Two week motorcycle trip in July

Video with narration of the motorcycle trip I took in July through Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.


Also available in HD on youtube.

Also see: Riding the scenic highways on the Road King

Two week trip on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle through Colorado, Wyoming and Montana in July 2011. Stops include: Guernsey, Gillette, Devils Tower, Cody, Beartooth, Red Lodge, Glacier National Park, Big Hole, Bannack, Virginia City, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Flaming Gorge, Million Dollar Highway, Red Mountain, Wolf Creek, Buena Vista, Denver.

 

Garden trellis


5th & Washington, November 26, 2011, Nikon CoolPix P7000 doctored up with iPhoto

Does anyone really know what time it is?

I was in Cranmer Park a couple weeks ago where I snapped this picture of the Sundial that's in the park. An idea came to me when I looked at the picture later at home. My idea was to go around the city and try to find as many different outside analog clocks and sundials I could and take a picture of them. So far I've collected 17 clocks and 2 sundials. I'm not interested in digital clocks or wall clocks; just outdoor analog clocks and sundials.


Cranmer Park, 4501 East 1st Ave., Denver Colorado.


The Market, 1449 Larimer Street, Denver Colorado.


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The Last Sunday of October

Spent Sunday afternoon riding around town. I stopped at a few parks and took pictures. I encountered the coyote again while walking around Crown Hill Park. I also saw a snapping turtle sunning itself.


Crown Hill Park, Sunday October 30, 2011.


Crown Hill Park, Sunday October 30, 2011.


Crown Hill Park, Sunday October 30, 2011.


Washington Park, Sunday October 30, 2011.

Saturday Color

Took the camera along on my usual afternoon walk around the neighborhood. Took several pictures along East 7th Avenue.



Selected Park Photos


Great Blue Heron, South Platte Park, Lakewood Colorado. August 22, 2011.


Lake Mary, Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge, Denver Colorado. August 26, 2011.


Coyote (prairie wolf) with summer coat, Crown Hill Park, Wheat Ridge Colorado. September 9, 2011.


City Park, Denver Colorado. September 19, 2011.


South Valley Park, Ken Caryl Colorado. September 25, 2011.


Cheesman Park, Denver Colorado. October 23, 2011.


Cheesman Park, Denver Colorado. October 23, 2011.

 

Burlington Road Trip

Four of us went on a road trip Sunday for a little bit of "Harley Therapy". We got onto I-70 and headed east to Burlington Colorado with a short gas stop in Limon. The day didn't warm up as much as expected so it was a little chilly but not unbearably so.

Burlington is the home of the Kit Carson County Carousel, a 1905 all wooden carousel with carved figures. The carousel was closed for the season but we were able to look through the windows.

After lunch we toured the Old Town Museum that features late 1800 and early 1900 life in Burlington. They've done a really good job with the museum; it's one of the best displays I've seen.

After the museum it was back on the motorcycles for the return trip to Denver. I arrived back at the apartment at 6PM. Round trip was 346 miles. It was a good ride and I enjoyed the day in Burlington.


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We will never forget

Matthew Shepard died 13 years ago today from injuries he suffered during a brutal hate crime five days earlier. We will never forget.




In memory of those who lost their lives. Jamey Rodemeyer: 250 Balloons to Remember the Fallen...
by Davey Wavey (Note: Balloons used were biodegradable.)

 

Up on Cripple Creek

Eight of us rode our motorcycles south to Cripple Creek Colorado Sunday to view the fall colors. The aspen weren't quite as brilliant as they were last year, probably do to the warm fall. There was a lot of traffic on the roads and we saw several accidents along the way.

Fall colors outside Victor Colorado.


Old building outside Cripple Creek Colorado

No wonder I was so cold!

From Motorcycle Tour July 10-22, 2011
No wonder I was so cold! I got rained on while riding over Red Mountain Pass in July; Todd managed to take a picture of me while I was changing my shirt. Oh, I also uploaded a bunch more pictures to "Riding the scenic highways on the Road King".

From Motorcycle Tour July 10-22, 2011

 

Weekend ride over Independence Pass

I and a couple of friends rode our motorcycles to Breckenridge Colorado for the weekend. The ride from Denver took longer than usual because of heavy traffic on I-70. We learned later there had been a fatal accident near Idaho Springs.

We arrived late afternoon Friday. After unloading our gear we took a break while we compiled a grocery list. There were only three of us but we bought enough food for six.

Saturday was a very laid-back day. None of us could muster enough energy to go riding. I suspect the big meal Friday evening and the higher altitude were contributing factors. We spent all of Saturday eating and napping but a couple of us did muster the energy to go for a swim in the pool.

Sunday was a big day. The three of us went on a 7 1/2 hour ride over Independence Pass. I've wanted to ride over Independence Pass since I got a motorcycle. We got off to a late start but it was a great ride. We made several stops along the way.

We took state highway 91 over Fremont Pass past the Climax molybdenum mine to the town of Leadville Colorado. We stopped in Leadville for a break and to people watch at their annual Boom Days celebration.

We took US-24 south several miles to reach state highway 82. US-24 runs parallel with the headwaters of the Arkansas River between Leadville and Buena Vista. Mount Elbert and Mount Massive can clearly be seen west of US-24. Standing at 14,440 feet, Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains of North America.

We made a picture stop at the Twin Lakes Reservoir after turning west onto Colorado state highway 82. The Twin Lakes Reservoir is one of the reservoirs in a massive system that supplies water to eastern Colorado. The Twin Lakes area is very picturesque.

From Independence Pass

Colorado State Highway 82 isn't the highest paved road in the state but it is closed over Independence Pass during the winter. The road doesn't have guard rails along the switch backs and it is quite narrow in places. It isn't a difficult ride and is among the most scenic routes in Colorado. We stopped at the pass (12,095 feet) for pictures and to take a break.

From Independence Pass


Independence Pass is along the Continental Divide. Water east of the divide will flow east toward the Atlantic while water west of the divide will flow west toward the Pacific. Highway 82 parallels the Roaring Fork river west of the pass until it reaches Aspen Colorado. We stopped and had a picnic lunch beside the Roaring Fork river.

From Independence Pass

I'd never been to Aspen Colorado before. Now I can truthfully say I've been to Aspen. The city is aptly named; the Roaring Fork Valley is nearly carpeted with Aspen trees. It was amassing to notice the change of geology as we descended into the valley from the east; the color of the rock changes from a gray color to a flaming red color.


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Highway 82 is four lane highway between Aspen and Glenwood Springs Colorado where it terminates. We stopped at Glenwood Springs for gas and to take a break. We took Interstate 70 east to Frisco Colorado where we turned off to Breckenridge.

This was a great weekend ride full of lots of beautiful scenery. It wasn't difficult and I finally rode the motorcycle over Independence Pass. It was 426 miles round trip.

Riding the scenic highways on the Road King

I just returned from a two week motorcycle trip where I toured Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and made short excursions into Idaho and Utah. Six of us left Denver on Sunday July 10th. Mike, Jen, Dale and Sandy planned to return to Denver within a week while my friend Todd and I would continue touring for another week. As a group we planned to visit Devils Tower in Wyoming, ride the Beartooth Highway in Montana, and visit Red Lodge Montana. Todd and I planned to ride through Glacier National Park Montana after Red Lodge but hadn't made any other plans beyond that.


Also available in HD on youtube.

We got off to a late start Sunday. Mike and Dale were both pulling trailers behind their bikes but there were some problems with Dale's trailer. After a few miles the trailer began to bounce all over the road and nearly threw Dale off the bike. We returned to Denver where Mike and Dale extended the trailers tongue. That solved the problem but we had lost two hours and wouldn't be able to make it to Gillette. We opted to ride as far as Guernsey Wyoming where we camped overnight west of Guernsey.

We rode to Gillette Wyoming on Monday and intended to continue on to Devils Tower but our plans changed when we encountered high wind, rain and hail. We decided to make camp in Gillette and try for Devils Tower on Tuesday. We camped at the Crazy Woman campground which use to be run by a friend of my mother.

We had a good ride to Devils Tower Tuesday. There was still a lot of wind but no rain or hail. Unfortunately Dale's motocycle broke down on the way back to Gillette. Mike, who use to be a Harley mechanic, was able to get the necessary parts and tools to affect repairs Wednesday morning. This ment camping for a second night in Gillette.

From Motorcycle Tour July 10-22, 2011

Wednesday we had a long ride north on I-90 past Sheridan to Ranchester Wyoming where we turned onto US14A. US14A took us over the Big Horn mountains and Medicine Wheel Pass then dropped down into Lovel; it rejoins primary US14 in Cody Wyoming. Jen's grandparents, who live in Cody, let us stay in their guest house. We spent Wednesday and Thursday nights in Cody.

Friday we rode north from Cody then turned west onto the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (WY-296). The Chief Joseph highway joins up with US212, the Beartooth Scenic Highway, just east of Cook City Montana. There were still some tall snow banks on top of the Beartooth and the road has a lot of tight switchbacks on it. Journalist Charles Kuralt, who did "On The Road With Charles Kuralt" for 25 years on CBS news, once called the Beartooth Highway the most scenic road in America. I won't argue with him but some of Colorado's highways give the Beartooth some stiff competition.

After descending the Beartooth on the north side US212 comes into Red Lodge Montana where we stopped for lunch. The Iron Horse motorcycle rally was just getting underway. The Iron Horse motorcycle rally is a much smaller and tamer version of the Sturgis motorcycle rally, held in August, in Sturgis South Dakota. After lunch we continued on to Laurel Montana where Mike and Jen had a motel room. After saying our goodbyes Todd and I met-up with my sister in Absarokee Montana where we spent the night.

We slept late on Saturday, had a leisurely breakfast and did a load of laundry. It was after 12 when we left my sisters and headed north on US89 toward Glacier passing through Big Timber, White Sulphur Springs and Great Falls Montana. We took a room at the Bella Vista motel in Choteau Montana Saturday evening.

We got an early start Sunday morning and made it to Glacier National Park by 10AM. US89 is really freaky between Choteau and Saint Mary. The road can be going along straight and narrow, then suddenly curve and plunge down and around a valley and hill, then back to the straight and narrow. Many of the tricky curves aren't marked; you discover them when you're suddenly into them! No sleeping on that road!

I'd never been to Glacier Park before and I was not disappointed. It is very beautiful. The road running through the park is called "Going To The Sun Road". The road was still snowed-in a week earlier and had only just been re-opened for the season. The road was in remarkably good condition and was not a difficult ride. The only tricky part was descending from Logan Pass on the west side. The road is quite narrow and isn't paved in some places and there was a lot of traffic but it wasn't difficult. US highway 2 doesn't go through the park but passes between Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest.

We stopped in Kallispell Montana, gassed up, ate lunch and washed the bugs off the motorcycles. We also stopped at the local Harley dealership so Todd could get a replacement bulb for his headlight.

We took US93 south from Kallispell. US93 skirts the west side of Flathead Lake. Flathead lake is a huge freshwater lake (about 191 square miles) and is quite beautiful. I would like to spend some time exploring the Flathead Lake area.

As we were entering Glacier we met-up with a couple of motorcyclists that had sped past us on US89. They told us about a road they had ridden the day before called Thompson Falls, so Todd and I left US93 and headed west on MT-200 to the town of Thompson Falls Montana. The road itself is actually called Prospect Creek Road (MT-471), it passes through the northern portion of Lolo National Forest. The trees there are very healthy. I didn't see any signs of Pine Beetle blight. I suspect the winters there are still cold enough to kill the pest. The trees there are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. The road was an easy ride and took us into the state of Idaho. We took I90 east to Missoula Montana where we took a motel room. We came close to breaking the sound barrier coming down the east side of Lookout Pass.

Monday was a fairly easy day. We headed south out of Missoula on US93 to highway 43. MT43 goes into an area of Montana called "Big Hole". Big Hole is a large valley surrounded by mountains on all sides and was explored by Lewis & Clark. The valley is not suitable for farm land but it is great cattle and grass land. Big Hole is also where Chief Joseph of the Nez Percé engaged in battle against the 7th Infantry in August 1877.

Just east of Big Hole Pass is the ghost town of Bannack Montana (now a State Park). Bannack was a large gold camp in the 1860's with a population of about Ten Thousand during its heyday and at one time was the capital of the Montana Territory. We spent about an hour walking around the town. I did not see any ghosts, though I broke out in a sweat and the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I was in the school house. We took a motel room in Dillon Montana not far from Bannack.

Tuesday was a very long day. We headed east and south on US287 stopping at Nevada City and Virginia City Montana. They are only a few miles appart. They are both genuine gold camps of the old west era but now are just tourist traps. Nevada City had some cool looking old train cars and an old broken down steam engine. I didn't find Virginia City to be very interesting, well except for the cowboy.


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We rode in strong winds for a couple of hours from Virginia City to reach West Yellowstone where we ate lunch and got gas before entering the park. At first it looked like we were going to get a break with the weather but the break didn't last. We got rained on before reaching Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park Wyoming. It stopped raining and the sun came out just long enough to watch the geyser erupt. We really got dumped on after leaving Old Faithful; there was even some small hail. At one point it got heavy enough we couldn't see the road and had to pull off for awhile. We almost didn't get to see the Grand Tetons because of the rain but nature gave us a break just long enough to snap a picture. We rode in rain for the rest of the day. It was nearly midnight when we pulled into Rock Springs Wyoming. The motel in Rock Springs was a real dive but the trailer park across the street provided some amusing entertainment the following morning.

Wednesday was a bit easier. It tried to rain on us Wednesday but we got lucky and were able to avoid the rain. We darted over to Green River Wyoming where we turned south on Wy-530. The highway travels down the western side of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The Flaming Gorge has a lot of interesting geologic formations and a large lake. The northern portion of Flaming Gorge has a dry desert appearance but becomes mountainous in the southern half where it crosses into Utah. The lake cuts a deep channel into the mountain exposing flaming red rock. I'm sure this is where the Flaming Gorge name comes from. We encountered a group of about 14 motorcyclists on an organized motorcycle tour. They all spoke German. The road captain was the only one that spoke english. We ate lunch at the Lucerne boat marina and spent about an hour poking around the western side of the Gorge before moving on to Vernal Utah.

From Vernal it was a long fast ride on US40 back into Colorado. We turned south at the town of Dinosaur Colorado, passed through Rangely Colorado, and continued south to Grand Junction Colorado where we stayed overnight at Todd's sisters house.

I had a little trouble on CO-139 south of Rangely. There is a section of twisty road south of Rangely where it climes over Douglas Pass. The day was getting long and the sun was getting low on the horizon. As I started up the pass the sun was just on the horizon making it very hard to see the road. That was bad enough but the roadway was deteriorating and the road kept getting worse with each twist. Between the blinding sun, trashed out road, and hair pin turns I had to slow to a crawl. I finally made it over the pass where the road improved and straightened out and the sun was out of my eyes. It was still daylight when we rolled into Grand Junction.

Thursday was a challenge. Narrow twisty roads, no guard rails, rain, Highway Patrolmen, and short tempers made for a trying day.

We went south on US50 from Grand Junction to join the Million Dollar Highway (US550). The road passes over Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton Colorado. The pass is sometimes referred to as the "Oh Shit Pass" because the road on the north side of the pass is very narrow and twisty, and doesn't have any guard rails. If you run off the edge you go straight down because there's nothing there to stop you, and passing is nearly impossible. Red Mountain Pass is aptly named. The mountain tops are a rust red because of the iron oxide in the rock. We stopped a few times to take pictures including a stop at the Idarado gold mine (now closed). While at the mine I decided it was too warm to wear a coat so I took it off. This proved to be a mistake when we got into rain at Silverton. I didn't get as wet as I did on Tuesday but Todd still had a good time with my error in judgment. We stopped in Durango Colorado for lunch. The traffic in Durango was unbelievable. Where does all that traffic come from?

We traveled east on US160 and threw Pagosa Springs where the road climbs over Wolf Creek Pass before dropping into South Fork Colorado. I had the opportunity to meet Colorado State Trooper Fenwick as I was traversing Wolf Creek Pass. The speed limit varies up and down along that stretch of road; varying anywhere from 25 to 65mph. Trooper Fenwick seems like a nice fellow. He was very polite and professional. We even chatted about the Road King and the trip. He was amazed to learn we had traveled over 3000 miles. Unfortunately, he had also clocked me on radar doing 64mph in a 45mph zone so presented me with a speeding ticket. Oh well, that's his job, I guess it is a safety issue. I'm not going to challenge the ticket, I'll just pay it.

During the trip we found some gas pumps have trouble with the combined Debit/Credit cards. We encountered another one of those in Monta Vista Colorado. Tempers began to flare when the clerk had trouble activating the pump. We did get our gas and made a quick exit out of town north to Buena Vista Colorado.

At Buena Vista we stayed at the Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa west of town. The Inn features a number of pools fed by a natural hot spring. It was 11pm when we arrived, so I was more interested in bed than I was the health benefits of the hot spring.

The motel offers a late check out that we took advantage of. It was after 1pm Friday when we started the last leg of our trip north on US285 back to Denver Colorado. It was 3:45pm when I got back to the apartment.

Over the course of the trip I traveled 3,355 miles, was in five states, stayed overnight in ten different places, got sunburned, rained on, hailed on, nearly blowen off the road by wind, and received a speeding ticket. I also was at Devils Tower, Medicine Wheel Pass, rode the Beartooth Highway, Red Lodge, Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, Lolo National Forest, Big Hole, Bannack, Nevada City, Virginia City, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Flaming Gorge, Douglas Pass, Red Mountain Pass and Wolf Creek Pass. I really had a good time. As soon as the bike has been serviced I'll be ready to go again.
 

A weekend camping in the mountains

Every year the motorcycle club has a camping trip into the mountains during the July 4th holiday. The club calls the outing "The Golden Fleece Run". Usually members from other gay motocycle clubs ride to Colorado for the run. Other clubs have similar events: the Border Riders have an outing for Victoria Day, and the Satyrs have an outing over the Labor Day weekend. This year was the clubs 37th annual Golden Fleece Run.


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We couldn't have asked for better weather. The 37th GFR was scaled back a bit from previous runs; we didn't have bike events, people events or a show. We still all had a great time. Many people commented they liked the simpler format. This is the first year we've allowed pets on the run. The pets were well behaved and there weren't any problems.

I'm so glad it's over

I haven't felt this good in a long time. The last four years were like having someone sitting on my chest; on April 29th that went away. I did have a great deal of anxiety for a couple of weeks but that's gone away too. I almost never think about the office. I'm so glad it's over.


So far I haven't had any trouble filling my days. I am a little concerned about what I'll do when the weather turns bad again. I'll deal with that when the time comes. I'm planing to take a motorcycle trip with friends through Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Beartooth, Glacier and where ever ...
 

Meadowlarks and Hairspray

I got my big telephoto lens out Friday afternoon and went to Bluff Lake Nature Center located on what use to be Stapelton airport. It was still 95F (35C) when I got there. I changed into walking shoes, grabbed a bottle of water, the camera and a hat and started off. I forgot that I was wearing non-prescription sunglasses and left my regular glasses at home; this made it hard to use manual focus. I also ment to bring along the small camera with standard lens but left it back on the bike.

It was really hot. Between the sun, the heat and lugging the telephoto around I wore out pretty quickly. I didn't have a whole lot of luck but still managed to get a couple of good shots.

The first bird I spotted was a bright orange Northern "Bullock's" Oriole. It was quite active and I was still a little too far away. The automatic focus doesn't work very well for distant or active subjects; manual focus works best for these situations, unfortunately I was wearing sunglasses and didn't have my regular glasses with me. The pictures of the Oriole didn't turn out very well but they're good enough to make an identification.

As I was hiking back up the hill I spotted a Western Meadowlark and was able to get a series of good photos. This bird wasn't singing it's regular song; this bird was going "pip, pip, pip, chortle, chortle, chortle". I've never heard a Meadowlark do that before. Later it flew into the tall grass where it finally sang the song I am most familiar with.


Western Meadowlark, Bluff Lake Nature Center Denver, Co. June 24, 2011.


Western Meadowlark, Bluff Lake Nature Center Denver, Co. June 24, 2011.

Last week a friend of mine had tickets to a play that he wasn't able to use so he gave them to me. On Saturday I called another friend and we saw a live performance of the musical "Hairspray" at the Arvada Center for the Arts. I don't think I've seen a live performance of a play or musical since high school. It was very entertaining.

Every rung goes higher, higher


Sand Creek Park, Stapleton, Denver Co. June 24, 2011.
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
Every rung goes higher, higher
Sisters, brothers, all.
(I don't use the rest of the lyrics.)
 

Foxglove

This is growing in a flower pot behind the apartment building. There are 2 white ones growing in pots in front of the building but they are starting to look a little tattered.



The apartment manger didn't know what the flower is called. I sent this picture to my sister. She wrote back and said its called "Foxglove"; it's also called "Digitalis". It's the plant they make the heart medication out of.
 

Tuesday in the park

Tuesday morning I went back to South Platte Park. I spent a couple of hours there. I really like this park. They've done a lot of work to clean up and restore the river and its flora and fauna. There are two trails that run the entire length of the park. One trail is concrete and is for bicycles the other is gravel and is for hikers and joggers. This time I walked north. I kept a watch out for birds. I saw a blue heron but other birds chased it away before I could get a picture.


Bridge crossing the South Platte river Littleton Colorado

In the evening I went to City Park where I met up with Michael, Lewis and Laurin. We were there for the "Melodies of Pride" concert by the Mile High Freedom Band and Harmony Chorale (glbt).


Harmony Chorale City Park Denver Colorado.
The Mile High Freedom Band is hidden behind the Chorale.



Michael, Lewis and Laurin

I noticed the moon rising over the park lake after the concert. I had my little camera and said to myself "I know this isn't going to work but I'm going to try it anyway." The Nikon P7000 has a setting for taking pictures at dawn and dusk. I was able to get a rather nice photo of the moon rising over the lake.


Moon rise over Ferril Lake City Park Denver Colorado

Motorcycle ride down Clear Creek Canyon

Just another of my silly motorcycle videos. Sunday I rode in the 5th annual Molly-Dharma motorcycle run to benefit the MaxFund no-kill animal shelter. Part of the route was down Clear Creek Canyon road (US-6) west of Golden. The road is a lot of fun to ride. You have to watch for fallen rock on the road. You can't see them in the video but there were rock climbers directly above the entrance of the second tunnel.

Walking the parks

I'll be satisfied if I can get my weight below 200 lb. and keep it there; I'd like to loose about 8 pounds. I've been taking a walk every morning. It gets a little boring walking around the neighborhood every day and I'd rather not walk on concrete if I can walk on gravel or dirt. Once in awhile I'll take the motorcycle to one of the suburban nature preserves to go for a walk. I usually take a camera with me.

Last week I went to Crown Hill Park in Wheat Ridge. I walked on the dirt path that circles the outside perimeter of the park; I did have to walk on concrete some of the time. It took me 40 minutes to complete the circle; it's 2 miles around. There were 3 Pelicans on the lake but I didn't have my telephoto lens with me. I was able to snap this picture of a barn swallow at the end of my walk.



Sunday afternoon I rode out to Lakewood to walk around the Bear Creek Greenbelt. Bear Creek Greenbelt is only one park of a network of interconnected parks in Lakewood. You can start in Bear Creek Lake Regional Park in the west and walk, or bicycle, for about 8 miles ending up in Bear Creek Park in the east. Bear Creek Greenbelt is half way in between. I took quite a few pictures there.



Yesterday I rode down to South Platte Park in Littleton. The park is a nature preserve along the Platte River; it's about 2 1/2 miles from end-to-end. I spent more time exploring along the river than I did walking. I only snapped a couple of pictures while there. This is a great birding spot.



This morning I did my usual walk to Cheesman Park and back. They've been doing some cleanup and repair work on one of the mansions along 7th street. I noticed some interesting markings where they cut back some of the creeping vines along the fence.



I want to get out earlier in the day and take my big telephoto lens with me. I want to go back to Bear Creek and South Platte and do some birding. I also want to visit Barr Lake and Chatfield. I'd like to go back to Roxborough too.
 

How I wound up in Lake City Colorado

Saturday a friend and I rode our motorcycles from Denver to Alamosa. We left Denver about 10 AM and arrived in Alamosa about 3 PM.

We took I-25 south through Colorado Springs and Pueblo. It wasn't as warm as had been forecasted and was rather cold; it started warming up when we got to Colorado Springs. I nearly had an accident just north of the Springs; I didn't see a car next to me as I started to pass and almost got hit.

We turned west onto US-160 at Walsenburg south of Pueblo. I took a picture of the Spanish Peaks just west of Walsenburg. We ran into a little bit of rain before dropping down into the San Luis Valley. It was very windy in the valley.



We checked into inexpensive motel in Alamosa. A friend of ours who lives in Alamosa had just graduated college and he invited us over for dinner to celebrate.

Sunday we took a longer more scenic route back to Denver. We left Alamosa at 9 AM and continued west on US-160 to South Fork where we turned onto CO-149. Colorado 149 passes through the Rio Grand National forest west of the San Luis Valley. This is some of the most beautiful country I've seen.

It's an easy ride until the road climes over Spring Creek Pass and Slumgullion Pass north west of Creede . Here the road has a few blind curves, and we encountered fallen rock on the road in a few places. We stopped for a break in the small town of Lake City before continuing on to Gunnison.



We ate lunch and got gas in Gunnison then headed east on US-50 and over Monarch Pass. There was snow on the side of the road at Monarch and there was loose gravel in some of the curves.

We turned north onto US-285 at Poncha Springs and stopped for gas in Johnson Village outside of Buena Vista. Continuing north on US-285 we passed through the South Park mountain basin and into the Pike National Forest.

We had good weather all day but ran into fog at Bailey. We couldn't see a hundred yards in front of us by the time we got to Aspen Park, and the fog was mixed with snow. I fixed my eyes on some tail lights ahead of me and hoped they stayed on the road. We got out of the fog as soon as we started down the mountain east of Aspen Park - from there it was an easy ride into Denver. Fog is only fun when you're in London.

I arrived back at the apartment at 5:30 PM. Round trip Denver to Denver was 602 miles.

Denver Cinco de Mayo parade 2011

I went to the Cinco de Mayo parade at Civic Center park this morning. After the parade I toured through the booths at the festival and got lunch. I snapped a lot of pictures and video. The video isn't all cars.

Clyde has left the building

I've been telling people for two years that I would probably take early retirement when I became eligible. I didn't quite make it that far. Last week I accelerated my retirement for medical reasons. I will use up all of my vacation and sick leave then I will officially be retired. April 29 was my last day with the college.

Listen! I've had a growing dissatisfaction with my life and my work for several years. Without question the protracted chaos in the office has contributed to my increasing malaise. For many months I have been suffering from anxiety, an inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, loss of motivation, and depression. Last week I had serious "panic attack". It wasn't the first panic attack I've had, only this one didn't go away. The following morning I decided it was in my best interest, and in the best interest of the college, that I move on sooner than planned. While my departure is amicable, after 4 years as a work study and 24 years as an FTE, it is still a little bitter sweet. During my time there I've: pulled cable, wired jacks, spun tape, done cold starts of mainframes and minis, written code in Z80, PDP11 and 370 assembler, JCL, BASIC, FORTRAN, Pascal, COBOL, Natural, SQL, C/C++, JAVA, UNIX shell, and HTML. My code has run scanners, built and manipulated image files, and created over 150,000 user accounts. I've managed firewalls, routers, IDS, network scanners, and written dozens of policies. I've accomplished a lot professionally but I'm used up and burned out. It's time for a new direction. This may not have been the most practical decision, but it is the best decision for me. I have not had as much successes in the personal and social realms of my life. This is an opportunity for me to do some serious soul searching. I have to save my soul and re-invent myself. I want to invent someone who is mindful and compassionate at his very core and build a future from that. I'm not looking for another "job", I'm looking for meaning, passion and soul. Now, to create that future.

 

a reason to ride

You don't need a reason to ride; riding is it's own reason. Sometimes it's nice to have a destination and something to do when you get there.

Saturday Todd and I rode our motorcycles to Cheyenne Wyoming to see the SkilsUsa car show at the Laramie County Community College. We were hoping a couple of other riders would be able to join us, unfortunately they all had other obligations. We met-up at the Conoco at Colfax and Colorado Blvd then took US85 north to Cheyenne.

The trip was an adventure. We didn't have any mishaps along the way, but the temperature was only 38F when we left Denver and there was a strong wind out of the north west. We encountered a little bit of sleet as we crossed over Chalk Bluff south of Cheyenne. The temperature reached 49F latter in the day but the wind was ferocious. Like a newbie I didn't bring the right gear so my feet and legs got really cold.

We ran inside and got hot coffee as soon as we got to the car show. I walked around and snapped a few pictures after I got warmed up. We ate Hot Dogs for lunch at the car show.

The ride back wasn't nearly as bad. It had warmed up considerably and the wind was at our back. I had to make an emergency stop in Eaton to release some used coffee. Stop in at the A & W restaurant the next time you're in Eaton.

Back in Denver we stopped at the "Geez, Louise Coffee House" (4924 E Colfax) for coffee and to get warmed up. The coffee house is "family" (gay) owned and operated. It's a nice place: good coffee and good atmosphere; they also serve food.

I don't need a reason to ride. There is pleasure in mounting the Iron Steed and heading off to anywhere, but it is a whole lot more fun to go riding with good friends.


Slideshow does not work on iPad or iPhone. https://picasaweb.google.com/109439245417572714439/RideToCheyenneWyForSkilsUsaCarShow

There but for the grace of Cosmos go I

Just put one foot infront of the other.

Watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 1 last Sunday.

Started off to work only to discover it was raining hard. I went back inside to find my rain gear but couldn't find it, I spent a half hour looking for it, I finally found it in the closet where it was suppose to be.

Submitted a project plan at work Wednesday. I really had to scramble to put it together.

I went to the Dentist Thursday; I didn't have any cavities.

The Rally Boots I ordered 3 months ago finally arrived.

"The Kings Speech" DVD arrived; I plan to watch it tonight.

I downloaded and started listening to "How to Stay Motivated".

Remembered I had Dennis Waitley "Seeds of Greatness" on CDROM; I loaded it into my iTunes so I can listen on my iPod.

Discovered I had an audio book called "Happier" on my iPod that I haven't listened to; it's been there for 2 years and I haven't listened to it yet.

I went to men's group Saturday night. During check-in others admitted to struggling with loneliness and depression issues too.

I'm going to set the alarm clock 30 minutes earlier to give myself time to go for a walk in the morning before heading off to work. It will be good for my body, good for my energy and good for my spirit.

I remembered a video I made several years ago called "Hills and Valleys". I need to remember that I'm in a valley right now and there will be a new hill coming up soon.

I was reminded that "You must give to receive". I've decided that, for now, my mission will be to brighten someone elses' day.

This afternoon I encountered someone much less fortunate than myself, so I made a small donation -- There but for the grace of Cosmos go I.

Kickstands and burning pipes

I felt better today than I have all week; my mood was a little brighter today too. I was out sick all day Wednesday and Thursday. I went to work Friday but still wasn't feeling well so I left at noon.

I got the motorcycle out this afternoon and made a loop around the park, went south on Broadway, ate lunch at Sonic, then west past White Fence Farms, north on Kipling, then US6 back into Denver.

The bikes kickstand and I are not best friends. When I put it down It will frequently pop right back up. This afternoon It folded up as I was dismounting. I scrambled to catch the bike as it fell but couldn't hold it and I burned by leg on the hot pipes in the process.

I've lost my temper a couple of times in last few weeks. It is a direct product of the depression and anxiety. I am simply not in any condition to hear or read other peoples politics or their latest good cause of the moment. I think I'll stay off of Facebook for awhile.