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Never Lost… When Riding A Motorcycle

Grand Teton National Park July 2013

Grand Teton National Park July 2013

Never Lost… When Riding A Motorcycle. This pretty much sums it up.

This is a favorite picture from our “National Park Motorcycle Ride”. If you believe you are never lost, feel free to share this post or picture.

Below are some of the rides we have done over the years. There might be one for you. Check them out.

If you liked these rides there are more to come. Don’t miss any ride post. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

2013 By The Numbers

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At the end of each year WordPress.com tallies up the numbers for the year for The Texas Rambler blog. I just want to say thanks to all who took the time to stop by so I could share a bit of my world with you. And a special thanks to those who shared their world with us by leaving a comment or two.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013.

  1. Riding Fit… Riding Smart… 6 COMMENTS November 2013
  2. Customizing my 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 11 COMMENTS May 2012
  3. People say to me… “Aren’t you afraid to die?” 4 COMMENTS November 2013
  4. Mount Rushmore Ride September 2008 1 COMMENT March 2012
  5. Sharing My World With My Hometown 0 COMMENTS September 2013

Click here to see the complete report…

Don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page or look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Ride safe… and thanks again…

Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO

Dalhart to Pikes Peak to Georgetown, CO

Dalhart to Pikes Peak to Georgetown, CO

Today is day 3 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list. Today we are headed to Pikes Peak.

We were up early and on the road. Today’s ride was 469 miles from Dalhart, Texas to Georgetown, Colorado via Pikes Peak.

From Dalhart we rode Highway 87/64 to Raton, New Mexico. It was a pleasant 62 degrees with cloud cover that looked as though it could rain at times. It was a scenic ride through the great plains of Northern New Mexico. Miles and miles of ranch land with rolling grass-covered hills and Prairie. Everything is “few and far between” with the occasional barn, home, windmill, cattle and pronghorn antelope.

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Rest stop heading to Raton, NM

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Capulin Volcano in the distance through the misty rain

100 miles out of Dalhart we rode past Capulin Volcano National Monument. Because of the number of miles we are riding today, and since we stopped here 5 years ago on another ride, we elected to ride on. If you are in the area I would suggest you  and stop. Capulin Volcano began over a million years ago. Recently,  Capulin has been a hub of activity as native people  traversed across the Great Plains. The ride to the top of Capulin spirals around the volcanic cone and has spectacular views.  It’s not for the fain of heart as the road is narrow and fairly steep with a shear drop off on your right going up. The panoramic views from the top are incredible.  There are views of other extinct volcanoes,  snow-capped mountains, and views of  New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. All around Capulin are large volcanic fields with over a hundred recognizable extinct volcanoes. At the top you will gain insights into 10 million years of the geological history. So take some time to see this unique site.

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Riding over Raton Pass

The ride over Raton Pass is always a highlight on this route. My first time  to ride Raton Pass was  36 years ago. Raton Pass’ elevation is 7834 feet/2388 meters and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

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Riding I-25 heading to Colorado Springs & Pikes Peak

We have finally made it to the mountains and cooler temperatures. On Pikes Peak the temperature was 37 degrees and the hottest it got on our ride was 85 degrees. For most of the trip it stayed in the 60’s. Hopefully, we can enjoy the cooler (not cold) temperatures for the rest of our time in the mountains. I know we will have to eventually return to the hot temperature of Texas but for now we will just enjoy…

From Raton Pass we ride up I-25 to Colorado Springs and  to the top of Pikes Peak. The Pikes Peak Highway is a breathtaking scenic 19 mile ride  to the summit. The terrain and scenery varies along the ride. The road is a tollway. When you pay the toll you receive a map and brochure. You need to take a look at the map to see where there are pullouts for photo opts.

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

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View off Pikes Peak… Noting to see due to cloud cover

The last time I was  at Pikes Peak was also in July, many years ago. As soon as we reached the summit it started snowing so hard we were unable to see anything beyond a few feet. Today it was cloud cover that spoiled our view. Part of the ride to the top was difficult in spots for 2 reasons… 1) The clouds made it difficult to see very far ahead. It was nice to see the hair-pin-curves on the GPS ahead of time. 2) We were following a car that slowed almost to a stop in the hair-pin-curves. After the first one I put a lot of distance between us to give them plenty of time to get through the curve.

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Heading to Georgetown, Colorado for the night

From Pikes Peak we headed to Georgetown. Yes, Georgetown is a popular town name. It seems that just about every state has a town named  Georgetown.  When Janet and I lived in Colorado Georgetown was a favorite day trip for us. This is why I picked it as the destination for today. We took Highway 67 to I-70 to Georgetown. This is a very scenic route which took us through Evergreen another favorite day trip destination for Janet and me.

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Our home for the night in Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown, Colorado has many attractions that include the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Hamill House, and Hotel de Paris Museum. Georgetown is a quiet little town, just off busy I-70 an hour west of Denver.

My old friend Jimmie and his wife Diann with Larry and me in Georgetown, Colorado

My old friend Jimmie and his wife Diann with Larry and me in Georgetown, Colorado

In Georgetown, I met Jimmie and Dianne . Jimmie and I have been close friends ever since we worked together beginning in June of 1965.  We lost contact years ago and I just reconnected with him recently through Facebook. We had a lot to catch up on…

 Today was a great ride through some beautiful scenic country and I got to finish the day catching up with and old friend. Tomorrow we ride on to Pinedale, Wyoming through more beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery.

More post coming so check back…

Ride safe…

 

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

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Early morning north-east side on Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone National Parl

Today is day  6 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Today we are spending the day riding Yellowstone National Park. There is much to see and do. The park roads form a figure 8 through the park. We rode the entire figure 8 and saw as much as possible.

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Picnic area where we had lunch in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park.  The park’s name is derived from the Yellowstone River, which runs through the park. Yellowstone  has 60% of the world’s geysers as well as many hot springs and several mud pots.  The most famous feature of the park is the geyser Old Faithful. There is also mountains, rivers, lakes and  a diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk.

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Boiling hot spring fed pools in Yellowstone National Park

These are some of my favorite places in the park…

  1. The Lower Falls: The Lower Falls is 308 ft. high and is  more than twice the height of Niagara Falls. The volume of water flowing over the falls can vary from 63,500 gal/sec at peak runoff to 5,000 gal/sec in the fall. To me it is the most spectacular sight in the park. We stopped at Artist Point to get a good view of the falls and Yellowstone Canyon. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is a sight worth seeing also. The falls and canyon are very scenic and offer the artist and non-artist goodsubject matter. It’s hard not to take a good picture…

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    Lower Falls Yellowstone National Park

  2. Old Faithful: The most famous of the many geysers in Yellowstone, mainly because it is so predictable when it erupts. You know you will always see a good show when you visit Old Faithful… There are other geysers on walking trails at the old Faithful stop. They are short walks so you may want to visit Castle Geyser, Grand Geyser and Geyser Hill. motorcycle, ride, travel, adventure, touring
  3. Mammoth Hot Springs:  The features of these springs are quite different from thermal areas elsewhere in the park. Formations grow much more rapidly  due to the softer limestone. As hot water rises through limestone, large quantities of rockare dissolved by the hot water, and a white chalky mineralis deposited on the surface.The location of springs and the rate of flow changes daily. What you see todaymay be different tomorrow.

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    Mammoth Hot Springs Yellowstone National Park

  4. Yellowstone Lake: The lake is large and beautiful with the surrounding mountains. Today the lake was calm and like a blue mirror. Very little boat activity kept the waters calm. The lake is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park and is 7,732 feet (2,376 m) above sea level and covers 136 square miles (350 km2) with 110 miles (177 km) of shoreline. The average depth of the lake is 139 feet (42 m). Its deepest spot is at least 390 feet (118 m). Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet (2,133 m) in North America
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Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park

There are so many stops and pullouts with geysers, mud pots, rivers, lakes and if you keep an eye out there is wild life to be seen. These spots are beautiful and scenic in their own right and must be experienced to be appreciated. Words… my words can’t do them justice.

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Yellowstone River flowing out from Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park

We rode only 174 miles today… but we saw a lot of beautiful and interesting sites. I believe there is no better way to see Yellowstone than from the seat of a motorcycle. The low was 54 degrees when we left Gardiner and reached 87 degrees while riding the park making for a very nice ride. The maximum speed in Yellowstone is 45 mile per hour and slower in a few places. This made for a slow and leisurely ride. There was some construction on the north-east part on Grand Loop Road. It wasn’t too bad but it did get the bikes a bit dirtier. If you are riding Yellowstone I would suggest getting an early start and head to the more popular sights in the park. It seems a lot of late sleepers and traffic and tourist are much lighter in the morning than in the afternoons. This is a great park and a great ride… We will be back… hopefully soon.

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The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park from Artist Pint.

It was another good ride back to Gardiner for our last night there. When walking to dinner we met a nice couple from Illinois. They were riding a Goldwing trike and I wanted to know how they liked it. They had some stories to tell. I didn’t write down their names and had forgotten them(I’m sorry) by the time I got to the motel. We enjoyed visiting with them very much. The woman mentioned she writes stories for their local news paper about their rides. I told her she needs to start a blog and share all their stories. I hope they read this and leave us a comment. I would like to know how the blog is going…

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The sign says it all… Leaving Yellowstone National Park at Gardiner, Montana

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new post by email. Also please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Tomorrow we will be riding 407 miles to Kalispell, Montana. We don’t have any planned stops except when we see something interesting…  I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

Here is a slide show of the days ride…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 1 & 2 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Getting There

National Parks, Motorcycle, ride

Day 1 loaded up and ready to hit the road

Day 1 & 2 ride map

Day 1 & 2 ride map

This is the first day of my two-week (16 days)  5000 miles plus motorcycle ride to several of the best National Parks, National Monuments and National Historical sites in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we visit Pikes Peak, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, Little Bighorn, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore and everything in between.

We had planned to do this ride 2 years ago but life got in the way and we had to cancel. The plans are complete and reservations have been made… all that is left is the execution of our plans.

I’m doing something I have never done before… write post each day or as often as time will allow… So stay tune for post as our ride progresses.

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Heading down Hwy 183 on start of or National Park Motorcycle Ride

Day 1

Several days out from my departure it was looking like I could be riding in triple digit heat… In my younger days I probably wouldn’t have given this much thought… but now I’m a bit older and I think wiser. I’m sure I could get someone to disagree with that… 551 miles in triple digit heat is something I don’t want to do. As it turned out today was very cool  for this time of the year. I left at 1:30 pm. It was overcast and just 81 degrees and a drop of rain every mile or so. The temperature eventually dropped to 76 degrees.Very pleasant riding. When I got Lampasas it started to rain enough that I lowered my face shield. When I reached the other side of Lampasas the rain stopped and the sun came out and took the temperature up to 90 degrees. About 60 mile from Sweetwater the clouds returned and the wind picked up and temperature drop to 82 degrees. At Sweetwater the wind started to blow much harder causing a lot of dust to be picked up. I was glad to have finally reached my motel in Snyder.

Tomorrow I meet Larry in Amarillo. From there it is a short ride to Dalhart our destination for the day.

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Wind turbines in the distance... Near Sweetwater, Texas

Wind turbines in the distance… Near Sweetwater, Texas

Day 2

This trip will be just the two of us. Larry C. my old Air Force buddy wasn’t able to make this trip and our wives decided to sit this one out too. Larry T. rode in from Tunnel Hill, Georgia (1140 miles) on his spaceship… a Victory Vision… I wasn’t crazy about the Visions when they first came out but… since I’ve seen Larry’s they are starting to grow on me… Larry is loving his so far…

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Misting rain leaving Snyder, Texas

We had a pretty big rain last night. I was on the road a little after 7:00, temperature 62 degrees, with a slight mist and overcast. Shortly after leaving the mist got heavier… heavy enough for me to lower the face shield. It eventually stopped misting, the roads  dried and the sun peeked through the clouds.

National park, motorcycle, ride

I-27 heading to Amarillo, Texas

I am meeting Larry in Amarillo. 205 miles of nice riding (excluding the rain). I was at his motel just before 11:00. I haven’t seen Larry since our last ride in September so we had some catching up to do.

The Cadillac Ranch was just down I-40 about 10 miles so to kill some time we decide to give it a quick look. Neither of us has been there before and wasn’t sure what to expect. The cars have been there longer than they have been on the road. Over the years visitors have covered them in graffiti. It has become a tradition. Everyone that visited, except us, seem to be leaving their mark. You had to be careful when touching because of the wet paint. The paint has become inches thick over the many years… Different but interesting and worth the time visiting this unique art (??) work.

Larry at the Cadillac Ranch

Larry at the Cadillac Ranch

From the Cadillac Ranch it was on to Dumas for gas and a late lunch before heading to Dalhart our destination for the day.

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My ridding mascot Kow A. Saky with Larry bring up the rear.

The original destination for today was Amarillo but Larry wanted to ride up Pikes Peak tomorrow. That would add at least 2 hours to the ride so we moved our destination to shave some miles off the next day. This will allow us to take our time and enjoy the ride… and there is a lot to be enjoyed tomorrow.

Stay tuned… We will see you tomorrow.

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore