Okay, here's the first half of the summer of 2012. If you've seen previous road trip stories ( http://www.lightweightcamperforum.co...797&highlight= http://www.lightweightcamperforum.co...834&highlight= http://www.lightweightcamperforum.co...048&highlight=
), you know that I follow the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships around the country for work, but I also manage to find a little fun along the way.
This year I started in Southern California, and headed to Sacramento, CA, for the first race. From there it was on to Wortham, Texas; Lakewood, CO; High Point, PA; and Mechanicsville, MD. Early next week I'll make my way back to near Chicago, so that I can fly home and cover the X Games. Then I'll be back to cover races in Buchanan, MI; Millville, MN; and Washougal, WA, before heading home. Normally my 16-year-old son accompanies me for a portion of the summer, but he has some make-up work to do in summer school this year, which is why I'm cutting it a bit shorter this time around. Normally there'd be another east coast swing. I'll just fly to those three events.
Ready? Let's do this...
This year I added a new iPhone app to the collection. This one's called Strava, and while primarily designed for runners and cyclists, you can also use it to map hikes, and even segments of your road trips. As you'll see later on, I added a new mountain bike to the collection, and have been seeing out some more riding opportunities this summer.
Headed north, near Stockton, CA. Bored. Obviously.
Following some of the team rigs into the track at the first race, held at the Prairie City ORV Park.
This is Folsom Lake, just north of where the Prairie City ORV Park track. I met up with a friend of mine, and we got in a good ride on some of the trails surrounding the lake.
This is a hiking trail just north of Flagstaff in the Schultz Creek area, where I stopped for a mountain bike ride. This was a particularly nasty section of the trail (those are mostly water bars, designed to prevent erosion by diverting water off the trail), but it was pretty technical and rocky.
The previous afternoon, I'd gone through Needles, CA, and it was about 109 degrees. By the time I got up Flagstaff (at something past midnight), it was 46 degrees. As usual, I mostly stay overnight at the tracks, truck stops, or Camp WM (Wal-Mart parking lots).
This was a cool flowering cactus up in that same forest.
You may have seen this in another post. My major problem so far was dumping the freshwater tank out of the trailer. Too much pressure in + not minding the hose could possibly = your tank sitting on the ground. After draining it and remounting the tank, I continued on.
I did add a couple motorcycle tie-downs as security. I've since replaced them with four ratcheting tie-downs. The only other problems so far are a couple leaky (brand-new) Goodyears on the trailer. I added a can of Fix a Flat on each, and they both seem fine now. While looking over flat fix products, I saw one brand that uses a flammable gas. Seriously? Who would use that?
A stop at the Cadillac Ranch, just outside of Amarillo, TX. The colorful sunset is courtesy of some of the wildfires they've had in New Mexico.
My trailer, all by itself, in the pit area at Freestone County Raceway. I usually arrive in time for press day (Thursdays), and they park the rest of the rigs the next day.
Occasionally I'm amazed at how much area is still uncovered by cell service.
While heading out from Dallas, I ran across this thunderstorm. Yeah, the iPhone photo's a little grainy, but you get the idea. I was trying to catch some of the lightning (you can catch a bit of a flash in the upper right corner), and using a wide-angle accessory lens on the phone.
The truck and trailer near Trinidad, CO. The GPS said from Dallas I should head straight north to I-70, hang a left in Kansas, and head over to Denver. I had other ideas. Instead, I went through Amarillo, across northern New Mexico, and then up along the front range. Later I heard from other people who'd made the GPS-recommended trip that they'd encountered brutal headwinds across Kansas, which I'd missed. I did see a lot of pretty scenery, though, including a ton of antelope.
Here's my messy bed on the truck, that includes the bike, a pair of five-gallon gas cans, and a Honda generator. The gas can that's laying on its side is empty, and ballooned up from the change in pressure at altitude. I've since added a strap that keeps both of the containers from being unruly while back there.
While in Denver, I made a stop at Coors Field, where a gear company was having an intro event. I also got the watch the Rockies beat up on the Dodgers.
The sunset was pretty amazing, and the photo doesn't do it justice. Cool viewing for the fans, though, as the outfield faces the Rockies.
The bike is a Specialized Camber Expert 29, and costs way more than I should be allowed to spend on a bike. But it does have front and rear suspension, disc brakes front and rear, and some amazing components. This is on top of Dakota Ridge, which is west of Denver.
The further south you go on Dakota Ridge, the narrower it gets up top, and the drops on each side seem to get steeper. Cool ride, though...if you're into that sort of thing.
Near the end of the ride, I found these two...about ten feet apart on the trail. I'm not sure if I was messing up someone's dinner plans, but I don't think the rattler was big enough to eat the rabbit, anyway.
Along one side of Dakota Ridge, there are these dinosaur tracks. Pretty cool to see. There's a visitor center (and shuttle) from the bottom of the hill.
This is the kind of stuff that I shoot at the races. I love shooting action photos for a living. The majority of the photos in here are shot with my iPhone. That's obviously not the case here.
Heading through Kansas City, I spotted a sign for Arthur Bryant's BBQ. I'd seen them featured on a cooking show, and figured I'd give it a try.
Apparently on weekends, the line goes out the door and halfway down the block. This is half my sandwich, BTW. Pretty tasty. One of the locals told me that the yellow label sauce (spicy, not sweet) is the one to use.
I couldn't go through St. Louis without a stop at the arch. If you want to go, there is an RV parking section along the waterfront, south of the big bridge. It is a bit of a hike to get back to the arch, but I cheated and used my bike.