Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to Normal Life

After the trip to Keystone, broken down bike and going back to work with no down time, I finally feel like my life is returning to normal. Last night I slept like a log and was able to sleep until I work up naturally, well until the baby woke me up, which was still later than normal, so that's a plus.

I spent a large part of the afternoon in the pool with Ian. Mostly it was just he and I but Amanda was there off and on too. We had a great time, playing in the pool and tossing water balls back and forth. He is such a doll and a joy in my life.

My bike is in Durango until further notice, probably about 2 weeks. I really miss having her here. Even though it is ungodly hot here and riding during the day is pretty much out of the question, not having my bonnie in the garage is a real bummer. Instead she is sitting in a strange shop, road weary and dirty waiting to have her electrical system repaired. Looking at the pictures everyone has posted and the videos, wants to make me go back and do it all over again.

Anyway, one thing this trip did was to make me realize how badly I need to get into shape and lose some weight. So this evening I joined a gym. Hopefully in a few weeks the results will begin to show.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to Work

Made it home Tuesday evening and back to work on Wednesday. (Note to self: always include a recovery day before returning to work.)

Talked to the bike shop yesterday, the culprit is a bad voltage regulator which then fried the battery. Parts need to be ordered from NM, probably going to cost $500 - $600 repair, not including the towing ($70) and rental car to get home ($175). Probably two weeks before I can go get the baby and bring her home.

When it is all said and done, it could have been worse, no physical damage to the bike or me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finally Home

Monday we were unable to find an open shop or one that would take work on a Triumph. MoTow called 13 different places. Deciding there was nothing we could do before Tuesday, Chelli & Jo headed for home and Scuter, Deb and I went to look for a snake pit that had closed, stopped at a really cool trading post where the owner also tried to help us find a bike shop. That didn't work so we did shopping therapy.

We were going to go up to Mesa Verde but the rain, loose gravel and sign saying "motorcycles use extreme caution" changed our minds. Instead we ended up going to the local movie theater to see "Inglorious Basterds" an interesting, if bloody and nonfactual movie and dinner.

Tuesday morning we found someone to take the bike and had the tow truck come and get the bike. Then to the Cortez, CO airport to get a rental car. Finally home home around 8 PM last night.

For what it is worth, if you happen to end up on Cortez needing a hotel, check out the Super 8. it may not be the swankiest but the staff was also helpful with late checkouts, discounted rates and other suggestions.

All in all it was a great trip even if we did have to leave my baby behind in Durango.

Well, now it is time to hit the shower, get dressed, return the rental and head to the office.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trip Home Day 1 (aka I should have stayed in bed)

Some days you should just stay in bed and today started and ended that way. First off, yesterday Deb & I changed rooms at the hotel to share a room with Scuter after her other room mates left. Knowing that we were going to leave early we tried to get everything packed up before going to bed. That is when I realized that I couldn't find the ROK straps for my bag. I figured they had been left in the old room so I checked with the front desk to see if they had been turned in by housekeeping. They said that housekeeping wouldn't be in until 8 AM and they would check with them then.

This morning when I started packing, I couldn't find my new camera. Again I checked with the front desk and discovered that housekeeping had not come in yet. While we waited for breakfast in the hotel restaurant, which while decent was slow as Christmas, they did find out that housekeeping had found my camera, straps and a few other things. Yay!

We did almost 300 miles and took Highway 550 (aka OMG Highway). Amazing views and hair raising hairpin turns. Got cold going up to about 11,000 feet, then it rained, so we were cold and wet. Really an amazing trip but also very technically challenging.

By the time we hit Durango it was starting to get dark but our reservations were in Cortez so we pushed on another 50 or so miles. Chelli and Scuter had hauled butt because of a problem with her headlight, Jo followed them and we were bringing up the rear because we can't see well at night and were going a little slower. About 10 miles outside if Cortez my bike started surging periodically. Then it started bucking and jerking and spitting like it was running out of gas, but we had just filled up. After several stops along the side of the dark highway. we finally made it to Cortez. Scuter & Jo came to the gas station where we stopped so that they could cover me from traffic as I bucked and popped down the road.

Tomorrow we'll call MoTow.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

AMA Conference Day 2

Yesterday was registration after a ride of about 200 miles of interstate that is just too beautiful to be an interstate highway. I-70 through Colorado is amazing. After registering we were starving but the only thing we could get was pizza by the slice at a little place in the basement of a building called Pizza 101 and seats 3. Guess it was a good thing it was only Scuter, Deb & I at that point. I will say that it was darn good pizza.

We found Susan, a little later we found Kim and Rose who had been storm chasing across the Midwest. Allison and Lori pulled in after arriving in Denver and picking up their rentals. We gathered for a dinner ride into Dillon. Laughed a lot and gabbed about times old and new. Leaving was a bit of confusion. When you're in a group of riders all going the same direction but different places, at night they all kinda look alike. I thought Deb was behind me, she thought I was behind her and with so many motorcycles in the dark we lost each other. So we both stopped at different gas stations. By the time I got back to the hotel Deb had already been there and when I didn't pull in a few minutes behind her, thought I might have gotten lost and went back to look for me. Finally ended up at the same place at the same time and found places to park the bikes.

This morning we went over to the vendor area and to the seminar on making your bike fit you. One of the speakers was Athena, owner of vagabond motors. Great ideas on modifying bikes from one of the top female custom bike builders in the country.

Browsing the vendor area I ran into Peg from Boston. Just a couple of weeks ago I found out that Peg had made several trips to Waveland MS, my home town to help after Katrina. So we chatted about that and our mutual friend Woody who recently passed away. Later that afternoon I found other Violators, Marjorie, Darryl, Amy, Loocie, Sue, and Gin. It was like a family reunion.

This evening there was a barn dance at the stables where we were served bbq, beans, corn on the cob and cornbread. The band was pretty decent. Several of us, myself included tried out hand at roping hay bale steers, others tried tossing horse shoes. It was a lot of fun.

Back in the room, a bit sunburned, content and all is right with the world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 4 - Green River, UT to Glenwood CO

Today was a bit different that the previous ones. Chelli wanted to go back to Goblin Valley, Jo and Scuter decided to go with her. Deb & I were having a road weary day and decided to skip the extra 100 or so miles and go on to Glenwood.

I have to say that although we did nearly 200 miles on I-70 almost every miles was breath taking. We road along the Colorado River for many miles, through the mountains, saw a couple of eagles and a prairie dog standing on the edge of the road waiting to dash across. We also saw lots of bikes on the road, most heading west, so I'm not sure where they were heading. Last night at dinner we did meet a couple of women from CA heading towards the conference and saw a few women riders heading west.

When we got to Glenwood, Deb & I checked into the hotel and awaited the arrival of the rest of the crew. After Goblin Valley, Chelli elected to go a more scenic route and Scuter & Jo hit the highway. They arrived in Glenwood about 2 hours after we did. Chelli hasn't made it in yet and it is nearly 9:00 PM local time. So we expect her to pull in any time now. Guess we had had enough "together time" and needed a little break from each other for the day.

Tomorrow it is into Keystone for the start of the conference. We are only about 150 miles out so it will be an easy ride. All of us are excited and looking forward to seeing other people from the DOB list as well as other long distance friends. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing some of my sisters from Moving Violations. Also looking forward to all the motorcycle and accessory eye candy.

There is something intensely spiritual about traveling this beautiful country by motorcycle. The power which created this world has truly blessed us all.

Well, guess that's it for today. Tomorrow is going to be a really exciting day, registering at the conference and meet & greet. I can't wait.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 3 Bryce Canyon to Green River

We had an awesome ride today through Escalante UT, twisties and breathtaking scenery. Awesome rock formations and mountains, at one point we were on a two lane road with canyons on both sides.

Chelli really did a great job mapping this route out for us. The scenery has been so beautiful, there were petroglyphs at one stop, beautiful overlooks and some wild life that thought about dashing in front. Scuter and Jo did a lot of fast runs up the hills then would pull off to the side waiting for us to catch up.

We had a great time, no major incidents other than a bee getting in my buff and stinging me 2-3 times. Thankfully there was a pull out right there.

Great day, great ride.

Pictures later, I'm too tired tonight.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 2 - Page to Bryce Canyon

Our day started out with breakfast at Denny's, back to the hotel to pack and off we go. We headed across the dam and had a nice winding road toward Bryce Canyon. No mishaps, no craziness except for the dumbass who tried to pass us all and damn near took out Deb because he couldn't make it all the way passed us. Then a bus tried to take out Jo & Scutie because he didn't know what he needed to turn right although he was signaling left.

We had an awesome ride to the top of the canyon and a great dinner at the restaurant here. We're staying in the Best Western that has the best customer service ever. We're all exhausted and settling in for the night.

More pictures from Day 1 Just outside of Page

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Scenic overlook south of Page

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Day 1 Phoenix to Page AZ

We were up bright and early to meet everyone at the IHOP only Chelli was 15 minutes late, Scuter and Jo were at Waffle House and Deb & I were 30 minutes late. Oh well. The idea was to beat the heat getting out of the valley and we were well on our way to doing that when we got into stop and go traffic. It seems a truck jack knifed at Carefree Hwy. Ugh... So, we did a little lane splitting to get out of the traffic. Necessary evil and I hope I never have to do that much of it again.

We got off to get gas and in leaving there, it was U turn number 1 when we turned right instead of left. Up 17 we continue to Flagstaff where we should go EAST on I-40. Well, Chelli and Jo when East, Scuter Deb and I went west. Stopped for gas, got text from Chelli telling us where they were and off we go. Except....Scuter took us West on 40 again. We get off and the next exit and U turn number 2.

Chelli and Jo wait for us at the Connoco on 89 and we get all broken up looking for a Subway. Never mind that Wendy's was right in front of us. Finally we all end up at Subway and cool off and eat. An older biker dude asked if we were heading north, we said yes, he said to be careful and give each other plenty of room because the wind and dust was some of the worst he had seen. Let me tell you, he wasn't lying. There is something very odd about leaning left in a right curve to keep your bike upright and in your lane. We had about 60 miles of that.

Finally, we make it to Page. Get a couple rooms and when Jo, Chelli and Scuter decide to go out for dinner we opt to stay in. We got almost no sleep last night because our AC went out and we're exhausted. Jo was kind enough to offer to bring dinner back for us.

After Jo leaves, a little while later I look out the window and they are still outside. This can't be good, they are on the ground looking under Chelli's bike. Her ignition fell apart. We went down to lend moral support. Of course it is 10 minutes to 5 and we had no luck getting a bike shop that was open. However Chelli fixed it right up. We are now disaster proofed for the trip.

Guess that is about it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Vacation Eve

Well, everything is ready, the bikes are loaded except for the last minute things. Tomorrow we are up early to meet the rest of the gang at IHOP for breakfast at 6:30 AM so we can get out of the valley before it gets too ungodly hot.

As if we didn't have enough going on, the AC went out today also. We actually got someone out here but they need a part so they will be back in the morning to fix it. Thankfully Amanda will be here so we don't need to delay our departure.

Keystone here we come.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

48 hours and we're on the road

Final preparations are in process for departure on Saturday morning. Last evening I spent time at the local nail salon getting a pedicure and nails done in a nice chrome and blue to match my bike.

Tonight the packing will start in earnest, laundry will be done and trial packing.

Keystone here we come.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Preparing for the ride to the AMA Women and Motorcycling Conference

We've been planning for months to make the trip to Keystone, CO for the AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference. This will be the 4th one that I have attended, the first in Ohio, Buckhannon VA in 2002 and 2006 Athens, GA. This will be the shortest trip in miles but we are taking several days to meander up there.

Saturday morning early five of us will be leaving Phoenix, hoping to get out of the Valley of the Sun before the temperature gets unbearable. I'm going to do my best to blog something about our trip every day.

Until Saturday I'll be spending my time trying to get ahead of the game at work during the day and in the evening getting all my gear gathered and packed so we can leave quickly and easily on Saturday.