Entering May at Silverton Circle: John and Donnice Stopped Over

Cochenour’s Stopped in for a One Evening/Next Morning Stayover Last Week

In the middle of last week, John and Donnice Cochenour, our old friend’s from Norman in the 1980’s who now live in Fort Collins, CO, stopped over on their way down to Paris, TX, for a two day bicycle event they were participating in.  John has been biking for years, and now they ride a fancy tandem bike at some of the events they travel to participate in, being only among the relatively few who come with a tandem bicycle–a bicycle built for two.

John will kill me for using this old photo of the two of them (from two years ago) on a tandem, because he has more recently upgraded the tandem that they use, and it has those fancy composite wheels that don’t have spokes, but solid, larger “spokes”.  However, I did find a Google search that got me this image of them at an event in Loveland in 2015:

John, as always, is “into” the best equipment–be it taking photos with his digital SLR camera, or the gear he and his son use in climbing the 14K mountain peaks in Colorado, or for that matter, his bicycle parts and equipment–so they actually have those fancy “composite” wheels on their tandem rig now.  I saw the frame of the tandem standing up (with the wheels off, of course) in the back of their Honda SUV, but I didn’t make out the exact wheels he is using on the bike.  Something like this, though.


John and Donnice took us out to eat that evening In Norman (we went to Olive Garden), and they packed their things up the next morning to leave for Paris, going the diagonal “back way” route down through Ada:

If you don’t know where Paris, TX is, it is directly east of Gainesville, Texas, and just a very hilly 20 miles or so south of the Red River and another 5 miles on up to Hugo, Oklahoma.

I am actually familiar with Hugo, having driven through it some years ago, and because the southeast hilly forests of Oklahoma are known for hiding a lot of pot growers, and for having some gorgeous tan colored stone outcroppings that are quarried and used for landscaping throughout the state.

As I say, the Cochenours took us out to dinner the evening of the afternoon they arrived (it could have been Wednesday, I think), and we had a good time eating pasta and talking about old times at Olive Garden.  They have two grown children (who were relatively close in ages to our Eric and Laurie) who have given them 5 grand kids to take care of  from time to time (Catherine, their daughter, also lives in Ft. Collins, just a few miles away from John and Donnice’s house).

“So, What’cha Reading?”

We had a good time bringing each other up to date on what we were reading–something that John and I have been doing for years now, mostly by email, with me also blogging about my some of my reading, and of course peppering my Facebook site with short mentions or even reviews of things that have caught my eye.

We had such a good time later that evening and early the next morning talking about our book reading that the four of us decided it was Claudia’s and my turn to come to their place next, in Ft. Collins, to spend a couple of days doing the same thing: bringing each other up to date on our reading.  John and Donnice are heavy Kindle users (and Apple people), so they carry what they are reading with them in electronic form.

I am almost totally opposite, having found that my small bathtub in our end-of-the-hall bathroom became my “library,” the place I withdraw to almost every evening to start a bubble bath, place  two of the books I am currently working my way through on the lid of the toilet which is next to the head of the tub, get in the hot bubbly water, lay back, adjust my Bed, Bath and Beyond spa bathtub spongy headrest, reach for one of the books on the closed lid of the toilet, find my place in it and continue reading.

Claudia uses Kindle a lot more than I do, but I think a lot less than John and Donnice use theirs.  But Claudia still gets her penny dreadful literature–the “type of 19th-century British fiction publication with lurid and sensational subject matter” bodice rippers, etc: juicy forms of romance novels–in those fat, cheap paperbacks that fill the book section racks at most big box department stores.  So she does reading in codex form too.

When I mentioned that she and I would probably have to do a two day trip from Norman to Ft. Collins, John reminded me that we could do half the trip in one day, stay in our frequently visited Santa Fe area, then spend part of the second day of the trip traveling on the Ft. Collins.

That was a good idea, I thought, because Claudia and I always visit the northern New Mexico area (Santa Fe up through Taos) at least twice a year, if not the four times a year we wish to do that.  We are intending to visit that area this fall to do the 2017 High Road tour between Chimayo and Taos, so we could just leave there and have a shorter (7 or 8 hour) travel trip on up to the front range north of Denver (Ft. Collins).  In fact, I’ve already figured out how to do the trip to Ft. Collins in two one day driving trips:  Norman to the area just north of Chimayo north of Santa Fe in day one (8 hrs 45 minutes, or 581 miles); from that area on up through southern Colorado to Ft. Collins on the second day (6 hrs 42 minutes, or 403 miles):

Note: Clearly, I put two Google Maps together to show the trip from Norman to Chimayo on up to Ft Collins, since Google Maps doesn’t allow me to show a third in-between point on the map.  So I cut through the time estimate insert box for Norman to Chimayo.

 John and Donnice left late that next morning and found their way down into Paris.  John later texted back that they biked 43 miles on the first day of the event, then 35 the next.  I couldn’t even get my rickety body onto a bicycle, let alone put miles on it!

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