Archive for October, 2012

Survey for Female Motorcyclists and Pillions!!

Vintage photo from google

Here’s your chance to speak up, girly riders and pillion riders. A women completing her doctorate degree is doing some academic research and is asking for your help with a survey she is doing involving female motorcyclists and women who ride behind other riders. It will take you a bit of time, but it’s well worth the effort to put in your two cents.

Follow the instructions on her site and thanks for participating!!

What “women” ride…

Anke-Eve Goldman

According to Cycle Trader, the following is a LIST of what we “female riders” ride. I found it interesting and a very small cross section of female riders in general. I believe it is a purely American trend, as in Europe it certainly isn’t true. Women ride a much broader selection of machines there with many standards being the bike of choice. I am not sure I can classify this general list as “what women ride”. It’s more of a what these 500 women ride. 😉

What are your thoughts??

Part 5–Visiting some desert rats–A solo journey across NV, UT, AZ, NM, CO, TX

I was up early considering I had gone to bed early, I wasn’t too surprised. I got the bike packed and left Holbrook after some coffee and a quick bite at the motel around 8 am. It was a bit chilly, so I donned my Kilmanjaro jacket and called it good. I knew it would warm up later in the morning. I was hoping to ride some of the historic Route 66.

Love the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook. I had no idea they actually rented rooms, or I might have considered overnighting there! They told me at Safeway, when the blue sign was lit, she was renting rooms, but it all depended upon her mood. She had owned the Wigwam forever!

It’s difficult to follow Route 66 as it simply ends in some places, but I did my best. I had to take a side trip to Winslow and stand on the corner!

Loved the photo, but I do wish he had actually gotting some of the background in as well. The bane of strangers using our cameras!

One thing that I really noticed that I rarely notice in CA were all the trains. They were everywhere in TX and in AZ.

Seligman, AZ on historic 66.

Loved the kid sitting here with the manikins.

I had met these two riders while getting gas in Seligman. They had ridden all the way from Michigan and were intent on reaching Las Vegas, NV. They were really fun to talk to and asked if I wanted to ride along on the old Route 66. I said I’d catch up with them after stopping in Seligman to get some shots. Well, I not only caught them after about 15 minutes of photos, but tried to ride with them. I am not sure how they made it from Michigan, but they consistently rode 10mph under the speed limit. I didn’t hang long until I passed and bid them a wave.

I tried to take a Hoover Dam tour, however it was too crowded and the tours for the day were sold out. They charged $7 bucks to park and walk around, so I instead simply headed to Las Vegas.

Viva Las Vegas.
374 miles

Leaving LV was no loss. I am never impressed by the town, nor do I enjoy the scene particularly. I did have a decent meal at the Hard Rock Hotel, but had to laugh as it’s was a special not on the menu, you had to ask for the “gambler’s special”. I was served a nice steak, three jumbo grilled shrimp, garlic mashed pototaoes and a caesar salad, all for $7.77. I thought a nice Merlot would accompany it well, but upon receiving my bill, I was amazed that I had been charged $7.77 for the meal and $10 for the wine…hahaha, so much for saving money in Las Vegas!

I have to say, I enjoyed gassing up in Texas and New Mexico. Both places were nearly one dollar less than what we pay in CA. It makes a big difference when traveling. At one point I was gassing up next to a land yacht and he told me he got 6 mpg!! He also said, if you have to worry about the cost, stay home. He had a good point!

Speaking of expenses, I met two young riders in LV. They were a couple from Germany and had been riding several months in Latin America and South America and were heading across the US now. They shipped their bikes from Germany and had easily loaded on the miles riding both pavement and dirt. It was fun to talk to them and I was amazed at the beating the bikes had taken, but then they were made for this sort of excursion.

We ate breakfast together and talked about crazy rides.

I got ready to leave LV and the temps were already in the 70s. It was going to be a great day to ride to Carson City.

A good portion of the trip is quite dull as you ride north to Beatty, but after Beatty is where the fun begins. I always like to ride Hwy 266 to Hwy 168 and Big Pine, but today after lots of deliberation, I decided to ride through Fish Lake Valley, knowing it was rarely patrolled and I could make good time, where going up Hwy 395 from Big Pine is quite the opposite.

The summit of Hwy 266 and the Sierra Nevada Range

Descending to Fish Lake Valley, NV

I stopped in Fish Lake Valley for gas, and it was only $5 bucks a gallon! Yowsa!
I asked the locals if the road was ever patrolled and they told me, rarely, except for the local sherrif. Well speeding along, I come quickly upon a black SUV and guess who! I traveled the remainder of 266 to 6 at 55mph. I didn’t quite make the time I was planning!

I arrived in Benton, CA and rode over Hwy 120E into Lee Vining. I love this road with all it’s whoops. I tried to take a photograph and just couldn’t do it justice riding solo. If you are riding with someone, you can get them as they crest the whoops and it’s way cool. Oh well.

Hwy 120E

Love the shades of fall in the background.

Mono Lake

I took 395 north to Carson City. It was heavily patrolled and I had a near moment, but lucked out. I got into Carson late afternoon to see my friends and I just couldn’t convince myself to head over the summit to home, knowing I’d have another couple of hours of riding over the passes. I decided I’d stay in Carson and then take Ebbetts home, the following day. It was the right decision.

439 miles

Almost home…

I had a leisurely morning on Friday and realized I had been 13 days on the road. I had seen alot of diverse country, met with some amazing friends and ridden some awesome roads. It was time to go home and get my house ready for my family. I could easily have taken either Hwy 50 or I80 and been home straightaway, but I decided I’d end this journey over one of my personal favorite roads, Hwy 4 Ebbetts Pass.

The day couldn’t have been better, it was clear sunny and gorgeous and the road, traffic free and clean for the most part. What a wonderful way to end a long journey with some amazing technical riding.

The fall colors were still in full regalia.

Alpine Lake

I didn’t get many photos as I was busy with riding the twisties and even the nice big sweepers coming into Arnold. As I got to Murphy, I was reminded I was back in CA, as the traffic began to pulse. It was a long ride from Murphy to Carmicael and I finally conceeded and stopped in Jackson for a needed cup of coffee. I got home about 30 minutes prior to dusk to a loving husband and a welcoming red wine, that wasn’t $10 bucks a glass! Life is good.

188 miles and over 5 hours!

Total journey 3424 miles.

Part 4–Visiting some desert rats–A solo journey across NV, UT, AZ, NM, CO, TX

The following morning, I packed the bike heading across West Texas and into New Mexico in some of the most windy riding ever. On to see friends in Truth or Consequences, NM

I wanted to ride toward NM without getting back onto I40, so instead I went through several small working farm towns and once to the border, I headed to Rosewell. [url][/url] thinking only of the 1947 UFO incident. As much as I would have liked to visit the UFO museum, I kept on to Ruidoso and some mountains. I was ready to have a change of flat straight roads and Ruidoso is a beautiful mountain town.

Somewhere in West Texas…wind stirring up a massive dust storm.

The hills around Ruidoso

Dropping into NM

The lava beds where from adversity grows beauty.

It was a long ride, much longer than I thought when I looked at it on a map.

430 miles.

I spent the next couple of days hanging with my buddies Annie and David, who I had know from living in Homer, AK. David and I worked together at KBBI radio and Annie was a hair client of mine, who was forced to leave AK and relocate to NM due to having Rheumatoid arthritis. She is doing much better in the desert and started her own business making salves and balms. They are organic, smell wonderful and most importantly they work. Check out her site, Annie’s Salves

A fine breakfast of fritatta, homemade bread and salsa and fruit.

Then off to explore the area, first stop the Rio Grande to see some fisherman.

Hovering above the city of TorC is Turtleback Mountain.

Savor one left his tag on this old deserted water storage tank.

Truth or Consequences is a strange little berg. The area is fraught with poverty, people living on disability, and those that just decided to retire in a warm environment. It’s a totally mixed bag, but one thing is consistent. Behind the closed walled homes that don’t look like much from the outside, are some treasures!!

This is a friend of Dave and Annie’s, she is standing between.

Her yard was amazing hidden behind weathered wood walls on one side and aluminum on the other!

Salt Cedar to hide the wall.

It was an extrodinary adventure into color, texture and aroma!

A gong made from a propane tank.

This yard gave me lots of ideas of what we could do with ours, in Sacramento. The climate is much the same.

While in TorC, I also visited the Germino Springs Museum.

What an inexpensive treat harboring both the sublime and ridiculous! The museum has some amazing American Indian relics, pottery, fossils, and then there is the Ralph Edwards room who upon offering a sum of cash the town was renamed Truth or Consequences from Hotsprings, NM based on his TV game show. Yep, did I mention ridiculous?

On the outside of the museum is a fountain installation which has caused lots of controversy. Though there are many excellent artists in the area, this sculpture was created by one brough from the “outside” the town. It was dedicated in March 2001, and features colorful ceramic mountains and waterfalls, and benches with tiles reflecting the history of the area. It was created by New Mexico artist Shel Neymark. It has had its fair share of defacing and some problems with the system that pumps the water through, but I found it fascinating!

I had a wonderful couple of days visiting friends, and had every intention of going next to Tucson, however when I realized that my son and grandson would be arriving in a few short days, I knew I needed to head home to get my house ready for their arrival. I decided to abbreviate my journey.
Before packing the bike, I tried to turn it around in Dave an Annie’s dirt driveway, I sort of gently laid it on its side. Dave helped me pick it up, and there was absolutely no sign it had tumbled. It was the first time I had dropped the bike in an age, a very humbling experience, I might add!

I left TorC midmorning with my route going over Hwy 152 one of my favorite routes, with a plan on stopping in Hillsboro and Kingston, two historic towns I had previously bypassed. Both were cute, but there wasn’t much in either to see or do!



A cool wall

I didn’t get many shots of Hwy 152 as it’s an blast to ride!!

I also wanted to stop in Glenwood and walk up to the Catwalk.

In Glenwood, NM there was a big sign saying that the Catwalk was re-opened. HA! After a 5 mile side road with two water crossings and a hike, I discovered that the catwalk was indeed closed. Sigh…

Here’s the trailhead of the catwalk. The fall colors were lovely!

I gassed up in Alpine, AZ and was determined to make Holbrook for the night. I thought about my friends, Dean and Pam who had just sold their awesome Motorcycle Cafe Bed and Breakfast as I skirted around Show Low. They will be missed!!

I was about an hour behind schedule from my catwalk excursion, so I ended up riding in the dark something i never like doing in the open desert. I did see (or barely see) a couple of coyotes and a very brilliant sunset. Sadly, shooting of the fly wasn’t the way to capture it. Gut you get the idea.

I arrived in Holbrook one tired rider, grabbed some sandwich makings at Safeway and settled in to watch the presidential debate. My scotch laid the way to an early evening and I slept like the dead.

Only 350 miles today, that seemed like many more.

Part 3–Visiting some desert rats–A solo journey across NV, UT, AZ, NM, CO, TX

For the next few days, I hung out with Dave, Betty and Don and we explored that which only West Texas can offer, like the esoteric Cadillac Ranch for one!

Don generously offered to drive me around to see the sights, which was perfect so we could talk and I was able to garnish the font of historic information he supplied. First on the agenda was Cadillac Ranch.

For those that don’t know about Cadillac Ranch, it was a public art installation created in 1974 in the heart of the hippie movement. Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels buried 10 Cadillac cars of varying years face down in the soil at the same corresponding angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza. Through the years, the cars have undertaken a more public art following with participatory painting of the cars, symbolizing segments of pop culture, including political support. It is truly a perfect example of post modern culture!

Here’s Don making his contribution! I believe some of you might recognize his tag!

I have no idea what I am saying here, but I bet it’s got nothing to do with cars!

Another Stanley Marsh vision…he was a man of many comedies!

From Cadillac Ranch we went to visit historic 6th St. in Amarillo. First stop was for a BLT and fries, at a old skool biker hangout. Then onto see the ìNatî which is an historic building that began as a public swimming pool which was then covered to make a dance floor. Think of the pool in It’s a Wonderful Life! Now it has incarnated to an antique mall, with lots to look at, but we were trying to cram so much into one day, including Pala Duro Canyon, that we had to run.

The Nat in its hayday.

An item from the interior stores of the Nat. Hmmmm, i’m just not sure…

More Stanley Marsh humor. These signs that he called, ìDynamite Museumî which were mock traffic signs. This was one of my favorites that we saw.

We went on over to the Santa Fe building to meet Don’s sis. The building was built in the 20s and has some cool architecture, but I had to chuckle as I got lots of shots but non of the outside whole building.

Everything was brass and marble and lovely!

The view from Don’s sis’s office.

Speaking of…

Ok…i have the KZ650 with the frame for the old vetter fairing. As ugly as it is, I believe I need to find one to bolt back on my Kawi. Not sure that Gary would agree. ; )

The RV Museum was next!

And Don’s Bronson bike was the highlight! I’d love to ride that baby.

The museum interior was set up with actual props. Darned cool!

I had never seen one of these. So were they used at a drive-in movie??

Nice reflection of one who doesn’t smoke! Love the “see you in church” motto.

What came first the cigs or the patch kit?

Don seeing if he could remember what it felt like riding the Bronson bike.

When we realized it was just too late to go to Palo Duro Canyon, we went to visit Don’s mom see some amazing paintings by Carl Smith and then proceeded to Don’s to see Harley, his injured kitty and the best museum of all, Don’s shop!

This kitty pix broke my heart. Harley is a doll and whoever hurt him be damned.

Wish he had been in better focus. My photo skills be damned! ; )

Don’s beautiful 1946 Indian

Some of the shop goodies!

What a little gem…

Wow, a bike for you and 10 of your best friends!!

The Maytag

Wow…this is certainly photo full. I need to get this onto my blog now and that will take a bit, then onward to Palo Duro Canyon with Don and Dave before I need to take back to the road heading west!

After a rousing look at the Presidential debate and a some guest commentary, and a few episodes of “Our Gang” which seemed appropriate, we retired and decided to spend the following day touring Palo Duro Canyon via automobile. Rain, was predicted although it never really rained until the evening, when the Peckerhead gathering was in full swing. The day held clouds and together in Dave’s car, we talked about the amazing history of the canyon, the sad fate of the American Indians and the lovely country we were viewing. We even got to see some male tarantellas seeking mates and some beautiful birds.
Here is my first view of the canyon with Dave and Don along the rim.

We watched a video on the history of the Comanche in the canyon which was both educational and sad. I am constantly amazing at how poorly we treated the indigious peoples of this vast county.

Closer in the canyon.

The visitor center.

Down in the canyon, Dave showed us a bird blind that was built by volunteers he being one of them. I patiently awaited some birds to photograph and was richly rewarded by this female Cardinal and her mate in the trees in the background.

Isn’t she lovely?

Sprucing up for her mate.

And here he is…

After Dave and Don were becoming bored with my hiding in the blind we got back on the road taking us farther into the canyon and found this guy crossing the pavement.

Dave actually asked if I wanted to hold the “lil’ fella” for which I quickly responded, “are you kidding me????”

A few random canyon shots.

Loved all the sunflowers.

Dave enjoying the cloudy sky without a breeze anywhere!

I wonder who stacked these here?

Heading out of the park we were treated to some golden umber shades of fall.

We barely got home in time to prepare for the Peckerheads, a local motorcycle riding group who were to arrive at 6. Neither Dave nor Don had heard much except for a couple of calls where guys were either sick or previously engaged. It was a sparse but lively group that night and sadly I didn’t get my camera out for the rain and the company. We had a great night of storytelling, some more randy than others, but all very entertaining!! I was definitely going to miss these peckerheads!!

The following morning, I packed the bike heading across West Texas and into New Mexico in some of the most windy riding ever. On to see friends in Truth or Consequences, NM