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.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Bryce Canyon to Las Vegas

Well today is the last day of the ride and started out in a most auspicious way.

It was decided that it would be too dangerous to head higher up in elevation so we did not actually go to Bryce Canyon but retraced our steps aways from the day before and stopped in Red Canyon for photos.
What beautiful colors with the red rocks and green trees and white snow. Kind of like Christmas and we rejoiced with songs like Jingle Bells.

It was a bit of a culture shock for many on the tour and in particular the Brazilians and our Australian Troy
They had never ridden in anything like this before. Anyway we left Red Canyon and headed for Zion National Park. A whole other world of rocks and beauty. I never got a whole lot of pictures here because when you are riding it is difficult to take photos as well so I only got the following,,,,,
One of the many phenomenon I had forgotten about Zion was the Checkerboard Mesa which you pass on the way in to Zion I tried to look up how this happened and could only find that it was etched that way by sun and wind and rain. It is like someone actually took a marker and a square and drew lines all over the rock. Quite a sight to see. The one picture is where we are all lined up waiting to go through the big tunnel.
Once through this amazing National Park we headed for our final destination Las Vegas and our Farewell Dinner. It was sad to have to say goodbye to our newfound comrades. We returned the bikes to EagleRider and headed over to our hotel The Excalibur. Checked into our rooms and headed for our dinner at The House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. We never had to go outside just walked through the Luxor and even had moving sidewalks to ride on. It is like a maze and I would never have found my way back had I not had Steve for a guide. We said our farewells and I headed for a card playing machine and won a whole $1.25 before returning to my room to find my key would not work. So had to go to the front desk and try again. Read on to see what happened next. My particular adventure was not over.

Monument Valley

Well I've lost all track of day and time and where I happen to be at the moment but Boy What A Ride!!!
We arrived in Kayenta last night and were supposed to go on to Monument Valley but it was raining and not at all feasible. So it was decided to get up early and start out to catch sunrise in Monument Valley and it happened. We were on the road at 7:30 and when we arrived the jeeps were waiting to take us out into the valley. We saw the wonderful formations close up and on the return Stopped at t picnic area and had fry bread topped with beans lettuce onions tomatoes and black olives. What a delightful way to enjoy this wondrous place.
From our hotel room we had a view of this monolith which only wetted our appetite for the next day.

Hopi huts at the entrance.

Boarding the jeeps to go to the valley.

The Three Sisters.

Sunrise in Monument Valley

The camel Mesa

On departure we drove up the road aways and pictures were taken of the group riding from a distance. Then we headed for Bryce Canyon and on the way went back to Kayenta and over the Glen Canyon Dam and past Lake Powell. Arriving at our hotel in Bryce Canyon in the pouring rain again.