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Thread: Paul and Voni's 2012 Wander

  1. #46
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    GREETINGS from Libby, Montana. Firemens Park is a woodsy refuge aside U.S. 2 mere blocks from downtown Libby. We first found it a number of years ago and have been back to Libby several times since. The camping has the basics only - flush toilets and running water. But 300 feet or less from most any campsite, hidden from view by the tall evergreens is a large Rosaurs Supermarket, next door to a big Ace Hardware store. The supermarket has a nice deli, tables and chairs, outlets in the wall for charging devices, and free WiFi. What more do vagabond motorcyclists need?

    We arrived at Libby by way of several stops, having left Ankeny, Iowa some several days ago. We spent a night in Lexington, Minnesota visiting Voni's sister Karen and husband Mike and then a second night in the area at Wyoming, Minnesota visiting Voni's sister Sylvia and husband Bruce. Their daughter Britt dropped by for dinner. This is, we think a record, having visited all four of Voni's sisters (Arkansas, St. Louis, and Minnesota) in the span of less than four weeks.

    When we left the Minnesota Twin Cities area we headed directly west across rural Minnesota towards Brown's Valley to a nice riverside campground Paul distinctly remembered from three years ago. Ha! No such river. No such campground. Wrong town. But Brown's Valley has a delightful City Park with campground for the sum of only $10 a night - $15 if you have a camper to plug into the electricity.

    Our next stop was for two nights in Bismarck, North Dakota. We stayed with Voni's cousin Doug Mork and his wife Joanie. Cousin Chuck Mork stopped by for dinner and the next day we had lunch with Voni's Aunt Maxine, her son Doug, and Voni's cousin Duane and wife Lois. Thus ended the extended visiting of assorted relatives for a while.

    We spent a night at Medora, North Dakota and rode throughout the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The highlight was a buffalo jam caused not by motorists but by a herd of road-walking American Bison. We were riding along and came upon twenty or more of them claiming the road - left side, middle, and right side. This was not a roadside attraction. There were a car and a truck behind them as they walked toward us and several of the Bison were visibly upset, pawing and circling. We made a quick U turn and retreated to the last previous scenic pullout. After a few minutes the car and truck came past and another car headed our way ahead of us. Very soon there they were again, still claiming the entire roadway as a buffalo walking path. We parked adjacent to the bluff rising on our right and sat there. Voni retreated to behind the white car that had pulled up behind us. Soon Paul felt a bit exposed with unhappy Bison mere feet away, so he too retreated to behind the white car. Eventually, with glares and snorts they all trundled past, on down the road.

    We spent one night in a campground in Billings, Montana and another in the City Park in Choteau, Montana. At Choteau we walked over to Rex's Market, a grocery store less than a block from the park. As we were wandering down the first aisle a man in an apron stocking shelves looked up and exclaimed, "Paul Glaves" He introduced himself - Doug Peterson - and reminded us that we had exchanged emails last year when his wife's F800 axle tube failed right after Paul's column describing the failure on Voni's bike appeared in the BMW MOA magazine. Doug owns the store. When Paul asked how he recognized him he said he didn't really - he recognized Voni and then put 1 and 1 together. Wish we'd spent more time sharing with this intriguing couple.

    The following day we rode to Glacier National Park, arriving about noon. The two most isolated off-the-road campgrounds on the east side of the park were full. The lady at the gate said a person would need to arrive by 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. to get a campsite. Given the choice of an afternoon ride through the park or an early morning ride through the park on the Going to the Sun Highway we opted for morning. We spent the night in St. Mary, Montana just outside the park.

    We will have no reason to ever ride through Glacier National Park again. Any later trip will be a
    disappointment compared to our ride over the Going to the Sun this year. The entire length of the park road from St. Mary to Apgar there was seldom a car in sight going westbound and only occasional traffic headed east. Only once, briefly, did traffic interfere with our progress and that kind gentleman from Minnesota driving his new Jeep something at 22 on a straight stretch of 35 mph roadway pulled into a pullout within about a half mile.

    When we departed the park at the west side there was a huge, long line of cars backed up three wide for a few blocks, waiting to get into the park. If you ever visit Glacier in the summer plan your trip to travel from east to west, and do so as early in the morning as daylight and your body allow.

    Leaving the Park we took 93 north from Whitefish and then 37 back south to Libby. It is 24 more miles to go this way than to slog through Kalispell and fight trucks on U.S. 2, and more than well worth the scenic ride with seldom a car in sight. We did encounter 50 or more bicycle riders in some type of organized ride but they were the best behaved and most disciplined riders of such Paul has ever seen. Edge of roadway - single file - spaced out. The fact that they were spread out over a 40 mile stretch of curvy road from back to front was amazing.

    So now we are back at Firemens Park in Libby where we stayed twice earlier this year. Paul was happy to see more bunnies than we saw in May. The first time we stayed here we asked about the large number of bunnies. We were told than an old gentleman had lived nearby and had a few bunnies. When he died his daughter came from California or Connecticut or some such far away place to clean out the house and ready it for sale. She simply turned his bunnies loose. And bunnies doing what bunnies do soon we all over Libby in substantial number. We have had a few wander through the campsite but they are actually more afraid of us than we are of them.

    The next leg of our travel will take us north to Nelson and Nakusp, British Columbia, and then southward to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit Voni's cousin Paul Hathaway. Paul will then head to Santa Cruz and then Newburg, New York and back, while Voni wanders the desert southwest, or something. She is committed to a September rally at the Sipapu Ski Area south of Taos, and will then probably go back to Iowa. She can meet the riders and crew on the 2012 Cannonball ride at Mason City if she decides to do so.

    More when we think you would want to hear from us.

    Tons of pictures here:
    http://s320.photobucket.com/albums/n...amily/?start=0








    V
    and P
    Last edited by Voni; 08-13-2012 at 12:25 AM.
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  2. #47
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    We will have no reason to ever ride through Glacier National Park again. Any later trip will be a
    disappointment compared to our ride over the Going to the Sun this year. The entire length of the park road from St. Mary to Apgar there was seldom a car in sight going westbound and only occasional traffic headed east. Only once, briefly, did traffic interfere with our progress and that kind gentleman from Minnesota driving his new Jeep something at 22 on a straight stretch of 35 mph roadway pulled into a pullout within about a half mile.

    When we departed the park at the west side there was a huge, long line of cars backed up three wide for a few blocks, waiting to get into the park. If you ever visit Glacier in the summer plan your trip to travel from east to west, and do so as early in the morning as daylight and your body allow.

    I've ridden it in both directions early in the day and have found it much less congested and enjoyable. It's also a lot less busy later in the season when the majority of travellers are back at home.

    Looking forward to seeing you (and other good friends) in Nakusp next weekend.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  3. #48
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Life. It's what happens when you're making other plans.

    Before the rumors of Paul's imminent demise swirl even further let us assure everybody that while he's not yet quite exactly fine he's soon going to be fine. When we last reported we had just finished one of the best motorcycle riding days ever from St. Mary, through Glacier National Park, and to Libby, Montana. Earlier we had ridden for two days in very hazy conditions but I didn't pay a lot of attention to the haze. A couple of localized spots it was obvious that there was smoke in the air but it appeared to be from rather small grass blazes. I did comment to Voni that I thought I was coming down with a cold. Other people's campfires didn't help.

    What was actually happening was we were riding through smoke/haze from the many wild fires burning in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and who knows exactly where else. What I thought of as catching a cold was inflammation in my lungs which became significant congestion which became the beginnings of a good case pf pneumonia. After a day and a couple of nights of coughing it became apparent I hadn't just caught a cold.

    A couple of visits to the Prompt Care clinic at the hospital in Libby and the appropriate medications have me improving daily. But, the smoke is still all over the west, and western Montana specifically. I was not going to be able to ride from where we were/are to any place else I need to be any time soon due to the continuing wild fire and smokey conditions in the west. It became a crap shoot how long we would need to hole up in reasonably clean air conditioned air waiting for my lungs to improve and the smoke to go away.

    So we cancelled the plans to go to Nakusp and alerted folks that I probably was not going to pit-crew for the Cannonball across the U.S. I can only guess the chaos I could cause driving the support van to the hospital leaving the bike high and dry at a check point. Besides, the even greater smoke between Libby, Montana and Santa Cruz, California made riding there impossible for me right now.

    We have stored the bikes, bought a car, and are headed to Iowa, then Kansas, then home to Texas. When we are ready we will return with our trusty Explorer and bike trailer, which are in Texas, to retrieve the stored bikes. Just a slightly different version of a road trip as far as I'm concerned.

    We happened to be in Libby through the weekend celebration known as Ignite the Night. In a nutshell, it is a two day classic car festival. Friday was Cruizin the Gut with burnouts, flames and neon. Saturday was the day to close several blocks of the main downtown street for a big car show. They had over 500 entries. Voni is not likely to let a sick man sit and complain so we went downtown and looked at cars. My version is it didn't kill me. Her version is that my lungs needed the exercise. Of all the many cars we have ever owned I could find examples of only three of them. A 1958 Buick,a 57 Chevy Carryall Van and an Opel GT. I guess that says something about my selection of cars to own.

    Everybody we met in Libby was kind and helpful, from the hosts at the campground, to the motel manager that shuffled things three times on their fully booked weekend to keep us in a room, to the happy but caring staff at the hospital and pharmacy, to Jeff at Libby Auto Sales and Lisa at the storage facility where we stored the bikes.

    Lots of pictures here
    http://s320.photobucket.com/albums/n...ibby%20MT%202/










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  4. #49
    Ambassador at Large JIMSHAW's Avatar
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    Get well, Paul

    Are you considering membership in MedJet Assist, yet?

    In 2010, I became ill in the tiny town of Malta, MT. They flew me home, had me checked into the Cleveland Clinc that same day, and brought my bike back to my dealer (needed a loading dock to unload it) a couple of weeks later.

    You know the rest.

  5. #50
    Lady Scarlet Terry Cainey's Avatar
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    Get Well Soon

    Paul

    Hope you are on the mend and back riding soon.

    Terry and Darryl
    Terry Cainey
    Ambassador Fenwick, Ontario Canada
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  6. #51
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    Paul. Rest up and take care of yourself.
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
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  7. #52
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimshaw View Post
    Are you considering membership in MedJet Assist, yet?

    In 2010, I became ill in the tiny town of Malta, MT. They flew me home, had me checked into the Cleveland Clinc that same day, and brought my bike back to my dealer (needed a loading dock to unload it) a couple of weeks later.

    You know the rest.
    We have had Medjet in the past - overseas trips - and may get it again. I think it is great. I'm not sure how it might have worked in this case. I could have whined a little more and gotten myself admitted to the hospital - probably for an overnight. But I don't think anything longer term in-patient was in the cards. So, dunno.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  8. #53
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    I guess we could title this "Too Damn Stubborn to Die"

    trip?

    I'm so glad to hear that it ended well.

    Get better and see ya on the road.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  9. #54
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone, for the good wishes.

    Don't worry. The trip isn't ending. Just a temporary time out so we can keep on keeping on as long as we can!

    Voni
    sMiling
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  10. #55
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    Wow, that smoke must have done bad things to you Paul!

    Glad you are on the mend and hope to be able to read more of your travels very soon.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
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  11. #56
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Sure do appreciate all the good wishes. Update coming soon, but for now

    What to do in the desert in August?
    Hang out at our neighbor's at the Cowhead Ranch and see what happens . . .

    http://s320.photobucket.com/albums/n...20in%20August/




    Voni
    sMiling
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  12. #57
    Rally Rat
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    Hi Paul, Wow! Surprised to read what happened and good to know you are doing better. You don't know me but I attended your seminar's at Sedalia. great stuff!

    Best wishes to both you and Voni,

    Rick

  13. #58
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    Hi Paul

    I feel your pain. After the Joplin Tornado the air was full of a toxic mix of tree sap, house insulation (more on that) rotting food, molds from under houses, asbestos, smoke from some fires, and lots of diesel and chain saw exhaust from all the emergency vehicles (thanks folks!!!!!) That made a peculiar smell after the tornado that I hope I never smell again.

    I developed something called tornado cough. Mine was not bad, but for weeks after I got rid of the infection, the slightest smell of the tornado area made my lungs swell. A month of antibiotics took care of most of it.

    There was a common house insulation used around here years ago called rock wool. I basically was melted rock spun into fibers like they do with fiberglass now. As it ages, it crumbles into dust. I do not think it is good for you. There were tons spread around here. there was asbestos from all the heating, house siding, and who knows what else.

    You may now be sensitive to smoke for the next few years or even for the rest of your life. I hope not, but it happens so be aware.

    Take care and heal well.

    Rod

  14. #59
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Riding the River Road for Mike Perry

    Yesterday Cindy Perry posted another update about Mike Perry and his quest for a new heart and kidney. You all might know him because he shares the news from our corner of the world on the Alpine Daily Planet online. He's in Dallas in the hospital now so he can't see the results of all the rain in our Big Bend.

    Because I can't get to Dallas to cheer him, I thought I'd take a few pictures of one of his favorite places in the world.

    And when he gets back we'll show him in person!

    http://s320.photobucket.com/albums/n...0Mike%20Perry/

    You can wish him and Cindy GodSpeed at mikeperry2000@gmail.com

    FROM Cindy:


    To family and friends of Mike Perry:
    He's inched closer to getting the heart+kidney transplants! Today, Mike had a painful procedure, a heart catheterization -- or a tube stuck in the right side of his neck to measure heart pressure and output (at least that's what I got out of the medical explanation). I asked how long that has to be in his neck (it hurts and keeps him from turning his head very far.)
    Docs said until he has the transplant(s). Wow! Now, he needs to work on gaining a little weight, not too much. He's lost a lot of muscle mass and is very weak.
    It's a pretty scary place, that ICU, and I think he's tired of seeing his wife hovering over him every time he moves, coughs, snores or tries to sit up. So I know he'd like to have some visitors. (Only restriction that I know of is no cheeseburgers, no chicken-fried steak and no barbecue.)
    If you get a chance and you're in the neighborhood of UT Southwestern/St. Paul Hospital in Dallas, pop by to see the skinny old fart in Cubicle A of the 6th Floor cardiac ICU.
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  15. #60
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    When last we reported from the field we'd stowed our bikes in Libby, MT and bought a CAR!

    Paul's lungs had had an adverse reaction to the wildfire smoke and it was dangerous for him to be out in the air.

    He needed time to heal and we had that. So, we stopped by our grandsons in Iowa to reassure them and to spend their last days before school started doing fun stuff like visiting the Iowa State Capitol Building. Then it was off to son Mike's in Kansas for a couple of days. Then on to the Adobe in Texas.

    The spring and summer monsoons have brought so much greeness to our desert it was a delight to return. August has seen milder than normal temperatures so our days of healing were extra sweet. The main purpose of returning, though, was so that Paul could visit his own doctor and get the best advice about how to proceed and how to prevent a recurrence. With a change in meds and the dry clear air, Paul has been feeling better every day. We're both very disappointed that he's not helping out with the Cannonball but friend Darryl Richman is in good hands as he wends his way across the US.

    As usual, pictures here:

    http://s320.photobucket.com/albums/n...cpZZ1QQtppZZ12





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