Another bluebonnet day! After a light brekkie and waving goodbye to Bob, we loaded up the bikes at left the motel parking lot promptly at 10 am. A few miles down the road we stopped and topped of the gas tanks and then we were headed up Monarch Pass and over the Continental Divide! I'm always thrilled to ride the Rockies but especially when the weather is perfect and there is very little traffic. Oh boy! This was going to be good!
On our way up the pass we went by a rider on a Honda Grom, fully loaded, hunched down over the handlebars and wicking that little scoot like Satan was on his tail. It was soooooo cute!!! Hahaha. Even better he pulled off at the Old Monarch Pass (dirt and kinda of tough!) where some other ADV riders were waiting for him. Bet he has a story to tell.
We had a fun, twisty ride up the pass and stopped here for the obligatory photo op! It was a comfortable temperature with a slight breeze. Just gorgeous!
The way down the other side was just as spectacular with that wonderful fragrance of pine and mountains and plenty of nice curves! We motored along through Gunnison where we took a quick break and marveled at how much it has grown since we were last this way.
On through Montrose and finally stopped for lunch in Delta, CO at Butch's Cafe. Dude! We scored yet again on a local dive/diner. Food was good, service was good, price was good. Guess we'd call it good, hahahha. Naw, seriously, it was a nice meal, nothing fancy but yummy!
After lunch we had a whopping 40 or so miles to the HW3 hotel in Grand Junction. We weren't the first ones there and it was fun to pull up and see smiling faces.
Our Rally Master, Justin Philipson was right out there in front, welcoming riders.
After that warm welcome, we got our steeds parked and covered and slogged our "stuff" into the room that will be our home until Monday.
That evening we were on our own for dinner and no staff duties. Most of us hung out in front, kicked tires, told lies, had an adult beverage or two and simply enjoyed each other's company. I love coming to these events. There are people here from Canada and well as all four corners of the United States. I'm so excited to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
Now, off to some food and bed.
August 9, 2019
Quite a few riders had come in yesterday but even more were arriving today. Today is the day riders go through registration, tech check, and ODO check. Staff was up early for the 8:00 am start of checking in. Another beautiful, clear, sunny day.
Riders were to go to main registration to complete the liability wavers, provide emergency contact info and all the other administrative tasks. Next was to tech check. I was working this station with Dale "Warchild" Wilson, my Eric, and Erik Lipps. Fortunately we were staged in the back of the hotel under a nice, large shade tree. Riders approached from the left, pulled up under the tree and started Tech Check. License, registration, insurance declaration page......lol, almost sounds like I'm making a traffic stop, hahaha. Most riders were we prepared but you know, there is always that ONE or that FIVE that just don't have their sh*t in one sock.
But more on that in a minute.
After tech check, riders then exited right around the hotel to stop at the ODO check which was headed up by Steve Aikens and helped by Karl Zurcher.
Okay, this bike intrigued me immensely. A multi, multi, multi color Goldwing GL1800. Hmmmm.....certainly there is a story behind this! Actually, there are two stories here. John Weaver had seen us arrive yesterday and came up and asked if he had seen those two bikes in Asheville, NC a few months ago? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, we were in Ahseville, NC on Easter weekend in the pouring rain, road construction, freaking zillion massive filthy semi trucks/tractors, gear that failed, fun filled weekend. Hahaha, how cool is that? John is from North Carolina and just happened to see our bikes in Asheville. He remembered the deplorable weather and road conditions of that weekend.
Anyway, I ended up doing tech check for him and got the low down on the bike which was an insurance purchase. John, a long time Honda Goldwing mechanic, and being a cheap guy (as are most LD riders :-) ) simply hunted down cheap tupperware and put it all together. It's a fine running machine and nobody wants to steal it! Win/win in my book.
LOL, so for a couple of riders it was a simple call to their Insurance Agent to increase their coverage, have them send an email and then show me on your phone and your good to go! Yeah. A couple others with insurance issues struggled to connect the dots and get proof of some sort such as get online and access your account and show me the limits! But we got 'er done. One rider didn't have his motorcycle registration. You know, some sad story about how the dog ate it but in this case it was mice or rodents. I suggested he have someone take a pic of the tattered document and the title and email him the pic. Okay, that sounds doable. While he made calls to make that happen, the Rally Master happened by and we queried him as to what would be acceptable and Justin looked at his license plate tag and declared him good to go! WhooHoo for Rally Master's being at the right place at the right time. This rider was cleared to go.
Finally it was 4 pm and all riders checked in except for the lone KTM that had a fuel pump fail. He was at a dealer getting repairs and was expected to check in later (which he did).
More hanging out, kicking tires and telling lies until it was time to make our way to the banquet room where we feasted upon chicken parma, pasta and marinara sauce, lovely, lightly steamed green and wax bean and carrot veggies, green salad and dinner roll. Oh, yeah, sumptuous chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for dessert. Really an outstanding meal for banquet style. It was catered by the adjoining restaurant and was awesome.
A few pics of peeps settling in the banquet room.
Then, it really was time to go back to the room. After all, we had to get up at 5 am as well since we were doing ODO checks at the start!
August 10, 2019
Oh nice, I slept well and was actually ready to get up shortly after 5 am. We grabbed our flashlights (because it's dark at 5:30 am and we need to see what we were writing!), and joined staff that was outside just starting to line up bikes. The temperature was very pleasant and most riders were obedient, lining up where directed and things were about to get real :-)
A few pics of the bikes lined up. I think there were 59 bikes of which 10 had pillions. Bikes were lined up 5 abreast waiting to get ODO check, then waiting......waiting.......waiting for that signal from Warhild to GO! Yeah, the excitement and anxiety were building!
Oh, oh, oh, is that a rally bike I see? Pointed in the wrong direction with "stuff" littered on the ground? Why yes, yes it is indeed a rally bike and rider who overslept, woke with a start, threw on his LD Comforts and got his bike in line - but it wasn't packed. The bike and rider were not ready to leave. Oh, pooo! So rider pulled his bike out of line, collected his "stuff", loaded the bike, double and triple checked everything because let's face it, the pressure is real and mistakes get made under stress.
We decided to take a tour of a "Dispensary" because, well, I'm just a rather curious girl and want to know everything. So a few of us made our way to Pallisade and took the tour. Made me raise an eyebrow a time or two or laugh in disbelief. But, yes, it's real is some areas of the country and was an interesting experience.
Okay, I have some time before I'm needed for anything so I'll brief you on the Rally Puzzle. The theme is Periodyc Pandemonium and even I figured out it had something to do with chemistry and the Periodic Table. Well yes but with lots and lots of twists! The rally pack has 110 static element bonus locations you can visit. The elements are Iron, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sulfur, Calcium, Silicon, Carbon and Sodium. The goal is to collect as many elements as you can to then make compounds. There are nine possible compounds, Water, Carbon Dioxide, Silica, Hydrogen Peroxide, Iron Oxide, Methane, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate and Sulfuric Acid . However, each element stand alone bonus is worth points of it's own and if you combine elements to make compounds you get extra points. You can make each of the seven Compounds as many times as you like as long as each element bonus used in the Compound is unique. In other words you can't use the same element bonus photo to make more than one Compound. Okay, clear? In addition riders have rest bonus, Spot tracking bonus and a few other gimmees. There are also Wild Cards!! A rest stop will give you X wild cards which can be used as any element. There are 9 Wild Cards available and each Wild Card varies from 1 to 3 elements. Then there is also the last minute bonus of spelling out Periodyc Pandemonium using green DOT signs to collect the letters. (Scoring should be interesting with all the twists and choices available).
So, it's really anybody's game. Who can solve the puzzle and gain the highest number of points? I dunno. Can't even begin to guess. Spotwalla shows riders spread in all directions of the compass. So far the only issue I'm aware of is a missing bonus. Apparently one train engine had been substituted for another at the bonus location. A savvy rally rider called the Rally Master and was reminded of what to do in this situation or if a bonus is missing from the location. Everything sorted, rider grabbed the bonus.
Now, we're going over scoring protocol and getting ready to head out to a local pub (courtesy van) for dinner. I suppose there will be more tire kicking and telling lies before we all head off to bed tonight.
So far, this has been a blast! More tomorrow (or maybe Monday).