F I N E   H Y D R O C A L   C A S T I N G S   B Y   C.   C.   C R O W    
  P.   O.   B O X   1 4 2 7         M U K I L T E O,     W A     9 8 2 7 5     U S A    


A-48, Arches National Park, the perfect campsite.

The Fine Art of Motorcycle Touring


1983 The Original Stray Cat Tour

by C. C. Crow

All photos copyright C. C. Crow

6-3 MON
Left home (Everett, Wash.) 10:30 a.m. - cloudy. Mid-afternoon stopped and Fred and Irene's (my aunt and uncle in Portland). Roseberg- p.m. $20 room. 400 mile day.

6-4 SAT
Left 9 a.m. Met R. Cranston at rest stop, a BMW rider who wants me to say hello to Bill Buckingham. CHIPs is bummed out at me for going 75 mph. Had bigger fish to fry (guy going about 90) but gives me horizon to horizon look. Yes sir. Arrive Sunnyvale - 9:20 p.m. Rooti was at burger world, met Steve. 500 mile day.

6-5 SUN
Head east. Slide to first- "safe", on oil slick. Endlessly windy road to YOSEMITE - Tioga Pass closed (snow). Lucked into valley floor campground due to floods (as seen on TV). Introduced to blazing "Canadian-style" fire. Rivers and waterfalls are really beautiful. Raging.

6-6 MON
Check out valley. Move to Wawoma - south of Yosemite. Had large campfire, loss beers in river.

6-7 TUE
Kern River via Fresno, through sugar pines. Pass Kings Canyon but not in. Stop at Jack's Motorcycle shop, buy rear shocks. Rooti's engine- Rooti-tunes.

6-8 WED
DEATH VALLEY via Mt. Whitney. Softball game at Stove Pipe Wells. Steve losses his watch. My stomach is upset (heat).

6-9 THUR
LAS VEGAS - Frontier Hotel. Room 736, no air conditioning, move to 716. Gambled and loss money ($35).

6-10 FRI
Go to Big Al's motorcycle shop, buy tank bag. Change lower plugs.

6-11 SAT
GRAND CANYON - North Rim. - met Rooti's brother Courtney at 7 p.m. Hot-dogs. Stomach finally settles.

6-12 SUN
Left Hermits Rest at 12:30. 5:30 Hermits Creek Camp. Beat. Sleep under sky. Rooti forgot purification tables. We bum eleven from ranger. Get scolded.

6-13 MON
Rooti wakes to find scorpion on his bag. Courtney hikes back out. We go on to Hermit Rapids on the Colorado River. Saw small rattlesnake on way. Steve bums a beer from rafters. Legs ache.

6-14 TUE
Climb back to Hermits Creek. Meet Larry the Lizard. Squirrel kicks my ass, scored direct hit on trail mix right through the top of my pack. Swim in small pools. Crushed garbage into small sack. Kill ants. Eat most of food. Rest.

6-15 WED
Climb out of canyon. Left at 5:30 a.m. Kept up with Steve and Rooti most of the way but died at top last mile. They leave me behind and were out at 10:20. Took me another hour.

A Bad Indian Story

So I'm hiking along, thinking I needed a mule. My legs ache, my pack grinds down upon my shoulders. My head's down pondering the path before me when there's a voice, it's Rooti, telling me I'm almost there. And "there is a refreshment stand right over there".

A refreshment stand? Wow, that sounds nice.

Outside I dig through my entire pack to find my wallet buried deep at the bottom. We haven't needed a wallet or money for three days. Now suddenly I desperately need it.

Finally in line a couple are just leaving when the young guy in front of me, an Eastern Indian (not a native North American Indian), slaps his hand down on the counter and says he'll have a bag of chips and a candy bar.

The clerk turns around to retrieve the snacks, turns back with them and says that will be one dollar. The Indian states that when he walked up to the counter he smacked down a dollar and the clerk already has it.

An argument ensues which is very upsetting to me.

My dry mouth is savoring a hot-dog, washed down with an ice cold lemonade and these guys are arguing over a dollar. One stupid dollar. They go back and forth. I put the dollar on the counter and you took it. Sir, I did not. You never gave me a dollar. If I had a gun I would settle the arguement. I would shoot the Indian. He clearly did not give the clerk a dollar. Fortunately, for him I didn't have a gun but I did have a dollar so I reached in with it and said "Here, I'll pay."

At first the clerk is saying no, I don't need to do that and the Indian is thanking me profusely, he's thanking me and my mother and the holy cows in our front yard. I won't even acknowledge him, looking directly at the clerk, my dried face and three day scruff demanding service. Without any more words the clerk understands and asks me what I'll have. "A hot dog and two lemonades."

"Right away, Sir."

The Indian is still thanking me as I indulge in the first sip. I suck the cup dry instantly still ignoring him and biting into the most delicious hot dog I have ever eaten.

Camp at the Grand Canyon South Rim campground. Eat charcoal broiled steaks. Early a.m. I had nose bleed but it quickly stops.

6-17 THUR
LAKE POWELL - camped at Wahweap near Page. Steve chases around a 14 year old. Luckily he didn't catch her. BQ chicken. Camp has water by each tree. Check out boat rentals. NA

6-18 SAT
ZION NP via Kanab. Eat root beer floats at Tequila Shela's. See tons of BMWs (rally). Change top plugs. Eat ham and cheese. Go on ice cream run at 10:45.

6-19 SUN
Zion. Scratch North Rim. French toast. Check out Narrows. Then go to Emerald Pools. Fried Californians. No photos. Pools were real nice. Eat hot dogs and beans. Photo run to checkered board mesa.

6-20 MON
Zion. Fried eggs. Rode with Jim to St. George looking for 1 hour photo. Shop. Hike to Angles Landing- photos. 2.5 miles up. Picked up Swiss girls, give ride to campground. Spaghetti.

6-21 TUE
Zion a.m. Play ping pong while doing laundry. Steve sees Swiss chicks at P.O. Leave for Bryce Canyon. See bus across highway. Camp 394 sunset. Eat salami sandwiches, roam campground at night. Poor food selection.

2-22 WED
BRYCE CANYON Walked Fairyland Loop trail. Very mushroonic. 8 mile w/ walk from CG. See Swiss chicks again. Ride to Topic looking for food. Not much there. Enough for tacos. Stop by river for firewood. Tons of it. Walked down Queens Garden, up Navajo to sunset. Eat tacos. BMW 100/7 next camp.

6-23 THUR
Leave 9 a.m. north over gravel road. Rooti is bummed (gravel). Coyote skins tacked to fence. Plane TB cliff plateau (?) Grain mill. Stairs. Stop at Koosharem store. Freemont River to Capitol Reef. Very cool cliffs. Gray and brown, Golden crowns. Hanksville. South to Glen Canyon- LAKE POWELL. Camp Bullfrog Basin. Check out marina and boat rentals. Orange sky. Big wind storm. Steve and Rooti climb hill. Eat chicken over fire. Boat City.

6-24 FRI
LAKE POWELL - Debate what to do. Weather looks gray. ?Rent boat at Bull Frog. $24 Tin Can plus gas. Go to store for milk, have French toast. Decide to take boat. Where else to go? We're here. Investigate Moki Canyon. Pretty cool. Back south to explore rock canyon. Water is warm. Returning home we run into head wind and waves. Just make it back to dock, gas and store. Rain with wind. Hot-dogs for dinner. Storm dies down.

6-25 SAT
My birthday. Rain. I'd like to move on. Rooti doesn't. Probably best but I'm bored. Want to go or do something. Anything. Just hang around camp. Our tens are wet. Cook French toast anyway. Go to store and check weather. Eat sandwiches, 3 types of cookies. Meet "Two Bells Delania", rangerette.

6-26 SUN
Break camp- Steve leaves early and will meet us at Arches. He's decided he needs a new tent and a razor. Rangerette charges us cut rate $2 camp fee. Leave Bull Frog at 10:30. Stop at Hite Crossing. Natural Bridges is very nice and we would have stayed except for rendezvous with Steve. Rain storm looms ahead but not bad. Meet BMW from Tucson in Blanding. Eat. 30 miles of road work. Blast up to MOAB. No campsites at Arches at 4 p.m. We go to Dead Horse Point CG, mosquito world. Steve shows us his new tent. We take a food run to Moab. Thunderstorms. Meet BYU rangerette. Meet Gabriel, West German girl traveling solo on Honda 400. She's been all over world by herself. Talk and eat pork chops for dinner.

6-27 MON
French toast. Drive up to ARCHES NP. Explore Courthouse towers, Devil's Garden. Walk to Landscape Arch, Double O Arch. Find Rooti Box Canyon. The sandstone rocks roll up and down. Strange fins and shapes. Very cool place. We climb up ribs and explore top. Take cross country route back. Partician Arch. Bird. Ribs for dinner.

6-28 TUE Eggs for breakfast, break camp and head for Grand Junction. Steve wants MC tires. Closed Sunday. See car being towed- blown tire and rolled down hill. Go to Mesa Mall. River is flooded by Interstate. 1 hour photo. Eat bad soup. Play vidiot machines. Cycle shop- Steve gets tire. Rooti and I want to go to Montrose for BMW dealer. No tires, in transit, maybe tomorrow. We stay overnight in Black Canyon Motel. Thunderstorm. Steve forgot saddlebag! Must return to GJ. Rooti may go have to go for tire but they won't coordinate. I often wonder. Rooti calls his friend Buck. Watch news. Walk to pizza- I'm good and pissed.

6-29 WED
Steve leaves early for GJ. Rooti goes to laundromat, doesn't say anything. Goes to bike shop, no tire. I call home, shower, goof off. We try tire again, still no luck, go to lunch. Rooti leaves for GJ but finds a tire in Delta, half way. Steve and I go to Ouray/Silverton. Steve sleeps in field while I walk around and take pictures. Train station is closed. Camp at Purgatory CG.

6-30 THUR
Wake up at 6 a.m., tea and Rooti bars. 6:25 leave for Silverton. Drive for half hour and buy tickets. Take bus into Durango for 9:25 a.m. train. DRG&W NARROW GAUGE RR Steve and Rooti graze. Get milk and donuts. Car 28, seats 19,20&24. Loco 481, a class K-36 Mikado. We are in first coach right behind loco. Watch tender rock back and forth. Cinders in my eyes. Every once in a while someone yells out the f-word. Sounds like a lady. Weird. Finally, without really turning around and waiting, we discretely figure out it is this old woman, some one's grand ma, who simply blurts out the word "fuck" from time to time. She also spits out other sounds from time to time, apparently uncontrollably. Later we learn its called Turret's syndrome but this is our first exposure. The rest of the trip when we're waiting in line somewhere or walking down a trail one of use would yell it out. Poor woman. It was a great train trip. Halfway I asked Rooti and Steve if it was okay. They agreed it was a lot of fun. The little narrow gauge train worked it way up the canyon, following the Animas River to Silverton. There we wondered around and ate lunch before returning to camp. Pork chops.

7-1 FRI
Break camp and ride down into Durango. Gas. Go to train depot for postcards. SJ Decide to see Return of Jedi, get our q of movies. Drive to Mesa Verde. Camp site %359 of 388. Drive back to Cortez for groceries. Steaks for dinner. Relaxed.

7-2 SAT
MESA VERDE Drive out to far view. Go to Spruce Tree House. check out cliff dwellings. Walk Pictograph trail. Met "the family". Rest on rocks, get some sun. Go back to get ice cream and beers. Go to cliff Palace. Need bread and Coleman fuel. Get stung by bee on temple on way to Cortez. Couldn't dodge him! Stop at DQ. Come back and take nap. Spaghetti for dinner.

7-3 SUN
Wake up, right eye is swollen. Eat and go to laundry. Write postcards. Rooti changes his oil. Break camp. Ride to Pagosa Springs. Stop for gas and eat. West of PS is condo city. Drive up Wolf Creek Pass, very nice. Stop at summit. Come down to Del Norte buy grocers. Ride north to Poncho Pass- 4th of July weekend. Impossible to find camp site. Go into Mt. Princeton- all full. Come back down to highway and stay at Fisherman's Bridge CG behind teepees. Tunis One Eyed Tacos.

7-4 MON
Fourth of July. Wake up, right eye is worse, nearly won't open. Fucking bees. With work I get it opened. Break camp after eating Tunis toast. Ride to Leadville. Get gas. Take Fremont Pass, to Climax, I-70, Loveland Pass, stop on top, watch skiers. Go down to Georgetown. Drive up Brethoud Pass. Eat a Frazier. Eye is much better. Had swelling all the way around forehead. Pressure and much itching. Have to watch it. No more bees. Stop in Grandby for food. Stop at lake but decide to go on into ROCKY MOUNTAIN NP. Camp at Timber Creek. Call Condo.

7-5 TUE
Eye is back to normal. Pack up and head to Condo's. Rooti goes to Fort Collins and job interview with Ball. Steve and I stop for photos and pizza lunch. Stop at Boulder for parts. Check out fancy hardware store. Ride to Condo's, arrive early, ride unicycle around. Rooti and Brian arrive. Eat ribs. Seadog and Helen (Condo's sister) plan to get married at Xmas.

7-6 WED
CONDOs Ride to Longmont to MC shop. Check out parts. Rear brake res. is leaking. Squirts fluid when braking. No res. Rooti and Steve go to YMCA to play ping pong. I ride to Denver and go to train stores. Stop at Ward BMW. Buy rebuild kit- should be no back pressure. Stop at grocery, chicken for dinner. Two chickens not enough. Return for more. Longer ride than I thought. End up burning chicken and only eat half. Have a good time anyway. Slide show, Rooti w/ long hair.

7-7 THUR
Wake early, ride and climb Torry Peak. Left camera behind. Would have been nice- Hike flats, go up right ridge, snow rocks. Reach summit, beers and munchies. Walk down 400 ft and slide down snow swoosh. Right leg gets sore down hill. I'm last one down- slow. Everyone is ready but me. Change pants and bust down hill. Just past Georgetown Steve's rear tire goes flat. Stop- no tools. Go down to Idaho Springs, get wrench. Go back, remove wheel- return. Go to cycle shop, small wait outside- girl helper. Fix tire $25/hr. See dog at Pom Pom's Pet Grooming with curlers on bangs. Return w/ tire. Put on, bust back to Condo's. Steaks and leftover chicken for dinner.

7-8 FRI
Rooti goes for another Ball interview. I start reading The Right Stuff. Wash dishes. Read some more. Go into town for groceries. Cook spaghetti for dinner.

7-9 SAT
Relax, read more, do breakfast dishes. Drive up to Ward with Condo. Go up to lake. Stop in town for groceries. Girl in blue at store. Hippie shop. Return. Cheeseburgers.

7-10 SUN
Get up at ten till five. Ride to LONGS PEAK. 40 miles. Condo and Seadog breeze along, know roads. An effort to keep up. Obstacle course. Steve stayed behind because he has a blister. Start hiking at 7 a.m. Trail goes through pines, switch-backs w/ logs across path every ten or twelve feet. Cross stream. Trees begin to shorten. More snow in spots. Boulder field at base of the mountain has huge Winnebego rocks. Trail goes to right side through a key hole. Rock shelter on other side is full of ice. Almost turned around- not feeling good. Wind is gusting- trying to blow me off mountain. Clouds are honking. One gust was enough that I couldn't stand up. Pisses me off. Keep going. Lucky the wind died on the other side and the trail stayed low. Cross snow and rocks. Then go up sometimes using all fours. Cut across again and up to the top. Great views. Eat smoked oysters, cheese, crackers, beers and fruit. Its cold and windy. Stay 20 min. Head back down. Get to steep part and slide in snow. Went to false key hole. Watch the red and yellow dots, rock cairns. I'm below. Left behind. Have to keep up. Stop three times. Crazy. Talked with chick from NC. Storm clouds look pretty bad. Get to bikes and it begins to pour. No rest. New obstacles, dirt, rain, potholes, sleet, fog. Welcome to Colorado. Down a few at bar, groceries, back to Condo's. Eat chili. Crash. Read.

7-11 MON
Get up and pack, moving to Fort Collins. Go to Boulder. Use rec. area at school. Play ping pong. Grasshopper bummed. Shower. Steve and Rooti go to Ball. Wait at DQ. Rooti gets job offer. Steve applies as tech. 5:30 Rooti finally shows up. Bust to Buck and Lindi's. Tacos for dinner. Cleaning Co.

7-12 TUE
Rooti and Steve go to Ball again. Leave me behind. This is a pain. Has nothing to do with trip. Rooti has physical today. TB results by Friday. It's fucked. Says we can go without him. We should. Take ride out Peudre River, nice. Wash bike. Screw with oil, seal leaks. Rooti has date with receptionist! Leaves Steve and I with Buck, Rooti's friend. We make ice cream, strawberry, eat chicken and go to movie, 007 Octopussy.

7-13 WED
Hang out some more in FORT COLLINS. Went to golf course to drive some balls. K-Mart for film. Mailed stuff home. Drive to Longmont and have dinner with Rooti's old CSU friends. Lights out on bike, rear tail and right turn.

7-14 THUR
more of same. Rooti goes with Buck- we're not invited. Get food. Go to movie, Twilight Zone.

7-15 FRI
Same. We fuck off in Fort Collins. I want to leave. Rooti says okay but has to go to Ball a.m. Says he'll return by noon but it's 2 p.m. We want to go but Rooti thinks its going to rain. I'm about to kill him. Wait till Saturday. Stating the obvious- I tell Rooti he's stupid. (But its the other way around.) Wasted a whole week.

7-16 SAT
Leave Ft. Collins. Ride up Poudre River Canyon, Cameron Pass, to high plains. Stop at Craig for groceries. Split Rock, river. To Dinosaur NM. Camp at GREEN RIVER, dust campground. Burned out spots, hill w/ kids, our radio's too loud at 7 p.m.

7-17 SUN
Leave for Flaming Gorge Res. Stop at dino quarry. Mushroom rocks very happy. Walk. Road to Vernal is very nice. Steve's rear tire goes flat at rest stop. We change it. South end of res. is very nice, trees. North is desert. Go into Green River, Wyoming looking for Courtney. Find his car but not him. Phone doesn't work. Eat at Circle A. Stop at Safeway. OYGBYNCB. Liquor store. Ride back to Buckboard Crossing and camp. Ham sandwiches.

7-18 MON
Pack up and go back to Green River, visit Courtney. Ride up to TETONS. Go back to Hoback Canyon to camp. Many many tourists in RVs. Many, many, many. Camp host tells us to watch for moose. Yeah, right, moose in camp.

7-19 TUE
The Yellowstone 200. We decide to ride up to Yellowstone for the day, sight see, wash bodies and clothes. It takes forever. Mass RVs and cars. We pass them 3-4 at a time. They crawl. We go to Old Faithful but there are no showers there, no laundry. At Old Faithful. Watch OF blast off. Take short walk come back and wait 25 min. to see it again. Geyser girls. Blue and red. Mom and Dad. See OF. Ride back to Jackson, do wash, play videos, back to camp.

7-20 WED
Go to Tetons. Ride to Genny Lake, hike 5.6 mile to SURPRISE LAKE. Through trees, stop on hill side for views of valley, switch backs, weirded out kid on rock, hey man. Sun ourselves at top. eat. go to next lake. Rest. See packs- we could have stayed here? Right hip is sore from downhill. Ride to Colter Bay for showers. Back to Jackson camp.

Early morning hear noises. Put head out of tent to see what's happening. Turn head to see Mrs. Moose next to picnic table. She sees me and swings her head around right over me. Oh, Mrs. Moose! Don't trample me. Baby moose is in back ground. I hide under sleeping bag.

7-21 THUR
Run down Snake River, nice road, blast. Go by lake. trees to shrubs. Idaho Falls, through town and out into desert, towards Sawtooth Mountains. Lava beds and first nuclear plant. Test M-80. Pops like nothing. Butte, stopped at rest area. Arizona, man, Marigold County. Eat at Holy Ancient China God's Ontario, Ore. Ride out to Bully Creek Campground. Nice valley at sunset. Big campground, host family. Corn fed. Sit up, play Frisbee. Lake. RL

7-22 FRI
CRATER LAKE Ride east up river valley into desert. Have problem with bike going into reserve- sputters. Okay with full tank. Stop in Bend, grocery. 92 is busy hwy. Ride up to Crater Lake. Snow still piled up around campground. Take site G-17. Steaks and mosquitoes for dinner.

7-23 SAT
Wake and eat. Go to Kalamath Fort for Coleman fuel. Eat lunch there. Return to camp, then go to Cleetwood Bay, hike down trail to water. Very blue water. Strange rocks. Trees, snow, sky. Cliff divers (nuts). Hike with girls going out. Back to camp, hot-dogs. Amphitheater, Bird Snow song. Check out fuel system.

7-24 SUN
Break camp. Ride back up to lake, return Oregon beer cans for refund. Drive to east end of lake. Talk with beemers. Photos. Ride over to Oregon Caves NM. Stop at store. Spaghetti for dinner. Camp host puts us all the way in corner, site #21, by river.

7-25 MON
Ride to OREGON CAVES. Lee is our guide. Mushroom Gods be very very happy. Walk through caverns, bear, rooms, graffiti, bark on lodge. Return and break camp. Go over mountain on new back road, very nice bike route. Rooti almost looses it on sharp curve. Messing with tape. Stop and think about it. Go on to Yreaka. Need rain gear for I-5. Only for 20 miles or so and it stops. Ride by Shasta. Stop at campground, all full, keep trying. Finally find spot. Play Frisbee. Cook chicken.

7-26 TUE
Gramps tells us how to... fire. Break camp. Ride through Lassen Peak NP. 89 to Lake Taco. Go to south shore. Room at travel lodge three blocks from casinos. Eat w/Rooti at 10 p.m. Steve feels ill. Loose $35. Quit at 2 a.m. Rooti hits green three times. It is his birthday.

7-27 WED
LAKE TAHOE - South Shore State Line. Eat at buffet. Lounge around pool too long. Get fried. Gamble at casinos. Eat at 5 p.m. Loose another $15. Get tough. Wait for same color 3-4 times then bet other. Build $20 into $100. QUIT. Rooti looses on green.

7-28 THUR
PARTY's OVER - Rooti gets up early and packs. We talk him into staying for breakfast. Go to Harrah's, good food. Rooti splits. Steve and I pack up. We say good-bye. I ride north along lake. Go over mountain and down into Carson City- race way. See mud slide, desert. Go through Reno. I head north without stopping. Eat at Susanville. Cheeseburger, fries and a shake. Go by Shasta same road. Hit I-5 to Roseburg, FAIR, cheap-O hotel, sunburn is bad. Shower and sleep.

7-29 FRI
Leave Roseberg, go 100 miles and eat at diner- soup. Ride through Portland, decide not to stop. Want to get home. Too bad its Friday rush hour. Stop and go all the way into Seattle. Welcome home at 6 p.m. Tootes Cat greets me.

8800 miles in eight weeks and one day. $1600.00. Good job.

  Next Log - 1984  


  1980   Datsun Roadster Trip - Sorry, no log

  1981   Solo On My New Bike - Sorry, no log

  1982   We Need More Time! - Sorry, not loaded yet

  1983   Stray Cat Tour - Quit Your Job and Go All Summer

  1984   Lost Tour - Colorado, Havasu, Lake Powell

  1985   Girl-i-tus Tour -

  1986   Alb Q Q Loop -

  1987   Freeze Fry Trip -

  1988   The Grand Tour -

  1989   ALASKA - The Ultimate Tour -

  1990   A Month, A Week and A Few Days -

  1991   The Forgotten Trip - No Motorcycles!

  1992   NO TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  1993   NO TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  1994   Who's In Charge? Tour -

  1995   Not Sure Where Tour - No real plan

  1996   Back To Alaska - Sorry, not loaded

  1996   Jasper Car Camping - Sorry, not loaded

  1996   Broken Cut Foot Tour -

  1997   What Trip? - Sorry, not loaded

  1998   TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  1999   TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  2000   Nailed In Montuna - Sorry, not loaded

  2001   A Tiny Solo Trip - Sorry, not loaded

    and A FEW DAYS

    Motorcycle Stories


    Truth blended with Fiction

    T O U R   L O G S    

    P H O T O   G A L L E R Y    

    I N   T H E   G A R A G E    



  C. C. CROW     P. O. BOX 1427      MUKILTEO, WA   98275   USA