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

The Fine Art of Motorcycle Touring


Motorcycle Stories and Other Assorted Tales

by C. C. Crow

1988 Motorcycle Tour

6-9 THUR
I call Rooti and say, "I'm not coming. You'll have to come out here and get me." Okay, I'll leave at 10 a.m. R has Kim problems. At 2 I finally leave. Everything is checked off the list. But is the list right? High overcast, the weather channel says "scattered showers". It starts raining in Tacoma. It doesn't let up so I check into Hotel Uncle Fred and Irene's in Portland. Bob and Eideth Groman are visiting and we go out to Organ Grinder Pizza for dinner. Camp in basement but I'm On the Road Again.

6-10 FRI Call Pa in the morning and have him send my eyedrops to Rooti (a little red eye). Eat full breakfast, pack and big deal leave. Eleven o'clock! Cloudy with showers but tolerable. Lots of competition on I-5 south for 65 mph. Stop in Cottage Grove for cheeseburger. Think about train store but not on map. Gas in Roseberg. Rush hour in Grants Pass. "Star I" limo. Take REDWOOD HIGHWAY towards N. Cal., stop at tunnel, see overturned truck (should have taken picture) S-curves and log trucks don't mix. Food a Crescent City. California blonde shakes it. The rodedendrums are in bloom. Ma would like this. I want to stay in Prairie Creek but it is closed. They don't know who they are dealing with. Go to Patrick Point, primitive campground, called Dry Lagoon, set up tent. Beer, cheese and crackers for dinner- no water. Shorts and flip-flops, salt air, sand and the sound of waves.

6-11 SAT
Surf's up! Talk to fisherman- perch + big worms. They cast out and the tide is running fast. Morning walk down the beach before breakfast. Pack and head south down the Redwood Highway around Big Lagoon to Ell River, Avenue of the Giants, take back road through great stand of trees. 1964 flood marked high, amazingly high (50 feet) on tree in valley. Stuffed animal exhibit at Humboldt Redwoods. See lots of Bros. Deli at Redway, see poster for French Creek rally- 3000 or more coming. Concert. I take back roads to Leggett, Rt. 1 back up to coast, warm inland but cold on coast. I make up time lost by leaving day late, don't stop too much, jet south to SALT POINT, $10 for campsite, $10! I go to free walk-in site, 0.3 miles.

6-12 SUN
Sleep in. Went to bed at 9:30, up at 8:15! Take my time hauling stuff out. Electrical problem (intermittent) returns downhill over sweeping bridge. I suspect kill switch. Flip it back and forth and problem doesn't return until SF. It comes and goes. Lots of Sunday drivers near San Francisco. Take four hours to get to Golden Gate Bridge. Stop and take photos of bridge. My back is sore. I get lost in downtown. Should have had more time to explore but afraid of 88 earthquake. Skip Rt. 1 for 101 Freeway. Stop at Lucky grocery. Rib steak and beans for dinner. Go through Monterey, Carmel to Rt. 1, great road, photos of coast and bridge. Camp at BIG SUR. Take better than sex shower. Start fire and look for short, take faring off but only find BL-YEL connection a little loose. Maybe bad battery ground? Have rum & coke w/ steak and think about it. Stove goes to hell Rooti-style. Take it apart and find it is flooded, two pads are soaked, okay afterwards.

6-13 MON
Meet girls from Monterey who went to UW, lived in Everett and the Rez, wants to know what's new. I rode back to Sur Point but it was foggy, something about nw wind and current swelling up the deep ocean water causing the air to condense- natural air conditioned coast. Only its turned up too high, the ride is obscured most of the way and it's cold. Occasionally the road rises up and it's hot and sunny, then back down into it. I think about going over the mountains to the other side but stick to the plan. Stop in POSMO BEACH and like the place, the pier reminds me of North Carolina. So I set up camp at the state park, spend afternoon hanging our at the pier watching surfers. Eat spaghetti for dinner, make a mess. An army of ants attacks. NO GIRLS. Evening walk on beach.

6-14 TUE Wake to cool misty weather. Break camp and buzz past San Semillion. Too many RVs. Turn inland and it warms up in a hurry. Stop at grocery in N Cuyama, see real Indian. Go across Taft oil farms. Bake in Bakersfeild, over 100. Go up Kern River Valley, nice bike road. Spend afternoon at park in Ridgecrest. Relax and have spaghetti. Headache from heat. At six I leave, head for Trona past Larry Rocks. Run down Panament Valley up into P Springs for cola. Then go into DEATH VALLEY, stay in Emigrant Camp, talk with British couple, sleep on picnic table above heat, lots of stars.

6-15 WED
Wake at 5 a.m. Break camp at 6, go down to Furnace Creek and have large breakfast. It's already getting hot. I just keep going. Almost run out of gas when I by-pass Las Vegas, no services, no nothing. Stop at traditional fireworks stand. Eat lunch at Polar Freeze in Mesquite. Only noon and it's over 100! Stop at sporting goods store in St. George, get a wet stone and think about a day pack but wrong color, $25 so I pass. I consider changing my plan to go to Monument Valley as it will be very hot. Decide to go to ZION and decide there. Pay $25 for Golden Eagle Pass into parks. They have all this extra money now for fancy stamps. The pass is glued inside the fancy packet so you cannot put it inside your wallet. Park Service BS continues. Camp at G-21. More headache so I drink water and put a wet towel around my neck and feel better. Just not used to heat I guess. Take a brief nap- until sun hits my tent and drives me out. I foil Charlie's plan to attack my camp. Check out visitor's center, computerized weather but NO SHOWERS! Lay in river, it's cool, should have done it earlier. Wash hair in sink (F the rules) I needed it. Spag. for dinner, Cheese and crackers, rum and coke, drive the canyon, call Rooti.

6-16 THUR
In the morning I'm still debating my route. I ride to Rockville and find Bridge St. and dirt road to Grafton ghost town, not much besides the adobe meeting house (22 x 36 feet), take photos. Go back and lazily break camp. Go out at noon, up highway to Mt. Caramel and decide there to head north to BRYCE CANYON to avoid the heat. Take campsite D-89 and then ride around. Spaghetti for dinner again. Gods are angry that I deviated from my plans, clear skies give way to dotted clouds which gather into thundershowers. Right now it's maybe it will, maybe it won't. The wind is blowing around and dinner is on hold. It won't rain as long as I keep my raincoat on... but it is really windy. A tent test. My German neighbor needs a ride to Phoenix. Canadian/Swiss offers it, waits by me. Storm spreads out. It's still windy but I think I can cook. Big pig out makes Joe happy. Neighbors argue, Lakers game on.

6-17 FRI
"Rocky, knock it off!" He's in my trash. I whack at the tent but he ignores me. "Cut it out!", where's my flashlight? "Okay, get out of there." I have to pull the bag away and he's still digging his nose into it. He gets what he wants and drags it away. I open the tent fly and shine my light at him. "Oh shit, it's Scotty the Skunk!!' Opps. This is why you should never have food or trash or anything smelly in your tent. This is my new permanent rule. Absolutely no exceptions for now on. Next time I'll get sprayed in the face or attacked by Mr. Bear. It's 4 a.m. I take the trash bag over to the restroom which I was too lazy to do before I went to bed and throw it away. It's the only trash can they have in the camp. It's more wind and a little rain before I get up in the morning. Break camp and jet over to Boulder. Balk at $3 fee into Petrified Forest State Park. Stop in CAPITOL REEF, lunch at Hog Creek PG, have ham & cheese on torteas. Go into Fry Canyon for pop. Hummingbird fights and breakdowns. Pass car wreck near Natural Bridges. A lightening storm prevents me from entering. See bolt hit tree, smoking stub! Instant fire. Camp at DEVIL'S CANYON site 33, bugs and fire.

6-18 SAT
LAST DAY OF SOLO RIDE TO - Wake early and am on the road to Moab, Utah by 7 a.m. At 8:30 I'm doing laundry. I've scoped out the Ford dealer and North Main Service. Now to await the arrival of Rooti. I go up and have choice of campsites at ARCHES NP. I select site #1 after some debate. After setting up camp I go back down and leave a note for Rooti at the visitors center chalkboard. I call home to wish Pa a happy father's day and get the news. Then run up to Canyonlands and check in at the rangers station. There's a new reservations system for the White Rim Trail campsites. Good thing I checked. I set it up and then check out Island In the Sky- very impressive views. Shaffer's Trail is real neat, zig-zags down canyon. New road is ideal bike road. Return to find Rooti has gone up to campsite. I go into Moab to get sunglasses fixed and buy beer. I meet Rooti along road and we go back to PARTY! Take a hike into Devil's Garden to avoid bugs. Great multi-layered sunset. Should have taken photo.

6-19 SUN
We ride to Page. Blanding was closed so we eat at Turquoise Cafe in Bluff. Think we are late so we jet to Wahweep but had forgotten time zone. LAKE POWELL - Get tin can #10 from Iva. Boat City. We camp at Castle Rock- had boat problems, it seems gas line was under gas can and got pinched. Wind and heat and boat bums me out. We cook spaghetti and watch sunset.

6-20 MON
It's humid and overcast. Good or we'd really fry. We go back to marina and go to Page, hit the DQ, then got to dam. Check out visitors center and take the tour down the broken elevator. Monotone guide. Then back to DQ and the Safeway. See two ripe melons. Go back, fortunately boat was not stolen. Stormy evening. We BQ ribs, potatoes and corn. Wind blows sand and topples my tent. I shit in pants- yell fuck-you and it blows even harder. Drag huge rocks over to hold fort. Now we know why there was a nice sandy beach! Stars and moon.

6-21 TUE
That sucked. Wake up to clear skies- now we are going to fry! Go into Page, Safeway, water is cheap, 61 cents. See Drill Thrall. Bust back to boat, shoot across to Stray Cat Castle and break camp. Heat is grim. We head up stream past Navajo Power Plant, Tower Butte, Gregory Butte and many more massive monoliths, benches, towers and cliffs. We cruise along, past Dangling Rope Marina and begin to look for likely campsites. I think about those sites Powell described in his journal, the names are familiar but the grassy glens are now deep below us- we are surrounded by sheer rock towers, sandstone walls line the shore. We look in the barren arms of the main channel and find nothing. We pass the entrance to Rainbow Bridge NM. Twilight Canyon looks promising on the map. The 45 miles we have roared over in two hours would have taken Powell and his explorers several days, if not a week to travel. We find Twilight Canyon to be a snaking maze winding back and forth between sandstone mounds, S-ing from sunken glen to glen, our waterway filling the amphitheaters. There is a decision point where we go right, the channel narrows, but sloping rocks occupy the potential campsites. One better spot is taken by a boat. Finally we find a good bench, with some trees and an overhang providing some shade. We pass by it to see what might lie ahead but come upon the empty end, the boat but just fitting between the narrow walls and poor camping, so we return to our little glen, land in its dry water course and explore. A sandy site for two small tents on a flat bench. A weeping garden rings the glen, the upper ends provide shade from the intense sun. We remind ourselves that it is June 21, Summer Solstice. We'll have shade in the morning and evening but not midday. If it were situated to the north it would be perfect- and occupied. We go exploring in the other direction at Decision Point after dropping our gear. The canyon there narrows more and more until finally at the end we hop off and climb up for a reconnoiter. We can see Navajo Mtn. beyond endless mounds of sandstone. Sharper benches lie to the NW. It's hot but the sun is setting and we return to set up our camp. I have the shits and cramps but am able to eat ribs and Rice-a- Rooti. We watch the stars and satellites.

6-22 WED
STRAY CAT GLEN under nipple mountain peak. We sleep in the shade, lazily awake and have breakfast. We got to RAINBOW BRIDGE NM and watch the tourist. The bridge is pretty cool. Lore says if you rest in its shadow you will leave your problems behind so we dig in. We walk beyond it for another vantage and are further impressed. Again the sun chases us back. We pass through a swarm of tourist just for the aggravation. "Happy camper's" lady wins most obnoxious award of the day. Cleavage adjusts herself before our very eyes. Old man doesn't look (too much). We bang our way to Dangling Rock, I mean Rope, Marina for Rooti floats, gas, food, ice and water. We bust back to camp- collect our food and go hide in shade, swim the entrance. We return and relax. The wind blows a life vest into the water and Rooti receives his boating badge- solo for retrieving it. Hot-dogs for dinner. We decide to sleep on what we should do tomorrow. Sky rockets. Rain in night.

6-23 THUR The decision is to leave and go to North Rim to get out of the heat. We break camp boom-boom style. Cruise in morning flat water, a nice cloud escorts us in. We enjoy the ride back, take turns driving and catching rays. Past Stray Cat Castle and into the marina. Dock and get bikes. Someone has taken my boots, not that I wanted them. I needed a new pair. We ignore the flesh and load our bikes. Well, we try to. To the gas dock for some aggravation. We have to wait and then this jerk in a houseboat wants us to move so we cut somebody else off. He nearly runs us over- good thing its a rental. We check the boat in and pass. Into Page for a burger, and then into the desert- it is HOT. We stop at Navajo Bridge and have an apple. Then up to Jacob's Lake, wait for oiled highway. Buy some barley sandwiches and slide mailers cheap. Go over dirt construction into NORTH RIM of the GRAND CANYON NP. Campground is full! But we reserve a western cabin for next night. Even the NF CG is full so we take a side road and primitive camp.

6-24 FRI
We go into CG and out to Cape Royal to check the view. Nature bends over in front of us. We stand on the edge and look down and across. We shock the rangers by driving the speed limit and holding up traffic. Lunch at don't feed the deer picnic grounds. Soup, crackers, BS, carrots which bambi gets the ends. Laundry- Washington State Motor Pool 1012M and 1099M, our tax dollars at work in the CG. We check into the lodge, get cabin 326. Shower and relax. Sheila at res. desk makes Rooti smile. We have drinks waiting for dinner, ask for window, wait and wait and finally get pillar. Have prime rib for $14, good. Great lightening storm roars by so we are happy to have cabin. More drinks then time for bed.

6-25 SAT
My birthday, Rooti presents me with T-shirt, two bears looking down at hikers, caption says, "You jump down and growl, I'll take the picture." Rooti fixes his tent zipper. We eat in the big room again. It's foggy but clears as we eat. Food is so-so. We go back and walk out to Bright Angle Point, then pack up. It's cool. We go over construction site and bum-out but make it okay. Stop at Kabab overlook. Then into Kabab and stop at Mt. Caramel for ice cream. As we ride into BRYCE CANYON NP a red sports car speeds past us just at the entrance gate, a 25 mph zone. These people have no respect for motorcyclists or the National Parks, we scold and honk in protest. I lead into the guard station, shouting, "crazy maniac speeder sports car passing in the double yellow- don't let them in," as I coast in. But the little sports car is already pulling away. Then it stops, I'm thinking I wasn't yelling that loud, and before there's anything I can do, it starts backing up. Into me. Bam! Not real hard but I'm pissed now. This @#$%&* jerk. I turn my engine off and jump off and put it on the stand. I walk up to the car window saying, "What in the hell do you think you're doing?" She replies, she's sorry, she was sort of in a hurry to get to work. My boil evaporates and I rationalize that there is no apparent damage, as far as I know and no one is dead. The guard ranger explains that the traffic ranger is coming and they cone off the bay. I melt under the pretty girls spell- she offers us a free meal at the lodge where she is employed. The rangerette arrives and takes my license plate number and registration saying to the speedy girl, "I want to have a word with you." With things well in hand we go into the park with something to talk about. We check into western cabin #500, pretty nice again. Double beds, table and a porch. We go check the back country counter but no one is in (probably typing a traffic incident report) so we delay our decision for now. We sip barley sandwiches on the porch before going off to dinner. New plan is to lodge in Zion on Monday (but we find that is full so reserve Tuesday). We go to dinner at 7:45 and BSing for Zion. We are seated at the opposite end of Miss Speedy, Mindy is our waitress- good. We get the terriki chicken and tampora shrimp. Ms. Speedy comes over and says hi, sorry again, and tells Mindy to treat us right. I ask for no sprouts on my salad and she brings over a whole plate. Extra shrimp arrive. We pig out. When the bill arrives it's for less than one entree so we leave a big tip. There's no room for dessert.

6-26 SUN
We laze until 9 a.m. and then go have breakfast at the lodge. Bonnie comes over and says hi. We have short stack with milk, good. We talk more about the crash- Miss Crash, back-up back-up song. We pack up the bikes and say good-bye to the cabin. We check out and confirm our reservation for Zion. Decide to go to the ranger station wanting to backpack into Bryce- but the weather is grim. We check the forecast- rain showers and thunderstorms but it looks worse and we chicken out. My electrical problem seems to be more persistent and we dive into it. Thinking that it might be the (+) terminal we solder it with Rooti's camp stove but it still won't run. We look under the tank and the ignition cables and ground near the coil looks chaffed. We tape and reroute the harness then she runs perfectly. No reoccurrence. Only problem the delay puts us right in the middle of the rain storm. Have to suit up and finally head for ZION NP. We get wet and then sun. New red road greets us. We go to Watchman CG and choose site 27G. Set up camp and take an afternoon run up north to the Kalob. Pretty cool place, off the beaten track and next to heaven- It's cold so we turn around and head back. Dinner at the Bit and Spur Saloon- great Mexican. Good Zzzzs.

6-27 MON
We had wind all night, it was warm and never really needs cover. We pack up after breakfast and decide to go to Angle's Landing for the traditional climb. We hike up with one canteen and no camera. Great views per usual. Hike back and car next to bikes has locked keys. We head for ZION LODGE but check-in says they don't have our reservation. Finally find it in July! Sorry. Sorry? We are pissed. Decide to go back to Bryce, to talk to Jack, our reservations buddy. Thinking up stories as we go but it too hard to keep a straight face. We give in and pay. Bonnie comes over wondering why we are still here. I ask her if she's run anyone over lately? She laughs. We make dinner res for 8:15 and go to our new cabin, #522 for a shower and a shave. We go to dinner and this time Brooke serves us. We eat light but have dessert. The deluxe brownie is great. We argue over the cheap bill but Brooke (her real name) insists we should have fun with it. We leave a big tip. Was that the plan? Okay, let's do it! After dinner Brooke comes over and talks with us. She's going to Dixie College in St. George, lives in Richfeild and has done Bryce for three years.

6-28 TUE
Back to the dinning hall for another $2.49 meal- Brooke. It's cloudy and looks grim for a hike. Brooke was going to go with us. We pack up and say good-bye. We decide to get a copy of the accident report from the ranger station just in case but, funny, none is filed. Ranger Laura is off duty but they call her in. We wait in the office and to pass the time, ask how we become rangers. Laura arrives and we ask for Brooke's name not wanting to escalate matters. We check out the paintings of trees the rangers are hoarding in the back hallway. Time to ride, we head north across to Escalante and Boulder. The mountain is cloudy and we risk it without rain gearing and just make it across. Yea, let's camp at the summit- lightening flashes. We go to Torry for gas and food, decide on spaghetti. Meet Swiss and direct them to Lake Powell. They go the wrong way. We cruise into CAPITOL REEF and choose the walk-in site #44. A lightening bolt explodes on the hillside. The rain birds chit-chat as we set up out tents. We decide to take a hike up Cohab Canyon one mile to the Fremont R. overlook after eating. It zig-zags up the bench south of the CG and then through a narrow canyon above, then up around and on top where it is flat and grassy to the overlook, high above the valley. The little river below is a torrent of red mud. A very large dark cloud lies ominously in the direction of the wind. We try to ignore it, saying "it will stay there in the mountains". Then we go over to the campground side to peer down, it looks bad there too. We'll get wet, cheating by going over the bench, we head back, tracking deer but he manages to stay ahead. We make it back in time for the 9 o'clock ranger show, when we arrive, Ranger Annie is joking about the lightening. When she cuts the lights and begins the movie on one room school houses she mentions that Bryce reported the worst storm of the year had passed. With the lights out we realize the entire sky is pulsing with electricity. Ever fifteen seconds there's a bright flash. We look up at the sky above and the angry clouds are stacked in claw-like layers right above us. We leave with a crowd of others. By the time we make it back to our tents it starts to pour. We grab what we can and head to the bikes, deciding that the visitor's center is probably the best place to hide. Lightening is flashing everywhere now. It is the only reason we can see the road way which is covered with inches of water madly splashing with a torrent of huge raindrops. It's a merciless we aren't hit by the lightening that more than once tries. We are soaked by the time we make it to the visitor's center. We hide in the men's room while the fierce storm rages. A line of many cars, we figure the poor tenters, stops and the highway junction, the leader runs back to confirm that it is a left turn, we assume to the hotel... like rats leaving the sinking ship. After an hour or so it has calmed down to a regular rain and most of the flashing and banging is over so we go back to camp. My tent has three inches of water inside and Rooti reports the same in his. We decide we could go knock on a ranger's door or stealthy wonder over to the nearby barn, hop the fence and find a nice dry bed of hay to sleep on. We maneuver several bails of hay around to block any headlights or early morning visitors (rangers) from discovering our loft. A few drops of water splash us and you can see the holes in the roof when the lightening flashes but soon we are fast asleep with the fresh smell of hay and ozone in our nostrils.

6-29 WED
Did we get our asses kicked or what? We wake at first light and reluctantly depart our secret before notice. We go back and inspect our wet tents, have tea and cry. We wetly pack up and are on the road early. We run down the Fremont River canyon, stopping in Hanksville, and then above Hite, before going into NATURAL BRIDGES for lunch (left over spaghetti) and a nap while we dry our tents. Then down the Mokee Dugway and stop at the top for a look. Rooti's sister Jinny appears in their Volvo. We make our greetings and follow them down into Bluff, check out the campground but decide that it is bland and hot, so opt for another night in a hotel. We all go out to the Cow Country Inn for dinner (chili). Neat trading post. Then back for the nightly slide show at the Recapture Lodge (our cheap hotel) hosted by the old timer. TV? Showers and the Zak and Adam show.

6-30 THUR
We pack up and go to the Turquoise for breakfast. Say good-bye and hit the road north to Moab. We roll into authorized FORD dealer at 11 a.m. and find Niki, sign the dotted lines and she gives us the keys to our RV, a 1988 Ford Ranger extended cab 4X4 Pick-up. We load up and park the bikes- go to City Market and buy food like it is going out of style. We buy a large cooler, chicken and head for the La Sal Mountains for the night via Castleton Valley (up the river road). We go up to Ouwah Lake CG. It's a mess but pretty.

7-1 FRI
It's cool, we have a morning fore with breakfast then head down to Moab, get food, ice and all sorts of junk. Car camping has its advantages. We pass by the barber shop and I decide to get a trim, it was getting pretty wild. We gas up and get fresh water at the spring and head up to ISLAND IN THE SKY section of CANYONLAND NP. We stop at the ranger station for our permit and the rules. Junior Ranger scolds us for being late. Late? We're on vacation! We go out to Shafer Trail overlook before going down- shift into 4-wheel low and off we go down the bumpy red road. We bounce along enjoying the incredible views of the canyon and Colorado River below. Airport Tower Monolith, Washer Woman Arch, Monument Wash are some of the named features. We pass the Rangerette escorting the lost Germans who whiz by in their station wagon. We slowly make our way out to WHITE CRACK campsite at the southern point, above the confluence of the Grand (Colorado) and Green Rivers. We battle zillions of pesky little bugs setting up our tents and hide from them in the air conditioned RV, write this, and listen to tapes, with bug swarms surrounding us. As it cools down we risk venturing out again. Fortunately, the bugs retreat. We charcoal broil a large T-bone steak, Rice-a-Rooti and watch the sun set unspectacularly but the stars that follow are first rate. The moon rises with a low thunderhead to the southeast. It's warm dry sleeping.

7-2 SAT
We wake early with the sun, it's warm already. I pull the shade for a few more winks, then give up and rise. Tunis toast for breakfast. The facilities are very unique, a simple half shelter of rocks around a thrown, overlooking the expanses. As I see to my duty, a helicopter rudely interrupts my contemplating whatever I was contemplating by flying right over head. It seemed the only thing to do was wave. RV time again, we slowly cruise along psyco- geologizing the sites and taking photographs for future reference. The road gets really tough at Murphy's Hogback, we can't seem to make it up. I get out and watch direct Rooti's attempt. The rear wheels are slipping- and we discover we are not in four wheel drive. Rookies. We didn't know you had to lock the hubs! We'd been in two wheel all along. A little red faced we take another run at it and climb right up. No wonder the Germans had trouble. We find a nice shady spot on the other side and take advantage of it and have lunch- cheese, crackers, beer, lettuce & grapes. Great view. And shade. On we go bouncing over the dry desert. Candlestick Butte dominates the scene with brief glimpses of the Green River below in a maze of canyons. We have not seen a single sole when suddenly around waits the ranger's truck. Quickly we roll down the windows attempting to hide the fact that we've been using the A/C. It's the rangerette again who we met escorting the Germans. We learn they made it out at 8 p.m. We ask to change our reservations from Potato Bottom to Hard Scrabble for the night's camp. She radios in, no problem. There used to be two trees but some hungry beavers got them. I take a great job photo. We pass Potato camp then climb up another hairy part along the river and back down to Hard Scrabble for the night. It's BUG CITY again. Clouds of them. We hide in the RV again after setting up our tents. Luckily they settle down at dusk and we are able to build a fire, cook cheese burgers and drink our last cold beers. We discover a great echo.

7-3 SUN
We wake early as always in the desert. Bugs ruin our plans for French toast. We quickly break camp and head north up the canyon. The route wonders up the canyon's side, around Upheaval Bottom, past Taylor's Canyon and along the river again, past circle rock coral, then out of the park, climbs some switch backs up a short canyon. We stop by some old car bodies embedded in the rubble and eat an apple and an orange for breakfast. It takes some time but the bugs are back. We're back in Moab by 10 o'clock, get some giant cinnamon rolls, wane wash the RV after packing the bikes. It's already hot, we stop for well water, then up the river, stopping at the old suspension bridge and then on into Grand Junction. We check into Motel 6 for a well needed shower and some mind numbing TV. We ride out to COLORADO NM for an afternoon cruise. I tell the ranger I've been in before but Rooti, who's from Colorado, hasn't been. It's poor weather but a fun ride. We check out the visitor's center and campground, it's not full, find some Windgate Sandstone. Windy and gray. We go back down, passing a pretty girl, Rooti says he liked her perfume. Order a pizza.

7-4 MON
FOURTH OF JULY. Welcome to Colorado. It looks like rain. We get milk and have cereal in the parking lot. I-70 is crazy. We stop in Glenwood Springs, I get tailgated by a pussy. I guess I needed a good dose of aggravation to bring me out of the Canyonlands bliss. We go on to Silverthrone for a burger. The highway is even more packed and crazy so we go around the tunnel by Loveland Pass, then down the hill into a traffic jam and wreck. We take the back way to Casa Rooti. Sure, we can see the fireworks from Rooti's deck. You could see a few flashes and two that actually made it into view. We light off some jumping jacks and a bank of 25 Saturn rockets in the back yard and called it good, watched the kids in the park.

7-5 TUE to 7-10 SUN
Hang around in Rootiville, read Polh's Gateway and first sequel. Tuesday is Rooti jam session, he comes back "wired". I work on the Rincon painting, try to fix the sky but it is pretty hopeless. I do improve it a little bit, lightening the sky. We go see Crocodile Dundee II- okay. Cook out and pretty much relax. Saturday I get a new rear tire, 10K on old. I was considering keeping it on until I got home but why risk it. Get eccono tire as Metzler n/a. We walk the yuppie chow mall, take Kim to Mexican dinner, Rooti wonders what color eyes their kids will have. Donuts for breakfast, go look at 4x4s on Sunday when dealers are all closed. Rooti hockey loose 8-10. Ultra chow down on steaks, R-a-R, corn and strawberry shortcake.

7-11 MON
I'm packed up, mail paints and slides home together, hope its not a mistake to do that. Replace bulbs and gas up. Drop flowers and a note off at Pam's saying sorry I missed her- what a burn. Oh well. I dodge rain clouds in Estes Park. Too many people- I can imagine a weekend. All the trails are fenced in, its trampled flat. I go over to Grandby, then north to Walden, Riverside and Encampment. Talk to Virginia Beach girl. Go up Wyo 130 to Lincoln Park CG, site 4 by river. Very NICE. Pepperoni, green beans, cheese and crackers.

7-12 TUE
Cool morning, PC sky. Orange for breakfast, break camp and go into Sarasota, photos of hotel, loose my canteen on way. Very windy all day. Stop at Split Rock north of Rawlings, up to Riverton. DQ pissed me off, ten employees and no one waits on you. So I go to Wendy's but it's almost as bad. I forget about gas and yell at myself when I quickly go on reserve. Should I go back? Stop at KOA for 1 gallon, then fill up at Shoshoni. Stop past dam for photos of RR bridge, new line and old- for dam. Wind River Canyon. Photo of Thermopolis PO and granary. Up to Cody, groceries, pass by boom-boom stores. Up Shoshone Canyon. Camp Elk Fork, site $. Cook soup with cheese and crackers, pepperoni. Run up canyon 20 miles to east entrance. Mesquito City. Crash early with sunset.

7-13 WED
Wake early and break camp, another orange for breakfast. I go up the canyon and into YELLOWSTONE NP. I stop for picture of mountains and discover the rear of my bike is covered with oil. OH SHIT! and I collapse. I recover and inspect the situation. I'm in luck, it's not the rear seal but the oil filter cover seal. Strange that it would blow out now, more likely after a change and you pinch it or something- I have one tucked away. I don't know how much oil is gone, it's off the dip stick, so I coast back down hill starting the engine only on the flat spots. I make it to lodge but they only have 10-30 so I'm forced to mix it with my 20- 50. I have biscuits and gravy at the lodge, slow. Back into Yellowstone, stop at Artist Point for B&W pictures, then to Norris CG to walk-in site W-4, next to last Fall's spot. I hike Norris Geyser Basin, ride to Monmoth and shop for food, sight-see and return. Stroll other end of geyser basin. NY strip steak for dinner, peas and a nice fire.

7-14 THUR
What to do? I could hang out but decide to pack up. MC from the aridzone comes in, I direct him to best site in park, too far so he rides halfway in. "Hey Ranger!" I go out North Entrance, warm day, CB,F&S in Livingston, photos of depot, Montana Rail Link, then up 89. Not much until Little Belt Mtns, King Clouds prompt me on, wheat fields and Big Sky, into Great Falls. I or 89? Come on, back roads all the way! Skies are clear but chilly. I'm getting tired. Into East Glacier, full I know, reservations in morning- I go out to TWO MEDICINE, site 23A, after touring entire campground, it's late. Set up tent, ranger talk, get with it, food in restroom, 10' line between 27, 28' or pole at group site. Cook spaghetti. Cold.

7-15 FRI
Another what to do?I go down the Lake Store and call about a room, computer's down of course. I talk to tow hikers and give one a ride back from the far parking, call again and make a reservation for Saturday night. Eat breakfast orange and scrapenuts. Charlie invades in force, I break camp with no clear destination in mind. Go to St. Mary's visitors center, get Alberta and B.C. maps. Weather is clear and cool with clouds over mountains. I decide to hike out of Many Glaciers rather than Going to the Sun or Waterton. So I go set up camp, not too many to choose from, take site 104. Tin box for food has never been used. My saddle bags make the first scrapes inside it. I eat sardines, yuk, for lunch, chips and milk. Then take a 10 mile hike up to Ptarmigan Tunnel, pretty nice. I knew there was a reason for coming to GLACIER NP. Ptarmigan Lake, Falls and just the view. Tired on way down and I want to do Grannell Glacier hike tomorrow? Rangerette comes by to bear-ware me. I heat up leftover spaghetti for dinner. Also eat a 6 pack. Go to hotel for evening program and prowl- no luck two looks, roam around till I'm bored, go back to campground. Think about Canadian.

7-16 SAT
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - No bears, the potato chip I dropped is still there under the picnic table. I eat breakfast and break camp, park at Grannell trail head and hike up to glacier 5-1/2 miles. Trail follows west side of Swiftcurrent Lake and climbs same above Josephine Lake and high above Grinnell Lake. Views are magnificent. After yesterdays hike it is tough going but the scenes beacon me onward. I eat my Rooti bar and ration the 1/2 L of water. I reach the bench below the glacier and rest, then go on another half click to the grand view of an iceberg filled lake at the base of Grannell Icefeild. I walk along the moraine but my sneakers halt my wondering into the ice. What a great place. I turn back, marching non-stop as it would be too hard to get started again. My bear bells and keys jingle, strapped to my camera. I've taken about twenty photos. I sip the last of my water after cooling it in an icy stream. A young couple pass by and ask about the water. I tell them I've had "it" once and will not risk it again, but I'll bet the mountain water would taste really good. Back to the march- past the lakes, past other hiking parties, resting or merely walking, slowly, I finally arrive at my bike. I find a water spicket at the picnic grounds and fill up. Then its off to MANY GLACIERS HOTEL. Surprise, no line and "Yes, Mr. Crow, we have room 102 waiting for you." Lake side, ground level, a porch, perfect. I ride around and unload. I'm tempted to park it right there overnight but I figured they'd be pissed and try to tow it. I get ice and have a rum and coke while I shave, then take a very welcome shower. I wash my tan off. Boy, did it feel good. I call home to see what's new. I'm in trouble with Phil- no postcards, boat problems continue and the cats are hungry. I think about my route home, do I go north via Canada or south via Wallace or somewhere in the middle? I have dinner in the big room, prime rib. Service has improved greatly since last year or maybe it's just my luck. I'm seated next to two couples, New Yorker's, and nothing is right, next case. After dinner I wonder around, hang out and have beers from downstairs. Stars.

7-17 SUN
Complain to: The Superintendent, Glacier National Park, West Glacier, MT 59936. About what? I wondered. Maybe the price of film and the reservations computer. Otherwise it has been perfect. Another nice day, my legs ache and my neck is sunburned but I am very happy. I'm still full from last night's chow down so I skip breakfast and sleep in a little, relax and think. Then it's time to bring the bike around and pack up. The tank bag, back pack, saddle bags and cooler. I put my coat and helmet on and ride around to the front. "That's not a good place to park, we've got busses around here..." I check out, pay the 50 cent charge for the phone and split. I ride out looking at the view wondering if I should stop and take a picture, naw, I'll be back. I stop at the entrance station to take a picture but a truck goes wizzind by just as I do, "Hey, slow down!" It's a ranger, fine example to the rest of us. Maybe I should chase him- no. I ride out to Babb and he's sitting there in the parking lot- for no apparent reason I'll ever know. I'm faced with a dose at the St, Mary's entrance, a jam waiting to get in that takes ten minutes. Just one gate is open. Speeder dude is on a break. We get stuck by someone doing 30-35 mph (it's a 45 zone) who won't use the pull overs. Finally, one by one the cars ahead pass. I stop at Wild Goose Island and several other places before Logan Pass on GOING TO THE SUN HIGHWAY. The weather is great and the tourist are out in droves infesting the mountainsides. Over the pass I stop to take a roadside photo of the old goat causing a goat jam, then on down the hill. There's construction on the stone wall, rebar and junk. I stop at Lake McDonald for a look. Cool place. I wonder around and go upstairs to check out the balconies and stuffed animals. I think about eating but I'm still not hungry so I go on out of the park. I hit the DQ in Kalispell for a CB,F&S. The counter girl has very pretty blue eyes. I decide on Rt.2. Construction with dirt in places bums me out. I stop at Kootney Falls and walk down past the tracks to the waters edge. I nap a little on the rock bank with the roar of moving water at my feet. It's nice and warm in the sun. Back at the bike an old man sits on the fence and I say hi. He tells me about this book he's written, cowboy stuff, and I buy one for $3.98. I tell him where I've been on my aluminum horse and we talk about his writing and my models- no money in either but it is fun. I point to my horse and he says yep, you could get someplace on that. Another group comes by and I finally get my chance to escape. In Libby I get an orange for later on, then turn north into Canada. Stop at customs, who, where, what if I was to search through your stuff I wouldn't find a hand gun would I? I don't even own one. So into Canada I go. This whole area is just great scenery. I take 3 northwest over Kootney Pass and stop at the top for my orange. Then back down and into the States again. I S through some curves and realize how happy I am, what a fun tour. At US customs they want to know where I picked up the mud. Rt.2 through Libby-Kalispell, take off the helmet, okay, into Washington, the Evergreen State, my home. I find a brick building of interest, then Box Cabyon Dam has a RR bridge nearly over it. I turn onto Rt.20 and find LEO LAKE, Coulville NF CG, site 6, set up my tent and gather wood. It burns good. Cook only Campbells Oriental Romin- so-so, tea and crackers. Good enough. I'm still very happy. I notice I've cut my hand, maybe on the fence at Box Canyon- I'll live. I guess it is the last night and NO BEERS!

7-18 MON
I wake early but it is cold so I don't want to get out of bed. But I do and break camp. It's pretty uneventful. I roll along, through Coulville, stop for breakfast in Kettle Falls, everyone had to look at my red and gray leather pants- man in the moon I guess. Cheap food. Forest fire on hillside above town, almost out. Photos of granary, oil depot and on my way. Sherman Pass I see lots of 'Hi Bambi'. Stop at farm for photo of old barns. Down the hill into desert and fruitland. I jet up from Okanogan to the North Cascades Highway, stop at Washington Pass and talk to forest ranger. Nice weather. I think about going for a hike but I don't. So I get to see a bear, he's walking across the highway. The Arizona van ahead of me slows down a little then darts around. Comes all this way and doesn't stop. It freaks the bear out who runs up the hillside with a what was that look on his demeanor. I've stopped and take a picture. Then on with stops above the lakes and Marblemount for food and the last gas. Onion rings, deluxe cheeseburgers and lemonade. I follow a log truck down, take the Darington cut-off at Rockport, down to Arlingotn, I-5 south to Everett and home.

6316 miles

A month, a week, and a few days

  Next Log - 1989  


  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