Friday, December 11, 2015

(PRO TIP: clicking on a picture opens a slide show of the pictures in this post.  You won't get captions though, which might be the best part.  Your call.)

         I had a such a great week!  Unseasonably warm temps diverted me from my quest for Ethiopian food.  Instead I spent the week camped at one of my favorite spots in Arizona, tearing up the pavement on two of my top-5 favorite roads.  There was almost no one else out there, the roads were clean and dry, and temps were about perfect for the riding and leather suit.  Overnight temps were in the low 30s or high 20s.  Morning coffee, then hit the road by 10:30 or so.  Be back by 3, and sunset between 5 and 6.  Temperature would drop quickly as the sun set so I was in my tent and under the covers early.  

I spent 2 hours on this road, and only saw 4 other vehicles!

Back in camp.  The Duc has accumulated 9000 miles in one year of ownership.  It's a winner!

I also got to ride the 690 Enduro on some interesting and (for me) pretty technical ATV trails.  That part of Arizona has it all.  

They weren't kidding with this sign.  Right at the limit of my riding skills.  The bike was fine.

As I said, that area has all I need, and snow ,too.  I departed on Friday morning, snow was in the forecast for Friday night.  One downside of the mountains this time of year.  That, and the early sunsets.  Well,  take the good with the bad, I guess.  At least I had one great week. 
Had coffee with this guy at my camp one morning.  He rolled his own cigs and mumbled something about a place called the "Shire."  Said that's where the hobbits lived.

"Not all those who wander are lost, Bilbo."  He kept calling me Bilbo, for some reason.

Tonight I’m in a cheap motel in Wilcox, AZ.  I badly needed a shower and a shave.  No sense spending a lot if that’s all you need.  It’s not bad, if you squint and have a can of fabreeze handy.  Which I do.  I’ve stayed here before.

Till next time…

Monday, December 7, 2015

A house sitting success story.

      The house-sitting felt, at times, unnecessary.  Houses don’t need a lot of attention.  They pretty much just sit by themselves.  But my occupancy was justified one morning when I noticed a throw-rug was damp.  Cause was a leaking heater.   Not the end of the world, but on hardwood floors, not good.  Fortunately, I walked over the wet rug early enough to prevent any floor damage.  Success!!

Lots of stuff packed in a small space.  It's my life.

Does this bike make my butt look fast?

One well fed rattlesnake.
 I’d been stationary for a while now.   I think it was the longest break from movement since retirement started, 6 (and a half) years ago.  Moving had always seemed natural, but during that short break, I lost a lot of momentum.  Getting re-started was tougher than I thought it would  be.  Comforts of home were like a siren song.  Also, some painful memories are allowed to resurface and I was forced to face them.   Heck with that, pack the van and go.

7-Alarm Fire Pizza.  Yum!!
So, I hit the road.  Became the rolling stone…  But I didn’t get far.  Edye, the nice lady celebrating her 90th birthday in the pictures below, was told she had a broken foot.  She lives alone on a ranch in a pretty remote area (AT&T: no cellular coverage. Verizon: you’re fine).  Could I stay in the guest house for a couple weeks?  Be the driver, lift heavy things, walk the dog?  Eat some Thanksgiving leftovers?  Yes I could.   But I only stayed a about 5 days.  Second opinion said the foot was a mild sprain, not broken.  No pain, no limp.  Leftovers running low. 

it's pretty remote...

closer view

Walking the dog...

Back on the road again then.  Heading for warmer weather, though I’m already barely 100 miles from the Mexican border so it might be just slightly warmer.   I’m going to stay in the USA, look for places to ride motorcycles and bicycles.  Campsites to occupy.  Sun to sit in.  Firewood to convert to ash.  It’s what I do best.
Home at last.

El Paso has some serious smog.