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Old 08-03-2014, 08:39 PM   #196
PNW ULY
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Great write-up Doc, glad you made it back home and congrats on the adventure. Originally from the Adirondacks, so interested in your perspective of that part of the world - - sounds like a fantastic effort.

The Pacific Northwest awaits. . .
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:05 AM   #197
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Glad you are finally back in NM....looking forward to wrap up...no hurry...rest up.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:25 PM   #198
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Some replies...

Before I start wrapping this RR up, let me wrap up the replies...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppalong View Post
Thanks Dr. Greg, for another interesting ride report.

I followed along on Google maps, and Wikipedia'd various things you wrote about.

I too would be interested in any rap up thoughts if and when you've a mind to.

Thanks again.
Aw, my pleasure. Glad you were motivated to do a little research...hope my wrapup won't disappoint. Just ramp down your expectations...





Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestar View Post
Sometimes you have to take the bad along with the good. A flat is definitely not the worst thing that could have happened. Hopefully the remainder of the trip is uneventful.

Looking forward to your final writeup.
Boy, you are SO right. A flat tire is NOTHING...compared with (1) totaling your bike and breaking some bones hitting a deer @ 72 mph (2008); totaling your bike and breaking some different bones losing the front on hoarfrost @ 64 mph (2010). There were others, but...so---like you said---a flat tire is NOTHING

P.S. Will thoroughly document the flat tire in the wrapup...





Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurobiker View Post
Dr. Greg, If it make you feel any better, and I doubt it will, today I enjoyed a beverage at the new Boxing Bear brewery. I thought of you.
Well, it DOES make me feel better, since next time maybe you'll invite me along






Quote:
Originally Posted by Serbchaser View Post
Welcome, home Dr G! . As always, a great report and congrats on the conclusion of the journey. Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted along the way.
Thankee kindly. My pleasure to do the RR; glad I made it home on 2 wheels and not in a tow truck (or ambulance; but then I wouldn't have gone home






Quote:
Originally Posted by PA RIDER View Post
Now I can finally rest at night knowing my good friend is safe with Mrs. Greg. There is no place like home.
You can indeed rest. Like I said, Mrs. Greg & I just need 1/2-acre off the corner of your mountaintop






Quote:
Originally Posted by luckychucky View Post
Glad to see you made it home!
Boy, I'll bet the "Big Indian" is glad, too...and just hoping I won't bother him again...






Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW ULY View Post
Great write-up Doc, glad you made it back home and congrats on the adventure. Originally from the Adirondacks, so interested in your perspective of that part of the world - - sounds like a fantastic effort.

The Pacific Northwest awaits. . .
Enjoyed the Adirondacks greatly; hope that came across in my comments. I skirted the Adirondacks in the Fall of 2010; knew I'd have to get back to spend a little more time. Finally did.






Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamspc View Post
Glad you are finally back in NM....looking forward to wrap up...no hurry...rest up.
Yeah, gotta admit, now that I'm home the motivation on keeping the RR going is, um, well, different. But I'll get 'er done today




Thanks to all for following. This was---for me---a great ride. And I very much appreciated all your comments and encouragement.

Final wrap-up and thoughts coming in a couple hours...

--Doc
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:28 PM   #199
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Sunday, August 3: Guymon, Oklahoma --> Albuquerque, New Mexico (HOME)

This update will chronicle the last day of my nearly one-month trip from New Mexico back to Vermont, then back home. A subsequent update will include some final comments, observations, complaints, rants, well, you ought to be familiar with me by now...


Leaving Guymon, OK...

There are really two main routes from Guymon, OK back to Albuquerque, NM. Route (1) follows US 64/412 W thru Boise City to Clayton and Springer, thence S on I-25. Route (2) follows US 54 SW thru the Texas panhandle (lotta "panhandles" in these parts; of course Missouri has a "bootheel"...) and onward into New Mexico, where it joins I-40 at Tucumcari. I selected route (1)---as I did on the outbound leg---because the section of I-40 between Tucumcari and ABQ is pretty dismal. Flat, lotta trucks...WAY WAY below the caliber of, say, the "Wendell H. Ford Parkway" (did I get that correct?) in Kentucky.

BTW, just as I was getting to sleep the night before, the rumble of you-know-what awoke me...darn those things! In the morning while loading Wotan I saw that it was labeled "EXPERIMENTAL PANHEAD"...now there's an oxymoron...why are those things always so darn loud?

It was fairly early Sunday morning, and I had US 64 between Guymon and Boise City pretty much all to myself. So I set the cruise control on 60 mph (the speed limit, BTW) and looked forward to a very relaxing day...


Heading W on US 64 between Guymon and Boise City, OK...

How often these days does one get to truly relax like I was doing now? Relatively good road surface, NO traffic, pretty country (as I've said, IMHO there ain't no flyover country), a mellow bike (the GSW hadn't missed a beat)...what could possibly go wrong?

And my mind was wandering...PA RIDER and I had a discussion about the pioneers who initially populated the west. A hardy breed. Way tougher than we. My maternal ancestors homesteaded 160 acres in northern Wisconsin (grandfather emigrated from Germany, picked up my grandmother while passing thru Ohio...as a fetching 16-YO she caught his eye and that was that...) and raised 11 boys plus my mother. My paternal ancestors were "small town" folks, but ended up in Oklahoma...oh yeah, the Picher lead & zinc mines...

Stopped at a "Travel Center" in Boise City just to take a toilet break. Always figure I should buy something, so I wandered around: maybe a NASCAR T-shirt? How 'bout a "biker" T-shirt? Or a studded wallet? I settled for a small bottle of "spicy hot" V-8 juice (it WAS pretty hot).


Back in Nuevo Mexico...

After passing thru Boise City, OK, it's just a hop, skip, and carve (well, no curves to carve) into New Mexico...the "Land of Enchantment." Note the bullet holes...also, the state question is RED or GREEN?...as in the color of chile (with an "e"...with an "i" it's Texas chili...whole diff'rent thing).


Entering New Mexico---watch for stray rounds...

BTW, entering New Mexico is often an interesting experience. Entering from the north, one leaves Colorado and enters New Mexico. The landscape goes from green to brown, and---all of a sudden---it seems like most houses have a junked car parked in the front yard

Entering NM from the NE (like I'm doing) is pretty harmless; the transition is hardly noticeable. That may be a comment on western Oklahoma...I'll leave it up to you to puzzle it out.


The Santa Fe Trail.

Time for some education (you DO know that "DUCATI" is embedded within education, no?). At the eastern edge of Clayton, New Mexico there was a little display about the Santa Fe Trail, so I stopped and took a few fotos...first Wotan and the main three-cornered sign:


Wotan and the main Santa Fe Trail trifold...

As the sign says..."one of the great overland trade routes of the 19th century..."


Pioneered in 1821, it ran for 900 miles.

Yeah, some of you "Iron Butt" guys can do 900-mile days; heck, that's nothing, right? The SS 1000 is only the starting point...then what's next, the "Bun Burner 1500"...I forgot the whole genre; I admire those guys, but not my cup of tea.

Here's how they did the 900 miles "back in the day"...


If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes...

This pane of the trifold described some of the travelers of the Santa Fe Trail.


American & Mexican traders, Indians, fur trappers, buffalo hunters, adventurers (that's us)...

The woman at lower right, Susan Shelby Magoffin, was one of the few white women who made the trip (in fact, the FIRST white woman to make the trip). She wrote a memoir: Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico...I've read it; VERY interesting, and highly recommended.


Susan Shelby Magoffin had some amazing experiences, written about in her memoir.

Here are a couple signs about the Santa Fe Trail:




Some information about the Santa Fe Trail...

And the Cimarron Cutoff...some of those "cutoffs" (short cuts) turned out to be disastrous...in fact, I read a book about one within the last year, but can't recall the nam (the "Meek" cutoff, on the Oregon Trail?)


The Cimarron Cutoff.


Welcome to Clayton, New Mexico...

Just a short piece W of the Santa Fe Trail exhibit is the thriving metropolis of Clayton, New Mexico:


Some statistics on Clayton, New Mexico. More people than I thought...

At this time on Sunday morning, ain't much happenin' in Clayton. Saw the convenience store/gas station coming up, so I slowed to pull in for fuel and a break. WHUMPPP! Man, I'm glad I'm on a bike...that dip (more like a ditch) in the road just about got me...ouch.

Filled up Wotan (it was 83 miles of NUTHIN' between Clayton and Springer, so definitely wanna gas up here) and took a little break myself. Lovely morning, calm and cloudless. Probably spent 15 minutes in Clayton, before leaving for Springer (and I-25) 83 miles to the west.


Thank DOG for Tire Pressure Sensors...

So I was about 10 miles west of Clayton, ridin' along fat, dumb, and happy. Well, happy anyway

All of sudden...a RED WARNING came up on the dashboard...definitely gets your attention! Uh-oh...rear tire deflating! Unfortunately, I've seen it before---last Fall near Capitan, NM.

OK, what to do? The rear tire pressure indicated was 31 psi, and the TPS reads about 5 psi low. And it wasn't deflating rapidly at all. Should be able to make it back to Clayton (although there's nothing there of any assistance), so I turned around and rode back.

Actually, there WAS something of assistance back in Clayton: a wider road across from the convenience store, and it was in the shade. So unload the bike (not strictly necessary, but easier to maneuver, and you know how big & strong I am).


Park in the shade, and get to work...

I've "shimmed" the side stand on Wotan, so he prefers to be on a surface leaning to the left; hence I parked facing the "wrong way"---no problem, wide shoulder. But...I couldn't easily get him up on the center stand (bein' a 98-pound weakling). That's OK, just roll until I find the leak. AHA!! There it is...


Found the puncture...

Hmm, what the Sam Hill was it? Not very big...got it out; a little shard of metal:


Nasty little metal shard...

Hmmm, I'll bet I know what happened. Y'know that "ditch" I went through? Well, lotsa folks with overloaded trailers and housecars come thru that thing, and SCRAPE like crazy. I'll betcha lots pieces of steel get peeled off. And I just happened to run over one that was pointed up JUST SO... Oh well, my bad luck. But good luck to have the TPS notify me of it before I was in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, still coulda fixed it out there, but man, cars whizzin' by while I'm working---my hair would be completely gray after that...


If the TPS hadn't alerted me, I'd have been 40 miles further along out there...


The Rest of the Story...

Got back on US 64 towards Springer---checked the tire pressure every 10 miles (with the TPS, not stopping w/my gauge) and it was holding just fine. Those string plugs work great. And I have a 12V "tire inflator" (all the plastic housing stripped of so the gears are exposed, etc.) I was riding at a conservative speed (60 mph) for a while, though...

Stopped for lunch (at 1500 hours) at Las Vegas, NM (hadn't eaten since breakfast at 0615), but nothing to photograph there. Did a quick RR update indicating I'd had a puncture (yeah, not that big a deal, but a delay nonetheless, and kind of a hassle).

Rounding the southern spur of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (pretty much the first mountains I'd seen in dangnere a month) I saw a pretty view and tried to capture it...not very successfully.


Southern spur of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, east of Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Back in my Beautiful Garage Again!

The miles from Springer to ABQ seemed to pass quickly, and at 1700 hours (right on the GPS prediction) I rolled into the garage. Mrs. Greg was there to greet me with a smile...and also some good Mexican food (had been a month since that, too).


A big hug for Mrs. Greg...

And this morning, I thought I'd take a look at my tire plugging job...couldn't even find it! Finally with great diligence I found it...it's that little light "smudge"...what a great job!


Tire plug hardly visible.

Since that tire (Michelin Pilot Road 4 "Trail") has lotsa wear left, I'll remove it, and repair it from inside with a "patch/plug" combination. Not today, though.

So that's it. Home after 5,637 miles. I'll write up my "final thoughts" in a subsequent posting (later this afternoon). My eyes are kinda tired right now.

--Doc
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:10 PM   #200
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Final Wrapup: misc. thoughts, observations, etc.

Decided to separate out this posting from the "main" final day ride report...I'm just gonna list a few random things that occurred to me.


1. The BMW R1200GSW. This was my first "long trip" on the GSW; I owned it since June 2013. Test-ridden '08 and '10 GS's, but didn't like 'em that much. This bike was quite different. I'd encourage anyone who felt the same about "older" GS's to try the new one. Of course, Mrs. Greg taught me that motorcycles are like food: they're not good or bad, it's whether YOU like 'em that matters. And I've been riding since 1957; ridden almost everything 'cept Harleys and big touring bikes.

2. ADVers are kinda Snobby. Neither one of the ones I encountered (in almost a month) waved to me. Of course I don't wave to anyone else, either

3. Dr. Greg considers VEGETARIANISM. In Woodward, Oklahoma...I pulled up next to a "cattle hauler." Y'know, the big "perforated" trailers. Was full of cattle. They're two-tiered: upper & lower. I looked over and a cow looked over at me; he was on the lower level, and his head was just plastered with cow dung. His "upper level" buddy just had to go. Now, heading for your execution is bad enough...doing so in such ignominy is just too much. I like steaks and burgers, but...made me so sad.

4. Shacking up with ADV inmates is the best. I've known this before; done it on previous trips. But everyone I stayed with was SO hospitable...I'm very grateful. Met some folks who will be lifelong friends. I don't want to name names, cuz I'd leave someone out. But you all were SO KIND to me...kinda restores one's faith in humanity.

5. Always take a SPARE PAIR of GLASSES. After sitting on my glasses and breaking them in Vermont...if I hadn't brought a spare pair with me (a little old, but still usable) I'd still be back in Vermont trying to find my way...

6. So far so good on "active retirement." Neither my father nor his father lived very long post-retirement. They both had "lots of hobbies" they were going to pursue, but instead JUST SAT AROUND. It's in my genes. My natural tendency is to just sit around. But so far, so good...gotta just keep ridin'...

7. Camping sure has changed. I know that, you know that, but...I still remember when camping meant a sleeping bag, (optional) tent, etc. Now it's a 60-foot RV... I do enjoy camping in more primitive sites, typically in the west.

8. Big ATV's. Man, what's up with all the BIG ATV's. Y'know, the Polaris RAZ-R type? I saw SCADS of those things heading out everywhere. Most people have a lot more money than I do...back when I grew up you had to build your own...mine was a dune buggy with a VW front end, '63 Corvair Spyder (turbo) transaxle, chrome-molybdenum tube frame...I've got a pic, I should post it.

9. Motorcycle Cruise Control. Don't leave home without it! Just MHO. I have small, weak hands, and cruise control is wonderful. Even though Ducati omitted it from the Multi 1200S (despite being TBW, and a "touring" model), Tuneboy (Oz company) developed one, and I flashed it into the ECM. Not tuned quite right, BMW engineers got it perfect. Love it.

10. "Live" Ride Report. Early on, wasn't sure if I was up to doing "live" updates. Turns out I really got into it. iPad Mini, external keyboard...piece of cake. In fact I'm at home now, and prefer that combo to my MacBook Pro (Apple user since 1981; DEC before that).

11. An American Tragedy. Was very satisfying to actually track down the location where this thing occurred. Have lunch in the Glenmore Hotel, where Grace Brown and Chester Gillette stayed (unmarried!) That was the entire rationale for this trip, and I am very satisfied.

12. Roadside Tire Repair. Yeah, plugging tubeless tires is no big deal, but sure glad I found a nice spot to work, it wasn't raining, etc. I know, "...the adventure begins when things stop going as planned..." Maybe I'll peel that ADV sticker off the pannier

13. Nice to have Encouragement. When I had my "crisis of spirit" back in northern Kentucky, I got numerous "hang in there" comments, including Mrs. Greg of course. Very helpful. Thanks to all.

14. Where's the bathroom? Awoke about 0315 this morning (yes, I'm an old man), asked Mrs. Greg "...where's the bathroom?" Then it occured to me, "this is MY house!" I'd been on the road long enough. It was time to come home.

--Doc
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:58 PM   #201
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The Best of the Best! . Thanks Dr. G! . BTW - you definitely married up! . But I bet you already knew that.

Thanks for the effort. We enjoyed riding along with you.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:32 PM   #202
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Thank You!

I followed along and enjoyed the report and am glad you made home safe and sound.

Where to next?
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:55 AM   #203
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Thumb

Thanks for making the effort to do the report - thoughts, museums, signposts and all ....
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:11 AM   #204
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Thumb Great RR

Welcome back to the land of green chiles... It was fun tagging along. Great summary!
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:47 AM   #205
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Tremendous...

... as usual. Thank you for sharing your adventures. Those of us that don't have the time for a month long trip can enjoy your ride. Also, a couple of times you reference that the picture doesn't do the scene justice; cameras just can't capture what the human eye can capture and the brain put into a picture. At best, pictures are a reminder of what we saw and allow us to recall how beautiful (or not, depending on perspective and subject) it was in person. That said, thank you for all the photos because if your camera can capture a picture that intrigues me, as yours did, then it makes me want to visit and ride the same places.

Again, thanks for sharing and looking forward to your PNW escapades.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:48 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serbchaser View Post
The Best of the Best! . Thanks Dr. G! . BTW - you definitely married up! . But I bet you already knew that.

Thanks for the effort. We enjoyed riding along with you.
Shh, don't tell Mrs. Greg. I've still got her believing she was lucky to get me. Seriously, after 40 years we're still together. Courting on the '73 RD350 helped






Quote:
Originally Posted by AVPU View Post
I followed along and enjoyed the report and am glad you made home safe and sound.

Where to next?
Safe and sound. Two important keywords...just like tickets and crashes: as in NONE OF... Where to next? Rawhyde Adventure class at the end of August (was signed up for mid-June but abdominal pain knocked me out...done a fair bit of dirt riding, but not on beasts like these). After that, there's this Oregon Trail I've heard people speak of...






Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyZA View Post
Thanks for making the effort to do the report - thoughts, museums, signposts and all ....
Hmm, you forgot the most important content of a RR: FOOD!






Quote:
Originally Posted by nmtrialsguy View Post
Welcome back to the land of green chiles... It was fun tagging along. Great summary!
Hah. At my lunch stop in Las Vegas, NM, I made the "mistake" (not really) of sitting right next to an extended Hispanic family. What a contrast to the "good ol' boys" I'd been rubbin' elbows with for the last coupla weeks. People are great. Most of 'em, anyway...






Quote:
Originally Posted by Havingfun View Post
... as usual. Thank you for sharing your adventures. Those of us that don't have the time for a month long trip can enjoy your ride. Also, a couple of times you reference that the picture doesn't do the scene justice; cameras just can't capture what the human eye can capture and the brain put into a picture. At best, pictures are a reminder of what we saw and allow us to recall how beautiful (or not, depending on perspective and subject) it was in person. That said, thank you for all the photos because if your camera can capture a picture that intrigues me, as yours did, then it makes me want to visit and ride the same places.

Again, thanks for sharing and looking forward to your PNW escapades.
Re pics: couldn't have said it better myself. As I've mentioned numerous times, these RRs are written mainly for moi...I love to sit down a year hence and look thru all that stuff. The words and especially pictures bring it all back. However, the most evocative sense is SMELL...whatever happened to that "SMELL-O-VISION" they were developing?




Nice comments, guys. I know I left off a couple "observations"...if I remember I'll start with number (15).

--Doc
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:48 AM   #207
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I know your preference is to travel solo. Traveling with others can be problematic for many reasons.

For the last five years I have saved money and built up vacation for a 3 week ride around the United States. Have seen so much and had so much fun. Traveling on a motorcycle is such a rich, organic way to travel.

I've lucky to have had a riding partner for those years that is great to travel with. No big personality conflicts and we share the same general travel philosophy (we like to stay off interstates, make no firm plans and are both cheap)!

I think sharing experiences with somebody enriches the experience and lessens the "Horse To The Barn" syndrome after a couple weeks. There have been countless times where one of us has exclaimed to the other "Did you see what I just saw? Two memories are better than one. Just my two cents.

That being said, if it came down to going on trips alone or not going at all, I would set out solo in a heartbeat.

Thanks, again, Doc, for taking us along!
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:53 PM   #208
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+1..thanks a lot.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:04 AM   #209
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Greg,

Glad to see you're enjoying "active retirement!" Thanks for sharing your adventure. I made a couple rides back east this summer, but alas now college is back in session.

Thought I'd share my favorite route from Guymon to Abq. Met a herd of burros while doing the 325 stretch on the ST1300 last summer.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:13 PM   #210
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Greg,

Glad to see you're enjoying "active retirement!" Thanks for sharing your adventure. I made a couple rides back east this summer, but alas now college is back in session.

Thought I'd share my favorite route from Guymon to Abq. Met a herd of burros while doing the 325 stretch on the ST1300 last summer.
Do we know each other? Your route looks very intriguing, and I'll most certainly explore it on my next foray into NE New Mexico.

Thanks VERY MUCH for your response...

--Doc

P.S. Off soon to the North Rim; delayed RR in "Day Trippin"...
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