Colorado Cruise 2006 – Trip Preparation

Let’s go riding!

Scott’s other rides: 1977 Honda CB750F2 & 2004 Honda RC-51

I had not planned to meet up with my brothers, Paul and Eric, to do some motorcycling in 2006 due to conflicting agendas. I thought my new boating hobby would use up most of my vacation time. I was having visions of going for week long cruises around Puget Sound in my wonderful new boat with Inga, my sweetheart, and Freya, my dog. I was looking forward to putting my touring planning skills to work in this new genre but it did not come to pass. Typically, my notions of what I want to do occur far in advance of the reality of the situation and I always end up having to work on my patience skills. Oh well!

So I’m out in the motorcycle shed tinkering and polishing and feeling really pent up due to the lack of adventure in my life at this particular point in time and it occurs to me to make an impromptu call to brother Paul. “I can be in Northern Arizona in two days. Want to meet up and go riding?” “Yup. Let’s do it.” Well, that’s that. We brainstorm a bit and decide on no plan whatsoever except where to meet up. There’s a private campground at Jacob’s Lake in the high elevation pine forest, just outside the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a place we’ve rendezvoused at before. We figure we’ll take a full day for recovering from our day jobs, do some day riding in the National Park, and determine where to go riding next while drinking some cold ones around the campfire that evening. We’ll have lots of touring to choose from in northern Arizona and southern Utah: the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches National Park and Monument Valley; a veritable rider’s smorgasbord.

But as we approach our departure date, fires in Northern Arizona ultimately preclude our plan to camp at Jacob’s Lake. Pablo reports that the campground owner is not sure he’ll even have a campground by the time we arrive if the fire keeps coming his way. This plus the anticipated high temps in Southern Utah make the thought of meeting up in the cooler mountain climate of Colorado a very appealing alternative. So we end up selecting Telluride as the spot to meet up, just like we did in 2003.

There is always a flurry of emails before we depart on a trip. Here’s a sampling of the message traffic:

From: Eric Espensen
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 10:06 PM
To: ‘Paul Espensen’ Cc: Scott Duncan
Subject: RE: ODMC Ride

Count me in and please email me with locations so I can start trying to map my trip.

I’m planning on switching jobs on July 1st, which will be delayed by a few days to let me take this trip.

Also means I need to go tent shopping!


From: Scott Bruce Duncan
To: ‘Eric Espensen’
Cc: ‘Paul Espensen’
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 7:55 PM
Subject: RE: ODMC Ride

See, you knew you needed a tent for a trip after all. After owning and testing a number of one man tents, I can highly recommend the tent I used on the Alaska ride. It was perfect for me in all respects.

As far as an agenda for the trip, there isn’t one. All we’ve planned is where to meet. After that, it’s wide open and up to debate once we’re seated around the campfire. I have put in a vote for an overnight at Arches. But that was as far as Paul and I got with the moods we were in the other night. And right now, a trip with no agenda just tickles me no end. A symptom of work stress I suspect. Anyway, I’m planning on two days to get home which means I can go all the way to Breckenridge and still make it back on time. On the other hand, there is plenty to see in southern Utah (Arches, Canyonlands, Zion) so we don’t need to wander too far for awesome scenery and great riding.

So now you know what we know. Does this mean you are doing this ride instead of the ODMC NW Chapter ride in Oregon & Northern Cal in August? I assuming that’s the case due to your job change.

Glad to hear you are coming along!

sbd */:-)

From: Paul Espensen
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 7:20 AM
To: Eric Espensen
Cc: Scott Duncan
Subject: Trip

Seeing as how we are having scorching heat here in the desert, I imagine our visit to Utah areas will be short unless you want to fry. Last time Scott and Trevor visited southern Utah, they bailed to the hotel rooms instead of camping because of the heat.

This web site is pretty cool: Motorcycle Colorado

It gives a lot of information about some remote Colorado riding plus it gives campgrounds that are easily accessed by street bikes. I say we head to the mountains and stay cool. There are also some pretty cool mountain areas in Utah. Since you once lived there, maybe you could suggest some cool retreats.

(Editor’s note: Meanwhile, a new rider is joining the group. His name is Grady and he’s a co-worker of Paul’s in Tucson. While Grady has been riding a variety of bikes for years, he’s never been motorcycle touring nor has he ever ridden more than a couple of hundred miles in a day. His co-workers get wind of all this and launch a betting pool.)

Wed, 14 Jun 2006
From: Matthew
Subject: Will he make it?

Road Trip

If you haven’t heard, it seems that Grady Lonigan, Paul Espensen and a few of their friends are heading on a nine-day motorcycle tour of Northern AZ, Utah and Colorado. At the end of the trip they will have covered over 2,500 miles. They will be in the “saddle” an average of six hours every day, camping out under the stars, and enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer. Such as days of blistering heat, nights that are frigid cold, blustery wind, and pelting rain.

Here is the fun part. Grady has NEVER been camping and the last time he slept in a sleeping bag he was 12 years old. The longest motorcycle trip Grady has ever been on was 240 miles and that was 8 years ago. Since then his longest trip was to Casa Grande.

There are people who believe that Grady will not make it the entire trip. Will he turn around and come home? Or will he take refuge in a hotel? A fun office pool has been set up as an added incentive for Grady. If you would like to participate the cost is two dollars. All you need to do is pick which day (1-8) you think Grady will be cut from the herd. If you have picked the right day you will win the kitty and Grady will match the Kitty. If more than one person have the same day the money will be divided equally. If Grady is able to complete the entire journey he will receive the entire kitty plus the respect and admiration from all the naysayers.

I have attached a map of their prospective route. If you have any questions, please call Grady.

(Editor’s note: This is great fun and I can’t help piling on. Neither can Trevor & Eric, even though none of us have met Grady yet.)

From: Scott.Duncan
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 10:36 AM
To: Matthew, Amanda
CC: Paul, Trevor, Eric, Grady
Subject: Re: Will he make it?

To Whom It May Concern:

To put even more pressure on Mr. Lonigan, he’s been nominated for membership in ODMC, a motorcycle club with secret membership criteria. As the ODMC Secretary, I have conferred with the ODMC SW Chapter President regarding this nomination and determined that Mr. Lonigan will need to at least make it to day 5 or 6 in order to sufficiently demonstrate certain characteristics, abilities and skills for a proper evaluation. Once that assessment has successfully occurred, Mr. Lonigan can freely consider an early return to Tucson with his ODMC membership secured.

Regarding the office pool, please put my money on Day 9. Knowing full well the infectious sense of adventure and camaraderie that these trips engender, I fully expect Mr. Lonigan to go the distance and then opt to return a day early due to a wee bit of homesickness but with a healthy glow of accomplishment and many stories to share with his coworkers.


Scott Bruce Duncan */:-)
Club Webmaster
Club Scribe
Club Secretary
Merit Badges:
+ Mold Spores (Commuting every day during rainy Seattle winters)
+ Two week rider (Touring for 2 weeks at a time)
+ Adventure Touring (Enduring hail, snow, dust storms, rain & high winds)
+ Monkey Butt (500+ mile day)

From: Trevor
Sent: 06/14/2006 03:46 PM
To: Amanda, Matthew
CC: Scott, Grady, Paul
Subject Re: Will he make it?

Can I get in on this action even though I’ll have direct influence due to being on the ride with Grady? “Jeez Grady, I don’t know what happened to your tent. Maybe you forgot to pack it?”

If so, I think I’ll take Days 4 and 5. Paul can ‘vouch’ for my $4.

Can I get some more info? What kind of bike does Grady have? Stock seat? Has he been prepared for the trip by Paul or Jeff? Has he been to high elevation before? Is it true that he’s inherited Scott’s cheesy old tent?

Trevor Trifiro
ODMC NW Chapter

(Editor’s note: And even an attempt at bribery and subterfuge.)

On Jun 14, 2006, at 2:29 PM, Amanda wrote:


Well, well, well…I would like for him to turn home on day four. Can you make that happen for me?



From: Eric
Sent: 06/17/2006 07:49 AM
To: Amanda, Matthew
CC: Grady, Paul
Subject: RE: Will he make it?

My bet is on day 9 as well. I plan to help him as much as possible, even if that means getting out the prescription pad! It is true that he has a tent that has made the way from Scott to me, the little brother of both Scott and Paul, and is now in Mr. Lonigan’s hands. No matter what is said, it is a fine tent, just rather compact. FYI, and is rumored that the tent was made in Middle Earth and originally belonged to Mr. Bilbo Baggins. Either way, I look forward to Mr. Lonigan making this trip with the club and hope he achieves full membership!

With regards,

Dr. Eric Espensen

ODMC Club Physician (Dr. Evil)
ODMC California Chapter President
Merit Badges:
+ Iron Butt (1130 miles in 19 hours)
+ Mileage Maniac (2681 miles in 4 days)
+ One week rider (Touring for one week at a time)
+ High speed rider (On record with the CHP and Chatsworth county court)

From: Scott
Sent: 6/19/2006 8:22 AM
To: Paul
Subject: RE: Will he make it?

Well, is Grady wondering what he’s gotten himself into or is all this hubbub just adding to his sense of adventure?

Are you covering the bets placed by Trev, Eric and me?

sbd */:-)

From: Paul
Sent: 06/19/2006 08:42 AM
To: Scott
CC: Trevor, Eric
Subject: RE: Will he make it?

I believe he is up for the adventure. He is really pumped up about this trip. I am getting him prepared with all the correct gear. He is using some of my old camping gear. He had his bike serviced last week so now its just counting down the days until we leave.

It’s going to be really hot getting out of Tucson and Phoenix. They expect 108 in Tucson today and Phoenix 111. I pulled out the GS yesterday and the battery was dead from lack of riding. I charged it up and went for a short ride around 4 PM the heat coming off the pavement was scorching my ankles. I broke down and purchased a mesh jacket from cycle gear. Its just going to be to hot trying to wear the Darien. I am looking forward to some cooler temps in Colorado. Make sure you and Trevor stay hydrated on your way down. Eric is going to have a tough time on his ride over from LA.

I will cover all the out of state bets. I have my intern keeping track of all the bets on a spread sheet. I will post it before we leave.


From: Scott
To: Paul
Date: 06/19/2006 10:12AM
cc: Eric, Trevor
Subject: RE: Will he make it?

Just the thought of those high temps makes me wilt! And yes, that run from LA to Phoenix does run through a section of Hades itself. Shame Eric doesn’t have the newest Gold Wing with A/C.

Meanwhile Trev and I are old hands at doing 1 hour runs on the Interstate and then stopping for fluids. I’m wearing a one piece Roadcrafter this year. With all the vents open and a wet t-shirt, I’m hoping it will work well for me. It’s big and roomy like a set of coveralls and a lot of air moves through it. We shall see.

Cooler Colorado sounds mighty fine to me. If we do get over to Breckenridge or somewhere nearby, I’d like to make a run up to the top of Mt. Evans. The paved road goes all the way to the top, 14,000 ft plus. I wonder if Trev’s carbs will even make it. They were complaining on the run to the North Rim.

sbd */:-)

(Editor’s note: And then, a few days prior to departure, the wildfires force a change in our route. So off to Colorado we go.)

From: Grady
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 8:49 AM
To: Paul, Scott
Cc: Eric
Subject: RE: Blaze Blocks Exit for Some at Grand Canyon – New York Times

Just a heads up. Here is an updated link on the fires in Arizona. The Map link shows that basically our first two stops are in Fire Areas.


(Click on photo to launch the slideshow)

Go to Destination: Telluride!

Return to Ride Summary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s