Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cody Trip - Pioche NV to Jackpot NV

We were up and out early and enjoying the cool morning and for the first time not soaking ourselves with water to stay cool. It's nice to be dry and cool.

It's a lovely scenic road, snow capped mountains on either side of us, great rock formations, more Joshua trees, finally more trees, pines ans mesquite, than cacti and scrub brush. Very little traffic for the first part of the day which is also nice. Down through Great Basin National park.

Did 100 miles before breakfast at one of two restaurants we could find in Ely, at a casino. Back on the road, gassing up every chance we get which turns out to be about every 75 miles or so. Because you can never be sure about where the next gas will be.

On a side note, we are really enjoying the Scala Rider headsets. It's really great to be able to talk along the way to point out things of interest, road hazards, make decisions on when to stop and just general chit chat and silly stuff.

Approaching Lages Station we started noticing the clouds gathering on either side of us and while we were stopped for gas spoke to a trucker who was "hauling 'taters from Idaho to San Francisco" about the weather up the road. She informed us that while she got a deluge for about a mile 10 miles up the road, all else was clear. We decided to pass on the rain gear and headed up the road. We did indeed get rain mixed with hail a few miles up. Deb's hollering "ouch, ouch, ouch" in my ear and the wind was ferocious. One of those lean left to go straight things for many miles even after the rain had long stopped.

We came into Wells and stopped for lunch and to check the weather. The clouds were looking pretty ominous. While we were eating, there was a down pour. After talking to some truckers we learned there was construction between Wells and Jackpot. We wanted to make Twin Falls. We also met a couple of older guys from Milwaukee who were traveling about an hour behind us. They gave us some great tips about Yellowstone. After the rain stopped we were on the road again.

Several stop and go construction areas along the way but not too bad because the weather was a bit cooler. About 20 miles from Jackpot we pulled over to stretch and take a few pictures when we noticed lightening off to the east in the general direction we were heading. Short stop and back to it. Got rained on more, got a bit chilly too.

Finally made Jackpot and after checking weather info we decided to stay the night here. If we are going to have massive storms we would rather be rested, besides, it may be gone by then. Our Milwaukee friends caught up with us and checked into the same hotel. Nice guys.

Time for breakfast and then about 200 miles to Meridian ID where we will meet some of Deb's family for dinner .

Wish you could all be here with us.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cody Trip - Henderson, NV to Pioche NV

Monday's trip posted on Tuesday.

We left Henderson, NV later than we planned this morning, around 10:15 so we missed all the morning traffic in Las Vegas and headed towards Ely, NV. After yesterday’s ride in temps up to 110, we were pretty drained. We had dinner last night with Deb’s step sister and her husband, great people. As a result we had a hard time getting going this morning.

Once we got through Vegas we stopped to gas up and for Deb to check her oil then off again. We got off at Hwy 93 and gassed up again even though we had gone less than 25 miles because we weren’t sure how far our next gas was going to be. Fortunately we found out at the truck stop that we could get gas after about 80 miles in Alamo.

The ride was beautiful, there was another large stretch of Joshua trees. I’m going to have to look up how they got their name. Very interesting looking trees. Anyway, lots of great scenic rock formations and landscapes. This was one of the longest , most deserted, straightest roads I’ve ever been on. Every now and again there would be a sign with a curve symbol and 65 MPH limit. We thought it was funny. I think they were there to simply bring the driver’s attention to the not straight road. Speed limits went from 70 to 55 to 45 in about 100 feet.

We stopped in Alamo for gas and lunch in a funky little place. The town was less than 2 miles on the highway. There we chatted with a woman and her granddaughters while eating lunch. Discovered that somewhere between the gas stop and the lunch stop (about ½ mile) Deb lost the batteries in her camera.

At the first gas stop outside of Vegas we had already put on cooling vest, chilly pads and soaked ourselves pretty good since the temp was already over 100. By the time we were getting back on the road in Alamo, the temp was 110. Clouds were gathering in the distance and at one point God gave us rain, a whole 10 drops each J . However, the clouds did provide some welcome shade as they passed overhead.

Out in the middle of this desert is an animal preserve, not sure what they are preserving but we saw signs for deer and cattle. There was even a nice lake and some marsh lands…..who knew? Lots of fabulous rock formations and some breathtaking scenery. Later we stopped in Caliente to gas up and get something to drink. After looking at the clouds and realizing how drained we were from riding in the heat , and we ARE on vacation, we decided to stop in Pioche a tiny (once mining) town. It’s an adorable little town with some rich history. We are staying at the Mother Lode Motel, got the “best room in the house” the handicapped room, no phone, no wifi, no remote for the TV, no pool, no soda machines. However it is a room, clean and fairly comfortable in a rustic sort of way. We had dinner at the Silver CafĂ©, a building over 100 years old. Took some great pictures that will be posted soon.

Now, it’s off to bed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cody Trip - Morning Day 2

Yesterday we started in Glendale at 7:15 and landed in Henderson, NV at about 4:30pm. To say it was hot is an understatement. We passed through the Joshua Tree forest which was beautiful and different. Out in the middle of no where so, we didn't have any good places to stop for pictures. Met a couple of Austrians who were touring the SW on rented bikes. And passed through Nothing.

The last 40 miles were probably the longest 40 miles of my life. We crossed Hoover Dam in slightly less than an hour. Great place to practice your slow ride skills but I wouldn't recommend it in the heights of summer. We stopped once just to poor water over ourselves, the heat from the engines scorched our thighs. When we finally got through we stopped at strip mall for some shade where I worried that I might be having heat exhaustion. After cooling off and drinking plenty, I felt much better and we went another 10 miles or so where we planned to stay for the night and meet Deb's step sister.

We pulled into the Fiesta Casino Hotel, talk about service! We scared the parking valets to death when we pulled up to valet parking. We told him we were just looking for motorcycle parking, he directed us to that and then met us at the bikes with a luggage cart, unloaded our bikes and sent us off to the front desk to check in. When we had done that, he met us at the desk and followed us to our room, unloaded the cart and set the AC for us. Definitely worth the hefty tip we gave him and it was still less than staying at the Holiday Inn as we originally planned.

Deb's step sister Sharon and her husband Bob met us for dinner. We had a great time with them, laughing a lot. Later we took a little ride to the cemetery where Deb's father is buried.

Finally, it was back to the hotel, about 30 minutes of TV and snooze city.

Packing up shortly to head out on the next leg of the trip. Look for pictures under Debbie's Facebook page.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Motorcycle Prep for Cody

I spend a good part of yesterday in the garage getting my bike ready for our upcoming trip to Cody, WY. Last week I had my stock bars swapped out for some CP Punishers and was floored at the vibration I experienced. So, after doing some research I ended up making my own bar weights.

Removed the new Pro Twisted Grips, trip to Ace Hardware and bought some 3/4" OD 5/8" ID vinyl hose and appropriate end caps. Cut to 6 inch sections, tossed a couple of fishing weights and filled with RTV silicone from Auto Zone. Inserted those into the bars and reinstalled the grips. Haven't tested it yet but think it should help. Also installed mirror extenders so I can see something besides my own arms. Also installed under seat base for Kuryakan Gran Tour bag. Getting the seat back on was a PITA. Had to take the Leatherlykes off. Now I need to adjust the shocks and test ride and we'll be good to go.

Oh, and I'll need a new manicure.

Monday, June 7, 2010

YouTube - The Rev. John Dorhauer - SB1070 rally

I am blessed and proud to be a member of UCC and the Southwest Conference.

YouTube - The Rev. John Dorhauer - SB1070 rally