Monday, June 25, 2018

Nearly perfect! page 1

Bev and I host an annual Couples ride and the date has finally arrived.

We leave Salt Lake Valley on June 20th and after 273 miles we arrive at La Sal, Utah where we stay at the Mt Peale Animal Sanctuary. They rent on site cabins and rooms to pay for the sanctuary's expenses.
They have 4 cabins, and a few rooms in the main house.
We book all the cabins for our group of 10.
They have some funky colored lights on the front of the cabins that made some nice reflections on the bikes.
As we sat and renewed 30 year friendships, several deer passed very close to the portico. 
It is very quiet, peaceful and enjoyable at the Mt Peale animal sanctuary, nearly perfect!

Thursday we depart the Mt Peale cabins and are on the road eastbound, we breakfast in Naturita and then ride to Mesa Verde National Park.
Sadly we didn't have time to take one of the tours and walk into the ruins area. But we did have a good time riding through the park and stopped to look across the hollow to one of the larger ruins.

We overnight in Durango, Colorado, after 236 miles. The Durango area was on fire a few weeks ago, the 550 was closed for a period of time, and I'm told the smoke was extremely thick, but as you can see the skies were blue for our visit..a huge rainstorm and tireless work by the firefighting crews saved the day!
There were NUMEROUS signs posted thanking the firefighters for their efforts.

We took picture after picture of whole mountain sides that had been burnt.

Continuing up the 550: I've ridden this road several times, and this was the least congested I've ever seen it. I think many travelers must have cancelled their plans due to the fires and smoke. What was unfortunate for business owners, was a fortunate turn for us as every area we visited on this trip was relatively uncrowded. The small number of other vehicles we had to share the road with made this squiggly line nearly perfect!

Beauty on the top of the mountain!
Julie, Beverly, Christine, Jan, Wendy.

On the other hand....
Rooster, Your's truly, Harry, Brent, Ken.

The Million Dollar Highway is a bit twisty.
It winds over three passes the tallest being the Red Mountain Pass at 11,018 feet.

After the Million Dollar Hwy we have a good lunch in Montrose after which we make our way to the Grand Mesa Scenic byway. Another SUPER road.
Its not everyday you see a purple dinosaur...but apparently this one is a bit of an introvert, as soon as I rode up and said, "hi" it looked the other way and turned a shade deeper purple on its face.....I think it was a Shy-asourus...

We spend the night in Mesa at the Wagon Wheel cafe/bar/hotel. It was karaoke night at the bar and our group........snored the night away. 

Next morning we are on our way to Dutch John Utah our final stop for this trip. 
We made a rest and fuel stop in Palisade, Colorado, where we saw "Rusty's dream"....

....and maybe Rusty's bigger, wilder brother on Main Street....

....and spent a very relaxing, restful hour-ish in Palisades artsy Town Square.

I ran into Dobby in the Palisade library: when I mentioned we were on the group ride he said, "Such a beautiful place it is, to be with friends".

Then we continued on to Dutch John, Utah. But on the way we .........(see page 2)...

Nearly perfect! page 2

(we).......stop for lunch in tiny Rangely, Colorado. While we were eating Ken notices a pamphlet advertising this car museum (Rangely Automotive Museum owned by Bud Striegel) a couple blocks down the road.

We have plenty of time so we decide to visit the museum. And what a good choice it was! The cars and motorcycles here are absolutely beautiful!
We spent a very enjoyable hour or so enjoying the nearly perfect restorations.

The Harley guys are happy!

I can't remember what this car is, but it had the nickname of "Tombstone" because of the design of the grill.....

A gorgeous Cord.

Photo op!
Our entire group.
Jan, Ken, Bev, Your's truly, Ron (twice), Wendy, Harry, Brent (barely), Christine, Julie.

They had some old hats sitting around....and well.... kids will be kids!

The Hat Club Ladies.

Outside the museum is a small Stonehenge replica.

We spend our last night in Dutch John, Utah near the Flaming Gorge Dam. That night we were treated to a free concert that was held on the grass common area just below our cabins. The music was very good, we sat on the cabin portico and enjoyed a nice nearly perfect evening.

On the road by 9:00 the next morning we ride the 203 miles toward home via the Flaming Gorge road.

1300 miles of good roads, good food, and good friends, and well....good grief we need to do this again!

Sooooooo.....'nearly perfect', what wasn't perfect? Unfortunate health issues kept one couple off their bike and in their car; on the other hand, it is very nice to have a 4 wheeler with us to lock helmets in etc. And, having them there is more important than the mode of transportation they travel in..or on. One of the bikes had some biggie, it was able to finish the trip in fine form. was pretty darn close to perfect: ideal weather, uncrowded roads, no major issues.
I hope next years ride is as good as this one!

I just LOVE motorcycling!

Monday, June 18, 2018

5th annual Cache Rally. (14 - 17 June, 2018)

Time once again for the annual Cache rally, held this year in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Two days before I leave Bev and I celebrate 38 years of wedded bliss. I'm so glad she reminded me so I could get these roses!

I arrive at Buena Vista on Wednesday June 13th.

Thursday morning I rode over to the St. Elmo ghost town, said to be the best preserved ghost town in Colorado. They have several restoration projects going on and even though it's already a neat place it will be much nicer in a few years.

Hmmmm..... Bev works for a large mine, I wonder if...awwwww never mind.

After my visit to St. Elmo I return to the rally camp site, waiting for the others to arrive.

Most of the group did arrive Thursday afternoon.
Friday we did a group ride to Bishop's castle near Rye, Colorado.

Jim Bishop has been building this castle since 1969.  It is a one man job that is the result of genius, hard work, and vision.
I was amazed at what Mr. Bishop has accomplished.

The fire breathing dragon. And it actually does have fire shooting out sometimes, usually on weekends. Jim installed a hot air balloon burner in the dragon that he fires up on occasion.

Inside the main room.

Jim is pro God and anti government...I knew there was a reason I liked the guy!

The endless stone stairs made me think of the Lord of the Rings....

Paul, (wingstrom) and me.

I climbed across that catwalk.
You can see the action here:

The other side, looking down.

T.J. and I.

An important sign.......

What an amazing place! Well worth the visit.

Back at comp.
(Yes, it was very dusty!)

A few weeks ago fellow V-Strom enthusiast, Pat, aka Greywolf passed away. Pat had an incredible amount of knowledge about the Strom and willingly shared it with anyone who asked. Pat loved rootbeer so we toasted him with various iterations of that drink and then had a moment of silence in his Honor. 
Rest In Peace Pat. 
(thanks Paul - wingstrom, for the picture)

Part of what makes a rally fun is the good food.  We had two dinners at Jan's family restaurant.....

.....and one at Quincy's steakhouse. Both places were excellent!

Saturday a group went over Independence Pass and made a loop back to camp.
(I took a nap.)

The rally was FUN! I've enjoyed all 5 of the Cache rallies, but this one has to be the best yet!  We had riders from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and even Colorado....  Each one is good people who are enjoyable to hang out with.

And all of them are posers in this group.  Don, aka nvr2old rode 3000 miles just getting TO the rally. I don't know how many miles he put in going home. I only rode 1500 miles RT. Obviously others from the farther away states put in a bunch of miles as well.

A big thanks to Wally, aka SanJuanServant who on his own decided to have a huge urn of steaming  hot coffee (and sugar and creamer) sitting on a table for whoever wanted some each morning. Nice!!

I received several 'thanks for doing this' - both public and private...which partially answers the question of why I do this every year, the rest of the answer is in the paragraphs above.

So....where will next years Cache rally be held?
Most likely somewhere near the Bear Tooth, and Chief Joseph highways..........wanna ride?