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Old 08-02-2011, 08:14 AM   #1
freefallen OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: New Jersey
Oddometer: 240
Wild Wild West

Cross country. 7,000 miles in 2 weeks. As no two people are alike, everyone will see something different.
The first section of the trip from East Coast to the Rocky Mountains will be the most tedious – nothing but straight highway to the horizon. I plan to cover these 2,500 miles in the course of three days, 900 miles each in the first 2 days and the rest on the third day.

The following points of interest await me after the first 3 days:

Four Corners (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico)
Petrified Forest NP
Meteor Crater, AZ, which is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 700 feet deep
Winslow, AZ. Standin' On The Corner - The Eagles
Antelope Canyons - Mythical place
Grand Canyon (North Rim)
Zion NP

Bryce NP
Monroe, Utah, the Natural Hot Springs
Ogden, UT (Adventure Town)
Yellowstone NP

Grand Teton NP (5-day Backpacking)
Sturgis, SD - the bikers Mecca
Bighorn -
an outdoor paradise filled with recreational opportunities
Black Hills -
an oasis of pine-clad mountains on the Great Plains
Mt. Rushmore -
epic sculpture features the faces of four exalted American presidents
Badlands NP -
one of the world's richest fossil beds
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site -
Cold War era sites, a launch control center and a missile launch facility

Two like-minded travelers will join me to Grand Teton Park and the three of us will embark on a five day hike with backpacks, tents, bears and other delights.

The same tedious journey awaits me on the way back but my head will be swimming with information and the impressions of the past three weeks.

I’m not sure if I will be able to post on events as they happen as I expect to be exhausted at the end of each day.


__________________________________

I'll be updating the first post and add some pics here as I go.

One of the Scenic Views in Colorado:




Colorado:



Four Corners (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico):



Winslow, AZ:



Petrified Forest National Park, AZ:



Petrified Forest National Park, AZ:



Route 89, Arizona:



Lower Antelope Canyon:



Scenic View, Arizona:



Horse Shoe Bend. Page, AZ:



Working Process:



Route 89, Arizona:



Grand Canyon. North Rim:



Zion National Park, Utah:



Bryce National Park:



One of my loops in Yellowstone:



Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone, WY:



Grand Teton Park, WY:



Grand Teton Park, WY:



Grand Teton Park, WY"



Leaving Grand Teton Park:



Hiking in Grand Teton Park:



Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota:



In Grand Teton Park:



Minuteman Missile Museum:


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Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 10-25-2011 at 06:51 PM
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
freefallen OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: New Jersey
Oddometer: 240
Heading West

Saturday I rode 900 miles, Sunday 1,000 miles and the rest on Monday beating my most optimistic expectations. I was extremely lucky with the weather and traffic was almost non-existent.

NJ, New JerseyThe Garden State.
The state motto speaks for itself.

PA, PennsylvaniaThe State of Independence.
Pennsylvania is a relatively pretty and hilly state and riding through it was interesting.

WV, West VirginiaWild and Beautiful.
Flew through it and didn’t notice anything.

OH, OhioSo Much To Discover.
I discovered: practically all roads are two lanes. A third lane will sometimes appear but will immediately disappear. Everyone’s goal is to drive in the left lane going the speed limit, 18 wheelers are not excluded from this phenomenon. Where is my BFG 9000?

IN, IndianaThe Hoosier State.
The speed limit rose to 70mph. The roads look like they are from when the state was first colonized. Like a pattern every 500 ft was an invisible bump that would shake my loaded bike. My gas mileage dropped from 54mpg to 48mpg, must be my increased speed to 80mph @ 6.5k rpm.

These are big freaking tires:


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Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 08-03-2011 at 03:18 PM
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
freefallen OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: New Jersey
Oddometer: 240
Heading West

IL, IllinoisThe Land Of Lincoln.
Seriously? Is that this entire place is famous for? I would not come here just for this. Morning was a brisk 62F and by noon was rose to 90. I stopped by a rest area to soak my cooling vest. Another biker arrived fully loaded with saddle bags and duffle bags towering over his head. We greeted each other and asked where he is heading - Arizona. A fellow traveler I thought. I was prepared to brag about my starting point from the east coast, the furthest part of the continuous states. He turned out to be from Alaska. Before meeting him here he crossed the entire stretch of Canada to the east coast and is now circling back through the sates to Alaska. Damn it, how do people have so much time? God bless them!

MO, Missouri
The Show Me State.
The terrain is slightly hilly. The roads don’t increase in elevation much and immediately decrease the same amount. Despite this the roads are as straight as Robin Hood’s arrow. The bland scenery was interrupted by fields of corn every now and then. The scenery left little impression with me.


KS, KansasThe Sunflower State.
The speed limit increased again to 75 mph but most people don’t exceed it by much. Everyone’s speed is around 80mph and like in the previous states they do it in the left lane with a totally empty right lane. The scenery is just as unimpressive as before. The state is made up of 97% flat land. Attention: the flatness of a pancake is 95%, maybe I should backtrack to Illinois before it’s not too late?

The drive from East to West has its own specifics. In the morning you watch your shadow in front of you and it’s fun to chase it. After 4pm the sun has made its way across the sky and like a laser is aimed at your eyes…damn it.

The compass glued to the West:





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Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 08-05-2011 at 01:22 PM
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
freefallen OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: New Jersey
Oddometer: 240
Heading West

CO, Colorado“Welcome to colorful Colorado” is written on a grey sign as I entered the state.
The beginning of Colorado reminded me of pancake Kansas. To my relief the landscape soon started to transform to its well known topography.



Then it got more known forms of Colorado:



RT-70, which drives directly through my points of interest, started to bore me so I took to the local roads. The “local” roads had a speed limit of 65mph. Not a single soul on them. By the way today is Saturday. The first road went for 90 miles and the second perpendicular road was 60 miles. The roads were just as straight as Robin’s arrows but at least they started to warp vertically.

Throughout all way not a single soul:


__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 08-05-2011 at 01:26 PM
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
freefallen OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: New Jersey
Oddometer: 240
Heading West

I’m like a ship in the open ocean, not a single movement in any direction. No one tends on these lands. If I broke down or ran out of gas I will probably have to set up camp and wait for the next traveler. I didn’t even check if my phone has reception. The heat was unbearable, 110F. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if it wasn’t for the fierce crosswind. Not only burning me but trying to topple me over. I rode a few hundred miles angled about 15 degrees against the wind to compensate for it, one arm fully extended and the other angled at 90 degrees. In defense of the wind it was steady and you could at least adapt to it. When I reached a gas station I was asked “dude how did you ride your bike?” I thought to myself, it was tough and my arms are still tingling. I had to hang my body off my bike like racers taking a sharp turn. Or did I imagine it?

The road went suddenly up hill. At 10,000 ft the temperature suddenly dropped to 60F. I quickly took off my cooling vest and put on my coat:




The temperature dropped quickly:



Woooo-hoooo:







One of the Scenic Views:

__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 08-05-2011 at 01:27 PM
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
dmitrizouev
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good ride.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:08 AM   #7
freefallen OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmitrizouev View Post
good ride.
yes, indeed! but very intense.
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Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:10 AM   #8
freefallen OP
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AZ, Arizona

The winds continue to blow here. First I had to deal with cross winds. As I passed 18-wheelers I was rocked like a boat in a storm, continuing to ride became too risky. I pulled off to the side of the road which turned out to be even worse. The wind was blowing so hard from the left that the bike practically toppled over, I had to stand on the side of the road to support my bike. I started to get tired of holding my bike so I started to slowly make my way down the shoulder with my emergency lights. It was very hard to start going again; it was much easier to compensate for the wind at higher speeds. Then the wind turned into a head wind, I estimate 30-40mph. With my own speed of 70mph and the combined oncoming wind for 40mph I felt like I was reaching terminal velocity of 120mph during freefall. My average mpg dropped to 38. Of course it couldn’t have been a tail wind, maybe my mileage would have increased to 70 mph



__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
freefallen OP
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Location: New Jersey
Oddometer: 240
Heading West

The next morning I left for the Four Corners. 18 miles on loose gravel, I love my V-Strom:



They say you can’t sit on 2 chairs with one ass, what about 4? Here I sit and feel the warmth of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico at the same time:

__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 08-03-2011 at 09:28 AM
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:26 AM   #10
freefallen OP
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Winslow, AZ

I barely arrived to the hotel in Winslow, AZ. I asked if they had WiFi, the receptionist replied “have you seen the wind outside?” All the lines must have tangled into a giant knot.

On the bright side the town had a wonderful sculpture of one band members from The Eagles.

The lyrics from the song "Take It Easy", written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, were made famous by "The Eagles". It's a song almost everyone knows hums and sings. It has put Winslow on the map.



Everybody wants to get picture with him:



On the same corner:

__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 08-03-2011 at 02:32 PM
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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love the pictures! and really good routes of interest
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:48 AM   #12
freefallen OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceebaileys View Post
love the pictures! and really good routes of interest
thank you!
__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:21 AM   #13
freefallen OP
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Petrified Forest National Park

My next destination was the Petrified Forest National Park. The forest of stone is a wonderful scene for a nature photographer.



Pictures are very saturated by itself - I didn't do anything in Photoshop. The sun is very harsh here and I forgot my polarized filter at home.



Looks like a layered cake:







I can result all scientific geological calculation about which I have learned here how this forest has transformed into the stone, but I think it'll be boring.





Petrified crow.Waiting her time:



Close-up:



The road in The Petrified Forest NP:



The entrance cost to any National Park is $25. But I bought an annual pass to the all US National Parks for $100. Way cheaper than paying individually.



The rain was chasing me all the time but it actually didn't hit me hard:





__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:47 AM   #14
freefallen OP
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Meteor Crater, AZ

In the same day I witnessed what a meteorite did to Arizona 50 thousand years ago. Within a few seconds a massive explosion ejected millions of tons of earth creating a crater 3/4 miles in diameter and 700ft deep.

http://www.meteorcrater.com/layout/img/HomeVideo.swf

Panorama of 4 shots:



How it looks from an air. I have photographed this picture from the screen shown in a museum:



For comparison got people against the crater:



This is of course very impressive: the size, mass and speed (6400 km/h or 18 km/sec). There hasn’t been a firework as spectacular since. The price we pay is also very impressive. While the man-made attraction Four Corners cost $3, the natural crater cost $15 to see. I wonder if they pay commission to the meteorite…
__________________
Everything is sweetened by risk
Wild Wild West 2
Wild Wild West
Suzi V-Strom '12 (just bough it)
Suzi V-Strom '06 (35 000 miles), Suzi V-Strom '04 (97 000 mile)

freefallen screwed with this post 08-05-2011 at 06:57 PM
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:59 AM   #15
cleanair
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Enjoyed the RR and the great pic's.

Next time when you have more time, drop down in the state and enjoy some of the great roads in W. Va.
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