frontpage350road Weekly Update
Greetings Riders,
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 of route.
Last week I left you with Day 6 and 7 of our Road Trip 2012. Click Here. This 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 had.
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 gear, 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 creek. 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 MPH.
I tried to open the door but it was crushed 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 Bend, Oregon.
Click Here for Photos.
Click Here for Map of Route.

Tidbits and Updates:
Get ready for fall bike nights!
The Westgate Bike Night presented by Arrowhead Harley-Davidson and Ridenow Powersports will be starting the Fall season on Thursday, September 13th and will run for 10 consecutive Thursday nights through November 16th. We will again have Live Bands, Vendors, Food, Drink and lots of motorcycles. Kiss the intense heat good bye and join me for the first night on Thursday, September 13th from 5-9 PM. More details to follow.
***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.

This 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!

This is a short video of a flight over America showcasing the famous landmarks. You will enjoy for sure. Click Here to View

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 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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