Posted by: harleyhawk43 | February 10, 2016

Two Motorcycle Rides


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Just Published and available now!!!!   Volume Two!!!!!!  (see cover above). This volume covers years 2 and 3 of their now 6 year adventure. Order at link above and below or go to Amazon (less expensive at my site)

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Recently, as the weather has turned milder, we took a couple of motorcycle rides. One was op Route 95 towards Quartzsite and the other was out Route 8 towards San Diego. Below are the details and several of the best video clips. Enjoy!

Quartzsite, Hope and Bouse

On Saturday 2/6, we saddled up, left our camp at South Mesa BLM/Imperial Dam and headed up 95 towards Quartzsite. Once we arrived in Q, we took route 60 towards Prescott. I had scouted out a circular route which would take east from Q towards Hope, then north towards Bouse and then west towards Parker.

Here we are heading north on 95. As we prepare to exit Imperial Dam Road onto 95, you will see two huge cannons. They belong to the U.S. Army/Yuma Proving Grounds Installation, which is adjacent to our campground and occupies a large tract of lane here. Then you will see flat desert scenery with mountains in the distance.

Further up 95 we encounter one of the many Border Patrol Check Points. Luckily the dogs were not out to detect the several kilos of Pot we had in the saddle bags. (Just kidding NSA!!!!!!!!)

After fueling up in Q, we hopped on 60 east and headed for Hope. Here is a description of Hope off the Internet-

“Hope is a small unincorporated community in the deserts of La Paz County, Arizona, United States. Its name was inspired by the community’s hope for increased business after merchants visited the town. Today, it consists of one RV park, one gas station, one church, and one antique store.” One encounters the sign below when leaving Hope (several seconds after entering)

You're now beyond Hope

At Hope we banged (Bostonian for took) a left onto 72 and kept a sharp eye out for Bouse (rhymes with house). We were getting hungry and “hoped” there would be a place to eat there. There was no hope of finding one in Hope.

Soon we saw the sign that we were entering Bouse. I saw a place that looked like an eating emporium, but it turned out to be the local VFW. Soon we spotted what looked like a stationary chuck wagon, The Ocotillo Lodge and restaurant (also Bar and Grille). We pulled in the reins on our iron steeds and tied up to the hitching post.

After a hearty meal we set out again on 72 towards the intersection of 95. There we would turn south towards Q and Yuma and home. If we continued straight on 72 we would have been headed for Parker, just up the road a piece.

Here you see us pulling out of Ocotillo after lunch-

Soon we were back at the ranch and making plans for the next big ride.

Bike cleaning and preparing to ride to San Diego

We had a monster dust storm a few weeks ago and I had never had a chance to thoroughly clean the Hogs. Finally I had a window of opportunity on this past Monday before we headed to San Diego. This cleaning would be more complicated than the usual cleaning because we have no water connection on the outside of the trailer and our only water is what is stored in our 110 gallon tank. So what I did is take one of our 6 gallon water jugs and pump water out of it, using our spare water pump. I attached a hose nozzle to the output side of the pump and attached the pump to a spare battery. This allowed me to wash and rinse the bike before polishing. Below are the pictures and videos showing that operation.

Now we were ready to roll in style and feel good about what we were riding. Here was the plan. Red Fox wanted to visit her two sons, one in Santa Monica and one in Huntington Beach (plus 2 grandsons and daughter-in-law). She, as well as I, prefer route 8 over route 10 to get to the L.A. area. Route 8 basically goes through the desert, over the mountains and brings you out at San Diego. Then you head north on 5. I would accompany her as far as the outskirts of S.D. and then she would continue on her own. We would leave ar 7 a.m., just before sunrise and get to S.D. around 10:30. Then a short break and off I would go back to camp and she off to Santa Monica. Total mileage for each of us would be around 350 miles. Highlight video clips follow-

Leaving camp-

Jefferson Airplane-Long John Silver in the background. Perfect start to the ride

Heading into the mountains after Ocotillo (not to be confused with the Ocotillo Bar and Grille)

Splitting up in Alpine

Mountain Pass on the return-the long and lonely ride

Arriving back at the Wolfpack, 8 hours after leaving

Hope you enjoyed this post. Please comment in the section provided on our blog page, and don’t forget to check out our newest book!

Hawk and Red Fox

 

 

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | January 28, 2016

Hike to the Turquoise Mines


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Well the weather has been improving out here recently and this week we put our Florida competition to shame. While they had tornadoes, torrential rain, thunderstorms and flooding, we had blue skies up above, everyone’s in love. high forties at night, mid seventies in the day. Eat your hearts out Gator people!

Thursdays are hike day at the Old Campground and today we took an 8 mile, punishing hike out over the barren desert wasteland to some abandoned turquoise mines. We left at 8:30 and got back at 1 p.m.

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Arriving at the Canadian Northwest Territory. Captain Canada finishing up last gulp of coffee.

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Ready to rumble.

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Svelte Steve (lost 76 pounds over the past year) and C.C. discuss hiking strategy.

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Debbie Dewdrops posing for Hikers International pinup calendar.

Panaramic view of our distant campground from the heights near the turquoise mines.

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The gathering of the hard core desert hikers.

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Picture taking break.

Exploring the turquoise mines.

Looking back at home base from about 550 feet up.

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Mutual admiration society discussing the Montreal Canadians recent downfall and the Green Bay Packers downfall.Lonesome Larry and Captain Canada.

Hawk scores two of the world’s largest turquoise gems. 1,000 carot pure turquoise.

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | January 21, 2016

Yuma AZ/Imperial Dam Adventures


 

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Well, we made the move from Tucson to the Yuma area in early January and just in time. Tucson experienced snow at very low levels right after we left but it was better out here (not so cold and no signs of snow). The time period from early November to early January was a little disappointing and we had absolutely no weather bragging rights since on many days it was actually as warm or warmer back home in the Boston area than out here. We had many mornings around mid to high 30s and some days where we only reached the high 50s. The saving grace was it was usually sunny.

Now, starting within the last week we are consistently around high 40s at night and low to mid 70s during the day. In addition, they are predicting low 80s during the day as we get into the end of January. And now with the winter snowstorms beginning to assault the East Coast, we will finally have some bragging rights and feel justified in moving our trailer home/Toy Hauler 2800 miles to get out here.

1.The ride to Borrego Springs and the bad end of the trip.

A week ago Wednesday we decided to return to Borrego Springs. We had been there 2 years ago with a fellow biker from our Imperial Dam BLM campground and so we were confident we knew the way. In addition, we knew there was great scenery on the way with some twisties. Unfortunately we had forgotten how long a ride it was and we did make one wrong turn. Anyway, by the time we recovered from the wrong turn and arrived in B.S., it was close to 3 o’clock and by the time we had eaten (we were starving), it was 3:30 and we had over 150 miles to go to get back home. So, we boogied home as fast as we could, knowing it would begin to get dark around 5:30-6:00.

Once we got on Interstate 8, we maintained 70 mph all the way back and then turned onto S24, a back road back to camp that is the shortest route once you hit the Yuma city limits. Now the “fun” began. First there were some unexpected detour signs that kind of threw us off, but we managed to follow them and try to get back on track. Meanwhile it was getting darker and colder by the minute. Then the killer blow was delivered-I lost most of my throttle power all of a sudden and found myself in “limp” mode. This with about 15 miles to go. My first reaction was that I had drained my battery down low from all the accessories I had on (Heated handle bar grips, heated jacket, spot lights pointed down at road to see better, Garmin, Radio and lizard lights). So I began shutting each system off, leaving only my headlights on.

I was concerned that my stator might not be able to charge the battery back up as I rode.Anyway. we were able to make it back at 20 mph, but it was the ride from hell extremely stressful (back road with no houses, no streetlights etc). The next day I hooked up the trickle charger and called the local Harley dealership. After describing the issue in detail, they diagnosed it as being an electronic sensor problem with the electronic, cableless throttle system. Today, as I write this, we are at the dealership having the problem fixed along with some others they discovered.

Here are a couple of video clips that show the fun we had earlier in the day-

2. The second International Cribbage Tournament (USA vs. Canada)

We had resumed our annual International Cribbage Tournament with Captain Canada and Debbie Dewdrops while we were in Tucson, but they blew town before we could finish annihilating them. Finally we caught up with them and finished the tournament at Imperial Dam. Needless to say we finished them off in quick fashion and partially made up for the beating Montreal gave the Bruins in Foxboro a few weeks back. We have tried not to gloattoo much so they wouldn’t cry but it has been tough. They have now challenged us to a dominoes tournament and we have been practicing diligently.

Here you see CC and DD along with LL (Lonesome Larry and BB (Busty Barb) at a subsequent cookout. Later LL sequestered himself in his trailer for several days after his Green Bay Packers lost.

Later on that evening we had a Bob Dylan concert with Hawk the Harmonicat leading the festivities.

That’s all for now folks. Except for one thing-

Go Patriots and crush the Broncos!

P1160912

 

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | January 3, 2016

Winding up 2015 and starting the New Year


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Well  here we are on January 3, still in Tucson but beginning to pack up to move to the Yuma area. New Year’s Eve, believe it or not, we went to bed early after a delicious meal (T-Bone steak, baked beans and asparagus).

SAM_3035

We were excited to have my motorcycle back, all repaired after the 11/22 collision and to have a nice weather forecast (high around 65 and total sunshine). Our ride would be from Tucson to Tombstone via Route 10 west to 83 south to 82 east, through Sonoita. Everything was going fine until we stopped at the intersection of 83 and 82. As we pulled up to the stop sign, I could hear a loud rattling sound. We pulled right over and soon discovered that one side of the newly installed front fender had a loose nut. In a few more miles we may have lost the nut totally. Red Fox whipped out her handy dandy Harley Tool Kit and we found that a 7/16 wrench would do the trick. Soon we were back on course for Tombstone but I was seriously disappointed that the repair shop had not fastened the fender properly.

One of Karen’s friends had told us to go to Big Nose Kate’s in Tombstone for lunch. We did, along with our two friends, Ray and Carolyn, and had an absolute blast. The restaurant/bar couldn’t be any more Western as you will see in the attached pictures. One of their specialties is dressing diners up in cowboy gear and taking their pictures. The host, Steve, who is originally from the Bronx was one of the most hospitable tavern owners we had ever encountered. He began by treating each of us to a jigger of Rocking Rye, a delicious whiskey that immediately warms one’s bones. The lunch just got better and better after that, as we munched on Pastrami and corned beef sandwiches on rye.

Along with all this, we also had a very good piano man entertaining us with western songs. At one point we got up and had a dance to Ghost Riders in the Sky. A fabulous time on a New Year’s Day to remember

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The ride out and back was beautiful and we took many video clips besides the fender repair one. Here are a couple. When you are riding out here, you get a tremendous feeling of what it must have been like in the 1800s.

That’s all for now folks. Next time we post we will be at Imperial Dam on the California/Arizona border, between Yuma and Quartzsite.

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | December 31, 2015

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Posted by: harleyhawk43 | December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


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(For those of you who want to order our new book, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, go to the link above or below and choose either the full color version or the B&W. Here you will see the details of their first year as full time RVers in 2010/2011, as they traveled through 28 states and one Canadian province)-

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Well here we are with the Holidays fast approaching and lots of updates for our readers/followers-

Motorcycle accident update-If you recall, I had a motorcycle accident November 22. It was a relatively minor collision and I was not injured. There were over $3500 in cosmetic damages which required replacing 6 or 7 parts (both mufflers, engine guard, foot pad, front fender, front axle covers, primary cover and some other minor parts). All were readily available except for the front fender which takes about a month to obtain and paint. All have been replaced except the fender and that will be done soon.

Dealing with the 2 insurance companies went fairly smoothly except that the insurance reimbursement checks had to be sent to Harley Credit in Nevada to be countersigned before I could cash them.

Here are the pictures of the parts which were removed and are now on Craig’s List for sale-

Red Fox Update-

Red had to go back to Santa Monica to check on her son who had a life threatening event last May.He is almost all the way back to normal and she helped him with some doctor followup evaluations. She has been nominated for Mother of the Year. She was gone 2 weeks but I managed to survive. On the way out, she tried the Greyhound bus route and will never do that again. The trip took about 11 hours, the bus was crowded, the rest room smelled and they traveled on the day of the San Bernadino shooting event. They were, in fact, scheduled to stop in San Bernadino. Needless to say, that stop was cancelled.

Holiday Plans-

We will drive the F-350 to California for the Holidays and visit Karen’s 2 sons, daughter in law and 2 grandsons. Then she will fly to the East Coast with her son for a family celebration for his miraculous recovery.

I will drive back to the Wolfpack and she will reconnect with me here just before New Year’s Eve.

After New Year’s we will relocate to the BLM LTVA Imperial Dam Campground for 2 months.

Motorcycle ride to Patagonia-

Yesterday we took a ride from Tucson to Patagonia and then on to Nogales. Our campground buddy, Ray, went with us. Our route was 10 to 83 to 82 to 19 and back to 10. Total mileage was only about 150. Lunch in Patagonia. This was Patagonia Arizona, not South America.. Here are some pictures and 2 video clips.Notice the heavy traffic we encountered on 83 (not). Temps were around 60 with overcast skies, so it was a bit chilly on the bikes.

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | November 27, 2015

Hawk goes down and then gets right back up


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On Sunday November 22nd, on a beautiful Arizona day, we decided to take a ride up Mount Lemmon. Here is a quick Wikipedia background description of Mount Lemmon-

Mount Lemmon (O’odham: Babad Doʼag), with a summit elevation of 9,159 feet (2,792 m),[1] is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It is located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona, United States. Mount Lemmon was named for botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon, who trekked to the top of the mountain with her husband and E. O. Stratton, a local rancher, by horse and foot in 1881.[3][4] It is reported that Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, on the mountain’s northeastern side, receives 200 inches (508 cm) of snow annually.[5]

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We left our campground in Tucson at approximately 10 a.m. and headed for the summit, which is about 44 miles from our campground. Now, that may not seem like much of a ride, but once you hit the base, which is about 19 miles from us, it is 25 miles of “twisties” and a rise in elevation of 6500 feet. What exactly does this mean for motorcyclists? It means a fabulous 1/2 day or more local ride with lots of excitement. It also means, in this locale, moving from cactus desert terrain to pine tree, snow covered, alpine terrain.

Needless to say, we were pumped for a fabulous day of riding. Moving along through the city streets towards the base, we were stopped at one of the many city intersections, myself on my Road King and Red Fox on her Softtail Deluxe. As the light turned green, I accelerated through the intersection, glancing to my left, as usual, to ensure no one was running the red light. No one was and I directed my sights straight ahead. Then, every rider’s worst nightmare, a vehicle executing a u-turn directly in front of me!

I applied the brakes, but was unable to avoid the collision. My front wheel struck her (yes, woman driver) right rear panel. Down I went. First collision in 15 years of riding. Red Fox, following me, saw the entire incident unfold in front of her. Next thing I knew I was on my feet beside the Road King. Don’t ask me how, because I don’t remember. Several people assisted me in righting the bike and getting it over to the side of the road.

Papers were exchanged, police were notified and helped us make out the paperwork and the woman admitted her full fault. We then evaluated the damage. Front fender totaled, abrasions on several points on the underside of the bike, driver shaken up, bruised elbow, no road rash (leather jacket), front fender impinging on front tire.

At that point, I asked the accident perpetrator for her tire iron and used it to pry the fender away from the tire at several points. Then I started the mighty Harley. The signature Harley throaty roar immediately manifested itself and my feelings were partially assuaged upon hearing this sound. Red Fox and I then mounted our iron horses and continued on our way to Mount Lemmon. We would not be stopped!

Attached are pictures and videos of our trip to the summit. Enjoy!

Getting ready to depart

Red Fox takes the lead

Cactus Land

Climbing, climbing

Entering Pine Tree Altitudude

Almost heaven

Evergreens and snow

At the summit after a great lunch at the Iron Door Restaurant

Shortly after this we mounted up and rode the 44 miles home. I was somewhat apprehensive on the ride home, but the more time that passed , the more relaxed I became. Despite the accident and resultant mental and physical stress, we were able to accomplish our day’s ride and arrive hone safely.

In the next post, we will relate the Insurance Adjuster, Appraiser and Harley Tucson interactions as we begin to return the mighty Road King to her former glory.

Pictures from the summit, over 9,000 feet above sea level and 6500 feet above Tucson.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | November 20, 2015

Biosphere II and Organ Pipe National Monument


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(For those of you who want to order our new book, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, go to the link above or below and choose either the full color version or the B&W. Here you will see the details of their first year as full time RVers in 2010/2011, as they traveled through 28 states and one Canadian province)-

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Well, we are now well into the 3rd week of our annual “escape from the New England winter weather”. During this time we have had a few interesting adventures, with our Canadian friends, Captain Canada and Debbie Dewdrops. They are from British Columbia and come down from the hinterlands to our desert areas each winter. Our first adventure with them was to Biosphere II and was very interesting.

For those of you not familiar with BII, here is the wikipedia quick primer-

Biosphere 2 is an Earth systems science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona. It has been owned by the University of Arizona since 2011. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching, and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. It is a 3.14-acre (1.27-hectare)[1] structure originally built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system, or vivarium. It remains the largest closed system ever created.[2]

Biosphere 2 was originally meant to explore the web of interactions within life systems in a structure with five areas based on biomes, and an agricultural area and human living and working space to study the interactions between humans, farming, and technology with the rest of nature. It also explored the use of closed biospheres in space colonization, and allowed the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth’s. Its five biome areas were a 1,900 square meter rainforest, an 850 square meter ocean with a coral reef, a 450 square meter mangrove wetlands, a 1,300 square meter savannah grassland, a 1,400 square meter fog desert, a 2,500 square meter agricultural system, a human habitat, and a below-ground infrastructure. Heating and cooling water circulated through independent piping systems and passive solar input through the glass space frame panels covering most of the facility, and electrical power was supplied into Biosphere 2 from an onsite natural gas energy center.[3]

Biosphere 2 was only used twice for its original intended purposes as a closed-system experiment: once from 1991 to 1993, and the second time from March to September 1994. Both attempts, though heavily publicized, ran into problems including low amounts of food and oxygen, die-offs of many animal and plant species, squabbling among the resident scientists and management issues.

In June 1994, during the middle of the second experiment, Space Biosphere Ventures dissolved, and the structure was left in limbo. It was purchased in 1995 by Columbia University, who used it to run experiments until 2005. It then looked in danger of being demolished to make way for housing and retail stores, but was taken over for research by the University of Arizona in 2007; the University of Arizona assumed full ownership of the structure in 2011.

Anyway, we went there to check it out and took the attached pictures. There was an $18 fee (senior citizen rate) but it was well worth the fee.

 

Here you see various views of the interior and exterior of the Biosphere, which is no longer air tight. In the interior shots you will see a rain forest and a miniature ocean. Eight people actually lived in the airtight version for over 2 years (1991-1993). We had a tour guide and every aspect of BII was fully explained to us and the rest of our group. All in all a very interesting outing right in the greater Tucson area.

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Organ Pipe National Monument (OPNM)

CC and DD moved from Catalina State Park to a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) site 4 miles from OPNM this past Monday as a 2 day stop on their way to the LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) near Yuma, on the CA/AZ border. They were boondocking (no hookups) in a beautiful desert area and we rode the Harleys down to visit and tour OPNM with them.

We waited to 10 a.m. to leave, so the temperature could warm up to high 50s from it’s morning low of 36. The ride was 130 miles and with one long lunch stop, took us almost 3 hours to get there (senior citizen pace). We had another great time and left for home about 3:30. No stops on the way back and we pulled into our campground just as it got dark. Attached are some pictures and video clips. Enjoy!

Red Fox takes the lead on the way down

CC and DD great us at hard to fine turnoff

CC and DD’s boondocking site

OPNM

Riding back to camp-That’s what we’re talkin about!

Shadow Rider Amidst the Saguaros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | November 7, 2015

The Trek West for the Big Reunion and Year 6 of the Endless Summer


If you’ve been paying attention and following us, you know that Red Fox and I were forced to part company last May just as we were about to meet RV friends in British Columbia, Canada for an RV caravan trip to Alaska. Her son had a severe medical issue which necessitated her flying to the Santa Monica area and helping him recover his health through a 6 month rehabilitation process.

I returned home to Scituate/Marshfield MA to the summer campground at which we stay each year so that I could see my family and fulfill other obligations. Needless to say, it was a very trying time for both of us. I had to drive The Wolfpack back across the country to Brant Rock from Santa Monica and then drive it back here to Tucson just now. Karen’s son is now back to work and doing great and she has just rejoined me in the Wolfpack in Tucson AZ. We had a great reunion last night and are now in the unpacking process.

(Karen arriving at Wolfpack, filled with joy once she enters and then, most of the stuff a woman needs for basic survival.)

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Just as a reminder for our longtime followers and an fyi for new followers, we are in year six of our full time RV travels. We travel in a 30 foot tag-a-long Toy Hauler trailer pulled by an F-350 Ford Diesel one ton pickup (I can hear the groans now from the Chevy, Dodge and GMC guys). A Toy Hauler is built specifically to carry “toys”, either snow mobiles, dirt bikes or regular motorcycles, We carry two full size Harleys, plus two 9 foot kayaks and two bicycles. We spent our first three winters in Florida (Delray and Fort Myers Beach) and the next two years in Arizona. Each year from either location, we would move North in April and May to visit different National and State Parks. Then in May we would head back to Brant Rock.

(Below are pictures of the Wolfpack in Tucson and the preparation process before Red’s arrival)

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The second picture above shows where the motorcycles sit during transit. This space is then converted to a living room once the bikes are unloaded.

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The first picture below shows the living room now lowered from the ceiling area and ready for use.

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The picture below shows the living room/dining room ready for Red’s arrival (flowers, scented candles etc).

 

 

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During these trips we keep a diary, take hundreds of pictures and videos and then I write a book about our adventures. The first book, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, which covers Year 1, is available at the following link-

http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk

At that link, you will see both that book and another book on my Irish Sea Mossing career in Scituate MA (“Knee Deep in Seaweed”). Both are available in full color and B&W. They each contain close to 100 photos.

Coming out later this year will be Book II, covering our second and third years.

This year we have elected to spend the winter in Arizona so as to be close to Karen’s son. If all goes well, we will visit some new National Parks this year and return together to Brant Rock at the end of May. Please join us in our adventures during the year by following our blog

Thanks,

Hawk and Red Fox

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Posted by: harleyhawk43 | September 23, 2015

Summer ends and Fall begins


Well, here we are in late September and the Summer flew by as usual. Each year it seems to go faster. This Summer was a tough one and I am labeling it the lost summer, since The Red Fox and I were separated by circumstances beyond our control (we will be back together soon). Anyway, during the summer I only got a chance for 2 significant motorcycle trips, one in July and one a few days ago. The first was the annual Dotti Skimos ride up in Jackson NH and the one a few days ago was the annual Provincetown pilgrimage (pun intended). I attached my trusty video cam to my helmet and shot some highlights. There were four bikes and five riders, Bill Ferguson, Dave and Pam Larsen and Janice Marshall (and myself).

Here are the highlights-

  1. Getting ready (after numerous bike issues the week before).

2. Meet up at DD Pembroke.

3. Pounding up the ramp to route 3 south.

4. Up, up and over the Sagamore Bridge.

5. Various scenes on the way down, on route 6A.

6. Truro and Provincetown.

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