The history we made together was unforgettable. And now....
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The history we made together was unforgettable. And now....
Monday, July 21, 2014
Was a cool 48 degrees under low hanging clouds when I left Angel Fire on Friday, July 18th. Decided to ride across part of Oklahoma on the way home. That will make 32 states Da'mit and I have visited in the last 15 months. Hmmmmm.... one more trip and we could visit the rest.......
Not everybody makes it home going this way. The wagon trains left oxen carcasses on the road side, the dust bowl left rusting steel wrecks, will the future leave stainless polished fuselages to waste away? The land doesn't change much nor the people passing through. Only what they cast off.
We got as far as Childress, TX before tiredness and nightfall caught up with us. Still 645 miles from home.
After checking the oils and tires, we hit the road early AM Saturday, heading south toward Abilene. Not sure how far we can ride today, but the weather is a cool for a mid-July in Texas. Nice, very nice, so just gas and ride all day.
Ten miles north of Caldwell, only 90 miles from home, something happened on Da'mit that has never happened in over 40,000 kms of riding remote arctic tundra or lonely desert crossings.....
Can you tell what is going on?
Our FIRST flat tire. Have been using Ride-On in Da'mit's tube tires to balance them and prevent flats. I swear by this product. Some people use Dynabeads to balance their tires, but Dynabeads won't prevent a flat tire. Ride-On does. On the other hand, even Ride-On is no cure for a tire worn down to the bare threads.
Mounted the well worn spare tire with hopes and prayers that it will get us home. Arrived back home in Cypress after several detours for road construction. Beautiful loving wife and hyper-dog were both glad to see us.
The C2C US ride with Rudy and Dave was an pleasant experience in planning and traveling with strangers. We met on the internet, planned our trip and met for the first time face to face in Virginia six weeks ago. Now we have a shared experience and memories of a great ride across America on Russian sidecar rigs, meeting many other Ural riders and dealers along the way.
All in all, it was a safe long ride, no injuries, no accidents, no trip ending mechanical problems. Hundreds of photos were taken to be shared and countless stories will be told of our adventures, sights seen and the people we met. Most of all we thank all of the generous people we met along the way who opened their homes to us, offered assistance, advice and local information. It has reaffirmed in our minds the strength, greatness and generosity of the American people. It is the people of America, not Washington, that makes our country strong.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Something was different this morning, air was cooler... little more humid... the landscape changed! Today we have snow where yesterday there was none. The view of Mt. Wheeler, the tallest mountain in New Mexico, changed. It recieved a frosting of snow last night.
Can't do this with a Trike or a motorcycle. Gotta love the versatility of a Ural sidecar rig.
The rains in Texas this week are causing a change in my schedule to return home to Cypress. Is hard to leave the cool 48 degree mornings for 90 plus sweltering heat of Houston.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Dave and I rode, played, explored got wet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico for a couple of days. Took Dave to see the Earthship Biotecture development on the high plains west of Taos. Here individuals are building homes partially buried in the ground using recycled materials, solar heating and wind powered water pumps. There were mounds of used glass jars and bottles being sorted by size and color for future construction.
Durango's morning air was crystal clear, the temperature 58 degrees. A Harley rider at the motel suggested a nearby bakery for sweet rolls. Said it was across the street, one block down on the corner. Walking a block, all I see is a tattoo palor sign, no bakery. Must be the next house, but he said it was on the corner. As I get closer I can see a smaller sign under the tattoo sign advertising bakery.... Hmmmmmmmm. Sweet sticky cinnamon bun with your dragon tattoo? Or a donut tattoo with your maple Long John? No thanks. one coffee, black, please.
As we rode through Bayfield, CO, there was a farmers market setting up, so we stopped to hopefully get some fresh fruit. There I met Michael Mayer. You have to admire someone who is not looking for a government hand-out, but applying his god-given talents and hard work is trying to make a go in the world. Michael is designing, building and selling propeller driven wind chimes. He has never studied engineering nor mechanical design, yet his application of complex mechanical principles is undeniable. He has only been doing this for less than a year but has several designs for sale and well as other designs he is working on.
Colorado offers unique opportunities to invest in fresh air housing. An owner was offering his property for sale. Da'mit asked if the sign was holding up the house or visa versa? Didn't call the number, so don't know the asking price, sorry.
The steep mountain climbs, the rains, the Native American culture and Taos are yet to come. The adventures in New Mexico are another chapter, so.....
Friday, July 11, 2014
We caught the sun coming up in Arches National Park.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Rudy had burnt a hole in his right piston so Dennis trailered the rig to TriQuest in Santa Clara for Ski to repair/rebuild. Ski came in on his day off to do the work. They were back in Lodi at the ranch before midnight. The next morning Rudy had to do a few maintenance itms on the Beast so we could get be back on the road before noon. We agreed to meet Dave in Jackson, CA for lunch and start our return ride east. California is a beautiful state but the state road system is the worse I have ever seen. They should fire the highway planning department and hire a whle new crew. The poor citizens of California pay some of the highest gasoline taxes and have a terrible highway system to show for it.
Dennis accepted our invitation to ride to Angel Fire, NM with us. But before we cross the Sierra Nevada mountains, it was hot and his vision was blurring. He decide that he better stay in California so we said our goodbyes and continued on Rt 88 east. What a fantastic road over the mountains. Much better then US 50. Many scenic overlooks and vistas. More open views than from US 50. We finally arrived in Fallon, NV and stayed at the Naval Air Station there. Dave is retired military so he could get us in for the night.
In Austin, NV a wealthy mine investor, railroadman built a castle for his family as a summer retreat on a hill overlooking the valley. Once completed, it was used one summer then sat empty ever after. The Stokes Castle was built in 1897.
Next morning we rode across northern Nevada. The riding gods were smiling most of the day. Rain showers were moving through the area so temperatures were low for this time of the year: high of 82 and a low of 62 today.
Rudy spotted another Shoe Tree, we had not heard about.
By the afternoon the rains found us, so we donned rain gear and rode on to Ely, NV for the night. Normally in the summer the rain gear makes you sweat so much that by the end of the day it looks like you rode in the rain with no gear. Today was different, the cooler temps made wearing the rain gear comfortable.
Rains on the left, on the right and straight ahead.
Monday, July 7, 2014
It was cool and damp when Dennis, Rudy and I left Bodega Bay to ride south. After saying goodby and thanking Becky and Leland for their great hospitality, we rode Highway 1 along the coast to San Francisco. We wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge before proceeding on down to Santa Clara to visit Ski at Triquest Motocycles. Ski is the guru of Urals on the West Coast.
Stopping at the north end of the bridge, fog would open up then close rapidly, only allowing photos if you were fast enough. Were not happy with the phottos we were getting
Decided to try the south end of the bridge.
Today Dennis took us for a ride up Highway 1, the famous California coastal highway, to Fort Ross where he had worked as a Park Ranger in the early 1970's. Before California was a state, it was divided north and south between the Russians and the Mexicans, with the Russian River being the dividing line/border. Fort Ross was a Russian built fort and settlement on the central coast. Since I had visited Sitka, the old Russian capital in Alaska,was surprised to learn that the Alaska natives heped the Russians settle as far south as central California. They were pursuing the seal fur trade along the Californian coast. As the seal population slowly dissipated, they turned to farming and timber. Eventually they sold the fort to John Sutter in 1841. John Sutter from the Sutter Mill gold find fame. Later Sutter sold the fort and surrounding farm land to George Call from Ohio.