David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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A Motorcycle Trip


I'm getting too old to ride a motorcycle. Everyone tells me that, so there must be some truth in it.

When my son, who will soon graduate from college, suggested a weekend ride, I figured I'd better not put it off. We had planned to do it last year, but things came up and we put it off.

My friends were horrified, and predicted (though not to me) that nothing good would come of it. One old friend went to far as to take our picture beside our motorcycles, as we embarked. I suspect they took it so the newspaper would have a current picture to run under the headline: "Deranged Middle-aged Motorcyclist Killed in Head-on Collision with Cattle Truck."

But the doom-sayers were wrong, of course, and we had a wonderful time. We went over Trail Ridge, and, determined to stay off the Interstates as much as possible, went up to Rand, just on the other side of RMNP. There we saw, in a little general store, a marvelous collection of restored wood stoves. A duplicate of the little stove my mother had in her cabin in 1927 had a $595 price tag and a Sold sign on it. The stove originally sold for about $25.

The area around Rand was beautiful and green in early June. We had a great ride to Steamboat Springs, where we took time out to see Fish Creek Falls before going on the spend the night in Craig.

The next day we saw big coal strip-mining operations south of Craig, and visited the Museum in Meeker, the site of massacre in 1879 when the Utes killed Indian Agent Nathan Meeker and the ten men who worked for him. Meeker had threatened to plow up the Utes' racetrack and pasture. He wanted the Utes to become farmers. So they killed him and kidnapped his wife and daughter.

There's lots of stuff about the massacre, as well as about a famous bank robbery (well, it's locally famous) back in 1896. Three men tried to hold up the bank and the good folks of Meeker shot them dead on the main street as they tried to get away. Nothing that exciting has happened since in Meeker.

We went on to Rifle where we had lunch in a restaurant that served Italian and Chinese food.

Turning east, we rode through Aspen, where we both looked and felt poor, and then had a beautiful ride up and over Independence Pass and down to Leadville. There are, by the way, no good motels in Leadville. The next day we visited the cabin where Baby Doe died, and the house where Mr. and Mrs. Tabor lived before he struck it rich, and the opera house. There's too much to see in one day, and we plan to go back. But we had run out of time, so in a few hours we were back in Allenspark.

I learned some things from this trip. I learned that ours are not the only beautiful mountains in Colorado. The state is full of them. I learned that the way to travel, if you want to see anything, is to stay away from the Interstates. It seems obvious, but when was the last time you chose a two lane road over an Interstate?

I also learned that I am indeed middle-aged, but I'm not too old to ride a motorcycle. But the most important thing I learned is that if you want to have great memories, you have to take the time to create them.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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