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Old 08-06-2007, 11:33 AM   #1
rider1150gsadv OP
Fl Keys Fishing Guide
 
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Location: Florida Keys/Ft Likkertail , USA
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Wicked Key Largo, Prudhoe and West Fest

Or how to ride 14.5 K miles in 5-6 weeks.

Well here I go for my first ride report. The trip I took this summer brought me from Key Largo,Fl to Prudhoe Bay, AK via Paonia Colorado to Sipapu, NM
(for West Fest) , back to Ft. Lauderdale where my folks live.
It all started on June 25th when I took off from Ft. Lauderdale after spending the night with my folks. It is always nice to have a small jumpstart specially when the weather is hot and humid. The first travel day, for me at least, is always one in which to find my way around the ride. That is, getting into the comfort zone. The destination for me this trip, was Prudhoe Bay as it seems to be one of those 'must' do things when riding a bike. However I was determined to get there only if the conditions warranted a safe trip as I leave the gung-ho stuff for others.

I slabbed the Turnpike after leaving home at 8:30 AM as to avoid the moron cagers S.FL is so famous for. After all Miami has the dubious honor of being voted the worst city in the USA 2 years in a row......
A pic of my steed and me prior to riding of into adventure.



Before the questions about the knobbies tied on the back begin, I have not regretted bringing them with me as an unexpected tire failure in AK or Yukon will wreck your trip. More on that later...as two other riders found out the costly way...

What can be said about slabbing some of the most boring road in Fl other than getting rest here and there to let your personal Final Drive cool off some??


Well so much for cooling off as you get north, as in Tifton, GA the mercury rose to 102F before welcome rain cooled off the air to a more bearable 80 F.
Camping was going to be out untill the temps got better and so in Opelika, AL I sought a motel room with AC. The owner was nice enough that I was allowed to park on the grass in front of my room.



I don't know why, but it seems my gear finds it's way all over my motel room as I offload my bike.



And thus day one ended with about 600 miles ridden.

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Old 08-06-2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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Location: Florida Keys/Ft Likkertail , USA
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Wicked Key Largo, Prudhoe and West Fest

Day two and three of this saga were both ridden on more rural roads than just interstate alone. Opelika to West Plains MO on US 63 bring more curves and kept me from dozing off completely. The second day was also about 600 miles and the only pic I have here is of US 280


The bike at this point was running great although I heard the fuelpump more than normal. It was remedied by keeping the fueltank topped up more as IMHO it all had to do with the over the 100 F temps I was riding in.
Luckely I decided to ride with a little cooling necktie to keep my brain from frying. Day 3 brought me from West Plains MO to Grand Island NE or about 610 miles further north.

I decided to play around on some rural roads and the GPS got me lost
Unfortunately there was no place to stop on these small roads as there was no shoulder to pull over on but these roads were worth the experience. US 63to US60 to US14 to route Z in Dogwood were really cool.
In Dogwood a big dog eyed me and wanted to chase. I saw the mutt laying in wait and decided to get ready for him. The Stebel Airhorn ( it failed later in AK with all the dust) blew the dog off track as well as a quick flick of the throttle screwed his timing all up too.
I had a buddy who dumped his bike because of a dog and since I just started my trip I didn't want some mutt to possibly end it there in the middle of (nowhere) MO.
This pic is from Grand Island NE as seen from my room


The goal for day four was Cody WY......

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Old 08-06-2007, 12:18 PM   #3
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:39 PM   #4
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Fl Keys Fishing Guide
 
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Wicked Key Largo, Prudhoe and West Fest

Day four of the trip started in Grand Island NE and I froze my a$$ off. It was 54 F after the previous heatwave days it was a shock to the system. Living in a warm climate (20 years in the FL Keys) makes a person less tolerant to lower temps.
Not only was it 'freezing', but the one hour time change threw me off too.
I ended up Leaving at 4:30 AM local time as my own clock said 5:30..
This was going to be a 'theme' for most of the trip, often bewildering bystanders as I asked for the local time.
Some must have thought that I came from a different planet, this might as well be so, since I am Dutch .
Going on a long trip like this also made me forget what day it was, if it hadn't been for my daily log that I am now using to write this report with.

Anyway, I did ride I-80 untill I hit US 26 in NE into WY than till I-25 N till Casper WY from there to Shoshone, Thermopolis and finally Cody. It was hot in Thermopolis at 104 F but it was 'dry' heat and was therefore much better than the Tifton GA experience with the humidity there. A GPS shot of the road.




Getting closer to Wyoming





Towards Thermopolis and Cody.


I arrived at 4:30 PM at the Ponderosa Campground in Cody, WY after a 718 mile day riding to what was, for me, familiar ground as I had been there in 04 for the 'Unrally' from the sporttouring.com guys on my way to the MOA rally in Spokane WA.

more to come....

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Old 08-06-2007, 01:28 PM   #5
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:33 PM   #6
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Wicked Key Largo, Prudhoe and West Fest

Day 5.
All right, I made it to Cody! A few days of R&R as the Buffalo Bill Museum is a MUST see. You miss out on some real history and artifacts if you don't go there. As there are 5 parts to this museum it would take 2 full days to take it all in. This first day however I slept in late had BBQ lunch and bought a book, looked after the bike and met a gentleman from Alaska who was bicycling to Florida from Anchorage. We had to laugh as most people just don't understand the drive we had to undertake a trip like ours.
Later that day I met Jerry and Jonathan from Colorado Springs, who were father and son riding their motorcycles around too.
They decided to pitch their tent in what we all thought was a great spot.
I moved my tent as well into that area. You know that spot that seems soooo cool that you have to be there??? Shade, calm little creek behind the tent etc,???
At first this guy came around as I pitched my tent at 4:30 PM the previous day....



and I was up and running with the gourmet meal for the evening.



Than the move to the "idyllic" spot....



Well after a fitfull ichty night by both Jonathan, Jerry and me, we found out our tents were invaded by tree-mites and we had to move away from what could have been a 'kewl' spot. Oh well, there is something about a fence and green grass......
The sun took care of the unwanted invaders btw.
Back with the regular crowd..
The Rider with the Honda trike had an issue with his fueltank and after describing the symptoms I asked if he still had the charcoal cannister. He did and decided to have it removed asap at the nearest Honda dealer/mechanic.
See guys, BMW's aren't the only bikes with canister issues...



And a overview of the tent area at the Ponderosa campground.





I really like this set up as the steep road keeps traffic to a minimum and it makes for a real quiet area. The deer running around there are kinda tame too and show up from time to time.

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Old 08-06-2007, 02:11 PM   #7
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Wicked Key Largo, Prudhoe and West Fest

So after the previous day's tent 'dance' I did go to the museum and will have lots of pics. The tent saga however wasn't quite over yet though

The entrance to the Museum


Annie Oakley's dress


Buffalo Bills rifle on the bottom as it was found after his passing.


Bill Cody's coat


This Gatling gun was used by GE to prototype the Phalanx guns on among other the Black-hawk chopper a variety of naval vessels etc. The gun stands at over 6 feet tall on its mount


Gary Coopers Gun in "High Noon"


A pair of dueling pistols


A Native American display from the Plains Indians


A stagecoach


A chuck wagon used until 1910!


There is so much to see there that it is overwhelming but totally worth the time.

As promised the tent issue had not quite gone away yet, for when I returned
from my museum trip the whole tent had fallen apart at most of the seams. This was a problem as my trip had just started. I had sent the tent in to get repaired prior to my trip but Mountain Hardwear decided to ignore this. Well long story short I bought a new tent at Sierra Trading Post in town and used the NEMO with inflatable poles for the rest of my trip.
A pic of the old and new tent. The new one is light green.



The old tent ended up where it belongs and I used it's floor and ground cloth for the new one. Now I had a tent that packed smaller and was lighter too.
All in all, quite a day.
More to come.......maybe

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Old 08-06-2007, 02:55 PM   #8
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Location: Florida Keys/Ft Likkertail , USA
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Wicked Key Largo, Prudhoe and West Fest

July 1st took me out of Cody to Missoula MT, for a 491 mile ride, where the bike was going to get new oil prior to crossing into BC Canada. But before getting there I had to ride a 'little' bit. It was one of those crystal clear, blue sky heavenly days you can only dream about and the road to Missoula led over the Chief Joseph Hwy and Beartooth Pass.
I did not fancy riding through Yellowstone and get stuck behind bluehairs and their breadboxes (RV's) to save a few miles. Besides I had not seen Beartooth after the repairs made necessary by the massive rockslides a few years back.













The KOA campground in Missoula. I adjusted the valves here and changed the oil at the the BMW dealer


A Brit living in Vancouver riding his bike through the US


This day brought me one of those 'Zen' moments for which I counted my lucky stars. I stopped often to just take in the scenery and reflect on how lucky I was just being there. Carpe Diem rings very true.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider1150gsadv
I don't know why, but it seems my gear finds it's way all over my motel room as I offload my bike.


It took you 15 minutes to find a sock in a 3 X 5 tent

Great Pics, it was nice to meet you at West Fest - Farmer
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:59 PM   #10
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Fl Keys Fishing Guide
 
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Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Florida Keys/Ft Likkertail , USA
Oddometer: 5,912
Wicked Key Largo, Prudhoe and West Fest

July 2nd

Awoke at 5:45 AM and adjusted the valves on my bike before my trip to the dealer. After breakfast I rode to BMW in Missoula only 3 miles from the KOA and while the oil was changed I roamed around the showroom for some bike porn
Fortunately I didn't need anything at that time.
Todays ride took me past the Grand Coulee Dam.









The bordercrossing into Canada was easy as pie, as the Canadian customs officer only once asked if I had any weapons on me. I replied with a "no" ,as I didn't have anything anyway. Then he asked why not, and my reply was that I don't need any weapons.
We chatted for a bit and I ended up giving him a business card. Who knows, he may come down to fish with me.
The trip ended that day with 467 miles on the odo, at small motel in Princeton BC. There I found a decent Greek meal and turned in for the night.


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Old 08-06-2007, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtFarmer
It took you 15 minutes to find a sock in a 3’ X 5’ tent

Great Pics, it was nice to meet you at West Fest - Farmer

Hiya DirtFarmer!!!

It was nice to meet you too! There was just too much stuff in that tent
At least I stayed dry, unlike poor Scott. I'll get to that story too.....eventually

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Old 08-06-2007, 04:09 PM   #12
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It was nice to meet you and now get the whole story on the cool tent...
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:19 PM   #13
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Keep that ride report coming!

Hi Oscar. Great to see the ride report. Great to meet you at West Fest.

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Old 08-06-2007, 04:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Toney
It was nice to meet you and now get the whole story on the cool tent...
Great to meet you too. Yea that tent is nice as it sets up fast and packs very small.
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fgsnyder
Hi Oscar. Great to see the ride report. Great to meet you at West Fest.

Hi Frank!

Nice to hear from you!! I'll try to keep the ball rolling on the report. I had a blast at West Fest. Fixing other peoples bike(s) was neat remember??
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