Our first long trip
The Coloradic 2005

By Wildabouthorses
January 27th, 2007

 

Who’d a thought that day in February of 2004 when we traded in our 2002 Honda Shadow ACE for our 2004 VTX1800 R that great adventures were to unfold for us? 

When we put the Ultimate Big Boy seat on our bike we found we were ready do to some long trips. We spent many a weekend doing 400 miles a day rides now that we had this aftermarket seat.

We had gone over 300 miles on a trip to the Talimena Drive in SE Oklahoma first on the stock seat that left me barely able to walk. Then we did it again with the Ultimate seat and the ride was pure pleasure the whole time!  

We started talking about making a bike trip to Colorado during the 4th of July Event. Seeing the CD from 04 convinced us it was something we should do. I had been in Colorado back in my late teens and wanted to see if my memories were different from an adults eye view.  Plus it was going to be  a    second    honeymoon                (Tejas Ranger - Perry and Wildabouthorses - Jan)
celebrating 29 years together and a celebration of my 50th birthday on July 1st.

We bought a pull behind the bike trailer kit and put it together ourselves during the early part of 05’ along with putting the Hitch Doc hitch on the VTX to get ready for the trip to Colorado. After we got our hitch we heard it wasn’t available for a while for other VTX owners anywhere. 

We have a local car body shop that did an excellent job of painting our 98’ Chevy truck twice after two accidents so they were the ones we had paint our trailer to match the bike. This was their very first motorcycle trailer to paint and they did an excellent job matching it to our bike’s Candy Black Cherry by using the side cover off our VTX.

Trailmaster, the maker of the trailer, helped pay for some of it since the trailer had scratches on it from improper packing when it was shipped. Styrofoam was missing around the nose of the trailer body in the box they sent it in. They shipped it with the nose at the top of the box. Also the locking mechanism was messed up so we had to break into the trailer to get the body opened before we could even put it together. A tiny pin was missing causing it not to unlatch.

We did a lot of practice runs with it including some rides over into Arkansas after we got it back from the painter. We found we had to turn off our bike’s spotlights with the trailer hitched up or it would blow a fuse and we would lose all the lights. We solved that problem by replacing all the trailer lights with LED bulbs. 

It was kind of nice to be able to throw our leathers into it on a day that started out 40 degrees and then crept up to 70’s or 80s later in the day. We soon got so used to pulling it with the VTX that we didn’t even notice it was behind us anymore.

I went to the local Army/Navy surplus store and bought us two very large black side zippered duffle bags. We packed one with all our leathers and denim jackets for the cold part of the ride and the other had our daily clothes and such in it. We also threw into the trailer a Kuryakyn Grand Tour bag (pictured left) to use on the bike’s luggage rack up in the mountains to hold our cold weather stuff and the rain suits were in the saddlebags. Later this same bag came in handy on the way home as we used it on our bike’s luggage rack to carry the “must haves” like prescriptions and a change of clothes in fear of our trailer  latch locking up on us again. 

Our trailer has two lower compartments in it that carry the “just in case of emergency” items at all times like a spare tire for the trailer, a jack, first aid kit and such.

We planned on doing about 400 miles a day so it was going to take 2 days to get to Englewood, CO.  VTXBob and his wife Connie decided to go with us hauling their VTX on the trailer that was big enough to haul our bike and trailer if we broke down. It was comforting to have someone with us just in case…

We met up with them at a McDonalds on 412 on the 29th of June, grabbed some breakfast and got on the road. Once we got past Enid, OK it seemed like the pavement was full of “tar snakes” that can melt in the heat or be slippery to ride over. Before we got to Woodward, OK we saw some unusual landscape that looked to be pieces of land pushed straight up into little mountains which were called Gloss Mountains. This particular State Park isn’t on a lot of maps.  On our way back home we stopped and took pictures.

Later in the day I was glad I could get off the bike and into the truck and out of the 105 temps for the last 100 miles or so of the day. It was shortly after leaving Guymon, OK that we encountered the worse roads ever. Every 6-10 feet the road in the panhandle was heaved up a few inches causing it to be a very uncomfortable ride even in the truck.

VTXBob had the truck riding on the smooth shoulder to ease up the bumps and we watched Perry endure the torture with the bike and trailer as he couldn’t completely avoid the bumps.

The wide open plains with electric poles scenery was the same for miles, it looked like we weren’t getting anywhere. When we arrived in Boisie City, OK we were ready to find a motel for the night and get some pizza for supper. We were very lucky to find rooms available in this very small town.

The next morning on June 30th we got up early, packed and left the motel to find breakfast. As we were leaving to get on the road, a VTX and a couple of Goldwings pulled in. It was there we met Pat Forster and her husband with friends who were going to Colorado too! 

It was a bit cooler riding this morning so we grabbed our jean jackets and I didn’t put my digital camera in my pocket as I figured we’d be seeing more boring panhandle scenery. We pulled into Clayton, NM and got turned around going the wrong way. It was here Xshadow (Mike) and his wife Karla came up behind us on their Goldwing and asked if we were on our way to Denver, CO.

They were looking for a parts store and said they would catch up with us. By the time we started seeing the elk herds they had caught up with us. Now I was wishing I had the camera in hand for the many miles we saw herd after herd of wild elks!

When we all got on I-25 in Colorado I was so surprised at the beautiful mountainous scenery we were riding through already. The three of us in this group got separated and somehow we ended up taking the same exit for gas and food not knowing that the others were taking the same exit, so we ended up together again.

While going through Colorado Springs I saw the Air Force Academy Chapel which jarred the memory as a teen we had camped someplace nearby it and I got to ride two different horses there.

It was so cool to see the snow capped mountains were getting closer.

We made it to Englewood that afternoon and as we started to unpack we found our trailer wouldn’t unlatch! It was here we were so tired and upset that I can only remember that David from Illinois came up and helped us. I think Cliff walked up to us then too. A locksmith was called and he came within minutes to break into our trailer so we could finally get our stuff into our hotel room and get a shower. We grabbed our heavy chain and padlocked the trailer to a light post, where it stayed until we left for home. We had no more problems with the latch the rest of the trip. We were staying at the Sheraton, walked over to the La Quinta and registered and grabbed maps and got acquainted.

After getting back to the hotel, getting supper at the Trail Dust Steak House for the Meet and Greet where I was surprised with a 50th birthday cake,  we hit the hay.

We got up bright and early for the 5 Pass Ride (pictured above left) on Friday. We weren’t even sure we were going to be up to it after two days of 400 mile riding but it turned out to be one of the best rides we did even though it was over 300 miles. We were able to see a lot of diverse scenery in the mountains doing this particular ride.

It was here I also found out I was a bit shaken when there were no guard rails in some areas as we flew down one of the passes. To think that as a teen I laughed when my Dad got nervous driving on roads with no guard rails! Here I was as an adult freaking now.

In Vail the both of us were feeling a bit sick from the height but managed to chow down lunch. I requested the guitar player entertaining us to play “Rocky Mountain High” and everyone stopped talking when he sang it even though they had kept on talking through his other songs!

After we left Vail we were heading into some rain so we stopped and everyone but one couple got their raingear on. The guides for this ride decided we would skip the last pass that looked to be covered in rain clouds and take some twisties home that led us through Evergreen, CO.  Those twisties were a lot like we ride on in Oklahoma.

We were up Saturday morning for the Southern Pictures ride but I found I had a horrible headache so went back to sleep. Spent the day relaxing around the hotel and getting some laundry done and meeting people. I believe this was the day that Pat went down on her bike during the ladies ride.

Got up early Sunday to get ready for the Canyons and Curves Ride. I didn’t take pictures as I was hanging on to the bike during the whole ride. This was a wild twisty ride! I couldn’t believe the VTX could lean over so far in those curves without hitting the pavement. I had so much fun I wanted to do it again! 

Afterwards we went to the bike games set up in the hotel parking lot and I hopped on Xrated’s bike to do one of the games.

Monday morning the 4th of July we went on the Southern Route ride where we saw buffalo, log cabins, horse ranches and ate lunch at the foot of Pike’s Peak. This was a ride that the “flatlanders” could really enjoy. I missed seeing the moose the other riders in the group pointed out! 

My memory gets a little dim here… I think this was the day we had the catered BBQ and prizes given in the evening or maybe that was after the bike games.

On the 4th of July I do remember we stayed in our hotel room instead of going to the major league baseball game and watched all the fireworks going off all around us. What a sight that was to see from high up.

Alas the time had come for us to leave for home on July 5th. We packed up and as we left the hotel we found XShadow and Karla pulling out the exact same time from the La Quinta parking lot so rode with them down to Colorado Springs. Said our goodbyes as they went on and we stopped to see the Garden of the Gods (pictured left) since we missed that ride and then went to the Cliff Dwellings. (pictured below)

We headed east out of Pueblo, Co and while gassing up we saw Pat with her husband and friends ride by. Caught up with them and rode together for a little while before they turned south to go to Texas. We went on into Kansas which wasn’t as boring as the Oklahoma Panhandle. Passed several huge stinky stock yards.

One place we stopped for gas the local folks came up to talk to us asking where were were going. Was trying to get to Dodge City but we were so tired we stopped and spent the night at Garden City instead. Shortly after we got into our motel room a thunderstorm blew in that had been tailing us all the way from Colorado for awhile.

The next morning we found out we were near a stockyard that was stinking up the place horribly! And that we had forgotten to put the covers on our Ultimate seats so rode into Dodge City with wet butts and toured Boot Hill that way!

Stopped to eat at McDonalds near Boothill and there was a fake stagecoach inside for kids to play in. Went over to Boothill and did the tourist thing there. (pictures left) I seem to remember my parents stopped there too on our vacation as a teen. 

Got back on the bike and headed south into Oklahoma to Woodward. . By going this way we avoided the horrible roads in the panhandle. It was such a nice route through Kansas that we

Stopped to take pictures of the Gloss Mountains in Oklahoma and then managed to get home by about supper time.

We had such a great time on this trip we decided to go to Marysville, Ohio for the Honda Homecoming just a few weeks later! This time we didn’t take the trailer as it was warm enough not to need our leathers, using the Grandtour bag along with our saddlebags did the trick.

XShadow drove up from Quanah, Tx and parked his truck and trailer at our house, unloaded his VTX and we were off on yet another adventure that let us see how the VTX’s and Goldwing’s were built and participated in the World Record VTX Ride.