I am a geek. A Windows geek to be exact. I do all things computer. I do like outdoor activities; camping, fishing, riding my hawg, etc. but I always gravitate back to the computer. In fact, between work, the biz and other stuff, if I am not on the 'puter for 14 - 16 hours a day, I feel deprived!
2056 miles in 7 days… It was an awesome trip!
Day 1: We ended up stopping at Steve’s Café for breakfast on the way out of town. If you are a Helena local and haven’t tried them, DO! Their food is delish and it is a nice clean and friendly place to eat! We rolled out of town at about 9:30am on our adventure.
Of course, it is road construction season. We made it half way to Townsend (about 20 miles from Steve’s) before we were stopped for road construction. Annoyingly, while we had to wait for traffic to clear the zone, wait for a pilot car and a green light to go, we had to fight with oncoming traffic the whole way through the zone. Don’t know why they even bothered making us stop if we were going to have to battle traffic anyway. Took us about 20 minutes to go the 4 or 5 miles of the construction site.
Finally we made it through Townsend and headed East on highway 12. I had used Google Maps and had found us a route on County Road 300 south out of Ryegate because we wanted to go from Highway 12 to Columbus MT. Well, turned on the road and rode 5 miles, beautiful roads… All of a sudden it was gravel. Seemed well maintained but not what we were looking for, so we headed back to Ryegate to a gas station. I shot some gas into the bikes while Penny went in to gather a map with more detail and ask about the road. The cashier told her “OH, it is a great road, a few narrow spots where there was some damage because of the flooding from the wet spring but it was a nice road". So, we decided to go for it. Yeah, nice road… It was pretty nice to start. A few narrow rough spots like she mentioned but pretty soon we started hitting roads not on either of our maps and were essentially lost to our destination. I hit a HUGE bump and broke one of the straps holding my bag on the seat and shattered my spleen (not really about the spleen but it HURT). We stopped and asked directions from some fellas that were installing some communications cables or something and claimed they “grew up” in the area, but they didn’t know how to get to Columbus from there. They did point us in a general direction to one of the towns on our map. The roads kept getting narrower and narrower, even to where there was a grass strip down the middle. Finally, the road started getting wider and more travelled looking again. It started coming up out of the canyon and we had some hope that we would be able to make it to Columbus. As we putted around this corner, I noticed a cow standing in a HUGE culvert alongside the creek we had been following. As I got further around the corner, I noticed the 30 foot wide 15 foot deep washout across the road where the culvert USED to be… As luck would have it, a couple locals were arriving at the other side of the washout (on four wheelers) as we were getting off our bikes. We chatted with them a little while across the washout. They told us we were on the right road, that it was in fact well travelled, even a school bus route, but that the washout we were eyeballing was the first of five similar washouts as the road worked its way out of the canyon. That the only way through was on four wheelers. Though, if we rode back 5 miles, there was another even lesser maintained road that would get us passed the trouble we were in… It was at that point that we decided to cut our losses and return to highway 12 and reroute through Billings. This little side jaunt cost us about 2 hours of time, riding around on dirt roads as well as time lost riding through Billings and returning to Laurel. Anyway, I guess the moral to this section of the story is… DON’T PUT BLIND FAITH INTO GOOGLE MAPS (or gas station attendants)!
It was starting to get a little late when we finally reached Red Lodge. As we were gassing up, we debated whether we should forgo the ride over the Beartooth Highway and through Yellowstone and divert directly to Cody from there. We decided to go ahead and ride the Beartooth pass but to skip the ride through the Eastern side of Yellowstone. That was actually an AWESOME decision! After riding over Beartooth Pass, we turned onto the Chief Joseph Highway toward Cody! INCREDIBLE!!! Just a bunch of beautiful mountain vistas, grassy meadows, lush forests, rushing clear rivers and best of all, windy well paved roads to carve. While we made it into Cody well after dark, it was TOTALLY worth the ride. I wish we hadn’t gotten “lost” in the canyon south of Ryegate but if it had worked out like we’d planned, we most likely would not have discovered this awesome route, instead riding a path through Yellowstone we had ridden last summer.
Day 2: We got up and washed the dust and dirt off the bikes, loaded up and hit the road to Colorado. By the way, if you are a motorcyclist, I definitely recommend staying at the Best Western in Cody. They have nice rooms AND a dedicated spot for bikers to wash their scoots! Our intended route was to leave Cody on highway 120. We would ride to Thermopolis, Rawlins, hop on the interstate for about 20 miles to highway 130 and work our way to Walden Colorado. We stopped to gas up in Thermopolis (thank goodness) and were talking to another gas station lady. She said we would like their canyon (we did!) and told us about this route to take to Rawlins. It turned out that this was the path we had already chosen. Unfortunately, we skipped a gas stop in Riverton Wyoming thinking we could gas up in Jeffrey City or something. Yeah, Jeff City has a FEW houses and several abandoned well forsaken gas stations and nothing else. Penny’s low fuel light had been on for a while by the time we got there and we still had 60 miles to go to Rawlins with nothing on the map in between. For the record, her bike gets about 50 MPG and she has about a gallon left when the light comes on… SO, we were sweating it. Just when we thought I was going to have to go get a gas can full of gas for her, we came to this “T” intersection with a gas station. Of course, it was out of 91 octane premium that we run in our Harleys, so we shot a gallon of 85 octane into each of our bikes (at $4.85 a gallon) to get us to Rawlins and were thankful. We hit the highway from Rawlins and made it to Walden without incident. Then we hit the Poudre Canyon Highway… 50+ miles of AWESOME canyon carving! WOW! We saw MOOSE CROSSING signs and signs with big capitol letters stating "MOOSE ON THE ROADS AFTER DARK! DRIVE WITH CARE!" Sure enough, we saw three moose (2 bulls and 1 cow) in broad daylight! It would be an awesome area to visit again for some camping or something. This was definitely a fun ride. It was another late night on the roads. We rode through downtown Ft Collins Colorado at the height of party time on Thursday night! Seems like EVERYONE was out! We finally arrived in Longmont CO at about 10:30, found our hotel and hit the hay.
Days 3-5: We spent the next three days at the Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival! Talk about FUN! It is definitely an interesting mix of people. There were about 3,500 at this one. It is situated at the north west end of Lyons Colorado, along the St Vrain river that follows this cliff which is the North and East boundary of the venue. It is about 20 miles further to Estes Park. Boy it was hot, but it was nice to have the river there to cool off in. We met our friends, Jim and Leslie who had also driven down from Helena to attend the festival. We hung out with them and we also made a new friend; a fellow named Matthew who came all the way from England, ENGLAND!!!, to attend this festival. We had a BLAST visiting with Jim and Leslie and Matthew. It turns out Matthew is also a struggling banjo player so we compared notes about banjos and life and the U.S. versus England, etc. It was a lot of fun! I hope we see him again next time we attend. It was three hot days, sitting in the sun, but the music and friendship was TOTALLY worth it!
The line up...
- Friday, July 29, 2011
- 10:00 - 11:00am — Henhouse Prowlers
- 11:15 - 12:15pm — Brother Mule
- 12:30 - 1:45pm — Darol Anger's Republic of Strings
- 2:00 - 3:15pm — Bryan Sutton & The String Set
- 3:30 - 4:45pm — Shawn Camp Band
- 5:15 - 6:30pm — Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
- 7:00 - 8:30pm — David Grisman Bluegrass Experience
- 9:00 - 10:30pm — Del McCoury Band
- Saturday, July 30, 2011
- 11:45 - 12:45pm — Della Mae
- 1:00 - 1:45pm — Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg
- 2:00 - 3:15pm — Kruger Brothers
- 3:30 - 4:45pm — Sarah Jarosz
- 5:15 - 6:30pm — Psychograss
- 7:00 - 8:30pm — Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
- 9:00 - 10:30pm — Hot Rize
Day 6: Monday morning, we got up and loaded up the bikes for our ride home. We hit I-25 South toward Denver and found a Cracker Barrel for breakfast then hit the road. We rode right past Denver and out Interstate 70 to Idaho Springs Colorado, rode over some nice passes on the way. Gotta love that Denver traffic! WOW! We were happy to leave Denver in the mirrors. Thank goodness we missed rush hour! Once we reached Idaho Springs, we jumped off the interstate to ride up Mt Evans. That was AWESOME! Lots of windy narrow roads with no guard rails, we made it to the parking spot at 14,130 feet in elevation and got off and wandered around a bit and took some pictures. There was a path to the peak - another hundred feet higher or so - but I didn’t want to be all puffed out and loopy while trying to ride down the narrow road back to Idaho Springs. After this side trip, we rode another 8 miles or so West down I-70 and took off toward the North on the secondary highways again. This time we rode over a high pass, got snowed on a little bit, rained on a little bit and rode down the other side to Winter Park Colorado. It was definitely and “exclusive” zip code… There was even a sign warning drivers to be careful for "dashing sleighs". Of course, that sent me off on a couple rounds of "Jingle Bells" at top volume (a definite benefit of wearing a full face helmet on these long rides)... We rode through before they recognized us… We did a bunch more canyon carving and pass riding, even some rain splashing, and got back to Walden where we retraced our tracks to Rawlins. This time though, we kept on going down the I-80 and made it to Rock Springs Wyoming at about 9:30pm, where we spent the night.
Day 7: We got up the next morning and loaded up again for the final stretch of our trip. We gassed up and headed up the road to Jackson Hole. It took us a few hours of desert riding before we finally got into the mountains. We got to carve a few more canyons. Lots of fun! We finally made it to Jackson and gassed up. We rode into Teton National Park and rode through Yellowstone from the South Gate and out the West Gate to West Yellowstone. At this point, we decided to ride past Earthquake Lake and up through Ennis. We were going to gas up at the Wheat Montana at the junction with I-90 and ride to Townsend on home, but once we arrived, there was no pavement on the road. It was about 9:30pm by this time and the signs indicated 66 miles of road construction. SO, having nightmares about riding on dirt roads, we followed the suggestion of the signs (motorcycles should consider an alternate route) and rode over the hill on I-90 to Cardwell MT where we took the highway up to Boulder and got on I-15 for the trip up to Helena. We pulled into our garage at 11pm on the dot… TIRED!
All in all, it was an AWESOME trip! Can’t wait to do it again next year!!!!
The rest of the pics (of course)!! I actually took the video camera on the trip too and will post the videos I took to the photo gallery once I have a chance to convert them to an internet worthy format...
Well, anyone who knows us has heard about our NEAR completion of a Saddle Sore 1000 last year. We ended up at Lewistown with 875 miles behind us and EXHAUSTED! Well, we MADE IT this year! It was a long LONG day. We left home at 4AM on Saturday the 16th and got home at 1:20AM on Sunday the 17th. Sitting almost continuously in the saddle for just over 21 hours and 1,056 miles is PAINFUL.
We actually modified our intended route once we reached Lewistown (point J). Originally, we were going to turn toward Harlowton, a few miles past Lewistown, and take highway 12 through Townsend and into Helena. However, it was getting late and we decided that staying on highway 200 through Great Falls might be a bit better since it seemed like a more well traveled road. I was concerned with how many deer we might come across. Turned out to be a pretty good decision I think. We had a few interesting events and sightings.
1. We rode in a thunder shower at about 5 AM for about 15 miles, starting right about the time we turned onto highway 200 toward Lincoln MT (point B)... Pouring rain and 46 degrees, BRRRRRR! Thank goodness we were leathered up, at least we weren't wet to the bone, just cold...
2. On the Seeley Swan highway, (between points C & D on the map) I had to get on the brakes HARD as a deer ran across the road right in front of me.
3. There was a LOT of road construction heading to and leaving Havre (point F) that cost us probably an hour of time.
4. We stopped at the Fort Peck Dam spillway, 20 miles South of Glasgow (point H), and checked it out. They are STILL releasing an incredible amount of water, and have been since early June!
5. On the Southbound stretch after the spillway stop, I had a young pheasant doink into my left toe and boinked into my shin as it spooked and turned 180 degrees to fly right in front of me. Penny told me it kept on flying so it must not have been hurt too bad when I ran into it doing 80 mph. I don't think it even left a poo print on my chaps! Well, I couldn't see one in all the bug remains anyway...
6. Penny almost flipped over her handlebars as we rode a rough section of road headed West toward Jordan (point I). There was a sign that said bump right at a huge pot hole that took up most of the traffic lane. She was riding behind and to my right. While I was able to skirt the left side of the hole, she was too far to the right and could not swerve over far enough to avoid the hole. She hit it HARD at about 70 mph and I saw her almost do a superman in my mirror! We both hit a few spleen busters on the trip. There are some ROUGH roads out there!
7. We crested a hill about two miles east of Winnett (between I & J). About a quarter mile down the road we could see a couple semi's stopped in our lane. There was something dark across the road, but we couldn't tell what it was at first. Check it out here... We pulled up and a fella with a stop sign said we could either ride down into the ditch to get past or wait a couple hours until they were able to move it. We rode into the ditch. It was after we had ridden back up onto the road on the other side that I took this picture. Apparently the driver was okay after he awoke from the nap that caused the accident. I suspect he is one of the fella's down looking at the tractor with the cops.
8. I almost jumped off my motorcycle when a HUGE owl appeared in the darkness on a road cone in some road construction near Craig MT. As I passed, it decided to take off from it's cone and FREAKED ME OUT!
You can see ALL our pics from the trip here. And yes, Penny did it on her little Sportster 883 Low. She is TUFF!!!
*** Several people have asked me what in the world would prompt such a seemingly crazy feat. Here it is, Iron Butt Association. It is simply to have the chance to be able to pay for a certificate and patch that essentially confirms that we are plum loco!
Please look at the bottom of the left column (click here) for my new money making scheme! Also, please don't forget to participate! PLEASE!?!?!? AAAAAAND, thank you in advance for your participation!
SORE! Our back deck has been getting worse and worse. SORE! We have been talking about replacing it for a couple years. SORE! Well, on June 18th of the year 2011, we began this project. SORE! It has been a pretty fair amount of work so far! SORE! The old deck was 8x8 and was pretty cramped if you wanted to sit out there and do deck things. SORE! The new deck will be 12x16 and should provide a bit more room. SORE! Eventually, we will build a paver patio below with a pergola and a fire pit. SORE! So, we yurked the old deck off the side of the house (no dishes were broken in this process). SORE! Then we augured new footings and cleaned them out to about 42 inches to make sure we were below the frost line. SORE! Built our forms. SORE! Then we poured them full of concrete. SORE! I must admit that I am not used to that much activity and am just a tiny bit sore. SORE! Sunday we pulled down the old ledgerboard and repaired a place where water had infiltrated the flashing. SORE! Oh, wait, the jackass(es) that built the old deck did not install flashing so it was not hard to infiltrate. SORE! SO, hopefully we have fixed the problem!!!! SORE! Did I mention that I am SORE??? My bro and his family are headed out here soon to help with the building of the beast. CAN'T WAIT!!!
Well, here are the pictures if you'd like to see them... http://copester.net:4763/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=139
This is one of my current favorites which was sent by one of my brothers. It makes me laugh and now I like to say "What was in there?".
http://www.dvorak.org/blog/2011/05/10/w ... /#comments
This was sent to me by my friend Clay. We were chatting back and forth, one rainy day, about some guys that rode even when it was raining - ON PURPOSE! I commented about needing a dual sport bike for the days when the shiny bike was afraid to come out of the garage. He sent me this link of a guy that converted a Harley Davidson Sportster into a "Dual Sport" bike to use on an around the world ride. It is a pretty interesting read if you are into motorcycles and mechanical things. It is pretty cool to see the transformation from a cruiser bike to a on/off road bike.
There are even some cool video clips at the end of the article showing the bike in action.
If you like music at all, you HAVE to check out this video! This is a couple fella's playing Welcome To The Jungle (Guns N Roses) on Cellos! It is INCREDIBLE and the cellos are AWESOME too! Give it a listen (and watch)!!!
So, do you want some sharp knives? Penny has a set of Cutco Cutlery (http://www.cutco.com/home.jsp). I was using the "bread" knife to cut the ??? (what do you call the part of a presliced bagel that holds the two halves together?) while holding the bagel in my hand. I accidentally and very lightly tapped my index finger with the edge of the blade. Now I have a kind of a razor cut on my finger! YOWCH! SO, I HIGHLY recommend these knives if you want some sharp knives to cut with... I don't recommend holding bagels in your hand to cut the ??? though.
My friend sent me the link for this video. It is very funny! Check it out!!!
One of my brothers is making and selling some interesting and unique things to hang around your house! If you have a spot that cries out for something to hang there, check it out! It is a new online store and everything is unique and different! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OnTheWindCreations
A real good woman is a man's best friend.
She will Never stand him up and never let him down.
She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him after a bad day.
She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do; to live without fear and forget regret.
She will enable him to express his deepest emotions and give in to his most intimate desires.
She will make sure he always feels as though he's the most handsome man in the room and will enable him to be the most confident, sexy, seductive and invincible...
No wait... Sorry.. I'm thinking of whiskey. It’s whiskey that does all that shit. Never mind.
Penny and I went for a ride to Lincoln MT, for lunch this weekend. A couple weeks ago my friend Clay enlightened me on taking action shots while riding. He had some really cool shots so I decided I would give it a try as well. Some are better than others but here they are: http://copester.net/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=138
These were taken at 50mph+ with our little Fuji XP "action camera". It is a water proofish, shock proofish, and dust proofish 12MP digital.
Mattel recently announced the release of limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the Montana market:
"BIG SKY BARBIE"
She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named"Belle"and a million dollar waterfront home. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. She has no idea what Ken does for work. Cell phone and golden retriever dog sold separately.
"GREAT FALLS BARBIE"
This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy truck with dark tinted windows, and a meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about.
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.
This collagen injected, rhino plastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available as well as newly built spec house in new sub division.
"HUNGRY HORSE BARBIE"
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out of Billings Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Missoula Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.
"WOLF POINT BARBIE"
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and 2 infant dolls. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant. Warning: it is possible that Wolf Point Barbie will soon come with an additional infant.
She's perfect in every way, mainly due to the high levels of antidepressants in her system. We don't know where Ken is because he's always at church meetings. Available with 2.5 kids.
While we are on the subject of church, this prayer was sent to me by my friend Clay. I thought it was pretty entertaining, almost tattoo worthy!!!
Please allow this dangerous combination of hair spray, bat slobber, and D.O.T. four automatic transmission fluid to excite my mind, occupy my spirits, and enrage my body, provoking me to kick any man or woman in the back of the head regardless of what he or she has or has not done unto me.
All my Best, Earlie Cuyler.
1. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if .....
The finance committee refuses to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the members knows how to play one.
2. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
People ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch 'em.
3. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
When the pastor says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering" and five guys and two women stand up.
4. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
Opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church holiday.
5. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if...
A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of" (Love it!)
6. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if .....
The choir is known as the "OK Chorale".
7. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
In a congregation of 500 members, there are only seven last names in the church directory.
8. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
People think "rapture" is what you get when you lift something too heavy.
9. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
The baptismal pool is a #2 galvanized " Wheeling " washtub.
10. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
The choir robes were donated by (and embroidered with the logo from) Billy Bob's Barbecue.
11. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
The collection plates are really hubcaps from a '56 Chevy.
12. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ...
Instead of a bell you are called to service by a duck call.
13. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
The minister and his wife drive matching pickup trucks.
14. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
The communion wine is Boone's Farm "Tickled Pink".
15. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if...
"Thou shall not covet" applies to huntin' dogs, too.
16. You know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
The final words of the benediction are, "Y'all come back now, Ya hear".
17. You know You're in a Redneck Church if ....
Even babies wear camo to services in the fall.