Tag: ktm

Two KTMs and the Grand Canyon

Two KTMs and the Grand Canyon

“Babe. Chris asked me to go do that Grand Canyon dirtbike thing with him.”
“Okay. You should do it! When is it?”
“Tuesday.”
“Oh.”
“We’re driving out.”
“Really?”
…..

And just like that, with a few days notice my husband Kenny loaded two dirtbikes in the back of his pickup and drove from Long Island to the edge of California. See? I’m not the only one around here who impulsively heads off galavanting.

In two days time, Kenny and his friend Chris were in Moab, Utah where they spent a day riding. The following morning, they reloaded their bikes in the truck and were off to Primm, Nevada. That’s where they ditched the truck and set off across the desert to Bar 10 Ranch to begin the Grand Canyon leg of their trip.

The pictures Kenny sent of the rugged desolation were so beautiful. Here are a few:


This post is part of a month-long writing prompt challenge: Brave, Bold, Blogger Challenge (BBBC) 2017 hosted by Kathy at ToadMama.com.

Prompt: Three pics you’ve never shared

KTM 990 Adventure on a Summer Saturday Ride

KTM 990 Adventure on a Summer Saturday Ride

Some days motorcycle photos are good for what ails ya, aren’t they? They’ll put a smile on your face when the turkeys getcha down.

These pics were taken over the summer when my hubs Kenny sent me off to run some gas through his KTM 990 Adventure. Even with a few years under her belt, I think the 990 Baja is super-foxy.

The Saville Dam on Barkhamsted, Connecticut:

What’s this now?!

The Big White Guy Texaco Big Friend who used to stand in Chicopee, Ma. has a new home in Agawam. These big fellas get around, don’t they?

Making My Way Toward Route 6

Making My Way Toward Route 6

When I woke up and looked out the window, there was a cool fog hanging over everything. The world around me was still asleep when I set off for the day. Because it’s August I had only my mesh jacket – which I suffered with for the next hour. I never would have imagined that even in the mountains it would have been cool enough in the 6 o’clock hour to feel like I might need to switch on my heated grips. But… it was. As my engine thumped, I gave the occasional shudder as a result of the cold.

While you’re in the thick of things, you assume that your circumstances will be same everywhere. But often, if you just keep moving forward you can rise above the clouds and out in to a big hug of sunshine.

Riding out of the valley, I was treated to an incredible cloudless sky. Just behind me, the fog-covered valley along the river looked like the Maloja Snake.

There are so many lovely dirt roads that skirt the aprons of farms throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. I have persistent romantic notions about the lives lived in such places. It’s probably best that I never investigate the truth and carry on with my naïve and wistful ideas. They help to shape my perception of the good life.

A year ago, I talked about how it seems that once you see something, it becomes easier to do it again. Over the last few weeks I’ve experienced more examples of this being true. After never having seen the Starucca Viaduct until a few weeks ago, I found myself once more passing below its arches.

Could it just be that my brain subconsciously moved me through an area that was “familiar”? Probably. But I like to think it’s some sort of magic. Life is more fun that way.

This gorgeous dairy farm was along the way towards Route 6. My romantic imaginings have it occupied by an overall-wearing farmer who drives a tractor with heart shaped smoke that puffs from its exhaust stack. The cows with flower-crowns sing in their stalls. Every day a scarecrow waves good morning.

When I finally made it to Route 6, my first stop was the tiny old Meshoppen Fire Department building. It looked like you could pick it up and put it in your pocket. Instead, I left it where it was for the next person to enjoy and kept going west.

Unlocking the Magic Inside Kellam’s Bridge

Unlocking the Magic Inside Kellam’s Bridge

It was a good thing that I continued riding along River Road. It was not was not in fact closed as the sign had said. Or at least it was not impassable on the KTM. Your mileage may vary in a low-slung sports car.

Following the pink line of my GPS track, I headed southeast to a crossing of the Delaware River and back to the New York.

Sometimes things might not look so great when you’re standing on the outside looking in. Maybe they look drab, unkempt or perhaps slightly dangerous. But when you peel away the outer layer and get to the heart of what’s inside well, that’s where the magic happens. For people and bridges.

Riding on to Kellam’s Bridge looked a little sketchy, a little narrow, a little are bolts going to fall off this thing?

But, once I started going the camera picked up one of my most favorite-est photos in some time. It makes me feel like I’m speeding towards another dimension in a 70’s Sci-Fi movie of the week. I’m wearing a silver spacesuit and eating non-caloric cookies from a pill. Magically I grew to a lithe 6-feet tall and don’t have a wisp of gray hair. No, I’m 25 again and forever, hurtling across space – a perfect human.

And just a quick as it came… it was over. You’ve got to appreciate the magic while it happens.

Wikipedia says that this span is also called the Little Equinunk Bridge. No mention of any magic, though.

Riding River Road Along the Delaware

Riding River Road Along the Delaware

Where the Wallerville Road ended in Equinunk, I picked up River Road and followed it south. For a mile or two I was chugging along behind a van than was towing a trailer full of kayaks, heading somewhere to drop them in to the Delaware River. When the road came to a fork, he went left, I went right and sighed out of relief. I hate following any vehicle towing or carrying anything.

When I came to the point on the road where there was a “No Winter Maintenance” sign coupled with a “Road Closed” sign, I glanced down at my GPS. “Is this right?” I thought. The pink line kept going forward and I knew that Joe, who sent me the track I was following, had ridden it the summer before so I kept going. I figured my worst case scenario was that I would have to turn around and go back the way I came.

The road was a little bumpy, a little damp but nothing terrible. A few miles in, I came to a pile of flat rocks that was the bed of a nearly dry waterfall. As I glanced to my left at the steep drop off I was happy to not have to do some slippery moss-covered water crossing on my own. There was no cell service and clearly, not a whole lot of traffic. It would be a long walk out if to help if I needed it – assuming I survived the mosquito bloodletting.

Hey, look! The GoPro captured another shot of the Sasquatch taking pictures!

The lovely mossy waterfall. It was like something out of a fairy tale.

The road less traveled.

Falling there would be the start of a very bad day.

After donating 3 pints of blood to the bugs, saying hello and goodbye to the tiniest frog I’ve ever seen and assessing that I should be thankful that the waterfall was nearly dry, I got back on my little scooter and kept going. I still had to figure out whether the road was actually closed!

Boy, I’ll tell ya – getting the KTM was a really good choice for me. I can cover a fair amount of distance and confidently take myself down roads like River Road without worrying. Happy times.

Following the Dirt Road Along Factory Creek

Following the Dirt Road Along Factory Creek

On Saturday morning, I set off from Hancock, NY following a track on the GPS that my friend Joe had given to me. Other than being told that it was a loop of dirt roads, I was flying blind with regard to where I was going or what I would see along the way.

When you have no expectations, you can’t be let down. And I wasn’t.

GoPro snapped a picture of me taking a picture. That seems to be a common theme as I scroll through the days photos.

Sometimes I wish that I could take a photograph with my eyes. What comes out of something even like the GoPro is never what I saw. As the dirt roads wound their way through the trees, the light was filtering in through their branches. You could feel the moisture hanging on the air from the rain that had passed through earlier in the morning.

When I came around the corner on Wallerville Road, I was surprised to find a concrete retaining wall keeping the Factory Creek from eating the road. It seemed unusual for a lightly traveled place – so man-made in an otherwise natural setting. That said, it provided a compelling if hard and unforgiving contrast to the easy flowing water and the mossy layered rocks that it penned in.

I followed Wallerville road and the creek to the town of Equinunk under the green canopy feeling lucky to have been there.

I’ll Never Need Anything More Than This

I’ll Never Need Anything More Than This

When I get home from work lately, I have to force myself not to slug-out on the couch with the tv on. Between my laziness and the high heat, my riding has been limited to early mornings and evenings. One of the best parts of this riding schedule is the sky. It’s been on fire lately. Sometimes that’s enough to make everything alright.

After dinner last night, I forced myself to get out of the house. If I didn’t twist my own arm I would’ve spent the evening feeding my anxiety monster with news. As I squeaked around the hallway in my Sidis getting myself ready to go out, Kenny suggested I take his new-to-him KTM 990 out to see how I liked it. I sure think it’s the prettiest adventure bike in town so the idea wasn’t a tough sell.

I pulled away from the house on his big baby, listening to the twin thump of the Akrapovic cans chugging away. As their song picked up so did my energy level. Medicine.

Since this was my first ride ride on the 990, I was filled with that excited newness you get from an unfamiliar motorcycle. I was very surprised at just how big it doesn’t feel. I’m able to touch the ground better than I can on my Tiger and it doesn’t feel anywhere near as top-heavy. Quickly settled in, I just… went.

As the miles passed and the sky began to paint its early evening colors I relaxed into my “real me” state. That’s the one where the layers of anxiety, doubt and worry all fade away and I can hear my positive and hopeful voice.

Watching the blues and pinks streak across the universe I thought to myself – “I’ll never need anything more than this.” And in that moment, I meant it. Politics? Pain? Terror? People’s lives being torn apart – it was all gone. There was nothing but a sublime moment of being in the world, feeling free and being able to take in the beauty of the sky.

GoPro Stills from a Connecticut Day Ride on the KTM

GoPro Stills from a Connecticut Day Ride on the KTM

On my last jaunt around Connecticut on the 690, I had my GoPro clicking away, snapping photos of the places that I passed though. It was a gorgeous day – blue skies, not too hot, especially on those shady backroads.

Though I probably would’ve benefitted from moving the camera mount around for a different point of view – I’m still happy with sharing the way I saw things.

Sometimes I’m a little light on the words but that’s alright. I’m just going to let the pictures do most of the talking.

So New Englandy. Red barn, green grass rolling away to forever, fieldstone wall following suit.

That red barn is just screaming for a Mail Pouch ad!

Greenery and the solitude of a little dirt road. Perfection.

The mountains were calling.

Let’s go that-a-away, shall we?

 

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