Whats going: Revit jacket and pants Gerbings heated liner and gloves Kelti Gunison 1 Tent Army gear and clothes out the wazoo Nikon D5000 w/18-55mm & 55-200mm lens 08' DL650 VStrom "Wee!" Dog Tags All photos will be posted here with a sentence or two. Don't want the talk and chatter to clog the pipe for the photo gazers (Like myself) The D5000 super high quality photos. (Look to the left and there will be albums to click on) here >> http://s1058.photobucket.com/user/Jrjoyce2007/library/?sort=3&page=0 For simplicity sake, EAST/WEST is drawn on Austin, TX. Don't care to divi out whats east, west, or central. Here we go! No real destinations, no real timeline, and just out to explore. Starting in North Carolina, riding the short jump over to Wilmington, and then it's south bound until the land stops. After that, I head out of Florida, then west until the ocean decides to show up, and whatever comes between is water under the bridge. Interstates will be avoided. Lets see what America is made of! Suggestions or "must see's" welcome. The Bike: The set up: Camp with breakfast! The EAST Coast! Myrtal Beach's famous skywheel Interesting store off 17. Got some fantastic cyder of every flavor. Yay samples! Big ol' stretch of US1 North of St. Augustine St. Augustine Lighthouse Daytona Beach. Apparently its bike week too. I don't really keep track of these shinanagans Almost to Miami! NOTE: I loath Miami 7 mile highway Key West Lighthouse. I do not believe it is in use any more, and its more of a museum now. Key West southern most point in the US. Lines were terrible for photo op. Key West's Coast 2 random Key photo's from the Keys US41 through the Florida everglades. Im a tad worried about gas at the moment but I'm pretty sure I'll make it. Its pretty and scenic but driving into the sunset sucks HWY 19 out of Tampa FL. I love this sign!! Destin Skyline from the opposite side. Traffic was very heavy, and no go photo op w/ the bike. New Orleans! Best "Im plastered and need to sit down" place around. They serve beignets and coffee. There were SO MANY people there for spring break I didn't bother with pictures much. You can't go wrong eatting local around New Orleans, but this is my personal favorite catfish place. My new favorite daiquiri shop! You gotta love Louisiana's DRIVE-THRU daiquiri shops. Doesn't count as an open container if there isn't a straw in it. But who's looking. Got the drive thru chick to grab my photo, then told her where to find this forum and thread. Total cutie. This is the best place for oysters, catfish, and gumbo in Houston. Captain Tom's Seafood on1960 off of HWY 290. I've been eatting here for about 10 years now. If you end up going, they make an interesting beer called "Mitchilata Corona". It's their own blend of hot sauce, Corona beer, salt, and a single oyster. Sounds nasty, but it is so good. Also the entire bar sits at a slope upward just like the boat looks from the street. Very interesting place. This is how the East coast went down on a map. Minus google showing I took I95 down the coast (I took US1 the entire way until I hit Fort Lauderdale), it is accurate. Totaling 2,361.7 miles over 4 days, and seeing some sights, I think leg 1 did alright. View Larger Map The West coast should be a slower ride. I intended to spend MUCH more time out there, considering all the National Parks. Who doesn't like a national park are beautiful landscapes. Lighthouses, beaches, and the big city is cool and all to visit, but nature is where it's at! First stop, Austin, TX. Then it's onto the Dancing lights in TX, Roswell for the giggles, and the Trinity Bomb site. After that, who knows, but the list of must sees are the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Crater Lake, Hollywood, and of course I'll be riding the entire sunshine highway in California! Too many things on the list to site here and ramble about. I'll just show ya instead. The WEST and it's coast: You can't get through TX without seeing enough of these. I'm almost an expert I've seen so many today. The great state of Texas and it's hill country! Stopped into Alpine TX @ the Reata for some awesome chow. If your within 200 miles of this place and you don't stop, shame on you!! Every single woman in this town is drop dead gorgeous on top of that. I'll have to come back for a wife Road from Alpine TX to Fort Davis TX. Setting up camp, then waiting for nightfall to head up the road to Marfa to see the "Marfa Light Phenomenon" (which were HIGHLY active and really neat to see) and then the McDonald Observatory. Post #133 is the Marfa Lights historical marker "read about" Heading out of Alpine TX McDonald Observatory. One of the darkest places in the United States. Stunning display of stars and the sky at night. The Guadalupe Mountains. Carlsbad Caverns. I attempted to photograph the immense size and grandure of the cavern, but it just didn't do it justice. You HAVE to see it for yourself. Carlsbad cliff overlook. Windy as ever and atop the Guadalupe Mountains. Of course I had to see the whack jobs in THIS famous town!! Riding into a mountain sunset in New Mexico. Next stop, Trinity Bomb Site @ the White Sands Missile Range! New Mexico @ dawn ride Myself w/ the obelisk Trinity Bomb Site. Pretty awesome monument. Other photos of the site >> http://www.flickr.com/photos/94762806@N04/8629254303/in/set-72157633188116755/ Haven't seen anyone in a while... New Mexico is a lonely place VLA (Very Large Array) A ton of satellites all in sync on the same target. What you might need THIS many high power dishes for, I don't know, but it's neat to stop and take a look. I rode the divide and didn't even know I was on it. Great ride though! Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert have to be the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Photo's do no justice to it's natural beauty and array of colors. Literally looks like somebody painted. I was not expecting such intense color. "I was standin' on a corner..." "...in Winslow Arizona...." Meteor Crater photo link here >> http://www.flickr.com/photos/94762806@N04/8629260687/in/set-72157633188067975/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/94762806@N04/8637726463/in/set-72157633211784851/ My 2 favorite photo from the Apache Trail. Absolutely gorgeous ride!! All 20 photos in link above. Utah Leg 1 Photo's include Bull Valley Gorge, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and the east side of SR12 from Cannonville. Below are highlights. All ~50 photos at link > http://s1058.photobucket.com/user/Jrjoyce2007/library/Utah?sort=3&page=1 Bull Valley Gorge Utah's SR12 summit @ 9500 ft Arches National Park Balanced Rock Utah's Cottonwood Canyon (HIGHLY recommended ride!) So, I leave Moab, Utah, and find myself in a shit storm in the "snow bowl" of Utah. Had no idea what I was going into, and it was difficult to see the road. I was following in another vehicles tracks, and once I decided, "this is nuts!"I attempted to leave that vehicles track, and went sliding at 45 mph over the ice. The left blinker is completely gone, and my handle bars are tweaked. Easy fix I reckon. One wayb to get the adrenaline pumping. After I picked myself up off the middle of the highway... This is where I was trying to go, and eventually got to. Got some great coffee, great food, and the locals were awesome. The bike didn't move in the shot above or below. So, as you can see in the above photo, the plows came by several times, cars were flying by, and the snow stopped for a while. WRONG! Bad snow flurry 5 miles up the road, and I couldn't see any road to save my life. I just sat it out. Glad I had some awesome gear. So after I get the heck out of the Utah Snow bowl and over the mountain, everything cleared up, and I proceeded onward to the 4-Corners. Met a couple there, and they invited me into their home to swap stories, trade blogs, and share hot coco. Apparently they were a part of a sort of "Nomadic Work Program" where you work somewhere for about a month, see the area and work to earn some cash, and then roll on your way to your next destination and find work through the program. To my understanding Amazon does alot of summer hiring this way, and so do a lot of ranchers. More intel to follow if anyone is interested. After what the snow did to the elevated spots in Utah, I'll just have to come back.... But for now... The strip was a cool sight all lit up. I got lots of photos from passing cars. NC plate was probably my undoing there. The "Trump" Building literally just says "Trump" in huge shinning gold letters lit up at night, and in the day light, every window is gold reflective tint. Maybe It's just me but ughh..... They didn't even try to give this exit a name.... Rode around Big Bear Lake on SR18 (a MUST DO!) "Rim of the World" Road is the southern part of SR18 from Big Bear. AWESOME ride. Sunset Cliffs San Diego California! Gorgeous scenery, gorgeous city, and a man my age could get in real trouble around here with all the gorgeous women literally running around. ~7,200 miles later..... I MADE IT Done deal. 2 months riding, ~7.3k miles, and I'm getting ill and sick on my poor diet with weather and camping on top of it. Enjoy the photos. Trip closed. Had the time of my life.