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Old 06-17-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
guitarhack OP
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Blame It On Facebook

You won't hurt my feelings if you skip this section. It's just some background...

As I am an admitted noob (compared to 95% of the folks who post Ride Reports here), I am posting this in the Day Trippin section as you will find no glamorous border crossings, life-threatening danger, or exotic, remote, or otherwise macho coolness - so much so that I considered naming this RR "What I Did On My Summer Vacation". In the end, "Blame It On Facebook" seemed to work. Let me explain:

When I was a kid, I considered folks my age old - and I guess I am. The bulk of my childhood was spent in Overland Park, Kansas.
Here:





In 1973, my Dad's job moved us half way across the country to Virginia. I had just turned 14. Needless to say, 14 year old boys do not voluntarily write letters. The internet didn't exist, and long-distance phone calls were very expensive. So I quickly lost track of ALL of my friends, and even some family. Fast forward nearly 40 years and along comes Facebook. Over the last year I have been able to track down and re-connect with friends I knew going all of the way back to kindergarten. While one of the "reconnections" was disturbing, most have been a true joy. Among the highlights was reconnecting with cousins I hadn't seen in 30 years.

I have a tendency to share via "mobile upload" pictures on Facebook of weekend rides. After politely suffering through (ad nauseum) a batch of my pics, my cousin (who lives in Colorado) PMed me on (you guessed it) Facebook, that I need to come out to visit and ride my bike in some real mountains. And the wheels of trip-planning started to turn.

I have been jonesing to go out west for years (thanks mostly to iDave's and Flanga's incredible rides reports), but the time just hadn't been right. I didn't want to blow the vacation time as I was afraid I would need it in the event I was laid off. And I didn't want to spend the money - for the same reason. But good fortune found me - to the tune of $1000.00 worth of Marriott gift cards (as a 15 year employment anniversary gift), and my yearly vacation time had just been upped to 5 weeks. The time was NOW.

guitarhack screwed with this post 06-21-2012 at 04:44 PM Reason: Spelling
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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and then....
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by acesandeights View Post
and then....
That's it. Were you expecting more?

Pics are uploading. I'll continue tomorrow.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:38 AM   #4
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Get it ON! You'll absolutely just Love Colorado.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
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Day 1

Thursday, May 31st.
Mileage: ~ 500

The rough plan for the trip: take the slab to Denver, meet up with my wife and youngest daughter (where they will rent a car), and tour the general 4-Corners area as a caravan - hitting as many National Parks as we can. As you will see (if you don't get bored to death and stop following along), we pretty much fulfill the plan - with only a few minor snags.

When leaving on a vacation, I tend to push the envelope and weasel out of work a little early. I kid myself and say I will leave sometime in the afternoon - when I get to a stopping place. Over the years, that "stopping place" seems to get earlier and earlier in the day. This trip was no exception; I was on the road about 10:00 AM.



Today's goal was to get to a reasonable stopping place between home (a suburb north of Atlanta) and my sister's house in Topeka Kansas.



My first stop - all clean and ready to go.

Normally on such a trip, the bike would be gassed up DAYS in advance. This time I was slack and rode for a while before stopping for gas.


For some reason, just getting to the interstate is tedious for me at the beginning of a trip. True to form, it seemed to take FOREVER to get over to I-75.


...but after about an hour, I hit the slab and was off.




During the trip I tried to get pics of the state lines I crossed. Why? ...dunno. Seemed like the thing to do at the time. I missed a few, but for the most part I got em.











I think this is a cool section of interstate - it's between Chattanooga and Nashville. The north and southbound lanes split and the road cuts deep into the rock.






A great many of the pics I took on this trip were at speed, left-handed, upside-down (a trick that Cuttle told me about). There were times that doing so was stupid / risky. Driving through heavy traffic in Nashville was one of those times.

HA, the pic above would lead you to believe I had the road to myself. Not so






So far, so good: I nailed the Kentucky sign.



We have a couple of horses. They would HATE riding like this.





The bridge over the Ohio River








On to Illinois






After reaching Mount Vernon Illinois, I hung a left and started heading west toward St. Louis - then I hit a minor snag...

Ever since I had my bike disassembled last winter to check my valves, my gas gauge has been a little iffy. There are times that it shows more bars than it should. Generally this hasn't been a problem. I am the bike's original owner, have owned it for three years, have ridden the wheels off of it, and thought I had a pretty good idea of how many miles I would get on a tank of gas. I thought...

Well, that day I was loaded up like a pack mule and was facing into a pretty good headwind. And well, you guessed it, I ran out of gas. But not to worry, thanks to FeMan (a fellow FF from Georgia) I had an MSR bottle of unleaded in the tool tube he gave me and I was mobile again in short order. Then it started to POUR. I made it to the next gas station, filled up, figured I had gone far enough for one day and got a room at the local Best Western. I dried out, got dinner, and went to bed happier than a pig in poo.

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Old 06-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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Day 2

Friday, June 1st
Total Milage ~ 350

From a riding standpoint, Day 2 was uneventful - but Dang It, I missed a couple of state signs.

I have never found driving through Saint Louis to be a lot of fun. Nothing against Saint Louis, but all of the mayhem at the river (converging roads, construction, traffic, etc.) all contribute to a bit of a mess. Therefore, I stupidly decided to up the ante and and go through during the morning rush hour. It sucked, but all went well. But in the process I missed the "Welcome to Missouri" sign. Oh the Humanity!

None the less, I schlepped through Missouri and entered into Kansas City while taking only one picture - again missing a state welcome sign


...then I did a little exploring.

It was fun to run through the neighborhood that I lived in all through elementary school, then I went WAY back on memory lane and drove by the home I came home from the hospital to (as a baby)



I thought the place looked remarkably good - especially for being over 50 years old. Around here (Atlanta metro) a home of that size, that was 50+ years old, would likely be in pretty poor shape. Humidity, growth, and urban sprawl have made many homes practically disposable.

Anyway, I am a cheap SOB and decided I would save a few bucks and not pay for the turnpike - opting to set the Garmin to avoid toll roads. It routed me via back-roads from KC to Topeka - and it took WAY longer to get there then it otherwise should have. It didn't matter, I was in no hurry.

I got to my sister's home around 3:00 and hung around with my nephew and his girlfriend for a few hours - and played with their puppy.





Later we went out for pizza and margaritas - enjoying getting caught up. It was a great night.


Hang in there. I know up to this point this RR has been a bit boring - but so was the riding. ...but it gets better real soon.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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WooHoo Brad! I've been waiting for this report . Great start, and I'm in for the long haul .
Dave, it's an honor. Hope I don't bore you too much.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:40 PM   #9
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:48 AM   #10
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An explination of "While one of the "reconnections" was disturbing" would spice thing up a bit.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:00 AM   #11
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you've studied up on iDave's technique--good pics and and interesting story to go with them I'm in!
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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I like it so far.

I also agree, let's hear about the disturbing connection from way back ...
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by clarkebd View Post
I also agree, let's hear about the disturbing connection from way back ...
It isn’t a juicy story…
Most of the old friends that I was able to track down were a lot of fun to reminisce with. One of my oldest friends (or so I would have thought), who lived next door to me when I was very young (when I lived in the small home I posted above) grew up to be an incredible A-Hole.
The story isn't particularly interesting, fun, or entertaining. After several cordial messages - bouncing memories back and forth, he did a 180 and told me (in so many words) to F-Off and not to bother him anymore.
…very strange.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #14
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Was he a friend for 20 years or a friend 20 years ago. People change. Adios, amigo. You are riding and he is not....
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #15
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Was he a friend for 20 years or a friend 20 years ago. People change. Adios, amigo. You are riding and he is not....
Well put.
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