Sunday, July 22, 2018

Reflections - A Colorado Journey

I have to be honest. My heart has not been into this Jeep recap. I will post some pics, but will not be as in depth as I am in most reports. Sorry about that. 

As many of you know, my Colorado trips are always a highlight to the year. One of the reasons for that is I get to see my lifelong best friend, who lives in Evergreen Colorado with his amazing wife. Unfortunately, this will not be happening going forward. The day before I headed to Colorado his wife called me and told me that my best friend of over 30 years passed away the night prior. I will never be the same, My heart will never be the same. I miss you Pete and will forever remember our fun times, our epic conversations and that warm heart. I miss you so much. RIP brother, I love you. 

I did get to spend some time in the mountains of Colorado, enjoying some jeeping and camping. I was by myself and that is probably a good thing, as I would not have been very good company. It did allow me to reflect and to be thankful for my family and friends. I camped in Crested Butte, Ouray and Gunnison. I got to do some great sight seeing and I truly enjoyed the cool evenings and waking up outside. Here are a few pics. 

Colorado never disappoints with all of its grandness. The weather was amazing and I only got rained on a few times. I got to take my time and just enjoy the slow pace of not having a timeline. There were many moments where I just took out my hammock, and stayed for a few hours, just hanging out with mother nature and remembering my friend. I headed back to Red River NM for Jamie's family reunion. I would only get to stay a few days, but it was so much fun. Here are more pics.

The best day of the vacation, was getting to spend some time will all of the kids in Denver on Sunday evening. We had so many laughs, so many fun memories. It was a great day. 

You can see all of the pictures here. Until next time everyone. Remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Make sure your true friends know and understand how much they mean to you.. Life is short. Be safe everyone. 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Colorado dreamin

I am headed to Colorado the week of July 13 - July 18, then headed over to Red River NM for our family reunion. I am in need of a mountain getaway and this should fit the bill perfectly. Here is a look at the plan that I have set. Hope you all enjoy the prep work.

I will be heading out after work on Friday the 13th. Jamie will be picking up our daughter in Tulsa at the airport that same day.  We will meet up in the metropolis of Hays Kansas for the evening. 

On Saturday (July 14) morning the alarm will go off early as we still have a few miles to get to the Denver area. We are staying with friends in Evergreen Colorado. We will get my son Alec and then head over to Denver and Mile High Stadium to catch the Santa Clara Vanguard and our favorite trumpet player, Jacob Diewald at the Drums across the Rockies competition. It is going to be EPIC! Stay tuned!

Sunday (July 15) we get to hang out in beautiful Colorado. We will have the family together for the day. The older the kids get, this becomes harder and harder to achieve. We will take advantage of the family time. Stay tuned for the pictures. 

Monday we will all head our different ways. Jamie and Megan will head south to Albuquerque to spend time with family and help granny prepare for our Red River festivities later in the week. I will be heading out in my Jeep, with camping gear in tow. My first stop will be the Crested Butte area. 

I will get there in time to eat lunch and then go off and explore the Paradise Divide. It looks like I will try and camp at oh Be Joyful campground. Its free and on a first come first serve basis. I am hoping a Monday should not be very busy. They have camp sites only accessible by a river crossing. Sounds like a fun time. It will be fun using the jeep again for what it is designed to do. Nothing crazy, but it should be a beautiful day. 

Tuesday (July 16) will be another great day. Last year we did Engineer Pass on the way from Ouray to Lake city. This year I am going to do Cinnamon Pass and complete the Alpine Loop. I will be staying in the 4J campgrounds in Ouray next to the Uncompahgre River. It is within walking distance of many restaurants and the breweries in town. 

Wednesday (July 17) Today will be another wonderful day of exploring. I will hit Ophir Pass and Alta Lakes on my way to Telluride for lunch. Then I will do Last Dollar Road up to Noel, before heading over and staying in Gunnison for the evening. 

I love staying in the Gunnison area. I will make sure to get some dinner at the Twisted Fork. I will also make a trip to The Bean on my way out of town. It still ranks as one of my favorite coffee places on the planet. I will be staying at the Tall Texan just outside of Gunnison. We have stayed here the past. Its clean, quiet and has awesome showers. Plus it is close to town. 

I have made the choice to do easy to moderate trails on this trip. I will be doing them solo, So I feel it is best to take it semi easy. Plus I want to take my time. Do some sight seeing and just enjoy the solitude. I am really looking forward to this trip. 

Thursday (July 18) will be the day that I start heading to Red River for our family reunion. I will eat some breakfast in Lake City and meander my way along through Creede via Slumgullion Pass. Then down wolf creek pass to Pagosa Springs and then drop down into New Mexico. I should be able to meet up with Jamie and her family late that afternoon. 

The rest of the weekend will be spent enjoying family. We will be eating too much, drinking a little (wink wink) and getting to catch up with family. We will be doing some jeeping here as well. Looks like we will do Goose lake one of the days.


It is always one of our best trips of the year. I will be posting more pics and details on my Facebook page and Instagram Feeds. Stay tuned. It should be a great trip. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Is this heaven? No it is Arkansas! Ozark Escape

The riding season has finally arrived. The weather for the weekend was forecast to be the best three days in a long time. Let's Ride. 

I could hardly contain myself on Thursday as the clock seemed stuck for several hours. I left the store around 2P, headed to the house, got my gear on and hit the road. Even taking my time and not slabbing it, I was sitting at the hotel in Harrison around 4:30PM. While checking in,  I met Barbara and Steve from Tulsa Oklahoma. They had seen the ride on the MSTA facebook page and decided to join us. I was glad they tagged along. 

I asked the kind lady behind the counter if she had seen Yeeha yet. She looked into her handy dandy computer and gave me the news that he did not have a room reserved. Well I knew he had signed up so that was rather odd. After I checked in, I gave him a call. The news was not very good. He had brought his RS up via his trailer and had already been to the hotel. The bad news was, some how the RS wanted to play dead (fell over) and broke one of the cases. Yeeha had already reloaded the RS on the trailer and was headed back to Ft Worth. He did say that he would go home get his RT and he would see us Friday before dinner. Now that is a dedicated dude right there

Another Rider named Bob joined us as well. He was from the Kansas City area. And that's all I got to say about that. (said in my best forrest gump voice). We headed over to the Neighbor's Mill for dinner. If you are ever in the area, this is a must. Great food and a cool environment. 

As with every trip on the bike, PIE is a must. The Mill did not disappoint. I took it to go and headed back to the hotel. We chatted a little longer, getting to know each other and had our dessert. It was not a late night, as we were all tired from the day. The weather looked to be great for our Friday ride. 

Friday morning came as my alarm went off around 6:30am. I looked out the window of my hotel room. I could feel the smile spread across my face. It was looking like a beautiful day was ahead. It had been a while since I had ridden in Arkansas and to say I was a little excited was a true understatement. 

We had breakfast at the Mill and then headed out. We spent the morning doing the Arkansas shuffle. First was 7, then to Jasper, over to 74 across to 123, then 16... yes we were hitting all of the cool stuff. We did Push Mountain twice and just enjoyed a FANTASTIC day in the saddle. 

The only thing missing was my beautiful pillion. I was hoping that she would get to ride with me over this weekend. However she missed the trip for a very good reason. It was Prom weekend and our girl Megan needed some mom help to be prepared

Friday evening saw the arrival of the DFW gang. Rick, Robert and Yeeha joined us. We went over and had a great dinner and just caught up. It had been a while since I had got to spend some time with the gang. I don't really miss North Texas (except for my wife and daughter) but I do miss my moto friends. This was a much needed fix. 

Saturday morning greeted us with sunshine and promises of a great day of riding. It would not disappoint. We had another rider join us today. Bill came over from the Fayettville area to ride with us. He and his wife Gayla are the presidents of the Arkansas MSTA chapter. Gayle could not make it but I look forward to riding with her as well. Bill rolled into town on Saturday morning. I met him for a quick cup of coffee while he had a little breakfast. 

After we got back to the hotel, and all of the introductions were complete, we hit the road. Today we rode around Bull Shoals, did the ferry thing, rode some fun roads in Missouri, enjoyed each others company and did another lap on Push Mountain. I forgot to mention lunch. We had some tasty pizza at Bush's Pizza on Bull Shoals. It was worth the wait!

Bill broke off and headed home as the rest of us headed back to Harrison. We enjoyed a nice steak dinner with a couple of adult beverages that evening. It was a great way to end the day. It was a day of telling stories, getting to know new friends and reconnecting with old ones. The weather was AMAZING! It stayed cool enough where the gear was nice to have on but not unbearable. If the weather would stay like this for the next 3 months, life would be so good! Yes I am greedy. 

Sunday is get away day. The DFW gang was headed back to Texas. Barbara and Steve headed back to Tulsa and I took the long way home to Joplin. We said our goodbyes and parted ways. I can't wait to ride with the DFW gang again real soon. 

Barbara, Steve and myself headed down to Granny Kitchen in Huntsville Arkansas. I had messaged a long time friend to see if he could join us for breakfast. I have known Paul for many years,  12+ and it is always great seeing him. The good news is, Jamie and I will get to see him more often as he lives in the Spingdale area. We will be neighbors soon. We enjoyed a good breakfast and even better conversation. This was a wonderful way to close out this weekend. After breakfast, I said my goodbyes to Barbara and Steve. I look forward to riding with them again real soon. Great people and we got to share some interesting stories. I am looking forward to being closer to Paul. We will get to spend more time together and get some riding in real soon. 

I took some fun roads home to Joplin. Love the fact that I can be home in a few hours from such great riding in Arkansas. I am really looking forward to Jamie joining me in NorthWest Arkansas. 

On a back road I was reminded of my days in Texas as a steer greeted me, as I was making my way home. Until next time everyone! Ride safe! - You can see all of the pictures here.