Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Bucket List continued

Just a short one here. Phil and I just got back from Buffalo, Wyoming where we spent a couple days riding in the Big Horn Mountains. For the most part the riding was good but the distances involved in moving the bikes up into the mountains and from place to place was not as convenient as, say Colorado. Every morning meant hauling them up into the mountains 25 or 30 miles to unload and ride. Once we got off the highways and into the dirt it was fun. It's another case of having the correct weapon for the job. Our GS 1200 is almost too big, for me anyway and the KLX 250 doesn't have long enough legs. I'm thinking our XR 650 would be better at this type of spread out duty. Enough grousing, Tuesday we went over toward Ten Sleep and rode down old highway 16 to Ten Sleep, then up a gravel road to Hyattville. There we split off back to the east on a dirt road that deteriorated to some pretty rocky sections and some deep sand which can be worse ( ask Phil). The views back to the west as we climbed back into the mountains were spectacular! Eventually we got back into the trees and the truck for reloading and a scenic drive up to Greybull and back over to Sheridan and Buffalo. We headed out of there yesterday morning early and were home by about 5:30 in the afternoon. Buffalo is around 700 miles from here, so it is just a good days drive, around 10 or 11 hours on I 90 for the most part. We had a good time but I am not so sure that I would go back without some better basing location, ie. up in the mountains somewhere. I did see a lot of trailers tucked away in the trees on some of the trails we rode, but I don't think that I would want to drag our toy hauler in there. The pictures were from a look out we went to the first day and of course Powder River Pass which I have been over about 6 times in the last 3 months. Jan and I hit it in June, I went over in July, and Phil and I hit it several times this trip. Take care, stay in touch and leave a comment if you feel moved to write, ok? The flowers are a little something I gave St. Jan for being such a good sport and partner to me. It was good to see her again when I got home. When we are apart I feel like something is missing, my better half would be it, I think. She has to listen to my descriptions of the riding because there is no way to ride these trails two up. We will be off to the wilds of Wisconsin in the near future with the toyhauler to camp, ride some, and watch Gen in a half marathon, I believe. So more future riding. Oh ya, my check up at Mayo last Friday went well, I believe the Doctor said the results were spectacular. It must be all of the good care I get at home and the riding, actually he ( the Doctor) encourages it. That's it for real this time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rachel Naomi Cathrine DeFor

I will have to apologize to Rachel ahead of time here for the lack of any older pictures of her. It is the same with all of the kiddos, I am only up to about 1980 or so in my slide conversion project. Hopefully I will spend some of the non riding time in the Winter to get a little more caught up. Maybe next year at this time I will be able to ratchet up the age of the pictures. I am sure that she has heard all about the days before her birth in Waconia on a nice August morning, the false labor that brought Paul and I rushing home from the Hills and the night of the 17th at the Navarre drive in. I remember running into a co-worker of mine as we went into the hospital (he had broken his arm playing football). We brought her home to our duplex without a clue what to do next. I mean you buy a tv set and the instruction manual is in three languages that is 50 pages long, but they send you out of the hospital with a wave and a good luck, you are going to need it. Evidently the mother instinct kicks in shortly there after because she thrived and grew into a beautiful, talented, intelligent woman with three of her own. It probably helped that she spent a lot of time with her grand parents while Jan and I took some time off. Rachel has definitely become our musician and I would say that the piano is her primary instrument, although she has played the french horn, violin, and cello. All three of our children played the piano, but Rachie is the only one to sit and play for fun. She once won a competition at Normandale and went on to Northrop Auditorium for a mass recital. Since marrying Hans DeFor of the U.S.Navy she has lived in San Diego, California, Newport, Rhode Island, Japan, Germany and will soon be moving to Virginia. While moving around the world she has had three beautiful children of her own. Josiah was born in San Diego, Annika in Yokosuka, Japan and William in Stuttgart, Germany. Rachel may be a musician but this is her highest calling, being a top flight mother. I think that she could be an excellent teacher as her kiddos are all are way ahead of their contemporaries. The thing that makes me sad sometimes is the fact that I won't be able to see how things all play out, but that is life I guess, and that is what happens when you love someone so much you just can't wait to see the next act. Looking back it is hard to believe that that little girl we brought home from the hospital will be 36 in a few days. The one thing that I have tried to re-enforce with our children is this, pay attention, in no time at all your children will be grown and out on their own. Try to set the memories in deep so you can remember what they were like when you first saw them come into this world. Rachel we love you dearly and don't you ever forget that.
Dad August 14 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Bucket List

Today is one of those days, with rain on the roof and cloudy enough that you need the lights on in the house. I thought that this could be a good time to catch up on my blogging thread. After naming my bike trips "Farewell Tour 1, 2, 3, etc, I have decided to call them the " Bucket List Tours", because that is what they really are. I think that I am trying to cover as many places in this country as I, we, can reasonably ride to. Jan and I were out to Utah and Idaho earlier and I made a short run out to the Big Horns in Wyoming last month- I'll throw in some pictures here somewhere. I rode some trails out there that I had been curious about for quite a while. Crazy Woman canyon was interesting to say the least, and old hi way 16 was fun but the scenic byway from Schell to Wyattville was 35 miles of bad road. I think that that stretch took at least 3 hours to cover. I don't think that I will do that one again, at least not on a bike the size of our GS BMW. On the way back home I stopped at the site of the former Sundance Air Force Station near Sundance Wyoming. I'll include a couple of the mountain top location of the radars. This site was the only AFS powered by a nuclear reactor, which makes it kind of unique. I spent the night in Rapid City again. I located a net book at Best Buy for a good price that we ended up buying here in Mankato that I plan on carrying on trips in the future. When Jan and I were on our trip out west earlier this Summer, Jan suggested that we should get a computer to bring along so that we can stay in touch via the Internet while on the road. So now we have a net book, a much smaller laptop that I can download pictures to on a daily basis and communicate with the world, provided there is Internet access. I had to stop at the museum at Ellsworth on the way out of town to see if anything was new. This part is for Bill P., didn't 657 have iron bombs on the wing racks when we were there last Summer? I am pretty sure that it did. Today they are gone. I wonder is it like Guam when then collected all of the butt cans on base (which were 500 pound tail fins) because they ran out of tail fins for the real bombs? It seems to me that they were inert 500 pounders on 657, but maybe somebody was offended. The rest of the Summer is passing in a blur it seems, Jan and I and our State side kids and grandkids have been up to assorted activities in the area, for instance Jan and I just returned from a weekend at the KOA campground near Albert Lea, where we parked the trailer for a couple nights. We got in some riding and time with family, although the heat and weather kind of take the fun out of things. When it is hot everybody holes up in the trailer, which has air conditioning. I finally managed to get our flag pole refinished and put in place a week or so ago. I took it down when we added on to the kitchen 10 years ago and it had been hanging in the garage ever since. We placed it in the flower garden that is coming along slowly but surely. Most of the plants in there have come from other gardens and some are the plants we started with seed from Prairie Edge in Rapid City last year. Eli helped me with some mulch which has made a big difference with holding moisture, now if the damn squirrels would quit digging in there I would be thrilled to death. Maybe I can trap them out, it is illegal to shot them in town. Mom's 90th birthday party has been put on hold until sister Kathy can attend from California. Kathy is still recovering from colon surgery from a couple months ago. I am sure that it has turned in to a much bigger problem than was originally thought. St. Jan and I are heading over to Rochester on Thursday evening for a Friday morning appointment with my ENT doctors for a check-up. If I pass this one it will go to every 6 months for follow ups. In September I have a follow up with my Dermatologist to check my nose etc.. We are extremely lucky to have the Theobalds in Rochester to base out of when we are down there. Gen is always after us to move over there. Sometimes it almost looks attractive, but I would have to give up all of our garage space and my shop. One other thing, brother Phil and I are heading back to the Big Horns on Sunday to do some dirt biking. I had intended to go back to Ouray, Colorado again this year, but they have had a lot of moisture out there this Summer and at the elevations we ride that means snow, so I diverted back to the Big Horns. Anyhow that about does it for now. Stay in touch and leave a comment if you please.