Thursday, September 29, 2011

Festival of Trees

Each year during the Christmas season the "Festival of Trees" is held in the Salt Lake Valley. This is a fund-raiser for the Primary Childrens Medical Center which is located in Salt Lake City proper. To participate one needs to create a Christmas tree and donate it to the Festival of Trees, they then display it and somehow auction the trees off to people who like them enough to buy. If you enjoy Christmas, Christmas Trees, and ALL things Christmas the Festival is for you! They display over 1000 trees along with all kinds of other Christmasy stuff.

This year I registered to enter a tree in the Festival. My tree will be motorcycle themed (*GASP* "NO WAY!"). I have a basic design in mind which has not been warmly received by those with good taste, but I'm pressing forward regardless; aesthetics be dammed.

Check back here at the end of November (I have to have it done by November 28th). You might want to check in before you have supper, and maybe wear some welding goggles....
This could be interesting.

Hmmmmm.....I've been asked for "teaser info"...I can only assume this is info as to how the tree will be made? The trunk will be a metal pipe, branches will be cut MC tires, decorations will be small motorcycles (matchbox, hotwheels, etc), and other MC type stuff. Having said that, the only thing I currently have enough of is the tires. If anyone wants to donate any of the other items please contact me. I hope to have the tree finished by mid November.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Great day - Bad ending - Good news.

Great day.
My annual Daddy - Daughter ride was this Saturday, September 17. I REALLY enjoy this tradition and the time spent with my daughter Kaybi. It's also fun having friends and family come along with us, Stan and two of his daughters, Christy, and Becky, my daughter-in -law Tiffany brought her dad, Roy, and my grand-daughter Alyssa. Tiffany is heavy with child so she, her dad, and Alyssa rode in a car.

So three bikes, five motorcyclists, and three cage riders set out on a chilly, rain threatening day. The Saturday before, while on another ride I saw a lonely, beckoning, back-country road that seemed anxious for me to ride it. That night I had a dream about that road, so the next day, (last Sunday) Beverly and I returned and followed that lonely road to it's end which happened to be a Utah State Park; Lost Creek. This isn't the first time I've had this experience, here is a poem I penned a few years ago about the same thing;

The Road

I saw a lonely road today, it seemed to call my name.

I've heard that voice a thousand times, it always sounds the same.

It matters not what kind of road it is, street, highway, or dusty ole trail.

They bid the same each one to me; "come see my sights, come on and smell my smells."

They speak with a quiet seductive tone, that pierces straight to my heart.Their siren voice whispers in my ear; "to go round the world you first have to start!"

I gazed down that road,...I heard the call....yet, felt an emptiness deep inside.

For me the choice was made long ago, I have duties from which I can't hide.

I take a long, last look down that lonely road ignore the call turn and go on my way.

But I mark that road on the map in my mind and think, maybe, just maybe, another day.

I chose this route for the Daddy-Daughter ride.

And it WAS a chilly day! We rode up Emigration Canyon, to Hennefer, then on to Croyden where the road to Lost Creek begins. Following it to the State Park, we stopped at the reservior and tried to rub some feeling back into our hands - then we rode the few miles back to Taggart Grill for some wonderful lunch. If you are interested, Taggart has a very excellent Portobello Mushroom burger, with or without the meat patty - get the patty and fries, go in hungry, clean your plate, waddle out fat and happy!

Looking off the patio at Taggarts.

This guy and his girlfriend were hanging out by our table.

During lunch we decided on our route home. Stan has the best knowledge of how to get on our chosen road so he led this part of the ride.

Bad ending.

We were on the East Canyon road, SR 66, when it happened. Stan is a safe rider, and cognizant that his daughters are still learning, so he was leading at or below speed limits on this curvy road, but for reasons still unknown Becky lost control of her bike and ended up in a shallow ditch on the side of the road. She was face up in ankle deep water, she was concious, but hurting! She had bounced and tumbled over boulders and down the embankment into the water.

There is a camp ground a few hundred yards away from the crash site, but other than that we had the area to ourselves. As my daughter ran uphill to get cell service and call 911 I went to Becky to talk to, and try to reassure her. Within seconds (maybe 30 or so..) there were two men behind me, one stated they were medical professionals of some sort (I think he said they were EMTs, but can't be certain) when he said that I immediately stepped back and let them take over. I can't express how relieved I was that someone who knew what they were doing was there to help! As I stepped back I saw that they had their SUV parked on the road to protect the crash site.

Within a couple of minutes three other medical pros were there. They all three were Doctors and had well stocked first aid bags. Becky was in excellent hands! (I believe the bicycle riding Drs were from the east coast, and on vacation here) additionally some people from the campground came with blankets to cover Becky. Surprisingly soon, considering our somewhat remote location, the police, then the ambulance arrived. They all acted competently and Becky was transported to the nearest hospital.

You can see where the path of the bike is, the bike, and the responders working on Becky.

I didn't get the names of any of the Good Samaritans, I wouldn't recognize them if I saw them, but I thank them from the bottom of my heart for the care they so freely gave when needed!

Good news.

Becky will spend the next few days in the hospital. Luckily tests on her head and spine came back as good news. Her wrist was operated on, and her elbow was re-located, and she has numerous bumps and bruises. Her full face helmet is scratched and dinged, her jacket and jeans were cut off at the scene.

Right now I'm certain she doesn't think so, but I saw the entire incident; the mileage marker pole she narrowly missed, the barbed wire fence she came within a couple of feet of grating along, the bowling ball sized boulders she tumbled over and through and having seen all that I think she is very, very lucky. Part of that luck is that she didn't give up on trying to ride the bike, she stayed with it and very nearly regained control..but it was not to be.

As for the Daddy-Daughter ride? It was a lot of fun up to that point. Next year? Probably not.

ps. Just got home from a visiting Becky at the hospital. She is in good spirits and seems to be doing as well as can be expected.

pps. can anyone tell me how to keep the random spaces out of my blog posts? I edit over and over and yet they are still there.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mine...all mine!

It's only a short ride from my house to Butterfield Canyon (18 miles or so), then a few miles up the canyon the road turns to dirt (8 miles or so), a few more miles of dirt (another 3 miles or so) and knowing which turn off to take and you can see this. The Kennecott Copper mine. This is the third largest open pit mine in the world, and quite a site to behold!
It's a hazy day, but looking north you can see the Salt Lake Valley, and if you squint hard enough you can see Salt Lake City...kind of.

This is a 24/7 operation, you can see the worker bees doing their thing.

The road back down. I turn the engine off and coast all the way just to enjoy the peace and quiet.

The switch backs are very tight, steep, and loose dirt.

You can see a parking area, I'll take a right turn there and go home via Tooele.

Looking back up at the hill I was just on.

Then I went home to a birthday party for my son (a guitar player) and grand-daughter.

My daughter made this cake which means it will be good, but - it also has a lot of suger. I don't want to fret too much so I try to tune into my thoughts and determine if eating some of that cake is in harmony with my diet....

A little ride, a little cake, life is good!