Monthly Archives: July 2015

Wrap-Up – Summer 2015

Well what a great time we had and everyone made it home safe, Praise the Lord.

Julie and/or I rode Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and back to Texas for approximately 4,200 miles.

The Arkansas contingent rode approximately 3,400 miles and swapped out New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas for Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas.


Julie and I can not start to express how special these rides are and how much we love our time with the Knipples and Hawkins.  Dear friends and great times.

Well ready to start planning for next year.


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Posted by on July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Bonus Ride – Robert and Julie fly thru Colorado, New Mexico and Texas

Thursday after leaving our friends Julie an I headed to Buena Vista Co for the night.

To avoid the rain we headed south from Glenwood Springs through Snowmass (thinking of Lisa #StopDomesticViolence) then on to Aspen and over Independence pass to Buena Vista.  Thursday night we stayed in Buena Vista, Co at the quaintest, neatest, little family owned hotel.

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We walked to a local coffee shop Friday morning for coffee and I got donuts at a donut shop across the street – almost as good as Shipley’s.

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Robert and I rode through the Colorado mountains today going over Monarch Pass and trying to miss rain showers all afternoon. We grabbed a quick lunch in Gunnison then rode a while longer and stopped in Silverton to miss a rain shower and got pie and coffee at a diner. Thanks to Robert’s excellent driving skills and the GPS we missed all the rain! Rode into Durango and called it a night. Thank you Lord for another beautiful and safe day on the bike.

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Saturday was a race to Lubbock, 550 miles that lead us through Albuquerque to see Laure and Addison and some great New Mexico scenery.

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We arrived in Cotton Center Saturday night to stay will Lea Ann, Todd, Cody and Jenny – great times….

Sunday started off with seeing Mom and then braving the heat through Texas (102 degrees) to arrive in Rockwall at about 7pm to officially end the 2015 Friends ride……


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Posted by on July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 6/7 – Heading Home… Sort of…

Wednesday morning began the process of going home. That process was different for each of us. The Hawkins and Knipples goal was to get to Denver Thursday afternoon so the girls could catch a flight out of Denver back to Bentonville early Friday morning. And ours was to get back to Rockwall by Sunday – with a stop-off in Lubbock for a quick visit with Marge.

Wednesday morning we left Jackson Hole and rode through some beautiful scenery ending up in Vernal, Utah for the night. Dean and Salley called it an early night but the Knipples and Asbills played Farkle in the lobby before going to bed.

We left Thursday morning with the goal of Glenwood Springs, Colorado by lunch. And we did just that. After lunch we parted ways. It was really rather sad to say good bye. We always enjoy this trip so much – and mostly it’s because of the fellowship with each other – the ride is just a bonus.


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Posted by on July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 5 – In the park and onto Jackson

Even though the hotel rooms were pretty “bare bones” the breakfast at the Days Inn was great. We rode straight into the park at 9:00am. Within the first mile we were at a standstill and we figured there must have been a wild life sighting of some sort. And we were right except, it wasn’t just a sighting out in the meadow as it usual is, there was a Bison walking right down the middle of the lane coming toward us! Since our lane wasn’t moving, the three of us girls jumped off the bikes to get pictures. Up close, they are even bigger! Salley and I both took pictures and even a short video of that guy walking down the street. It was just a bit scary when he looked at us with that huge head and piercing eyes!

The first actual stop inside the Park was to walk around a series of geysers and hot springs. The colors of the pools of water and the ground around them are formed from microorganisms that live in and around the springs. We walked around them on boardwalks so we got to see them close up.

Our last stop was Old Faithful. Our timing was pretty much perfect We sat down for about a half hour right in front of it and right on schedule she erupted. It was quite amazing! We ran, and I do mean ran, to the Old Faithful Café just as the eruption was completing to beat the thousands of people there and ate lunch before getting back on the bikes.

Our destination was Jackson, Wyoming. What an exciting little town! We ate dinner then played cards in the hotel lobby. The first couple of nights we played a game called “Spades Up” and last night we played “Phase 10”. I believe Dean has won almost every night! Well, good night. We’ll be in Utah tomorrow.

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Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 4 – Cody and Culture

Monday morning in Cody, as mentioned yesterday, we took the morning to take in some of the historic sites and then onto the North East entrance to the park in the afternoon. The first stop of the morning was the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Although you could spend a couple of days here we got a taste of it in a few hours, I would recommend more time if you really want to do justice to this attraction that is bigger than 6 football fields and covers a diverse set of history from guns, to western exploration, and art (to name only a few). After the Center of the West we rolled over to the historic Old Trail Town Village and then to the Buffalo Bill Dam.

We grabbed lunch and gas then hit the road to West Yellowstone. We went up through Montana just a few miles before entering Yellowstone National Park at the northeast entrance. The very first thing we saw was a herd of bison…and then another herd and another. Those things are huge! Then the coolest thing happened, a young bear ran across the street right in front of Dean and Salley’s bike! They were able to get a picture of him just as he climbed up the tree, I got one too but not as good as their’s. The only other wild life we saw was a few moose way on the other side of a river…in fact they were so far away we could not convince Salley that they were truly moose! So funny!

After a fabulous day at the park we ran into a part of the road being resurfaced and boy was that challenging, for us bikers that is. It had just rained and made the road a muddy mess but our experienced drivers navigated the road with no problem.

We arrived in West Yellowstone, Montana at the lovely Days Inn – which was extremely over priced for the quality of room – but what can you do when you’re staying just outside Yellowstone Park; had BBQ for dinner then off to bed.

It was a beautiful ride today. Great weather except for the last few miles of rain. Looking forward to tomorrow as we’ll be back in Yellowstone for the morning.



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Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 3 – Did Someone say it was too hot

Good morning Gillette.

We rolled into town around triple digits on the old thermometer and all a bit warm. Well this morning that all changed… We left town about 8am heading north on 14 to Sheridan and the temperature was in the low 70s, as we moved north the temperature moved south, by the time we reached Clearmont it was in the 60s and the jackets were on and by Sheridan it was in the 50s and the rain suites made their ride debut (they could be staring for a couple of days). Weather aside the ride from Gillette to Sheridan was nice, we started picking up rolling hills and obviously were moving closer to the mountains that lay just west of Sheridan. In Sheridan we took an extended stop and heard tales of the mountain and 45 mile an hour winds and rain, I believe there must be good fishing in the area as the stories of the wind and rain were, at least in our experience, a bit exaggerated. There was some wind to be sure and we did pick up rain the last 35 miles into Cody but the ride through the Bighorn Mountains on 14 was spectacular. The road surface was good and the views were great. We did hit a bit of fog, ok a lot of fog, from 7,500 feet up through 9,000 feet but once we got back down to about 8,500 on the west side of the mountain the fog was gone. Ridding down the west side provided even better views than the east but some of that may have been the fact that we could now see since the fog was gone.

We stopped in Greybull for a late lunch at a local café and warmed up. The ride after lunch was about 40 miles, most of it in light to moderate rain and gusty winds. We arrived in Cody about 4pm and checked in at the hotel. From there we set out to see the town and eat at the historic Irma hotel. We will be in Cody for a half day on Monday then off to the northern park and onto West Yellowstone Montana for the night.


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See you soon.



Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 2 – Exploring Wyoming

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Today we traveled only about 270 miles but it was quite warm and the scenery wasn’t much to “write home about” We stopped in Casper for lunch at noon and it was even hotter the next 2 hours but … what could we have expected! It’s July in Wyoming! Plus there’s not much room to complain when you’re on the open road and vacationing with good friends.

Something that always comes to mind when riding on a warm summer day through wide-open countryside on a motorcycle going 70+ miles an hour are the brave people that settled this land, who traveled under harsh conditions with their families in search of a better life and to grab part of the American dream. As a country I think we often forget those who came before. We look forward to what is next and that is a good thing but I believe it is important to do so built on the foundation of the past. So next time you are in your car, peddling your bike, riding your motorcycle or simply hiking the open roads imagine doing it in a wagon with no convenience stores, cell phones, hydration vests or GPS support. Every time I think of those who did I am amazed at what brave souls they must have been.

We arrived in Gillette at 4:00 and checked in to the hotel, dropped off our luggage and rested for about a half hour. Then we rode an easy 120 mile round trip to see the Devil’s Tower National Monument, which, by the way, is the first national monument in the US. It is truly a natural wonder!

Dinner and visiting in the lobby till bed time. Heading for Cody, Wyoming tomorrow – weather looks cooler and possibility of some rain showers.



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Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

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