Monday, August 24, 2015

Flattest Camera in the West
Harley-Davidson HOG member?  Check out the Flattest Camera in the West feature article both on-line and in print.  Some fun pointers on capturing the ride with you phone!

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sorting it Out...Putting it Together
There are times when life's experiences seem like a puzzle.  Often wondering how the pieces fit together.  Ridin' the open road is the medicine needed to sort it out.  Week home from Sturgis now.  All the pieces fitting together.  Every morning on the way to and from Sturgis as well as during Sturgis never ate breakfast alone.  Had good conversation and meals with bikers from California, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Australia, and Scotland.  It's all about the conversation.  Sharing stories with folks across the country.  Where you from?  What's the weather like in your part of the country?  You can learn a lot.  Helps to fit the pieces together.  It's what riding' the open road is all about.

Kickstand down in Santa Fe...not for long.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Two lane highway from Sturgis:

Left Rapid City this morning under blue skies with the wind on my back.  Decided to take the back roads through the Badlands across the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Few miles out of Rapid City the traffic disappeared.  The thousands of bikers and rumbles of V-twins began to fade like old paint on a 50's Harley.  Thump of my bike's motor became one with the rhythm of my heart.
Entering the Pine Ridge Reservation it was clear to understand the Lakota People's call... "Save Our Land".  The road reached out to the land.  The land to the sky.  The sky to the clouds.
Slowing, breaking to a stop, looking up, clouds wrapped around a hilltop knoll.  Low wire fence encircles a mass grave site.  Wounded Knee.  I have visited here many times.  Each time stopping to pay respect to the brave Lakota women, children, and elders whose spirits are present.
Into Nebraska stayed on the back roads.  Smooth two lane.  Rolling sand hills.  Dotted with ranches and farms.  Found a rest area with full services including WiFi.  Standing at the rest area a lonely car pulls to a stop.  A family from Scotland touring the US.  "Is this actually an authorized highway rest area?"  Yes, I reply with a smile, "you may not find another one like this for miles". 
Just outside of Alliance, NE  short stop to record the wonders of Carhedge.  Motorhead art at it's best.

Kickstand down in Bridgeport, NE tonight.  Perfect day riding with the wind, embracing the freedom of the open road, remembering the history of our country.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wrappin' it up at Sturgis "75"
Streets were full every day by 8AM 
 You can always tell an official photographer by his hat
"Issy" was busy all week making magic with ink on skin 
Kings of the Road
Baring it for a biker from Barre
Important historical information
Ridin' in style
Leavin' Sturgis behind

Kickstand up in the morning.  Rolling on the throttle.  Heading for home.  It was a very good Rally.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sturgis 2015 Takin' It To The Streets:

Talking with some of the locals today in Sturgis the word on the streets is the 75th Rally may break 1.8 million bikers.  No exact figures yet.  From what I saw it would not surprise me.  By 7 AM the streets were full of bikes, parking filled up quickly.

Roamed the streets all day.  Met so many great folks.
 What a bucket list...and ink to match.  Better yet was her big engaging smile.
 Visited with old friends as they worked their daily art.
 "In Memory of My Dad"
 Hard to chain this bull down.
 Old School Choppers.  Desert "DOC" working his magic on repairs.
 Body "ART" at it's best.
 True blue "Harley" from bike to ink.
OK...what can I say...everyone is working the streets to earn a buck.
Freedom of speech...freedom to express yourself...this is what Sturgis is all about.
Inked and proud of it!
No question about his favorite things in life.
Everybody coming together as one.  Doesn't get any better.

A good day to be in Sturgis.

be strong, be safe, Carlan
Sturgis 75 Years:
2015 marks the 75th year of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  It began in 1938 and was originally held for stunts and races, but has evolved into being a meeting for motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world.  It is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world.
Numbers floating around  town are calling for over 1.5 million bikers to roll through Sturgis this week.  The streets were full by 8AM this morning.  Rumble of Harleys filled the air.  No better sound for a biker!
The rally brings significant income to the citizens of Sturgis, a town of only 6,627 people.  From renting out tent space on front lawns, parking bikes in driveways, and supporting local family cafes the week long rally provides income for the year.
 Everyone hands out free items from bibles to beer kozzies.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are all about creating your own personal statement.  Thousands of bikes, not one the same.  A personalized Harley for the KING...Elvis of course.
It's all about personal statements.  Freedom of expression.  Not only personalizing a Harley, personalizing your body and feeling the freedom to express it as well.
The town is rockin'.  Even the hula hoop is still popular.  Word on ths street is..."what happens in Sturgis...needs to stay in Sturgis..."
Armed guards are on duty to make sure every Harley is safe and secure at all times.
Bikers are some of the friendliest folks you will ever meet.  Generally misunderstood because of their independence and belief in freedom.  A patch on his vest records his support for the Rolling Thunder Project.  He is one of four individuals to ever be honored to place a memorial on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington DC.
"He would have ridden a Harley".  There is no doubt in my mind it would have been a Harley.  Why would I even question it?

Kickstand down for the night.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Saturday, August 1, 2015

On the road to Sturgis:
Packed the Low Rider and left Santa Fe under cloudy skies.  In and out of rain all morning.  First gas stop was Russells Truck Stop north of Springer, NM on I 25.
Greeted by Elvis at Russell's.  It's always good to take a break from the road and meet up with old friends.  Amazing how this guy just does not seem to age.  I wonder what his secret is?
Off the interstate slab and onto the blue highways at Trinidad, NM.  Following the original Santa Fe Trail across Colorado.  Braked to a stop in Model, CO.  Almost missed the entire town.  Once was a thriving community.  Almost a ghost town now.
Onto the High Plains Highway (HWY 385) at Lamar, CO.  Down the road at Cheyenne Wells, CO the highway was blocked with police cars.  It was the annual city fair parade.  As of the 2000 census Cheyenne Wells has a listed population of 1,010 fair folks.  They were all at the parade.  Because of the limited population, the parade circles the court house twice.  It was a short stop.  About five minutes.
At Julesburg, CO the Ford Dealer had a select collection of unique models with real "fixer up" potential.
Crossing into Nebraska the wind on my back, sun on my face.  State Patrol behind every tree.  Constantly rolling off the throttle to maintain the speed limit.
South of Bridgeport, NE clouds quickly formed into a storm filled with lightning and wind.  Dust filled the highway.  Debris blowing across the road.  No place to stop.  Head down.  Hit the throttle.  Seemed as I was in the heart of it forever.  Passing out of the storm noticed there was grass and small branches wrapped around my handlebars.

Kickstand down in Bridgeport, NE tonight.  Blue Highways across America.  Nothing better.

be strong, be safe, Carlan