Jun 25, 2016

And Into the Mountains

2016 Day 3-4 (6)Yesterday, I rode from Valentine to Sterling, Colorado. I started early and stopped often. US 20 and US 83 are old stomping grounds for me. Back in the late-70’s, this was US 83 and I drove that path to death. 100,000 miles per year worth. After six years of that kind of driving in Texas and Nebraska, I learnery d to hate driving; at least 4-wheel vehicles.

However, this period really changed my two-wheel life. I went from a guy who owned a motorcycle to a motorcyclist who was part of a small-but-my-first community of off-road riders who were motocrossers, trialers, cross country and enduro riders. To be honest, this is the first community of any sort I ever belonged to; except musicians who might not qualify on several counts.

2016 Day 3-4 (1)This amazing river was a place we went for escape from our tenuious life in Nebraska. We took friends and family on river trips from Valentine to one of the many exit points downriver; usually at the Rock Barn campground. All sorts of independent tought came out of those trips. If I could pilot a canoe over Rocky Ford, I could probably take on a lot more work, responsibility, and challenges in my regular boring life.

2016 Day 3-4 (14)The ride across the Sandhills was terrific. It was greener than I’ve ever seen it. The road was well designed and scenic. Nobody was waiting for me at the end, pissed off because my employer had promised I’d be there hours earlier. At the end, an afternoon with a friend I first met when we were both kids, in 1965. Ed and I played in a couple of bands and have been near-brothers for fifty years. Unfortunately for him, we’re closer than either of us imagined. I discovered he had a moderately worn 1997 Winnebago Rialta in his driveway. So, I’ll be sending him a packet of all of the crap I learned about the Rialta and VW when I get back home.

2016 Day 3-4 (16)This morning, I headed off for the mountains, after cleaning the bike and doing a fairly intensive inspection. Cleaning your vehicle in water-starved Colorado is surprisingly expensive. I followed CO 14 all the way to the Rabbit Ears pass and Steamboat Springs. What a great road! That might be the prettiest way I’ve found, yet, to get to Steamboat.

Today is a screw-around day. I got to Steamboat about 2PM, checked into the hot springs pools and blew 2 hours mellowing out.Lucked into a nice motel room for non-holiday prices, and spent the day wandering around Steamboat. Tomorrow, a short ride to Leadville to meet Scott.

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