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Thread: 2013 Voni and Paul Summer Wander

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  1. #1
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    2013 Voni and Paul Summer Wander

    This morning 94 motorcycles departed Cranberry Township, just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania headed by several less than direct routes to Rancho Cordova, California. These motorcyclists are riding the second leg of the 2013 Iron Butt Rally, popularly described as "11 days, 11,000 miles". Those unfamiliar with the rally should think of it as a very large scavenger hunt. Riders receive a certain number of bonus points for taking a photograph or obtaining a receipt at some specified location. There are many more possible bonuses than anybody can possibly obtain. Some bonuses may only be available for specified limited periods of time. The game is to plan and ride a route collecting as many bonus points as possible. Voni and I are not among those 94 riders. We rode and successfully completed the rally ten years ago but have not had any irresistible urges to repeat the adventure since then. We are however also headed to Rancho Cordova, California and intend to arrive there sometime Sunday. Not coincidentally those 94 rally riders are expected to arrive Sunday too. The checkpoint window is open for two hours. Riders who arrive on time suffer no penalty, but during that two hour window penalty points apply for every minute the rider is late. At the end of the two hours, any rider who has not arrived is DNF - did not finish - and is out of the game.

    After spending a few weeks visiting Mike in Kansas and Melanie and family in Iowa, we headed west on our road bikes to California. Paul will work at the scoring table as rally riders arrive in Rancho Cordova. Voni is the semi-official hugger at the checkpoint, hugging each rider as they arrive. She has done so every biennial rally since 1999. After the riders depart Rancho Cordova headed back to Pittsburgh on Monday morning we too will depart Rancho Cordova. But our plans are to visit Voni's cousin Paul Hathaway at a cabin on the river west of Santa Rosa and to then attend our friend (who we met riding in Southern Africa) Lindsey Mickles' weekend-long 80th birthday party in Petaluma. When we depart Petaluma we will head directly to our annual BMW national rally in Salem, Oregon.

    Since leaving Mike's in Kansas we have been loitering our way toward California. We allowed plenty of time for a change. We spent an overnight in Colby, Kansas and then camped for three nights in the delightful Cache La Poudre River canyon northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado. About that time newscasters began describing the "record setting heat wave" that had descended upon the Southwest United States. Our entire route from Colorado to California, across western Colorado, Utah, and Nevada was forecast to be not just summer hot but brutally hot. Triple digit temperatures were forecast to be the norm. So we devised a plan to start early each day and to be off the road and at a motel by noon or thereabouts each day. It has been a pleasant trip. Our stops after short days have included: Vernal, Utah; Nephi, Utah for two nights; Ely, Nevada; and Fallon, Nevada. On the non-travel day at Nephi we rode the beautiful Mount Nebo Scenic Loop northeast of Nephi (pronounced 'knee fy').

    Today we slept late, Paul wrote his next technical column for the BMW Owners News a month early, (he wrote the current one last night) and we rode a grueling 65 miles - hotel to hotel - to Carson City. Saturday will be a rest day. Then early Sunday morning we will ride the last whole 115 miles to the rally checkpoint.

    In 2008, after we returned from a motorcycle ride to Alaska, Paul was asked "what is the most important thing to take on a trip to Alaska?" His response was simply "time". "Allow time to see things, do things, and change plans if necessary". Given our current trip we couldn't agree more.

    We will report more as it happens.

    Lots of pictures here:

    http://vonig.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...3636&k=qqHLQwN










    Voni AND her Mechanic Paul
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  2. #2
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    Great pics Voni! I did a sheep drive one time as well on a NYC-San Diego-San Fran trip while we were crossing Colorado. Very cool and something you just don't see in Times Square!

    Ride safe!!

  3. #3
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Cool! That's the plan!

    Lots tricky to ride in amongst all those sheep!

    Voni
    sMiling
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  4. #4
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Glad to see Big Red the RS out on the road again.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
    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.

  5. #5
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Great Pictures as usual Voni! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us 'po workin folk.....lol
    Hopefully someday....

    Ken
    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  6. #6
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Gonna be hard to top this pic....Way cool

    P1170325-M.jpg

  7. #7
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    When last we reported our whereabouts we were lounging in Carson City, Nevada for two days before proceeding a whole 115 miles to Rancho Cordova, (near Sacramento) California, the checkpoint on day 7 of the 11 day Iron Butt Rally. We took a less direct but much more scenic route to Rancho Cordova stretching the distance all the way to 137 miles. We burned more fuel but it was worth it. Here the main roads run generally northish and southish in the valleys, while the connector roads twist and turn up and down over and through the ridges. The topography makes for excellent motorcycle riding if one takes the path less traveled.

    We arrived at the rally checkpoint mid-day, with the riders mostly arriving from late afternoon into the evening. The checkpoint window was open from 8:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. We had time to again meet, greet, and enjoy the company of many of our friends whom we see at most once every year or two. Then the riders began to arrive. Voni assumed her "staff" duties at the check-in room where the rider's arrival time was recorded, instructions given and where after 8:00 p.m. any penalty points were assigned. Paul joined the crew in the scoring room where each rider presented photos or receipts to claim the points for the bonus locations they had visited. Most of the riders arrived on time without penalty points. A few received some penalty. A handful didn't arrive until too late but they had called in so no one had to worry.

    We got up very early on Monday morning to have breakfast with the riders and to see them open their bonus listings for the final leg. They all went off to plan their routes back to Pittsburgh, PA while we packed up for a 120 mile ride - the long way - over to Paul and Lyn Hathaway's cabin in the woods on the Russian River near Forestville, CA.





    Iron Butt links
    http://vonig.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...0418837_79xVmH







    And they're off to PA
    http://vonig.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...0424352_5Kz9wL

    Paul and Lyn were at the cabin when we arrived Monday, but they needed to leave Tuesday. They graciously offered the cabin for us to stay in for two more nights. We enjoyed that immensely! It is such a magical place! Imagine hot tubbing in the Redwoods, lots of catching up and the most scrumptious meals! If you like, they do have a website where you can book your own time there. We took the opportunity to ride over to the coast, up the Pacific Coast Highway to Jenner for lunch, across the hills from Ft. Ross to Cazadero and back to the cabin. We rode four hours, during which we had traveled exactly two miles further than from the Adobe in Texas to the grocery store in Alpine - 55 miles. But we surely enjoyed the roads.

    http://vonig.smugmug.com/Nature/2013...4529&k=Vnh4qbw






    When we left the Cabin in the Woods we rode back to the coast and south on Highway 1 to Bodega Bay. We camped one night at Bodega Dunes Campground, part of the Sonoma Beach State Recreation Area; a very nice campground.






    Riding Sonoma County
    http://vonig.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...0126&k=xgtQKnr

    From there it was a 43 mile day, riding to Bodega Head and then Petaluma for Lindsey Mickles' 80th birthday weekend. We first met Lindsey when we toured for two months in five countries in Southern Africa. Without his coaching the dirt roads we traveled in Namibia would have been a lot more challenging. He was a fascinating travel companion and remains a delightful friend. We had a get-together with some old and some new friends at the hotel Friday night, and rode the Napa Wine Train with 60 other birthday partyers for dinner on Saturday. Tomorrow is a barbeque at Lindsey's house in the afternoon, from which we will travel north as far as Yuba City. Then on Monday and Tuesday we will ride the remaining 600 miles (again the long way not on the Interstate) to Salem, Oregon for Camp Gears for young riders on Wednesday and our BMW owner's once-a-year International Rally on Thursday through Sunday morning. Paul and Lyn's Russian River Retreat

    Lindsey's 80th Birthday and Napa Valley Wine Train
    http://vonig.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...0024&k=dRsK6L2







    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves/
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  8. #8
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rad View Post
    Gonna be hard to top this pic....Way cool

    P1170325-M.jpg
    When Paul got done helping her she asked him if he wore a helmet and was so relieved to hear that he did!

    Voni
    sMiling
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    Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
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  9. #9
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    We're been having a blast at the BMW MOA international Rally in Salem, Oregon.

    A link to pictures here.

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...d=1#post889719

    Now for the next plan . . .

    Voni
    sMiling
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves/
    Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
    BMW MOA Ambassador / FOM / Roving Forum Moderator/
    Selected Friends of Wile E Coyote/ A Million BMW sMiles

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