USA Tour: August 14 to September 7, 2017

As with all my adventures I have to add the final map and speedometer reading:

And here is the map of the ride.  Phew…

Memorable moments day by day:

Day 1:  Moving past my fear and actually leaving to meet Matt in Flagstaff AZ

Day 2: Matt and I on our way to meet up with the SOHC-4 crowd at our 1st Family Reunion.  Oh, and no oil leak at this point

Day 3: Meeting the SOHC-4 family in Dolores Colorado and drinking Georgia moonshine!

Day 4: A wonderful ride to meet up with Joanne in Pueblo, CO

Day 5: Midway USA Kansas (even though I was in Kansas)

Day 6: I survived the mosquito’s-I can’t even tell you how awful they were

Day 7: An early morning thunder storm and finally with my gypsies in Indiana

Day 8: The solar eclipse, a light rain, and a day of rest

Day 9: The Indiana Caverns, more thunder, and singing with my Troubadours of Divine Bliss

 

Day 10: Riding the Red River Gorge

Day 11: I was tempted to stop the trip, but with encouragement from friends, I kept on to see the Goose in Hazard Kentucky

Day 12: Blue Ridge Parkway (see you again either in 2018 or 2019) and the Luray, Caverns in Virginia

Day 13: Lovely roads into New Jersey and time spent with my brother and his family.

Day 14: Visiting with my Aunt Dora and not dropping the bike in her gravel driveway.  The most memorable meal in Phillipsburg with my adopted family the Falks.  I have a lot of adopted families!

Day 15: Day of sight seeing where I got to see how my home town has changed.  A bittersweet day actually

Day 16: My craft kitty purchased in Seneca NY

Day 17: Wonderful roads and finally some water to look at during the ride through Cleveland

Day 18: Peoria IL and Vanna!

Day 19: Casey IL the home of everything big

Day 20: Route 66 and the Mule Trading Post in Rolla, MO

Day 21: Those darned spider web nests in Arkansas.  What are they anyhow?

Day 22: A super nice, lonely guy just outside of Lubbock TX, gives me some lucky Buddhas for my journey

Day 23: The ever climbing road to Cloudcroft (82W) in New Mexico.  Surprisingly not “The Thing” which was the point of the route for the day

Day 24: Following my shadow from Tucson AZ to California and Rick’s house

Day 25: A safe and successful journey home and my ocean

All in all, traveling across the USA on a 41 year old motorcycle…

Scratch it off the bucket list!

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By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 25: 162 miles. 215N to 210W to 118W to 101N and HOME!

Grand Terrace CA to Carpinteria CA

TOTAL MILES = 7,420

My final day on the road and I was getting antsy to get home.  Left Rick’s house early and he snapped a picture of me, as he said, “on the last leg of her epic journey.”

The ride home was pretty uneventful with the exception of the usual traffic.  Thank heavens for carpool lanes.  With every mile I knew I was closer and closer to my ocean and then it appeared.

Tomorrow Dash gets a thorough degreasing and cleaning.  Tonight me and the kitties get reacquainted.  Blusey has been following me all around and crying.

I did get all the stickers on Dash, finally, that fairing is getting pretty busy–and this is just from the USA Tour.

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 24: 452 very hot miles. 10W

Tucson AZ to Grand Terrace CA

And when I say hot I mean bowels of hell hot. 

I knew it would be so I left at 6am (the earliest time where the sun was up- I don’t ride at dawn as a rule). Here was an early morning picture at 6am and it was already 71 degrees 

At 9:30 am it was 94 degrees. By 11am it was 101 degrees. When I stopped for the day in Grand Terrace CA it was back to 94 degrees 

Basically I followed my shadow for over 400 miles 

It was monotonous and sweltering but once I saw my beloved California I was overjoyed.  

I spotted a train which always reminds me of a circus train so I had to take a picture plus I had to break the monotony of the ride by doing something…anything 

Just as I was 30+ minutes from my destination a California traffic jam appeared. I split lanes for about 3 miles (luckily it is legal to do that in CA) and then I had just about enough so I went to the inside emergency lane for a few miles and took my chances on getting a ticket. Once I saw the end I merged and found out a truck had lost haybales on the freeway. The funny thing was they were trying to sweep it up in the Riverside CA wind. What an exercise in futility. They needed a vacuum cleaner from the vacuum cleaner museum. They are probably still there trying to reign in the hay. 

Tomorrow home and the end of my most fabulous adventure. I cannot wait to be in my house again with my stuff and my sweet kitties. Hopefully they won’t be too mad at me.

For tonight I get to hang out with Rick and eat Mexican and drink and watch a bad but great movie!!!

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 23: 478 miles. 82W to 54W to 10W

Artesia NM to Tucson AZ

I fixed my Sena so pictures are back on the table. Take that Mercury! 

The day started out very temperate then I started climbing in elevation. Dash doesn’t mind anything 6,000 feet or below but above that he gets a bit testy.  We ended up at 8,668 feet much to our surprise. But it was a lovely ride getting there on the 82 W.  Finally some nice curves much like the Blue Ridge Parkway

Once at the top Dash wanted to be a part of the train so he just pulled right in and soon he was part of the Cloudcroft Express

On the way  down and through New Mexico the weather was great and the scenery interesting. 

I knew, however, it would not last especially once I got to the 10W. My goal was to finally see “The Thing”.  Signs taunted me (I was in each of those places)

But before I got there I found a tunnel (my favorites). Here it is off in the distance 

And once inside (far less scary than the one Renee sent me through. Ha ha )

 But finally, through the heat and the humidity, I arrived at “The Thing”

Was this The Thing?


No, but it was super cute. I want one for my very own. 

Here is The Thing!  Not much to say, on either of our parts. 


After the ritual of paper toweling Dash’s left side fins we took off for Tucson.  On my way the rocks got progressively larger. These weren’t even the largest of the bunch. 


Tomorrow I leave bright and early to escape the eventual heat and get to California.  There’s no place like home 

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 22: 432 miles.  287 N to FM104W to 70W to FM193 S to 83W to FM2196 to 82 W

Wichita Springs TX to Artesia NM. 

First I have to say that Texas killed my Sena.  Bright and early it just would not work. Oh well, I blame Mercury.  Hopefully I can get it fixed but if not at least the scenery sucks so nothing lost.  

I do wish it had worked on the FM 104W as it was like wild kingdom in 3D. First a bobcat or coyote ran in front of me then reversed course and ran back from whence it came. Then a series of road runners darted all over. They are so pretty. Then four deer kept pace with me only to have two dart into my lane (but I was ready for it and got out of the way) while the other two stayed on their side. But the two that crossed leapt over the barbed wire fence like ballerinas, so effortless. Then somehow a cow got on the road side of the barbed wire. We scared each other.  

This is Texas.  Urban sprawl and desolation. 


This is also Texas. Apparently someone gave the kid a burnt umber crayon and there you have it 


As always I have to stop to put in new paper towels to attempt to curb the oil spraying everywhere.  While doing so (about 30 miles East of Lubbock) a guy was loitering about and we struck up a conversation about Dash of course.  He asked if he could take a picture and told me whenever a car or motorcycle that is unique comes through he takes pictures. I asked him why he was standing around in 91 degree weather and he said he was taking a walk I looked at him quizzically and he then explained he was getting a Red Box but the machine was broken. He then told me about himself and CA and Lubbock TX.  He was chatty. A bug the size of my big toe crawled by me and I shrieked. Those bugs are scary. After 20 minutes my new friend gave me a parting gift as he said he doesn’t believe in Buddha “stuff” but maybe I did and I would need luck for the rest of my journey. 


I thanked him and when I turned around to talk to him again he was gone. I never even got his name. What a nice guy. 

Tomorrow off to Arizona and The Thing!

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 21: 388 miles. 412W to 69S to 7W to 22W to 177 to 35 to 70

Springdale AK to Wichita Texas

The day started out in the mid-60s and ended at 94 degrees. Dash is doing so well. I keep telling him only 4 more days total.  

I went from Arkansas to Oklahoma and ended in Texas. Let’s just say that Oklahoma looks just like Kansas except instead of an almond beige crayon someone colored the edges in with Forest Green.


 Also, roughly 90% of the motorcyclists I saw were riding a Can-Am (otherwise called a motorized tricycle). It was pretty surprising. 
Here was a bridge I crossed over after leaving Oklahoma called the Red River bridge. I had just left the Apache reservation. The river looked more muddy than red to me. 


While still in Oklahoma I saw these spider web nests, in the branches of trees, again. They are monstrous. I think they were in Kansas too or maybe it was in Missouri I can’t recall. They remind me of the ending of the Steven King novel\movie “It”


I may be wrong but I think a Can-Am might have been inside one of them. 

Tomorrow I will be somewhere in New Mexico. I have not decided where we will stop. But it will be in NM. What a day!

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 20:  356 miles.  50W to 63 S to 60W to 65S to 86S to 23 S to 12S

Pacific MO  to Springdale AK

The 50w parallels the 66 so lots of roadside stands and Route 66 Memorabilia. I have to say that MO from IL is much nicer than MO via KS. 

Since I was being besieged by Route 66 signs I decided to stop at the Mule Trading Post. What a great store I am glad I didn’t have a car I would have purchased a lot of stuff. As it was I found the cutest little trinket porcelain tray with an owl. Very 70s. Now my yellow kitty has an owl but she is tucked away in my panniers so she doesn’t break. 

I want these

The billboards kept me company until I got onto the 63S (which is a nice blue highway). But I digress, on the 50 I learned there is a Cowboy Church and that MO has a vacuum cleaner museum. Who knew?

Once I got off the 63 and onto the 60W there were some serious bugs. It was like being hit with triple dipped chocolate covered cherries. My head actually snapped back each time I was pelted. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to see if this kept up. 

I also finally snapped a picture of those elusive Amish horse and buggies. 

Once Arkansas loomed rock formations began to appear and I rode on such nice roads once I hit the 89 and into Eureka Springs AK. 

Some pictures from the road

Once I got to Eureka Springs it was outrageously crowded. Tons of cars, motorcycles, pedestrians and I truly don’t think they built anything on level ground. But it was a quaint and super hip town filled with history. I soon realized I would not find a hotel room over the Labor Day weekend so I trudged onward to Springdale AK. 

I found a hotel called The Inn at the Mill. 

Here is some history for you Rick. The mill was built in 1835 and during the Civil War Battle at Pea Ridge the Confederate Army and some Cherokees partially burned it to the ground so that the Union Army could not use the gristmill. Apparently this happened a lot between the two armies and unfortunately many civilians starved in the process. In 1867 the mill was rebuilt and the hotel was built in the early 1990’s.  

Overall, a good day today even though I did not get to enjoy Eureka Springs more than I did. Tomorrow off to Oklahoma and Texas. 

So after 5,508 miles I can honestly say this trip has brought out both sides of me!

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 19: 351 miles. 74E to 57S to 133E (I know I am backtracking) to 49S to 40W to 70 W to 44W to 50 W 

Peoria IL to Pacific MO

A very windy day which I was soon to find out was unusual. The locals all told me , at every stop, how rare this was for whatever month this is.  Ha ha 

Here was the bridge as I left Peoria IL

Dash continues to spew oil and though I am trying to stay off of the Interstates the side roads are just as boring.  Each time  I stopped someone came up to me to discuss my bike. Of course I was rolling paper towels into compact joints in my right hand, so I had a lot of time to chat, and the worlds largest screwdriver in my left hand.  One was an ex-trooper who rode motorcycles, another was a group of 3 where one fellow ride from FL and took pity on me and gave me a shop towel for the oil, another guy had about a zillion CBs as a kid and told me all about each of them, and one I’m pretty certain was a meth addict and possibly looking to rob me. Ha ha 
Here is what I saw when off of the interstates 

Here is what I saw when I stopped in Casey IL for the worlds largest chair and chimes

There were knitting needles and shoes and a bird cage too. But the other two were the coolest. 

I then drive in to Missouri, again, and it is still yucky second only to Kansas. Here we are passing into MO 

And here is the welcome to Missouri sign – a bunch of cars and traffic. One guy purposefully cut me off and he is the on!y person in 8 years of riding that I pulled in front of and flipped off. I was so angry at that guy. 

Tomorrow I am off to Eureka Springs AK which my lovely gypsy, Renee, says is amazing. 

With regards to the oil leak I am losing about 8 ounces a day if I ride hard and my OCD tendencies are in overdrive. I am developing belly fat! I have decided that this is the universes way of having me deal with my control issues. Thus, I am going to be zen and accept it. Instead of smelling like Chanel No. 5 I smell like 20\50 weight motor oil. I really do. 

I am working my way back home slowly but sure!y. 

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 18: 462 grueling miles.  23W to 94W (which sucks) to the 30 (Lincoln Hwy) to 57 to 25 to 55S to 74 W

Toledo OH to Peoria IL 

It was one windy, arduous, yucky ride staying away from the rain. I successfully did so by remaining north of it but unfortunately I decided to avoid the toll roads (and take the 94) and instead decided to see Michigan.  

My route took me from Ohio to Michigan, to Indiana, to Illinois. 

Here is the day as we left Ohio 

It was after this I began having issues with my Sena camera. I know it is me inadvertently popping out the SD card.  I’m putting in a new one tomorrow so we shall see.  That darned Mercury and his retrogrades

Michigan looks a lot like Ohio. I stopped in Kalamazoo because that is just a great name. Apparently it means boiling water. 

On the road to my giants I got stuck in a traffic jam and I slipped behind 4 Hell’s Angels and followed them through the traffic. They were very sweet and pointed out pot holes and such time as we rode. If my camera had worked I would have snapped pictures. 

In Wilmington IL I came across the first giant 

The second, though not technically a giant, was on Route 66

And the best of them all….Vanna (yes, she has a name)

Tomorrow off to Casey IL and some more big stuff. 

By backdoormotoadventures

USA Tour day 17: 282 miles. 60N to 6 W to 20W to 2W to 4 W back to the 2 W 

Jamestown NY to Toledo OH = 4,339 miles thus far 

Yet another overcast morning but I was prepared today with a sweater. 

The roads were truly nice. Lots of sweepers and tiny towns as I passed from New York back into Pennsylvania and finally into Ohio where I actually captured the Ohio sign

I don’t know if it is me but everything looks similar. Indiana looks like Kentucky which looks like Virginia which looks like Pennsylvania and on and on.  

At least Kansas can lay claim to looking like nothing else. 

Some pictures of the landscape 

As I went through Cleveland Ohio I couldn’t pass up seeing some water. Finally …

Ohio started to get sketchy after I met B Boy in Cleveland so I immediately ignored my GPS and got back on the 2 W.  I decided to bypass Sandusky OH, which was my initial destination, and instead went on to Toledo (holy Toledo) Ohio. 

Stopped at a hotel with an in room jacuzzi and ready to go visit some giants in Illinois tomorrow. 

By backdoormotoadventures