About Ball O' String Custom Adventure Tours
Specializing in twisty roads, beautiful scenery, fine inns and great food; Ball O' String Custom Adventure Tours combines the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.
Ball O' String Custom Adventure Tours was born out of our love of motorcycles.
After 38 years of touring the Western US and gathering information
about the best motorcycle roads and unique and interesting lodging, we want to share our experience
by putting together a perfect vacation for you.
It doesn't matter if you're young or old, a novice or expert rider, or a sports car enthusiast,
we'd love to take you touring!
Ball O' String Custom Adventure Tours has extensive experience in travel through the 50 United States, including Alaska and much of Canada, Italy and Spain. Your guides have information about the best roads for travel and lodging to fit your wants and desires. We want to share our experience with you by putting together a perfect customized vacation tour for you. Always avid travelers we jump on our bike at every opportunity. We look forward to an adventure to some yet undiscovered treasure or well-known destination.
Please join us as we continue our travels throughout magnificent scenery,
with chances of viewing an abundance of wildlife along the way to quaint towns,
unique lodging and of course...great food!
Quoted from an article:
If you're going to ride the Northwestern U.S.,
I'd recommend a troop like this one:
George of the Jungle,
veteran of a hundred campaigns,
who knows the roads and passes,
and who, as an added bonus, can fix anything that breaks.
The Captain's wife, Willie, who has ten stories for every evening on the road
and who knows fine inns like George knows motorcycles...
June 2000 Trip to Italy:
The two most exciting weeks of my life!!! The first trip I had ever been on that I didn’t have to plan everything. The locations picked for hotels were awesome. Couldn’t believe how close we were to major sites & still very reasonable prices; I have eaten all over the western world & had the best meal of my life in a tiny Piedmont village; All the places picked to eat were incredible. The scenery was breathtaking. Nancy Parker – Scottsdale, AZ
May 2001 David Newman:
May I thank you both again for everything you did for me it was a fantastic trip and I will remember it for the rest of my life as a great adventure. The pair of you were super friendly and extremely considerate in all you did and made for a great end to the trip.
Outlaw history is just an eagle's cry away on Willie Fuhrman’s “Ball O String “ tour to the Flaming Gorge area. One can easily sense the spiritual presence of Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and their predecessors – the Shoshone, the Ute, and the Crow tribes on this ride. In the early 1800’s white trappers started rendezvousing here and later the cattlemen were followed by the outlaws into the canyons.
As I road pillion I imagined the scenarios of these adventurous people. Anyone who came to this gorgeous and extreme environment had to be tough. Time keeps slipping back & forth here, the “real” Old West is alive and well. You will not see Pizza Hut, Super 8 or McDonalds out here, but you will find a delightful little café in the middle of nowhere that serves home-made pie & has a nice collection of beadwork for sale by the proprietress. As we warmed up at the truck stop in Vernal, I chatted with a young cattleman in mud splattered chaps. I asked him what the weather was like in the 10,000-foot high country. “Cold and wet”. To us that was a challenge. Willie had supplied us with electric vests I felt like a baby wrapped in a bunting. I was totally comfortable as we sped past the enormous Blue Mountain with its green/blue & pink strata. My adrenaline rose higher and higher as we ascended the 10 hairpin curves to a high alpine terrain 1800 feel above the Green River . By that time, large moist snowflakes started falling; I was naturally high as a kite and I stayed that way for three days. The forest was transformed into a silent mystical magical kingdom with no traffic in sight (and we were going to camp). Oh well. We saw a tiny sign “Lodge >>>”. We got the last cabin, along with a well stocked wood stove and a hot “bunkhouse” shower. Most wonderfully, many happy people were enjoying fresh trout dinners & fine wine in the lodge and we got a table in front of a blazing fireplace. I felt like I was in heaven!
As I looked down into one of the world’s most scenic canyons I was reminded of the famous movie scene of Butch and Sundance jumping into the rapids of the Green River to escape the Pinkerton railroad detectives.
Our descent took us into verdant, least traveled passes in “real ranch” country. My mind was over whelmed by the fantastic fall foliage, the challenging curves and the excitement of being greeted by a huge Black Angus bull and his herd in the middle of the road. As I mentioned the Old West is alive and well here. We followed Jungle on an extremely exciting tour of Colorado National Monument . At the end of this day we were rewarded with a fabulous dinner in Grand Junction ; I chose Portabello mushrooms covered in crab Sherry Béarnaise Sauce. Our motto on these tours seems to be “We live to eat” and comfort is the highest priority.
As we raced home along the Colorado River , I was grateful to the herons, the geese, and the hawks, egrets and eagles for being there for me. What a way to bird watch.
I fell into a trance-state as we rushed along the Glenwood Canyon rapids. The energy of the water rose to greet us & just riding through this engineering marvel was a transcendental experience. I was extremely grateful for a hot tub and hot dinner at the end of the trip and the camaraderie to plan the next one.
With four decades of research in the art of touring roads of the Rockies , Willie & Jungle Fuhrman assure you of five star service in guiding any Western trip. They also have several years of international motorcycle touring experience. Willie’s concierge-like skills and Jungle’s life-long experience of professional master mechanic in the Vail Valley take away any anxiety on a road trip. Fine western meals and custom designed days are Willie’s specialty with her Ball O’ String motorcycle tours. Sleeping next to an alpine river, sharing a rustic cabin or an elegant lodge are choices based on the customer’s whim or whether Willie is ready to dish out excitement! Willie’s high level of energy and love of adventure must have been inherited from her grandfather in Montana who (it is rumored) consorted with some of the more famous notorious characters of the day. But she tempers her exuberance with mature, sober-minded riding experience and compassion for all levels of riders, including myself, a nervous survivor of Mexican motorcycle road trauma. She had state of the art versatility on her sport bike and we experienced top level comfort and power in the mountains on our Honda Valkyrie.
Our trip started out as an impulsive desire to sit in some “Cowboy Hot Springs” in Saratoga , Wyo.
We never made it.
We are happily planning our next road trip with Fuhrman’s Ball O’ String Custom Tours. Of course for us this will entail back roads, little traffic, fine food and hot springs. Nancy Sinclair – Meadow Grove , NE
Thanks to you two we had a marvelous adventure. Your advice, routes, concern, bikes, all made for a perfect trip. Even that rain & snow you arranged for the first day really made us appreciate seven perfect days that followed. Jim & Joan Reinhart – Hartford , CT
Willie and Jungle:
We would like to thank you for showing us a fantastic time on our motorcycle excursion through Colorado and Utah. The scenery and accommodations were beyond our expectations. On our first stop at Gateway the view of the mountain range was unbelievable. When we walked into our room we could not believe the spacious suite with our own Jacuzzi and fireplace. That evening the dinner was spectacular and unique. After the first day we knew picked the right company to travel with. Our guides were knowledgeable and skilled and the trip was well planned.
The remaining five days we stayed at a variety of bed and breakfast inns and it proved to be one of the best vacations we had taken in the west.
We would definitely travel with Ball o String again.
Cathie and Chris
Hey Guys, I've been following Cathie's log and it seems like tonight is the last night of the trip. It sounds like you've had an amazing time. I know that my brief stint with you was absolutely wonderful--the riding, the company, the accommodations, etc. I want to thank you again for including me in your group.Hopefully we will have many rides together in the years to come, and that our friendship will develop as the miles pass beneath our wheels. Stay safe, and keep both wheels on the ground. Charlie
Willie & Jungle, I'm back home! The trip back to PA was a good one & thanks to you, Willie, I had time for a nice lunch in the Denver airport having made the earlier stand-by flight out of Aspen. I got an e-mail receipt from the Harley dealership showing that I owe nothing, so I assume that you got the key and bag with rain gear back to them. Here's another story to add to your repertoire: While we (the remaining 5 on the trip) were heading towards Redstone, the Harley dealership was trying to get a hold of me to no avail since there was no cell service where we were. Sooooo ... they called Dick's cell phone. When he answered, Curtis (from the Harley place) said, "I'm glad I got you! Are you the guy that's riding with Nancy?" To which my husband replied, "No, I'm her husband." Curtis then asked, "Do you have any idea where Nancy is?" You guessed it, my husband said, "No, I really don't." What transpired after that isn't really important. I'm sure Curtis had his own ideas by then. I can't begin to put into words how much fun the trip was. The two of you do an awesome job of creating the settings for unforgettable motorcycle adventures! Thanks, so much. Love you guys - Ride Safe, Nancy
J C Clarke sent Sept 26, 2008
Thanks, Willie & Jungle.
I totally enjoyed the ride and time with you. You are so kind to me. I am very grateful you are in my life. It was so great to have Kevin and Paul along. They are a lot of fun. Wow!!! That ride to Taos was a real experience for me. I feel I am almost in the “big leagues” of riding now – keeping up with the big boys. Kevin even said it was a “test” for him at times. So much fun and beautiful roads and great places to stay. You do a great job at selecting places. It’s a real talent you have and a lot of work too, I’m sure. Thanks for everything. JC
Dear Ball O' String Adventure Tours,
Willie and Jungle.
Thank you for the many years of wonderful tours.
You introduced me to the amazing experience of exploring on a motorcycle!
From my first trip to Leadville, thru the stunning southwest, exciting northwest, incomparable Alaska and the treasures of Italy you have shown me wondrous place after place. We have eaten delicious and unusual food while staying in gems of hotels and bed and breakfasts.
I can't wait for our next venture into the new, the old and the always exciting.
Thank you so much. Terry
Paula Cooper - Peterson Group from Florida:
Just wanted to say “hi” and let you know what a WONDERFUL trip we had, thanks to you guys. Everything was great. We made it back to hot Denver in plenty of time to have a drink or two at the airport before boarding. The Claim Jumper was a “hoot”! Really neat. We were so tired that day because we left Durango about 1:00. (I know, you said leave early!) We had a restaurant bring food to us at the Claim Jumper in Crested Butte, although they don’t normally deliver. Amazing what a $20 bill will do! Ha! Really enjoyed the Telluride B&B too. Telluride is beautiful. And what a neat room we had in Durango. All the places were really special. And we can’t quit talking about the gravel roads, Leadville, your wonderful dinner, rodeo and the laughs we had going down the rapids holding our wine glasses! Look forward to hearing from you. Tell Terry and John hello. Paula
Hey Willie & Jungle,
What a trip! Thanks for every thing you did to make it so perfect. We were so exhausted but still found enough energy to laugh
After we left you we spent the night in Red Stone, the next morning the group wanted to see Aspen. It was raining pretty good but we went anyway. By the time we got to Aspen rain had stopped (traffic was heavy due to road construction) We came back via Woody Creek to avoid traffic. Then on through McClure pass to Telluride what a beautiful trip. Got in late and had to do wash so missed sunset on the rooftop hot tub. The rooms were really nice and great location at Bear Creek. Saw my friend at breakfast then on to Durango, stopped to see Mesa Verde and the Indian cliff dwellings so didn't get into Durango until 6:30pm. Had really neat rooms here too. Loved the bar and honky tonk piano player. We shopped Durango the next morning and didn't get off until after noon. Got to Crested Butte about 6:00pm. Jerry was great he could have entertained us all night. They were having a film festival on the hill but we were all to tired. Ordered seafood---they didn't deliver but when Cooper said the first one to get it here gets a $20 tip we had our food in 1/2 hour.
We only wanted soup and appetizers since we had eaten about 5:00 in Lake City at a little cafe just when you get into town on the right hand side ( I think it would be south side) that was run by two Polish boys straight from Poland ---- food was great!
The day to Crested Butte and into Denver were the hardest since we were on the cycles between 5 and 6 hrs both days. Our butts were numb. The last three days we had no rain and the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful.