CHANGE OF PLANS

CHANGE OF PLANS


CHANGE OF PLANS

Originally the plan had been to have 2 days up at Telluride this week as it was Spring Break. The skiing we
have had this year has been absolutely fantastic with great snow conditions and perfect weather. Next Sat
is closing day which encourages people to dress up in the most ridiculous outfits and is usually a well lubed
event with bands playing all day.

Telluride Closing Day …… a bit like Bike Week with skis

or snowboards

Alcohol flows……. and the band plays on

March weather has generally been unusually mild and with spring present nearly everywhere that Cabin
Fever has come to the fore with Brenda wanting to go down to AZ for a few days instead. My plans for Safari
had been to work on the overheating problem after the school year had finished in May, however this came
forward and last week the issue was addressed and I believe finally knocked on the head.

So with the week’s plans changed and heading south to warmer climes its time to finish off some minor
jobs on the bus by replacing the windscreen washer tubes that some rodent has eaten through over the ice
age of winter and then give the old girl a much needed wash.

Washed, ready and no slobbering!

Hopefully when I get the trailer in tow I can get the Beemer out which has been in there since October and
on the battery minder. A good clean, fresh fuel and some air in the tires and all should be good for our Cave
Creek and Phoenix transport and maybe a run from Prescott over to Jerome through the twisty bends. Not
forgetting that it is Bike Week  so the town will be chocker with all manner of bikes.

The eating side of the mission MUST include Harold’s for the prime fillet and charred mushrooms along
with their Oyster Rockerfellers. A run downtown to see daughter Sally and grandchild Sophie and then a
stop at P.F.Chang’s for some chicken wraps, shrimp in lobster sauce for me and no doubt crispy duck for
Brenda……. and in our case no visit to Phoenix can miss Eddie V’s in Scottsdale for Happy Hour 1/2 price
starters to include the rock shrimp fritters and a dish of crabcakes. Might just finish off by sharing one of
their fabulous steaks.

Tubes replaced on Safari and a good wash and onto the Beemer. Its been on its battery tender since last
October but although everything lights up when the key is turned nothing happens when the starter is hit.
The most obvious answer is get a new battery as delving into anything else seems unlikely. It has had a
few battery problems in the past but has always come up on charge. Now I have the full array of lights but
zero cranking! Only thing getting cranky is me!!

A good start to the morning as my local Beemer man over in Mancos agrees with my thoughts that it is
most likely the battery and yes, he actually has one! The old one comes off, cable ends all cleaned up,
and the 9 year old battery takes it’s last ride. It shows 12.7 on charge but under load drops to 4 volts. The
new one, made in China of course, fits fine but the negative wire which is preformed and bent will not go
over a ridge of plastic on the new battery shell by the neg post. The old bolt has to be removed, cable end
reformed and drilled but 30 minutes later and the beast bursts into life and hopefully the last problem is
resolved.

Wednesday morning and the adventure is scheduled to begin…… but,…… its snowing again and pretty
hard too! Eventually with no sign of the snowstorm abating we set off at 1045 and by the time we are at
4 corners its looking a bit brighter. Snow stops at about Kayenta but is now replaced by a nice side wind
around the 40 mph mark. No overheating problems but the helmsman is having trouble with the big flat
side in the crosswinds. Some of the roads have been improved (not before time) but the rest are truly awful
as the under strata has collapsed leaving an undulating ripple and dangerous bumpy surface.

“What is going on ?”

Leaving Dolores Wednesday morning

Out on the 89 to Flagstaff and we can see the snow up ahead. Strong winds and into the long climbing
grade to the top. Once more U96 performs flawlessly and we sail over the top in 5th with no loss of power
which I don’t ever remember it doing before in all the time I’ve had it. Snow and strong winds all the way
down to Camp Verde then wind and rain. Into Fountain Hills at around 7 local time, dog walking and some
food and beverage before parking at The Alamo for the night stop and Brenda’s reunion with all her old real
estate colleagues.

Up the long steep grade and into Flag with not even a hint of overheating
don’t you just love it!

Leaving Flag and yet more snow!

The Alamo reunion

Thursday, and time to refuel, fill the LP, dump, and add fresh water. Drive up to Harold’s for the next part
of the mission. Park up on the top of their overflow parking and start thinking AZ Bike Week. Cave Creek
is in competition with West World due to some friction about 10 years ago when CC didn’t even get a
mention and was even taken off the handout map! Well, that problem is long gone and now Bike Week is
in 3 different locations and we are at the hub of one!

“As I live and breathe ……its Harold’s !!”

Tap Haus to the left, Harold’s to the right and bikes everywhere

Time to get the Beemer out and opening the trailer door its horror story again! Despite 6 ratchet tie downs
the Beemer couldn’t wait and has made its escape again!!! Picking up 850 lbs of Bavarian beast is not
what I was hoping for but its out, fires up, and only further minor damage to the side bumper (chromed
plastic) which always takes the hit. However, hello, what’s this?  …… a water leak!  Seems the so called
RV guru who winterized the Safari broke the water pump filter housing!! No matter I’ll get one later.

The day moves on and its off to see daughter Sally and grand daughter Sophie, now 3. The ride down to
Phoenix is back to lunatic driving and very much stop/go with traffic lights on roads I have never heard of in
all the time I was working on new construction. Amazing the slow down of traffic this causes and of course
gives the police more reason to stop everyone with the ever slowing speed restrictions….. hardly bike fun!

Small bambino railway theme park and the first ride is a Merry go round which is not so merry as Sophie
starts screaming the moment it starts and as she is uncontrollable the operator is forced to stop it while
screaming child is returned to anxious mother. Next up a mini train ride which nearly goes the same way
and screaming and wriggling begins the moment we leave the station! This one isn’t going to stop so suck
it up ……… then we come to a tunnel…….. how will this go ?   ……. Sophie loves it and ALL the other nice
children start howling and screaming…… what fun!   As Brenda said maybe 5 barking dogs isn’t quite so
bad.

Swings and slides get a thumbs up

Swings and slides next which goes well until time to leave for a bite and drink…… more tantrums but the
bribery of chocolate milk does the trick and all is well for a visit to Chillis to round off the afternoon. Bye
byes complete time to zip (well 40mph zipping) into another 50 sets of long wait traffic lights and arrive just
in time to collect a new water filter for the pump and a couple of “what if” washers in case I foul one up.

New fittings and the broken one

Back to Cave Creek and rethink the evening. Seems too much junk food so the planned Harold’s steak
can’t be crammed in so we will try some liquid refreshment after carefully going through the old menu to
line up Saturday night’s fare. The drinking continues………. and one of the features they made here is the
open window bar on the patio where you can actually eat, drink and smoke!  Lots of drinking and smoking
and finally time to stumble off to bed. That was Thursday, but some 400miles to the north Dolores is not
looking quite so rosey with a fresh dump of 6″ of wet snow during daytime hours ???

Meanwhile upcountry ……Dolores River Brewery on Thursday !

Friday morning and a bit of a lie in but the fun must continue. The other 200+ cars that were all parked
around us have gone home (how many DUI’s ?) so I wander off down to the main building to see if I can
find water and if I can turn the bus around in the lower park. It can be done! Water filter connected after
having to do some minor engineering but the job is done, jacks up, and down the hill. Yet another 100 gals
goes on board, Brenda is happy, and bus returned to parking. Serenity descends, life is good, no leaks.

…..all fitted and no more leaks

Plan is Eddie Vee’s tonight so we will forego Beemer riding today, tour the vendors and 3 bars then Steve,
our long time taxi driver, will do the honors come 1700 and our drunken return circa 3 hours later. The day
is spent wandering around the Cave Creek vendors at Tap Haus, and the Hideaway (which I have never
liked) same old, same old, wannabee bikers everywhere and the standard collection of nasty unrideable
machines from you know who. Yes, I have had my share of Harley’s but I have never understood the
mentality that require owners and their significant others to don Pirates garb and cover themselves in
tattoos, have MIA badges everywhere and claim they did something at Sturgis ? …… and of course you
must have the duty doo rag and NEVER, NEVER wear a helmet!!!

……after 2 days of non stop texting Brenda and Mike finally meet up

Just Harleys at the Tap Haus

As tacky as always the Hideaway….. and doo rags a’plenty

Many drinks later, a few hats for Brenda, and a couple of gallons of drinking water we make it back to
the bar at Harold’s and enjoy a plate of Happy Hour mussels…… very good! ….. Steve arrives and off we
go…… strange routing ?  ….. Steve tells us Eddie V’s has moved……. yep, no longer at DC ranch now
in deepest Scottsdale at yet another pointless shopping mall……. hmmmm! This is going to be a very
expensive ride!

Our perfect desert bar

Enter said establishment and as the eyes try to adjust to the VERY dim lighting this really doesn’t seem
like the vibrant place we used to know…… and on looking at the happy hour menu they don’t serve the
Rock Shrimp Fritters!! We use Brenda’s phone as a flashlight in order to read the menu and order our
selection……. the food is good but the ambience is not….. we leave and wander round while we wait for
Steve.  We find a similar place called Brio’s which says it is a Tuscan Grille and certainly looks more
lively and even has lights on to eat and see by. Maybe we should have gone there if we had ever known
about the place. We sit down to wait in an outside smoking area and within minutes some newly arrived
Scottsdalite wannabee appears and tells us that the smoking is upsetting him!!!!!! Well excuse me ???
he is sitting around the corner on their patio some 20 yards away……. he must have a more sensitive
nose than a blood hound. I would imagine this pompous arse is one of those that wears a medical mask,
can’t leave the house without a bottle of water, and spends his entire life in the shade for risk of sunburn
and the onset of some cancerous death. Well I would suggest if you counsel me with your anti smoking
campaign again you are quite likely to be closer to death than you ever imagined!!  Rearrange this ever
popular phrase “OFF F***” concerning sex and travel.

Dim and dimmer the NEW Eddie V’s !

The “peasant” has the napkin over his face

Saturday, our last full day, so plan is to go for a morning ride to Bartlett Lake which we are told has been
resurfaced, return for dog time and then down to West World for another bike week session making it
back to Harold’s to ensure that we FINALLY get ONE of our dining experiences right! West World has a
new feature that we discover, having paid the huge ticket price $25 !! to get in, which is a photographer
that has taken everyone’s picture as they ride in. The rest is everything Harley and same old, same old.

New surface down to Bartlett Lake

Still the only “bendy” ride around Phoenix

Arriving at West World

Home again to Harold’s and strap in the Beemer one more time, using NINE straps this time, to try and
keep her upright on some of these dippy bumpy broken roads. Established once more at the bar window
the last dining experience goes pretty much to plan washed down with a bottle of BV…..yum, yum!

The “selfie” says it all …..fantastic short break

Sunday morning and after the duty coffees time to get rolling at 0815/0915 AZ/CO times. U96 flies up 17
making nothing of the big hills, and I mean big hills, ……. what a joy, no more CHECK ENG REDS, temp
only got up to 195F and really good power all the way. The 410 miles were completed in a little over 7
hours and that was with slowing down for the really nasty bumpy bits. As yet I haven’t  checked the trailer
to see if I was able to restrain the Bavarian wonder horse but overall I’m delighted with the running of the
bus and the revamped CAT motor.

On the way home ….. “I’m very pleased”

Well that was spring break, now I need some serious pool practice for this Saturday’s Final and then its
time to get the Yam and Cub fired up and try and remember this Trials Game ready for San Ysidro on the
26/27 of this month.

TONY DOWN