Author Topic: Last big tour? (NGC)  (Read 775 times)

Offline Motormike

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Last big tour? (NGC)
« on: June 27, 2021, 07:44:09 PM »
Rode the r1200gs from Tennessee to the west coast and back. Solo. 6735 miles total over 23 days on the road.  My third and most likely last time I do that.  Thought I'd post some pics for anyone interested.
Old railroad bridge in Little Rock is now a pedestrian walkway:



Thomas Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford, OK.  A worthwhile stop that I've been meaning to do every time I ride by it on I-40.



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New Mexico Hwy 104 from Tucumcari to Las Vegas.



The old Plaza Hotel on the square in Las Vegas, NM.  Spent two nights here.



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Monument Valley.  The only bust of the whole trip was my overpriced stay at Gouldings "Lodge."  I was in a room adjoining a car wash!  Maybe they were trying to tell me something?



Did the Moki Dugway.  That's been on my bucket list for a while, even though it's only three miles of gravel.  Being by myself, I almost chicken out.  I rode it early in the morning and didn't see another soul.  Had I dropped the bike, it might have been a long wait if I'd been hurt. 


i
Hite overlook in Utah



Utah Hwy 12 near Bryce Canyon.



Rode through Zion National Park, but no pictures.  It was bumper to bumper with traffic.  The downside of taking a trip in June.  In doing so, I broke one of my Never Ever rules which say never take a trip durning the busy summer months of June through August.  Oh well,  this time it was June or never.  To keep my wife happy  :angel: I had to meet her for three days in the other Las Vegas  :rolleyes:  Thats where the heat wave started.  I saw 105 degrees sitting at a stop light on the Vegas strip.  Brutal! We stayed at the Paris Casino hotel.  It too, was packed wall to wall with people. 



After seeing the wife off at the airport, I rode north out of Lost Wages.  Tremendous cross-winds on US95, along with several dust storms.  The GS handled it better than I did.  Neck and shoulder muscles were killing me for hours afterwards. Took Hwy 120 past Mono Lake and US 395 north to Bridgeport for two nights.



The Bridgeport Inn.  The rooms aren't much to brag about, but the bar and restaurant are great.






Spent two days riding all the major Serra Mountain passes: Monitor, Ebbetts, Carson, Sonora and Tioga (Yosemite NP). Another bucket-list item checked off.  Ebbetts is incredible.



Half Dome from Olmsted Point in Yosemite



More to come!  Hope I'm not boring anyone to tears with my "what I did on my Summer Vacation" stuff.





« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 07:50:59 PM by Motormike »

Offline moto

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2021, 08:14:05 PM »

...

Monument Valley.  The only bust of the whole trip was my overpriced stay at Gouldings "Lodge."  I was in a room adjoining a car wash!  Maybe they were trying to tell me something?




...
More to come!  Hope I'm not boring anyone to tears with my "what I did on my Summer Vacation" stuff.

Wow! Nice trip.

FWIW, I just took my son down to Monument Valley last week by car, and stayed at the View Hotel, not far from Goulding's, in the Navaho Nation. Incredible unobstructed view. Pricey too.

I wish I had your stamina! Keep the photos coming.

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« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 09:09:53 PM by moto »
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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2021, 08:22:01 PM »
Great trip Mike and great post!!

Offline JJ

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2021, 09:36:47 PM »
Great trip Mike and great post!!

Agreed!!  "Riding Is Living!!"  Thanks for sharing! :thumb: :bow: :cool: :boozing: :wink: :smiley:
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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2021, 09:36:47 PM »

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2021, 09:38:48 PM »
More pics!! Sounds like a great trip. 
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Offline Motormike

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2021, 09:55:37 PM »
Well, where was I?  Oh, yes...riding through Yosimite National Park.  I rode down into the valley, but like Zion, it was massively crowded.  An interesting aside, riding in as I did through the east gate, around 8 am, there was one car in front of me at the entrance.  When I rode out the west gate around 3 pm, the line of cars waiting to get in stretched west for 2 miles!  :shocked:  Keep that in mind if you ever want to visit.  Another bucket list ride was CA 49, between Coulterville and Mariposa.  Take a look at it on a map, and you'll understand why California riders call it "The Little Dragon." My photo doesn't do it justice.



After that it was a fast ride across the San Joaquin Valley and onto the coast to Monterey, where I'd spend a couple of days riding and sightseeing.



By the way, once in Monterey, I needed to do laundry so I found a Laundromat.  Now I know why there are so many homeless in California...they all went broke doing their laundry.  One load, ONE LOAD cost $10.00!! :shocked: And yes, the machine took credit cards.  Only in California, as they say.  The second day I spent riding around Hwy 1 and up to Alice's Restaurant for lunch. Lot's of bikes and high-end cars.






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But none higher-end than this little jewel that was rumbling through the streets of Monterey, setting off every car alarm for blocks around.



From there I rode north around the Oakland side of the bay and back out to the coast.  I did a little riding through the Marin Headlands and went inland to Calistoga for lunch.



Then I did what was undoubtedly the most foolish part of the trip.  I'd planed much of my route using Garmin Basecamp.  Now a Garmin will kill you if you let it.  I planed a route up to Clearlake and then south through an area called the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.  I'm riding along an area totally remote and completely burned out by wild fires.  Not a structure, ranch , vehicle or person for miles.  The road is pretty sketchy, but ok.  Then I come to a sign, "Unimproved Road, Next 20 miles."  Riding alone, I should have turned around, but I thought, "How bad can it be?"  Pretty damned bad, let me tell you.  It was paved, if you consider huge pot-holes, heaves, patches, and completely washed out areas a road.  For 20 miles I rode standing on the pegs, in first and second gear.  Not another vehicle came by.  At one point I stopped, thinking, if the bike breaks now, or if I drop it and get hurt, then what?  I'd been carrying water on the bike, but now didn't even have that!  Obviously I made it, but it was a dumb thing for a 65 year old man with zero dirt bike experience to do. The pictures are actually the better parts, where I could stop and not worry about my footing.






After a boring night in Sacramento, it was time to just put in the interstate miles east.  But not before one last scenic detour around Lake Tahoe.



After that it was onto I-80 and a long, boring interstate ride home.  There was one last thing I wanted to do. My wife and I love the song, "I've Been Everywhere" sung by Johnny Cash.  So I stopped for breakfast at the Griddle in Winnemucca, NV (highly recommended, by the way) On the way out, I noticed a woman standing in the parking lot looking at all the travel stickers on my bike's saddlebags.  She looked up at me and said, "You've been everywhere, man!"  We both got a laugh out of that.  I said, "Not everywhere, but I'm working on it!"  :grin:




It's not even dusty anymore! :wink:
 





« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 10:08:30 PM by Motormike »

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2021, 10:21:45 PM »
Beauty, thanks for posting that!
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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2021, 10:36:17 PM »
This is such a gutsy thing to do mike, Iím in awe of the audacity it took to take on an adventure like this and at any age I may add 👍

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2021, 11:12:30 PM »
Great ride report - thanks for sharing.

Now, say it isnít so. Sounds to me like youíve got a few more of these adventures left in you. Certainly your GS does.
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Offline tazio

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2021, 04:35:02 AM »
Dreams are sweet, but DOING IT ?!
Go man, go!! :bow:
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Offline ToddK

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2021, 05:23:52 AM »
We sure do live in a beautiful country, and what a way to explore it! Impressive, to say the least. Thanks for sharing!

Offline grebmrof

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2021, 05:54:51 AM »
Wow!  Thanks for taking us along...
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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2021, 06:10:32 AM »
Attaboy, Mike.. :thumb: Thanks.
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Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2021, 06:11:58 AM »
Awesome Mike.   :bike-037:

I tell my wife that if I Retire with a "please retire" bonus, I'm going to load two bikes in the trailer and hit the road finishing out the top 100 motorcycle rides in the US and not come home until the money is gone.   :thumb:
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Offline Motormike

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2021, 09:05:15 AM »
It was truly a great ride I've wanted to do for several years now.  Only rain I had was on the second day from Little Rock to the Oklahoma state line.  The heat in Nevada and Utah turned out to be a far bigger problem for me.  Like I said, May would have been a better time to travel instead of June. The temperature extremes were really something.  From 105 degrees in Las Vegas, the next morning I awoke to 28 degrees in Bridgeport, CA!  Riding out is always exciting, riding back is always a slog.  I was astounded at how much more traffic I-70 carries than I-40.  I-40, once you cross the Mississippi, traffic gets lighter the farther west you go.  I-70? Crazy levels of traffic from Utah all the way to Denver.  I'd never ridden I-70 up and over Vail pass.  At one point, the east-bound lanes I was using wind along next to the Eagle River, while the west-bound lanes are far above your head on elevated supports.  Reaching over 11,000 feet at the Eisenhower tunnel, it's an impressive engineering achevement.  When I tell people I'm going to ride 2000 miles or whatever, they always say, "I could never do that."  So I ask, "do you think you could ride 400 miles?" And they say, "Sure!"   So I tell them "so just ride 400 miles five times, and you're there!"  Riding out I deliberatly kept my milage lower.  My longest day was the first to Little Rock, about 435 miles.  When I was in my 40's and early 50's I could knock out 600+ mile days (still no iron-butt rider) but not anymore.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 09:07:40 AM by Motormike »

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2021, 02:30:03 PM »
Yep, me too. Long days in the saddle are no longer as easy for me as they once were.

Itís possible you were referencing Glenwood Canyon when you mentioned the elevated roadway on I-70. If so, thatís the Colorado River, not the Eagle River. Opened in 1992 at a cost of nearly $500 million, the 12-mile stretch was an engineering feat and the final leg of I-70 to be completed. It symbolized the completion of the original US highway system.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 02:31:31 PM by LongRanger »
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Offline Motormike

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2021, 03:54:06 PM »
Yes, that's the stretch I was referring to.  Pretty amazing to see the river on your immediate right and then see the west-bound lanes high above you on the left!  The pavement through Vail is pretty beat up by the weather and truck traffic ... long overdue for re-surfacing.  On my ride out I hit very few construction delays.  On the way back, they were a constant nuisance. Admittedly, once past Tucumcari, I was off the interstate for good until I reached Reno, then it was Four-lanes all the way back.  Not my preferred method of travel, but I needed to get back home. 

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2021, 04:13:30 PM »
Nothing like a motorcycle adventure and pictures to prove it, good for you man !!!
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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2021, 04:49:54 AM »
Looks like a blast Mike!   :bike-037:

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2021, 06:32:21 AM »
One great ride!  Thanks for the wonderful writeup and all the pics.

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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2021, 07:29:49 AM »
Quote
I-70?
Of all the interstates I hate..70 is the winner.  :smiley: Just say no.
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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2021, 08:14:22 AM »
Congratulations for making the trip and getting home in 1 piece. Getting the itch to ride out West again. Last time was, oh jeez, 2001. Thanks for all the pics!

Offline Motormike

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2021, 02:26:18 PM »
Southern Utah is truly incredible country to ride through.  hwy 95 to Hanksville, Hwy 24 through Capitol Reef NP, and then Hwy. 12 through Boulder, the Hogs Back, and Bryce Canyon.  Jaw Dropping scenery...I can't recommend it highly enough. 



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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2021, 04:05:30 PM »
Hereís the hog back on US 12. Good stuff.


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Offline Motormike

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2021, 05:37:14 PM »
yes, a fantastic road!  Lightly traveled, too.  Here's a shot from the overlook:




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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2021, 07:28:25 PM »
You hit some fantastic places on your ride.  :bow:

When I was a kid we would go camping up on Snow Mountain. Getting there was a bit rough, to say the least, but it was worth it. I also recognize Emerald Bay near Truckee, it's a nice walk to get there. I'm also not a stranger to Alice's Restaurant as I used to live in Santa Cruz. :thumb:
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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2021, 08:00:26 PM »
 :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
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Offline Muzz

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Re: Last big tour? (NGC)
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2021, 03:52:59 AM »
Great trip there Mike.

Always enjoy photos of places people in other countries get to in their travels, especially when half the world is still grounded.
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