Friday, August 28, 2015

Part #8 2015 TW Adventure Riding....Meals at Moab

continued.....


It was a total of 10 days from the time we left Celina, to Auburn, then on to Moab, and despite motels, small cramped cabin, convenience store foods and coffee, we actually ate pretty well, especially after we arrived in Utah.

In addition to some fine bar/restaurants and outdoor seating pubs, we had Mel....the senior member of our party was staying at the north camp and fixed several nice meals....one night we were treated to more steaks that a small army could eat...but we did our best.....





The restaurant fare downtown was a mixed bag...we had some good breakfasts at several locations, ate out of doors at pubs, and a couple indoor meals, the most memorable for me was the supper at the Blu Pig, when my meal was paid for by Mr Iron Butt himself, Twilight Mike....we had never met in person, but we made a bet, to be paid off at Moab, on the Oregon vs Ohio State National Title Game....of course the Buckeyes handled the Ducks and the meal was paid in full at the "Pig"

Moab's Blue Pig

spelled Blu Pig....

In total we ate either at the North Camp or downtown most meals...and the prices were reasonable....I think we used the grill at the KOA only one time, and I believe that was the Friday night before we were to head home.

Other places we stopped that were worth the mention included:

Eddie McStiffs

The first morning we dined at the pricy but great food place called the:

Jailhouse Café

The most reasonable breakfast house we tried was

Pancake Haus   although I am no pancake fan, the eggs and taters were great

If you get to Moab, any of these places get my recommended seal of approval...


The Moab trip would end on Saturday and we would be back in Indiana and home to Ohio by Sunday evening....as you might expect, after a week plus of near perfect weather, it was spitting rain and snow when we pulled into Borneo's Ranch, outside of Auburn....the first volley of a coming wet and cold spring and early summer had come....

Our next big adventure riding would be 1600 miles or so around the Upper Great Lakes...details of that ride coming up next;

back later>>>>

Thursday, August 27, 2015

TW200 Adventure Riding 2015...part #7 Moab Solo Ride

continued......




Riding Moab Solo.....

On Thursday of our week in Moab, Utah, most of the KOA Crew decided to stay around town and shop, or hang around the camp...{dang the more I write about this, the more I miss Moab}...well I decided it would be a good day for me, just to kick back and ride solo.  Not having to follow or go to a certain point, or be back at any one point in time.

So I headed out mid morning and rode for about 100 miles in 3 or 4 hours...some of the ground I had covered previous rides, most of it along Kane Creek Canyon, but today I would ride both sides of the creek....nothing to challenging, but a good high above the canyon and over the Colorado River....plenty of photos to snap...by the time I got back in the middle of the afternoon, I was satisfied and ready to down a few beers....and did so with some of the gang at a little restaurant not far north of the KOA...photos from riding alone....got to stop and smell the red dirt and enjoyed the Hell out of it...
 
 



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yamaha TW Adventure Riding...Part #6 Mel's Moab Ride...

continued.....



On Wednesday of our week plus riding Moab our Senior TWer{even older than me} Mel, who fixed many a quality meal at the North Camp, decided to take a ride with the gang up Kane Creek Canyon....after my experience the day before, I was eager to go along, but not ride as far as the day before.  Mel was going part way, and Nick and I decided to go that far with Mel, and then let the rest of the gang finish what Borneo, Fred, and I, had started previous day....

Mel....

We met at the local McDonald's dressed in a variety of costumes and bike colors...  :) 

Borneo checks out Fred's Lid befoe heading out on Mel's Ride>>>>>

As a group we rode along the paved portion of the Kane Creek Road through a couple of small water filled patches...as we neared the portion of the road that would lead us to the summit, Mel decided that was enough for him....and after taking a couple of photos of the group, the dozen plus headed towards the overlook and beyond, while Nick, Mel, and I, retreated to the McDonald's to visit over coffee...

Frankly I can't remember what happened to the rest of the day....I suspect Nick and I retreated to the KOA for a couple beers and a cigar...but damn I forget...another reason I must do a written diary on these trips, so I can transfer them to blog form.

<<<Group Shot of the gang before Mel, me, and Nick headed back into town, and the rest rode for hours and miles...

Mel, as I said, fixed a couple of great meals and more at the North Camp, and we also hit restaurants in the town of Moab....those "Meal Stories" will come up later in the report....

Next Up...."Solo Ride"

back later>>>>

Mel, Left, Admires Fred's "Iron Nuts" at the North Camp.....

Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Adventure Riding on the TW....Kane Creek Canyon Road...part #5

...continued....


Down Goes Betty:

While I had my second lay down of the week, when my 2014 TW went sliding almost over the gorge{only a 10 or 12 foot drop, but jagged rock it was}...after the bike was righted, mainly by Borneo, we waited for Fred and his "Betty Boop" to come riding back to check on us....after a few minutes, we could hear Betty....and even to the untrained mechanic's ears, something didn't seem right:

Betty it turns out had broken something in her engine and she has lost most of her oil.....and none of us was carrying any extra...."Sheet"...

The original thought was for Fred to borrow Kurt's or my ride and head back into town and get some extra oil....that problem was resolved when a family riding two expensive Quads came into view, and being the friendly and well equipped folks they were, just happen to have extra....

Despite my dislike of crowds....I am glad these fine folks stopped by our sorry trio when the did....

The oil was what was needed for Betty, so we ended out ride to the top and headed back the way we came....much less a problem heading back down the Kane, little less traffic, and no blocking vehicles..


The trip back was much more relaxing...Fred on Betty rode on ahead before she ran out of oil....

Once back into town, Borneo and PRH stopped at one of the indoor/outdoor pubs and grabbed a bite to eat with a couple of locally brewed craft beers....nothing better than a quality beer, after a somewhat stressful ride in perfect weather and conditions....did I mention we would have nearly perfect weather the entire 8 day stay? 

Fred parked near our KOA Cabin, and hooked up with Paul{Zdiver} from Arizona...parking his van at that site, and settling down to work on the wounded "Betty Boop"




I think I decided to  pop open  a couple more craft beer "Longnecks" my riding was done for the day....but once again, just like the day before...I was bruised, but more than happy with what I had done...

Done riding but not done visiting.....we as a KOA group headed for the North Camp to break some bread with the 2 dozen or so of the campers there....

Mel's Ride is Next....

back later>>>>>



Part #4 2015 The Year of the Yamaha TW200 Adventure Rides{photos and story}

.....continued....


After the ride on the Potash and to the top of the "Island in the Sky" I finally figured out I was back in the saddle as far as Motorcycling....41 years after my first bike, this trip the day before was like something I had never done on two wheels...even in the handful of MotoX Races I had participated{poorly but I finished all but one} back in the Mid 1970s, when I was a young Hell raiser in my middle 20s....

The next day, just three of us, Borneo, Me, and Fred the real Hell Raising Old Fart{not as old as me however} from the Nevada/California border town of Verdi, would lead the way....out Kane Creek Canyon road high into the desert mountains above Canyonlands....a couple of "Issues" would see that we did not make it to the top{although those two and a handful of others would the next day}...

Riding into Kane Creek Canyon...


First off{damn me for not getting more photos}, after reaching what I thought was the "summit" of the ride...Fred yells, "Let's Go" and heads off down and around a rocky ledge...which turns out some portions, where vehicles, including trailers and pickup trucks, were traveling the other way...were 6 feet or less wide.  For someone not thrilled about heights, this was a heart pounding BP rising trail, but what the Hell?  I followed along...the most hairy part being a thin ledge where a young guy in a pickup, hauling a haul trailer, was coming the other way...Fred sped by him with no problem, I stopped, Borneo then followed Fred, just inches from the edge of the trailer and inches from the drop off on the right, which, let's say was a few hundred feet down the mountain...I finally said "F_ It" put the TW into gear, and it jumped towards the edge...I hit the front brake, then turned left and told the young man in the truck, "Don't Move that Thing"....and I rode by, not look at the trailer or edge of the earth....I made it and on we went....

The Overlook, I thought this was the end of the ride up....Wrong!


I had promised myself not to do anything like that, given my festering fear of heights...but once done, I was ready to roll onward and upwards....

The next issue was me, riding in the middle of the threesome{being the lest experience rider of the 3}...heading up a patch where I hit red sand, then flat rock, and quickly back to the sand....losing control of my front wheel the bike and rider{me} headed for the next cliff, not as far down{only 10 feet or so} but straight into some nasty looking jagged rocks, if I didn't do something...I did, and pulled the tire and handlebars to the left, the bike slid towards the edge and laid on top of my right knee...the back knobby fat tire and wheel hung over the edge....

Saved Again....

Borneo came up from behind, quickly dismounted and pulled the bike from the edge...as a weight lifter I was impressed with his quick response, and must a bit more than disappointed in my weak response and ability to lift the 300 pound bike...

"Damn Getting Old Sucks"

But Kane Creek Canyon is something else.....



Well Borneo saved my bacon, and while we stood there thinking about our next move, we could hear Fred and his "Betty Boop" coming back looking for us....They found us, but Fred and "Betty" had their own set of problems to deal with....

That part of the story next!

back later>>>>

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015..Year of the TW Motorcycle Adventure Rides...{in photos part #3}

continued....

So after a full year of owning the Yamaha TW200 and putting about 600 miles on it, we were set to begin a 5 month session of logging another 2400 miles, a full 4 times the miles I had ridden in the previous year....it all began as we trailered four different year TWs behind Borneo's Toyota Truck and headed west some 1600 miles across the plains and  Rocky Mountains....



From rural Auburn, Indiana, we headed south down I-69 through Indy, then on to I-70 where we would continue through to Utah, not getting off the 70 till we jogged south to Moab....we spent the first night in Western Kansas....arriving at the KOA south of Moab mid afternoon ...

 Perfect Weather, more or less would greet us
and would remain for the next week....

Good thing to, with 4 of us cramped into this cabin, me out front and the other 3 in bunks...showers and toilets were a few yards away, good thing to, not sure what that cabin would smell like with a john in with us four snoring, farting guys....? 

Our TW Forum Buddy Paul{Z-Diver}would be a cabin away....

The First Day {or was it day #2, gotta start keeping a running diary for these future rides} we headed to the "North Camp" where most of the "Dirty 30" were staying...sadly, the original planner of the trip "Ron from Boise" would become Ill and head back to Idaho, before we could meet him{he would pass away less than a month later}

Crazy as we were, Nick and I, totally unprepared for Sand Riding, headed out with others....and that first day didn't end well for either of us....making me wonder to myself "What the Hell did I get myself into"?


Now that I remember, that was Day 2 at Moab...after a night in town downing a few craft beers, things would improve, at least for a day....riding wise>  left to right Sherman{Weasel} Nick, Paul{ZDiver} and Borneo....did I mention I hate sand riding?

Riding the Potash .....3/22/2015

Probably one of 2 of my favorite days of riding...the solo ride later in the week was pretty sweet as well, but for pure accomplishment, the Potash Ride was tops....as for excitement, the next day, riding with Borneo and Fred, would top the billing: 

The Potash Road was a challenge, one bike failed[not a TW} but the rest of us that began would finish the trek, not without some sand and spills on Nick's part and some challenges for the rest, but we did finish at the overlook above Canyonlands....What a Great Day and Ride it was:

http://www.go-utah.com/Canyonlands-National-Park/






Back to camp and I think a few more beers were in the cards....I had already rode higher and more challenging than I had thought I would....but the next day would even be a bigger challenge, and bring me close to "The Edge"

back later with that story and photos.....


 

2015 The Year of Dual Sport TW Riding{in photos} part #2

After getting off to a slow but steady attempt to get back into motorcycle riding the first year, 2014, proved to be "OK" nothing special...but after discussing plans with other members of the TW Forum:

http://tw200forum.com/forum/forum.php

A plan was devised for 30 or so of us to meet at the desert mountain areas around Moab, Utah, a place of natural beauty and challenges that appears to be perfect to get off the snide, and really to see if I was ready, approaching 66 years old, to ride Motorcycles again, like back in the days of yesteryear....

Hooking up with a lawyer from nearby {70 miles} Auburn, Indiana, was the key...."Borneo" as we will refer to him here, is a mountain climber of some international standing, among his other talents....he also owned a TW along with a stable of Jeeps and other Motorcycles....his Nephew "Weasel" was going along to Moab as well...Weasel being a good  rider and with plenty of mechanical knowledge would be a asset I was glad to have along....finishing out our Ohio/Indiana foursome was my old buddy Nick, who had not ridden since I owned the Kaw 250 back in my Red Door Bartending Days in Celina...40 years ago.  He wanted to take a Quad to ride in Moab, but after a day of drinking plenty of craft beers and smoking hand rolled cigars, he signed on with a brand new 2015 TW from the same dealer I had purchased my 2014 a year before....

http://www.hondaeasttoledo.com/


He got a better deal than me....and after some issues with trailer tires on the way home, we unloaded his TW into the Nick Garage in February ....  the four of us, who would be joined by 25 or so others, would trailer those 4 TWs and head for Moab on March 20th....





Here I sit 5 months later with football officiating in front of me, and I smile....those 5 months would see a few bruises a couple of falls, and 2400 or so miles, most of it in Moab and the Upper Great Lakes....what a ride it has  been, making me all the more ready to do it again next year....but first I do have one more "Road Trip", that will be the 100 or so miles each way to the old Houseworth homestead town of Waldo, Ohio, some 20 miles north of Columbus, and the home of the world famous Baloney Sandwiches at G & R....

But first I have to post some of my favorite photos of the riding year, from both Moab and the Great Lakes Rides....

those coming up next:

2015...The Year of the TW Adventure Motorcycle Riding part #1

When I first got the "Bug" {that desire to return to riding a motorcycle after 25 years or so "Out of the Saddle"....I knew I wanted to do the Off Road/Dual Sport riding like I had done when I first began to ride, back in 1974....




I was 25 when I first purchased that Kawasaki 250 On/Road Bike....the reason I waited that long was because my dad, despised Motorcycles, he had seen to many deaths in his years as a Mechanic, via untrained riders....when he passed away on Christmas Eve in 1972, the reason for not riding was gone with him...and finally I purchased my first MC, a new one from the local dealer in the spring of 1974....a couple of nasty wrecks, one my fault{1975}, one an  inattentive drives fault in 1987...convinced this father of three to give up riding...at least until the kids were grown and out of the house.

During the winter of 73/74 I decided I would purchase a "Dual Sport" as they are called now, after discovering "Big Dog" Mark Sampson's web site on his adventuring riding across the US, Canada, and Mexico....

http://www.bigdogadventures.com/default.htm

I had the bug again, and I began to look at 250 Yamaha and Kawasaki bikes....a downsize to that time 40 years before....the last Motorcycles I owned were various sized Kaws, Suzuki, and Yamaha rides...I preferred the slower pace and a chance to get off road as much as possible.

Finally, after months of looking and deciding which ride I could afford to pay cash for, I discovered another web site, dedicated to this little 200cc dual sport Yamaha nicknamed the "T~Dub", as in TW or Trail Way....the folks on the site followed their fellow riders like cult, and the TW had a cult following....funny looking, not very fast, fat tires, slow but dependable, I knew I had my ride chosen....question was "New" or "Used"...?  New it was decided, a 2013 leftover or a new out the door 2014?   After a couple more months of looking {I was in no hurry, it was mid winter} and not being able to get the dealers in Ohio and Indiana to budge on the price of a 2013....I called "Honda East" in Maumee, Ohio{ a berg of Toledo}....and pulled the trigger on a new blue 2014....




I had the TW Forum to thank for my new purchase:  {out the door at less than $4400 with 1 mile on the speedometer}:

http://tw200forum.com/


2014, March to be exact, is when I brought the ride home, in the back of a Harley Davidson trailer...the entire year I would put about 600 miles on it....steady and slow would be it...never riding over 60 or so miles in one ride....but I had plans for bigger and better riding in calendar year 2015, I would ride and ride some more....

that story up next>>>>>

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Football Season Begins....

Football Season "Kicks Off"....
<<< J. Armstrong, M, Davis, and PRH @ Parkway last season

3 rules meetings down, have not done a scrimmage yet, turned one down with the crew for tomorrow night...of course that would be 165 miles from here in Vinton County...."No way in Hell" I told crew chief Crazy Jon...."not driving that far, unless it's a Regional Baseball Final...."  So here I will have one scrimmage this year, a JH contest at Wayne Trace tonight...next week the regular season begins, and that finishes up with a Varsity Week #1 game, Wayne Trace at rival Paulding...the schools are 5 miles apart, and it's the "Townies" vs "The Farm Boys"....Wayne Trace has a good program, Paulding continues to rebuild...one thing for sure, it will be hard played, this game is a Rivalry Game to the core.

I have to admit, for the first time in a long time, I have little interest in the beginning of the season....sure, it's a good workout, a chance to earn some beer, cigar, and gas money....but to be honest, I have other interests these days....Motorcycle Adventure Riding, the Grandsons, enjoying my later years, and watching and wondering just what the Hell Obama and his Criminal Administration will do next to destroy this once proud Republic....

Football and Basketball are now becoming "jobs" rather than fun, so early this year I made a decision to put the cap on both of them.....If the Good Lord allows me to stay healthy and survive until I am 68{just a year and a half away} I will end my officiating in both sports.....as of the Spring of 2017 I will only work Baseball....a sport which I have participated in as a player, coach, and umpire now for 60 years....but even that I plan on cutting back on, I will work Spring/High School Varsity Baseball, but after June of 2017, that will be all, no more Summer Baseball....hopefully I will stay healthy enough for that{Spring Season Baseball} to continue well into my 70s...


But time waits for none, and I can feel the age creeping up, and I wish to stay one step ahead of the Grim Reaper, for as long as possible....

"Play Ball"

<<<

back later.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Epilog=A Final Look at the Great Lakes TW200 Dual Sport Ride

Or is it Epilogue?   Seems like Tidal Wave now being called "Tsunami",  the Americanized Epilog is now the Euro Version....WTF?  I may be an educated person, but I am sick of this twisting of names to suit some BS from the elite media{most dumber than dirt}...anyway, back to the chore at hand:








Sunday August, 2015.....

After arriving back at Kurt and Peggy's Ranch early Saturday evening, Nick, and I, along with the host, dined on Chinese and Beers....and finally crashed late Saturday, up by 7, and a quick breakfast thanks to Miss Margaret, we headed out...Nick wanted to go the state highways, but I put my foot down, I was taking the back roads home, regardless.  I had seen enough damn traffic the past 7 days and was staying away from vehicles, other than the TWs the best I could.  We worked our way south and east, finally crossing the state line into Ohio just north of Antwerp...a few miles past the small berg of Payne on SR 49 and we rode the county roads the rest of the way...68 mile to my place, some 20 miles shorter than the trip the previous Sunday to Kurt's.

Looking back, there are some things that I had wanted to do more of and things I wanted to do less of....but considering the great weather, enough back road riding, and the comradery, I have no complaints at all.  Sure next time I would like more time and more back roads, more dirt, less pavement, and less State and Federal Highways{we didn't do much Federal or Interstate riding however}, but all in all, it was a satisfying experience for someone 66 years old who had just taken up the Motorcycle after some 27 years out of the saddle.

Kurt and Nick are planning another ride somewhere later this month...first it was east, now west, but I won't be along....full steam into Fall Football I will be and my riding will be close by for the next couple of months until cold weather arrives...then put the TW away until February.  This is not 1974-75 and I will not ride in the Ice and freezing rain like I did back when I was a crazy 25 year old....

The Next Adventure?  Perhaps the Everglades and Key West, back to Moab?  Not sure, but for now I will savor the two major rides this season....Moab, Utah, and the Upper Great Lakes:

back later>>>>

The Photos  today are a collection of my favorites from the trip: