Saturday, June 02, 2012

Valencia Sunset

This past week, Thursday, it had been a cloudy day with a cold front passing through the state.  I headed out after work to a nearby spot where one can see the front range mountains clearly when the haze is not too bad.

I give you the following shots of the sun setting over the Front Range.

 The pictures above and below go together....
Really liked the warm orange colors of this sunset

 I also liked the way the Front Range mountains were cast in silhouette

 The above and below pictures go together, above showing you a closeup
of the sun as a cloud formation seems to split it in half

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Uralisti at the PBTF Publicity Shoot

Yesterday, I had a chance to join four fellow Uralisti in providing sidecar support for a publicity shoot at local TV station KWGN (CW2, Colorado's Own).  They were providing air time for the upcoming 2012 Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's Ride for the Kids.

Rachel Ward, the task force leader, had coordinated the whole thing via email along with the help of Chris Brigg's the mother of one of the PBTF's beneficiaries.  James, has ridden in my sidecar rig the last two years during the Colorado Ride for Kids.

Please click on the link to get more pictures, details and a view of the video shot by Channel 2 to help publicize the event.   CLICK HERE.

Dave S's dog Humphrey with his doggles, enjoying being petted
by two of the PBTF kids.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Uraling once again to the top of Mount Evans

Another beautifully sunny Spring day here in the great state of Colorado and it was time to introduce Valencia, my 2011 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig to the summit of Mount Evans. Billed as the nation's highest paved road, CO5 or the Mount Evans Road is paved all the way to 14,130 feet above sea level and is a beautiful drive not far from the Denver Metro Area.

I arrived at the National Forest Service Fee Station near Echo Lake and paid the $3/person fee for motorcycle riders.
I took I-25 to I-70 and cruised westward on I-70 into the mountains. The ride was smooth though windy, with very light traffic due to the Memorial Day Holiday. I'd left the house shortly before 6:30 AM and was Idaho Springs shortly after 7:30 AM to fuel up.

Traffic remained light as it was just shortly after 8:00 AM or so when I left the fee station and at times it felt I had the entire road to myself! I cruised slowly up the winding Mount Evans Road and was soon above the treeline and enjoying the scenic views of distant peaks, plunging precipices just off the unprotected roadside, and the distinct feel of cooling temperatures as I gained altitude.

Taking pictures along the way, I still made good time to the summit of Mount Evans and paused for a quick break in the sparsely filled parking lot. The temperature was in the low 20s so I did not linger at the top for long. I spent more time cruising slowly back down the mountain, taking pictures at the apex of the hairpin turns mostly but sometimes parking on spots where it was safe to do, right up on the edge of the steep drop offs.

There is still some snow remaining on the mountain but it was such a mild Winter this year that what little remains won't last long I fear; even with the bitter cold at the top third of the mountain!
Once back on CO 103, I turned East and with some detours to explore forest roads where I found folks target shooting, ended up riding past Squaw Pass and soon turning onto Witter Gulch. This road takes one down to Upper Bear Creek Road which then you can ride East towards the mountain town of Evergreen with its big lake and golf course.

The crowds were out at Evergreen, enjoying the cool sunny weather. I took CO74 ever Eastward, through the small towns of Kittredge and Idledale and soon reached the town of Morrison which was bustling as well with folks out enjoying the weather. The road home from there was just slab time mostly on US285/I-25/I-225 to Parker Road and from there to my home neighborhoods.

I was home shortly after Noon, a bit over 130 miles ridden. As you can tell, the summit of Mount Evans is within easy driving distance of Denver as I mentioned, quite worth it as a day trip!

 Echo Lake

 Summit Lake

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Yesterday evening, I motored to the Fort Logan National Cemetery to pay my respects to the many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their family who rest there.

As do many others, I use this posting to remind folks that they have this long weekend to remember those who've given their all in the service of our country.

I first spent a few minutes at the grave site of SSGT Brian Joiner, the son of a friend of mine, who served with the US Air Force.

Flanked by Army Men, Brian is in good company.

His portion of the cemetery is all filled up now and the grass is fully grown in, it seems like yesterday that I first visited the site and it was just bare ground and tiny metal holders containing a piece of paper listing the names of the recently buried.

Brian's Section

I spent some time afterwards just riding through the extensive grounds, watching row upon row upon row of gravestones, lined up precisely as if in formation.  There were less than a half dozen cars with visitors in the cemetery while I was there.  Folks visiting their interred loved ones, probably there today to avoid the hopefully large crowds that will be there tomorrow, on Memorial Day Monday.  I too preferred the relative solitude of the evening; I'll pass on the speeches and crowds.

Sunset at Fort Logan National Cemetery

Martha and I thank our fellow Veterans, both those of years past, and those in the present, for your service to our country.  If you know a Veteran, take a minute to thank him or her....better yet, go to your local National Cemetery and be reminded of what Memorial Day means.....