Adventure Trio’s Faith In Humanity Tour 2012 3 On 2 For 4 That First Week – Settling In, Checking Out7
I did already start a blog entry a couple of days ago but found myself not in the moment. It felt forced. A lack of “genuine feeling” was missing. We are currently in South Fork, Colorado, and the mood has struck. No inhibitions. Only a slight filter for the family readers. Away we go…
Those of you who are constantly on the run with work/family/life know how hard it is to allow yourself to “check out”, removing yourself from the daily dash and constant chaos. It’s tricky. Why? Aren’t we supposed to be on the GO at all times, running from place to activity to deadlines to madness? Those of you who know Terry know that it takes at least 2-3 days for us to settle, to slow down, to stop checking emails. This time, it’s taking us almost a week. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because our audience is larger. Maybe it’s because we feel we NEED to put something out there. Huh… When you remove yourself from the norm and force yourself to take a step back, it can either drive you mad or be the welcome mental vacation you’ve been desiring. I was on the path toward the first choice but made the conscious decision to slow down and watch the world pass me by.
A FEW STOPS ON THE WAY OUT
It’s cool to know that friends (AKA “Family”) want you to swing by as you’re on your way out. It’s even nicer to know that though you’ve only met these people once, they instantly became part of the Adventure Trio family. Our first stop took us to the Sierra foothills to visit Chris of Overland Journal. We could’ve/should’ve stayed longer, talking about riding trails and road closures. But, alas, we needed to make it over the hill to Gardnerville to spend some time with another friend and savor a home-cooked meal. As we wound our way around Lake Tahoe, memories of my childhood raced through the brain. I had learned to waterski in the “OH, so flipping cold!” waters of Incline Village. Snow ski weeks were spent at Northstar, homemade lunches eaten in the parking lot on the tail gate of the Brady wagon. But, our ride around Lake Tahoe would not have been complete until we hooked up with Grandpa Higgs for a few miles along the eastern side. As we rounded a sweeping right hand turn, there was Dave, “Grandpa Higgs”, waving his arms to get our attention, proud to show us his new FJR. Once we settled into our room in Gardnerville, J was nice enough to pick us up at our motel, our own personal chauffeur to his abode. We met his lovely wife, Angela, and spent the evening chatting it up in his very cool lounge. Yes, J had converted a room in his house into a whiskey lounge. With a Manhatten in hand, the swapping of stories commenced as we noshed on pulled pork, freshly made slaw and other delectables. The night went by quickly, and we soon found ourself back at the motel. Who knows what this trip will bring. I just need to remind myself to let it happen, not try to make it happen.
MILES AND MILES
We always forget how beautiful the ride is on Highway 50 crossing Nevada. I know, many of you may not believe me. But, those of you who have driven the Loneliest Highway know the beauty of this 2-lane road. The winds were lacking their usual 30 mile an hour gusts. This was somewhat unusual, but a very welcome gift for us. We had heard/read rumors that the Shoe Tree had been cut down by a jilted lover last year. Are you sure? I see a large tree to my left with a couple hundred pair of shoes hanging from it. Ah, rumors… You have to have your stops planned when rolling across 50. The towns are spread out and not all of them have a restaurant or even a gas station. Our usual lunch spot in Austin was closed. The International closed? What’s happening to our small towns?!? The big “night out” restaurant in Eureka? Closed. It was only 2 years ago since our last crossing of this area. Going through these towns help to remind us that if you don’t support your local businesses, they may no longer be there to support you. Our destination today – Ely, Nevada. Why? When a town boasts a hotel with an indoor pool surrounded by the rooms with a bar/restaurant that looks over the entire hotel, how can you go wrong? Jack is happy. Terry and I are happy. It’s a Win-Win situation. With over 300 miles under our belt for the day, it was time to hang up the riding suit for the night. But, why is my computer not booting up? REALLY?!? You mean I’m now carrying a 6 pound rectangle that won’t work and is now known as the biggest, heaviest charging station? Nice. Whatever. Looks like I’ll be shipping the brick home. Thank you, Eli, for offering your Apple services, but I think this one is dead in the water.
The next stretch of highway after Ely was going to bring some challenges. The last time we rolled south toward Pioche, Nevada, it was raining with threats of thunderstorms. Just 2 years ago as we rolled south of Pioche and turned left to head east to Cedar City. Just a couple of minutes later, sky had completely opened up, thunder breaking overhead and hail slamming against our helmets. This time through, the skies were clear, but the winds were constant. Over 246 miles of gusting cross winds no matter what direction we turned. Just as we thought we’d free ourselves of neck-jarring gusts, the winds would shift and we would once again find ourselves rolling sideways. At least it’s not thunder and lightening. Just please get us to Utah safely.
Our plan was to avoid the heat of southern Utah and head straight for Zion. Not our original plan. But hey, you must remain flexible as the weather is what truly dictates your direction. That and a 10 year old. And with temperatures of over 100 degrees set for the week, we wanted to gain some altitude and hopefully cooler temps. Zion it was, fingers crossed we could score a campsite along the Virgin River. First come, first served and it was Father’s Day weekend. Keepin’ the faith.
LEAP AND THE NET SHALL APPEAR
This was my mantra as we pulled into the south campground of Zion National Park. We leapt. The net appeared. We scored site #63 right next to the Virgin River. Make your jokes now… The plan was to camp for one night then push on. That was the original plan. It didn’t’ work out that way. Our bodies told all of us that it was time to settle in for a night or 2, to enjoy the landscape and the fact that we didn’t have WiFi. Fine by us. Though our mental maps told us to press on, our brains decided otherwise. We spent the next 2 days hiking up The Narrows and swimming in the Virgin River. Life was good. Almost too good. We could’ve spent our entire 4 weeks nestled in that locale. Jack was in 10-year-old boy heaven. With a river, a stick and pollywogs, he was good to go. And Terry and I? When little man is happy, we’re happy. Nuff said. We did meet an interesting dude that was sort of camped next to us. Jobe, as he came to be, was “paying” some other hikers to park his van in their slot. Sorry, Jobe, but they really didn’t want you there. And, they were probably tired of hearing about your doomsday prepping . We get it. The world is going to end. But, could you just roll with the rest of us and be happy? There are something interesting cat’s out there. It was time to leave our compound and push on. We weren’t thrilled, but we knew more adventures were to be had. Onward.
THE BEAUTY OF UTAH
We always hear of places we just NEED to see; places that will make a difference in how we respond to our surroundings. Truly, Utah is such a place. Highway 12 through Escalante to Boulder is BY FAR one of the most magical, breathtaking rides in our lifetime. Seriously, I tear us just writing this. There is so much natural beauty to be had. From the twists and turns to the elevation drops and climbs to the narrows of the road…magic. And please, take your time to stop in at the gas station/store in Boulder. It has everything you do and don’t need. It is the last of our truly great markets. This is our first time taking in the southern part of the state beyond Capitol Reef. We rolled through parts of it 2 years ago, but did not experience all that it has to offer. Now, it is our time. After making some miles beyond Zion, we settled in Torrey, Utah, for the night. The place we stayed offered a fabulous cabin with a kitchen and 2 bedrooms. Quite the score when traveling with Mr. J. It was our little apartment for the night. Laundry facilities? Nice. Hot tub? Even better. All the Borden’s were satisfied. The next morning we were rested and ready to roll east to Colorado. We knew that there wasn’t much to be had beyond Hanksville as far as food and gas. We were fortunate that they even had a gas station! But, we knew better than to say, “We’ll just gas up at the next town”. Just a hint – there is no next town. When you travel south on 95, you are in Wille E. Coyote and Road Runner country. No joke. The scenery is beyond any picture, painting or description. I don’t care how much you paid for your camera, it will not capture the essence of this part of the country. The cliffs boasted a deep red that is beyond description. The skyline went on what seemed forever. I may sound a bit cliched. But, unless you’ve experienced it, you can only rely on cliches. You feel helpless in its beauty. You are small amongst a land of giants. In short, you feel puny. Mother Nature wins. With plenty of water and snacks on hand, it was on to Blanding to regroup and meet our newest friend, Charles.
SMALL TOWN, USA
We stopped in Blanding, Utah, at a BBQ place. Don’t quite remember the name. Doesn’t matter as it’s one of the only places to eat in the town. Our waiter was truly a delight. Imagine Charles Nelson Riley with splash of Jack from “Will and Grace”. Throw in a side of that odd little actor from “True Blood” and you have our married waiter, Charles. We liked him straight off. He was full of information about the area and places to stay along our route. I could’ve hung out for hours catching up on town gossip and Hollywood talk, but we did have to push off and make some miles. Liked us some Charles. Moving on…
Durango was our first night in Colorado. Unfortunately, there was a Can-Am gig going on in town. Alas, most hotels were booked. Hmmph. Not to worry. Leap and the net shall appear. We did finally settle on a little place along the main drag. Room available? Nice. We’ll take it. Okay, so the Can-Am thing was a tad annoying. For those of you not in the know, a Can-Am is that new-fangled 3-wheel bike. Imagine a bug that moves really fast. Ugly? Yes. Does it have a clutch? Not from what Jack noticed. They were EVERYWHERE! Maybe it’s just us, but it feels like a wanna-be bike. Don’t hate us just yet as we were not the only ones! The best quote from a Harley guy, “I’ve been seeing these Can-Am things all over town. I don’t know about you, but I’d be embarrassed to be on one of those things.” Sorry, Can-Am’ers, but we tend to agree. The night in the room was good. A grocery store was nearby, so a slightly home-cooked meal was to be had. Yes, Applebee’s was at the hotel, but ICK! “Yes, I’ll have the Cheesy Cheese Fries to start and a Cheese Covered Steak followed by the Mound O’ Fake Ice Cream Sundae to finish.” I KNOW! They have salads, but the dressings?!? Maybe we’re just food snobs. It was a roasted chicken with a salad and fruit that night. Cheaper, tastier, healthier.
We had already decided that we were going to do a late departure the next morning. The Nikon D70 had decided to no longer work, and we needed to find a replacement. For those of you keeping score: Electronics 2, Credit Card 0. The only place in town to replace said DSLR? Walmart. Oh, how we LOATH Walmart. The politics, how the put out local mom and pop’s. None of it is good. But, on this day, we had to succumb to the ickiness. As Jack and I walked in, I kept him on high alert for People of Walmart picture opportunities. There were a few, but none worth noting. To the camera section we headed. They had what we needed and at a good price. CURSE YOU, WALMART! Away we went with our new Canon t3i, feeling slimey for feeding the machine but thankful we were saved. It’s quite a push/pull with the conscience.
Now, we are settled in Colorado just a couple of miles from our Great Divide entry. The smoke hangs thick in the air from all the fires, but we’ll find our way. As always, the plan is to have no plan. But, a final word from a family we met up with during lunch today… We stopped at a BBQ place in Durango to grab some grub and charge our new cameras. We met a family who had just lost their 23 year old son. He was killed in a non-motorcycle accident in Mexico during a vacation. He and his dad were planning a moto trip to Alaska within the next year. Today, we rode in honor of Michael Garcia and the Garcia family. This is yet another reminder for all of us. Life is too short to say, “Some day”. None of knows when our day will come. We may be 23, we may be 73. No excuses. No reasoning out of life. Live for those who are no longer with us. Live for those who say they can not. Inspire those who may need that push to leave the norm. As we always say, “Don’t ask why, ask why not”. Good night, our friends. Sleep well. Dream hard. Live beyond your expectations. Cheers, Sandy