Jimmy Byrd and students
This was not to be a fund raiserride, but two things changed that. First, due to drought, we must build a water tower for the school and second, the Richard Mascarello family has offered to match any donations up to the total number miles ridden. So keep the water flowing for the kids and hit the donate button.

Also, instructor Kevin Lee is a auctioning off a 2 week paragliding course in southern Oregon to support the school.

See it here.

TO READ THE FLORIDA TO CALIFORNIA LEG CLICK here or go to lostboater.blogspot.com

Friday, July 30, 2010

day 8

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Big Red and me made our way out of Moab around 6:30.  I had wanted to go ride through the arches part of the National Park, but yesterday it rained and this morning I had lost interest.Too many tourists in town. So we headed south on 191 with a destination of somewhere.

it is amazing what a tourist will pay to see

We took a break to visit with the livestock.

This is a serious curve.  They started advertising it 2 miles back, 1 mile back, 3/4 mile back, 1/2 mile back and here.  It is a serious curve.

We descended into a canyon and crossed into Colorado

Then we climbed back over the La Sal mountains.....

...and we descended into the Paradox Valley.

delores creek

Big Red turned right on CO141 to Naturita, CO. where we pulled into the Sinclair gas/grocery.  After fueling, I asked if there was a breakfast place in town.  There was a lot of stammering.  There was Blondie's but I could tell they did not want to recommend it.  I asked if there was something down the road. They all light up and said "oh yes in Norwood there are some great places and they even have a coffee shop!!" I asked how far Norman was and they said about 20 miles.  When I said I would go to Norman you could see the relief in their faces.

So, off we headed to Norwood.  Along the way we passed some fine yard art. 

 We found the Happy Belly Deli and I was in heaven.  A giant latte and bagel and lox right here in cowboy country.  In fact, even cowboys drink lattes.  Danny and Christi served me and were kind enough to pose for a picture.  Kiley wanted her picture taken too and I was glad to oblige. It was a nice visit and we talked for awhile and then Big Red and I were on the road again.

Norwood is a great little town and I could have spent more time there, but we pushed on.  Descending the Norwood Hill into the canyon, they were doing road work and we had about a 45 minute delay.  During the stop, Andy in the truck in front of us and I visited.  Nice guy and he was on the way to the airport to fly to Chicago for a surprise visit with his family. He had been a trader on the floor in Chicago and several years ago he burnt out.  He had always loved Colorado, so he came out here and drove around. When he drove into Telluride he knew he had found home.  Over the years Telluride had grown too big so he moved to Norwood and still loved it here.


I let everyone go ahead of me down the hill.  Not that there was a lot of traffic, but the south bound side of the road would be mine for at least 1 hour.  Running along the river in the steep canyon was wonderful.  Andy told me of one part that had burnt about a month ago, but with all the rain that they have had, the ground is turning green already.  This process usually takes years. 

the burnt slope is turning green

you cannot imagine how hard this picture was to take

I had not really ridden Big Red "like I stole it" yet.  This was a great smooth, clean road with gentle turns and I knew there was no traffic behind me and I had seen only one truck come from the other directions. So, I let Big Red run!  Like a good Italian machine, it hugged the road.  This went great until we came around the bend and  there was Colorado Highway Patrolman Brian Christianson.

Naw, not really.  He was just doing road guard duty for a bike race of about 150 bikers.  We had an interesting visit.  When he found out I would be going through Gunnisen, he said the Hell's Angels were there for the weekend.  I thought they had told me they were going to Crested Butte, Montana.  How was I supposed to know that there is a Gunnisen-Crested Butte, Colorado.  I told him I thought they were all middle class citizens.  Law enforcement had a different view as he thought they were still in the drug, shooting, car theft, etc. business. We said our goodbyes and I was on the road again.

In Montrose I took a DQ blizzard break and now I knew that Gunnisen and vicinity hotels would be full I started calling ahead for a hotel.  After the 4th "we are full" even 50 miles from Gunnisen, I got the last room at the Quality Inn here in Montrose and called it a day after six and a half hours and only 103 miles.  Not a lot of forward motion but after a week on the road I needed an early day and time to do laundry.  At the hotel there was a group of moto-cross guys who came out to admire Big Red.  Finally we tucked him in between a couple of Harley's and called it a day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

day 7 a spectacular one

(get an adult beverage and a comfortable seat. this is a long one)

The last few days I have been trying to match  the scooter to my mindset of going slow and seeing everything.  I have not been comfortable with this and have to constantly think about the throttle. Today I decided to match the mindset to the scooter.  Just let it do what the throttle wants to do.  It was the answer. With no thought when there was nothing I was doing 65 and when there was something to see or do I looked down and I was doing 35.  I think this is going to work for me and Big Red.

I use google maps to plan these trips.  Sometimes I let google pick the route and some times I do.  From Beaver to Junction UT., google picked UT153.  Looked good to me until I looked at Utah scenic byways.  It said 153 is only paved for part of the way and the rest is "unpaved dry summer road only".  Further investigation I found a write-up from a 4 wheeler who said "it is the worst road I have ever been on". Glad I found that. Would have hated to run out of pavement and have to ride all the way back.

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To get where I wanted to go, I jumped on the interstate, the only way for 18 miles to UT20.  This turned into one of the best days riding I have ever had.  The traffic was light, the weather perfect and the scenery was spectacular!!!!

US89 was up a great valley with lots of farming.  I stopped in Koorshem, Indian for red clover, and met most of the town's senior members.  Fellow scooter owner Casslle "CJ" Linguist came out to look at Big Red.  His father and 11 brothers had been born in this town.  His dad moved to Salt Lake, where CJ was born, and he raised his 7 children.  He is now retired and spends time here fishing.

We crossed over the mountain and headed east to Torrey where I stopped for my first "Gucci" coffee of this trip.

Some roads in Utah need a little maintenance but the scenery is still spectacular.

Then we entered the Coral Reef National park.  Ranger Chris was setting in the shade trying to keep drivers honest coming around the corner.
You guys thought I was kidding about the Hell's Angels yesterday.  Here is photographic evidence.  Richie and Karen have ridden 3000 miles coming from the east coast and  headed to Montana for the Hell's Angels meet.  They are nice folks and I really enjoyed our visit. He is a bails bondman, so I now have a get out of jail for $ card.

This is the ride through the Park and up to Green River and over to Moab.  The pictures do not give justice to how wonderful and beautiful this ride is.