Monday, June 13, 2011
While many motorcycle riders are looking forward to Sturgis, South Dakota, again this year, I can hardly wait for the Four Corners Rally. Where the Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado state boundaries meet is smack dab on the route to Durango, Colorado, from the Verde Valley, Arizona. We will end up in Durango and ride daytrips up in the high country until it’s time to head back to Arizona.
What a ride it will be for our small group, which includes Walt, Jay, Hoppy, Phil, Julie, Mark, and yours truly this year. We don’t all ride Harleys and that makes the trip even better. Walt will be riding his Italian (three-wheeled) Piaggio, while Jay will be on his 1975 first year Honda Goldwing. Hoppy and I ride V-Rods, Phil will be on his Road King, and Julie and Mark will be riding Super Glides. You have to know that our Harley group will be making fun of the almost silent Piaggio and Goldwing. We will say things like, “Hey, you better start those bikes; the light is about to change!” and “Guys, it’s not safe to coast down these grades with the motor off!” It is all in good fun though and they will expect no less. In the old days, we would have to ride a quarter mile behind the foreign bikes so no one would know they were part of a Harley group. My, how times have changed, and to the better, I might add.
The ride through the Reservation is always a challenge because of heat and the distance between pit stops. You have to drink plenty of clear H2O, which turns into yellow H2O. Nothing worse than having to ride miles squirming on a motorcycle seat like a cat on a hot tin roof while watching out for horses, cows, dogs and a multitude of other critters on the road. Then, when you finally reach a pit stop, there are two hundred other riders standing in line at the only toilets for a hundred miles all with legs crossed and swaying back and forth like yellow-eyed zombies. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the whole experience is what riding is all about.
When you are convinced that the Reservation must be endless, the peaks of the Colorado Rockies come into view. The last stop before Durango is at a casino and service station just before Cortez, Colorado. The air has cooled and the promise of pines, fresh air, food and drink is only fifty miles ahead. I guarantee the motel’s hot tub and beds will call to you like a Siren’s seductive cry, and later sleep will be instantaneous and sublime. The next day will bring high country riding in some of the most spectacular mountains in the world. Good grief, I wish we could go right now!
I’m just saying,