Colorado Cruise 2006 – Day 8: Heading For Home

Paul & Grady’s route
to Durango
(Click map to enlarge)

Thursday, July 6 – Friday, July 7

  • Riders & their destinations:
    • Paul & Grady: Tucson, AZ via Durango, CO
    • Eric: Los Angeles, CA
    • Trev: Seattle, WA via Las Vegas, NV
    • Scott: Burley, ID to Seattle, WA
  • Highlights:

I awake to a lovely morning in Burley, Idaho and after eating breakfast, I saddle up and head Northwest for Oregon. I’m looking forward to resuming listening to my audio book but after several hours of riding, the author has reached the end of his motorcycle tour and my mind is now subjected to a steady diet of his torturous journey of his mind and nothing else. After awhile, it’s too much and I feel myself tiring and struggling to stay focused on the road I’m riding. So I bag it and switch to music. I’ll have to find out what happens at the end of the book once I get home. I sail through the Blue Mountains in NE Oregon, another fine stretch of interstate, and once I cross the Columbia River into Washington, I know I’m going to make it home today. I finally roll into Seattle after 668 miles and lots of albums consisting of rock and roll, classical and New Age. Hey! I still have three days off before returning to work on Monday. My sweetheart, the dog and I head for our boat to do a little cruising on Puget Sound, a very nice end to this vacation.
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Colorado Cruise 2003 – Day 1: Touring The Gas Stations Of The Northwest

(click map to enlarge)


  • Scott & Joe
  • Seattle, WA to Burley, ID
  • 655 miles

How A Ride Gets Off The Ground

My brother, Paul, calls out of the blue and said hey, let’s go for another week long ride before the year is out. How ’bout we meet in Colorado? I groan and say that work is way too hectic. I’d love to but no can do. Dejected, I hang up. A couple of days later, I go to my doctor for my annual checkup and she has a cow when she sees me. She says I’m a wreck and that I need to go on vacation immediately. If that doesn’t lower my stress levels, I’ll need to find a new job. Ok, so working at a company spun off of bankrupt Enron is no picnic. I knew I was bit frazzled but I didn’t think I was that bad.

Nevertheless, as this particular doctor got me through a very nasty problem with my heart years ago with flying colors, I obey her orders implicitly. She asks what I plan to do and I tell her of my recent phone call. So I call Paul back and make plans. Riding buddy, Joe, decides to accompany me out to Colorado before he splits off to go visit his sister. We agree to meet at a great breakfast place in North Bend before crossing the Cascades.

In the morning, I head out on the same highway in Seattle that I take to work each day and so while my mind knows I’m on vacation, my body sure doesn’t. I still feel the same tension and anxiety but as I take the off ramp on to I-90 heading East for the mountains with the B-52s playing in my helmet, the vacation concept slowly begins to sink in and that tension starts easing up. I begin anticipating yet another great adventure in the making. I feel a smile coming on.


Driving this many miles on the Interstate can be rather tiresome but with the goal of getting to the real riding destination, Joe and I can really hunker down and burn up the miles. We slip into a sort of rhythm and get it done while actually having an enjoyable ride. We ride for an hour and then take a 15 or 20 minute pit stop for gas, bathroom, snacks and water. On this ride, I’m on my Gold Wing 1800 with the 6 CD changer in the trunk so I have tunes the whole way which also helps pass the time. Joe, on the other hand, takes a simpler, low tech approach and just whistles to himself in his helmet.

(click a photo to launch the slideshow)

Go to Day 2: Arches National Park

Return to the Ride Summary


This tattoo was collaboratively designed by Inga Duncan Thornell and Tina Bafaro, her tattooist, to cover the scars from Inga’s bilateral mastectomy. It took one Sunday a month over two and a half years to complete.

See and learn more about Inga’s tattoo on her website.