You are currently browsing the National Park Tour category

Motorcycle Trips

  • Posted on December 2, 2012 at 8:21 am

Between February 22, 2012, when I took my motorcycle off its stand for the first time, and December 2, when it went back into its cocoon, I rode 7,167 miles, changed the oil twice and the tires once. All the trips were in Colorado and Utah, and all were made more enjoyable because of the company of  good friends.

During the year, I started to fill the stamps on my National Parks  passport. Many of the trips this year are in posts of their own (click on the category “Motorcycle Trips” on the sidebar if you’re interested in reading about them), but some of the day trips we took were worthy of a magazine article to read on a cold, snowy January day.

Here are a few pictures from some of them.

 

Cortez

  • Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:49 am


View Larger Map
My quest d’jour is the Iron Butt Association’s special ride for those who aren’t up to ride 1000 miles in a day: for those of us whose butts aren’t exactly iron clad, they offer  a National Parks Tour.  I rode with Don, W0DET, to Dove Creek, Colorado.  It was his first excursion on his new (to him) Honda Shadow 1100, and I think he had a great time.  The fall colors were at their prime:

Entrance to Mesa VerdeAnasazi Heritage CenterP9280018P9280020P9280021P9280023
P9280028P9280030P9280031P9280032P9280034Hovenweep National Monument
Remind you of Cars and Cars II?P9290041P9290042FriendsYou can get anything you want ...Welcome to Utah, again
Wilson Arch just south of Moab, UtahSome of the beautiful jewelry availabe from a Native American at the rest sop.Arches National Park

Cortez, a set on Flickr.

 

Note that in order to document your National Parks Tour, you need to take a picture of your motorcycle in front of the park or monument.  Otherwise, you might be accused of cheating and gathering validation stamps in your car!  That’s why you see several pictures of mine.  For those who are interested, there are (of course) websites for the National Park stamp collectors, and those of us who are collecting them by motorcycle.

We stayed at the home of Don’s friends Norm and Carla.  He has installed a ham radio shack there with a huge directional beam antenna.   It’s located on their dryland farm not far from Dove Creek which is wonderfully isolated and quite beautiful.  From the radio location, you can see a majestic panorama of mountains in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.  And since the location is far from town, the stars and the full moon were  painfully bright, the coyotes’ cries piercing, mournful and a little scary, and the level of radio interference incredibly low.  Don set up his station for radio teletype, and his first contact was somebody in Croatia!  But the best part for me was spending time with the three friends.  They’ve known each other for years, and it took abut five minutes for me to feel at home.  Thanks for your wonderful food and warm hospitality!

On our trip back through Moab, we drove through Dove Creek, where the principal crop is dried pinto and Anasazi beans from the dryland farms.  We then pointed our handlebars west to to Utah, stopping  at Wilson Arch, where a Navajo girl sold me [spoiler alert] two lovely necklaces.

It was a wonderful trip, and I snagged six new stamps for my tour:  Anasazi Heritge Center, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.  I now have ten of the 50 required parks, but only in two of the required 25 states.  Planning my next trip could be problematic, since there are very few  national parks and monuments in the midwest.

Top

Bad Behavior has blocked 52 access attempts in the last 7 days.