2013-08 - YELLOWSTONE TRIP
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In August I was fortunate enough to take an extended vacation, mostly by motorcycle. As you can see from the route above, it was a fairly leasurely route compared to my usual trips. The blue flags are where I stopped for a night, or more in a few cases. My normal mode of travel is to haul butt across the country to where I want to be, then settle into a more leisurely pace, camping at night, and seeing sites. This time, I decided I would slow down and spoil myself a bit. Camping would be a rare occasion, and I would try not to ride more than 12 hours a day. This worked out well enough, but it sure takes a long time to get across the country. Normally New Mexico would be a nice two day trip. This time I was not even into New Mexico until the fourth day. Staying in hotels every night on a three week trip is just way more expensive than I ever want to do again. Stopping early when going across country gives me more time at the end of the day than I know what to do with, considering the places I tend to stop. Big meal, a few drinks, then what?
On the way out, the first day was only 515 miles, the second was 781 and the third only 553. This is pretty slow for me.
This trip was also a bit different as a portion of it included my girlfriend and 10 members of her family. This worked out quite well, although I had been worried that it might be difficult to keep that many different people entertained for a week. Everyone had a good time.
Above you will find a link to ALL photos.
My office had kind of a Flat Stanley thing going this summer, only we had a duck instead of Flat Stanley. OK, he was actually a chicken, but the chicken was a bit confused and thought he was a duck. I tried introducing him to a chicken, as shown here, but it did not go well.
Rio Grande Bridge, NM
West of Toas, New Mexico is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Pretty impressive.
I wandered up to Telluride, CO. There I was told about a great ride to a great car museum. This was Rt 141 from Telluride to Gateway, CO and then up to Grand Junction. Rt 141 went through some amazing canyons.
Gateway Auto Museum
There were some very interesting cars at this museum. The museum is owned by the man who owns the Discovery Channel. He has cars he like in it, including the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car shown below. There is a very interesting story about this car, but I will let you go to the museum site to get more info if you like. I was walking around and saw three men looking at cars. One of the men was opening up hoods and talking about the cars. I decided to follow them around for a while. Two were enthusiasts, probably fairly rich, the third was the curator of the museum. Some great stories. For example, they had bought a Corvette. The VIN was the engine number, which did not make sense. They discovered that some of the earliest of this model used the chassis from the previous year. The normal place to put the vin on this model was under the frame. On the prior year, it was on the top of the frame. They lifted the body just a bit, and found the VIN. That raised the value of the car by tens of thousands of dollars. I also heard some of the untold story on the Olds F-88. It had quite a history for a car that was thought to have been destroyed.
The F-88 Story
This is the location of the museum. The location itself is worth the trip.
The Colorado National Monument - Grand Junction, CO
This seemed very Zen to me.
Lost and Found
Back in 2009, in Colorado, north of Cowdry I hit a Mule Deer while on my Harley. The resulting slide down the road ended in what is often called a Rummage Sale. My stuff was scattered all over the place. Some folks that stopped helped me gather my stuff. The only real injury was one over-extended muscle in my leg. We were able to gather everything, all electronics, all cloths, everything. EXCEPT ... my bag with toiletries, most important of which was my Ibuprofin. I would have killed for that Ibuprofin. The other thing was a rather expensive radar detector. This was on a magnetic mount, which I suspect helped launch it into space.
I was headed right past the location of the crash, so I decided to stop and look around. I wanted to see if my memory of the crash was true. We can't really trust our memories in an event like this. Everything was just as I remember. The brushy area the dear came from, the area where the bike finally came to rest, all of it. Even after 4 years there was still evidence of the crash in the dirt. Dry areas like this don't change much over time.
Then I saw it. My toiletries bag. Just sitting there, partially zipped open.
The toothpaste was still good, I used it the rest fo the trip. Same with the sunscreen. The razor was not quite prime, so I dumped that, along with the moldy ear plugs. Everything was covered in a white powder due to the Rolaids descintigrating. The lighter still worked well. And my Swiss Army Knife was still sharp. The lip balm and deoderant had melted, but the lip balm in the sealed containers was still good. The only thing I can think of is that the bag was under the bike when it was sitting there, and was left when the tow truck pulled the bike up. It was sitting in the open maybe 5 feet from where the bike was laying.
The Screaming Meanie still functioned once I put a new battery in it. Somewhat. The Extra Loud setting was not very loud, and the display did not display completely, but it worked.
These were the only parts I could find of the bike. I think that blue rubber band was one of the ones I used to keep the radar detector from rattling.
THEN I FOUND IT. There, in the bag, my small bottle of Ibuprofin. After the accident, all I really wanted was this bottle. It was the most valuable part of my kit. The day after the accident, at my girlfreinds insistance, I went to the hospital to be checked out. I was fine. I ended up paying $20 per pill for the Ibuprofin they gave me. Well, the insurance company did. The pills in this bottle still looked like pills. Not like anything you would put in your mouth, but they were still intact.
Medicine Bow National Forest, on the Snowy Range Scenic Byway
The Grand Tetons
Yellowstone and West Yellowstone
I volunteered to score rider at the Big Sky Long Distance Rally. Here I am abusing a rider.
And helping out a harley Rider.
I wonder what the ticket would cost at this MAX SPEED?