Sunday, 13 November 2011

Where did the weekend Go??

Friday Nov 11 was a holiday so on Thursday after work I headed out. Yes AFTER Work..I am back at Fleet Brake for the time being doing a project til about Christmas. I did not get away right away so did not get on the road til dark and decided to spend the night in the Crowsnest Pass. The Super 8 at Pincher Creek was 90.00 so I continued on to Blairmore and stayed at the Highwood Inn again..50.00  Big difference. The next morning as the sun rose over the hills This is the view I had of what was developing into a very nice day.

I crossed into the US west of Yak, BC through Eastport and traveled south on 95 to Athol, Idaho

I stopped at a scenic overlook shortly after crossing the border and took these photos.

I swung over to Hwy 41 and stopped in to say hello to Billie and Dave Leonard but unfortunately they were not home. I then carried on to I90 and west to Spokane Valley and the Super 8 on Argonne Rd as I knew Carol Finlay and her daughters would be there and I would have some company. I could not find them right away as they were out shopping and it was still early so decided to go see Jordeane. She is the girlfriend I traveled to Sipapu, New Mexicao with and she was in a very serious motorcycle accident in Spokane about a month ago. She got numerous broken bones and now has more steel in her than you can imagine...If she flies anywhere she will be setting off all the alarms in the airport.
She has a good doctor and appears to be healing well but being such an independent sole she finds it frustrating to not be able to do anything herself. By then I had contacted Carol and they were back at the hotel. So I headed back and after visiting for a bit..we all headed to Cheap Shots in the pouring rain. Dave and Shannon(the owners) were very busy but we got a bite to eat and headed back to our hotel for a swim and a much needed rest.
The next morning there was a skiff of snow on the vehicles but I had breakfast at the hotel where I bumped into a couple of my former cub scouts..Small world. The roads were wet and not too bad til I got to the mountain Passes..Outlook and Fourth of July were very icy and there were a lot of semis everywhere pulling off to chain up. I stopped once more to see Jordeane and took her some flowers hopefully to brighten her room and spirits.

As I approached Missoula the sun was shining in the Bitteroot Valley.
I went to Big Sky BMW to say Hello and they have a really nice R1200RT for 9999.00
My price I am thinking.
They I went to Art and Betty's and went to dinner with them at the Outback in Missoula. It started snowing while we were eating and so I left with a little trpidation but it was not too bad except for a couple of places. The pass out of Polson was just 2 tracks in the snow at higher elevation but I arrived at the Motel 6 in Kalispell safely. This morning I headed home and for the most part roads were dry albiet a bit breezy in spots.

Now I better head out to my meeting or I will be late and that is what I hurried back for..That and work tomorrow.

Monday, 24 October 2011

At home and still riding

Here it is almost November and I have managed to be out every day on my motorcycle. I have been in contact with many of the members of the tour and Marc and Manon from Montreal have sent me some lovely photos which I would like to share.

These were taken in Monument Valley. Definitely good memories to enjoy in the cold winter days ahead.

Coming down out of Bryce Canyon we go through Red Canyon and these 2 tunnels. Truly beautiful and the snow made it even more stunning.

Then into Zion and even more awesome rocks and landscape. Manon being a passenger was able to take so many pictures we could not get.

Is this not gorgeous. Every turn had just beautiful sights to see and all were different.
Well I must get back to all the many things I have to do. Cub scout planning tonight, Halloween party with Beavers, Cubs and Scouts tomorrow. I just finished baking cookies for them to decorate. Then Group Committee for scouting where the adults tell what their plans are and then popcorn order is due in and I am heavy into helping with that. So far retirement has been great and I hope the long winter months do not drag too badly but I am not really worried about that. I seem to manage to keep busy.
Tuesday last week I rode by my self to Forget Me Not Pond and Elbow Falls. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the peace and tranquility. Wednesday I rode and had lunch with Annie.  Thursday I rode and had coffee with a friend. Sunday I rode to breakfast and to church. Then in the afternoon I went to the Beaupre Community Hall out west of Calgary to meet with some BMW friends and enjoy photos of Audrey and Ekke Jr's ride to Norway this year. They always have some wonderful adventures and take such beautiful pictures to tell their story.Again it was quite cold zero degrees Celsius in the morning but warmed up micely for the afternoon.
This last week I met Mac on Sat afternoon and we went to Renegades in Turner Valley and then through Chain Lakes to Nanton and back to Calgary. The wind got up in a couple of places but all in all a good ride and this time so enjoyable to do it with someone. Well I will conclude with this joke which I have been sharing with everyone.
Cowboy goes into a drugstore and orders 3 packets of condoms.
The clerk asks, Would you like a paper sack with that? The cowboy replies..Nah She ain't that ugly.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Journey Home Oct 7/2011

As mentioned in my last Blog I could not fly so I rented a car to take me to Whitefish. It was now late but I decided I wanted to get out of Las Vegas before stopping. I missed a couple of turns and ended up on 215 little realizing that this is a ring road all around Las Vegas. It took me almost an hour before I finally found I15 and headed away from the bright lights. Finally I arrived at the city of Mesquite where we had fueled the day before. To signs along the highway that said 24.95/ night and free breakfast I turned into the Virgin River Casino to find it was 49.99 and not even free coffee. Ah well it was late and a place to lay my head.

And I did not have to be a virgin to stay here. Sunrise the next day I had breakfast and headed north through the canyon I had gone through on the motorcycle the day before heading into Las Vegas. So I took a few photos as I drove.

It had been very windy coming through here the previous day but this morning it was beautiful. I continued north on I15 as it was the fastest and most direct route home and suprisingly a gorgeous drive.

That evening I stopped in Idaho Falls Idaho. I probably could have gone further but was quite sleepy. I went to the Shilo Inn and they were pretty pricey so stayed at the South Fork Inn just off the Interstate and quite new.

 I had the best rest here for a long time. The next morning I again rose early and drove through some really beautiful country into Montana. When I reached Deerlodge I called Art and Betty in Missoula and stopped and had lunch with them before heading on to Kalispell and my favorite Motel 6. I am comfortable here because I have stayed many times.

Early Monday morning Carol called and she was already in Eureka. So I packed up and headed for Whitefish to turn in the car. Finally I would get home although I really did not want it all to end. What gorgeous country I had seen. What wonderful people I had met. What a glorious time I had.
Can hardly wait to do it again.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Las Vegas

Our Hotel Excaliber
The Luxor
What can one say about Las Vegas that has not already been said? Ken Maki was up from Palm Springs working at the Rodeo and so we arranged to meet for lunch. I had a day to waste. Plane was due to depart at 6:50 so planned on being at the airport at 4:50. I met Ken in front of the hotel and we went south to a quiet mall and had lunch at California Pizza. I had an asparagus and arugula salad and foccacia bread. So delicious. Then I had Ken drop me off south of my hotel so I could walk and get some photos.

Mandalay Bay What a gorgeous Hotel

At the dinner the evening before I took these pictures of some of my fellow riders. I definitely did not take enough as I see I am missing all kinds of photos of the great friends I met.

Okay Now for the continued part. I get to the airport. My passport expired Oct 3. It is Oct 7 I cannot fly.
So after talking to the Canadian consulate I was advised I could fly anywhere in the US without a passport and I could drive back across the border. So I tried to fly to Missoula as I have many friends there but there were no flights til Monday. So I went to the Rent a Car Place and for 625.00 I rented a nice little car and drove to Whitefish Montana and my friend Carol picked me up on Monday and finally I am at home.
I guess I just did not want the journey to end.