Enjoying God's creation (people and places) ........ and fulfilling our desire to conquer and explore.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

First Ride of 2010 for Audra and I, 2-Up

Audra and I enjoyed our first motorcycle ride of the year, together... today. After the 12" of new snow on Friday, we decided to head south for lower elevations and warmer temps.

The next five pics are of "Skyline Drive", just outside of Canyon City, CO.

Rather than backtracking home, we decided to ride all the way around Pike's Peak, coming home through Woodland Park. It was a good decision in regard to views and the smell of Pine Trees for a couple of hours, but it did get a little chilly.

Work on the NX650 Continues....

The work on the Honda NX650 continues.

New disc and front brake pads.

New rear brake pads for the drum brake.

We removed the smog pump (only required in CA), and installed the block-off plates.

The newly painted frame and swing arm with front and rear shocks installed.

Bryce and Tyler clearcoated the "new Blue Parts" and we mounted the engine.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Big Bend Trip, Day 6

Today was not to be the final day of my trip, but it is. After watching the Weather Channel for some time last night, I have made the decision to head home on Friday, Day #6. Big time weather is on the way. I love riding my motorcycle, but there is no love for riding in the rain with cold temps and windchills below freezing. I'm headed home.

At 7:45 am, I drive away from Frank and the Holiday Inn, headed north.

My first stop is Roswell, NM to experience a little Alien activity and fill up with gas.

Hours later, I cross the state line, into Colorado.

It was a long day of riding, totaling 528 miles, with an arrival at 5:30pm. But, it turned out to be a very good plan. Saturday was a full day of 38-42 degree temps, with fog and drizzle all day long.

Big Bend Trip, Day 5

After all the night time storms, I awoke in Alpine to a beautiful day. A pic of Alpine from the Sul Ross State University, High Rise Dorm parking lot.

After riding around Alpine and taking in the sights, I rode up to Fort Davis to meet the Miller's for lunch at Poco Mexico. It was great to see them, visit and enjoy some great Mexican Food.

Red Enchiladas, Tamale and Chili Renello.... good stuff!

After lunch with the Miller's, we were talking outside by the bike and to my great surprise, Frank came riding by. He had left Rio Grande Village early that morning riding up the River Road to Presidio and then on to Fort Davis. He just happen to come by the restaurant at the time we were standing outside. Frank changed his plans and rode with me for the rest of the day. The Miller's enjoyed a conversation with Frank while I filled up with gas, then we departed for New Mexico.

On the way north, we stopped at McDonald Observatory to take in the views.

North of Van Horn, we are headed for Guadalupe Peak.

Stopping at the Rest Stop at Guadalupe Peak, we made a hotel reservation for Carlsbad, NM. Two hours later we checked in to the hotel, got cleaned up and enjoyed a Chili Cheese Coney at the Sonic. I treated Frank to his first Onion Ring. He liked them.

Big Bend Trip, Day 4

Leaving Rio Grande Village on Wednesday morning, Frank and I rode to the Chisos Basin Lodge.

Enjoying the breakfast buffet, we loaded up on calories for a full day of riding. 20 miles down the road, Frank and I shook hands and parted. I wished him the best in his riding and vowed to stay in touch.

This cactus is one example of the desert being in full bloom. These flowers were a bright fuchsia.

Big Bend NP offers a lot of dirt road, dual sport riding that take you deep in the back parts.

Once I left the Park, I headed to Lajitas and then on to the River Road.

About 7 miles later, I found a 4x4 trail down to a dry river bed that led to the Rio Grande. This allowed me a bit of relaxation along the water's edge.

The Tipis up the River Road.

From a high spot on the road between Presidio and Marfa. Looking toward Alpine to the Northeast.

Once arriving in Marfa, I enjoyed a Chili Reno lunch.

Between Marfa and Alpine, the state of Texas has built an observatory..... to observe the mysterious Marfa Lights.

The "Four Peaked Mountain" is Twin Sisters. The old Lane Ranch 'took in' half that mountain.

Dinner with my high school basketball coach, Brent McWilliams.

Wednesday evening, my plan was to ride out to the old Lane Ranch and tent camp up in Ranger Canyon, but the thunderstorms in the area scared me off. I did ride up in the canyon and hung around for about 30 minutes, but returned to Alpine and bailed into a hotel room. This video shows the first few minutes when I first arrived in the canyon. Within 15 minutes, the wind was blowing extremely hard and the rain was just beginning. I got out of there just in time.

Big Bend Trip, Day 3

Packing up to leave with my mother watching on.

Tuesday morning found us huddled around the kitchen, enjoying Kolaches and coffee for breakfast, with some great conversation. Leaving Jacque and Fudd's home, I rode in to Midland to Academy Sports to purchase a fuel canister for my backpacking stove. (I purchased one, but bought the wrong one.... more on this story, later.)

Leaving Midland, I headed south to Rankin, TX. It is amazing to me that the little county roads in Texas are 75mph.

After all the miles in the Panhandle, it was very cool to see some mesas and canyons.

On my way down, I sent a text to Fudd, asking for a good place to eat lunch. He replied with.... Old House Cafe in Iraan, TX. I was amazed at the $7 Chicken Fried Steak. Took me back to my high school years of Football and Basketball trips and the meals we ate.

And the much awaited destination.... Big Bend National Park!!!!

10 miles into the Park, I came upon the awesome view of the Chisos Mountains.

I had originally planned to spend the night in Big Bend Ranch State Park, but I wanted to spend more time in the National Park. I chose the Rio Grande Village Campground for my overnight stay.

Camped next to me was a fellow from Germany (Frank), accomplishing a 6 month motorcycle tour of our "Contiguous 48". Frank and I quickly formed a friendship and even shared a spaghetti dinner, as we swapped stories of motorcycle trips and motorcycles. We even studied his maps and I gave him some great ride ideas that he had missed.

Big Bend Trip, Day 2

After spending the night in Terry's yard, I hit the road for Palo Duro Canyon State Park (PDCSP).

The 16 mile loop of PDCSP is full of great twisties and phenomenal sights.

After leaving the State Park, I headed to Canyon, TX, for lunch and a pic of 47' tall, Tex Randall.

The Mexican Food at El Patio was pretty darn good.

Riding down through the Texas Panhandle, there are a lot of cotton fields to see.

After a couple of hours behind the handle bars, I need a little "pick me up", so I stopped for a rest and a little java.

Once arriving at my Sister and Brother-in-Law's home outside of Midland, TX, we enjoyed a lot of conversation and some great food. Here is a pic of my big Sis.... experiencing the VStrom.