last
place with any services for something like 70 miles:


With all the fast food lunches I'd had, I'd almost forgotten what a more "traditional" burger tasted like:


While I ate this fellow kept looking over my shoulder...I was to see a fully alive version a few days hence.


North Cascades National Park.

I entered the park proper shortly after, and at a pullout I encountered a range I'd heard of back in my mountaineering days (40 years earlier). With my little camera zoomed in to the max I took this picture, which isn't very good. But the peaks look quite formidable to me...



Here are a few more pictures from the North Cascades area. To really get into that country you have to get off the highway (typical), and I didn't really have time for that. The Uly does OK on hardpack, but I wasn't up for much backcountry travel on this ride. BTW, the river is the Skagit River.






This is Ross Lake and a view to the southeast (Mt. Logan and Goode Mtn?). At this point we're about 15 miles south of Canada:


Looking north,

and back west,

More rugged mountain country in the North Cascades:





BTW, it can get warm in the North Cascades - picture taken at the Visitor Center...

Of course it's cooler up a little higher...but a gorgeous day!

Next: Grand Coulee Dam and friends near Spokane, WA...

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 06:08 PM   #66
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
The Grand Coulee Dam.

As I exited the North Cascades I entered rolling alfalfa country,


Not long after I reached the Grand Coulee Dam. Whenever I think of this dam (never seen it before) I think of Woody Guthrie, whom I know was there during its construction. Still pictures couldn't capture it, so I tried to get a video (forgot to narrate it, so narrate it yourself...)


My Friends near Spokane, WA.

David Wilson---one of my best Ph.D. students ever (finished in 2000)---has family all around Spokane, WA. He flew up there from Albuquerque for the 4th of July weekend, and I rolled in to his mom's back yard about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening. They had saved some BBQ for me:


The food was great, and they had one of my favorite beers!


Uncle Earl (on the left) used to be a national-class hydroplane racer, and appeared on "Wide World of Sports" several times during the 60s. He's also a great engine builder, and was a buddy of Keith Black (whom you may remember as a top fuel engine builder a while back). Great bunch of guys...


David---my former student---had been fixing up a 1956 Chevy truck. His cousin Mike "tidied it up" a bit as a surprise "early birthday present" for him. I got a ride around the block...it's pretty trick. Small-block Chevy mill (327).




At the "Cabin" on the Pend Oreille (Ponderay) River.

The next day David and I drove up to his "cabin" (he and cousin Mike built most of it during 2003) on the Pend Oreille (Ponderay) River. It's about 1.5 hours north of Spokane, and quite near the Canadian border. To call this thing a "cabin" is a little misleading: it's a two-story house on around 4 acres of riverfront property.



Dr. Greg on the Pend Oreille River!

They even drug my tired old bones out on a "tube"...I think I'm the middle guy on the left.



After the river trip, they asked me how we cool off in Albuquerque. "Hmmm, we don't!" was my reply. Bummer.

Dr. Greg on FOUR wheels!

Cousin Mike (getting his hair cut by wife Wendy) has a TOY for every season.


This is his latest one: a Polaris RZR (Razor). Now Dr. Greg is a confirmed two-wheel guy, but this thing looked more like a miniature dune buggy (we built a Corvair-engined dune buggy back in rural SoCal in 1964).


Cousin Mike twisted my arm...and I'll be darned if the RZR wasn't a lot of fun! Great suspension, and (in 2WD mode) you could steer with the rear! I better not drive one of these things again...note that my attire is NOT recommended! On a fire road above the river...


We had a GREAT time hanging out by the river. The mighty Rio Grande (in ABQ, at least) is about 5% the size of the Pend Oreille. This north country is pretty nice. At least during the summer. I recall last winter the city of Spokane ran out of places to put the snow. Maybe I'll stay in New Mexico after all.


All too soon it was time to leave. My plans were to generally head SSE towards Albuquerque, New Mexico. Finally, I had no real schedule to maintain.

Uncle Earl talked me into taking I-90 through Idaho and into Montana. So I did. Not much worth photographing along the way. Rode through some rain squalls in the Idaho panhandle, but it cleared up in Montana.

Stopped in Missoula for a burger, and the characteristics of a rural college town began to show: primarily squids on sportbikes screaming up and down the main drag wearing T-shirts and flip-flops. They never seem to go anywhere.

I left Missoula heading east towards Butte, Montana (birthplace of Evel Knievel, I believe). Leaving Butte there was lots of donwhill and actually it was pretty fun.

East of Butte, MT I turned south on US 287 towards Yellowstone. Now, I DID NOT want to go through Yellowstone, but I wanted to go down the western portion of Wyoming, and if I didn't go through a corner of Yellowstone I would have to detour west to Idaho Falls, which is not very pretty IMHO. So Yellowstone it is. Ugh.

But that was too far for today, so I started looking for a campsite. My map showed several campsites on 287, but the ones I saw from the road were not inviting. Finally I found what I wanted; it was a BLM campground:


These are the "Palisades" (Madison river down in the greenery):


Camp pretty much set up (note the beautiful day):


Getting late in the day...


After dinner I took a walk back up the road,


This road is on the TransAmerica Trail (the bicycle one, not "ours"); these guys were riding from Virginia to Oregon:

The guy second from left had also hiked the Pacific Crest and Applachian Trails. Lucky guy! The kid on the far left was just entering grad school and wanted to be a professor, so I gave him some of my "sage" advice, FWIW. His dad is on the far right. Really nice folks. I used to be a cyclist; have done some racing and quite a bit of touring. Hmm, motorcycle better!

Bad Moon Rising.

Full moon tonight. You'll notice that my rain fly is now up. When I first set up camp the sky looked so nice I thought about leaving the rain fly off (some of the cyclists decided to sleep "under the stars"). Before turning in I had the good sense to put up the fly.

At exactly 1:00 a.m. I was awakened by KA-BOOM...and at exactly 1:07 a.m. it began to rain. It rained moderately hard most of the night, but thankfully I saw sunshine illuminating the end of my tent in the morning. I'll bet the "under the stars" guys were scrambling. I slept VERY WELL all through the rest of the night. Thanks, $99 Kelty tent.

Next: Dr. Greg confronts Yellowstone Park and lives to tell the tale...

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 12:21 PM   #67
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
Leaving my camp at the BLM Palisades Campground, I headed generally southeast on 287 towards Yellowstone.

Now into "Mountain Man" country (see recent excellent RR through that country if you're interested). I became fascinated with the Mountain Man sagas after reading "The Big Sky" by A.B. Guthrie. He won the Pulitzer Prize for this book; it's excellent. Highly recommended.

Here's a pass pioneered by Jim Bridger...have to admit I couldn't find it on the sky line like they said.


Not much traffic...that was soon to change. Weather not the greatest, but so far so good...


Yellowstone National Park in early July...the Worst Decision of this Trip?

Like I said, I needed to head this way to maintain my direction of travel. Here goes...


There were 5 or 6 lanes going in the West entrance...still time to turn back, Doc!


Too late now. I paid my $20 (motorcycle fee) and went in. Within a few miles (two-lane road now) I hit...

GRIDLOCK!!

Sigh. Actually the traffic was moving incrementally, but WAY too slowly for the Uly's rather tall first gear. Too slowly for almost any first gear. Well, maybe our old XR50...

I couldn't get any pictures, but there really wasn't much to see.

After about ten minutes of this, with no end in sight, I began eyeing the shoulder: it was about two feet wide, and nicely paved. Outside of that the gravel dropped off at a slope that would spell instant doom to us both.

I thought about it for a couple for minutes, then headed to the right (no chance of "lane-sharing" here). At idling speed in first gear (about fast walking pace) the Uly and I made a little progress up the road. No problems at all from the frustrated motorists (not that I heard, anyway). Even passed a couple groups of Harleys who were patiently waiting in line.

Then up ahead I saw disaster looming in the form of a huge "housecar" (I refuse to call them motorhomes). It was just about as wide as the lane. Now with those H-B side cases the Uly is also a bit of a "widebody" so it was gonna be close! I put my front tire right at the edge of the shoulder, closed my eyes (well, not really), and idled on...whew, made it!!

After that it was easy. Then gradually the traffic began moving, so I merged back in. Never did see the cause of the gridlock...probably some longago disturbance that left its temporal mark on us poor suckers.

Moving on, we got into some very pretty country. See the fly fisherman in the background?



This is the river from the preceding picture; I'm still attracted to any flowing water...


Geysers and stuff? Fuggetaboutit!

I approached several prominent sections of geysers, etc. I turned in the first one, figuring since I'm here might as well see a geyser, right? Absolutely no place to park! So I gave up after that...and these weren't even Old Faithful or anything. Must be the cheap gas.

There was a big campground at one point, and---although it was much too early in the day---I decided to ride through and take a look. What a mess! Campers jammed right next to each other; who would voluntarily stay in such a place!? The tent area was really not much better. Sigh. Glad to just be passing through.

As I proceeded through the southwest quadrant of Yellowstone the weather began to degenerate,


but then it began to improve as I turned south. Signs of the big 1988 Yellowstone fire were everywhere. It must have been a HUGE fire. I just checked: 1.2 million acres. Wow.


Construction Delays.

I thought I had "paid my dues" with that gridlock on the way in, but that was nothing compared to the three construction delays on the way out. No real way around those, either.


Finally got through the last one and made my way out. Whew. Yellowstone Park is a beautiful place, but I honestly wouldn't recommend anyone going there during prime summer vacation season. A fall trip would probably be perfect. Unfortunately I'm tied to the academic calendar, which---for me---rules out the fall. Bummer.

Well, time to get back to work.

Next: Grand Tetons and Best Campsite Ever!
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 05:44 PM   #68
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
The Grand Tetons.

Having escaped from Yellowstone and heading south on the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, I approached the Grand Tetons. Pretty impressive!




Heading south through Jackson was a little reminiscent of Yellowstone...lots of traffic. But it was still a beautiful day and I made it.

Best. Campsite. Ever.

Riding south from Jackson the question came up of where to camp for the night. My map indicated a campground on 189 (my direction of travel), but also two campgrounds on 89 (not my direction of travel). Since it wasn't late, I figured I'd ride down 189 to see if a campground existed, and if not, backtrack to 89.

Well, I was in the National Forest,


And I found the campground. Virtually deserted (everyone up at Yellowstone). And I found THE campsite, right on the Hoback River:




This was my "swimmin' hole" aka the site for bathing au naturel! Just the thing after a frustrating, hard (not in miles, but in hours) day of riding. Man! I felt like I'd died and gone to Heaven!


Even the Uly was happy...New Mexico "Land of Enchantment" flag flying.


My campground "hosts"...Barb even sprayed off my body with bug spray (I was out) when I came up to pay my $15. Same price as KOA; no shower, but an even better BATH!


Sitting by the river reading and musing...roll on river, down the Hoback to the Snake, then on to the Columbia and the Pacific Ocean...on down the California Current to ???


I spent a wonderful evening there; come morning I didn't wanna leave. I guess I could have stayed another day, but---although I say I wasn't on a schedule---I do contract research in the summer and I had to work a certain number of days. That number of days left little room for dilly-dallying.

So Uly and I had to head out in the morning...


Mountain Man Museum (sigh)

Riding south toward Pinedale, I was confronted with this sign, which was flashing:


Some of you don't know, but I hit a deer on December 6, 2008 at 72 mph (GPS certified) which totaled my previous '06 Uly and added three more fractures to bring my total to ten. So I'm justifiably concerned about the dadgum forest rats...

Needless to say, at midday there were no deer. So why was the #$%&* sign flashing?! Don't cry wolf!

Pinedale, WY and the Mountain Man Museum. Or not.

Being interested in this period of history, one would think I'd stop here, right? Well, I went on by. For the next twenty miles I debated whether to go back, but kept on going. I've gotta go back; maybe next summer.

Continuing south on 189, the landscape began to remind me of the New Mexico southwest:


The southwest quadrant of Wyoming isn't the most picturesque part; in any event I didn't take any photos.

Stopped at Rock Springs for fuel, then continued south towards Vernal, Utah. The most noteworthy characteristic of entering Utah was that the speed limit dropped from 65 to 55 mph. Not a good sign.

I recalled the Flaming Gorge area from a trip I took through here while in high school (circa 1963); somehow it didn't seem as picturesque now. However, the country between Flaming Gorge and Vernal was unexpectedly mountainous and green (these photos don't really do it justice):




Made it to Vernal, Utah, where something was going on...


My 16-year old son Jeff has a ratty 1986 Toyota MR2; here's one in Vernal that's even rattier. Of course, THIS one runs...


Leaving Vernal on US 40 we head east on the Yampa Plateau towards Dinosaur, Colorado. At Dinosaur I turned south on CO 139 towards Grand Junction. I expected that segment to be dry desert country. At first that seemed correct; my initial impression of north-central Colorado was decidedly "mineral":


However, 40 miles north of Grand Junction the section of country near Douglas Pass (8,268 feet) was very bucolic:



Nowhere to camp in Grand Junction, it's all Agriculture and RV Parks!

True, indeed. However, I had a flash of insight. This was a "business" trip, right? So my employer will reimburse me for a motel going, a hotel at the conference, and a motel on the return. Say no more! I punched up "motel" on the good ol' GPS and we're home free! Um, it was also 97F at Grand Junction and a swimming pool sounded mighty good!



After a dip in the pool I felt half past human again. I may even finish this ride report.

Next: the last leg home through the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado!

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 06:09 PM   #69
TrailDoc
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: SoCal
Oddometer: 233
Great RR. Fantastic photography. I'm thinking about moving to Wyoming. I have make a trip up ther to check it out myself.
__________________
Live long, ride long,
Some dude on the internet

R1200GS "The Breeze"
KLR 650 "Rat B. Starred"
TrailDoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 11:47 AM   #70
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
Do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailDoc
Great RR. Fantastic photography. I'm thinking about moving to Wyoming. I have make a trip up ther to check it out myself.
If you can handle the winters, that's a no brainer, IMHO. I'm not sure that I could, but sounds like you're tougher than I!

I've always been apologetic about my pics in ADV; my third son, now, HE'S a photographer. But glad you like 'em.

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 05:48 PM   #71
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
The Final Segment...Home in is Sight!

After settling in the Ramada Inn, and taking an extended dip in the pool, the issue of dinner arose. After my typical fast food burger for lunch, I wasn't very hungry. Soooo, head for the vending machine! I got spoiled by the hotel vending machines in Japan...they all have beer! Oh well, I still had some bourbon left, so that, plus...let's see...as I recall a bag of chips and a candy bar made a fine meal!


Slept almost as well as by the Hoback River, but not quite. Nothing beats a river or stream...

The Ramada actually had a better-than-average breakfast bar, including---YUM---breakfast burritos! However, after eating too much I was actually not up for anything besides a little bowl of cereal (my standard breakfast at home). Sigh. Well, I guess that's one method to prevent becoming too "heavy-set" as my good friend Gale says.

The Route Home...Dr. Greg Wimps Out.

Now I've never gone through Naturita, CO and on through on CO 145, and I had a route planned to do that: south from Grand Junction on 50 then south on 141 (which cut back almost to Utah), then 145 on through to Ridgway, then 550 to Ouray, Silverton, Durango, etc. At 522 miles it wasn't too bad.


But I guess I was tired. When I got on the bike and headed out, it took me a while to get through the "old" part of Grand Junction, and when I finally got on 50...there was a stiff headwind (as usual on this trip...I'll summarize in the "Epilogue"). So I wimped out and punched up the "GO HOME" button on the Zumo.

The resulting route was less than 400 miles, and still included the heart of the San Juan Mts., so I wasn't disappointed.

There was a fire burning north of Grand Junction, but nobody seemed concerned. Maybe it was controlled.


US 50/550 through Delta and Montrose isn't too scenic, so no pictures there. As I began to approach Ouray things started to improve...


Ouray is ahead right at the base of all those mountains.


I had a bad case of "wanna be home" fever, so I didn't stop in Ouray. Always seems like those places are crawling with tourists (like Red River, NM...way more Texans than New Mexicans in the summer). I like solitude better. So no pics of Ouray, sorry.

San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado.

From a bicycle tour I took from Steamboat Springs, CO to Albuquerque, NM back in the early 80s (during which I crossed the Continental Divide about 20 times) I believe the San Juans are the prettiest mountains in Colorado.



Don't wanna make a mistake here; it's a long ways down...


I was surprised at the lack of traffic; of course it was a weekday. But still...very nice! The Uly and I were having a great time doubling (or close) most of the curve warning signs. Um, that was on the downhill and flats; on the climbs we were both struggling for air a bit! For an undersquare engine, the ol' Thunderstorm 1203 likes to spin (of course "spin" is somewhat relative...like 4,500 rpm is "spinning").

On the climb out of Silverton I caught up to a rider with camping gear on some kind of what I thought might be an ADV-style bike (at least it wasn't a Harley or Wing). I was looking forward to hooking up with him and doin' some corner carving, but he turned off at the viewpoint on top. Rats. I like riding alone but sometimes it's fun to hook up with someone through the curves (like those sportbike riders on CA 299).

Durango, CO and the First "Mechanical" Issue.

Well, not really. I stopped for gas at the southern edge of Durango, and afterwards went inside for a soda (it was HOT). I stopped maybe 30 minutes and when I went out and hit the start button: BZZZZZ! I shoulda been expecting it, since the last few days the starter would sometimes hesitate for a second before cranking. And I know that means the battery is going, Going, now it's GONE!

Fortunately there was a guy nearby with a Mini (the car) who had jumper cables and got me going pronto. I swear I took his picture but I can't find it! He was definitely not the typical Mini owner; looked like a blue-collar guy who grew up the hard way. But a very helpful and cool guy nonetheless.

Between Durango and Albuquerque I had only one more stop: Cuba, New Mexico. I thought ahead and resolved to shut the engine off for the minimum possible time and hope that it restarted. The gas station I'd stop at was quite busy and I was confident I could find someone with jumper cables if need be.

Cuba, New Mexico, where Dr. Greg meets the Rainbow Family and Sees his first Certified Meth-Freak!

When I pulled into the Shell gas station (with attached Mickey D's) in Cuba, I focused on fueling up with the least downtime. When I hit the button the Uly fired immediately. All right! I then left it to idle while I went inside to relieve myself. While emerging, I was panhandled by a couple young hippies. "That's unusual in Cuba," I thought. Back at the bike, I looked around; there were probably 20 or so hippies (and the like) hanging around. WTF? Never seen that before! Turns out the "Rainbow Family" had their annual July 4 "gathering" at the Parque Venado area in the Santa Fe National Forest nearby and these were some of the stragglers.

I shot a surreptitious picture of some of the young vagabonds. Quite the zany bunch! No doubt they were planning some hijinks for the evening...


While I was donning my helmet (Uly still dutifully idling) a newish pickup with construction equipment in the back pulled up in front of me (temporarily blocking my egress). A young man poked his "head" out the window, and started conversing with another.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYONE THAT LOOKED LIKE THAT IN MY LIFE!!! It was like someone had painted skin on a skull. He was wearing a muscle shirt, and his shoulder bones protruded; the tissue underneat was almost nonexistent. It was like seeing Death Walking. Oh. My. God.

He was grinning and talking...I was almost physically ill. I really wanted to take his picture but I was afraid he'd come over and kill me and drink my blood.
Finally he pulled his truck up to the curb and his passenger emerged...looked JUST LIKE HIM!!

I guess I lead a sheltered life. When I rode out of Cuba, the feel of the air, the look and smell of sagebrush, and the blue sky never seemed to feel so good. Man!

Further south on US 500 the country looked familiar: New Mexico USA (that's what our license plates have since most people think New Mexico is a foreign country).


Home at Last!

I texted ahead and Mrs. Greg snapped my picture as I rolled down our street (neck permanently tilted cuz of a 1972 crash):


After kissing Mrs. Greg and stripping off my gear, I was workin' out 4,165 miles of kinks: AHHHH!


Please stay tuned for the "Epilogue"...coming SOON!

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)

Dr. Greg screwed with this post 07-21-2009 at 06:01 PM
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 05:25 PM   #72
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
Dr. Greg's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,131
Epilogue.

This trip was 4,165 miles in length; nothing compared to even the "typical" ride on ADV, but I enjoyed it. A few final observations...

2006 Ulysses...the second time around.

The Uly was perfect. This is my second '06, and it seems like another good one. Absolutely not one thing went wrong (except for the battery). Never opened my tool kit. I do carry a spare belt and the tools to change it (an easy roadside job). Great bike! Between both Ulys I've put 65,000 miles on them. Never left me stranded (but close when then spark plug blew out on my first one).

Motorcycles I Saw.

If one judged US motorcycle sales by the bikes seen on my trip, one would conclude that the only company in existence was Harley-Davidson. Harleys outnumbered the other bikes on my trip by about 50-to-1. Honestly. I saw one Strom, a couple Wings, and something I couldn't identify. All the rest were Harleys. In large packs, small packs, and solo. That was the reality. Perhaps all the ADV riders were on the dirt roads.

Riding Pace.

Never met anyone maintaining a "spirited" pace through the curves (like I ride) except the two sportbikes I hooked up with on CA 299. Everyone else was just cruising. Speed limit or lower. So either I'm out of line, or I got a bad sample.

Interaction from ADVrider.com.

Perhaps I should have titled my ride "Dr. Greg's Tour de American West" or the like. But I was very disappointed in the interaction I got on this forum (better response on the Buell forum even though it's tiny). Maybe the "Uly" in the title turned everyone off. Sometimes seems this forum doesn't care unless you ride a GS. Oh, well....I guess my Texas trip a year ago last spring did better (less going on that time of year).

If you enjoyed my tale and feel motivated, let me know. That might encourage me to write another. I cross-posted this entire report to both ADV and BadWeB. That was actually very easy, except I couldn't include any emoticons cuz they're quite different between forums.

Later,

--Doc
__________________
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
Dr. Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 05:31 PM   #73
iloco
Gnarly Adventurer
 
iloco's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Chilhowie, Va
Oddometer: 282
I enjoyed your report a lot. I ride a Goldwing and not a GS so don't let what kind of bike you ride determine what you report. I am sure a lot feel the same as I do. Looking for more of your reports.
__________________
2006 Suzuki DL650
iloco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 05:39 PM   #74
Hughlysses
Beastly Adventurer
 
Hughlysses's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Summerville, SC
Oddometer: 3,197
Great ride report, doc. Thanks for taking us along.
__________________
2007 Buell XB12X Ulysses
1983 Honda VT500FT Ascot
Hughlysses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 06:10 PM   #75
beerracer
beerracer
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Oddometer: 21
Good RR! just read the whole thread. Nice to see something good written about a ULY!
beerracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 10:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014