Sunday, August 9, 2009

The trip by the numbers

Ok gang here is the breakdown of the trip...
15 States 1 Province
4980 Round trip Miles
125 Gallons of gas (38.8MPG)

What I got to see...
· Niagara Falls: Both NY and the Ontario sides
· The 5(6) Great Lakes
· Mackinaw City
· The Mackinac Bridge – Crossed it
· The Michigan Upper Peninsula
· The Painted Lands in North Dakota
· Home on the range—lol
· The entire Bear Tooth Pass
· All of Yellowstone National Park!
o Bison are big and scary when you’re on a motorcycle
o Prairie dogs are very fast
o The cabins and family oriented areas are spectacular
· Old Faithful—truly amazing!
· Cody Wyoming –The Rodeo Capital of the World (or so the sign says)
· Devils Tower –Wyoming (A child hood dream thanks to Close Encounters)
· Mount Rushmore—One place that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
· Sturgis Motorcycle Rally…What a blast!
· Home—A smiling 4yo at the curb is by far the best site of all!

Some observations:
· I rode one of the most comfortable motorcycles I have ever been on: The 2008 Anniversary Edition Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic (FLHTCU).
o The comfort and ease of the controls made it a pleasure to handle.
· Nolan N-Com series helmet
o The Bluetooth module and the “Harley Cord” kept me in communication with my family and truckers on the highway.
o XM Satellite radio—Prime country on channel 17 was fantastic.
§ Now I know what you’re thinking, all this technology isn’t really being a biker—while that might be true—I still rode mine to Sturgis!
· Skype and a net book was helpful for both Diehnee and Jack(and me too)
· Cruiser works boots—the absolutely the best boots I have ever owned. It was like a hand in a glove by the second day. The boots were warm and dry in the worst weather.
· Leathers – A good leather jacket and chaps are worth their weight in gold!
o The denim jacket and polar fleece Henley were perfect for upper 50s lower 60s
A Special Note:
I had a blast both riding and sharing the blog with all of you. I enjoyed my time on the bike, and the most incredible scenery that this amazing country of ours afforded me. To Jeff G., Joe G., Dave P., Dave D. Dave G.,and Eric W. I cannot begin to tell you how much you were missed. The rides we have done in the past are some of my fondest memories. All I can say is this…KEY WEST in 2010!

Thanks to each one of my followers: I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed riding. Thanks again. See you in 2010 for the eastern seaboard trip!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Ride Home

Hi guys,
Sorry I didn't write until now but it was quite a few busy days.
I made it home! 1713 miles from Sturgis to Home.

Day 1, Sturgis to DesMoines Iowa.. 10 hours 650 miles.
Lots of miles on some beautiful roads and the weather held out.

Day 2, DesMoines Iowa to Youngstown Ohio.. 11 hours(12 cause we changed time zones) 718 miles (personal Best by 19 miles)

Day 3, Youngstown Ohio to Home 6 hours 393 Miles

It was truly an amazing ride, So many thoughts and stuff to tell you all. Stay tuned for the final wrap up and pictures...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Devil's Tower to Sturgis

Walking out to the bikes and it's already 72 degrees at 8:30 I'm guessing it's gonna be hot.
Coming over the crest of the hill I can see it, from my childhood days watching Close Encounters I have wanted to see this monument. Movie Screen and TV doesn't do this monument justice. The visitor center is chock full of amazing info on this beautiful site.
Almost 2 hours later we are at yet another amazing monument...Mount Rushmore.
The grounds are incredible, the monument is simply breathtaking. You cant begin to imagine the sheer depth of the work put forth on this memorial until you see it up close.
Leaving the monument heading west on 90 you are completely surrounded by bikes. loud, thunderous amazing bikes.
Coming off the ramp, everywhere you turn is a sign welcoming bikers! Tent cities on peoples front lawns, food vendors as far as the eye can see. Then there is parking, on the main street are bikes nosed in, backed in...thousands of them, not to mention the people. All shapes, sizes, ages and colors. what an awesome site!
I rode mine to Sturgis in 2009!


As I pulled into the North Entrance and was greeted by some friendly rangers, I opted out of my leathers in lieu of the 70+ temps. Ranger Rick says as I am pulling away, "be careful of the bison, they are all over the park and have a mind of thier own. Heeding the warning, I decide that the 45mph was good enough for me.
5 miles into the park, a traffic jam...hmmm wonder what's going on...oh look buffalo! Holy Hamburger Batman....Bison...and they are huge! The are less than 20 feet from my bike as I try to move past slowly, using cars for some cover cause hey ya never know...whew made it, that wasn't so bad.
6pm, after about 3 hours of some spectacular, slow riding I stop and get gas. I look at the map and realize it's another 2 hours just to get to Old Faithful. and another 2 hours out of the park, in the dark with bison and other animals about...hmmm lets see if they have room at the inn.
I arrive at the visitor center to find every kind of shop imaginable, grocery, camping, hunting, fishing, ice cream, gifts, folk name it they had it. It was perfect. They have room! Yea I'm gonna spend they night in Jellystone with Yogi and BooBoo!

The cabins the park service erected in the 1940's and renovated in the 70's to include electricity and H/C running water. Now some would have been upset, no internet, no TV, voice and text only(thanks verizon wireless) and twin beds. To me, I thought it was the best spot in the whole world. Had a great meal, read my book and called it an early night.

The next morning I got an eraly start and rode down to Old Faithful, it was truly incredible. Everything anyone has ever said it true!

The ride out of the park via the East entrance was another sweeping curve infested road. Now while the Blue Ridge Parkway (which I have also ridden) is gorgeous, Yellowstone I would have to say road wise is better.

The rest of the day was long, hot highway miles that put us about 8 miles from Devil's Tower.

Billings to Yellowstone

Hi all,
Back in Billings, you remember Billings, internet, beer, laundry....well I decided to modify the route a bit...well I am soooo glad I did. Highway 212 from Billings to Yellowstone is called Beartooth Pass
I call it the ride to heaven and back. We started out in 50 degree temps (a bit chilly for July) I took no chances and wore full leathers and gloves. With a 2800 foot elevation we didn't think it was gonna get much colder. The road started out with some slow sweeping curves, not a lot of elevation but plenty of beautiful sites.
In a matter of minutes the altimeter on my GPS started to climb, 4500, 5500, 8000...and the air was not only thin but very cold. 9000 feet is a rest area (pics to follow) breathataking scenery of the valley we just rode.
10,900 feet in the air, 34 degrees and the mist in the air wasn't rain it was the condensation from the cloud we were in. I had climbed to the top of a mountain and all I could see was some of the most heavenly sites I have ever witnessed. the sheer silence at the summit was amazing.
The ride down was just as incredible.
I truly felt like I got to touch heaven....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

spotty internet

Hi all! So much to tell we are alive and well near devils tower Wyoming. Internet service is spotty when I get into Sturgis I will update the blog with the ride to heaven
Thanks for following!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 5

Ok not to bad mouth or discourage anyone from visiting North Dakota but the hours upon hours and mile upon mile I don't have that many positive things to say. Lower 40's, wind and rain the first day, dark threatening clouds, lower 50's and the wind....not nice at all. Now in all fairness it may have been a storm system...NOT!
Now I will admit The Painted Lands 2900ft above sea level was breathtaking but that's about all the good I saw in ND

Welcome to Montana...
75 and Sunny. Next to no wind and clear skies made big sky country a pleasure to ride through.
Some amazing rock formations and green pastures...are just incredible.
Originally we were going to head Northwest and ride through Glacier Lake on the Idaho line but with the storms we encountered it pushed us back by almost 3 hours. While I can make up the time I decided to regroup and take a slower ride through all of Yellowstone National Park...yup you guessed it another photo op!

I have managed to get the Kodak software working hopefully by tomorrow night I will have some pics ready to be uploaded.

Thanks for following...cya tomorrow (with pics I hope)