Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chief Joseph Highway - Beartooth Pass - June 4th. 2016

I planned a short ride (120 miles)over to Columbus MT...then to Red Lodge MT. and then home. The weather was so perfect that the short trip grew into a +350 mile ride. Just couldn't help myself as the days are long and sunset isn't until near 9:00 PM here.
          Yellowstone River near Columbus MT:

Good hamburgers at the "Dew Drop Inn" in Absorakee MT. 

Old "Hippy Bus".....I doubt that it was at Woodstock though.

The "Grizzly Bar" in Roscoe MT. A required stop when passing near.

Took a break in Red Lodge MT. Looked over and this guy just decided to take a break on the sidewalk. 

I left Red Lodge and headed over to Bear Creek. Thought about going over the Beartooth Pass but did not yet talk myself into it.

When I got to Belfry MT., the bike somehow decided to go to Cody WY. I passed the turn for the Chief Joseph Highway as I would not have enough gas to make the loop....on to Cody for a 2nd. lunch and a tank of gas. Then back to the Sunlight Basin highway. 

Coming up towards "Dead Indian Hill Summit".

In the back ground here is "Heart Mountain"....on the other side of that peak, an internment camp was constructed during WW2. The camp held US Citizens of Japanese decent. I once met a Govt. Inspector who was born there while his Family was interned. His Father enlisted in the US Army, fought in Europe, risking his life while his entire family was held prisoner by his own Government. A SAD part of our history!

"Heart Mountain"

A lot of great sections of road coming up. The /5 was a blast to ride through the twisties.

Clarks Fork Canyon

At least there was one more Airhead out and about today.

Pilot and Index Peaks in the back ground.

Heading up towards the Beartooth Pass. The road was opened last Friday.

Getting a bit cooler....

Beartooth Lake...still froze over....

Snow Drifts aren't near as big as previous years.

A great days ride....360 miles in 9 hours.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Spring Ride in Montana

Nice to be back "home" in the Big Sky Country. Luckily, most of my work missions have been near Billings. Had to travel a 1100 mile loop into northern MT a couple weeks ago and then spent last week in Miles City MT.
Been able to get a few rides in:

Took a short spin around Yellowstone County a couple weeks ago. Lot's of smoke in the area from Canadian Wildfires up north.

I enjoy shorter rides on the /5, but find the old Honda Goldwing much more comfortable for longer rides.

2 weeks ago I took a 300 mile loop to the East, then back through the Sarpy Creek Area, an old stomping ground of mine....actually my Grandfather Homesteaded out there around 1906. 

                               (click on image to enlarge)

The country side was starting to "green up" a bit.

These "Ranch Owner Signs" used to be quite prevalent.
 Don't see them being kept up as well any more.

This rock formation was a spot I used to frequent when I was a kid. One of our parents would drop us off there in the AM and then pick us up in the late afternoon. About 20 miles from the nearest civilization. We'd take along our "BB Guns", water and things to eat. Great adventures for us kids when we were 11 - 12 years old....

I remember carving my initials in the rocks, but time and erosion appears to have erased them.

I do remember carving these "foot holds" in the rocks with a buddy for easier access up the side.Probably back in about 1966.

Nice day for a ride. 

Lots of wide open spaces in MT. 

I rode another 150 miles after this photo but didn't document any of it. Great day for a ride and am looking forward to another ride next weekend. The BMW /5 needs exercise so will be riding it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Montana Attorney General, Tim Fox

Driving into town from my office today, I passed what appeared to be a shotgun laying on the shoulder. Got just a "glimpse" of it and then thought maybe it was a chunk of old tire or something. Had to turn back and check it out. A Mt. Highway Patrolman was just ahead of me and he did not see the item. I U-turned back and sure enough, there lay this:

Definitely a "useless modified weapon of ill repute." The section of road I was on was narrow and on a blind corner so I grabbed it up and continued into town.
I had an appointment I couldn't miss so took care of that, then called the local Police Department.
The weapon was a sawed off  9 mm or 45 cal. rifle.
The Police Officer I turned it over to said there had been a Home Invasion Robbery earlier in the day and the culprits get away route was on the same road I found the gun. The weapon was likely discarded as they ran from the pursuing Officers.

I made a Facebook Post showing the weapon I had found. An old classmate of mine happens to be the current Montana Attorney General and he "private messaged" me asking about the weapon. He had not seen the next Facebook "Post" revealing that I had already turned the gun over to Law Enforcement.

I am impressed that the Attorney General of our State pays attention to Social Media and involves himself at personal levels. His Folks / My Folks were good friends and we were raised with the same ideals of "Ethics & Honesty".  

My "Hat is Off" to our Great Montana Attorney General, Tim Fox!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

93* to 26* in one day.

On the road heading to Montana. We had 93* weather on Monday leaving AZ. Yesterday the temperatures quickly fell as we headed North with the low in the lower 20*'s. Encountered snow storms within 200 miles of Las Vegas. Attempted to make it to Wells, NV. but Mother Nature turned against us. Stopped just North of Ely NV. in a major blizzard....the snow came & went the remainder of the afternoon. We pulled off on a side road with a nice gravel pullout away from the main highway 93. We've "boon-docked" here in the past so I was watching for the turnout in the snow storm.
The two lane highway traffic was very heavy all day. We saw on idiot pass on a hill and the oncoming traffic had to run off the roads' edge to avoid a head -on collision, luckily he was paying attention. Another vehicle apparently attempted to pass in a sleet storm...hitting the windrow of heavy ice in the road, he shot off the pavement and into the ditch, ending up facing backwards in the sagebrush. Luckily he didn't roll or get tangled up with any other motorists.

We were happy to be parked as the weather turned for the worse. One other traveler was also parked in the same parking area.

The storm continued to rage until about sundown, then the sky lightened up and actually saw some sun breaks right before dark. Got pretty cold in the night, in the low 20's.

Today we'll depart when the ice melts off the car. We plan on traveling 300 - 400 miles today. Beautiful blue sky this morning.

Friday, March 18, 2016

GL1000 Auxiliary Fuel Tanks

A few years ago I recall seeing a pair of Gold Wing Auxiliary Saddle Tanks listed on a site for $100.00. Decided to see if I could find a pair so listed a "wanted" ad on a goldwing site. I had a couple replies. One guy had a New set but wanted $450.00 + shipping which I thought was way high.
Another bike shop owner contacted me and had a used pair for $250.00 which I thought was a good price....not a "steal" by any means but a reasonable price.

 They are aluminum, so I'll probably strip them down to bare finish and install them without painting. I think they'll look pretty good with their raw finish. will "polish" them lightly.

I had a single BMW "Luftmeister" tank a few years ago, but was missing the threaded cap. They had an odd thread and never did find a cap that would work. The old BMW tank had a few coats of paint, plus an "epoxy" type base paint....the epoxy base paint was a nightmare to remove. Hopefully the paint on these is not the same stuff. I think the "raw" appearance looks fine:

Fairly large tanks @ about 1 gallon each I was told. Not sure if I'll retain the emblems....we'll see how they look without.

Also found a "plumbing" schematic. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Eastern San Diego County Motorcycle Riding

I had planned a motorcycle ride over to visit friends in Oceanside CA. over the weekend but weather forecasts put a "damper" on my plan. 100% chance of rain for Oceanside on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Looking out my window Sat. morning, the bright sunshine was too much to take, a ride had to be accomplished! Even though the day was getting shorter I hit the road a bit after 11:00 AM. I had a possible route in mind and pretty much stuck to it.
(left click to enlarge photos)

I originally planned on riding my R75/5 BMW, but after checking weather forecasts of 40+ MPH winds, I decided to ride a slightly heavier bike, the GL1000 Gold Wing as it is quite a bit "friendlier" in high winds.
The first 80 miles going over were on the I-8 "slab" to make some time. Passing by El Centro CA. I saw that the annual Air Show was in progress. A group of five planes were performing acrobatics over the Air Station. A couple weeks ago I witnessed four of the Blue Angels practicing in the area:

Rising out of the desert north of Octotillo I exited the freeway onto "Old Highway 80". On the way up the grade I see "Radiator Water" barrels along the road.

The wind generators were spinning fast as the wind was howling here.

I got off the "super slab" ASAP and headed onto Old highway 80 which would take me to Highway 94.
At the top of the pass, an odd scene. "Wrights UFO Retrieval & Repair"

The view into the lower desert from the "Desert Tower" Parking lot.

The route follows along the U.S. / Mexico Border for much of the route. The border fence is an outstanding feature along the way. Looks like they missed a piece:

Old Rail Road Crossing:

 Getting onto "94" I spied a Taco Shop along the road at "Cameron Corners" so stopped for a quick bite to eat. The Burrito I ordered was the size of a small sandbag. Lunch for $4.00...not too bad...

Many miles of twisty roads ahead.

Heading West, the weather started looking a bit "shaky" in the distance....rain. I thought about avoiding the route for a few minutes but no way was I turning back....before I knew it, the clouds broke and clear sunshine prevailed.

Near the "Tecate" Border Crossing into Mexico, the traffic picked up immensely. Lot of cars coming / going. Law Enforcement vehicles seemed to be at every turn...Border Patrol, Ca. Highway Patrol, Sheriffs Vehicles and unmarked "black ops" looking vehicles. Also a lot of other motorcycle riders. I pulled over a few times for photos and to let "tailgaters" get ahead of me. The clouds above seemed to vanish in an instant.

Before I knew it I was at Jamul CA. Looking for "Lyons Valley Road". It was a great route, passing small farms, orchards, and vineyards. Was a slow, narrow route with minimal traffic. From the previous days rain, there was some debris in the corners from time to time which kept me on my toes.

I turned on the "Jacumba Highway" and headed north, passing under I-8 and towards Pine Valley for a gas stop.

From there, "Old Highway 80" takes you along the freeway and is a great road. Entering "Jacumba" I stopped for one last photo op. after spying this old "fire hearth"

This must have been a pretty beautiful Hotel in its' day.

An odd looking home directly on the Mexican Border.

I returned to the I-8 slab, and immediately got off on the Calexico / Mexicali Ca. Route 98 to avoid the Interstate for a bit longer. Finally back on the last leg / I-8  freeway at about sunset. The last hour of the ride was mostly dark. I hadn't ridden the Honda GL after sunset for a couple years and had forgotten how poor the lighting was. I adjusted the headlight a bit lower and switched on the "brights" for part of the ride home. Total riding time from home around 9 hours. Covered over 350 miles of some fantastic roads and scenery. I plan on returning next season on the BMW Airhead. We now are faced with returning to Montana and back to work for me. It has been a great Winter. Now I'm looking forward to some riding up North!...not so much looking forward to returning to work....