Kawasaki Concours Forum

Riding => Rides and Stories => Topic started by: ShadowJack on June 08, 2016, 08:38:31 pm

Title: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on June 08, 2016, 08:38:31 pm

This is the first run through of planning stops and routes. Most routes I do also provide cutouts. A longer loop that I can cut short in the event of bad weather, road issues, etc. Keep an eye on the weather in various locations on the way and plan accordingly. The plans below don't account for payments to a house and cat sitter.


Trip: 5,868.7 miles

Start of Trip: Longmont, Co

Nightly Stops:
Beaver Ut - 564 miles; (564 miles); hotel avg $87; gas avg $2.40
Poway Ca (Cousin) - 1101 miles; (537 miles); ???; gas avg $2.86
Long Beach Ca (Brother) - 1200.7 miles; (99.7 miles); ???; gas avg $2.88
Yosemite National Park - 1590.2 miles; (389.5 miles); hotel avg $133; gas avg $2.29
Boulder Creek Ca (Cousins/Aunt) - 2011.2 miles; (421 miles); ???; gas avg $2.91
Eureka Ca - 2386.0 miles; (374.8 miles); hotel avg $147; gas avg $2.85
Portland Or - 2814.5 miles; (428.5 miles); hotel avg $174; gas avg $2.49
Chilliwack BC - 3121.0 miles; (306.5 miles); hotel avg $82; gas avg C1.112/liter ~$4.44
Tete Jaune Cache BC - 3484.7 miles; (363.7 miles); hotel avg $82; gas avg C1.191/liter ~$4.77
Calgary AB - 3808.9 miles; (324.2 miles); hotel avg $94; gas avg C1.090/liter ~$4.36
Kalispell Mt - 4112.8 miles; (303.9 miles); hotel avg $157; gas avg $2.29
Lewiston Id - 4437.9 miles; (325.1 miles); hotel avg $120; gas avg $2.47
Butte Mt - 4776.2 miles; (338.3 miles); hotel avg $122; gas avg $2.29
Sheridan Wy - 5225.4 miles; (449.2 miles); hotel avg $124; gas avg $2.27

Trip End: Longmont Co - 5868.7 miles; (643.3 miles)

Hotel Total: $1,322.00 ($660 @ $60 per night)

In getting the averages from Google, peeking into the list of hotels, and yes they are averages. We can certainly plan on making these stops and getting reservations in advance or at least having an idea of the available hotels. Try not to be surprised or to have to "take what you can find" which can be expensive. All the averages above are from 3 star hotels. I want to plan on about $60 per night but also plan for emergencies, baseball games, stock car races, little league tournaments, etc. Things that have had me hunting or driving further in the past.

Gas Total: $419.34

This assumes just the miles estimated here and not for any scooting about, checking out stuff, Redwoods, Yosemite, etc.

40mpg average (I actually get closer to 45mpg but best to err on the side of caution).

US Total: 4,875 miles @ $2.52 per gallon: $307.13
CN Total: 993 miles @ $4.52 per gallon: $112.21

Food Total: $900

My riding style is generally snacking on nuts and candy (like M&M's) and drinking sodas and water throughout the day with a light lunch (like a burrito at Taco Hell) and then whatever I can scrounge for dinner. I expect at least dinners will be a bit more than that especially with hotels and shorter drives.

And we're talking about two people on the road.

Maybe $60 a day, plus or minus and not ruling out family outings or meals.

Trip Total: $2,641.34

Maximum without refining, hunting for deals, getting souvenirs, and assuming no breakdowns, etc.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: Rhino on June 09, 2016, 06:35:49 am
I love it! Looks epic! But way too much planning for me. I will be riding with my brothers from July 2-16. The plan is to sally forth from the 4 corners area in NM and take roads that look interesting. Especially if we find some we haven't traveled (getting harder to do every year). In fact I keep resisting the urge to look at Google Maps because I don't want to over plan. Rules of thumb: stay off the slap as much as possible, try to find motels stumbling distance from a brew pub. We've been very successful with that formula for the past 10 years or so. Enjoy the ride!
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on June 09, 2016, 06:50:22 am
When I'm riding by myself, I tend to have certain places I want to see but explore as well. As this is the second long trip with my girlfriend, I'm taking her to the places I've visited and enjoyed. Plus some family visiting. Another cousin has asked why we're not stopping to chat on our way through :)

We've explored closer targets already; Devil's Tower, Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon, Moab, Million Dollar Highway, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, Wind River, etc. So the initial push might take us past Zion and the Grand Canyon; maybe (and the Painted Desert depending on whim). But first visit is my cousin, then my brother, then Yosemite and up to Donner Pass (it's a reference to one of the role playing game modules we did a few years back :) ), then back to the coast to visit with aunts, uncles, and cousins.

From there the points of interest is the Pacific Coast Highway with the beaches and of course the Redwoods, up past Seattle into Canada and the Jasper/Banff National Park. It gives a view of the mountains in the Canadian Rockies. Then south to Glacier National Park, Lolo Pass, Bear Tooth Pass, Medicine Wheel, Devil's Tower again, and into the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore.

These are all places I've explored in the 131,000 miles I put on the Hayabusa and now I want to show them to my gal. :D
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: George R. Young on June 09, 2016, 06:59:06 am
Looks like fun. The mileage on the first couple of days look a bit high. I usually aim for more like 250 miles per day on a multi day trip.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on June 09, 2016, 07:26:13 am
Personally I'm an endurance rider :)  but with Jeanne on the back, I've tried to cut that back a little (although she did try for her Iron Butt award 2 years back) for this trip, mainly due to the number of places we're visiting. She did want to stop in Las Vegas to take in a show but she's also iffy now due to the 95F ride Saturday. With temps going higher than that for the ride to San Diego, we may take 80 out and follow the road south through Yosemite to San Diego instead.

Flexible :)
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: Rhino on June 09, 2016, 07:47:45 am
GF on the back changes everything I would think. If my wife were on the back (she never gets on my mc) I would be planning much more. In fact my unplanned trips drive her nuts.

Where are you going?
   Not sure, wherever the road takes me.

Where will you stay tonight?
   See response 1

How long will it take you?
   See response 1

Where do you think you will go tomorrow?
   See response 1

and repeat ad nauseam
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: Classvino on June 09, 2016, 08:09:40 am
Chilliwack BC - 3121.0 miles; (306.5 miles); hotel avg $82; gas avg C1.112/liter ~$4.44
Tete Jaune Cache BC - 3484.7 miles; (363.7 miles); hotel avg $82; gas avg C1.191/liter ~$4.77
Calgary AB - 3808.9 miles; (324.2 miles); hotel avg $94; gas avg C1.090/liter ~$4.36
CN Total: 993 miles @ $4.52 per gallon: $112.21

Not sure where you got your numbers (regular or premium?), they may be currently accurate, but gas prices are very volatile up here - they can be quite different week to week - sometimes up to $0.10 diff per litre...  Prices here in Ontario are generally up in the $1.25/litre range, I'd plan on the average being a little higher than you have, just in case.

I can't comment on the US part of your route as I've never been out that way, but the Canadian part of the route looks like an excellent trip - I was on a similar route (in a car) a few years back...

Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on June 09, 2016, 08:57:02 am
Not sure where you got your numbers (regular or premium?), they may be currently accurate, but gas prices are very volatile up here - they can be quite different week to week - sometimes up to $0.10 diff per litre...  Prices here in Ontario are generally up in the $1.25/litre range, I'd plan on the average being a little higher than you have, just in case.

I can't comment on the US part of your route as I've never been out that way, but the Canadian part of the route looks like an excellent trip - I was on a similar route (in a car) a few years back...


I popped out to gasbuddy.com for the US side and the Canadian gasbuddy site for the Canadian numbers. Accurate as of last night and certainly numbers will change. Everything really is an estimate. I mean, just because I have $2.49 in Portland doesn't mean I won't find it less or more expensive. Plus I'm gassing up on the highway anyway so prices are going to be a bit more expensive regardless. I think the trip estimate is reasonable and don't think it'd change by a couple of hundred either way.

And yep. I've been through this route before coming from the north side and twice coming up from the south side (once in a car :(  :)  ). Looking forward to the trip.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:13:30 pm
Left this morning at 8:30am. 540 expected miles and intended on being in Beaver Utah this evening.

We stopped in Boulder after 15 or 20 minutes to check the bike out and make sure nothing's out of place.


The ride through the mountains was similar as last time. Fairly cool in places. Traffic was somewhat slow especially as we approached the turnoff to Winter Park and further, Vail. Eisenhower Tower was interesting as usual.

We stopped in Rifle for gas again and a quick bathroom break.


Riding through Grand Junction and there was a broken up cardboard box in the highway. I watched as it was moved by the wind of passing vehicles and then it flew up and hit me in the top of the helmet. It's one of those things. If I was on my own, would I have ducked to avoid it or did I not duck in order to keep Jeanne from being hit by surprise.

Of course temps increased as we passed into Utah and stopped again at Thompson for a final bit of gas before heading on to the stop for the night.


We stopped at the rest area just past the 10 cut off and took a break.


We arrived in Milford (30 miles west of Beaver) at around 7:30. I emailed my brother and texted my cousin. My cousin texted me back that she was in Savannah and thought I was traveling through next week so I'll be missing her. My brother confirmed me coming. I called to make sure they were aware though that my cousin had bailed. His girlfriend Nadine answered the phone so I passed along we were going to be a day early. No problem but wanted to make sure folks were expecting us at the right times :)
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:18:15 pm
We snagged breakfast in Milford at Penny's Diner. It's an actual diner and the motel just east of town was pretty sweet.


We headed south on 129 then took the right at 130 to head towards Ceder City. The road and area was pretty flat and you can see for miles.


Getting on 15 S again sped up the trip and the run down the passes in Arizona was as expected. Pretty fast and of course with people camped in the left lane. At a couple of places, I did the wave at the bonehead crossing the center line. Always have to pay attention to the folks oblivious to traffic.

In Mesquite we stopped for gas again.


From there it was a straight run to California. We passed through Las Vegas checking out the big buildings. We've both been here before so it wasn't new but considering the political climate, we did point at the Trump building :)

I'd planned on stopping in Primm and thought I was there when I pulled in but found I was in Jean instead. The place was packed with cars of course and humorously one woman was stuck at a pump. She'd locked her keys inside her car so was just sitting there waiting for a tow truck. I was able to slide the bike into the space and fill up.


There was some goon from Oregon in an SUV just hauling through traffic, cutting people off and in a big hurry. It was funny because I was basically hanging in the right lane with an occasional shift to the left and back for a truck. I wasn't watching but saw that I wasn't more than 10 or so car lengths behind him. And then, traffic stopped. Being in California, I knew I could lane split so sure enough, splitting is what I did.

My own ideas from reading posts here and the other place is you only split in very slow or stopped traffic and I did it basically when I stuck in 1st gear and it was slow enough that folks are unlikely to change lanes.

Much of the stopped or slowed traffic were cars stopped on the shoulder, maybe overheated but with blankets over the open door and people sitting in the car. A few places had others, like a tow truck or cop, with the stopped car. Towards the front of the jam, miles from the end, was someone stuck over on other side and blocking the right lane with a guy standing on the asphalt trying to direct traffic. Once that was passed, traffic picked up again.

Temps were in the mid to upper 90's until California and the Mohave where it reached 102F. Jeanne is particularly impacted by the heat. I did have the Camelbak Rogue with water so we stayed hydrated and as long as we moved, we had some degree of coolness but it was still fricking hot.

Man, 109 when we got on 10. Freaking hot.

We got off at rosemead for gas and a check where we were and no entrance back to 10 west. We wandered about, 60 to 710 to 10 to alameda east. A check then and 10 east to 5 to 710 south to 405 to cherry to my brother's.

And he doesn't have AC!


He comments that it was a lot nicer before we arrived :)

We had dinner at the local place (Nine Noodles? Something) which was good.


We started checking out the next stop. Merced was an option but I wanted to get closer t Yosemite. Unfortunately we had to go pretty far afield to find a place. Pretty much anything will do at this point, even getting a room and crashing on the floor :)

Now we're just hanging about and will bail around 10. North to Yosemite.

I do want to note that the 'busa wouldn't have made it. I think the fan's out or heat sensor. It would have overheated so I need to check it.

I Don't think I would have gone if I just had the 'busa. My right knee swelled last Wed, don't know why and was a bit sensitive but better Sat morning. I took the Connie out as a test and it was okay.

Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:20:08 pm
Jeanne made an interesting discovery this morning.

I grabbed the wrong passport. I have the expired one :(

But, call house/cat sitter. "I'll give you the instructions on where my passport is, can you hit the FedEx store and send it to my cousin next day?"


Assuming she can find it (and it should be there), we'll still be able to go to Canada :)

109 degrees on the way out of LA. Bumper to bumper on the 405 north. Got some filtering done but the bike is wider than I'm less than comfortable if it's close. Nothing like being stuck on the freeway in LA because I misjudged or some moron has a problem. Some guy wanted to dispute my passing but I made it anyway. And it was so hot, the tops of my feet itch and look and feel sunburnt. One of the worst things was we were behind a tall van/utility type truck, you know with the image of a guy standing in the back looking behind. Well, he all of a sudden stopped. Someone had dropped a bicycle in the road and it had been run over a few times so it was in two pieces. You must pay attention and be ready to dodge people and debris when riding.

Anyway, north on 99 above Bakersfield. Heading to Stockton and east to the B&B in San Andreas.

Got to Merced and headed up 140 to Mariposa. Straight run there. Bit twisty at the end but still on the hot side, mid 90's.

Left on 49 and headed on. After Bear Creek Road, the twisties kicked in down to Bigby Rec Area. I'm not that confident when going downhill so it was slow going but still cool. Coming back up the other side and it's all good fun.



Twisties again. Sun's in my eyes, at a couple of places I almost come to a stop as I come around a steep turn and have no idea what's in front of me.

After Coulterville and a few more twisties, we hook up on 120 and it's cruising speed again. Up to Sonora after Chinese Camp then left to Angels Camp then San Andreas to Robin's Nest B&B.

At Chinese Camp we stopped briefly to check maps. Turns out my cousin lives in Oakdale just a few minutes west. Up past Sonora is Twain Hart, where two of my aunts and uncles used to live. Back in 2004 when Rita and I were riding in the area, I realized where we were, heading to Yosemite, and made the turn to Twain Hart to see if they were still there. My Uncle Dick and Uncle Georgia and my Uncle Paul were. My Aunt Mona Jean had passed of breast cancer though. A call to check and we spent the night visiting. Uncle Paul passed just a few months later.

Robin's Nest Bed and Breakfast. Quite the nice place although it was a bit difficult to locate the entrance. While the front of the house faces the main road, you have to circle around to get to the entrance. Parked the bike and chatted with the owners. Turns out we're the only folks in tonight so we have the run of the place.



No AC but it is somewhat cool and we can open the window to let cool air in.



And a large tub. I've never used such a thing before even though we've had them available in a few hotels. In this case we used it to rinse off the salt and sweat of the ride. It's a lot better when used this way. I've never been much of a tub person but this worked pretty well.


Coming down the stairs and looking at the dining room with the kitchen beyond.


The front room.


The sitting room.

We walked down to El Mexical for dinner. Then hit the big tub on the room to rinse off the salt and relax a bit before heading down to the sitting room to read.

We decided we didn't have time for Tahoe if we were going to get back to my cousin Holly's in time to actually be sociable, so we'll be grabbing breakfast at 8 then off to Yosemite.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:22:08 pm
Nice morning to wake up in the Bed and Breakfast. The owner is a former CIO who cashed out and is doing what he wants. He's a Harley rider so we had interesting ride discussions and how he got back on the bike. His wife asked to stop at the local Harley place, then asked which bike he liked. It of course was bought. Reasoning was losing oneself in the ride vs stewing over this or that. I agreed and it's why I ride when I can. Anyway, breakfast was pretty fancy with yogurt in patterns and a nice egg and sausage meal. Pretty tasty.



By the time we bailed, it was getting up there in heat again and in the 90's. We headed south to get to 120 into the park taking the nice twisty road up to the top and then followed traffic to the park. We took a couple of breaks as we cruised in as it was a bit boring since passing was almost impossible.



One of the cool things about the Connie is the bits I added after I got the 'busa are things that come stock on the Connie. Like the accessories plug. I have a motorboat type one which does tend to catch a little water so I have to scrub it out every few years. The Connie has it on the dash and it has a rubber cover over it.


After entering the park (and paying $80 for an all park pass), we took the right hand turn down to El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome. Unfortunately at one of the tunnels a motorhome was stopped in the middle of the road with his backup lights on. I stopped behind him to see what he was going to do. Traffic was coming through the tunnel. Then he started backing up! I beeped at him and carefully went around. As we passed, he yelled out an apology, "we're too tall for the tunnel." He probably should have had someone behind him organizing the backup.

Of course there was lots of traffic but the views were still pretty nice.



Got a nice pic of the waterfall to the right of the road.


Yosemite Falls was running. Last time I was here, it was dryer and no waterfall.


The parking lot at the Visitor's Center was pretty tight but being on a bike, we can park most anywhere :)  Several bikes parked in one of the corners and there was a motorcycle parking area around the front but it had a Mustang parked in half the spots. The Harley guys weren't too happy with the guy :)


The place was busy. I checked out the sodas but they were warm plus the lines were 10 or so people deep. So we headed out towards the grill, bathrooms being on the other side and no lines at the grill. I snagged a Gatorade and Jeanne got water and a cup of ice for the CamelBak. In the past we'd get cup of ice for 50 cents but at the park, they charged full price ($2.90). Had I realized, I'd have gotten the ice and then filled it with soda (except it's a Pepsi shop so bleh).

We finally cruised out to the camping area and stopped for a few pics of Half Dome.



Like the ride in, it was nice and scenic but I needed to stop several times as I was nodding. Not good on mountain roads. At the descent, we headed down the mountain again and temps were increasing. Some guy in a WRX type car didn't want to let me by so I spent the time on his tail. He was fast but he constantly crossed the double yellow or the white shoulder line. Good thing we didn't encounter any bicyclists or oncoming traffic!

Anyway, made it to my cousin's in Oakdale and had a nice dinner as we chatted about family.

My cousin has a pretty nice little ranch (farm). Small place outside of Oakdale and with an Almond orchard on one side and a Dairy on the other. She has a couple of horses, cows, llamas, chickens, a couple of crazy dogs (aren't they all? :) ), and lots of stuff. It's a farm so there's machinery and trucks and other interesting bits. It's cool to reconnect and chat with extended family at times. They have their own experiences and unlike when we were kids when we were thrown together with brothers and sisters visited, as adults we get to share our lives when we can. Some of us are fairly far apart and others are closer but people drift apart. I'm glad I was able to wander through and tie some bits together :)

Heading down to Monterrey to visit with aunts, uncles, and cousins in the morning.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:24:00 pm
Stupid rooster. 6 am he's out there crowing. "FINGER LIKIN' GOOD!" Stupid bird.




We got up and puttered around. Chatting with my cousin, snagging some breakfast, and generally getting ready to go. It's not an overly long way to my aunt and uncle's place in Capitola but there will be traffic. It's California. There's <strong>always</strong> traffic. Anyway while we were getting ready, we were also poking about and getting farm type explanations about things. For example, we initially thought this was one of the bar type riding bulls but she set us straight. It's a practice dummy for roping. Pretty cool actually. You don't think about those things but yea, I guess getting a half loop on a bull or cow might not be a pleasant experience :)


Before we bailed, I made sure to get a good cousins picture.


Humorously when I was kneeling down to deal with the power for the various devices we had, I ripped a gigantic hole in the riding pants I had on. We'll have to hunt down a replacement pair eventually. We found out the almond orchard guys bought the dairy farm next door so she'll be surrounded by trees. On thinking about it, whatever pesticides are sprayed on the trees will drift onto her place. That might encourage her to finally sell and move to a farm a bit farther out. That's the problem with the big places taking over. Moving farther away will be more of a hardship. Farther away from town and being a bit more isolated. Anyway, we got a quick shower and then got the bike packed up. We headed out the door at around 10:30.

One of the interesting things was the orchard guys dumped a load of crushed almond hulls in the road. The road had a large almond brown section and was a little weird feeling.

We need to head out to 580 eventually then 84 to 680 to 262 to 880 to 17 to 1 and Capitola. Couple of hour ride.

Pulled in to a gas station in Oakdale and chatted with a couple about heat and riding from Colorado. He said he was jealous of folks on bikes. He's sitting in traffic and zoom, a bike goes by. :) Had a bit of a discussion on how hot it was with him in his air conditioning and us without so I think he understood better what we had to deal with. Maybe :)

Headed out on 108 and through Riverdale. Then through an intersection and on. But wait. There sure isn't a lot of traffic. Lots of walnut trees and almond trees but little traffic. Pull over and check map. Wrong turn of course. Head back to intersection, head north to 120 and out. The good thing, and according to Jeanne, is I don't get all wound up. It's "well crap, wrong turn, let's see, how do we get back to where we need to be? Is straight better than turning around? How far back would we need to go?" The map showed that we weren't all that far from the intersection and that trying to navigate out to 120 would be a bit more convoluted so back we went.


The ride was still hot in places but with an occasional cool spot. It's interesting that here, being in the mountains is still hot. In Colorado, when it gets hot, we head into the mountains. We kept on 120 until it merged with 5 and then followed 5. 5 turned into 205 and 580. Interesting there was a "short cut" through Livermore to 680 south. Then cut over to 880 and south. Traffic was busy but not too crazy I guess.

We made a quick stop in Los Gatos for pics of the signs :)


Then on to 17 and the crazy twisty ride down into cooler weather. 1 was backed up for miles but I can filter! And it only took 10 minutes or so to get to 41st St in Capitola. Head down to aunt's house. Even that was a bit of a turn around, back and forth. I misread the address as 49nn when it was 17nn. We did eventually locate the house and we met my aunt and uncle.


And again, more family talk. Chatting about moving (they were further south). My other cousin who we were staying with tomorrow night and her sister's husband and his friend, along with my aunt and uncle, headed across the street to 'Shadowbrook'. It's a pretty cool place with lots of terraces for meals along the side of the face of the cliff. With stairs and even a gondola.




After dinner we headed down to the beach. There was a Reggae type band playing (The Expendables). Pretty good actually.



And of course, Jeanne hanging out at the beach :D


Nice day for a concert though :)

Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:26:35 pm
We all headed out to IHOP for breakfast with family. Always like hitting IHOP. Snagged my favorite pancakes and sausages and then snapped a few pics before heading back to my aunt's place.



It was pretty cool out and the fog was rolling in along the coast. The river that runs through Capitola was generating some fog.


And kitties!


It was a somewhat cool ride Monterrey at 54F per the bike. A welcome change but yea, it'll be cooler as we head north.


First stop, Cannery Row. Ultimately I wanted to hit lunch at Fisherman's Wharf but we do have to hit the tourist traps :)  Parking the bike of course and locking up the helmets and gear in the trunk (although Jeanne kept hers on).


We stopped at Ghirardelli's and after the samples, we picked up a mixed bag of chocolate for the gang back at work :) We also stopped in at a wine bar so Jeanne could taste some local grapes and meanwhile I snagged a soda, checked out the 'Garlic Shop' then the 'Candy Shop'. I snagged a few boxes of 'Throwback Bottle Caps' (I like the cola and root beer ones) before heading on to the <a href="http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/[/img]Monterey Bay Aquarium</a> to visit the fish :)

Lots of fish :D






(The birds were rescues so weren't held captive or anything.)



There was one tank filled with lunch... I mean fish :)








Lots of odd plantlife




Sand Dollars


Lots more pics of course :)

Then we headed over to Fisherman's Wharf for a late lunch.


I'm a fan of Boudin Sour Dough Bread so we went down to get a couple of Clam Chowder in Bread Bowls. Tasty tasty tasty.

And while waiting, we checked out the bay.



A few folks were running out on small boats or rafts.


Jeanne's a fan of the ocean, especially the sound of water and the waves. Soothing. As tomorrow we were heading up the coast, this is the first real look out and into the bay. Pretty wistful and longing.


On the way back to Capitola, we ran into some stop and go traffic and I could filter again. At one point there was a bit of a gap and I started to move over and the guy in front of me stopped suddenly but the guy on the left left a gap and I was able to grab some brake, swerve, and continue on. Pretty risky and dangerous out there.

As I understand, filtering only is for low speeds and no shoulder riding. Saw some fast riders and a few shoulder riders. No one filtered up to the stop lights though so I don't know if that's okay. When I was in Athens, lots of bikes and scooters filtered to the front but not much in the way of smaller bikes like Athens so maybe not so acceptable here.

When we returned, we gathered up our gear and headed out to the gas station to fill up (should have done it sooner, my bad) and then off to my cousin. Of course 1 was backed up for miles so time to filter again :) We were following my uncle up to the correct exit but it would have taken too long for that. As I knew the exit, I pulled up next to them and yelled out that we would filter up and wait at the onramp of the exit. We filtered up through traffic, couple of narrow spots including a sudden stop again. At the start of the backup, a cop was sitting on the side of the road. Honestly. We stopped at the on ramp and I timed how long it took to go 3 or 4 exits. 11 minutes.

I followed them up to my cousin's place where we dropped off our gear and then headed out to dinner.

Dinner was tasty however I did spend a bit of time in the bathroom back at my cousin's so there is that.

Got pics of me with my aunt and uncle. I've been practicing smiling for years. My brother does complain that I close my eyes when I smile so maybe less practice :)


We spent the evening chatting. Jeanne has been getting along pretty well with my extended family which is good :) We hit the hay after a bit.

In the morning, breakfast and we're heading up to Napa to see Wine Country (and the crazy place :) ).
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:30:15 pm
Lovely morning at my cousin's house. She has a nice view of the ocean and a nice place to hang out. She works from home for IBM so she has a nice office :)




And an Avocado Tree!!!


While we were having breakfast, you could hear the occasional ripe Avocado drop off the tree! *whump* Almost as bad as sitting under a coconut tree. :)

We got our gear packed up and I snagged a nice hug.


And we were on our way again. This time heading north to Napa Wine country.


As always, traffic was a bit of a bear. Temps were a little cooler but not by a lot and of course I could filter. At one point I was eyeing a gap and the truck driver in the right lane waved me by. Humorously the guys who live here are a lot more confident and faster so I find myself occasionally moving over for them as well plus every once in a while I go a bit faster than the locals :)

Jeanne keeps in touch with home of course to see what's going on. While at a gas station, she got a call. One of the family friends was leaving work on her Vespa (scooter; with a helmet), she'd stopped at a stop sign out front of work and the next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital. Her helmet was totaled of course and she had a broken leg. Fortunately this <strong>was</strong> out front of where she worked and someone from HR saw the whole thing. So she'll need to have a place to stay for a few weeks so she can have help in getting around.

Plus, Jeanne's daughter is keeping an eye on my place and Slash (my cat) and one of Jeanne's roommates is keeping an eye on her place, three cats, and a dog. Jeanne's daughter dropped in and found the food and water dishes empty and the dog refusing to leave the second floor. Plus Slash is sleeping in his pee again so she had to give him another bath.

So drama. Jeanne is of course worried and anxious. "Do you want to head home? We're close to 80, we can make the right and be home Sunday night?" Jeanne thought about it and while we fretted, she sent a text to her daughter. After a long time, she texted back, "Why?"

So it was just ranting and venting, drama not panic. So per Jeanne, we continued on.

We headed over the Martinez toll bridge. No cash so the lady told us to go ahead and we'll get a bill. Instead of continuing on 680, I was in the wrong lane and headed on 780 to Vallejo. I spent some time as a youth in Vallejo as my Dad was in the Navy (Mare Island Naval Shipyard) so quick off ramp, loop around, and back to 680. And again, with construction, coming off of 680 to 80, I missed the turn onto 12 so I caught the next road which cut back through to 12. But it was a stop sign and traffic is never ending! I made a right, headed back to 80, off ramp again, loop around construction, back on to 80 and then got off at 12 and headed to Napa. Right turn on 221 and into town. Man, what a nightmare.


As it was getting later and Jeanne wanted to tour about in Napa a little, we checked for a room. Mainly pretty expensive so we started expanding our search a little and found a place in Fairfield. Checking the map and instead of going back to traffic (which was freaking nuts), we headed up the mountain to Wooden Valley Road and down the other side to Fairfield. We'd passed a few wine tasting places so after dropping off our gear, we headed out for a little taste of the grape.

Jeanne was a little bit buzzed at the end, around 8pm, so we hopped on the bike and headed out to get something to eat. One of the local guys we were chatting with suggested 'Sticky Rice' as a pretty good place for food so we noted the directions and off we go. And <strong>yet again</strong> got a bit turned around and was heading up 80 in the wrong direction. :) It took a bit to locate the next place we could turn around but we finally did make the turn and headed back to where we got on 80 and located the restaurant (it was the road just <strong>before</strong> the entrance to 80). Nice place and the food was pretty good. We sat out back and checked out the lake.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:35:48 pm
Jeanne bought new boots for the trip. It's a week later and:


Not a good thing to happen with boots I'm thinking.

Jeanne can be so patient with my picture taking at times :D


From Fairfield we headed back to Napa and stopped for breakfast, again at IHOP :) and then started heading north. Jeanne wanted to take in Wine Country. Man there are a lot of wineries here. I never realized. Lots of interesting spots and some oddities I had to investigate later when we stopped. We did miss riding up the coast but we've both done that (although me on a bike and her in a car many years ago) and this was pretty cool.


One oddity were the number of vineyards with roses planted at the end of the rows of grapes. There were red roses, white roses, and other colors. I figured it might tell what sort of grapes were being grown (white wine, red wine, etc). But a quick google check finds:

Both roses and grape vines are susceptible to some of the same diseases. Indeed, roses act as early warning of mildew which is a fungal disease. There are two main kinds of mildews: Powdery mildew (Oidium) that develops on all green parts of the vine. We can see white powdery growth of spores on the surfaces.

Well that's Cool.

Next, there was a smell of grapes of course, but about half the time, I smelled sulfur. What's up with that?

This sulfur smell in your homemade wine comes from hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is a compound that is naturally produced during a wine fermentation. All wine fermentation will produce some hydrogen sulfide, however there are some scenarios that can cause more of it to be produced than others

That was interesting. Learn new things every day. Cool!

We stopped at Castillo di Amorosa (http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/) and the wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castello_di_Amorosa).


It's a pretty interesting place. The owner brought the castle from Italy and recreated it in the valley.

The tour was starting later than we wanted to wait so Jeanne bought passes to go in and walk around and hit the tasting room before we left. We still spent quite a bit of time wandering around but the tour would have ended later than I really wanted in order to get to Eureka in a reasonable amount of time.

The castle has goats and sheep!




Gargoyle guarding the entrance


Jeanne heading up the steps


Arrow ports


For raising and lowering the portcullis


Jeanne again (the portcullis wheel is just to the left in the alcove)


One of the towers


View over the top of the castle


Parking lot


Wine country


At the entrance


Central courtyard


There was a butterfly flying around the flowers. I snapped several pictures until I got this one.


Down in the wine cellar. "100 bottles of wine on the wall, 100 bottles of wine. Take one down, pass it around, 99 bottles of wine on the wall"


Per the cork, bottled in 2000

Your basic tourist trap. Lots of little things like soap, cooking with wine books, wooden cases to carry your wine, etc.




Continuing on from the castle, we headed up until 128 and 29 split. We took the left and headed for the coast. 128 was a pretty cool ride in general, running through the upper valley. Then 101 up to the 128 split again. I got behind a Prius and a Scion and we hauled ass in the mountains. Great fun if a bit weary. The shifting shade and sun made it difficult to determine what was around the corner at times so sudden slowness was called for. At one point the Prius seemed to have trouble going up the hills but recovered. I wasn't sure if she wanted me to pass or what.

One of the real problems is lane discipline. It didn't happen a lot but certainly there were a few places where people were cutting corners. I'm still tentative on the bike though. I've said it before. There is a midway between full on sportbike and touring bike like the Goldwing so this felt a little wobbly at times. At one corner there was a bit of a washboard and the bike stuttered a bit to the left!

At the Navarro River Redwoods State Park, we stopped for a break and some pictures.



And a super awesome picture of Jeanne, the bike, and the trees.


The trees are pretty big here.


Hopping back on the bike, we headed up to the coast. Nice and cool again :)




Of course we stopped at the "Drive Through a Tree" park :)  Jeanne insisted.



Looking up inside the tree


Dark in there



Seriously, I have been working on my smile for years. It's a grimace most of the time if I'm not thinking "smile!"


The Chandler tree itself


Now that's a big tree.


Continuing, the road merged back with 101. I did get a nice video of the ride to 101 though :) At the "House in a log" spot in Piercy, we stopped for gas. There have been a few places where my card wasn't accepted for some reason. I'd just go inside to set some amount, around $10, and then pump the gas. In this case I set it to $7.00 but instead of going to 7, it stopped at 2 gallons. Kind of an odd configuration but it was the only time it was different than just pumping $7 or $10 or $15 of gas.

We finally got to Eureka and I stopped to get gas.

"Do you have my credit card??"

Oh no. No card. Check wallet. Check pocket. The last place I had it was Piercy. Call the Patriot station. "Yea, I found it when I was walking out. I tried to catch you but you were already gone." *whew* "Okay, excellent. I'll drive down in the morning and pick it up. You guys are open on Sunday right?"

<strong>That</strong> would have sucked.

We found the motel and unpacked the bike. The motel was a little on the cheaper side (and across from the county jail :) ) with a few homeless folks wandering around. The lady at the desk says there are a lot of homeless in Eureka for some reason. Anyway, she suggested Lost Coast Brewery so we walked down to get something to eat. Man what a loud establishment. I'm not really good with loud but I muddled through it :) I've been ordering fish and chips up the coast and they've been okay in general. The fish here were pretty good but the fries were pretty bad. Cold and chewy. I did get a root beer float which was good in general.


That big spider? When the door opens and closes, it goes up and down :)
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:41:01 pm
I let Jeanne sleep in a little while I threw on my gear and zipped back down to Piercy.


Nice hour ride down to the Patriot gas station. When I got there the lady didn't know what I was talking about so she started hunting around the counter, drawers, etc looking for the card and wasn't able to find it. She called the guy who was on yesterday and she still couldn't find it. He came over from his place and hunted around as well until finding it over under the cigarettes. The guy was a bit grumpy though, I guess he didn't want to wake up and come back to work :)  I did thank the guy profusely though. Turns out per the lady cards are supposed to be dropped into the safe. The guy held it until the end of the shift but some of the counter folks will drop it into the safe immediately. The problem is the safe can't be opened until Monday. <strong>That</strong> would have been a problem. But problem averted, I filled up, made sure the card was in my wallet (and was super careful every time after that :) ), snagged a soda and some donuts and headed back to Eureka.

I'd told Jeanne several times that I do like to ride and that if she wanted me to stop to just tap me and we'll stop. We did that a couple of times but not as many as I expected. Anyway we snagged breakfast at a Denny's and scooted on out heading to Coos Bay Oregon.

Upon reaching the coast again, we pulled over to check out a beach.


There were some conservationists at the entrance to the beach.


It's been somewhat chilly and foggy but not crazy cold. We were planning on stopping at the Redwood National Park. There are several Redwood State Parks like the one yesterday including the 'Avenue of Giants' which was the original road up to Eureka (and bloody slow going in part due to the sun in my eyes at every turn). In this case it's the <strong>National</strong> one :) At one point Jeanne did tap me as we passed a meadow where there were a bunch of cars parked (the road ran back to the trees so there were parked in the dirt next to the road). I took the next turn into an ancient parking lot. As I went over one of the speed humps, the bike scraped bottom! We zipped back to the meadow and while Jeanne snapped a few pics, I checked the underside of the bike.



Whew, nothing broken or even badly scraped.

Man, I gotta pee. We cruised by the Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox parking area. I stopped at the next place I could turn around, turned around, and went back to use the bathroom. Jeanne was also in dire straights as well :)


The hand moved and some guy was watching and talking through a loud speaker to kids climbing on his shoes and mucking with the axe. It was a bit cheesy but still cool. We hung around for a few minutes taking a break as well and checking out all the flowers.



I remember these poppers. I used to squeeze one that wasn't open yet and pop a little water out of it.


Still pretty flowers





Okay, enough with the pictures, let's go look at trees! :)  We headed out and north to the Redwoods. And of course missed the sign. We crossed the Klamath River and I realized we'd missed it. Check the map and turn around. We took the side road (Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway) up to the park ranger's place, then turned around and parked, locked up the gear and went for a hike. We were heading for the big tree but made a right instead of a left. Still pretty cool and we did get to the big tree.




Tall trees!





Now that's Big Wood!!!


We walked back when we reached the dirt road and found the 'Circle Path' which took us to the big trees.


We continued to cruise up the coast of Oregon with at least one stop at the beach. It was pretty cool temp wise going up the coast running between 50 and no higher than 63 plus the coast was pretty fogged in. It took about 9 hours to get to Coos Bay. We had a meal at Kozy Kitchen, a comfort food type diner. Food was pretty good in general but certainly comfort food :) We discussed the weather in Canada around Jasper and Banff. Per the weather forecast, there was a greater than 50% chance of rain. Since purpose of the trip to Jasper and Banff was to see the mountains, it might be cool but it might also be chilly and unable to even see the mountains or glaciers and it may be raining or even snowing. So we discussed it and decided to head east in Portland. We were already 2 days behind on the schedule, which isn't a big deal on a trip really. Schedules are flexible and I generally put lots of loops and cut-through paths just in case of issues like the broken leg back home.

So we're cutting Canada out (even after getting my Passport) and heading to Walla Walla Washington tomorrow morning. We'll even be checking out Lolo Pass just in case.

And humorously, Jeanne is keeping me honest. No fast food so far this trip :) (I don't really count IHOP or Denny's as 'Fast Food'.)
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:44:30 pm
Jeanne and I had a discussion on the adjustable windscreen on the Concours. When up all the way, it pulls me forward to the screen so I was suspecting Jeanne was getting more of a breeze and maybe more disturbance than was necessary. But in checking, she claims it's actually a little warmer for her. Since temps were in the low 50's and it was drizzly, it was an important check.

We got breakfast from the hotel, donned our rain gear (and it was a bit constricting around the right knee), and headed on our way. We continued up the coast however with the temps and drizzle, we decided we'd have a nicer ride further inland. In Reedsport, we made the right turn on 38 and headed east to I-5. It was quite a nice road next to the Umpqua River, nice sweepers at good speeds. At Scottsburg, we stopped for a nice pic of the bridge.


And Jeanne


We stopped in Anlauf on I5 and removed our rain gear as it was a touch on the warm side :)


After that it was basically just riding north to Portland, following 205 around to 84 east. We followed the Columbia River east, enjoying the scenery and generally enjoying the ride. I'd been up this way before back when I visited my daughter who was living in Portland at the time. It gradually got hotter of course as we got closer to where 84 turns south, going from around 70F up to the mid 90's. Of course I missed the quick sign to Walla Walla and had to jump off at 930 to go north to 730. We stopped in Irrigon (where gas was $3.99 a gallon!) and followed 730 to Umatilla.

As temps were up there and we were away from moister air, I was able to feel cooler when I opened up my sleeves. The sweat cooled me down quite well :) At certain positions, the jacket would balloon up quite fully and be cool.

I was in the right lane approaching a light when a semi-truck pulled out when I was quite close. After the light changed, I followed the cars in the left lane and then scooted around the idiot. I learned later that folks who drive the larger vehicles will pull out even when there may not be enough space knowing people in cars (and on bikes) may be upset, but will stop and they'll be able to get into traffic quicker. It increases the chance of an accident of course, especially nowadays when too many people are texting or otherwise distracted.

Not long after, we arrived in Walla Walla and after a bit of turning around, we found the hotel. Dropped off the gear and headed out for a walk. We arrived earlier than normal so we could go strolling and Jeanne spotted a book, crafts, and GAME store. Many of the places were closed as we walked by and stopped in at Olive for dinner. Sadly the food wasn't all that (at $50 and the Tuscan Beef sandwich was mostly bread) and since there were no servers, I didn't get any refills so I was sad :(

After we continue walking and passed the Starbucks (they're everywhere!) to the Book store. We went in expecting books and suddenly games. Lots of Games. Lots and lots of games. Woah, this is pretty cool. It's a college town so I guess there's some expectation of good reading and games but the size of the collection was a lot larger than I expected. :)  While I was looking at books, Jeanne spoke with the owner (or at least the person responsible for the games :) ) and was getting me to show off my collection of games. We had a great discussion of games, which ones were appropriate for what sized groups, which ones I liked, which are fun, which are resource gathering, just general gamers discussing games :)


I snagged an interesting Miskatonic horror type book and a pack of Pinochle cards. :)

Next we headed over to Wingman as Jeanne was jonesing for dessert.


I got myself a carafe of soda (diet) and to the surprise of the server, finished it off :)

After we headed back to the room and relaxed a bit. I've been keeping track of receipts in part because of the prep I'd done for the trip so I was writing it in the book and storing away the receipts. I'm pretty sure we missed a few so far but we were keeping pretty good track.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:46:25 pm
Left Walla Walla at 7:30. Got to Polson at 7:30. Man, what a long, hot day.

The morning ride through Washington was quite pretty. Lots and lots of wheat. Just miles and miles of it. Must take weeks to harvest. Got stopped for construction (pilot car) twice and chatted with the flagman and flagwoman (who had her dog with her). I'd known I was getting low on Plexus, I had a smaller can and it wasn't full when we left. I didn't think it would be a problem however we did eventually run out. Plus the thumb of my glove had a hole in it from somewhere. I stopped at a parts place and they didn't have anything that was of much help and no gloves.

Crossed over into Idaho and Lewiston at around noon. We headed east and south on 12 and stopped in Orofino briefly to see if we could find Plexus and gloves. Plus I'd run out of soap and deodorant. At an Ace, I was able to find gloves but the large size was too small. And no Plexus but they did have Windex Wipes. I put them back at one point but figured if we couldn't find Plexus, it'd do in a pinch. I also found more soap and deodorant so we were mostly okay.

Still, the Clearwater River was a nice ride and the Dam up the Northfork was freaking cool even though we only got a glimpse. But the river was cool as well.




As we continued south, I figured we'd stop at Kooskia to get gas and even passed Kamiah's gas station however Kooskia was apparently just a couple of closed buildings. Figuring we'd get gas on the way, I continued on up Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. Of course, as fate would have it, the gas station at Syringa, which had "Last Chance gas for 64 miles" was closed and for sale. Well, the bike will do about 250 miles on a tank and we're at 54 miles right now. We should be able to make it to Lolo on the other side. So off we go.

Northwest Passage Scenic Byway is an excellent ride. Nice sweeping curves and little traffic. I was of course conscious of gas consumption but enjoying the curves and scenery.



At about 150 miles, we found gas plus snagged a late lunch at Lochsa Lodge. Kind of a cool little spot almost at the Summit. Campground I guess along with gas and a little store. I snagged a couple of hippy moose stickers for the bike :) and then we went back for lunch.




After lunch we continued up the pass.


Lolo in Montana was hot and a little busy with traffic. We made the left and headed towards Missoula. The intention was to get on to 90 and west to 93 north but in following 12, we didn't see any signs for 90. Kept seeing signs for 12 so I kept following it. Followed it through neighborhoods and such and finally decided we'd missed a turn somewhere and made a left onto a one way street. I pulled out the map but it was of Montana so Missoula was just a blob really. So I pulled out the phone. Ah, should have kept going instead of making the left. Pulled out, made a couple of lefts and continued on 12. Sure enough, a few minutes later signs for 90. Stupid 12 :)

We hopped onto the freeway and headed west to 93 north. Nice little ride through small towns. An hour or so up to Polson and a hotel. On the way though, I think I killed a fairy. All of a sudden


Man, what the heck was that? I didn't want to try and wipe it off as I wouldn't be able to see. I haven't had such an insect blocking encounter since Virginia and the big June Bug encounter!


I have no idea what it was, but it certainly left its mark.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:49:44 pm
We're planning on staying here for the day and leaving tomorrow so we got up when we wanted, had breakfast, and got the bike ready. I took a few minutes to decorate the bike of course. First stickers :)



We hopped on and headed to Glacier at about 10:30am. About 90 minutes with a little traffic. I suspect local folks aren't much interested in tourists. One guy wasn't happy apparently with being passed. Sadly, going slower than the speed limit and rubbernecking the mountains just keeps the folks behind you watching what you're doing in case you do something foolish. But hey, no reason to get upset when passed. Just keep looking at the mountains. And yea, you're not going to keep me from passing if that's what I want to do.

At the park entrance, we flashed the general pass I bought at Yosemite but right inside the entrance was a black bear and a cub. The cub was cute and momma was curious and watching folks. Being on a bike, I pulled up just a bit vs being right next to her and watched as she scurried across the road to her second cub.


Later we saw cops, rangers, and a bunch of other vehicles just outside of West Glacier. Then an article where two people were attacked and one killed by a grizzly bear sow identified with two cubs. The ones we saw maybe??

http://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/06/29/grizzly-bear-kills-person-near-west-glacier/ (http://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/06/29/grizzly-bear-kills-person-near-west-glacier/)

Later they changed it to a Black Bear so I suspect it was the one we saw.

I do like to get scenic pics and Glacier is certainly a scenic place so yea, the occasional stop will occur. Expect lots of pictures :)


And Jeanne snapping a few :)


The one I was taking


We stopped at the Lodge to take in the lake. And someone caught a ride.


No worries, he'd bailed by the time we returned. :)



Jeanne is finally taking pics as we move :)







We did stop to get a few pictures though :)










At the top (Logan Pass), we stopped to take a break, grabbed a plush bear for Jeanne's daughter and a Glacier set of stickers for the bike.



A herd of mountain goats stopped traffic on the way out of the parking lot.



And back down


I basically coasted back down alternating between front and rear brake. At Apgar Village, we stopped for ice cream. The ride was torture on my butt so stopping was required. Mandatory in fact. As we wandered around, I spotted the boat rentals.


For 18 bucks, we rented a canoe and spent an hour on the lake just rowing about and sitting quietly. We went quite far out. We got the hang of paddling pretty quickly and pretty much enjoyed a nice serene paddle out onto the lake.




After the lake, we headed back to the hotel for a nice sunset on the patio.


Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:52:16 pm
Today was a long long loooonnnng boring ride on 90. From Polson to Missoula on 93, then 5 hours on 90 to Billings.

Just riding.

On the slab.

Squaring off the tire.

80 mph though.



On the plus side, until Big Timber, the temps were mid 70's then the last hour or so temps increased to 84 before we stopped in Billings.

We did make a stop about 2:30 to take a break. One of a few actually.


In Billings it again took a bit of wandering until we found the hotel. Once unpacked, we wandered and headed over to the first fast food place on the trip.


We checked out the new and used cars in the lot next door, mainly looking at convertibles. We'd been talking about renting a car in Florida for our trip next year and I was thinking about the 300Z I had years back and that I did like the 300Z Convertible. So maybe a 370Z Convertible for Florida next year. :)
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:54:04 pm
Bailed Billings at 7:15 as a roughly long day was expected. We are headed for Bear Tooth Pass and The Medicine Wheel.

General riding is good. Comfortable temps and light traffic. At one point a guy on a Harley came up behind me. I gestured to him to pass and he moved up a little then kept at the same pace I was going. Eventually we got behind a long run of cars and an RV. He passed when he could but he didn't have the speed in a couple of places. Eventually at a long straight where he'd hung back, I pulled out to pass, passing him and two cars, an RV, a guy pulling a boat, and three more cars. :) We stopped in Red Lodge for gas before heading up and he waved as he went by :)

The ride up Bear Tooth was cool, down to 48, with construction in places. I almost undercut a curve and forced the bike into the right direction. The bike just doesn't quite handle like the busa. It's a bit tall and the front seems to be a little unstable at times. Probably partly due to the amount of stuff we have loaded as well. I need to take the bike up into the hills without much of a load.

Anyway, got to the top and wandered around for pictures of the scenery and of course, the local fauna (chipmunks :) ). We chatted with a few riders about distance and direction.


Nice panoramic shot with Jeanne


"Got any nuts?"


On the way again and we were behind an RV but they pulled over at the first curve.

Up and over the top. Snow in many places. We saw mountain goats. Really nice scenery. At one point I saw a nice lake and stopped the bike for a look.


Sure enough, nice view and a guy was out there fishing.


Down the other side and to the bridge over the gorge. Chatted with another group of riders before heading off again.

Bird in a tree.


This was the ride up before heading down into Cody, and could have been a bit more fun. Got behind a couple of Harleys, woman on the back bike. She seemed a bit tentative in the corners and barely, from my vantage point, kept from dragging her floorboards. They pulled off at the pass for a few pics as we did.


The ride down to the intersection to Cody was less fun. Lots of tar snakes. One of the first curves and the bike danced all around. So I kept it slow until the end. Just before Cody, we stopped for gas and the same group we met at the bridge pulled in as we were resting and we chatted a bit more. One of the guys pulled up on a Goldwing so there was a mixture of bikes.

After, we headed east on Alternative 14 for Medicine Wheel. On the way I spotted a dead deer. There have been a lot over the trip but this was followed up about 20' later by a white minivan on the side of the road with the front caved in! Need to watch out for the wildlife.

At the top of the Big Horns, we pulled in to the Medicine Wheel park, locked up the gear, and started walking. This is a 3 mile round trip to the wheel. It's uphill, downhill, and uphill again to the Medicine Wheel.


I've been here several times to visit. It's been here for an estimated 10,000 years and is a sacred site. I've seen vehicles from Florida.

"Are we done here?" Jeanne is a bit tired of riding I think. It's been a long trip so far and she's dealing with it pretty well but occasionally I can see she's tired :)


The Medicine Wheel.



Still pretty cool. As we started back, it started raining a little, then hail!


We just walked back to the bike but gear was wet so it was a cold ride. We made it to the lodge, signed in, got our room.


Lunch snack and dinner (dinner's not until 5). I must say the food was very lightly seasoned.

Humorously, the place is for sale, $700,000. Jeanne and I discussed selling our houses, unnecessary gear, and buying this place. :) It would satisfy my need for a mountain place and Jeanne's need for water as there's a small lake next to the place.


Tomorrow, home.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:55:29 pm
I must say, the bed at the hotel was probably the worst night's sleep I've had in some years. I was tossing and turning and getting up and laying down. I was tempted to grab the top cover and wrap up in the chair or on the floor.

Okay, food at this place is pretty mild in general. We had the breakfast buffet. They supply some condiments so you can add spices but marinating the steak last night might have been good. It was like they simply cut a slab off the cow and cooked it. The chef was nice enough though.

We had a discussion this morning over breakfast about the Resort as well. $700k would be about double our current house payment (either of us; although we don't know how such business type loans would go of course). We estimated about 10 folks working there, a 100 room motel, several cabins, four wheelers, paddle boats, BBQs, and even dual gas pumps.

We'd be curious as to what the expenses vs income plus clientele, how many per month, how's it work in the winter months, what assets and debts come with the purchase, what maintenance needs to be done, and the big question;

Why are you selling?

I did want to bail and be home before it was too late. It's a straight run down the mountain to 90 and then south on 25 home but it's a fairly long and uninteresting ride through Wyoming.

As we checked out, I commented that it looked as if no one has cleaned under the front of the toilet seats. It was a quarter inch wide layer of dark yellow grime. I was trying to describe it and Jeanne told me to stop as the woman hadn't had breakfast yet :)

Heading down the mountain was interesting. Nice and fast in general however there were fallen rocks and gravel in several turns keeping me on my toes again.

Coming out on the straight, we headed on to Dayton, then out to 90 and headed south.

Generally a basic freeway ride. I did miss the cutoff for 25 so had to loop around at the next exit. Then we basically rode for 2 hours to Casper before filling up.

Casper to Wheatland for gas. Then Cheyenne again for gas. As we got to Colorado, we stopped for a photo shot at the sign then continued on.


Somewhere near Ft Collins, it started sprinkling and then raining. I raised the windshield and tucked my knees in and basically kept dry. Jeanne tucked in behind me. Since it was only a few miles of rain (including some pretty heavy bits), we simply pushed on through to the other side. The bike does pretty well in keeping most of the rain off.

We were watching the gigantic rainstorm that seemed centered over Longmont. At the turnoff for Longmont (66), I could see it was just a touch south and that we might get the tail end of it. We did get a few drops but generally missed the bulk of the rain.


Pulled into the driveway, got a couple of final shots of the bike, pulled in, unpacked, started the laundry, took a shower, and grabbed dinner.



I'm importing the pics from my iPhone and have 90 gigs of Video (103 files) from the GoPro. I'm trying to get Jeanne's pics as well but the Android doesn't appear to work well with Windows 10. I had to run the troubleshooter in order to recognize the GoPro and I've run it again for Jeanne's Android. I'll be rebooting here in a sec to try and get her pics.

Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: ShadowJack on July 19, 2016, 08:57:58 pm
Here are the final details of the trip with the map plus the actual costs and such.


Miles: 5,022. Remember we bailed on Canada due to rain expectations.

Rooms: $1,140.96

Gas: $375.06

Food (meals): $768.52

This didn't include snacks when we stopped for gas including water and sodas. ($316.06)

Total: $2,600.82

Misc stuff. Jeanne spent $184.87. I spent $344.75. This would be wine, park passes, aquarium fee, parking fees, etc.

Jeanne paid all room fees as she had a hotels.com deal, 9 stays and the 10th is free. She also snagged a few others (like gas and snacks) before I realized how much she would be paying for rooms so I'll be giving her $287.70 to cover that.

I think the costs would be just a little higher, mainly gas and snacks, had we headed to Canada but it wouldn't have changed it a great deal.
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: Rhino on July 20, 2016, 07:41:25 am
Looked like a truly epic ride! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: June Trip
Post by: kwakrider on July 21, 2016, 01:19:36 am
Absolutely awesome pics and ride discription! Very well done, and thanks for sharing mate!!