Monday, August 15, 2011
11,410 miles. The bike ran like a champ, no performance awards (tickets),and home safe and sound.
I road my bike from the tropics of Florida across the deserts of Texas, north across the rocky, Cascades, Tetons, through the rain forests of Alaska and Washington State. I've ridden in heat, cold, rain, and sun. Small towns and big towns. Wide open vistas and closed in dirt roads that you cant see around the next corner 25 feet ahead.
All in all this was one of my best trip I've ever taken. Hard but very rewarding. I'll try to put together some final thoughts about the trip in a few days after it sinks in a bit more. Right now it's several days of napping and soaking a certain part of my body.
I hope everybody enjoyed the posts and thanks for all the comments, I enjoyed them as I was making my way on my trip.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
The long run starts. I pushed hard today and did over 600 miles. On an adventure like this you always want to end strong. It's best to make your big push the day before you arrive at base camp, so you can coast in the next day with a good snap in your step, a straight back and a firm hand shake for you're well wishers. You don't want to come dragging in dirty, tired and needing rest.
So with that said I road like the wind through a hard rain for the first few hours, than cleared some bumps the call the smokey mountains and into the heat. At about 4:00 I set up the hammock at a rest stop and took a nap for an hour. Up, rested and ready to ride I hit the road. The night was cool, the traffic was light and I kept riding. By the time I stopped I only had 289 mile to home.
A nice rest, a good shower, and a hot breakfast and I'm ready to make my stroll for home.
Vacations end to soon, adventures blissfully come to an end.
Tomorrow is my end.
Friday, August 12, 2011
It all started out good. I got out of bed and then I looked out the window. Damm it there's a giant black cloud. So I jumped in the shower and then on the bike. As I left the parking lot it started to rain, but stopped 100 feet down the road. I kept running hard and I kept that black cloud in my mirror. No matter how far or how fast I went the cloud would catch up and be right over head. So every stop was just minuets long and than back on the bike. I made good miles and am now only 960 miles from home. That's the good news, the bad news is I'm sitting in a truck stop waiting for the black cloud of death to pass me by. And the wait continues. I'm going to try to put in a few more miles before I stop for the night, but now this dam cloud looks like it wants to park here at the truck stop to.
The night before last I stopped at a super 8 to redeem my travel points for a free night stay. The clerk told me I had 5500 points and it takes 6000 for a free night stay, but with that nights stay I would be over 6000 so the next time I could get a free night. I stopped last night at another super 8 and was told that they were a level 2 super 8 and it takes 7000 points for a free night, but after last night stay I would be over 7000 so my next night would be free. I think I'm beginning to see a pattern.
So the wait continues.
Man it's nice not having to take down the tent this morning. The bike having taken me a long way from an interstate yesterday I'm enjoying a nice ride through SE SD and NE Nebraska on two lane roads. I'm trying to get a lot of miles today, but well see what the bike has in store for me.
The ride started with corn at my knee and by the end it was above my shoulders, it will be harvest time by tomorrow.
Today every 30 miles or so brought me to a new small town, each one trying hard to keep it's roots. If your looking for white picket fences and drive ins they have them. Lots of them. I stopped at one small town and finally got to use my hammock for the intended purpose I brought it for. This small town on a small two lane road had a little roads side park, so as it was about 2:00 in the afternoon I pulled over and put my hammock up under some shade trees and took a nice nap. I could hear birds and crickets and the occasionally a big truck rumble down the road. What a nice way to take a nap. When I got up I went down to main st and got a cold coffe in a can, wrow does that taste better than it sounds. Brick streets, nice people and a town tring to hang on topi what it once was. The guy at the grocery store told me that most of the small farms sold out years ago and the population of the town has been going down every year. Allot of the smaller towns in the area just closed up and everyone left. Some if them come here, but it's not enough to keep up with their losses. It sad watching a town die, a way of life fade away to make room for big agra farms, but things change, and new things come and old things go, it just sad to watch holding on so hard knowing they will fail, but they will keep holding on anyway.
I finally made it to the interstate and headed for I 29 south to kansas city, but the interstate was closed due to flooding and they sent my down a two lane road across the state of Iowa. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to do some interstate work and make some miles. I'm only 1350 miles out and I feel like I'm getting close. I still have some good riding ahead of me, I'm really looking forward to the smokey mountains
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I got a good start today, I had a nice hot shower, big cup of coffe and off I went. I took the interstate to sturgis and then sat in traffic for an hour. The only hot chicks I saw were selling tee shirts. I bought three, well two, one girl just gave me one. It's a wild place filled with bikes going nowhere and venders selling everything under the sun. It appears to me to be a grown up halloween. Everybody plays dress up and then goes from bar to bar and gets a prize. I'm glad I went but it's not my thing, so after a couple of hours I was off.
Somehow my bike just won't listen to me. I was all set to start blazing home on the interstate, but when I was supposed to turn left to get on I 90 the bike went straight. It took me down a beautiful road into the black hills. It was out of the way but not way way out of the way. After about an hour it started to rain and after an hour more I was back on the interstate. It was a nice ride and worth the extra time it took, but I need to get heading home. I stopped for gas after about an hour and when I was getting back on the interstate the dam bike went straight. I took me into the bad lands national park. $10 please. When did we turn everything into a cash cow. I gave in and turned over my hard earned cash. Wow what a ride, 24 miles of awesome after awesome after awesome. The gps kept trying to get me to head back to the interstate, but the bike just wouldn't do it. In the end the gps gave up and rerouted using the road I was on, and bam the route home just got 80 miles shorter. Dam that bike is smart. The only problem is it was starting to get dark and I'm in the middle of a state with nothing in it. It's like the Yukon with no trees. Mile after mile of nothing man made.
I finally got to a town called Winner SD. So I guess that means I'm winner-ing.
I doing a little indoors camping tonight, the super 8 isn't much more than camping outside, at least that's what I'm going with.
I hope to make a big push for home tomorrow, I just hope the bike doesn't fight me all day.
On a side note I didn't find any crazy women, well I did find one doing laundry at the campground. She was talking to her brother about how the father of her kid is putting pressure on her to write the judge and say what a good dad he is so he can get out of jail, but she thinks he's a pile of crap and won't do it. She's going to tell the judge she doesn't know who the father is. And the dick head can rot in jail.
Man she was hot. But in the end I just wondered off to my tent to tired for crazy. Man I must be getting old.