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Old 12-06-2013, 03:24 AM   #16
tricepilot
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PS the thread title alone will earn you 10,000+ views
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:33 AM   #17
MikeMike
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There are a few thousand motels here to match the title, too.
No maps required.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:21 AM   #18
RevyRider
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On board..

Looks like an interesting RR, I will be checking in daily for your updates and wishing I was along for the ride. It is minus 17 degrees celcius here this morning, ..bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Wish I was someplace south and riding in the warmth!

Have a safe and fun adventure!
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:24 AM   #19
TheRoss
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I'm in!
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:49 PM   #20
canadian chris OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
Looking forward to this one.
thanks Mike - the "Mexico Safe" thread has been a terrific planning resource for this trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Bought me a ticket to this ride report. Comments on how the bike handles Mexico topes

PS the thread title alone will earn you 10,000+ views
thanks! I must have read your Oaxaca RR 4 times before we pulled the trigger on this ride. Speaking of which, I think I've got an extra inch of ground clearance over a 'busa

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevyRider
Looks like an interesting RR, I will be checking in daily for your updates and wishing I was along for the ride. It is minus 17 degrees celcius here this morning, ..bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Wish I was someplace south and riding in the warmth!

Have a safe and fun adventure!
thanks Revy, - 17C just makes for good skiing, doesn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRoss
I'm in!
welcome aboard, Chris!






23 October



By the time dawn breaks over Klamath Falls, we are up, dressed, fed and rarin’ to go. The bike is warming up and the air temperature is 1oC. Having lived her life in the American Southwest, freezing temperatures are something Chanda’s only experienced in trips to British Columbia and she’s looking a little skeptical at the idea of riding in this temperature. I let her know that I’ll be blocking most of the wind and that she’ll be cozy & warm behind me.





It’s 7am and traffic is non-existent as we head out of Klamath. The temperature drops to 0 and then down to -3oC (27oF). Although my earbuds drown out the sound of chattery teeth from the pillion, I can feel her shivering. We stop at the California border and she makes sure all her jacket vents are zipped up tight.



(swimmin’ pools, movie stars…)


Chanda skootches closer and we carry on down Route 139. Other than the frosty air, it’s a gorgeous day and brunch is waiting for us in Susanville CA. The air temperature slowly increases but the road dips though lots of shadowy areas where cold air still lingers. I’m on the lookout for pavement frost but I guess the ambient air is too dry because there’s not even a glazing on the roadside grass.


Boyhood home of The World’s Most Dangerous Man, we find downtown Susanville looking a little rundown. We refuel and head to for the Black Bear Diner. We’re both looking for coffee, carbs and bacon. Unlike yesterday’s lunch, the food at the Black Bear is fresh, filling and generous in quantity. Chanda finally feels like she’s warming up. Today’s destination is Tonopah, Nevada via Reno & Fallon. It’s another 320 miles and although the driving is easy, it still represents another 5+ hours in the saddle.

With breakfast done and the air temperature now a comfortable 70oF, we strip off some layers and settle in for the run down to Reno.


There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of scenery between Susanville and Reno and we watch the roadside grass get browner with each southerly mile. I’d last driven this stretch in 2006, in a pickup truck, and headed in the opposite direction. None of it looks familiar and I wonder if that’s part of the difference between looking at the land from 4 wheels versus 2.


We merge into the Reno traffic and carry through to I-80 and Fernley. After another quick stop to shed more layers, we make the turn towards Fallon for fuel and some rehydrating. Fallon looks exactly like it does on Google street-view and soon we are leaving town and southbound to Hawthorne NV. Gas in Hawthorne is $3.41 a gallon, which is still cheaper than I’m used to in British Columbia.


Between Hawthorne and Tonopah is a whole lot of nothing. I imagine the original settlers having to stare at one distant mountain (which must have never seemed to get any closer) while the kids fussed in the back of the wagon and the breeze was scented by the steady plop of the cattle pulling the Conestoga…






Eventually we come to a left turn and start the last 40 miles to Tonopah. About 20 miles out I can see what looks like an airport control tower in the distance. It turns out to be the 540’ high tower of the Crescent Dunes solar energy project – the first of its kind in North America.





We have our sights set on Tonopah’s famous Clown Motel, but the last room is rented just as we pull in. We motor through town and every place we pass also has a no vacancy sign – WTH? When did Tonopah become so popular? The last place on the way out of town does not and although it looks pretty grim, we stop to inquire. They have one room left and we take it. The inside of the room matches the exterior but I’ve stayed in worse and Chanda’s attitude is ”this is what memories are made of”, so we offer up a quick prayer to the God of Bedbug Control and take the room.




It’s getting dark and we decide to gas up and grab some food. There’s a Chevron at the south end of town and it has a Subway attached to it. While paying for the gas I ask for a recommendation on other places to eat and the girl at the counter swears by Cisco’s Taco & Pizza just up the road. With that sterling recommendation, we head on over to Cisco’s.


The two dudes running Cisco’s are friendly and we order up a meat lover’s pizza to eat there. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes slowly go by and there’s no sign of the grub. Chanda moseys up the counter to check on progress and they haven’t started it yet. By this time we are both so hungry we could weep but it’s late and everything else is probably already closed for the night. The dudes console us with free cokes and we wait out another 20 minutes until the pizza is ready. By now we’ve decided to take it back to the motel and eat it there, which resulted in my first time ever slowly driving though a town while my pillion holds a large pizza and two cokes in her hands.

No crackheads have invaded our room and everything is right were we left it. I set the alarm on the bike and we watch a little HBO while we eat The Saltiest Pizza In The World.


Memories are made of this


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my trip reports:
day trip to Bamfield
circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #21
TheDudeAbides
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I can't read about Tonapah and Mexico without thinking of this great song

"I've been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah "

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Old 12-06-2013, 07:34 PM   #22
ImaPoser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian chris View Post

Memories are made of this
In for the RR. I recall saying that to myself a few times on my first big road trip out west 20 years ago. The memories are almost to the point where I'm thinking about doing it again.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:45 AM   #23
yatman
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another two following your RR

Chris, we really enjoy your writing style.
Safe travels for you.
We'll be watching and reading
yatman & Marlene
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:37 AM   #24
diverdown
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Hey Chris ,Robert up here in Kamloops.-25c having a cup of coffee reading your RR and just getting ready to go down to the basement and do some more work on the Harley 1200 roadster adv sidecar rig. hope to ride with you guys again on the north island run, have a great trip mate. diverdown
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:39 AM   #25
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Diggin this! Subscribed
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:32 AM   #26
mjt1577
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I'm in for the ride!...sayin' hello from over the Malahat!
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:14 PM   #27
studad
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In for the trip! Looks like a good one.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #28
on2wheels52
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+1 on your style of writing, will tag along with the rest
Jim
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:11 PM   #29
canadian chris OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDudeAbides View Post
I can't read about Tonapah and Mexico without thinking of this great song

"I've been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah "
Thanks Dude! they don't write 'em like that anymore!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaPoser View Post
In for the RR. I recall saying that to myself a few times on my first big road trip out west 20 years ago. The memories are almost to the point where I'm thinking about doing it again.
thanks! it's all those little moments - the great & the weird - that make it worthwhile

Quote:
Originally Posted by yatman View Post
Chris, we really enjoy your writing style.
Safe travels for you. We'll be watching and reading
hey Bud - glad you & Marlene will be here. Sorry I didn't have more time to connect before I left!


Quote:
Originally Posted by diverdown
Hey Chris ,Robert up here in Kamloops.-25c having a cup of coffee reading your RR and just getting ready to go down to the basement and do some more work on the Harley 1200 roadster adv sidecar rig. hope to ride with you guys again on the north island run, have a great trip mate
Hi Bob, are you thawing out? I see in the news that most of BC is in the freezer this week. Folks down here in Phoenix are shivering 'cuz it's only 16C

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumpstart92
Diggin this! Subscribed
thanks Thump!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjt1577
I'm in for the ride!...sayin' hello from over the Malahat!
hi MJT, thanks for stopping in! I'll be putting the DR on the road when I get back, so maybe I'll see you on some of the Cowichan trails

Quote:
Originally Posted by studad
In for the trip! Looks like a good one
thanks studad!

Quote:
Originally Posted by on2wheels52
+1 on your style of writing, will tag along with the rest
thanks for being here, Jim



24 October
Slept deep and bug-free, which goes to show that appearances can be deceiving (either that, or we were just lucky). It’s our final leg to Phoenix and it’s all desert, so we wake up at 6am to get ourselves on the road before 7. I try the motel-supplied instant coffee and it tastes worse than it smells.


Tonopah is still sound asleep as we head out into the morning desert. Our plan is to have breakfast in Beatty, about two hours away. The road is empty and the temperature is cool but not cold – at least from a Canadian perspective. The sun crests the eastern mountains as we transit through the hamlet of Goldfield and by the time we are over Goldfield Summit the sun is full in our eyes.


The miles roll by and before too long, we’re pulling into Denny’s parking lot at the north end of Beatty. We park and stretch and enter the casino to get to the Denny’s hidden away in the back. The casino smells like my aborted Tonopah coffee. We grand-slam it up and the waitress hypothesizes several times that Tonopah was short on motel rooms last night because of the Beatty Days festivities. We’re a little sceptical that every motel 100 miles away is full because of Beatty Days but it seems to be a point of civic pride for her, so we keep our doubts to ourselves. Bellies full, bladders emptied and the bike refuelled, we saddle up and point ourselves southeast for the leg to Las Vegas.


There’s a rest stop at Amargosa and we pull in for a quick leg stretch. The miles roll by and we pass the turn offs for Pahrump and for the Forbidden City of Mercury. There are military drones flying overhead as we roll through Indian Springs – our first experience with them. For an interesting article written from a Drone Operator’s perspective, try this link:
http://www.cracked.com/article_20725_6-myths-about-drone-warfare-you-probably-believe.html


(drone on the range)


It isn’t long after Indian Springs that the traffic volume begins to build and very soon we’re in Las Vegas suburbs. After hundreds of miles of empty highway the suddenly close quarters of 4 busy lanes takes some getting used to, but fortunately the incredibly bad pavement takes our mind off the other drivers. We’ve no plans to stop in Las Vegas, so we stick to the HOV lane and transit right on through the other side of town.


Out of Las Vegas and approaching the Arizona border, we stop in Boulder City for a bladder break and refuel. We’re both a little surprised at the cavalier parking by motorhomes and trailers. Most of the gas pumps are blocked off by people “just running into the store for a minute” but we find an empty one. The ST holds about 29 litres (the same as my Suzuki DR750), but I like to stop, stretch and top-up every 200km or so.


Chanda takes over the photography from hereon, and captures the moments as we speed by Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, and enter the 48th State of the Union.




Kingman is our next gas stop, famous for being the location of the movie classic Two-Lane Blacktop. There’s a cop rousting some kids at the Chevron when we pull in and the guy behind the counter says that it’s a common occurrence there. We gas up, chug down more cold water and we’re on our way again.





South of Kingman we shake off a tailgater and make the turn onto Route 93. Traffic is light but there aren’t a lot of opportunities to pass and the semis are moving slowly. The day has warmed up considerably and we’re both feeling a little stuffy in our jackets. Mine is my faithful 2008 Fieldsheer Highland and Chanda’s is a Firstgear Kilimanjaro we picked up on sale last year.


Over the spring and summer I gave a lot of thought to how hot & steamy I get in that jacket in the summer and decided to transition to lighter layers for Mexico. With that aim, I picked up a Thor Impact Rig in August and have brought it along for driving in the Mexican humidity.



We stop in Wikieup AZ and I switch from my Fieldsheer to the Thor. It’s a little Mad Max-looking but it’s comfortable as hell when the air temperature is over 80oF and it offers more armour than most jackets.



(why did you wait until I had my helmet back on before you decided to take a photo?)


I’ll de-armour my Fieldsheer for Mexico and use it as an overcoat in the higher elevations or when we come back through chilly west Texas right after Christmas. From Wikieup on through to Phoenix I’m finding the Thor is definitely a good choice for the desert heat. We blow past Nothing AZ and get to our last fuel stop in Wickenburg.














From Wickenburg (population 6400), the last 60 miles are an uneventful blur of cacti, sagebrush and semis. We’re both ready to get off the bike for the day and get in the shower.


Less than an hour later, we’re finally home. It’s been 1500 miles of perfect weather, easy riding and no setbacks. As ‘Hannibal’ Smith always said on the A Team: ”I love it when a plan comes together”





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my trip reports:
day trip to Bamfield
circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:25 AM   #30
theshnizzle
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thanks! I must have read your Oaxaca RR 4 times before we pulled the trigger on this ride. Speaking of which, I think I've got an extra inch of ground clearance over a 'busa

And who may you be talking about?.....hmmnnnnn.....
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