Thursday, June 14, 2018

I’m feeling better everyday, but still a little blue at times.  No big deal, just life.  I need a “win” to boost my morale.  Check engine light: you are not it.  Then the light goes out when I refuel.  A loose gas cap?  Could it be that easy?   Spirits soar, till the next refueling.  Check engine light and gas cap both on.  The next service is due in a few hundred miles and the van is working fine, so I’ll get it fixed then.  I set up an appointment at the Mercedes dealer in Boise.  Not a win.

No idea where I took this picture.

For now though, there is nothing to do but continue forward.

40 yard bucket, 30 yard van.

Colorado is nice, but expensive.  And everyone there has the best toys!


Motorcycle shown is actual size.

Utah:  I had a couple of nice campsites, a couple not so nice (windy).  I had a nice encounter with a state game warden.  I had suspected where I was camped was “No camping” so there was nothing to do but move on.  Could have been worse, just a warning.  And it was my second night in that spot.  

I got to see some old and some new friends, and had a couple of great mountain bike rides.  Everyone in Utah is so welcoming and polite.  Also, job opportunities.  I might even spend next winter in there

Janis and Tim in Utah.

Idaho:  First stop for me has to be Idaho Falls.  There is some sort of attraction to this town.  I passed through there on a west-to-east bicycle tour, and again on a south-to-north bicycle tour.  And several times in a van.  This time I stopped at a brew pub to discover they have steaks, Mexican food, sushi, Italian, and more on the menu.  And $8 to fill a growler!  What a great town!   I’d stay a while but even the motel 6 wants $120 per night.  Ouch.

Selfie skills continue to elude me.

Leaving Idaho Falls, I finally made it to a place I haven’t been yet (8 years is a lot of wandering).  A tiny town called Makay, tucked in between some mountains.  Then a place named Clyde, it appears on the map but there is literally nothing there but a Forest Service building.  I also found a huge snowbank, just 12 days away from the longest day of the year.

Working my way toward Boise for van-service, I traveled through some amazingly scenic landscapes.  When someone mentions Idaho, you think of potatoes, right?  I haven’t seen a farm for days.  Maybe they’re trying to hide the good bits?

Rock on.

Very long irrigation system.

One afternoon, I was exploring on my KTM, following a gravel road across a huge valley.  Mountains all around me, arrow straight road in front of me.  No cities in sight.  No towns, no houses, no cell service.  Just one big road.  I decided it’s tough to get lost in Idaho, but chance of never being found is high.  I like it here.

Plants growing naturally in rows.

Monday, May 28, 2018

“Any man, who is a man, can travel alone.”  Jack London.
Getting my momentum back.
If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen a post a few weeks ago where I considered unpacking my crap and stopping this 8-year long road trip.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  So, after a many months break, I fired up the van and headed out.

She likes it dirty.
It didn’t take long to get my momentum back.  Maybe this just what I was meant to do.  Maybe I was motivated by my near Miss.  Whatever, I’ll take it.  

My Italian Supermodel girlfriend.
Leaving Truth or Consequences (the town, not the game show),  I first stopped in Santa Fe to visit my good buddy Tennyson.  Only briefly, but it was great to see him again.

Tennyson, circa 2013
Then I made a run for the border, the Colorado border, that is.  Pretty soon I started seeing places that I’d seen just one year ago, while riding the Great Divide Mountain bike route with Paul.  So much for peaceful sleep!

Wanting to camp, I was under pressure.  Memorial Day weekend, when everyone else is temporarily retired.  I know from experience, you need to find a decent campsite early.   I ended up in Palisade Campground in the Rio Grande National Forest.  Though it was free when I got there on Wednesday, it officially opened that Friday and the nightly fee went up to $20 per night, double what I would consider a reasonable price.  But the Forest Service rates seem to be based on the proximity of the campground to the populations looking to camp, and most of Colorado is pretty eager to camp, apparently.  

The campground was full all weekend.  But Colorado campers are more interesting in fishing and whatever else, rather than competitive Natty-lite consumption and shooting fireworks at each other, so it wasn't bad at all.

The long weekend is past, and I’ll only be in Colorado a few more days.  Apologies to all my Colorado friends, I won’t be near or heading towards Denver/Boulder area.  Maybe they think that’s a good thing, it’s probably a toss-up.  Utah and Idaho are next.  

Finally, a fork big enough for my appetite.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Short Ride

My first attempt to upload a video, a recent therapy session.  Shaky camera, but it's what I have to work with for now.  If I get enough positive feedback, I'll consider getting better equipment.

Monday, April 23, 2018


The days have flown by.  Months ago I stopped the van to house sit for my favorite clients.  “Two weeks,” they said.  But families and extended families want attention and, after all, their house is being taken care of so….
touring Ducati
 And then a sore hip needed to be replaced (not me) and recovery was easier in a place without steps and sloping land.  As long as the house is being looked after….

Parked in El Paso for Fat Tuesday celbrations
So I stayed on duty.  Even when the van called my name.  Even when my wandering urges were strongest.  Even when the voice in my head was yelling out warnings.  I take my house sitting duty seriously.  Till finally I was relieved.  Free to wander again.  

Only 3 days like this, with no bathroom breaks.  Not as bad as it looked.

 I didn’t get far.  I was asked to work at the Tour of the Gila bicycle race.  Not as a mechanic this time, but as the voice of Radio Tour.  I hesitated, then remembered the criteria: Have I done this thing before?  If no, then yes.  It turned out to be a lot of fun, less stressful than the mechanic job, though, sadly, a non-paying gig.  But I didn’t suck at it (I’m told by some), so that’s a thing.  It could happen again in the future, if I happen to be in the area of a race and get asked.  

Self portrait.
So, after a short (sarcasm) 4 month stop during which I seem to have lost most of my momentum,  it’s time to hit the road.  Try and remember how to travel, remember how to forget someone.  Maybe this time it will finally work.  I’m feeling a little blue but I’ll bounce back.  A few months or years of hermitting and some therapy, soon enough I’ll be back to my old self.
Dreaming of motorcycle rides.
Might be time for another set of $250 fork seals.   Crap.
 Riding the Ducati is great therapy.  Mind and body fully occupied with forward progression.  Consequences of a lapse of focus are obvious.  And I’ve had so much two-wheeled-therapy that I’ve worn out another set of tires.  But those Dunlop Q3+ tires have earned a high recommendation from me.  They were installed in August and despite terrific grip, they have been slow to wear and resisted getting square.  I’m headed to Phoenix to get a new set installed.  The current ones are probably good for another mile or ten but no sense in pushing it.  And I’m really ready for some more “therapy sessions.”

I know the little guy, not sure who the old guy is.

Back on my bike after several months ignoring it.

Fence made of old bikes in Silver City

Entire fence was like this but the lighting only worked for this one.