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 :)

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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Grand Tetons and More

We got the bike packed up and while Jeanne was getting us checked out, I rolled over to where she was. Since the rain and cold weather gear was packed in various places on the bike, the tank bag was a bit taller than usual. I had Jeanne snap a quick picture to see it’s height relative to the windscreen and me.

We headed over to Denny’s. The guys at Safari gave us a couple of 15% off discount coupons. Unfortunately we can only use one of them since they’re only good in Nephi. :) While looking over the menu, I was looking for the lighter fare. Most of the offerings were apparently for farmers or something. Food that’d be burned off by lunch. But ahh, in the back I found the lighter stuff.

Awwww, it’s the Senior’s menu. Plus they consider 55+ to be a Senior. Awwwwww.

After breakfast, we realized we were already on 89 and anticipated being in Bryce Canyon around lunch. So we took a more scenic route south through the smaller towns down to Salina. Then I70 south and west to get back off at 89 and continue on down to Bryce Canyon. We did a quick stop at The Big Rock Candy Mountain for a snap of the railroad cars.

It’s been a touch windy as we headed south. Not like Wyoming but still a touch on the windier side. As we reached the turn for Bryce Canyon, I stopped for a quckie. This was new since the last time I’d been here.

Then we headed up to the entrance for a shot.

Once settled in, we headed to Bryce Canyon itself. The initial ride up to the plateau was quite fun and very pretty. There weren’t many places to stop so we just kept on riding. Once on the plateau, we headed on down past a few campgrounds and the Bryce Canyon Airport (we stopped to read the roadside blurb about the airport) and then past Ruby’s Inn and to the entrance. This time I paid for a yearly pass since I expect we’ll be visiting other parks over the next year. Then headed on into Bryce Canyon to check out the scenery.

We had checked out the campground on our way by, but didn’t really see an appealing spot. Lots of people, one of the loops being full. After a discussion at the next scenic area, we went back to the site and snagged an available double site. I filled out the necessary information and we went back to drop off the $15 then continued on checking out the sights.

Looking out over that last one, you don’t realize it but the area past the red of Bryce Canyon is pretty far away. After the first couple of pics, I decided to head out to the farthest point and stop on the way back. We stopped at several of the pullouts to get pics.

At one of the turnouts we discovered a couple of Ravens hanging about looking for something to eat. Once jumped down and went over to a car to pluck a dead bug from the bumper :)

At the Arch pull out, we got the pic of the natural arch.

Once done, we headed on out of the park to Ruby’s Inn for dinner. The prices were pretty high and oddly they had a buffet. We opted for that which was okay. Again, I’m not really a fan of buffets. Once done, we finished tanking up the bike and headed back in to the park. We got to our camp site and got set up.

Being a double site, we shared the parking area with some folks who seemed to be from a Scandinavian country. They weren’t loud but they were a little messy with their trash. A couple of pieces floated by. We sat outside to read for a bit and then back into the tent to relax. Since I was playing with Panoramics, I gave one a try for the ceiling of the tent.

It was actually pretty nice in general. I have to say that the pad was just a touch too narrow. I spent my night next to the pad and sleeping on my riding suit. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t the most comfortable I’d been either.

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Grand Tetons and More

Ahhh, morning in Wyoming. I’m an early bird so I’m up before Jeanne anyway. After relaxing for a bit, we head for the park showers. Nothing too horrible for public showers and early enough that there’s hot water. I’m a tad bit quicker in the shower so I’m out, dressed, and wandering around when Jeanne’s out :)

There’s a bit of frost on the bike. I moved it to a sunnier spot and the ice evaporates pretty quickly. Still after a discussion, we decide to head to Moran Junction and make a decision as to whether to head north to Yellowstone or south to Bryce Canyon. It is a nice day though.

At Moran Junction (just a three way intersection really), we finalized the discussion. To the north we can see dark rainclouds. To the south it’s mostly clear with some rain looking clouds farther east. Since in heading south we’ll actually be heading south with some west, we decided to head south anyway through Idaho and Utah to Bryce Canyon.

But first, some browsing through The Grand Tetons. Now I get to play with my iPhone a little. The Panoramic function of the phone looks pretty interesting and The Grand Tetons are, well Grand :)

I think I’ll be playing a bit more with Panoramic mode this trip. Still, the Nikon does a pretty good job too.

After a few more pictures, we headed on down to Jackson searching for Breakfast. We stopped down town and parked on the street. We did walk around looking for a place for breakfast but it seemed only one place was open and there was a line half a block long. We did walk around a bit more, just to take in the scenery.

Not finding a good place for breakfast, we did some snacking (I’d brought a gallon sized bag of mixed nuts and Jeanne had some trail mix so we didn’t starve :) ) and headed on south. We took the scenic route through the Bridger National Forest and crossed over into Idaho east of Montpelier and then south to Bear Lake. At Garden City, we turned west to Logan. The idea to snag a late breakfast/early lunch and head south on 15 at least to the other side of Salt Lake City.

At the parking area above Bear Lake, we took a break and wandered around. It was a pretty nice view of the lake and there were a couple of hummingbird feeders. The little buggers were flying around all over the place.

The road from Bear Lake to Logan was a great deal of fun. In some places it was a touch tight but no tar snakes to speak of. Traffic was up there a little but the Hayabusa had enough power to get past when necessary. There was one car that was going pretty fast around the turns. Since I wasn’t racing anyone, I felt it no problem to stay behind. I was trying to indicate to Jeanne that the guy was a ‘rabbit’. Someone you’d follow farther back and let them deal with the Police. But they weren’t all that fast.

We stopped at a buffet for lunch. Not too bad a place I guess for a buffet. I’m not really a buffet person since I don’t eat until I pop, especially since I’m wearing my Aerostich suit that just fits right now :) After lunch and on our way to I15, we stopped at a jerkey place for Jeanne. Pet a nice black and white fuzzy cat and chatted with the biker owner. He asked Jeanne if she’d like some assless chaps :)

Once we hit I15 and headed south, there was no stopping. The Salt Lake City metro area from Orem on through Provo was just a big highway. I stayed on the freeway until the HOV lane ended south of Provo We headed down a little farther until we saw a sign for the Great Basin National Park. We were looking for a camping spot so hopped off the road at Nephi. We got to the turn to the Park only to discover it was 150 miles away. Boy, what a bummer. In looking at the map, it’s in Nevada :) We turned around and headed back to Nephi and stayed at the Safari motel. We dropped off our gear and headed on out for a walk around town. Nephi was pretty dead I must say. The only place we found open aside from the motel was the Dollar Store :) I snagged a small roll of Orange duct tape to try and repair the leg tearing on the rain pants Jeanne was wearing and I snagged a soda before heading back. We read for a bit and hit the sack.

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Grand Tetons and More

Got up bright and early Saturday morning and ready to head out. We’ve been checking the weather and it looks to be somewhat cloudy and even the occasional rain. We do have rain gear (my suit is water resistant) and colder weather gear since we’re heading north. Lowest overnight temp was 34* in Jasper so we are prepared. It’s a touch chilly so I have my over rain coat on and Jeanne has her gear plus my rain pants as it blocks the wind entirely so keeps you a touch warmer (keeps the heat in).

I’ve gotten help from friends to keep an eye on Slash and the house. Don’t want him lonely with me being gone.

Got the bike set up and ready to go. The tank bag looks a bit taller but it isn’t that bad. It comes up under my chin and still below the wind stream from the front of the bike. The tail light/brake light is visible from the rear so no worries there and the gear doesn’t weigh all that much. Two sleeping bags weigh in at 3 lbs each so it’s all fairly light. Just bulky.

We headed north on I25 intending on making the left to head west on I80 just at Cheyenne heading to The Grand Tetons. I expect to make it to the camp ground near Moran Junction before 6pm. The bad thing is the winds are crazy. There are 35mph gusts and the wind pushes pretty hard. My gas mileage for the day averaged 38mpg. Generally trip averages are closer to 46mpg. I figured I’d get less due to Jeanne being on the back but not 8mpg less. We got to one of the rest areas on I80 and pulled off just to take a break from the wind. Check the flags. They’re straight out!

We made several stops for breaks due to the heavy winds plus it was a bit on the cold side, colder than we’d expected. I figured there’d be some chill but it’d warm up through the day but no such luck. And it constantly looked like rain. We did seem to miss a majority of the rain though.

On 287, on the Wind River Indian Reservation, we ran into a quick stop while the road was being worked on. About 5 minutes or so total. I hopped off and snagged a couple of pics.

Towards the end of the Wind River Indian Reservation, I spotted a nice pic where the clouds were low enough to be called fog.

As we headed into the Shoshone National Forest, we decided to stop in Dubois for dinner. It was an interesting Cowboy Cafe place.

I snagged fish with potatoes and a mixed veggie bowl. The veggies were canned mush consistency. Jeanne had the Elk sausage/Buffalo sausage and sweet potato fries. It wasn’t too bad over all. One thing though. We overhead the waitress say they’d had snow overnight. When asked, she hoped the pass was clear since if it snowed in Dubois, it was likely it snowed at the pass as well.

On the way up to the pass it got a bit colder. There were blue skies though of course but with clouds. Still, the chill was a bit of a concern. I don’t mind it being a little cold and I’d have just pushed on. But this was Jeanne’s first longer trip and she may not be ready for a long, grueling trip. We’ll have to discuss it later. Still, it still was a pretty nice day for a ride.

At the top of the pass we stopped at the rest area to hit the bathroom and since this is supposed to be a pretty good viewing area of The Grand Tetons. However it was all pretty clouded over so no real view. While we were waiting though.

Snow! It’s fricking snowing. This does not look good. We got geared up and headed on down to the Teton Wilderness and our first camp site. We got to the RV place I’d used a few years back and decided to snag a cabin. We got our gear out and set up ready for the night.

One of the silly things I’d forgotten about these things from last time I’d been in one of these cabins is the bed is made for someone 6′ tall. At 6’2″, I was pushing against the base with my feet or had my feet hanging over the edge. It wasn’t the most comfortable arrangement. The next day I thought I could have just thrown the pad down or even the mattresses down and slept more comfortably on the floor but it didn’t occur to me.

Before going to bed, we read a little of course. I went outside to walk around and see what I could see. There was what appeared to be a beaver in the water behind the cabin. I only saw him briefly. And The Grand Tetons were there of course but hidden by clouds.

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

Grand Tetons and More

I’ve been doing some prep work to get the bike ready for a week long ride to Canada (Jasper/Banff National Park) in June with Jeanne. With the recent discovery of the bearing problem which I replaced and the additional work I did with normal maintenance tasks like tire, brakes, fluids, etc, I think the bike is ready to go.

I’ve used Microsoft Streets and Trips for years to help plan routes. It has several nice features that I haven’t seen on Google maps so I can plan for stops, gas, etc.

Proposed Route:

I’d planned the trip to head to Canada to visit the Jasper/Banff National Park plus check out other sites on the way up and back. The Grand Tetons, Bear Tooth Highway, Glacier National Park, Medicine Wheel National Monument, and The Snowy Range. As always, I plan on alternates in case of problems. Since this is Jeanne’s first longer trip, I wanted to make sure we could turn around if necessary or otherwise return should the trip become a problem. Either with me, the bike, or Jeanne.

Jeanne picked up a new sleeping bag. It took us several trips to try and find one that would zip up with mine. Unfortunately the only one we found was a down one that cost around $500 which was silly. We eventually found one that would zip up one side and left it at that.

With the gear all packed on the bike and ready, we were ready to head out in the morning.

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

Maintenance Day

I needed to do some maintenance work to the Hayabusa prior to the trip to Canada. I had a set of rear brake pads already from a prior order and of course had all my normal consumables (brake fluid, engine ice, wd40, chain wax, etc…).

To do:

Replace the rear tire
Replace the chain
Replace the front sprocket
Replace the rear sprocket
Replace the rear brake pads
Replace the front brake pads
Replace the engine oil and oil filter
Replace the clutch fluid (DOT4 Brake fluid)
Replace the rear brake fluid
Replace the front brake fluid

Of course I needed to chase down the necessary parts. In addition, I needed to get a replacement chain breaker. The one I had (EK brand) appears to have gone out of business and I’d bent then broken the breaking pin last time I worked on the chain.

I hit Amazon for some parts and Motorcycle Superstore for the rest including a new rear tire. I’d had a Dunlop on it from a couple of years back but I only got about 5,000 miles out of it. The Metzler Z6 tires I normally use had given me almost 14,000 miles on one occasion. I ordered a Z6 from Motorcycle Superstore. Generally I try to get local but the store I was using apparently went out of business.

First off, remove all the bits from the bike. I removed the side plastic and then removed the rear tire. I broke the chain at the same time since I was getting a new one so I wasn’t too worried about it.

I removed the hub, removed the old sprocket and put the new one on.

I also removed the cushions from the hub because I was taking the rim and new tire to the Colorado Powersports folks in Boulder.

And of course removed the front sprocket and put the new one on. I only hand tightened the front sprocket since I needed to do a bit of cleaning before fully assembling it. In reality, I only scraped some of the wax out and didn’t make it spotless.

Over the following few days, I got most of my parts I’d ordered. I started off by replacing the rear brake pads. They were quite worn and just about to the metal. There’s a cover that snaps in place and then a pair of rods that hold the brake pads. Since they’re on the small side, to keep them in place, there are a couple of clips that hook over the rods and around the pads. Once done, you push in the fancy cotter pin.

The fun part is you can’t actually see anything so you have to feel where the little holes are in order to put the cotter pin back in. It’s a tedious task.

It might not be easy, but in looking at the old pair and the new pair, you can see there isn’t much pad left.

It looks thick but really, it’s almost paper thin at the top left there.

Looking at the brake from the top. It’s still attached to the brake arm so you can’t really spin it around like the front brakes. On the plus side, it’s much easier to push the pistons back. With the old pads, the pistons are pushed all the way in. You have to open the rear brake cylinder, clean out the old fluid, and stuff a rag in and then push the pistons back apart. In looking at the old pads above, you can see gouges in the pad material where I used a screwdriver to push them apart.

And the brake from the bottom:

Interestingly, there is a spacer piece that goes on the back of the pads. Since the brake action tends to wear the pads unevenly, these spacers have the brakes at a slight angle so the pads wear fairly evenly as you can see from the old pads. Put them in wrong, the brake pads wear unevenly and need to be replaced quicker.

And the tire remounted. You can just see the new brake pad in the center and there’s plenty of space between the pad and the rotor. Once new fluid is added, a couple of pushes on the rear brake lever seats the pads and we’re ready to go.

The chain was a pain in the butt as always. I wasn’t able to find the chain I normally use, again EK seems to be out of business. So I got the next one down. Unfortunately, the chain only came in 130 links (I only needed 112) and in either Red, Blue, or Gold. I decided to go with Red since I have a few other red things on the bike. Generally it’ll be a bit dirty so a bit of red isn’t going to be all that big a deal.

Plenty of overlap. I’d already used my new chain breaker with the old chain without much trouble so didn’t anticipate any issue with the new one. However while I was using the tool to push out the pin, the tool pin shattered inside the chain. So I had to scurry down to the local Kawasaki place to get a new breaker. The pin was half way out and I couldn’t extract it with pliers. The new one seemed a bit less complicated and seemed to be just for the 530 type of chain. I seated it all and finished the extraction without any further issue.

I used the press to put the chain back together and then the anvil to spread the pin heads a little to keep it from coming off. I even used a caliper to make sure I pressed the plate on to the same width as the other links of the chain.

That was probably the biggest piece with the rear brake being the next difficult. The rest was pretty simple.

I changed the oil and oil filter. I’m using a different filter this time so we’ll see if I experience any difference (K&N vs a stock one). I also got the clutch and brake fluids changed out, also pretty simple in general.

I received my front brakes on Tuesday and proceeded to finish up the job. the old front brakes were in a bit better condition with about an eighth inch of pad left. But since I had new pads and was doing all this work, I went ahead and replaced them. The fronts are pretty easy. Unbolt them from the front suspension tree, turn them over, remove the cover, remove the single cotter pin, remove the rod, and the old pads drop out. Of course you have to press them apart first which is harder because you’re pressing against your hand. So not so much in the way of leverage.

I got them put back together without much trouble (the second brake is always the hardest) and the bike’s ready to go.

When I was putting things back together, I noticed a crack in the coolant reservoir. I wasn’t sure so I pressed on it and it disintegrated. After some pushing to test the area, I have the full opening. I didn’t realize until later, but that’s just the size of the exposed part of the reservoir.

I’ve ordered a replacement along with a replacement for the rear seat release cable. The tip had broken off months back and I used a zip tie to hold the cable in. I had to cut the seat off in order to get into the “trunk” so I could remove the rear plastic and replace the dead brakelight bulb. Anyway, that’ll also be coming in and I’ll be able to repair the rear seat as well.

I took the bike out for a test ride. Everything seems to be running exactly as expected. I do note that the front brakes had to be carefully used several times in order to get them set. At one point, I grabbed them and they stuttered a little. After a bit more riding, they seem just fine so all is well.

Ready for the ride to Jasper/Banff!

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