Friday, September 29, 2006

Globe to Holbrook

Coming out of globe the country starts getting cooler. We are driving along and see a sign "Salt River Canyon" and all of a sudden there it is. Oh my gosh. What a sight. It was very cool. I have a great picture, which I can't upload right now. Will do it later. Anyway, it was spectacular. We drive down into the canyon and back out. Quite a long ride so we are in the cooler temps for 30 minutes at least. A few "Tina grabbing my vest" points, but mostly just very cool. From there up into the Mountains. Really mountains with no desert plants. Very similar to CO. By the time we make Snowflake, its dusk, but we only have 45 minutes to go, so we head on. It turns dark with about 15 minutes to go. I don't like driving at night because I like being able to see what lies in the road, what is up ahead, etc. But its a straight, pretty flat road, with traffic. So its fine. Our first night ride on the road.

We pull into Holbrook, ride around and find the Best Western. Internet, ground floor room where we can park the bike, and a Steak House right next door. Awesome.

So - day 1 was great. Today we go through the Petrified Forest. We are going to go out of the way to trek through there - then east to Alburq, north to Santa Fe and stop in Taos. Weather looks good, should be warm as we are back in the desert, and then cool off as we head north.

Sunrise to Globe

Followed Sunrise down to Oracle and took a few turns so I could go to the Oro Valley post office to snap an ABC picture. No luck - turns out the post office was a Tuscon post office. So we headed north. This took about an hour to get out of town and we were very hot.

Heading up the highway I spotted a great "Welcome to Oro Valley" sign on the side of the road, so we snapped a shot and continued on.

Tucson to Globe was very hot. I didn't mind the 90s, but it was baking Tina. We decided to stop at small town to get water, etc. - but we were through it before we knew, so just continued to head north. That was a mistake. I started getting really baked, but we made it to Globe anyway.

Stopped at Taco Bell and then I went to snap a few ABC shots. One for 'G'lobe and one for 'G'ila County. I had directions to the buildings. County offices on 1100 South Stree... except it doesn't exist. Sigh. Spent some time looking for it, and having people look at me drive in circles, cops staring at me. Don't draw so much attention to yourself. :) - Oh well. Found the post office - one with a sign up high. Parked the bike across the street and got a good shot. Then back to Taco Bell... one more try along the way for the county sign. Spotted a small one and snapped it. Then back onto Ash St (highway and main street) and passed a really nice County complex with nice signs, etc. That's the way it goes. I finally find *some* sign to snap, snap it and then pass a really good one w/o trying. Oh well, told Tina I'd be about 15 minutes, and its probably been 30, so I head back. Pull up and she is asleep in Taco Bell. She hears me, wakes up. We load up and head north.

Stick Together

Left Tif's and decided to take Sunrise Drive. This would take us west along the foothills, rather than driving along I-10 and through town. Looked at a google map and got a general idea of where to go. So headed out, took a few turns, and were heading back east *way* too long so decided we better turn around. Stopped at a gas station and asked how to get to Sunrise Drive. The cashier told us and we headed back out to the bike:

Tom: Glad I overhead what she said, she didn't give you the correct directions
We turn around to see a guy standing there. He explains how to get there. We thank him.
T: Yup, us Harley guys have to stick together.
M: Turning toward where he is walking I see a Harley Dealership truck that is used to go pickup bikes. Oh, so you work at the local store?
T: Yeah. If you need anything while you are here, just call and ask for Tom. I'll come pick you up.
M: Thanks!

He then proceeds to pull past us as we are driving down the road, and then pulls into the right lane as he gets near an intersection, and motions us over. We follow him. He does this for a few turns, and then we head up a long road and he motions us past.

T: 3 lights ahead is Sunrise.

And he waves us on.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Trip Home

The trip home is looking good. Very nice weather - sunny and in the high 70s to low 90s, depending on part of the country and time of day. It will get down to the high 30s at night, so might be cold when we leave in the mornings - but that is why we have plenty of layers.

Bought some good cold weather gear for our necks/faces here. The Tuscon HD shop had some good stuff - the Pike Peak one did not when we left. Go figure - get cold weather gear in AZ not CO. :)

Will try and pick up some ABC Rally points. I think we can get 5 the first day, and then a few on the other days. That puts us way past the first goal of 26 and about 1/2 way into the second goal of 36. Don't know if we'll hit 36 before the end of the year, but just in case we go for it, we'll be a good ways along.

Rerouted our trip. Now heading north out of Tucson to Globe and up to Holbrook (first day) SH-77 north to I-40. Then across. Will give us a totally different trip all the way to Albuq. Then up to Santa Fe, stopping in Taos (or maybe Santa Fe depending on how we feel, etc.). Then up to Fort Garland, across to Walsenburgh and then home. We've done the Fort Garland to home part, but not the Taos part, so that will be cool for a new road as well.

Well... should start packing up soon. More reports from the road as time/internet-availability allows.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mt Lemmon

Yesterday we decided to do a "short" ride, rather than ride down to Nagolos, MX. We wanted to go up into the mountains, as it was in the 90s or so, pretty hot for us. Not that I'm complainig, because I'll take dry hot over cold rain any day!

So we got up and stopped for breakfast - although it was already 10:30 so it was really an early lunch. We had read up on Mt. Lemmon
25 miles and 6000 feet above Tucson, Arizona's desert floor you will find a completely different world. As you drive up the beautiful Catalina Highway, you travel through four completely different ecological strata. From stately saguaro cactus at the bottom, to the pine and aspen groves at the top, the drive is incredibly beautiful. Especially interesting along the way, are the many fascinating rock formations.
One of the phrases in the brochure was, "If you are afraid of heights, just make sure and look up and not down".

While we were eating we asked the waitress if she was from around here, and did she know how to get there. She did, and gave us directions (which turned out to be longer than we actually needed - there was a shorter way - but got us there none-the-less). Her biggest comment, other than how pretty it is, was how scared she was "Because its really high and there are places where you are looking straight down on both sides." and "I'd never go up it in a motorcyle." By this point Tina was having very strong second thoughts... but I said, "Hey, its AZ and we are from CO. How bad could it be?"


OK... So it was pretty bad I guess. Personally I'd ride up any paved mountain road on a motorcycle way before I'd do it in a car. The road looks so much bigger to a bike. :) Anyway, it was VERY cool. There were some pretty "on the edge of the mountain" roads, and a bridge or two across things, and one place where the road was on the ridge of the mountain top so there were drops on both sides. But all in all the road was very good and I never had any issues. It was very pretty, and because we were up so high the climate was much cooler ("Make sure and take sweaters, because its at least 25 degrees cooler up there.) So we did... but didn't need them because it got all the way down to a bone chilling 70 degress. ;) - Just right for us, apparently pretty cold to people use to 110 degrees. :)

If you ever get a chance, I'd say take the trip. Its pretty cool and a fun ride.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ride to AZ, Day 2

Day two was long, but the weather was much better. We left Albuquerque at 9:30 in the morning. We layered pretty good because it was still pretty cool out. Getting down to the turn towards Silver City it was pretty cloudy looking in the mountains, and sunny towards the south - but we decided to head into Silver City anyway.

Although it looks shorter on the map, google was right. Its a much longer trip. It winds through the Gila National Forest. Much of the road had 35 MPH speed limits, with 10, 15 and 25 MPH curves. But it was beautiful. Really the range of vegetation - coming out of the desert, then into desert mountain, then into mountain terrain. Not quite like CO, but still very lush. Cool stuff. We kept watching the clouds, and we hit some splatter here and there, and then it started raining. Not hard, but we could tell we were going to head into it. So we pulled over and geared up. About a mile further and we came out of the heavy splatter and it didn't rain for the next 30 minutes or so! By then we were coming into the valley on the other side of the mountains, so we pulled over and took the gear off. Around 2 corners and about 1/2 mile further, and you could smell the rain and the road wasn't just wet, but had water on it in spots. Must have just rained - but we never hit any again.

Stopped in Silver City for a late lunch and Tina was going to call her Uncle Tommy who lives near by - but we didn't have his number and Jaime couldn't find it at home, plus Tina was getting worn out and we had another good 4 hours or so to go. Still cool so we were still wearing leather jackets, although I did take my liner out.

Down out of the foothills and onto I-10. Going down the highway, saw a sign for Basken Robbins... Ice Cream stop! :) - That was in Bowie, NM. We didn't do much "ABC Rally" picture taking. Either too cold or tired to stop and take pictures of signs... but as we got close to AZ I started watching for the sign. There it was in the middle of the highway... great not going to be easy to stop with all the truckers going by and trying to stop on the left shoulder, but I slowed down anyway. Got close and noticed a turn-around. Woo hoo! Pulled onto it and got close to the sign. And as I postioned the bike noticed the NM sign was on the east bound side of the road, and right behind us. Tina got both pictuers with the bike in one spot. Sweet. :)

Got into Tif's about 6:00. Sun was still up - actually in my eyes for a while and the windshield was COVERED in bugs by now... CO doesn't have many flies, at least where we live. You'll see one, once in a great while. There were 4 or 5 buzzing us in Bowie as we ate our ice cream, and when I came out to gas up the bike, there was one on the windshield eating splattered insect remains. So anyway, the bike was covered.

Sunday I gave Capt'n Jack a bath. He needed it bad!

So that's about it. Have a good time here. Eating good food and swiming in the pool. We were thinking about heading down to Mexico, but Tina is pretty tired, so we'll probably do a short trip around here today while the kids are at work.

Because the trip was pretty long down here... yeah, its only 13 hours or so by car but its about 20 hours on a bike from start-to-stop. You stop more often, but you get on the bike in the morning and get off 10 hours later. In any case, Tina wants to leave Thur around noon. The plan now is to make Las Cruces, NM the first night. About a 4.5 hour ride (maybe 5 hours with a stop or two). Then up to Taos the next day if the weather up there looks good (forecast currently says it will be) - if not stop in Santa Fe. Taos is a 6.5 hour drive, so probably about 8 stopping for lunch, etc. That will be the longest leg. Then from Taos home, which is about 5 hours. Although that will take 3 days, and we'll spend one less night with Tif - :( - it will be less tiring for Tina and will break it up pretty good.

Our longest trip yet - and I enjoyed it when the weather was good. Which was most of the time. I'd still like to try Michigan in a couple of years... but we'll probably have to figure something like 5 days out for that, given this trip.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Day 2 - Morning

Weather looks good. A bit cool, but will warm up as we head south. 20% chance of rain here, turning to 0% as we head south... Packing up the laptop so I can get everything stowed on the bike. More updates later...

Work note: Needed to have kit done. It wasn't turned in yesterday. I kitted it, tested it and got all notifications sent out this morning. Now I don't need to worry about that!

Note to self

Always check the alarm clock in the hotel... just in case someone left it on and you don't want your wife getting woke up at 6AM.

Yes... I'm blogging again

Its 5:26 AM, Tina is asleep (and probably will be for 2 more hours), I'm working, and so while stuff builds, I'm blogging. :)

I'll try and post at least during the trip. Maybe upload some pictures too. We have one when we left CO. I think I'll get Tif to take one when we hit AZ.

Well - enough rambling. Later...

At least we aren't wimps. ;)

So like I was saying, by the time we hit Colorado City, I was really questioning if taking the bike was a good idea. Cold, tired, a little wet. Then the rain stopped and it was great. "Well of course we should be on the bike. This is awesome." Prespective and all that. :)

Checked into the hotel and there were a couple of long-haired guys checking in. Loud, rock looking t-shirts. Dude looks over at me,

"Where you coming from?"
"Colorado Springs"
"How was the ride"
"A little wet at first, but then it turned Ok and now to bad since Raton"
"Yeah... we almost rode, but then we wimped out."

Well cool - at least I'm not a wimp... Almost chicked out, but not quite. :) LOL

Like Tina says, "Its all about the adventure."

She was pretty tired and sore when we got in. Hopefully today is a good day and she's ready for the adventure again!

Ride to AZ - Day 1

Left the Springs about 8:30 AM. Plan was to head south to Walsenburg, then west to Fort Garland, south to Taos, Santa Fe, and then Albuquerque. Cloudy when we left, but wasn't raining. That was no longer true by about the time we got to the south ead of town... Not so much what I'd consider "rain" as it was "splatter". Pretty much when cars turn on their wipers every once in a while. So we didn't put on rain gear. We were hoping it wouldn't actually come down much.

By the time we hit PPIR or so, it was was raining. Stayed that way all the way through Pueblo. We had thought about stopping in Pueblo for breakfast, but I wanted to just keep going - hoping to drive out of it. By the time we hit Colorado City, we were cold and I was stressed enough, that we stopped at a diner there. Lots of locals. Talked to a waitress that did a similar trip one year.

"Headed north out of Red River and it was beautiful in the valley. By the time we came up into the mountains it was sleeting, and stayed that way all the way to Denver. Bought a rain suit after that - best investment ever."

Yup... we have rain suits so are staying dry. Folks said we'd probably come out of this after hitting Raton... about 100 miles south. Good and bad news. I didn't want to stay in it that long, but at least we'd come out of it. Talked to a rancher on the porch.

"Man, bad day to be riding. Hey", he said with a twinkle in his eyes, "I'll make you a deal. I'm heading to Phoneix this afternoon. Leaving around 5:00. I've got a 28 foot trailer. You can put the bike in it, ride in the truck and stay nice and warm."

I almost took him up on it. I was NOT having fun in this... but then he just smiled, said good luck, shook my hand and left. We got suited back up and hit the road. About 10 miles south and the rain stopped. Thank you Jesus! By the time we hit the pass, we could see blue sky (or at least lighter sky) on the other side, and there were bits of sun.

Stayed that way most of the way south. Would hit some splatter once in a while, but nothing bad. God was watching over us. Dark skies, light skies and a patch of blue. Where the best spot was, that was the way the road turned. This helped us make time, as my avg speed in the rain is about 60 - whereas I'll do 75 if it is nice out.

Hit Albuquerque about 5:15. Tina was exhaused. I gave her one bag, and by the time I got everything else off the bike, she was asleep. So I called the kids, told them where we were, and called Alan and told him we weren't going to be able to make dinner.

I went and got dinner from Cracker Barrel - about the worst customer service experience of my life - especailly after riding all day. The brought my food out, I didn't hear them call my name, and they never called it again. I asked 3 times if they could check on my food - and after about 30 minutes they were like, "Oh, its been sitting here the whole time." Sigh. And then they ripped me off and didn't give me the soda I ordered and I was too ticked to notice it till I got back to the room.

Oh well - did talk to a guy from Boston while I was waiting. Discussed Digital, the No Name, etc. Typical Boston guy. It was fun. :)

Logged in and checked work... I was up till 11:30 on Thur trying to get a kit done. Close but no cigar - couldn't tell from status if it was out or not. Guess I'll go look around. It really needs to get out Monday.

Guess that's about it... Tif said it was 91 yesterday and "not a cloud in sight". Today's ride should be great. The plan is to head through Silver City - which we'll do depending on the sun. When we get to the fork in the road... totally depends on the weather. We follow the sun. :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

New template

Yes, I've updated my template. I haven't gone and pulled my old list of sites I read, etc. I'll do that eventually. Luckily when you upgrade from templates to layouts, they keep your old template, so you can always go look at it. In any case, layouts are supposed to be easier to use, easier to customize, etc. We'll see. At least this one stretches, which I like. I hate when things hard fixed in size and you can't make use of your whole screen.

Beta Blogger

I've switched over to the Blogger beta version. I don't have time to figure out all that it will give me yet, but the fact that it will give me lables is cool. Defective Yeti has had labels on his site forever, and I always thought it was cool. Now a way to label posts for food, HOG, whatever. We'll see how it works. :)

I've added two labels so far: Admin (for notes like this) and HOG (for stuff about the motorcycle, etc.) And now that I've added 2, turns out they can be lists, which is cool. So I could do something like HOG,Vacation.

Wired News: Play FarCry, Earn $300K

Craig Levine, 23, owner and manager of Team 3D, said there are now more than a dozen U.S. players who make as much as $70,000 a year. This year, Team 3D will likely see more than $500,000 in revenues from winnings and sponsorships.
Wow... maybe I need to hone my game playing skills. ;)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Harley - conversation magnet

I've talked to more people since we got the Harley... I mean total strangers... like at stop lights and stuff. Unbelieveable.

  • 2 guys in a station wagon roll down their window and start telling me all about their bike, when the one guy got a ticket for laying his down, etc. The light turned green and I had to move and they were still talking to me
  • A guy in a service truck starts telling me about his bike
  • A kid (about 10) yell's out his window at me "Sweet bike" and gives me the thumbs up, with a big grin on his face.

And then there is the two couples, probably a good 10 years older than us, at the Katmandu in Nederland who start asking if the bike is comfortable... and the one woman comes over and pushes on the seat "Oh...". They were riding softails.

And the waitresses that talk to you differently when you have your Harley gear on. Must scream blue-collar and anti-establishment. "Hey... hows it going. Welcome to my Hell. Don't get the scrambled eggs... the cook has made enough today." All kinds of things like that.

Kind of cool really. Riding the bike itself is an adventure. Seeing a cross section of Colorado (and soon AZ and NM). But not only the country, but actual the people too. Surprising how many people have bikes. "What you riding. Yeah, I had one of those once".

The trip should be cool. Interesting to see who we meet. :)

Don't mess with me when you're boxing my food

I stop at the grocery store on my bike. I'm riding a rental (cuz the bike is in the shop) and so I've got a helmet on. I take it in with me and I set it down at the end of the checkout counter while I'm getting ready to pay.

BoxBoy: That is one nice helmet... We'll be taking real good care of you. turns to the cashier And you know why right?
Cashier: Looks at meBecause we better!
BB: 'Cuz he rides a Harley
C: Yeah, I know, that's what I meant.

Yeah... that's me. Mister mean biker dude. ;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Short-timer's disease

We leave next Friday for AZ. We both can't wait. Its really getting hard to concentrate and focus... short-timer's disease big time...

But I've got a very important release that has to go out before then. Major code complete by this Friday, cleanup and kit turned in before I leave next Thur... and I'm sending email to Tina and blogging this morning instead of working...

As someone said, "Boy, that motorcycle has really corrupted you. You have a life now and aren't getting all kinds of work done on the weekend." Yeah... sucks for the company not to get all kinds of free work out of me, but probably much better off for me. :) And winter is coming soon - less bike riding. :(

Oh yeah... I need to get around, get ready for work, and go to work... that's right. ;)


Quote of the day

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action. Frank Tibolt

Friday, September 08, 2006

Getting ready for the trip

Went into PPHD yesterday and picked up a Dekker Supreme. In terms of luggage - not all that big. In terms of luggage for a motorcycle, outstanding. It will dobule the amount of stuff we can carry on the back, and it looks nice as well. Saw some T-Bags at the Rally last weekend, so visited their web-site. Turns out that PPHD carrys them, and had the DS in stock. Cool.

Now just praying that the weather is nice that week. Tif said the monsoons should be gone by then and it should be in the 90s... 90s in AZ and we are just praying we don't hit snow on the way back. Weird huh.

It will be very cool to see Tif and Brian again, and the riding should be excellent. NM HOG State Rally is going on right when we go through Taos and Santa Fe, so we might stop there for a bit. Should be an excellent trip.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Goodbye Croc Hunter

For those that haven't heard - a report on how the Croc Hunter died. The video that is discussed has now been destroyed at the request of the family. A good thing I think.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Beautiful yesterday

What a great day it was yesterday! We decided to stay another night, and it was a great choice. The day was so beautiful. Sunny and warm, but not too warm. There are some *great* roads up here. We went into Estes on 34 and then down to Lyons on 36. Different route than most of the poker run on Saturday. Between the two of them, some great country.

Given the weather is nice today (/me goes to look out the window) and it looks like it is going to be, no clouds yet; we are going to probably go home via the poker run route (into Lyons, Nederland, down to Boulder), and then into Golden and down C-470. When we hit I-25 we'll decide if we'll shoot straight home, or maybe cross over Lincoln to Parker and down SH-83. Should be a really nice trip. Have to be home by around 4:00, but that should be easily doable, if we don't get too late a start.

Our first really Rally experience, and it was great. (Cripple Creek's POW/MIA ride was at a rally as well, but we only hung out for a few hours. This time we stayed 3 days of the 4 day event!)

Our next rally might be the NM state rally - at least stopping by. We are planning on hitting Santa Fe on the 2nd day of the Rally, when it is in Red River. If nothing else, it would be cool to go the HOG pin stop. We'll see...

Oh... and those wondering - production systems all seem find. Just had to squeeze in fixing them between coming back from a ride through the Rockies and heading to a comedy show. :) Yeah... life is good. Riding down the road, Tina on the back of the bike, wind in our faces, winding through the mountains.

Now that's a waitress for you!

The Bill Engvall concert last night wsa awesome. Both Tina and I were laughing so hard we had tears coming down our face. Great stuff! :)

After the concert we drove around looking for someone to eat. We decided to go to the I*Hop. They had a "Funnel Cake" special.

Me: What's the special
Waitress: I really don't know. I haven't bothered to look today.
M: Oh. I think its something to do with funnel cakes?
W: Oh yeah. Its that funnel cake thing.
M: Well what is that?
W: Its just a special promotion that we had going on that is over but we still have some of the funnel cakes left, so we are trying to get rid of them.
M: So, what is a funnel cake? Since I wasn't sure if it was the funnel cakes they sell at street fairs. I wanted to make sure
W: I don't know... Ummm. Deeeep-friiiied stuff... Maybe pancake dough or something.
M: OK. I'll have that.
W: Stares at me in disbelief. OK. What size?
M: What zize is there?
W: Regular, Large and Sampler
M: What's the difference?
W: More stuff
M: ok... I'll have the Regular


W: So how did you like those.
M: They were good.
W: Oh. I think they are disgusting. Just like most our soup. People ask me, "What is the soup today" and I tell them, "Don't even bother ordering it."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Life of a HOG Software Architect

Thunder in the Rockies is awesome. Ride yesterday was pretty cloudy and somewhat wet, but still fun. We pulled in this morning and there was just row after row after row of motorcycles, as far as the eye could see. Cool stuff.

I *finally* got a network cable from the hotel and got looged on; only to find out a system has been having problems for the last 5 hours and no one fixed it. So, I'm fixing that, and then heading back over to the event center to see Bill Engvall (sp?) at 7:30.

So - some work, lots of fun. Will blog more and put up a few pictures later.

now... back to checking the system, then back on the bike.