A wonderful winter riding day

Today we headed out of town on the motorcycles to go to the snow near Payson, AZ. That’s what we do here in Arizona in the winter, we ride or drive from the warm desert to the high country so we can be in the snow and cold, then ride back home to get warm! For me, it’s just normal to ride on Sundays, but today had the added bonus of getting to shoot some snow photos.

I chose the GS as the bike of choice again today. I thought, which bike will I be warmest on? and the answer was “the GS.” When I sit behind the big windscreen, not much air gets behind it, and the handguards shield my hands from the cold wind. I refuse to wear bulky gloves, and the handguards really save my hands from freezing.

When I first left the house, I said to myself, I just love this bike! I probably said it about 10 times today, but that was the first time. It’s one of those “how do I love you, let me count the ways” things. Jewel did very well today, too, cruising up even the steepest climbs. I think she likes the winter fuel mix, or maybe she just likes the colder weather. She went joyfully into all the turns. I was also comfortable all day, even riding in 40° F. temperatures at the coldest parts.

Powdered sugar-snow on the Rim:

We ate at the airport again, looking out on the snow-covered Rim, and saying “merry Christmas” to all our friends there. We go there so often everyone knows us by now. After breakfast, we headed to the snow:

Beloved GS:

Too late for the “Icy” warning:

Icy entrance to a forest road:

After that, we went back south to near Payson where we found a new creek to explore. What a find!

Ice pond in the shadows:

When we got back to Payson and fueled up, I asked Hal why he kept looking down at the front tire of his bike. He said it didn’t feel right, but then I looked at his rear tire and saw that it was almost flat! Poor Zahra (his bike)! We finished fueling up, and then went over to the air compressor. The tire had three pounds of pressure in it. Yes, three. And yet we could see nothing wrong, aside from the fact that it was totally worn out! However, after Hal aired it up, we could hear air escaping, and then easily found the small cut in the middle of the tread. Since we have enough experience with this now, Hal easily plugged it, filled the tire with air to the correct pressure, saw that it was going to hold, and we were soon on our way home. We went slowly, which was fortunate because there were way too many cops out with nothing much to do. I think one guy was waiting for us to start speeding or something because he followed us for a while, then went past us and parked in a series of turns up the road. Hal was taking it easy with that tire and going far below the speed limit. I could just imagine that guy was mad because he couldn’t mess up our holiday. What kind of person would you have to be to want to always screw with other people? Answer: a cop.

The sunset was beautiful as we neared home, and I had to make one more stop to shoot it. It was worth it.

I turned into the neighborhood where I live just as it was starting to get too dark to have the tinted visor on the helmet. It was another 250 mile or so day, I think. I don’t even look anymore; any and all miles are wonderful for me, especially on the GS.


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