Bow Tie Tour

Alaska and back again, our motorcycle tales

Day 10 – Colorado to Wyoming

I left you last as we were departing Colorado Springs on Day 10 of this grand adventure…

After doing a brilliant job of leading us around in a huge circle, we successfuly merged on to the interstate, and headed North. Of course, as luck would have it, we made it North about a mile before the traffic slowed to a stop and I jumped into the Exit lane (beside the giant Focus on the Family Center) to follow some back roads toward Denver.

Of course, I succeeded in getting us turned around once more before getting BACK on the (now moving) Interstate and riding on.
Our destination for the night was planned to be Casper, Wyoming where we’d be staying with the True family… It wasn’t supposed to be a hard ride at all, fairly clear weather, less than 400 miles and beautiful countryside to ride through. Ahhh, but as you well know, things aren’t always what they seem.

We turned off the Interstate just South of Denver and rode up into the Rocky Mountains. It was glorious! I can’t express the beauty in those mountains… Sure, the yuppies abound, the elk show rarely themselves, and there are cops hidden in bushes, but it REALLY is beautiful!

In the distance, we spotted some massive red rocks jutting out of the ground and then soon after, a sign for “Red Rocks State Park” I took the turn, rode in a few hundred yards and stopped for the obvious photo op… Massive pebbles 100+ feet tall rose above us on both sides, it was amazing!

Red Rocks State Park

As I stood in the middle of the road, conspicuously taking photos I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye. A moment later, a bicyclist swiftly passed us with a smile and a wave.

Siefredo

We followed him up to the top of the park where there was a beautiful view (Including downtown Denver!).

Denver View

After a brief interrogation, it came to light that “Sifredo” the bicyclist was a grandfather with a mission, a mission to cycle as much of the world as possible. In recent years, he’s ridden from Denver to the Artic Circle, from San Diego to Miami, and much more… He’s currently training for a ride to Southern New Mexico with his Grandson!

Amazing guy, really.

Siefredo

And Signature:

Sifredo

From the Red Rocks, we headed due North towards Evergreen and I drug my first knee in Colorado, shortly before we came around a turn where the CHP had pulled over nearly a dozen riders. We continued on through some of my favorite places in the US until we finally stopped for a tasty (but greasy) lunch at Burger King.

After some more mapping, we rode off towards Wyoming, through Golden, CO and into the rain…. It rained for hours as we rode through the Rocky Mountains, barely puttering along for fear of losing traction and sliding off of an un-guarded cliff. Finally, we turned away from Estes Park and towards the lighter end of the storm, and the city of Boulder.

The rain stopped as we passed through Boulder and clear skies awaited us, along with long empty roads as we made our way towards Wyoming.

As the day wore on, it became increasingly aparent that we wouldn’t make it into Casper until late that evening… So, as the roads became flatter and longer we rolled on the throttle, made great time and saw the most breathtaking sunset of my entire life… I don’t think that pictures could even do it justice, it was amazing.

Self Serve

We stopped for fuel in “Historic Medicine Bow, Wyoming” grabbed a wrinkly hot dog and watched with amazement as massive lightning storms grew to our East and West… Somehow, it didn’t sink in fully that we were turning East, until we finally made the turn.

… I put on my right blinker with a mind full of worried thoughts and hasty prayers. Within minutes of leaving Medicine Bow we were surrounded by the most INCREDIBLE lightning either of us have ever seen.

It was striking all around us, but seemingly never TOO close. As the rain began to fall, the road turned a few degrees to the left, and directly into the middle of the storm. I began reciting the 23rd Psalm and scanning the road ahead for deer and antelope.

What I SHOULD have been watching for was jack rabbits… Because, even though there were literally dozens of deer visible beside the road, the only thing that stood in our path was nothing more than a wee little jack rabbit.

Now mind you, in Wyoming they make some BIG rabbits!

This thing stood around 2 feet tall and seemed to hop all over, trying to hit me and my bike… I narrowly avoided it, as did Ethan and we continued our way into the blackness of the storm.

Now, when I say blackness I MEAN BLACKNESS… It was incredible! As the rain got harder and it became nearly impossible to see, I half jokingly Prayed that God would send a car or something for us to follow so that we wouldn’t have to be so afraid of the animals in our path. I say “jokingly” because we hadn’t seen another vehicle in around 20 miles, this is some seriously desolate area.

But, to my surprise… No more than a minute later a car roared around us and we quickly worked to keep up with it as it led us through the worst of the storm.

As time marched on and the miles rolled by, the car gradually pulled away from us and we saw the glare of lights on the horizon. “Rest Area” a faded blue sign said, as we pulled into the parking lot.

There was only one car there, and as “coincidence” would have it, it was the car that had led us through the storm.

By Eric Farewell

And as a few more “minor” coincidences, the couple driving it just happened to be not just motorcyclists, but the regional LEADERS of the Christian Motorcyclists group.

After an excited conversation, they signed Ethan’s tail bag, prayed for us and took off.

Less than an hour later, we pulled in to Casper, Wyoming where our host was awaiting us with his oddly shaped Suburban, to lead us to the barn where we’d be staying the night.

Well, when promised a barn to sleep in, one can only think “Barn… Cool!” It’s a rare occasion when you’re able to think “Barn… GORGEOUS!”.

This was one of those occasions.

We rode our bikes into the hall downstairs, beside the 17 horses stall’s and tack rooms, grabbed our luggage and were led upstairs to the “dining hall” where they’d recently entertained the State of Wyoming’s entire Republican party.

(Pictures to come)

It was gorgeous! Hardwoods from floor to ceiling, round tables, refrigerators stocked with drinks, and comfortable couches… Oh, and WiFi!

We were in heaven, and soon after… In bed!

-Eric

Ethan’s Side

A whole lot happens today



After a day of leisure I was ready to hit the road. We finally left at noon and once we made it to the interstate it was bumper to bumper traffic. After a few back roads we made our way up into the Rockies. Riding down the road we saw some huge red rocks sticking up in the distance. It was a park with red rocks, so we rode up the twisty roads, through the canyons with Eric stopping frequently to take pictures. At one of the kodak moments a bicyclist we had passed stopped and told us where the good picture spots were. His name was Sifredo Martinez and at the age of 75 he is training to ride from Denver CO, to Phoenix AZ, with his grandson. I thought that was pretty impressive but then he said that he had peddled to the Arctic circle, to mt Rushmore and from San Diego to Miami. After hearing his story, riding my motorcycle from Tennessee to Alaska and back didn’t seem like such a great feat :-)



We kept riding further into the Rockies and the further we got the better the view. Each canyon opened up in the a picturesque view of Mountains, streams, rocks and pine trees. The roads were fun as well. Smooth with lots of twisties. Coming around one corner we slowed as we passed about 10 Harleys all pulled over by the cops, it seems they like the twisty roads as much as we did. We took it slower after that and headed further up into the mountains. It rained on and off high up in the mountains which made for slow going around all the tight curves but we made it safely out of the mountains and into Boulder where the rain started to taper off. After Boulder it was smooth sailing all the way up into Wyoming.



We stopped at Medicine bow right in between two huge storms. Looking on either side I could see lightning flashing. We geared up and headed straight for the center of the biggest darkest storm. For the first 70 miles it was just dark and I saw about 30 deer alongside the road but thankfully they stayed there, the only thing to venture into our path were two jackrabbits, but since we were in Wyoming they were quite big and fast to they made it safely across the road. For the next 30 miles it rained. Heavy pelting rain with gusting strong winds. Needless to say we slowed down and chugged our way along. Half way through the soup a car passed us and lit our way for a little while. We stopped at the rest area halfway between Medicine Bow and Casper and me the people driving the car. “Coincidentally” they were Richard and Sherri Heid the regional leaders of the C.M.A. The Christian Motorcyclist Association. We talked bikes for a while and they told us they had been praying for us as they passed. They were a neat couple and they prayed with us and we headed out. I thought it was awesome that the only car to pass us on that road, or that we pass happens to be the leaders of the CMA. Cool stuff. We made it the rest of the way safely to Casper and stayed the night in the True’s barn.

14 comments

14 Comments so far

  1. Broncomom August 15th, 2006 3:04 pm

    …nice…

  2. Joseph August 15th, 2006 7:56 pm

    Love the first pic.

  3. Megan August 15th, 2006 9:08 pm

    I look forward to reading more! :-)

  4. Karen August 16th, 2006 12:36 am

    Love the new profile pic of Ethan’s. Great shot.

    You guys are having too much fun! I wanna ride on a bike!

    Hey, I could drive to Alaska if I had a 4×4!

  5. Stephanie J. August 16th, 2006 11:29 am

    I’m praying for you guys! Drive safely, and keep up with the many awesome pictures, Eric!

  6. Joshua August 16th, 2006 4:21 pm

    Hey man – just found this – hope you continue to have a great time – keep taking the awesome pics!

    Joshua M.

  7. Broncomom August 16th, 2006 6:23 pm

    Nice that you met Sifredo. Inspiring, just like the country your traveling through. luv the pictures

  8. Steph August 16th, 2006 10:19 pm

    I love that last pic! Amazing angle!

  9. Jenny K. August 16th, 2006 11:34 pm

    Wow, for you to say that it was the most breathtaking sunset of your life…that is huge….oh, come on, we will take the pics that don’t even do it justice ;-)
    Isn’t it fun meeting interesting people everywhere you go?
    Good story telling…leaving us with a thirst for more! Lord keep you! Jenny

  10. Lonnie "BP" August 19th, 2006 3:06 am

    WOW! not sure I can think of anything else to say! Except, have you ever noticed that you can say “wow” backwards and it sounds the same? “Wow”…see I said it backwards that time!

    No, I’m sober! :-D

    BP

  11. Ken Ewing August 19th, 2006 7:09 pm

    Hey are you guys still out there? We are waiting to read the next update! If you come back through Colorado Springs we will try and have some other kind of Colorado fare for your taste buds! You boys stay safe!
    Blessings, The Ewing Clan

  12. Ashley-Kaye August 20th, 2006 5:05 pm

    Hey, awesome. I’ve been trying to keep up with you guys but got a but behind. Colorado is a beautiful place and Red Rocks, well, they ROCK! LOL I have been in a lot of places in the US, and I think Colorado around the Denver area is my favorite place. Good luck in Alaska!!

  13. Jenny K. August 20th, 2006 6:44 pm

    Loved the end of this leg….God is answering our prayers and looking after you guys….thankyou Lord! Jenny

  14. Broncomom August 20th, 2006 8:14 pm

    As for the coincidence- Love it when God is already answering our prayer before we ask!