Wednesday, 28 September 2016

3 Flags 2016 (1)

This year I was able to register for the 3 Flags. It sounded like an interesting trip. Tombstone Arizona to Kimberley British Columbia. But first I had to get to Tombstone. My first day I headed for Missoula, Montana. Now I usually go via Rooseville but decided I would like to go a different route instead of the same ole same ole. I went down 22 but went east and then south to Pincher Creek. Crossed at Chief Mountain and stopped for lunch at the lodge at St Mary's. Then over Looking Glass to East Glacier and then West Glacier. Down through Big Fork and Seeley Lake and approached Missoula from the east.. Delighted to see Art and Betty and the kids again. The next morning Art had arranged to meet the gang for breakfast but all who showed up were Gilles and Hal. Not sure what happened. Then keeping with the trend I headed south on 93. Art accompanied me to Hamilton and I continued over the pass to Salmon Idaho. This is a gorgeous drive. Well I phoned my friend in Chubbock Idaho and asked if he would like to meet for dinner and then made a wrong turn in Arco and ended up at my favorite motel 6 in Twin Falls Idaho AGAIN. Starting to see a trend here. The next day still on 93 to Wells Nevada and staying on 93 south  (Very boring stretch) ended up for lunch at MacDonalds in Ely Nevada. Here I took the first picture of the journey. This metal moose in front of McD's
So I headed south once more and turned east to spend the next night at the Motel 6 in Cedar City , Utah. Then east with falling rain on 14 to Kanab where I had a wonderful breakfast.
I passed this rest area where they honor the Pony Express.

Met a fellow from Austrailia touring on his BMW and had a short visit.
After breakfast I stopped at this vista so typical of many of the spots along the way where one is on top of the world with mountains as far as the eye can see.

One knows they have reached Utah when the rock turns red.
For years I have passed these rock formations and thought Oh I should stop there. But each time I drove by. This time however I spotted a porta potty and needed to go so I pulled in. There was a bar around it and a lock on it. I had to buy some Navajo jewelry in order to get it opened. I worked out however as I bought a lovely pair of earrings for my friend Trish in Show Low.

Pretty cool place.
Destination Flagstaff. Called my friend John from and Arby's and he came and fetched me. Good thing as I was aways away and probably would not have found them. What a beautiful home. I told them they had a problem, They might not get rid of me. I had a beautiful room that overlooked the San Francisco peaks. I asked John what was with that but I guess the story goes if you stand on top and look west you can see San Francisco.
The other view out my bedroom window.
I met John's wife Jan and their daughter Linda. They were celebrating Linda's birthday and took me out to the Tinderbox in downtown Flagstaff. We had this gourmet meal. I had this pork tenderloin. It was wonderful. The yellow is butternut squash.
This is John and his daughter.
Next morning not to out wear my welcome, I headed for my friend Trish's in Show Low. She came down to the store off 61 and guided me in. Several miles of gravel and dirt. No problems with the bike I am riding but still a little scary. We had a great visit that night and the next day went to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.
This is her new motorhome. She has a deck on the seacan and I took this from up there and also the sunset.
Well I will continue journey next time. Will start with the Petrified Forest.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Nakusp BC rally 2016

Before I could go on the 3 Flags I had the Nakusp BMW rally. Had an appointment Thursday at noon and then headed west. Stopped at Revelstoke for fuel and I had forgotten I gain an hour so arrived before dark and got set up next to my friend Turk from Borrego Springs.
Crossing on the ferry south of Revelstoke.
The following day more arrived and amongst them was a friend of Turk's. Yvonne from Vancouver island. I found her to be a kindred spirit and after I had done my duty at the senior's home taking the seniors for rides , she climbed in the side car and we went up to the hot springs for a soak. After we hiked to the covered bridge which I discovered last year. This next photo is a view blow the bridge and then I took a picture of Yvonne.

It was a long ride home for some reason. Very hot and tiring. I went south to New Denver and then over to Kaslo. Stopped at this rest area to learn an endangered toad lives here. Never knew that before. Stopped in Creston and bought some fruit but it was 9:30 before I got back in Calgary. The rally as always was great fun and the food great as always. I won a T shirt Ride, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.
How true.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

UMCI Rosebud rally 2016

In my haste I forgot the rally in Rosebud and my trip to BC in the convertible. When I got back from Hamburg the following weekend Rick and I headed for Radium for a soak in the hot tub. We left on Saturday at 6AM in the pouring rain. Just outside Calgary the sun came out and we had a lovely weekend. Went to the hot springs and had a soak early and when we came out, headed for Kaslo.
Got to Kaslo to find that the Jazz festival was on. There was no room at the Inn or any other inn for that matter. Thankfully I had convinced Rick to throw in the tent. (Just in case) . We went through Dutch Creek on the way and I took these pictures. Been a long time since I have been down this way.

And of course we passed Fort Steele

We ended up spending Saturday night camped in the tent in the Kokanee Creek campground boat launch to the tune of $32.00. The next night on the way home we stayed at the Lazy Bear Lodge in Cranbrook. One of my favorite places.
The following weekend found me on the bike once again in Rosebud Alberta. We had about 35 attend the rally. Not certain of numbers because some just came and visited for a few hours. We went on a dice run through the countryside and lucky as I am I managed to win low roll.
First stop was the little church on the Dinosaur trail.
Then we stopped at Horsethief Canyon

We then crossed the  Bleriot ferry

Then we went to The Last Chance Saloon in Wayne for lunch.

Jim and Julie dropped in for a visit with Peter and Nellie.
Peter and Nellie
It was a good rally. A little rain and it would have been fine if I had the right poles for the right tent but I managed Okay.
The menagerie in front of the house. Now I can report on the 3 Flags.

Rally in Hamburg, NY

I found out Hamburg was just 3 hours from Dianne's in Aylmer so Tuesday morning I headed east and south. I of course crossed the Peace Bridge and got on hwy 5 in Buffalo AOK but missed a turn and stopped at a Dairy Queen and asked directions to the fairgrounds. A nice gentleman in a BMW car gave me directions and I was very close. Found my friends and camped in a great place under a tree. There were only a few of us at first but as the week progressed we became prime real estate.

I took these as everyone was leaving. With 6100 there everyone was vying for shade.
It was a great rally. I volunteered for putting pins and patches in the mugs the first day and then the second day I worked 4 hours at the door prize booth and then Friday 4 hours at registration. This got me a free dinner as a volunteer and I also attended an MOA meeting for our Alberta group and had a great luncheon and was given a rally shirt which was great because I was not going to buy one. Our tentsite was way far away from the venues where everything was going on so I cretainly got my exercise. Saw many old friends and made new friends. Always fun.. The journey home was also fraught with adventure. I had to go back to Aylmer to help celebrate my nephews 60th birthday and so on Sunday packed up and headed out. Terribly long wait at the border at the Peace Bridge but unfortunately necessary. The big pain however as once you have passed this trial you then have to stop to pay a toll. I had all my change in my tank bag and when I stopped at the booth and unzipped my passport fell on the ground. Oh pain but good story. The fellow in the toll booth came out and picked it up for me and gave me a life saver as well.
I missed my turn for Aylmer so kind of went up and back down and arrived at the driving school in time for the party.
It was fun with family and friends.
While in the area I visited a friend at Tillsonburg and enjoyed her lovely garden.
We watched the cardinals and baltimore orioles come to the bird feeders.
Because I no longer had to rush back I stayed an extra day with Dianne and we went to the Crazy Eight barn by Suzanne's (my other niece). We had lunch here and a very unique experience it was.

The flower gardens surrounding the place were beautiful.
Inside looking up at the roof

The next day I left and headed west. Across the Blue Water Bridge and back into Michigan. My plan was to follow Highway 2 all the way home. The first night found me in Marquette Michigan. The Americas Best Hotel was very expensive so I found a room at the Marquette Motor Inn. A sign on the door said if I wanted to see the scouting museum to request it. So being a scouter I asked and the next morning Jim Beckwith came in uniform and showed me but a portion of his scouting STUFF.

He is in the process of moving from one building to another but when he gets it done he will have an amazing collection.
Once I got away I found myself following Hwy 2 Detour signs as the road had been washed out at some point. I had no clue where I was and when I came to a big city I discovered it was Superior Wisconsin. I stopped for fuel  and noticed a sign for Gronk's Bar and Grill and there was a Super 8 next door.. I just had this enormous desire to go to Gronk's. It was great especially the onion rings. But the real bonus was later that night when I awoke to ceaseless lightning and thunder that shook the hotel and wind and rain. The next day further down the road, there were roofs blown off, power line down, trees fallen and uprooted. Had I not stopped early I would probably been in the middle of it.

This was just outside the Super 8.

This was at a rest area further down the road the next day.
Called Oak Lake. Go figure.
Next stop. Rugby North Dakota. Geographical centre of North America. I stayed at a place called the Greenwood Inn. Okay but not that great and I did not feel real comfortable here and was glad to move on the next day.

Signpost explains How many miles north , south, east and west.
Sunset from my room.
I got away fairly early and headed for Havre Montana. When I saw a sign indicating Canada was only 41 miles but turned around when I realized the closest place was Medicine Hat which was a long way. I got to the Super 8 and got 1 of the last 2 rooms as the fair was on next door. When I reached my room I looked out the window and my bike was literally rocking on the side stand. I thought it was going to blow over. The wind had come up so fast and so strong. If I had not turned around I would have been caught in it out in the middle of nowhere. I went down and asked a truck if it would mind parking next to my bike and brake the wind and they were delighted to do so. They were from Drumheller and a really nice couple.
The next day I was home once again.
I repacked and went to a small rally in Rosebud which I will talk about next episode but anxious to get on to my next adventure on the 3 Flags Classic. Stay tuned.