Cycle Jack


Cycle Jack

From time to time I actually travel somewhere. I will try to populate this blog with my notes when I'm on the move are finding neat new places, but I probably won't be too consistent and the timing of my posts may be a bit haphazard. Photographs will be included sometimes.

I used to travel around on an ST1100 motorcycle, but now I'm much more sedate in a RAV4. I must say, I do like the comfort of listening to my music and podcasts as I drive. And when it is raining.....what can I say; I've had enough of being cold and wet on the motorcycle.

North America » Canada » Alberta May 31st 2014

This was a long day on the road, but we decided to drive for home rather than stay out another night. Nothing really to write about today. We had another fantastic breakfast at Steve’s in Helena. Honestly, this place is the best for breakfast. I say that in light of everywhere I can ever remember going for breakfast including those few popular places in Calgary. On the way through the canyons north of Helena we took the ‘Recreation Road’ instead of the freeway. This is the old highway and it winds through the bottom of the valley alongside the Missouri River, sometimes sharing the space beside the river with the railway. It is a favourite little drive of mine and I take it every time I come through there. It adds about 20 minutes if you ... read more
Missouri River Canyon

North America » United States » Montana » Helena May 29th 2014

This was just a plain old drive until you drop day for us. I know there are some of you out there that can bite off more than this for a day, but this is about our limit. I've driven this route several times in the past, but always in the late fall, after the leaves had fallen off the trees and the grass had turned brown. Travelling at this time gave me an appreciation of what really happens on the plains north of Salt Lake and in the passes of Idaho and Montana. While the country reminds me of parts of Alberta, the mountains are quite different. In the high passes the trees, bush, and open spaces look like it is an enormous groomed garden. The fresh green patches of grasses look like fresh mown ... read more

This was the day for Arches National Park near Moab, UT and then a lot of driving to get to Ogden, UT for the night. The drive was boring, but fine, whereas Arches was, as always, outstanding. Although our motel at Monticello was pretty basic with thin walls, our neighbours were good so we had a great sleep. The hard part was getting up very early for the trip. This visit to Arches was really for Les. I was there a couple of years ago and saw what I wanted; however, I found that seeing it again gave me a good feeling. The other benefit of being there before was that I knew where to go to give Les the best views of the place. We were there for about three hours, but that was what ... read more
Arches- Windows Arches
Arches- Three Gossips & The Organ

North America » United States » Utah » Bluff May 27th 2014

This morning we said our sad goodbyes to Sedona and our friends there and headed north to Flagstaff for healthy breakfast and fine latte. Then we travelled on to Monument Valley and finally to our room in a rather lesser-class motel in the little town of Monticello, Utah. Think of Carbon, Alberta and you get the idea. I think the only reason there are a collection of motels here, and they are mostly the mom-and-pop type, is this place is close to Canyonlands and the hiking and mountain biking offered there. Moab is more popular, but it is a full house. This is an ideal time to mountain bike as in a few weeks it will be incredibly hot. As it is, Moab is forecast to be 97F tomorrow. Ouch. Les and I plan to be ... read more
Four ancient monuments at Monument Valley
Monument Valley

North America » United States » Arizona » Sedona May 25th 2014

One more day and we’ll start our long drive home. On the way we’ll see Monument Valley and Arches National Park. That part will be fun, but all the driving in between….Yuck! We have settled into a nice routine here. I am up early and out for a walk and latte by 7:30am every morning. Others in the house seem to like to sleep longer. The Oak Creek Fire continues to burn. The fire teams have cut and burned areas surrounding the fire and need to wait until the main fire burns up to those stop points. Sort of lighting a fire to stop a fire. The strategy should prove out, one way or another, during this coming week. In the meantime the smoke is filling the valley and smells awful. On Saturday my friend and ... read more
Root Art 1
Root Art 2
Red Bush Root

North America » United States » Arizona » Sedona May 22nd 2014

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - quite a few days so far in Sedona and we’ve done a few things as well as just relaxed. I picked up Les at the Phoenix airport on Sunday without a hitch and we ambled our way up to Sedona, stopping for lunch and some shopping on the way. We settled in with our friends in their rather spectacular home that overlooks the whole Sedona valley. The place is pretty special as is the company of our friends. I’ve been up a few mornings early and out for a walk before the heat of the day hit. What a great way to start the day. I get to see some unique morning wildlife which are bunnies and a lot of little lizards scampering out of the way. We are here just ... read more
Gate at Tlaquepaque
Tlaquepaque Archway
Tlaquepaque Courtyard

North America » United States » Arizona » Wickenburg May 17th 2014

This was an easy driving day, about 3-½ hours, so I didn’t rush to get underway. I had two things to see. First was the Hoover Dam and the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, more commonly called the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. The next was the countryside near Wickenburg where there are a lot of Joshua Tree cacti to be seen. The latter was recommend by friend Celeste. The dam and bridge were a must for an engineer to see. Both an engineering feat for their time. The Hoover Dam was commissioned in 1936 and the bridge in 2010. I remember seeing Hoover Dam in the 50’s when on holidays with my parents. We toured the whole dam back then and I can remember, as a young lad, being a bit worried about taking the elevator ... read more
Hoover Dam
Hoover Bypass Bridge
Rosies Den Cafe

North America » United States » Nevada » Beatty May 16th 2014

My goal for this day was to get through Death Valley before the heat of the day hit and to see the ghost town of Rhyolite in Nevada. I was hoping to stay in the bustling metropolis of Pahrump, NV for the night. It seemed like everyone had the same plan and many were up and into breakfast shortly after 6 am. There were two groups of motorcyclists at the same Best Western and they knew they had to get most of their travel for the day done during the morning hours. Both were groups of guys in their 50’s and 60’s and all were riding Harleys…..very noisy Harleys at that. Still, they were good sorts and I had a chat with them as they were packing up to go. I must say that I would ... read more
Lava flow
Death Valley Entry
At the entry to Death Valley

This was another day of straightforward driving. I wanted to get to Bishop, CA in time to see Galen Rowell’s gallery, ‘Mountain Light’. It wasn’t a difficult or long drive and I arrived in Bishop at 2:30pm with lots of time for visiting the gallery. On the way I traversed Yosemite Park on Hwy 120 which is called The Tioga Highway because it goes over the Tioga Pass. That was a neat road to drive and would have been a lot of fun on a motorcycle for sure. There weren’t too many cars and the road surface was in perfect shape. The road climbs out of Yosemite Valley on a steep hill, through tunnels and switchbacks, rising to around 10,000 feet at the pass. The car had to work pretty hard all the way as evidenced ... read more
Yosemite Park on Hwy 120

Before I start my tale of the day, I want to ensure you know that this blog service doesn’t necessarily show all my images in the body of the blog. Often some of the images are further down, below the advertising, at the end of the writing. I don’t like this and will probably not use this service again in the future, but will keep using it on this trip for convenience. —————————————————————— Yosemite Valley is a marvellous sight. Every direction you look there is a view that is unique, not only in the valley, but, to my knowledge, unique to anywhere else in the world. If you haven’t been to Yosemite and walked some of the valley trails, I think you should put it on your bucket list. You won’t be sorry. After two false ... read more
People at Vernal Fall bridge
Half Dome
Upper Yosemite Falls

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