Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010 July 17th:
July 13th:
We got up and I went across the street with dad to JB’s for breakfast, and had a delicious breakfast buffet. On the buffet bar, they had: fresh scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, mini muffins, pineapple slices, watermelon slices, cantaloupe slices, pudding, and a few other syrup and gravy coated things I didn’t eat.
Dad paid the bill and went back to the room while I finished my food. I walked back to the room and began packing my stuff. I went to the ice machine that required special coins and filled my CamelBak, and returned to finish packing my stuff.
Dad’s music cord caused him trouble because the heat had melted the glue of his helmet’s rubber neck piece. Eventually, we were moving out and facing Zion National Park. Many awe inspiring Canyons adorned the roadside to Zion.
Our first stop was the visitor center for dad’s stamp. We saw the motorcyclists that stayed at our hotel last night, and ate at JB’s as well this morning, and talked for a short while. The parking lot’s odd shape made our hunt for the bike more interesting, and we were soon on the road through Zion.
There are two roads in Zion: one is for tour busses only and shows you almost all of the park, the other is for general traffic and cuts through a corner of the park and has a large tunnel that obscures the views. We took the latter road.
When we made the turn off, the road was abundant with dirt and gravel, and slowly got worse as we got farther up the road. About two miles in, I would’ve much rather been on that rocky dirt road at Great Basin than this road. Rough, jagged bits of pavement jutted out of gravel at carelessly cut angles, and were reaching scary tall obstacles.
I noticed I was in a rut that got closer and closer to the wall of rock to my right, so I pulled up onto the curb-high lip of pavement to my left, only to have my rear wheel decide to stay behind. The bike bounced, leaped, landed off angle, straightened out instantly, I began to put my feet out for balance, but the bike was tossed up and pinned my foot between the luggage and the ground.
I lay on my stomach facing back down the road and saw a car pulling slowly up and stopping. I tried to wiggle out from under my bike, but found it too difficult. The couple from the car ran up and lifted the bike enough for me to slide out from under it. I began to step away softly but found my right foot wouldn’t support my weight.
Dad had just pulled back around the corner and got off the bike as the couple tried to lift my bike. Dad told them not to worry about it and that he needed to find out if I was okay first. I was helped over to the side of the road, and I noticed then that a line of cars had begun stopping as far as I could see around the turn. Great, I was holding up traffic. Dad had moved my bike out of the way of the road. A ranger showed up and was informed of the situation.
We removed my boot and sock to see if there was any visible swelling. The woman from the car ran and got a cold pack and put it on my foot, which felt good. A construction guy had appeared and was asking if we could move on and keep traffic moving, completely oblivious to what had happened. After we explained that I couldn’t ride, the road worker got a little frustrated about our blockage.
There was a bicker between the ranger and the worker about the road quality, which my dad got involved in. I wore out the cold pack, so the woman kindly got another. I was asked if I needed an ambulance, to which I very reluctantly said yes. It came shortly after, and I was splinted and loaded up.
Inside the ambulance, the medic ranger set my foot, tested my feeling in my toes, started an IV drip, and took blood pressures. We headed to St. George Hospital and I talked with the ranger for the hour plus trip. At the hospital, I was rolled in and transferred to the hospital bed from the stretcher. I had six X-rays and was left alone as the doctor talked to a trauma foot surgeon.
I received my X-rays and was alone again until dad showed up many minutes later. The doctor came back in 30 or so minutes later, after I had changed out of my riding gear and into pajamas. I was told to stay off my feet for a week, so the swelling could go down.
I was splinted with a better, more comfortable splint and given crutches. I reminded dad that Evie was only a couple minutes away, and that I could stay there, and dad gave her a call as I hobbled to the waiting room and sat.
Evie was there in minutes, so I got in and dad loaded up the car and we both went up to Target so Evie could fill my prescription of Lortab while I stayed in the car and talked with Evie’s sons. When she got back, dad took off for home, and we headed to KFC/A&W for a bucket of chicken and root beers. Evie’s Jaguar had a flat, so she took care of the tire while we ordered food.
We got back to the house and ate, then talked for the rest of the night until I was tired from the day, and my meds. I retired in the room that the cat sleeps in. Goodnight and I apologize for the lag in posts.
July 14th:
I woke up at one this morning from my foot hurting, and took a pill. The pain still sat, so I got up and wandered on my crutches for a minute or two, until the pain went away, then I returned to bed.
I woke again at seven, and got up after a pill, and walked out to the living room. I ate a couple apricots, and Evie offered me toast and hard boiled eggs. She ended up making a couple egg salad sandwiches for me, which I was grateful for. I munched on apricots and talked with whoever was in the room at the time, for everyone was coming and going.
After a while I turned the TV to Ghost Hunters and watched the all day special for several hours, and ate probably 20+ apricots today.
Later, one of Evie’s sons showed me his BB gun, and let me fire it at cans and bottles. I found it enjoyable and hit most of my targets. His older brother then showed me his paintball gun and how it worked. We all watched some more TV, and had homemade burgers for dinner.
I decided to go to bed early tonight and crashed on my bed after taking my next pill. Have a nice night everyone, and no worries for my foot. This event is a part of my Voyage, and I take it with a smile.
July 15th:
I woke at 3:05 this morning in need of a pill, and made my same routine as yesterday. I got up and meandered about until my foot stopped hurting. I went back to bed and slept until five, took another pill, and got up to sit in front of the TV. I was too restless to try sleeping again.
I ate a handful of apricots, and had a bowl of cereal when everyone was waking up. People were in and out again, so conversation was spotty. The family Pomeranian, Keefer kept me company today. The dog was so small I could pick him up by his fur with one hand, and he wouldn’t flinch.
The day eked by, with not much in the way of eventful happenings, this was fine, because I was in a very chilled out mood. Evie made me a few turkey sandwiches which hit the spot and held me off for the day. Apricots had quickly become a staple for me when I was there because they balanced my digestion from my pills, and I had about 15 today.
Dad showed up and there was a flurry of activity at the house. Once my bags were packed, we said goodbye and hit the road again. It was so hot today in St. George, and we had the AC on full blast. It took many minutes to cool down from being in 115° weather.
We drove until we arrived in Richfield, Utah, and then pulled into the Holiday Inn Express there. Once unpacked, we started to walk to the Subway nearby. It did not take long for me to tire, however. Dad went to get the truck, and we looked around for other things instead.
We stopped at a Taco Bell/KFC and ate there. I had a leg/thigh and three soft taco supremes. We went back to the hotel and I was getting very tired. I bid you goodnight, and thank you for reading. *snore*
July 16th:
I woke well rested at roughly seven, and felt thankful that I had no BS in the early hours this morning. We went downstairs and ate a breakfast of cheese omelets, sausage patties, cinnamon rolls, raspberry horns, yogurt, a banana, and apple juice. We packed, and I squeezed into the truck.
We got on the road and our beautiful drive began with a 100+ mile stretch of forest, cliffs, and colored canyons with no amenities. After we got out of the no man’s land, we stopped for gas and something at DQ. I had a peach Julius, but discovered that I’m not fond of the Julius in general.
We continued down the road, and I commented on the gorgeous house in Avon, Vail, and the surrounding area. We went through the Eisenhower tunnel (3+ mile long tunnel through a mountain) and hit angry traffic coming into town.
When we got home, our neighbors helped get the bike out of the truck, and I went around the house and found that my fish died because my friend never fed him… it was kind of gross. Soon, my friend showed up to help unpack, and I scolded him about my fish. Dad and I went to eat at Qdoba while my friend took his cousin downstairs to play games.
My dinner was a large steak burrito with queso, salsa, black beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce. I even ate part of dad’s burrito. We came back to the house and I went downstairs (difficult task) and played games and talked with my friends. The night dragged on until the very wee hours when I passed out. Good night and Thanks for reading the Blog! Thanks to all of the wonderful people we encountered on our life journey!

Friday, July 16, 2010

2010 July 16th:
Niko and I both slept very good last night and woke up feeling good and ready to face the day. We went down to the breakfast room and had some breakfast. It was a good breakfast with many choices. Once we were finished with breakfast we went back to the room to pack up and get ready to leave.
We loaded up the truck and left. We got on the Interstate 70 and headed east toward Denver. The GPS told us that it would take us 7½ hours to get there. Both of us were in good spirits and we were joking and laughing about many different parts of our journey together. We discussed many different things that we had seen along the way and at the time were unable to talk about. We can’t communicate while we are riding. We had a beautiful drive and both of us were in awe of the sites we saw on our way home.
We stopped only for fuel and restroom breaks. The truck was having some difficulty with the extra load and the steep mountain passes, but we arrived safely at home.
My neighbors, Mike and Hillary, arrive at home shortly after we did, and assisted in unloading the motorcycle from the truck. Thank you, guys. I parked the bike and unloaded the truck and started to put things away. Niko’s friend arrived shortly afterward and then Niko and I went to get something for dinner.
When we got back home, Niko went downstairs and joined his friends in playing games. He told me that he would spend some time putting up all of my posts on the website and work on his side of the story for the last few days tomorrow.
Despite the injury to Niko’s foot, we had a wonderful journey and I think that we discovered a lot about each other. We saw a lot of this beautiful country and learned a lot about it as well. I can’t express it enough about how blessed I feel to live here in Colorado, as every time I leave my house I’m blessed with a most beautiful view of the mountains and tonight just as the sun was setting behind the mountains I was reminded again of my blessings. I’m thankful for our safe return from this wonderful and memorable experience with my son. I know that I will always cherish this time we spent together.
I have much business to attend to during the next few days, but as soon as possible I will return to my travels and finish what we started. I want to say a special thanks to Evie and her family for taking such good care of Niko while he was there. I also want to thank everyone else for helping us during our journey together. You all made it very special. We met many nice people along the way and many of them made our experience a very enjoyable one. Thank you everyone! Good Night!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2010 July 15th:
I went to bed late last night and I woke up well before the alarm went off and I got up and got ready to leave. I had already loaded up the truck the night before so all I needed to do was grab something to eat and take off.
Just before I left I had this weird feeling that I was forgetting something and so I just stood in the garage and I let all of the things just go through my mind. A moment later it dawned on me that I didn’t have the key to Niko’s bike. I knew where it was so I grabbed it and then I left. If I had forgotten that item, it would have been very difficult to load up his bike in the truck.
I was on the road by 5:30am with very light traffic. I stopped in Idaho Springs, Colorado and picked up a decaf coffee. This was just enough stimuli to keep me awake. I had to stop for fuel in Glenwood Springs, Colorado then Green River, Utah and Cedar City, Utah. I turned off and went to the park to get the bike and to talk to the rangers about getting a copy of the incident report.
After talking to several people, I was able to get to a pair of Park rangers that were officers. They were able to get me a request form to send in as the incident report was not completed and unavailable at this time. We will do this when we get home.
These officers were very kind and also helped me load up the bike. I tied it down really well and then drove off on my way to Evie’s place to pick up Niko. The drive took me another hour and then I loaded all of Niko’s stuff into the truck. We both said our goodbyes and we drove off headed for home. Thank you, Evie for everything.
We stopped in Richfield, Utah and found a place to stay. I drove 879 miles today with two half hour breaks, one at the park and one at Evie’s. I’m very tired and I need to get some sleep. Thank you all for your concerns and for reading. Good Night.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 July 14th:
This morning I woke up really early. I think that it was because of the other patrons of the hotel and the fact that my room was right next to the elevator. I got up anyway and made my way down to the breakfast room. I ate my fill of eggs and some hash browns, some fruit and apple juice. I went back to my room and packed up everything and took it out to the bike.
Once all was loaded, I left and jumped right onto the Interstate 70 east, bound for home. I stopped for gas about 30 minutes later because a sign said “110 miles to the next services”. That would have put me well over the limit of what fuel I had left. All gassed up and ready to go, I didn’t stop again until I needed fuel, at which point I was in Colorado.
Once again, I just gassed up and hit the road again. I had to stop one more time for fuel in Idaho Springs Colorado and then it was home.
When I made it home I cleaned up with a shower and then spent over an hour going through a huge stack of mail. Most of it was junk but I did have a few things to make calls on for Katherine. I grabbed a bite to eat, and then got the truck ready for the long ride back to where I had just come from.
I would like to say that of all the Interstates that I have travelled, the first 500 miles of Interstate 70 has got to be the most scenic of them all. With Utah being one of the most scenic areas in the US and then going straight into Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, this is a very pleasant Interstate to have to ride on.
It was a long ride today with 492 miles achieved. It started out cool with temperatures around 65°F when I left Richfield Utah, but ended up rather warm with 97°F being the temperature when I got home.
When I spoke to Niko, he was in good spirits and was looking forward to coming home. I told him that I would be there late in the day tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to this long day of driving tomorrow but it has to be done. I’m guessing around 11 hour’s maybe a little more. My old truck just doesn’t get after it like a bike does.
Well, that’s about it for today, I will update things tomorrow. Thank You and Good night.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010 July 13th:
I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to go. I woke up Niko and we got dressed to go to breakfast at the restaurant across the street where we had dinner last night. When we were there we saw that they had and all you can breakfast buffet that sounded really good. This certainly beat the coffee and donuts offered by the hotel.
After an enormous breakfast of lots of protein and fruit, I paid the bill and left Niko to keep eating and I went back to the hotel to get ready to leave. Niko showed up a few minutes later and he started to get his stuff packed up. It wasn't too much later that we were both ready to go.
We headed up to Zion National Park. The park was already pretty busy with a lot of people walking around the Visitor’s Center. I found where to get the passport stamped and then we went back to the bikes to do the drive through the park. As soon as the road crossed the bridge and started to go up, the road construction started. Every National Park that we have been in on this trip has had construction. The difference here was that this had to be the worst road construction that I have ever seen.
The road was so torn up and full of holes and partial bits of pavement all gnarled, it was very bad. There was absolutely no sign of workmanship at all. In fact I think that the road Niko and I took for a “short cut” was in better shape than this. The problem was that many, many people were traveling on this road.
About two miles into this construction mess, Niko went down and he was no longer in my mirror. I turned around and found that some people were trying to help him out from under the bike. Somehow the bike had landed on top of his foot. These very nice people were trying to pick up the bike and told them to just leave it. I wanted to know how Niko was doing and whether he was OK or not. He said that the bike landed on his foot and that it really hurt. We sat him down and took off his boot and sock before the swelling made that impossible. This was probably not the text book method of dealing with an injury, but it was what we did. One of the people helped me get the bike up and off to the side of the road. His spouse was a nurse and had some ice packs and put one on Niko’s foot.
The ranger showed up soon after and then some construction guy (who was quite the DICK). The Ranger called for EMT and a few minutes later the park ambulance showed up. They took one look at Niko’s foot and then put it in a temporary splint. They loaded him up in the ambulance and took him to the hospital in St George.
I was left with picking up all of the stuff that they didn’t take and figure out somehow to get both bikes somewhere off of this road. I put Niko’s bike back together and made arrangements with the ranger to get a ride back to my bike. I was going to take Niko’s bike down to the ranger station and park it until we could figure out what was up with Niko’s foot.
Just before I rode off the construction dick asked me if I was going to leave my bike parked by the side of the road. I told him that was exactly where I was going to leave it until I could get a ride back up here to take it down to the hospital. I think that he somehow thought that I should ride both bikes down at the same time. I told him that he would just have to deal with it. This guy kept acting like it was us that caused this problem when it was the lack of workmanship in the road construction that really caused this problem.
I left with Niko’s bike and rode it to the ranger station. While en route however the ranger got another call and took off and left me stranded. I found the ranger station and went inside only to the dismay of another ranger who said that I should never have made it through the doors. I guess they were supposed to be locked or something. She was very helpful once I explained why I was there. It only took a few minutes and somebody came by to pick me up and took me back to my bike.
The construction dick was still there and seemed even more upset than before. He told me that he had to direct traffic around my bike because it was in the way. I was to the point and told him that none of this would have happened had they just done their job right in the first place. He went off on me about a bunch of politics and telling me that there was more pavement than they had bid to scrape, with this problem and that problem and how the governor of Utah had to get involved and on and on. What a sob story. So the answer was to just leave the road in a terrible mess and wait until someone got hurt, and then to do it right. I had a hard time even believing this guy’s gall. I got my stuff put together and mounted up and drove back down this horrible mess of a road.
I went back to Niko’s bike and grabbed his luggage and loaded it onto my bike. I knew that Niko would want to get out of his riding gear and into something more comfortable. Once I was loaded, I took off toward St George to find the hospital. It took me a good hour to get there and to find him. He had already been seen and he was waiting to see what the doctors wanted to do. He broke the metatarsal for the big toe on his right foot. The doctors said that all they had to do was to splint it and then he was to stay off of it and to see his physician in a week to see if it was healing properly.
Well it was a good thing that I had an hour to think about all of this before I got to the hospital, because I had ran through several scenarios of what our options were. I called my friend Evie and asked her if she would put Niko up for a couple of days so that I could go home and get our truck. Luckily she was really close to the hospital running errands at the time and swung by and picked him up. We got his prescription filled and then I took off for home.
I would like to say that all of the Rangers that were involved with this were great and very helpful. Thank you for all of your assistance. All of the hospital staff was wonderful and had Niko bandaged up and on his way quickly. Thank you all very much as well. And to my long time friend Evie, I’m very thankful that you were available to lend assistance. Thank you so much.
I rode on toward Colorado for about two and a half hours and stopped for the night in Richfield Utah. I have less than 500 miles to ride tomorrow to make it home. It will be a long day but I can do it.
I will get my truck and then go pick up Niko and his bike and take him home. We’ll take care of some business and get him to see his doctor and get him healed. Once all is settled, I plan to continue on and still visit my friends in Texas. That is where the idea for this whole trip started in the first place. It sure is funny how one thing led to another and we ended up going the other way.
I’m very thankful that Niko isn’t hurt any worse than this minor injury. Things could have been a lot worse. I’m also thankful that I’m so close to home and with just a little effort we’ll get him home and taken care of. I want to thank every one of you that has helped us and supported us in our journey. It would not have been possible otherwise. Thank You and Good Night.
Don’t worry, the story will continue. I will keep posting to let you know what is going on. Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 July 12th:
This morning I woke up by the alarm. I wanted to make sure that we were on the road early. I got myself ready and woke up Niko so that he could get himself ready. We had a bunch of things to do before we could leave.
Once we were ready we left and got on the interstate 15 and headed south. We only stopped a couple of times for gas and another couple of times for short breaks. When we arrived in St George Utah it was 107°F. We were really putting ourselves to the test in this type of heat. We took a road that led up into the hills outside of St George and arrived at a friend’s for a short visit. Evie has been a good friend to me since my teenage years and since I knew that we would be close I wanted to make a point of visiting even if it was for only a short visit.
We spent a couple of hours with her and family visiting and then went on our merry way. We wanted to make it to Zion National Park, but it turned out to be too late to make it to the park before they closed. We found a place to stay about 20 minutes away and so that will be the first thing we see in the morning.
We had a wonderful meal at the restaurant across the street and then went for a swim in a very warm pool. It felt great.
Today was one of those “just get there” kind of days and so we spent far too long on the interstate. We will be riding on smaller less traveled roads over the next few days as we work our way to Phoenix Arizona. We will surely know what hot is by the time we get there.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoy the great work that Niko has done with the website. Good Night.

We got up and began packing this morning, and I struggled with my boot buckle. I fed Steve’s cats, and went downstairs to put the bags on my bike that dad parked by the staircase. When I got to it, a man was standing by the BMW and the nearest garage door was open.
When I politely asked if we were in the way and needed to move, he burst into a flurry of unneeded anger and said he’d been waiting for twenty minutes for us to come out, and that we were breaking laws, etc, etc. I asked him to wait and ran upstairs to get dad so he could move his bike. When dad showed up, the irate man began drilling him with questions of his name, room number, etc. We just said we were sorry and that we were not from around town.
He left and we finished up and took off. We ate at Del Taco, and stopped in at Big O Tires to put air in my front tire. Later, we stopped for gas, ice and oil in Cedar City, then quickly moved out and on towards St. George, Utah. I laughed when I noticed that we passed through a town called “Washington” before St. George. “St. George Washington, huh? Bet he’d be unhappy at that honor”.
Soon, our bikes were parked in front of Evie’s house and we went in to chat. I noticed she had many Labradoodles, and one tiny Pomeranian… AKA, fuzzy football. We stayed for a while and met her kids, and the beautiful part Native American, part Hawaiian girl that is frequently around.
We said good bye, and took off in hopes of reaching Zion National Park. I noticed all of the Mormon churches in town, and the concept of a Mormon state was becoming more obvious. We were passing through another town when dad pulled into a motel, because he noticed it getting late and remembered that Zion closes its gates sooner than we’d arrive.
We got out of our slimy heat gear, showered, and dressed nicer so we could eat at a diner across the street. The place had an all you can eat salad/fruit/soup bar, and I had bottomless shrimp with it. The food was scrumptious! We finished dessert with a pie for me and a sundae for dad, and then headed back.
I put on trunks, and went to the outdoor pool for a swim, and met some kids speaking a cool sounding foreign language that sounded east European, and played with them for a while. They were Czech, and their parents didn’t know much English.
We went back to the room and are typing this blog… Thank you for reading and goodnight!
2010 July 12th:
Hip, Hip Hooray!!! Niko worked hard for the last three days and we uploaded all of the files late last night and the website is now up and running! Oh yeah! If you are still going to the blogspot address please use: from now on. We will be posting each day in the news page so if you follow along daily that would be where to check. Every day we will move the two day old journal to the end of the total story. That can be found under the Blog page. The big difference is that the daily journals will be appended to the end instead of at the top. The current journey that we are on is called “The West Coast and National Park Tour”
If you have any comments or suggestions about the website we invite your comments. Please send any and all comments to Whenever we have internet access we will review all emails. Also if you would like to be listed as a follower please submit a picture with your name and location (city and State) to the above email address.