Friday, December 12, 2008

A Lunch Ride in the Plains

I worked from home today, no reason other than having had to work late last night into the early morning on a telecom change in the United Airlines facility in San Francisco. It was all done remotely so my role was managing things over the phone.

Regardless, I elected to work from home. Lunch time came around and I found myself on Maria, my 2004 R1150RT, heading East along Quincy Road. As I approached the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, I saw the snow melting in a rather eye-catching pattern off to my right where a farmer's crop field is located.

After taking some shots that resulted in the pano above, I continued heading East on Quincy Road till I came to Road 129. It's not a county maintained road but it was doable at slow speed by Maria. In spite of her weight, she rode steadily enough so long as I did not exceed 25 mph. I found myself wishing I'd ridden Brigitta today but what can you do?

Road 129 is straight and gravelly, not much but farms/ranches and prairie as far as the eye can see. Eventually, I finally made it to the junction of Road 50 which eventually becamed pavement and turned into CR194, aka County Line Road which I took back home via Smoky Hill Road.

A leisurely ride in sunny weather with temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s. The cold wasn't too bad though since Maria's fairings provide great wind protection.


Allen Madding said...

As much as I don't like the asthetics of fairings, I'm going to have to try one in cold weather sometime. They have to help.


Charlie6 said...


oh they do help with keeping the cold wind off you....pain in the butt when doing maintenance.....

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sir:

You do present the reader with very thought-provoking photographs. I love pictures of the plains. I am amazed that "plains" have different character. The plains I saw on my last trip to Colorado, over five years ago, were very different from the plains I saw in North Dakota. Both were endless and flat... But both were distinctly different.

I forget where the hell I was in Colorado, but I was driving north from Taos in New Mexico. We were on a two-lane road headed toward a pass that eventually led to Kansas. Lesslie and I both love Mexican food, and we pulled into a cafe that had a Mexican theme. Once inside, I got the distinct impression that I may have crossed a locally established ethnic boundry.

I didn't give a shit and ordered chili. It was pretty good, not the best by a long short, but I was introduced to a Mexican beer that I had never heard of before and that was great.

It was the summer and hot -- in places. It was hot in Taos, but it was cooling down in Colorado. I got into a conversation with one of the locals, a rather genial gentlemen of Mexican descent. We spoke for 90 minutes. I told him I was interested in tarantulas and wondered if they were common to this place.

This gentleman told me they were not commonly found there, but if I continued through the pass, I would come to Route 10 in Kansas, and if the day was warm, the could be found on the arm road surface.

It was cloudy, foggy, and cold in the pass. I mean here it was in July and the temperature was 53┬║. It warmed up to the low 60's in Kansas. It was clear and I counted 9 houses in 60 miles. On each side of the road was green grasslands to the horizon.

I was amazed at the beauty and desolation of the place. But not one tarantula did I see. And the thought occurred to me that if tarantulas lived here, they lived in grass that I would have walked through barefoot. I marveled that cowboys would just lay down in grassy fields, filled with friggin ugly spiders.

Fondest regards,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads
West Chester, Pa

Charlie6 said...

thanks Jack for the commentary and recollections....bonus!