Some of you know I take at least a trip a year with my best bud from Atlanta. We been doing this for over 20 years. For the 2nd year in a row we've had to knock it off early due to family issues. Last year it was his dad's health, and this year I lost a brother in law while on the trip.
On to the report and pics:
Days - 7 (we had planned on 11)
GPS logged mileage - 3,266
Odo mileage from bike - 3,420
Kentucky (hey, I live there but it still counts)
Things I learned:
There's a lot of Hooters to eat at.
People tend to migrate to loaded motorcycles when you're stopped. They ask where you're going, where you've been, where you're from, and the main thing was how to get somewhere. I spent a lot of time pulling out the atlas and using the GPS to give people directions.
The interstates in southern Minnesota are freeze bulged terribly.
South Dakota has some beautiful roads and some great scenery.
There ain't **** in Wyoming.
The Rocky Mountains are cool.
The states with the worst wind are Arkansas and Texas.
The worst bugs were Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota.
Illinois toll roads suck. Stay away from Chicago. I knew better since I've been there a few times. Stop and pay a $.15 cent toll, ride on crappy roads, stop and pay a $1.50
toll, repeat every four miles until you're totally pissed while moving at 20 MPH on a Saturday.
You can haul ass out west and nobody cares.
A fairly new BMW will need oil in Denver after hauling ass out west.
A cramp buster and a Corbin saddle are your friend.
Although I only had to use it coming out of Denver, one of the Aerostich slip-on finger squeege things is pretty handy.
A 9er can run at 100 MPH loaded for an entire tank and not miss a beat.
Metzler Roadtec tires can make this trip and come home looking like they did when they left. Never had to add air. The bike and tires performed flawlessly.
The starting mileage on the odometer. The bike now has 18,914:
A really busy multibike dealer on a Saturday. I think this was in Wisconsin:
The 50 foot tall Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, MN. Notice the people standing between his legs for height reference. Shortly after this we passed the Spam museum:
784 miles the first day. Spent the night in Fairmont, MN. Woke up the next morning and took this pic of the parking lot next door. The signs to the left of the truck and to the right of the van says "No parking between these signs."
There used to be Sinclair stations around Louisville when I was a kid. Hadn't seen one in years and didn't know they were still in business:
There's some open country in these here parts:
Lots of open country:
The Badlands. This place is fascinating. Parts of it don't even look real:
We stopped in Wall, South Dakota. The drug store is like "See Rock City" of the west. Signs everywhere. It's actually a pretty neat little town. Ate at the Badlands Bar and toured the town for awhile. This is my buddy. His wife is a multi-millionaire, that's why he's smiling.
These guys were stoned. I saw a booger in Abe's nose:
They got one of these for every state on columns at the entrance:
We spent the night at Hot Springs, SD. Had to bluff a buffalo nose to headlight to get past him about 10 miles out of town. Hot Springs is pretty nice, but they roll up the carpet at 9PM.
Trucked through Wyoming the next day to Denver. Man, is Wyoming a desolate state. Miles and miles of telephone lines and no one to answer the phone. Had these weird fences leaning at a 45 degree angle on the western side of the road that ran for miles (like 25 - 30 miles at a time). We were later told they were to stop the snow drifts.
Got to Denver and planned on hubbing out of there for a few days. Wanted to ride the Rocky Mountains and some of the local roads. That's when I found out my brother in law had passed away. My sister lives in Houston, so we decided to move on to Amarillo, Texas the next day. That would put me within 600 miles of Houston if I had to make the run.
They had lived in Memphis and Tampa, and since my brother in law wanted to be cremated and that would allow flexible planning for people to arrange to get to Houston, she decided to hold a ceremony the following weekend (this coming Friday), so we turned east and headed out. Hooked up with Route 66 along the way:
We saw these windmills through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas and Arkansas. They would sometimes stretch out for miles. Easy to understand given the wind we fought at times:
There were a lot of smaller irrigation windmills that would feed water to farms, or feed troughs for cattle to drink from.
The Pyramid at Memphis. Our origianl route would have brought us back through Kansas and Missouri. I wanted to stop at the geohraphical center of the lower 48 states located in Kansas, and my buddy had never been up in the arch in St. Louis so we were going to hit that. The run to Texas has us rerouting a bit:
We routed to the Natchez Trace for awhile. IMO, not as nice as the Blue Ridge Parkway, but still a nice ride:
The GPS rolling over 3000 miles:
I'll leave you with one more. Notice the snow on the Rocky Mountains in the reflection:
All in all it was a great trip. I obviously wish I could have spent a few days around the Rockies, Denver and Pueblo. Some other time.
Spent a whole day cleaning the bike, cleaning the chain (which I did lube every 500 miles thank you), and changing the oil/filter. I didn't clean a thing on the bike while gone. It was absolutely the nastiest motorcycle I have ever owned. It's all good now though.
Hope you enjoyed.