Sunday, July 16, 2006
Saturday was our day to meet as a group, as we came in on different flights on different days. Dan, Paula, John McCann and his brother Jim McCann flew in to Jackson shortly after noon on Saturday. Dennis and Colleen Ryder, Steve McCann and me rented our bikes at 9:30 AM and we headed up to the Moran gate to Grand Tetons National Park with my dad and Cindy on their Goldwing.
As soon as we entered the park access road, Dennis Ryder motioned us over to a pull-off before the entrance gate. His new Harley Electra-Glide had the pivot ball come loose from the shift linkage - so no shifting. Jim Gorski pulled out the old duct-tape and did a nice temp job.
We called the rental service and they said they would sent up a technician. While we waited, I decided to install my 12V accessory plug into the 2003 BMW K1200LT I had rented. I was quite bummed that I had a 2003 model, which has less space, less accessories and less power than the 2006 I was expecting, but I decided to make the best of it and at least have good tunes. I had brought along my satellite radio and I was determined to use it. It needs 12v power and the stock BMW plugs are too small. So I lifted up the seat and tried to wire my adapter plug to the battery. I was trying to do this quickly before the tech arrived and I got in trouble for messing with the bike. Lo and behold, I dropped the nut that holds the negative battery wires on. It got stuck under the battery tray. While removing the battery to try to get to it, I discovered that the security alarm does not like to have the power cut to the bike. The extra-loud horm started blaring. Reconnecting the power did not help, as it now seemed to be on a timer that made it go off every few minutes. It continued to do this as the ultra-cool tech, Devin showed up and proceeded to bailing-wire fix Dennis' Harley. He could not disarm the alarm, nor would the bike start. He needed to go back to Jackson and get the remote transmitter to disable the alarm. Another hour wasted. He eventually showed up, the transmitter worked, the bike started and I had satellite radio - yeah!
Dennis, Colleen, Jim, Cindy, Steve and I drove to our destination of Signal Mountain Lodge on Jackson Lake and ate a great lunch and checked in while we waited for the rest to catch up. When they got there, we rented two 5-seater boats and rode around Jackson Lake. Dennis drove the 40hp boat and my dad, Jim drove the 30hp one.
The competition began immediately, going far back to the pre-teen years of these two. Wakes from the boats rocked and splashed all of us, until eventually they were crashing hulls, James Band Moonraker-style. We rode to the other side of the lake, parked under the tallest glaciated peak of the Tetons, and all of the men got out and swam in the maybe 58 degree water. Very cold, but clear and nice. Dennis jumped in first with no shoes, misjudged the depth and gave himself a nice bruise on the sole of his foot.
In order to get the boats off of the rocky beach, we had to push/swim them out. John McCann and I were the last to get into our boat, and we had to haul ourselves over the bow, rescued sailor-style . I hadn't felt those same abdominal muscles since getting out of pools via the side as a teen.
After our boat ride, the earlier arriving group headed out to look for the elusive Moose Village that my Dad had heard was excellent and not to be missed by his friendly Honda parts lady. We had an excellent twilight ride under the Tetons, saw some elk, and only saw Doonan's landing as a potential place to eat. Feeling dejected, my Dad led our group back to the Signal Mountain Lodge for dinner.
Yesterday was a good day for flying. At Bradley airport I was surprised to see Dennis and Colleen Ryder waiting for the same flight. I also met up with Steve McCann. We had a bumpy flight to Minneapolis, but once at the airport all was well. The Minneapolis Airport is beautiful, and the crowds were minimal. We ate a snack at the Fridays there and then headed to the flight to Jackson Hole.
The Jackson Hole flight was beautiful. We flew over South Dakota and the Badlands and the co-pilot pointed out a large wildfire. The views were amazing as we came into the rockies and saw many peaks with snow.
The Jacksole Hole Airport was small, and we were welcomed by towering peaks all around and an arch of antlers at the airport entrance.
That evening Dennis and Colleen Ryder, Steve McCann, Jim and Cindy Gorski and I ate at a pizza joint in Jackson. The pizza was very good and the prices were reasonable. My folks had scoped the town out for a few days already and they knew where the good cheap eats were.
Last evening I spent a good 2 hours cleaning out my PC from the Zlob and associated Trojan Horse viruses, hence the latness of this post. I also recieved some sad news of the death of a best friend's father. Kat's dad, Chuck was always kind to me and was a very cheerful man. This comes at a particularly bad time for Kat and I wish her strength through this difficult time.