As a follower of this blog you have read that fifteen years ago I fled the "Peoples Democratic Socalist Republic of Kalifornia" I did however, leave some investment properties there. This year I sold and now free of that "Red Star" state.
Following are some of the adventures in the West over the years; by motorcycle, RV and 4Runner.
Fine hotels and sleeping under the stars. Great memories of my life in the Wild and Open West. The majestic Rockies and Sierras. The deserts. Miles upon miles of open travel with hardly a structure in sight! Unlike the East where it is dificult to escape mans footprint.
On the road to Paonia, CO for the Colorado BMW Rally
Since there is no reason to return West for business; I will miss the seventy two years of wondering the Western States as a child with a great family and as an adult on my own travels. Been to many places in all the Western States - California, Nevada, Utha, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, , Oragon, Washington and my personal favorates Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Lived in Alaska back in the mid seventies.
Drove the Alcan. Hint, drive/ride one way and take the Alaska Ferry Inside Passage one way. Either by car, RV, or motorcycle however you do it - go West. Motorcycles alone have logged well over 300,000 miles in the saddle. I do love the West. Perhaps I will find my way back to live out there again.
Been living in the Mid-Atlantic for fifteen years and can't tell you much of the rides in the East. Moved here because my son got orders to USNA. Have been to AMERICADE a couple of times. Seen the beautiful Fall Colors in New York, Vermont, New Hapshrie and the Blue Ridge. Maybe later this month will return. May drive the northern half of the Blue Ridge too. We will see. I have become rather satisfied at home with Lynn and the fuzzes. Do miss my cats when gone. Yes, dear, miss you too.
Below, my pride: Sabrina, and her brother Sebastian, Buddy. Graycie May, Baby and Mr. Binks. All rescues.
Below in the Summer of 2007, my son and I were on two diferent rides he on his R1200 GS and I went out to spend time in Jackson Hole in the RV. We met up at a great little place in Buffalo, Wyoming. After a great lunch we went our ways; he back to his command at the Naval Accademy, I went on to
Custer and the Badlands of South Dakota.
Sometimes you have to look up to see the beauty. Thunder storm in Wyoming.
Dallas Divide on the way to Telluride, CO
Wherever you are: "Go West Young Man" Just avoid the cities. Wonder the outback. Occassionally ride a train or shoot the Snake RIver in a raft or kayak! Go horseback riding on a packtrip. Throw yourself off a mountain - LIVE life while you can and are healty. Don't get old and wish you had done stuff! Now at 72, still in pursuit of the next adventure.
Borrego Springs, CA Old Custom House, China Ranch, CA Silverton, CO
Pfeiffer Falls, Hwy 1, CA "Million Dollar Hwy, Ouray" , CA Marble, CO
When new before the sidecar 2005 R1200 GS at one of my favoret places - Alibama Hills, CA. Camp there and get up around 4AM in the summer. Make a pot of coffee and sit out in the brisk air and watch the "Alpen Glow" on Mount Whitney! Doesn't get much better.
As seen in full morning glory from my base camp in early morning light is Mount Whitney.
Lake Powell , AZ Red Mountain, Hwy550 CO Monument Valley, UT
Now "New" Horizons and the new Ride
Above is the new rig, 2017 INDAIN VINTAGE CHIEF and married to a HANNIGAN MOTORSPORTS
SIDECAR. Sweet ride! Sad to give up the off road capabilities of the BMW R12; but this will be a great scoot to the fine hotels and dinning. After all think I am done with sleeping on the cold hard ground and eating beans over a campfire....maybe. Still have the 4Runner for the "outback" and for camping.
Again as a reader you have seen in the previous posts that there were issues with both the Indain and with Hannigan Motorsports. All was made good. Kudos to Dave Hannigan and the fine folks at Polaris
Gettysburg, PA GATHERING OF WARBIRDS, OH FORT TICONDAROGA, NY
There have been many trips here in the East. In the next post we can explore some and introduce you to places you may wish to go; be it by motorcycle, car or RV. Come back to this blog and enjoy the rides!
Oh and if you wish to purchase one of the photos here in the blog. please see them in the blog store or find them at my photography website: http://www.karlhjohnsonphotography.com.
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See You Down The Road
As indicated in the previous post, it was a strong and good ride to Maggie Valley. Hot yes, but enjoyable. Encounted some good high speed sweepers. Love the cruise control. Just overall a great ride.
Unfortunately I did not take into consideration the dates of travel - July 4th weekend. Lodging was not a problem, traffic was not a problem; but I was under orders to be home not later then the 3rd!
Maggie Valley and the riding in the area is wonderful. If you are into the twisties continue through town and pop up and over the mountain to Cherokee. Be advised this is somewhat trecherous and often there are acciedents. Still a fun ride. Below is a video of the Chambers site. You can see lots of activities in the area no matter the season.
I awoke to off and on light rain and theatening skies. It was time for breakfast anyway. Perhaps it would let up. Right across the street from JOHNATHAN CREEK INN is a great palce for breakfast with a wonderful menu.
JOEY'S PANCAKE HOUSE as you can see has been the place to go since 1966. Now under new owners, Roy and Sandra Milling, it still maintains the excellent reputation. Better get there early because it is only open for breakfast closing at noon. Additionally there can be a wait line - it is that good!
At the left is the TUSCAN OMELETTE, Italian Sausage, Chesse, Mushrooms, Red and Green Peppers and their special Hashbrowns - Chesse and Onion. That and a good cup of coffee I was ready to take on The Blue Ridge Parkway.
THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY, billed as "Americas favoriate highway." Certainly one of the best and gets the ribbon for the longest at 468 miles; but don't pass up Highway One from San Simion to Carmel, CA, The Million Dollar Highway from Ouray to Silverton, Colorado, or Going To The Sun at Glacier NP.
Oh, but if you have the time to drive another "must do" is the ALCAN HIGHWAY. If you d this I would recommend drive it one direction and take the ALASKAN INSIDE PASSAGE the other.
But back to this ride. I have done Northern part of The Blue Ridge and was looking forward to this section; however the weather was not to coopororate. Most of the ride was in light rain or low clouds. Still a great ride.
Nice thing about the overcast is it was a comfortable day with temperatue in the seventies. Nice relaxing ride. You are pressed to find a straight section more then a few hunered yards long; mostly nice sweapers. A great motorcycle road! Heed the warning about "gas Stations" because you will not find any on the "Parkway" Top off at the start and be aware were you can find a town closeby.
Although there were breaks in the cloud cover, most of the ride was in the overcast. Find the beauty
They had me on the road by 10 AM and off I went for a full day on the road. Got home at 8PM.
So, as of this writting all the problems with Indian and Hannigan have been addressed. Both have
stepped up and are, or will shortly fix the issues. My love for the rig is slowing returning
Re-enactors every year give a salute to the Airborne members. Above is "Whiskey 7. This C-47 flew in the June 5, 1944 airborne drop in Normandy. As you can see the re-enactors put out great expense and effort to insure historically correct presentations.
Thank you all for your contribution to the air show.
Teeth Of The Tiger
If you can't get there - Buy a photo:
about a month ago have put on display the real MEMPHIS BELLE. For those that don't know, it was the first B17 to complete the required twenty-five missions. This was almost an impossible task and the plane and crew were sent back to the "States" and did War Bond tours.
See You Down The Road
Thank you to those that have servered!
See You Down The Road
So I had to sell my "rig" Had it built when I realized my knees may be an issue when riding the trails in Southwest Colorado - Silverton and Ouray mostly. Went out every year to ride. But with bad knees, should you brace the bike you could break a leg. Break a leg alone miles on a trail; well you could die. I put a sidecar on it. Not going to fall over! Of course you still could drive off a cliff.
After a little over a year decided I needed to ride. If you ride you know what I mean.
Over the years I have well over 300,000 miles on BMW's. First bike was a new 1976 R90S. Should have kept it.
First ride on the Indian was certainly different. The sitting position, the peg, or in this case, foot boards, and let us not forget the rear brake "pedal" on the Indian. For those not riders; big diference between the Euorpean bikes and the American bikes. The BMW, Ducatti, KTM, Triumph, etc tend to be for of a "steeple chase" sitting. The big American rides, Indian, Harley tend do be a more "laid back" riding possition. I guess akin to the days of riding a horse. Here in the great expanse of the Amercan plains or indeed now the long days in the saddle; we tend to sit back as in an easy chair and ride. My BMW was quiet. The Indian has a somewhat loud; but pleasent rumble to it. I like it - thumpity thumpity rumble.
Had the Indian shipped to HANNIGAN MOTORSPORTS to marry it to a sidecar. Below is what it will look like. My color is a dark blue and cream.
See You Down The Road
Was in the saddle for the eight days with brief stays in hotels. Logged 6,797.3 miles! One day I was driving for eighteen hours straight. Now that is a long day. Oh did I mention it was mostly in rain. And that day was an omen of what was to come! More on that below.
Saw a lot of this:
Highway 46. Plesant drive through the wine country of Paso Robles. Wish I had the time to stop and sip the fine wines of the area. It was late in the afternoon, and you know, I was tired. Had been a long drive. Left Flagstaff in the morning and the day before was a looooong day; started somewhere in eastern Oklahoma. All I remember was my departure at around 4 AM; the night clerk told me the highway going east was closed due to ice. All the flashing red and blue lights made it look like a war zone with the police, ambulances and tow trucks attending to the crashes. Well, I was going West.
By nineish I was in Tucumcari, New Mexico and drove the section of Highway 66
With a full belly and coffee - lots of coffee; I was off again.
Oh, if you are in Tucumcari in the evening dine at Del's. Founded in 1956.
Still serving a great dinner! Both owned by the family and the excellent meals and service shows why they are worth the stop.
Next stop was the Laguna Indian Reservation for a stop at the San Jose de Laguna Mission. Built between 1699 and 1701. Still an active Catholic parish church serving the spiritual needs of the local Laguna residents. A wonderful and well preserved example of an old Spanish colonial mission. You will find it about 40 miles East of Albuquerque on Highway 40. So, stop in and say a prayer to Saint Christopher for a save journey.
If you have traveled highway 40 in New Mexico or Arizona you have seen them:
Trully a treat!
I arrived in Afton to check the properties I was interested in; but a family emergency required me to depart the night of arrival. Turned out, thankfully, all was good. The drive back to the Mid Atlantic on the other hand was not so good.
It was a light snow at10PM inAfton, as I assended the mountains driving back to Salt Lake the snow intensity increased. It snowed all day long as I turned East. In fact as I continued on Highway 70 East of Denver - in the snow - it became a blizzard and found out later the "Colorado State trucks I had seen on the side of the highway were closing the highway as I passed by! The snow turned to rain and indeed drove home all the way from Wyoming in snow, blizzards and rain.
As noted 6,797.3 miles in eight days. Mostly in rain and snow. Not interested in doing that again!
See You Down The Road
Went to war in Vietnam.
All and all, spent most of my life in Southern California. That was then - The best times to be there.
Today the RED STAR makes a lot of sense!
I left. May not ever return.
Last month sold the last property I had in San Luis Obispo. I have my memories when the Central Coast was, for the most part, an unknown gem to be enjoyed by a few. Now today, SLO as it is called, is just another liberal anti-business pustule that was once a great place. It's crowded with drive time traffic problems.
One of the great excusions is Poso Saloon about an hour north of SLO. Over the years many a ride for lunch. As you can see from the themometer below, best to visit in the Spring , Fall or Winter.
For a great day at the beach go down to Avila Beach. Short fifteen minute drive from SLO. For breakfast, lunch or dinner try the Custom House in Avila!
That's it, about three hours total back in SLO. The most expensive buger I have ever eaten!
Those were great times to be in LA. Used to go to Sunset Bulivard spend a few hours at WHISKY A GO GO listening to The Doors, or Johnny Rivers. Go down to the Golden Bear for folk music. Spend the summer days on the beach of Malibu or Santa Monica.
Learned to fly at....wait for it - Coffin Air Service. Back then you had to do spins to get your license. We did them over the Glenn View Cemetery! My instructor was Hank Coffin and in his seventies. Great pilot and wonderful instructor. I soloed under eight hours and was fifteen years old.
Below: Sailing Lake Tahoe. Diving of the Channel Islands, Riding th California desserts.
Riding and camping at Alabama Hills, Rock Climbing, Kayaking the coast off Shell Beach.
Set aside the nit wit (communist) politians and California is a beautiful State. In my opinion the most diverse in what it offers of all the States. I mean you can really ski in the morning and have dinner at the beach the same day!
Goodbye Kalifornia - Good Luck!
And if you are to live there; you will have high blood pressure and learn to swear like a China Sailor when dealing with the State government and many of the local dictators too - SLO is one!
Go there for the beauty and - - - - the Assembly and Moonbeam!
See You DownThe Road
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See You Down The Road
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