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Old 06-29-2012, 05:05 PM   #16
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Location: Hayward, CA
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I'm in. Safe travels.
Hayward, CA
2006 R1200GSA - aka "Gretel"
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:31 PM   #17
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Location: Sunshine Coast
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Just got back from the Arctic Circle, it was great, and as i see you're on the search for the greatest Cinnamon Roll, a little insider tip.
Braeburn Lodge about 60 miles North of Whitehorse towards Dawson City prouds themself of having the worlds biggest Cinnamon Rolls. They are huge, go check them out.
Safe travels to you.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:01 AM   #18
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I'm in.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:41 PM   #19
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Swinada, we'll check out the cinny rolls! Check out the roll we found earlier today (pic below). Fairly massive!

Happy to see a couple more of you are in for the ride!
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:57 PM   #20
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Day 1 of 42 was full of mixed feelings. Leaving these three for six weeks had me torn.

It wasn’t long and the crew rolled in. Mike, a last-minute add on his 650GS, joined Philip, Frank and Brian to take us to Cheyenne.

Pics were taken, hugs and kisses exchanged, an we were officially on our way!

One and a half hours later and Philip said, “Well, Colorado wasn’t too bad!”

DonnyO guided us to the Luxury Diner in Cheyenne. Holding true to our quest for the perfect cinnamon roll, we figured we’d give theirs a shot. Luckily, we only ordered one, because they’re the size of your head!

We should have questioned why they bother with a half order of biscuits and gravy – not to be outdone by the monstrous cinnamon roll, the biscuits and gravy weren’t messing around!

Bellies stuffed, we said our goodbyes to the fellas, and we were headed north to Buffalo, Wyoming for the day’s destination. DonnyO and I count ourselves lucky for having good buddies like these to see us on our way. Truth be told, they were paid by the State of Colorado to escort us across the border.

Unfortunately, like Colorado, Wyoming has been plagued with wildfires of late. The smoke from the Arapaho fire grew intense, having exploded from 8 to 58 square miles in 24 hours. As if to mirror the brown, sun-beaten plains, the sky mimicked its color with an eerie brown blanket.

Even an old set of pliers was getting in on the act.

In preparation for the trip, DonnyO’s wife Nancygirl chased him around town with trailer in tow as he endeavored to determine the true range of his GS equipped with GSA tank. One afternoon included an 80-mile jaunt around the Denver Metro area without running out of gas! On another outing, he finally sputtered to a stop at mile 501 and refilled with 9.9 gallons.

With range now understood, we kept chugging today. Heck, we only had 396 miles to travel door to door. Then it happened.

368.8 miles, including a 1.5 mile downhill coast, and I was doing this:

Oh, well, at least DonnyO will make it.

Less than eight miles later, and DonnyO was doing this!

I seem to recall atrocious mileage (40+MPG) on last year’s trip, too. Seems to occur when I lead. My 80+MPH approach sucks gas. DonnyO’s 60-65MPH led to record-setting 54+MPH last summer on our trip. So, we can go like crazy and risk walking, or . . . slow and steady wins the race!

We pulled up to the historic Occidental Hotel est. 1880 in Buffalo, Wyoming, and heard horns-a-honkin’. Having grown up in a small town, DonnyO said, “Someone got married.” Sure enough, this group of crazies pulled up on a flatbed trailer with hay bales for seats!

We went in to register for our room. What a cool hotel!

There were relics everywhere. I bet a little shaver was excited to get this tricycle one Christmas!

DonnyO had reserved us “50-cent sporting girl rooms.” To get there, the cowboys either accessed them from the alley or they came down this stairway after drawing the curtain at the top of the stairs to keep all the higher-end guests from seeing what they were doing.

Stairwell replete with spur marks on the risers.

Gets you to a 50-cent sporting girl room.

We figured we’d get a dust cutter at the hotel’s saloon and took them out to a table on the front sidewalk. The wedding party was heading to its next stop, but not before the lovely bride Shanda agreed to take a pic with us!

One of the fellas walked out with a cold case of beer from the saloon, the wedding party loaded up, and off they went honking up and down the main strip with passersby waving, whistling and cheering.

Shanda, wanted us to let everyone know three of her bridesmaids are pregnant. Shanda, best of luck in your new life with your husband!

DonnyO and I were off to his birthday dinner. The staff knew we were coming, but we’re not sure if they understood we’re traveling together as father and son. We were seated in what I’d consider the most romantic table at The Virginian restaurant. Hmmmm.

Knees touching, I had an excellent dinner of elk tenderloin while DonnyO’s highlight was this tea, as his steak was overcooked (like someone-fell-asleep overcooked).

A little blogging in the lobby pictured above while listening to the authentic Tennessee strings band “Too Wet To Plow” resonating from the saloon, and our day is nearly done.

Excited for Day 2 of 42!
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:58 PM   #21
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Arlington Heights, IL
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Nice to see you styling the bandanas. Cowboys riding iron ponies need them

The front desk at the Occidental reminds me of the Belleville, KS hotel where railroaders would stay after their run from Herington.

OMG that cinny roll was obscene. I could eat the B&G, but the cinny? Not so much.

Heading north tomorrow. We'll be on the shores of Lakes Michigan, Superior & Huron. Looking forward to the WI north woods & the MI UP. Taking the scooter across the border to Sault St Marie just because we can.

motorcyklmikl screwed with this post 07-01-2012 at 06:33 PM Reason: Spelling
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:00 PM   #22
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Motorcyklmikl, hope you and Anna have a safe trip! Look forward to hearing stories of the ride.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:17 PM   #23
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Day 2 of 42 – DonnyO 1, Sean 0

Let me start by saying DonnyO’s steak last night was comp’d by Chef Tom at the Occidental Hotel’s Virginian restaurant. Apparently, he felt so bad, knowing the dinner was on DonnyO’s birthday, he wouldn’t let us pay for breakfast this morning at the Busy Bee. What an upstanding dude!

One of my reasons for being is to embarrass my kids as much as possible – preferably in public. Here I am striking my pensive modeling pose outside the Busy Bee.

We saddled up and headed west on Highway 16 toward Ten Sleep. I’ve read Ten Sleep got its name from Native Americans. They would count the evenings slept from Ten Sleep to the plains where they would hunt tatonka. It was a beautiful ride through the Bighorn mountains. Many of the ranchers are moving their cattle to higher ground, since the valleys are getting hot. We came across a group moving theirs alongside the highway.

My kids think at 43 years of age, I’m dang near a fossil. Hey kids, look at this Pre-Cambrian rock formation – 3 BILLION years old! There is something older than your dad!

We struggled a bit to find the dirt road we wanted heading north from Ten Sleep to Hyattville. Heading up Brokenback Road, it became apparent we were on a pasture road.

Two ranch hands approached in their pickup truck. I said, “I’m trying to figure something out.” He replied, “I bet you are!” He and his helper had been herding cattle to higher ground with a couple Kawasaki KLXs, and there was no way we’d ever find Hyattville if we stayed on this path. He was nice enough to give us great directions off the property. It was basically just a truck trail for the ranchers to use, and it made for some great scenery and riding.

In two days, we’ve yet to find the intended use for a Heidenau K60 front tire. It chases tar strips and rain channels like a beagle after a rabbit. It also ups the pucker factor dramatically on gravel by floating rather than tracking. Once we were on the correct road north to Hyattville, we had to air down to improve front-tire traction.

DonnyO quickly navigated to the next road out of Hyattville toward Shell. It was a great BLM road called Red Gulch/Alkali.

Apparently, this road was a solid test as to whether or not we’d properly prepared. Besides the sign, there was NOTHING out there for miles.

A photo of why the area might have been named Red Gulch.

A fork in the road, and we decided we’d take Red Gulch Road toward Highway 14. It would connect us to either Shell or Greybull, depending on our desire once we got to the junction.

Ever see the video of a springbok drinking from the lake and it gets this WTH look on its face as a crocodile springs from the water? I had that same look moments later . . . scratch that, seconds later. Not 100 yards past the above sign, my front end bolted left, I slammed my foot to the ground to save the situation, and my left toe immediately screamed with pain followed milliseconds later by my foot bouncing off the ground only to be catapulted into the leading edge of my pannier. The front end pounced right, followed by another quick left, and then I heard a horn honking. Solid. For several seconds. Did someone get married?!

After saving a near wreck, I looked back and saw a headlight in the sagebrush and DonnyO’s helmet near the ground!

DonnyO was stung. I asked if he was OK, and he was stung badly. “Hard . . . to . . . breathe. Hurt . . . my . . . ribs.“ Oh, crap! We’re miles from anything. Suddenly, my toe didn’t hurt, the blue of the sky became more vibrant, I could hear small rodents eating 50 yards away. I was bionic and focused. There was one thing I had to do – get a pic of that beast taking a nap!

Donny 1, Sean 0

Turns out the road sign warning the unprepared was valid. It was the first we had seen of heavy sand, and, somehow, a beach had been placed atop this hill. Super weird given we’d ridden through hard-pack dirt, rocks and gravel to that point. Now, how are we going to wake this thing up?!

We pulled out our tools to get the barkbuster/clutch lever realigned, put some duct tape on the broken barkbuster mount, and off we went – tentative and hearts beating like hummingbirds. Only 20 miles of this stuff to go!

The vistas were gorgeous but muted due to the lingering wildfire smoke in the sky.

Fifteen miles after the wreck, we came across Wyoming’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks.

The three-toed tracks were all headed south-to-southwest. Experts surmised the dinosaurs were either walking along a beach or just inside the water’s edge. Tough to believe an ocean was ever here!

We decided to cut the day short and head toward Greybull for a brief lunch. I was struggling to put weight on my left leg, and I cringed for DonnyO anytime he coughed, as I could tell he was in considerable pain.

Off to Cody we went in agreement we’d head straight to its hospital to figure out if we’d done any real damage. With 40 days to go, we sure didn’t want an overlooked injury flaring up when we’re in the middle of Canada or Alaska.

My leg x-rays came back negative – simply a spraigned lower leg!

DonnyO may have cracked ribs, but he didn’t care to go to the length of a catscan given the treatment is the same as bruised/contused ribs. So, he was discharged with rib contusions.

We checked in at another historic hotel. This is the Irma built in 1902. Sunday night - only night there's no staged gunfight in the street?!

Dinner was consumed, thread updated, and now it’s time to get some shuteye!
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:00 PM   #24
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Location: So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
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Two days of riding and two injuries to the two riders..............heck I sure hope you two make it two more days before the next crash..............Try keepin the rubber side down and the shiny side is a very long ride north and the weather and roads can bite you if you don't ride smart.............Have fun though and stay safer than the past.........

R1200GS-08', WR250R-08'
XR650R-03', 110 Honda-83'
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:25 AM   #25
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Arlington Heights, IL
Oddometer: 12
Minimum maintenance roads

Found ourselves on a 'minimum maintenance road' in the Flint Hills of KS. Like your experience, it wasn't anything more than two faint tire tracks across pasture land. After a few miles we turned the big red beast around. That alone was a chore. Are more dirt roads on the route or will you be riding hard roads?
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:26 AM   #26
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Theofam - You boys should change your approach. I've been all through those parts a few times and the Great White North as well. I rode a big bike for lots of it, but MUCH smaller than yours! You have the wrong bikes with the wrong tires and are packed way too heavy for unimproved roads. You're going to see mud too. What then?

If you want to ride dirt roads, stick to county roads because they are maintained. If they are dry, you won't be seeing many soft patches. Maybe gravel; particularly up in the Yukon or AK, but gravel is good when it gets wet up there. If you get rain, stay on tar. If you are caught out, wait until the dirt dries and hardens. It will in a few hours.

The Dempster and Haul roads can be very tough when really wet. Same for the Top-Of-World road, and even the Campbell Highway around Ross River. Do yourselves a favor and get your front wheel fitted with TKC 80 Twinduro tires. Maybe keep the take-off's as spares for the trip home. The rear is OK even in patches of light mud. The front; NOT!

Sorry to lecture...Wishing you a safe finish to this trip. -P
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:09 AM   #27
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great write up! I will be following along!
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:44 AM   #28
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Pantah, don't apologize, as I don't consider it a lecture. Instead, it's good advice from someone more seasoned. The sand caught us off guard, but, once we knew to expect it, it was a matter of getting our weight over the rear tire and accelerating through it. Although still squirrelly, the front end floated over instead of diving into the sand.

DonnyO was advised by some of the folks he spoke with in Alaska to run the Heidenau K60s. They're apparently the best knobby-type tire to get decent mileage while faced with the chip seal of the North. Thusfar, I'm not a huge fan of them other than on the street, at which point they're buzzy.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:17 AM   #29
Joined: Jun 2012
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Laugh 2 days down.....Injuries?!?!?!

Well at least you get the injuries out of the way and now the rest of the ride will be smoother, maybe a little more painful for a few days, but smoother. Really enjoy the pics and the updates!! Thanks boys and I will check back in soon!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #30
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I'm in on this one ..
Driven Down - Yaviza - Darien Gap
DRIVEN , solo moto to the Arctic Circle
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