Last Saturday I joined over 640 other motorcyclists in a toy run from the Grand Junction Harley Davidson dealer, about 10 miles to a toy pickup Salvation Army truck in a middle school in eastern Grand Junction. The ostensible purpose of this event was to provide toys for children who otherwise wouldn’t have them, so the price of admission was at least one toy, to be carried in a very, very long line of motorcycles.
The parade began at noon, and we followed a city police car, which means we had the luxury of holding up traffic and going through every red light on the route. A very surprising number of people came out on what was an overcast but fairly warm day to wave at us and cheer us on. There’s something exhilarating about participating in a mass event like this; everyone involved had a good time.
There may have been 25 non-Harley motorcycles along, but those of us on Hondas, Kawasakis and Indians didn’t feel put down – just overwhelmed. Ages of the riders ranged from 16 to at least 80, and some looked like accountants or retired judges (!!), but there were some seriously tattooed folks. Some wore outlandish costumes, many had on Santa Claus hats. About the only common denominator was black leather; a lot of cow hides were used to make everybody look good. The rival western slope motorcycle clubs wore their vests with the club name on the back and a forest of pins from other runs they’d participated in, and setting out their (usually extremely conservative and pro-second amendment) political opinions. I don’t think that the Sons of Silence, Band of Brothers or other clubs are clones of the Sons of Anarchy, but some of the club members could easily get jobs as extras on the show.
It’s hard to capture a mass event like this without a helicopter or drone, but here are a few pictures:
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Happy New Year to everyone! If you’re inclined, browse through this blog to see what we’ve been doing the past year. Which turns out, quite a lot.
We’d been looking at houses on and off for some time. We even thought of moving to one of the senior communities in Las Vegas. But Grand Junction has everything we were looking for, not the least of which is close proximity of 3/4 of our grandchildren and our friends from Rifle. All we couldn’t find was a house. Then in August, our Realtor (ask me her name; I can highly recommend her) found a location and home we could afford, near to everything, that fit us perfectly. Three bedrooms in a subdivision with a HOA that takes care of landscaping, the world’s smallest back yard, and a sunroom for Georgia’s sewing. We bought it.
Shoehorning 2200 square foot of crap accumulated over the last 40 years into 1600 square feet has been a challenge. Fortunately, our new home is located not far from the Goodwill store and drive-in collection depot. I made several trips there and to the recycling center.
Moving to a fairly large city (140,000+) from a small town (8,000) has also been what used to be referred to as a culture shock. All of the big box stores are close and well stocked, the restaurant selection is unreal, the downtown area is filled with cool bookstores and shops Colorado Mesa University, with arts and music performances weekly, is about six miles away.
We hope you’ll want to visit us. We’re only a couple of miles from the airport, and the California Zephyr stops daily at the Amtrak station downtown. And our new home has a guest bedroom!
Our new home is closer to Moab, and the incredibly beautiful Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. In fact, a trip to either one makes for a great day trip. One day this fall, Terry, Josh and I did just that. We stopped first at the almost-deserted railroad town of Thompson Springs – one of the many exits to forgotten towns along I-70. Hard to believe that this was an Amtrak flag stop.
The Crescent Junction exit from I-70 to Moab is well worth a stop. The proprietor of the small gas station and convenience store told us with a straight face that the place is magical; abandoned vehicles turn overnight into Lightning McQueen’s racer and other denizens of the movie “Cars.”
Mesa Arch, probably one of the most photographed natural arches in Utah (it’s spectacular at sunrise) doesn’t look too scary until you realize that off of one side is a drop of literally thousands of feet.