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Old 07-30-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
jscompto OP
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Bargersville, Indiana
Oddometer: 597
USA Cross Country trip (first ride report)

Hey guys! This is my first ride report, so its not going to be perfect. This is part one of my trip from Indiana west around the country and back. I have made it to my mom’s place in San Deigo, and this part of the report will show what I have done and seen along the way.

Before I get into the meat of it, here’s a little history behind the trip…

My buddy and I met in college a few years ago and we became pretty good friends. As it turned out, he and I both loved to ride and neither one of us had any buddies that also rode, so that is kind of our thing to do and hang out.

We always talked about going out west and touring the USA, but never really got too serious about it. We finally started to talk about actually doing it about 2 years ago. We were making plans to do so in the summer of 2007 until my ex got pregnant with my son, Landon. We then planned on going the next summer (2008), but my buddy’s mom died earlier that year in April and he dealt with a lot of things throughout the summer.

Finally, we said that we were going to do it this summer no matter what it takes. I got damn near all of the planning done and everything seemed to be going smoothly until he called a week or so before the trip and said he couldn’t afford to go. I told him that I could pay for most of his gas so that he could still come along, but he wouldn’t accept the offer. That left me with only 2 choices…..cancel the trip that I had told so many people about and prepared my bike for, or just go out on my own for a while. Well, you’ve obviously guessed what I decided to do by now.


I started off at the place where I call home in Bargersville, IN. Here’s my bike (Gus) all loaded down, packed and ready to go.

I got pulled over just south of Patoka Lake for speeding. I saw the cop about 2 seconds too late, but I stopped and waited on him to catch up. Thank god it was only a warning! (64 in a 55)

I finally made it to Evansville for the night and locked my bike to a basketball pole. Safe enough for me I guess.

I thought you guys might like this one. HAHA, this is my buddy’s mom and the lady who’s house I stayed at in Evansville. Bunch of drunkards!!

Ready to head out Saturday morning after an eventful night of drinking and talking.

I stopped just south of Evansville to put the rain gear on. Here’s a decent shot of some of the rain I passed into.

I rode through the Land Between the Lakes and saw some good scenery. Its very pretty down there.

I made my way down to Memphis, TN and took a picture of this giant pyramid:

Next stop was Hot Springs Arkansas. Here's a few shots on the way there:

I finally arrived at my campsite and set up my tent for my first night:

The next morning, it looked like rain for a while, so I broke down the tent and packed my stuff quickly. Then this guy showed up and was really interested in my bike. He went by "Yedi" and was following the greatful dead. He was a pretty cool hippie though!

I finally got out on the road and here are a few shots from the 2nd day:

These 2 guys in Binger Oklahoma showed me a few things on a map that I was going to run into and also told me of some construction along the way.

Here's what was after Binger and on the way to Shamrock Texas where I camped that night:

I finally got to camp about 30 minutes before it started to rain, so I threw everything down asap and got everything ready for the night. here's camp at Shamrock, TX:

The next morning, I headed out to conquer the "Cadillac Ranch" just west of Amarillo. Here's what I captured along the way:

I finally got to the "Cadillac Ranch" after a few hours of rain. It was so cool to see all of those cars. They must have had spray pain all over them that was 2 inches thick! When I got there, there were only 2 other people. By the time I left (about 15 minutes) there were about 20 people. All had spray paint!! Its a must see sight, and very easy to find:

After there, I just headed west and hoped i could make some good milage for the day. I ended up in Gallup, NM. Here's some stuff I passed along the way:

The Burger pictured above is called the Laguna Burger in Laguna, NM. It was by far the BEST buger I think I've ever had. Definitely worth writing home about

Here's where I camped on the 3rd night. It was at Red Rock Park in Gallup, NM. It was absolutely gorgeous there:

Before I left the campsite, I went over the bike like I usually do and found that the oil cooler had rubbed against a bolt and had sprung a leak. Luckily I headed into town and found a place called Bill's Radiator. Very nice people and Very easy to deal with. They did an excellent job, and at a cheap price:

After it was done, I was on my way to Winslow, AZ so that I could see the Standing on the Corner monument. It was cool, and so are the Eagles!

Shortly after i left winslow, i figured out that my Vapor will only read up to 1999.99 miles before you have to reset it:

After that, I headed to the Grand Canyon to see if I could jump ol' Gus across it. Here's what I saw on the way there:

I finally got to the grand canyon and went up highway 180. it was gorgeous, but the grand canyon was AMAZING:

This was headed back down 180 from the Grand Canyon. I ended up going south from Flagstaff on 89 to Sedona, and it had to be THE COOLEST road I've ever rode in my whole life. It was still cool even south of Sedona when going to Jerome. AWESOME!!!! I got a few videos of the twisties, but I didn't get too many pictures because it was dark when i went through to get to dead horse ranch state park to camp. Here's camp:

I left camp about 7:30 and headed for San Diego, CA (actually its Poway, CA). It was the worst riding I have ever done going across I-10 west. It was hotter than 7 hells, and my vapor read 131 degrees F at the highest. Also, around Palm Springs, I got completely wind fucked and had to pull off the interstate. There had to be 2000 giant windmills in that valley, and it seemed like they were all blowing right at me. Here's a few pics:

I finally arrived here at my mom's yesterday (July 29th) around 5 PM. I averaged about 500 miles each day, and according to my Vapor and my calculations each time I filled up at the pump, I averaged about 56-57 miles per gallon. The trip out here was about 2900 miles as well.

Well, I hope you all enjoy the first part of my ride report around the USA. I'll continue it when i get back home in a little over a week. Thanks for sharing the ride with me!

Joel Compton
'96 XR 650L ~ 103mm piston, NX650 2nd gear, high flow header, WebCam, Vapor, FCR 41 pumper, 5.8 Acerbis
'99 CR 250R ~ gnarly pipe, turbine core 2 silencer, 54 tooth sprocket. BEAST
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
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Location: Southern Indiana
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Thanks for letting us tag along.

Awesome RR compto!! Great pictures too!

Good choice on going through Texas, beats the heck out of Oklahoma or any other state you could have gone through. Crossing Arkansas on the interstate was probably pretty boring I bet, I have made that trip 50 times or so in a cage.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
such a pud..
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: martinsville... ish, in.
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right on joel, good job. pics are great.

some of them dudes are some roughneck lookin sons a bitches though, may wanna keep an eye on em.

good luck..
this thing is AWESOME... and makes the mach V look like a vagina!

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Cockroaches & KLRs.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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Have fun and be safe man! Great pics!!
Rebuild threads:
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Lighten up, Francis.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:19 PM   #5
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Location: Fort Whine Indiana
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Glad to see nothing stopped you from going. Ride well.
"Beauty sleep?" Bitch, you don't need a nap, you need to HIBERNATE!
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:34 AM   #6
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Sounds like (mostly) FUN!!!!! Riding is AWESOME!!!!!
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:20 AM   #7
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Cool trip, Joel! Keep us posted. Glad you made it out there safely!
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:30 AM   #8
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Keep the report coming Joel....I especially liked those Phillips 66 shots.

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Old 07-31-2009, 05:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing, awesome report Joel!!!

French vacation house for rent! 15 min from the WEC finale this fall!!!

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Old 07-31-2009, 05:42 AM   #10
Too Tall
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Great Adventure!!

Give us some details on your bike. XR600 I assume but heavily modded.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:46 AM   #11
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JOEL! I found your report and im really enjoying it so far. Keep it up!

P.S. your hair has gotten much longer since the last time I saw you
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:51 AM   #12
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You are absolute proof that you do NOT need to buy a $30,000 BMW plus gear to tour, that bike of yours looks FANTASTIC It would be so simple to maintain and cheap to run

Good on ya mate, maybe your next trip can be around Oz and we could catch up for a ride.

Cheers, Geoff.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:40 AM   #13
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Frankenbike made it to the west coast. I owe you a beer brother man. Excellent pics and report. Keep em' coming!! Wish I was there.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:02 AM   #14
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Excellent, exactly what Adventure riding is all about. I have to say the Yeti would have made me very nervous.

thanks for the report,

"Animadvertuntur in desertis"

TW Goes To Alaska Solo

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Old 07-31-2009, 08:02 AM   #15
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Good write-up and great photos--especially the on-the-bike shots.

I just rode through Arkansas last weekend while on my Boston-Albuquerque trip. I thought the back roads through the Ozarks were some of the best I found on the whole trip--right up there with the Blue Ridge Parkway and rte 311 from Roanoke into West Virginia. The interstate through Arkansas has to suck, though.

Keep it up.
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