Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some Old Pictures from Sturgis 2005, and a True Story!

I haven't been able to do much riding this last week. The weather has been cold and rainy. Temps have been in the 50's. I was looking at old pictures in my computer and found a few from the Sturgis rally in 2005.
  That was the year my girlfriend, Nancy, drove out to Belle Fourche and met me for our last day and night of the rally. The next day, most of the guys I was with were going to pack up and head home. Nancy and I were going to ride further west. We really had no plan, but there were a few things I wanted to see. My friend John and his cousin Paul were going to be with us part of the way.

Here's the group. From L to R...
Garth, Jim, Deb, Scott, Sara, Carl, Julie, Larrie, Lyle, and me. I'm not sure where John is? Maybe taking the picture?

One of the activities we try to take in during the rally is the Thunder Run. It's a guided motorcycle ride from Ellsworth A.F.B., through the Black Hills, that ends up in Sturgis. The line up for the ride is on the tarmac at the base. While lining up, you can have a photo op in front of  a B-1B Lancer.

In the photo, Paul, John, me, Garth, Lee, Gabi, and Lyle. Click the pic for a larger view.

At the end of the ride is a presentation by the Mayor of Sturgis and the Base Commander. Afterwards, there's usually a fly-over by one of the bases B-1B's. The fly over is so cool! If you're no on the ball and don't see it coming, you won't hear it until it's on top of you and headed away. I've been caught unaware a few times. It scares the crap out of you. The B-1B comes in low, buzzes the crowd, pulls up steep and hammers the throttle. It's awesome!

After the rally, Nancy and I headed southwest. We spent the first night in a KOA cabin outside of Fort Collins, CO. At the end of the next day we met up with Paul and John in Grand Junction, CO. The next day we took  I-70 west into Utah and got off at exit 214. We followed hwy 6 to 128. We took 128, which follows the Colorado River, all the way to Moab. From Moab we rode 191 south to 163 into Arizona. Paul broke off from the group and headed for home in Flagstaff. John continued with us until we left Zion N.P.

These pictures are from along the way...

I know I have more pictures from the trip, but I think I was just transitioning from film to digital that year.
On that trip we went through Bryce Canyon and Zion N.P. We also rode Utah hwy 12 from Escalante to Torrey. Id rate that ride a 10+ !!

I know the story that follows will seem odd, but both Nancy and I were there and we both recall exactly the same things....

  We had passed through Caliente, NV and the sun was low, but there was still a lot of daylight left. We were headed west on 93 and going to go up 375 to Rachel for the night. About 10 miles up 375, things started to get weird. The road behind us was fairly straight, ahead of us was the pass over the Pahrangat mountains. As I was steering the Goldwing I noticed white lights behind us in the mirrors. They looked like headlights, except they were WAY too far apart. It looked like they were 20 feet off the side of road, on both sides of the road, one light on each side, and maybe 1/4 mile behind us. I saw the 2 lights in both mirrors. It was really strange. There was no other traffic, we passed by no houses, no street lights, and there was no noise, but the lights were there in the mirrors. Nancy saw them too. The lights followed us over the pass, around curves, never getting closer, yet never moving out of my view. A few moments after the road straightened out, Nancy yelped. She said that it felt like she had just had an electric shock in her thigh.
   We stopped on the side of 375, just north of Groom Lake Road. It was also while going over the pass that it went from dusk to pitch black. The kind of darkness where you can't see your hand in front of your face. While we were stopped we heard the sound of cows.  We had seen the "open range" signs when we entered into NV, but hadn't seen any cattle until I got my big police Mag-light out the Goldwing's trunk and lit up the highway. We had stopped right in the middle of a heard of black cows. They were so black that even shining a bright light on them they were hard to see. About all we could see were eyes all around us.
   We must have been there a half an hour when a car came up 375 from behind us.  It was occupied by an older male. He asked us if we were going to Rachel, I told him we were. He said, "I'll see you there". Both Nancy and I thought the guy seemed kind of odd. We waited for his tail lights to disappear in the distance. We mounted up and continued on our way. When we pulled into the parking lot of the only open business in Rachel, the Little Aleinn, the man from back down the road was getting out of his car. We watched as he walked over to the passenger side door, he reached in the open window and pulled out an uncased, pump shotgun. While we stood there, he racked the shells out of the gun, put he gun back in the car and pocketed the ammo.
   All of us went into the Little Aleinn at the same time. He started a conversation with someone inside about being stopped by the "damn Highway Patrol".... I wasn't really listening to what they were saying. The conversation eventually got around to us, the new strangers in town. The man asked us if we were on vacation, and where we were from. He eventually asked the question that I knew I didn't want to answer. He asked what I did for a living. I didn't tell him that I was a Deputy Sheriff. I told him I worked for the county, plowing snow and cutting grass. When we asked if there was a place to sent up a tent for the night. The woman behind the counter told us to set up anywhere in the grass next to the parking lot. That was the only night I've ever slept with my Glock under my pillow, and that was the only time I've ever been "carrying" while on vacation.

The grassy area next to the parking lot and next to hwy 375.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. After we got home Nancy noticed a small rough patch of skin in the same spot she felt the shock. To this day, almost 6 years later, there's still a 1/4 inch square patch of rough skin on the thigh. It has never gone away, or gotten bigger... Weird!!!  Her Dr. had kind of glanced at it and said it was nothing. It couldn't have been a bug bite or sting. She had on heavy textile over pants, over a pair of jeans.
I think she should have an x-ray or ultra sound of her thigh done????