I would like to welcome home all of those who rode to Sturgis over the last
couple of weeks. I heard that the weather was great and it was a
very good year for the rally. We really wanted to go but it just didn’t work
out. Hopefully next year. If you have been gone and missed the last couple of
newsletters reviewing our Road Trip 2012, Click Here for 8/15/12 and here 8/8/12. There are plenty of
photo’s and editorial of our route for you to see.
If you are going to Durango next week, be sure to take a look at the route
we took up there last year through Canyon De Chelly and the beautiful Hwy. 13 to
Shiprock. The scenery on Hwy. 13 is like going from Sedona to
Flagstaff as you cross through the red rocks into the pine forest climbing to
8600 feet and back down. This is an Awesome road that not many riders know
about. Click Here to read my report.
According to Google Maps, it adds about 36 miles (from I-17 & 101) and a
couple of hours to your ride, but if you are not in a big hurry, this is a great
way to get to Durango. It is best ridden North. Click Here for Google Map
Last week I left you with Day 6 and 7 of our Road Trip 2012. Click Here
week I will continue this series as we will make our way from Lewiston, ID to
Hood River, OR to celebrate my birthday with dinner on the Columbia River. We
awoke on Day 8 in Lewiston, ID at the Holiday Inn overlooking the city, already
lamenting that our trip would soon be over. This day was projected to be
somewhere around 400 miles arriving in Hood River, OR around 6 PM. Little did we
know that we were going to have one of the most bizarre delays that we have ever
Our original idea was to go directly toward Kennewick and visit a friend at
the Rattlesnake HD and then go on toward Portland exploring the
North side of I-84 and Mt. Adams in Washington. But we had heard about Hwy.
129/3 from Clarkston, WA to Enterprise, OR a couple of times by a friend here in
town and by the group that helped us on Lolo Pass, not to mention it is #15 on
the AMA top 15 rides list, so we thought we had better go check it out and see
what makes this ribbon of asphalt so good. We are glad we did. This is a great
motorcycle road for sure.
You start in either Lewiston or Clarkston, WA and go South on Hwy. 129
where you will follow the Snake river for about 8 miles before
making a climb up through a series of switchbacks to a plateau that you will
ride through farmland for about 20 miles. Then you will start your descent
through the pines into a canyon called Rattlesnake Grade that is full of twists
and turns as it tracks the side of the mountain while working down to and cross
the Grande Ronde River. From here you will start your climb up through another
series of curves and twists as you work your way to the Oregon side where the
road turns to Oregon Route 3 and the twisties continue. As you look back from
this to Rattlesnake grade from the Oregon side, you get a great look at the road
and the canyon that you just traversed. Click
Here to View. As the road straightens out, you will have great look
at the Wallowa
Mountains for about the last 20 miles as you near Enterprise, OR.
This stretch of 129/3 from Clarkston to Enterprise is about 83 miles of sheer
motorcycle riding joy and well worthy of the being in the Top
15 AMA rides list.
Enterprise is a good place to gas up and take a break before
taking the 12 mile ride through the town of Joseph and out to Wallowa
Lake State Park. This is a beautiful ride to the lake where you can
even take a ski lift to the top of the mountain. The town of Joseph offers
plenty of restaurants if you would like to take a break.
From Joseph we headed North on beautiful Hwy. 82 to Elgin and then caught
Hwy. 204 North through the Blue Mountains to reach Wall Walla, WA.
Hwy. 204 through the Blue Mountains and forest is an excellent ride. But 204
offered us more than just beauty that day as it provided one of the more
unnerving experiences that we had ever had. About 15 miles North of
Elgin we were enjoying the great scenery of the pine trees through the winding
road when we came up behind an older Ford Explorer. We were in no hurry so we
were just following this car at around 50 mph until a place presented itself to
get around it. We were coming up to another curve when I saw the right front
tire of this car go into the gravel a bit, and of course thinking they would
just move back onto the pavement. It never did, and what happened next was one
of the most surreal and unbelievable things that I have ever seen. It was like I
was in the front row of an action movie that was very real.
On this forest road like many others, there is virtually no shoulder, maybe
2 feet of gravel and then it drops off severely after that. Once
this woman started going into the gravel and not coming back I screamed “what
the heck is she doing?” The car, doing at least 50 MPH, launched off of the
road, goes down into the tall
brush and is heading directly for one of the big
pine trees that we were enjoying from the road. I’m thinking I was
about to witness something very bad to someone I didn’t even know, possibly even
a family going camping for the 4th of July weekend. It is crazy how many things
can go through your mind in an instant when watching something like this. For
some reason, at the last second the car turned just enough to keep from hitting
the tree head on and made contact with the driver door. Rebounding off of the
tree launched the car up in the air causing it to roll twice through the creek
and ending up on
its wheels after taking out a couple more small trees.
The car was packed with camping
, supplies, clothes, etc. that promptly started flying out of the
vehicle as the windows broke out and the car rolled out of control.
The 5 seconds of watching this happen seemed like an eternity for us as we were
so helpless to do anything except watch this destruction of a vehicle and
possibly several people unfold in front of us. By the time that we slowed down
we were at least 100 yards past the accident. So I turned around to go back and
see if I could help whoever was in the car.
As I reached the scene, the car was down a steep embankment and across the
I yelled to see if everyone was alright and got no response. All of
the windows were broken
out except the tinted driver window so I couldn’t see in that
either. I scaled down the hill and crossed the creek to see check the condition
of whoever was in the car. Not being a trained in EMT, or ever seeing anything
like this unfold in front of me before, I will admit to being very reluctant to
sticking my head into the passenger window of the car for fear of what I might
see. My thought was, that what I was about to see couldn’t be good, after
witnessing this violent crash only moments before. So I stuck my head in the car
and saw the back of the head of what looked to be and older lady with gray hair.
I said, “are you alright?”. Not really expecting an answer she said, “You know,
I think I am”. I said are you bleeding or any broken bones? She said “no, just
this little cut on my hand, I think I am alright”. Being totally amazed, and
relieved at the result of her health after what I had just witnessed, I said
ma’am, you are one lucky person, you just took a wild ride.
I asked if there was anyone else in the car and she said no, just my dogs.
As it turns out, there were two Yorkshire Terriers in the car with
her that survived as well and were fine. I asked her if I could get her some
water as there was one laying in the creek that had come out of her car and she
said yes, she would give it to her dogs. So I took the lid off and handed it to
her through the back window. Now that I knew she was all right, I said “what
happened, how did you drive off of the road?”. She said, “well, I just closed my
eyes for a second. . .” That was my answer, she had fallen asleep and had very
little room for error around that corner and simply drove off of the road at 50
I tried to open the door but it was
in and would not budge. By this time, a truck driver
had stopped and asked if he could help. I asked him for a tire iron to get the
door open. He came with a 5 foot tire iron that wouldn’t even come close to
opening the door. Shortly after that a couple of guys that were EMT’s and on
vacation talked with the woman, took her vitals and said she was doing good. Of
course there was no cell phone service in this area, so Mrs. C. had already
dispatched some passersby up on the road to go to Elgin and alert the local
authorities to the accident.
Finally after 40 minutes, the Sheriff and EMT showed up to help this woman.
After giving my statement to the Sheriff, we decided that we had
done all that we could do and headed out after about 50 minutes at the scene
with the woman still trapped in the car. They had to use a jaws of life from a
nearby town to get her out. Come to find out, she was on her way to meet her
daughter for a camping trip for the weekend which is why the car was full of
gear. We found out later that evening that they took her to the hospital and
that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her other than a small cut on her
hand from glass. She was released and was home that evening. When you see the
pictures of the car and what she went through, you might agree with me that she
was not alone in the car that day, there was a guardian angel with her that
turned the wheel just enough to miss hitting that tree head on, which would have
brought a much worse ending to this story. To go through that with virtually no
injuries was absolutely amazing.
I for one was glad to see that she was in good shape, because the fear that
was going through my mind as I was sliding down that embankment and
crossing the creek on the way to the vehicle was wondering what the heck I was
going to do if she was critically injured, or worse, and that I wouldn’t have
been able to save her. Fortunately she was, to my amazement, alert, uninjured
and needed no special attention. Thank God for that. Even the dogs were bouncing
around the car like nothing had happened. I still to this day, with all of the
windows except one being broken out, can’t figure out how those dogs did not get
ejected. But they didn’t and were fine.
After experiencing this horrific crash and doing what we could to
help, we left it to the professionals, saddled up and continued our
route North to Walla Walla. As you could imagine, our adrenaline was sky high
and it took a while before we could settle ourselves down. The next several
miles to Walla Walla were spent replaying this scene over and over in our mind,
saying a prayer for this woman and her family, and trying to settle down to
enjoy the rest of our day. We had done all that we could do.
We continued our route through Walla Walla and on to Kennewick for a quick
visit to Rattlesnake HD. By this time it was getting late and we
decided to just take I-84 to make it to the Hood River Best
Western on the Columbia River. We got there in time to be able to
celebrate my birthday with dinner
on the patio overlooking the bridge
and the river. It was a great end to a very exciting day. We got to
ride one of the top 15 roads in the United States as voted by AMA riders which
was awesome. But we also witnessed how quickly a great day can turn into a very
bad day, which reminds us how blessed we are to get through every day and every
ride unscathed. A reminder that we never take lightly.
Next week I will finish Road Trip 2012 from Hood River to
Tidbits and Updates:
Get ready for fall bike nights!
***I recently bought a 2004 Road King from a friend that has moved to
California. Since I knew the bike pretty well, my original intent
was to possibly build another custom touring bike out of it. But after
remembering how much time and money went into the last one, I came to my senses
and decided to just sell it. It is a 2004 Road King with an 88 CI Fuel Injected
engine with 40,000 miles. It is in excellent condition all around including
tires. Has a touring seat, aftermarket exhaust and windshield with it. The only
blemish is a small dent on the right side of the tank. Other than that it runs
strong and has a brand new battery in it. If you know of anyone who might be
interested in a Road King, let them know about it. I am asking $9250. Here is the Craig’s List ad with
pictures of the bike.
Friday, August 24th
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Chandler HD at
480-496-6800 located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ.
Saturday, August 25th
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 www.buddystubbshd.com.
Saturday, August 25th
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 Cyclerides.com 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
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!
This is a short video of a flight over America
showcasing the famous landmarks. You will enjoy for sure. Click Here to
This video isn’t funny, but very amazing. It is
live video from a car of the Tsunami rolling in. Click
Here to View.
Video of the Week:
This is one of my favorite video’s of all time.
It makes me laugh every time I see it. It is called Chimp on Penguins. Click Here to
View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the
If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
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