Saturday, December 28, 2019

Royal Enfield Himalayan - Snowy Mtns Wyoming - July 2019

Here's Week #2 of my July/August 2019 trip west.  The first week was covered a few blog Posts ago, detailing my time in the Black Hills here.

The video

Earlier Posts from the trip I made while actually out West, posted from coffee shops and libraries....

People and Food


It was a very enjoyable 2 weeks; my Base Camp style of National Forest Campground camping worked well was both affordable and convenient.  Luxurious accommodations in the minivan, a tarp, a large camp stove, a cooler, the laptop....plenty of amenities present to return to each evening.

I'd wrap things up by saying that my favorite part about Week 1 in the Black Hills was the riding.  The best part about Week 2 in the Snowy Mountain Range was simply being there; I rode less, stopped and walked more with emphasis on simply enjoying breathing the thinner high mountain air and wide open spaces.

Speaking of thinner air, it dawned on me only later that my first week spent in the Black Hill elevations must have prepared me for being even higher the following week.  We live at 650 ft. above sea level, the Black Hills exposed me to 5000 - 7000 ft and the Wyoming elevations were 9000 - almost 11,000 ft.  I never experienced shortage of breath or even noticed the higher altitudes.

This coming season's trips are still being thought about; real planning has not yet started but there are some stronger possibilities being focused upon.  More when I know.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Musical Holiday Weekend

It started Thursday evening with my attendance at Home For The Holidays.  Hanna announced a week earlier that she'd have no trouble obtaining some Comp tickets so that if Peg and I or any of our friends might be interested, tickets would be available.

Four of our friends were and had attended earlier on Thursday at the 11:00 performance.  After work that day, I soloed at the 7:30 show and very much enjoyed it.  Stories, music, jokes and themes very much at home in the Midwest.

The VocalEssence Singers of this Age in the lobby before the concert

Midwest Animal Rescue was there as well....

Gingerbread homes were being fabricated in the lobby....

And then just before the show....

Friday started early with more Christmas preparation, some (more) last minute shopping but then in the afternoon, Hanna came, dropping off her Birman so that we could catsit while Hanna is in New York over the Holidays.

Saturday morning, another coffee sipping session at Diamonds in Minneapolis for me and a decent-sized crew.  Amazingly warm weather that has lasted and continues to last.....melting in the low 40's.  I saw 39 degrees at the Official Solstice Time of 10:15PM while we were on our way home from Lauren's concert in LaCrosse at the Viterbo Symphony Hall.  Holiday Romance, waltzes, ballet dancers, a sing-a-long...we did it all after enjoying dinner together before the concert.

Before heading to LaCrosse for the afternoon concert, a different though just as lovely type of music in the warm afternoon sunshine that I've previously mentioned....Once again, the rig "popped right off", amazing really.  I push it out of the garage, hit the button, a rotation and a half.....bum bum bum bum.....

When I was up on top in the State Park, a pedestrian tourist seemed not only willing, but determined to take my photo.

Sunday just before noon, we met Hanna in Minneapolis at the Hi-Lo Diner.  One of not that many left, an original from the NJ maker of Fodero Dining Cars.  It served meals in PA and OH before finding its way to Minneapolis.  I meant to take a photo outside and forgot, but I did manage a photo of the important part....I'll definitely go back....maybe there will be a time when it's NOT so busy??

Amazingly, that same tourist that I'd seen documenting my presence up in the State Park was at Sunday's concert in Orchestra Hall.

Once again, she managed to get a snap of me (across the hall) was almost sold out by the time we got our tickets.

The movie, my favorite Holiday movie, was seen in quite literally a new light.  There was music in the original score that Capra left out (chopped out according to the composer) in the finished film, more lush and complete than what we're accustomed to.  Also, Ms. Hicks, the conductor, gave a presentation before the concert, explaining much about the necessary and expensive technology involved with combining live music with the video/spoken audio in the film.  According to what she explained, the European's are far ahead of us in this style of film presentation.

And finally, the living, breathing and lone Rogue in the gallery.....

We're ready....hope that you are!!  The tarts are being filled as I type.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Needed More Pie - 2019

Mike's been after me....."How's the Pie Chart coming?...."

Here it is but first, it needed some beefing up so this afternoon I took the rig out to enjoy what seems to be the last, best, possible riding for 2019.  Predicted temperatures and pending doom-ful snow is on the way so I figured I better get out while I still could!

It seems both scooters were slighted this year....didn't mean for that to happen.  I was getting a bit cautious about the belt/rollers in the Helix through the summer so that's the reason it was absolutely last in the Mileage Ridden category.  Luckily it didn't suffer this year as part of Mileage Rescued which is the indignity suffered by 2019's high mileage winner, the Himalayan.  Between chain issues (yes Tom, there were 2 individuals) and deep water challenges, bikes hauled to their origins, tales between legs were at an all time high.  Sad because total 2019 mileage was down, though I'm not disappointed in the least; it was a great year for riding and I'm confident that what I lost in quantity I truly did compensate for in High Quality.

 Naturally I'll shoot for more of both next year.

 My Black Hills Post is just about ready and will be published soon!