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bush pilot 04-14-2009 08:43 AM

Traveling the USA, destination Alaska, I reckon!
First off I want to thank the fellow ADV inmates who helped make this trip possible.

This is my first ride report so It'll be a little messy as well as an ongoing chronical.

I started planning this trip back in December 08' and figured on spending the summer seeing as much of the USA as I could on a motorbike,while visiting long lost friends and family along the route.

I bought a nice ST1100 sight unseen from an inmate in Houston.
Then my son pops back up on the radar. (hadn't seen him in 6 years)
I had told I'd buy him a bike after graduating college.
He wanted in on the trip.
I found a KLR650 in Tulsa from Krabill.
This would be the lads first motorcycle.
I was worried about the disparity between the KLR and the ST. I didn't want him to be breaking his neck trying to keep up on the KLR and I was nervous about taking the ST on gravel roads up north.
Well another inmate(reed523) with a KLR in OK appears in the picture and want's to trade for the ST so he can keep up with his dad who rides a big ST1300.
We hammer a deal.
I pick up the ST in Houston. It was as advertised and (diesel1959) the PO provided enormous help getting me going.
It ran a little rough at first. Once I ran the old fuel out of it the ST just kept running better and better.

Somewhere in near Tyler Texas.

I make the trade for a red KLR.
This is in Stillwater OK.

I head to Tulsa to pick up the second KLR and meet up with the lad.

The second bike proves to be great also. Krabill had very graciously offered to help grease the swing arm with me. And also offered to help me prepare the red one too by swapping springs and doing some greasing of bearings too. Thanks a bunch man!

The travellers about to set off from Tulsa:
some breakfast first.
This place was great.

We headed west towards New Mexico to register the bikes.

Pawnee OK:
This place had a 1 lb monster burger the likes of which I'd been dreaming about in Thailand for 2 years.(sorry I didn't take a picture, it was beautiful!)

Jet Oklahoma was aptly named:
The great plains has some interesting features:

We camped at a nice public golfcourse in Buffalo, OK.
(no pics I'll get better with breaking out the camera soon)

It was a cold and windy ride into NM.

We finally get into the mountains near Cimarron and some sunshine:

Next will be southern NM and a swing through Big Bend.
I'll try to take more pics now that I've signed on for a smugmug account which makes posting pics pretty painless.

Krabill 04-14-2009 08:47 AM

I'll say it was great meeting you and I was happy to help out. I will most definitely be keeping tabs on your progress and watching this report as it unfolds.

Good luck and ride safe!


HighFive 04-14-2009 09:13 AM


HF :thumbup

AKDuc 04-14-2009 06:23 PM

Cool. Looks like a nice start.

Congrats on everything thus far.

Hope you have a continuing wonderful trip.

Have fun, Mark H.

Bruiser Cruiser 04-15-2009 12:28 AM

I will be Alaska this Summer (May-Jun) and I propose to rent an Electraglide from AK Riders Anchorage. I plan to ride in and around Anchorage - perhaps upto Seward or even Homer.

The last time I was in Alaska 2 summers ago, I rode an Electraglide upto Hatchers Pass - unfortunately I now realise, it was far too short a time (4 days) for me to get the full Bike-Alaska experience. This time, I will have the bike at least for 2 weeks.

I would welcome suggestions on places to ride up to.


Hemant Sahai
New Delhi, India .... the original Indian in Alaska :D

TheTomcat 04-15-2009 12:38 AM


GB 04-15-2009 03:56 AM

Thanks for the intro, looking forward to the rest of your adventure :thumb


AKDuc 04-15-2009 04:16 AM


Originally Posted by Bruiser Cruiser
I will be Alaska this Summer (May-Jun) and I propose to rent an Electraglide from AK Riders Anchorage. I plan to ride in and around Anchorage - perhaps upto Seward or even Homer.

I would welcome suggestions on places to ride up to.

Not to "hijack" this thread too much but maybe someone else will appreciate my suggestions too.

Seward and Homer are great but Valdez is my favorite. It's also known as "The Switzerland of AK." It's a 320mi ride north then east of Anchorage. You go thru Thompson Pass which holds the record for the most snowfall in 24hrs in North America and where they hold extreme skiing, snowboarding, and snowmachine competitions. Then just outside of Valdez is Keystone Canyon that's only wide enough for the river and road with 600' cliffs on each side. Spectacular.

Since there aren't many roads up here, you'll see a lot of motorcycles everywhere and we're all friendly. Since you're just comin up to ride around keep in mind a bunch of riders can always be found hanging out at the intersection of the Seward Hwy and the Alyeska ski resort road about 40mi south of Anchorage. Gas stations and a bunch of little shops on the corner there. Fun!

Bruiser Cruiser, if you want even more suggestions or info, do a search or post up a thread in the Alaska Forum.

Wishing you all a wonderful journey, Mark H.

bush pilot 05-09-2009 06:36 AM

So we get to NM and take in some sight like downtown Las Vegas

Pecos National Momument

We put new tires on the bikes and were ready to go except for one small detail.

The unpredictable springtime weather in New Mexico.


Weather clears and we hit the trail to Las Cruces.

The lad ends up having biz to take care of in Las Cruces and Las Cruces was the last place I wanted to hang.

I continue south to Big Bend National park.
Lots of other riders on the road.
This fellow was sporting Texas colors proudly on his 2000cc Kawasaki!

Texas wildflowers were in full bloom.

Lots of riders sporting some fancy iron.

Some nostalgia in Louisiana.

Spanish moss in Natchez Mississippi.

I hop on the Natchez/Trace parkway.
It looked like this for 200 miles north, very pleasant and relaxed riding. No traffic to speak of.

Beautiful cyprus swamp.

bush pilot 05-09-2009 07:27 AM

Found a lovely campsite in a National forest in Alabama.
No one around and there was even a shower in the bathroom!
I wonder what closed after 10 pm means?

I was up and out of there before the Park Ranger got there!
Sporting an impressive load! I got lots of attention everywhere I went.

That morning a fellow adv rider caught me at an Alabama MickeyD's and told me about the Deals gap scene.
I was headed that way to see the Great smoky mountains.
I rode the 300 and some turns and was impressed.
Met these guys from Florida with their sporting machines. I was really impressed how they managed to dodge any bugs. They were impressed I actually "rode" my bike across the country.
Lovely bikes. I actually kept up with a couple Ducati's on one stretch of road before Deals gap.
Interesting motorcycle shrine somewhere in North Carolina.

Some heavy fog along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It was thicker in spots but I didn't dare stop.

Virginia is quite lovely.
Dogwoods were in bloom.

These pesky critters were all over the place in the Shenandoah Park.
I kept fairly close to the 35 mph speed limit.

A nasty heart stopping breakfast of scrapple and eggs at the Knotty Pine Restaurant in Front Royal, Va., very tasty! The grits arrived too late for the picture, I usually remember to take food pictures after I already ate it!

reed523 05-09-2009 04:04 PM

Hey Bush Pilot. Thanks for the link. I'm glad the KLR worked out for you. The ST is a nice ride but to be honest, i just haven't "bonded" with it like the KLR. Maybe i'll get to put some miles on it soon and that will change.

Glad you are having a good ride. Looking forward to following along. Sorry red didn't get to back to Big Bend. Dad and i were there last winter with it.

Goran69 05-10-2009 02:01 AM

What a great trip for you two. Beautiful scenery a great roads. Obviously having fun aren't you? :)

TheYeti 05-10-2009 02:15 AM

Good luck ,Great report thus far. you gonna go farther north then west. It looks as though you're seeing a lot of pretty country.
Ride Safe

nigelcorn 05-10-2009 09:12 AM

Hey, I just found this RR. I was on a few months ago asking for advice about how to prepare my KLR for longer distance on the highway, and you offered to trade that ST1100. I traded for something else, but I'm glad you found a KLR. Small world, eh?

The scenery so far looks great. Keep it up!

dave6253 05-10-2009 01:18 PM


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