Friday, May 30, 2008

Lots of Misc.

Today started out as the nicest day so far, weather wise, that is. I trailered my bike to the local Harley shop for her 15,000 mile service, and a few other things. One of the other things included installing the connection wiring for the new heated riding gear I recently purchased. Then I headed to a laundromat to wash my bedding. Oliver had an accident in bed a few nights ago, so now all the evidence is washed away. I'm hoping Oliver's little mishap isn't a sign of many unpleasant things to come. Just in case, I bought him his own little bed and will keep it lined with puppy piddle pads. Hopefully no more mishaps, but just in case, hopefully we will have it covered, so to speak. Then since the weather was so nice, I washed my truck. He's looking good!! Then I perused the local Home Depot, just for fun. While in the do-it-yourself flooring section I received a call from my RV friend Shirley. Several of us have spent 5 nights at the Rock Springs Wal-Mart and are definitely feeling it's time to move! Somewhere!! Anywhere!! We've been waiting for some other WINs to arrive, one of which, Andy, is hosting the upcoming WIN gathering. We have been going out on recon missions in search of a good boondocking spot for camping, kayaking and 4-wheeling. We found the spot we thought our gathering host had his eye on, but we weren't too thrilled with it because of difficult dirt roads and lack of phone and Internet service. Well, Shirley called to informed me she and Warrren met up with Andy and they ARE going to park in the dirt/non-phone service area after all. In the meantime, the weather turned quite cold, windy and stormy looking, especially to the south, where the camping spot is located. So, here I am in the Home Depot parking lot, waiting for the Harley shop to call me. After I pick up my bike I'll have to make a decision about staying in Rock Springs a little longer or take my chances with the wind and drive south, and then take my chances with the dirt roads, and then suffer withdrawals from lack of phone and especially Internet connection. Oh dear!!
Earlier today, after washing the truck, I bellied up to another fuel pump and filled my tank. Today the going rate, at this particular station, was $4.629/gallon of diesel, which was more than the sign out front said. I took on 10 gallons and it cost, of course, $46.30. I averaged 13 MPG my last 10 gallons. Not bad mileage for lugging a house up a few big mountains the other day!!
So, if you don't hear from me for awhile, I'm boondocking near Buckboard Marina, on the west side of Flaming Gorge.

PS The wind just picked up even more, so I'm staying put for tonight!!! Maybe I'll venture south tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Snow Snow Go Away


Snow on my top step.

Hard to see, but there is snow on the grass right next to my trailer

Around 6PM Monday evening we were treated to a little bit of snow as we had Happy Hour in Shirley's motorhome, in the Rock Springs Wal-Mart parking lot. It didn't stick around very long, but Tuesday morning it's still very very chilly!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vernal, Flaming Gorge and Rock Springs

Sunday morning I left my spot at the Vernal Elk’s and headed to the nearest cheap diesel station. HAHAHAHA!! I purchased 9.4 gallons @ $4.57 per gallon for a whopping $43.06. That works out to 15.1 MPGs. :-) I passed a remote area station today selling diesel for $5.19/gallon. GULP!!! The pumps keep taking my debit card so I guess I’m not out of money, YET!! I headed north on the very steep and twisty HWY 191 toward Flaming Gorge. I was there back in 2003 while traveling with my friend Barb. We stopped to visit and hike with our friend Taylor, who was work camping in the area.



Today I stopped to tour the Flaming Gorge Dam. We rode in an elevator that went down 42 floors in 53 minutes. WHOPPIE!! It took 5 years to build the dam. The work crews had take the winters off. Cement doesn't set up very well when the temps are below freezing. Gee, if we can build dams and brdiges, you'd think we could build a fence!!






I arrived at the Rock Springs, WY Super Center Wal-Mart for a break, some shopping, internetting and decision maker for where I would be spending the night since W-M is known for not allowing overnight RV parking. I was planning on heading to the local, nearby Harley shop. I looked out trailer window and here comes a familiar looking motor home - fellow WIN member, Shirley. She was jockeying for a parking spot. I start heading out the door and low and behold there’s another WIN, June. And then two more showed up. WOW, a mini WIN gathering. Shirley informed me she called W-M and was informed that it is OK to park overnight, as long as we don’t run over anything. That sounds like a fair trade-off. I came to Rock Springs mainly because it’s on the way to where I thought the WIN WY gathering is starting next week. But now I’m hearing that I might have to back track. YIKES!!! With today’s fuel prices I’m trying hard to avoid backtracking!! Oh well. The other WINs took off in a toad in search of a good spot for the first stop on the WY circuit. I stayed behind to start this posting.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Third time's a charm.

After hearing the annoying lady on the recorded message tell me, for the third time, there were NO restrictions on HWY 191, I decided to believe her and go for it, around 2 PM.

When I first entered the Indian Canyon I noticed there were no cars coming down the mountain, making me think the road was closed. Finally I saw a few cars pass by me, without any snow piled on the them, so I felt more at ease. I was plugging along, up the 8% grade, when I came up behind a pick-up pulling a really long Airstream trailer. Finally someone going slower than me!! Following him cut my speed down from 30MPH to 25 MPH on this steep up hill climb. Before I knew it we were cresting the 9,000’ summit, then I followed the Airstream slowly down the steep decline.

Before I knew it, there were at least a dozen vehicles lined up behind us. I pulled over the first chance I had to let the long line pass me. About 20 miles later, there I was, behind the Airstream again. Then again, before I knew it, there was another long line of vehicles lined up behind us. Again I pulled over to let them all pass at the first opportunity. And again, 20 or so miles later, there I was behind the Airstream again. At this point we were just pulling into Vernal, my final destination for the day.

I found a spot, in the dirt, at the Vernal Elk’s Lodge. After noticing lots of mud puddles, I was conscious to park on a high spot. I woke Friday morning to rain, so I was glad I found the highest spot in the lot. The Elk's Lodge parking lot is a bit noisy, being right on HWY 191, but it makes for a bit of entertainment, watching all the traffic go by. And it's free!! My Verizon wireless Internet connection is pretty slow here, but I finally thought to flip on my WI-FI button, and lo and behold, I found a much faster connection that way. So, I guess I’ll stay. Checking the weather report, rain is expected today and Saturday, so I’m thinking of staying here in Vernal until Sunday, then get back on HWY 191 and head due north, past Flaming Gorge, to Rock Springs, WY. Or maybe I'll leave Saturday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heat, rain, winds and now....


There’s a little glitch in my latest plan. First I was concerned about the heat, then I was concerned about the rain, then the high winds, and now I’m holed up in Price for an extra day or 5 because of snow on the Indian Canyon part of HWY 191 which will eventually take me from Price, UT to Vernal, UT. I knew cooler temps were coming and I was hoping to get to Vernal because it’s supposed to be a few degrees warmer there.

I started out around 8AM Wednesday and stopped and filled my tank with 8.57 gallons of diesel at $4.55/gal for a total of $39.09. The 15.7 MPG I got driving to Price made that fill-up a little less painful. I made it as far as the base of the Indian Canyon Pass on HWY 191 and was met by a large flashing sign saying TIRE CHAINS REQUIRED IN INDIAN CANYON. I had to pull over and check the map to see if my intended route would take me through Indian Canyon. It did. So I turned around, found a nice spot to park and consulted the internet for a phone number or internet site for updated Indian Canyon info. After much difficulty I was told by an annoying recorded message that there were NO restrictions on HWY 191. From where I was sitting I could see snow up ahead and that was nowhere near the 9,000’ elevation of the Indian Canyon Summit I was headed toward. So, I wasn’t sure I should believe the annoying lady. But then the rain stopped, and the sky lightened a little and I decided to go for it. There was lots of road construction going on where I had parked for this short time which caused me to head back south first to find a place to turn around to head back north again. After about 1/4 mile I decided this was an omen telling me I should NOT be heading north up the Indian Canyon Pass just yet. I decided to head back to the Price Wal-Mart for a day or 5, until the rain stops, but found a more scenic spot along the freeway instead. So, here I sit right now, just outside Price thinking it’s not worth risking the 4,000’ elevation climb, possibly in the snow, just to be a few degrees warmer in Vernal.

My first two days in Price, sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot, afforded me the opportunity to finish reading a book I started last summer - “Eleven on Top” by Janet Evonivitch. It’s the eleventh book in the saga of Bail Bond Enforcement Agent Stephanie Plum. But in this book Stephanie ends up working for RangeMan Security Company, which adds a new dimension of craziness to her already crazy life.

I have half a dozen other books that have been waiting to be read since last summer, too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


After I arrived back at the rest stop and trailer after my ride to Capitol Reef on Tuesday, I hung out until 6PM, waiting for it too cool down a bit, since I was planning on traveling to a warmer spot. The drive to Price, UT was almost all down hill, and I had a tail wind!! It made for really good mileage - 15.7MPG!!!!

I arrived at the Price Wal-Mart around 8PM, Tuesday, just before dark. Well, actually it was 9PM, but I hadn’t changed my clocks and I only THOUGHT it was 8PM.

I found a nice spot in the far corner of the W-M parking lot. I was sharing the area with a semi which seemed to be having it’s engine overhauled, and a VW camper van. I watched the driver of the camper van move around to various spots, checking what appeared to be a compass. He finally found the perfect spot, facing due west, I think. The van didn’t appear to have solar panels or a satellite dish, so I’m not sure why he was so intent on finding the perfect orientation.

It was nice having phone and Internet service for the evening, for a change. I checked the weather reports and decided to stay put in Price until Thursday morning due to high winds, which had shifted from blowing from the south to blowing from the northwest. Since I was heading north, then northeast, I thought waiting would be a good idea. But waiting meant I would probably be driving in the rain. Ah, little trade offs!! And every time I check the Internet for fuel prices, they have gone UP!!! Can’t our Gubbmint so something about this????


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The leg of my journey from Mt. Carmel to Richfield, on Monday, was pretty uneventful, but very pretty and scenic. I continued north on HWY 89 which meanders through Long Valley, and then the Panguitch Valley, along side the Sevier River. I had been as far north as Panguitch in past years, so I was happy to travel to new territory this year. After a total of 130 miles I easily found the Elk’s Lodge in Richfield but was disappointed to find the huge lot was nothing but dirt. I was planning on parking in the lot through the 3 impending days of rain, starting on Wednesday, but I decided to come up with a Plan B. Uh, Wal-Mart, maybe???

Well, on Monday I stayed at the Elk’s Lodge until the afternoon temp in the trailer reached 93 degrees. Then I went in search of a shady spot to park in. The best I could find was the shady side of the Home Depot. Unfortunately it was right next to stacks and stacks of manure. After consulting several travel books of various kinds and a few maps, I came up with plan B, or is it C by now?
I stopped at a Flying J just outside of Richfield for 12.84 more gallons of diesel at a cost of $4.51 per gallon (the cheapest in town) for a total of $58.06. My computer read-out said I was still getting 14.2 MPGs, which makes me happy. Then I headed east on HWY 70 for approximately 75 miles to a rest stop. At first I thought I had been significantly loosing elevation, but shortly before the rest stop there was a sign saying I was at an elevation of 7600 or so feet. So actually I gained about 2500 feet. And the cooler temperature outside confirmed that. I found a spot at the rest stop away from the noisy semis, and settle in for the evening. One reason for deciding to leaving Richfield was because I wanted to ride my bike to Capitol Reef on Tuesday, which means leaving the dogs in the trailer for most of the day, and with the temp on Tuesday in Richfield expected to reach 90 degrees, I wasn't very comfortable with that idea. So instead, I left the trailer and the dogs at the much cooler rest stop while I rode to the National Park. It was much cooler for the dogs and made for a little bit shorter ride for me - 130 miles round trip, instead of the original 300 mile loop I’d planned from Richfield.

Capitol Reef National Park comprises 378 square miles of colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths.

The old Historic town of Fruita, Utah (not to be confused with Fruita, Colorado) right outside the National Park, has had quite a history. It was originally a Mormon settlement (not to be confused with the FLDS in the news today). It was first settled in the 19th Century. The town got it’s name from the many orchards the Mormons grew there and used for money and barter in other towns in the vacinity. The orchards that you will see there are apple, peach, cherry, pear and apricot. The settlement pretty much came to end after WWII and the end to gas rationing. Tourists began coming to the Park , and the surrounding areas. Let them have gas and they will travel!!
After years of being a National Monument, Capitol Reef was declared a National Park in 1971. It’s a beautiful park and well worth a trip.
Oh, I averaged approximately 50 MPG with the bike. :-)



Monday, May 19, 2008

Williams, AZ to Mt. Carmel, UT

My rig, and dogs, parked just off the Highway, just south of Mt. Carmel.

I said good-by to my motorcycle lady friends and left Williams, AZ Sunday morning and headed to Flagstaff . I found the Safeway gas station that had diesel for $4.26 on Friday. Well, Sunday it was up to $4.32 but with my Safeway card I got it for $4.29. That 21 gallons of diesel only cost me $91.00.

Oliver, my little gray Cairn, is usually a very good traveler, finding a comfy spot and quickly falling asleep a mile or two down the road. Well, this morning Ollie couldn’t find a comfy spot to save him. His favorite passenger seat spot was very sunny and hot, so he looked at me forlornly, but couldn’t get comfy right up next to me and Murphy. I helped him down to the floor board which was cooler, but that didn’t satisfy him either. At a potty stop I hung a T-shirt over the passenger side window, which created lots of shade for Ollie, but that didn’t seem to make him happy. Well, half way through our trek to Page we discovered what was bothering him. He lost his cookies, or breakfast in this case. Luckily I always have a towel covering the doggie’s portion of the front seat, mainly to protect the upholstery from dog hair and dog dirt. But today the towel protected the upholstery from a different kind of mess. And a mess it was. It was miles before there was a spot to pull over, but I finally found one, rinsed out the towel and relegated Oliver to the rubber matted floor board for the rest of the day’s journey. He faired pretty well the rest of the day but was not interested in eating his evening meal. Just as well. Dogs seem to know when they don’t feel well and don’t need to be eating. He found a comfy spot in front of the Endless Breeze fan when we set up camp for the evening.

Half of the tank full of diesel I purchased in Flagstaff got me 200 miles up the road to Kanab, UT where I filled up again for $4.48 per gal. I averaged 14.2 miles per gallon (per my trucks digital computer read-out). I tried to keep my speed down to 55 MPH, which up-set only one or two drivers who were behind me for several miles until they could pass. The temperature in the Page, AZ - Big Water area ranged from 93-95 degrees. And it’s supposed to be hotter today. My temp gauge was reading only 92 degrees when I arrived at Mt. Carmel when I stopped at 3:00 PM. I found my familiar overnight camping spot (thanks to Dianna) in Mt. Carmel, found a fairly level spot, piddled the puppies and fed Murphy, then pored me an iced cold Black Toad beer. And then I discovered that I didn’t have internet service there. I probably knew that from my last stop there, but forgot. I’ll make a note of that somewhere to reference next time I’m there.

Little, seventeen year, old Oliver

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Williams and beyond

The weather has been beautiful here in Northern Arizona.

On Friday seven of us rode north from our Hotel/RV Park to the Grand Canyon. At the Grand Canyon we headed east to Cameron, then south to FLagstaff, then west back to Williams. This made for a 200 mile loop of beautiful scenery.
The fuel prices haven't seemed to slow down the tourist industry yet.

AH, a beautiful bunch of chrome

See, I really was there!!

So was my bike.

Here's another picture for my Photo Savenger Hunt - my First Mate, Piggy Pirate, sitting on a Harley with a teepee in the background.

Now I'm contemplating where to go Sunday when the Ladies MC Rally ends. I was thinking of spending some time hiking and exploring the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument area and Zion National Park, but it looks like 3-4 days of temps in the 90's in that area, which doesn't make for enjoyable hiking. Following the too hot days, it looks like 3 days of rainy weather. So....... I might just head up to Richfield, Utah and hang out there for awhile. The elevation is 5330' and the temps look to be a bit cooler than my other choices.
And I feel so lucky!! I found a really low diesel price at a Safeway in Flagstaff - only $4.26/ a gal. WHAT A STEAL!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sun City to Williams, AZ

I said farewell to my humble winter abode at 8:30 AM this morning and headed north. The temperature was already in the low 80's.
I fought the morning freeway traffic east through Phoenix on the 101 Loop, hit Interstate 17 and turned north. I fought head winds and a 6,000 foot elevation increase all the way to Flagstaff. I watched the temperature slowly drop to 55 degrees, and my fuel gauge quickly drop below half. I stopped at the Harley-Davidson shop in Bellemont and took a picture of this unusual muffler tree......

Then I continued on to the the Canyon Motel and RV Park in Williams, the location of the Rumble Sisters Biker Sisterhood Raven/Wild West Fest. I think we are expecting about 20 women, and 10 men of various titles, to join in the weekend festivities. This is an adorable facility, complete with cabins, a rail car, a caboose and RV sites. Copy and paste and check it out!!!

When I checked-in, the nice lady at the front desk couldn't find my reservation. Either their computer lost me, I called the wrong RV park or I just thought about calling to make a reservation and really didn't. If it's the latter, this is going to be a fun summer!! I really think it's the first scenario.
The park is at an elevation of 6900'. I used to live in the mountains but I don't remember being affected by the high altitude. Maybe it's old age, because I'm sure feeling it today. It's not so much a shortage of breath, but just a little light headed.
For my photography scavenger hunt I need a picuture of my First-Mate Piggy Pirate sitting on my bike with a teepee in the background. I passed a motel a few miles back on the freeway that had 4 teepees on their property. Hopefully I can get a successful picture there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tomorrow is Departure Day

My summer home is ready to roll!!

Glad I got to see my Oleanders in bloom before I leave for the summer. If the ground cover doesn't devour the Oleanders, I'll post a new picture in the fall to show how much the Oleanders have grown.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The count down is on.....

.....two days and awake-up, as we used to say in the incarceration industry. Today is Monday, I'm hitting the road on Thursday.

Today I went to the Sun Cities RV Storage Compound, hitched up my trailer, scrubbed the trailer, including the roof, aired up the tires, then brought the trailer home. Now that my 4-wheeler has a new home, I have lots more room in my trailer for STUFF. With the 4-wheeler I had 4 storage containers in the back end. Today I loaded up 9 containers into the trailer, and 4 containers into the back end of the pick-up.

Then I took a bubble bath to soak away my aches and pains. I'm getting in as many bubble baths as I can before I leave my big bathtub behind for the summer, and part of the spring, and part of the fall. :-)

The next two days I'll be adding more stuff. :-)

I've been checking out diesel prices in areas I'll be traveling to this year. Riverton, WY's diesel prices, at their various fueling stations, vary from $4.06/gal. to $4.50/gal. Boy, what a disparity!! I sure hope I can find the $4.06/gal. station. MapQuest will be helping me. :-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Memorial to Buck - Right On!!


Motorcyclist dies in Phoenix crash; pinned under car
Reported by: Deborah Stocks
Last Update: 5/06 9:06 am

Motorcyclist killed when pinned under a car

A motorcyclist died after colliding with a car in a northwest Phoenix intersection Monday night.

According to police, the car was going westbound on Dunlap Road at around 10 p.m. when the eastbound motorcycle hit the car as it turned left at 35th Avenue.

The motorcyclist was pinned under the car and died at the scene, according to a spokesman.

There were no signs of impairment in either driver and there is no word on charges to the driver of the car.

Buck was quite a character

Buck started Riders Against Illegal Aliens, and worked hard to bring the Illegal Alien situation to the attention of our elected officials and the American Public.

Monica Ramos, wife of imprisoned Border Patrol Agent "Nacho" Ramos, came out from Texas to celebrate Buck's life with his Arizona friends

We had a memorial at the scene of the accident. Buck's blood was washed from the street by his favorite liquid refreshment.
The news article didn't make it real clear, but Buck did have the right of way.

We'll miss you Buck!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Wouldn't you know it, here it is 1 1/2 weeks until I hit the road for the summer, and we seem to have a very interested, prospective condo buyer. Just when I was totally resigned to the fact that it was never going to sell, here we go again. Of course, the less than legal gardeners that I'm paying for every month through my HOA fee keep me wanting to continue to pursue the sale of the condo and purchase a house where I can do my own low maintenance yard work.

Here's one of my low maintenance yard work house choices -

Friday, May 02, 2008

First pictures

Here's the only "required" picture of the Montana HOG Rally photo scavenger hunt contest - me, my bike and my first-mate Piggy Pirate in front of my Harley Dealership. I've got Nine down and more than Twenty to go.

Here I am reading, to Piggy Pirate, John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley." I get an extra point for reading from the chapter when Steinbeck and his poodle Charlie traveled through Montanta. I don't know how the HOG Rally people are going to know I'm reading about Montanta!!

In front of the Arizona Capitol Building

Sign depicting the hometown I departed from on my way to the HOG Rally

Piggy Pirate with a life size statue in my hometown - The statue is one of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe's Posse members