Saturday, July 31, 2010

Devils Tower Trip Report - Sunday, Day 1

Our route on day 1:
Here we are ready for the road. Windscreens cleaned, load secured, photos taken by my friend the Captain who happened to be in town and was happy to stay at our house while we were away.

You can see the reflective panel on my side cases. They are yellow and reflect back as yellow I think. There is also black reflective tape on the cases and my reflective Rounders stickers too. And a non-reflective white Saints fleur de lis as well.

And away we go!

Well, to Starbucks first....It was at Starbucks that I remembered to mark down our starting mileage. We were only about 2 miles from home so it was official enough. That's 7,215 miles on the odometer on my GS.

Here we are at the Wyoming and Colorado state line. Woo hoo! Our first new state on the motos! :-)

Much of the roads on this day looked like this image below. Long and straight. Still, the plains are very beautiful and interesting as well.

We left home on Sunday, July 25th headed for Torrington, WY where I'd made a reservation at the Holiday Inn there. I thought it would be a good idea to have a first stop planned out and I think that was a good plan. We were tired mostly from the heat I think. It was a good time to stop and it kept us from pushing to hard on that first day. Torrington is a small town with not a whole lot going on especially on a Sunday evening. We found one restaurant open and also managed to see a movie. It was a nice leisurely start to the trip. The cold cold air conditioning at the Holiday Inn was definitely worth the $100 we spent on the room. Well, I think so anyway. :-)

Home again, home again...

6 days of vacation.
2 motorcycles.
3 years of marriage celebrated.
1,381 total miles traveled.
414 photos and video clips taken (not including Tim's)
Home safe.

Fantastically good time!

Trip summary to follow shortly. :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Views of Devils Tower

We are checked in to the Hulett Motel in Hulett, WY. It's a neat little cabin. There's a small a/c unit but it has to work too hard to keep this A-frame very cold. It'll do but it's not as cold as the Holiday Inn was. And boy is it hot in Wyoming! And there is no shade in this state. But, we're on vacation! :-)

Saw Devils Tower for the first time as we came in on highway 14. Took some photos from the pull out near the sign. The road got a little more interesting around there. Even had some official road signs warning of curves in the road. That was a nice change of pace.

Hulett is 9 miles north of Devils Tower. We are planning to visit and hike around the tower tomorrow for our anniversary. We are celebrating 3 years of wedded bliss! Woo hoo!!! (Preceded by 11 years of blissful non-marriage.)

Day 1 - Arvada, CO to Torrington, WY

We were on the road, after a stop at Starbucks and a fill up, at about 9am. It's nice not having a schedule to keep. About 200 miles this first day allowed us to take our time and stop for photos if we wanted. The weather was much cooler than it had been the last two weeks. That was nice! Tim didn't need the cooling vest until after we had lunch in Cheyenne.

Torrington was our planned stopping point. I'd made reservations at the Holiday Inn. Oh, sweet sweet air conditioning! We checked in about 3:00. There is a two screen movie theater in town so we went to see "Inception" and then had dinner. It was a nice way to spend the first evening.

Saw lots of motorcyclists on the road.

The bike to bike helmet communication devices are great!

So far the GS is doing great. I will definitely need a bead seat or something for the next trip. The GL has a loose cable or something causing the temp gauge to stop working some times. And the horn beeped on its own once too. And one side case is stuck locked fortunately this happened after the stuff was taken out. Bummer.

Day 1 - Arvada, CO to Torrington, WY

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NE Wyoming

So far looks mostly like this...

And We're Off!!

Well, off to Starbucks first. :-)

This is what I imagined when I first started thinking about this bike. Loaded side cases and my hubby and I hitting the road.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Side Cases!!

Woo hoo!! Just in time for the road trip! My hubby rocks! :-) Here they are with all of the added reflective stickers. The yellow panel is reflective and so is the white strip on the back and the Rounders circle sticker on the side.
We are hitting the road tomorrow morning!! Woot!

Friday, July 23, 2010

How I caught the Motorcycling Bug

From 1993 - 1995 I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal in West Africa. We were given Suzuki TS125 motos to get around the region where we were assigned. Our training consisted of the MSF BRC which was 3 days long, plus 3 days of moto maintenance where we more or less took the bikes apart and put them back together. Once we were placed in our villages, we had to do all the regular maintenance ourselves. Larger issues we could usually find someone in a village or larger town to work on the bikes. I lived in the Nioro region of Senegal, which is just north of the Gambia near the town of Kaolack.
This is part of the Sahel and we rode in the deep sand there. Good times!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Picture Test

Here is a photo of the Scala on my helmet.


I'm testing the email posting option.

Blogging from the Road

I've tried in the past to access my blog from my iPhone but have not been successful in making posts. I'm not sure why that works that way. Or doesn't work. So, I won't be able to make updates from the road trip to Wyoming. That kind of sucks but we are going to get away from it all and recharge our batteries. :-) So, I'm just going to roll with that missing bit of technology for the week. Maybe I'll take some notes the old fashioned way with pen and paper. That would be fun too.

But..... if anyone knows how to post to Google blogs from an iPhone, please let me know. :-)

So, the email from the iPhone seems to work ok for posting. I still don't understand why I can't post from the web site on the browser but whatever.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prepping the bikes

This week I'll be taking the GS in for an oil change. I'm also going to have them look it over to make sure there isn't anything weird going on before the road trip. I can't imagine what they might find since the bike is so new but I'd feel better knowing it was done. I'll also have them check and lube the chain while it is there. Yes, I can probably do this myself I just don't know when I'll have time. Work is keeping me late this week because I have some deadlines to meet before we leave. I'd rather this small task be done by some one who isn't distracted, like me.

My lovely hubby added my grab-on grip covers for me. They do help with the vibration a lot. But, they also make the grips fatter. That was something I thought I wanted but right now I haven't gotten adjusted to them and it still feels weird. But the cramp buster does fit and work with them so that's good. On our ride to Loveland on Sunday my left hand didn't fall asleep at all. But, my right still does. Hubby thinks I need to relax my grip. I think he is right. On my ride with my brother on Monday, my hand fell asleep almost immediately. Ugh. That's so not good. It was a bit painful. I'll need to figure something out soon. Or at least on the road.

We also tried out the new Scala headsets on Sunday's ride. Those are awesome! It's so nice to be able to talk when we need to. I thought they might inspire us to talk a lot more but that didn't seem to be the case. We aren't very chatty anyway. But, when we got separated at a stop light we could talk to each other without the other wondering if they should stop to wait or what. That was nice. They could stand to be louder but they are loud enough. I think our hearing just ain't what it used to be. But, they also worked ok with the earplugs too. They don't pick up the engine noise although, and I need to remember to mention this to him, I thought I was hearing a far off siren on the ride back home that I think was actually something being picked up from hubby's bike.

Hubby is still working on the side cases.

Only 5 days until we hit the road!! :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Devils Tower preparations

We're planning to leave on Sunday, July 25th, spend a night in Torrington, WY and then arrive at Devils Tower on Monday. We've booked a chalet in Hulett, WY for three nights. Ahhhhh...... I can't wait!

My lovely hubby is working on getting my side cases mounted. He purchased some cases similar to Pelican cases, on eBay a while back. Between those and my trunk case, and his Silverwing luggage we should have more than enough space for packing. And I also have my tank bag and tank saddle bags and he has a large tank bag too. We could easily over pack for this trip. :-) But, we haven't even started thinking about what we're packing yet. We are still focused on getting the bikes ready.

His GL has a new ignition switch. Hooray! I will need an oil change next week and also need to check my tires. I'm not sure how many miles I should get on these stock tires. They look fine but have almost 7,000 miles on them. I'll have Mike's Motorcycle give me his professional opinion when I take it there next week. I bought some Grab-On Grip Covers there yesterday. Those should help with the vibration and hopefully keep my hands from falling asleep.

I'm going to visit MotoGear Outlet this weekend too. I think we really need to have those TechNich Evaporative Cooling Vests for this trip. It's been so hot this week I have considered not riding a couple of days. But a wet shirt under the mesh keeps me cool and thinking clearly on the ride home. Definitely need the cooling vests.

We won't be camping so we don't have to worry about packing all of that gear. For our first long road trip, I think it will be great to not have to worry about building a tent and cooking after riding 4 hours or so.

Since we'll be staying for three days in the chalet, we'll probably take a day trip out to see Mount Rushmore as well. It's so close. How can we not?

The route home hasn't been planned yet. We'll probably just see how we feel and decide on that third day if we want to come home through South Dakota or go back the way we came.


It's been in the 90s all week. Ok, it's on Wednesday, but the heat sure makes the days seem longer. On Monday, I bought a bottle of water, drank half of it and dumped the rest on myself to get my shirt wet for the ride home. That was much better. Almost like air conditioning. Tuesday, I planned ahead. I ran my shirt under the faucet so the whole thing was uniformly wet. I also wet the top of my socks. It was a much more comfortable ride. My socks dried up faster than I thought they would. I wear Smart Wool ski socks. They stay up, don't slouch down inside my boots and have a nice bit of cushion on the shins. They are pretty warm though. I'll have to look around for some summer socks. I think the heat from the engine along with the air flow from the ride dried them out too quickly. The front of my poly shirt dried quickly too. Before we hit the road for Devils Tower, I think I'll buy a couple of those cooling vests. I don't see how we'll survive the heat without them. It was making me a bit loopy after a while. And that's not a good thing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Official!!

We're going to Devil's Tower and we're going on the motorcycles!! Stay tuned. :-)