Posted by: nativeiowan | September 8, 2017

2017 v9.flyingSouth

I am sitting in the Tom Bradley Int Airport/ LAX. I have a few more hour to wait. So I sit here in the “lounge” and keep miming occupied and my throat lubricated. Its not a bad place to be…

I’ll try to recount my past few weeks of fun…

Aug 14th, riding out of LA…2017-08-14 10.55.44Aug 15, heading to the Grand Canyon…2017-08-15 08.38.14Aug 16, heading north into Utah…2017-08-16 10.09.09Aug 17, enjoying Utah…2017-08-17 11.36.3718, another hotel room…2017-08-18 09.06.4819, looks like Montana…2017-08-19 10.48.3020th, Camp Eclipse…2017-08-20 10.40.39

21st, Camp Eclipse take112017-08-21 11.35.3822nd, riding out of Idaho…2017-08-22 08.12.0523rd, into Wyoming…2017-08-23 09.59.2723rd, The green of Nebraska n Iowa…2017-08-24 08.35.3524th, in Iowa…2017-08-25 14.35.4426th, The big-hype fight in Independence…2017-08-26 19.58.2628th… last night with the family…2017-08-28 16.57.2329th… heading south…2017-08-29 08.56.0429th, 2017-08-30 09.31.10Morning of the 30th… chasing my shadow…2017-08-31 07.35.5931st, In Colorado…2017-09-01 09.33.271st of September… the hot highways of Arizona/ California…2017-09-02 11.49.272nd, last ride into LA town…2017-09-03 07.39.45

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Posted by: nativeiowan | September 1, 2017

2017 v8.31

Last day of August. I always, all ways like and enjoy the month of August…

So, what I have done…

Rode from Pasadena to Tetonia, ID in six days… day6

After Idaho and the eclipse I shot to Iowa… dayday 12

Iowa was good.

Now I am riding back to Pasadena… day12

I am in Pagosa Springs as I write this. I have been on the rode – off n on – for 20 days now… yee haw… golly I am enjoying the riding.

Today was a good day of highway-time… I left the hotel in Garden City at 830, had a fuel stop within 50miles, then rode a full 100 miles before I stopped again…

I have two types of road-side stops…

1) Refuel only: arrive, take right hand glove off, leave helmet on, refill the bike, glove back on, hit the road again.

2) Refuel, pump the bilges, n have a drink: arrive, take right hand glove off, leave helmet on, refill the bike, park the bike, take gear off, walk inside, pump the bilges, buy a drink n have a pleasant rest.

Today I did a long day, over two major mountain passes, with a decent rain storm heading up to the Wolf Pass… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Creek_Pass …

Wolf Creek Pass (el. 10,857 ft.)

I enjoyed the ride… I took my helmet off, 2) style, once today. I rode n rode n rode…

Met a lengthy delay when an old dude’s truck decided to catch fire on the side of the road… 2017-08-31 13.12.55.jpg

The ride through the pass was amazing… 2017-08-31 15.05.46.jpg

August is over. I am heading home.

Some picts from the road…

sign says welcome to Colorado…2017-08-31 08.34.04.jpg

 

in the rain…2017-08-31 14.41.27.jpg

 

And life is good.

Much more later…

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 29, 2017

2017 v8.deaprting Iowa

My weekend in Iowa is over. It has been good.

Spent the weekend hanging with my mother, n brother, n sister, n bro inlaw, and their kids n grandkids. They still live in the town I grew up…

And I really enjoyed hanging out in the neighbourhood I grew up. My sister lives in the house my family was raised in. We moved there when I was 10. They have lived there since about 1978. It is still “home”.

So I hang on the front porch and walk the streets where I was a kid, a teenager, a young man.

It is good.

Take off tomorrow heading back to Pasadena… day12

It’ll take 5/6 days, maybe 7 if I take it easy.

After sitting here since Friday I look forward to the highway…

Smiles

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 26, 2017

2017 v8.Day12 rid’n naked in Ioway

In Iowa there is no rules about motorcycles n helmets. Indeed, many of the states I have recently been have no helmet law. Which is very cool. I guess if you are going to risk your life on the razors-edge, may was well do it without a helmet.

This past week… dayday 12

I’ll hang here with my family for the weekend and decide Monday which direction I ride.

Personally, my hair gets all tangled and snarled  if I ride no-lid. I also find it hard to see much (even keep my glasses on my face) at 80mph.

But I ride naked. And a bit fast.

This eve I rode from W’loo to Indee in short sleeve and my vest, helmet and gloves. It was still warm at 7pm, but the chill was in the air, and at speed it was brisk, to say the least. I missed my protective gear. My armour.

What does Iowa look like?

Who said Iowa was flat…2017-08-24 11.17.04A very nice old farm house…2017-08-24 11.18.58Look at that, a hill…2017-08-24 11.19.19South of Denison…2017-08-24 11.20.33Not flat…2017-08-24 11.37.11Not flat…2017-08-24 11.37.56Not flat…2017-08-24 11.44.47The biggest triumph dealer in the midwest is in a small place with about 120 residents… My hat goes off to Baxter Cycles in Marne, IA. 2017-08-24 12.38.08

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 25, 2017

2017 v8.Ioway

It’s always nice to come back to Iowa.

And what could be better than to be sitting in one of my favourite eateries in Waterloo…

I just rode in. Got a room nearby, dumped my gear and came over here.

Heading over to Indee soon.

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 23, 2017

2017 v8.CasperWY

I sit in Casper,Wyoming. Rode out from Camp Eclipse this morn about 730am. Did not ride all that far. A bit over 300miles over maybe 6 hours. First miles on mountain passes so slow going. By the time I hit Casper I was hungry and thinking of doing my laundry.

Had 1 pair of clean socks left. Everything else needed a wash.

So I am fed, hapi and my laundry is all clean. I’ll head to independence, Iowa from here. All I gotta do is follow HWY 20. I should be there Friday or late Thursday.

Over the past several days I have been unable to upload much. Though I have endeavoured to keep the words flowing. I tried to write daily.

So here is a write-up of the ride into and the stay at Camp Eclipse…

But some picts first… And… remember that all road picts do not look the same… They just look like they look the same…2017-08-18 09.20.21

The roads I have traveled have been pretty good. I get a lot of time with very little traffic. I love the lonesome highway. Especially @80mph…2017-08-18 09.36.35

My helmet camera is restricted so very little left right move-ablitiy thus all shots by default are looking down the HWY…2017-08-18 09.44.06

I think I have done 2200 miles so far. Maybe 40 hours of road time. And a few hundred picts that need editing…2017-08-18 09.48.21A hint: look in the rear view mirror in the picts…2017-08-18 10.01.372017-08-18 10.08.382017-08-18 10.23.28

Does not really look like much but this is running down a switch-back…. losing altitude running down the mountain but only going 45mph…2017-08-18 10.23.462017-08-18 10.29.04The long lonely road…2017-08-18 10.42.272017-08-18 12.59.45Riding in very sensual. Unlike being “inside” a vehicle, I smell everything. I hear a lot, even though my helmet produces a lot of wind-noise. Bugs hit you. Some of them big.

The pine forests offer an olfactory party. I even kinda enjoy the odd dead skunk in the middle of the road. Been years since I smelt skunk…2017-08-18 13.43.212017-08-18 13.45.512017-08-18 13.48.182017-08-19 10.51.322017-08-19 11.00.412017-08-19 11.06.192017-08-19 11.15.182017-08-19 11.43.30I think I might be getting pretty good at these road picts…. 2017-08-19 12.35.08I met some fun people this weekend. The problem is I am terrible with names. This was the kind of gig where we all wore name tags so it was easy to be familiar, just look at their tag. This is a Russian/ Englishman and his lovely daughter Victoria…2017-08-20 19.43.33Victoria and I became pretty good buddies…2017-08-20 19.45.09The tent city as the eclipse starts…2017-08-21 11.33.25Mamma always said to not stare into the eyes of the sun…

But mamma, thats where the fun is…2017-08-21 11.34.21The dusk of totality…2017-08-21 11.35.38

I became friends with the man who owned the land this tent city was erected upon. Ralph is a true cowboy. 4th generation rancher. His wife was a hoot. I met his son n daughter and their families. This was an honest invasion by aliens into cowboy country. Aliens from California, and Texas, and France, and netherlands, and Spain, and England and even the Solomons….

Cowboy Ralph and his posse were enjoying the party (every night), while marveling at the extravagance, but staying quiet about the invasion of aliens from more than a dozen countries.

There was much there to comment upon, from a Cowboy’s percpective. Being small town born n bred I udnerstand their confused complcity.

I Met Ralph the first night and we drank n told lies each night thereafter. I very much enjoyed his company, his family an dhis friends.  I truly hope he takes up my offer and one day visits Australia.

This is a shot of one of the many, very enthusiastic participants at the event. Lucky for Princess Neno Ralf had left his gun in the truck… 2017-08-21 19.36.57

Back dated words….

OK, its been a few days since I updated the journey. been busy. otherwise occupied…

I have sent a few emails since I past posted day3 riding.

But have not managed to get a blog post organised… lets see… Working back wards… I am in Idaho, hanging out, waiting for the big event… The Total Eclipse Of The Sun…

I watched an eclipse when I was a kid. I remember in Boy Scouts, constructing our viewing boxes and going outside, after all the warnings, and looking at the sun as it eclipsed. And no, I did not go blind. I don’t really recall any powerful emotion from that event. My head was in a box and I saw bugger-all!

But I do look forward to tomorrow… for a couple of reasons…

First of course is it’s my 60th birthday (according to modern counting methods). Last year I threw myself a 60th bday party, but that was counting the womb-time as yr 1 and birth date being 1st bday. I know I confused folks then.

But this year is my 60th, conventionally counting, bday. And my present to myself is an eclipse.

Second, I am rediscovering long-riding… In July 2015 I had an accident on the road from LA to SanFran. It wasn’t a “bad” accident, But I tore my left shoulder all to hell. I aborted what was to be a several week trip, less than a week in, and limped back south with a very, very sore shoulder. Over the next many months the condition did not get much better. Pain was a constant companion. My shoulder did not work at all. It got so damn bad I consulted a doctor.

Eventually I brought two Polynesian healers together for about 10 days (in Honiara) and I got quadruple daily treatment through massage/manipulation. It fucking hurt. It hurt a lot. I screamed and hollered and sweated. But a lot of my mobility returned. Since then I have self-treated through constant use. And this long bike ride was going to be a test. Either my shoulder could take it or not.

The first couple days of riding found my shoulder aching a lot. I persevered and now can happily say my shoulder is pretty damn good. In the last two nights of sleep I do not recall waking due to extreme shoulder pain. That is a big plus.

Third is a weird, eclectic, strange, and fun group of people I have met through Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic (VG) project. The idea behind VG is to develop and market “space tourism”. The project has been partially funded by crazed individuals who have been willing to invest a huge sum of money (you can find out on-line how much) into the R&D of it all. To date (actual numbers are closely guarded) there are roughly 600 “investors”. I am one. We call ourselves “Future Astronauts”.

So “Camp Eclipse” is a VG event which I am lucky enough to welcomed to.

And it is very cool.

Last year I used all my selfish muscles and put together the best possible ol-fart birthday party. The party started Saturday afternoon and ended Sunday noon. We had a swing band and various entertainers, and a great meal, and too much grog, and a big-arsed hangover the next day.

This year, because I am really, really 60, I am going to give myself  party that will last for a couple of weeks…

In A Nut Shell: I hit LAX from Brisbane on Friday the 11th. On Monday the 14th I rode into Arizona. Day 2 I rode through Williams, Az and past the Grand Canyon, spending the nigh at Cedar Springs UT. From there I rode the mountains passes to Dushesne UT.

Day 4 started in Dushesne. A very pretty little mountain town. I rode through some incredible mountains passes and switchbacks and ended up in Jackson WY that night. Day 5 saw me ride 191 through Yellowstone from north to south. I spent 3 hours riding at low speed through Yellowstone in terrible traffic. I spent the night in Bozeman, Mt. Day 6 I drove back south on 191 to Tetonia, ID and “Camp Eclipse”.

day6

Day 7, today, is a rest day from the bike and an enjoy day here at the camp. Some intersting people of knowledge gining interesting perspectives and insights… very cool.

So, To catch up quickly I will pull a couple emails I recently sent out…

1) To Hans at San Bis resort

Dude…

How are you?

For an old fuck I am pretty good…

And…

I am more than fucking happy. I have risked my life numerous times today. And the day before… Man. If running fast n slippery on the razor’s edge don’t make you happy, don’t know what will!!!!

Riding and the meaning of life:

Have completed my 4th day of lonely long, hard riding. Been running up the Rocky Mountains south to north from Arizona into Montana. Been a long day through magnificent mountains.

My day is done. I have settled into a “cheap” $200 a night hotel. It is very basic. I am in tourist season, in tourist country.

Ready to find some food. Get some sleep. 

Luckily a decent place for feeding is next to the bedotel… Don’t have to walk too far to get pissed… Thus I sit…

Drinking a very flowery Ale. Brewed locally. I usually will try a local brew, but this one aint getting a reorder. 

Sitting outside as the sunsets and the chills its in. The wind is brisk. I’ll go back soon, I feel like a nice coffee before I bed down… its only 6pm so another beer and a coffee…. The mushroom ravioli with mexican peppers was excellent. 

I am in a cowboy-town, Jackson, Wyoming. Been riding through switch-back mountain roads. Up to 9000 feet, crossing summits then rushing down into the valleys, to 4000 feet in, say 20 minutes or less. Being Swiss you know what I mean…

It is very cool. 

Exhausting riding. 

I’ll be up in the morn and on the road by 9am. It’ll be too cold before that. We are at 6500 feet. Temps very much like the sunny coast.

So I sit and eat my one meal of the day. And get enough sedative to last the night. 

Damn this young-buck shit wears an old chassis out!

Tomorrow will see me run through Yellowstone Park, south-to-north. 

Looking forward to it.

Have traveled over 2000 ks since I started in California. 

I get another couple of weeks to keep this foolishness up. 

SMILE

And life is very good…

Smiles

2) To DB in northern Michigan…

Dok,

I sit in Jackson Wyoming. It’s 6c out so still too cool to ride. Should warm up a fair bit in the next hour or so. So I sit n drink water n watch news before I ride…

I am riding a stock standard Thruxton… a great machine. A tank bag. Heavy riding gear, n bugger all else for 3 weeks. Got to do laundry yesterday so life very good.

Riding the Rocky Mountains from south to north, Arizona to Montana.

Amazing ups n downs n switch backs n no guard rail deadfalls…. very good riding.

I ride today into Montana. Following hwy 191 for one more day. I’ll check into an ad hoc tent city “Camp Eclipse” on Saturday. I need a rest from the bike. A couple of days of no riding and I’ll head east to Iowa. 

Unsure if I will ride north into your neck of the woods. Have taken 5 days to get this far. So not traveling as fast as I can. But the roads are Grand. The riding is Great.

Would very much enjoy a BS session with you but time is going to run out… only get a couple more weeks of this then back to Aus.

And life is good. 

Smiles

So, I am almost caught up…

Smiles

 

 

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 21, 2017

2017v8.totality

So the world did not end, no one I know damaged their eyes, the light changed, temps dropped, n the cows made a bunch of noise and then there was totality… 

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 20, 2017

2017 v8.campeclipse

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 17, 2017

2017 v8.runn’naked runn’nwild

Day #3 finds me in Duchesne, Utah… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchesne,_Utah

What a neat place!. Very happy to be comfortably ensconced in a very cool small town Luxury Accomodation & Suites.

I had a feed in a very cool, small town cafe.  Fucking Home Made Cauliflower soup!!! Then mashed potatoes and beast n gravy. DAMN!!!!

Did I say DAMN!?

I am very happy…

Did I say the ride was epic? Well, at least the last part… Price to Duchesne was killer. Breath taking. Scary. Demanding. Exhilarating… day3 1

Only 55 miles. It took me well over an hour. Highest elevation over the mountain was 9000 feet. The climb up, then the running decent were both cool. Traffic was kind, and what I did encounter I easily got around. Ended up running through some impressive scenery. My darn helmet cam ain’t camm’n so no shots. Bummed but then I never take photos anyway and just cause I got a nifty new cam, well hell, I expect it to work. Foolish me!

And another circuitous day, with not huge distances gained, nor high speeds overall, but mostly very good riding… Up 15 and over on 70 is speedracer stuff. 90 miles an hour easy. Round big sweeping curves through majestic formations at horrifying heights, Pretty cool ride…day32

I want to talk about HWY 191… Looks like it starts at Agua Prieta, on the US/ Mexican border, and runs north to Morgan, on the US/ Canadian boarder. I was on 191 a bit a few years ago when riding through Utah and into Colorado. Pretty impressive road way… day35

One thing that strikes my fancy is that it runs right through Yellowstone Park…day34

I think I’ll ride through Yellowstone.

I think I’ll travel as far north as I can for two more days. I need to be in Idaho on the 19th. I have booked a tent in the mountains from which to view the coming Solar Eclipse. An eclectic, ad hoc tent city. Should be cool.

I’ll head for Jackson, Wyoming tomorrow, and Bozeman on Thursday. Gives me an easy day’s ride back south the 19th.

This aimless travel is kinda good for the soul…

More later

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 16, 2017

2017 v8.naked ridn day2

A great day!

2017day2

A strange, wandering route. And I end up at a gem of a little place, Cedar City, Utah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedar_City,_Utah

I ended up on Utah Highway 14, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_State_Route_14

The entire day was cool. Not a terribly long ride, and 7 hours is easy enough, but the country I rode through was worth the price of admission…

First stop this morn was the Grand Canyon… Of course, nothing but a big hole in the ground, but damn! What an awe inspiring big hole.

Didn’t stop a lot today. Not did I get to go very fast. The parks are all slower speed limits. But traffic was kind. I really enjoyed the diverse landscapes. The very best was my last hour today, riding through the cedar forest. The air was scented by the astringent-ish smell of the tress. It was very nice…

Got lucky with the light on this one…2017-08-15 16.45.30

Wide open and endless vistas…2017-08-15 15.06.50

Zoom in… You’ll see a 3-mule-team pulling a covered wagon…2017-08-15 16.46.12

Lakes in the drylands…2017-08-15 14.25.18

At repose…2017-08-15 13.02.03

more later…

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