Open Thread - Friday, September 14, 2018
“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
I went back and reread last week's Friday Open Thread, what a mess. Production was Thursday night, and I had not even thought about what to post. I panicked and belched out four days of my trip. The stuff is in the right funkin' order, but you can't really tell the passing of the days. To make matters worse, I did not explain some the minutia of motorcycle touring that makes other things make sense.
This week, I got an earlier start. The weather forecast makes it likely I will be without power and Internet during the late week. The gas stations are out of gas and the stores are out of bottled water and the storm is still a couple days away.
It took me four days to go from eastern North Carolina, to Durango, CO. Including nights in Metropolis,IL, Pratt,KS and Trinidad,CO. The front end of the trip was intentionally expeditious. The idea was to pick up supplies to make the trip more enjoyable. I really slept well in the rarified air of Colorado.
I made Mesa Verde around noon. The park entrance is just off the highway, but it is about thirty miles to cliff dwellings and archeological sites. Just after entering the park, there was a big sign warning that possession of marijuana is a Federal offense. I guess, I will be observing the 35 MPH speed limit. Onto the mesa!
The mesa top is fascinating. There are vast burn scars, with plaques detailing the fire name and year. The cliff dwellings are amazing! I never had other worldly sensations, like New Orleans. But, I do sense something is up. Motorcycle riders develop weather reading skills. The clouds, the wind and the smell all indicate rain. The clouds look nasty, I am thirty miles from the highway and the speed limit is 35 MPH. Time to make a move.
I made it about 20 miles when the rain started, requiring me to pull over and make gear adjustments. It was pouring, and I was traversing a canyon, and tunnel nearing the park entrance when it started hailing. As soon as I passed through the tunnel, everything stopped. No rain, nor hail off the mesa. Heading down US160 toward Cortez, I could see it was storming on the Mesa. There was hail accumulation and riders that spent hours holed up in the visitor center.
Rain and hail on one side and no precipitation on the other side here ->
I checked into a Cortez hotel and put on dry clothes. The rain was heading toward Cortez, so I frequented the tavern next to the hotel. There was a loud MAGAot trying to engage people. I laid low, and I think he sensed my antipathy. When the barmaid came by, she gave him a drink and informed him it was his last, house rules is six drinks. After he left, I asked her how many drinks I had. She said, "It doesn't matter, nobody is counting.".
Another day in the books, with check marks beside several goals. When I conceived the trip, I intended to go from southwest Colorado to the five parks in Utah, then back to pick up more Colorado passes. Except two things, being able to say I went the whole way to the Pacific Ocean and I have always wanted to see The Grand Canyon. So during the OCD planning period, I fiddled with the hotel rewards site until I could finagle a free room in Tusayan, just a couple miles from The Grand Canyon South Rim Entrance. On to The Grand Canyon!
Have a great weekend! The thread is OPEN.