Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Long time but I am back

Wow I have not posted here on my blog for a year. But a lot has changed and a lot has happened and then I could not get in to my account and do anything, But with perserverance  I figured it out. Now lets see where I left off and try to cover the year I missed. After returning from the 3 Flags Classic I turned around and rode to Quincy California to the BMW rally there. It was a very exciting trip. The first day I rode to Missoula and stayed with Art and Betty. Always a welcome and lovely stop at the beginning of a journey. Then wanting to make some miles I headed west and south over Lolo pass and into John Day Oregon , Down to Lakeside Oregon where I should have stayed but no I forged on to Alturas California. Went to the Super 8. No rooms. Campground? went to an abandoned campground where the deer watched me put up my tent and the good lord looked over me through the night. The next morning cold and tired I forged on looking for a hot cup of coffee but alas did not find one til Quincy. I had breakfast at my favorite restaurant and then went to fairgrounds where I put up my tent amongst a great group of friends. Once again the rally coincided with the stock car races and once again we were entertained. Wonderful.
By this time my hip was giving me grief. I did not leave the bike in California as the air fare was to high. So I rode it home again. Staying in John Day the first night and then Cranbrook the second night.
November 5 a few of us took a ride to Wayne Alberta. It was a beautiful day to finish off the season.

Last chance saloon was busy but we had a beautiful day.
Next post 2017

Friday, 9 December 2016

Trip to Quincy California 2016

Just before we left Tombstone on the Three Flags we had a little entertainment at the Grand Hotel. Local Tombstone Vigilantes came to the Grand and did several skits. At one point they arrested Gonzo and hung him for failure to pay his ladies of the night.
I also forgot to add this lovely photo of a mural in Bisbee
Okay now onto the next trip. I was delight to leave Kimberley in the company of Wayne King and Randy Rosenau from Medicine Hat. We had a great breakfast at Denny's in Cranbrook and shared fun and laughs with other friends. Then we met again at the Tim Horton's in Blairmore. This is what it is all about. Enjoying with good friends.
Now on to Quincy,
Well I arrived home and changed motorcycles and headed south.
I stopped in Ritzville Washington and stayed in a small but adequate little motel, Colwell Motor Inn.
The next day I rode south through the Tri Cities.and on 395 through John Day Oregon. I was thinking of staying in Lakeside Oregon but decided to travel on a few more miles. Just before dark I walked into the Super 8 and they asked if I had reservations. ??? This is a Wednesday. Off season???
Well it seems the town of Alturas was full up. No rooms available and 60 miles down the road in Susanville. Same scenario. Seems there was a Grand Auto Tour and these prewar cars were touring all over the country and everything was full. Okay do you have any campgrounds? Noone knew so I thought I had seen one close to town so I rode back to find an abandoned KOA. All boarded up . No bathrooms. Some abandoned trailers and it was getting dark. So I pitched my tent. Crawled in with some deer keeping an eye on me and slept fitfully through the night. In the morning the deer were still watching over me and I think someone else must have been also. No pictures I'm afraid I just wanted to get out of there. It was early and I really needed a cup of coffee and breakfast but alas nothing was open as I journeyed along. It was cold as the sun rose. I finally decided to just get to Quincy and I headed to my favorite restaurant before I went to the campground to set up.
Best cup of coffee I have had in a long while.
Went to the fairgrounds and set my tent up in my usual spot.
Checked in the next day as I had preregistered.
My friends had saved my place and it was great to see everyone.
Was delighted to find that the stock car races again coincided with our rally and this is such a highlight. For 7.00 dollars one has the best entertainment ever.
The 3 Amigos from B.C.
At the closing ceremonies and again I never one a thing.
Waiting for the races to start.
My dates for the races. The Harkov brothers. Really nice guys from California whose paths cross mine on numerous rallies and BMW events.
Some of the other rally goers who take in the event
This is a real family event and the whole town shows up.
Let the fun begin
Rally over I headed home. The first night I stayed in John Day Oregon at Dreamer's Lodge. It is just off main street and many BMW guys who do not camp stay here at the John Day rally. It is right behind our favorite restaurant so I walked up there for a wonderful dinner. North of John Day the fall colors were beautiful. Wish I could have stopped and got some memories but pullout are gravel and there is very little traffic so I forge on not wanting trouble. I should have stopped earlier as I had traveled many kms but as I got close to the border I thought Cranbrook was not too much further and the motels would be cheaper as there would be no US exchange. So I forged on despite the rain on our side of the border and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the Vacancy sign on my favorite motel.
The Lazy Bear Lodge.
The following morning I got a call from a friend in Cochrane. They had gotten snow and the wind was wicked cold so he thought he would be funny. Do you want to go for a ride he says. Well it seems I am in Cranbrook and yes I am going for a ride so I can get home. Last laugh was on him.
The wind was strong and very cold.
A high spot however was that while I was in Cranbrook I thought of calling friends John and Dorothy Wetherell but decided not to bother them. In Fernie I stopped at the MacDonalds to use their facilities and there sat John and Dorothy. They no longer ride but did up to 2 years ago. They are both now 90 and my heros.
I did stop and get a couple of pictures of the foliage but it was not as beautiful as I had seen the day before.

This is the trip where I would normally have left my bike in Palm Springs to fly down later and enjoy warmer climes but the airfare has gone up so much I just could not do it this year. So today it is -21C and I am wishing I was south with my friends in California.
Did a couple of rides after I got home. Several of us went over the Highwood Pass and then a few weeks later we rode to Wayne Alberta near Drumheller and went to the Last Chance Saloon for lunch.
Top of the Highwood Pass. There is snow in them thar hills.

Carol, Karl and Doug
The bikes are all put away and the trickles chargers on on them. We rode late into November so deem ourselves lucky but definitely no 2 wheels now.

3 Flags 2016

I left off my last episode leaving Tombstone Arizona and traveled the first leg to Purgatory. Kind of ironic. Purgatory was up the mountain at a ski hill north of Durango. Not that nice as we had trouble finding the checkpoint in Aztec New Mexico so it was dark when we arrived and we had trouble finding our room which gave credence to the name Purgatory.
It turned out to be a Condo and because Gord booked it we gave him the king size bed in the bedroom, I took the pullout sofa in the living room and Nowell slept on the couch cushions in the dining room. Hey whatever works. The next morning we headed out. Cold through the mountains as we were at high elevation. Beautiful scenery. Went to the lovely little town of Ouray and were thinking of stopping for lunch but it was so busy with tourists decided to forego and headed north. Stopped in Montrose as did a few others on the ride. Great little restaurant. Then we headed for the Harley dealer in Green River Wyoming. We traveled through the Flaming Gorge which is a really beautiful ride that I have done before several times. Checked in at the checkpoint and then continued on to Rock Springs. It started to rain so we found a motel. La Quinta. Kind of tight as we put a cot in. As I explained to the clerk 3 adults and none of us sleep together.... Once we got a room we went to Appleby's close by for supper and while we were there enjoyed this gorgeous double rainbow.
The La Quinta was looong. From the reception to our room was this hallway.
That is Gord part way down. And our room was at the far end. That is not a mirror, this hall went on forever.
The next morning it was still cool and damp and the road was straight and nothing for miles. We headed for West Yellowstone and stopped at a Denny's for a bite to eat. It was so busy we ended up hopping into a fast food place next door. So far not to bad but as we headed north it started to rain. It was cold and wet and I had not put that extra spray of wet proof on my boots. We stopped at Wheat Montana west of Bozeman and after nourishment and a little bit of heat headed towards Helena.
The checkpoint closed at 7:00 and we arrived at 10 minutes to. I had texted my friend Annie who was manning the checkpoint and said hold on I am coming. She texted back..I wonder how many men have heard that line? The motel was full because everyone who was going to go on didn't so Annie insisted we stay at their place. It is several miles north of Helena and would have been great had the rain stopped and we had to go back and then west. We went for breakfast at Denny's in Helena and headed west over MacDonald Pass. When we stopped in Seeley Lake for fuel. I actually changed my socks. My feet were very cold and wet. The rain lightened up as we headed north but it was still drizzling and cold. We crossed at Rooseville and with the holiday traffic it was quite an ordeal. 
We made it. Nowell , myself and Gord. Here we are with our belt buckles. I did not want to get back on the bike. Nowell had a place downtown and Gord had a place somewhere up the hill. I found out they still had rooms and paid $149.00. I ended up having to go a few blocks and ride into the underground parking and then found out I did not have a room. I had a condo. Kind of lonely kicking around all by myself but I even got my laundry done and managed to slip in a little hot tub time with Miles.

Had dinner at Montanas in the hotel. These 2 were some of the organizers of the 3 Flags. Rodney Chew was the chair. The next day we had a gorgeous breakfast put on for us and that evening a great banquet.

My room was the windows on the second floor next to the balconys. Just gorgeous and this was my view.
Next trip is to Quincy California and back. Hopefully I get at it soon.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Petrified Forest National Park and The Painted Desert

That night I arrived in Show Low, Trish and I had a great visit and the following day took her jeep and headed for the Petrified Forest just north  of her place. She had never been there and we found it to be a very interesting place. Her and I have explored many diverse and unusual places over the years.
Not far into the drive we stopped at the Visitors Centre and I got my passport stamps. They discovered dinosaurs in this place. Not Drumheller, Alberta for sure but interesting never the less.

We did the little walk outside the visitors centre that had examples and explanations of what we were looking at.
Most places just had scattered pieces but some places had whole logs in sections.

Note the badlands off in the distance. Quite a vista.

This was at the Crystal Forest. You can walk down amongst the pieces of petrified wood and see the crystallization that has taken place over the centuries.

The above are just some shining examples.

Many years ago this log fell across a stream. Buried and petrification took place. The stream eroded and eventually this log was used as a bridge. You can no longer walk on it and it has been shored up somewhat by concrete to preserve this wonderful heritage.

Travelling on down the road you come to another overlook called The Teepees.
Very aptly named.
The next overlook was supposed to be petroglyphs but you could not get very close because of the terrain. I spotted this very interesting rock formation and do not know what it is.
The writing on the stones was on this next rock.
After crossong under the Interstate and heading for The painted desert one crosses over a portion of Route 66. These are a few of the signs .

Then on to the Painted desert and this old Inn that was one made out of Petrified wood. It was a major stop for tourists traveling through this part of the country.

Roof inside the Inn
Famous Navajo artist painted these murals.

Vistas from the Inn

So we headed back to the motorhome and had another wonderful night reminiscing about our day and the things we saw. The next morning Trish got me back on the main Highway and I went to Springerville and headed south on 191 which used to be the Devil's Highway 666.
15 mph turns, 10 mph turns. Vistas of mountains as far as the eye can see. All alone. In 90 miles I saw 7 cars going the other way and passed 2 going the same direction as me. When I got towards the south end. My jawed dropped open and my thought was Talk about moving mountains. The Morenci Copper mine is one of the largest I have ever seen and still working. Stories of the miners taking turquoise from the mine home in their lunch boxes and selling for jewellry. The mine owners did not mind as they were making lots of money on the copper. The same thing was true in Bisbee.

As I drove into Clifton I needed fuel. Went around a sharp corner and pulled into a service station, fueled up, pulled ahead to go in and get a bite to eat. Selected my chicken tenders and went to pay. BHAM the wind hit , the power went out and shortly thereafter the rains came . As I stood in the service staiton and finished what I had to eat. I watched my bike rock in the violent wind and when the rain and wind lessened somewhat I headed on again and again thanked the good Lord for watching over me.
That night I stayed at a great Days Inn in Wilcox Arizona. Not far to go the next day.
Arrived in Tombstone and checked in to my hotel The Outpost. Right next to the Grand where I was booked in the next night. This was the view from my room looking east.
Went over to the Grand and checked in with those organizers who were already there. Said hello to my good friend Miles and found out everyone was going to the Longhorn Saloon in Tombstone for dinner. I ended up sitting with Miles and some friends and managed to entertain with some jokes. Hey I had a whole new audience and was in my glory. Great dinner and Miles paid. Then headed over to Big Nose Kates Saloon where the following pictures were taken.
Trust Miles, reaching for the boobs.....

Big Nose Kate was Doc Holliday's girlfriend
Earlier after leaving the Grand and heading back to my motel I bumped into Gord Apperley from Vancouver who I intended to ride with. I had promised to help Miles with the Poker hands at registration and needed to be back for noon so Gord and I decided to ride down to Bisbee as I had never been there before. Really one could have spent days there learning about this old mining town.

Would like to identify this fern in Bisbee, So far no luck.
In front of the mining museum.
Desert planter. Cool!
Once registration started picture taking was at a minimum. I moved over to the Grand Hotel to be near the action. We had a farewell dinner in an open tent in the back of the hotel and just as they started serving we got a huge rain and windstorm that ruined some of the food but when it subsided we all managed to get some sustenance. I was upset because during the day some ladies came in and advised us that my friend Jennifer from Sacramento had passed away the night before on her way to the 3 Flags in her hotel room in Chandler. 64 years old. Not sure what happened. Just goes to show. Enjoy life while you can.
The next morning. 5 AM we started. 241 motorcycles in front of the OK corral on Allen Street.
The first time in 20 years that they allowed motorized vehicle on Allen Street.
Will close this episode and will conclude the 3 Flags next time.