Monday, August 13, 2007

Finally home!

It has been while since I have been home and longer since I have posted here. We left August 2nd for our 8 day trip on the motorcycle. We decided to trailer the bikes rather than ride them out so we could maximize our riding time. Our first stop was at our friend's "cabin" in the Black Hills. This was like no cabin I have ever stayed at! The place was so beautiful complete with a view of Mount Rushmore out the kitchen window. Here we are relaxing on the deck and grilling steaks:

The next day we rode an hour to Sturgis. It was Pre-Sturgis weekend so a few of the attractions weren't open yet but there were plenty of vendors and we got our shopping done. The crowds wouldn't come in for a day or two yet so parking and moving around were quite easy:
Saturday we loaded up the trailer and drove most of the day to Dillon, Colorado. Dillon would be our central point in which we would ride in 4 different directions the next 4 days. It was around 4:00 pm when we got to the hotel and we unloaded the bikes:

Sunday morning we started out with sunshine and went to an outdoor amphitheatre for a community church service. We couldn't help but be awe struck and worship when surrounded by this??:

We took off to tour Breckenridge but got rained on shortly after arriving and had to make it a short day:

The dark clouds rolled in and we got poured on as we were heading back to the hotel. As we headed into Dillon we thought it had snowed! Everything was covered in white. It wasn't snow. It was hail! We were glad we missed the hail, it would have hurt on the bike.

When we were heading back on the Dillon Dam Road we rounded a corner and a car was flashing it's lights at us. We slowed down and came around the next bend and rocks had slid off the mountain. Vince was leading so he was weaving through the rocks and we heard a large crack. Right in front of us a large rock rolled across both lanes and crashed against the guard rail. It missed our front tire by only a few feet. If it would have hit us, we would have laid the bike down causing damage to the bike or worse - injury to us. We stopped and took pictures and later went back to get the rock:

It is now in my flower garden.
It rained again Tuesday so we took the cars and went to Pikes Peak on the cog train:
At the top Vince went out on the cliff to have a better view (He is the orange jacket):
I stayed firmly on the solid ground:

Wednesday was very rainy and cold (again) but we did get out a few hours on the bike. When it got really wet we went back and walked around Breckenridge in the rain and shopped for souvenirs.
Thursday we finally had sun. It was cool but promised to get warmer as the day progressed. We found highway 125 and had a beautiful ride though the bull moose the locals said was living there was hiding from us. We stopped in Rand, CO and had fun with the local shop owner before turning around and heading to the Rocky Mountain National Park.

It was such a nice day we didn't stop for any meals. We got snacks while filling up with gas and kept riding. We ended up in Loveland pass and went through the Eisenhower tunnel on the way back to the hotel. We biked 9.5 hours that day. I was a little (a LOT) saddle sore by the end of the day:
Hwy 125:

Thursday morning we left Dillon at 4:30 am and drove all day (minus and hour for breakfast and 1/2 hour for dinner) and got home at 1:10 am Friday morning. If my calculations are right that is 19.5 hours in the car with the time change. Way, way WAY too long.
Friday we picked up the kids, picked up our exchange student, Filip, and unpacked. Saturday I took the 3 oldest girls and drove down to Iowa for the State Fair. The first Saturday of the fair is my family reunion. My dad has 5 brothers and 4 of them camp at the fair. We have cousins all over and it is the one time of the year that we get together:

In past years we have had 45-50. This year there were 38. (7 of the missing were mine!) There were 3 new babies to pass around. It was very hot but we had a great time. Being with family is always a special time.