Thanks for the posts & pictures. It brings back memories from my only visit to Hyder in 1989. I hope to return in a few years when I retire.
Thanks for the posts & pictures. It brings back memories from my only visit to Hyder in 1989. I hope to return in a few years when I retire.
Never let a motorcycle take you somewhere your brain didnÔÇÖt go five seconds earlier
Tell Paul the weather doesn't get good until after the 4th of July in western WA.
I've currently been on the road for 11 days now. Just went to my 1st Nor Cal 49er's rally in Mariposa over the week-end and had a great time with a great bunch of people. Rode up to Glacier Pt. in Yosemite and it snowed on us and they closed the road right after we got down.
Headed back for the barn tomorrow... Thanks for the ride report and see you in Nakusp....
Hope you are enjoying your after Hyder ride as much as we are. Spent two days at Liard Hotsprings and will land in Skagway tomorrow. A bit of rain, but more sun so far.
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA
In the movie adaptation of Stephen King's, Children of the Corn, out protagonists find themselves driving in the countryside and as they go along, repeatedly seeing a sign pointing to the same town, time after time. Thus it seems for us with Burlington, Washington. We stopped here in the rain headed north from Lacey to Hyder, Alaska. Then after visiting Hyder and returning south we stopped here again. There is a very good motorcycle shop here, discovered last year, and we stopped again to get a new rear tire for Paul's bike.
Then we visited Nisa, a very dear friend of our daughter's who is house sitting for 3 or 4 months in Winthrop, Washington - 131 miles east of Burlington on the North Cascades Highway - the other side of Washington Pass. After riding in light rain, we spent a delightful three days with Nisa in the Methow Valley, exploring Winthrop and Twisp, and just enjoying the down time. Paul particularly enjoyed Wags and Buddy, the two dogs - one Nisa's and one her ward that came with the house for the summer, along with the 7 chickens. And we learned to bake bread! EASY ; ) and excellent! Flan is our next challenge. Thanks, Nisa!
Voni kept telling Paul she wanted to go to a Long Distance Rider's ride to eat pie at Dutch Mothers Family Restaurant in Lynden, Washington. Lynden is a few miles east of the Pacific Ocean and a few miles south of Canada, a backtrack of 166 miles from Winthrop. Paul insisted that no way no how, never, ever was he going to ride back over the North Cascades Highway in the rain, for pie or for anything else. But we kept watching the forecast. Depending on which forecast a person chose to believe it was going to rain a lot, it wouldn't rain, it might rain, or it might rain but just a little. Not a happy forecast as far as Paul was concerned.
So this morning found us riding over Washington Pass, and Rainy Pass, on the North Cascades Highway, past the piled snow drifts, in the rain. Voni's high-tech motorcycle has a built-in thermometer that started to "alarm" and flash warnings when the temperatures dropped to 36 degrees, in the rain, passing the piles of snow. Just when all hope of a pleasant ride seemed lost, an eagle came from nowhere to fly beside us and race us down hill. Paul took it as an Omen. Voni just sMiled.
We met a number of old friends and new friends at the restaurant to eat lunch and the world's best pie. Caramel Apple was our choice. Cori Phelps, the ride originator who has only tried three of the choices held out for what is best, planning to return to check out the other varieties before she calls a winner.
After Paul's earlier heartfelt complaint about riding in the rain we received a few email messages from folks who live in the Seattle area. They mostly tried to explain how riding in the rain could be fun once a person got used to it. Paul can agree that that is possible, but also figures a person could get used to colonoscopies too. Same deal!
So starting about mid-afternoon we again headed south and stopped for the third time at Burlington. We are again trapped by rain between the Pacific Ocean and dryer lands east of the Cascades. But tomorrow looks like a cloudy day with minimal rain in the Cascades and dry east of there. We can at least hope. The forecast for one of our favorite campgrounds at Lewiston, Idaho for Monday however is an 84% chance of rain. We shall see what the future holds.
That picture of the bear .... Too close!
I'm becoming a an I-90 expert now in SD just about to do the Mt Rushmore thing. Very happy with the scenery. Nothing wrong with the slab,given these old bones.
Blog has details...
2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
At 10:47 A.M. (MDT) on Friday, June 8 I put on my sunglasses as we had stopped to stretch and have a snack at Givens Hot Springs, Idaho. Normally taking off my regular glasses and putting on sunglasses would be a trivial event. But the last time I had any inclination I might need sunglasses was approaching Lacey, Washington on Saturday, May 19. Since then we have ridden to Hyder, Alaska; back to Washington, east and west and east again over the North Cascades Highway, and are now not in Montana by way of Lolo Pass as planned but are instead in southeast Idaho.
We have been having some trouble making progress leaving the Northwest. A series of weather systems has kept the entire area a bit unpleasant for more than a week. It hasn't rained all the time, and there have been small patches of blue sky, and moments where a groundhog could see its shadow instead of puddles. We have had a few good days of riding wonderful roads, interspersed with a few days holed up here and there for various weather related reasons.
We stopped at a fascinating location near Coulee City, Washington. Known as "Dry Falls", According to the literature, and of course the Internet, "Dry Falls is a 3.5 mile long scalloped precipice in central Washington, on the opposite side of the Upper Grand Coulee from the Columbia River, and at the head of the Lower Grand Coulee. Ten times the size of Niagara, Dry Falls is thought to be the greatest known waterfall that ever existed. According to the current geological model, catastrophic flooding channeled water at 65 miles per hour through the Upper Grand Coulee and over this 400-foot (120 m) rock face at the end of the last ice age. At this time, it is estimated that the flow of the falls was ten times the current flow of all the rivers in the world combined."
We camped at Sun Lakes State Park near Coulee City, Washington just south of Dry Falls. It was a beautiful evening and didn't rain until later during the night. We next camped at one of our favorite campgrounds in Hells Gate State Park, on the banks of the Snake River just south of Lewiston, Idaho. Again it didn't rain until bed time but was a bit soggy in the morning. We crossed the river to Clarkston, Washington to get a new front tire for Paul's bike at Mac's Cycles, an excellent BMW and multi-brand dealership. Since significant rain and cold was in the forecast we hunkered down in the downtown Econolodge for a couple of nights. Lewiston has done a remarkable job in keeping its downtown healthy. There are many nice small shops and eateries. Public amenities have been nicely done, and the walk along the Snake River is an urban delight. This, despite the fact that the lumber economy has taken some hits - even the Lewiston Walmart has closed and the building is for sale.
From Lewiston we followed the new plan - south instead of east because there was snow in the forecast for the mountains of central Idaho. We had a wonderful day for riding south on US 95, intending to camp at Farewell Bend State Park in Oregon. There were patches of blue sky and the ride along the Little Salmon River was delightful. Apparently some of the counties in western Idaho believe they can solve their budget woes with traffic ticket revenue. We saw more Deputy Sheriff cars running radar on US 95 that the entire rest of our trip since April, combined. Once we crossed the river and were aimed to Farewell Bend we ran directly into the path of a thunderstorm and gusty winds. We backtracked a few miles to a nice commercial campground near Weiser, Idaho. We met a GS rider, Don Siems from Sandpoint, who shared his Blue Moon beer and our love for riding. We got sprinkled on but avoided the heavy weather. It was even dry when we packed up in the morning.
Another of our favorite stopping places is Craters of the Moon National Monument just outside Arco, Idaho. Paul's first stop here was in 1981. In what has turned into significant irony, Arco and Craters of the Moon has always been hot when we were here and we were expecting at least warm if not hot. We arrived to find a forecast for an overnight low of 43 and high winds, so rather than camping at 5,900 feet elevation we rode down hill and camped at the Mountain View Campground in Arco. $15 to camp which included free eggs, pancakes, and coffee for breakfast. The weather forecasters were all over the place. NOAA said a low of 43. Accuweather said 37. Weather Underground said 32. Whoops! We survived that chill, but Weather Underground won the contest as it dropped to 33 overnight. There were storms around but none found us.
Saturday morning dawned sunny, and the inside of the tent warmed quickly. But our route is southeast through Pocatello and into northwest Utah. The forecasts, to which we are now paying a lot of attention, included a high wind warning for the area. Winds of 39 with gusts to 59, with possible road closures due to blowing dust. And a low of 32, and the possibility of snow.
Right now it is partly cloudy, breezy, chilly, but dry. Nonetheless, we are typing this inside the warm shelter of the DK Motel in Arco, Idaho. We thought it would be a bit foolish to head off into high winds, cold, and possible road closures with few bits of civilization between here and there, wherever there is. And we have the luxury of time!
We have been doing long distance motorcycle travel for 35 years. Some of our inability to make progress away from the gloomy Northwest this year is due to state-of-mind. In years past we were often on a tight schedule: here today, there the next, and then to another there the next. We might have ridden 500, or even 700 or 800 miles in a day and been out and ahead of whatever weather system was around. But we now don't have such a schedule so enjoy stopping wherever we have a mind to.
V and P
Sounds like you are having a great time on this trip.
Bud Meade W9BUD IBA 44018 MOA Lifetime Member
80... yes 80.... degrees in Fairbanks Alaska yesterday. We also had the mother of all tunder storms, but still 80 degrees?
Took this on the boardwalk in Stewart; in the theme of your picture above....
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA
Glad you're staying warm in the far north, Kevin and Annie!
In 1991, while sitting beside a campfire in a campground at Fort St.
John, astride the Alaska Highway, we first heard a start-to-finish
recitation of Robert Service's magnificent poem "The Cremation of Sam
McGee. Service, the Poet Laureate of the Yukon spun a great story
"There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men
who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That
would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer
sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge
of Lake Lebarge I cremated Sam McGee."
In a nutshell, Sam GcGee, from Tennessee, was working the Yukon goldfield, and couldn't stand the cold. Before he died he made his friend promise to cremate him - which he did in the boiler of a wrecked steamer. But when he looked into the firebox to be sure he was done, he found Sam sitting it the heat enjoying himself. Look it up here:
Paul feels like Sam McGee. We finally escaped the cold and damp conditions of the Northwest. We last reported from Arco, Idaho where we had retreated to a motel to escape cold temperatures. From Arco we rode a short day, but we rode nonetheless. We stopped at the Walmart store in Pocatello where we bought oil, borrowed a drain pan, and changed oil in both motorcycles. From there we rode to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. Lava Hot Springs is, as the name suggests, a small town built up at a location where hot spring waters emerge from the earth in numerous places. Developed about 100 years ago around the reported healing properties of the springs, the town is a a tourist destination. The forecast low temperature ranged from 28 to 32 so we checked into the Lava Spa Motel which had a large sign advertising that they had color TV. It did, but the real attraction was the heat in the room. It got down to 33 but we didn't care. A great little town for wandering with its Sunken Gardens and winding paths and a real grocery store!
Our next stop was Rim Canyon Campground at Red Canyon at the south end of Flaming Gorge National Monument. At an elevation of 7,500 feet this area has warm days and cool nights. In 1981 Paul took a photo of Flaming Gorge from a Highway 44 overlook. We framed it and it hung either at home or in Paul's office for 25 years. Every time we go past we try to replicate that photo. Our new Panasonic Lumix cameras really capture the view. Technology is nice.
We rode to Vernal, Utah and then out to the marvelous display of petroglyphs in the Dry Fork Canyon at the McConkie Ranch. These are on private property but the rancher welcomes visitors to this Utah Heritage Site. We stopped for two nights at the Colorado National Monument. This wonderland sits high among the cliffs and canyons just outside Grand Junction, Colorado. It was 93 degrees when we stopped at Fruita, Colorado to buy groceries and some wine. After riding the twisty road to the cliff tops it was 85 at the campground. It cooled to about 60 overnight, but was 69 in the tent at daybreak. Perfect weather for sleeping at night, hiking mornings and evenings, and sitting in the shade during the day. In Fruita, Paul smiled just like Sam McGee. Happy to be warm again.
From here we will go to the Copper Mountain Ski Resort for the BMW Riders Association National Rally for three days, and will then head back to Ankeny, Iowa to spend a couple of weeks with our daughter and grandkids. We have to be there by Monday at 5:30 pm, Melanie tells us, because Brody will be playing in the little league championship baseball game. Noah has a Beyblades tournament, and then swimming lessons, karate, . . . Don't worry if you don't hear from us for awhile. They will keep us busy! And on June 30th we'll be celebrating daughter Melanie's marriage to our newest son Aaron in St. Joe, MO at sister Elaine and Steve's house.
We are so very blessed to have this time together. And to have so many friends following along makes it all the more precious!
Travel Editors for the Alpine Daily Planet
I sure enjoy hearing of your travels!
Do you miss big Red?
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
I do. But she's waiting in Kansas at our son's for the trip to Sedalia!
This F800 is wonderful too! I call her Rocket J. Squirrel.
We last advised of our whereabouts from the healing warmth of the Colorado National Monument. After spending two nights camping at the monument we ventured forth to the BMW Riders Association National Rally at the Copper Mountain Ski resort near Frisco, Colorado. We normally eschew riding on Interstate highways but were eager to get to the rally. There are no roads that even remotely parallel the Interstate between Grand Junction and Copper Mountain so we just took I-70. It is one of the most pleasant Interstates, especially through Glenwood Canyon. If they ever have a significant earthquake in that area though, I-70 will be closed for five years.
The Copper Mountain Ski Resort was a good facility to host the thousand or so attendees at this rally. Some folks camped at one or another of the three rather scattered designated flat spots. Many people stayed in the condo, time share, or hotel spaces at the resort. We camped. Voni found the perfect tent site which looked to be sloped but was actually flat on top where the tent set. And, to top that, the moment the Sun rose above the mountain to our east, the warming rays hit the tent directly and unimpeded. Nights that dipped to 33 degrees quickly became 60 something degree mornings and balmy mid-70s afternoons.
After two nights we departed Copper Mountain and headed to Ankeny, Iowa to play with our two grandsons, Brody and Noah. On the way we encountered our first significant mechanical difficulty this year. We jogged north from the Interstate and rode Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. As we neared the summit the engine temperature warning light on Paul's bike illuminated. The thin air and slow speed following a newish 350 horsepower Mustang with a driver that was afraid of curves seemed to be the problem. But we pulled over and Paul checked the coolant level which was OK. Later, while toodling in stop-n-go traffic in a small town the light came on again. We discovered that the cooling fan for the radiator was faulty. A new fan has been ordered. So has a new speed sensor for Paul's speedometer/odometer which might or might not fix that little problem. But this year at least we made it through Montana unimpeded.
We arrived in Ankeny just in time for an intense week of sports. The boys had swimming lessons Monday through Thursday mornings, Karate lessons two days, and Brody had a baseball tournament with games Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Noah had just finished a Bayblade tournament. Son-in Law Aaron competed in and finished first in his age group in a Triathlon - swimming, bicycling and running ridiculous distances - on Sunday. Whew! Just watching all of this made Paul tired.
Saturday we accompanied Noah and Brody to the Science Center where among the regular offerings there was a special traveling exhibit about the past, present, and future exploration of Mars. This exhibit was very well done and we all learned a lot of interesting things.
We plan to spend most of this week here in Ankeny - three more days of swimming lessons, two Karate sessions and then Karate testing, and as many field trip activities as we can think of. Then we will head to St. Joseph, Missouri for a big "hitching" party to celebrate with friends and family, Melanie's and Aaron's March Key West wedding.
Lots of pictures here:
Your "fan story" flashed a memory from the deep mists of the past --
Our first big trip on our new '98 R1200RS Big Yellow Taxi took us (unavoidably) through Toronto on a Sunday morning on our way back to the States. . .which should have been a breeze, right? No rush hour on Sunday, right? Sadly, a giant music festival was in full swing, and we hit creeping-stopped traffic for miles. The Spanish-made cooling fans chose that point of the ride to crap-out, and we puked coolant all over the bike as the needle hit RED.
As long as we could move air, we were OK, and -- thanks to the help of an Airhead rider in a parking lot, were able to find a "backroad" border crossing to eventually get to Rochester, NY and the Triumph/BMW dealer for some warranty-replacement on the fans (which had already been replaced once [recall] before we took delivery of the new bike!)
Are these things still made in Spain? Jeez! Shouldn't they have had this sorted after fifteen years?????
GREAT stories, GREAT writing, you two. See you at Sipapu, Voni.
Greetings from BEAVER
... or more precisely, from Holiday Island, just across the southernmost end of Table Rock Lake from the settlement of Beaver, Arkansas. We left you as we were still in Ankeny, Iowa playing with Noah and Brody, our grandsons or grandboys as Voni is wont to say. As last reported the boys were engaged in a whirlwind of activity at swimming and karate, eagerly looking forward to the testing later in the week. They both passed both tests with flying colors.
We have actually not ridden our motorcycles a whole lot recently - just from Iowa to Kansas and then from Kansas to Arkansas. With triple digit temperatures most days every place we were, we haven't been inclined to go riding. Paul's initial excuse was that the fan wasn't working on his motorcycle and it would overheat. Both that problem and the previously reported speedometer problem were solved when new parts arrived from Engle Motors in Kansas City. Then Paul's excuse became that it was too hot and he would over heat. We used an air conditioned car every chance we got.
Many of you know that our daughter Melanie got married in Key West in March, at a very small family ceremony. To celebrate that feat she/we and Voni's sister Elaine and brother-in-law Steve planned a wedding celebration party bash to be held in St. Joseph, Missouri in June. Elaine and Steve's house provided a convenient location for spread-out family and friends to come to have a big party to celebrate the wedding. They did and we did on June 30th with a big white tent, catered barbeque, Karaoke provided by Steve's brother Mike, and everything including a big fireworks display provided free of charge by the party being held at one of Steve and Elaine's neighbors. Nisa added the sparkle! Then we went back to Ankeny for a couple of days before riding south to visit our son Mike at Lawrence, Kansas for a few days. We met up with our long-time Olympia, Washington, now Terlingua, Texas friend Doug Crow again at Mike's and Paul did a few little tweaks to Doug's bike to keep it happy on the road the rest of the summer, or so the plan goes. Voni had a book report due, so took the time at Mike's to finish writing her book review of "Motorcycle Journeys through North America" by Dale Coyner for the BMW Owners News.
On the 4th of July we all - Mike, Melanie and family, Doug, Voni, Paul - congregated at Nisa's (remember Nisa from Winthrop, Washington) parents' house near Topeka. Despite the fact it was 105 degrees that day we all had a great time because the swimming pool and Lake Sherwood were there!
Our next stop was Holiday Island, just across the lake/river from beautiful downtown Beaver, Arkansas. Elaine and Steve own a house here and were here for a week to recuperate and recover from the party we had at their house in St. Joe. We arrived, got off the bikes, and were instantly shuffled into Steve's truck so they could haul us to the White River just downstream from Beaver Dam. We barely had time to get out of our riding gear and into more suitable clothing. They cast us (Voni and Paul) adrift in their canoe, telling us they would be hanging out at the first take out point and then the second take out point, one or two hours or so downstream. As they shoved us out into the current one of them told us, "watch out for banjo music - this is Arkansas." It was 104 or so out there, but the water temperature was 53 so it actually was cool on, but not in. the frigid water.
Readers need to understand that Elaine is a direct descendent of the Energizer Bunny, and she still often can't keep up with Steve. No sooner did we come ashore from paddling the river and it was time to go out onto Table Rock Lake in the boat so we could water ski. Voni was raised on Lake Waconia in Minnesota and Paul has water skied a few times in his life, but in both cases that was more than just a few years ago. Paul rebelled and insisted on a nap, which was shortened so we could jump into the truck and go to downtown Eureka Springs while it cooled off a bit so we could then go in the boat and go skiing.
The next day Steve's brother Mike and his wife Jane arrived to spend what was left of the weekend here at Holiday Island. We became observers as they were treated to the canoe - water ski treatment, interspersed with a night on the town in Eureka Springs. It was almost as much fun to watch as it was to do, and a little less tiring.
Steve and Elaine had to go back to work to rest up after a week at the lake but we stayed here at Holiday Island. Voni got the opportunity to sort pictures and Paul wrote his column for the September BMW Owners News. When we leave here we will wind our way a little bit northward to a small local BMW rally at Crane, Missouri. After that rally we will proceed a bit further north to the big BMW Motorcycle Owners of American annual International Rally, this year at Sedalia, Missouri. The rally really runs from Thursday through Sunday morning but we will arrive on Tuesday to hang out with the young riders at Camp G.E.A.R.S. before the rally itself where we are both presenting seminars and meeting up with a few thousand of our riding friends.
Our plans following the MOA Rally are a bit fluid but they do include riding to a rally at Nakusp, British Columbia. It is just the where and when of the exact routing that is still up in the air.
We'll report later, after it happens.
Pictures start here:
Paul is correct... a man will overheat if he attempts to ride in triple digits. We'll see you in Nakusp, but we are skipping Sedalia. We plan to ride this year's version of the MT 1000 with Timmer. Should be cooler at 8000 feet in MT than it will be in humid MO.
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA