2016 Fall Ride: Riding to Scottsdale

Day 9: Heber to Scottsdale

Before heading to Scottsdale the next morning we ate breakfast at Three Bears Cafe in Heber. The waitress who served us was a character with a sense of humor.

In response to her, “Anything else,” after taking our order I said, “I could go for some water.” She asked, “Where will you go with it?” I was initially baffled by her response, until everyone else began laughing. She kept us entertained through the entire meal. The food was good too.

Salt River Canyon and Shamrock tavern

After breakfast we headed to Scottsdale through Salt River Canyon on US-60. The road through Salt River Canyon is fun with lots of short sweepers and twisties.

Following the canyon we stopped at the Shamrock Tavern in Miami, just west of Globe, AZ. The tavern has been a traditional stop which we’ve manged to observe on each visit with Andy and Cayla.

Caution is required when entering the biker friendly bar. The clientele is not the problem. It’s the transition from the outside light to a very dark bar. Each time I have entered the tavern I have temporarily lost my sight due to the transition. Because of this visual disorientation I nearly fell down the ramp leading into the bar. On each of these occasions I considered quoting one of my riding buddies with, “I’m not drunk…Yet!” (Norm, High Level, AB, 2013)


The roads from Miami to Scottsdale are a slog. US-60 and the interstates  are largely flat and straight. There was a pay off though: A visit to the place I was first introduced to the Hatch Chili: Aho Al’s.

After unpacking and getting settled at Andy and Cayla’s we rode in Andy’s truck to Aho Al’s in Scottsdale. All the food was excellent, but the Chili Con Queso is as addicting as I remembered. It has just the right amount of heat with a full hatch chili in the queso.

Thank you Andy and Cayla (and Don and Judy) for a good time in Arizona.

Photo Gallery Days 6-9


2016 Fall Motorcycle Ride to Taos

Days 5-6: Motorcycle Ride to Taos

After an amazing ride on US-550 the day before we were treated with more great roads on our motorcycle ride to Taos. These were US-160 from Durango to Pagosa Springs then US-64/84 south heading to Taos. There were lots of short sweepers through the mountains and good pavement on the two laners.

Chimney Rock National Monument

We visited Chimney Rock National Monument between Durango and Pagosa Springs, the Earthship Community and the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The latter two were just a few miles outside Taos on US-64.

Motorcycle ride to Taos
Panorama of the Earthship Community, Taos, NM

Taos Pueblo

Since we had lost a day with our day late start from home I had decided we would skip the Taos Loop to make up a day. But, Steve suggested we still visit the Taos Pueblo, which had been scheduled for the Taos Loop.

So, that morning we rode to the Taos Pueblo. The Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage site which has been inhabited continuously for over 1000 years.

You can do a self tour or a guided tour. We were glad we paid for the guided tour. Ramon, our guide, was knowledgeable regarding the history of the Pueblo itself and the Puebloan culture in New Mexico in general. He stories and descriptions of the history were captivating.

The most interesting topic shared by Ramon was the Puebloan uprising of 1680. Due to the brutality of the Spanish most of the Pueblo  people in present day New Mexico revolted and drove the Spanish back to Texas.

Classical Gas Museum

We headed to Santa Fe after the Pueblo tour. On the way we stopped in Embudo, NM to visit the Classical Gas Museum. It is well worth the stop. See the featured photo above and check out the photo gallery below for more photos. It’s an incredible experience. Bandelier National Monument was our next post and the subject of the next post.

Days 5-6 Photo Gallery


15 Best Motorcycle Roads from About.com

15 Best Motorcycle Roads

This just in…
About.com has listed the 15 best motorcycle roads in America. As with all lists of this nature, I doubt anyone would agree that this is a conclusive list or in the correct order. Regardless, in my experience, it’s a good list.

Of the 15 best motorcycle roads listed, I’m fortunate to have traveled the following: #15: WA-129/OR-3, #11: Natchez Trace Mississippi, #7: Cherohala-Skyway in Tennessee, #6: Going to Sun Road in Glacier Park,

#5: Rte 1 in California, #4: US 550 “The Million Dollar Highway” in Colorado, #3: US-129 “Tail of the Dragon” in N. Carolina, #2: Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, and #1: Bear-Tooth Highway Montana-Wyoming (photo above left is Bear-Tooth Mountain).

A group of my buddies plan to ride #8 California Rte 36 this fall. I will now try to work in #10: CA-2 “Angeles Crest Highway” and maybe #8 CA-36 to the coming fall ride.


2016 Peru: Funny Things Happened on the Way to Puno

Days 13-14: Cusco to Puno

Crazy, fun, not so fun and interesting are good adjectives for experiences in store for us on our way to and in Puno. These included the crazy town of Juliaca, having a reason to say “Lake Titicaca”, dealing with altitude sickness, and visiting the unique floating islands of the Uros people. Continue reading “2016 Peru: Funny Things Happened on the Way to Puno”

2016 Peru: Cusco via the Sacred Valley

Days 10-11 – Ollantaytambo to Cusco

Skylodge Adventure Suites

The first stop on our way to Cusco was a short distance from Ollantaytambo. We briefly paused to take photos of the Skylodge Adventure Suites. They are often referred to as the,  “Edgiest hotel in the world.” The views of the Urubamba River and Sacred Valley would be fantastic, but not for me.  Why?

Continue reading “2016 Peru: Cusco via the Sacred Valley”

Puerto Inka Resort: Beauty and the Beast

Day 5: Mahes River Lodge to Puerto Inka

Puerto Inka is a small Resort near Chala, Peru. It has charm with upscale accommodations and a beautiful cove with a beach on the Pacific Ocean. It was a tranquil redoubt with the waves quietly washing up the beach. That was until Rodney irritated Rita.

Continue reading “Puerto Inka Resort: Beauty and the Beast”

Exploring Historic Arequipa


Historic Arequipa

I spent a total of four and a half days in historic Arequipa, Peru. It is the second most populous city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. A visual aspect of Arequipa is the use of white sillar earth in construction. Due to this it is also known as the “White City”.  Continue reading “Exploring Historic Arequipa”

Lost in LAX

Tri-cities and Portland airports: no problem. LAX: lots of problems. Few signs, ambiguous signs, lack of info in general and a “Charlie-foxtrot” getting to the international terminal and gate. Once at the gate, directions were contradictory and confusing. Several of us had to change lines more than once.

I may have the unofficial record with five line changes today. On the last line-switch the guy in front of me (hidpanic) got into a heated argument with one of the attendants (also hispanic) regarding the confusion. I think she won because he and I changed lines again.

There may have been some cursing in the fiery exchange or maybe they just sounded like they were cursing. As my friend Steve says, “You speak several languages but you don’t hear them worth a damn!”

The Adventure Begins

Now checked into the Pasco Airport and headed to Peru. All is good and waiting for boarding.

The only concern is that i can see my flight’s Alaska turbo jet sitting on the tarmac and they have one of the engine cowlings off. Two mechanics, who look a lot like Laural and Hardy, are nearby scratching their heads.

That doesn’t bother me as much watching the flight crew board. I swear, it looked like the pilot had a pint bottle of Old Crow in one hand as the copilot and flight crew helped him onboard.

I’m anticipating an interesting journey.

ps: i was kidding about the Old Crow. I think it was actually a good brand of whiskey.