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Old 09-06-2010, 12:11 AM   #16
aaronrkelly OP
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So our last post of this adventure left off with the museum....the only thing of value I found in Nebraska.....that and for some reason when I went thru Omaha it smelled like donuts.....that was nice. Other then those two things I wasnt impressed.

.....but we were almost to Colorado....now it was going to change.

So we leave the museum.....more 4 lane.....humming along......welcome to Colorado.....this is going to be great.

.....damn. Colorado looks just like Nebraska.....that sucks. We rode for another 2 hours or so before we started seeing mountains.....waay off in the distance.

Now I dont have any Colardo road shots cause to start off with.....Colorado looked just like Nebraska. When the mountains started showing off in the distance then I got in the first "rain" off the trip. A very light drizzle.....and wind gusts to rival my ex-mother-in-laws mouth. Not exactly picture taking weather. It actually wasnt that bad and only lasted maybe 30 mins.....but Id been riding forever and just didnt give a crap about some distant mountains.

So after about 830 miles......and 15 hours.....we pull into Colorado Springs around 6:30 to 7-ish.

First thing....find some good food - ie some place that doesnt have paper hats or a drive thru.

So we hit a place called The Mason Jar.

http://www.masonjarcolorado.com/

Guess this places claim to fame is their chicken fried steak and the fact the drinks come in......wait for it.......a mason jar. Yeah, shocked the hell out of me to....wowwa.

I ordered something that was likely to clog an artery, cause a heart-attack and end the ride early.....check out this fatty goodness.



chicken fried chicken.....with mashed potatoes topped with bacon......green beans.....and of course a side of more gravy



my drink.......in the most coveted "mason jar"

Food as really good after a long ride.....and honestly it was good food.

The plan next was to score some ice and beer in our cooler.....and make way to Mueller State Park for some camping and scenery.

So we head up the mountain towards the park and its starts gusting...

I could literally see up the road a "wall" of what looked like hail. So I pre-warn my girlfriend in my most Captain Sig Hansen voice "its about to get nautical". Now Ive ridden in torrential downpours.....even hail. I was prepped for it....really wasnt a big deal.

.......but it wasnt hail. It was gravel and sand. I guess when the wind comes up this stuff just flies off the mountain.

game the FUCK over.....turn this bitch around and head back DOWN the mountain

My big camping and scenery adventure......Im headed back in town looking for a motel.

So I roll my big futuristic pavement eater down main street and start looking for some "locals". I chatted up some "urban" looking youths....baggie pants and all that.....they tell me for a cheap motel I want to go to this place called the Chief.

Sweet.....Im cheap....and Ive only been "out west" for a single day and Im already hunting indians.....hell yeah - this Chief is gonna be my bitch (with the help of my trusty tracker Mr Garmin).



Gotta love a place you can hole up for $35. I parked my bike outside, we hauled our asses inside (out of the gravel/sand/rain storm).

Now as far as cheap motels go Im NOT that picky. I stayed in a place once that cost $15 a night.....sure the place smelled a bit and all the sheets and blankets had moth holes in them.....but that can be overlooked.

Cheap motels need only these things to make me happy.

a bed more comfortable then my sleeping bag on the ground
a good shower with decent water pressure
air conditioning

Thats it.....and the Chief delivered. TV, small fridge, coffee pot, microwave......great shower.....REALLY comfy bed.....and only 1 mystery stain on the wall and 2 empty vodka bottles in the tub.



I also kinda liked the layout of this place. Between the rooms was a common parking area....so each room had a covered place to park a vehicle. Kinda different - at least from what Im used to seeing anyways.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:23 AM   #17
aaronrkelly OP
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I stand corrected.....I DO have some of those "mountains off in the distance" shots.

I was just going thru the pics off my gf's cell phone and apparently she took some.

the part of Colorado that doesnt look any different then Nebraska....


then you can see it is going to get better....








Hell going thru these pics makes me wanna load my shit up and head back.....damn.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:56 AM   #18
aaronrkelly OP
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So after we wake up....get our stuff packed and roll outta the Chief we headed north towards Pikes Peak.

First stop.....some cliff dwellings in Manitou Springs.



...but we were a bit early. So we set on the side of the road and waited till they opened.





The view from inside one of the cliff dwellings - cant be all bad to wake up looking at that in the morning.






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Old 09-06-2010, 01:05 AM   #19
aaronrkelly OP
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The cliff dwellings were cool (something the gf wanted to see) but the big kahuna for the day for me was Pikes Peak.

.....lets do it.








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Old 09-06-2010, 01:29 AM   #20
aaronrkelly OP
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I pay the nice lady at the toll booth and she informs me I have to drop the trailer in the lot here at the bottom. OK....thats kinda inconvenient but no problem.

Ive been to the top of Pikes Peak before....but I was 10 and it was in a car. As such I wasnt paying attention and of course wasnt driving.....so I didnt really remember much.

We unhook and head up.....





















At the top we wandered around the gift shop and such. Met a couple from New York that were riding either 11 or 14 different mountain ranges on a Super Glide.....talked with them for half an hour or so. Great folks. There were tons of guys on adventure bikes - looked like maybe a riding group or a planned ride. You couldnt swing a dead cat without hitting a GS or HD of some sort......no Victory's in sight.

So we headed back down the mountain....following the GS dudes standing on their pegs. I stood up on mine for awhile to but didnt see the point, so I set back down......to each their own.



......had to make a little stop on the way down.....all the gear all the time...not exactly.....but some of the gear when necessary



Stopped and ate a little snack at Crystal Creek Reservoir on the way down.



.....and the Pikes Peak adventure was over....next.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:36 AM   #21
aaronrkelly OP
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Between Pikes Peak and Royal Gorge I wanted to hit Skyline Drive.

Its a single lane width road right off the 4 lane that goes over a mountain formation and dumps right in Canon City.....I heard it was cool.

I like cool.

I liked this road.

no uturns












I did really like this road....it was just a short little ride but the scenery was nice. The road wasnt technical or anything, just interesting.

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:36 AM   #22
aaronrkelly OP
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After leaving Canon City we headed to the Royal Gorge. I was a little hesitant to drop over $50 to see it....but figured we were here.



I guess it was cool but not $50 worth of cool. I would rather have just taken that 2 hours of my life back and just road the beautiful mountain roads again. That $50 gets you on most of the rides.....you could conceivably spend 3 or 4 hours there but it was a bit TO touristy for me....so we saw and rolled.

None the less we rode the cable car, the incline train and then rode across the bridge.

cable car


view from the car....itty bitty cars driving across that huge bridge


looking down in the gorge from the cable car


incline train (viewed from the bottom)


bridge from the bottom


view of the river at the bottom



getting ready to cross the bridge








ON the bridge pic which a nice group took for us. Cant really see any of the Gorge and the camera strap is in the frame....but for an impromptu "in the middle of a bridge" pic it wasnt so bad.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:04 AM   #23
aaronrkelly OP
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After leaving the last tourist trap of the day next on my radar was put some miles on, eat, hit a WalMart for "stuff" and find a camp ground.

......so I rode.....












had to eat....so I had my way with the King (he didnt put up much of a fight)




Next on the list was WalMart.....and probably the best scenery Ive ever seen from a WalMart parking lot......get your mountains at WalMart, everyday low price.



Turns out that just a bit down the road from WalMart was an RV park....sweet.

Not wanting to replicate that failure of riding up the mountain in a storm, in the dark, to setup camp like we attempted on our first day.....we called it a bit earlier this time. We set camp up mostly in the day light.

Slept well, perfect sleeping temperature. Just cool enough you were comfortable in the sleeping bags. Think the low was about 58 or so that night.

Here was a "camp" picture the next morning.



Nice camp grounds.....camped next to us were two guys riding their bicycles in the mountains. We were the only tent campers....everyone else was in the large party barges.

Had fairly nice bathrooms.....and a nice shower house with individual shower rooms.

The plan for the next day....Grand Canyon and 4 corners.

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Old 09-21-2010, 12:07 AM   #24
aaronrkelly OP
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The plan was to hit the Grand Canyon.....then The 4 Corners on the way back. My GPS told me the other way around was more efficient. Since my guide proved to be a crack Indian tracker earlier when hunting Chief.....I decided to let it lead me.

......so off to The 4 Corners.

On the way I see a sign pointing the way to The Great Sand Dunes. Sweet, anything having great in the title must rock.....it worked out to be about a 1 1/2 hour detour but what the hell.

Looked kinda tame from off in the distance.....but as I got closer it got great'er.









My girlfriend was impressed with these flowers blanketing the fields on the way in (and out).

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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615692

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Old 09-21-2010, 12:28 AM   #25
aaronrkelly OP
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Back on the road headed to the The Fo Corners......

After getting back on the road we stopped for gas.....and my girlfriend couldnt resist getting a big cock picture.




Next we rolled back into the mountains thru the Rio Grande National Forest. You could stop ANYWHERE and see beauty in all directions.







We hit a few camp sites and pull outs just to hang by the river.....







I honestly about called it a day JUST so I could camp in one of these spots....but it was WAY to early for that, sadly.

Coming out of the Rio Grande National Forest I was hungry......pulling into Durango, CO we see a big banner in front of a place loudly proclaiming to be "BIKER FRIENDLY".

We holed up at the Purple Haze Bar and Grill (http://www.purplehazebar.com/) for an hour or so.....nice little break.





They were doing the whole Jimi Hendrix theme with the decor, menu etc. I had the Ramblin' Man (bacon cheeseburger). Was pretty good.....but there was no paper headwear like at BK.....so I wasnt the King for the rest of the day.
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615692

a quick run to the Black Hills
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...8#post14248448

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Old 09-21-2010, 01:46 AM   #26
aaronrkelly OP
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From Durango to The Fo Corners I got no pics.

......and honestly The Fo Corners wasnt that great - kinda lame really. The only thing that made it memorable was a group I met there.





After violating the porta potty I come out and see about 5 HD Ultra Classics pull up.....some were riding 2 up so I guess about 8 people get off. They gather all around my bike.....occasionally someone reaches out and touches it or points to something.

Im not one of those "touch my bike and die" kinda folks.....short of throwing a leg over it I dont get to worked up over much....but I was curious.

So I head over that way and thats when I notice these guys are not speaking English.

There is one guy that is kinda getting by translating. They are from Italy....they flew over to Las Vegas, rented bikes and where riding for a few days seeing The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley etc.

Guys from the land of Ducati and Ferrari were impressed with my bike.....cool....imagine an Italian accent - "Victoree Visooon......veeery gooood motorbike.....". Then the guy pointed to his rented HD Ultra - "not so goood motorbike". Sadly I did NOT get a picture of me with these guys.....probably the one thing I regret the most. These guys were cool and we chatted (as best we could thru the interpreter) about my bike.

They even made it a point to stop and watch as I started it and drove off. At that point I realized I hadnt seen another Vision on this trip (or any of mine actually)....but tons of HDs and Goldwings, etc. Its kind of an odd and uncommon bike.

Anywho, back to the trip.....

Next stop.....The Grand F'n Canyon.....but by now I had hosed myself out of seeing it today.....I couldnt make it before dark.

Shieeet......but I gotta get close so Im there early tomorrow........miles.....must ride miles......

Road pics from the next jaunt.....in no particular order cause Im not really sure where they are from.....hell they may not be from the next chunk of highway exactly, just my best guess....











The exception being THIS next picture. After leaving The Fo Corners I realized I had not RODE in Utah. I have a map and I check off each state as I RIDE in it. I had STOOD in Utah.....WALKED in UTAH....maybe even AMBLED.....but I did not RIDE. So in order to check it off I had to find a road running north across the Utah line. I turned up Indian Route 35...and about 1 mile after crossing into Utah I u-turned and pulled over along the rode. My girlfriend wanted to check out the sand and walk around a bit. Thats when I turned around and snapped THIS picture. Its my most favorite'st picture from the whole trip.....I actually had a poster printed from it and framed.



As it got darker I again realized I rode my way right out of camping....ahh, who cares I will just grab a cheapo hotel again.

Yeah....epic failure.

I was close enough to The Grand Canyon that I could almost smell the anal lube in the air while I was calling about hotel rooms.

$180 here.....$150 there.....$135 over there.....so I picked the cheapest....which still wasnt cheap.

$95 at the Anasazi Inn.....damn it.....thats sucks. At this point I SHOULD have said screw it and tossed my tent up anywhere.....but I again went credit card camping instead.

In the morning I snapped some pics of the hotel.





view out the back of our room....



since I was in Arizona I took the opportunity to open carry....



Next stop.....The Grand Canyon.....no really, this time the next stop is The Grand Canyon.
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Iowa to Grand Canyon....and back
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615692

a quick run to the Black Hills
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...8#post14248448
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:43 AM   #27
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Looking good buddy!
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:58 PM   #28
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Good story, Arron.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:59 PM   #29
aaronrkelly OP
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So Im getting to the pinnacle of my trip....the whole REASON for going. The Grand Canyon.....the piece de' resistance.

So I take off from the Anasazi Inn with the tinge of anal lube still in the air....

In case anyone asks thats a Glock 19. Atleast I know I wont be experiencing any real anal raping today as Im armed.

(sidenote)
This trip has been great weather wise.....that little bit of drizzle on day 1....then blue skies and great weather. Hell even in the dead of the desert we got to maybe 92 degrees.....meanwhile everyone back in Iowa is drowning in their own sweat and humidity.....we are cool as can be bopping around in the desert. Most of the riding was done in the 80s....phenomenal.
(end sidenote)

Some pics on the way to the big hole.













and we finally get there.



Im pumped.....



Now its worth mentioning that on the way in it was cloudy. Went back and forth between looking like it might rain to looking great.

So we get off the bike and head into the visitor center at the first view....thats where the tower is.

........and it fucking monsoons.....I shit you not. Goddamn it. Where not talking a small rain......it hammered the area for a full 45 minutes. Everyone was in the visitor center....it was packed.

So this is what my FIRST view of the Grand Canyon looks like.



Really.....I rode all this way to see The Grand Canyon and I get this....fuck my life.

It would rain for 15 mins.....stop for 10.......rain again.....back and forth. You never knew which way it was going....so we left our rain gear on.

Which resulted in my pictures of me standing in front of The Grand Canyon looking like Elvis (in the latter years) wearing a hazmat suite and a firemans helmet (my cheapo Bell helmet with the visor fitted). Clearly THESE vacation photos were going to be memorable.




......but atleast you could see it was clearing up ahead (or behind). I was coming across people coming from the other direction telling me that it wasnt raining at the other end of the park.....sweet. Maybe this could be saved.
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Iowa to Grand Canyon....and back
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615692

a quick run to the Black Hills
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...8#post14248448
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:14 AM   #30
aaronrkelly OP
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.....and it would be saved.

Here you can see the sun peeking out.....almost like a stage light on the river down there. (all pictures have been resized small for quick load times.....my camera really doesnt suck this bad)



These other pictures are in no particular order.....just tossed up here.





















Near sunset the sun was starting to hide behind the clouds making for very interesting pictures.



You really cant take a bad picture at The Grand Canyon (unless its raining)......and you cant take enough. During this trip I took 8GB of pictures and over half of those were at The Grand Canyon. These were of no particular significance and probably arent even the best ones.....just some I grabbed quickly.
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Iowa to Grand Canyon....and back
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615692

a quick run to the Black Hills
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...8#post14248448
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