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.


1 comment:

Bill Walker said...

Sheesh! Hasn't anybody learned yet that every time you follow Howard you end up with snow on the road?

Hi, Howard!