Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Salida 2015 Part 1




We left out for Colorado at the crack of 5:30pm last Wednesday. I got off work at 7am that morning and Donna was going to get up early, get the trailer and pack everything while I grabbed about 3 hours of sleep. She was called in for an emergency surgery and slept til noon. But it doesn't matter ... I'm on vacation!  

It was a grueling car ride out that had us pulling up to our cabin at 7:30 the next morning. The temp was a brisk 44 degrees when we arrived. A quick unload and we both grabbed a couple of hours of sleep before wandering downtown Salida ... the site of Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road stop over that Donna was there for. We walked all over taking in the vendors and merchants on F Street. Stopped in and bought a shirt and visited with Duke form Fat Tees and ADV Rider (does the t-shirts for advrider.com), great guy. 

A quick note that despite taking steroids and half a hydrocodone over the past 3 days, my RA wasn't sure what was going on but it did not like it. But I did not drag my bike 13 hours (one way) to not ride it. I was riding whether my body and RA liked it or not!

My main goal was to have some fun, see some new stuff and not leave any dismembered, ... more to the point MY dismembered body parts on the roads or trails. After hitting the electric start, I'm off. First stop was to program my GPS (I was so excited to ride that I forgot to turn it on) and I had to pee ... I think I had gone all of about a half mile. As I make it to Salida, I cautiously pass through the chaos that we had strolled through the day before. Exiting the small town I ride by the hospital (I hope this isn't an an omen) and just on the other side is a tall stack that stood out against the deep blue mountain back drop. I would have to check this out later if I have time. 

I rode on forest roads toward St Elmo then turned and rode up north of Buena Vista. Up here I rode through four old train tunnels. Wow! The tops of the tunnels were still black with soot from the train engines decades ago. I walked around photographing and exploring the area for over an hour. The trains run just below the old tunnels now. As I leave the tunnels and head further north, I ride up on an old white Ford truck just crawling along the road. I politely pass him and am standing on the foot pegs cruising about 55 mph when I run past it ... a 20 mph speed limit sign! Are you kidding me? 20mph? On dirt? On a bike? What a crock, but okay ... I'll meet you in the middle. I slowed to 40mph and rode on til I found a RR bridge over the Arkansas River. While taking photos and walking across the RR bridge, I meet a man and his wife coming up to do the same thing. We talk for a moment and he asked how I'm doing. I replied, great ... I'm getting paid for this and before I can get out that I'm on vacation (getting paid), he excitedly says "that's awesome, I would love to do something like that!  At this point I didn't have the heart to tell him I just meant I was on paid vacation. I left him and his wife at the bridge thinking they had just had been talking with a moto journalist. Bwahaha!

I will leave you with some photos and finish up my next post.
Hard to look cool putting your bike in a uhaul motorcycle trailer!
Our cabin we rented for 3 days right on the Arkansas River
F Street Salida for the Mumford & Sons stop over.
M & S logo in lights stood out at night on the mountain.
F Street again ... those girls had some long legs!
Side of building in Salida.
Knee viewpoint.
Affectionately called this BDR - big damn rock.
Trusty steed needed a rest.
Duke from Fat Tees in Salida, great guy and fellow ADV rider.
I got just a little bit lost up there. 
Endless dirt/forest roads.
Abandoned RR bridge next to Arkansas River.
My trusty steed. 
Awesome ... 4 old train tunnels pose for a photo. 
Out of use for decades yet you can still see signs of use on the ceilings.
Couldn't quit taking photos of the tunnels.
I know, I know ... another tunnel.
Somewhere between point A & B Friday.
RR bridge over the Arkansas River.
Same RR bridge from above.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Leaving In Two Days


MTX (chemo), check ... folic acid, check ... Humira injection, check ... Steroids, check ... hydrocodone, check, all of this medicine just to go on vacation and try to maintain my RA to a bearable level. 

I have my bike prepped for Colorado, my gear bag packed with every combination of stuff to wear depending on the weather. It may look like Stevie Wonder picked out my riding ensemble some days but I don't care ... I'M ON VACATION!! I also have my Phantom 2 packed and ready for action. Updated the GPS and added a few routes for up there. I can remember when I use to ride without maps or GPS, would get lost and then find my way back out. Now I'm high tech, riding with a GPS to get me lost then find my way back out. I hope to have some good photos to post after we get back.

My long time friend, riding buddy and ex-racing buddy Randall had a serious crash this past Tuesday. He will be in the hospital for a while. He broke 7 ribs (4 of them twice), his left shoulder blade, punctured a lung and pierced his spleen. I spent part of Saturday with him and he was in and out from the pain meds. He is slowly improving though, it will just be a long road ahead before he is back to work and riding again. Please keep him in your prayers.

I start Actemra when I get back from vacation and am looking forward to it. I usually dread changing meds but I am anxious to see if I can feel any better than what I have endured this year. It may be the progression of the disease and if so ... I will have to accept that but you know me. I'm not giving in til I have no other options.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pneumonia In Summer


Perhaps I was looking forward to vacation a bit prematurely. As I posted about vacation, I was feeling a bit under the weather. At one point, I slept 35 hours out of a 40 hour stretch. When I finally got in to see my GP, I had what I was afraid of ... pneumonia. After a big ass shot of rocephin Thursday, a weeks worth of antibiotics and another big ass shot of rocphen Friday, I finally started feeling better. I was actually thankful to be back at work ... man, that's just messed up!

With all of this unnecessary comotion going on, you would think my RA would be content to take a back seat while someone else was driving. OH NO! My jackass friend RA, decided it wanted to share co-honors in the "let's screw T's week up" hijinx. The worst thing it that being on antibiotics, I couldn't take my mtx for at least another week so I had to hang on to the pain train for longer than I wanted.  

I am now, officially ready for vacation ... no more side shows please.