ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-10-2013, 10:32 AM   #1
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
SuperTour 1: 18 U.S. States, 7,397 Miles, in 15 Days.

I've been a motorcycle junkie for the past 5 years. Started out on a '93 EX-500 and promptly rode it 12k miles between October '08 and May '09. I was hooked on long-distance riding, but needed a bigger and better bike to do it.

So I bought a 2000 Concours. Rode that for 3.5 years and 54k miles. That bike saw most of the eastern half of the U.S., but I wanted something bigger, and more powerful (and, admittedly, newer and more reliable.) My dream was to ride from New Jersey to California and back, with stops at Mt. Rushmore, the Tetons, Yellowstone, and the California Coast. The 2013 COG National was also in Idaho Falls, ID this year, so I lumped both trips into one big tour, a SuperTour, as I call them. So, in February of 2013, I bought this:

IMG_0495

A leftover 2012 Concours 14, with 1 mile on the odometer. Between February 28th and August 22nd of this year, I rode this bike 7,943 miles, most of which were test miles to figure out what, if any changes, I would need to make before I left on the SuperTour. I added bar risers, a taller windscreen, a Sargent saddle, and a Givi trunk. It's a fantastic bike for eating up tons of miles, and is equally at home on the interstate, or carving canyons.

So, enough about the bike, for now. On with the ride report. (Feel free to click on any of the image links. I'm just showing highlights here, the full gallery is on my Flickr page.)

I left at 5:55am on Friday, August 23, from my home in New Jersey. Headed up Rt 206 to I-80, and across Pennsylvania. Quick pic of the highway from the rest area. Northern Pennsylvania is quite beautiful, and not at all as densely populated as the eastern part of the state:

IMG_0498

First night's stop was at a friend's house in North Barrington, IL, 857 miles away. We work together, and have been friends for a few years, so he offered to let me stay at his house for the night. Along the way, I met up with another friend and co-worker, Steve, in Indiana, who was kind enough to buy me dinner at Denny's. As I was getting ready to leave, he snapped this pic of me:

Dinner stop in Lake Station, IN

After dinner, I had miles to burn, so I hit the road and took 80 across Illinois, up the Chicago Skyway (an absolutely breathtaking experience at night. This is one of the best lead-ups to a major city I have ever seen.) I wanted to stop and take pics, but there was no really safe place to do so with all the traffic. Will have to save that for another trip, I suppose.

Once in Illinois, I was treated to a hot shower and a very comfortable bed at my friend Tony's house. He's a really awesome guy, and a lot of fun to work with. He's also quite the gardener, and this is what he's been working on for the past few years:

IMG_0500

Ending mileage for the first day:

IMG_0504

Will split this up across multiple posts. Day two coming shortly.
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1

LoneTraveler screwed with this post 09-10-2013 at 12:55 PM
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #2
achesley
Old Motorcyclist
 
achesley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Oddometer: 3,425
Looks to be an interesting ride. Hope you get to slow down and enjoy the scenery. 900 miles in a day don't let you see much but highway. ;-( .
__________________

A '00 KLR 650 39,000 miles, A '07 1250S 77,000 actual, A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 76,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
achesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
ClearwaterBMW
The Examiner
 
ClearwaterBMW's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Clearwater, FL USA
Oddometer: 5,972
so like a great ride looking forward to reading on. Thanks in advance
for sharing with us
__________________
Greg
'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
ClearwaterBMW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Day two: North Barrington, IL to Wall, SD - 825 miles

The second day of the SuperTour got off to a later start than the first, with me leaving Tony's house around 8am on Saturday, 8/24. I headed north through southern Wisconsin, and then on into Minnesota. I got lost at one point and wound up riding some very rough roads through cornfields. I was pressed for time and desperate to use a bathroom, so no pics of that experience (hey, you seen one cornfield, you seen 'em all...)

A few weeks prior, and old friend had mentioned he would be in Albert Lea, MN, and that we should have lunch since I would be passing by, on I-90. Sure, I said, let's do it, so we had awesome Chinese food at the China Restaurant there. While I was waiting for him to arrive, I snapped a pic of the lake across the street. Nice town, and an area I'd like to revisit at some point:

IMG_0510

Fuel economy thus far was averaging about 45mpg, with an average speed (according to my GPS) of 67mph, inclusive of downtime for stops. So far, so good. Then I hit southern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. The stretch of I-90 that runs past Albert Lea to about Chamberlain was quite boring. At this point, it had started to get dark, and I did get to stop at one point, and was amazed at just how many stars one could see at night there. Light pollution on the east coast is quite bad, to the extent that only the brightest stars are visible here anymore. Not so in South Dakota.

825 miles from where I started, I checked into the Motel 6 in Wall, SD, around 10:45pm local time. I was exhausted, and mildly amused to discover that my motorcycle, in addition to being a fabulous form of transportation and entertainment, also makes quite the insecticide machine:

IMG_0511

It's at this point that I joined up with my friends Marc, Chris, and Traci. We would ride together the rest of the way out to Idaho Falls for the 2013 COG National rally, the "Rocky Mountain Rendezvous."
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Day three Part 1 - Wall, SD to Powell, WY - 415 miles.

Day three saw breakfast at the famous Wall Drug, which had a very nice breakfast buffet and a pretty awesome downtown area. Below are some pics from the town:

IMG_0512

IMG_0513

IMG_0514

I really liked this sign:

IMG_0515

Inside the dining room. One cool feature was that the walls were covered with wooden plaques, with all the different cattle branding logos in the West:

P8250003

After breakfast, we decided to go visit the Badlands National Park, which is not too far back east on I-90 from Wall. It's well worth the trip to go see the amazing rock formations out there:

P8250006

P8250009

P8250012

P8250013

P8250014

P8250015

The Crew - Chris and Traci's bike in front, mine in the middle, and Marc at the back:

P8250016

Next installment will be Mt Rushmore!
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1

LoneTraveler screwed with this post 09-10-2013 at 01:17 PM
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Day three Part 2 - Wall, SD to Powell, WY - 415 miles. Mt. Rushmore

After the Badlands, we rode on down to the gorgeous Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, SD. This was a huge thing for me, as growing up, my grandfather always talked about how he wanted to see it someday. He unfortunately never lived to see the place, so part of this was in his memory, and also because I genuinely wanted to see this immense monument.

P8250020

Here's the pretty standard zoomed-in shot:

P8250032

And to give a sense of scale, here it is zoomed out:

P8250036

I was really taken aback by how beautiful the monument was. The very thought that men and women carved this out with their hands, using fairly simple tools, just blew me away. It speaks volumes as to how we, as a culture, are dedicated to preserving our history. Truly, awe-inspiringly impressive.

After Mt. Rushmore, we rode back up to I-90, into Wyoming. This was a doubly special time for me, as this was the furthest from home I'd ridden thus far, and also, my bike would hit 10,000 miles just outside of Sheridan, WY. The beauty of this place, along with the realisation that my Big Dream was finally coming true, literally brought me to my knees. I had never cried tears of joy, or astonishment before, at anything so beautiful. I'm 29 years old, and for the first time in my life, I felt as if I had seen true beauty. The emotions kept flowing for hours afterwards. I felt like I had been reborn, no longer the geeky guy who always gave up on his dreams. I was DOING IT.

This is what made me feel so small, so insignificant, yet so large and incredibly alive all at the same time:

P8250042

And this:

P8250043

And finally, this, a scene literally taken from a dream I've been having for 5 years. It's like I knew this whole time, that this moment would come true:

P8250044

10,000 miles in just a few days under 6 months, man do I love this bike:

P8250040

Day 4 is coming up next.
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Day four Part 1 - Powell, WY to Idaho Falls, ID. 278 Miles.

Day four had us start off in Powell, WY. We'd decided to stop for the night as the deer were out in droves, and it didn't make sense to keep pushing onward when there were literally bucks and does every 30' or so, along the road.

Super 8 in Powell was nice enough, if a bit pricey. Traci and I went foraging for food, and the 18 year old "manager" at the McDonald's refused to serve us food because we showed up on foot, instead of in a car. We decided to get some hoagies from the Maverick across the street from the hotel, which were decent enough.

We also met a nice fellow who works as a combine harvester. He's from Oklahoma, but travels all over the west with his combine, harvesting grain, corn, and so on.

We took the North Fork Highway directly from Powell to the gate at Yellowstone. Along the way, we stopped for fuel, and I was able to snap a few pics of the hills around there:

IMG_0524

IMG_0525

This is an interesting looking, well, I dunno what it is, but it was cool!
P8260050

We rode on some more, the curves and twisties getting better with each mile. We were on somewhat of a schedule, so we tried to avoid making too many stops. Below are some highlights of after we entered Yellowstone.

Bison:
IMG_0528

Beautiful lake:
IMG_0530

Valley panorama, if you look closely, you can see a herd of Bison below:
Valley Panorama

This spot also got me a little emotional. There's nothing in New Jersey to compare this to. It was like seeing a world before people. Really quite stunning:
IMG_0538

Geyser. It smelled really bad, but was cool nonetheless!
IMG_0540

Mountains and the access road:
IMG_0543

Me and Marc up ahead, Traci took a lot of on the road pictures for me:
P8260051

I like how this turned out, man, and nature's creations. One is so small, the other, so incredibly large:
P8260065

Here's a bison taking a shit:
P8260072

So beautiful:
P8260092

Bison chilling out:
P8260099

Beautiful river valley:
P8260107

More to come in part 2!
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Day four, part 2. Powell, WY to Idaho Falls, ID. 285 miles.

Continuing on in Yellowstone, we had a really awesome time riding the access road. Quite a nice set of curves out there, and the surface was excellent for the most part.

Here's a money shot of my bike. I like how this turned out:


Traci took this while riding pillion. She's quite the motophotographer!


Beautiful forest:


Beautiful Elk (thanks to Marine By Choice for the clarification.) We don't have these where I live!


Almost there! Interesting fact, as I understand it, about the Continental divide, is that all rivers on one side flow to the Atlantic ocean, and all rivers on the other side flow to the Pacific. (At least, that's what Stephen Fry said, in this very same spot.)


We arrived at the hotel mid afternoon, checked in, and went over to hang out at the free BBQ they were having at a campground down the road. I had a few beers, so didn't get many pictures. It was a fun time, with good food and I even got some good information about the roads heading west after the National.

2013 COG National BBQ:


Day 5 is up next: The Windfarm
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1

LoneTraveler screwed with this post 09-11-2013 at 10:15 AM
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 05:14 PM   #9
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Day five, The Wind Farm.

I had noticed on the way in to Idaho Falls that there were huge wind farms just to the northeast of the city. There didn't appear to be a clear access route so I just rode around until I found a way up into the hills. I have a thing for wind turbines and green energy in general, so seeing this out in the middle of Idaho was really cool. Below are some pics from my ride up in the hills on day five.

Quite cloudy, but it gave a cool cast to the lighting:
IMG_0546

Panorama of the wind farm. I really like this feature on the iPhone, works pretty well!
IMG_0548

Bikes and wind farms together really do it for me:
IMG_0550

After I was done riding around in the hills, I hurried back to the hotel for the annual bike show. I'd never entered a bike in one before, so I tried my best to get Ziggy looking squeaky clean. I think I did ok:

P8270141

That green Concours 14 on the end is a very special bike, ridden by a really nice guy. He's put a ton of work into this thing, and it really does show:
P8270143

COG isn't just about the Concours/14, it's about the people too!
P8270144

You can come to a COG event on anything, even a Ural sidecar:
P8270145

Classic Connies:
P8270146

More to come for day six: The Tetons!
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
amzouri
Adventurer
 
amzouri's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Morocco
Oddometer: 17
Wonderful
Beautiful
Shares following trip
Rapid and well-established
amzouri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 07:20 PM   #11
ClearwaterBMW
The Examiner
 
ClearwaterBMW's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Clearwater, FL USA
Oddometer: 5,972
continued great imagery. Once again, thank you for sharing with us
__________________
Greg
'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
ClearwaterBMW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 08:05 PM   #12
Rutabaga
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
Oddometer: 730
Thanks for sharing some of your dreams and rides.
Rutabaga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2013, 07:04 AM   #13
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClearwaterBMW View Post
continued great imagery. Once again, thank you for sharing with us
Quote:
Originally Posted by amzouri View Post
Wonderful
Beautiful
Shares following trip
Rapid and well-established
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Thanks for sharing some of your dreams and rides.
Thanks for the kind words! Working on the next few days later on today. I have a ton of pictures and want to write up everything, so thanks also for your patience with this!
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2013, 07:17 AM   #14
achesley
Old Motorcyclist
 
achesley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Oddometer: 3,425
So glad you are getting to see the West. The more you travel, the more you realize what a small speck we are in the grand theme of life and geology of our world, Keep the great pics and narrations coming. Been to a few COG gathering back when I was doing my BMW rallies about the county. Really miss those days in many ways.
__________________

A '00 KLR 650 39,000 miles, A '07 1250S 77,000 actual, A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 76,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
achesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2013, 08:31 AM   #15
LoneTraveler OP
Captain Zoomtastic
 
LoneTraveler's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Garden State
Oddometer: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley View Post
So glad you are getting to see the West. The more you travel, the more you realize what a small speck we are in the grand theme of life and geology of our world, Keep the great pics and narrations coming. Been to a few COG gathering back when I was doing my BMW rallies about the county. Really miss those days in many ways.
I really like it out there. To the extent that I'm planning on moving to California next year (I'm lucky that I work remotely, and we have offices in SF and LA)
__________________
2000 Concours - Gone, but not forgotten.
2012 Concours 14 - Concours 2.0

SuperTour 1
LoneTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 03:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014