TOBER's Blog
Traveling on 2 wheels with us old broads…

Sep
21

Our day started out pretty dreary. It had rained during the night and we wiped the bikes down 2-3 times before the drizzle finally stopped. Add to that the cooler temps and we all left the motel pretty unrecognizable with all our foul weather gear on!  

Had to make a “hearty” breakfast stop at the W Cafe. Quick service and delicious food set us on the road to accomplishment today!


I got my roads a little turned around this morning. Can’t imagine that!  For some reason I thought the Salida fuel stop came before Monarch Pass. Not! This could have been a crucial error since we all ate a big breakfast! Thank goodness there were facilities at the top of the summit. 


Not much else (except more beautiful scenery) until we got to Pikes Peak. 



This 38 mile round trip was intimidating to most of us. 14,000+ feet elevation is nothing to sneeze at (especially if you can’t get your breath). But we all hunkered down for the challenge. After we all received numerous tips and hints about how to tackle THE PEAK, all 20 of us set off for the summit. Slow and steady proved to be the best advice. We stopped once on the way up to layer on some more clothes since the temp at the summit was 32• and with the wind chill, 16• 

Once at the top, with no air to breathe, our outlaw biker gang was moving a bit trepidatiously (I had to look that one up). More group photos and meandering slowly around the top. Some even shopped a bit. We knew the descent was going to complete our mission so there was no point procrastinating!  The clouds were moving in and moisture was beginning to fall. There was some discussion about it being sleet or snow…I just know I didn’t want to stick around for the debate. Once we gathered at the bottom of the hill, there were several whoops and hollers as we celebrated our success!


On a somewhat similar note… although all of us conquered the PEAK today, it looks as though the summit conquered one of our own….


Colorado Springs is our turnaround point so our return trip commences tomorrow. KSU comes early!

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Sep
20

Personally, I gauge the success of a group ride by a few things.  First, how well the group gets along. Based on what I’m experiencing – this has not been a problem. We aren’t all morning people but most of us can be chided into a smile or two.  Second, that the group is aware and respects everyone’s different riding style and ability.  Again, as a group, I am witnessing more than just tolerance. Patience and assistance come to mind!  Third, the “subject matter” of the ride. This would include routes, roads, scenery, accommodations and attractions. While it may be too early for the group to make a call on this, I’m going to call it! Of course, by the time we get back to Texarkana, they may change their opinion of me!!!


Today was a short mileage day..but lots of saddle time. And they couldn’t have been any better!!

This morning several of us ventured back to town for breakfast.  I had been there before and just hoped they liked it as well as I did. 



I think this was a success too. 

So after breakfast (some were jealous) it was kickstands up and we were on our way down the Million Dollar Highway headed to Silverton. This was just our first leg today and already we were wondering how it could get any better! BUT IT DID! Over and over.  


Next we were off to Ouray, more fantastic riding and unbelievable fall colors. Our stop there allowed us to enjoy lunch on Main St on the patio..people and vehicle watching. A tiny bit of shopping and we were off again. 

A fuel stop in Montrose before we hit CO92 (West End Loop scenic byway). One small mechanical issue. The crew took a look – I’m going to let you caption the photo yourself. Anyway, we think it’s fixed but will check with Harley shop in Colorado Springs tomorrow. 


From there we made our way onto CO92. OMG!!! Yellows, oranges, reds. We could not have timed this trip any better (have I already said that?). 


We have landed in Gunnison for the night and everyone is already sharing photos and stories!

TOMORROW … THE PEAK‼️

Sep
19

A few things come to mind – the word formidable, rock formations, Four Corners Monument, Long slow sweepers and Durango H-D. All were experienced today!


Our morning started with a little more sunlight but a lot less heat! It was about 46• when our kickstands went up at 7:30.  Saw lots of neat things including the Rio Grande River gorge, all the earth homes, deer, turkey, free range cattle, antelope and all the beautiful scenery in between. 


By the time we made it to Farmington, the temps had climbed to 90•. And my first mistake of the trip…4 Corners HD was closed today. Don’t think the crew will let me live that one down.  Also one mechanical failure. That was repaired at Durango under warranty so she’s good for the rest of the trip!

That brings us to our hotel! How cool…studio rooms overlooking the narrow gauge rail. Beautiful view. 


Day would not be complete without a healthy supper… This is how outlaw bikers roll!


No… we do not have the munchies!

Sep
18

Another on time departure. And according to our Holly-mile-o-meter, we covered about 415 miles today.  Woohoo!!!

It was a chest-thumping, ear-to-ear grinning, picture-taking tourist, outlaw biker gang kind of day. 

Our first roadside attraction was the infamous Cadillac Ranch. And we’re still trying to remember the story behind it all…


Our next attraction was only 45 miles down the road but it was special enough to capture us for longer than I was expecting.  Of course that could be blamed on the pie or the gift shop.  Either way, we all had fun. 

And then we met Fran. She was the inspiration for Flo in the movie “Cars” and the original owner of the V8 Cafe (also in the movie). Really nice lady and fun to talk with. 


Ok, on down the road to Tucumcari for fuel and lunch before we started heading north to Taos. 

It’s been a great trip but I think everyone started getting a real feel for it when we left I40.  A definite change in the topography and scenery overall. Rolling hills and mesas until we got to Las Vegas then it changed elevation and got lots curvier. But the best is still to come!


So we are bedded down in Taos for the night. Sleeping in tomorrow…kick stands up at 7:30. 

Sep
17

Got some stuff to share with y’all…only if this is working though!


We all had to get up before breakfast this morning. Twenty of us are headed to Colorado for some beautiful riding!  As you can see, it was still a little dark when Kevin blessed our bikes, the trip, the weather, our luggage and our souls. Thanks so much for starting us off on the right foot Kevin! And thanks for the personal sendoff from Dan and Jerry. 

The weather decided to cooperate this a.m. No rain and a comfortable 75•. Pulled out of the dealership on time and we were off!  Watching the sun rise in our rear view mirrors, the whole group seemed excited. 


Down I30 to 82W. We had three more to pick up in Dekalb. We never stopped – just slowed enough where they could fall right in behind us. We’re good like that!

First fuel/rest stop was Sherman and things were running smoothly. Aside from coming through some pretty thick fog beginning at Reno and lingering til Bonham, the sun was out and things were warming up!

Timing is everything, as you all know. And had we been 10 minutes earlier we could have been featured in the homecoming parade in Henrietta, TX (I just know it). As it was, we were routed through the detour. Darn. 

At Wichita Falls, US287 was the chosen route. Even managed to get through there without much trouble. 

Lunch came early, but then we left early. Rafter J BBQ in Iowa Park is certainly worthy of a stop.  This was less than 10 miles from WF so some of the group decided to backtrack and hit the Harley shop. They didn’t bring too many bags after their shopping trip though. Anyway, we all were reunited at our motel for the night. 

I am happy to report that everyone is still on speaking terms and having a good time. We’re leaving at 7 again so I’m leaving you now. 

Mar
19

Well, we had to start the trip one short. Sue has had the bug the last couple days and didn’t feel it would be too smart to get that far away from home – and commandeering a bike to boot! Gonna miss the Hill Country expert.

To begin with, I must say it was a “smidge” cooler than we were expecting this morning.


All 3 of us left our heavy jackets behind.  😱  Once the cloud cover disappeared, the sun warmed to a balmy 62•. Of course that didn’t happen til after noon. And it still didn’t calm the blustery winds.

Lunch stop in Buffalo and we’re off again. Yes, the flowers are blooming. Not really abundant (tomorrow should be the big day) but still pretty. Thank you Lady Bird!   …<insert teaser pics>


  

We weren’t too much further (approx. 120 miles) til the crossroads in Elgin loomed. Lo and behold, just across the highway was the oldest BBQ joint/meat market/sausage factory in the state. Can’t pass that up! Some stuff to go and a couple samples while we were there. Delicious!! Easy to see why they’ve been in business so long.


Next stop is Fredericksburg and our abode for a couple nights.


It was a short hike to Main St for appetizers, liquid refreshments etc.  Silver Creek Beer Garden & Grille enjoyed our company and we enjoyed their fare…chili, fried Brie in a creamy shrimp and tomato sauce, chili cheese fries and creme brûlée! Yum! Yum! Oh yeah, how about that pineapple jalapeño margarita! Now to hike back to our room and work some of this off!

Mar
17

Well it’s been so long since I blogged, I wanted to make certain I could still do it!  This is for you, Diane, Dot and Jeanne.

We’re heading out Saturday morning for destinations in south Texas…mainly the hill country and on down to Big Bend. Hope it’s as beautiful right now as we’ve been seeing. You can count on some pretty pictures if it is!

Be talking to y’all on down the road.

Jun
04

And did we ever have a good time in the Big Easy…..

We were leaving our French Quarter condo this morning so I figured Mary would appreciate a hand delivered begniet.  I made a short hike to Cafe du Monde via Jackson Square and picked up an order of the powdery treats!

  
  

Soon after that delicious sweet doughy goodness, we were loading up. Since our cable car trip the day before was a disaster, we decided to drive through the garden district. Great, old homes and lots of road construction. Understand now why the trolley couldn’t make the trip. 

We have crammed quite a bit into the last couple of days! Most especially FOOD‼️ NOLA, such a great place to sample food. 

No eating for the next several hours as we make our way to Luling and a swamp adventure. 

   

   

  

 

Had a great time with this guy collecting spiders, baby gators, viewing the swamps, even took us to view a bald eagle nest. Very colorful character  that seemed to know a lot about the Louisiana swamps. These airboat tours continue to be very entertaining and I’m certain this will not be the last one.

Our next couple of nights will be at a fish camp in Slidell, on one of the canals around Lake Pontchatrain.  Some down time. I had plans to do some crabbing while we are here but can’t seem to muster the energy to do even that. I can tell you that I’ve not spotted any gators near our dock. We have seen a few fishing boats cruise by and a couple of pigeons procreating. That’s been the extent of our excitement here. We have decided to shorten our trip a couple days and will head back to Camden tomorrow. Hope you’ve had fun with us…and gotten your fill of seafood😝.  Till next trip….

  

Jun
03

I know I said we were going for beignets this morning…just a minor change in plans. We started our day’s adventures with the riverfront cable car. Long wait for a short ride. Still, it was pleasant. Not crowded at all, open air.  But, hey, we were doing it! 

  

 By the time we got to the French market, it felt more like lunch than breakfast. 

  
Central Grocery – their claim to fame being the creator of the muffuletta. Definitely a tasty sandwich. Just enough to fuel us for our journeys on the cable cars of New Orleans. This is going to be fun.  Wait for it….it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. After reading and hearing all the hype, we were thinking more tourist – less public  transportation. Not! We were riding cram packed, elbow to elbow with all the working (and non-working) stiffs in NOLA, plus all the tourists that thought the same as us!  We tried different lines and routes – still the same. Alright, we ended that adventure a little early. 

A brief rest and cool-off before we crossed the river to eat seafood “where the locals eat”.  Zydeco’s in Belle Chasse for a seafood buffet.  I know Mary didn’t enjoy her fried shrimp platter nearly as much as I  enjoyed the king crab on the buffet!  Awesome!!!

 before…  after…

Our plans tonight included the Jazz show at Preservation Hall.  This was a great show in one of the original music venues in the city. And I don’t think the seating or the cooling had changed much since day 1!  Wooden benches and ceiling fans. Kinda glad it didn’t last longer than an hour. 

  

But not before we enjoyed a couple of cocktails at the world famous Pat O’Brien’s. Man, we are wore out!  Caught a pedal cab back to the condo so we can hit the hay and get ready for tomorrow.  Surely we can find some more food that will interest you😆.

  
  

Jun
01

Can you think of a better way to start your day than a ferry ride?!?  Well, I can’t.  Every one is different in some way. This morning we loaded and unloaded from the side of the boat.  As we entered the ferry, the crew directed us to circle the wheelhouse. Just thought that was a bit odd. 

  
  
After exiting the ferry we made our way south along the river’s edge eventually picking up US61.  The drive took us past a lot of refineries, chemical plants and smoke stacks. Finally wheeled through LaPlace (where I happen to know of a really good root beer joint).  So, of course, we had to stop for a float. Lots of history here. Definitely worth a trip.  Hey, I warned you this excursion was going to be food driven!

 
We arrived in New Orleans a little early for our electronic keychain to let us in. So we drove around a bit.  I’m tickled with the location of our condo. Just a few blocks from Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, and Bourbon Street. We’re on the 4th floor and I can watch the river traffic as well. 

Once settled in, we narrowed down our dining choices until we decided on the Acme Oyster House (as seen on Man v Food and DDD).  No disappointments here. 

  
We shared a dozen char-grilled oysters  before we each had a po-boy. I had the soft shell crab and Mary had the “peacemaker” (fried shrimp and oysters with a tobasco infused mayo).  Yummy!  Time for a little nap. 

  
A short respite and we’re back in the truck with more of a driving tour of the Big Easy.  Beyond the French Market and the old U.S. Mint building, through the Marigny area and into the area that had been hit so hard by Katrina. I’m certain much has been cleaned up but still lots of abandoned homes, small businesses and office buildings.  I noticed there is a 9th Ward Living Museum but we didn’t make that tour. 

I did manage to flush out another ferry to top off our day.  The Chalmette/ Lower Algiers ferry put us on the other side of the mighty Mississippi for a different route back to the condo.  We’re hitting the sack fairly early so we can make the walk to Cafe Du Monde in the morning while the beignets are still hot!  Hope you sleep well.