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Old 05-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #1
jessemckay OP
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Coast to Coast to Coast 2013

Back in December I decided I needed to go on a major adventure and the day has come. I am currently on the road and will try to keep this updated as often as I can. To read about stuff before Day 1 and possibly other trip stuff as well ------> twowheelin.wordpress.com

Day 1

Corpus Christ, Tx to Galveston, Tx ~ 230 miles


The day started a little slow and chaotic. There were still some things that needed to be moved from my apartment, and I had an inspection with the property manager before turning over the keys. I was all packed up and ready to leave Corpus at 11am.



There were big storms brewing all around me, but I luckily stayed dry all day.


I arrived to Galveston in just under 5 hours of good ridin'. Before I left Corpus I had made contact with a really nice guy from the couchsurfing.com website. He was just finishing work as I arrived. We sat in his backyard for awhile chatting about life, adventures, and beer making. I received the beer making basics class, and could*probably*mix up a wicked home brew batch after that lesson. My gracious host then took me around Galveston for a very informative tour and dinner at a*shrimp*& Gumbo place! It was excellent. He even cooked up the leftovers with some salsa & eggs with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Thats all for now - headin towards Baton Rouge, La.







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Old 05-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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Day 2

Galveston, Tx to Denham Springs, La ~ 313 miles



 

I got lucky with the rain yesterday but today not so much. The ferry ride outta Galveston was a good way to start the day. They really had us crammed in there so I*didn't*get any pics of that. I had planned to just take I-10 most of the way but decided to take part of the creole nature trail through*Louisiana*instead. The road was a bit off the beaten path to nowhere it seemed. I saw some sign that said no stopping next 6 miles and wondered why, that is until I had to swerve to miss a gator on the road. I saw a few others too but they were too camera shy. Saw a lot of Roseate Spoonbills too. At first I thought they were pink flamingos, until a nice guy at the gas station educated me. Rain and then more Rain... The traffic was backed up on I-10 so I took to the shoulder and within a mile or so I had another adventurer following me. We rode that way along side traffic for about 20 miles.... and then rain. Good day not so many pics.





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Old 05-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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Day 3

Denham Springs, La to Biloxi, Ms ~ 180 miles

Last night I was hosted by another couchsufer near Baton Rouge, La. When I arrived there it really felt like home. Hot shower, pizza, and a movie - a great end to Day 2. She is also a professional photographer so if you live near Baton Rouge you should definitely check out her work.*https://www.facebook.com/MConstandinouPhotography

Here is my host Michelle and myself before taking off on Day 3





The morning started off looking decent but there were storms brewing all around. Before leaving Baton Rouge I decided to tarp up my gear and throw on some rain gear before getting on the road. Between Baton Rouge and New Orleans I got slammed with a*serious*rain storm and pea sized hail going through the swamps. The hail tore my rain gear to shreds and I was pretty wet before making my way into NOLA.

I stopped in the bywaters neighborhood of New Orleans to see an old friend. He and his lovely girlfriend made me breakfast and we chatted for a bit about our *individual adventures! Cant wait to meet up with him in Wisconsin later in the trip.



They offered me a place to stay there in NOLA ( I really*should have stayed) but after looking at the weather maps I thought I could beat the storms that were moving through, and I got a call from an*acquaintance in Destin, Fl offering a place to stay. So I took off with stormy skies surrounding me.

It rained off and on as I approached the*Louisiana*-*Mississippi state line



Getting tired of the rain and a bit hungry I decided to eat a gas station pizza under the awing and outta the rain for a bit .



I tried to press on and make my way to Destin, but about 200 miles short of that goal I decided that I was hardcore enough for the day and got a room near Biloxi, Ms. There are Flash Food warnings and the rain just keeps coming down. I'm gonna hide out in this room for awhile and hope for clear skies.

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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Day 4

Somewhere near Biloxi, Ms to Somewhere near Chipley, Fl ~ 250.1 miles



I spent last night in a motel riding out the storm and hoping for some clear skies. At about 10am the rain stopped, so I loaded up my gear even though the weather channel showed a massive storm and flash flood watches directly over my projected pathway. Luckily, I managed to stay dry all day. The roads were wet every step of the way, but it seemed like mother nature was giving me a pass.

Just over the Florida state line I decided to take a random back road to find some Ma & Pop type of food. After a while the back road I was on looped back to a small town called Milton, and that is where I found this amazing little place called Ollie's.



I had the Thursday Special, A Chicken*Parmesan*Sandwich.



This is my lovely waitress Bird - "you know like a bird" is what she said. ~ Thanks for the great service Bird and I hope*you're*enjoying the blog so far :)



After getting back on the road from Ollie's I had another hour and a half ride to Somewhere near Chipley, Fl. This place is in the middle of nowhere off of dead end dirt/clay roads. A quiet little backwoods paradise. I put an ad on the local Craigslist asking if anyone had space for a tent for the weekend and what I got was a camper with twin beds and power :)

This will be my home until*Monday*morning. Each day Ill ride from here to Panama City Beach for the Spring Rally. My little sister and her*boyfriend*will be joining me later on*Friday*for the rest of the weekend.



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Old 05-17-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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Lost Track of Days

This is actually Day 8 of the adventure and I have finally made it to sunny Orlando Florida. The last time I checked in here I was waiting out the rain in a camper near Chipley, in the backwoods dirt roads of Florida. On may 3rd I was waiting for my sister and her BF to arrive after a very long ride in the rain. I rode out to the main road to meet them and we decided to take a different road in to the camper we were crashing at for the weekend. The road ended up being 15 miles of muddy clay, and these Harley's were on aren't really made for that terrain. We made it back in one piece, wet and muddy. Our intention was to ride down to Panama City Beach for the rally but.... Saturday we stayed in the camper almost all day until the clouds finally cleared and we were able to go rip up the backroads for a few hours before it started to rain once again. Sunday it continued to rain off and on and we decided to ride into Panama anyway. By the time we arrived to the beach the entire rally had almost completely shutdown, packed up, and gone home due to the rain. We still had a good day and good ridin despite the weather.



The Salty Goat Saloon where we hid out from the rain and had some delicious eats.





The Panama City Beach Harley Davidson Store is Amazing. I have never seen a facility like this one!!



I thought long and hard about trading in Black Beauty for this Sportster 48



A few shots on the dirt / clay roads









At the wash bay scrubbin off the clay







This is my little buddy Jake ~



Our wonderful host Sylvia ~ Thanks for everything :)



This is our neighbor Bobby



From our backwoods camper getaway we headed out east along Hwy 10 past Tallahassee and then south to Orlando ~ 346 miles



I was very thankful the rain had finally stopped and it was a good ride to Orlando.

A couple roadside diners in the middle of nowhere





[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="475"] I love the low hanging trees covered in moss[/caption]

All in all it was a good weekend. Friends, Family good riding :) can't ask for more !
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
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Orlando Part 1

So I decided to stay here in Orlando for a while. One reason is that Ive been waiting for parts to arrive and another is that I would like the weather up north to get a little nicer before I press on. Plus I really enjoy spending time with my sister and BF here in Orlando.

That mud/clay riding up in the panhandle really did a number on my rear caliper and*ultimately*I ended up warping the rotor. So a caliper rebuild kit, rotor, and new pads will be arriving soon. In the meantime I felt it was time for a fluid change and a new found friend happened to have a brand new clutch cable for my bike.



I saw this really clean AMF sporty outside of Hooters one day.



A day at the beach in Clearwater, Fl



[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="314"] Me and my Sis[/caption]

An organized run with Orlando HD





The view outside the apartment



And some random extras





Ill be here in Orlando until next monday - so there will be an Orlando Part 2 before I head out :)

 

 

 
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:24 PM   #7
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Great stuff! Keep posting please.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:34 PM   #9
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Great to see another Sporty rider out rolling around!

Keep the post and pics coming.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:00 AM   #10
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Orlando Part 2

It took forever to get the parts I ordered but they finally arrived and have been installed. The rear caliper was completely rebuilt, pads, rotor, front brake line + pads, a rectifier / regulator, starter relay, and ground cable. The last 3 items I listed there were due to an electrical issue we couldn't figure out. One day riding around the area after getting gas I couldn't get her to start and the battery acted like it was dead. So I had a few guys at the pump give me a push start to get back to my sisters apartment. After that everything seemed fine until the next afternoon it did the same thing and started after a wiggle of the neg battery cable. An entire day was spent testing voltage and continuity all over the bike. Battery was fine, regulator and starter relay were totally shot, and the ground cable seemed to have issues. Now she is running great and ready to continue on.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="330"] UNICYCLE[/caption]



[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="515"] My new buds Russell & Parker. Thanks for all the help guys![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="515"] I saw this really clean 1967 BMW sidecar the day I had electrical issues at the gas station.[/caption]



It was great spending the last two weeks in Orlando with my little sis, Dustin, their puppies, and new friends!!!

Hitting the road in the morning headed north along the Atlantic coast.

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Old 05-23-2013, 07:01 AM   #11
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Orlando to Savannah Ga

 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="328"] 290.3 Miles[/caption]

 

The morning started off very slow as I*hadn't*packed anything or even begun to get ready to hit the road. Partly because I had become very comfortable in Orlando and somewhere within, I*didn't*really want to leave. Anyhow ~ I said my goodbyes, packed up the bike, and hit the road. The weather was great riding out to the coast and through all the little beach towns on A1A ( A scenic & historic coastal Byway) All the way up to St. Augustine.

 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="516"] These little lookout towers were scattered all along the beach road.[/caption]

 



 

Once I made my way into St. Augustine I was on a mission to find a fort that Dustin had told me all about. It is called the Castillo de San Marcos. It is*is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States built in 1672. There was a fee to go inside so I decided to just walk around outside and read about the history of the area.

 



 



 



 

Before I left Florida behind me I decided I should stop and get some free orange juice that the billboards for the last 40 miles had been telling me about. Inside the shop they had a 13 foot stuffed alligator. Oh and the juice was amazing too!

 



 



 



 

With Mother Nature deciding to rain down on me so much, I knew the sunny skies couldn't last. Just over the state line into Georgia all hell broke loose and my last hour or so of riding was pretty soggy.

 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="516"] Just before the storm hit.[/caption]

 

I arrived in Savannah with mixed feelings. Sad to leave family and friends in Orlando, *but also super accomplished and satisfied to be continuing on down the road! :)

 

 

 

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Old 05-23-2013, 07:03 AM   #12
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Savannah Ga to Jefferson City Tn

The skies were clear at 6:30 am in Savannah, so I decided to make a run for it and try to beat the rain. My plan was to ride out along the coast to Charleston and up to Myrtle Beach and end my day in Darlington SC. I made it just outside of Charleston and the rain came down pretty heavy. At that point I decided to check the radar on my phone, and it looked dry a few hours inland. Instead of my original plan I decided to head as far west as I could and get out of the rain. 20 - 30 miles inland and the skies cleared, so I just kept on towards Knoxville*Tennessee. There weren't many opportunities to*safely stop for pics along Hwy 26 or 40 through the great smokey mountains, but there were some spectacular*views.









Here's a shot coming out of the Smokey Mountains



So once I got inland and away from the rain it was mostly sunny and dry all day right up until I was approaching Knoxville. The sky went from sunny to dark in a matter of seconds so I pulled off at the next exit.





I filled up my gas tank and chatted with a couple other bikers and within a matter of seconds this happened.







So we all rode across the street to a hotel and parked our bikes under the awning for the night.



Ive been watching the weather radar and plan to head west to*Knoxville*then north into*Louisville*before turning back west towards St.*Louis. I should be able to miss the worst parts of the storms.

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Old 05-23-2013, 07:09 AM   #13
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Jefferson City Tn to East St.Louis

The skies were clear when I woke up this morning, so I grabbed some breakfast in the hotel lobby and loaded up my gear. Before I took off I*checked*the weather and it looked like I was gonna get hit with periodic bands of rain most of the day. The weather report was right but most of it was a bit more than periodic. It was a bit treacherous at times riding through the Blue Ridge mountains but I made it.

Near Lexington Kentucky another ADV rider appeared and we rode together all the way to Louisville. ~ It was nice riding with ya brother, whoever you are, have a great ride!

At the edge of Louisville I stopped for gas and decided to give Mother Nature a call to see if anything could be done about all the rain.



About 30 miles after that the skies cleared :)



So I hit the next rest stop to dry off and eat a freeze dried ice cream sandwich ~ Thanks J&D it was weirdly delicious.





It remained rain free the rest of the day with crazy storms in the sky all around me. I just kept riding until dark ~ 519.9 miles







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Old 05-26-2013, 08:35 AM   #14
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East St.Louis to Waterloo Iowa

At this point I think I should re name this blog ~ Riding in the Rain

The morning started off wet and chilly. Small bands of sprinkles hit me off and on most of the morning.

In the 30 minutes or so that it took me to ride through St.Louis I was nearly hit 3 times. Once by an old man texting, another time by a young girl stuffing her face with a foot long, and then by some chick not paying any attention. HEY ST LOUIS when*you're*driving just DRIVE !!!!

When the rain really started coming down I hid out under this overpass for about an hour.





Once I crossed over into Iowa the sun was shining but it was still pretty chilly. 62 degrees is not my *ideal temperature for all day riding. Iowa is a pretty boring state to ride through. Wide open*fields, corn silos, and long straight roads.









I zoned out for a while on the highway and next thing I knew I was headed into Waterloo, Iowa. I had intended to head towards Dubuque .... *guess I missed my turn. Ill head that way tomorrow then follow the Great River Road up towards LaCrosse, Wi.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:28 AM   #15
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Looks like your having a good ride. I haven't seen too many ride reports on a Sportster. Do you have a specific destination in mind? Or are you just riding by feel?
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