March 24, 2022 § Leave a comment
Jump ahead a few years, Elvin is travelling and he appears to be in Kansas City, Mo. Let’s see what he has to say.
Warning. Elvin uses two Ethnic slurs later in this letter. I didn’t write them out, but I think it is clear what he wrote, and though I could chalk it up to “Well, that is just how they talked in 1938”, it wasn’t right then, and it isn’t right now and I don’t want to provide any legitimacy to either of them. Prejudice is a learned behavior, and both Elvin and Vivian learned their prejudices from their parents and their peers.« Read the rest of this entry »
December 11, 2021 § Leave a comment
If you recall, we broke two long days into three shorter days, and today was the second of those days, and this day would be nothing but regaining most, if not all of the elevation we lost yesterday. Distance-wise it was a little shorter, but terrain-wise we would hit some big gains in two sets of switchbacks, where I believe each set was 20-30 turns. The feeling was that we would find something between the second and third set where we could pitch our tents, but until we got there, we wouldn’t know. We hadn’t seen anyone we could ask.
The morning was another fine morning where the mountains to our East shielded us from direct sunlight until long after we hit the trail. Our fourth morning, and everything is very routine by now. Before I even leave my shelter, I have dressed, re-stuffed my sleeping bag, deflated the air mattress and returned it to its carry sack, deflated my pillow, and broken down and rolled up my tarp. Then it is time for hot water and a little relaxation while I watch everyone else do their thing. Of course Kevin is already up, as is Jim, and by the time I sit down, everyone is up and moving.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 31, 2021 § 2 Comments
If you read all of these posts regarding my first participation in The Denver Posts Ride the Rockies event, I laid down some groundwork for this last piece early on by noting that I could have/should have expected what was about to go down, but I didn’t, and it went down. When we last left off I was telling you how I needed to finish the Friday ride with enough time to break down and pack my bike, clean-up, and get to the bus before the 5pm departure. Paul (my new friend) and I were walking over that way at about 4 when we said our goodbyes to each other, and he re-iterated the offer that if I wanted to ride with them next year in the comfort of a motor home, I would be more than welcome. Something, I can assure you, I am seriously considering.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 25, 2021 § 1 Comment
People kept saying the words “The Million Dollar Highway” all day the day before. When I re-read the route description, those words were front and center alerting us that this day would be unlike any other. Except of course we would be on our bikes going uphill and down. I could have googled it and at least gone into this day informed, but I was as ignorant as a rock. All I knew was we had three passes to get past before we would reach Durango. If you type that into google you will be directed to the Wiki page for 550, and there is one sentence in particular that accurately names which part owns this moniker. “Though the entire stretch has been called the Million Dollar Highway, it is really the twelve miles (19 km) south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass which gains the highway its name. “. If todays ride was just this 12 miles it would be a ride complete. Those 12 miles were some of the most scenic miles I have ever witnessed on a bike in these United States, and I have witnessed a fair number of miles in these United States. More than a lot, not as much as some.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 23, 2021 § 2 Comments
I will try and take it easy on my audience in this one. It was a short day, so let’s see if we can make it a short post.
Rise and shine was early because that is just what your body does to you when you lay down around 9PM. You just can’t stand lying there any longer, and as soon as first light pokes it’s head over the horizon, I am ready to get up and get a move on. On this day, there was no need to break camp as we were spending a second night in the lovely little hamlet of Ridgway. The route for the day was in two parts, as discussed a little bit in the previous post. The first part was a loop ride to the North that included some bike path, followed by some ample 550 shoulder riding, and the a long 12 mile ascent on a dirt road, and eventually back to Ridgway. The second optional part was to climb back up pass, and then take another dirt road, and climb some more up to the ranch that had been used as a set location in the 1969 film True Grit.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 23, 2021 § 3 Comments
As you have undoubtedly learned, I don’t sit right down after an event like this and get to writing. I let it sit in my head for a while and develop. These days, with all the good programing on all the streaming channels it’s amazing I squeeze any time to droll on about my adventures. Day 4 of this adventure occurred June the 16th, and here it is October 19th, and I am just now starting this. We shall have to see when I publish it, and just how long I dilly dallied my way through it.
When I left you yesterday, we had finished the longest distance day of this years event. It was yet another day over 100 degrees, and there had been other challenges which are well documented in that post. My compatriots spent the night in Telluride, in the comfort of their hotels, and were 30 miles away. On the shuttle that would be at least 45 minutes, and if I could have talked to them, then I might have given them the benefit of waiting, but I was coffee’d up, I had broken my fast on my granola, I was packed, and my bags had been dropped off, and I was ready to ride, so while I could have waited, and maybe I should have waited, I did not, and off I rode, back towards the Norwood Descent. See, now that we were up upon the plateau, it is called the Norwood Descent.« Read the rest of this entry »
September 20, 2018 § Leave a comment
This was the fourth week long adventure over the last 6 years that I have cajoled my friends into following me into some kind of wilderness adventure. What qualifies ME to lead adventures like this? One could easily argue “Very little”. From the standpoint of the Grand Canyon, at least there I had been on some of the trails, and was familiar with the conditions that time of year, but when it came to the High Uintas in Utah, Banff in Alberta, and most recently the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon, I hadn’t ever been to any of these places before, and here people were following me into the back-country with nothing but a map and my electronic devices.
April 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
By this point in the vacation I am starting to sleep better. It isn’t what I would like, but I did manage solid hours before the alarm awakened me on time at 4:30. I had saved some bananas from yesterdays breakfast, so I was good to go on the food front. I believe I even laid everything out the night before so I was ready as Eddie to go. Dressed and out the door, I was well within the time window necessary to catch the ride at 6.
March 27, 2018 § Leave a comment
Up early we needed to be today. The agenda was a boat trip to some islands. In our particular case the Phi Phi islands, but I didn’t know what they were, or where they were for that matter, or even what kind of a trip we were in for. Susan came out to the pool on Monday and said she signed us up for a boat trip. See, we have had some pretty good luck with boat trips in the past. In Ketchikan, Alaska Susan and I took a Salmon fishing excursion during a cruise ship stop. We caught 8 lovely Pink Salmon, one of which we had the kitchen on the ship prepare for us. The envy in every other table around us when our dish came out was priceless, but really what they thought didn’t matter. What we had did, and what we had was deliciously awesome.
March 23, 2018 § Leave a comment
After the Sunday Club ride was over and I was back in my hotel room, long after the incident in the massage parlor, and long after the sun had gone down, I was cruising through Strava, and noticed that guy that I had reached out to a few weeks back concerning riding in Thailand and where to get a bike, had been on that ride. If you recall, I arrived just as the ride was pulling out, and so failed to introduce my yankee ass to anyone who gave an F. The whole ride I was pretty much front group, and I was constantly evaluating my ability to even do the damn ride, so I was surprised to find that I failed to find Mark, this guy, and introduce myself. So I did the next best thing and left a comment on his ride that I had reached out to him a few weeks back and see now that we were on the same ride and apologized for not seeking him out.