Thursday, 28 August 2008

Phase 1 finished

I made it. I`m in Leadville Colorado. Petes home town. 5300 miles. It feels like the trip is in 3 stages. Stage 1, Alaska to petes. Stage 2, petes to panama. Then stage 3, Colombia to Ushuaia. Its the first time i have managed to stick all my clothes into a washer. I feel great. Satisfied with the riding and experiences, as in meeting some interesting people, making heart felt new friendships and seeing the most incredible places and animals. Not quite so feeling great about the publicity aspect so far though. Its been dificult to get the media interested. The only way is to send emails, because i havent been able , with the time i have to ride around the towns looking for media outlets, so emails have been the way. It mainly comes in a letter to the editor form, which i hope will be published. Now that we have 2 minds on the trip , it will be better for ideas and time. I was in a rush , banging out 300-400 miles a day. We are sitting put in Leadville for a couple of days now. Get the bikes sorted out, like new tyres, chains, sprockets. A good clean etc. We are visiting petes local newspaper in person tomorrow, so that should get things rolling. A local lad and an englishbloke riding this ride should take their interest. We are also going into Denver, to visit the Aon office there. Denver 100 miles from leadville is currently holding the nations democratic convention, so the city is buzzing from all that right now. Its great to be here in one piece. The bike, considering its past (a rental) has been in perfect shape, no problems. I only had to tighten the chain and air the tyres along the way. Shes heating up faster at the moment, but after a good clean taking off all that muddy insulation, the coolness should be back. Those 5000 miles have taken me from the top of the world, down the spine of the jagged, dark, stark rocky mountains. Through the road hugging clouds of british columbia. 3 days of cloud and mist. wet and internal moaning. It wasnt till i pulled up in a gas station in dawson creek, the end of the alcan, that i finally snapped out of the wet misery, when a strange woman came upto me laughing hysterically and saying "your wet" that i cracked up laughing along with her, realising that all of this is part of it, not just the sunshine times. Was all good after that. Held up in grand praire, alberta for the night, before riding into the sunshine and jasper and banff national parks. Jaw dropping natural beauty. the parks are stunning. turquiose lakes, from the glacier juice, scouped out mountain ranges. zillions of spruce, aspen and pine trees. Animals safely roaming around , free from the hunters weapons. Ater riding through and camping in the parks i raosted away out of canada and into montana, usa. Thought a wolf crossed my path. a silvery grey dog type beast, smaller than i imagined, so as it turned out it was probably a coyote. (edit : it was a wolf. saw a coyote at grand canyon. definwhat i saw was much bigger and not fox like - like a coyote)) A cheeky rascal that thought hed escaped me but i stopped to watch him bobbing his head up and down in the long grass, willing me away. i tried howling to get him going, but he just sneared and slinked off into the trees. Montana, turned brown. A light brown, beige. Rolling hills of beige, sweet smelling purfumes i couldnt make out. Sometimes wiffs of burning entered my helmet. Forrest fires are rife up here. I stayed the night in Kalispell. I had been contacted by a lady , named sylvia, who had heard of the trip and wanted to meet, but alas my timing was rubbish again. Sylvia is heading out there soon. hope to meet her oneday on the road. Off through the beige once more, with the rockies never to far from view. raising in altutude to upto 6000 feet, into mid montana. A gorgeous old town, done out wild western 19th century days. Philipsburg. The buildings looked authentic and not plastically made to show the days of old. I couldnt resist this place. after meeting mike smith, a freindly chap , with london ancestry, another fine friendly geezer comes in and offers me a place to kip for the night. John from Kalispell. married to Joanne. It turns out to be a house owned by signe and jeff. 2 very much bmw motorcyle fanatics. their garage is full of old and wonderfull machines. Theres others staying there. all looking out for each other, having a laugh and loving bmws. My KLR looked right at home though amongst these demons of miles and history. John and joanne are on and in an old bmw sidecar outfit. Brian, jay and roger all on their own big big beamers, riding all over the mountains and far away. A friendly warm comunity, that was a real pleasure and suprise to be part of. After good byes i head off into wyoming and yellowstone national park. Wyoming seems like a brother to montana, but with sparser savings. A land of what looked like sunshine tundra and not arctic tundra, covering everything. A huge flatter landscape than what i had been used to. Indian reservations, with small box houses. towns of 3 buildings and 1 gas pump. I loved Wyoming. Hardly any people. long long straight roads with this not tundra. the rockies showing up sometimes to show me im on the right road. yellowstone was missed really, i hit it to late. the sun was falling. i had an hour to get through there along a 2 hour road. It got dark. it was pitch black. I spent the time , doing 30mph and no more. watching the roads shoulders for suicidal beasts. I caught up another unfortunate on a bike. a harley davidson, not suprisingly. we rode out the dark , silent partners. Got out in one piece. the lakes , somehow looked very silver in the darkness. a silver i have never seen before in the natural world. Mysterious mists sat in the trees bellies. All very hammer house of wonderful horror. Just needed the bone chilling howls of the local wolves to make it right right. A sound i have waited all my life to hear, but alas again. Was out of wyoming like the wind. mainly leaning into a strong crosswind, pushing hard again the opposite bar grip. Colorado, can be compared to Alaska, in my opinion. The roads curl and bank made of silky tarmac sucking on the bikes tyres, inducing confidence in the rider to make the most of throughing the bike left right left, flying out of the corners into the next unbarriered mountain curve. Whilst loving all this, you raise to 10000 feet through stunning green forests and the barren jagged rockies are back in constant companionship. Im here. at petes. typing this pale ale on the floor. petes sorting his tyres and brakes out in the sunshine. We are both going to use the blog. posting when the times right. I have so much more to say and so many more people to mention, but cant fit it all in. Hopefully i will when i can. Fingers crossed the groove comes for the publications. that should be tomorrow ! we leave for southerly sun on sunday.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Hi Si, sounds like you are having a fantastic time. Sorry I haven't been in touch but as you know I am going thru a tough time with Nathan. Anyway, stay safe and enjoy yourself. Luv Suz xx