Day 14 – Santa Fe or bust

Last Day.  We had an awesome time at Colorado Gators, I think it was the highlight of the trip for Cece, but now it was time to head home and the weather looked to be turning bad that afternoon on the way.  So far every day it was supposed to be extremely bad weather we stayed insulated in a pocket of fair weather with storms all the way around us. Our last trip was the same way so maybe our medicine wheel really works, but better not to tempt fate.

The imposing ruins of this old church stood guard over an old cemetery out in the middle of nowhere.  The roof was gone and the whole building gutted except for the exterior walls. The place was deathly quiet and the wispy clouds preceding the oncoming front gave it a surreal other worldly feel. Spooky.

Continue reading Day 14 – Santa Fe or bust

Day 13 – Roaming the Colorado High Country

Cuchara Colorado

Cuchara Colorado

One of our best days so far, nearly getting to sleep in a real hogan with buffalo right outside and getting to cruise through amazing mountain vistas all day. My friend Patrick asked why we went halfway across the country when we have such good riding right in our own back yard. Well I guess you dont realize what you take for granted until you have to do without.

Colorado Highway of Legends Scenic Byway is spectacular. I highly recommend it if you want to spend several hours going through switchbacks, along mountain lakes and through some of the best scenery we’d seen during the entire trip thus far instead of taking the 1/2 hour by Interstate to get to the same place.

Cuchara is at about the halfway point, it sort of reminds me of Cloudcroft or Timberon, New Mexico except with less paved streets if thats possible. I love all the log cabins and rough sawn timbers with bark still on them they use for siding. It’s a mountain mans town, my kind of place, way out there. Not too far distance wise but takes a long time to get there no matter which way you go.

Continue reading Day 13 – Roaming the Colorado High Country

Day 13 – Trinidad, Colorado

Trinidad Colorado

Trinidad Colorado

Back at the Colorado Visitors Center in Lamar we had gotten some great advice that The Highway of Legends was not to be missed. Originally we had planned to go through Walsenburg to cut some time off our route to camp the next day on Navajo Lake. I sure am glad we rerouted, Trinidad turned out to be an amazing little town. Brick streets everywhere and very cool old brick and stone buildings. I could have spent a whole day just looking at all the neat architecture in this place.

We found out later this was suposedly the sex change capitol of the US, didnt seem any out of the ordinary to me. Then again we arrived late and left before most places were open 😉

Continue reading Day 13 – Trinidad, Colorado

Day 11 – Boot Hill Museum (2): Life in the Old West

Hollywoods Old West

Hollywood's Old West

Dodge City’s Boot Hill Museum may have been a little too touristy for some people with the shows and curio shop and movie set style buildings according to some other online reviews and comments from some locals, but the actual museum exhibits were very interesting and well done giving a good depiction of life on the plains in the Old West.

They show a little bit of the Hollywood’s version of the Old West that everyone knows and is familiar with to contrast with the actual Old West.

Continue reading Day 11 – Boot Hill Museum (2): Life in the Old West

Day 11 – Boot Hill Museum

Dodge City Boot Hill Museum

Dodge City Boot Hill Museum

We got into Dodge City, Kansas fairly late but there was a few hours left until Boot Hill Museum closed so we decided to check it out. Its about as much of a tourist trap as you can expect to find with lots of curio shop trinkets in the gift shops that you can get in other curio shops just about anywhere else and the Front Street mock up is just a facade like an old movie set. That being said I still thought it was a interesting place to see with all the artifacts, guns and things inside. You can get a sarsaparilla and watch a can-can show, unfortunately we were too late for that, see mock gun fights or get your name printed on various wanted posters from an antique printing press. People really into life in the Old West would enjoy the museum parts and kids would like the touristy and show bits.

Talking to some of the old locals in town later there seemed to be a bit of a love hate relationship with the Boot Hill Museum. First they didn’t like it because its fake and not authentic and too touristy and detracts from the real history of Dodge City. I can understand that, many places in New Mexico have done the same thing. They also said that they were sad that at the same time that pretty soon the Museum would be the only place left where people could see our history and the way things were. Apparently theres still a bit of a sore spot that all the graves were moved from Boot Hill Cometary and those old wounds had been reopened as more artifacts and things were discovered and relocated during the course of building a new highway through town that was still being worked on when we were there. I didn’t get the whole story on that. So these residents anyway loved that the museum had worked hard to collect and preserve and display all the artifacts showing how life used to be but at the same time the buildings and setting is artificial.

Continue reading Day 11 – Boot Hill Museum

Day 11 – Oklahoma to Kansas

Tulsa 5 and Diner

Tulsa 5 and Diner

It had been nice taking a break from the road to see the Zoo and hang out with my sister for a few days but we had to keep on going. We had wanted to see the Aquarium too but there just wasn’t enough time and tickets there were more expensive and they weren’t open as long, whats up with that?

The previous day we had taken my sister out to eat and on the way home passed by a old timey diner, conveniently located right next to the Harley dealership. You can guess where we ended up for breakfast the next morning. The Tulsa 5 & Diner was fabulous. The food was good but decor and ambiance just puts it at a new level. The diner had plenty of old motorcycle memorabilia on the walls and was complete with soda shop inside. Did I mention all the employees wore vintage uniforms as well, cool!

Continue reading Day 11 – Oklahoma to Kansas

Day 10 – Tulsa Zoo (3): Birds

Green Acacari

Green Acacari

More Tulsa Zoo pictures. They have quite a selection of stunning beautiful birds with vibrant colors. I didn’t have the patience to sit and wait for good shots of the birds, many were just too hyper active. If I couldn’t get a nice one in focus in 2 or 3 shots I moved on, its a big zoo 😉 The ones behind glass did not come out as well as I had hoped, the glass throws off my autofocus a hair. Of course the alternative is having them in a cage, those came out sharply in focus but then theres distracting bars in the foreground.

All in all we had a awesome time at the zoo and this was a great way to take a break from the road for a day, but by the end of walking miles and miles for 4 or 5 hours in motorcycle boots my feet were killing me. These boots were not made for walking. For our next epic motorcycle cross country trip we need to schedule more off days like this.

Heres some of the better bird pics we took for the day, enjoy.

Continue reading Day 10 – Tulsa Zoo (3): Birds

Day 10 – Tulsa Zoo (2): Fish, Reptiles & Amphibians

Poison Arrow Frogs

Poison Arrow Frogs

The poison arrow frogs in the rain forest exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo were pretty amazing. They just had a small wall separating them from the walk way, I’m surprised they don’t jump out.

Cece’s a huge reptile fanatic and wanted pictures of everything for Bob, her boss at the American International Rattlesnake Museum, and I’m most interested in the cool fish so thats what the majority of all our Zoo pictures are of. Unfortunately, fish and reptiles are also the most difficult to photograph because everything is behind glass, camouflaged behind leaves, or in dark murky water. Some of them managed to come out ok, here they are.

Again, I tried to take pictures of the signs for everything so we’d know what they were later but if I forgot to label something that you know what it is, let us know in the comments. Thanks.

Continue reading Day 10 – Tulsa Zoo (2): Fish, Reptiles & Amphibians

Day 10 – Tulsa Zoo

Taking the day off from the motorcycle journey today, about 3000 miles so far and another 5 days to go. We went to the Tulsa Zoo for most of the day and had a blast. Except for the fact that every elementary school in the surrounding area must have decided to take a field trip on this same day, each school class wore color coordinated shirts. The poorer schools just wore whatever. Lots of shouting screaming kids in enclosed places is not fun for the animals or me. Whichever direction they went we went the other.

Together we took close to 350 pictures at the Zoo so I’ve split this up into 3 posts for the better ones. I tried to put down the names of some of the exotic species, if you know what something is that I left off feel free to let me know in the comments. Enjoy.

Continue reading Day 10 – Tulsa Zoo

Day 8 – Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas

Cypress Trees

Cypress Trees

Continue reading Day 8 – Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas