frontpage350road Weekly Update

Greetings Riders,
Well, I talked about the heat in the newsletter last week and it was confirmed in the newspaper this morning that the last 7 days have been record or record tying heat. We had highs as high as 116 and even setting a new high low temp at 93 degrees. See Headline photo listing temps and records.
Since riding in this heat has not been of interest, it couldn’t have come at a better time for us because we have been on Grandparent duty since last week. Our daughter gave birth to Gavin, Grandson #2 last week, so our contribution has been entertaining Grandson #1 while Mom recovers. We even got to do our first sleepover at our house which was a big deal. It is really interesting the evolution that parents have from kids to grandkids. The things that we had gotten rid of years ago are now showing up in our life that I never thought I would see again. Toys all over the place, baby utensils and plates in the dishwasher, Sippy cups on the counter, junior bed, baby books on the coffee table and now I even have a car seat installed in my car! How did I miss that memo? I thought all those things were long gone. We have enjoyed every minute of it and look forward to his next visit. But we are also glad when he gets to go home as the energy and desire to keep up with an a 19 month old full time is long gone.
Last week I left you in Salmon, ID with Day 5-6 of our Road Trip 2012. If you missed last weeks newsletter Click Here to read. Today I will report on Day 7-8 and will finish up next week. The great thing about motorcycle trips is that every minute of every day is a new adventure. You never know what is coming around the next corner, what new sight you are going to see or what trials you might have to endure along the way that might include weather, detours or even mechanical issues. We had great weather and no detours, but mechanical issues would be the highlight of this day.
We started Day 7, which also happened to be July 4th on a beautiful blue sky morning in Salmon, ID, 46 miles South of the Montana border and 130 miles South of Hwy. 12. We got out early and decided to find breakfast in one of the small towns along the way as we headed North through the Bitterroot National Forest and over the Lost Trail Pass into Montana. Our goal for this day was to go to Missoula, MT and then ride Hwy. 12, aka, Lolo Pass, #9 on  in to Lewiston, ID for the night. Some times goals are not always achieved which would be the case today.
The ride North on Hwy. 93 is very enjoyable. The scenery over Lost Trail Pass is beautiful with the Bitterroot Mountains on your left most of the way. We ended up having breakfast in Hamilton at the Coffee Cup Café. The sign said Home Cooking, so that was good enough for me. At the Coffee Cup I picked up one of those booklets about the area and read about the St. Mary’s Mission and Museum in Stevensville, MT. Historic St. Mary's Mission stands in the shadow of St. Mary's Peak in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana as you can see by THIS PHOTO. Pierre De Smet, a Jesuit priest, founded the Mission in 1841. The State of Montana grew from those early beginnings of the settlement first called St. Mary’s and later named Stevensville. The town holds the distinct honor of being the place “Where Montana Began”. The well-preserved buildings and artifacts of the Mission Complex afford visitors a look back at the historical beginnings of the birth of the State and the settlement of the West. In 2010 the Historic St. Mary's Mission complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places.This is well worth a stop to visit the grounds and see these buildings. See more photos in photo gallery link below.
From Stevensville we continued 18 miles North to Hwy. 12, that would take us 200 miles West over Lolo Pass and into Lewiston, ID. Lolo Pass is one road that we have been wanting to do for years and for one reason or another, have never done. The best chance we had was 4 years ago when we were coming down from Glacier National Park and were planning on doing it when the ignition switch went out on the yellow road glide and we had to abort due to time constraints. Was this an omen for this trip?
We gassed up at the corner of 12 and 93 before we started our long awaited ride over the Lolo Pass. This is a beautiful 32 mile ride from Hwy. 93 to Lolo Pass where you can stop at the visitor center for some incredible history of the area. In a nutshell, Lolo Pass, is a mountain pass in the Bitterroot Range of the Northern Rockies on the border of Idaho and Montana at an elevation of 5233 feet. The pass is the highest point of the historic Lolo Trail, between the Bitterroot Valley in Montana and the Weippe Prairie in Idaho. The trail was used by Nez Perce Indians in the 18th century, and by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, on their westward snowbound journey in September 1805. After a winter at Fort Clatsop in present-day Oregon, the Corps of Discovery returned the following June. The pass was also used in 1877 during the Nez Perce War as some of the Nez Perce under Chief Joseph tried to escape the U.S. Army. Shortly after crossing the pass the two sides clashed at the Battle of the Big Hole. US Highway 12 was completed in the early 1960s.
We took a brief stop at the visitor center to soak up some history and then continued our trip West to Lewiston. If there is one sign that every motorcycle rider wants to see at the start of a ride, it would be THIS ONE. Now you know you are in for some fun. Hwy. 12 is an absolutely great road for motorcycle riding. Not only because of the beauty of riding through the Clearwater National Forest while tracking the Lochsa River, but because the road is not too demanding. The curves are gentle and sweeping which keep you moving at a nice pace throughout, while being able to enjoy the surrounding mountains, river and scenery creating a very enjoyable ride. Hwy. 12 is a classic Rocky Mountain motorcycle ride that anyone would thoroughly enjoy.
Like my flight instructor used to say, “It’s all good until it isn’t all good anymore”. That statement couldn’t be any more true than it was that day. It was a gorgeous blue sky day and we were cruising along enjoying the our ride when things suddenly were not all good any more. I started feeling the rear end getting a little loose on the last curve and wrote it off as a bad spot in the road. The next curve got a little more adventurous so I knew I must be losing air in the rear tire when about that time, I heard a big pop and then the fun really started. Fortunately I was only doing about 25 mph at the time when it blew, but it was still one heck of a scary ride getting it stopped. Mrs. C. had a front row seat of the whole thing.
When your rear tire blows it starts acting like you are on the back of a bucking bronco throwing you abruptly from side to side with one purpose in mind, and that is to throw your butt off the bike. And the slower it gets, the worse it is. I had my doubts a few times, but thank God I was able to keep it up. What was going through my mind was not how bad am I going to get hurt, but how bad is this going to wreck the bike when it goes down. But fortunately we didn’t have to find out.
So here we are, 90 miles into Lolo Pass, aka, the middle of nowhere. No cell phones, no place to really pull off, nothing. I was laying on the side of the road looking under the fender to assess the condition of the tire to see if we could even put air in it when 3 bikes rode by in the opposite direction. This is where the brotherhood of motorcyclists shine the best. A couple of minutes later one of the bikes came riding back to check and see if we were all right, and shortly after that one more came back. The girl on the back of the bike worked in an emergency room and said there was no way she could ride by a biker laying on the ground and not go back to see if we needed help. Fortunately we didn’t need that kind of help, but they were invaluable with their local knowledge and helping come up with a plan.
Not knowing the area at all, we were lost and had really no idea which way to proceed for help or what to do. After some deliberation, we knew that we needed a Harley dealer to get a new tire put on. Rick suggested the nearest dealership would be 90 miles back to Missoula. The next nearest was over 200 miles to Kennewick. So now we knew that we needed to go back to Missoula but had no way of calling a tow truck from our location to get the bike there. Rick suggested that the nearest phone would be at the Lochsa Lodge 30 miles East and that we follow them 2 up on Mrs. C’s bike back to the Lodge where they were spending the 4th of July weekend. They had a landline in the lodge where we could call a tow truck in Missoula to come get the bike. So that was the plan. The good news was, we got hold of a tow truck and they agreed to come right out to get us, the bad news was it would be $300 to do so. At that point, there was no choice. I would have paid more to get my bike off the side of the road.
So we had lunch at the lodge and then visited with our new friends at their cabin while we waited for the truck to come to the lodge and follow us back to the bike. We got back to the bike where it took about 45 minutes to load it. After some research at the lodge, we found out that there was a hotel right across the parking lot from Grizzly HD in Missoula where we could spend the night and be near the dealership first thing in the morning. So we had the tow truck reached the hotel at about 9 PM that night where he dropped it off outside our window. We got up the next morning, got the bike to the Grizzly HD where they actually had a 180/60/18 tire in stock and had was able to put it on and get us back on the road in about 3 hours. Hallelujah! Thanks to them for the quick turn around.
By the time that we got back on the road, ate lunch and sent another box of clothes home from the local post office, we were headed back to the scene of the crime by about 2:30 PM on July 5th to Lewiston, ID. We ended up reaching our motel by 8 PM after 230 miles and another ride across Lolo Pass. The good news was it only ended up costing us 24 hours out of our trip. If they had not had a tire in stock it could have been much worse, so we were thankful for the short delay. After missing Lolo Pass a couple of times before, we got our fill this time, seeing 30 miles of it 5 times. The bad news was a $300 tow bill and the loss of a day of riding. But after getting the crap scared of me when the tire blew and stopping safely without incident, I felt blessed beyond belief and the small inconvenience of time and money was a small price to pay for what could have been a lot worse.
The potential of things like this are all part of the risks of taking these types of trips out into the wild west wilderness. We have been very fortunate to have had beautiful weather and very little mechanical problems while riding several thousand miles over the last 12 years. So I have no problem paying my dues where we lost a few hours of riding and no one got hurt. It was all good and a story that we can tell our Grandson’s when they start riding.
So here is the back story on the tire. I checked the tire twice the week before we left. It had 6000 miles on it and appeared to have at least another 6000 left on it. Not even a thought that it wouldn’t. My plan was to ride the 3000 miles and change it when I returned. Same for the front one. What I didn’t know was that it was an Avon tire that was very soft rubber. With the bad roads, heat and the weight from full saddle bags, the tire completely wore out in 2500 miles down to the threads all the way around before it blew out. Unfortunately, not knowing the outcome, I would have made the same decision today as it looked more than adequate for the ride. Be careful if you have a soft tire like and Avon Venom, they go away fast at the end. I replaced it with a Dunlop. The other lesson learned is to look at your tires every day just to make sure. In my case, the rear fender comes down so far that I couldn’t casually see that the tire was wearing. Click Here for Picture of the blown tire.
I just want to say THANKS again to Rick, Donna, Brad and his girlfriend Woody for taking care of us on the side of the road. They understood the problem and their knowledge of the area was invaluable for developing a plan. We would have literally been lost without them and the outcome would not have been nearly as smooth. Several cars went by and didn’t stop, but the biker community showed its’ true colors with these riders helping us out of a jam. I would have rather met them in a better way, but without this incident we wouldn’t have met such quality loving people. The next day after getting my bike back on the road, Mrs. C. and I pulled back into Lochsa Lodge and were able to spend 30 minutes of quality time with them outside their cabin before heading on down the road. Thanks again guys!
Next week I will finish up our Road Trip 2012 with days 8 and 9 through Hwy. 3, Hood River and Bend, OR.
Useful Links:

Tidbits and Updates:
Truck driver found guilty in deaths of 4 motorcyclists.
Michael Jakscht, the truck driver who ran over nine motorcyclists in March 2010, killing four, was found guilty Wednesday by a Maricopa County Superior Court jury. He faces up to 21 years in prison for each of four manslaughter charges and 15 years for each of five aggravated assault charges, all of which can be stacked at sentencing. I’m glad to see that there was some vindication for those injured and the families of those who were killed in this crash. It would have be a crime for him to walk free after this. The court system worked this time. See complete article at AZ Central. Click Here.
**Looking for a good long weekend ride idea? The Coronado Trail Loop combined with Silver City is a good one this time of year. See my report on this ride from last year that includes Kartchner Caverns. Click Here to View.
The Westgate Bike Night will be starting the Fall season on Thursday, September 13th and will run for 10 consecutive Thursday nights through November 16th.

This Week
Month of August!
For the month of August, Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale is offering a special financing rate as low as 2.74% with approved credit. This rate is only at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale. Call 480-905-1903 for details. Also, celebrate the Dog Days of Summer with all Sirius/XM Radio’s as well as Garmin/GPS on Sale. See flyer for details. Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ. 480-905-1903.
Thursday, August 16th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson is keeping Thursday Bike Night alive on the West side with a rotating bike night for the next 4 weeks. This week, August 16th will be at Hooter’s, 6:30 – 9 PM, located at 16550 N. 83rd Ave. in Peoria, just North of the dealership. Join us and other like minded motorcycle riders to share our passion of riding.
August 23rd – Cucina Tagliani.
August 30th – Johnny Fox’s Public House
September 6th – Tilted Kilt 
* VIP Motorcycle Parking
* Arrowhead Harley Girls
* Door Prizes
* Food Specials
See flyer for details. Click Here.
Friday, August 17th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson “Hot August Nights”. Don’t miss what has become a very popular and well attended event. Arrowhead HD Hot August Nights Car and Bike Show and Bikini Contest. Ride in, Drive in or bring the family to one of the best Car and Bike Shows in the West Valley. It all takes place Friday, August 17th from 5 PM – 9 PM. There will be Live Music, Free T-Shirts for the first 100 Car or Bike entries, Trophies for various categories including Best of Show for Car, Bike and Bikini. Register NOW to display your Car, Bike or Bikini. Email or call 623-247-5542 to enter. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Ftn. Blvd. in Peoria, AZ, just South of 83rd Ave. and Bell Rd. See you there!
Saturday, August 18th
Buddy Stubbs Anthem Hogs & Dogs. Ride up to Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson on Saturday, August 18th, where they are serving up a healthy dose of SAVINGS along with FREE food and drinks! Enjoy up to huge savings off select hats, gloves, hydration vests and functional riding jackets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.! Enjoy these great discounts and relax on their misted patio while the bikini bike wash girls give your motorcycle a much needed cleaning. These deals won’t last, so be sure to stop in and grab them before they are gone! For more information regarding this event go to or call (623) 465-1122. Buddy Stubbs Anthem H-D is located at 41715 N. 41st Drive, Anthem, AZ.
Saturday, August 18th
Omega Academy Fundraiser. Omega Academy is a k-12 non-profit charter school that had their A/C units stolen over Christmas break. They have very little funds for anything especially A/C units. Instant Barter is sponsoring a charity event to bring public awareness to their plight and help raise funds to pay for A/C. Their biggest need right now is the fact that teachers will be in their classrooms this coming Monday and school starts on Aug 20th. We are working diligently to find anyone willing to donate or help us pay for 25 portable 1200sq' capacity A/C units for the classrooms to make it through the rest of the summer until we can get the entire A/C job completed. Fundraising event Saturday, August 18th, 10 AM - 4 PM, 8632 W. Northern Ave., Glendale, AZ. Please contact for more information.
Next Week
Friday, August 24th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Summerheat Car Show. East Valley, don’t miss the Chandler Harley-Davidson Summerheat Car Show on Friday, August 24th from 5 – 8:30 PM. Enjoy a Classic and Hot Rod Car Show with trophies. Winners will be announced at 8pm. Swap Meet, Amazing BBQ from Can’t Stop Smokin’, Live Music from Voodoo Swing Rockabilly, Raffle Prizes, Bikini Bike Wash, Money Machine. To pre-register your car, email or call Chandler HD at 480-496-6800 located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ.
Saturday, August 25th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs and Dogs. Ride over to Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson on Saturday, August 25th, from 11am till 2pm where there will be an indoor summer SALE on some of your favorite H-D products! Save up to 50% on select boots, hats, women’s jeans and leather jackets! Drop by and enjoy these great deals along with live music, FREE food and drinks, as well as tours of Buddy’s museum! Don’t forget to let the bikini bike wash girls shine up your bike while you enjoy old friends and make new ones. Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ 85022. Buddy Stubbs can also be found on the web at
Saturday, August 25th
MSgt Randy Gillespie Memorial Poker Run. Sponsored by Luke AFB Fuels Management Flight and the Air Force Sergeant’s Association. Sign in from 7-9 AM at Jimbo’s on 51st Ave and Cactus. $15 registration and $20 with passenger. Free event T-Shirt to first 100 to register. Prize giveaways, raffle and 50/50 drawing starting at 1 PM at waddells Longhorn Corral. All proceeds raised go to the Gillespie Memorial and the Wounded Warrior Project. To sign up or donate online Click Here.

Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 3900 FANS! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!

Treadmill Failures. This will make you laugh out loud. Click Here to View

This commercial is called “Bad day at the car show”. Funny. Click Here to View.
Video of the Week: I’m tired of the heat, but I wouldn’t trade it for snow and ice driving again. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.
If you would like to sign up for the Weekly Update Click Here.

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,

Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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