Showing posts from August, 2010

fear the reaper

I’ve looked the reaper in the face more times than anyone would ever want to. Too many risks perhaps, especially upon a bullet bike. Saw him again three weeks ago when my companion and I were returning from camping, riding our Valkyrie Interstate on Utah’s Highway 12. Just south of Escalante the rear tire was punctured while we cruised at sixty miles per hour.

There’s a method involved in saving your life in such a precarious situation; stay off the brakes, pull the power off the back wheel with the clutch and coast her to a stop. The tire lost its bead and twisted on the rim before I could bring our loaded mount to halt, bucking us to a shoulder that didn’t exist, giving way instead to a drop of hundreds of feet into a steep canyon. We came to a stop inches short of killing ourselves.

And that was enough. I just bought the Valkyrie, a bike I’ve always wanted, looking forward to thousands of miles two-up with Mindy, something I’ve always wanted to do. But these desires were trumped that…

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

We spotted it out at least thirty miles as we headed down the A35 to our stop for the night in Colmar. A few days previous when we checked in to our hotel in Strasbourg we found a brochure for this edifice, the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, but wrote it off at the time since we had yet to entertain the idea of renting a car.

The sight of it high above the valley floor teased us along and without a map or GPS somehow I knew it was Haut-Kœnigsbourg. Our nifty C3 finally came upon a roadside sign confirming it, and though it was late in the afternoon, we took the exit. This would prove adventurous, something we've always needed to do more of regardless of the destination, taking more exits that is, not knowing where they'd lead us or what lay beyond. This became practice for us for the rest of our journey.

A two-lane brought us to the town of Kintzheim where it enters a town square. Follow the signs to the chateau and in less than a minute you're climbing the Vosges mountains…