Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 2 of the 202 TourA

Dear Family & Friends,

The thing I love about motorcycling is no matter how long or difficult a day riding I have the next morning I always wake up excited for another day’s adventure. Tuesday morning we packed up and went to breakfast at our hotel. Kingman is a “colorful” place and when we travel by motorcycle we usually don’t stay at 4 star hotels. and this was no exception. Formal wear for men was a clean “Wife Beater” T-shirt and the really “beautiful" people here had all their front teeth….. 
I was thinking about the heat yesterday. 117 was a bit extreme but at least there was no bugs.. Most days after 10 hours on the road I am covered with squished bug but it was so hot the bugs were not out..... Which makes me think even the bugs were smarter than motorcyclist.... :(
We finished breakfast and went to the bikes to ride and panic set in when Brian could not find his motorcycle keys.. He started looking everywhere and could not find them. Duane suggested he look in his pant legs because motorcycle riding pants are double wall and sometimes the key can fall between the two but unfortunately no luck. We searched every where Brian went. Finally Brian figured he must have left the keys in the ignition that morning before breakfast and someone stole them. So plan B was to search the grounds hoping some jerk just took the keys and threw them somewhere. After an hour and half of searching bushes, parking lots, and dumpster diving no luck.. We were about resigned to spending two days in Kingman and having and spare set sent here. 
Brian was very disheartened when for some reason he reached all the way down to his pant cuff where he thought he had looked before and sure enough there was the key!! It seems his motorcycle riding pants had two zippered slots on the legs, one opened up a pocket, the other a vent hole for his pants. He put the keys in the vent hole where it dropped to the bottom of his leg…… Remember I said this group had 202 years of motorcycling experience?? Well with that experience comes an occasional “Senior Moment”, but at least we could ride.
By the time we left it was already in the mid 90s and I was not looking forward to another hot day. We headed north towards Flagstaff which is actually fairly high altitude and within the hour is was green and a delightful temperature ranging from mid 70s to mid 80s, perfect for motorcycling.
In Flagstaff we stopped for lunch at a very 50s diner. I love getting out on the open road and avoiding any chain restaurants. The local feel is so much better.
From there we rode down the other side of the mountain into the Navajo Nation Reservation. The views are very dramatic and stark.  The Navajos did not get a great deal on this land. A very tough place to live.
The weather suddenly got dark with clouds and we started hitting flash rain storms that would soak you to the skin and then just as quickly dry off because it was still warm. The alarming part was the lightening! It was striking the ground all around us, many time less than a mile away. As long as the lightening was coming down I didn’t stop once or set my feet on the ground. I did not want to be grounded and target for a strike!
We got through that and continued through the Navajo Reservation. We stopped at a road side area that featured Navajo Art and real dinosaur tracks. The guide was a local indian girl no more than ten. Very friendly, very articulate, and knew far more about dinosaurs than I did. She took me to various tracks. Quite amazing. The tracks were made over 65,000,000 years ago yet looked like the beast walked by yesterday….. Suddenly her parents yelled for her to come to their car. She explained to me they were expecting flash flooding and had to leave.. Great and I there on a motorcycle….
At the Navajo store I tried to find some souvenirs for my Blackhorse Coffee group of friends. I meet with these great men every morning and talk about all sorts of interesting subjects. They all have such eclectic tastes and knowledge. For my friend Hamp I tried to find some Navajo art (Which I know he likes) that reflected all his interests so I asked for a genuine Navajo Beer Tray that illustrated early American Indian Porsches… Unfortunately they sold the last one yesterday.. 
For my friend Milt I found the perfect book, “The Complete Unabridged History of Navajo Testicles”…. Unfortunately they were sold out of the English edition and only had it in Navajo which I didn’t think Milt read.
For my friend Bern I tried to find a “Navajos for Bernie Sanders” T shirt but I was told that is only sold on the left side of the reservation and were are on the right side… I’ll keep trying..
Late afternoon was absolutely gorgeous riding through the valleys. There would be occasional thunderstorms with beautiful rainbows and as the sun got low in the sky the lighting was amazing. It made the mountains and valleys pop like a 3D movie. By the end of the day we finally made it to Cortez, Colorado. It was another long 400+ mile day but now that we are in Colorado we will do more sight seeing and less riding. Brian and I  rewarded ourselves with a good dinner and I had a good glass of red wine. Duane went right to sleep….
I am sure I have said this before but one of the reasons I love motorcycling is you get such a visceral sensation from the environment that a car isolates you from. When it was about to rain you would feel the humidity build up, if you rode through an area where it just rained you could smell the moisture in the air, as you rode by various landscapes and crops you can smell the difference. And of course being out in the open on a motorcycle gives you amazing views of everything around you. 
I am looking forward to another day…. 
After Brian found his keys he showed us how easy it was to mistake a vent zipper for a pocket zipper... yeah right... :(

The cure,,,, we padlocked the keys to Brian. No more lost keys..

Fabulous Route 66 cousine...

We are all aditiced to our cell phones..

The "Charm" of Route 66

Where else can you find such culture..

Certainly some vast views.

65,000,000+ year old foot prints that look like they were done yesterday..

My guide..

That green area is where my guide and her family live.. Not an easy life.

The exact spot where these four states meet..

Cortez Colorado. Our first night in CO.

The minute you cross from Arizona to Colorado it immediately gets greener and greener.

Bonnie will be so thrilled with the new refrigerator magnet I am bringing home to add to the 100+ already there..

A great diner right out of the 1950s.. So old the hands have fallen off the clock.

They just can't stop playing with their cell phones!!

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