Category: 2013 Doggie Divide Ride (page 1 of 4)

GDR – Introduction

There is a lot to be said about the bond between humans and animals.  Many of us have had to board our pets, or send them away with friends of family while we go on our motorcycle trips.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve always felt a bit guilty about this.  My buddy has to go sit in a box all day, while I get to roll around smelling the world?

Read on…

GDR – Preparations

My Ural Gear-Up, the day I brought it home.

The Ural Gear-Up rolls off the factory line, ready to face most roads, and even some snow.  However, there are a few modifications that I felt needed be made to make it ready for an extended off-road trip.

Read on…

Day 1 – Colorado Springs to Steamboat Springs.

Ural packed and ready to go.

I woke way too early from a fitful night of sleep. Too many nightmares about seized con-rod bearings, or bent valves. The last three days before a big trip seem to get sucked into a crazy vortex of manic double-checking and last-minute worries. I must have checked oil levels and spare parts three times before I finally left it alone. Lola, on the other hand was still fast asleep without the knowledge of the days that lay ahead for her.

Read on…

Day 2 – Steamboat Springs, CO to Jackson, WY

I woke at dawn to a surprisingly chilly morning. Unzipping the sleeping bag briefly revealed that it was far too cold yet to attempt putting on pants. Lola (curled up into a tight little ball) opened up one eye briefly to see if I’d get up. I elected to sleep a little longer, and hope the sun breaking over Walton Peak would warm things up.

Read on…

Day 3 – Jackson, WY to Bozeman, MT

Sunrise over Jackson, WY

The early morning sunrise, made up for any trouble I had falling asleep next to the cheeseburger dance party last night. Every color of pink and orange was streaming over the horizon in a beautiful show of lights and colors. A slowly spreading pink and orange glow cast over every reflective surface. Rather than rush to pack up camp and get on the road, I made a cup of coffee, sat down and spent 20 minutes watching the world wake up.

Read on…

Day 4 – Rest / Wrench Day

No miles today.  Waking up in a fog after a banner pong night, only confirmed that I was out of drinking shape.  Mac got busy making some coffee and a breakfast scramble which did wonderful things to make me feel like a human being again.

I took a coffee to go, and we made the long 20 yard commute across the alley, to my buddy Ian’s garage where the Ural was parked.  Spent the afternoon changing the oils, checking valves, air filters and testing just about every bolt to ensure it wasn’t planning on departing during the rest of the ride.

Read on…

Day 5 – Bozeman, MT to Seeley Lake, MT

Dawn came abruptly with the sound of distant thunder, and the light plopping of gentle showers.  I’m all for getting an early start on a long ride, but I prefer my showers to be heated when possible, so I went back to sleep for a few hours, hoping it would pass.

By 9:00am, the troubling skies had pushed south east, and the sun was doing its level best to shine through the clouds.  I loaded up the Ural and we bid goodbye to all friends who were among the living.  By the time we made it past Three Forks, the sun was shining in abundance, drying up the small puddles from the morning’s thunder-shower.

Read on…

Day 6 – Seeley Lake, MT to Kalispell, MT

A humid morning broke over our quiet camp, and I debated my options. With only had around 100 miles to ride to Kalispell, I had reserved a hotel room for “one last hurrah” before the real start of the CDT. I still had to flip on the two knobby tires I’d carried from Colorado for the start of the ride. Its a well known fact that flipping tires in an air-conditioned hotel room floor beats doing it on a picnic table while swatting mosquitos.

Read on…

Day 7 – Roosville, MT to Rexford, MT

Maybe it was the beds at the Best Value Inn, or perhaps the anticipation of starting the route that led to a fitful night of sleep. The silver lining was the breakfast bar at 5:30am that morning. Pristine, clean and organized, like it had just been laid out for me. I was able to casually enjoy some pancakes, eggs and a cup of coffee before any other guests awoke.

Read on…

Day 8 – Rexford, MT to Swan River, MT

Unfortunately for Wayne & Zina (who were probably still sleeping on San Diego time), I’m a morning person. On motorcycle trips, I like nothing better than getting on the road when the sun is still rising. Lola is not a morning dog, but will usually get up and shake off the sleep if I start clanking the food bowl around.

I tried to quietly creep around without making too much noise.  Large legs and gangly arms can be a hindrance however, and between the muffled curses as I tripped over equipment, or the loud sigh of a camp-mattress being rolled up, I had woken everyone up.

Read on…

Day 9 – Swan River, MT to Moose Creek, MT

Morning came to me with the sound of Wayne and Zina stirring about camp.  My decision to finally get up was only made when I heard the soft whisper of their JetBoil stove light up.  Coffee, Coffee, Coffee.  I winced slightly as I un-entombed myself from the sleeping bag.  One day of (easy) dirt on the sidecar and things already hurt.

Read on…

Day 10 – Moose Creek, MT to Clearlake Reservoir, MT

True to the warning label on last nights meal, I was up very early for an evacuation notice.  The sun was just peeking over the eastern hill as I ran/walked to the campground outhouse.

By the time I was done in the outhouse, the sun was painting a wall of light on the western hill that was steadily advancing on our campsite.  I decided to run through some maintenance checks on the Ural, in the cool morning air (once suggested as the best time, by Robert Pirsig).  The air filter was pretty dirty already, so I oiled a replacement and swapped it out.  The valves hadn’t moved at all, which I took as a good sign that the Windmill MK-III wasn’t letting any dust through.

Read on…

Day 11 – Clearwater Reservoir, MT to Henry’s Fork, ID

Eleven days on the road meant sleep was no longer a problem.  I had lost any anxiety about the Ural, Lola, or myself for the trip.  My thought process was very simple and uncluttered.  Unpack, eat, sleep, repack and ride.  See new things and meet new people.  Pretty small todo list for each day.

While not as ruthless as the previous evening, the formation dive-bombing insects were still out, in good numbers.  I had a theory that they were tracking their targets by height and body heat.  My white-man fire confirmed my theory when they all hung high and away over the flames.

Read on…

Day 12 – Henry’s Fork, ID to Pinedale, WY

A sunny morning struggled to break through the cabin curtains. I got to work boiling some water right away in the ritualistic exchange of coffee.  That first aromatic sip in the morning is a pure golden Kodak moment.  Just think how many massive moments in civilization have all started with a cup of coffee.  Soldiers in deep jungles with rifles, scientists in labs, and scruffy, unshaven motorcyclists riding to Mexican glory.
Read on…

Day 13 – Pinedale, WY to Rawlins, WY

Last night, we decided as a group that I would set off early while Wayne and Zina packed up and left an hour behind me.  The rationale being the speed difference between the motorcycles and the Ural; they would catch up to me in no time at all.

Lola and I were up before the sun was over the horizon, and packing up camp. I declined the ritualistic coffee exchange in the morning, choosing instead to get a cup in Boulder, some 10-15 miles south of Pinedale after topping off the tanks and spare gas cans for the beginning of the 220 mile stretch.

Read on…

Day 14 – Rawlins, WY to Kremmling, CO

Still programmed for sunrise, morning came early for me. Despite a soft bed with warm blankets, the urge to ride to new lands overwhelmed that of comfort and luxury. Not Lola though; She didn’t move from her spot on the bed until I started loading up the Ural.

I changed the final drive oil in the motel parking lot, capturing most of the dirty oil in a soda can. I wasn’t sure how much dust and dirt made its way in, and I didn’t want that dusty mess wearing the whirly-bits prematurely.

Read on…

Day 15 – Kremmling, CO to Salida, CO

Clear skies, brilliant sun, and a comfortable cool air.  Good morning Colorado, its nice to be here.

The unspoken camp-pack-up competition continues.  Despite Wayne & Zina coming the closest they ever have to beating me, I still enjoyed the last of my ritualistic coffee from the sidecar step while watching them pack up.  As always, Lola was ready to go as soon as her bedding was in the sidecar.

Read on…

Day 16 – Salida, CO to Chama, NM

When I first planned for this trip, I thought “Oh, I’ll just camp everywhere, all the time”. What a stupid thought. The regenerative qualities of a hotel room are amazing after a wet day in the dirt.

I took the early part of the morning to do a little service.  I replaced the air filter with a fresh one, and cleaned dirty ones with some gasoline from the jerry can.  Oil levels in the engine, transmission and final drive?  Check.

Read on…

Day 17 – Chama, NM to Cuba, NM

Waking up in the green glow of my tent, I had two immediate thoughts:

Number one; We are in New Mexico. Land of enchantment, missile ranges, and reputed horrible trails. Everyone from hikers to bicyclists carried a slightly exhausted look in their eyes while describing their experiences in this state.

Number two; “Gimme Shelter” is on repeat in my head, and I cannot turn it off. I would have much preferred something a little less foreboding; Maybe “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. Rolling Stones it was though, no matter how hard I tried to change the channel.

Read on…

Day 18 – Cuba, NM to Pie Town, NM

I’m jolted awake in grey morning light when something hits me in the face.  As focus and comprehension start to set in, I get hit in the face again, in a rapid staccato. As I recoil my head and look over, paws are flying through the air as if running through an imaginary meadow.  Lola’s having puppy dreams again, and letting out occasional muffled barks.  Welcome to life traveling with a dog.

Read on…

Day 19 – Pie Town, NM to Silver City, NM

Blue morning crept in through the balcony windows of the toaster house as I woke early.  The creaks and groans of an old house warming in the sun seeming so foreign after so many days in a tent.

While strolling around the property with my morning coffee, I noticed some movement from a small shed.  I discovered this little guy, who let out a soft, muffled meow when I passed.  While I’m not really a cat person, I do have a strong affinity for anything small and fuzzy.

Read on…

Day 20 – Silver City to Antelope Wells, NM

A dull, clouded morning light crept into the tent after a dreamy sleep in the tent. Wayne and I stayed up half the night talking about everything from how washboards are made, to current political issues. I suspect all that jawing brought a quick, sound sleep.

Read on…