When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

2020 Travels Finished

Today is January 6th, 2021. It is about time that I updated these pages with our travels through the end of the year 2020.

We took the scenic route to Tucson, AZ using up the entire month of October to go the 2,500 miles (4,000 km).

We left home in SW Washington State in late September and headed to Spokane, WA to visit a museum. The Fire Lookout Museum is in the backyard of a retired Forester, Ray Kresek.

This is in the basement of his house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also has an old lookout and a garage full of items in his backyard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are examining old portable radios. The one on the left end of the middle shelf is what we carried when cruising timber for the US Forest Service in 1970. I was on a crew of four persons and we took turns carrying it because it was so heavy. The dark gray portion on the bottom is all battery.  It was just a basic radio with a range of about 5 miles. Compare that to a cell phone today. Smaller, lighter and smarter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back on the road and headed for Glacier NP in Montana. We will be riding the “Going to the Sun Highway”.

This road is often listed in the “Best” motorcycle roads lists. It is crowded, slow (35 mph) and beautiful.

Youtube Video

 

 

We were there during the Fall Colors show.

The yellows and greens were rampant across the hills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After several days exploring Montana we moved on to Cody, WY. This is the Southern end of the Beartooth Pass Highway. As you can see we are well above the timberline. And the cold, bitter wind was howling across the grasslands.

 

YouTube Video

 

 

 

 

 

The sign behind the bike says:

“ Beartooth Pass Summit Elevation 10,947’ ”

(3336 m.)

We rode down the north side of the pass and had lunch at a cafe in Red Lodge, MT. We debated going back over the top but decided to go around because of the cold, bitter wind. We returned to Cody, WY on lower elevation highways.

 

 

 

 

When we left Cody, WY heading south toward Denver, CO with a heavy side wind. This made driving the motorhome very difficult. Our next multi-day stop is at Great Sand Dunes NP in southern Colorado.

The little black specks are people. The climb to the top of the biggest dune is reported to be 5-6 hours. We did not attempt it. I climbed a high dune in the Sahara Desert in 2007. Sand dunes pretty much look the same everywhere.

 

 

 

 

We camped at a small campground about 30 minutes away. The sunsets were great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the reason we chose it is because of the hot spring pools. The one in the “Greenhouse” is adult only with liquor served to drink while you soak.  This was a nice hiatus in our journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this a day’s run took us to Taos, NM. We are here to ride the “Enchanted Circle”. This is a loop of about 85 miles (137 km) with mountain and valley views.

 

 

 

 

 

We made a stop at the Rio Grande River Canyon before returning to our campground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next is Bandolier National Monument. It is the ruins of an early native American settlement. There are the remains of walls in the valley bottom and rooms carved out in the valley sides. These ruins are very near Los Alamos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two pictures are looking in opposite directions from nearly the same place. The lower, larger openings lead to rooms that vary from the size of a twin bed to 20 feet (6 m.) across. All were only 3-5 feet (1-1.5 m.) high. The fencing is guardrails for the viewing trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We filled up with gasoline at a Costco in Albuquerque, NM.

This is the cheapest gasoline for many years.

A USD $1.699 per US gallon is the same as EURO €.364 per liter.

 

From there we used that cheap gas to go to the Petrified Forest and Painted Hills NP. There is evidence of early use by Native Americans here too.

 

 

 

 

 

The hills were striped with colors.

 

 

 

 

 

A different area of the park had “firewood” looking petrified wood. This “firewood” is millions of years old and is now solid rock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our last stop before Tucson is near Sedona, AZ. This area has several good roads with great scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We rode the road to Jerome, AZ and up the mountain switchbacks. This bike was parked in Jerome. I think this would be very hot and noisy to ride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a RV park space rented for the month of November. Like our home club the locals have weekly rides. I joined a couple of them. The members are great but the scenery and roads have much room for improvement.

 

 

 

 

 

While in Tucson Kathy and I rode up Mt. Lemmon. This is a 25 mile (40 km) ride with a 6,600 ft (2000 m.) climb. In my opinion it is the best ride in southern Arizona. It is a dead end road so you have to ride it twice.

Youtube Video

 

 

 

 

After Tucson we moved to Apache Junction, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix. A short ride of 11 miles (18 km) to the small town of Tortilla Flat. In the late 1800’s this was a stage stop and mining town.

 

 

 

 

 

Today the stage stop is still there and is now a bar and grill. The barstools are horse saddles and the walls are covered with US and foreign paper money. Supposedly $400,000 worth. But most of it is heavily covered with names, dates and comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three days before Christmas we felt like we were back with our friends in Australia. We went swimming in the RV park’s pool. The temperature was 74 degrees F (23.3 degrees C).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started the new year with a ride joining the local club at a local bar and grill for lunch. This is San Tan Flat. They have a large outdoor “Corral” with lots of tables, we used three of them. Being outdoors made it safer for everyone from the Covid virus.

 

That takes care of 2020. We will report back in three months or so.

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