Blame It On Facebook

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by guitarhack, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    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:
    [​IMG]




    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.
    #1
  2. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

    Joined:
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    4,094
    Location:
    So. Oregon
    and then....
    #2
  3. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    That's it. Were you expecting more? :D

    Pics are uploading. I'll continue tomorrow.
    #3
  4. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
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    Jennings, Louisiana
    :clap:clap:clap:clap Get it ON! You'll absolutely just Love Colorado. :clap:clap:clap
    #4
  5. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Thursday, May 31st.
    Mileage: ~ 500

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> 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. :D



    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.


    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]

    ...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.

    [​IMG]









    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.
    [​IMG]





    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]


    We have a couple of horses. They would HATE riding like this.
    [​IMG]




    The bridge over the Ohio River
    [​IMG]







    On to Illinois
    [​IMG]





    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> 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. :doh 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. :wings
    #5
  6. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    :lurk
    #6
  7. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    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 :baldy

    [​IMG]
    ...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)
    [​IMG]


    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.
    [​IMG]




    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. :evil
    #7
  8. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    Dave, it's an honor. :bow Hope I don't bore you too much.
    #8
  9. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

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    jaw ja
    :lurk
    #9
  10. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

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    Location:
    DAYTONA USA
    An explination of "While one of the "reconnections" was disturbing" would spice thing up a bit. :evil
    #10
  11. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    north florida
    you've studied up on iDave's technique--good pics and and interesting story to go with them :nod I'm in!
    #11
  12. clarkebd

    clarkebd Huh?

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    I like it so far.

    I also agree, let's hear about the disturbing connection from way back ... :ear
    #12
  13. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    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. :scratch
    #13
  14. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    Was he a friend for 20 years or a friend 20 years ago. People change. Adios, amigo. You are riding and he is not....
    #14
  15. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    Columbia, SC
    Well put.
    #15
  16. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Saturday, June 2nd
    Total Mileage: ~ 600

    I woke up early because I was still on Eastern Daylight Time - and tried not to wake everyone else. This is a problem that plagued me most of the trip. As a kid, I remember hearing that my grandparents woke up every day (well after retirement) around 6:00 AM, and couldn't understand why. Now I get it... after so many years of getting up early to go to work, sleeping late is difficult.

    After my sister treated me to a wonderful breakfast of french toast and bacon, I was off.

    For those of you that haven't done it, crossing Kansas is just about as boring as it gets. Again, I am from Kansas. I grew up in Kansas. I love Kansas, but it truly is a BORING state to drive through. I knew what to expect and made the best of it.


    Something I ran across a few times: trucks going well below the speed of the general flow of traffic, running side by side, not letting anyone go by - for MILES. One time I think they did it just to keep the rest of us from blowing by, because the highway patrol was down the road radaring. But this time I didn't get it ...and was a little annoyed. WTF?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    About this time I ran out of gas again. Don't heckle me too much. Look at the gas gauge! Two bars and only 207 miles since the last fill-up! After this, I filled up WAY too early.
    [​IMG]



    Once again FeMan's tool tube (for my MSR bottle) saved the day. And it's a good thing. It would have been a long walk.
    [​IMG]


    As a kid, we trekked across the state most every year on the way to vacation destinations. And we became familiar with the landmarks, as they were few and far between. One of my favorites is still there 40+ years later: The Largest Prairie Dog In The WORLD!
    [​IMG]


    Every year we would pass signs like this for miles, hyping this freak of nature. Our (four kids in the car) imaginations ran wild. But there was no way our frugal parents were going to stop. :(: So year after year we missed one of the wonders of the known universe.

    In about 1983, when I was crossing the country as an E-4 in the Army, I learned what Paul Harvey would call, "The Rest Of The Story"... Behind those four sections of fence, that had partially blown down after a damaging wind storm, you could see the big concrete varmint. I was crushed. :lol3
    [​IMG]

    So on and on I droned. I had plenty of time because my wife and daughter weren't due in Denver until 10:00 ish, and I was really SICK of the interstate, so I decided to see something I had passed by my entire life: Western Kansas off the interstate. If I could figure out how to post pics of map in this RR I would, but... Anyway, If you are so inclined, look at a map. I-70, way out in western Kansas and again in eastern Colorado, makes a couple of random 45 degree right hand turns for several miles before leveling off and going strait west again. I figured I would go exploring and get off the slab a little and go north early, meeting up with the interstate east of Denver.

    I picked a random exit and started north.
    The road started out like this. It reminded me of the Dumb & Dumber quote, "That John Denver is full of shit, man".
    [​IMG]

    The pavement turned to dirt
    [​IMG]

    The view from where I came:
    [​IMG]





    Then things stated to get a little sketchy
    [​IMG]


    Eventually, the road became a 6" deep dust and tumble-weed ditch. I have little experience riding in that kind of thing and nearly crashed multiple times. I was truly out in the middle of NOWHERE and I honestly got a little spooked. Crashing could have been a life threatening event - so I was too much of a pansy to stop and take any more pics until I got back on the black-top.

    Heading farther north than I had anticipated, I realized I could take a further detour and knock off Nebraska form my "states visited' tally, so I did.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After traveling some very desolate roads...
    [​IMG]

    ...I crossed over into Colorado
    [​IMG]



    I found some more-direct routs and plowed through some heavy rain
    [​IMG]

    ...Finally making it to our hotel in Denver.


    I checked in, unloaded the luggage from the bike, and headed to Chick Fil A for dinner. That's when I notice all was not well with my chain. :eek1
    #16
  17. Gooner

    Gooner DC 43

    Joined:
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    Rocket City
    :lurk
    #17
  18. pridemore1

    pridemore1 Rides slow real slow

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Williamstown, WV
    Good report. Title caught my attention. Im heading to BYOB on friday but will read along as I can.
    #18
  19. jrou111

    jrou111 Stair Climber

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
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    309
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Can't wait to hear more. :ear
    #19
  20. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Sunday, June 3rd
    Total Mileage: ~ 300

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> I almost always ride with ear-buds, listening to music streaming from my phone or iPod through my SENA. On the short trip to dinner Saturday night I didn't. That's when I noticed my chain was making a hell of a racket when the bike was in 1st or 2nd gear. I hosed the chain down with chain-lube and hoped for the best. It didn't help.

    My wife and daughter arrived safely at the hotel, I put the chain out of my mind, and all was right with the world. On one hand, I really enjoy solo road-tripping, but I was looking forward to sharing the upcoming experiences with them. With us all together, it started to really feel like a vacation - instead of me selfishly enjoying myself alone on my bike (which isn't uncommon).

    On Sunday morning, I slipped out to the parking lot while the girls did their morning girl-prepping, and screwed around with the bike - hoping to remedy the dicey chain. I adjusted for length and crossed my fingers. When we got under way it was clear that my tinkering didn't help. None the less I buried my head in the sand and off we went.

    We took the beltway around Denver and headed for a short distance west on 1-70.

    We stopped for gas at what must be the world's most scenic gas station. It was along a river.

    My daughter Christina stretching her legs at the stop:
    [​IMG]

    Problem is, location comes at a price:
    [​IMG]
    Luckily, this was by far the most pricey gas we faced.


    We hung a left and took highway 91 south - where we entered Leadville - which reminded me of a line in a Jimmy Buffett song.
    [​IMG]

    South of Leadville we hung a right and started up hwy 82 towards Independence Pass. Traffic was a little heavy, but it was still a fun road

    [​IMG]

    Reminded me of the "No Guardrail" ride at the yearly Eastern RDV (Rick's RDV)
    [​IMG]


    Going Up....
    [​IMG]


    ..and up
    [​IMG]



    ...and up
    [​IMG]

    and (you guessed it) up...
    [​IMG]
    Tried to take a pic over my shoulder of the girls in the car and missed em




    Until finally:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    There was some sort of High-Altitude training finishing up. I think this was the debriefing
    [​IMG]



    It was windy and cold up there, so we wandered around only for a few minutes before we took off.
    [​IMG]





    Christina (my 17 year old) and my wife, Renee'. But don't get used to those names...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I stowed the camera on the way down, as it looked as if rain was approaching - which was too bad - the ride down the other side of the mtn was even more scenic.

    It was later, as we were stuck waiting on a train...
    [​IMG]

    ...when I had my first epiphany...

    The terms, "wife", "daughter" and "car" just aren't cool enough for a Bad-Ass Ride Report (that I am pretending this is going to be). So from hence forth, they will be referred to as "The Support Crew" and "Support Vehicle"
    [​IMG]
    :rolleyes ...Charley and Ewin would be proud.

    So we finished Sunday's short ride at the Mongolian Yurt that we had reserved ... (um, I mean Hampton Inn) :augie


    ...and called it a day.
    [​IMG]
    #20