Luck vs. Reservations

By: Old AlFeb 28, 2020

Welcome to another installment of W U T I.  In an earlier column I spoke about getting into touring.  Another riding season is just around the corner and I can’t help but think of how different we did things then and now.

Our process of planning was non-existent.  My first 20 years planning amounted to meeting my buddy at a tavern after work on Friday for dinner, wait for rush hour to dissipate, and pick a direction with possibly a destination.  It was fun to ride with no clue as to where we were going.  Even with a destination there were no scheduled stops or reservations.  We looked at a paper map To get going in the right direction and spent the night where we found accommodations.  The first few years we would carry a sleeping bag for the first night out and in case we got stuck somewhere. 

When we had enough for the day there was no problem getting a motel room for the night.

One weekend luck looked kind of iffy, but it all worked out. My buddy and I left Denver to Glenwood Springs with our then girlfriends.  We had a great day running around Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford to Joe Cocker’s Mad Dog Cafe, then back to Carbondale for a room.  We tried Glenwood, Carbondale, and Basalt – no luck. In Basalt we stopped at a motel to see if they could find us a place but there were none in town. With nowhere to stay we went and had dinner and figured we would head for home stopping on the way looking for a room. That night lady luck reappeared.  As we rode past that motel in Basalt I saw the vacancy/no-vacancy sign flash. We went to the lobby and the girl said she was hoping it was us as they had a last minute cancellation. Better to be lucky than good.

About 20 years ago things started to change, it kept getting harder to find a room with no reservations.  Apparently I needed to change my ways and actually plan things and god forbid make reservations.

When we started going to Bonneville we knew we would need reservations at the hosting hotel since this is a big event.  We got rooms in W. Wendover for a couple nights and another couple nights in Tooele, Utah.  It seems like so many more people were traveling it became a necessity.

I still miss the old ways and paper maps, but you can’t get away with that anymore.  Even camping spots are harder to find.  GPS and reservations have become the norm, and that’s why Kevin’s bike carries the GPS an Bob and I just go with the flow.

Old Al
It’s pretty odd how I came into motorcycles as my father couldn’t stand them.  But as life moves on, things change. Now here I am, still riding. It’s been a long road, 55 years riding and 116 bikes later, and now writing a column for this site. What a long strange trip it’s been.