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KEN PHENIX 05-12-2012 09:19 PM

Got Me a Box of Crayons . . . . and colored in 19 states
I hadn't seen my older girl since I moved her and new son-in-law to Virginia 2 years ago.

I had a theory that the BB1500 might be a bit easier than the SS1000 if I split the ride into 2 parts with a 4hr nap in the middle.
Here's what was left of me after my ss1000.

The plan is cast. The Tigress is ready - packed days in advance. We heard a crash early Saturday morning. A dead tree fell across the road. No worries, I fired up the big v-twin turf cruiser and moved the debris out of the roadway to be burned when I return.

April 23: Bullet dodged, I hit the road at dawn. Conditions are perfect, clear and sunny with temps in the 50's and 60's with a slight breeze over my left shoulder.

Not much to report this day as the ride goes by the numbers.

Fuel stop multi-task: I pumped gas with one hand while slamming a burger with the other.

I was surprised to see Interstate 10 rolling and scenic through the Florida panhandle and seemed to stretch on forever. In order to make the 1500 mile requirement, I rode to Jacksonville and even took the south loop around to ensure against coming up short. I crossed the Georgia border on I-95 at midnight and found a cheap room.

4/24: Back on the road at 4:30am eastern time, surprisingly refreshed. So far so good.

I hadn't planned to qualify for a concurrent SS1000 but I stopped and generated a gas receipt in time. Then I spotted a sign that caused a slight diversion.

I made it to Manassas VA with a couple of hours to spare and secured my ticket. . .

. . . and then on to see my girl.

KEN PHENIX 05-12-2012 09:32 PM

4/27: I had a good two day visit with daughter and son-in-law. But after plugging into the matrix for a commuter train ride to DC, it's time to hit the road again. I planned to attend the annual meetup in Huntingdon PA. Of course I could ride the meager 162 miles straight there and even stick a toe into WV in the process but NOOOO! In my infinite wisdom I decided to color in the great state of Delaware (which meant traversing the DC beltway BEFORE 6am) and head to Huntingdon via Philly instead. Turned the day into a pavement pounding 430 miles, I did. I was hoping to take the Independence Hall / Liberty Bell tour and also visit the world famous Revzilla showroom to peruse the gear. My winter gloves are the oldest component (2006) in my ATGATT ensemble - still waterproof however, much of their warmth has gone away. On the road at 5am. There's traffic but everybody's cruising at 70mph. No delays - then a tool booth, and another, and another. GEEZ ALREADY! I'M GOIN BROKE HERE!

I arrived at the Revzilla warehouse front, uh, ehem headquarters showroom at 9:30. They open at 10 so I made a few bakery related calls. Bobby spotted the bike and then me and invited me in for coffee and a little bench racing. The showroom was a veritable candy store of high end riding gear. I tried on pants, you know, just for future reference - and jackets to compare them to my new one. I was impressed with the quality of brands I'd never seen before: Klim & Dainase in particular.

On to the gloves. Most of the heavy duty winter stuff had been taken to the back but Bobby was happy to oblige. Held Freezer, Dianase Jerico and others - all excellent. ReV'it Alaska - that's the one. By the time I reached the bike I had a thank you email in my inbox.

Next stop, Independence Hall. The sat-nav took me through parts of Philly I was not supposed to see. :2guns:uhoh
Then the line was 3 blocks long. Oh well, I snapped a few pictures and I was outta there.

Traffic was flowing smoothly enough but that I-76 turnpike was a grind. By the time I reached my exit, I had shelled out close to $40 in tolls for the day. OUCH! Oh but the steep grades and switchbacks of PA Hwy 641 changed my whole outlook.

Here's the gratuitous hwy 641 bridge pic:

KEN PHENIX 05-12-2012 10:10 PM

4/29: Huntingdon was the 2,000 mile mark. The next leg of the journey would be 2 days camping in mountainous northern PA in utter seclusion. Kettle Creek State Park. No phone, no internet - not a single luxury . . . . . well not exactly. The new heated bath house at the campground was first rate.

Well, you get the idea. It was good to have the chance to spend a little quality time with daughter and son-in-law.

5/1: I got an early start. It would take a while to get out of these hills.

Trip adjustments. I had hoped to see the Atlantic and have lobster on the coast of Maine. I also wanted to see Niagara Falls and ride a ways in Canada. There wasn't time to get a passport which is now a rigid requirement. I rode north into New York.

The closer I got to Lake Erie, the thicker the fog and drizzle. They call it rain but in Texas terms, it was only drizzle. Nonetheless, visibility would be too poor to see the falls so I veered west to Erie PA and slabbed it down to Columbus OH to meet my old Bandit brother Russell. He runs the 600 Bandit yahoo group and he and I had identical bikes. We had engaged in an impromptu mileage contest. Mine was close when I sold it and his now has over 100k on the clock. We had a great visit and enjoyed motorcycle talk and single malt into the wee hours of the morning.

5/2: Russell lives in proximity to Iron Pony so we made a quick trip. Amazing! If you can imagine a "big box" store chocked full of all manner of motorcycle gear and accessories - that's it. I left my wallet on the bike.

The rest of the day was a slab ride through Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana & Illinois in hopes of making it to Arkansas by sundown. Dusk came and went. I was glad I had taken the time to install those 6" PIAA HID lazer cannons. The bugs were so thick they were affecting my gas mileage. I got a cheap room in Anna, IL just east of Cape Girardeau MO.

KEN PHENIX 05-13-2012 06:27 AM

5/3: I took a short side step into Missouri and headed south on I-55. I wasn't sure if I'd have time or could make time but my mother has a cousin or two still living in East Prairie MO. Mom is 90 now and was unable to give me any phone numbers . . . .

. . . . 'cause she was driving to pick up the girls to go play bridge. :lol3 I did a little recon and made a call and sure enough mom's cousin Alberta answered. It was like she was expecting me. She had a sandwich waiting for me when I arrived. We were having a wonderful visit and then her husband Jim invited me out back.

And there was his beautiful Gold Wing. I had heard he used to ride but had no idea, at age 77 mind you, he still does. We rejoined the ladies and told motorcycle stories and filled in the more recent branches of the family tree. This intended quick hello turned into a three and a half hour visit. When I geared up to go, Jim stopped me saying, "Hang on a minute." I had a feeling and sure enough he brought the Wing around front with helmet and gloves on. He then escorted me the 8 or 10 miles back to I-55. The experience was absolutely priceless.

I took Jim's advice and rode Hwy 62 into Arkansas and stopped in Pocahontas for a bite. WOW! Shrimp galore!

I located the nearest state park, Old Davidsonville, and got my tent up just before dark. I chose a site across from a couple of hackers. Fellow inmates Mike & Pat from Columbus OH who were on their first leg of a 4 month trek to Alaska on their R80/Dauntless rig. Can't wait to read that ride report.

5/4: My new friends and I exchanged email addresses as we broke camp. Ya just meet the nicest folks when ya travel on a motorcycle.

I continued west on Hwy 62 toward Mountain Home and what do you know! I found Snow after all!

I needed to make time and try to get as close to Texas as possible but there were these little things they call Ozarks in the way. :trust: I passed up several of the roads I had enjoyed on previous trips and settled for AR 7 south. Here's a scenic overlook.

It had taken all afternoon to get only as far south as Russellville. Just check the map and you'll see why. There was no way I'd make my goal of reaching I-30, let alone Texas by nightfall. I headed to Petit Jean SP for the night. The cafe at the lodge has great food but was closed. The ranger directed me to the grill inside the Rockefeller Institute, a posh golfing establishment nearby. Since no one there really understood or appreciated my attire, I placed an order to go. I was running out of daylight anyway. I popped the tent and sat down to a flashlight dinner.

mmmmmmmmm tangy BBQ pork w/coleslaw sandwich. Now THAT'S camp food!

KEN PHENIX 05-13-2012 06:32 AM

5/5: With gear packed and chain lubed I headed out early. I had to be home tonight. I paused for a pic at the Petit Jean river just west of the park and those sweet switchbacks.

I caught Hwy 27 and paused in Mt. Ida for a late breakfast.

The Hooters in Texarkana was sponsoring a bike wash but I resisted even though the old 919 really needed a bath. Sorry no pics. :cry I pulled in around 6:30pm. 4,062 glorious miles, 19 states - 11 of them new and a bazillion bugs.

Here's this page in my coloring book:



Oh, and that little job awaiting my return . . . .

GrimeTime 05-13-2012 05:38 PM

Very nice trip and report. How do you like the pelican bags as panniers? I am think about doing the same. Already have 1 for a top box.

KEN PHENIX 05-13-2012 08:31 PM


Originally Posted by GrimeTime (Post 18679537)
Very nice trip and report. How do you like the pelican bags as panniers? I am think about doing the same. Already have 1 for a top box.

Thanks. The cases are Seahorse SE-720, lighter and cheaper than Pelican 1550. They have survived tip overs just fine. The only issue is that you might not be able to over stuff 'em quite as much as a Pelican as the lids will eventually bow.

KEN PHENIX 06-05-2012 02:40 AM


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