Sunday, November 11, 2007

An Eventful Veteran's Day Ride

Happy Veteran's Day!

After spending the whole day yesterday servicing my motorcycle, I rode out after 0930 towards Fort Logan National Cemetery on the SW side of Denver to pay my respects to the veterans buried there. I got there in time to take these pictures before the 1100hrs Annual (30th one) Memorial Ceremony put on by the the local VFW chapters with the help of several ROTC detachments, a color guard from Fort Carson and a fly by made up of four F-16 Fighter Aircraft.

Fort Logan National Cemetery, rows upon rows of our country's heroes

The attendance by veterans, their families, and others was pretty good. There was a good sized crowd assembled to listen to the speeches and witness the ceremonies done to honor both fallen and living veterans. The two passes made by the F16s overhead were major crowd pleasers and the speeches were not too long.

The most poignant part of the whole ceremony was towards the end when several trumpeters played Taps. One would start then a couple of notes later, a second trumpeter would start playing and so on. There were at least four trumpets and one french horn doing this, making this heart-stirring melody last much longer than usual. It was a quite lovely performance and the reaction from the crowd reflected it in their applause.

The Color Guard from Fort Carson did well in their 21 gun salute. Their movements were crisp and in unison. Saw a lot of Hog Riders in their leathers, most of them Veterans there to pay their respects. A lot of them from some outfit sporting large patches stating "Combat Veterans Riders". There were also a lot of veterans from Korea and Vietnam and even a wounded sargent from the Iraqi AO who was part of the wreath laying ceremony.

I left soon after the end of the ceremony and made my way SW towards the Chatfield Reservoir where I picked up my usual ride on Deer Creek Canyon Ride, traffic was very light and I enjoyed the twists and turns to Fenders where I took Turkey Creek Road South towards US285.

I spent a short time going South on US285 till I got to the Foxton Road exit, a very small sign marks the exit right after Conifer Pines so you have to watch for it. Foxton Road is very full of twists and turns as well and is quite enjoyable as a motorcycling road. It was perfect riding for me today, the weather was sunny and warm, and the road was empty.

I got to the small "town" of Foxton and took these pictures of the rock formation/mountain nearby.

I continued on Foxton Road till I ended up at the small community of Buffalo Creek and US126. I headed south on this road and many miles and curves later ended up at Deckers where I took a short water break.

After I left Deckers, now heading towards towards Woodland Park on US67, I was cruising along pretty good and about 5-6 miles from Deckers came upon the scene of a motorcycle accident! I spotted it from pretty far off and slowed down to stop to see what assistance I could render.

There was a car and several other motorcycle riders there ahead of me. Most were clustered around one rider who was prone on the north edge of the highway. I approached and saw he did not seem to be bleeding, but just lying there grimacing from pain. His clothes were not torn up that I could see and his riding buddies had made him as comfortable as possible on the ground.

I learned that riders had already gone back towards Decker and forward towards Woodland Park to try and find a landline or cellphone coverage (there was none at the site of the accident) to try and get an ambulance.

I helped three other guys move the injured rider's totaled sport motorcycle a bit further away from him since it was leaking gas from its tank. The motorcycle was really messed up on both sides, made me speculate it had to have spun and flipped a couple of times. The injured rider had apparently been wearing a helmet and leather jacket with jeans. No obvious injuries but he definitely was not about to get up on his own.

I was there perhaps 30 minutes total trying to be helpful but the injured rider's riding buddies and other riders had the situation well in hand. An ambulance got there perhaps ten minutes after I did and started working on the injured guy. I left shortly after a second ambulance showed up since I was really not needed at that point and continued heading towards Woodland Park.

It looked like a single vehicle accident to my untrained eye. My guess? Too fast on the curves, which were pretty tight in the section of US67 that we were in. I don't know for sure, but this is one Veteran's Day ride that rider won't be forgetting, at least he's alive and no visible road rash.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, got to Woodland Park then US24 to Colorado Springs and from there the I-25N Super Slab back to the house. Got home around 1615 or so, about 186 miles of riding in some pretty nice Colorado fall weather.

Sidenote: Here's a pic of the "town" of Bust which one sees on CO24 while heading towards Colorado Springs. More of a clever gimmick to draw in the tourists to hopefully buy something but amusing nonetheless:

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