Ensconced at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse

Princess Thunderjugs, our pistachios ‘n’ cream 2015 Indian Chieftain with a paint-matched passenger pod lashed alongside, was in fine form today. There are two sidecars, our own dear PTJ and a red-over-red hack with a smaller, lighter car. With three rotating amputee passengers between the two rigs, we have plumbed the inky black depths of bad jokes about legroom.


Princess Thunderjugs

Robert Pandya, dauntless Indian rep and all-around evil humorist, keeps telling me that I should try the red unit; says it handles better and steers much lighter. He doesn’t seem in any hurry to switch, though.

Today, we met a news crew at the base of Colorado National Monument and rode over that wrigglesome road at what finally felt like an interesting pace. The sidecar wheel left the ground a handful of dozens of times, sometimes long enough that the car wheel slowed down and screeched like a landing aircraft on touchdown.


Sidehacks don’t exactly lean.

I’ve been not-so-secretly wishing for the pack to occasionally break into a fast group and the others, but when the two-wheelers started touching down floorboards in a few of the turns the biceps tendon I strained on day two spoke up. Working the hack like a sharecropper plough, Sean and I managed to keep up, but the physical drain was extraordinary. With my arms and back feeling like I’ve been worked over by a dominatrix with a meat hammer, I will sleep either very well or very poorly tonight.

We were blazing along on the open highways, too. At 75-80 mph, Princess T-Jugs is panting pretty hard. The red car (we shall call her The Tart) can’t keep up at all at that pace. My parade float Princess may be a heavy lass, but she’s got heart. At one point, after we graciously allowed The Tart to pass, that treacherous Pandya and Jumpmaster Josh lured us close behind them by pretending to take a road picture. When we nosed up to just behind the gas jug on their luggage rack (which Pandya totally stole from us, replacing it with an older one half the size, because THAT’S THE KIND OF GUY HE IS), Josh – goaded by Pandya’s sick and vengeful sense of fun – sprayed a whole water bottle straight up in the air.

My windshield is huge – you’d have to be 6’5” and short-legged to see over it – but Sean took the full brunt of the spray wall. It’s okay, though. Baby-faced or no, Sean’s a Marine, which means he’s used to catching whatever is fired in his general direction.

A gas stop and another couple hours in the breezy, balmy 100-degree heat (but it’s a dry heat) brought us to Aztecas Family Mexican Restaurant and then on to VFW Post 4265 in Craig. Prompted by a former Arctic paratrooper who wanted to greet the three Arctic paratroopers (Indian Dave, Jumpmaster Josh, and Johnny Reno) in our group, the post put out food and cold drinks and passed out liberal doses of random stranger hugging. It was all very fine, and they didn’t seem to mind when we dunked our funk-laced heads and cooling vests into their icy drink trough.


Besides the normal selection of fellow veterans, Blue Star moms, and highly committed survivalists, the post featured a pretty blonde woman standing about 6’6” tall. Becky and I were both surprised to discover that not only did we attend the same university about four years apart, but I met the president of that redoubtable Pac 12 diploma mill while attending a women’s volleyball game – the sport she played at WSU. Furthermore, my dorm roommate served as their team manager, and Becky knew him even though he’d graduated by the time she played. It’s a funny little world. Becky was, of course, gracious and engaging as all Cougars tend to be. I like my alma mater a little better every time I meet an alumna.

Also got coined by the post commander, meaning I won’t get stuck buying any more rounds this trip. If you don’t know what that means, it probably doesn’t apply.

We’re off tomorrow for Laramie, Wyoming. Though her tires are flattening across their middles, Princess Thunderjugs feels ready. Laramie, of all places, is where I’ll see people already dear to me. My cousin Jamie assures me he’ll run out to Albany Lodge with his daughter so I can finally meet my niece, and a dear friend from the Wetleather riding group may also be able to come and say hello.

With Princess TJ mediating the interaction, old friends and new friends are likely to mix well.

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  1. You’re henceforth naming any vehicle I buy, lease, or steal.

  2. “With my arms and back feeling like I’ve been worked over by a dominatrix with a meat hammer”
    So… You’ve met my massage therapist. ?

  3. One beautiful bike! Does the sidecar void out the warranty?

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