Sunday, August 4, 2019

Riding the Rockies South

Before leaving Coeur d'Alene after the sidecar rally, popped in on a native American / First Nation PowWow. Snapped hundred of photos but will edit those for photo competition coming up later this year.

Two young dancers posed for a snapshot before heading over to the judging area where they will compete.

A young mother and her two daughters also posed for a snapshot.

South of CdA, spotted an unusual sight so swung the rig around to take this photo.

Eunice, who is in her early eighties, was atop a stepladder picking cherries from the top of the tree. To do that, she drove her old 1949 Chevrolet pickup that she bought new in 1951, under the tree branches, then placed a stepladder in the bed of the truck so she could climb up and reach the ripe cherries on top.

Stopping to talk, I met Eunice's husband, standing behind the truck, eating the cherries as fast as she could pick them. 
Eunice spun tales of her and that truck, hauling firewood so heavy the rear differential plowed the center of the road, stacking hay so high it listed to one side, sliding off the highway on an icy road one winter with a non-functioning heater... an interesting couple.

Crossing Wyoming I kept seeing signs for the Sand River. Curiosity got the better of me and at the first opportunity to ride across the river, I did. 

Yeah, all sand, no water in the river bed.

Crossing Wyoming is a hot dry experience for hundred of miles. Sunburn is a concern. After trying creams and blockers over the years, found the simplest and cleanest solution is a bandana soaked in water. When it dries, re-soak.

Riding the Wind River Canyon south of Thermopolis, WY is one of my favorite experiences. 
Is a short canyon but one of the prettiest. The canyon walls parallel the roadway, the Wind River and railroad tracks.

There are three short tunnels, one right after the other on the south end of the canyon. 

In color, the canyon walls themselves is stunning.

And in black and white too.

On the last day, riding from Rifle, CO thru Aspen to reach Independence Pass,  the morning rush hour traffic heading up to Aspen was as bad as any Houston rush hour.  Because housing is so expensive in Aspen, most who work there must commute from outside the village. 

Aspen build federally subsidized housing for the school teachers, firemen and policemen 
as they could not afford live within the city limits.

Finally reaching Independence Pass, stopped for a quick photo at the sign. 

Just when you think you have accomplished something, up pedals a retired gent who made his way up from Aspen to reach the 12,045 ft high Pass.  I shook his hand.

The last twenty miles of the ride south was visited with a mountain shower. 
The only real rain of more than a mile the whole trip.

Now to rest a few days, do laundry and plan another ride.

Ride safe and far, y'all.



  1. Cool pictures! Especially the Independence Pass sign with the bicycle. I’ve sone some field work south of Thermopolis so we ended up driving through the canyon daily. It is a spectacular drive.

    1. Richard, how is driving that canyon in the winter? Did you try the hot springs in Thermopolis?

    2. We were working there in the summer. I didn’t try the hot springs in Thermopolis itself. Some locals told us about hot springs south of the canyon. They were pretty rustic...

  2. Nice pics CCjon, though I hope that old lady has good health insurance....doing some risky stuff for her age.

    Last time I was at the Independence Pass sign, there was snow to the bottom of the sign! :)

    1. Thanks Dom, seeing Eunice that high on the stepladder in a pickup parked on an angle, was thinking the same, hope her insurance is paid up. Talking with her about the life she has lead, this was probably one of the least risky things she has done.

      Through out the conversation, her husband kept popping cherries in his mouth.

  3. Sometimes it's not about how far we have ridden, but who we meet along the way.

  4. I wish I had the courage to ride across country to the west coast again. If I was 40 years younger....

  5. Not to be critical, but I believe Eunice's truck is a 1946. In '47 GM moved the headlights into the fenders. That aside, the picture tells the story of an American survivor and doer. I hope when I'm 80 I can still do things that make other folks think I shouldn't, and others wish they could.

    Later, Bud...

    1. Thanks Bud, for catching that. You are right, the 1941-46 Chevy truck lights are like the truck in the photo. I wonder if it is a much earlier model than she remembered. That was 70+ years ago, memories fade.

      Aaah, but the stories that truck could tell.....

    2. What is amazing to me, she has kept that truck running and still working after all these years.


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