I was beginning my 2016 adventure in Tennessee, and riding some twisty pavement and awesome dirt highways that crisscrossed the Appalachians for a week. Now I am gathering my wits, slowly polishing the bus to make it livable, and planning the great escape for 2017. The most planning is creating some income in the next few weeks so I can actually MOVE the bus. Gas money is not enough, I need a bit of a buffer in case of repairs (tires, hoses, etc.) and the unknown – which is KNOWN to happen to me on adventure. So the next few weeks will be repairing my bank account, and hopefully devising some consistent method of making income whilst I am travelling.
Enjoying a nice 25oz. Cuttthroat Ale after a long day of tinkering on the bike. Feels like it is time to keep moving, and southern Utah appears to be the direction? Will know tommorow if I am leaving this awesome place. Wow they made me off the patio because I would not order food?
Full-service restaurants: Eateries with full drink menus, just like you’d find at a club. Here you’re required to buy at least an appetizer.
I have not found anything “special” about this town, and yet it has been home for almost a week. I stopped here last year, while it was raining, and the views were impressive. The weather has been fantastic, although the bus heats up a good bit by 4pm, and does not start to cool till after dark – too bad my bike has been crapped out. The list of things that have broken in the last 2 weeks should impress most folks:
Bus would not crank, and smoked when it did [resolved?]
Bike overheated and blew fuses/died [resolved?]
Phone died [resolved]
Solar power system melted [resolved]
Health issues [resolved]
I guess it was a good thing I did not have a plane ticket in my pocket? Funny, it seems I have been dealing with these issues by laughing at the oddity, and feeling “things could be much worse”. It seems to work, as most times I simply need to work my way thru the issues, and I either resolve them, or they resolve themselves. Now, let us get back to our previously scheduled adventure?
Stopped in Glenwood Springs last night, as the sun was going down. This morning bus cranked fine, and I decided to fix the bike. My cell phone DIED – DEAD!! So I will continue on my way to Grand Junction, the only Best Buy west of the Rockies, apparently.
Made it back over into central Colorado after leaving Denver yesterday. The bus did not like the first mountains yesterday, nor today. It did not want to start this morning, and it gave me a fright trying to get back on the road. Hopefully, coming down the mountains, after coming up them again this afternoon, gave it a chance to cool off, so maybe tomorrow will be better. The bike is running, and that is the main thing
After overnighting in a shopping center, waiting on my $400 solar battery evaluation, I decided that being parked next to a fancy donut shop all night was simply too tempting. Had a very productive day yesterday – put the bike in the shop, washed the filthy bus, dropped off ailing battery, did laundry, and even got some cleaning done. I think I deserve a little bit of deviance?
I have plenty of other things to do while waiting on the bike, and Ft. Collins is a GREAT place to do them. Blazing Internets, everywhere, and it appears everything I need is jammed into a few blocks. Everyone rides bikes or skateboards, or walks here? I even saw some bike-riding kids picking up donuts this morning. Look for more from Ft. Collins this week.
“….the whole place is on fire out there.” My mother exclaimed in a voicemail, after reading a previous post. So I thought I would post a map below to reassure Mom that I am out of danger – fire danger, anyway. As you can see, there is nothing around me to to burn. Actually, the map is deceiving, as there is plenty of sage-grass, just no trees. AND, I can see any fire for miles, maybe even 100 or more? I am in the desert of southern Wyoming, headed south into Utah, and into Ashley Nat Forest(aka “Flaming Gorge”).
I am camped above Fort Bridger(the town), on a massive BLM hillside that has comm towers and loads of pronghorn. In fact, as I took the picture(phone) below, a herd of pronghorn came running up the hill, as if being chased by the sun. Once they saw me, they turned and ran the other way. I did capture some decent footage on the opposite ridge, so you can see them in the distance with the next post.
Not to paint a pretty picture of Idaho, without pointing out some of the downsides. The place seems to be on fire every summer. So much wilderness, and so much dry fuel, waiting for a bolt of lightning, it should not be surprising the place burns every year. My first time into Boise last year, I was shocked at the density of smoke, and I think that was even drifting in from Oregon. Seems everyone has gotten used to it – the place burns. Seems they have to pick and choose which fires to deal with and when. I even passed a couple of campgrounds that burned just a few miles from mine this morning. Well, I am having a hard time dealing with it. On my way down to Ketchum yesterday, the sky was crystal clear and blue. On the way back up to camp, it was smokey and sad. Lucky for me, I have a choice where I live, so I am headed east – gonna try to find a non-burning, remote spot in Yellowstone, as I head south into Colorado.
Gonna try to setup camp near the center of Idaho today. From everything I have heard about central Idaho, there is really no reason to ever leave Idaho….until the snow starts falling. This state is one of the most diverse I have found. In fact, it appears they have just about everything except ocean, and with some of the lakes I have been on, that is even hard to tell you are not on an ocean (except you are surrounded by mountains). The plan is to explore the central mountain, attack the Magruder Corridor, a 100 mile single lane dirt path skirting two wilderness areas, one is known as the River of No Return Wilderness – let’s hope that does not apply to me.
While preparing lunch, around 50 sporty cars came racing up the twisty mountain road below. Come to find I have a front-row seat for the Dust Ball Rally. The cars are still trickling by, as it appears to be a moderately paced event.