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Old 09-05-2010, 08:43 PM   #16
catweasel67 OP
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Day 8 (31st August 2010) Ely to Pioneer - Nevada high plains to the Eldorado national park which was...amazing and smelt of weed., fun evening in the bar where i scared a local dog (was it the accent?). The change of scenary from Nevbada to California..was like someone had flicked a switch - desert to wooded hills, hot as all hell to cool and balmy in just a few miles.

Day 9 (1st September 2010) Pioneer to Fremont - started to be more suburbs, forced onto the interstate to get anywhere - amazing bridge crossings. The feeling of seeing the Golden Gate, of paddling in the Pacific, of realising I'd ridden the Goose to California, had ridden from Toronto to the Pacific on the same bike that three weeks earlier I'd ridden to Munich.



Paddling at Rockaway Beach...


Day 10 (2nd September 2010) Chalfent (near Bishop) in California - on highway 120 - stopped at 16:00 in 34c for a break and some very good --eetos.... Yesterday I rode the Golden gate Bridge, paddled in the Pacific (in my bike boots) and met a wanna be hippie at Rockaway Bay but...before all of that. Stopped in Independance (on highway ..day time high temp (as indicated on the Goose) was 36c. Once again I have picked a location with no Wifi or mobile signal :) it's a skill. I'm starting to think my garmin has issues. I left Fremont this morning at about 8am ish and by midday, according to my math and the garmin I'd travelled 80 miles. Given that I was on the other side of Yosemite that's hard to understand. Anyhoo, getting out of the bay area without using interstates proved to be as hard as it was to get in. I tried hard, I really did but was thwarted at every turn so, in the end, I rode the slab until I saw a Yosemite sign and hopped off. The guzzista I stayed with last night had recommended I skip Yosemite Park as it'd be full of Rvs so i took his advice and routed north of the park along highway ?? through Strawberry, Benton etc. I did go through one national park though - but can't recall the name - it was all trees and twisty highway and not many cagers. The last half of the day though reminded me more of the slog through the Nevada desert last week - hot...damn hot!. My current temperature range on this journey is now -3c to +36c. Tomorrow I hit Death Valley so it may increase. Oh, today started weird for me, was homesick, for the first time, for the first few hours, took me a while to shake the mood but it'd had gone by the time I left the 'burbs and the sun had come out. Now I'm in the only bar in town, supping a few beers, just scoffed a very good pizza. Shame the motel sucks and is expensive but I'd just gone too far today to shop around.

Day 11 (3rd September 2010) - Independance to Seligman (Arizona). I remembered why Rockaway Bay rang a bell with me...The Ramones. And in other news..had a real early night last night to start real early....liker 05:30 early

so I could get through Death Valley before it got too hot.

All went according to plan and it was a mere 30c as I went over 200 feet beneath sea level. I felt chuffed at my cunning plan until I hit the road to the Hoover Dam - a 5 mile tailback and I saw the temperature gauge on the Goose hit 44c. It took about 90 minutes to clear the traffic jam during which I was slowly broasted in my leathers. It took the edge off the Dam.

From there though things looked up as I ran along Route 66. More to follow but, for now, I'll post this and some pics.
Seligman , route 66..

The resting stop and a "sexeh" pic for ya'll.taken before I walked the 2 miles to the Black Cat bar which, on a sunday (I think), was a tad quiet...buit,all the same, fun.
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"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:13 PM   #17
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I thought I was going to see a pic of a man and his Ural with a goose in the sidecar. Ha ha. Nice start.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:29 PM   #18
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Day 12 - Seligman to Monument Valley - I'm writing this a day later (or is it two days?) and it seems to me that, from recollection, the journey was unventuful until I hit Monument Valley - to see those rock formations that, until now, I'd only seen in favourite westerns was very moving. I remember well my first trip to the US some 30 years ago and watching Westerns from dusk to dawn. I met Alex at the Navajo (sp?) reservation campsite (no one told me Indian reservatios were dry!!!) He's doing a 2 or 3 week tour of the US on his BMW Dakar. We spent dinner swapping stories of snakes and scorpions. If you're reading this Alex - I hope you found the land.


Day 13 - Monument Valley to Chimney Rock - rain stopped play today but as it was 17:30 I wasn't too bothered. During the planning stage I'd asked advice from the advrider inmates and the guzzi forum and someone (to whom I owe a lot of beer) suggested that rather than ride straight east I head up and around the national park that kinda ends in Durango so, not being stupid (well, not very) I followed his advice and wow! amazing ride :) One of the best days since Eldorado. I ended up (as per my stopping at, or near, 18:00 "rule") a very cool bar/camp site at Chimney Rock in Colorado. The crew, the food, the beer and the facilities are great which was cool as it rained all night leading to my first wet pack. I even found time to play my guitar much to the amusement of the customers and staff. And - whern reviewing the picture I took that day (yeah, I only took one..) it turned out that I'd added another "border" picture..



Day 14 - Chimney Rock to Brownfield, Texas. I blew the 18:00 rule away today. My original plan was to finish up at Roswell and do some funky alien things but, as I drove through...well, it sucked so I moved on to Brownfield. No reason to stop here other than the sun had set. As for the morning..as mentioned already (above) it was a wet start, a wet middle and, luckily, a dry finish. I marked off two more state today - New Mexico & Texas. Tomorrow I hope to hit San Antonio for a beer at the Alamo (with luck I'll have more luck finding camping than today). After that I'm aiming for MPH in Houston (on Friday) to get some new fluids in the Goose.

BTW - I started with 8 days in hand and, by my reckoning, it took me one day longer than planned to cross from Toronto to San Francisco so ..7 left :) and I just checked - today was my highest milage day - a "whopping" 523 miles in 11 ish hours. My dreams, and desire, of Ironbutt drift further and further away.


the journey so far


Metrics

States 13 - Michegan,Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorada, New Mexico, Texas.

Distance covered (according to mapsource) - 4897 miles (Toronto to Brownfield, Texas).

Encounters with "the man" - 1 - speeding ticket ((78mph in a 65) in South Dakota - cost $125.
__________________
Planning NA 2010 NA 2010
Adriatic Loop August 09 Mandello Guzzi Protest Sept 09
"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -- Robert E. Howard

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:20 AM   #19
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Day 15 - Brownfield to Shiner - things are getting a bit silly now but I felt I had to make it to MPH in Houston by latest lunchtime Friday so they can service the bike same day, leaving me free to ride the weekend and beyond (there were/are alternate options but I'm much happier being independant when I can). I stopped at 19:30 when I realised that campsites just weren't to be found (at least not by me, not tonight. I am pretty sure as I ride out tomorrow I'll pass a dozen).

So anyway - I expected Texas to be full of desert and cows and instead I found landscape that reminded me somewhat of home - Highway 70 and Sistersledge Road (Sister..something) took up most of my day and the rolling green landscape shwooshed the miles away. Small towns, all one horse, made the day almost complete. I found one hinderance in the shape of gigantic death wish bugs all aimed at me. One bug, the size of a small ...the size of a large bug....hit me square in the mouth and it felt like someone had punched me and then poured bug pus in my mouth!

I've reached the opinion that, on this trip at least, I am anti city. I zipped into San Antonio, got me a picture of the Goose at the Alamo ....


and zipped on back out again, It was just too damned hot, too big. I like the slower lifestyle of small town (less than 10,000) America. The bar I'm in right now (one of only two in the town and, I believe, the only restaurant) epitomises my desires. In some ways I miss the northern states - it seemed much easier to find that one horse town up there and, I suspect, as I head further east, it's only going to get harder. My fingers are crossed though. BTW - go Saints!!

I've just done some totting up of days and, subject to mishap, I may be able to reach Stephen King country so, once I get back to WiFi land, it's research time again. Oh...yes, I am trying the local beer - there's 7 of them and I'm #3 - the Bock.

woot! just realised I passed the 5k miles mark - sometime yesterday. That puts me, at present, over half way although my New England excursions should fix that.

Day 16 - I made it to the 12% beer last night and called it a "day". Woke up this morning to find the bike soaked in mornin' dew, a real heavy mist and what felt like 100% humidity. The bugs were lovin' it. Shiner to MPH in Houston is a lovely ride, all rollin' hills and sweeping, lonely, bends. Davey's working on mah bike now, he's a fixin' it - new oil, changing the dash into a language I can understand etc etc. The lovely lady working the office (Diana?) even took my post (aquired t-shirts and stuff) for a sendin' back home. If all goes well I'll be in the Baton Rouge area tonight and now that I've got the service out of the way I can, hopefully, relax my brain a tad.

a rare "naked" picture of the Goose...
__________________
Planning NA 2010 NA 2010
Adriatic Loop August 09 Mandello Guzzi Protest Sept 09
"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -- Robert E. Howard

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Old 09-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #20
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Sounds like a great trip so far!

How come you flew and shipped your bike to Toronto just to b-line it right to the border? I don't blame you for not going west across Canada cause it's pretty flat and boring for a few thousand kms, but why not just fly in to the US?
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassguitar
Sounds like a great trip so far!

How come you flew and shipped your bike to Toronto just to b-line it right to the border? I don't blame you for not going west across Canada cause it's pretty flat and boring for a few thousand kms, but why not just fly in to the US?
everyone I spoke to, including the shippers, said it was better - less hassle, to ship the bike into Canada as it's easier to clear Canadian customs. I heard of another guy who shipped by sea into New York and had his bike impounded for 2 weeks.
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Planning NA 2010 NA 2010
Adriatic Loop August 09 Mandello Guzzi Protest Sept 09
"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -- Robert E. Howard
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:38 PM   #22
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If you need a bed in Nashville just drop me a PM
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:08 PM   #23
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Where are we eating dinner? You were one block away from the murder capital of the US.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:00 PM   #24
catweasel67 OP
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Badger...ah! tis you! I have to admit to some concern when a copper pulled up along side me, wound the window down and flipped me the bird. A very brief, shouted, conversation took place at 30mph...."adventure rider. I'm a member.." big grin from him, as he points at my ADV sticker, big sigh of relief from me. I flipped him the adv salute back as I shouted "what's your handle?".."Badger!"..and we went our seperarte ways.

Well, Badger, you brought a massive grin to my face as I drove through Baton Rouge and on to New Orleans. Many thanks :)

Tonight I'm off drinking/eating in Ryans - which, i am told is on Chatres near Decatur so if anyone fancies a beer on me, look for the bald limey with a long bushy. and grey, goatee. Do I need to add New Orleans?
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Planning NA 2010 NA 2010
Adriatic Loop August 09 Mandello Guzzi Protest Sept 09
"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -- Robert E. Howard

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:50 PM   #25
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Day 17 - Orange to New Orleans (woot woot!!!) - most of my day was spent "getting to" as opposed to "ridin'". I was/am really excited about getting to New Orleans, it's the first city that I feel hasn't let me down. Pre-NO the highlight was the copper in Baton Rouge, having a copper pull along side me and flip the bird. He (Badger) is an ADVinmate and his "salute" caused me much mirth for many a mile today.

I'm staying at the Renaissance on Common Street (as suggested by Len at work) and I'm in, somehow, the top floor (19th). The hotel is 1 block from the French quarter. And..at 21:30 I am pretty far...(for some reason I stopped typing - good company in the bar last night, shag was, alas, not on).

Day 18 - at least I think it's day 18, times and dates and states and places and people are getting blurry. I took my first day off today and it was in New Orleans. My first time here and so I took a guided tour today which, to be honest was a waste of time. The guide had to cater to the lowest common denominator and so we spent more time looking at the houses of the rich and the famous than we did learning about the history.Next time I come back I'll take a more personal tour.

Spent last night in Ryan's, am (tonight) in the Cajun Cabin on Bourbon. Time to get me some bou-dan and jambalaya. When I was driving through Houston a few days ago a guy in a pickup flagged me over. Turns out he (John M.) used to have a Miller chopper (one of 7 or something). We chatted for a little bit and he made some suggestions about how to deal with Key West...a return ferry from Fort Myers (not sure if it's passenger or vehicles though..will check). Then as I'm driving through Baton Rouge a copper drives up alongside me, winds down the window and flips me the bird. Then I see the huge smile and hear him shout out "Adventure Rider..." I "salute" him back, much to the probably consternation of the cagers behind me. He PM'd me later - so a shout out to Badger - dude - you made me chuckle..a lot.

Took the down time to re-pack (finally managed to get ALL my camp gear in one side case), do laundry, sleep, work out the saddle aches and plan my next stages. It's the 12th September, I've got 18 more days left...6300 miles done according to Mapsource, only 4200 to go. And I just realised I am at the half way point as far as time goes..yeah, I'm a tad slow at times) so woot me!! I have 11 more legs to ride, but I'll probably spend an extra 2 days doing them, plus a day at Nashville leaving me 4 "spare" days. Once I get into the upper Appalacians I'll be able to consider my options. Anyway..dinner's here......

Bourdon Street is sensory overload...and that's all I have to say about that..

Before I forget - I finally had a problem with my credit card. When I went to pay MPH it was declined. I called back to Austria and was told that they'd seen 80 transactions in the last billing period and so had suspended the account. They unlocked it again after I had spoken with them but they couldn't promise it would not happen again. If you're wondering about
80...gassing up 3 or 4 times a day, hotels/campsites, dinner, lunch and sundries. It's not hard to get to that number.

Metrics
States 10 - Michegan,Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorada, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana
Distance covered (according to mapsource) - 6382 miles (Toronto to New Orleans).
Encounters with "the man" - 1 - speeding ticket (78mph in a 65) in South Dakota - cost $125.
__________________
Planning NA 2010 NA 2010
Adriatic Loop August 09 Mandello Guzzi Protest Sept 09
"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -- Robert E. Howard
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:29 AM   #26
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I met our intrepid traveler Monday night in Memphis. He's a great guy - even bought me a beer. I sent him along a different route to Nashville than he planned so he could see Shiloh, the site of one of the bloodiest battle in the War Between the States. But since we've heard nothing from him since, he's either lost or has moved to Tasmania to find the author of a book about honey and bees.

Great to meet you Catweasel. A pic or two to follow.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:57 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC950
I met our intrepid traveler Monday night in Memphis. He's a great guy - even bought me a beer. I sent him along a different route to Nashville than he planned so he could see Shiloh, the site of one of the bloodiest battle in the War Between the States. But since we've heard nothing from him since, he's either lost or has moved to Tasmania to find the author of a book about honey and bees.

Great to meet you Catweasel. A pic or two to follow.
hey hey...stil alive, was very cool to meet you, even if you weren't as good looking as the bee lady :p
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Planning NA 2010 NA 2010
Adriatic Loop August 09 Mandello Guzzi Protest Sept 09
"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -- Robert E. Howard
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:08 PM   #28
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Day 19 - New Orleans to Memphis - rendevous shut (it shuts on sundays and mondays...doh!!!), BB Kings diner, met adv inmate and an world famous authoress, rode some of the Trace, infected or otherwise messed up my third finger, right hand - a tad annoying. Walked Beale street, awesome music. For my money, better music than Bourbon...




Day 20 - Memphis to Nashville - did Gracelands in the morning, rode to KoA nashille, shuttle bus ($10 return!!) into town, sat in Whiskey Bent saloon watching a band led by a pianist. bloody good - brendan giles. hope to get to tootsies later (but didn't). rode the highwey out. since i loaded the koa poi onto my garmin finding campsites has become, for now, way easier, am undecided if I should stay another day here (Nashville) or move towards Birmingham...right now am leaning towards movement. No pictures here....took loads but no bike content...loved Gracelands house...loved the music of the nght...the ride between the two was good..but to ya'll that live in this area...to be able to ride to NO, to Nashville, to Memphis...and each one under a day's ride...you lucky lucky bastards!!

Am slowly learning how to move across the US...highways between but Interstatess in and out of cities.

Day 21 - So I had my first lie in since I started - woke up at 8am :). Decided to move on as I didn't fancy spending the day in Nashville. Headed towards Birmingham..,.to find the motorbike museum...didn't find it....moved on to...Aubern in Alabama and I sure did make sure I played "Sweet Home..." once I realised where I was. Seems like Aubern is a uni town...and the bar I'm in, Quixotes is..well...young. I feel out of place with my facial hair. At least the bar is lively although it's too big and cosmo for my journey tastes. Tommorrow I head south and east a tad towards Florida. Not sure yet where I'll end up but keep an eye open for the guy with egg on his head.

I tried to find a real bacwater Alabama town but failed....you guys know my route.....any suggestions? one bar, one motel, a b illion women,..that sort of thing.....

Metrics
States 17 - Michegan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorada, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama.
Distance covered (according to mapsource) - 7514 miles (Toronto to Aubern).
Encounters with "the man" - 1 - speeding ticket (78mph in a 65) in South Dakota - cost $125.
__________________
Planning NA 2010 NA 2010
Adriatic Loop August 09 Mandello Guzzi Protest Sept 09
"I've got the key to the gates of paradise...but I've got too many legs!!" Jeff
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -- Robert E. Howard

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #29
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Here is our adventurer with the world famous author (no kidding: http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Trail-Pursuit-Liquid-Vanishing/dp/0312629818/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1284602602&sr=1-1). He's the one on the right .



I don't think BB King has been in BB King's in many years, but it was cool to meet an Englishman from Austria and a Bee Lady from Tasmania.

Did you make it to Shiloh? Auburn is young - I went to school there and I felt old four years after I left.

Oh, Highway 6 across northern Pennsylvania is a great road.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:42 AM   #30
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Great Report!
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