Tuesday, September 29, 2009

a short update

I suppose that I should bring whomever is out there reading this ongoing epistle up to date. Last Wednesday Jan and I drove over to Rochester to meet the tooth doctors. After yet another x-ray of my mouth that shows the broken titanium strap and that the jaw bone has not fused together. Our concern was with only eating on one side, would it wear the teeth down on that side? Doctor Viozzi doesn't think that that should be a problem. I am eating almost anything that I wish to, although sometimes it takes some extras chewing to break it down. He went over what would be involved in repairing the jaw and it sounded a lot like the original operation. The spot that is not fused would need to be cleaned out and a bone donation from my hip this time to fill the gap. You know, I can do with out that kind of pleasure, just now when I am feeling pretty good. I have a hunch that it would mean another week at Mayo and six months of recovery, no thanks. I am eating just fine, probably too good for the diabetes. Anyhow we decided to skip the festivities for now, unless an infection should get going and then I would have no choice but the repair job. On to another subject. Jan and I took the trailer over to Hixton, Wisconsin over the weekend to do some more riding on those good back roads over there. We left here in a rain storm- the first in six weeks I think- and spent the night in the trailer listening to the rain on the roof. Saturday, the clouds broke up and it turned sunny and pleasant so we headed down to Winona and up the river to Alma. At Alma there is a great overlook from the top of a bluff. We had a short lunch and rode back roads north and east back to the campgrounds. Sunday we went out but were dodging rain at times so we came back early, although I did go out later in the afternoon for awhile and got caught in the rain and high winds when the cold front came through. Yesterday we headed back and bucked high wind all of the way home. It is too bad we were not coming home from the Hills with a wind like that at our back. As it was the truck sucked a tank of fuel from Stewartville to St. James running in third or fourth gear- out of five- most of the way. I thought that this expensive diesel engine would pull the trailer without breaking a sweat, but live and learn I guess. We got home before 4pm, unloaded and got it parked on it's pad. With the temperatures this week I may need to think about winterising the trailer to keep the water systems from freezing up. It would be nice to take it out to the Hills again but time is starting to run out on that scheme . We have been thinking about running out to Rapid City around Jan's birthday but it would not include the trailer if we go for just a couple of days. So anyhow, that should bring me up to date. Any questions leave me a comment, OK? Believe it or not we took no pictures this weekend so I may look for something nice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Black Hills High

I'm paraphrasing John Denver again for this edition of the blog. I hope that no-one is getting tired of hearing about my exploits via motorcycles, but it is my blog, correct? This first picture is Jan and three of our grandchildren on the "boat" on the lawn having some pudding. Sam and Gus spent a night while their parents attended a wedding reception in Mankato. Leah was over for awhile to play with her cousins and some neighborhood girls came over too, so it was kind of wild for awhile. To break the motorcycle cycle I'm adding some pictures from that weekend. I like the one of Gus and I at the breakfast table, he loves to snuggle in the morning and I am glad to accommodate him. It is fun having them around but it seems as if it is more work than it used to be, particularly for Jan as usual. So anyhow, Eli managed to get a couple of days off last weekend so we headed for the Hills on Thursday afternoon and spent the night in Rapid City. The next day we went riding west of Spearfish Canyon in some territory that was new to us. We ended up on Cement Ridge which is actually in Wyoming and has a terrific view of four states, I'll throw some pictures in, you'll have to figure out which is which. The weather was beautiful and just a shade warm, so we were shedding clothes as we went along, although I never ride without my armored gear. We had parked the truck near Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon not far from where the final scenes of "Dances with Wolves" was filmed. I think that this side canyon is prettier than the main canyon, but then that is just my opinion. We spent that night in Hill City and the next day went up riding around Nemo on a marked trail system. After riding that portion of rocky climbs, descents and switchbacks Eli and I came to the conclusion that we thought that this was harder riding than Colorado. We had lunch in Nemo and ended up by Dalton Lake after floundering around in the woods for a couple of hours. We got to thinking that after loading the bikes on the truck that it didn't make much sense to get a motel for the night and then head home, so we just headed east and were home in St. James by mid-night. Last night (Monday) I helped Eli move a couple of things to the new house after they passed the final inspection. A couple of photos from their first real night in their new home. It has been a long road and there is some basement finish work to be done but they are into the new digs.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

I have mentioned John Denver in this blog before and I think that he was on to something with that song. I keep coming back to that state year after year mainly for the riding. It is getting to the point where I have been on most of the good roads in the mountains and some really bad ones too. I also just realized something recently that most of my blogs lately revolve around riding, I guess because it is Summer that I would be riding a lot. A couple weeks ago I ran out to Ouray and spent a few nights at a motel that Eli and I stayed in in 2001. This was the first trip to the San Juan's for some off road riding and it was a quite an experience for the both of us, well, me anyway. We did the Alpine loop, Black Bear Pass into Telluride, and Imogene Pass which is over 13,000 feet. The big difference this time was the fact that I was riding by myself and I have to hand it to St. Jan to have the nerve to encourage me to do this trip on my own. The one thing that I miss when I am home again is the people that I meet on the trail out there. If you are stopped they stop to ask if all is OK or just to talk about the view or what everyone is riding. Speaking of what people are riding, I saw the most incredible thing ever coming down from Engineer Pass. It was a BMW R1200GS, like ours, coming up the trail, two up to boot!! I was beating my brains out on a little 250 Kawasaki and here comes this big BMW, did I mention they were two up??, with luggage? I related this to a group from Oklahoma further down and he said that a buddy had done it on a Harley once, but needed to replace the tires afterwards. The scenery is fantastic and the trails can be pretty technical but do-able if you watch what you are doing. Jeep rental is very popular and also guided tours over most of the Passes is available although I am sure I could never get Jan on one of these tours without sedation. The trip to and from was not to bad except for grasshoppers on the way out in Nebraska. I left Ouray early on Thursday and got to watch Venus come up over the mountains before I got to Gunnison. One other thing, In eastern Colorado, across Kansas into Nebraska, every corn field that I passed by was nearly or totally destroyed by hail. This went on for hundreds of miles, so a lot of crops are nearly wiped out in that area. Since getting home we have been helping Eli and Lindsey some with their home project, although once again it is primarily Jan either watching the kiddos or staining grout. We did get the whole house re stained and the new garage done and hung some new outdoor lighting on the garages. I have to admit the Jan picked out some nice ones. It is kind of unusual but since the flurry of Patriot Guard activity earlier it has been quiet lately, which all in all is not a bad thing. I have a hunch that with things ratcheting up in Afghanistan we will have more missions in the future and we do go for vets from any branch if requested. So stay in touch drop a comment, please?