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Monday, July 23, 2018

Ride Report

Too much work and not enough riding makes J. a dull boy. The area we live in is a farm/ranch area with plenty of folksy places to see and visit. Time to get to it.

First up, lunch at Penny's. While this often has groups of bikers out for a ride today we had it all to ourselves. This place is out of the 50's without all that phony retro stuff, just good food and good service. A Toxic Waste Burger and a BLT with Tater Tots had us filled up and ready to ride.

This was our destination for today, an abandoned grain elevator near the Union Pacific tracks that is now a canvas for local artists

I was hoping to be able to climb to the top of it but all of the stairs and ladders had been removed and there was only bare walls bottom to top. Had somebody told them I was coming?

We were hot and dry on the way back so the Silver Sage in Vernon was our next stop. Soft drinks in glass bottles, hand made root beer floats, and the owner's kids playing Set Back at the counter. Can't get much more homey than that.

Refreshed, we headed home and rounded out the day at 107 miles. Just a nice day to be totally analog.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

The Golden Age of Me

Here's a laugh for you from a conversation with a friend.

I remember when I owned nothing, had a hot girlfriend and a beat up Triumph sports car, and thought that if I had enough money for a case of beer I was rolling in dough. Not a care or a problem in the world !!

Now I have a great wife, a beat up Miata, and a bottle of Buffalo Trace. In some ways nothing changes.

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Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Golden Age Of ...

When was the golden age of motorcycling? 
It was when you were 20.
Kevin Cameron, in the March 2017 issue of Cycle World

Sage as always, Kevin nails it. The best times for most of us was when we were young and everything was new.

It's the new that made it all so special. Most always awkward, many times frightening, and sometimes heart breaking, life was a big shiny ball of discovery. Exploring the world around us and testing the limits of what we could accomplish.

Or at least what we could get away with ...

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Monday, March 19, 2018

My heros

Everyone has a hero or two. I found two of mine along the White Rim Trail at the Gooseberry campgrounds last week.

Andrew & Kevin
Why are these two my heroes? They're two college students from the Univ of N. Dakota. Kevin studies PoliSci and Andrew is a C.S. major. They were on their spring break from Fargo ND and decided to go for a hike. Hmmm ...

I can see them thinking, "Let's go someplace we know little about that's 1200 miles away and go camping. Nah, that's too easy, let's throw in a 60 mile hike to make it interesting. That's it !! What could go wrong?"

So they did.

We met them on our White Rim Trail bicycle trip. (More on that next post) We had cleverly brought our food, tents, and sleeping bags but had neglected to bring matches for the stove. My stove has a self lighter but we brought Diane's which is old school and requires fire to make fire. We were looking at 3 days of cold beans and oatmeal. This is know as The Bad Plan.

There was nobody around except two people we could see about 100 meters from us. Diane went to ask them if they had any matches to spare so we might cook our dinner.

Better than that, they had a couple of disposable lighters that they we willing to give us so that the rest of our trip wouldn't be spoiled.

After dinner and watching the sunset over the mountain ridge we struck up a conversation with Andrew and Kevin. We found they had with amazingly vague plans for hiking the trails in Canyonlands NP. They had gotten a back-country permit and were winging it!

We all talked for over a hour before the cold told us it was time to creep into our sleeping bags. Looking up I could see the Milky Way clearly. The Big Dipper was rotating around the North Star, eternally telling time if you had the sense to read it.

The next morning we thankfully had hot water for coffee and oatmeal thanks to our generous benefactors. We packed our gear for the next leg of our trip and chatted with Kevin and Andrew before they walked off into the distance ready for whatever came.

They are the very definition of adventurers. Going with what they had and not waiting for everything to be perfect. Plans, sure, but not so many that they couldn't take it as they found it. Easy going, gregarious, humble, and generous.

That's why they are my heroes. Every day is another chance to find what is new in the world. They may be back with their books by now but I have every confidence that they are already planning their next trip. I hope to run into them again.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A walk in the mountails

The Oquirrh Mountains are right next to my house. I look at them every morning as I have my coffee and see them out my bedroom window as I go to sleep.

The highest peak is 10,620' and my house is at ~5,050' so there is a mile of elevation to be conquered. Doesn't appear to be anything technical, just a hike to the top. You know where this is going don't you? The hills and mountains of Utah have an abundance of old, abandoned mines that have left trails and and old wagon tracks. Perfect for a day hike - if you can find them.

The first part was to get into the area and just bushwack across country to see what I could find.

The first artifact I encountered was an old drain pipe coming down the hill. It was crude concrete that was lined with a wire bound wooden pipe. Or, maybe, it was a wooden pipe that was encased in cement. Very odd. 

Finally I found what looked to be an old road and started following it uphill. 

It was snowy in parts and muddy where the sun had melted the snow. Although it was only 40F in the shade I was sweating in the sunlight. A beautiful day for a hike.

I didn't make it to the top on this trip but I did make it about a third of the way up. I now know where to connect with the old mining road and with an early start I'm sure I can achieve my goal. 

The great part of living here is that everything you see is only minutes from my home. When I look out the window I can hear it calling me back for another try.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018


I came across this on my computer while looking for something else. I don't know if I wrote it or copied it from somewhere else. I'd like to think I was this eloquent but I can't be sure. Either way the words still ring true.

I could drown in the dew on my face.

I live in a desert

A drop is like a pool
A cup is like a river
The dew on my face would be like an ocean but I have never experienced either

I would leave but I know no way out.


I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere anytime
than in the middle of someplace.

I'd rather be uncomfortable in a place that had wonder
than wonder about someplace that was comfortable.

If it was warm, and comfortable, and easy
there would be a thousand gerbils to mess things up.


The first step is the hardest.
No, maybe it is the 12th, or the 27th.

With the first step you have resolve
And with the second you have determination.
The fourth and fifth you greet with elation.

By the ninth you have momentum,
It all looks so good.

But then there is some little glitch,
A reason to break your stride.

A crack in that first resolve,
A waver in your determination,
A loss of confidence.
A beginning of the slide.

You whip up your courage,
And take another step.
But it's no good.
You've broken your stride

It began so well when you said,
I will throw a pebble into the river every day

You were doomed when you said,
I am in a hurry (or was it too tired )
I will throw in two tomorrow

14 Oct 2004

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

And now for something a little different ...

Take a perfectly good BMW, add third wheel with a casket and it turns into a beast. Or perhaps I should say, It hardly turns at all.

The sidecar rig means that you have to be aware of the extra 3' hanging off of the right side so that you don't clip cars and pedestrians. There is no leaning into curves, it goes around corners more like an automobile before the invention of power steering. 

Yet I have to say that no motorcycle has recently put a smile on my face the way this thing did! 

It's a 1940's BMW R75 from the German Army in World War II. Not a replica, it's the real deal. For all I know it may have been part of Rommel's Afrika Korps which were all painted that tan color to blend in with the desert sand. To deal with the desert or the rough country on the Russian front it has 2-wheel drive. The wheel on the sidecar can be engaged by pulling a lever so that both rear wheels push the bike forward. It even has a high and low range like a Jeep. I wish there had been time to try everything out.

For more excitement the transmission has 4 speeds forward and 1 in reverse. Push the button on the tank mounted shift lever, pull it back into R, and backwards you go. Move the lever forward and you have 1, 2, 3, and 4 at your command. There is also a foot shifter but I never got the hang of it. Besides, it was too much fun winding up the engine, pulling in the clutch, and then grabbing the lever to move it to the next notch.

I only got about 10 miles under my belt but I can't wait to try it again. I would love to do a little off-roading with it to see just what it would do. They have quite a reputation as a go anywhere vehicle. If it were mine I would ship it to Tennessee and tackle the TransAmerica Trail again.

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