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#703389 - 06/10/11 05:12 PM My Torrey Oddity
Joe Frickin' Friday Offline

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Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 17552
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
Well, that was a helluva trip. The weather was incredible. I mean that in the constructivist sense of the word, i.e. the weather was not credible, not to be believed. When I went to Torrey four years ago, the daytime highs over the course of the trip generally were in the 80ís, and occasionally popped up above 90. This time, Iím pretty sure the warmest temperature I saw on the entire trip was 75, and even that was only briefly on one particular day; the rest of the time the weather was usually in the low 50ís, and at times dipped into the low 30ís. That kind of crap is to be expected in certain areas of the Rocky mountains, but not on the Great Plains in mid-May, and not in the high desert. Or at least that's what I used to think.

And it rained. Gadzukes, did it rain. And it snowed, and hailed. Plans were changed (and mortal terror instigated) because of the weather. Did I mention the weather was incredible?

Anyway, just gonna post a few pics and a few words; relax, there will be no epic poems today. grin

(And yes, Day 1 is kinda weak on pics; expect more on later days.)

============================
Day 1: Saturday, May 14, 2011
Route: Ann Arbor, MI to Lincoln, NE
Distance: 751 miles




The morning of departure was a harbinger of things to come:


7:30 AM, 63 degrees and raining. At least the temperature wasnít bad.

At first.

Two hours later the temp had plummeted to 45 degrees. The slipstream at highway speed can suck a LOT of heat out of you, making you very sensitive to ambient temperature. Before long I had stopped twice to put on more gear, and finally I was wearing everything I had, with the electrics kicking in some makeup BTUís. For the rest of the day, the temperature oscillated between 45 and 55 degrees, but the rain was a constant. The wind picked up a bit as I crossed Iowa, but not the worst Iíve ever seen.

I wonít tell the story of crossing the Great Plains a second time. For that, click here and look up Day 1 and Day 2. Suffice it to say that with such craptastic weather and a lot of ground to cover, I wasnít too interested in taking pics on the first day. The only two highlights worth mentioning were gassing up at The Worldís Largest Truckstop, and then this picture taken later on at the gas station in Casey, Iowa:




I stopped here for gas on my previous Torrey trip. They really do have grain elevators across the street from the gas station. grin

On the Torrey trip four years ago, at the end of the day I arrived at the Super 8 motel in Lincoln first, and Shawn pulled in about 25 minutes later. I thought that was pretty good timing, considering we had each travelled 750 miles on totally separate paths. This time we had the same travel arrangements, but Shawn arrived first Ė and I arrived while he was still checking in. cool

The Super 8 is nicer than you might think. They put mints on the pillows:


grin

If youíre ever in Lincoln, thereís big selection of interesting restaurants to be found in their Haymarket district. Shawn and I ate at Buzzard Billyís, which had some decent Cajun offerings. On a previous cross-country trip with Masako, we ate at The Oven, which has really good Indian food so good that we ate there twice on that trip). Lots of other choices there too.


That's it for Day 1. Day 2 will be posted in a couple of days...

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#703413 - 06/10/11 06:37 PM Re: My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
BeniciaRT_GT-GT Offline
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Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: SF Bay Area,Ca. (Benicia)
I'm looking so forward to the rest of this ride "tail!" (Even if it isn't going to be long, since I'm a huge fan of your long tales!)
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#703445 - 06/10/11 09:01 PM Re: My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
dhanson Offline
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Registered: 07/23/07
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Loc: Doyline, Louisiana
I'm listening.
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#703455 - 06/10/11 09:55 PM Re: My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Killer Offline
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Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 9692
Loc: Wayne County, Utah, USA
The weather has regained its credit for the moment.
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#703554 - 06/11/11 12:42 PM Re: My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
tallman Offline
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Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 19610
Loc: Tallahassee, Florida
And then...
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Conch Town Krewe
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1996 R 100 RSL
1980 R 100 RT
1972 R 75
1968 R 50
All now gone...


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#703572 - 06/11/11 01:40 PM Re: My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Lineareagle Offline
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Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 1088
Loc: ON, Canada
Tic, Toc, Tic, Toc
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#703717 - 06/12/11 02:42 AM Day 2 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Joe Frickin' Friday Offline

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Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 17552
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
Day 2: Sunday, May 15, 2011
Route: Lincoln, NE to Louisville, CO
Distance: 499 miles





At the Super 8, the morning after: rofl



With only 500 miles to cover and morning temps starting out in the mid-40ís, we slept in and ate breakfast slowly, hoping to stall our departure until things warmed up a bit. It didnít work; I think we hit the road around 9 AM, and it was still under 50 degrees (Weather Underground has since reported that the temperature never did start climbing until around noon that day).

You know youíre in Nebraska when the door at the rest area has this sign on it:




Shawn is starting to have second thoughts about the whole venture:



Gassing up somewhere in western Nebraska:



Rest of the day? Unventful, except for some clutch trouble (more on that tomorrow). Just a smidge of rain in the morning and some chilly temps, and we arrived at my sisterís house in Louisville late in the afternoon.

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#703740 - 06/12/11 05:00 AM Re: Day 2 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Bigfish Offline
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Registered: 10/18/08
Posts: 514
Loc: Vista, California (San Diego ...
more please. Enjoying the tale.
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IBA #47337 50cc May 2011
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#703764 - 06/12/11 12:46 PM Re: Day 2 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Bigfish]
Lmar Offline
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Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 1360
Loc: Prescott, Az / Cold Lake, Ab
lurk
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#703929 - 06/13/11 03:10 AM Day 3 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Joe Frickin' Friday Offline

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Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 17552
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
Day 3: Monday, May 16, 2011
Route: Louisville, CO to Rocky Mountain National Park and back
Distance: 122 miles





It was that gas stop in Nebraska the previous day where Shawn noticed his clutch lever was getting spongy. I had noticed the same thing with my bike at the end of my first day, but didnít mention it because I thought I might just be imagining it. But it turns out the last 50 miles I rode on my first day were in Nebraska, where the highway speed limit jumps up to 75 (and so I was cruising about 80). Shawn hadnít done any major distance of highway cruising at this speed on his 1200RT until Sunday (our first day of riding together), so that was the first time it had happened to him, too. Apparently thereís something about cruising at that very particular speed that causes air to get into the clutchís slave cylinder; itís a known issue. The stop-gap measure on the road is to cut some zip ties and rearrange the hydraulic line to eliminate a high spot that traps air, then orient the bike in a nose-high attitude for a while to let any existing air in the line travel up to the master cylinder and out into the reservoir. So that was the first thing we did on Monday morning.

The first step was to build some risers for the centerstand. Shawn is seen here hammering his fingers into a 2x4, occasionally hitting a nail in the process:




With the carpentry done, it was time for some wheelie impressions:







Shawn gets extra points for his facial expression. grin


After an hour or so of sitting, both bikesí clutch levers had pretty much returned to normal. With the weather looking hospitable, we geared up for a short day ride up to Estes Park for lunch, and then up into Rocky Mountain National Park before returning back to Louisville. The road across the top of the park was closed, but you could get as far as Rainbow Curve (elevation 10K feet) for some good photo ops. Instead of taking US36 directly up to Estes park, we headed from Boulder straight up into the Front Range to find interesting twisty roads.

Taking a break in Nederland, with some old earth-moving equipment in the background:




Shawn calls in a favor from another tourist at RMNP:




At Rainbow Curve, our first encounter with seriously deep Rocky Mountain snow:




Lots of chipmunks running around, plus this little guy (a pika):




A snow bunny:



Oh yeah, the mountains were kind of pretty, too:






Coming back down to the lower elevations, we stopped at a wayside to pose with a herd of elk and bighorn sheep:




Shawn surveyed the herd to see which one he wanted to chase down for dinner:




Thankfully Shawn never did catch that elk. Upon returning to my sisterís home in Louisville, we headed over to my parentsí house where Momma had cooked up a big olí turkey dinner to celebrate my birthday. (thanks, Momma; it was a good birthday! clap clap )

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