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Old 09-20-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
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Tilting at Windmills High Points Around the Rockies

Report #3

It's finally time for our two week vacation. Last summer the fires in Colorado prevented us from visiting our usual haunts and we had to go with plan B, Tilting at Windmills, which took us to Arizona.

LA spent her early years there and wanted to visit. I wanted to ride and really didn't care where. Turns out the trip would prove a life altering visit and hopefully by the end of this report you'll understand why.



Our lives have been a whirlwind of change and purging these last several weeks leading up to the trip. We've made new friends, made gigantic decisions and acted on them, and embraced minimalism and simplification. The excitement and anticipation made the last days before leaving seem like eons.

So, come along and ride with us on this four week fiasco. Share our elation and see what it's like to throw caution to the wind, to take a leap of faith and just ride the wave that is....

.....the Karma of the Road Less Traveled.








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Old 09-20-2014, 08:52 PM   #2
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I'll follow along on this one!
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:06 PM   #3
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I'm ready. Let's get going!
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:44 PM   #4
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So....

While we were counting down the days before takeoff, we were fortunate enough to receive a couple of visitors. Folks we follow religiously here on ADV that just happened to be heading through Texas and Wichita Falls was just a handy stopping point.

We got to meet JDowns

South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076




We even got to see a side of him that most folks don't.



And Travelbugblues

American girl Down Under- Exploring Oz on a 250cc Super Sherpa http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...=American+Girl





struggled with the Texas heat, but finally made it here on her way home.

It's a Sherpa connection, if that makes any sense.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:07 PM   #5
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This was kind of a farewell tour, so our friends Jason and Erin asked us over for dinner -- funny, Jason of Wonder Customs had something in his guest bedroom he thought I might be interested in.

Anybody recognize this?





....and yes, it was in the movie.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acidman1968 View Post


I'll follow along on this one!
Glad to have you looking in, acidman1968.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bomose View Post
I'm ready. Let's get going!
Hey David, hope you and Barbara are doing well. "Blood and Thunder" nudged me to a couple spots on this adventure. Thanks again for the reading tip.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:44 AM   #8
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Here is a rough sketch

of our intended route which was mostly disregarded from the moment we left our driveway. There's not much in the way of a return route to Wichita Falls, TX.



Because we're not coming back.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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All righty then I'll being
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advmoto66 View Post
All righty then I'll being
Honored you'd look in advmoto66. Be patient, it might take a while to get all this posted up.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:37 PM   #11
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Day 1, Saturday, August 16, 2014 -- Wichita Falls, TX to Black Mesa State Park, OK

454 miles, ~10.25 hrs

The original plan was to leave shortly after closing the clinic at noon and camp free at Lake Meridith, TX (which is currently mostly dry). A couple nights ago we decided not to open the clinic on Saturday at all and leave as early as possible and try to make it to Black Mesa SP where we've camped several times. LA would shoot straight up the monotonous US 287 and I'd plod along the road less traveled.




The morning was gloomy, muggy, and misting. So much for "Sunrays and Saturdays" ~ Vertical Horizon



I headed for familiar riding, cutting through the enormous Waggoner Ranch which announced in the Times Record News on August 9, 2014, that it would be for sale for a modest $750 million. I took one of my favorite roads on the ranch, just to say good-bye since I wouldn't be returning except to pack our remaining worldly goods into a 6 X 12 U-Haul trailer.




It only takes a little rain to turn these clay roads into quicksand. I stopped to smell the milkweed and cockle burs, the gloom so thick the flash on my camera kept going off.






Red and I dropped in at the entrance to the ranch headquarters to get a picture before it changes ownership, another lost icon. Waggoner Ranch was just one of the many gems I discovered knocking around dirt roads on Sunday afternoons. Now I'll get to start that process again, in another state.

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Old 09-21-2014, 08:54 PM   #12
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The aroma of this truck

loaded with freshly bailed alfalfa brought the realization home that we were on a fresh new adventure for two weeks -- and then a quick return and another adventure for LIFE.



I pulled in here for some home made beef jerky and a little trail mix, then hit the road again. Getting out of TX from Wichita Falls can be a test of endurance unless you just love to ride and think. At least there was a hint of blue sky on the horizon





I found a shortcut, well, at least I thought so for a while.





Instead of backtracking I took a dirt road heading north and it spit me out on the dreaded US 287.



Which wasn't so bad because it put me on the Quanah Parker trail which is what these huge arrows signify if you've ever seen one throughout the TX panhandle.




Losing the cloud cover came with a price.



I eventually wound up heading north on FM 294




where I stopped to study this corn irrigation system for a second. It literally floods the ground in the large, round corn field.


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Old 09-21-2014, 09:30 PM   #13
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Another nice surprise

was the little town of White Deer, TX.





Just another benefit of taking the road less traveled.

Then I took TX Hwy 152, heading northwest towards Stinnett, TX where there was something of interest to me. Common sense called for the rainsuit. It felt really good as the temperature had dropped appreciably.




I'm not sure how I wound up with this unplanned detour, but it was welcome.





Eventually the pavement returned, along with this cool old bridge.



Then, just north of Stinnett, I found my intended destination.




There is more out there, but my search was a bust including a mud slop road and pursuit by a well muscled pit bull terrier visiting an oil rig with his master.



So we rode in the rain on into the town of Sunray, TX, hoping for that very thing -- and low and behold....





And then we were in OK, headed for Black Mesa SP.




Got gas in Boise City, OK and headed into the setting sun, trying to find LA. She had us a spot (#11) for 2 nights (another amendment to THE PLAN) @ $12.00 a night X 2 = $24.00. We set up the tent, had some drinks, she cooked up some egg, leftover pork from home, and potato which fit nicely in tortillas and our bellies. It started to rain about 30 minutes after we finished eating and was a welcome good night story plop-plop-plopping on the tent.



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Old 09-25-2014, 05:53 PM   #14
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Day 2, Sunday, August 17, 2014 -- An out and back ride from Black Mesa SP, AZ

322 Miles, ~ 10.5 hours

This was more than I'd bargained for and I felt bad for taking LA and Booger on such a trek. It didn't look nearly that far on the map.

As I type this from Pine, AZ, the elk are making these high pitched bugling noises all around us. A sound that seems an ill fit for such large creatures.

We started the morning in lazy fashion, when we should have been hookin' it.




So we finally got on the road around 10:30 am.



We took a couple roads around the park and then decided we best get on our way. It was great to have LA riding again and she later confessed how much better it was to explore America on a motorcycle. I chuckled and agreed. She's getting it....



And so...

Just a few miles west of the park, I got my first ever pic of a roadrunner. The final discussion on "West of the Pecos" was centered on my inability to catch a roadrunner in a frame, no matter how I tried and tried. This seemed like a good omen and I was ecstatic.



And then we just followed the road less traveled. I had studiously planned something entirely different, but here we were, just riding and enjoying, studying a tourist map and guessing since there were no dirt roads on the map. I had a Gazetter of CO but it was of no use in the floorboard of the Xterra.




We just continued along the route the paper map suggested, and it was good. It got us into CO. Really appreciate how they incorporate a windmill into the sign.




We elected to embrace "No Man's Land," and kept going. I'm not sayin' LA was good with this, she just wanted to ride a little, "little," being the operative word at the moment, so we just blasted along.


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Old 09-25-2014, 06:18 PM   #15
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Red and I are just thumping along

when LA come up from behind, hi beam low beam, high beam -- "You gotta' look out for me."

"You dropped your water bottle about a mile back..."

"Oh really."

So we go back to get it.



Which was a good call because it forced us to stop and look around....

and see....there's neat stuff all around, I just tend to focus on the road and making the miles. We're out here to relax, so it might be a good idea to try doing it. Heelllloooooo......




Then it was out onto the plains.

Does anybody, other than crazies like us, ever chose to just go riding through this stuff in the blazing heat?






So we decided to follow the directions to Pritchett, CO




Then took off, heading north.




We came to a "T" and decided to go west (left) after a quick lunch.




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