Monday, November 28, 2016

Post Turkey day ride

My own little Thanksgiving tradition is to leave the day after Turkey day and do either a weekend hike or ride. This year its a ride.
I leave Friday afternoon and head for Hurricane, Utah where I have reservations for two days, then I'll ride home on Sunday.

First on my ride list is Toquerville Falls, about 10 miles from my room.

This sign in NOT lying!! The road is a baddie.
I was about half way up the 5.3 mile dirt road, and had just gone through one of the worst spots, when I parked the bike and walked around a corner to scout out how much worse it would get. A couple 4wds got to the spot I had just passed through and turned around and went back down. 

As I walked up the road another (braver) 4wd came up behind me and offered to let me ride the rest the way with them.
I took them up on their offer and had a nice time with a pleasant family.

The Falls... which is appropriate because while hiking around I stumbled and got a nasty twisted ankle. Dang! 

On the way back down.

Leaving the falls I rode to a ghost town, Old Iron Town.

Then to Enterprise, Utah and stopped to photograph this creative guy's yard.

On my way back to Hurricane I stumble across a Troll's house... He promised to let me live if I wouldn't reveal the location of his house.

I get back to my room after 170 miles. I hadn't taken off my boot after the incident but when I pulled it off in my room I could see that the ankle was swelling quite a bit.
The next morning, it was extremely painful to pull on my boot, I'm able to ride about 23 miles and then the pain got the best of me.

I had two choices, get a room for another day or call home.

I went into a gas station and commandeered a chair, then called my wife to see if she was interested in rescuing me; luckily she was - so her and my daughter came and got me. Once I had called them I didn't move from that chair until they arrived, 7 hours later. It was TOO painful to even think about getting up.

Unfortunately there was a bad accident that shut down the freeway on our way home and we sat for a loooong time, not getting home til after midnight... Dang again!!! 

Still, all in all it was a nice get-away and a nice ride home with two of my favorite women.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Henge Crazy - p1

Son Fenton is receiving a commission in the Air Force. He has invited Bev and I to attend the ceremony in Montgomery, Alabama.

Of course we are going to attend. Bev is going to fly. 
Seeing Fenton and being there for the ceremony is the main reason for the trip but my mind immediately wonders how I can turn this into a bike trip?

I brain storm....

And finally come up with a solution.....fuel the bike, get on the bike, ride the bike to Alabama...... 
Whew, I'm glad I was able to figure that out!

I'm fascinated by the Stonehenge in England.  Apparently there are many others in the U.S.  who are equally and more fascinated as there are numerous Stonehenge "replicas" across our country.
I say "replicas" because they are made of various materials and in various shapes, but the inspiration is from the original Stonehenge.

I do a google search and playing with google maps tells me, with a few extra miles I can visit some of those replicas on this trip.

So, I leave on a Saturday, the ceremony is on the next Friday, 1670 miles away.  My route and the cities I stayed overnight in are marked on the map at the end of this page.

I ride through Cuba........New Mexico.

And on Route 66 for a while.

Rat rods.

Then to Amarillo, Texas for my first henge - Car Henge .... aka Cadillac Ranch, has been on my list for a long time and I'm  finally able to make it.
Since 1974 these ten caddies have been planted in this field that is bordered by old Route 66. The cars from the 1949 to 1963 models (all with tailfins) are buried at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

A heavily ignored sign....

Nothing says "true love" more than spray painting it on the ground at Car Henge...

....and the cars. Cadillacs all, but it's hard to tell they have so much paint on them. Sightseers are encouraged to bring some paint and express themselves.

Even the sorghum gets painted...

Down the road a few miles is the Cadillac museum.

About 30 miles after that is henge #2,  Bug Henge... aka Slug Bug Ranch

I take a break from Henges and stop at this cross which the very nice lady at the Texas visitors center told me is the largest in the world.

She also told me about the "U drop inn" which was in the Cars movie.

Back on the road again I cross the Mississippi River.

Sleepy little Hollandale, Mississippi.

And into Alabama.

We spend most of the next day on Maxwell Air Force Base.
Bev and Fenton at the ceremony.

Taking the oath.

Part of the ceremony is being "pinned" with the new rank.  Fenton asked his wife, Laurie, and brother-in-law, Michael, to do the honors.

More travels in part 2

Friday, November 4, 2016

Henge Crazy - p2

I'm enjoying this part of the trip, but after not riding for two days I'm starting to feel a little......unhenged...

Back at our hotel Bev and I spend a quiet evening;  she will fly home in the morning and I will ride south for more henges. 

...and here is one, Bamahenge.
Bamahenge is a full size and properly oriented to the sun replica.
Created by Mark Cline and funded by George Barber it is made of fiberglass that looks amazingly real even up close.

Another destination to check off the list is the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Parkway is over 400 miles long, I'm able to ride about 150 miles of it....and loved every second!
I have a strong feeling I'll be back on this road in a year or so..

The next day is Sunday and as I ride past this small church I impulsively hang a U-ey and ride into the parking area. It only takes me a minute to realize I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb, and I am the only sore thumb there. But I don't care and the people who gave me a warm welcome obviously didn't care either.
I got to hear a beautiful choir and enjoy a wonderful spirit with the rest of the Mt Zion Baptist congregation.
Those couple of hours were one of the highlights of my trip. 

Then into Texas where I visit the Civil War POW camp that I believe my great-grandfather was held at, and where he escaped from.
One of the placards states that there were very few successful escapes from Camp Ford, making his even more impressive.

An example of the tiny little huts some of the prisoners lived in.

I then make my way to Kerrville, Texas to see the "Empty Cross".
Created by artist Max Greiner Jr. the cross is 40' across and over 70' tall. It was placed in 2010.

Thousands of people have written prayers on these rocks and left them in a designated area surrounding the Cross.

Then to Ingram, Texas.... see Stonehenge II
Made of plaster and mesh frame, it is 90% as wide and 60% as high as the original Stonehenge it is not oriented to the sun. The brainchild of Al Sheppard and friend Doug Hill, Stonehenge II was going to be destroyed in 2010, but the Hill Country Arts Foundation of Ingram, Texas rallied to have it moved 8 miles to the Arts Foundation campus.

Mr. Easter head sports an afro...

The next morning I arrive at the last henge of this trip, 
The University of Texas Permian Basin Stonehenge.
This henge is astronomically configured and the same width but 14% shorter than the original.
The limestone slabs weigh up to 10 tons each.

That is it for the henges on this trip.

Google map said the shortest way home from Montgomery, Alabama is 1,911 miles, I take the Biker's Shortcut and I'm able to do it in 2,527 miles....

And true to form, once my horse points its nose toward the barn it is hard to rein 'er in... The last three days I bust out the miles so I can get home to my own bed.
A 4,900 mile awesome journey.

I need to find some more henges.....