Trip Planning

Going To The Sun Road 2014 BHA

I had to reduce the size and finally was able to post this to You Tube

Enjoy.

I use a GoPro mounted on the tour pack of my bike and iMovie or Adobe Premiere Elements.

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Big Harley Adventure (BHA) 2014 2 years Remission Part 2

And On The Seventh Day

We left Jackson, Wyoming to continue the journey to Glacier National Park.

It was a cool morning and we awoke to a thick soup of a fog in Jackson and hoped that as we climbed the mountain we would either rise above the fog or the sun would burn it off.

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We rode out of Wyoming into Idaho and  Montana through valleys and rock filled canyons, the views, the air, the sunshine on our faces was “priceless”.

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In Missoula, Montana grub and a hotel.

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416 miles for the day


Day 8

Another cool start for the day, but what do you expect this far north and altitude.
Flathead Lake is one of the most beautiful in the world.

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Sorry for the quality. Quick snapshots from the bike.

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Made It !
This is where it gets really good.

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The bears are not your friends..
I repeat. The bears are not your friends…

Glacier National Park
Going To The Sun Road

This was one of those days you dream of when traveling on a bike
Blue sky as far as the eye can see, warm sun on your face and beautiful clean air and breath taking landscape
and the company of loved ones.

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The Flying Biker Chicks

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Looking back at Diana

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Ronnie and Kirk bring up the rear


Day 9
Started in Great Falls Montana

Diana’s bike had some minor electrical issues so we stop in the Harley dealer to have it checked out. Turns out a wire harness that is down to bare wires. Lucky for us there was a customer appreciation event going on with sales and free food.

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Headed towards Wyoming and the Beartooth Pass.
day 9 ended in Billings Montana


Day 10

Cr0ssed the Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
Down into Cody for the next two nights.

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Next up Cody Wyoming and 

Yellowstone National Park.

Categories: cancer, Harley Davidson, Motorcycle, Trip Planning, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Harley Adventure (BHA) 2014. Remission 2 years, Glacier National Park.

August 1, 2014

We would have a bigger group this year for a portion of the trip.
Kirk,Diana,Ronnie,Carla and I would be going to Glacier National Park.
Greg,Brenda,Mike and Charlie would be turning back at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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As you can see the weather cooperated with us for day 1 leaving Indianapolis.
Started off a little later than normal because of work commitments. Dam jobs!


The route plan was to take 74W to 80W for a long way before we would drop down into Colorado on day 3.

First big stop Iowa 80 Truck Stop (World Largest)

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We would make it to Iowa City, Iowa and stop for the end of day one ride.
about 400 miles logged.


Day 2

Iowa City – Kearney, Nebraska 

Corn, Corn and More corn with a couple nice Harley Dealers thrown in to break up the ride.

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Frontier Harley Lincoln, Nebraska

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By this time the temperature was slightly uncomfortably warm.
440 miles logged on day 2


Day 3

Kearney, Nebraska – Loveland Colorado

Nice morning for a ride out of Kearney, Nebraska

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Up early and checking things out.
All the bikes are still here and ready to go.
Corn and more corn. But we made it to the Colorado state line and off with the helmets.
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Taking in some water and fuel

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We decided to take back roads to enjoy the country that Colorado offers

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We would make it to Loveland, Colorado

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375 miles logged day 3, Total 1221


Day 4 Started with a Lovely sunrise in Loveland, Colorado

Loveland – Steamboat Springs

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Plan for the day- Estes Park and Trail Ridge Road and continue west on back roads

Estes park stop to put more clothes on due to the elevation

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Kremmling, Colorado Rocky Mountain Bar and Grill for some grub

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Bring on the Grub we are hungry!

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Lets get high as in 11,000 feet

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Diana was loving the thin air

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pMd65zQ0BNc” target=”_blank”>

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Trail Ridge Road is wild

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Day 4, 187 miles logged today 1408 total


Day 5 Steamboat Springs – Green River, Wyoming

We took 40W through Craig, Colorado to Dinosaur National Monument and went out to Harpers Corner.

Over to Flaming Gorge and north to Green River, Wyoming for the night.

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Harpers Corner

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Flaming Gorge

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Vernal, Utah then turn north on 191

Greg, Brenda, Mike and Charlie split off from us to go have some service work done on a bike in Green River, Wyoming

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The weather can and will change and fast!

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We tried to out run the rain to meet the others in Green River
no such luck

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This would do it for the rest of the ride to Green River, Wyoming

wet and tired we went to eat at the Krazy Moose and I would recommend anyone within 100 miles go there and eat.


Day 6 Green River – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The morning started of riding into a ground cloud or fog

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Names Hill James Bridger 1844 was here.

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again safe and sound in Jackson the weather changed

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A quick downpour and it was gone then we continued to explore

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2013 Remission Road Trip — Part 2

Day 5 Started of a little cool in Flagstaff


If you would rather watch than read.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/L4LFmEFZCws” target=”_blank”>


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But we are on our way to Sedona, Arizona. I had always saw pictures and read about Sedona. From Flagstaff you have a couple of options as far as route goes to get to Sedona. Scenic is always my first choice so it’s 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona.

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We could have taken Interstate 17 down to Sedona, but we would have missed the canyon and the winding road.

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We stopped at a information center and talked to a Park Ranger. He provided us with some good ideas for our stay in Sedona.

We had only traveled about 30 miles to Sedona.

The view coming into town was wonderful!

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The weather started to change for the worse.

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So we decided to find a good hotel and park the bikes and just enjoy some of Sedona’s culture

The Orchard Inn was our choice we booked 2 nights

 We checked in at the Orchard Inn and surprisingly was a lot cheaper than I expected. About $160. per night. Pink Jeeps down the road from the hotel on the main street offers guided tours out into the Red Rock Country. We decided to go for it and we are glad we did.

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Our driver was outstanding, safe and knowledgeable. Lance, I think was his name. Retired from his job and moved out here to enjoy his retirement, Can’t blame him for that. I would like to have stayed.

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I would recommend the Pink Jeeps to any body visiting Sedona

After the pink Jeeps it was off to explore some more of Sedona.

We discovered a Starbucks with a view.

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After some exploring and a good dinner at the Oak Creek Brewery and Pub. If my memory serves me I was not feeling very hungry which is unusual for me. All was good, after spending some time in the pool and a good nights rest we are heading out in the morning to explore around Sedona. 38 miles total for Day 5.


Day 6
Jerome, Yarnell and Prescott.

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Jerome is or was a ghost town, an old mining town. In the 1970’s some people, some might say Hippies started to come back and buy property and restore Jerome to a lively tourist spot. Jerome is home to the Sliding Jail and home to copper and gold mining operations.

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We also went through Yarnell, AZ. On June 28th, 2013 lightning started a wild fire that was fueled by high winds and blowing embers, that overcame 19 brave Firefighters. This was a strange place, geographically it didn’t look like there had been anything to fuel the fire. Yarnell reminds you of a scene from the Flintstone’s. Large boulders all around the place.

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We also went through Prescott, AZ and stopped in Wickenburg for some jerky and water, more for the water because it was extremely hot just north of Phoenix, AZ.

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The temperature today was 101.F I guess that was cool since the average for this time of year in Wickenburg is 107.F and the record high is a sweltering 114.F so even though it was extremely hot to us northern folk I am just glad it wasn’t 107. The ride back to Sedona was a long one since we shot back up the Interstate part of the way.  Interstate riding is boring for me. But the hotel pool awaits.


 Day 7

This day would be the day we go to the Grand Canyon! I have never been. We were excited about maybe renting a helicopter and taking some scenic tours. The ride north to the Grand Canyon was a nice ride.

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If you have never been to the Grand Canyon, It is a must do. And keep track of your kids, there was a small child running wild around the edge of the canyon and the fence does not stretch the entire length, so it was a little nerve racking seeing this kid running wild so close to the edge. We got there to late for a helicopter tour. They book up early. After the Grand Canyon it was off towards Mexican Hat, Utah and the Moki Dugway.

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We made it to a town named Kayenta only to find out there hotels where all booked for the night. We had passed a hotel that didn’t look all that inviting back on the reservation called the Anasazi Inn. We had no choice but to stop for the night the sun was beginning to set on us and we had covered some ground today. 284 miles with a lot of stops for sight seeing. Locked and loaded Anasazi Inn here we are.  we parked the bikes as close as we could get them to the room. All in all it was not so bad.


Day 8 

Back into Kayenta for breakfast at the McDonalds with the stray dogs wondering the parking lot and the surge of tourist with campers and RVs. But inside the McDonalds is a very cool display about the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII. After breakfast down the road to Monument Valley.

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Notice the road in the photo and a small white speck on the road just right of center, thats a 12 passenger van. Just for scale.

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Next up the road featured on the Discovery Channel as a Hell Road- the Moki Dugway.

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After surviving the Moki, we headed towards Four Corners Monument. This place is remote and out there!

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Carla standing in Utah and Colorado at the same time.

We ride on into Cortez, Colorado for the evening.

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207 mile for the day


Day 9

Traveled the San Juan Skyway and into Dolers, Rico, Telluride and Ridgeway. Up in elevation about 10,000 feet above sea level the air gets thin. Took the Million Dollar highway through Ouray and Silverton, Colorado. In Silverton we stopped to eat at the famous Handlebars Saloon. It was while we waited to eat that the thunder started and the rains came, cold, cold rain. After eating we suited up! For the rain and the cold, what we didn’t bring was snow shoes. At the gas station before leaving town cars came in with snow covered windshields and told us “you can’t go down the mountain there is 4 inches of snow on the road. Oh we are running out of daylight and there are no rooms to be had in Silverton. We waited at the gas station with some others on bikes all the while debating on what to do, when up the road, from the direction we need to go comes a guy on a Softtail with Colorado plates and he says he lives just down the road and we could make it down the mountain if we where careful and stayed in the tire tracks from the cars. I have no pictures or video of this because I was afraid to get out of the tire tracks to pull over for pictures and Carla was holding on to tight to take any. This would be the longest 50 miles of my biker life. We made it to Durango and checked in to the Iron Horse Inn Durango. Did some laundry and ordered pizza. While doing laundry we met a couple guys from Australia, that rented Harleys and had been traveling the USA. 201 mile for the day with the last 50 taking a few hours.

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This is a must do route if your in Colorado 


Day 10

Durango to Gunnison.

Started the morning in Durango, Colorado. The temperature was a brisk mid 40s F.

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Out to Pagosa Springs and over Wolf Creek Pass.

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Needed some warm coffee after the cool start to the day.

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Colorado has some of the best motorcycle roads in the U.S. Surrounded by mountains and valleys.

We would log over 250 miles this day and never once asked “are we there yet?”

thats how good the riding is you never get tired.

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The ride was never ending amazing!

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Gunnison to Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak.

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As you can see the weather was changing as we rode to the top of Pikes Peak over 14,000 feet above sea level

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Coming down is another story. Freezing rain and cold and gravity = white knuckle ride.

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Yes thats how steep it is!!!!!

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Happy to be down out of the clouds!!!

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From here it was a long ride back to Indiana but it was well worth it and was the beginning of the

Big Harley Adventure as Kirk named it.

For years in the future we will travel and explore this vast wonderful land.

Categories: cancer, Harley Davidson, Motorcycle, Trip Planning, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

2013 Remission Road Trip – Bucket List Begins – Big Harley Adventure (BHA 2013)

2013 brought with it good news!

a second chance

REMISSION 


 Planning started early in the year during the cold winter months. I was feeling stronger after the months of Chemo. I knew this was my rebirth, my second chance. Not only for me but for Carla too, she would have to put up with me for a while longer.

This would be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. I had sold a Sportster to Kirk, Carla’s brother, in the early spring. Within a month or so Kirk upgraded to a 2013 Street Glide. As I was researching and planning our trip Kirk started to get excited about going with Carla and I. The plan was to leave from Indianapolis, Indiana after work on August 2nd. Since we would be getting a late start, about 1:00 in the afternoon, I wanted to make it just west of St. Louis, MO.  We stopped in Fenton, MO for the night. 280 miles down with a little light rain thrown in for good measure.

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 Picking up a fuse before leaving Indyphoto


Day 2

Started off a little damp. We stopped at a Historic Route 66 visitors center. The visitors center is full of memorabilia, souvenirs and information.

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Carla’s feet got soaking wet because the soles of her old comfy boots had seen better days. When we saw the sign for Ozark Harley Davidson, Carla knew they might have a nice pair of boots in her size. Nice and dry and just the right size. Score! She put the old wet boots in the box that the new boots came in and the nice people at Ozark Harley Davidson mailed them home for us.

photo Those boots became her favorite pair.

We stayed on the interstate most of the time but there are parts of Route 66 that you have to take in. Cuba, Missouri is one of those places.

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There are several murals in town along Rote 66. This one depicts the time Bette Davis visited Cuba, MO.

We took plenty of pictures and were even asked to pose for some pictures with a group of European visitors that were on thier way to Los Angeles from Chicago, riding with  Eaglerider guides and rental bikes. They enjoyed seeing how we traveled and admired our bikes. If you ever think of traveling the USA on a Harley this is one way you can do it.

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Route 66 provides a glimpse into the past 

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Still a light drizzle, kind of like riding through a cloud all morning. But the day would brighten and the wheels would keep rolling.

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Oklahoma Welcome

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After 400 miles for the day we would end our day in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But not before a good steak and baked potato at Cattleman’s Steak House.


Day 3

 Started in Tulsa and we accidentally Discovered the Golden Driller, a giant oil field worker at the state fairgrounds.

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As you can see the day started of a bit cloudy and cool.

Next stop, East Meets West Symbolic Midway Point of Route 66. Surprisingly this stop was a great place for pictures. The sculptures are larger than I imagined when I was looking at pictures online.

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As we neared Oklahoma City the weather improved and actually started to get pretty darn hot. Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial at the actual site of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

168 chairs represent the lives lost at the site

some of the chairs are smaller than the rest to represent the children

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The construction fencing became a memorial immediately. People would bring things and leave them as a tribute. After the memorial was finished no one could remove the fence because of the touching tributes. Visiting a memorial like this makes you realize that your daily problems are not so bad.

Lets go we have some ground to cover.  Next stop Big Texan Steak Ranch for some sight-seeing and cool liquids.

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Then on down the road to the Cadillac Ranch of Amarillo, Texas.

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Bring your own spray paint or you can find some cans with some paint left in them that’s what we did and we left our marks.

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After some exploring its time to go. Destination Tucumcari, New Mexico for the night.

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502 miles for the day. Spent the night in Tucumcari, New Mexico around the corner from this old historic route 66 hot spot.


Day 4 starts in Tucumcari, New Mexico going to Flagstaff, Arizona

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Lots of ground to cover across New Mexico into Arizona.

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Along the road to Arizona

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Finally made it to Arizona
but there is plenty more to see before we stop in Flagstaff

Quick stop in Winslow, Arizona made famous by the song.

Take it Easy By Jackson Browne

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528 miles for day 4 spent the night in Flagstaff, Arizona


Day 5 on the way to Sedona, Arizona

I will sum the first 5 days up in a video

BHA 2013 Part 2 Coming Soon

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Moki Dugway Utah

http://youtu.be/XPZUsgW-3xA

Just a tease… Next post

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Day Dreams or Memories.

On a cold January day in Indiana I sit in the warmth of my living room separated from the freezing cold by a sheet of drywall and some brick exterior. I struggle with my thoughts going back and forth between thoughts of next summer and memories of summers past.

No matter what my memories or dreams always take me to a familiar place, my view framed by my outstretched arms gripping the bars of my Harley Davidson. The world flying past me and the horizon ever-changing.

The destination is the biggest difference between my memories and my dreams. In my memories the destination has already been reached and can not change they are recorded as history therefore will never change. In my dreams the destination constantly changes.

As cliché as it sounds it is true. Its not about the destination its all about the journey! Sure I have great memories of the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley, but I also remember with great detail the temperature change as I climbed in elevation. I can remember the time I saw my first pronghorn. I remember arriving at a gas station and realizing it was out of business and abandoned out in the middle of no where, wondering if we would make it to the next gas stop. I remember trying to get a hotel on the road to Monument Valley. It gets dark quick out there! I remember racing a storm out of Colorado and hearing on a local radio station that Colorado 24 had flooded and washed out near Manitou Springs. Where less than 30 minutes before we had been riding through from Green Mountain Falls.

ABC News reported it this way.

“>http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=19933993<”

Sometimes Mother Nature has a way of reminding you that you are small and at her mercy.

This story has a happy ending for us, we did out run the storm for the most part and made a safe return back to Indiana to tell our stories and ride another day. Memories made and dreaming of another journey.

 

 

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Life Is To Short

How time fly’s. The older we get the faster time goes by. Except for these long record-breaking winters in Indiana that last forever. Can you remember back in the day when you couldn’t wait for Christmas time? and it took forever to get here. Now you better start thinking about next Christmas early or it sneaks up on you and gone before you know it. This post wasn’t meant to be about Christmas it’s about ” TIME ” and how we all have one thing in common, that is we all have a limited amount no matter your background or status from the unemployed to the most wealthy and powerful you can’t buy it, “time that is” you can’t buy it and none of us know exactly how much we have left. The moral of the story is don’t put off doing the things you would like to do today because there’s no guarantee that you get time to do it later. The only reason that makes it happen is you and your decision to do it, “go for it”. I talk to a lot of people who have convinced themselves that they can’t ride out to Colorado or Sturgis. “Bull!!” I say I am not buying it sell it some place else. I promise if you can ride around here all day you can straighten it out and get somewhere. I will use my friend Diana as the example. She’s the hot blonde in the pictures.Diana  409665_239973176074599_461961214_n     Diana was worried and told me she didn’t think she could ride all the way to Sturgis. I told Diana if you can ride to Brown County then over to Bloomington and back home you can ride for an hour at a time. Diana agreed she could ride for an hour no problem. Do that with us 5 or 6 times and we will be half way to Sturgis. Then do it again and your there. After several of these conversations Diana had developed some faith in my reasoning. August was here before we knew it and it was time to go west. The plan was to meet some friends from out-of-town at the Baymont on Brookville rd. I can’t remember if the plan was to be ready at 7:30 or 8:00 am. There was 3 or 4 bikes not counting Diana and my bike, plus a truck and trailer pulling 2 bikes from Ohio. After a few wake up calls from our cell phones and the front desk, the party animals got up and started looking for the shower shoe that one of them had left in the lobby the night before. Regardless of the lost flip-flop we were late and Diana was getting a little antsy as was I. So off to a late start but all was good and 740 miles and 1 rain storm later at around 9:00 pm we arrived in Sioux City Iowa. It rained so hard cars and trucks pulled off the interstate!photo 1 Day 2 on the road bright and early. If you haven’t been west of Des Moines Iowa you should know that 88 or 87 octane fuel is all you can get so take some octane boost if you need to. What ever you do when the group stops for fuel do not refuse to put 88 octane in your bike, Greg! You have no choice! Or you can refuse so everybody can stop at the next exit and ride 8 miles off the interstate looking for better fuel only to discover that that’s it just like you were told 88 octane. Anyway glad we could satisfy your doubt in our experience, Greg! Off we go let’s get to Sturgis. Diana was riding like a champ and before you know it we are at the Worlds Smallest Biker Bar in New Underwood South Dakota just east of Sturgis. 300561_2241300923350_2083092935_n        409665_239973176074599_461961214_n      378962_239975052741078_642635590_n Soon after that we split off from Diana. She was going to stay in Custer while we stayed at the Buffalo Chip. After a couple of days we met up with Diana. Diana was overwhelmed by the Blackhills scenery and atmosphere in and around Sturgis. Diana told me she had been to many rallies around Daytona and Myrtle Beech and that she would never have to go back that she would come to Sturgis from now on. Diana never worried about riding that far again and when it was time to head back home I could not have had a better riding partner all the way back to Indy. So stop making excuses and let’s ride! 

Stay tuned for my 2010 Sturgis Rally adventure and the people I met.

Categories: Harley Davidson, Sturgis, Trip Planning | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

You never know what is down the road if you don’t keep going.

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Carla and I had always wanted to go out west so in 2009 we planned a trip to Yellowstone National Park. I guess that automatically makes me the Road Captain.

I had two weeks vacation and Carla was as excited as I was about the adventure. My 2008 Road King Classic was good and broke in. I think I had ridden over 6500 miles before the trip. Some idiot had tried to steal my bike earlier so the ignition and some other cosmetic trim around the fork lock that was replaced along with some paint repair to the tank.

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Two guys that I work with wanted to go along for the ride and they where welcome to join us, they had no idea what they where in for. Paul road a Gold Wing and Marco had limited experience on his new Ultra.

The day we have waited for finally arrived Saturday morning in August and time to mount up and meet the others. The plan was to meet at  a McDonald’s at 8:00am for a quick breakfast then head west. Off to McDonald’s we go Carla and I that is. We ordered some food and started eating, no sign of the other two guys. about the time I finished my breakfast I started to think that Paul and Marco had wimped out and I had better call to see. Paul and Marco wanted to know where I was at because they were waiting on me at McDonald’s. Good way to start a 4000 mile road trip we can’t even coordinate a meeting place 5 miles from home. They went to a different McDonald’s down the road a few blocks. After that first mistake we got our stuff together and pointed the bikes west and headed out.

This would be the first of our annual heading west trips. I wasn’t sure what to expect but if I had learned anything from 14 years in the Army was be ready for anything, so when I packed a small umbrella in the bike my wife thought I was crazy, after all how could you ride and hold an umbrella?

Day two that umbrella would come into use, we had left Des Moines, Iowa that morning and the sky was getting darker and darker. Paul my “Gold Wing buddy” had complained about ridding behind me and hearing my pipes all day the day before so I said: Paul why don’t you get up front and lead just stay on interstate 80 and head west. I forgot to tell him to stop before it started raining otherwise the rain suits don’t really do any good if there in the saddle bag when you ride into the rain. The last sign I saw said next rest area 34 miles, as the lightning flashed and the thunder roared but Paul kept a steady 70 MPH heading directly into the storm. Bam just like that it started raining and with no overpasses in sight and the next rest area at least 30 miles away we found a truck weigh station to pull off and put on rain gear then the wind started and the rain increased we stood next to a semi trailer for shelter and that umbrella did help a little with the sideways rain we stood in.

One thing you have to remember when you take a bike trip like this. You will be outside for the next two weeks with some small intermissions of indoor comforts. You have to understand that to get 500 miles down the road you have to be on the road and rolling. This is when the outdoor part comes in. I know but you would be surprised how some people think, if it rains i will just stop and wait.

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I prefer to get down the road.

After all isn’t that the point of a road trip.

Nebraska is a long state to travel across from east to west. I recommend that you stop and take in some sights along the way Gothenburg is home to the original Pony Express station.smallbike

the Sam Macchette station, in Ehmen Park, just 2 miles north of I-80. The station in the park was used as a fur trading post / ranch house along the Oregon Trail southwest of Gothenburg before it was used as a Pony Express station in 1860-61. It was moved from its original site and rebuilt in Ehmen Park in 1931. After the Pony Express we ventured N/W on Highway 26 towards Casper for the night. Along the way before leaving Nebraska we had to take a small detour to take in the Historic Chimney Rock National Monument.

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http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/scotts_bluff/chimney_rock.html The link will take you to the National Parks Service website for more information on Chimney Rock.  After quick look around and getting an education about the pioneer travelers that traveled through this are and their way of life it was off to Casper.

While in Casper Carla and I woke up before sunrise so that we could watch a Wyoming sunrise on our first visit to the state of Wyoming. Behind the hotel was a large hill small mountain with a building sitting on top. Looked like a good place to get some pictures and take a look at our surrounding. The building is the Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

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After a nice breakfast and some map recon. This is what us old military guys call looking at a map. I discovered a place noted on the local Wyoming map I had picked up at the hotel, Called Hells Half Acre.

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DSCN0197Hells Half Acre

Hells Half Acre is a lost and forgotten abandoned restaurant and tourist stop. Wiki says the following

Hell’s Half Acre is a large scarp located about 40 miles (64 km) west of Casper, Wyoming on US 20/26. Encompassing 320 acres (1.3 km2), this geologic oddity is composed of deep ravines, caves, rock formations and hard-packed eroded earth. Hell’s Half Acre was used as the scene for the fictional planet of Klendathu in the movie Starship Troopers.

The place was known as “The Devil’s Kitchen”, “The Pits of Hades”, and “The Baby Grand Canyon” until a cowhand appeared and thought he was at Hell’s Half Acre, an area southwest of Casper full of alkali and bogs.

Native American tribes used the ravines to drive bison to their death during their hunts.

As of December 2005, the roadside restaurant and motel/campground sitting atop the ravine were closed. The motel and the abandoned restaurant have since been torn down.

Continued on our way on 20/26 through Shoshoni Wyoming turning north on 20 up the beautiful Wind River Canyon.

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Wyoming does a good job of placing road side information signs for you to enjoy and learn about the history and geology of the area.

In Thermopolis we jumped on 120 towards Cody Wyoming. Make sure you get fuel in Thermopolis. Butler Motorcycle Maps list 120 as a Lost Highway. http://www.butlermaps.com the Lost Highway designation from Butler Motorcycle Maps ” Beyond high mountain passes and plunging canyons are roads that reach out to the horizon and the unknown beyond. The faded paint of a center line, the crumbling shoulder is all that remains of these byways that seem lost in time. Void of the trappings of modern life, they provide a motorcycling experience as unique as the untouched landscapes they divide.”

I did not have a Butler Motorcycle Map during this trip in 2009 but I own several now.

We had a house we rented through Cody Lodging Company http://www.codylodgingcompany.com The house was nice and affordable for the 5 of us and would be our jump off point for the next three days exploring the Yellowstone area and the endless miles of mountain roads. Chief Joseph Highway, Crandell Road, Beartooth Highway. don’t over look Cody itself has a Rodeo and a Gun Fight every night.

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The road from Cody to the East Entrance of Yellowstone is said to be the 50 most beautiful miles in America. There is some amazing scenery and you feel that civilization is behind you and you are a very small part of this huge landscape. Signs warn you of bear activity and remind you not to be careless with food handling and storage in this part of the country.

This is when I realized that the big bag of home-made beef jerky I had in my saddle bag might not be a good idea. I thought what if we break down and a bear comes?

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When we stopped at Buffalo Bill Dam and reservoir I asked everyone if they wanted the jerky and I did not get one taker after seeing the warning signs I couldn’t give it away.

Trafic was starting to build as we approached the gate to Yellowstone, so I stayed in line on the bike and let Carla run over for the must have photo.

DSCN0273 Yellowstone can be overwhelming with so many choices of what sights to see, where to go. The vastness of Yellowstone is not just the square miles but the entirety of the landscape so much that the park has its own weather systems develop and dissipate within the park. That means you don’t just look at the local weather forecast that says its going to be 75 and sunny all day and head out in a t-shirt to explore Yellowstone. The weather will change and can change drastically and quickly, be prepared. I had given out a shirt to one of the guys and gloves to the other, lucky for them I was prepared.

We chose to see Old Faithful Geyser. How can you go to Yellowstone and not see Old Faithful?

The lodge and the Huckleberry ice cream are must see and do as well.

Old Faithful itself wasn’t as much of a thrill as I was expecting, but knowing that it goes on a some what regular basis and has been since recorded time it is the most famous of all geysers makes it a must see.

From there head over to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Work your way around Yellowstone Lake. This is a huge lake and is deceiving as to how long it takes to get to the other side, plus stopping to check out the super heated water coming up from beneath the lake to the surface. It is said that you can catch a fish in the lake and swing your pole around and dip the fish back into the water near one of the super heated boils and cook that fish with out ever taking it off your line.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the lower falls are must see spots.

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I can not describe the experience that you take away from Yellowstone, it is humbling to say the least and spiritual. When you hear people over using the word awesome describing their new bike or the new pair of hooker shoes that one chick just bought. You know they have never been to Yellowstone or they would know what awesome truly was about.

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and the Beartooth where next on the to do list. Going North West out of Cody on 120 to 296 Chief Joseph is one of my favorite roads I have ever ridden. http://www.wyomingtourism.org/things-to-do/detail/Chief-Joseph-Scenic-Byway/7333 The Beartooth is not to be taking lightly. You will be traveling above the tree line and varying road conditions as well as weather issues. When we started the day it was nice and comfortable by the top of the Beartooth it was freezing rain and cold. Some time the best part of these adventures is after you have survived and can look back and remember the challenges of the adventure. Enjoy the photos. The following link is for the Beartooth. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/states/WY

 

The Yellowstone and Cody area  are great motorcycle destinations and I have and will be back again.

Leaving the Cody Wyoming area we headed east on ALT 14 through Powell and Lovell. Crossing Bighorn Lake in the Bighorn Basin. http://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/bighorn-basin-wyoming Up and over the Bighorn Mountains past Medicine Wheel ancient Indian spiritual site. Through Burgess Junction, and down into the vast open north central Wyoming to interstate 90 into Sheridan and on towards Sturgis South Dakota, not for the rally but the week after.

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We had our sites set on seeing Devils Tower on the way into Spearfish, South Dakota for the night.

We arrived at Devils tower late in the afternoon and took time to take some photos and grab a snack and some ice cream. A nice woman at the snack place said “be careful going into Spearfish the deer come out this time of the day” and soon as we left I shifted into 4th gear, out popped a deer in front of me. Not to worry we slowed in time for Bambi to move on and we did too.

After a good pizza buffet and a cold brew we returned to the hotel and sat outside and watched the sun set and enjoyed a couple more cold ones, we had covered a lot of mile for the day. The hotel had some nice rocking chairs to sit in and were to much for Marco to handle. Rolling on the ground and not spilling a drop of beer after being bucked off the rocker. This was not the first time Marco had rolled on the ground during the trip.IMG_0061 IMG_0110

Marco was a trooper and managed to not notice the gun fight in Cody but he noticed a saloon girl.

The Sturgis area is not just a place for a huge party known as The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, but for Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument and the Black Hills. We would go onto explore Custer National Park, Iron Mountain rd. and the Bad Lands.

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After leaving Mount Rushmore and heading back towards Rapid City our luck ran out and the rain came in buckets, Paul and I pulled off at an Applebees to eat and Marco kept rolling towards Spearfish to the hotel. After eating and drying out for a little bit the rain let up and we met Marco back in Spearfish.

It was finally time to head back to Indiana and reality.

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