Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bubble Bath Makes the Leading Ladies Smile Once More....

In the evening, I looked at my Leading Ladies and they were complaining. They were filthy dirty and badly needed a wash. Luckily therefore, I am carrying with me some basic cleaning gear, so I found their favourite bubble bath and gave them a much needed clean. Most motels / hotels will let you use their hosepipe and the plastic waste bins in the rooms make ideal buckets for the hot soapy water! Not only did the ladies want to be washed, but they also wanted to be dried and polished too. I must say they did look sparkling some two and a half hours later when I had finished.

As I was cleaning the bike, three other bikes arrived at the motel and, well you know how things are, bikers talk to other bikers and soon we had a group bike cleaning / chatting session going. The four bikes looked good lined up in the car park, clean and shiny once more!

These are the four people that arrived on the 3 bikes, this picture being taken in the morning, just before we departed the motel. So, meet Doug and Julie, Kevin, Mike from McKinney, Texas ....




















All that hard work cleaning the Leading Ladies was wasted the next day when it rained! It hadn’t rained for so long, the roads were very dirty and as soon as the rain fell, the dirty water was sprayed up from my front wheel and other vehicles, so now the bike needs doing again! It will have to wait a few days, for I just don’t feel like doing it just yet.

When I started riding today I went first to the base of Cascade Falls in Ouray. At this time of year the falls are just a trickle but the height is tall enough to make seeing them at any time of year worthwhile. A warning though – like many minor roads in small towns in Colorado, the one to get to the falls is gravel, but riding to the falls is okay, albeit a short way uphill. Here are the falls....


























The trouble is, as I discovered a few days ago, riding up steep gravel roads is relatively easy, but coming down them is not. I used my new-found technique of turning off the engine and coasting down whilst holding the clutch in, letting out the clutch when I needed to slow down and therefore using the engine braking to slow down without fear of locking a wheel. I have found the worst thing to do is to use the front brake in these circumstances as this does lock the front wheel on the loose gravel. This was the gravel road leading away from the falls....


























Heading west out of the town, I saw Ouray hot springs. I had considered going there the previous evening and I am glad I didn’t – they looked too utilitarian for my taste....


























I did notice the large fish pond in the foreground and there are many huge fish in there. Maybe it has something to do with the water and its minerals....




















The road between Ridgeway and Placerville and then south is a good one, but I must admit, I think I have too much of a good thing. I can only take so much of great looking mountain scenery and while if I came across this as my first Colorado mountain scene, I would think it wonderful, after 3 weeks of magnificent peaks, I had seen enough....




















On John and Diana’s recommendation, I went to see Log Hill, which has a terrific road leads to golf course with a great view on the way up. They also told me to look out for a timber fence running alongside the main road and sure enough I saw it. It looks new and goes on for miles, surrounding what I later found out was a 15,000 acre ranch. Here is the entrance to the ranch....




















The Double RL stands for a certain Ralph Lauren. I am certainly pleased to see that some of the money I have spent on his shirts has been invested wisely!

I had decided to go to Telluride for lunch, but I wish I hadn’t bothered. This was approaching the town....




















This is the main street through the town....




















Now, bearing in mind this is a tiny town in the mountains, no doubt wanting the business that passing visitors can offer, I was amazed to discover that to park on the main road in the town, you had to pay. I really couldn’t be bothered to find out how to pay and do whatever I needed to help this obviously poor struggling town to keep its financial head above water. I feel sorry for the businesses in Telluride, having to put up with some stupid local politician that thinks it is important to collect money to park a car or motorbike. I went somewhere else for lunch!

Nearby, I stopped for gas and noticed some lovely cars being unloaded from a covered truck. I waited while this old Alpha Romeo was taken out from the back....







































I stood admiring this beauty and noticed a gentleman standing nearby and I said something like “That is a lovely car”. He looked at me as if I was something he just stepped in and he didn’t respond, choosing instead to say to the guys unloading the vehicles in a loud voice “Will you please hurry and unload my car after George’s”. I am careful not to swear on my blog, but this guy was a wanker. I have met very few impolite people on my tour, but this guy goes on the top of my list as Arse Number 1.

I didn’t wait to see his car unloaded. I hope they dropped it.

I left Telluride vowing never to return!

Here are a few last Colorado mountain pictures. The weather wasn’t great and it rained a coup[le of times, but still not enough for me to stop and put on my waterproofs....


























































On the road towards Cortez, I hit the 13,000 mile point on my tour just south of Dolores, and here is the now customary photo of the ‘000 mile point...




















Wow, 13,000 miles!

I have discovered that I have made a major misjudgement regarding places to stay. Each evening, at around 4 or 5 o’clock, I begin to look for somewhere to stay that night. It has been so easy to find motels or hotels that I like the look of when I arrive in a town and these places have always had a room available, that I got a little complacent about this, being sure I could find a bed for the night just about anywhere. I was wrong! When I arrived in Cortez, it occurred to me that I really should look at what accommodation might be available in Monument Valley and make a reservation, just in case they got busy each day as that evenings travellers began to arrive. I telephone the hotel I wanted to stay at, but to my disappointment, it was full. I telephoned all of the hotels in Bluff, the next nearest town and they too were all full. I looked at what was available for miles around – nothing! With the help of Jackie my wife, the nearest place we could find and book was in Page. Wait for it, that is 121 miles away!!

I also checked the Hotel I wanted us to stay at in the Grand Canyon – the only rooms available were on different nights than I wanted and were very expensive! This lack of hotels / motels would need some serious re-arrangement of my tour plans for Arizona! Instead of going to Monument Valley now, I will go later when hotel rooms are available – I have booked one already!

I went to bed in Cortez slightly annoyed with myself, that I was having to change my route just because I hadn’t thought about booking hotel rooms in busy areas. On this tour, good days are common. This was not one of them!

10 comments:

Jimmy B. said...

Telluride has become the mountain playground for Hollywood's elite, so it's no surprise you ran into an arse out there.

SonjaM said...

Don't let that bring you down. It has only been one arse (make that too, coming to think of the lighthouse incident...) during this whole trip, eh? After all, tomorrow is another day...

Canajun said...

Amazing how 1 arse can ruin a whole day. Good news is you have met so few of them (which has been my experience motorcycle tripping as well).

Smart move on downhill gravel runs. That front wheel will lock up just looking at the brake lever. So I use a similar technique, rear brake, clutch in, but idling (don't shut the ignition off) just in case I need power for anything in a hurry.

And those Japanese koi in the pond at Ouray are a long way from home!

Anonymous said...

James, from Utah again. Gary, your trip is amazing, after reading your blog I have convinced my brother, and a few friends to do a cross country trip in the summer of 2012.
To answer your question from a previous post, the Hotel is called the "Majestic View Lodge" on the south end of Springdale on State Road 9. The website is www.majesticviewlodge.com.

You are also correct, about the arrogant attitude held by the majority of people from the US. I mean even to say Americans are arrogant is arrogant, the USA is not all of America.
Any true "petrol head" (gear head - USA) would have loved to speak with you about that wonderful car, I hope a few misguided people do not spoil anymore of your trip.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

too bad about your incident. I equate it similar to letting someone go ahead of you, or let them turn left and they don't give you a quick wave of appreciation. It's like some people like to push their way through life without regard for others, like they are more superior than you, but little did he know who you were.

luckily here in British Columbia, all of our gravel roads only go uphill, but I agree with Canajun, leave your engine idling, you just never know . . .

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

Charlie6 said...

I'd heard Telluride was full of snotty wankers, thanks for the confirm. Still, if you can ride near there, the scenery is fantastic....I'll just plan on not dropping any coin in the town itself.

FLHX_Dave said...

Uhh...what's the problem here! As far as the "Arse", Uhmmmm, I would have put a palm print on the fender or hood then left him screaming. I can be a passive arse myself.

Nice picts. Sorry about the room. Just sleep outside! It's fun! lol...

Roger said...

A friend once told me, "If you die and go to Heaven, you'll find an SOB got in somehow and is trying to turn Heaven into Hell". Sorry you found the SOB in Colorado. Hope you have been in the States long enough to see that he is not representative of all of us. My advice, NON CARBORUNDUM ILLEGITIMUS. Don't let the b*st*rds grind you down.





NON CARBORUNDUM ILLEGITIMUS

Gary France said...

Jimmy – I am sure there are many really nice people there too, it was just unfortunate I happened to be standing next to this guy.

Sonja – Honestly, it didn’t bring me down. The weather did more to dampen my spirits because I couldn’t take lots of photos for my blog readers.

Canajun – I have met hundreds of lovely people. Today is day 93, so if I have met say 10 people a day (sometimes more) that is nearly a thousand people I have met or talked to, even quickly. Almost every single one has been really nice, pleasant, interested in hearing about the tour, said something nice about the bike, or just generally smiling and happy people. That is much more representative of the American people as a nation that the one or two not-so-nice people. That is a real testament to the way most Americans are. I tried it with the engine idling, but with the steepness of the slope, even that small amount of power was making me travel uncomfortably fast, so the engine off was the best way for me.

James – I am pleased that my blog has inspired your group to do a long ride next year. My only advice is to do as much planning beforehand as possible. It is easy to choose which roads to go on, but try to find at least a couple of interesting things to see each day. Don’t just ride hundreds of miles each day for the sake of simply clocking up the miles! I agree about the gear heads would want to talk about cars, for that has been my experience on this trip at a couple of car shows I have been to. Lets just assume this guy was having a bad day!

Gary France said...

Bob – The incident was something really small. Probably just like the size of his wedding tackle! I agree with you about letting someone go ahead of you or letting them out of a side street in front of you. I get a good feeling doing this and if they don’t respond, then that seems to take something away from your gesture. LOL about the roads only going uphill – that took me a little while to understand what you meant – very good!

Charlie6 – We should organise a bike ride to Telluride, in the middle of summer on a Sunday afternoon, and park our bikes in all of their precious car parking spaces, then go for a walk and don’t buy anything. It will never happen, but just the thought of it has put a smile on my face!

Dave – I did get my own back in a sort of way. When he arrived, Arse number 1 reverse the big trailer behind his 4x4 into a smaller car, just clipping the rear fender, causing a few scratch lines. Nothing major. I don’t think he even realised he did it. As I was leaving, I walked past the owner of the small car and told him that it was Arse number 1 that caused the damage. Revenge was sweet, even in this small way.... Just sleeping outside isn’t easy with no tent, no sleeping bag, the chance of a snake or two. I used to really enjoy camping, but now I am a wimp and I like my creature comforts too much.....

Roger – No way is this representative! See my response to Canajun above. I love that motto and as my wife would testify, I use it too much already!