A Time To Ride
The Three Thousand Mile Journey

First stop for gas just outside of Fort Worth.

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Probably the next stop for gas. Someone wanted a photograph of the bike. He also took my photograph. I gave them a business card from the Royal Enfield dealer because of their interest in the bike.

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First night. I pulled into the town of Fritch looking for a road sign to a campground. Soon I retraced my path and went back to the location of an exit from the highway to Lake Meredith Quarry because of the dark cloudy sky looming just ahead. After returning to the exit I eventually rode to a campsite turnoff. The campsite was isolated. The next morning I did see another tent set up as I walked around but saw no one that night as I pulled in. On the next day when I told someone where I camped they informed me that in historical times this is where the Indians mined for flint.

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Alongside the road there was long cut grass, dry, and looked like hay. I used it to make a sort of mattress and put up the tent over it. Of the five nights I camped out it was the most comfortable of all to lay on.

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It did rain that night and there were mosquitoes. I wore long sleeves and gloves to keep from being bit while pitching the tent and as the rain came I stayed in the tent to keep dry.

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This is the moon photograph that I took at Lake Meredith.

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In Fritch, the next morning, I stopped at a service station for coffee and a cinnamon-roll-like breakfast, just as I frequently did on the road. While I was in the parking lot I was able to enjoy a conversation with two men who asked about the bike. They each had their own cycles though one of them had not ridden it that morning. We had a long conversation together there before I left.

After leaving the town, the lake and the dam, as I traveled along the highway the low fuel indicator light came on, which concerned me some. I made it into Dumas alright though; got gas and went on. Then I stopped at the border for this photograph.

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The second night I stayed at the KOA at Raton, NM. It was not a long ride that day. This campsite was in my itinerary as was staying there two nights and going to church on Sunday. I told my plans for Sunday to the people standing around in the office and someone said that they went to First Baptist so I also went there Sunday morning.

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This picture was taken on Sunday by another camper who walked by and spoke with me.

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After church that Sunday morning I visited Climax Canyon Nature Trail. The clouds are an indication that a storm is on its way.

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On Monday I started my ride again. The central part of Colorado on Highway 9 was cloudy, cool and I came through some light rain. Just before a downpour of rain I came to a junction of the highways and, after a northwesterly turn, a small town. There was an abandoned business that had a high, small overhead awning as part of the building. In past-times it was a service station or something. I parked the bike with my load under there; went across the street to the restaurant; and, spoke to some other riders parked there. One of them said, “Looks like you’re staying dry,” a reference probably indicating how I tried to park in shelter from the rain. I ordered a buffalo burger in the country restaurant. I saw some buffalo (tame ones) in a fenced field not too long before I got there. So that’s what I ordered. It took quite a while for the lady to take my lunch order, then to get it and eat it. For once I was glad for the slow process of eating at a restaurant. I had my Nook tablet with me and continued reading George MacDonald’s ‘The Vicar’s Daughter.’ Outside the heavy rain began. I was glad to miss it. While I was eating a little bird landed on the window sill outside beside where I sat at the table. There was a little pocket made with the wall of the window, the window sill, and a sign or board against the sill. The little bird flew into the pocket. I warmly thought of the words of the song, “His eye is on the sparrow.”


I rode through the state highways of central Colorado. Highway 50 and highway 9. It brought me to the tourist communities of Frisco and Dillon near Breckenridge. I liked this gas station and grocery store that I stopped at there in the mountains.

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The location is west of Denver and there's a lot of traffic and people and connecting roads for the way I wanted. I was glad to have a GPS and make it through the complicated tourist town roads.


Later on I was delayed some on my ride by construction where only a single lane of traffic could proceed. I got to steamboat springs and again with the help of the GPS I found a campsite. I was thinking about a KOA campground again and apparently that's who had bought out the previous owners of the campsite. As I registered they said there computers were down (Wi-Fi too) and couldn't accept credit cards. That was okay with me. I paid the half normal amount they charged me with cash since they were not in full operation. I set up the tent and made my bed and covered the motorcycle with the tarp. During the middle of the night I could hear the thunder storm and heavy rain falling on the tent. It's a good tent for staying dry in the wet weather. I saw lightning and heard thunder over on the distant horizon before I got into the tent for the night.


I got up and rode across town, the same way I rode into town the night before and had coffee and a scone and checked on the internet. I returned to the camp and packed the bedding, the tent and all the gear and headed out. I crossed some very lonely stretches of road finally coming into Wyoming then to the little town of Wamsutter. The last several times I've come through Wamsutter I've stopped at the Conoco there. An artist who wandered in was hired by the station owner to paint murals on the walls and they're very good work. I ate lunch there and another person who stopped at the station saw me struggling with the load and the motorcycle and helped me get it up on its stand to oil the chain. He was also a motorcyclist and must have known the mechanics of motorcycles because he told me the best conditions when to do the oiling.

Another customer spoke to me and said, 'I hope you're not driving in that direction.' as he pointed to the west. There were storm clouds in the sky. I said I was. I dreaded going into a storm so decided to try to stay in a small hotel there. I went to the same little hotel where I stayed before. But even in that early afternoon they had a 'full' or 'no vacancy' sign out. So I determined to head on.

A little while later the first downpour came. It was a heavy rain but lasted only a little while. At Wamsutter my way changed from state highways to the interstate where the speed limit is eighty. I had not been traveling faster than sixty (fifty seven according to my GPS) so I dreaded being on the freeway with traffic blowing by me and some driver carelessly missing seeing me. It seemed like one big truck did that very thing a few days before. Then with rain the visibility is lower, the wet roads slicker and the way for a motorcyclist even less visible without anything like windshield wipers for the face mask on the helmet. Plus there is all the discomfort of splashing through water on the highway and also being drenched by the downpour.

After the first storm came I went on. When the visibility was low I had driven on the shoulder of the road out of the regular path of traffic. The rain was gone only for a little while. Then the real thunder shower came. Visibility was bad and the first place I could I pulled over. It was a parking place on the interstate for eighteen wheelers and any other traffic when the driver needed to pull off the road. There was no shelter there. I got off the motorcycle and continued to get drenched and soaked. There was a little car that pulled over and parked behind me. I wondered what they thought of me out there in the thunder shower. Then hail stared falling too. I saw another motorcyclist coming towards me with flashers on. (It's the first time I can remember seeing a motorcycle with flashers.) He was driving against traffic. I think I saw him pass me on the interstate earlier. He parked near me and we talked a little bit. He had a Harley Davidson and rain gear and looked well prepared for the rain. During the downpour a suburban pulled up beside me. A horse trailer was being pulled behind it. The wife of the driver rolled down her window and kept trying to persuade me to come inside to the back seat out of the heavy rain. Finally I said I would and also asked about the other rider. The young daughter who was in the back seat climbed over the seat into the back. The husband had a beautiful wife and daughter.

We had a good conversation going as we talked about ourselves very impersonally. I don't even think anyone told their first names. Everyone said where they were from. They showed me a book they were reading about horses. They had a couple of books there about horses. I wondered if I might first have had their sympathy since I was dressed in the rain gear of a horseman. I like to think of a motorcycle as an iron horse. My gloves are gauntlets for horseback riding. My raingear is an oilskin duster.

The other rider and I told them how we appreciated the shelter from the heavy rain and downpour outside. Then on the spur of the moment and in words similarly polite as I thought George MacDonald, who I had been reading, would say, I offered them a gift. So they accepted one of the ounces of silver I was carrying with me. The husband quoted, "It's more blessed to give than receive," while he accepted my offer. And I told them about the little bird at lunch and offered the quote as well, "His eye is on the sparrow." On my way back to Fort Worth I intentionally stayed at the campground and pitched my tent where the husband said he was originally from.

The rain let up some. They let us out and we continued on our journey. I dreaded the falling rain (though lighter now), the splashing water from the freeway, and the fast traffic; but headed out anyway because it would do no good staying there not getting into it. I was comforted a little because the speed limit had been reset on the marquis to fifty five due to the poor visibility and road conditions. That was somewhat of a relief of the treacherous conditions for me on the light motorcycle. A couple of hours later I could see the sky clearing. Little America was up ahead under the clear skies. I had planned to stay there after there was no vacancy at Wamsutter.

Wednesday Through to the Next Wednesday

The stay at Little America was good and I was able to get dried out and rest well. I dreaded the next day's travels and saw that rain was in the forecast on the way ahead for me. It turned out though that I was hit only lightly with rainy weather. I got to my destination of Pocatello early in the afternoon that day. A journey of over fourteen hundred miles. There I stayed for a week and a half with my sister and visited with my relatives.


While in Pocatello my two sisters and I took an RV to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Park.

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The RV campground in Colter Bay Village (where we planned to stay) was full so we stayed that night in a picnic parking turnout near there.


The next morning we returned to the village and had breakfast at a large cafeteria style restaurant and coffee shop. I took more photographs there as well as where we stayed for the night.

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One of the young ladies that worked at the marina was kind enough to let me photograph the Tetons with her in the foreground.

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We went on to Yellowstone. I saw a couple of years ago when I visited with my wife and some others of my family which way the turn to the parking lot went so this time didn't take it. I took the turn to the Old Faithful Inn. There was a large misty hot pool alongside the road that I photographed with the inn in the background.

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Just as we parked old faithful geyser started going off. We went into the inn and stood in line for lunch. I had a hamburger (like usual) and paid the restaurant check for us. We left and walked up to the geyser it was just the right time as we settled that old faithful went off again.

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We left there finally and traveled on. We didn't get out at the mud pots because they were too much walking. Then the Firehole turnout was closed to RV's so we just went on to West Yellowstone. We spent quite a bit of time there and reminisced while we walked around. I had worked there in my youth for my sister and her husband. My other sister bought me a badger skin that I liked so much at a fur store. They had a buffalo skin that I wish I could have gotten too. After our visit there we headed back to Pocatello, stopping in Blackfoot to watch part of my nephew's baseball game.


On Sunday after church we had sort of a family reunion at the park where I was able to be with several of my nieces and nephews. Then the next day I started on my journey home.

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Leaving Wyoming and coming into Utah.

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Passing through the switch backs of Flaming Gorge.

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I passed through a very beautiful canyon at the center of Colorado. Then turned off the freeway. I stopped to look for lunch at a little tourist town. I didn't see a restaurant or café that looked like where I wanted to eat so I stopped at a gas station-grocery store. There were three bikers there, Kevin, John, and Bob. They had ridden across country from the east. Kevin said he had the smallest bike. It was a big Yamaha. In just the few minutes that we visited together I felt like we were friends though we had only an impersonal conversation and only know each other by first names and do not have each other's contact information. It was on a strictly informal basis like my other meetings along the way. And also like some of them, there seemed such a good friendship though we barely knew each other. We talked about bikes and travel and the times of these days.


The campground at Buena Vista. A little bit before I came to the campsite I switched on the GPS to make sure I was on the right road. The GPS lead me through many county roads. A couple that I remember are Highway 9-D and Highway 300. I'm glad it led me that way because the scenery must have been more remote and beautiful.

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Spent the night at Clayton: a bargain stay, and a new commitment for the ride.


Repairs at Vernon TX. A needful rest though not quite the bargain that I enjoyed the night before.

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The End.

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