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Tombstone and the End of the Trail and Tale of Leslie and Marty

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Les is more

Marty and I left Demming on the I 10 and at Wilcox took a scenic route to Chiricahua National Monument in Southeastern Arizona. I was totally unaware that this place even existed. It was pretty enough where we entered but not particularly spectacular. There was a deer at the side of the road, but I've seen plenty of those and the thought of running into its pals spooked me a little. We continued on and suddenly, seemingly around the next bend, the most fantastic rock formations loomed overhead. There were pull outs, but Marty just kept going. I had to stop to avoid crashing into something as I gawked at the rough hewn cliffs that surrounded me. After oohing and aahing to myself for a few minutes, I continued on. The small road coiled up the mountainside to an elevation of 6800 feet and a turn around/parking area. Walking around this lot afforded a jaw-droppingly beautiful 360 degree view of these amazing rhyolite formations. They seemed to stretch on for miles. The sky was a penetrating blue and it felt like looking into forever. Yep, even the Energizer Bunny was stopped in his tracks! The power of ice, wind and water was clearly demonstrated in the deeply cleft volcanic rock. In places, the uppermost portions appeared to teeter on what lay below. Some of them have probably been in this "precarious" position for a couple thousand years. I love it when I encounter such places. They make me feel insignificant in a good sort of way. I like the spread and slowing of the flow of time when I see things like this. It takes me out of the linear patterns we've all grown accustomed to.


When it was time to head down the hill Marty said he would stop at the turn outs. It seems, however that once back in motion, momentum had its way with him and we zipped by the stopping places and whizzed past yet another Visitor Center. That's okay Marty. It just means I'll have to come back here.






Back on the road, I thought we were headed for Douglas and Bisbee, but a turn I wasn't expecting took us through ranch country on big sweeping curves and through tiny towns. Our goal was Tombstone, a place Marty said he had always wanted to see. As we entered Tombstone I wondered where we would stop and if we would stay long or eat lunch there. As we whizzed along the main street past the OK Corral, past the turn off for the historic district and past Boot Hill Cemetary, it slowly dawned on me that we were not stopping. Have I mentioned that I was traveling with the Energizer Bunny? smile.gif When we stopped on the outskirts of Tucson for lunch, Marty mentioned that he didn't think much of Tombstone. I said that one might at least have to slow down a little. wink.gif


After lunch and having entered the traffic zone again, we made a beeline for Brant Herbert's house in Phoenix, our shelter for the night. We drove through Phoenix and kept a sharp eye out after noting that the Leos there like to hide behind the paloverde trees in the freeway medians.

We reached Brant's place without incident and were greeted and ushered into the garage by Katherine. She showed me to a nice room with a comfy featherbed topper on the double mattress . I think Marty was given a potato sack and shown to the back storeroom. Just kidding, there was no storeroom. I think he slept in the root cellar. laugh.gif


Despite being incredibly busy with reading and writing term papers for school, Katherine took the time to make sure we were comfortable. A little while later Brant arrived and shortly after that Philly (Howard) Flash showed up. Katherine made a terrific dinner complete with homemade key lime pie. I believe her parents shipped the key limes to Arizona. As seems to be the norm with this group we laughed and talked and had an absolutely great evening! I enjoyed getting a taste of Brant's sense of humor and gentle manner and Philly was wearing his usual grin and stirring up trouble whenever an opening presented itself. Marty was so sure that he remembered Brant riding an LT, that I think he almost had Brant convinced that he had just somehow forgotten owning the mothership. smile.gif


We had a leisurely morning and Katherine made breakfast which we polished off out on the patio. She and I had a chance to get to know each other a little. What a strong, intelligent woman she is! What a pleasure it is to make such friends on our journey!







On this, our sixth day, we were headed for San Diego. We somehow avoided the heart of Phoenix and made our way to I 8. The last gas stop of the trip was in Yuma where the signs exhorted us to stop and avoid paying California gas prices. It was interesting watching the gas prices climb as we headed west. There is about a $1.00 per gallon differential between Texas and San Diego.


We pretty much blasted home although we did take some back roads through Imperial and San Diego Counties. I led out of Yuma and picked up a minor rabbit in the form of an SUV doing about 85 to 90 in a 70 zone. We did some twisties on the 94 in San Diego County. It felt really good to be on home roads (I swear Marty, you were going this fast when you were leading. smile.gif )


We arrived at our house in the mid afternoon and after lots of kissing and hugging (get out of the way Marty! It's my turn to say hi to Jamie! laugh.gif) we relaxed a little before the welcome home party began.


Pizza appeared and all sorts of drinks! The guest list included Tool and Chris (Sweet Thing), Bob Palin, Larry and Marianne Villani, Roger (Signman) and Sue, Michael (Bad Influence) Simpson, Laney and Socko, Steve (Steve's 1150) Carr , and Art (Artie). We had our third birthday party of the trip complete with a German Chocolate Cake (something I had been craving before the trip. Thanks for remembering Honey!). Many thanks to all for helping to celebrate our home coming!


Marty, Bob Palin, Tool and Steve "conferring" in the kitchen




A little Bad Influence for me!




Sue stares disapprovingly at Socko as Roger tries to calm her




The pizza's gone and Larry starts in on the plate




Artie, fetching in the latest spring colors




Oh that naughty monkey! Laney and I just couldn't help laughing



What an amazing opportunity this trip was for me! I really loved seeing part of the country from the seat of that bike. Marty, I know your used to piling on the miles, but I was amazed! What a mile munching machine! It almost felt strange to not get up the next day and do another 500 miles or so. As Glenno would say: Let's Moto!! Is it time for Torrey yet?


Special thanks go to Marty for being a great trip leader and companion. Anytime friend!

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1st Shirt

Great pictures and great story. Thanks. Now, in that last picture . . . Please tell me she's holding the monkey's tail! wink.gif

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Brant Herbert



What a treat to have you and Marty spend the night with us. Kathryn and I thoroughly enjoyed your visit. Plus it gave me a chance to clean up the guest bedroom. Here's a few additional photos to add to yours.


We heard Marty was celebrating his birthday at each day's stop along the way, but we were fortunate to host him on his actual birthday, so this special key lime pie, made from authentic flown-in-from-Miami-just-for-Marty key limes, was a nice treat (Kathryn grew up in Miami). Happy Birthday, Marty, on your special day!!




Here's a similar photo, but with you in it this time.




And the four of us.




We lost Philly "Juan Pablo" Flash for a bit while he did laps at Monza in a BMW-powered Williams F1 racecar. smirk.gif




Breakfast on the back patio out by the pool.




About 8:30 we suited up...




...and headed out. I did an escort to the freeway, then headed into work.




Again, was great to have you visit. We're looking forward to seeing you in Torrey!!!


Now, where'd I put my LT??? smile.gif



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Marty Hill

Having grown up in Miami and the Keys, I really appreciated the key lime pie. You two were great to be with. I didn't really like seeing over 100 candles on the cake. We almost passed out blowing them out! grin.gif


As far as the LT goes, since I hate being wrong you must have one hidden somewhere. wink.gif What a great birthday-all three of them. Can't wait till next year/scratch that!


See you guys in torrey. Bring the LT if you remember where it is. grin.gif

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[Applause!! (I saved it for the end, although each installment was worth applauding)]


Bravo, Leslie & Marty, Bravo!


First and foremost, Bravo to Leslie for seizing the opportunity to make such a trip. Green is not my best color, but I'll admit to a little envy: I would have loved to have been able to ride my new bike home. But, not having bought a bike from the Energizer Bunny, I would never have had such an escort and companion. Wow! Bravo, Marty! The next time you're ready to sell, give me a shout. wink.gif


Kudos to the members of this group who shared their hospitality along the way. I'm impressed by your warm generosity.


A final Bravo for the well-crafted, uplifting and inspiring Tale. Thanks for sharing it!

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Thanks so much for the stories and pictures. Wonderful riding, great company, gracious hosts, superb writing and adventure.


Can I leave my bike in your garage come October and repeat the trip the opposite direction next spring?


Mike Cassidy


Suffering through yet another late spring snowfall in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains frown.gif

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Les is more



You're always welcome in San Diego!


As to room in the garage, sure! Especially when somebody buys my 1200C!! grin.gif

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Marty and Les,

What a great riding duo. I loved the tale and the pics. You two know how to celebrate a birthday. wink.gif Les are you going to buy a bike from different members each year so you can see the coutry? grin.gif Marty, thanks for the instruction on how to observe one's annual milage increase. smile.gif Thanks for the tale.

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Les is more

Hmmmm . . .


Buy a new bike every year . . .


Tempting, but I think Marty already has that MO locked up. wink.gif


I guess I'll just have to ride all over the country on the one I have. grin.gif


See you at the UnRalley!

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Marty Hill

I am thru buying bikes........honest. I think.

Maybe just 1 more........but that's it.



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Brant Herbert
Maybe just 1 more


I've got a low mileage LT for sale. You interested??? laugh.giflaugh.gif

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Thanks so much for sharing the tale of your magnificent ride, Dear Lady. Like many, I hope you'll "take us with you" again real soon.


Oh. Remember, I'm heading up to Torrey, "Just to see you." wink.gif



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Les is more

Oh. Remember, I'm heading up to Torrey, "Just to see you."



You have no idea what a grueling social calendar I have to keep just to ensure that you will show up at all of these events! wink.gif

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Congratulations on a wonderful trip! Sounds like you had a blast! I've been across country via the cage quite a few times; it's probably really wondrous on a bike.


What an accomplishment to be able to tell the kids, grandkids, etc!


I'm very proud of you for taking on such a ride; it must have been daunting, but cool.


You know the line in "As Good As It Gets" when Nicholson says "You make me want to be a better man"? Leslie, "you make me want to be a better rider"! To come so far, so fast is really inspiring to me. Reminiscent of when Laney and Kathy embarked on their excellent adventure.


And what an excellent guide you had in Marty. He's one of a kind! How fun!


See you down the road,


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Leslie & Marty,

Just out there living the dream cool.gif. Glad your back and safe. Wonderful story, great perspective. Please go again since I seem to be county bound.



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