Posted by: harleyhawk43 | November 27, 2015

Hawk goes down and then gets right back up

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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)-


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]


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.






  1. Welcome to the Club Bro!!! Safe travel henceforth!!!


  2. Hi I just read your comment about a possible meet up. We will be in Tucson for a month Jan 10 to Feb 9 then we will start inching up north.

    • Thanks, but we are leaving Tucson around Jan. 4 and heading over to the BLM LTVA Imperial Dam area. We will be there until the end of March and then start our push north. Stay in touch and safe travels.

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