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Old 07-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
cberry OP
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Location: Florida SpaceCoast
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Melbourne, FL to Yellowknife, NT

Is it an “Adventure” when riding mostly hard surfaced roads on a 10,000 mile trip? Yes........if you’re 75 years old and riding solo. That’s just my humble opinion.

The planned route is departing from Florida’s Space Coast on July 4th and traveling west to southern AZ to ride the Coronado Trail from Clifton northbound. I rode it southbound last year...it will be even better going north and uphill. On the way I can’t pass up the road rated #1 by “Motorcycle Roads. com”, the “Twisted Sisters Ranch Roads” in West Texas http://www.motorcycleroads.com/best/?s=75. Any inmate feedback on this choice?

Traveling north through Four Corners I’ll meander along the Rockies until heading west towards Vernal, UT, and then northwest to the BMW Rally in Salem, OR. Then it’s the Washington State BMW Rally the next weekend in Republic, WA. I have a couple of weeks to kill before the BeeCee Beemers’ Rally in Nakusp, BC, and that’s when I plan to shoot up to Yellowknife. Northwest Territory will be the ‘crown jewel’ of my little states and provinces maps. By coloring it in, I will have completed my motorcycle tour of all the continental US states and Canadian provinces (except Nunavut, which to my understanding, does not have any roads leading up to it).

Leading up to this trip I completed the Iron Butt Association’s National Parks Tour Master Traveler GOLD Award (parks in all the states including Alaska) and then did a circumnavigation of the United States by traveling up to Newfoundland, across Canada to Victoria, BC, then down the coast to San Diego, across the southern border and Gulf Coast to Key West, and back home. This thread documents that trip http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=359662.

For this upcoming trip the following sites will be useful: this current thread will include the daily (when feasible) Ride Report and pictures; my real time position reports every ten minutes will be available once I start my trip through my SPOT messenger beacon for a limited time at http://share.findmespot.com/shared/f...CVL85IXzZokDvh and my more permanent track log is available indefinitely at https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...c540909b2ddf1f
This link did not get activated until I was stopped after the first day's ride.
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

cberry screwed with this post 09-04-2014 at 06:59 PM Reason: updated Spotwalla link, again!
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
Rutabaga
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+1 on the yes.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
Goatrider_
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My son and I will be heading along some of the same roads the same weekend you are leaving. Maybe our paths will cross! If not, have a great trip!
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
Paulie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cberry View Post
... On the way I can’t pass up the road rated #1 by “Motorcycle Roads. com”, the “Twisted Sisters Ranch Roads” in West Texas http://www.motorcycleroads.com/best/?s=75. Any inmate feedback on this choice?
...
The twisted sisters are alright, worth riding if yer in the hood. But giving em #1 is a freekin joke. NFW. I'd put em in the top 25.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
cberry OP
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From its description, I tend to agree with you Paulie. There are many others on their top 100 that I have ridden and would put them ahead of the Sisters, including the Coronado Trail.

Tonight it's looking like the weather will severely impact my route and timing. Still planning to depart in the early AM tomorrow. Life is what you get when you plan everything out to the last minute.
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:41 PM   #6
cberry OP
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Today's Ride; 7/4/13

Trips across the flatlands are never very interesting in and of themselves, but today’s departure from Florida was made somewhat more so thanks to the day’s weather. A sub-tropical Low has been developing in the Gulf which has pumped huge amounts of moisture across the Pan Handle and further north into Georgia. Leaving home this morning I watched the rain build on the radar as the day progressed. I had already changed the route to maximize distance covered in hopes of getting through the rain before serious thunderstorms and possible tornadoes developed as had been forecast. The radar returns were mixed yellow and red over a wide area through which I had to travel so I decided to stop before the rain and call it a day. When I can figure out how to post pictures from my new MAC I’ll show the radar image.

This is what I was going to have to ride through:


Another image I want to post is one taken from the ICW overpass from the barrier island to the mainland. It was taken around sunrise and is my opening shot on this ride.


The weather caused me to cancel my planned photos of lighthouses along the Pan Handle which I was going to add to the BMW MOA forum 2013 Florida lighthouse picture contest, but they will have to await another day.

Not riding this afternoon, I was able to get the Spotwalla link activated so all who care to can follow along. Sorry, but there is not much that’s photographic along Interstate 10, but that will change after I leave the San Antonio area. The day’s ride came in at about 300 miles at 40 mpg, and included a major brain fart when I got on I 10 headed the wrong way! That cost me 30 miles and 30 minutes. There were about 10 FHPs doing speed enforcement along I 75 this morning coming up from Orlando to I 10. I was lucky.
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

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Old 07-05-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
capnfranko123
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Hey Chuck

It's Frank that helped you get your RT off the road at the I95 exit when your final drive blew out. Which bike are you riding? Your bringing your Mac with you? Have you had any trouble with taking a laptop on road trips with the bike? I looking at a new laptop and was thinging I would have to get a Toughbook. Sounds like a hell of a trip, I'm so envious.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:12 AM   #8
TurboBonefish
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I'm in

Well from someone who lives in the same neighborhood I very interested.
Henry
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:32 AM   #9
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I'll be following along
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:33 PM   #10
cberry OP
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Old Friends

Nice to hear from both Frank and Marty. Frank, if you are comfortable with the windows OS, I would suggest you take a look at the new 13" Sony Vaio. It's smaller, lighter, and cheaper than my new MacBook Air ( which is really last year's model). Learning a new OS is a super pain. I have an older vaio and really like it. It has a mechanical hard drive, but the new ones have a solid state one, just like my Macbook. If I had only known...

Marty, one of these days! Sorry we missed each other the other year.

Happy Birthday to me! Seventy-five years young. Celebrating by myself in a motel room after another abbreviated ride today.

I woke without benefit of an alarm at 5AM EDT to a dry morning and a beautiful sunrise (over the motel parking lot)! Pictures as soon as I can figure out my MAC.

Underway 6AM. The GPSmap378 is showing significant weather along my route, but west of my current position. I’ll be heading into it as the day progresses. At about 7:30AM the scattered green rain was starting to close in on me so I stopped at a nearby motel to suit up for rain. Crossing into the central time zone in western Florida I reflected on the fat that my wake-up had occurred at 4AM CDT!

Now I’m riding in mostly green and yellow rain with occasionally some light red. This is all flowing up from the south and as I look ahead I can see much more red. I’m low on gas so I stop for food & gas. A sightseeing bus has a close encounter with my bike in the parking lot before stopping to disgorge a full load of passengers as I hurry into the fast food place for coffee and a sack, just beating the crowd.

With only forty-some miles out of the tank I see frequent cloud to ground lightning up ahead and review my options. There’s a lonely exit coming up with only minimal services, and beyond it, the Interstate continues with no obvious close exits. So I bail out, not wanting to be forced to continue into some dark red rain (and lightning). As I exit I see a sign for NAS Whiting Field, 12 miles. It’s north of the track, but in the direction of less severe weather. I’ll play my ‘retired navy” card and see about a room. I waited under cover for an hour or so to see if the weather will improve, but it doesn't. This is it.

Heavy rain all afternoon. Flood warnings, etc. No sign of a let-up. Spent the day drying the gear without too much success.

Still working on the fix for my link to Spotwalla. Fixed it at 6PM CDT!

This thread is worthless without pictures! FIXED 7/8/13
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

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Old 07-06-2013, 08:13 PM   #11
cberry OP
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An Interesting Day

Up at 4AM CDT. Underway shortly after 6AM. It's a relatively cool, foggy morning and the radar is showing very little activity. Yesterday’s rain is history. I’m glad I wore my rubber pants then, but not today. I did don my rain liner for the jacket, both for warmth and protection from the moisture. It’s going to be a long day, and the further west I get the sooner I get out of this rain system that has been blocking my way since leaving home. The weather will get more active as the day goes on. This is an example of the standing water after all the rain yesterday.


It is turning into an interesting ride. As I watch the rain increase I try to time my arrival at the most benign areas and duck for cover before the heavy cells. This is very similar to navigating an airplane through active weather, only harder: when I’m on an interstate, I’m on a fixed path, no course changes until the next exit. I can only vary my speed. I made a bad decision east of Mobile to pass up the last exit before the tunnel. If I had stopped there i would have avoided heavy, dark red (level 4) rain for the long overwater highway where there are no stopping points. As it was, the tunnel was my only relief until well past downtown Mobile. My speed is being adjusted according to the following priorities: space between me and the other traffic; the radar picture, and the general movement of the storm cells; the lighter ares of rain (green or yellow); and, lastly, the suggested speed limit.


This is what I see with my eyes at this radar stop, low ceiling, poor visibility, and fog.


I’ve had 2 extended stops at gas stations so far, taking up space at a pump while the heavier rain moved on. This seems to be working well. A couple of other attention getters are showing up now. One’s the standing water and ponding on the road surface, and the other is the road construction...uneven surfaces, or, edge traps. It’s all good: keeping my attention on the job at hand. I’m more comfortable today without my rubber pants (really Goretex), even though I’m getting a little wet. Yesterday I still got wet, and I was much more uncomfortable.

I make another gas stop for weather, and I see that it is beginning to clear up. I leave the radar ON during these stops so I can analyze the movement. Now I’m coming to better weather and the weather behind me has changed its direction. It has been drifting NE for the last 3 days, and now, near Lafayette, LA , its moving westward, chasing me! If I can stay ahead of the weather I won’t need another fuel stop before my destination for the night, Beaumont, TX.

Before leaving Louisiana I stop to have a roadside chat with a Deputy Sheriff. Actually, he stopped me, and we talked mostly about motorcycles. I showed him on the radar what was motivating me to be so hasty, and we chatted a few more minutes before he sent me on my way, unmolested!

The GPS moving time was only 6.6 hours with an average speed of 70.4 MPH, but there was 3 or 4 hours of weather delays. Still, a decent day’s run of 466 miles.
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:30 PM   #12
squonker
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I'll be following this one....
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:21 AM   #13
cberry OP
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July 8th and 9th

Catching up is hard to do. July 8th was a rest day and welcome time spent visiting a long time friend in Bulverde, TX.

July 9th. Up at 5AM. Prepped the bike and went to Rox’s favorite nearby restaurant for 6AM Breakfast. None of the airport bums joined us...too early. The ride over to Madina was uneventful. Of note though, were the 9 deer on and off the road within a few miles of Rox’s.

Entering the area of the 3 Sisters there was a sign stating that 11 bikers had died since January 1st riding the roads. Fair warning! The ride was pleasant. Some tricky spots, but in general only about a 7 out of 10 when the whole ride is included. Not much space on the shoulders to stop and take pictures or sightsee. Very little tourist support infrastructure...few places to stop and eat or relax.

Here's a pic of an interesting building in Leakey, TX, near where the ride begins


and, here's a place mark for the area


The ride from there on to Van Horn was hot and boring. Speed limit is 80 in this part of Texas, which does help. But its still a long way between places. No rain today. Had to stop a couple of times to rehydrate and cool the core down. Probably didn’t do it enough. Temps got up to the high 90’s in bright sun. There was a strong quartering crosswind which elevated the noise level to an uncomfortable level for most of the I 10 portion of the ride.
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

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Old 07-15-2013, 03:11 PM   #14
cberry OP
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July 10, 2013: Van Horn TX to Morenci, AZ

Spent last night at the Days Inn. The wifi did not work reliably. Up early, on the road at 7AM with intention of going to the El Paso BMW dealer for rear tire replacement. Well, they didn’t have what I needed but were very helpful in trying to locate a source. The ‘B’ model of the Pilot Road 3 tire is out of stock most everywhere. I’ll have to settle for the ‘A’ model when I get one. That replacement is now planned for Friday on the way to Durango, CO. This issue took 2 or 3 hours to reach a point where I was comfortable enough to get back on the road. That, because of store opening times and time zone changes.

Sunrise along I-10 in West Texas


Early morning rest stop


Lunch in El Paso


Today was the first day I used my evaporative vest and it has proven very helpful. It requires refilling after less than an hour, but is really helping to keep my core cool. Leaving El Paso at about noon put me into the hottest part of the day for the ride. Chose a more scenic route that the quickest one along I 10 which was US 180 through Silver City, NM and then SR 78 across the mountains to Morenci. All of the sweat and boredom getting to that road was worth it! Route 180 is very straight and lonely, and the speed limit is only 65. Thought I’d never reach Route 78. Made multiple stops for rehydration after leaving El Paso because the air temp was in the high 90’s all the time.

SR 78 brought me down from about 5000 feet to 3000,and the temperature increased along the way to become very uncomfortable. The road itself is an excellent surface, well maintained and lightly traveled. Lots of twists and elevation changes. I watched a mountain thunderstorm develop before the turn to 78, and with the nearby lightening I was motivated to move right along. (Read: speed limited only by road surface.)

Radar of the approaching thunderstorm


Top of Route 78


Heads Up...This is going to be fun


Just a Sample of the route


At the bottom of Rt 78 is this interesting town, Clifton, AZ


Rt 78 is a great warm up for the Coronado Trail!
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:36 PM   #15
cberry OP
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July 11, 2013: Morenci to Canyon de Chelly, AZ

This route was entirely along US 191. It is the most fantastic road that I have ever ridden. What more can I say?

Starting out from the Morenci Motel, which I must add is an excellent choice if you can get a reservation. Don’t just show up. The motel serves the many contractors who support the huge mining operation there. The mine is huge! Everything about this ride is over the top. The few pictures I have taken do not do justice to the scenery or the ride.

Morenci Motel Display of Copper Products


The road out of Morenci through the mine



To be a little more specific, the best part of the ride is from Morenci to Alpine, a distance of about 90 miles. It’s ten times “The Dragon”, which is only 11 miles long and has minimal elevation changes. The “Coronado Trail” starts around 3000 feet and rises to about 9300 feet, with many 10mph hairpin curves. In fact, a majority of the route is run in 2nd gear, with occasional 1st gear turns at the hairpins, and 3rd gear straightaways. I enjoyed this ride so much last year that I had to come back again. And, its even better headed north because the elevations are mostly increasing, allowing less use of the brakes.

I thought this was maximum altitude, but it was not


A good companion to Alpine for Breakfast



Further north there are few gas stations. I was running low and preoccupied with finding one. When I did, I exited the road onto a dirt path leading to the station and quickly found the ‘sugar sand’, deep, soft sugar sand. The result was predictable. Since I was on Native American land, the Navaho Nation, two local residents were quick to help me pick the bike up and carry my luggage to the station. Just my pride was injured, the bike was fine.

At my stop for the night, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, I rode the South Rim shortly before sunset. What a very beautiful and impressive site. The early natives here lived and raised crops on the canyon floor, and still do. Pictures do not do justice of the subject:








As sunset approaches


About 331 miles today over the now usual 10 hours. I’m getting confused about the time. My bike has one time, wrist watch another, and the clerks at the stores, another. I’ve gone from CDT to MDT to MST, and back to MDT, all within a 2 day timeframe.
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

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