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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-17 00:04
Ditch Doctor man. awesome pictures so far. loving the adventure!
07-12-17 01:42
The Underdog The trip from Steamboat to Draper was a bit of a cannonball. I had a plane ticket already for Sunday and I wanted to get a decent amount of time with my friend so I didn't stop and take many pictures. The ones I took were mostly on the gopro so I'll probably have to do that post from the laptop rather than the phone. I'm in bed now and don't feel like dragging out the laptop so this post is going to be an intermission of sorts. It's about something that was kind of bugging me the whole time.

I saw a lot of abandoned stuff. I don't know if it's a byproduct of normal economic processes, drugs gutting small towns, the interstate highway system, or what. I wish I'd taken more pictures of it. For every one I post here I probably saw twenty in real life.

Here they are in rough chronological order.

The phenomenon started in Georgia and carried pretty steadily through north Texas when I could no longer avoid interstates. Interestingly, when I got back off the interstate in Colorado, the small towns still seemed to be thriving.


Don't know if you can see it but this was "main street" in one town and almost everything was vacant.





Well, I thought I had more pictures of abandoned shit than this. Guess not. Maybe one day when I'm rich I'll do a trip where I just focus on that.

So here's one more pair of pictures of long straight roads going off to the horizon



Maybe the next post will be the Steamboat to Draper leg.

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
07-12-17 00:57
The Underdog I appreciate the encouragement harcourt. I'm glad you guys like reading this stuff. I'm hoping this forum will be around a while so I can remember these trips. I'm back home now and back to the grind and I already feel like none if this ever happened. It's like road me and home me are two different people who don't interact.

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
07-12-17 00:02
harcourt Underdog, reading these threads makes me feel like I'm right there along-side you bud, much love, thank you for the journey
07-11-17 00:36
The Underdog Steamboat shit...

"Steamboat Springs, Colorado is a drinking town with a skiing problem," said my brother (adopted) who owns the place I stayed at.

I chilled here for a week. The first day, after I'd ridden all night and slept half the day I went and visited Hahn's Peak. This guy I met in a bar told me to go up there and see it. Here he is:

His name is Don and he said "Life's too short to dance with an ugly woman. I've danced with plenty of them."

On the way to the mountain, the road turned to gravel and I of course tried to ride the bike up the gravel road. I got close to the summit and fell over so I decided to walk the rest of the way.

It's really high altitude so even a little walk is exhausting if it's up hill.

Saw some decent views but it was getting dark so I didn't make the summit. I'd had this idea that I'd take a picture with the bike from the top. That didn't happen. The trip down was worse than the trip up because you can't use the back brake when you're using your legs to stabilize so you're basically riding the front brake in large loose gravel. Any time you lock it up, the wheel just flops over to the side because of the raked out angle of the fork. Worst off road bike ever.



Damage from the fall...


The second day I basically slept all day and only ventured out for dinner.

There was a water fall I went and saw.

There was a sulphur spring in a park in the middle of town. That I apparently got no pictures of.
There was a fence made out of skis.

There was a reservoir.

With more mosquitoes than I've ever seen.

You could clearly hear the noise of them flying. I tried to get other pictures but they only showed up against the backdrop of that dumpster. There were clouds of them everywhere. It was the stuff if nightmares. There was a neighborhood on the opposite bank. I wonder how they dealt with it. Seriously it was like a swarm of them everywhere.

There was this neat taco stand in the nearby town of Oak Creek.


I tried real hard to get a good sunset picture on my last day there.

We'll go with this one I guess.


Steamboat is a ranching and mining town that got invaded by ski people. It's an interesting blend of old western types, hippies, yuppies, and hipsters. Real estate is super expensive but, apparently, cheaper than Vail. The main drag is mostly full of bars, junk shops, expensive restaurants, and all the other typical crap you find in tourist spots. I've always wondered what it's like to live in a town like that.

My time there was weird. I was staying in a hotel full of rich people but dressing like a wandering motorcycle vagrant. Living on a shoestring budget, eating cereal for two meals a day yet having to make token visits to these nice places people were suggesting I go to. Looking like a motorcycle vagrant in there too. It was interesting. I didn't really talk to very many people there. I felt out of place, mostly, and at a loss for what to do. I actually watched TV.

On the last day I met a welder named "Cactus" (seriously?) who fixed my saddle bag bracket for free, which was cool. I didn't get a picture of him or his home garage shop. He was inspiring, though, because he was able to make a living in that expensive town doing something he liked doing basically on his own terms.

After that, it was time to pack up.


Next stop, Draper, UT.

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
07-07-17 03:38
The Underdog Long story short, Amarillo to Cañon City turned into Amarillo to Steamboat Springs and took 20 hours. I left Amarillo at 10:30 am on July 2nd and arrived in Steamboat at 6:30 am on July 3rd.

I ended up taking a wrong road somewhere and didn't end up in Cañon City when it was time to find a hotel. Instead I ended up in Westcliffe and found all the hotels closed except one and it had no rooms. The girl told me that if I went north for another hour I'd reach Salida and there would be plenty of 24hr hotels. It was dark already and I was tired and sore but I didn't really have a choice so I put on my warm gear and headed out.

When I got to Salida I was cold, sleepy, exhausted, hungry, and my lower back was on fire. I stopped at the first hotel only to be told that there were no rooms and probably wouldn't be any in town because it was a long weekend. I was disappointed at this news to say the least. I could, literally, feel myself sliding into some kind of bed from the moment I saw the sign for this place but I had totally forgotten about the 4th of July. I borrowed their internet and looked online for rooms in town. Sure enoug, only one place had a room and they wanted $160 for it. It was already midnight and I just couldn't get down with paying $20 an hour to sleep so I decided to keep riding. I knew this probably meant I'd be sleeping outside so I ate the rest of my cheezits from the gasoline trade so they wouldn't attract animals. I did some stretches to help my back, took three Ibuprofen, and headed out.

I rode for I don't know how long. Could have been an hour, could have been ten minutes. It was getting properly cold now and I had slowed my pace repeatedly to make the temperature bearable. It was to the point where I was doing 40mph and waving cars by me. Finally, I saw a place on the side of the road with a picnic table out front and a light that would, hopefully, ward off bears and sasqaches. I parked up and laid down for a nap without even taking off my helmet.

I fell asleep almost immediately and then woke up again after only a couple of minutes feeling like I couldn't breathe. I opened my visor and tried again. Same result. I had a lot of layers on so I unzipped two of the three jackets I was wearing. Same result. There was nothing else I could do so I would sleep until I felt like I was suffocating, wake up a little, take a bunch of deep breaths, fall asleep, repeat. I don't know how many cycles of this I went through but it couldn't have been more than ten or so before I got pissed off and decided to get back on the bike.

Getting to lie down helped my back but not getting any sleep was irritating. I made it to Leadville and found one of those "Kum and Go" gas stations with a convenience store that was open. I had some coffee and zebra cakes and broke out the last resort in my battle against the cold. The rain suit...





After Leadville it was just over two hours to Steamboat according to Google maps. The time stamp on that last picture was 2:58. The time stamp on the picture in front of the hotel in Steamboat was 6:21 so it took three hours twenty. Part of the reason was that I tried to sleep again. This time I couldn't find a table or a bench so I ended up sleeping on a fence/gate type thing. It was a square column of rocks with a steel arm hanging off one side. The column was about big enough for my torso and, with my knees bent, my feet could rest on the arm of the gate. I got similar results as last time. Sleep, suffocate, sleep, suffocate, etc. After a few of those I got back on the bike for the last push.

First and, hopefully, only sunrise pictures:


Shortly after sunrise it started raining a little and I caught this rainbow:

Finally made it to the destination.


But wait, there's more. The desk didn't open till 7 so I had to wait 45 minutes to pick up my keys. Then they didn't work because the machine programs them not to work till 8 so the desk lady had to walk with me to the garage, let me in, then walk with me to my room and let me in. Finally it was over. I took a hot bath and went to bed until like 4pm.

Now, some highlights from the rest of this leg. I would have put this stuff in its proper chronological order earlier in the post but I felt like that would have been gratuitously saving the miserable part for last to play it up. That's the kind of crap they do on reality TV shows and I dislike it so, here's the happier, less interesting parts now that we've got the main plot out of the way.

Right after leaving the hotel in Amarillo I found this weird abandoned building with half-buried volkswagens.



Then, in Dalhart, TX (I think) I found this guy who makes his living selling stickers out of his RV.


Apparently he just has a vinyl cutting machine and several colors of vinyl stockpiled in there and he just makes and sells stickers, moving from town to town. Seems like it could be a good way to travel while being self sufficient.


Later,I saw a sign for this volcano and decided to go see it.


Hard to tell but this is looking into the crater.

This volcano was the tallest thing around for a very long way.




After the volcano, a bit further north, I caught my first glimpse of snow on mountain tops. Prolly can't see but it's the ones in the middle.


Then I met this guy at a gas station.

He told some tall tales. I bought him a beer. He is a photographer, has a plan to bring back "Battle of the Bands," wants to help homeless veterans get housing, wants to start a veterans dating website. He was in Vietnam. He was also the first person to ever do... Something that I can't remember now. His name is Edward Lietch and he exists on Facebook. Go stalk him.


After the leg from hell was a week of mostly relaxing time in Steamboat.

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
07-05-17 03:03
The Underdog Austin to Amarillo wasn't terribly interesting, scenery-wise. It's mostly flat, empty, farm land. About the only thing of note is the massive number of windmills out there. There had to be a couple thousand of them. They just went on as far as the eye could see.



Waiting on some rain to clear, I rolled out around ten after nervously eating scrambled eggs at my messy friend's house. I rationalized that they came out of shells and had been heated up enough that they should be safe. Despite waking up very early and all freaked out about the bugs, I was able to make nice and say my goodbyes.

I ended up getting rained on anyway about an hour in. Wasn't much. Pulled in for gas and waited maybe a half hour and it cleared up.

By early afternoon my lack of sleep was catching up with me and I started looking for places to eat. All I found, though, was nothing and most of that had been abandoned for years. Finally, starving and tired, I gave up and took a nap at a picnic area.

I woke to a train going by and got the idea to smash some coins as souvenirs for the folks back home.

I waited an hour and no trains came so I collected my coins and decided to head out. Walking back to the bike, this car, pulls up and a guy gets out and explains that he and his family are almost out of gas and offers to buy my spare gallon. I just gave it to them because who gives a shit about two bucks but then I realized there were kids and a wife in the car. And where there are wives and kids, there are snacks. So I said "there is one thing I could use. Yall got anything to eat in there?" They were actually stoked to be able to give me something. The wife went down the list of shit they had and came to a mostly full box of cheezits. Well, that's all I needed to hear. The trade was complete. A gallon of gas for a box of cheezits.


Ironically, after filling up on cheezits and camel back water, I ended up finding the town of Post about five more minutes up the road. I got gas and a stupid, overpriced, coffee beverage.

As I was gearing up to leave, a group of Harley riders pulled in laughing and having a good old time. The apparent leader (the one with the most patches) asked about the bike because he'd had a Thruxton back in the day. He shook my hand and introduced himself as Cochise Chalmers. (this is just a paraphrase because I can't remember what the hell he said. Though I think the Cochise part might be right.) I asked him how he got a name like that and he said the Cochise part was the name of the M/C club and Chalmers(¿?) was his "road name"(wtf?). I said "I gotta confess a secret, I'm a sport biker and I don't know how any of this shit works." We talked a bit more and covered the usual where I'm from and what I'm doing, which garnered the usual response of "hey that's cool man" with, what seems like, a subtle undertone of "well, this guy sure is dressed weird but he seems legit." After he left, his fatter, less confident friend cam over and also shook my hand before I rolled out.

After that it was uneventful till Amarillo. I took a few glamour shots of the bike around sunset and rolled in and found a shit hole motel at about 11pm. Same routine. Un-strap the pack, carry it in and dump it on the floor, and face-plant in the bed.




I always try to stay at a place with a free continental breakfast and this place didn't disappoint.

What a value! There were even hand written signs that said "limit one per person."

Next leg: Amarillo to Cañon City, Colorado.

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
07-04-17 02:05
The Underdog Yeah, I guess you're right they'll never see it. So here goes...

Only pic I got of the yard. There's also an abandoned mobile home out back.

Grass burrs.

The rest are self explanatory...







Dog shit, who knows how old...

More dog shit.

Under the ferret cage.

Under wife's desk.

Under the dining room table.

On top of the dining room table.

Cobwebs on the fake plant and glowing rock thing. Mouse poop and dead spiders on the counter.

More cobwebs. Thought I was gonna be eaten alive by cobs...

Dirty fridge.

Least the inside was clean. Oh, wait...

Organized kitchen.

More organized kitchen.

"hey look, I was into fantasy dioramas... 15 years ago"

Maybe the guy that crawled on me.

And for the grand finale...


Everyone's homework for this post is to go clean something. Dear God, whatever happens, never forget what you have seen here.

Next post, the Austin to Amarillo leg.

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
07-03-17 19:00
Bmore
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Underdog View Post
I don't know how to put this diplomatically. Their house is ****ing disgusting. Like I brought in a change of clothes but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to take off my riding boots. I, literally, don't want to step on the floor with even my socks on. I'm rolling out early tomorrow... Shit.
PICS! you know they're never gonna see it here
07-01-17 03:40
The Underdog Austin brought down time. Only three people to see here and never caught up with the third so I had a couple of days lounging around my friend's house while he was at work.

Here's me with my feet in a stock tank (large animal watering vessel for you non hillbillies). Sort of in lieu of a pool, I guess. Never seen one before but I want to set one up when I get home.

My buddy with his son that looks just like him.

Took the opportunity to sleep in and work on cleaning the bike up really well. I want to hand it off to its owner looking as good as possible since it was a pretty big leap of faith on his part letting me ride it this far.

For anyone who doesn't know, tire foam works pretty well as a clean and shine agent for all that black plastic in the cockpit, hand controls, and engine / wire harness area. Just flood that shit on, let it do it's loosening dirt routine, blast it off with the hose and let dry. Maybe re-apply if your plastics and black paint are extra dried out and chalky.

I decided to stay one night with my other friends about 40 min north of town so I didn't have to start in the urban area. These are people I knew from the Army so it's been 20 years since I've seen them.

Now... As a traveler and visitor of various people, some of which you really don't know the status of, one has to be a bit flexible when it comes to accommodations. I'm not really surprised by much anymore. However, these folks shocked me a bit.

I don't know how to put this diplomatically. Their house is ****ing disgusting. Like I brought in a change of clothes but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to take off my riding boots. I, literally, don't want to step on the floor with even my socks on. I'm rolling out early tomorrow... Shit.

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