Monday, December 22, 2008

Slaying the Dragon Vacation 2007

Stan, Lisa, Dawg and I took a ride to go to a NASCAR race an NHRA race and to ride the Tail of the Dragon. There are so many great roads in the area it would be impossible for me to list them all. Just grab a local map when you get there and you see several loops that make for a great one day ride. There is also a great campground that is made for bikers by the name of Iron Horse Campgrounds. Also while in that neck of woods anybody who calls themselves a motorcyclist has to stop at the Wheels Through Time Museum just a short ride from the campgrounds. One of the nice things about the campgrounds it is centrally located for all of the great rides in the area. OK now that I've gave you some great ideas about what to do and see there, on to the ride.

I've traveled with Stan an Lisa many times over the years. Those are some stories for another time but, Dawg and I just started traveling together two years ago, while being friends for many years, since he got his SE Road Glide. He just couldn't ride his Heritage Softail all those miles with his bad back.

The plan for the first day was to do 600 miles so we could take it a bit easier the rest of the time and enjoy the adventure. With Stan an Lisa along it is always and adventure! Riding interstate is that necessary evil you have to do to make time. Other then the blistering heat and late afternoon thunderstorm there isn't much to talk about. The fun began when we stopped for our last gas and to find a place to stay for the night.

Asking the cashier where a motel was she directed us down the road about six miles to the next exit. Now before I go further I like to support the small mom an pop places. They don't have all the glitz and glitter of the chains but what they lack in that they more often then not offer a more of a home feeling. We pull up and our first thought is will this place keep us dry? Little did we know this little place was going to be one of the nicer little motels we stayed. It is here that we learn the first of many lessons this great country has to offer.

Lesson #1: Dry Counties. In all of my travels I had never been in such a place. Walking across the parking lot to the little gas station to learn that they don't sell beer much less liquor was a complete shock. We looked but nowhere was there any cold beer in the coolers. With a puzzled look on our face Stan an I ask the nice young lady where is the beer? She just looked at us and says "y'all not from around here are you?" I don't know if it was our Midwestern accent that gave it away or what appeared to her to be a really stupid question or the dumb look on our face that made her ask that. She tells us that up the road at the next exit, the one we just LEFT, had package beer for sale. Since we planned ahead, and give Dawg credit for this one since he was smart enough to throw a bottle of Crown Royal in his bags, we just walked back to the motel and emptied that sucker.

Day two found use pulling into Bristol Tennessee for the NASCAR night race. We had a prime camping spot right across the street in what turns out to be a gravel junk yard lot. I kid you not, this place use to be a salvage yard but they figured out they could make lot more money turning it into a camp ground for the race fans and charge a plenty for it to boot. It is here we meet some "Gool 'Ol Boys" in every sense of the word.  They walk up and introduce themselves and the next words out of their mouths was "want a beer?" 372570-R1-011-4_006 This is something that we as riders are kind of use to now. Back in the day people never walked up to you while traveling on a bike. Now it's completely different an you almost feel rude for excusing yourself so you can get on your way. These guys where a bunch of great, funny and friendly people. They shared their great food with us each evening and refused to take any money. They even let us get in the race pool and Dawg took top price the first night and second prize pot the next night. Oh and they thought we talked funny too. 

The race was something else. I've been to a lot of big NHRA race and even Indy a few times including the Brickyard last summer. But this place was over the top. This whole town comes out in droves to support this spectacle. While returning from making a run for beer, food and something to keep it in we got caught in heavy traffic. That in of itself wasn't that big of deal but the people lining the side of the road 7 to 10 deep was. Once back at the camp site the guys told us about the parade of haulers that was getting ready to start. To get all the race trucks inside the raceway they all park out of town. Then when the times comes it's one great big log parade of trucks blowing their horns while giving a bit of a light show from the rigs. For over and hour this went on it was pretty cool to watch. The racing itself was good and little Lisa even managed to get Dale Jr.'s autograph not once not twice but three times over the course of the three days we were there.

Hitting the rode again we make our way to the Tail via Maggy Valley to stop at the Wheels Through Time. 372569-R1-026-11A_010 If I would have known how cool this place was I would have planned to be able to spend more then just a couple of hours there. The owner likes to have fun and the best part is all of the bikes run and for the most part are in as is condition. That doesn't stop him from riding and beating on them. It was as much fun just sitting there watching the owner rip around on the old iron as it was inside the place. Bring lots of memory for your camera because you'll need it.         


It was while we were here that we learned of the Iron Horse campgrounds. It is also were we learned where the closest place for drink was. See we learned lesson #1 well and now had made sure we didn't go into the evening with nothing to drink. Funny how you make your ride so at some point you go by these places so you can stock up. Here at home we have places to drink around almost every corner. 372569-R1-010-3A_004However down here in the deep south they have Baptist churches around every corner. Just finding a bar is rare to find then they only sell beer. So when we were on one of our rides and we rode by the bar that just happens to have great smoked food we about couldn't believe our eyes. It doesn't get much better then smoked southern Bar-B-Que with a cold beer on a hot day as you sit on the patio and watch the fish swim by in the nice crystal clear stream. Can you tell we were having a fantastic time?


After three great days of riding the Tail and all of the fun roads around it the time had come to make our way home slowly. The plan was to stay in Nashville the first night out. That was the plan anyway. We are not ten miles from the campgrounds when I look in my mirror and see no one behind me. My first thought was someone had screwed up and went off the road. These roads are tight and if your not paying attention it will happen. Needless to say I was relieved to ride back and find all of them standing long side the road but wondering WTF? Once I get parked and walk up to them I see what is wrong. There, standing by Stan's bike, I see the problem. His carburetor is only attached to the bike by the throttle cables and fuel hose. 372571-R1-054-25A_024Great here we are in BFE with a broken bike. There is a gas station down the hill so Stan coasts to the station where we manage to get the carb mounted with some zip ties and small bungee cord I had. There is a small motorcycle shop, Wheelers Performance that we make our way to, even though it is the other direction then we are headed. Ken welds the broken mounting bracket together for us and off we go.

It is clear our plan is shot now and we just ride trying to make it at least a few hundred miles on two lane roads before we call it a night. Here in this little town we find a place to do some laundry and some good food. It is here that we also find out just what a palace the first motel was.

I don't know which was worse. The roaches that didn't run when you turn the light on or the meth heads that called the place home. After doing the dirty clothes we head for the roachtel, well sort of. Have you ever tried to lift a Bagger off a tree root after the rider high centers it on one? Dawg high centered his Road Glide on this hidden tree root and I mean it was stuck. It took three of us to lift it off and get the wheels back on the ground. Funny as hell but no fun at all. Back at the roachtel the meth heads were in high gear. We chain the bikes together then sleep with one eye open.

In the morning we find a nice family restaurant to have breakfast. It is while topping off the tanks Stan notices the brackets are broke on his carb again. Like before people come from everywhere to help and we manage to cobble it together. One of the guys who stopped to help told us of a Harley shop in this little town that is on our way. We are instructed to look for a old biker who wears this "goofy hat" all the time. His name is Newby.

Newby is one of those rare finds you come across as you travel. DSC00611 And if there has to be a bright spot in a motorcycle breaking down this would be it. We pull up to the place around noon, the place is locked up tight. If someone was going to break into this place it would have been easier to go through the wall instead of this door. Newby is a master with steel and a torch. As we stand there wondering what to do next this nice little lady comes out of the beauty salon next door and and asks, "y'all lookin' for Newby?" After answering yes she states "he probably up at his mothers havin' lunch." Not one minute later and young man pulls up and asks the very same question. He too tells us he is probably up at his mothers having lunch. He offers to go tell Newby we need his help. Sure enough with in ten minutes here rides up the man and he is in deed wearing that "goofy hat". The hat is really the liner out of a hard hat. And as we would learn from pictures on his walls he has worn this thing all of his life, he must be in his early 60s now.

After he unlocks the padlock on the door, then slides this massive steel rod and move this lever the door opens. It is here we learn of just how lucky were are to have met Newby. Inside this large barn are motorcycle and parts hanging everywhere.  DSC00582 Two stories full of parts of everything you can think of. Side cars, pipes, tanks, wheels, filing cabinets full of gaskets, new tires and who knows what else. There are old bikes and newer bikes he has owned over the year. I mean there is stuff everywhere. Newby gets to work making a new bracket for Stan's carb and even digs up a new seal for the manifold. The stories he told of his travels of over a million miles were funny and you could just tell this guy loves Harley's. In fact he doesn't even own a car himself, only his wife does who of course rides too. After getting Stan back together Stan asks how much he owes him. Newby says showing his one tooth, "give me five bucks." Unreal. So Stan flips him a twenty telling him his stories were worth that. That bracket is still doing it's job to this day. Needless to say we voted Newby the highlight of the trip.

The rest of the trip was uneventful as we made our way home. 372571-R1-002-00A_001 Stopping in Indy to take in a couple of days of nitro at the NHRA US Nationals. While on the way home I look in my mirror again to find it empty again. This time the air filter cover fell off of Stan's bike which was a simple fix about a hundred miles from home. I swear every time I ride with those two it's an adventure.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Hate Snow

This is what us here in Iowa were greeted with this morning as we looked out the window drinking a nice hot cup of coffee. I snorted coffee out my nose while I watched this unfold in front of me.

Every year I dislike winter more then the year before. Often asking myself why I put up with this stuff? But the truth is I like living in Iowa verse some of the rat races in warmer climates. I got to admit though, right now a tent in the middle of the south west desert sounds mighty inviting.

Stay warm!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Bare Truth Part Deux

One of the things I've really enjoyed about this blog is reading about what other people are doing and the places they have been or are at. It never fails that someone's post brings back memories both good and bad of my motorcycle travels. You people bring these memories back and I want to share them with you from time to time. Most of them will not be bad ones like this one though. Case in point, Dan's (aka Irondad) post over at Musings of an Intrepid Commuter about this tire. Thanks Irondad for the use of your photo. Bad Tire

 I’m 18 and I’ve had my first street bike for all of six weeks. Doing what normal 18 year old males do I am laying rubber ever chance I get. Then one day I decide I’m going to ride to the big city for a concert. I never made it to the show. About 110 miles from home and just 25 miles from the show I crash on the interstate highway at about 60MPH. I swear I’ve never been so scared in my life. Next thing I know my bike fish tails left, then right hard, then back left even harder, sliding out from under neath me then pitching me through the handle bars headed for the ditch. I remember hearing the glass break in my right mirror as I’m flying by it. The next thing I know I’m up chasing my bike which has stopped with the back half still in the right lane. Thankfully the car behind me wasn't tailgating and stops to help. Dragging my bike the rest of the way off the road I finally get to stop and take stock of what just happen.

There I stand still shaking trying figuring it all out. My rear tire is flat and my handle bars are broke along with other bits and pieces. There are feathers all over the road from my goose down coat (hey it was 1979 that was the style, plus I’m a- know-it-all 18 year old remember :)) being ripped to shreds. My leather boots are a mess with the right sole about half ripped off. My leather billfold has holes burned through three or four layers deep and my Levis aren’t much good either. And my helmet has the scares to prove I just went sliding on my head at some point. I don’t even remember what helmet it was at the time but I remember thinking if I hadn’t of had it on I may not be here right now. But with all that damage I didn’t have a scratch on me. Yes I was very lucky. Oh sure I was soar as hell the next day but I wasn’t complaining.

After my Grandma came and got me home, the next morning I went to the garage to have a good look at my bike. You see the statement of "never riding that damn thing that almost killed me" while sitting along the interstate had faded. My love for motorcycles and motorcycling was just too strong.  I start taking the rear tire off so I can put a new one on. It is at that time I realize just how bad my tire was. I distinctly remember looking at it before leaving thinking, oh its got plenty of tread left. But looking at it through the eyes of a rider who had just had the hell scared out him brought a completely new light to its condition. While my tire didn’t have cords showing like that tire does, it was pretty thin. To this day I never let my tires get pass the wear indicators and I ALWAYS replace them in pairs. Lesson learned the hard way.  

So every time I see a tire like that I instantly jump back to that time in my life. Whenever I see a person with a tire like that I re-tell my story hoping that maybe they will learn from my troubles. I pray this person doesn’t have to learn what I did the hard way. But then again maybe it will be a lesson they will never forget.

Needless to say I pay close attention to my tires now. I check my tire pressures bi-weekly. My friend Lori stopped by my shop a few weeks ago on her FJR1300. As soon as she dropped it off the center stand I could see the rear tire was very low on pressure. I rolled it in the shop and checked it and sure enough, it only had about 15PSI in it. Her comment of "so that is why the rear of my bike feels squirrelly" helped her understand now what a low tire feels like. It is said a tire can loose one PSI a week. Correct tire inflation not only adds to your safety but also adds to the life of the tire.

One thing to note about new tires. Be very careful the first hundred or so miles. Manufactures use silicone to help release the tire from the mold. This makes them very slick until it has worn off. This also goes for tire dressing. If you must use it be careful not to get it on the tread. Use a rag and rub it on the sidewalls instead of spraying directly on the tire. This gives you the added protection of not getting it on your brakes, which of course is a bad thing too. 


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Does Your Helmet Rate?

I was surfing the web today and ran across something I found that surprised me about helmets. Now before you go off an rant about the merits (or not) of helmets you can stop right there. This post is not about that subject and I don't want to open that bag of snakes. I know everyone has strong feelings on this subject and it has been debated on many blogs. This post is going to deal with the standards in which they are certified. 

I for one bought my new helmet because of it's certifying rating which happens to be the Snell M2005 rating. I thought it was the standard which meant "the best" protection. Stacy at did a review on the helmet she bought. While reading her post she stated she bought her helmet because it had ECE 22.05 certification. (Page 102 of this PDF have all the test specs for all certification testing.) I had never heard of that rating before reading her post. So I did some reading to see what it meant. Disclaimer: Stacy I didn't steal your link coming up, I found it today while doing research. I didn't realize until making the link to your post that you had one of the following links.

One of the first links I came across was site called SHARP (BTW they have a great video on helmet sizing) which is a government site for the UK. The reason for going there is I wanted to see how my new helmet rated compared to others. Since they have different models in the UK I picked the XR100 which is for all practical purposes is the same as my RF1000. Or is it? They look the same, have the same feature and for all I can tell are the very same helmet. Except for the certification, the XR is ECE 22.05 and my RF is Snell M2005 rated. Why?

First it has to do with the standards they have set for Europe. But why isn't the Snell rating good enough if it is "the best?" There comes the fly in the ointment. It seems that maybe the Snell standard might be "to good." Huh, to good?

It appears that many experts think the Snell standard is set to high and as such the helmet is too stiff. To stiff? Isn't that what you want? In this article written by a Jim Brown for Motorcyclist (warning VERY long read) these experts have different ideas on how helmets should work. They seem to think the 300g limit that Snell sets is to high. While that is great for large impacts most (Hurt Report say 75%) motorcycle crashes don't generate that much force. They want to see the G limit no higher then 250g and some think that is still to high.

Now just for a counter point on Mr. Browns article here is one at I find it interesting that Mr. Brown doesn't mention the short comings of the DOT rating verse the Shell rating namely the amount of head that is covered and other factors.

What I find funny is how United States government is so pro-active helmet but finding helpful information on the web like that of the SHARP site is so hard to find. I searched the NHTSA for related material and the best I could find was this NHTSA link  that states:

  • NHTSA is developing a video that will be viewable on its Web site in Spring 2007 to assist consumers on how to determine whether a motorcycle helmet fits them properly and how to identify whether their motorcycle helmet is compliant with FMVSS 218.

Do you think I could find it? In fact I can't even find document FMVSS218. Then here is the real kicker, the NHTSA don't even test the helmets, instead relying on the manufacture to use "the honor system" to have carried out the test before putting on the DOT sticker. Sure they do some random spot testing, all of forty helmets a year, lowered from seventy five because the percentage of failure was so high. Where as for Shell testing the manufacture pays them to test their helmets as well as random off the shelf stored bought helmets too.

Now I'm not even going to claim to be an expert on this in the least. To be honest my head is hurting are studying all of this. But I think if I'm going to spend my hard earned cash on something, I think I'll trust my money to someone who is willing to for sure test their product. That's what it boils down to me. I trust the Snell sticker on my helmet.

I'm just posting this so you can determine for yourself what helmet is best for you. The cool thing is as time marches on smart people figure out new things all the time which translate in to better products. With debates like this one, people are pushed to learn more even faster.

All of this led me to the poll on the side. I want to know if it matters to you what certification is on the helmet. Ask your friends to voted too. I'm really curious if it makes a difference to people.



Sunday, November 30, 2008



Unlike guys who like gals, guys, or guys and gals; bike-sexual guys are only into bikes.

"I'm into him but it seems like he's not into me. At first I thought he was stuck on his x-girlfriend but now I think he's just bike-sexual"

I'll post something of real value shortly.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tom Turkey

Just to wish everyone an enjoyable and Happy Thanksgivings. Hope everyone enjoys what ever it is you are doing this holiday with whoever you are doing it with. I for one am thankful for my friend, Lori, who gave me this silly hat :) I'll have to figure out a way to strap it on my head while I'm riding today.

Turkey Hat


Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Got This One This Time

OK 351 miles later I got this Tag. I was sweating it all the way home though. About five miles from the Little Brown Church I met a bike heading south on highway 218 and all I could think of is so help me if this guy got this Tag before me! I did see five bikes on the road today though. Two Goldwings, A H-D Sporster, the bike near the Little Brown Church was some sort of a Honda cruiser, some kids playing on a dirt bike and after the sun went down I think it was a rocket bike on the interstate. When I took off it was about 38F at 11:00AM and when going by the bank near home it said 48F at 7:00PM. Funny how up in the northeastern Iowa the lakes all have ice on them. Stopped in Washua, Iowa after getting the Tag for a hot meal and the bank there said it was 38f. I took two lane roads all the way there and had planned to take them home too but... I made wrong turn and by the time I figured it out I lost an hours worth of day light and cost myself 50 extra miles, so I hit the four laners to make time. Oh I seen a Bald Eagle sitting in a tree on the way there.

Little Brown Church

For a reward on a job well done I'm going to sit here and eat a hot pizza and bask in my victory! If anyone wants to play this game go to ADVrider and see if they have a game in your region. It's fun plus it give you a reason to go for a ride... like we need one of those huh?


Update: Crap I forgot the most important thing... I rolled over 50,000 miles on Whiskey today!

Friday, November 21, 2008

F&B Racing

Big D mentioned in one of his comment about the drag bike in the slide show at the side of my blog. After this post Big D you will need to soak in a tub full of ice water to cool off!

That is my good friend Dave "Frog" Kent. Taking him racing was some of the  most fun things I've ever had in my life. There is nothing more exciting then watch a nitro powered Harley rip down the quarter mile. The sound, the feeling and that smell. Oh that smell of nitro, I love it! When the "Strip Tease" was on kill that "pop" out of the pipes was music to my ears. Watching Frog, all 130 pounds of him 60+ years of age, wrestle that snarling beast down the track was pure joy. The best part was to see the smile on his face when he made a good pass. He was like a kid who just discovered sex for the first time. And yes he always wore the silly pok-a-dotted hat :)

Frog & Strip Tease RIP Bro 

Unfortunately Frog is no longer with us. He passed like summer while on a club run from complications of diabetes. I'll write about some of our races in the future posts. I just wanted to share my friend with everyone. The video was done with a point and shot digi-cam so it's not of the best quality but I think you will enjoy it just the same. Make sure to turn the volume up!

Oh and speaking of Big D I'm going to be a blog whore and plug his kick ass biker fiction blog. If you like stories you've read in Easyriders and the like you will like Big D's writing. Just go read it for yourself. Truly entertaining reading.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Nawgin' Holder

It's been about fours weeks now with this new helmet. From what I've been reading on some of my fellow bloggers post it was time to replace my ten year old Shoei RF800 helmet. The final straw was when I lost a screw a couple of weeks prior for the visor opening thingy. I'm sure I could have found a replacement screw but like I said it was time.

Since I was so please with the comfort of my old Shoei I figured might as well get another one. I got a Shoei RF1000 this time in rf1000_lightsilverLight Silver which matches the silver engine and striping on my bike. It's a nice contrast with the black leather too or the rain gear for that matter. Like every thing else in modern times ten years is a long time for technology and helmets are no exception.  I'm stunned at how much they have improved. This new helmet is lighter, more aerodynamic, has much less noise and the vent system actually works plus it offers even more wind protection.

My old helmet vent system never really worked as far as I was concerned. I could never really tell if the vents were open or closed. With this new helmet there is no mistaking when the vents are open. When I walked out of the local Honda dealer where a friend works I went for a test ride. Some 250 miles later that weekend I was completely thrilled with the update.

One of the features I like is the removable liner. I never wore hair goo in my old helmet because of this since I couldn't wash the liner, now I can. Now I should have some killer helmet hair. Plus the cheek pads come in different thickness so they can be custom fit to your face, they come in +/- 2mm changes.

Another thing I like is the "breath guard" and the "chin curtain." Having seen the former on other helmets and talking with the owners of them this was a feature I wanted. Guess what? They work.

80BREBWith the "breath guard" in place and the chin vent open the visor stays clear all the time except when at a stop on the coldest of days. Once moving the visor clears right up. The best part is you can't feel the wind from the chin vent so you don't get cold.

After a few miles I pulled over and installed the "chin curtain." This was a big surprise  since I 80X8CHINcouldn't see how this mess horse shoe shaped material thing could be of any use. I immediately could tell lack of wind on my chin which makes riding in cold weather a much warmer ride. With both pieces in place you can get just a bit of warmth from your breath an added benefit.

Then it was time to see if the vent system really worked. Again to my surprise this helmet showed what years of devolvement can do. Opening the top front vents I could feel the air coming in. This would have been enough of an improvement over my old helmet that I would have been happy. Then I opened the rear vent and I could actually feel my hair blowing in the helmet. With the guard and the curtain removed and the vents open I'm sure this helmet will be cool and comfortable in the hot summer months.

Other things worth noting. The vents all open and close with easy even with big leather winter gloves. The visor opening lever pops the it open just to the first notch of the seven visor detents. The lever also can be moved to lock the visor closed. The quick release visor means no tools are needed to remove it for cleaning or replacement, a simple flip of the lever and it comes right off, something I liked with the old one too. The optics of the visor are just a bonus, they are that clear and distortion free.

Over all the $320.00 investment was worth ever penny. If your helmet is getting long in the tooth you owe it to yourself to check out a newer helmet. I think you will be surprise as much as I was what tens years can do for helmet technology.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tag You're It

I blame She Rides A Beemer for this! Her link to the game of Tag made me do it. I take the day off to go get this Tag that had been up for two weeks. It rained on me all day and now I'm sittting in a hotel posting this. Wouldn't you know it someone beat me to this Tag today by about an hour before I posted my picture. I can't believe it I rode over 225 (update odometer check this AM showed 252miles) miles today to get this Tag. I can't beileve it! To top it off it is going to be about 40f in the morning when I leave here and I've still got a 150 or so miles to go before I get home. Can anyone tell where I went today? Ms. SheRidesABeemer you owe me cup of coffee for this!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Vacation 2001-East Bound an Down

Saturday July 29 2001 - 0 miles

Well I should be on the road today but since I didn't get my tires until late on Friday and I found a bad wheel bearing in the front wheel I am still at home. Pete and I worked until 10:00 PM last night getting him ready and had to go back to the shop today to finish up the work. Then to top it off I loaded "Front Page" on my laptop so I could update the web site on the road and crashed it. My CD-Rom is broken on it so I couldn't reload "Windows" and start over. So what is a guy to do? Yep, go buy a new one and send the old one in for repairs. I hope to have the insert picture thing figured out before long so you can see what and where I've been. So until later, see you from the road.


Sunday July 30 2001- 608 Miles

What a day. I thought I would be smart and miss all the interstate highways today and ride US 20 once I got past Chicago. US 20 was in good shape for the most part and traffic wasn't tclip_image004hat heavy either but what I saved in miles cost me dearly in time. Also MapQuest lied to me, it's much further to Cleveland than 600 miles. Made it as far as Fremont, Ohio and still have 70 or so miles before I get to Cleveland and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Hey I'm this close so you know I got to stop and say hello to Elvis :-)

Got a little sunburn on my now very red belly from riding with my shirt open, like I don't know better then that! Of course the day won't be complete without a little rain too. I had watched the lighting show all the way across Indiana. While I sure enjoyed that, I kept hoping that it would move either north or south of me but it didn't. I finally caught up to the rain in Ohio just as the sun was going down. Did I ever tell you how much I hate riding in the rain and even more so when it's dark? Sure am glad I have those new tires! I rode through some mighty deep water at times, half blind from the on coming traffic made it even more intense. Needless to say when I saw that Denny's sign flashing hot coffee I called it a day. The bonus was a Travel Lodge is right behind it. So the clothes are by the heater and with any luck they will by dry in the morning.


The reason for this trip is to see some of the country, and world for that matter, that I've never seen. Also I plan on visiting some new an old friends that I met right here online. I will look up Jason Deel tomorrow where he works and get to meet him for the first time. This should be good for a few laughs I'm sure. Then on to Cleveland for a little R&R before I head into Toronto, Canada on Tuesday.

Tuesday July 31 2001 - unknown miles

Well it seems that Canada isn't the friendliest place to visit. They wouldn't let me in to go see Sean. We will have to wait until this weekend to see each other again when we all meet for a little camping at Alpine Lake here in New York.

Outside of that I have had a great time. Jason and I had a nice visit Tuesday even though it was way to short. I didn't get a photo of him and I though. I didn't even think of it until I was back on the road to Cleveland. What a nice city that place is. Then off to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. I could of spent all day there but since I thought I was going to be at Sean's in Canada tonight I only spent about 3 hours there. If I would of know I couldn't get into Canada I would of spent more time there. They didn't allow cameras in the rock hall, as the locals call it, so the only pictures I have are of the outside of the building. Just for the record Elvis is dead :-) Did you know he liked to collect police badges? Sure was some neat things to see there. They had a special exhibit of John Lennon and his life. Some of his art work was on display along with his bed that he and Oko staged their now famous sit in on. The saddest part was they had his personal belongings that the police gave to Oko when he was murdered in the bag just like they had given it to Oko on that terrible night. His blood stained glasses was enough to make me almost cry. I was truly feeling very sad as I stood there and looked at that exhibit. I got to see my all time favorite drummer's drum kit, John Bonham. Also in that display was one of Jimmie Page's guitar and John Paul Jones's organ and one of Robert Plant's outfits he had worn during a tour.  I could go on about this place and all the cool things they have there but I would be typing all night.clip_image008Wednesday August 1 2001 - 770 miles since Monday morning

Niagara Falls is pretty spectacular in it's own right. I can see why lovers like to go there on there honeymoon. The water is nice and ice blue. The sound is loud but calming in a way and the park is very nice for a stroll along the river. I was surprised at the lack of people there. Another thing I am surprised about is the people of New York. Unlike what we as 'Midwesterns' hear all the time, these people are as nice and friendly as us flatlanders. Every time I asked someone where I needed to go they didn't hesitate to tell me, and no they didn't say go to hell. They all drive like they have a brain which is more then I can say for back home sometimes. The only one time I did have a problem with a driver it was a cop who wouldn't let me lane change when I needed to before my lane had to merge.  Did I mention I got pulled over in Pennsylvania yesterday? I guess with all the hassle I had trying and failing to get into Canada yesterday I kind of forgot. The Trooper pulled me for not wearing my helmet. He was very cool about it though. He walks up and said "did you know you have to wear that bucket here?" Told him "no I didn't" and had asked a couple of people but nobody knew when I asked them. He just asked if I would put it on for him and of course I said sure. He told me to enjoy my trip and that New York had a helmet law too so to be sure to keep it on because they wouldn't be as nice about it. Off he went and off I went with my helmet on and no extra paper in my wallet. To bad he wasn't working the Canadian boarder instead of the jack ass that I luclip_image010cked into last night. Made it to Rick an Lisa's tonight after a very long P8010006

boring ride across upper New York state. However once I got off the super slab the sights and ride was much better as is always the case. This is truly a nice part of the country, glad I have made this trip. Rick an Lisa tell me that the traffic will change once I get into New Jersey early next week, unfortunately it will be for the worst. The congestion will be far worse then anything I have been through yet.  One thing I know that will never happen in Iowa is toll roads. I can see it now, about the first time some guy at a toll booth asks a farmer for 50 cents to cross a bridge he will tell him just where to go. Forget about the $7.35 it cost to travel from one side of the state to the other on interstate 90 today! I think tomorrow will be a take it easy kind of day for a change. As I set here I think about jumping in the pool right next to Rick and Lisa's new motor home they are putting me up in tonight. But since I am so tired at this moment I would probably drowned. Maybe I will wait until tomorrow after I have had a good nights sleep without some front desk ringing me to see if I am going to check out or stay another day.  

Monday August 5 2001 - 1,600+ so far

My time on the road is quickly coming to an end. The weekend camp out at Alpine Lake in New York was an absolute blast. We had people from all over the country and Canada show up for the 3 days of sun and fun. Everyone eat like kings and played like kids. Sean made it from Canada with his family and it was his daughter, Sarah, 4th birthday toSarah1 boot. We had cake and melted ice cream to celebrate Saturday evening.  Rich from Maine  came on his new Harley, what a nice bike it is. Dave from Maryland came with his wife and 2 kids, they plan to stay for the whole week. With the stuff they dragged out of that truck they look like they could stay a month. Tom from Michigan made it with his clan in a great big mobile home. He and Rick did the my house is bigger then your house thing all weekend but I think RichRick lost. Ed and his wife came from Connecticut to spend the weekend and relax with all of us. Ed had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. Of course Rick an Lisa was there as was their two girls and all of their friends, pretty nice bunch of kids. A couple of them played guitar to keep us entertained around the camp fire. All good thing must come to an end and this was no different. Everyone woke this morning and said their good-byes.

I stopped by and met Tim Lena today. We had a good bull session for a couple of hours and I found out he is just like me. He don't work to hard when its as hot out is was today! He got me headed in then right direction and  I made it to the Atlantic ocean today. OK technically it is the "Long Island Sound" bay but it is close enough for me, Silver and I have seen both oceans now. There was a gentle man painting when I pulled up and luck would have it he was on his Harley too. We talked for a while and he told me all about the area I was in. Thanks to him I found the best spot to see the ocean in Stamford, Connecticut that anyone could ask for. I set there as the sun was setting over my shoulder and decided it was time to find a place to lay my head for the evening. I will be looking up a some seafood before I leave here you can count on that! clip_image014Painter2

Thursday August 9 2001 - Home at Last 2,987 Miles Total

A lot of miles have passed since I was last able to update this. These last three days seem to have been the toughest of all. With not much of a break for relaxing on vacation. At least I have a few days before Monday when I have to go back to work.

When I left Connecticut on Tuesday morning after having breakfast I did my best at not getting run over going around New York an in New Jersey. I stopped and met David "Grammy" Graham at his shop. He has a very nice little shop in an old New Jersey town. It looks like  your basic neighborhood gas station from out front if you don't see all the BMW's setting around. GrammyShop A person would wonder how a BMW shop could survive out in the hills but all you have to do is watch the cars that drive by and you soon see that there is a plenty of money driving by. One of the towns good guys stopped in while I was there and brought ice cream bars for everyone including whoever was at the gas pumps at the time. After work Grammy took me out to dinner at a local brew pub along with one of his closest friends. I don't think I every thanked him for that either so thank you Grammy for dinner and the hospitality. Like everyone I met on this trip it was a pleasure my friend. We parted ways and on down the road I went, all the way to Harrison, Pennsylvania for my stop over that night. Rode to Indianapolis the next day where I hooked up with Rick Liebler who works for UPS. It was kind of a surprise to meet up with him. I hadn't even thought of it when I got to town. So we went down the street a few blocks and had a couple colds ones and talked cars. On my way to Indy I had to stop and get a some oil for Silver since he was a half quart low after two thousand miles. As I was passing Iowa City, Iowa I stopped an visited with my stepmother, Alice, and drank all of the ice water she had. This was the hottest day I had encountered the whole trip. 

Sorry I don't have anymore new pictures to share with everyone but I just didn't really do any sight seeing after I left Connecticut. I will post one more of Long Island Sound.clip_image016

There is a old joke about that when a real biker goes out for a ride he doesn't come home until all of the digits on the odometer have changed. Well I gave it my best shot. The speedometer had 106 thousand something and now has 109,454 for miles. Either I need to ride around the world, hey I might be on to something there, or get a new bike with all zeros. Don't worry Silver buddy you are not about to be replaced. Not with all the memories we have together. Thanks for being the dead solid ride you are, getting me there and back every time. 


Monday, November 3, 2008

Dream Rides

Do you have a dream ride of a life time you want to do? Does the thought of being on your bike for days, weeks or months on end make you think of all the possibilities? Traveling to remote corners of the planet Earth just to see it, to enjoy the culture, the people, make you wonder what if? Not to mention the Adventure of it all. I know I do.

When I first started to write this blog I really didn't have a master plan. I soon discovered that there are many fellow riders out here in the "Blogsphere" that share the same passion for motorcycle riding. I've managed to meet new people, maybe even make a new friend here and there. But the one thing I've enjoyed the most are the Road Stories, which is why I am recycling some of my old vacation stories. Weather they are just weekend get-a-ways or weeks long Adventures I love reading about them, some of these blogger's are seriously great writers. I enjoy their talents with the written word. I find more blogs I enjoy it seems almost everyday and as I do I add them to the roll.

Having just discovered the term "Adventure Riding" I am finding a complete new "breed" of rider. I had always used the term. Every trip Stan and Lisa and I take is always and adventure and we are always saying the term "it's about the adventure." I've got a couple of these adventures cued up for posting shortly. But these "Adventure Riders" are not just taking long vacations but rather epic rides. Ted Simon might be the God father of this type of travel when he rode around the world in the 70s and wrote his book "Jupiter's Travels." Great read, get it. As if that wasn't enough Ted did it again at the age of 70, twenty five years later!

The Dream Ride. I've got three I would like to take. Listed in the order I would like to do them. Weather I get to make them all happen in my life time only God knows that answer. But to start I would like to ride Alaska. Then I want to ride Europe. This is something I've wanted to do for so very long. This would give me the knowledge to know if I can, in fact, handle the big one. Yes, I would like to ride around the world. Maybe not as epic as Ted's ride but something just as adventuress. Make no mistake this isn't for the faint of heart. One thing I've learned from reading these Adventure rides is what the person learned about themselves .

Just so you don't think I've fallen of the deep end here. The world is full of these Adventure riders, just check out the Horizons Unlimited web site for proof. And if anyone understands these feelings and ideas I would think it would be my fellow rider. After all we understand why we ride but we do it for our own reasons too. But it all boils down to the same thing. Adventure.

So tell me, what is/are your Dream Ride(s)? I would love to hear about them. Maybe you have already taken your Dream Ride, great, write about it with all the guts, with all the glory. I challenge all my fellow blogger's to post your Dream Ride.

It just might be time for me to start planning "Alaska 2009."


Sunday, November 2, 2008

800 Miles

I spent my Labor day weekend doing a lot of riding which suites me just fine. August 29th was my aunts 75th birthday so I started my long weekend early.  DSC00681Riding to Cedar Rapids wasn't all that exiting since it was on the super slab. But it sure was nice to get to see a lot of my family that I haven't seen in a long time. A good time was had by all with plenty of food, ice cream and cake.

After everyone left Robert, Molly his girl friend, and I went out on the town. First up was a biker bar with live music which would have suited me fine if it wasn't country music. After about hour of this I had all I could take so off we went. This time to a little place by the river that was open for the first night after the major flooding CR had this summer. This place was clear under water and it took them this long to get it open again. They did a great job with it, it even still smelled new.

My cousin Rob is such a dork. He found this beat up little scooter that he DSC00664has turned into a, well a moving... hell I don't know what to call it. You tell me what it is. He's got a whole $3.75 in the thing. Not sure I would be caught dead riding that thing though. I mean a guy does have his pride if he doesn't have anything else right?

Saturday it was time to continue my adventure. I thought I knew where I was going. Since I'm a dummy and didn't download the web site for off line viewing I tried to go from memory. Old age must be catching up with me. I had planned on going to Davenport for an antique motorcycle swap meet and races, which is suppose to be one of the largest in the country. But what I planned and how it ended up are two different thing. Off on back county highways I head for... Dubuque! 

While riding along I happen to run across a little tractor pull going on in the middle of nowhere. So I stop peal off the hot leathers and enjoy a smoke watching these local guys test their machines. DSC00686 It had been a while since I was in the area and I was kind of lost. Walking up to the gate I look at the guy behind the table taking money and I'll be if I don't know him. We had went to high school together. I don't think it hit him who I was though. He was a tough little guy in school and still looks the same, short and stocky. After getting directions and how to get where I was headed I took off. I figured I would hit the swap meet at about six in the evening. Needless to say there was no swap meet or races.

Sitting at a gas station, bought a map trying to make something out of nothing. I decide to ride along the Mississippi river. This would have been great had not I lost all the light of day. I'm heading for a state park I see on the map so I can roll out the sleeping bag for the night. Pulling into Bellevue and discover that they have a street party going on raising funds for the volunteer fire department. It was cheap enough to get in at only five bucks. The bonus came when I asked the ladies selling beer tickets if they had a motel or the like a person could stay in. Luck would have it the bar across the street had rooms above it for rent for cheap too. Perfect, cheap room, cheap beer and homemade pizza to boot.

Sunday I wander on down the river road to the interstate to Iowa City.DSC00688 Stopping for fuel and food I see a Steak an Shakes. I don't see what all the hubbub is about this place. The burger wasn't any better then any other fast food joint. Plus it was anything but fast not to mention over eight bucks for a burger, fries and a Coke is a bit much.

Then it was back to two lane back roads I grew up on to my home town of North English. After visiting my mothers grave I wandered around town a little bit. Not a lot has changes in that place. It was as dead as any Sunday I remember living there. So back on the road I headed back home.

Not really planning to do anything on my Monday off I was looking at the map and seen lake Rathbun. Seeing how I hadn't been there in years I decided it was time to check it out again. Sitting at the spill way I could have reached out and caught fish. I've never seen so many fish trolling the top of the water for food. They were in schools of eight or ten fish. A guy could have just tossed a line in the water and would of had supper in minutes.

So that is how you ride 800 miles in four days and never leave the state.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A Big Rock

Iowa Harley Girl had a post awhile back about the big rock. The rock, some have dubbed the "Freedom Rock" is painted every year by Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II to pay his respects to those who serve to protect this great country and our freedoms we enjoy everyday. To say the rock is pretty impressive is an understatement.

08-24-08_1641  If you go to Ray's web site you will see this is his tenth year of painting the rock. I remember when a local television station did a story on Ray and his rock. Having kind of forgot about it until IHG's post I decided it was time to go for a ride and look at the rock.

While I've never served in the armed forces the Vietnam era is one I remember most because of my age at the time.  So to see Bubba hold them in such high regards from someone who wasn't even born yet is pretty touching. Sadly those brave souls never got the warmth and love they too so rightly deserved. This side of the rock is dedicated to them and is pa08-24-08_1639rt of the rock that is always there. Ray's story is one year painting the rock some Vietnam vets stopped on their way to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC. They had ashes of fallen brothers and wanted to spread them at the base of the rock.  Rays came up with the idea of putting their ashes in the green paint. Since that day the paint has chipped and faded so Ray made what was once two helicopters into a big one that now included the ashes from twelve vets of Vietnam.

The local community members of Greenfield have taken and stepped up too. A local Boy Scout troop poured a concrete pad for a little picnic table and awning now on the site. Other members of the community have built a lean-to shed that has a donation box, guess book and stories of their beloved Ray. Also now standing is a lighted flag pole with both the American flag and the POW/MIA flag. To say Ray has made this little town proud speaks volumes of what just one person can do. When I pulled up there was seven other riders there and one couple even had their young son with them. 08-24-08_1640

The ride itself wasn't much to talk about. One of those wandering turn left here, right at the next tee intersection type of days. But that does allow for surprises also. After leaving the rock I found myself in a little burg called Stuart. Spotting a Bud sign in the window of this little bar I felt it was time for a cold beer. Pulling up I see a motorcycle and I'll be if I don't know this bike. No more had I parked when Carl walked out of said pub. Since he was ready to continue his ride we both saddled up and headed down the road for another little town. Once again the cold Bud sign in the window was spotted and this time I did get to enjoy a cold Bud. Getting late in the day we started to make our way back to the big city in the most indirect route we could find.

What started out as a quick run down the street for breakfast turned into a great ride. Just the way it is suppose to happen. Sorry for the poor photos because they are just from my phone camera. They truly don't do Ray's magnificent work justice.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

PCH 1/101 and a Dead Tree

This is my vacation ride of 1998. I took my laptop and posted to a web site I had at the time so my family could follow along and enjoy my trip with me. It proved to be a big hit with them and look forward to all my trips now. Hope you enjoy also.

Sunday, July 26,1998 698 miles

Well today started with a lot of hopes (I make it there and back), dreams (riding the coast highway), and sunshine (didn’t last long).

Silver and I left the city, late of course, but for good reason, we got to share coffee with JoAnn. Well kind of, I dropped hers about a mile from her house, oops sorry honey. Hey I tried! We still had a nice chat! Silver started the trip out with 82,813 miles on the clock. By the end of the day we had traveled 698 miles and felt pretty good in the butt! TOF00038Yes I know Laramie WY. isn’t that far, but we did a little running around town before we left, as I said I was late. Cool and overcast weather to begin with, then hot and sunny on the next tank to dark and just enough rain to remind me that I was in the mountains, DRAG! I must admit that I was glad that I had that new helmet, it is really quite comfortable, believe it or not. Well not much else happened so till tomorrow and somewhere in Nevada. Good night. ZZZ

Monday, July 27, 1998 604 miles

Today started out like yesterday weather-wise. By the day’s end it was any thing but an easy ride. I know we’ve all ridden through wind and rain, some of us have even ridden in sleet, hail and even snow. I know I have done all those, but today I rode through a SALT storm. TOF00010 That’s like a sandstorm except with salt! Man, what a DRAG! I know why they call it the Bonneville Salt Flats, nothing could possibly stand up to the (rumored) 80mph winds that I rode in today. I kind of wonder if I should get my head checked out!?

I know why I’m a small town country boy. I HATE too much traffic. The traffic in Salt Lake City was at a standstill. I-80 was either under construction (understatement) or closed (all the way through SLC). I did manage to make it to Wells, Nevada. Makes me wonder if I really need to go to San Francisco, just to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge? I think I’m going to by-pass the city and go north of it. Wine sounds better than steel any day. Maybe I can get a great bottle for JoAnn to make up for the coffee she didn’t get. I must admit that I did see some great countryside. Let’s hope that this keeps getting better! Till next time.

Good night. ZZZ

Tuesday, July 28, 1998 529 miles

I made it to the coast! Well almost, I stopped just short of S.F. to get a roomTOF00006 and a shower, after today’s HOT ride I stink! This morning Dan ’the pool man’ (never got his real name) asked if the snake on my seat was a good pet gone bad? After we both had a good chuckle I said “no but that’s a good one. I’ll tell everyone from now on that it is!"

Really not much too exciting as I went on, just rode, rode, and rode some more. So till next time, like tomorrow when I get to be a tourist and check stuff out. Good night. ZZZ

Wednesday, July 29, 1998 173 miles

Sure didn’t ride a lot of miles but you know the saying, quality over quantity. I finally made it to the Pacific Ocean! TOF00016 TOF00018

I didn't go through S.F. as the traffic was just too heavy, so I made a better choice and went to Napa Valley. Yes, I got a couple of bottles and a $12.00 cigar (thank you very much) and rode a nice road to get to Highway 1. The traffic is light so travel has been a breeze, no RV’s to pass or anything! I did make one small mistake though. Instead of driving I was gawking and dropped Silver in a hole (crater) at a snail’s pace, nothing hurt, unless pride counts. Silvers been doing fine, one loose rocker cover bolt which made a mess and one lost bolt on the rear fender strut, both no big deal. Met a couple from Dallas (no names again) who were riding the same route I am except in reverse, they had logged 2,900 miles on their Gold Wing so far. They said they haven’t had a lot of traffic either. The views have been picture perfect, just like on TV except I’m here (there?). Well, it’s getting dark so I’m going to sleep. Good night. ZZZ

Thursday, July 30, 1998 200 miles

How odd is it to end the day on an even number of miles? This may sound crazy (remember getting my head checked out?) but the whole reason for this trip was a challenge from Cactus to see this old dead tree in the “Valley of the Giants” in the Redwood forest at mile marker 9.12. Well, Cactus, I’ve got the picture to prove it, I found that old dead tree! I rode the best part of PCH 1 today, North from Ft. Bragg to Leggett.

TOF00026 TOF00024

The travel was a little hectic today, two stops because of construction. It’s nice on a bike, they wave you to the front of the line of cars. While at the last stop the flag lady told me that her husband had died on his Harley four days before he and their son were to leave for Sturgis. The son is taking dad to Sturgis this year, before they spread his ashes. Here’s to all the great sons, RIP dad, enjoy Sturgis!

Here’s to more miles tomorrow. I’d better or I’ll never get home on time. Good night. ZZZ

Friday, July 31,1998 461 miles

Left California today and made it to Vancouver, Washington. Have had good weather to ride in the last few days so I’m not even going to say the R word.

Going to stop by Mt. Saint Helens as I start to work my way home via Sturgis. Silver is ready for an oil change so we’ll try to find a place for that too. He’s been running great but I did have to adjust the belt today. The rock hole hasn’t healed but at least it’s no worse, although I’ve not been worried about it. There is one thing for sure, the roads out here wear all sides of your tires not just the middle like back home.

I’ve not met anybody or taken any pictures today so no stories to tell or new photos to show. Really just a riding day, so I’m going to bed. Good night. ZZZ

Saturday August 01, 1998 401miles

(I wonder how many times I have to do this before I get my PC to save it?)
I got to Mt.Saint Helens, kind of. By the time I figured it out I had passed the viewpoint road it was too far to go back, but I did see it. I met Ray from Minnesota on his FLH. He told me a story of when he dropped his motor in a hole and it took him an hour to get it upright. I don’t feel so bad! Tom from Seattle on his Suzuki told me about how hiked up the mountain before and after she blew her top. The second trip was a lot easier, it took 2 less hours. He works for Boeing and just sold 23 planes to Germany so his boss gave him Friday off, mighty white of her. God must like me. He has given me just perfect weather to ride in on this trip.

I did take one picture yesterday, probably the best photo so far, maybe I need to get my head checked out. So everyone gets a bonus picture today. Time for a shower and bed. Good night. ZZZ

TOF00017 TOF00031

Sunday August 02, 1998 519 miles

We made it to Livingston, Montana today. Did get to change oil on Silver too. Kudos to the people at Montana Harley-Davidson in Missoula, MT. for being open today. Silver was 1,000 miles overdue so it was really needed. They had the whole setup out back for Sturgis travelers. Have met people from all over today but the guy from Germany wins for farthest away. He’s riding a 700 Shadow. He has already been to Sturgis but didn’t really care for it, says the people are to “show-offish”. I guess he kind of missed the point huh? Get crazy and have a good time and see some pretty country. But then again he’s the only German I’ve ever met who doesn’t drink beer!

I knew I shouldn’t have said the “R” word, yep it rained on me today and just started to rain again as I started writing this. For some odd reason my tent wants to leak, must be ‘cause it hasn’t been wet in a while. Hopefully it will be OK or I’ll be soaked by morning. It was a nice thought the people of “Christian Motorcycle Association” had free coffee and eats at a rest stop, just about the time it started to rain. See, I told you God likes me.

Well that’s about it for today and I really didn’t take any photos today, sorry.
Good night. ZZZ

Monday August 03, 1998 571 miles

Well I did get to the little jewelry store and it’s still oTOF00034pen. The line of cars going into Yellowstone is way too long, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to come down here and cut through the park. I think I need to get my head checked out! Ran into five road construction sites, three of which had escorts. Rain on and off all day with just enough sunshine to keep you wondering.

Germans must like this place, I TOF00035met three more today. These guys had their own bikes, 47 knuckle, 52 panhead and a late evolution all with the standard German front end, hydraulic way out there and high pipes. All cool bikes, I tried to get photos of them but the escort car came before I could get my camera out of all the plastic I had covering everything. The pictures I did get of them on the road don’t show the bikes too well.

TOF00036 I made it to Sturgis today anyway even with rain the last 75 miles. So down to main street and don’t you know I’m not even off Silver before friends are yelling my name. Called Pete to let him know what it sounds like here, "see you in a few days" is the reply I get. He has never been here so he is really pumped to get here. Guess what. I ran into another German. This one is waiting for the ones I met earlier, small world. So we took some pictures and did have a beer together.

The rain has made a mud bog of the camp grounds, Silver got stuck and some folks from New York helped us out. What a bunch of nice folks. Since it was late they gave me more beer and let me camp under their tarp so I didn’t have to pitch my tent in the dark.

That’s about all my tired brain can think of. Good night. ZZZ

Tuesday August 04, 1998 482 miles

Woke up... yep raining, surprise! Hung out awhile with the people from N.Y. then hit the road. Had a stop in Wall just ‘cause it’s there. Made it to Sioux City, Iowa. Good night. ZZZ

Thursday August 05 1998 206 miles

HOME!! Mail box full of you know what but who cares, not me. Fresh cup of coffee. For some reason the rain outside is soothing?

Wow... WHAT A RIDE! Time for some reflection. 12 days, 11 states, a bunch of money and gas, one oil change an one quart of oil and a bolt I left loose. Miles total, 4,785 my farthest yet. I left to see some country I’d never seen, ride some roads I’d always wanted too and find an old dead tree.

I had a wonderful time, I really needed the time away. Now for the only reason I came home, to see the only one I care about, JoAnn, “I’ve got the wine would you make dinner?”...oh and my head, it’s alright, thanks Silver!