Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Motorcycle Madness--Part 1

Since the other posts about our motorcycle trip included only pictures taken with my Droid phone, I thought I would share some of the pictures I took with my regular camera. Actually, it is Britt's regular camera. I love my own camera too much to subject it to the trauma of coming along on a motorcycle ride.

Actually, it is too big. It would take up too much space to pack, in my opinion. And although Lorraine Laws takes some amazing pictures from the back of her husband's motorcycle with her nice (large) camera, I don't think I would enjoy having my camera around my neck for the whole ride. Not to mention trying to look through the viewfinder with a big helmet in your way. I actually don't know how she does that. I think maybe her helmet is a little different than mine.

What I do, actually, is take tons of video with my Flip camera all along the way. It is easy to hold. Also, it is fun to actually see the scenery when I look back at the videos, just like it was when I rode through. But those videos actually make for extremely massive files when you are trying to upload to a blog. So, sorry, I probably won't post those here.

This collage includes pictures I took on the first day of our trip. That was Wednesday the 13th. That day it was just Britt and I traveling with his brother Jesse. The rest of our crew on the motorcycle ride included Britt's parents, Joe and Carol Barton, along with Carl and DeAnn Hunt and Bob and Relva Bowring. They started their ride on Friday, the 8th. They traveled into Yellowstone, over Bear Tooth Pass into Montana and through other parts of Wyoming before meeting us in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Joe's motorcycle actually had a tire blow on Saturday. He had to have the motorcycle towed into the next town. The dealer there didn't have a tire that would fit his bike, so they patched the leak and then Joe and Carol limped into Cody Wyoming on Sunday. On Monday, they were able to get a new tire and continue on the trip. They were able to catch up with the others who had journeyed on without them.

Wednesday was a long riding day for us. We saw a lot of varied scenery. We were very lucky to stay mostly dry. Only one moment we were sprinkled on while stopped at a gas station in Rifle. I got my rain gear on, but we ended up missing the storms. It was still nice to have, since we passed through several places where it had recently rained and the air was a bit chilly.

When we were a few miles out of Steamboat Springs, we came around a corner to discover a white car traveling illegally in our lane of traffic while it attempted to pass another car on a double yellow line. There was no time to react. Basically, we had to travel onto the shoulder to get around it. We would have gone off the road if we were in a car.

(oops! Carl was getting a little too expressive while talking to us as we were stopped at a gas station on our ride. He spilled his Pepsi all over the back of his bike. He is just rinsing it off with water here. I am sure he washed it really well when we got back to town)

The second day of our trip, the crew had planned to ride up into Laramie, Wyoming, a some 300+ mile ride round trip. Since they had encountered closed roads due to a landslide, and making the trip to Laramie would actually be a lot of backtracking for them, they decided to change the ride. We just traveled about 160 miles over a few mountain passes south of Steamboat. Then we spent the afternoon enjoying the town of Steamboat.

Enjoying the town of Steamboat for me meant taking a long nap in our lovely motel room. I think the previous day's long ride (11 hours, including stops) had taken something out of me. For Britt, it meant reading all the travel guides, determining the best places to eat in Steamboat and other things to try and do while we were there. Britt could tell you that the reason the town is called Steamboat Springs is some old trappers were hiking years ago and thought they heard what sounded like a steamboat, only to discover the hot springs were making that sound. After the railroad tracks were established in the area, they damaged the springs, so they no longer sound like that.

That evening, before we ate dinner at the Ore House (which was very good, by the way), Britt and I went on our own little ride up the mountain, toward Buffalo Pass. But we hadn't gone very far, when the paved road turned into a dirt road. We traveled up a ways and then carefully made our way back down. It was really nice to take a leisurely drive. The rest of our crew isn't happy unless they are going at least 70 mph.

We would definitely love to visit Steamboat again someday. With our family preferably.

Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday was awesome! We stopped a couple times. It was fun to watch the elk below us emerge from the trees and gradually make their way all the way up to the road. I didn't get any pictures of them by the road, but we saw them there when we continued on our way. Britt and I also took advantage of the opportunity to get some mementos and birthday gifts for our kids. When we came out of the gift shop, we discovered Carl and DeAnn and Bob and Relva had proceeded without us. I guess we didn't mean to hold anyone up. It was just nice to take a break.

Britt had hoped to meet with a friend he knows through the business coaching program he is involved with. He lives in Estes Park, and we passed right through there. But since Britt hadn't reached him by email, we weren't able to do meet him there. From there it was on to Boulder. Down to the heat. Wow, we felt like we were plastered to our motorcycles once we finally found our motel.

I hope you really don't mind these posts. You know, we had a fabulous time. And there are lots of ideas we have for the next time we head out on another motorcycle adventure. If you are interested in joining us, please let me know. You don't even need a motorcycle. We don't have one. We "rented" one from a friend of ours.

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