Saturday, May 05, 2007

AZ State Rally - Day 2 of the Rally

Day 2 the ride to Tombstone left at 8:00! So - we had to get up about 5:30 to get around, get packed up and get over to the hotel. This was the longest scheduled ride of the day - 200 miles. We picked it because it was long and was going to Tombstone. I had been there about 30 years earlier and remembered it as being pretty cool.

After we got to the hotel someone asked "Is this the short ride or the long ride?" Turns out it was the short ride, as they had thrown another longer ride together. But we knew a few folks that were going and decided to stick with the "short" 200 mile ride. Turned out the ride was going to go back the way we had come, pretty close to Tif's house, and then off I-10 out into the desert.

It was brezzy on the way down, and there were people that were even putting on jackets because they were cold! Tina got a bit chilly and put here jacket on, but I was good with just my long sleeve shirt. A bit gusty here and there, but not bad.

We stopped in Sonita for gas. And I took a couple shots of all the bikes!

Our particular group had about 20 bikes in it (they split into multiple groups if there are tons of bikes) - but we had lost 5 right off the bat. The "sweep" will usually block a road if we are turning so that we can all keep together and not get split up by oncoming traffic. While this is a bit of an inconvience for the motorists (perhaps) - it is much safer for the bikes when everyone is together. Well when we turned south coming off of the main road that the hotel is on, and getting onto the interstate onramp - the sweep blocked the traffic and towards the end this lady pulled up, looked at him and drove right around him. Splitting 5 bikes from the rest! We didn't know any of this till we got to Sonita and because we stopped there for about 30 minutes (bathroom break, gas, etc.) everyone caught up.

Then it was on to Sierra Vista. We had actually played at the Holiday Inn here, probably about 30 years ago. Yeah... I didn't remember the town at all!

One of the reasons for the Rallies is a sense of brotherhood and fun stuff to do - but its always a way to foster loyalty to the company and pick up some business for the local dealerships. So we stopped at the dealership. Its seems fairly small - had about 20 bikes out front. Then we showed up with about 50 more! :) They had free water and ice tea, so we chugged some water and then bought a couple of t-shirts.

Then we headed to Tombstone. We were going up through the "mountains" (hills really), but the terrain changed quite a bit. You could actually imagine cows and cowboys out here, as it was grassy, green and there were some trees. Very pretty ride.

We got to Tombstone

and ate lunch together at Big Nose Kate's. She was Doc Holliday's girl friend. Tina and I then walked around the town a bit and saw the OK Corral.

We wandered through a few of the places, then decided to go get gas - as we had skipped it at Sonita. Didn't want to be the only ones that needed gas! Then came back and sat on a bench in the shade on main street and watched tourists, locals, gun slingers, etc. walk up and down the street. Cool place to visit, though different that I remember it from 30 years ago!

From there it was back to the hotel. We headed to Benson where everyone gassed up before heading back on I-10. It had been a very windy ride - with the wind picking up as we came out of Tombstone. Standing at the gas station an old American Indian biker came up and started talking to us about CO - seeing our plates. He then said, "Its going to get windy now." - "NOW! It already been windy!", Tina said. "Nope - *now* its really going to get windy!", he said and smiled. And he was right!

The wind coming back was much stronger. We pulled in line 4th, behind the sweep in the right side of the stagger - since we were going to be going by Tif's exit. We told the captain we'd be peeling off there - so they didn't think we broke down or something. Tif's house is about 20 miles from the hotel - so no reason to go all the way back just to turn around! There was quite a bit going on this night, but Tina was beat, so we had decided to just hang at Tif's and do some more visting!

Anyway - the trip back was very windy. The folks behind us pulled up next to us to tell us to be careful of the guy in front of us - he drifted quite a bit. Asked if we wanted to switch spots, but I said no. I didn't want on the left side because then we'd have to cross the stagger to exit. They were right - the guy would drift all the way from the left almost to the ride side. And not just when it was windy. But I just kept and eye on him and would fall back some if he started to drift. So - the ride home was windy - but still fun.

We hit Tif's exit - waved at everyone and peeled off. And that was the end of Day 2!

Day 3 there aren't any rides - just bike games (no we are not in any), a bike show, vendors and just hanging out. Oh - and a parade through downtown at 4:00. So we'll probably sleep in some (ok... so I woke up at 6:00 - but Tina will sleep in some) then wander over when we feel like it. Checking out the vendors, buying some stuff undoubtedly (they have a vest you can chill that keeps you cool for desert riding!) and just check things out. A couple of bands are playing tonight - but I don't know if we'll make it to that or just do the parade at 4:00 and head back.

Outlook for the trip home is stormy. Looking better up through NM - but still looking at the I-10/I-25 route. Going north and up through 4 corners looks too cold/snowy. And Raton/Walsenburg looks cold/raining on Mon. We might wait to leave till Monday morning and make a 2 day quick trip home!

Well - that's all for now!

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