Today when I woke up, I thought, do I want to ride, or not? I haven’t felt like doing much lately, but then I decided a day on the road would be a good soul-cleansing experience. I saddled up and got on the bike, and soon Hal and I were on the way to Payson for breakfast at the airport. Today was the second try for this ride. If you recall, two weeks ago we tried to do the Payson to the Rim to Winslow to Holbrook to Heber to Payson to home ride, but were stopped by the snow. The snow made a brief appearance, and it’s been warm since.
At breakfast, we were treated to the sight of a rare aircraft: a Grumman Goose! I thought I recognized it because I have a model of one at my house. Anyway, it looks a little different from the original, but here it is:
We were eating our breakfast as this was all going on outside the window of the restaurant.
I watched it take off!
The pilot came in and out a couple of times, much to my delight.
There were a lot of different airplanes there today.
After breakfast, we got back on the bikes and headed up to the Rim. It was a pleasant weather day, temperatures in the 50s F. The lowest temperature I saw was 49°, but then I saw almost 80 when I was near home. Up on the Rim, past where we had to turn around two weeks ago, the snow was still piled high along the sides of the road. It would have been impossible to get through had we tried. Today, the road itself was dry and clear. There were a lot of places I wanted to stop and shoot snow photos, but there weren’t any safe places to get off the road. Most of the fire roads were blocked or chained, including FR300, the Rim Road. I can understand the forest service not wanting anyone in there during winter when people can get lost or stuck in the snow. Now it is getting muddy as the weather warms, and that just makes a huge mess out of the roads if cars and trucks get in there. In a few months it will all be open, and probably dusty by then!
Not too many people were on the road, and no other motorcyclists. It was a beautiful day, though, and I enjoyed the road, my quiet helmet, and being able to think as I rode. A cop stalked us briefly at Clint’s Well, but I pulled off the road so he’d pass. I don’t like them anywhere near me. It’s not that I speed or anything, I just hate them.
Soon we got up on the high flat plain near Winslow. The temperature didn’t change, but the wind chill was probably low because the wind was racing across the open area. When we got to Winslow, we took our photos on the corner made famous in the Eagles’ song. It is another destination in our riding contest, and we’ve been trying to get there for months. We’d been there years ago, but not lately, and not for the contest.
This little corner is really very nice.
Then we got back on the bikes and headed toward Holbrook, about 30 miles east on I-40. The bane of my existence last summer, the road wasn’t too bad today, and it was less painful with a helmet that fit and was not worn out. I saw a sign that said “Gallup, 108.” The thought that popped into my head was, oh, that isn’t so far, and we could be in Durango by nightfall. I look forward to the day when the lack of a schedule allows me to make spontaneous decisions like that.
The speed limit is high, so we got to Holbrook quickly, took our photo, and got the heck out of there, headed toward Heber. It was fun to ride that road, a road that we usually only ride in summer. I know I will think about how cool it was today when I am dying of the heat in a few months. Plus, we even stopped at the Red Onion for a cup of coffee and piece of chocolate cake! I probably shouldn’t have, but I can’t go through Heber without stopping at Red Onion.
The Rim country between Heber and Payson didn’t have as much snow as near Strawberry and Clint’s Well. I shot some video anyway. A few years ago we’d stopped at some of the pullouts on this road and the snow was very deep, the water from melting was running fast. This year was very dry, not much snow, and not much running water. Disappointing. We said “hi” to Camp Shadow Pines as we rode past it, knowing that we will not be there for the rally this year, it’s been moved to near Prescott. I am looking forward to a change, though, and riding different roads.
I am glad I went on the ride today even though I was somewhat reluctant at first. Depression does that to you. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to get me out of it if I just get on my bike. I felt calm and happy by the time I got near home, and when I got there, I saw that I had ridden 384 miles. I also passed 54,000 on my bike’s odometer. I love it.
So, I got home in time to make a casserole for dinner. When I went out to the garage to tuck the bike in for the night, I thought, a warm bike is a happy bike, and then I added, and a happy rider as well. I am glad it is pretty easy for me to get calm by just taking a ride on my bike.