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Day 10 and 11 Ouray to Salida to Denver

Ok so off the bat i have to say SORRY we did not get day 10 posted this morning. We had a great day 10 and played a bit of cat and mouse with a few storms.

We left Ouray at about 8 ish, blue skies and brisk temperatures, to Silverton via the Million Dollar Highway then onto Durango for lunch at a place called “Serious Texas BBQ” and as it turned out an oil change on Deans bike (5k service pre-empt).

If you haven’t been on the Million Dollar Highway you need to drive it, it is “marvelous darling”. Once we hit silverton we filled up with gas and onto Durango.

There were storms all around us, in fact we could see lightning in the distance. We got held up in traffic but made it just in time to shelter at a gas station in South Fork before the storm was right over the top of us…it even hailed! After about 45 minutes we put on our wet suits and hit the road. We did not get rained on all the way to Salida where we stopped for the night. Cajun food for dinner then games in our room because of COVID we weren’t allowed to gather in the lobby.

Wednesday morning we started the final leg of the journey for the six of us together. Beautiful weather and fabulous scenery. We ended the day in Denver at the biggest Harley dealership I have ever seen. Robert bought a much needed pair of riding boots, his current ones were ten years old with a worn out sole and previous repairs.

Checked into the Hyatt House hotel near the airport so that the ladies could take a shuttle to the airport in the morning. The guys will be getting a real early start on the bikes to be home by Friday.

We’ll write a wrap up in a few days. Wow! What a great trip!

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 9 From Moab to Ouray or from desert to mountains

I don’t think we mentioned yet that all the hotels who normally include a light breakfast buffet have changed to handing out to-go bags of breakfast. Not quite the same but at least it’s something. Well the one yesterday at the Best Western Plus Canyonlands was the best yet. Once again really impressed by that hotel.

The temperature was around 91 degrees when we headed out and it continuously dropped as the day progressed. We ran into a few light rain showers but missed all the heavy stuff thanks to some construction that held us up as the rain moved on ahead of us.

We stopped in Telluride for lunch and as we were parking the bikes a nice local gentleman complimented Robert on his bike and as we were talking he suggested a lunch spot. We always like to get suggestions from locals, so we took his advise and walked to the Phoenix Bean. Just as we sat down to eat, more rain cane and before we finished the sun was back out.

The final leg of today’s ride held even more beautiful scenery…green lush mountains and perfect temperatures. We checked into the Ouray Chalet Inn, unloaded the bikes and walked around town. It poured down again during dinner and while we slept. For games tonight there was no common area at the hotel so we made a spot in the Knipple’s room. Dean won Phase Ten and Robert won Farkle and we all enjoyed the Camaraderie (Cindy tonight us this word years ago to describe the fellowship we enjoy while playing games…win or lose!)

Looking forward to tomorrow. Good night all.

Once last thought…this COVID-19 virus has really changed things all over the country…see pictures below.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 8 Off to the Arches

The stay at Red Sands hotel was wonderful. The king room we stayed in was recently renovated and the diner the night before was great. But up and at em early the next morning to get to The Arches park before the heat hit the expected high of 108. Leaving Torrey at 7am the temperatures were in the low 70s and the weather was great all the way to the park, we will talk about in the park later.

Our ride took us on 84 East through Capital Reef and up to I-70. The views were amazing and the roads were great. Aside, I know in these blog posts I use the words: amazing, great, and wonderful too many times but the truth is that those words describe the creation that God has put before us, so the repetition will probably continue.

The second part of our plan of leaving early was to grab breakfast along the 100 mile section from Torrey to I-70, fail. Ok so there we absolutely no places to eat until we go to Green River, 110 miles of so later, no biggie. We stopped for gas and Burger King after driving through Green River, Gas – Yes, Burger King – No. BK was closed until 11, or from the looks of it maybe even later, not really sure. No problem we grabbed food from the gas station and had a picnic at a very scenic spot behind the gas station.

Breakfast completed back on the bikes to Arches.

Arches, the plan worked, almost. We arrived at Arches and using our newly acquired interagency annual passes, we rolled through the toll gates and onto the visitor center. So, as mentioned the plan to beat the heat worked, it was well under 100 when we hit the park, well 5 degrees under 100 and when we rolled out of the park it was only 104 degrees, way under the expected 108.

In arches we focused on the Windows and the Delicate Arch. The ride to both held stunning views of a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms and textures unlike any other in the world (ok that come from the Arches site). But really the ride was splendiferous, ok that is not a word, dang it the ride was amazing.

Well out of Arches and to the Best Western Plus Canyonlands, not the Best Western Plus Greenwell that is down the street. OK turn around and off to the correct hotel. We went to Zax for lunch since our hotel rooms were not ready at 12:30, remember beat the heat. After lunch we checked in, hit the pool had an early dinner (compared to the rest of the trip) and then hung out on the patio talking and laughing.

Robert took this by holding his phone up to the eyepiece on his newly acquired binoculars.

This is about the time on the trip that I take a few moments to share how much we love this group and the trips we take. We started this annual ride many years ago now and we look forward to it all year long and hate it when the trip start drawing to a close. We still have several days so enough of that but we truly love this group. Also, we look forward to the days in the near future when we can take this ride in the spring, dang heat.

Well tomorrow we are off to Colorado for some cooler weather and the start of phase 3, mountains and switchback roads. Till then.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 7 Wow, where to start

Well actually, we will start in Springdale at the gates of Zion West. We hit a really restrictive item this morning, no lobby coffee, ok they did supply in-room coffee makers and coffee but this is the first stop that did not have lobby coffee. This did give me me a chance to stroll down the street to a local coffee shop for the good stuff. While I was there I started talking to a local musician that had learned a Tom Petty song the night before on request of a barista. He learned “Walls”, which lead into a deeper discussion. This conversation was fun but it did cause me to be 2 minutes late to KSU (Kick Stands Up) as Richard calls it. Well enough of that, onto the important stuff.

We entered Zion west at about 8am and paid the $30 park fee for the motorcycle. Although we did not do the shuttle into the scenic portion of Zion the private vehicle drive was plenty scenic. Julie and I have been to Zion 3 times now and each time is great, we do not hike, we just ride through and enjoy God’s creation.

After Zion we headed Northeast on 89 to 12, Bryce Canyon. The entrance to Bryce Canyon cost $35 per vehicle. We finally wised up and decided to get an annual pass that took our Zion fee into account and ended up costing us $50, this is great as we have 2 or 3 more parks left. In addition to only costing $50 dollars the annual pass allows 2 motorcycles (if I were not such a nice guy I would mention that Richard and Cindy got the same pass for $20 since they are senior citizens, but I am a nice guy so I will not mention that).

At Bryce we went to the visitor center (IT WAS OPEN, WOW A FIRST) We took the main park road to the last site (based on the park ranger’s suggestion) then worked our way back through Rainbow Point, Natural Bridge, and Inspiration Point.

After Bryce we headed past Escalante and into Torrey for the evening. So much happened from sun to rain to wind to cows it is hard to cover it all so Julie will do it via pictures and videos.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 6 Staging ride to Zion

Some days are about sightseeing and some days are about getting to the next sightseeing location. Today was about getting to Zion (Springdale) to start the canyon riding portion of our trip.

Today was a relaxing start. Richard and Cindy had to go to Harley for the 5,000 mile service on their bike and the rest of us went to Denney’s for breakfast. all and all a nice slow morning.

We started the ride at about 11am and since we were just focused on getting to Springdale before it got hot we rode I-15 instead of backroads. We were successful in making it to Springdale before it got hot, that is if you consider 105 a breezy mild afternoon (but of course it was, as they say, a dry heat). Regardless of the I-15 route we still were able to take in some pretty magnificent views and had a great ride.

After getting to the hotel (La Quinta, nice place) taking a quick dip in the pool and eating Mexican food, we all headed to our rooms to get ready for Act 2 of the trip: Canyon riding.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 5 From 39 to 99…

Getting dressed for today’s ride was interesting. We started out in Jackson, WY at 39 degrees so it was important to layer several items of clothing as to not freeze to death! The ride was incredibly beautiful but none of us ladies could take any pictures because we didn’t want to expose our hands to the frigid air! We stopped after an hour for breakfast in Alpine at a Phillips 66 gas station, it actually had pretty good breakfast sandwiches and really good hot coffee. By then it had warmed up to 49! Thank goodness for the Harley seat heaters.

Not much more to write about since today was just all about getting to Provo tonight and into Zion tomorrow night. It’s going to be hot the next few days but that’s just all part of the adventure. Too bad we do not have Harley seat coolers!

By the time we rolled into the Timpanogos Harley dealership in Lindon Utah it was a brutal 99 degrees! So obviously the layers from this morning were all removed except the basic clothing required.

Checked into the Hampton Inn and walked to Olive Garden. Then played games in the lobby.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 4 In search of a moose

Day 4 started around 8:00 am in West Yellowstone with a temperature of 50 degrees, moose love the cold. To be fully prepared, the day before we bought a pair of binoculars, maybe the moose like to hang out just out of normal eyeshot (ok 55 year old with contacts). Well the bad news is no moose, yet, the good news is that the ride was great and I have a great set of binoculars for the rest of the trip.

Back into Yellowstone once more and through the Old Faithfull traffic (not much traffic actually) on the south portion of the grand loop. Turn south at West Thumb and onto The Grand Tetons.

The Grand Tetons are magnificent, with a much different look than the Rockies. The mountains are more jagged and would seem very daunting to climb, of course we ride motorcycles and do not climb so what would I know. After a few stops for sightseeing and lunch it was back on the bikes to Jackson.

So far this trip we have ended up riding late and eaten dinner at 8ish. We are all a touch older now so we really prefer the ‘Del Boca Vista” (Seinfeld reference) hour and playing a variety of card games that Cindy always packs. Today we hit Jackson before 3pm, checked into the hotel and started walking around town to find Cindy a new watter bottle, she left hers in Red Lodge.

If you have ever read these blogs before you know that one of the group ends up loosing something on each trip. The first trip Dean left his camera at a lunch stop (we were able to retrieve that by riding an extra 40 miles back). A few years latter I left my cell phone at Caves Cove (we got that back after riding back through the crowded park). This trip Cindy lost an old water bottle, she really needs to up her game, you are supposed to loose expensive electronics.

Well we toured the town, ate ice cream, bought waster bottles at Ace Hardware (I got on too), ate dinner and ended the day playing Spades Rule. All in all another great day. Tomorrow is an intermediate trailer day to Provo, making miles to Zion. Till then see ya, oh and if you are at the Rock Creek resort in Red Lodge and see a Harley Tervis, let me know , it belongs to Cindy.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 3 Taking in the sights

There’s really not much to say about today except that we spent the whole day riding through Yellowstone and stopping at anything any of us wanted to see. Robert and Cindy mapped it out this morning and left room for additional stops as needed. We saw waterfalls and geysers and canyons and hot springs. The weather was absolutely perfect…see pictures below… We even saw a BEAR!

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 2 Bear Tooth and Yellowstone

After a good night at the Rock Creek Resort (http://www.rockcreekresort.com/) outside or Red Lodge we loaded up the bikes and were on our way to ride the Bear Tooth highway (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beartooth_Highway). From several accounts we read it is called the most scenic highway in the United States, I have to say it is pretty darn nice. As you start climbing from the Red Lodge 5,555 elevation to just under 11,000 feet the views are wonderful and the weather was perfect.

Starting this trip we knew there would be some adjustments to make, we expected park stores to be closed and facilities to be limited and although that is true there have been plenty of restaurants, shops and facilities. Although we miss going in the park stores it is an adjustment we are willing to make.

After Bear Tooth we entered Yellowstone through the North East gate and immediately greeted by the stars of Yellowstone, the Bison. Although you see Bison frequently you never get tired of those wonderful animals. After stopping for a while to watch the Bison and to practice social distancing (they are very large wild animals after all) we were back on the bikes riding through the northern part of the Grand Loop. We exited the park through the north entrance to eat lunch in Gardiner, since most of the park restaurants are closed (or have very long outside lines). After a quick lunch (OK it was not quick at all, took a couple of hours) we were back in the park in search of wildlife. So far we had seen squirrels, ground squirrels, Marmots, Pronghorn Deer, Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer, Coyote, Elk, and Bison. Tomorrow we are in search of Moose (may have to go to Grand Tetons on Wednesday for that sighting), bear, wolf, and whatever else is available.

After a great meal at Firehole BBQ we are back to the Kelly Inn, our home for the next two nights. Well until tomorrow…

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Day 1 The gangs all here

Up and at’um out of Spearfish at 6 am, ok 6:15 am, well maybe 6:30. Heading to Billings to pick up our better halves. Started the day at a nice 70 degrees and did not break 80 until outside of Billings. One threat of rain, on with the rain suits but the rain did not cross out path.

Not much going on since the photojournalist are not here to document the sights.

Into Billings pick up the ladies and off to lunch at the Montana Brewing Company in downtown Billings. We had a table in the back away from the crowds (social distancing). After lunch we loaded up and headed to Red Lodge Montana an then to Rock Creek Resort for the evening. Really quaint hotel located right beside a rushing creek. Helpful note the dining room is closed on Sunday and Monday so back on the bikes an back to Red Lodge (ok it was just 5 miles of beautiful scenery).

At the airport.

After a quick stroll through town we ate at a pizza joint and back to the lodge for games and fellowship. The next morning we met a guy from Boston and chatted awhile. He took our picture then took one with us. We really enjoy meeting interesting folks along the way.

Tomorrow we drive the Bear Tooth Highway, claims to be the most beautiful highway in the U.S. (we will see).

Lunch in Billings
 
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Posted by on July 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

 
 
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