Category Archives: road education

Its a good thing…..

img_20170101_131309Almost lost a tire in Troy, and only noticed because I stopped for lunch. Shockingly, there is a tire store open on Sunday? On New Years?  The guys had me fixed up with a new tire quicker than I could change a tire.  The spare was LOCKED anyhow, underneath the truck (rusted) and I would have been screwed on the side of the road.  Thank you Troy Firestone!

End of the Road?

It sure feels like it.  The bus spewed another leak as I was getting ready to roll south for the Skoolie Palooza in Quartzsite, and after a weekend of consideration, I decided to leave it there, and move on to another vehicle. It has been a very sad week, even tho the bus has given me much grief over the last few months, it WAS my home, and it gave me a TON of freedom and introduced me to a new life. I will miss her greatly.

I sit here typing this in the dark, at the beach house, after a transformer blew, leaving me searching for flashlights. Man I miss the bus. Hooking up solar this week, so I can live comfortably, on the grid.

Sharing the Forest

img_5455Yep, it is public land, and I have to share it with…………white people. Hundreds of honkeys riding up the mountainside every morning, in the bike-shuttles (think van-taxis for bicycles). My favorite is Coyote – they use several VW buses to drag people up. I always get a thrill to see the green one dragging up the hill, just a bit faster than my bus would take the hill. Then the other shuttles companies BLAZING up the mountain in the newer Fords.

White people. Hundreds every morning go up, and I never see most of them again. I am guessing the trails they are blazing down are north of me, and take them back into Moab. So I see empty shuttles, a few campers, locals cutting wood, and a few scenery drivers. Lots of white people. But I do see another variety coming down the mountain.

Black faces, thousands of them come down the hill, right past my camp. A few brown faces mixed in. Refugees? What exodus is this? Why are they coming down the hill? My only guess was that they knew that it would be a hard winter surviving up top, and their best chance would be at lower elevations. But what made them all come down in large groups -as if answering the call to dinner?

Angel Peak – understated BLM Majesty

While driving to Albuquerque, I just happened upon the sign to Angel Peak Scenic Area, I simply crossed my fingers that it was a BLM resource (my favorite) and a mile down the road I saw the sign confirmation. This place was a real treat. At first glance it appears very similar to Bryce Canyon (I have only seen pics). The fact that it is one of a very small handful of remote spots that you can actually CAMP on the side of a canyon makes it VERY unique – try that in any Nat. Park!

Grand Junction – Not as bad as it looks

Odd brewery at the end of my test-ride

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?

Smack Dab in the middle of the Rockies

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 :)

Push a motorcycle across Church Butte

What a short ride I had yesterday, only rode about 7 miles from the bus, in the desert, when the bike just quit running. Could have been much worse, but I only wound up pushing the bike about a mile, then walking the 6 additional miles back to the bus. Did not have enough water for an adventure, as it started out as a scouting run. But that ended the riding day, and now I am trying to figure out the best place to travel to for resources. Last night I headed west to Salt Lake, as I knew they would have resources, and a BMW service guy or 10 if I needed them. Luckily I stopped in Ft. Bridger for Internet, and realized it was 95+ during the day in Salt Lake – looks like Rock Springs, WY is the destination. I will pull it out there to see if I can troubleshoot the problem, and order parts if I need to.

Craters of the Moon

The coolest thing about the monument was, I got into the park before it opened.  My pass allowed me to breeze right past the construction crew at the gate, and enjoy the solitude before anyone else disturbed it.  I climbed on top of a cinder cone, took some pics and video with the phone – and most of it was screwed up – so no video.  I did get a nice panorama from the cone.PANO_20160823_084623

IMG_20160823_161427On the way to Idaho Falls, a couple buzzed by on their Olds Kool rides, and clearly they were on an adventure.  When I saw them pulled off I HAD to stop and chat.  Daria and Martine were on their way from the west coast to Nebraska, by way of Tokyo.  We are headed in the same direction, maybe I will see them again, barring smoke and fire.

 

Baby Steps

I have decided that maybe the answer is to take baby steps – 20-30 miles at a time, slowly crawling across Montana, and staying clear of the mountain passes.  I think this might be the answer to the leak, as it seems to leak very little on slow, gentle rides, and let’s face it, I am in no real hurry.  This is still, after all, an adventure?

Doing laundry on the “crappy side of town”.

IMG_1708