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Old 08-31-2010, 01:38 AM   #1
aaronrkelly OP
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: southern Iowa
Oddometer: 524
Iowa to Grand Canyon....and back.....the low tech way

Since Ive owned a motorcycle Ive dreamt of seeing the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle trip.

This year it happens. Why this year? Cause I finally said fuck it....now or never, Im done waiting for the right time.....the extra money....etc....get out the credit card, take a week off and lets go.

Ive got no fancy adventure bike with Touratech gear......Ive got my large party barge of a touring bike.....so mostly pavement it is.

I have no whiz bang camping gear that will compress to fit inside a KTM fanny pack.....Ive got left over shit from WalMart that I likely bought years ago for my kids to "camp" in the back yard in.

My plan......toss all this crap in my el cheapo Harbor Freight trailer....hook it to the Vision and head to the Grand F'ing Canyon.

Ive got 9 days....but I want to do it in as few days as I can and still have fun.....cause I do have other obligations that COULD use my time....but if it takes 9 then it takes 9.....but Im hoping for 6ish.

I made no plans for where to be on certain days or how long Im going to ride.....just that I want to see "in order of importance".

Grand Canyon
Pikes Peak
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Skyline Drive in Canon City, CO
Royal Gorge
4 corners

So I get the time off work.....6 weeks till go time.

In that 6 weeks I took some weekend trips to try out my "fancy" camp gear and such. Just basically ride a hard day out and see something, camp that night and come home. Worked decent.....no illusions of great, but a solid decent. Also discovered my bike needed brakes and tires but again, 6 weeks, plenty of time to sort it out.

new tire fitted (and brakes)



So gear is prepped (ie tied in trash bags.....err, I mean high tech compression sacks)......bikes been gone over (tires, brakes, oil change etc)....and my $250 Harbor Freight trailer is loaded and ready to go....and hopefully come back.



.....and to top it off the week before we leave my co-rider (my girlfriend) has twisted the sheet out of her knee; is in a brace, dopped up and walking with a cane.....sweet.....thats gotta help, right.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:00 AM   #2
aaronrkelly OP
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So we are leaving at 3am on Thursday morning.....the plan is to ride hard the first day because Nebraska sucks.....and everything we want to see is near Colorado Springs.

Before leaving picture....yeah, its 3am....I've just got off work and Im kinda less than thrilled. See my plan was NOT to be leaving at 3am....but a co-worker had a scheduled World of Warcraft game planned so my start time got pushed back.....yeah, no shit....World of Warcraft. I reasoned that there was no point in going in and napping till day light....might as well get to it.


So off we go.....in the dark. Not much to see....a couple deer, other then that nada.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:41 AM   #3
Go-4-It
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A plan is born

Sounds like you have a good plan and the time to make it happen. Enjoy, I look forward to following your Star ship to the Canyon.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:04 AM   #4
WaywardSon
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The best plan is no plan...go for it. You're gonna see some nice country! Take lots of pics.

Hope the girl-friends knee holds up.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:36 AM   #5
aaronrkelly OP
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So is there anything to see in Nebraska....

Here is Nebraska at day break...



and several hours later here is Nebraska again....



Oh....more pics of Nebraska



Im beginning to think there is NOTHING to see in Nebraska (and well on my way to proving that point) when I come up to Lexington NE and need fuel. I pull of the slab and as I do I see a sign for a military vehicle museum.

So I get my go juice and take off following the signs.....to hopefully find something redeeming in Nebraska. Honestly I figured I would round the corner and be greeted with a few vehicles.....this place was huge. You couldnt swing a dead cat without hitting a tank, truck, dozer, gun etc.....easily the biggest military vehicle museum Ive seen (which was only this one).

















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Old 09-01-2010, 03:40 AM   #6
aaronrkelly OP
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:44 AM   #7
aaronrkelly OP
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This was the only thing I found of interest in Nebraska - no other scenery.......but Colorado would be worth it.

The museum did make my day though....its was a great place. Run by volunteers and staffed by people that were very passionate about saving this bit of history. There was a older, very knowledgeable gentleman walking around and he came right over and told us all about each vehicle we stopped to look at. He said they try very hard to keep and get everything they can in running condition and that they do take them out and run them often. The older lady at the front said she loves to ride in the tanks and trucks, especially pulling into the gas station at WalMart to get fuel.

Admission price - donations......tanks and good folks, well maybe Nebraska isnt THAT bad....but the scenery still sucks there.

aaronrkelly screwed with this post 09-01-2010 at 03:49 AM
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:01 AM   #8
RedDogAlberta
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Very nice. Looking forward to more. Btw, I'm no stranger to those early departures myself on peaceful, empty highways. Must be something about living on the plains and having seen everything for a few hours in either direction hundreds of times over and over again.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:05 AM   #9
gvthnks
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Loving the Nebraska shots. Lived there for three years and averaged between 5k to 8k a month along I-80. Been in that museum a dozen times or so.

I think there's a barbed wire museum in either Cozad or Gothenburg and Buffalo Bill Cody ranch and home are in North Platte.

Sounds like a fun trip.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:08 AM   #10
hyperboarder
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I moved from CO to IA to work for John Deere. They paid me too much and it was an easy job, but I quit and moved back a year later. Haven't looked back once, the midwest was not for me. That being said, I do believe Iowa is better than Nebraska . I was a fan of the quad cities and Des Moines.

Anyway, where are you staying at the canyon? I just finished a trip through southern CO with a stop at the north rim, bloody gorgeous down there right now.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:04 PM   #11
aaronrkelly OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperboarder
I moved from CO to IA to work for John Deere. They paid me too much and it was an easy job, but I quit and moved back a year later. Haven't looked back once, the midwest was not for me. That being said, I do believe Iowa is better than Nebraska . I was a fan of the quad cities and Des Moines.

Anyway, where are you staying at the canyon? I just finished a trip through southern CO with a stop at the north rim, bloody gorgeous down there right now.
The plan was to camp.....the plan did not go as planned.

Lesson #1 from this trip (Im already back)......camping is great but you HAVE to get off the road early enough to find a site, setup and get comfy. If your going to ride hard all day......your going to ride yourself out of camping. I SHOULD have stopped at around 6ish.....instead I was consistently rolling till 8......and right into a motel room.

Near the GC I stayed at the Anasazi Inn....
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:57 PM   #12
muddriller
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NE sucks?

Aaron: I think you've gotten this wrong! I am sure that the reason that Iowa is so windy is that Nebraska BLOWS and ILLINOIS sucks. Hence the windy conditions.

Great report keep it up.

Todd
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:04 PM   #13
electroman
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As a seasoned veteran of Nebraska drives, I've passed by that museum many times - now I'll have to stop next time.

Great RR so far.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:41 PM   #14
aaronrkelly OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electroman
As a seasoned veteran of Nebraska drives, I've passed by that museum many times - now I'll have to stop next time.

Great RR so far.
It really is worth stopping at.....flip them a few bucks and enjoy some machinery.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:09 PM   #15
achesley
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Can't believe I missed that going through Neb as much as I have in my roamings. I don't do interstates very much so that may be the reason. But, it's on my list of Nebraska things to see now.
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