These photos are of the group with which we rode on Saturday. The first six photos are of the group coming down the highway. I didn’t see the photographer — guess I was paying attention to my riding — and I don’t recognize the landscape for certain, but these, and the last photo, are all that we got. This ride really did not offer much in the way of good photo opportunities.
The ride did not seem to be as well-organized as the rides in the past. Although they had designated stops, it was kinda hit or miss on the poker draw however, the draw sheet did say that you could draw all of your cards at either the first stop or the last stop — which is what I did, but it was one of the worst poker hands I’ve ever had. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.
We got to Tripp’s Harley-Davidson, the starting point, at about 9:30am. They had started registering riders at 9am. Some of our friends with whom we planned to ride were already there, so we all got our ride sheets and headed out about 10am. Our BFF’s, with whom we almost always ride, didn’t show up until about 15 minutes after we gave up on them and left. (There’s more to that story, but I won’t tell it here.)
So, we headed to Clarendon, about 60 miles from Amarillo, had to maneuver through some construction traffic on I-40, but finally got to the Highway 287 turn off and zoomed through Claude, Tx on our way to the Country Store (really, just a gas station and small convenience store at the intersection of US 287 and US 70.
After a 30-minute “rest & chat break,” we headed south on Hwy 70 to Turkey, Tx. This highway runs along the very east end of Caprock Canyons State Park, so there are some hills and curves that made that part of the ride a little more interesting. Although, I entered one of the first curves at the wrong angle and traveling too fast and got to experience my very first Harley Death Wobble — which will definitely get your attention. I slowed gently to overcome the death wobble without incident and continued on. I was more careful about my speed and entry angle the rest of the way. I really don’t even remember much about the stop in Turkey other than it was another gas station/convenience store. After about 20 minutes, we headed west on Hwy 86 to Quitaque, Tx.
The ‘planned stop’ for Quitaque was in the middle of downtown, but we stopped at an Allsup’s a little further down the road to get gas and snacks. This was another difference from past rides where we were fed lunch at about the half-way point — which would have been Quitaque — but they didn’t do that this year. While we were stopped at the Allsup’s in Quitaque, our tardy BFF’s and another couple caught up with us, but nary a single one of them came over to where we were standing to say a word. One of them did, at least, wave as she pulled in to get gas. (Another chapter of that story that I’m not telling here.)
We left Quitaque headed further west on Hwy 86, through Silverton, Tx on our way to the cut-off for Hwy 207 where we turned north and rode to a little road-side rest area that’s known locally as “Lookout Point” and is a favorite destination for a little less-than-100-mile jaunt for motorcycle riders from Amarillo and the surrounding area. That’s where the seventh photo in the gallery above was taken. You can’t tell it from the photo, but it was taken on the, about, quarter-mile of ingress/egress road from the highway to the actual ‘picnic area.’ The line of bikes you see is probably almost one and one-half football fields of motorcycles, plus about half again that many more up in the picnic area that you can’t see from the photo. I just guessing here, but I’m thinking the turn-out was probably something like 400-500 bikes in the whole run.
At this point, the temps had climbed to about 95 degrees and it was very hot just sitting there. After 30 minutes or so, we left and headed on north back to Claude where we caught US 287 again and went west back to Amarillo. Again, we ran into the road construction traffic, so we got off of the Interstate and made our way to the last stop down on old Route 66 to a bar & grill known as Smokey Joe’s. Being a bar & grill, it was crowded due to all the people, and with nobody wearing a mask of any kind. Plus, we were really hot and tired, so we drew our last cards, turned in our sheets and left about an hour and a half before the ‘after party’ was even supposed to start. In fact, we were so hot that, just as soon as we got home, we both took cold showers and just set down to rest the remainder of the evening.
All in all, it was an enjoyable ride, if for no other reason that to get out on the road on the motorcycles and get some “wind therapy.”