Black Friday Sale

Black Friday. I planned on heading down to the local guitar shop (Guitar’s Etc in Longmont) since the email they sent out said they had some good deals. I had my eye on a BC Rich as I wanted a metal toned guitar in my collection. I also had a fund limit (generally budget+$100 or so per usual ). Todd (the owner) pulled it down for me and started tuning it up. Since it has a locking nut, he loosened things up but the nut on the lowest two strings came totally out and with the customers he had coming in, he was having a hard time scurrying back and forth between the cash register and the guitar. In the mean time I was looking for a second BC Rich. He had a few but not the same as the one I was looking at. In the same area he had a few Dean guitars and a Flying V caught my eye. “We just got that in this week, let me check the sale price.” He pulled it down for me and complained a bit when he wasn’t able to get to his web site from his phone so he had to get back to the desk to look up the prices. While he was checking, I ran through some quick tunes I’d been playing. He had it on a Line 6 amp so I changed up the various presets and played with the two pickups and tone knob. The neck felt good in my hand and it felt pretty playable. Without a strap it was pretty awkward though. At one point I had Jeanne hold up the neck so I could play it :) He came back with it $300 off his price (he matches the online places like Zzounds pretty closely; it’s one of the reasons I buy there if he stocks the gear). Since that fit in my price range and it felt and sounded good, I was good with it.

I got it home and attached the strap locks to my strap however the neck one failed to seat in the guitar (I do like the recessed seats a lot better than the posts let me just say). I tried the post in the one by the plug and both worked fine. I called the store and brought the guitar back. Todd and one of the techs removed the neck seat and the screw was very long, it seems like it could reach the fretboard with just a few more turns. The tech took the screw downstairs to the shop and trimmed off the last three threads and brought it back up. That did the trick and the strap lock seats perfectly now.

Pics of course:

And video. I had Jeanne take video however I was concentrating on the song so didn’t turn so you can see the guitar. Leave it to the pics

Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down

I had a few comments that with a Metal guitar, I should be playing something a bit harder :) Plus my aunt complained that I didn’t smile enough. I am concentrating on playing so there’s that.

Avenged Sevenfold’s Nightmare

I have to say the guitar feels really good. Weight isn’t too heavy, sounds great, the neck feels tight. I really like this guitar.

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Income/Bill Forecasting

Currently I have a Spreadsheet that contains the normal bills I have plus income and lets me know how much I have. Part of this is to tell me how much I can put into my credit card bill for now. I use my credit card for everything. It lets me be even more granular in seeing my trends in purchases and savings. At the moment, I’m tapped and pay everything other than a couple of hundred into the credit card bill each month.

Since the utilities (water, gas, electric, cable) are generally pretty stable and the other bills pretty consistent, there are only a few things now and then that pop up such as yearly vehicle insurance, mortgage payments, county taxes, and some misc stuff. So I can reasonably plan out the upcoming months and even year through this spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet is broken out into 2 week periods coinciding with payday. The header shows every monthly bill title plus the due date. The last line is what’s pending for that two week period. As bills are paid, they are moved out of the pending line and into the two week period. There’s a calculation on the left for that period that gives the Pending total and a second number that’s the final amount left in checking plus the previous 2 weeks’ final amount. This lets me put the regular bills into their slots and for the credit card statement, I can put the remaining in less between $200 and $300. Since it’s a forecasting spreadsheet, I can look ahead months and make sure I’m not over extending later and decrease the amount going to the credit card.

    Date Income Mortgage Auto Electrical Water Cable Gas Credit
    Dec 31 $2,000              
    Jan 1                
    Jan 2                
    Jan 3                
    Jan 4                
    Jan 5                
    Jan 6                
    Jan 7                
    Jan 8                
    Jan 9                
    Jan 10                
  -$1,835 Jan 11                
  $165 Jan 12                
    Jan 13                
    Pending   -$1,000 -$300 -$100 -$30 -$95 -$10 -$300

It sounds complicated but once it’s all working correctly, it’s a reasonably quick process. I just move the pending items up and the calculations are done.

One of the problems though is if I have to add some extra stuff for a block of time. I have to adjust the spreadsheet calculations and if something changes, it tends to muck with the layout.

So I’m rewriting it into a database. This lets me more easily manage the periods plus the ability to add items easily and know they’ll be included.

The requirements: Item Name, Amount, Start Date, Due Date, End Date, Recurring/Single Payment, Autofill

I create a standard form edit and display area. This gives me the data entry point for items. Under the Edit Form display area, I have a link on each recurring item that changes the start date of a recurring item to next month, then loads up the data into the form resetting the recurring portion to single payment.

A second page just takes the data, creates the bi-weekly blocks with the headers and pending amounts. Single Payments are noted. Recurring payments are extrapolated forward including the totals as listed above. So it’ll look similar to the above table but with an easier management of the data.

I have the Edit Form completed and am adding in the data (off to bed shortly). Once the data is in place, I’ll work on the second display page.

Posted in About Carl, Computers | Leave a comment

Electrical Work

I spent a good part of Saturday finally mapping out all the plugs and lights and their panel correlation. Since I’m working on the house, replacing carpet, I want to replace the painted over plugs with newer ones, replace the painted over covers with plain ones (for the plugs), and fancy ones (for the switches). Of course the panel was old and some of the writing was too faded to read.

1 – Might have said refer, very faded.
2 – MBR Plugs (I wrote that)
3 – Blank
4 –
5 – no switch
6 –
7 – Range, very faded.
8 –
9 – AC(r)/Dryer(l)*
10 – Kitchen
11 – AC(r)/Dryer(l)*
12 – Kitchen
13 – Furnace**
14 – Blank
15 – Unreadable
16 – Blank
17 – no switch
18 – no switch
19 – no switch
20 – no switch

* Double switches with the two (r) and two (l) connected.
** Double switch

I figured out last weekend that 14 was the front set of plugs plus the bathroom light and the center rec room light in the basement and 16 was the back set. Because I needed to replace the switches and covers in the basement, I was hunting the light switch downstairs. I figured as I went through the switches on the panel, I’d try to identify exactly what each panel switch connected to.

1 – Refrigerator (1 plug behind)
2 – Master Bathroom, Bedroom, and two other bedroom plugs (14) plus the roof fan and the ceiling fan in the Master Bedroom.
3 – Dishwasher and Garbage disposal (1 plug under the sink)
4 – Every upstairs light fixture plus the Master Bathroom ceiling fan.
5 – no switch
6 – Living room (5), kitchen plug next to stove (1), garage (1), and pantry plug (1).
7 – Range
8 – Keeping room plugs (3) and maybe the gas fireplace starter (didn’t test that).
9 – AC(r)/Dryer(l)
10 – Kitchen plugs (left of sink) (2)
11 – AC(r)/Dryer(l)
12 – Kitchen plugs (right of sink) (2) and dining room plug on the kitchen wall (1)
13 – Furnace(r)/basement lights(l)
14 – Front half of basement plugs (9), bathroom light, rec room center light (always on; no switch)
15 – Outside sump pump
16 – Back half of basement plugs (14)

I didn’t check the outside plug but I did make an effort to check every other plug with a night light to be sure.

When I put the master bedroom fan in last year, I discovered the roof fan electrical was just twisted and capped and hanging hanging in the air like a big old cobweb. I put in a junction box and put the wires there plus a second junction box for the fan.

A couple of years back, I replaced the can light in the Keeping Room (west of Kitchen) with a fan, replacing the can with an over-sized junction box. The can had the wires that continued on to the wall switches next to the sliding glass doors so there were 4 wires; 2 in (switch and power) and 2 out power and switch.

This weekend I’m replacing the can light in the dining room with a nice chandelier. I may make a couple of ceiling repairs at the same time.

I’ve already replaced plugs and the switches in the Master Bedroom and Bathroom. I planned on replacing all the water plugs with GFCI. But when I did that in the Master Bathroom, turning on the ceiling fan popped the GFCI so there must be a fault somewhere. I do have the two remaining bedrooms to replace so when I put new plugs in, I’ll be careful.

Posted in Colorado, Cornell, Home Improvement | 2 Comments

Gaming Updates

With the kickback from the refinance and the October skipped payment, I can get caught up on some gaming gear. Mostly books and such that I’ve been putting off.

Saturday we had the Denver RPG Meetup get together. Jon is the “Owner” of the Meetup and Wendy and I are Co-Coordinators. There are 20 or so Event Coordinators. The group was created to help get the folks who run games together with gamers looking for games to play in. Last year we reached 1000 meetups and Wendy went ahead and had a 1000 Meetup Commemorative die created and passed them out. August we hit 1000 members so Wendy did it again with a 1000 Member Commemorative die and Saturday was the get together.

Anyway, Jeanne and I went and poked around a bit. I snagged several Legend of the Five Rings books plus a couple of Solomon Kane Savage Worlds books, a Rogue Trader book, and a couple of board games. Goblins Inc and Bioshock Infinite. I broke that out and we played a game. Took a bit but it was still an interesting game. Not quite a resource manager. More of an expanded Risk type game.

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State of the House

I recently refinanced the house as part of our separation agreement. This removes the responsibility for the house from Rita in case something happens to me, financially or otherwise. It’s a big sigh of relief for her as this isn’t over her head plus the refinance lets me lower the payments a bit.

I wasn’t in all that much of a hurry to get it done although our agreement says by Jan 2015. I started back in January or February with a recommendation. Contacted them and started getting stuff together. They needed the separation agreement so they could see what I was paying Rita plus the normal pay stubs and tax records. I had to clear up a couple of items on the credit report, no biggie. Plus the separation agreement wasn’t 100% accurate since it was before Rita got her place in Virginia. So I updated it with accurate information, sent it to Rita for approval and Notary stamps and forwarded it along with a letter explaining what changed and why. The county wouldn’t let me submit an updated separation agreement, only updates to maintenance. Since that part didn’t really change no update could be done. Rita also had to submit a quit claim deed giving up her rights to the house.

Anyway with the paperwork done and approved by the underwriter, the refinance went through on September 19th. I stopped in at the finance office and signed or initialed 70 or so documents. I was expecting to pay about $100 but in fact got back $641. The payments are lowered about $200 a month plus I get to skip October’s payment. I am expecting an escrow dispersal from Wells Fargo as well of around $1,500.

Plus Rita got a job starting around October 20th. This helps her because she’ll be self supporting plus her income will be a bit more than the support checks I’ve been sending her. She’s on her feet again :) I’ll be able to do some of the more one time costly updates to the house vs the little bit at a time updates I’ve been doing. And since she’s getting paid, she’ll be sending me her mortgage payments until she can take over her mortgage (I’m paying it now as it’s in my name). It may take a little while but that’ll get done in a year or two.

From the house perspective I’ve been gradually replacing the ancient carpet. The last carpet guy said it was at least 20 years old based on the pad he pulled up. I’ve replaced the downstairs living room carpet, one of the downstairs bedrooms, and the master bedroom carpet. I just paid to have the second downstairs bedroom replaced which completes the basement as far as carpet. I’ve also been replacing plugs and switches since the existing ones have been painted over several times. They’re also quite old and in some places either broken or just don’t have enough tension to hold a plug. Not good at all.

I intend on replacing the carpet in the dining room with hardwood; a medium light/dark color. Plus there’s a spotlight in the ceiling vs a chandelier. I checked out the local lamp store and found one that I like the look of. That’ll be the next purchase (with the October skipped mortgage check). Once that’s done, I’ll have the last two bedrooms and living room to do and that’ll be completed.

Next year I’ll be looking at putting a deck over the concrete patio. It’s 10×30 I think and has sunk in different spots. I can put a simple deck in for a reasonable cost and with the new materials, I can have a beige deck (matches the house) with a green pattern (matches the shed). Should look pretty good. I also have a treehouse picture I scraped from Facebook that I’ll plan and execute. Plus putting in the patio in front of the shed and trim around the west side of the house for the flowers and a pad for the two trash cans.

Other than that, painting the bedrooms downstairs, building gaming book cases, getting the basement organized, and of course the plug and switch replacements. Mostly minimal but time consuming stuff.

There are a few more things in the works but farther out.

Posted in Cornell, Home Improvement | 2 Comments

Master Bedroom Update

When we went to Prague a couple of years back, I was struck by the art of Alphonse Mucha. His work was done around the end of the 1800’s, early 1900’s and I found I really liked the, well the joy and happiness for lack of a better word of the art that I liked. He would get real people and pose them then take photographs and paint from them. It let him create interesting poses that folks wouldn’t be able to hold and that he could put into any frame or backdrop.

When I had the carpet replaced in the Master Bedroom, I had to remove all the furniture and remove pictures and such from the walls. To prevent damage according to the instructions. While everything was out, I spent time replacing the sockets and light switch. The sockets and switch had been painted over and the sockets themselves were so old, they barely held plugs (it was one of the reasons we didn’t care too much when painting the plugs, etc).

The back wall have the old green bubble glass installed. It lets in the light of course but it isn’t very efficient with regards to the winter (or summer for that matter). The previous owners had covered up the inside with a panel of wood and tacked in a wood bit to hold it in place. We put a bit of foam-core on the outside and covered it with a couple of mosaic panels.

In the bedroom, the walls are painted maroon and the ceiling is a darker yellow. We also painted the wood (which was white) the same yellow color. But it wasn’t fully painted, leaving a foot or so at the base the original white. If I remember correctly, we’d gotten to the end of the paint in the pan and didn’t want to waste it.

Rita put up a couple of curtain rods and draped a long piece of gold cloth over one and purple cloth over the other one. When I removed everything from the room for the carpet folks, I also removed the curtains. I chased down the yellow paint and finished up the panel, which looked a lot better on a bare wall vs the curtains so I left them off when I put the room back together.

But what to put in the panels? They looked pretty bare but I liked the look itself. I remembered Mucha and popped out to see what I could find that might work. It just so happens there are thin tall prints of Mucha’s work. The panel itself is about 16″ or so wide but about 7′ high. I located a couple of 12″ x 36″ prints that I liked on Amazon and put them in my cart.

It happens that Saturday we headed to Boulder to the Pearl Street Mall for lunch and to walk around enjoying the mall itself. We stopped in at the art shop and sure enough, they had two of Mucha’s 12″ x 36″ prints. They aren’t the ones I liked from Amazon but they’re still very nice ones. I snagged them and carried them up and down the mall.

This one is over my side of the bed. The French is “in the morning” which fits me to a tee (I didn’t translate until I had them up on the wall but it was perfect).

This one is over the other side. The French is “the night”. Both are excellent prints that I really enjoy having up on the wall. I also snapped a wall picture of both with the lamps. The picture does pretty well but the lamps are a bit over-exposed. It’s a bit more subdued in person.

The lamps were originally taller but I didn’t like the lighting so I removed one of the center rods. Looks a lot better.

That’s all. I just wanted to share. I thought it came out quite well and do really enjoy the room and the new carpet :)

Posted in About Carl, Cornell | 2 Comments

Photo Site Updated

Personally I’d rather manage my own photos. I’ve been doing it for some time and have some 30,000 or so files (most are pictures) on the http://schelin.org site. Mainly I’ve just been putting the pictures on my local server and pushing out changes. This lets me have a local copy of the web site in case the server crashes (which it has in the past) and if the server is hacked, I can simply wipe the server and load up new files again.

I’ve been working on several web application projects over the past few years learning CSS, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL. This has given me the experience to finally whip up a better photo management site.

I was using a couple of manually updated text files. The files were parsed and imported into a new database. This database holds the event, picture, and other information so I can better manipulate it.

I’m also moving all the event documentation from the photo site over to this blog. That way I can again, easily manage the content here and still make all the photos available for viewing if that’s what you want to do. I’m also doing more investigation into the word press site configurations in order to better manage that content. One of the problems is I tend to use an 800px wide image but that mucks with the right side menu bar. I don’t want to snag a custom theme in part because of security issues. Having a default theme means when Word Press is updated, so is the theme and I’ve at least reduced the possible security vectors down a few notches.

In general, I’ll be pointing folks to the photo site since that’s where I manage the events themselves. Grouping the days into a single event, etc. Where this blog will hold the event or each individual day’s events.

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Grand Tetons and More

Last day of the ride. A nice cruise up I70. A ride up to Mt. Evans and home. Should be a fun and easy ride.

There was a bit of construction going on past Grand Junction so there was some slow riding with single lanes of traffic but nothing horrible. The ride to Glenwood Springs was again fairly uneventful. General cruising and a nice day to be out. Clear skies and nice weather. When we got to Glenwood Springs, we did stop at the rest area to get some pics.

There was construction so not much in the way of being able to stop and get more pics. The views were very good though. We did stop at the Hanging Lake pull out but didn’t actually stop since it required a hike to get to the lake. So we looped back around. There wasn’t an entrance to east bound I70 so we headed back to the rest area and turned back around. The rest of that ride was still pretty cool.

As we continued on, we went through the various towns until getting to Vail. We headed on up to get over Vail Pass, a pretty high (and chilly) ride. On the other side we stopped for a quick rest.

After Vail Pass we continued on through Frisco and Silverthorne to get to the Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnel. Going through the Johnson Tunnel was pretty interesting and on the other side we continued to Idaho Springs. This was the turn off to get to Echo Lake and Mt. Evans. Heading up to the lake wasn’t too big a deal. At the lake itself I went to pass the SUV and Pickup in front of me (passing zone of course) only to discover oncoming bikes! He slipped to his right and I stayed on my right and passed without a problem. I gave him the Two Fingers salute but I was amazed I didn’t see him before the pass. At the lake I got a pic and then we headed up to Mt. Evans.

The ride up to Summit Lake was fairly nice if a bit chilly. The lake had a lot of ice on it but it was the sponge type of ice. Melting and dangerous to walk on should you be so crazy.

From there we continued on up to Mt. Evans itself. The road up was pretty tight in the corners. With Jeanne on the back and having to feather the clutch, we got up but it was pretty hair raising at times. One wrong wiggle and we would have gone over. As it was, when we got to the Mt Evans parking area, Jeanne got off the bike, I shut it off, and leaned it over. And over. And over. Until it was on its side. Yep. I neglected to put the kick stand down :( I removed my gear and pulled off the tank bag. Another rider was nearby and helped me get it back upright. Kickstand down and checked out the bike. The clutch lever broke again :( Ah well. We’re stopping at the bike place anyway to pick up a couple of parts. I’ll just have to order a new clutch lever.

Once that was straightened out, we headed around to check out the sights. Over by the bathrooms was a herd of goats.

You could actually get pretty close although I’d be cautious of course. More looking around and I got a couple of Panoramic shots of the east and west sides of Mt Evans.

Once done there we headed back down. I intended to head out to Evergreen Parkway and on to I70 vs going back the way we came. There are some nice roads down.

As we were heading down, we got behind a white SUV. Generally not a big problem. In a passing zone I’d just zip by. But this guy was pretty erratic. Crossing the double yellow and potentially in a spot where a bicyclist could be hit if in the wrong place when this idiot went by. At one point, the passenger threw a bunch of small yellow somethings out the window. I want to say Pistachio nuts or shells from the look. They did bounce off my leg so they might have been full size, or even small stones. When we found a spot to pass where this guy wasn’t being too crazy, I zipped by and of course gave him the universal head shake and finger. The rest of the ride down was pretty cool with one stop for construction.

We got back onto I70 and headed down into the front range. We caught 6 north to 93 concerned the entire time due to the coolant and the bike over heating. I think (I have to test it) that the sensor has failed. I didn’t recall hearing the fan come on so there might be a problem (reason it was over heating). In Boulder we stopped at the Colorado PowerSports place to pick up my order. It was just a few minutes to 6pm when they closed so we were cutting it pretty close. I also ordered a new clutch lever. From there we headed to the Atomic Goblin game store. Jamie was watching Slash and the house for me so I wanted to snag the house key and let him know we were home. Unfortunately we just missed him and headed on home. He was there just getting settled in to watch a movie.

In general it was a pretty nice ride. There was some heavy winds in Wyoming and Utah and even snow. Little rain though so we were pretty good in general. The bike did quite well. It does look a bit overloaded however the heavy gear was in the saddle bags where I generally pack it. And Slash has been pretty clingy for the past few days. I suspect he did miss me a touch :)

I do want to note that the Panoramic feature on the iPhone 5 did a stupendous job. The pics a huge and look great.

Posted in 2014 - Grand Tetons, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Grand Tetons and More

We’re starting off in Grand Junction today and going to run a loop south to check out some of the awesome roads and to check out a couple of the sights. I had intended on heading to Telluride because I thought from the map that it connected to the Million Dollar Highway but unfortunately I was mistaken and had to back track a little. It was an interesting side trip of course but we missed the reason I wanted to go that way. Ah well, maybe next time.

The first leg of the ride is down towards Gateway and Naturita. The loop continues down to Telluride, back up and around to Ridgeway, up to Montrose. Then to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, back to Montrose, and then to Grand Junction. The original intention was to continue on 50 after Black Canyon of the Gunnison on to 285 then back into Denver and home. But Jeanne had already been on 285 but not to Glenwood Springs or Mt. Evans. So we modified the route again to come back to Grand Junction then on home via I70.

At the hotel we discovered there were quite a few other bikes out near mine. A few from Kentucky and Alabama and a group of Harley riders. While the guys on the sport and adventure bikes (and one Harley in the group; see pic) were chatty and interested in what we were doing, the Harley group itself was pretty stand offish. The others were checking out the Hayabusa and commenting on how cool it was to turn a Hayabusa into a Sport-Touring bike with questions on how it handles especially with a passenger.

After all the discussion and breakfast, we were off. First off the run down to 141 and off to Gateway. The ride through the valleys to get around the Colorado Mesa (Uncompahgre National Forest) was quite fun. Lots of twists and turns and little traffic. There were quite a few opportunities for pics and since I’ve been playing with the Panorama mode, I got some interesting ones.

We cruised on through the morning to Gateway. There used to be a large motel with gas pumps and big parking areas. Lots of bikers. But it appears the site turned into a HOA type of community (retirement maybe) with gates and such. We kept on going since there wasn’t a place to get gas. Fortunately it wasn’t all that big of a deal. A bit farther along we stopped again, this time on the west side of the Colorado Mesa.

We stopped for a few minutes and I was explaining some of the road tricks when on a bike with a curvy road. Tar snakes are bad (the goo used to seal cracks in the asphalt, can be slippery especially when hot). Slow down when you can’t see ahead. In checking the picture above, the road curves up and you can’t see over the hill. But since there’s no yellow “recommended speed” sign, it’s likely either a straight or gentle curve that can be taken at speed. Also when coming out of a curve if you see dashed lines there’s a nice straight away after the curve and not further curves. So you can wick it up a tad on exit. Remember too that there may be cows, deer, or other wildlife waiting so don’t wind it up too fast.

Anyway we continued on riding. Eventually we got into some tighter turns again with little traffic.

As we approached Naturita, the road rose above the water until it was pretty far below. One problem was a group of Shelby Cobra’s out for a drive. At one point we came upon a pair with one in my lane! He scooted over but I gave him the finger as we went by. At Naturita we stopped for gas and a quick snack then continued on to Telluride. The road down was very busy, more than I expected based on the past couple of hours. There were more bicyclists and more of the Shelby Cobra folks. The pic of the valley where Telluride is located was very nice though.

If you look at the bigger picture, you can see the valley does look pretty cool. I expect they get snowed in pretty often though with only one way in or out. There also seemed to be a path of some sort up the back mountain that you can partly see in the pic.

But as we got closer to Telluride, traffic slowed down a bit. The Cobra guys were waving at folks in the street and generally going quite slow. Unfortunately with my coolant tank having a problem, the bike over heated and we stopped for a bit to walk around while the bike cooled down. While nice to walk around a little, there were a lot of people so we headed back to the bike. In checking the map, I saw we needed to head back to Placerville to get to 550. So off we went again. Getting out of Telluride was the same sort of experience. It’s like being in Boulder. Folks just step out and expect you to stop. So it was a slow ride out while I babied the Hayabusa. Finally we got out of town and some speed so the bike would cool down.

We got up to Placerville and headed north and east on 62. The ride to Ridgeway was pretty fun in general. Lots of sweeping turns coming down the mountain. In Ridgeway we stopped for gas and chatted with a couple of riders then on to 550 and north to Montrose. I have to say that there were quite a few cops on the road with people pulled over. But we made it to Montrose. We headed on until we found 50 and then off to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The ride up to the canyon was steep in places but still an interesting ride. The clouds were coming in and I expected we might be caught by the rain but we missed it.

After the visitor’s center we headed on to the end of the park just to check out that view. The others were mostly a hike to get to the viewpoint. Humorously they were all in yards so if you didn’t do a quick calc, you wouldn’t know it was a mile hike to get to the view :) We stopped at a few of the closer viewpoints though.

From there we headed back to Montrose. We’d decided to not try to get to Denver tonight in part because it would put us there after dark and of course we’d miss the nicer day rides for Glenwood Springs and Mt. Evans. We hit the same motel (Quality Inn) we stayed at last night and got settled back in for the night. We did go to Applebee’s for dinner. Not too bad in general.

Posted in 2014 - Grand Tetons, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Grand Tetons and More

Time to get up and pack the gear up. We’re heading on out to Colorado today via the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Dixie National Forest, Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park, and along the Colorado River into Grand Junction.

First though, we spotted the Fairyland section of Bryce Canyon. There’s no sign when you’re coming into the park but it’s there on the way out. It’s a short ride and there’s almost no one here. There’s a hike down to to the bottom if you want but since we have a ways to go, we decided to forgo that until next time.

We headed on out and east. The roads were pretty clear. We did swap places with a Texas couple though pretty often :) On a nice straight, I stopped for a Panoramic view with the bike. Jeanne suggests I should snag one or two of these and make them into a picture at home. Might be a good idea, especially since I’m getting better with Panoramic pics.

While we were cruising, an approaching car flashed her lights at us several times. So I took it a bit slow. At a turn a few miles down the road there was a guy on the left side of the road waving folks down. Around the corner?

A lot of cows with cowboys :) A truck coming the other way just kept going but slow so cows were moving out of the way. And cowboys were moving the cows to either side so we could go. Part of the problem, if you look ahead on the pic there, is cow pies. Hitting a cow (or calf) won’t be much fun but hitting a cow pie at any sort of speed will be a slippery mess. Later I found a bit of cow pie on the front of the bike under the radiator.

We stopped for lunch at an intersection in Torrey and I was checking out the bike. I’d lubed the chain but wanted to keep an eye on the bike anyway with all the work I’d done prior to leaving. I realized I’d pushed the bike farther than I really wanted to. Getting it to the very edge can be dangerous since you leave yourself little room for recovery in case of a problem (decreasing radius turn for instance). Since I have a passenger, I have a harder time shifting in my seat so I don’t have as much room to play as I would if I was on my own. Check my chicken strips. For the non-riders, that’s the area between the wear on the tire and the edge of the tire. The thinner that gap, the harder you were pushing the bike to lean. I normally don’t get that close unless I’m riding the bike at the track.

The Capital Reef National Monument had several good views of the mountains. We’d stopped in at the Visitor’s Center both to hit the bathroom and to check out the information. Lots of people in the park though. I found an emptier spot past the Visitor’s Center and pulled in for a pic.

From there we headed on out of the park and on to I70 to head for Arches National Park. After a nice little curvy road, I spotted a big butte out by itself. The area to the left is the ‘Factory Butte’ I think or it’s what they’re calling the big one to the right.

At Hanksville we stopped for gas and then headed north. We could still see the lone butte and way to the west was a wall. Hard to believe folks only rode horses or wagons out here for days.

I have to say, the winds were pretty nuts from here on. You could see a large cloud of dust being blown around especially as we got closer to Arches. On I70 we were being pushed around enough that I was sitting to one side of the bike to keep it balanced and reduce the fatigue from trying to keep it upright. We stopped in Green River to get gas and just to take a break from the winds. Then headed on to Arches National Monument. We’d intended on stopping in Canyonlands as well but missed the turn.

We decided to head to the turn fork in the road and then turn back and head to Grand Junction. So off we went. It was on the hot side and we snagged some fresh water before leaving. At Park Avenue, we stopped and I got to play with the Panorama mode again.

Pretty cool really. You can see where I had jogged down a little too much and had to jog back up. We stopped at the other end as well for a pic.

Balance rock was pretty cool. A pretty large rock pretty much glued into place. I can’t see how it’s just sitting on top of the white layer.

We also stopped at the Window arches. There are three. Two are in the first picture/

And the third is off to the right.

While under the arch itself, I snagged a Panoramic view of the underside of the arch.

Not sure what the line is in the middle. I know I had to bring it over my head (you can see the black spots) so it may be from the movement or even the pause.

Once we’d reached the end, we headed back to Moab, in part for gas and to take a cool break. Then we headed to 128 to head back to I70. Along the way, we snagged a couple of nice pics of the valley.

After reaching I70, we headed east to Grand Junction. We stopped at the first exit to get gas and decided on a Quality Inn a couple of exits up. We were able to get a room without a problem, unpacked the gear, did some reading, and hit the sack.

Posted in 2014 - Grand Tetons, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment