The Top 'O The Rockies Rally
Paonia, Colorado
July, 1996

From: David R. Norton
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996
Subject: BMW: Paonia Report, LONG!

Top o' the Rockies Rally in Paonia, Colorado! BTDT. More elaboration:

We won the "Largest Club"!

Signed in were:

Ira Agins
Steve Aikens (A deadly shot with a blowgun!)
Allan Allert
Anne Allert
Bob April
Skipper Brown (*Finally* got to lead!)
Mick Collins
Lani Collins
Dan Dunphy
Lee Freedman (Bad! Lee's riding partner crashed, broke his leg and
Lee left early to truck him and bike home.
Paul Glaves (Paul's signature sure looks like Voni's handwriting!)
Voni Glaves
John Hagan
Conna (sp?) Hagan
Jan Hainbach
Butch Hays (the herniated man!)
Conrad Kauk
Cris Lawson
Sam Lepore
David R. Norton (me)
Becky Nufer
Tony Meyn (did you get the leanness fixed, Tony? If not, I'll take it off your hands for a steal! ;-))
David Peterson
Eric Peterson
Sheridan Prince
Howard Schultz (with SWMBO, nice lady!)
David Sine
John Stegman
Bob Straubinger
Josef Tornick (Joe Beemer & Ravenstar) (did lotsa writing, hope to read it here soon!)
Terry Turnbeaugh
Kit Vercella (wife cleaned up on door prizes!)

Not signed in:

Tom "Bullit" Buttars

Missing and Missed:

Pat Burch and a few others who weren't able to be there.

Anne and I left Phoenix fairly late Wednesday AM and spent the night in Cortez at the KOA, there we met large group of Harley riders on their way to a HOG rally in Denver. Seems everybody wants to rally in July. Thursday we went through Dolores, up to Teluride where the road was covered with mud slides! Slippery as snot! We arrived in Paonia at 2pm and were surprised to find many spaces filled. We set up the KwikKamp Hilton with Cabana, table, chairs, etc. and were joined almost immediately by Bob Straubinger. Then it rained, Bob's tent leaked a bit. The rest of the Phoenix Rim-Riders group joined us and so to bed after a quicky dinner on the rally grounds and beer and conversation at the KwikKamp Hilton.

Friday, at 7PM, I was at the beer garden to meet all the presidents and saw/met the above group, some of whom I knew from DVD, Iron Horse, Flagstaff, etc. but many were new to me. It's a great group! Conversation followed with many examples of "Everybody has to believe in something, I believe I'll have another beer!" One thing about the IBMWR and VI lists, you can meet someone for the first time and be old friends!

Saturday, some of us (Skipper Brown, Ira Agins, Butch Hays and Bob Straubinger went to Redstone to partake of the marvelous food offered by the little Swiss/German restaurant called Dorle's (sp?). The food was excellent and it was Skipper's red letter day! The turn in to Redstone came, as always, before I expected it, so by braking hard and turning quickly, Skipper was given the opportunity to adorn his GS with a Harley-Davidson front fender ornament, he declined. Thanks! Coming back to Paonia after lunch, Skipper found himself in the lead and took advantage of it to lose everybody in the traffic except Mick Collins who lost himself on the way up with no help from Skipper or anybody! We missed ya, Mick!

BMW Motorcycle
Club of Colorado

Top 'O The Rockies Rally
Paonia, Colorado
Largest Chartered Club In Attendance

I have the plaque for largest chartered club, I'll try to scan it and get it onto the web pages, problem will be getting a good picture of it. John Stegman took several shots, if one turns out very good, John, please let me know?

Every evening was highlighted by beer and conversation around the KwikKamp Hilton and I enjoyed my self more than ever at Paonia which is my favorite rally! With all of youse guys added, aw shucks, I've never had such a terrific time! Thanks!

Trip home: Packed Sunday morning and rode to Dolores, mud slides north of Teluride had dried up. Stayed at a little camp ground in Dolores that offers free ice-cream on Sundays! I tried to eat some for all of you, couldn't quite make it!

Monday, south of Cortez, it turned HOT! The only respite was in Flagstaff, gassed up and went down into the furnace. Anne got sick, had to stop beside the freeway and rest while filling her up with water and Gatorade. Almost made it home when trailer tongue broke! Was able to get trailer to Annes's house, headed home, I can't tell all of you how sorry I am that it's over.....

Everyone has to believe in something, I believe I'll have another beer!

David R. Norton

From: Dr. Bob (
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996
Subject: BMW: Paonia trip report (long)

Last year I couldn't make Paonia because of work, which was a cleanup agreement for the Rocky Flats weapons plant. This year Paonia conflicted with the signing of said agreement by many dignetaries including Gov. Roy Romer. To miss the signing would be less than the perfect career move, as some might think I was slighting that which had enabled me to move back to Colorado after a 17 year hiatus. But it had been months of long hours, and I desired my own form of reward.

So, at 11:00 am Friday, while pen was being put to paper Kathy and I were going past Georgetown on I-70 (late start). Glenwood Springs canyon was as georgeous as ever. The B&B in Redstone (Redstone Castle) was the most spectacular I've ever stayed in, a 100 year old 42 room Colorado millionaires fantasy. It's about 40 miles of fantastic twisties north of Paonia, a ride well worth doing three times (as we did).

Friday evening was great, meeting some of the legends of the list, followed by a dusk to night ride back to the castle, where the manager had thoughtfully suggested I park the bike next to the old carriage under the canopied entrance. Had a semi close encounter of the deer kind on the way back, but I was primed and ready and saw him coming well before he darted about 25 feet in front of me. Already dragging the brakes, no more was required.

Back to Paonia the next day. Turned to Kathy at one point and said "Paonia, a hotdog plate with Cheez Whiz and the slow race. It doesn't get any better than this."

Left early to get some riding in. Down to the awesome Black Canyon of the Gunnison and beyond on 92, which spends 30 or so miles clinging to a ledge on the side of the mountain, sans guardrails. A little intense for true enjoyment, as I'm not really fond of make a mistake and die situations. Took it _slow_ and enjoyed the scenery. Finished up in Crested Butte (an improved version of Steamboat Springs, where the vintage races take place in September).

The next morning we gamboled on some dirt roads among fields of wildflowers totally surrounded by picturesque mountains. I wished I could magically transform the K75RT into my KLR650. Back down to Highway 50 and homeward bound, occaisionally riding with an R65 and a crotch rocket who seemed to blast ahead (particularly the CR) and then stop. Last rest stop in Bailey, at a restaurant whose parking lot was crammed with large touring bikes, mostly towing trailers. Had a pleasant chat. I don't understand the Harley baiting, to me being a motorcyclist is all that counts. Cranked it up a little for the sweepers of 285 coming off the mountain.

Home again, with about 800 miles of incredible roads and scenery under the wheels. Sorry to miss shaking your hand, Roy.


From: Bryan Lally
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996
Subject: BMW: Paonia

Butch Hays wrote:
>Top 'o the Rockies:
>Can't say enough about Paonia ... Can't be measured by the number in
>attendance (about 700), ... you have to understand the relationship between
>the town's people and the BMW folk. They need us as much as we need to come
>up there and camp and chat for a weekend. The National's motto of "Couldn't
>be finer" applied equally to Paonia. I have pictures to prove it.

As I rode into Paonia, about 7:30 Thursday, there was this kid, about 5 years old, who had staked out a prominent corner on which to stand. He was furiously waving at every bike he saw. I thought to myself "this is going to be special, isn't it?"

People were taking the kids of Paonia as passengers in the bite the weenie contest. They loved it.

Everywhere we went, the people of the town were fantastic to us. I told the janitor at the showers (at 5:30 am) what a good time I'd had, and how nice everyone had been. He told me how much he liked having the BMW crowd come to town - that they looked forward to it all year.

It was peach season :-)

Cherry season, too :-))

A girl, about 10 years old, stopped her bicycle and gave me a big thumbs up. You should have seen the smile when I returned the gesture.

Beer coupons were 11 for $10.

It was a great time. And a great town. With great roads almost everywhere. Too bad Aspen is between Paonia and Independence Pass.

- Bryan

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