3 months to explore the USA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mon the biffy, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I'm tempted by Missouri, but I think I need to start heading west. If I have time left, I'll definitely be coming back down this way on my way back to Virginia.
    Oh, and being from England where it never really gets above 60°F. The girls in the summer shorts is definitely a plus point for this country. ;)
    #61
  2. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Wow. Thank you for your generosity, but I can't take your money. I'll take a free place to stay, but I ask for no more. If food and beer are offered, I will graciously accept though :p
    #62
  3. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Day 15

    Exploring Memphis

    Jamie very kindly offered to show me around Memphis for the day. So after a slowish morning we went and saw the sights.

    Graceland
    [​IMG]

    At $35 for the basic tour, then more if you wanted to see the cars, and plane etc. It was too expensive for something that I wasn't that interested in.

    Stax Records
    [​IMG]
    Just stopped outside. Not enough time to see it all.

    The site of Martin Luther King Jr assassination
    [​IMG]
    Nothing else to it other than this. But still interesting.

    Gibson guitar factory
    [​IMG]
    This I would have quite liked to have gone on the tour, but unfortunately they were all booked up for the day. Ring in advance of you're interested.

    Beale Street
    [​IMG]
    We stopped for a refreshing beer and listened to some blues at O'Sullivan's Irish bar.

    After we took a ride out to some spots outside of town on the hidden twisty roads around Shelby forest, along side the Mississippi river.
    [​IMG]

    Before heading back to Jamie's via another pub for some fish and chips, and a pint of Guinness. :beer: Just like back home :)
    [​IMG]

    Day 16

    After staying at Jamie's for a second night. Jamie planned a ride down the Mississippi river to Greenville, were I would turn off and go west through Arkansas and he would turn back home.

    The ride started of well with a few more sights along the river. Including a casino where Jamie used to work. I played my first ever games of craps and blackjack.
    [​IMG]
    Practising for when I get to Vegas!
    Carrying on the ride down the Mississippi by the levees, we reached Helena. Where i met Gregg, another ADVer, and his awesome collection of vintage cameras.
    [​IMG]

    After some more interesting history around the civil war and the Mississippi. Gregg suggested we carry on down to Rosedale, and stop at this little place for 'arguably the best hot tamales in the south'
    [​IMG]
    I have to say. Jamie and I were not disappointed. We both finished off a dozen each, and carried on to Greenville.
    We said our goodbyes and I was on my way.

    By this time i was running a little bit late, so my original planned destination was never going to happen.
    It wasn't a major problem though, as I found Cane Creek campsite close by and stopped there for the night. Just getting my tent up before it got dark. And before I got eaten alive by mosquitoes! :mad:

    It was an uncomfortable night though as the temperature didn't drop below about 85°F and the humidity was very high. Especially in my little tent!
    This is a bit disgusting. But in the morning i woke up with a puddle in my tent? I thought I spilt my water, but after checking, both containers had been fully done up all night.
    The puddle was sweat that has built up over night! :eek:

    Heading a bit further north now in Arkansas, to get some elevation in the Ozarks to try and escape this heat. Next week looks cooler so I may venture south again on my westward journey.

    I also dawned on me today. That it is only a week till the 4th July. I suppose it's a bit strange, me being a Brit and celebrating independence day. But a party is a party and it will be fun nonetheless! So I need to find somewhere to go?
    #63
  4. AlbaLife

    AlbaLife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    20
    really enjoying the RR, looking to do a tour of the US (& maybe include Canada) so would be good to know how you bought the bike, insurance (bike and medical) etc.

    Keep it coming :clap
    #64
  5. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Hi AlbaLife
    I assume you're not from the USA either?

    The bike was bought through a friend I have here. That is the only thing that you really do need. You have to have an address in the US to garage the bike.
    The rest can be got quite easily. Vehicle insurance was through motorcycleexpress.com they specialise in insurance for foreigners. Medical was through a company called holidaysafe (I think), they have a motorcycle specific policy that would insure me while riding a bike over 125cc.

    Title and registration were easy. I put my home address on the title and the garaging address on the registration. They didn't ask me any questions at the DMV, just gave me the plate. This was in Virginia by the way. It could be different in another state?
    Take proof of those addresses though.
    #65
  6. AlbaLife

    AlbaLife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    20
    Cheers, Scotland is my part of the world :ricky.

    This is a trip that will happen but the time line is :*sip*

    Enjoy the rest of your time in the US :beer
    #66
  7. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    34,802
    Location:
    Louisissippi Coast
    I am glad you ran into Jamie. You'll be hard pressed to find a better host on your trip. Looks like tomorrow will be a good weather day, then you'll have some rain to contend with. I look forward to seeing you mate!
    #67
  8. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,626
    Location:
    Ojai, Ca
    Enjoy your visit, but this is a huge country with so much wonderfull dirt road riding, that you might want to look into a dual sport, cruisers are so limiting, although the V-Star is better than most
    #68
  9. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,142
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    I just gave Ian a hell of good American Experience:rofl He came by the other day and stayed the night and I put him to good old fashioned farm work, I think he was glad to get the hell out of here:lol3 at least we had awesome weather and plenty of cold beer.

    We had a great time and he's got scars to prove it along with today getting topped off with some fresh new rubbers for his big black vtwin:ricky

    Btw Dranrab Luap looks like your time in drawing near, last I heard I was pointing him down to the Talimena Skyway in Southern OK and he was heading for NO to have a look around and then across TX towards Austin, he needs to find a good show for a good ole Independence Day celebration...

    I'll vouch for Ian just as Jamie said, he's good people and a pleasure to be around, a fine ADVer if ever there was:freaky
    #69
  10. ZGirl

    ZGirl Girly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    874
    Location:
    West TN
    Good job! Now, when is the slacker going to post up some pics and stories? :ear
    #70
  11. Ritebike

    Ritebike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I am leaving for New Orleans tomorrow, will be there until Sunday. I just sent him a text, hoping I can hangout with him again. And I will back everybody else up with vouching for his character. He is a good guy, and takes care of himself, no baby sitting required.
    #71
  12. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    735
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    #72
  13. Diveschool

    Diveschool Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ian PM me if you Arive to Austin, will be in town till Friday. Will be happy to host you. If you arive after it, we'll i can offer you free meal in my cafe...
    #73
  14. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I'm getting quite far behind on this ride report! Sorry.
    Phone signal is getting more and more patchy now, making it harder to get posts up. That's my excuse anyway :p

    I'm in New Orleans tonight and tomorrow night. (It'll be good to hang out again Dean)
    I'll then be heading onto Austin. I'll let you know what day I plan to be there when it's more definite, Diveschool. Thanks.

    Back to the report.
    This is a few days old now, but I'll try and catch up by doing shorter posts.


    Day 17

    Waking up after a hot and sweaty night sleep in southern Arkansas. I decided to ditch the idea of going south for now, and head north to the Ozarks for some elevation, good roads, and hopefully some cooler weather.
    My first stop off the day was a quick call in at Little Rock for some petrol and check out capitol hill while id there.
    [​IMG]

    I went to pay for the fuel. I was then told the by the charming cashier lady. Credit card declined!

    My bank had blocked my cards.

    I was straight on the phone, however T-Mobile wouldn't let me dial international without an extortionate monthly fee.
    Luckily I had a bit of cash so I manage to fill the tank. I then used most of this tank, and a good hour or 2 trying to find somewhere with a payphone or WiFi.
    No payphones seem to exist anymore. But after a little more searching, I found a Wi-Fi connection for Skype. The connection was terrible though, and after several attempts to go through the annoying electronic automated system and being disconnected. (Top tip. Just keep pressing 0 at each menu, it'll take you to an operator after a few presses.) I finally got through to someone, but it was impossible to speak with them due to the line dropping out all the time. :banghead:

    Not going well so far :(

    I have up with the bank and used the WiFi, to find me a place to stay within the distance of my fuel tank. Which is annoyingly short at about 150 miles, and not quite far enough to get me to the Ozarks and hopefully those cooler temperatures :(

    After only a couple of minutes of searching, my day started to look up. A campsite not far away, called Mt Nebo State Park. And as you can probably guess it was on top of a mountain :)
    On the map it was the only hill for quite some distance, and it looked like a little oasis in a sea of heat and humidity. :D
    I hit the highway to get me there just as the sun was setting. The phoning of the bank had taken longer than i thought.

    [​IMG]

    The drive up to the top was a tight and twisty alpine climb, and I could feel the air getting cooler the further up the road I went.

    At the top I was greeted by spectacular views of either side of the mountain. One called sunrise point and the other sunset point, as they looked over to the east and west. Unfortunately it was cloudy on the horizon for the sunset, but it was still pretty cool.

    [​IMG]

    I set my tent up and had a very nice nights sleep.
    #74
  15. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,490
    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    Wait, what? You're in New Orleans? Haha.

    I just left there this morning. Staying in Diamondhead Mississippi tonight. It's not very far away.

    Jamie
    #75
  16. ZGirl

    ZGirl Girly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    874
    Location:
    West TN
    Sorry to hear of the problems!

    The weather is beautiful here now. I hope it gets better for you!
    #76
  17. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,953
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    Oh, yeah. A bit late but - when you're planning to travel, contact all your credit card companies before you leave, let them know where you're going and when. They will add a note on your account that you are travelling.

    Otherwise, they notice unusual activity on your account, and block your cards..... (as you know).
    #77
  18. seatec

    seatec Dutch Transplant

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    835
    Location:
    Clearwater
    +1 I do it all the time when I go on a cruise or travel abroad.

    Great RR do far. Any reason you decided to skip Florida? Maybe it's for the better since it's rain season here right now.
    #78
  19. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    The silly thing is, I had told my banks what I was doing. I've also been using the cards since I arrived with no problems. It was just strange why they blocked them then, after nearly 3 weeks of use!


    Day 18

    It started with a trip to the rangers station to try and use their phone. They were kind enough to let me try. However the phone would not let me dial internationally.
    I got the directions to the nearest McDonald's, and off I went to use their WiFi.

    Success! :)

    I managed to get through to my bank and sort everything out.

    In the afternoon I took a leisurely paced ride up scenic highway 7, stopping at some nice overlooks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I headed over the Buffalo River, before arriving in Eureka Springs, AR :)

    There were no ADVers I could see in the area, so I organised to stay with somebody through the couch surfing website that Jamie had mentioned to me.

    Blayne was the guy I was to stay with in Eureka Springs. Over the phone he told me it was a campground set up and that he didn't have a couch, but he did have a spare 'bedroom'. I was intrigued. A campground with a spare bedroom!?

    I turned up at what looked like a dumping ground for old vehicles and general rubbish. Then Blayne appeared from behind an old bus to greet me and invite me into his place. The bus! The bus was his house!
    [​IMG]
    It was actually quite a cool setup and very nice inside. It had everything you could ever need. Electric, water, stove etc.

    He then showed me to the spare bedroom. It turned out to be an old bread van with a few old bits of furniture in. Fine by me. This is an adventure and not scared of sleeping out in the open.
    [​IMG]

    Blayne plays a fiddle in a local band, so he invited me down to the pub where he was playing that night. We had some good food and nice ales, before watching his band.
    [​IMG]
    They were a really entertaining and a totally different music experience to anything I've seen before.

    I was introduced to a few of his friends, more drinks were had, until we ended up on the deck outside his friends place (another bus), around a fire, drinking red wine from a bag.

    I actually did end up sleeping on a couch that night, rather than in the back of a van. Nobody could drive, so a few of us stayed nearby, in an actual house!
    #79
  20. b1pig

    b1pig Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,265
    Location:
    Ray City, Ga
    if there is any thread worthy of being called an "adventure"... this is it.

    have fun! :clap
    #80