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Old 07-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #46
FLARider1 OP
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Location: Homestead, Florida
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June 28th.........its load the bike night!!!! YAY!! She is home from the shop, running, and braking, like a champ, Houston we have a go for launch!!!

the stuff to load

empty bike

top case

left and ride side cases

and the strapped on stuff

Angie's best 'please come back to me' look!!!!

Angie had mention about this handkerchief earlier. My dad passed away kinda suddenly in 2005, his passing and some other events that happened that year change my outlook on life and my life forever. By August of 2006 I had moved onto to a total new place and a total new life!! Just after this past Christmas my best friend Jim (CPTNGYM) sent me a package that contain the handkerchief and a note. When my dad passed away we gave Jim a set of almost new Carharts that my dad had stuffed in the closet, in the pocket of the jacket Jim found the handkerchief. He kept it for several years. As I began to plan this trip Jim found the perfect time to give me the handkerchief. He sent it too me with a note saying that I should take it with to Alaska so that a piece of my dad would always be with me and help keep me safe during the journey. I miss my dad alot, he passed away at the young age of 61, I would have talked with him many times about this trip I am sure. Anyways, the cloth will be in the see through forearm pocket of my jacket as a reminder of my dad's presence on this trip, and I will try to get it in pictures when I can!!

Well Angie already hit you guys up with the departure day pics, so I won't rehash that.........on to the ride!!!
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:50 PM   #47
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June 30th
Got rolling at 0502!! right on time. It was still dark, but I missed all the Miami traffic, so it was well worth being up before the crack of dawn.

Sun finally started to peek out..its was warm and muggy already and I knew it would just get worse!!

ah yes.........we have to have the moving self portrait.

Now remember my plan is to haul ass for the first three days to get out of the heat and up into the mountains. The destination for today was Chattanooga, TN, a mere 816 miles from Homestead!!

It was a bit of an overcast morning.........which was fine, less heat as quick!!!

oh and here is my mirror shot also!!!!

The sun finally poked through a little bit and my faithful pal Shadow Rider decided to make an appearance!!

All loaded up and on the road. Doesn't she look pretty all dressed in her Farkles and while carrying such a heavy load!!???

We have seen this boat race a couple of times recently. It is awesome to watch these big boys run on the water!!

Mostly uneventful trip heading up to Chattanooga, although I did get my heart stopper, oh shit, evasive action move scenario out of the way before I got out of Palm Beach County.. This ass wipe in a pick up had a tire go down while he was in the far left lane and hauling ass, remember now the turnpike has a left shoulder!! Well this dude decided to head to the right shoulder, straight across the other two lanes of ass hauling north bound traffic, my and GiSA included. Once again I will say that I love linked, ABS and the fact that my mentor and friend Rick preached to my from the start to practice practice practice panic stops!! It paid off, again, cuz I had to come down off the speed in a hurry to avoid and then a quick lane change to avoid after another car went the heart racing thats for sure!!!

Stopped North Valdosta, GA at the Smokin' Pig BBG!! That was some good eats!!

My pace slowed down as the afternoon drug damn hot out, temps up from the asphalt and traffic were 101 going around ATL at rush hour!! I am thankful though that I avoided any mishaps and although traffic was slow it stayed moving, made decent time through the area.

Got into Chattanooga close to 7pm. Checked into the hotel real quick and headed up Lookout Mountain

The trolley that runs from Chattanooga to the top.

View of Chattanooga from the top

Dinner was at the Fireside Grill.........good company, good food, and they had some good karaoke going on!! I was in heaven!!

Well thats it for June 30th, 818 miles for the day. Its late now and I have a 0500 wake up here in Ogallala, Nebraska. Tomorrow I slow the pace and enjoy the mountains. Hope to have good internet again and catch up the first, second and third of July!! Looking to get to Lander, WY and stay there tomorrow night. Thinking about camping!!

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Old 07-03-2011, 05:11 AM   #48
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Illinois
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FLArider1 looks like you are doing well. Glad to have you stay over for the night and give you the chance to eat at EL RAY"S with your kids and grandchild. Be safe. See you and Miss A in December and I am glad the bandana is bringing you happiness....
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:52 AM   #49
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He's having fun, Captain Jim!

Originally Posted by cptngym View Post
FLArider1 looks like you are doing well. Glad to have you stay over for the night and give you the chance to eat at EL RAY"S with your kids and grandchild. Be safe. See you and Miss A in December and I am glad the bandana is bringing you happiness....
Jim - We look forward to you visiting us in December! DysFUNctional Family Christmas...and perhaps a caja china pig! Love to Kathy!

Andy - You are right about the quick ride through the Keys and a brief stop in Key West! We had a blast in the short time, inmates, just that we can't take photos of the entire time

Semper Gumby - The signature lines are very short in this forum, and I will do my best to remember to add the Spotwalla link at the end of my posts. Here goes for this one:

Enjoying company of inmates! Over and out.
ArtChicaOTB and

Sometimes, it's more fun to be On The Back and On The Beach!
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:05 AM   #50
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Out in the ocean...

...that is the prarie -- very zen. After the sun comes up it feels like its boring a hole through your helmet. Eastern Colorado and Kansas were like that for me when I was there in 2006...a slow rolling ocean with ghost towns like Monument Kansas.

Just for good measure then
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:13 AM   #51
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: On the Back or On the Beach
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Just because...

Andy uploaded a ton of photos last night, but they are his...and this is his ride report. I remained in extreme South Miami, Florida...but do have a few photos to share since he texted me them.

This is Andy's tent, in which he stayed in last night in Dubois, Wyoming.

Andy teased me a little last night, saying he was enjoying buffalo sausage. It's been four years since I visited South Africa, and four years of missing the variety of meat enjoyed during that trip. He knows that I love different meats like buffalo, deer, ostrich, etc. We know how difficult meats other than pork, chicken, beef, and fish are to get where we live. Sooo... I drooled when he sent this photo.

SemperGumby, this is the last Spotwalla screen shot received today (it is just past noon when I post this). Andy is enjoying some beautiful landscapes, sure to be shooting hundreds of photos, and loving the roads.

Over and out, inmates!
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:01 PM   #52
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July 1
Today was pretty much a haul butt to West Lafayette, IN to see my mom and brother. Bright and early start from Chattanooga

and my trusted riding buddy was right there with me!!

My mom had no clue that one of the reasons I wanted to leave a day early was to take a detour to stop by and see her! She was surprised

The other reason I left early was to spend the night in Clinton Illinois to visit my best friend CPTNGYM and mostly to see my kids and granddaughter
Meet daughter Morgan, her husband Brad, their granddaughter number 2 on the way, son Zach and his fiance' and their super precious daughter Miss Khloe!!

Pretty much it for July 1, 616 miles for the day. It was hot as hell riding.......temps at about 100 again on the asphalt!!

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:31 PM   #53
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July 2
Now we start really moving to the destination! Prudhoe is coming onto the radar!! Got another early start from Clinton Lake Marina where I spend the night with my best friend Jim and his wife Kathy

Rolling at 6 am

First stop was breakfast with a very dear and close shy Amy, she claims she looked like crap....I am thinking not so much!! Cute as always!!

hottie and the bike pic.......of course I had to slide in the shot too!!

Finally on the road, heading to Nebraska was the goal for today
Central Illinois has built up a bunch of windmill farms.........

of course shadow rider is along for the also!!

Crossing the Mississippi River

found a really good spot for a shot of the bike. The river is up really high. Lots of rain and snow melt are causing issues throughout the area.

river is up just a tad!!

Didn't really take any pictures across Iowa. It was hot, boring and tons of traffic. Nothing that really caught my eye. Remember the first several days of this trip and to get up to the mountains, so quick travel is the goal of the day.

I think it was coming through Omaha, NE that I happened onto a couple, the lady on a 1200 GS and the guy on a GSA. Rode behind them all through Omaha and then some. Got a chance for a photo op, stayed in front and then didn't really see them again.

This flippin windmill farm seemed to go on forever!! They just kept coming and as far off in the distance as you could see!!

It was actually tough to stay focused on getting miles under my belt. There were a ton of cool looking gravel roads and roads that wondered off into the distance that were very inviting. I struggled not to exit and jump on them, but I knew I needed another 800 mile day, so I stayed on track.

I finally decided to stop around 7 pm in Ogallala, NE. Best Western sign said indoor pool, internet, and hot breakfast couple that with a restaurant right next door called the Golden Spur and I was in!! The last about 100 miles I based two dudes, one on a Concourse the other on a 'Wing, they kinda just hung back and let me flush out any trouble!! They had met some guys going to AK also, but thought I was a bit off my rocker to go it alone!!
Jeff and Chris

Dinner from the Golden Spur

795 miles for this day.......getting closer to the real fun!!

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Old 07-04-2011, 10:45 PM   #54
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July 3
Rolling at about 7 am this morning. Got to talking with Jeff and Chris.......took some pictures and exchanged contact info. Was a bit chilly taking off this morning. I had to stop not long after leaving to switch to warmer gloves and close up some of the vents on the jacket. Even being cool it was an absolutely beautiful morning! Sun shining and clear skies!!

Shadow rider decided to take the lead this morning.

Finishing the last 130 miles of Nebraska and the landscape was really starting to change. Lots of long rolling hills and a few turns here and there. It was actually a very nice ride.

Racing the train!!!

Finally!! Wyoming!! Close to the mountains now!!!

Climbing higher!!

Not that great of a shot, I thought I had better, but I guess not, anyway, these are the first real mountains that came into view!!

Continued though Cheyenne on I-80 and until the much awaited exit at Laramie!!! I had spied a little side track on the map that takes WY130 out of Laramie and crosses Medicine Bow. It look like a nice ride and it did not disappoint!!

Off in the distance you can see the thin white snow line of the mountains I was headed towards traveling west on Snowy Range Road.

But along the way this really cool hill caught my attention, it looked like a gianormous natural amphitheater, well you know I just had to go do some exploring. I mean really, I hadn't had the fully loaded Big Pig off the blacktop yet, so what better time than now. Turns out the access was into a rather large track of land that was sectioned off to be sold for private house. As you look at these pictures, all this land is for sale for building!!

The amphitheater

Some of the land for sale.......with a view of Laramie Plains Lake, well at least I think that was the name of it!

Horses out I scared them off

a few other local residents

Now its off to Medicine Bow

Fun ride to the top, this was waiting for me as I round a turn on a little side road.

Still a bunch of snow on the ground as I went up

and yet another photo op............first the bike

and then me!!!

Pics from the top. Very neat observation tower. I did realize that the thin air, full riding gear and stairs are not a great combination. I was a bit winded!

on the way back down now!!

Off the mountain and heading back to I-80. I think its cool when you have such a view of the distance that you can see the shadow the clouds cast on the ground

still riding north on WY130

Back on I-80 to Rawlins, WY.......just took tons of pics long this route. For a main thorough fair it is a fun and scenic route to take. So much to look at, it was tough to focus and tough to not stop every hundred feet to take a picture!! I found myself struggling with that alot, then had to remind myself I needed to be way up the road yet today to make sure I had time for Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National parks the next day.

beautiful skies!!

The pictures simply do not do this valley justice. It was along through here that it really sunk in what I was accomplishing and how the experience will stay with me forever. Its only day 4 of a journey that will only get better, its hard to imagine the number of 'Oh Wow' moments I will experience over the course of this trip!!

It is rather neat how the colors and the landscape change so rapidly.

Couldn't get the wires out of this one, but the layer of purple in the rock makes this well worth the view.

Found the same coloring a little further down the road.

Wind River was flowing very quickly!!

Some show off shots of the bike and me. The backdrop was awesome!! Had to struggle laying on a hillside to get these shots.........I think I found out that I am allergic to Sage, had my eyes burning and watering after a bit.

This one turned out pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself and I do say so!

Made it to the Dubois, WY KOA and set up camp for the night!!

The Wind River was up pretty good here also. My spot was a bit mushy from
when the river got "a little to big for its britches' is what the manager said

Dinner was Buffalo Sausage at the Cowboy Cafe, downtown Dubois!!

539 miles today!!! Tomorrow its Grand Tetons and Yellowstone with the destination being Missoula, MT
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:16 AM   #55
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Great pics...

...If you had a bead-head black woolly-bugger you could throw it with your fly rod to try and catch a trout in that high fast moving water, but it would be a tough fish. Either that or double nymph off some florescent strike indicator. You might could hook 'em but I doubt you could land 'em. Last time I was out there I traveled with my 3 piece flyrod and waders on my 1980 BMW R65. Ended up in Wise River Montana for some fishing with this guy Craig Fellin and my parents. Paradise.

You lucky stiff -- nice weather to be on the front range....

Thanks Angie for the pics. Off to work this afternoon...
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:23 AM   #56
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July 4
I can't think of a better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than a long motorcycle ride through a couple of our nations best National Parks!! I took of this morning from Dubois, WY heading for Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. I was in a bit of a rush as just before down I was awake and saw a couple of flashes of lightning. I really didn't want to break down camp in the rain. I was still was slow moving though, just couldn't seem to find a burst of energy. But the rain held off and I got done and on the road about 7am. Took me about an hour to breakdown and reload, not bad considering all the crap I set up and the mess I made of the gear!!

Heading out in the morning, northbound for some really big mountains. I had anticipated the cold somewhat this morning and had all the vents closed and warmers gloves, but was still a bit chilled!!! It was like 53 degrees, thats like freezing for someone who never really liked the cold and has become very comfortable in the warmth of south FLA!!

The storm that never was....seem to break up and miss me!!

Nice valley view......

But they really don't seem to want any visitors!! make sure you zoom in and read the sign!!!

but with guard cows, I am not so sure how scared people might be!!

Its was a bit chilly and the rain had made it to this area. Gone by the time I got there, but still damp roads.

Just a bunch of mountain shots as I continue north to Grand Tetons.

the big guys coming into view

The Grand Tetons.....I know a panoramic would be cool here, but I just didn't wanna fool with it

Still Moving north

Just a little wet in the lowlands

Woo Hoo!! I get to use my new National Parks Pass!!

Heading into the park now....

Jackson Lake

Spillway for the dam.

Meet Carlos, he and three of his buddies are riding from Mexico to Prudhoe Bay!!! I was actually gonna bypass the left off WY287, but I saw a GSA make the turn up ahead of me so I followed, glad I did because I got the pics of Jackson Lake that I would have missed and I met Carlos. We have the same bike, 2007 GSA, with the gold and silver colors!!! His has seen a few more miles than mine, but I am trying to remedy that!! The website for their trip is, its in spanish, but i hear there is a way through google to open a translated version!!

The twin bikes!! well almost twin

Carlos gave me a sticker they have for their trip.....of course I needed a pic of him after the installation!

We parted ways and I continued back to the north towards Yellowstone.

Transitioned into Yellowstone National Park now, got to use the park pass again. No pic of the sign though because there was a tour bus of teenagers crawling all over the sign

The waters were flowing pretty good....I bet the rafters are chomping at the bit to play in this stuff!!

I decided to climb down for a better was worth it, although a bit scary!!

Bad was now I had to climb back full riding gear, helmet included and like a dumbass I left the faceshield down. Yes you really do get winded quickly in this altitudes, one would think I remembered that from Medicine Bow, but of course not! Doesn't look like much, but this was a pretty steep climb.

now these are some rapids!!

Lots of flooding, river is way out of its banks. They had a huge snow total this past winter and spring rains. The pass over Medicine Bow was only open a few weeks ago and within the last couple of weeks Beartooth Pass and the Going to the Sun Road were still closed.

Levi's Lake

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Old 07-05-2011, 06:02 AM   #57
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July 4 continued...........
Headed into Grand Village for some lunch. Ate at the Grand Village Restaurant which overlooks the lake. Nice place and very friendly staff
oh and food was good also!

and dessert too!!

This little, haha, guy got separated from the herd which was just down the street. Lots of people were stopping and checking them out. I kept going, I figure that if they are that close to humans and noisy cars, they are a bit too use to humans, I will wait till the northland for shots of real wild animals!!

Kepler Cascades........way cool, I love waterfalls

Finally........waiting at Old Faithful

and waiting...........

still waiting with me and several hundred of my friends.........looks almost like the stands of a NASCAR race with the way the walk circles the geyser!!

Finally!! Some action

Well with that excitement over it was high to time to start making time. I really needed to be in Missoula, MT tonight and it was still a long ways away.......and since I have been bitten by the shutterbug and can't stop flippin' taking pictures I figured I best get rolling instead of walking all around the area. Plus it is the fourth of July and the place is packed!! Being around that many people in riding gear would have not been all that pleasant!!

Back on some open road and making good time..........

Along Lake Hebgen.........this road is a dream come true.....big wide 2 lane twisty mountain road with a 70 mph speed limit.....need I say more? Good thing no LEOs were around!!

I passed through Ennis, MT, which is apparently known for its trout fishing. The town and all the RV parks were packed. On the north end of town there are two subdivisions, guess what they named them.........Troutdale I and Troutdale II......go figure huh!

I have been running SR287, you turn onto MT2 to get back to the interstate. This was another fun and twisty road.

Sometimes you see the strangest things while traveling out in the middle of nowhere. This is a full trestle bridge, minus the road surface, sitting on blocks in this field. It is bridging nothing, makes for an interesting picture though!

Like I said, MT2 was a cool road also, lots of twistys and scenery!

Stop for gas and some relief......interesting sign at the urinal!!

And then there was Shadow Rider helping me close out the day!!!

Made it to Missoula around 7 pm. Checked into the Best Western on the west end of town. The BW I stayed in 2 nights ago had kickass internet and this one claimed to be a conference center also, so I figured they had to have fast internet. I was not let down, I have been able to upload all my pics and update the report!!

Great Fourth of July for fireworks, but with the views I spent the day with, didn't really need them. 429 miles today. That puts me at 3199 since I left on Thursday and 3416 including the round trip to Key West before I headed north.

I finished updating through the 4th. Leaving this morning, July 5th from Missoula and hoping to make Jasper, BC tonight. Its 600 miles, but I got all day to do it!! I plan to update as much as I can, but its anybodies guess as to the connection I can get...........It is time to pack, load up and roll!!!
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:09 AM   #58
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One more thing I want to add. I rode WY and MT state route 287 from I-80 t0 I-90. Man was this a good ride. The road is somewhat of a main route, but the traffic is not bad at all, the views are incredible, plenty enough turns to keep your attention, and it runs through Grand Teton and Yellowstone. I highly recommend this road if you travel between the two interstates!!!!
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:31 AM   #59
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Looks like an ep!c ride, be safe and keep it coming
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:59 AM   #60
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Lookin' good there Andy! I see you're almost into Canada on your Spotwalla page. I'd say that I'd keep an eye out for you but there's just so MANY BMWs up here that I doubt I could tell any apart! If our paths do cross though flag me down, it'd be great to meet up along the road somewhere. There aren't too many blue Versys up here with big fat tires on the front!

To Miss Angie, kudos on the support front!
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