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  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


Motorcycle Stories and Other Assorted Tales

by C. C. Crow

1990 Motorcycle Tour

8-13 MON
I have to start the log a day early being that it was my plan to leave this day and arrive in Colorado on Thursday, then over the weekend we were going 4-wheeling in Rooti's truck- to Victor, Cripple Creek and Florence. BUT ROOTI GOOFED UP, got the dates screwed up and has to play Rock n' Rooti at a wedding. If he didn't want to go all he had to do is tell me. Well, plan A had us going before my sister Jane's wedding (July 5th), then after, then straddling Labor Day weekend. I thought he knew plan D, or was it E... (?) So I guess I can forgive him. It was nice to have an extra day to prepare, tune and lube the bike, etc.

8-14 TUE
I get a good night's sleep, the cat took over my bed, stayed in the basement, left overs from the wedding invasion. Still, it takes till 11 a.m. Ruskie jets circle the sky as I'm leaving, practicing for the air show next weekend. We are at war with Iraq and the Russian's are now our pals. Anyway, I'm off. Almost forgot the alarm clock. Zip over to I-90, get off at Cle Elum, photos of bank, would make a nice little model. Take canyon roads to Yakima, then I-82 to Pasco. Hey, there's supposed to be a roundhouse around here somewhere. I go ask the guys at the hump yard. Yeah, sure, just down there, you can follow the tracks down- it's a couple of miles, between the main and yard, on a service road. Bouncy ride. Too late to turn around. The bums are amused (I think). Finally, there it is, cool. Big old thing. I take 45 photos. Inside and out. B & W and slides. It's the same as I have modeled, only much expanded, and my floor bricks go the wrong way. I check out the locos coming in. 4-5 sets. It's 5:30 p.m. Watch the turntable go to work. Go on to Walla Walla, along the Snake, then south, then east to TOLLGATE, sunset, check side road to nowhere, wonder if I'll be riding in the dark? Next curve there's a * sign, take site 9.

So I'm asleep early but at 10:30 the wind wakes me, then thunder, so I put the rain fly on and bring my extra stuff in- but no rain.

8-15 WED
I wake very early but force myself back to sleep. Well, rest anyway. I break camp and I'm on the road at 8 a.m. The road winds down through the pines to Elgin. I take photos of brick and stone buildings, remember stone is colored red above first floor. Gas at La Grande. Oops, my wallet is packing in the tent. Jet the Interstate, then take rt 86 to Hells Canyon. GREAT BIKE ROAD. Hot as hell though. Stop for lunch at the Snake River in Idaho Power Park. Wash hair and talk to Gold Wingers. Then up to Cambridge, more nice roads but tiring. Go up and around through Mc Call, Cascade, at Banks I'm stuck until 9:30 for work on the back road os I hit the BANKS * and have dinner. Move up away from highway, by other bikers- up hill, too steep and dusty, get stuck, have to unload and retreat back down- dummy. Talk with Dave and Virginia- bikers on their way to Sturggs.

8-16 THUR
Set alarm for 5:10, sunrise, have to make 7:30 road opening. It's cool. I should have stopped and taken pictures- I jet thinking the road block is where the gravel starts but it is much further. I make it by 7:15. I liked it the old way, tell the guys to put it all back. It will be a regular highway in 2-3 years. I stop to see a little rattlesnake in the road. One of the road workers stops and whacks it with a shovel. Poor little rattler was just trying to get across the road. So he could bite some guy blowing up his home. Sorry Ronnie. I stop in the "fly" restaurant in Lowman for pancakes and bacon. Then run into Stanley, stop for photo of roundup with Sawtooth Mountains. in background. Gas up, and move on. Pass wagon train, rafters, keep going and going, just short stops, into Arco and take 3/4 hour break, nap. Then into desert and the Atomic City, past the Electron Dude Ranch, dodge thunderstorm into Rexburg, look for RR station, just the foundation is left. Go into St. Anthony and Ashton, photo of grain silos. Then head out to Lower and Upper Mesa Falls. Okay, but semi-abandonded, road is beat, campgrpound is small and full, it's cloudy with a little drizzle. I think about going on but go back to WARM RIVER CG. Mom and Pop, Well, you can take this site or that, they have to explain everything, so I pick site #2, nicest one left. Oh, site 2 is "reserved". So I give them a rough time, tell them I'm leaving, and I'll sue if no one arrives for camp site 2 (they do). Second choice is site 4- I ask if they are sure it is open. She enjoys the abuse. They give me a list of the rules. Great, I'll check them off as I break them. Two teen boys are there, come back later to visit, smoke butts, tell girl stories- hey, there's one, off they go. BQ chicken, starts to rain, so I'm in bed by 9.

8-17 FRI
It rains lightly all night but there is sunshine in the morning. I pack up and have to decide to Yellowstone or not. I go NOT (crowds and rain) Take the back side of the Tetons. Nice farm country. Druggs is poor, but nice view of mtns. Still cloudy. Over Teton Pass is nice, stop at top and meet Dave, German immigrant, sign painter, just peddled up in 55 min. Gravel in face, hey, please, okay. Take back way into Teton, avoid Jackson mess, bumpy for two miles but nice way. Debate whether to get a year pass. Stop here and there, okay, everywhere. Lunch on fence by Coulter Bay Rock., marina with EPA water test. Up side road by dude ranch and jogging jugs smile, up to Toewegee Pass, then up dirt road around the Pinnacles, up to BROOKS LAKE, great place. Have to talk Rooti into staying here. Then down hill to Dubois (rhymes with cowboy), chased by rain storm- into another one. Really colorful through the Wind River. Into LANDER, Safeway, liquor store cutie, MacSlow's, I say forget it, head up to THE SINKS, CG, site 24. Talk to kid, get cookies and banana, rum and coke. Roam river.

8-18 SAT
Bust up, wash hair in freezing cold pump water, two girls help, think its real funny. Break camp, get food from my neighbor, thanks. Go to Split Rock, take short walk, talk with York, PA, into Rawlings, eat at McYuk's, do Interstate to Rt 30 cut off. Nothing but desert and Union Pacific RR line, stop at bridge for photo of coal train. Then to Medicine Bow, quick loop around town, on towards Fort Collins, Colorado, see big train wreck aftermath. Walk around mess and take pictures. Stop at fireworks stand, buy Rooti Artillery Shells. It takes an hour to get from Fort C to Longmont so I'm 45 minutes late to CASA ROOTI.

8-19 SUN
Goof off. Rooti mows the lawn, we go shopping and try to visit Brian but he's not home. It's for sale. BQ ribs. Party.

8-20 MON
Got to Longmont, develop film, take photos, goof off, catch up on soaps, watch football. Denver looses 27-24 in last minute, he-he. Rooti tells me his latest story of woe. (I should have written it down, but didn't, and now forget). Poor Rooti.

8-21 TUE
I get up early and head for mountains. Morning rush hour. Excuse me for only wanting to go 10 mph over speed limit. This jerk passes me just before we get out of town so then I have to follow his slow ass up into the mountains. I finally get by (should have just stopped for a while). See deer, new pavement near Pinecliff into Blackhawk/Central City. Take pictures. Over Virginia Canyon to Idaho Springs, DQ. Then up to Silver Plume, take pictures of school and talk to lady, tour of inside. Back through afternoon thunderstorm to Rooti's.

8-22 WED
Visit Jim Haggard of BUILDERS IN SCALE. Nice guy and interesting operation. P.M. run around parameter, thunderstorm, we go visit Brian.

8-23 THUR
Go to Longmont, get pictures, check out brakes, a pulse seems to follow wheel so I reverse discs, side to side, seems better. Get ready to roll. Brian comes in afternoon.

8-24 FRI
Get up early, finish packing, run up to F. Collins, notice right cylinder is oozing oil. Rooti has appointment to grease splines. We discuss options for my problem. Half day job, or wait for it to tell us, in Salt Lake, or... Meet Buck for lunch, Mex. Ride to Larime, search for drop cloth, ride to SNOWY PASS (we hope not), camp at site 3, SILVER LAKE CG, star walk.

8-25 SAT
Wake to clear cold skies, have campfire with breakfast, wear leathers. Run down hill to Saratoga, to Wilcox Jct., have coffee. Through Rawlings, gas is up 7 cents to $1.26.9 (war) Windy ride north to Muddy Gap and NW to Split Rock where we snack and rest for a while. Then on into Lander and the Safeway to stock up. Steaks and spaghetti. Very nice day. Popcorn clouds against deep blue sky, perfect except for wind. Run into Dubois, my gas mileage is way down (head wind?), 5.9 to fill, less than 200 miles. The final 30 miles up to BROOKS LAKE is cloudy and cold but it never really rains. Rooti's brother Courtney is not there yet. We pick site 13 in the PINNACLES CG. Courtney shows up shortly. Party and chow down dinner.

8-26 SUN
It's cold- a nice little coating of ice covers my tent fly. First thing is a campfire. Burrr. The sun is shining and it warms up nicely. We decide to take a hike up the trailhead about 2 miles further up. Cheat and take Courtney's car. There are outfitters tending horses. They go into Yellowstone Park from here. We hike up to Banniville Pass on the DeNoir Trail. Great trip, climbs up through the pines with view of mountain sides, opens up into high grassy meadows, crosses stream and follows it through long meadow over the pass and beyond. We keep going until the trail begins to drop down a bank into another vast valley to the east. We stop and perch of a cliff, eat lunch and enjoy the view of the A Range. Finally we give in and retreat. Fairly easy two mile hike. Sunny and warm. Ride into Dubois mainly just for fun. See mountains we were observing along the way. Spaghetti and nice warm fire.

8-27 MON
More ice this morning. We blaze a big fire and break camp. Stop along way to view the Tetons. Courtney has never seen them! He lives about 3 hours south. It's a perfect day, cloudless. We go into Jackson Hole and eat lunch at the boat ramp. After gassing up we head south to Courtney's, Shakes and fries, see eagle, middle of no where on way.

8-28 TUE
Go tour GENERAL CHEMICAL mine that Courtney works in, Trona soda ash. Drive out, park, check in. Rick gives us safety check and issues hats, belts, shoes and self-rescuers. We pick up lights and go down the 1600 ft. deep shaft. Pick up a jeep and travel miles of tunnels out to the working face to check it out. Huge rock chompers. It's sure interesting but I wouldn't want to spend half my life down there. We check out the $$$ boring machine that doesn't work. Then the blast zone. We go back to C's after shopping and have a toco chomp down. For entertainment we go out of town and shoot the artillery shells off.

8-29 WED
We say good-bye to Courtney and head south to Flaming Gorge, take side road up Sheep Canyon and eat lunch, then over summit where trees are old and dry, getting chopped down. Down hill by overturned cement truck by phosphate quarry and into Vernal, Utah. We have slushes from profit seeking ladies. Across to Duchense and Indian Canyon. Stop at RR tracks, then up by Scofield Lake into mountains and camp at FLAT CANYON, site #1, cook country ribs.

8-30 THUR
It rains a little over night. A.M. sky threatens but does nothing as we head west and down. Stop by brick and stone homes which I should have taken photos of. We stop in Mante and look at the temple, gas up, then on to Fremont where we lunch and I photograph the Territorial State House. Then we move across to Delta where Rooti dumps his bike and we get food. We head across the desert to GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK, and camp at BAKER CREEK CG #14. Camp Kitty, desert cat climbs on bikes at Baker store. Corn and very good burgers for dinner. Courtney has given us both his cold! My bike is running poorly, no power, maybe plugs, gas?

8-31 FRI
I wake in night hearing it rain hard, but look out to see stars. It's the creek. My throat is really bad, sinus clogged, great. By morning I'm better though. We eat and go into the visitor's center. Ranger Bob gives us a rough time for not wearing our helmets. He could have been nicer. We decide he's just a jerk. We take the Leman Caves tour, lots of fun with Ranger John. We sign up for spelunking on Saturday. Eat lunch and take afternoon nap. Then go up to the hilltop and hike mile out to alpine lake. Then down to Baker before the store closes. Hot dogs and beans.

9-1 SAT
Colds haven't subsided so it looks like we should skip the spelunking tour. We find we are signed up for Sunday so we put it on hold. Hang around camp, take nap, and hike Wheeler Peak in the evening. We don't make it all the way to the top but far enough for a great view and watch the sunset. It's real windy on top. Back in the trees its nice and the colors are spectacular. We hike back down by moon light (full), through deer herd. Big party back at camp.

9-2 SUN
Still not feeling up to cave tour- it would be fun. We go on bristle cone pine hike instead. What's the BTU rating on these? We hide from Ranger tour. Too many people for us. In the heart of the forest there is a grand view of the trees with the mountain in the background, and opposite it, just as great a view of the desert valley below. We hike on to the edge of an ice field, then on back. Bambi jumps out on the way down. Pop's is elected parking attendant. Fire and spaghetti for dinner.

9-3 MON
LABOR DAY - We break camp early. A baby rattler tries to hit Rooti. We try for breakfast at the Outlaw but it is closed. So we move on. Lot's of RVs- moving in the other direction. Stop at Major's Place looking for breakfast but it's a bar. I get $2.50 of gas. Rooti thinks he can make it. We head south through the desert valley. Rooti doesn't make it, have to transfer gas twice. Good thing I got more. Into Pioche. It's a zoo for being nothing out in the middle of nowhere. Gas up and eat lunch at the deli, take photos of old buildings, Million Dollar Courthouse. Head south, check out Cathedral Gorge State Park, strange steep wash, then east to Cedar City before heading for ZION. We ride into Kabob Canyon, see tarantula on road. A storm is brewing to the south, put on our rain gear, call Zion Lodge and make a reservation. The storm is windy but not a downpour. Check into ZION LODGE, cabin 529, out on the end. Shave and shower, then go to dinner. Slick Rock beers, good, My throat is raw and I'm starting to cough.

9-4 TUE
We leave the lodge. My cold is worse so I decide to go see the doctor. He says its a cold, gives me pills for sinus infection. We go do laundry, then have Virgin burger and shake. Set up tents at WATCHMAN CG, site 26 G. Take afternoon nap, then go to the Bit and Spur for dinner during rain storm. It quits when we are done. Hang out at camp watching people deal with wet. We note the area has built up since out last visit.

9-5 WED
Break camp and decide to go to Capitol Reef. Wait for escorts to go through tunnel. Take out time. Eat lunch at Bryce, Sunrise Point. Stop at Escalente River for break, then again in Boulder Mountains. Looks like rain but we dodge most of it. Shop in Bicknell Chuck Wagon. Go to CAPITOL REEF CG. Hot dogs and potatoes for dinner. It's full. We watch a little of the slide show. A light rain during the night.

9-6 THUR
It rains for half an hour in the morning. We eat and break camp, cruise to Hanksville, see ATV damage to hillside. Where's my gun!? Gas and groceries shake and fries at Stan's, then on to Hite for quick stop, water is down 40 feet! Up White Canyon, Fry is closed, to NATURAL BRIDGES CG by 2 p.m. Nap, cook dogs and tinfoil potatoes, very good. We are instructed by the rangerette to attend the slide show "Everything Under the Sky". Short and sweet, about the quality of air in the National Parks. Stars are just coming out when the moon rises and washes everything out.

9-7 FRI
We take a spin around the Bridge Loop, walk short trail to view Indian Ruins, then stop at visitor's center. Ask Ranger Annie if she is "The" Ranger Annie, of Capitol Reef fame- yes, she is. We give her a rough time. We get shakes with all the kids in Blanding. Stop in Devil's Canyon CG, they've redone the entrance. Rooti is confused. We run north to ARCHES NP. The campground is FULL at 2 p.m. We decide to back pack in, one mile from road, half mile from trail. Okay, no problem. We go to picnic ground and hang out, start grill, cook steaks, corn on the cob and have another big chow down, then the adventure begins. We park by the ranger hut at the CG, move all out stuff around to hide it. Ask Ranger okay. So off we march into the unknown. Well, we should have known better, Ranger "bob" would have said, Aren't you guys more responsible than that? Who us? Well, I didn't look at the map as good as I should have and Rooti, well, Rooti didn't look at all. I thought the trail we wanted looped off from Pine Tree Arch. It didn't, or we missed it, or didn't follow it right. So off we marched... into the blind wonders, northward into the sand pit. Looking at the map now I see we wanted to go further out to Landscape Arch to find the primitive trail. Well, maybe next time. We found some rocks to climb on top of and walk, and this put us a mile out, and a half mile off the trail according to the rules. Rules? What rules? We love to break the rules. We barely found enough sand to put the tent up on before it was dark. It would have been nice to have more time to explore for a really good site but we were too burned. Steaks and beers will do that to you. Oh well, we had a really good time. The sun went down and the stars quickly came out. Then the moon came up as we tried to name the stars. I had a stirring headache that was hard to get to sleep on. Forgot to bring aspirin, bug spray and a flashlight.

9-8 SAT
We woke before dawn to watch the sun come up, the moon, some stars and a few planets were still visible. The planets Venus low and Jupiter high. We packed up as the sun rose. Due to the local and lack of clouds, no photos. We walked back to Landscape. It was just too much for me, I walked the loop under it while Rooti stayed back and rested. We marched back against the tide of day hikers coming in. We packed up the bikes and wondered about the blonde Rette Rooti lead out the Park quickly. More cars and RVs flooded in- the campground would stay full. C&D shop in Moab? City Market (huge) is new. Flaming bush with big knockers. Wash hair and water up at pipe spring. Say "so long" and ride along the river. It's been fun. The last few curves, Rooti goes east and I turn west. Bye Rooti, Bye Tunis. I stop at first rest area and call home. Ride by Book Cliffs, up to Price, run through shower, photos of Union Pacific through canyon, on to the Interstate through Salt Lake City rat race. North, take road out of Snowville to CURLEW National Grasslands campground, share with three retirees. Just soup for dinner. Lightening storm in distance.

9-9 SUN
It never rains. Get up at sunrise with fishermen. Breakfast and pack up. OJ stop, take old highway and side roads over pass into Hurley, back on highway, off at Shashonie Falls, stop at Bridges. Take more old roads, by Thousand Springs, back onto highway, jet into Oregon, stop at rest area for map out. Look at Catherine Falls before La Grande but take road on- maybe Motel 6, price only $22. $24 in Pendleton, pink truck, find Hilgard Junction Oregon State Park, nearly full, for $8!! Rip off! I hum, Raking in the doe, raking in the doe, the Rangers come rejoicing, raking in the doe". Civil protest, make them come an get it. Boy, this is a great place, complete with the constant noise from the too near highway. Live and learn. I watch the stars and use my star map to name most of them.

9-10 MON
Cold morning, should have used the rain fly- its damp. Leathers. I shiver over the Umatillas, stop at overlook, into Pendleton, stop at Mills, take Rt 37 south through wheat fields to river, over to Washington, did I miss the sign? There's one, 14 west, scenic route through the Columbia Gorge- basalt black rocks and desert. At a stop I wonder why no one ever talks about the poor sandro- turf here- its all over the place. I stop here and there, check out the Indian fishermen (with blonde hair and blue eyes), the palisades. I stop at MARYHILL Art Museum, Rodin plaster figures, chess set, ice tea. Then on to White Salmon for food and gas. I stop in the Forest Service Eng. Dept. for directions: take the 66 north to 60 to Goose Lake... Well, I'll think about it. I go over to PETERSON PRAIRIE CG, cook chicken thighs and corn. Party all by myself. 200 sites and one other camper.

9-11 TUE
A nice day. Okay, that was take the 66 to the 60, across to the 51, to the 50, eventually taking you to the 90 road. Got that? Well, I explored a little, went up and around Indian Heaven! Decided to stick to Mt. Adams- east, because the west side was socked in with marine air, a thick white cold mist. I did fine missing that but did about 100 miles of gravel road before finally making across to Packwood. Talked to a cute flag girl at a detour, this time onto 23 via the 8860- as the 88 was being oiled. Eat with view of Mt. Adams. Find T Lake and take a swim, wash my hair, it's been a week since Zion! Great place. I've done a loop around Trout Lake. I've been x-teen miles away all afternoon! I wonder what's there? Finally to Packwood, I have a Rooti lunch (shake and fries), then go into MT. RAINIER NP, Ohonepecosh CG, look around and ask for weather report- it's a day old. Thanks. I decide to stay rather than attempt to run home through the traffic. Go to Longmere/Paradise on a food run with the mountain highway for fun. General Store is nothing but a tourist trap, no real food, I'll have to complain. Go back with clouds moving in. Oh no. Set up camp, eat tuna and pasta, fire wood run. Evening mist under the huge Douglas Fir Trees. Site A-1.

9-12 WED
Overcast but not raining. There is hope. I can even see a little blue sky. It's not cold, too. A morning campfire, tea and a candy bar, I pack up. It's been a fun trip- not the best, not the worst. The ride to and from were the better part. I stop along Cyuse Pass in the fog and mist. They are getting ready to repave the highway. I wonder how much it will change the character of this old roadway. The trees weep over it making a tunnel. I stop at Sleeping Rock Trout Farm for breakfast and a warm up. Then on through Enumeclaw, with a stop at Express Station Hobbies, Buckingham BMW (Bill's always busy), and then on home. Ma and Pa are out, Tootes the Cat is there to greet me, and the neighbors.

5627 miles - A Month, A Week and a Few Days

  Next Log - 1991  


  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