Day 4 – Mt Rushmore and the Badlands…

We started the day going to Mt Rushmore.  It was a foggy, drizzly day and so we were hoping it would clear enough by the time we got there to be able to see it.   The drive down from the cabin was wet.  We decided to take the car as all three of us wanted to see Mt Rushmore and the Badlands and with the weather the way it was, taking the car made more sense.  We drove by the same lake we saw on day 3.  Here are some pics of the ride to Mt Rushmore.

Lake on 385
Lake on 385
Lovely weather for sight seeing
Lovely weather for sight seeing
A short tunnel
A short tunnel
Getting closer!
Getting closer!

We arrived at Mt Rushmore and could not see it.  Too foggy and wet.  Dang it!  We decided to hang out and go shopping at the gift shop they have there.  It’s actually pretty cool as they have tons of “stuff” to buy related to Mt Rushmore.  There was even an old guy there who had done some of the drilling on the mountain way back!  After buying a few patches and stickers – oh, and a christmas ornament – we headed back outside to check the weather.  Nope, still can’t see it.

We then decided to walk down what felt like a thousand steps down to the sculptors studio where we saw smaller versions of the faces.  Here is what that looked like.P1000111After visiting this area a bit, we then walked the ten thousand steps back up to the statue.  Being flat landers and not used to this kind of activity at altitude, I was breathing hard by the time we made it back to the top.  At this point, you could just barely see the faces coming through the fog.

Starting to see the faces through the fog
Starting to see the faces through the fog

There was a short video playing explaining how it was built and so we decided to watch that to see if the weather would continue to clear.  The video was interesting in explaining how workers basically drilled into the rock and then used dynamite to blow up the rock.  From there, they would come back with with drills to shape the final formation of the rock.  They would use the smaller version of the faces to calculate how much rock to remove.  Amazing how they were able to bring it together.  The artists comments were that he hoped that as generations came to see this sculpture, that they would see the faces of the men that created the best country in the world.  After the movie, we caught a better glimpse.

P1000126 P1000128As fate would have it, these would not be the best shots of Mt Rushmore, those would come on day 5.

We left Mt Rushmore and headed down to Keystone SD for lunch.  Buffalo burger at the Ruby house was excellent as was the pecan praline ice cream next door.  Next stop, the Badlands…or so we thought.

Back up to Rapid City and then east on I90.  We had seen a sign or two for the Minuteman missle historic site in the area and decided to go check that out.  Heading east on I90 close to Wall SD is a silo for one of the missles.  I suppose I should explain a little bit about what these are for people not familiar.

Back in the 1960’s during the height of the cold war, America deployed 150 minuteman nuclear missles across Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota.  The intent was that if you shoot nukes our way, we are going to shoot our nukes your way.  Thus a stalemate occurred and obviously no nukes went off.  However, during the Cuban missle crisis, we were very, very close to launching.  The movie 13 Days does a terrific job of explaining what was going on with our leaders during that difficult time period.  Be that as it may, we (the US) developed and maintained all of these missles until 1994 when we signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that began the process of decommisioning all (or so we think) of these sites.  If you have seen the movie Wargames, then at the very beginning, you see a scene with two officers down in a bunker being told to launch their weapons.  That’s basically what we were going to go tour.

Here’s a few pictures of the actual missle site.  The missle in here is a fake as is the glass top that was put in place for people to be able to look down into the bunker.

D9 Missle Launch Site
Explanation for the site
The glass on top is so you can look down into the silo. It would not have been there during working operations.
Believe it or not, this is an antenna. VHF
The site is pretty much in the middle of nowhere about a half mile from the interstate.
Notice the cover is shaped like a snow plow so that it could launch even in winter

IMG_2835 IMG_2837 IMG_2841 P1000144 P1000150

After viewing the missle silo, we decided to head to the command bunker and check that out.  That was located about 5 miles down the road.  Here is a picture of that site:


Why here?  Read the description in this picture.
Why here? Read the description in this picture.
The command area...above ground.  30-40 people operated at this base when operational
The command area…above ground. 30-40 people operated at this base when operational

Each command bunker like this controlled 10 missles.  There were 15 of these command structures around the area.  Some of them looked like farm houses.  I asked about the secrecy of this place and did the Russians know about it.  The answer was a definitive yes, the Russians knew about it.  That was the objective to make sure they were aware that we could kick their ass anytime we wanted.  Of course they could kick ours and so the MAD (“Mutually Assured Destruction”) doctrine prevailed.

Here are a few pics of the above ground structure including the security desk.  I will explain what the big cable is below.

Crew living area.
Above ground security desk
Amazing cable

The cable that you are looking at above went from the command bunker below ground to each of the 10 missles controlled by this location.  The cable contains around 50 twisted pair wires that connected to various sensors and computers at the silo.  The cable was then shielded with multiple techniques you can see in the picture.  The outer copper shielding was to prevent any negative impact from an EMP (“Electro Magnetic Pulse”) that would fry normal electronics.  In addition, this cable was pressurized which allowed the commanders to determine if the cable had been cut or broken.  Any type of break would instantly get the security force stationed above ground headed out to determine the cause.  There were 1600 miles of this cable deployed to the missles.

In addition to the above ground, we were also allowed to go down to the underground bunker as well.  Here are a few pictures from that experience.

Notice the missle is shooting through the Soviet flag
Notice the missle is shooting through the Soviet flag

P1000167 P1000168

This door weighs 10,000 pounds and yet could be opened and closed by 1 person given the bearings and balance for how it was installed.  No one other than the “missleiers” and the cook were allowed below ground.  Crews maintained a 24 hours on and 24 hours off rotation.  Security was tightly controlled for who got access to this area.  In the event maintenance work had to be done, it was always in the prescence of a commander and armed security.  They took this very seriously.

Butch and Alex
Butch and Alex

After visiting the bunker, we were overwhelmed by how impressive all of this was.  I highly recommend taking the time to do this if you are ever in the area.

Day 4 was still not done.  We next headed to the Badlands…


The panoramic shot was taken near the end.  The larger version of this shot is even more impressive.  The Badlands are this very interesting geological area of, well, they are not really mountains, nor are they hills per se.  They are just sticking up in the middle of South Dakota.  This link from the National Park Service does a good job of describing how the Badlands were created.

Here are some pics from our time spent there including the wildlife we saw.

IMG_2861 IMG_2862 IMG_2864 IMG_2868 IMG_2875 IMG_2879 IMG_2890 IMG_2898 IMG_2901 P1000214 P1000227The Badlands are cool and worth seeing.  After that we went to Deadwood where Bill Hickock was shot and killed.  We ate at the Number 10 Social Club which had amazing food.  Did a wee bit of gambling, lost $20 and called it a night.  Drove back to our cabin and called day 4 done…well, almost.  By nightfall, the sky had cleared and we were able to see the most amazing number of stars.  Everywhere you looked were thousands and thousands of stars.  Even through binoculars was just amazing to see.  A great day in South Dakota.

Mileage Report

Morning odo reading: 3,639

Evening odo reading: 3,639

Miles for the day: 0

Trip start odo reading: 2,417

Total miles for trip: 1,222

Day 3 – Cheyenne WY to Lead SD

I got up early on Day 3.  Couldn’t sleep for some reason.  By 4am, I was writing day 2 and then getting that published.  By 5am, the first thing I noticed is that the sun was coming up quickly?  The farther north  you are, then the earlier the sun comes up in the summer and more daylight you have to work and play.  Since we were playing, this gave me the opportunity to head downstairs and get the bike washed.  Lots of bugs accumulate over 500+ miles.  We ate breakfast at the hotel, packed the bikes and headed out.


Our trek today would take us north on I-25 for about 7 miles and then turn off on 85 to head up the eastern side of Wyoming.  This is such beautiful country.  Lots of undulating pasture land as far as the eye could see.  Some of it contained crops, other was just green grass with a herd of cattle or horses milling about.  The one thing it didn’t contain is people.  As we were traveling these roads, there were very few cars we passed.  As you can tell from the shot above, not much traffic.  Montana is known for big sky country, we believe Wyoming should be included in that as well.  Amazing views.
For the most part, the weather was on the chilly side.  Temps in the low 60’s to upper 50’s.  We handled that okay in our standard gear configuration.  For me that looks like a Nike quick dry t-shirt, thermal long sleeve shirt, jacket and safety vest.  Jeans, my bike over-pants, and riding boots completes the setup.  This is comfortable up to about 85 where I have to take off the thermal shirt to stay cool.
We made our way north to a town called Torrington where we stopped for gas at a Maverick station.  We then encountered potential rain.  We stopped along the road to add the layer of rain protection gear and then continued on.  Never encountered rain until after Lusk which is a very small town in Wyoming.  And, it wasn’t really rain we encountered.  It was more like driving through a thick cloud.  Kind of foggy here and there with some droplets.  We were at about 5,000 ft above sea level and the clouds just seemed to rest on the ground.  The worse part of that was the other cars that didn’t have their headlights on.  This is a real pain.  We were following about 4 cars including a truck.  The weather finally broke and we were able to get around them and cruise on at our normal cruising speed of about 82mph.
Another hour or so later, we made it to Newcastle, WY.  Another small town, but not as small as the last.  We topped off our fuel tanks and found a Subway for lunch.  The weather was getting much warmer here so we removed a layer before heading into South Dakota.
Coming out of Newcastle, we followed 16 east from there into the black hills.  Very pretty country up here.  It is way better than what we are used to seeing on our daily commutes.
Through the black hills and all of a sudden, we see a face on the side of a mountain.  We decide to check it out and unknowningly we had stumbled across Crazy Horse.  Crazy Horse is a statue being built similar to Mt Rushmore.  It is being carved out of the side of the mountain using drills and dynamite.  We stopped in there for a few pics.
P1000060 P1000061 P1000064
Continued on north on 385 up to the Lead / Deadwood area.  Drove by a lake that was very pretty and I grabbed a few snapshots as we made our way along.  DSC03540
We finally pulled into our cabin around 2:30.  My wife flew into Rapid City SD and drove up.  She met us there around 4:30 as she had stopped for groceries and beverages.  We helped her unload the car, unpacked our gear and clothes we had on the bikes.  Finally proceeded to cook some steaks and baked potatoes while watching the Coca Cola 600 that evening.  We did encounter some deer walking through the woods behind the cabin and grabbed a few shots of them.  Our first major wildlife sighting!
P1000071That concluded day 3.
Mileage Report
Morning odo reading: 3317
Evening odo reading: 3639
Miles for the day: 322
Trip start odo reading: 2417
Miles for the trip: 1,222

Day 2 – Updated with more pics

The day started early…around 5:30 or so, I began loading the bike. I had done some re-arranging of my gear to make it fit a bit better on the bike and allow easier access to rain gear should the need arise. By about 6:15 or so, we checked out of the hotel and headed across the street to iHop for breakfast. Knowing that lunch was going to be later in the day, we loaded up on eggs and pancakes and were out of there by 7:00.

Our direction would take us north out of Amarillo up 287 pretty much the entire way until we hit I-70. Coming out of Amarillo, the weather was overcast and cool – mid-60’s. Perfect riding weather. A little windy, but the wind was out of the south and since we were going north, we had a perfect tail-wind. Traffic was light on the highway and we were making decent time. About then is when we smelled it.

Imagine the most god-awful stink you can think of…ok, now multiply that by 10 and you have just smelled a cattle yard. Initially, we didn’t even see it and the smell just hit us. Yikes, was it bad. For those of you not familiar with this area of Texas, Amarillo and some of the surrounding cities are known for their cattle yards and processing of meat. That’s how it makes it to your local grocery store. After about a mile, the smell dissipated and we were back to driving.

About 45 minutes down the road, we decided to make a pit stop in Dumas to top off and take care of some “business” post-breakfast. Now don’t get me started on the Dumas / “DumbAss” jokes. We tried to not snicker too much, but when we saw the Dumas police roll by, we did snicker a little. This proved to be fateful as I will explain later…

On northward through the panhandle of Texas some of the rolling nature of the land began to flatten and we were able to see miles and miles of prairie land. Nothing followed by more nothing-ness. We did run across a wind farm that we estimated had over 200 of those large electric generating windmills. Each blade is probably 100ft long. Amazing machines.

The wind was doing great initially being exactly at our backs, but then it shifted and began coming in over our left rear quarter. Wind speed was probably 30-40 mph. For those of you that have not ridden motorcycles, let me explain how this works. In a perfectly calm day, all choices of direction of travel are made by the driver. To steer the motorcycle, the driver pushes the handle bar in the opposite direction of how they want to go. It is called counter-steering. Huh? That make no sense! Sure it does, think of it like this. When the wheels are spinning they are creating a gyroscopic effect that causes the bike to remain upright. That’s what keeps it upright even at low speed. Without getting into too much of the physics behind it, that spinning wheel does not want to change direction and any turning of the wheel causes it to “fall” in the opposite direction. Turn the spinning wheel right and it wants to fall left to maintain the balance of the mass.

As I said, turn the wheel right and the bike falls left. This along with the shape of the motorcycle tire, allows the bike to actually make a left turn. Too prevent too much “fall”, the driver has to balance it with turns back in the opposite direction. It’s this constant balancing act that allow the driver the steer the bike through a corner. So what does this have to do with wind coming off the left rear of the bike?

Riding along with a wind coming in from the left pushes the bike to the right. Because the bike only has too wheels, it is much more sensitive to cross-winds than cars. If a driver maintains a straight up line and a wind comes along from the left, it will push the driver right. We were constantly fighting this wind by steering right, “falling” left and keeping the bike in a somewhat straight line. So basically, we were trying to steer into oncoming traffic to keep the bike on the road. Nice… What’s worse is that on-coming traffic would create a vacuum where there was no wind and it would pull the bike right into the other lane. Seriously not fun!

We continued this fight for about 180 miles over all. We found that by going faster, it helped somewhat with the balance, but also just the mental hope that we would be out of it soon. We were traveling anywhere between 85-105mph to try and get through it quickly. Unfortunately, we rolled by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol doing 87. And while he understood our plight, gave us tickets anyway for 75 in a 65. Me, I think it was somewhat worth it to try and get through the madness as quickly as possible.DSC03487

Right before we got a ticket in OK
Right before we got a ticket in OK
There were about 200 of these in southern CO
Not sure what this hill was in the middle of nowhere
Not sure what this hill was in the middle of nowhere
Adjusting gear
Coming into Denver
Coming into WY

We stopped for gas and a rest in Lamar CO. Nice little town. Ate some beef jerky and drank most of a gatorade. By the way, the nothing-ness, continued all the way through eastern CO until we started heading toward Denver on I-70. We did stop in Limon as well to take care of some more “business” and hit the gift shop. I bought a patch that says “The Rockies” on it. I’m not really a fan of CO and their liberal ways so no state flags or anything like that.

Once we were on I-70 about 50 miles outside of Denver, we caught a glimpse of Pikes Peak. Just beautiful. A little hazy so it wasn’t perfectly clear, but gorgeous none the less. We didn’t see mountains again until we were about 20 or so miles from Denver. That finally gave us something to look at besides the flatness of Texas, OK and CO.

My buddy has a friend that lives in Aurora so we stopped to have lunch with them at a Chili’s. We topped off the fuel tanks and from there headed up the toll-way on to I-25. As we were traveling north, I kept glancing at the mountains. I imagined that they were calling out to me to come dance along their twisty roads which I desperately desired to do after the last 2 days of riding flat, mostly straight roads. Patience however. I will get there soon enough and then it will be time to play.

I-25 north from Denver thru Fort Collins sucks!! Traffic on a Saturday late afternoon was horrendous. The worst traffic we been in for the entire trip. Add to that, the temperature was around 91. Surprisingly hot. We could not wait to get through that. As we had just crossed over into Wyoming, a van comes hauling ass driving past us. We estimated that they were doing 110 or more as we were doing about 85 (the speed limit was 75 here, not 65). As we got closer to Cheyenne, we saw a WY highway patrol coming the opposite direction, make a hasty u-turn and flew past us doing probably 120-130. Presumably to go catch that van. We never did see what happened as the exit to our hotel came up too soon.

Made our way to the hotel, a Holiday Inn Express. Cleaned up and went to dinner at a restaurant called Shadow. It’s an old train depot and supposedly one of the most important pieces of western architecture from the late 1800’s. Cool place; was recommended by a friend and I’m glad we went. Water, beer, whiskey, chips and salsa, pulled pork with sweet potato fries (in that order) was enough for me. Made it back to the hotel, to the room and crashed.

Mileage report:
Morning odo reading: 2796
Evening odo reading: 3317
Miles for the day: 521

Trip start odo reading: 2417

Total miles thus far: 900




Day 2 map:

Day 1 – End

Day 1 is done…in the books so to speak. Over 350+ miles today primarily on 287. I’ve also just discovered that the camera I was using to take some cool pics on the road uses a memory stick and not an SD card. Argh!! I don’t have the adapter with me for the memory stick so no pics tonight.

In terms of the trip, the traffic was fairly light and we were able to make good time. Pretty much the 6 hours that google maps suggested it would take. I left my house at 7:02am and we rolled into the hotel parking lot around 1:30. This included a couple of stops for lunch and one for gas. That is fairly uncommon for us as we normally stop about every 100-120 miles. Today we pushed that to close to 160-180 miles before stopping. Basically 7:20-9:30 straight driving.

Lunch was at the Dairy Queen in Childress. This particular DQ had plenty of senior citizens partaking of the DQ offerings. Nothing wrong with that. A few other travelers also stopped in for a quick bite before getting back out on the rode. We knew they were travelers because we ended up passing them later on down the road.

Once we got to west Texas, the scenery definitely flattened out. You can see for miles out here. We saw one windmill farm churning out electricity and an entire new set of high voltage wiring being setup. We also saw about 3 coal trains. A coal train is exactly what it sounds like. Cars full of coal being pulled south. Not sure where they come from or where they were going, but each of them was anywhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of a mile long. Very long trains!!

We also saw plenty of highway patrol although we did not get the opportunity to meet any of them in person. Thankfully the radar detector was working and saved us a couple of times.

Our average speed today was up around 82-87 mph. Speed limits out here are 75, so we pushed it a little to get past trucks and other slow moving traffic.

Once we got to Amarillo, we unloaded the bikes and sat down for a bit. We then decided to go see the movie Star Trek Into Darkness in iMax 3D. The picture and sound were incredible. When explosions occurred, the seat actually rumbled from the volume of low bass the sound system was pumping out. Great movie!! Better than the first one (relative term as the first one is actually number 11).

After the movie, we made our way over to the Big Texan to eat steak. Although I did consider the 72oz steak challenge, I decided that the better course would be to order a small rib-eye. Yummy, good choice. After that, headed back to the hotel, showered and am ready for tomorrow. We leave early so updates when I can!!



Here is a map for day 1:

Rushmore and Yellowstone – Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

Well, we are about 6 days out from our big trip to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.  All the gear is bought, a little bit more left to do to get it ready and then we leave next Friday.  Here’s our agenda:

Day 1 – Home to Amarillo

Day 2 – Amarillo to Cheyenne

Day 3 – Cheyenne to Lead SD

Day 4 – Touring Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Devils Tower

Day 5 – More touring

Day 6 – Lead SD to Cody WY through the Bighorn National Forest

Day 7 – Cody to Teton Village through Yellowstone

Day 8 – Touring Yellowstone

Day 9 – Touring Yellowstone

Day 10 – Teton Village to Frisco CO

Day 11 – Frisco CO to Amarillo

Day 12 – Amarillo to Home

Can’t wait!!!  I will try to be more diligent about getting some posts up every day of the trip.  No promises though.

Fredericksburg May 2013 – Day 4

Day 4 was pretty uneventful.  Just traveling home.  The roads were great, the weather was perfect and we generally had a great time.  About the only thing that was interesting was that I was almost killed!!!

I know you’ve seen Turkey Buzzards right?  These are those big black birds that you see eating carcasses of this or that dead animal.  Or you will see them flying around in packs around something dead.  We came across a bunch of packs of these guys eating dead animals throughout the day.  The general rule when you see them is to slow way down, maybe flash your lights and honk your horn.  They will then fly off.  You have to be careful though because they take to flight fairly slowly since they are so big and you don’t know which direction their pea brains has decided to send them.

No worries then right?  Right…

Except when one is sitting in a tree right next to the road and as I’m zipping by at about 82 mph he decides to fly across the road!!!  My buddy says that he missed my head by about 3 feet and I damn well believe him.  I ducked and very luckily I managed to not hit it.  If I had, I’m sure I would definitely have gone down and probably with a broken neck.

It was one of those freak things that can occur.  I made it out alive on that one.

My buddy being sympathetic said that I should have had a GoPro running.  If I had caught that on video it would have gone viral quickly!!

Take care out there and don’t forget to duck!!

Fredericksburg May 2013 – Day 3

We left early that morning to head out to a couple of roads called the “Twisted Sisters”.  These are basically ranch roads in the middle of Texas that are fun as…well just about as fun as anything.  To find them, do a Google search for a town called Leakey, Texas.  Then trace look for Ranch Roads 335 and 336.  Both run north and south and are full of twists, curves and elevation changes.

Our day started by heading south on 16 towards Kerrville.  We stopped for gas and then breakfast at the iHop.  The iHop had a senior citizens convention going on in there so we fell right in with the group.  Our waitress was nice and efficient and soon we were full of protein and carbs ready to hit the road.

Continuing south on 16 gets into some pretty cool twists and turns.  Take your time and enjoy the scenery.  It’s nothing like what I’m used to up in north Texas.  South on 16 to Medina and then hang a right on 337.  I actually think that 337 can be just as fun as the other two mentioned above.  Once you hit Vanderpool take a bit of a jog north and then left back onto 337 out to Leakey.

On our way to Leakey, we passed tons of cruisers of both the Harley and non-Harley variety.  We also ran by a few patrol cars so be care of your speed.  We were not being too careful, but with the radar detector and dumb luck we made it through with no incident.

Ok, I know you are giggling each time I write the word Leakey.  Some say it should be pronounced more like Lakee.  I prefer the Leaky version myself.  If you need gas, about a half a mile south on TX83 is a great Texaco convenience store, subway sandwhich shop and of course gas.  Lots of bikers pull in there.

Continue west on 337 to Camp Wood, then turn north on 55.  As we were going north on 55, we passed a road named after one of the guys I was riding with.  We had to stop and take a picture.

2013-05-04 11.23.54After a very short trip on 55, you will find the first of the twisted sisters 335.  We headed north on this road and had a great time with zipping around the turns.  At the north end, hang a right on 41 to head east.  It was at this point that my other riding buddy announced he was getting low on gas.  Unfortunately, we were no where near a gas station.  This area of Texas is pretty barren.  It’s owned by some large ranches and there is basically nothing out there.

We continued on and turned south on 336 the second of the twisted sisters.  This road was nice, but there were some issues to be very aware of.  Whomever owns this or the state of Texas, not sure which, has decided to flatten the turns.  There is very little banking so be careful!  And, just to make it interesting, they decided it would be a good idea to leave some gravel laying around in the turns too just to heighten the adrenalin of us bikers.  Yes, leaned over in a flat corner and then hitting gravel will get you excited.

336 takes you back to Leakey and we went immediately to the gas station mentioned above.  After we were gassed we decided to hit the other major attraction in Leakey, the Hog Pen.  They make great BBQ and one of the gals that works there is nice to look at.  After a beer, some food, a couple of conversations with other bikers and a couple of sneak peeks at the aforementioned gal, we were ready to roll.  Oh, one other thought, the typical biker that goes there is more of the hard core Harley riding variety.  You will find lots of leather, bandanna’s and extremely tan arms littered with tattoos.

We then headed back east on 337 to Vanderpool.  Dang that 337 is a fun road.  Once in Vanderpool, we headed north on 187.  About a mile or so before the Lost Maples State Park, you will find the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum on the left.  The parking lot was basically empty except for a lone car and a loaded down bicycle. We decided to stop anyway just to see if it was open.  It was and after $10 each we headed in.  Inside you will find a bunch of old Indians, Nortons, BMWs and a few Harley’s.  They were very cool to look at.  I was amazed at the few I saw where their backstory included speeds up to 150-160 mph.  Amazing bikes that were very old.  Worth the stop.

They also have a nice front porch to sit on so we availed ourselves of the amenities and sat there for a bit.  As we sat there for a bit a sudden realization came over us.  It was quite out here.  No, no, I mean REALLY quite.  No road noise, no background airplane noise, no noise of any kind.  About the only thing we heard were some grasshoppers or crickets out in the field.  Other than the occasional car or pack of bikes going by, that was it.  Very relaxing.

After a bit though, that noise was broken by a group of bikes.  When I pulled in, it was a big empty lot and I just sort of parked the bike in the middle in such a way that would make it easy to depart.  My riding buddies lined up along side.  That started the big line as this gaggle of bikes did basically the same thing.  Here’s a picture of us getting ready to roll after our visit to the museum.

2013-05-04 14.42.01

What about the loaded down bicycle?  That guy?  He was crazy.  He had a bicycle fitted with saddle bags on the back and on the front.  He was carrying a huge amount of equipment including a gallon of water on the back.  He said he was traveling around Texas just camping.  That’s very ambitious of him and I’m impressed he would do it.

On up 187 to 39 back towards Kerrville.  This is a very nice road and goes along the Guadalupe river.  Some very nice properties along this ride.  In addition, it was somewhere in here were we saw the bike accident.  Well, we saw the aftermath of the bike accident.  By the time we rolled through, the Sheriff and another county vehicle were still there waiting on the tow truck.  One cruiser type bike was down in the ditch and a crotch rocket was leaning against a sign post.  Someone definitely made a bad decision and ruined it for someone else as well.  You’ve got to be careful when your out there.

After sitting through all of the traffic in Kerrvile, we finally made our way back to Fredericksburg.  Back home we had a beer or two and just sat on the front porch enjoying the weather.  We argued about where to go for dinner for about 30 minutes or so and when we couldn’t decide we ended up just ordering pizza for delivery.  This turned out to be a wise decision for two reasons – one, the pizza was awesome.  Some of the best I’ve had in a while.  And, two, it allowed us to meet Tina and Julie [ Names changed to protect the innocent ].

WHAT?  Who are Tina and Julie and what do they have to do with motorcycling in Fredericksburg?

Well, being that we were full of pizza and beverages, we were just sitting on the front porch minding our own business, yucking it up to this wise crack or another and just generally having a good time.  We saw these two come bicycling down the road.  Being from Texas and right neighborly of me,  I yelled out – “Howdy, ya’ll want a beer?”  They initially declined and kept riding.  Pretty soon they were back and asked if we could take their picture.  Certainly and one of my buddies went out to take the shot with their camera.  We convinced them to come on up on the porch and hang out for a bit.

We offered them some beverages and one of them decided she would partake and the other declined.  Apparently they had been at some festival and were still fairly intoxicated from the days sampling of wines.  They were from north Texas like us and we just sat there continuing to yuck it up.  We did convince one of them to go harass our other buddy who had gone to bed.  He was a party pooper and while we had a good time, he was having nothing to do with it.

Soon it got dark and as they decided to head out, one of them thought it would be a good idea to run with her bike.  It wasn’t and before she knew it, she was feet up, butt down in the gutter.  Luckily, and like most drunks that fall down, she wasn’t hurt any more than her pride.  We laughed some more, helped her up and this time they took it a bit more slowly finding their way home.

We too decided it was time to retire after a long day of riding and having fun.  Day 3 was great!!