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Archive for June, 2013

Bullhead City to Airdrie
June 20 2013
Packed up the bike as much as I could the night before, wanting to get an early start to beat as much of the heat as I could. In the morning finished loading, I have 2 saddle bags, a tank bag, a fork bag, & a bag that mounts on the passenger pillion, & serves very well as a back rest for me. It was still necessary to load tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad & sandals on a rack behind the sissy bar. The bike hardly looked like a Harley, but when I fired her I knew she was ready to run.
In the meantime Caesar was walking around knowing deep in his heart that he wasn’t goin on this one again. He wasn’t really upset though as he had 3 other dogs for company & Emily. Caesar & Emily are huge pals, he dotes on her & she the same with him.
At close to 0630 I geared up, leather jacket, gloves, helmet & leather chaps. I had found a spot on the bike for my big winter leather riding gloves, although I knew I wouldn’t need them. I also had 2 regular pairs of gloves because they get sweaty in the heat. I stopped for fuel then headed toward Searchlight for breakfast. After 10 cent cups of coffee (all you can drink) & a big breakfast I head to West Marine in Vegas to check on a frig for my boat which I will need to import to Mexico. They have a special, so I order it & set out on my way to Ely Nevada. I made the decision to stay as much as possible off the interstates, as they just aren’t as much fun to ride, & I am under more pressure riding them. After about 10 minutes or so riding north in Las Vegas my mind starts to wander. Where are my passports? Yup, in my briefcase in Bullhead City, I know I must have both to get in to Canada & get back to the States. Turn around & head back, now I’m calculating, what time to get to Bullhead, then turn around & get back to Vegas & on to Ely. I ride as I figure, soon I’m on the highway to Searchlight, this time from the opposite direction figuring it will be late into Ely & a long day. Wait why do I take my tank bag everywhere? Was I thinking ahead? Did I put my passports in the tank bag? No, but wait maybe I should check, haven’t been wrong before but there could always be a first time, over onto the shoulder & stop, down with the kickstand, open tank bag & YES, there they are. Must have put them in last week to make sure I wouldn’t forget them, now find a spot & turn around, only lost an hour at the most, but it is starting to heat up.
Now back through Vegas & head north on 93, with a fuel stop before heading north as I know there are few gas stations ahead & I can only hold maximum 5 gallons in the tank, loaded as I am & with winds I won’t be getting optimal fuel mileage. I also soon discover there is very little traffic on this road, speed limit is 70, soon I have turned up the wick a little & doing 75. I am still not catching anybody, the road is very good, it isn’t long before I travel at 80, now I’m eating miles & the bike is running strong, not too much wind. Eventually I passed a vehicle, met few others & came to Ash Springs, heading on past to turn off 93 & onto 318. I travel for 5 miles on that before I come to a sign that says next gas 100 miles, woops I won’t make it, nothing to do but turn around & head back to Ash Springs, a total of about 10 miles, better than walking for fuel. I also grab a sandwich, some more water & get back on the road. I am no longer hot, have climbed quite a bit & its cooling off considerably. Next stop Ely, but now I see some signs for the old Hotel Nevada, biker friendly, the temperature has really dropped, I’m tired it’s been over 400 miles & another biker friendly sign. I’m checkin it out! When I arrive in front there are 3 other Harley’s parked there. I go in to check the rate & find I can get a room with a biker discount for around 50 bucks including some free beer & marguaritas! Sign me up, especially when I heard the temps were to go to the lower 30’s tonight. The room was small but nice, the bikes stayed on the street in front so they could keep an eye on them. Service was great, friendly folks, nice restaurant, free internet, life is good. It will be an early night tonight.
June 21 2013
First thing this morning, I look out the window, weather looks great, turn on the weather channel, yikes 32F, freezing, breakfast first then? Lots of coffee & the breakfast special, thought the prices were high in Mexico, guess I’m a little out of touch. Back in my room I note that you can be parked on the toilet & not have to move to wash your hands, in case anybody wanted to know, could probably soak your feet at the same time, who knows in 1929 it may have been important.
Now uncover the bike, no frost evident, & load. First thing I do is dig out the winter riding gloves, I was soon to wish they were mitts. In any case I used only them from then on, now 135 miles before the next town for fuel, can just make it, lonely highway again, I think I passed 2 vehicles, & I ran a lot of it 80-90, at one point glanced down only to see the needle closing 100, way too fast, slow down & try to keep warm. I had donned t shirt, sweat shirt, & leather jacket, wished I had brought my quilted jacket liner. Much of this run was in the 5000+ altitude range, bike still running great, although would need to adjust idle settings because of altitude, that’s what happens when it’s carbureted & not injected. Now through Jackpot NV & into Idaho, stop in Twin Falls for fuel, coffee & maybe a piece of pie, I’m in luck on the special board it shows peach pie. Sorry that was from yesterday & we are all out forgot to change the board, so have a cup of the home made beef barley soup, it was hot & delicious, some other place for pie. Now on into the mountains, where it is sunny but colder, I determine another motel is in order, I end up with a kitchenette, so off to Albertson’s & they have a chicken dinner special to go for $5.99, that’s more my speed, add a bottle of wine & it’s back to the room to enjoy. Hot breakfast was included so the rate turned out not bad, & 32F in the morning again, hope it warms up somewhere.
June 22 2013
Load the bike again, wear all possible clothes & hit the road. I am now travelling on US 75 & I know I need to turn east to get to 93, the GPS says in Ketchum, so I turn it’s a gorgeous morning along beside a golf course & little creek, I’m now heading towards 93. Only a 45 mph speed limit in town so I stick with it for 6-7 miles then I’m out of town & climbing, sign says road is open, well thank you very much. After another 10-15 miles I come to some gravel, & the sign says 25 mph. Lovely, the road is so rutted I can’t get more than 10-15 mph, hope this doesn’t last too long, but alas I spend the next 15 or so miles at that speed in the mountains, no cars ahead or behind me. The GPS said 42 miles before the next turn, eventually the road improves & I kick it up to almost 25 mph, oh well at this speed & having to keep the bike upright I’m not cold & burning a ton of calories. 10-15 more miles & pavement ahead, run 4-5 more & here is highway 93, let’s stop & check the map, sure enough the GPS took me on a nice shortcut through the mountain across gravel instead of the all paved longer way, oh well the bike was dirty anyhow & the scenery was beautiful, there were no bears, lots of birds, & the only snow was in the ditches, the road was damp, sure not dusty. Then in to Challis for more fuel, after checking weather, I made a reservation at a KOA in Missoula MT at a tent site with water, electric & a covered area. I was surprised that a tent site could be $38 bucks. I ate that night at Dave’s Famous BBQ, I think I was fed the food that may have been famous yesterday, but was a little dried out for today, he did think to try to cover the dryness with sauce.
June 23 2012
Weather a little warmer, yesterday afternoon had periods of rain, bits of snow, stopped & wore raingear over everything else. Caesar would not have liked that, he hates cold, & rain worse, fortunately it was spotty, not continous. Today I round Flathead Lake in Montana, it’s huge takes me close to an hour to get around, lots of sailboats & marina’s, would have been nice to spend a day & rent one. I stop in Kalispell for fuel, then spot a busy Sunday restaurant, so I stop, maybe pie here. In I go & sit at the counter, it’s busy, the waitress comes by with the coffee pot & asks if I would like something else, I ask what kind of pies, she says she would check rather than lie to me. A few minutes later she comes back & says apple, banana cream, rhubarb, wait, what? Rhubarb, just plain? You must be joking my favorite pie & I haven’t eaten it for a couple of years, nobody has it, unless mixed with strawberries, yes please, a la mode. She’s excited too, knowing she just made my day, the pie was as good as Mom used to make. Could have proposed to her, I rode with a smile for the rest of the day.
Now through Glacier National Park with everybody else on a Sunday afternoon, lots of snow, water on the road, bikes & cars. This is the Ride to the Sun Highway, really some fantastic sights but I need to keep my eyes on the road; over the edges, some drops of thousands of feet & I hate heights, although very pretty, I was glad to come to the end. Then I camped at another KOA, no services this time, no water, no electric, still $38 bucks. They have a license to print $, I can’t imagine what they charge RV’s. They had a pizza delivery to the campsite, an 8 inch pizza for $9, but when it arrived it was only 7 inches. It was fresh though, not frozen. In the morning at 5 it rained a little & there were literally hundreds of birds singing & chirping to wake me. Lit a morning fire with my left over $7 firewood that is now wet, but with a wet bag & some leftover serviettes, I got it to burn.
Now to the border where I quickly pass through as I am carrying nothing & have a Canadian passport, I will use the US one when I return. When I get to Fort McLeod, I stop for coffee at a Tim Horton’s & get WiFi & cell service, have had neither since Idaho. Now on to my brother Dave’s house in Airdrie.
I put on about 1400 miles since BHC, fortunately had no problems, the bike ran well (she’s 13 years old, a Y2K), got between 35-42 mpg, with a lot of gear, now I enjoy a warm soft bed & get to visit with Dave, Sue & niece Katie. Catch you in few weeks.

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June 17, 2013

Topolabompo to Bullhead City

Will try again to do an update of travels, did it the other day directly to WordPress & lost it all, need to get this figured before heading north.

 

In any case Caesar & I left Topo after finally finding a little street stand that was making some breakfast & of course it had to be one that doesn’t brew coffee, they just bring the jar of instant & lets you make your own, it’s actually pretty good though, you can make it as strong as you want. Soon we were on our way, quickly discovered that Los Mochis was only about 10 miles down the road, we could have had a good room & a good breakfast for less money. 

 

We then headed north over a pretty good toll road, stopping at a little restaurant that had 4-5 semi’s parked which indicated it might be a good place to stop. Strangely enough, there were none of them inside when we went in, oh well we asked if they had any fresh fish, & so ordered. It always takes some time as all was prepared for our order, when it arrived it was a huge portion & absolutely delicious. We continued further to a town called Santa Ana, where we found a nearly new motel, pet friendly at no extra cost with a restaurant and Oxxo next door. It was very low priced, had free wifi & very friendly people. The next day we continued on, clearing through US customs & immigration, after turning in our TIP just prior to the border, & getting back my $300 US. We headed to Phoenix to meet up with the guys I had played golf with, for the last 25 or so years. We stayed there & while there, I found a 13 year old Harley with only 12500 miles in pristine condition that was within my budget. Then we headed to Bhc, to stay with friends while getting the trailer out & setting it up. After some research on insurance claims & ownership history I called & bought the Harley. The seller was a dentist & had bought a touring bike, so after a couple of years of non use decided to sell this one, then needed to get a trailer, go to Phoenix & pick it up. It runs excellent, need only a back tire & brake pads. Took it for a dry run this weekend to southeast Arizona for the weekend, putting on over 1000 miles, had a battery box bolt come loose, & an issue with the turn signals not flashing. After getting a missing lock washer for the loose bolt, I spent some time diagnosing the turns signals, turned out they had been upgraded to L.E.D.,lights & a resistor had come apart. After putting it back together with liquid tape & fastening it down, all works well again.

 

In any case had a good run yesterday, did over 450 miles in the heat, took about 9 hours. Sore butt this morning, but now I know I can do it if I need too, & the bike can too. Got between 38-42 mpg, but had a lot of wind & a lot of running at 80 or more mph.

 

Now it’s time to see if I can get this uploaded, then will try & update more often as I head north, & also Facebook if necessary. Have a nice day, see you soon.

 

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Bullhead City

Bullhead City Arizona
June 3, 2013
Time to get caught up, will try this in 2 consecutive blogs I think, Its been a busy time. After getting back into La Paz, played in the Bayfest games, had a lot of fun, we didn’t win any games in bocci ball, eliminated after the first round because of single elimination, some condolence though, the team that beat us were the champion team winners, & we gave them a run. Then they went on to win a few weeks later in Loreto fest which was real tough competition. I also played in the cribbage tournament which I really should have won, but allowed an opponent to score the points she missed in her count, 8, which gave her the game on that hand. Was my own fault because we were playing muggins so had I taken her points, I would have won instead or her. I just didn’t feel that for a fun tournament we should have been playing muggins when most of the players were learning players. In any case I had the satisfaction of beating last years winner who really fathoms himself as the best but he is not really other than in his head. Then next up was Loreto fest, I rode up with a friend that has a sailboat up there that she is getting ready to sell, her husband passed away & she is now having to deal with getting her life back in order. Caesar went with us, we spent a couple of days on her boat, dealing with battery issues, then a friend of hers came in from San Diego so Caesar & I moved over on to Ann Mari with Jim the puppet guy. He was at anchor in Puerto Escondido which is the harbor about 22 kms. from Loreto. The first night there we were having a few beers outside the little tienda with other cruisers & it turned into a little white dog fest. I believe there were 4 other little white dogs traveling with other cruisers. I think Caesar thought he had gone to Heaven. Loreto fest is held in Puerto Escondito at the Hidden Port Yacht Club, for this event the beer company brings about a dozen or so big tents, sets them up for shade, sets up the kegs for dispensing beer, chairs etc. Several bands entertained, & school age kids entertained with traditional Mexican dancing. They were the best I have seen, & all in their own handmade very colorful costumes. I spent some time helping in the bar etc., as its all done by volunteers. They had a lot of games but no cribbage tournament, I think somewhere in the neighbourhood of 250 or so were in attendance. Sure met a lot of nice people.
Back in La Paz it was time to get the boat ready to leave, wash & organize & decide what to take North. I also needed to go out to the customs office at Pichilinque where the ferry & commercial shipping comes in & out of. It is about 15 kms out of town. I needed to get a TIP (temporary import permit)to take my truck to the mainland of Mexico, & I also needed to get documentation to import a new refrigerator for the boat without duty & tax (comes in under vessel in transit)it has its own TIP. Sometimes it seems very confusing because some laws cover the boat, different for the truck, & different for the Baja. Other laws have also changed since I went there, I can now apply this fall for permanent residency, rather than having to renew every year. With the new PRI government they are also looking at changing the way foreigners take title to ocean front & near border properties, but that is still in the works.
I did get my prop drilled & tapped with the nylon screws, they say it won’t work, will sheer the nylon, but if it doesn’t work, I can replace at any time with stainless. I will also get a new prop to take back with me, will be a little more careful with this one. Wish they still had sheer pins like the good old days when you just carried a spare & put it in with a pair of pliers in a few minutes.
The reason I had decided to take the ferry across to the mainland was it saved me about 800 miles of driving to Phoenix, & at between $3.50 & $4.00 a gallon & 15-16 miles per gallon it was worth it in time & cost. The cost of the ferry including the truck, Caesar & I was only around 2000 pesos or $160. We weren’t sure where Caesar was allowed to ride, but it turned out he had to be in a large dog kennel on the aft deck. It was outside though & a nice day. No other dogs were in the other kennels, but no people were allowed out there myself included so he was PO ed. The ferry got underway about 1430 & arrived in Topolobampo about 2030, was a nice day so Caesar & I just had to suck it up & deal with it. For me inside the ferry they had a restaurant & bar, movies showing, live entertainment in the bar & not overly priced drinks. The buffet dinner was included, could have had a private room as well but for an afternoon cruise I thought that might be a little overkill, not to mention the cost. When we got to Topo, we had a room reserved at the Marina Hotel, which turned out to be a bad deal. The internet didn’t work, the restaurant was closed, pool was closed, they wanted an additional 100 pesos because I had made a reservation, I didn’t realize it was only about 10 miles to Los Mochis where there are lots of really good places to stay for a lot less money. Just another adventure/learning experience I guess.
Will sign off this for now & catch up more later about the run to Phoenix & Bullhead City.

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