3 months to explore the USA

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

  1. Patrick46

    Patrick46 visionary

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    That, my friend, is a Union City Stepvan...(I've had 7 of 'em)...and too bad on the missed opprotunity to sleep in one, as they're quite lovely to crash out in. (the voice of experience here) :evil :lol3


    here's a tip if you haven't heard yet...

    most public library's have free Wi-Fi...and it's usually a great place to meet folks and get information on the local sights and offerings. :deal


    It seems to me like your covering ALOT of ground ina very short amount of time. I can't believe you're already talking about heading toward Texas. You haven't even touched the South yet...and you need to do Key West. Too much to see before moving on so soon!

    Really enjoying you RR though!!

    Enjoy yourself...and be safe. :norton
    #81
  2. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    Head to Pecan Grove in Austin and Camp right in the city, by Zilker Springs Park. You'll have a great time in Austin. Go swim in the springs, then ride out to Hippy Hollow, enjoy the wild-life. Don't burn your buns tho.
    #82
  3. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    You need to be in a capital or a college town for the fourth! You'll love it, biggest party of the year, life bands, good food and lots of fun.
    #83
  4. ZGirl

    ZGirl Girly Adventurer

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    WELLLLLCOMMMME TO ARRRRRKANSSSSAWWWWWW... :D

    :lol3
    That would not have been my suggestion for Eureka Springs, but hope you enjoyed it!

    Been there recently and had some good ideas, but none that involved fiddlers and a bread van!

    Here is my suggestion for Austin.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g30196-d116421-Reviews-Barton_Springs_Pool-Austin_Texas.html

    BTW, the very cool spring water was a balm to my Irish roots considering the baking temps in that area of the country.

    I have to admit, I've not been there since I was a kinda hippie in the 80's......

    It might be commercial and suck now.
    #84
  5. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
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    I didn't miss out on a chance to sleep in the van. I stayed in Eureka Springs for another day.
    Partly because I wanted to ride a few more roads around the area. But mainly because I was so hungover I wasn't up for much till the afternoon. :(

    Day 19

    Started with a hangover, but we all went for a breakfast at a nice little place in town.
    I then went back to the campground to charge my phone and recover from the night before.
    After an hour or so felt well enough to get back on the bike. And as there wasn't really any time to organise somewhere else to stay. I elected to explore around the Ozarks some more that day. I went south down highway 23 to ride 'The Pig Trail'.
    Nice sweeping road in the northern section before getting twistier on the southern part.

    I didn't fancy another night of heavy drinking so I rode my bike into downtown Eureka.

    [​IMG]

    To answer anyones concerns about the number of beer photos etc. and getting around.
    I would personally never drink and drive. I've known of too many incidents, including a good friend being killed by a drunk who was behind the wheel.

    I was chatting to the guys from last night, and a few of the eccentric locals and visitors!
    Before turning in early for a good night sleep in the van.

    [​IMG]
    #85
  6. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

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    Oh and if anyone is reading this suggesting places for me. Thank you very much. I really do use them, so keep them coming.
    However I'm way behind on the days. :rolleyes:
    I'm writing this in Fredericksburg, TX. On my way to Big Bend before heading north into New Mexico in a few days.

    There's a good story or two from the past few days so I'll try and update again soon.
    #86
  7. b1pig

    b1pig Long timer

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    keep enjoying it!

    hopefully one day, i'll get the chance to ride the UK! :freaky
    #87
  8. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    Dude if you spent a few days in nola and didn't have a story I would be disappointed.
    #88
  9. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Near Big Bend , well not real near but within 100 miles is Marfa, Tx. Outside of Marfa on 90 is a veiwing area for the Marfa Lights. It's one of 2 places in the world to see these strange lights. The explanations for them range from ghosts of miners wandering the hills to aliens. the scientific version is also strange. Light from distant stars bent and focused by the upper atmosphere is concentrated into balls of light that float in the hills ?
    And north of the panhandle in southern New Mexico check out Carlsbad Caverns and then stay for the sunset bat exodus. Good stuff.
    #89
  10. Diveschool

    Diveschool Adventurer

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    Austin, TX
    Ian stayed in my place in Austin for 4th of July, he is really nice guy and we had a good time. So, I would like to add my recommendation as well.


    HOWEVER, he is very rude! :)
    I bought him a case of 12 British beer and he drank only TWO.... now I am stuck with the rest of the beers, I guess I will need to figure what to do with the 6 that left...

    I send him to do the Twisted sister, and Big Bend (170)
    #90
  11. Katze

    Katze Full Time Rider

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    Hey mon,

    If your travels take you anywhere near Lake Tahoe look me up. I've got the local hook-up on most everything.

    I know some really good roads to explore too.

    My back yard...
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, we've camping too...
    [​IMG]
    #91
  12. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    I texted Ian, but realized that there may or may not be cell signal where he is, though there should be Wifi at the camp store in Big Bend...

    A couple places I'd recommend around Big Bend. Spend at least one evening in Terlingua, go to the Starlight Theatre.

    I also really enjoyed Chinati Hot Springs not too far west of there, but it's a loose gravel road to get there. Not sure how the V-Star would do. You'd make it, but you'd have to go slow. They have camping and a few rooms. (There's also a hot springs in Big Bend, but it's just an open tub.)

    It wasn't open when I was there, but they've just reopened the crossing into Boquillas del Carmen from Big Bend. I hear it's a worthwhile place to stop.

    When you leave Big Bend, ride highway 170 west toward Presidio. Excellent road!

    Not sure if it's on your way, but US 191 in Arizona is worth going out of your way for.

    Jamie
    #92
  13. antarcticgecko

    antarcticgecko n00b

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    I'm going to second a trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This is another one of those places that's so grand, so immensely captivating that it is quite difficult to put the experience into words. Also, it'll be a nice break from the heat!

    If it weren't July, I'd also recommend Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It is just 40 miles from Carlsbad and is quite pretty, along with having a great day hike that takes you to the tallest point in Texas.

    Enjoying the ride report! Keep it comin'!
    #93
  14. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

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    Cheers Jamie
    I'm in the Chisos Basin right now on their WiFi. Gorgeous place. (You will all have to wait till i catch up on my ride report to see the photos.) Thanks for the advice, I'll see what I've got time for.

    Day 20

    It felt good to wake up a lot fresher than the day before. I said goodbye to Blayne and his campsite, and headed off.
    I had organised to stay with another ADV guy, ThrottleMeister (John) over in western Oklahoma.
    I planned a route around Beaver that looked interesting, for both roads and some sights. Then up into Missouri for a bit of a loop, before coming back into Arkansas, and then onto Oklahoma.

    I first went past Beaver dam.
    [​IMG]
    Before crossing a Beaver Bridge, a cool wooden bridge that was single file traffic only. I later found out that it's called the little golden gate bridge of Arkansas due to the similarity with they big one I guess.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This led me up into Missouri on the highway 86 to Cassville, before dropping back down the 112 into Arkansas and eventually into Bentonville.

    I had been told that there are no good roads in Oklahoma and I should just jump on an intestate or highway and get to Colorado. However I needed to get to Pryor. I spotted a couple of roads on my map the 102 and 20 that went exactly where I needed to be.
    Now they weren't spectacular, but I was still smiling and having fun while riding these roads. Especially the section that goes through Spavinaw state park :)

    I even ended up on a gravel road again, by trying to take a shortcut!
    [​IMG]
    I may have to look into this dual sport thing next time.

    Oh and I also got my first experience with the police! They were stopping all motorcycles than came down the 20 through Spavinaw. They were just looking to make sure people had licence and insurance, but it was still a bit worrying. Especially as when I had stopped earlier for lunch, I thought to myself, 'I havn't checked the tyres for a few days.'
    I went back to the bike and I was greeted with this.
    [​IMG]
    Back home this is highly illegal and I would have been fined and had points on my licence!
    Here though, he didn't seem bothered. He just sent me on my way :)


    While on my way to John's, I received a message saying that I was in for 'a real American experience'!
    I was intrigued and also a little bit worried.
    I arrived and was warmingly* greeted. It was then that I was told the American experience would be hauling hay for the evening!
    It involved following a pick up truck around a field and throwing the bails of hay on the trailer.
    When the trailer was full, a beer or two was drank before unloading it into the barn.
    [​IMG]
    Before doing it all over again.

    When we finished at this place, someone said that another guy needed some help with the straw in their field. We loaded the beer cooler in the back of the pickup and jumped in the vehicles.
    At the other farm there was a machine that did the hard work, so we just watched and drank beer while riding in the back of a pick up :)
    [​IMG]

    Occasionally small stray bails fell off the back.
    Here's John showing how manly he is. He can carry two!
    [​IMG]

    Lots of beer had been drank by this point so desperate measures were required for some folk who couldn't hold it in any longer. :)
    [​IMG]

    When we had finished it was so late the only place left open for food was Sonic. So I had my first experience of an American drive in too!
    #94
  15. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    Yea, you found the coolest part of the world!
    #95
  16. MatSubZero

    MatSubZero n00b

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    So, as you went thru Spavinaw, you must have passed by the Copperhead Run Rally grounds... They have a bar on site, always something going on there... I've been to this rally a couple times.. Probably could've camped there if timing was right....?...
    #96
  17. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    He had better place to stay at my shop in an RV with A/C:lol3 At least he did find that road on his way to Pryor.

    "Warmingly greeted":eek1

    Sorry about putting you to work Ian, lots going on around here this summer, always work to be done, usually not hauling little hay bales though:lol3 You lucked out:rofl Next time I'll make sure it's the big round ones:deal

    Nice to have you stop by:freaky

    Hope the new tires are holding up well enough.
    #97
  18. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

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    Day 20

    The morning task was to change the tyres on the V Star.
    The wheels came off relatively easily with the help of John's jack.
    [​IMG]
    We took them to the local cycle shop for some fresh rubber.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lunch was had at JLs BBQ place. Gorgeous.
    I am really liking the food over here. Although eating out most of the time means it's getting very 'heavy'. I'm kind of craving fresh fruit and veg now. Maybe I'll order the salad next time! :)

    The wheels went back on the bike and then came planning my next place to go. Before I arrived at Johns, I was set to jump across the rest of Oklahoma and Texas and get to a New Mexico or Colorado. However with the weather turning slightly cooler, and the fact that i hadn't been to the proper south yet. John managed to convince me that the trip to New Orleans wouldn't be that bad. :confused:
    He also pointed out that I'd missed some good roads further south in Oklahoma and Arkansas that I could hit on the way down.
    By the time I set off it was way later than I had planned and I didn't quite get to where I hoped.
    I ended up camping at Talimena State Park. And assured myself that i would get an early start tomorrow, for my trip to New Orleans.
    #98
  19. ZGirl

    ZGirl Girly Adventurer

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    The food is great when eating out here, but it should not be a part of your regular diet unless you want to stay at John's farm and work it off. :D

    Try checking out local farmer's markets in the next few towns. Just a week ago I purchased fresh peaches, blackberries and blueberries that were grown locally. They were yummy!

    Lettuce is out of season for the most part this time of year, but the tomatoes are wonderful! Fresh tomatoes with a bit of mozzarella and fresh basil should be available if that's to your liking.
    #99
  20. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

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    That sounds delicious.:thumbup:
    I have been picking up a few fresh things if I have time in the evening. With the hot weather down here. It is impossible to keep them fresh any longer than the one night.
    So I have to confess to restoring to the restaurants more often than not.:rolleyes: