Monday, May 25, 2009

Thor's Folley

My Gosh, what a glorious morning for a motorcycle ride! For 3 years now on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, Howard and I go for a ride to New Mexico and back. This year we have decided to not go up 191 in Eastern Arizona to change things up. Also a quick call has Chris Olson joining us too! We had hoped Tim would be here this morning, but he has puppy issues.

This is Memorial Day Weekend and you have to be aware of a few things. There will be a lot of Leo's on the road today. So I am putting the V1 up on the shelf instead of in stealth mode. Those extra few feet of protection may help to prevent a performance award somewhere today. The other thing on my mind is people out there today who are not the best drivers. Finally weather may be an issue.

First stop is Globe for Breakfast. Everyone is in good spirits and Howard does his best impression of Tim. I am not counting it as one of the 3 yet Timmy but it was a borderline infraction.

I am a believer in Zen and Motorcycles. As a matter of fact it is about the most spiritual thing I do believe in. As we leave the diner, we have agreed to go to Safford, over to New Mexico, and then ride up 180 to come back into AZ from the East and ride back home via Salt River Canyon.

Howard is leading and I am tucked in behind him with Chris "Glue" bringing up the rear. For some reason Howard turns North from Globe towards Salt River Canyon. Weirder still is the fact I say nothing and just go with it. This will turn into one of the best decisions we could have made today.

We make great time up towards Show Low AZ and there is little traffic and what we see we pass smile

We stop near the White River Turn Off and get Gas. Howard decides that it would be fun to take the road through White River and up to Hon Dah. The first clouds of the day are starting to build and it isn't even 8:30am. Thor, the Weather God is going to toss us some fun I suspect.

We get about 200 yards down the road and over the radio, I hear Howard say his bike has a warning light. We go back to the gas station to trouble shoot.

Howard looks at the manual and discovers that the light he is getting isn't the normal Bad Warning light, but it does indicate that the oil is a little low.

Chris, being a non certified Shaman, decides that a quick chant and sacrife of a goat will get us through this ok. Since we can't find a goat, we risk it

Meanwhile Thor Makes Ready for us.

Now I know this picture is a tad bit blury, but you have to have the "Glue" shot. My Man Chris is the best wingman there is. No matter what he will be right there 99% of the time.

As we pass Sunrise Ski Resort, Howard is saying at least we don't have to ride through that mess off to the right!! I then tell him that the turn to Alpine is about 10 miles and it isn't a left hand turn.

We talk for a moment of turning North and trying to circle back to the West. But the weather is almost all around us and we decide to press on.

About 1/2 way to Alpine from Eager, it starts to rain good. Then better than good for about 5 miles. The temp also drops to 43 degrees. Thor I scoff at your attempt to stop us!

We decide to press on to Glenwood New Mexico to get gas. After about 10 miles we see white stuff on the road.

It isn't salt, but rather we missed by several minutes a really vicious storm. That oil light on Howard's bike may have saved my life.

We talk to Leo to see how bad the road is. He tells us to take it slow and we should be ok. This rollover happened during the storm but was in the final stages of clean up.

About 1 mile further up was a really bad head on that delayed us for about 30 minutes too.

Might as well have a cigar!

We got moving past it and then the next 30 miles were utter crap with rain and a bit of hail until we got out of the mountains and back into the valleys of Western New Mexico.

We get gas at the gas station I hate the most in NM and motor on down toward highway 78.

Up until now the riding has been either average or even below because of the weather. It still beats 90% of anything I do in a cage, but still I am really jonesing for a good road. Thor threatens us with more weather but he knows he is defeated.

I find it! Highway 78 is in great shape. No tar snakes, no traffic, great tight corners and the end is about 9 miles of really fast sweepers. NIRVANA!!!

Ready set GO!!!

Howard wants to go back and do it again!

We head off though since we need to get back to town. We decide to top off in Safford. I love small towns in Arizona. The pace of life is just so much slower.

See what I mean? I am sure he is in good hands too.

We make tracks to El Rey in Globe for dinner. It is a nice way to top off the trip.

The boys getting ready to head home.

I love my GT

We get stuck in a line of traffic between Globe and Superior

I still get like a 7 year old going through tunnels. What can I say.


The tale of the tape. Just shy of 600 miles for the day. We actually took it pretty easy for the most part and even though the urge was there to go a little faster, I told someone I would be safe.

Thanks for coming along.

Saturday is here already. Wow how time flies when you are having fun. Today I have agreed to take Thomas and Katerina up the mountains with Calvin to enjoy a lovely day watching my dirt biking friends have fun. But first we need breakfast! And no better place to go then the good ole Capitol Reef!

One of the reasons I love it here. This is the perfect temperature for fun

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The battle for the check is one that has taken on legendary proportions with Larry and I. We all can see who is the latest champion in this sport!

From here we go and pick up the Germans, and prepare to head out for one more trip in the back country. The weather is perfect so we take off the top of the Jeep again. I am still amazed at how easy this is.

The band is planning their routes

Oh and Spring has arrived in Torrey

To save time and tires, we put the motorbikes into the trucks and drive the 20 miles to the trail head.

Thomas supervises the whole thing. I mean if you can ride a moto from Argentina to Alaska, you can get this gaggle to unload and ride up a mountain!

Plus it is always good to have a German watching the English.

Pretty soon we are on our way down the trail and up to see what trouble we could get into.

Richard has the second chase truck and we have radios along so rather than choke on dust I take the Germans off road a bit and see if we can see some cool flowers and maybe an animal or two.

The Jeep in its element

We go back to the road and find that progess has slowed somewhat about 9000ft since there is still a bit of snow on the road making passage tricky. Richard does a great job of telling me where trees have fallen over the road, where the best mud puddles are and what the bikes are up to. We catch up to them pretty fast and find that there is a tough patch that is giving them trouble

Bob however is a master at this sort of thing and soon finds a way around. Nobody is stressed and we are all having a wonderful time!

Sharon is so glad she is in the chase car!

I have to get back to take care of a few things in town so Calvin, Sharon and I roll on down the mountain. Saturday is always very mellow in Torrey for me. And again I don't take a lot of pictures but rather enjoy being with my friends.

Sunday comes and I have overslept! I wanted to see Calvin off since he needs to be back at work on Wednesday in Florida. I miss him by about 30 minutes. It is the first sadness I have felt all week and I am bummed big time.

I then look at the Jeep and see he left me a note. I won't wash the jeep for a week now. Even though I see my man Calvin just once or maybe two times a year, he is a dear friend and it is a privilege to call him my friend. This gesture means a lot to me.

The rest of the morning I spend saying goodbye to friends leaving and getting ready to pull out myself the next day. I also do a spin around town looking at houses and a few businesses that I know are for sale up here.

While we were out and about the day before, Whip manages to break the KTM. That is now two KTM's down this weekend. Larry can't make it back so Bob has decided to loan Larry the Tundra, so he can get back to Texas. He will return it in Ouray in June.

Loading up the big KTM

The New York Crew has invited us to a BBQ at the Chuckwagon! Whoo Hoo!

My main man the Moose works the door to keep the press at bay who are trying to get the latest EZ pictures for OK magazine.

Life can be hard in Torrey

My man having a cocktail before dinner chatting with Michael.

Bill and Janet enjoying one of the best meals of the entire trip.

Mom needs to eat too so I agree to babysit for a few minutes.

Here Uncle Kaisr is teaching EZ about what a Good Scotch is vs a bad. He is such a fast learner!

Such a proud papa!

It can get a little crazy at Torrey. People dancing on the tables and such is not uncommon.

We stay up too late hoping to prolong the magic just a little longer. Eventually we say our goodbyes knowing we will be getting back together soon. It is very hard having your best friends spread out like this. But there is also a part of me that knows that because of the gap, we are more close when we are together. I love them all.

Morning breaks and I pull out fast and quietly. Seems like nobody is around to see me head home.

Well almost nobody smile

See ya all soon