For no good reason.
I'm taking a few days off; Oct 14th - Oct 29th.
I'd like to set wheels down in every contiguous state south and west of PA.
I'd like to take a picture of every state welcome sign.
I'd like to ride 1000 miles in a 24 hour period.
I'd like to take a picture of Pittsburg... Kansas.
I'd like to summit Wheeler Peak, NM.
I'd like to run Deadman Peaks 50 mile trail run.
I'd like to camp in Zion National Park.
I'd like to ride through Death Valley.
I'd like to camp in Glacier National Park.
I'd like to camp in Yellowstone National Park.
I'd like to share the adventure.
Regardless how it actually turns out, I'd just like to ride for a bit. Clear my head.
Anyone else have a few days off?
I took a few days off; Oct 14th - Oct 25th. A few days less than planned. But I did pretty much what I... needed?... wanted?... to do.
I set wheels down in every contiguous state south and west of PA.
I took a picture of every state welcome sign.
I didn't ride 1000 miles in a 24 hour period. :(:
I didn't take a picture of Pittsburg... Kansas. :cry
I did summit Wheeler Peak, NM. :*sip*
I didn't run Deadman Peaks 50 mile trail run. :(:
I didn't camp in Zion National Park. :cry
I rode into Death Valley. :wink:
I didn't camp in Glacier National Park. :(:
I didn't camp in Yellowstone National Park. :cry
And now, I'm sharing the adventure. :freaky
But most importantly... I cleared my head. :ricky
HERE IS MY STORY...
Well, it all started one evening in the garage. Yeah, I know, it always starts in the garage.
For me, I spent one too many glances at my bike. "Pathetic", I thought. You see, I have one of those state outline map things. No not the standard RV one you buy. I spent the time and effort creating my own! I designed and worked on my own! Ok, I had someone at work do most of the work, but it WAS my idea. A simple state outline and topographic state stickers, that I could proudly stick on the map as I blazed the miles across the country!
That was almost two years ago. ...I bought a 2010 F800GS... orange of course. And prior to my going crazy, I had PA, and WV... Yep, two states, two years old... and just around 10,000 miles. Ok, so I bought it as a demo bike and almost 4000 miles weren't mine. FINE! I get it. I suck as an "adventure" biker. Maybe I should go find the WKDRider forum or CMUTRRider forum, cause weekends and commuting to work is all I been doing! And that DAMN map, looking like S#@*!
Why did I put that map on it? Well, I guess that was the breaking point. I had to do something about it, but what. Uhhh, oh, I know, have too many beers and post something on ADVRider! Yeah, I'd talk about my "plan".
Wow, talk about a way to either learn how to nuke a thread... or step up. So the plan was laid, time to pack. Two weeks with nothing to do but ride and take a few pictures...
So I left the Pittsburgh area shortly after drill weekend and headed south... could I really travel almost 7000 miles in two weeks? Isn't it like COLD in a lot of those states? What if? Screw it, go until I couldn't go any more and then worry about it...
Ok, so I got WV out of the way... but who in the hell cares! I already had that state! Arghhhhh!
No biggy, I was on my way and that is all that matters.
Ok, short days and I left after 5pm. Shoot, it's going to be a short day. But... I had a "plan"!
First night, I was staying at Chief Logan State Forest.
Nice place, my plan was to camp as much as I could........ stand. Hey, I absolutely LOVE camping, but I'm on a freaking motorcycle, driving across the nation! The what ifs were mentally debilitating. Sorry to sound like a puss... but solo, cross country on the longest ride of my life? Ahhh, what was I worried about? I had watched LWR like a thousand times. Right?
Ummm, it's raining.... I'm getting wet.... Everything is getting wet.... Cool... Ok, actually a little bit colder than cool, but I'm tough, and only a few hours from home...
Ok, new day and a lot of states to cross...
Tough day, time for some rest. Day two, camping in the FL, AL, MS region... This should be interesting.
Get some gas... BTW, it's unbelievable how many experiences you'll have at gas stations over a 7000 mile trip. Crazy!
Spent the next few hours driving north through Louisiana wondering why there was soooo much litter... and why all the litter was white... Oh... cotton pieces... everywhere. Yeah, I knew that.
It's getting cold... and I ain't near the "COLD" states yet. Oh boy..
Time for some sleep... Nope... not yet, my planned camp site, closed. No big deal my handy app Allstays will find me something. Ahhhhh, a KOA right down the road. Sweet! Now, how do I get that restroom door code? Oh nice camp neighbor,...
Sounds good, I'm in.
Ok, day four...
Bright and early...
Seriously? Oklahoma, with the nicest welcome sign yet? Well, it doesn't actually say welcome, but it sure is welcoming...
Little did I know I was going to spend the next lifetime riding sidesaddle! Holy winds batman! My neck still hurts thinking about it!
Yep, New Mexico and bullet holes. Like cops and doughnuts. No offense law enforcement dudes... I love doughnuts! :D
And a little left turn for a short side trip...
Then some of the awesomest riding I'd done in awhile... a nice little mountain road through some New Mexico mountains to Taos Ski Valley... followed appropriately by one hell of a cold night camping at 9000'.
Ok, time for a little commentary...
What in the hell was I doing? Seriously, I have a very demanding career, a young wife and three young boys (8, 5 & 2 yrs old). Here I was 2300 miles and 3 1/2 days from home! Couldn't be a mid-life thing... I've been going through that for like 20 years now. I've climbed mountains, scaled rock faces, run seriously long distance races through the mountains, I already own a sports car. What was different about this trip? Why in the hell did I feel so... OK, I'll say it... scared! Was it fear? Was it anticipation? Was it simple wonder? I just couldn't figure it out... still can't. The only thing different about this trip was everything! I was solo. I was on a "dangerous" motorcycle! (so my co-workers would say) I was vulnerable. Everything was, for me, unknown...
Was it all those things that drew me to this point?
I know, too much talky... more pictures. Sorry, not too many pictures all in all, but that's not really what this ride report is about. I JUST HAVE TO SOMEHOW CONVEY TO ALL OF YOU GUYS, this shit is unreal! For those who have traveled, you more than likely get it. For those who dream of a long trip similar to this one, I really, really want to convince you, to put down the damn mouse, shut off the laptop, freakin' pack a few things, fire up the beast and head out. Seriously, it'll put a smile on the inside of YOU! You know, one of those 'looking around at all those other lousy slugs around you' and knowing something they don't know, kind of smile!!!
Life is a gift friends. Remember that Mark Twain quote... “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” WOW! That's it, that is really it!
OK, rant over...
Spent the next day in my comfort zone... I climbed the highest point in New Mexico. Why? I don't know. That's what I do.
I have climbed the highest point in each of 46 states so far, with NM. I still have, MT (a rock climb), OR (a snow climb), MN (a drive) and HI (a flight) to do. Its been fun... seeing all the states. I love the U.S., been all over the world, and I still absolutely love the U.S. Lucky.
So just a little 8 mile hike and 3500' feet of climbing...
Wheeler Peak, NM. Just over 13,100 feet above sea level. Cold, windy, sunny... beautiful!
OK, I got time for one more post tonight. I'm sure the wife is wondering if I'm sitting here in the garage planning another cross country trip or something...
So, after Wheeler Peak, I headed into Albuquerque to have my 12,000 mile check done, oil change and valve adjustment and some new tires. Let me just say that Sandia BMW is one heck of a great dealer. First class for sure! They treated me incredibly well!
Almost got the bike finished by the end of the day... but... two valves slightly out of tolerance and needed to be shimmed. OK, nearest hotel and bar? What? Do I want a loaner bike? Seriously? Sounds great, but no need. But I will take a ride over there.
Ahhhhh, dinner, beers, wash some clothes, hot tub... and a real bed. Sweet night indeed. A regroup for what lay ahead... Can't wait to see what the south and west has in store for me.
Keep the reports coming! I like your style. Not just the pictures, I like the commentary and introspective stuff too. Tell us about the people you meet.
Show us a picture of the map!
OK, waaaayyyyy too long in between posts! That's my life though waaaaaayyyyy too busy. I guess that is why I had to go on this cross country trip in the first place. Life just gets crazy, huh?
So, where was I?
Ahhhh yes, getting my bike back up to snuff. Well, Sandia BMW did a great job. They even wire brushed all the bugs off the windshield. So, back on the road around 11:30am. Not an early start, but back on the road.
First things first, I had to make a stop in Cuba New Mexico. You see, I was also supposed to run a 50 mile trail run along the Continental Divide Trail with a friend of mine. Well, I didn't think I should after such a hard climb up Wheeler Peak and besides, I was a little behind schedule, and because I suck, and, and, and. OK, no good excuse really, but this trip was turning less into the reason it all started (my friend planning to run this race) and more into this cross country road trip. And to tell you the truth, that's OK. In fact it was down right fine with me. I was having a blast. Looking back, I wonder how could I ride so many days in a row and still want to ride a few more? Why wasn't I getting bored? Why wasn't I getting tired? How can I explain it?
It makes me have to ask the question, how long could you get on the road and be happy being on the road? I've never found that out yet. I've driven cross country several times before in my truck. Being in the military, one finds himself making that trip a lot it seems. But I never get tired of it. I always seem a bit rushed though. I always have some sort of schedule, or "end" point. What would it be like to not have to be anywhere and any time with no time limit? What a thought...
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