2004 Activities

This archive is an ongoing project from the perspective of completeness and journalism. Deal with it.

Pay attention, now. The photo albums for the west coast trip in August are not necessarily chronologically correct. The digital photos are in proper order, but the 35 mm pictures are bass-ackwards due to the fact that my camera loads and shoots from last to first, according to the film. Caveat emptor.

January 21 - Eric Bauer and I got invited by Al Hilbert of Miller Electric (http://www.millerwelds.com) to get a look at their 75th anniversary motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers. You can see the pictures here.

We went to Las Vegas in March.

June 13 - We had a visit today from Phil Adessa and his anonymous friend, who was driving a pre-production Corvette. He was attending the Hot Rod Power Tour 2004 road rally which concluded in Green Bay on Friday, June 11. A few pictures of the vehicle can be seen here.

August 21 - I just got back from a trip out to Sturgis and the West Coast.

Additionally, and equally lacking indices, I took some pictures with my Canon Rebel EOS 2000, and had Sam's Club reproduce them on CD, which I (not) promptly placed in the following links.

My friend Steve Casey introduced me to a husband and wife, JT and Genise, who rode with us ostensibly for the duration. Unfortunately, a young man from Neenah, WI died in a head-on motorcycle collision on the Spearfish Canyon road between Lead and Spearfish, SD. Since JT and "G" were close friends of his, they elected to leave us at Cody, WY and return to the Fox Valley for the funeral. Steve and I continued on. Consider this paragraph as a footnote.

Tuesday, August 3

Packing up the bike for the trip

Wednesday, August 4

We hit the road from Appleton, WI about 7:30 PM. We got to a rest area somewhere near Blue Earth, MN at around 3:00AM. We enjoyed an adult beverage or two, and then took a nap.

Thursday, August 5

We hit the road again a few hours later (about 7:30 AM). We stopped at Wall, SD and had a couple of beverages before finishing the day's ride at Sturgis, SD.

Friday, August 6

We toured around Sturgis, Deadwood, Lead and Spearfish SD on Friday. Steve and I left JT and G to their gambling in Deadwood, while he and I rode the Spearfish Canyon.

On Saturday, August 7th, we left Sturgis. We stopped at a nice bar in Sheridan, WY, and continued on to Dayton, WY.

On Sunday, August 8th we watched the calf-roping at Eaton's Ranch in Wolf (near Dayton), WY. As I understand it, the Eaton Ranch roping contest is the oldest continuously running roping contest, at 125 straight years as of this writing.

On Monday, August 9th we hiked up into the Tongue River Canyon near Dayton, WY and caught dinner (15 brook trout). Remind me not to lug too much gear on a hike like that. I caught one.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greg, Donna and Howard at the P-Bar-W ranch in Dayton, WY for their hospitality and grace. They operate the Mountain Inn bar in Dayton, WY. I highly recommend the stop. It's right on US 14A, just east of the Longhorn Pass.

Tuesday, August 10

We rode from Dayton, WY to Cody, WY on the 10th, crossing over the Longhorn Range on US 14 Alt. After an overnight stay at the Pawnee Hotel, we split up. My thanks to Jo Dean DeHony, the owner, for putting us up. Jo Dean's night manager told us that despite the fact that she is humble about it, that she is a great horse rider. Jo Dean, don't axe anyone for that. If you are looking for a place to stay in Cody which gives you a flavor of the turn of the twentieth century, the Pawnee Hotel offers a superb caricature of the times. It is a clean and friendly place, which I would not hesitate to recommend to my friends and relatives. It is within walking distance of any services which a weary, hungry, out-of-clean-clothes traveler might need. Jo Dean and JT posed for a photo op on the steps.

Wednesday, August 11

In the morning, JT and G headed south to deliver a gift bottle of wine to a friend. Steve and I headed west. That day, Steve and I did Yellowstone, Jackson Lake and Jackson, WY. We headed up the hill into Idaho and camped in a rest area. On the way we passed by Craters Of The Moon and slept at the rest area on the southwest corner of US 20 and Idaho State 75, between Picabo and Magic City.

Thursday, August 12

Thursday we rode west on US 20 to Mountain Home, ID, then through Boise, and over to Ontario, OR. From there we rode through Burns and Bend, through the Deschutes Desert. On that stretch the temperature hit 115 degrees Fahrenheit. From Bend we went south on US 97, and stayed at the rest area on the west side of the road near Chemult, OR.

The 35 mm camera stayed packed until Friday, August 13th, when we visited Crater Lake, OR, followed by a ride on SR 62, SR 234 to Gold Hill, then SR 99  to US 191 (the Redwood Highway) and down to Crescent City, CA. We wanted to camp out in Jed Smith National Campground, but got there too late to get a campsite. The attendants sent us to Mill Creek campground, but it also was full. Our only option was to "cheat" by staying at the Super 8 motel in Crescent City. We made the best of the situation by showering and enjoying a sit-down meal of seafood at an establishment in the harbor.

On Saturday, August 14th, we did the Tour-Thru Tree in Klamath, CA. After getting stuck behind a multiple-vehicle pileup between Klamath and Crescent City, we headed north on US 101 into Oregon. We stopped at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and had a beer, then continued north on US 101 to find a campsite. Failing to find a vacancy in any motels or campgrounds, we tipped over in a rest area about 75 miles south of Astoria, near Beaver.

On Sunday, August 15th, we crossed into Washington state from Astoria, OR. We headed up to Long Beach, WA, where the Kite Festival was getting started. We cut across the peninsula and went through the traffic nightmare on I-5 through Tacoma, et al. We got off I-5 around exit 230 and took State 20 east toward the Northern Cascades. Another rest area awaited us on the Skagit River, near Rockport. We listened to salmon jumping in the river all night.

On Monday, August 16th, we toured the Cascades and continued east on SR 20 (closed in winter). We found a campground (Crystal Falls State Park, WA) with a vacancy, and burned hot dogs over a campfire.

On Tuesday, August 17th, we left Washington state and crossed Idaho through Sand Point. We got to Montana and camped at Lost Johnny Point on Hungry Horse reservoir.

On Wednesday we toured Glacier National Park and got as far east as Harlem, MT, where we got a room at a motel and watched the biggest hay bale fire I've ever seen. It started about dusk and was still going strong the following morning. We stood outside the motel swilling beer with a drywall contractor who was helping to build the new high school, along with the night manager, until about midnight watching the local Fire Departments decide how much they were prepared to do to subdue the fire. The local FD apparently decided to let it go, as long as no nearby structures were at risk.

On Thursday, August 19th we hit the road and made it as far as Stanley, ND, where we camped in the free city campground. It was 27 deg F when we woke up Friday.

Friday, August 20th we rode from Stanley, ND to Sand Creek, WI.

Saturday, August 21 we rode home, but not without the obligatory stop at Hot Rodz Bar in Nichols, WI.

Although Steve Casey probably logged a couple more miles than I did, as a consequence of forgetting something at his friend Murray's house in Sand Creek, I figure we both logged about 5,244 miles on the 18 day trip.

As I have the opportunity to look back at an atlas, I'll call out which roads we were on. For now, suffice it to say that after getting off I-90 in Sheridan, WY, the only interstate travel was in southwestern Washington state. That stretch was done simply because there was no clear path to Washington State 20 from US 101 in order to check out the Northern Cascades. The vast majority of the eastbound travel was on US 2, which we picked up in eastern Washington. With the exception of a couple of zigs and zags, we rode US 2 from Washington to Wisconsin.

Our son Scott came home in September, and had the privilege of meeting Bart Starr at Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay.

Our son Scott brought his friend Doug home for the holidays. Their appearance on the local scene was here.

We hosted a Christmas Party on Thursday, December 23rd. The pictures are here.

Our Christmas Day celebration was a quiet one, shown here.

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