Cross USA trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Goldie05, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    This trip has been on my bucket list for a long time, my brother and I will be starting our trip on the 3rd of July and come back on the 25th [​IMG]
    We are doing a round trip through San Francisco and Redmond, OR. We are visiting quite a few National Parks and cities.
    The following pictures detail our daily rides with alternating colors for each day :wink:
    Any comments on the route and any ideas for corrections and places to see along the way are greatly appreciated [​IMG]
    Thanks
    Pictures will follow after we get underway :wink:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,698
    Looks great!! :thumb

    Best wishes for a safe journey :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,064
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Here's a suggestion, or a monkey wrench depending on point of veiw.
    Any chance of reverseing the directions and heading north from Yellowstone to Darby ,Mt. for West Fest? It seems that you have enough time to make it if you choose. And Mt. is great.
    #3
  4. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    Unfortunately I don't have the time, my trip must end back in NJ on the 25th
    I'm leaving Redmond on the 18th :waysad

    This is my planned schedule for July
    3 Leave at 4am, stop around indianapolis area +-690 miles (motel)
    4 Leave 6am, stop around Salinas, KS 660m (motel)
    5 Leave 7am, stop around Denver, CO 430m
    6 Leave 7am, Stop in Salt Lake city, UT 520m
    7 Leave 7am, stop in Ely, NV 250
    Visit Salt lake flats
    8 Leave 7am, stop in Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village, NV 340m
    Loneliest road route 50
    9 Leave 7am, stop groveland, ca 205m
    Lake Tahoe
    Mono Lake
    Yosemite NP
    10 Leave 7am, stop San Francisco, CA 150m
    11 Leave 7am, stop Fort Bragg, CA 180
    Golden Gate bridge
    Point Reyes National Seashore Park
    Fort Ross State Historic Park
    Salt Point SP
    Jackson State Forest
    12 Leave 7am, Stop Crescent City, CA 220m
    Humboldt Redwoods SP
    Redwood NP
    13 Leave 7am, stop in redmond, OR 380m
    Klamath NF
    cross Grants Pass
    Crater NP
    Umpqua NF
    Deschuttes NF

    14 Leave 7am to Portland, OR 200 m then come back to Redmond 150m
    Willamette NF
    Portland
    Mt Hood NF
    15 Redmond
    16 Redmond
    17 Redmond
    18 Leave 7am, stop in Carey, IDaho 460 m
    Ochoco National Forest
    Malheur NF
    through Boise
    Sawtooth NF
    19 Leave 7am, stop in Jackson, WY 350 m
    Targhee NF
    Yellowstone NP
    Grand Teton NP
    20 Leave 7am, stop in Buffalo, WY 415m
    Grand Teton NP
    Yellowstone NP
    Shoshone NF
    Big Horn NF
    21 Leave 7am, stop in Kadoka, SD 360 m
    Thunder Basin National Grassland
    Black Hills NF
    Mount Rushmore National Memorial
    Badlands NP
    Buffalo Gap National Grassland
    22 Leave 7am, stop in La Crosse, WI 540 m
    Pass Sioux Falls
    23 Leave 7am, stop in Chicago, IL 300 m
    24 Leave 8am, stop in Cleveland, OH 360m
    25 Leave 8am, Arrive in Jackson 460 m
    #4
  5. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    #5
  6. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    #6
  7. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    July 2nd, day before departing on our cross country trip to San Francisco and on to Redmond, Oregon for the 2010 BMW event. The day finally arrived with great anticipation, preparation had been going on for a while, camping equipment had been purchased, equipment checklists checked and re-checked, oil changed and all packing complete. We decided we would depart from my house as the bikes could be loaded and parked in my garage ready for departure the day before. We planned on departing at 4:30am on July 3rd so we could beat the Philadelphia area morning traffic as we planned on crossing Pennsylvania on route 76 also known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike. My adorable wife prepared dinner for all of us and the whole family had a wonderful last evening together eating and drinking a nice bottle of Cabernet while my dad and I smoked our cigars.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Packed and ready to go</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The beginning of our trip</td></tr> </tbody></table>We went to bed early but I couldn't fall asleep, the excitement and anticipation of being on the road for the next 23 days and worrying about the bike not being ready or packed with everything necessary, kept me awake. No sooner had I fallen asleep, or so it seemed, the alarm clock went off and we were up again. It was 4am, just time to get dressed, have a cup of coffee, say goodbye to my wife and daughter, they wanted to be up for the goodbyes, and then we were off, still night outside and on the chilly side. We had decided to have breakfast at the first rest stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. About 2 hours later we pull into the rest area, no sooner had we stopped two Harleys stopped next to our bikes. The typical conversation ensued, where you heading and so on, we find out the couple is also heading cross country to San Francisco. They were also from South Jersey and had departed about the same time as us. We never saw them again.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">First stop for breakfast</td></tr> </tbody></table>After a quick breakfast, we were off again, it's a long way to traverse Pennsylvania but soon we were approaching the exit for Route 70 East, about 320 miles from my house and soon thereafter we were entering Ohio on the way to Columbus and then Dayton. We had planned our route and we were going to follow it, the end of the day being in Indianapolis, Indiana, about 700 miles for the first day.
    We crossed Ohio and entered Indiana soon passing Richmond on the way to Indianapolis, the capital. In Indiana, the scenery along route 70 is pretty much farms and with a blue sky above us offering a beautiful contrast we rolled on.
    We arrived in Indianapolis late in the afternoon with just enough time to take some pictures downtown and go out to dinner at one of the many restaurants in the downtown area. We parked our bikes on Monument Circle with the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the center, it's a circle smack in the middle of downtown two blocks away from the Indiana State House.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Soldiers and Sailors Monument </td></tr> </tbody></table>
    [​IMG]

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Church and skyscraper</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Soldiers and Sailors Monument</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Horse carriage on Monument Circle </td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The downtown area</td></tr> </tbody></table> We got our pictures and then headed to the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery where a beer was quickly on hand with Mahi tacos for dinner. After dinner we strolled around the covered area over Washington and Illinois Streets, a beautiful glass structure covering the intersection and then returned to our bikes for a quick dash out of town continuing on route 70 West until we found a motel and stopped for the night.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Indianapolis Artsgarden</td></tr> </tbody></table>
    [​IMG]

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My bike on the opposite end of the line</td></tr> </tbody></table>The next morning we saddled up and were on the road shortly after 7am. My plan was to do the 250 miles to St. Louis, Missouri and arrive there around lunch time.
    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Rest stop on the highway</td></tr> </tbody></table>Being 4th of July we encountered traffic as we approached St. Louis and even some closed roads but we soon found a parking garage a few blocks away from the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch, also known as the "Gateway to the West". Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, it has become the city's iconic image. It is 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base and stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, making it the tallest monument in the United States. There were too many people in line to go to the top, we decided to skip it, I have been up there in the past and it offers a beautiful view of the Mississippi River. The park underneath the Arch faces the river and was already packed with visitors watching planes do aerial acrobatic maneuvers while waiting for the fireworks show scheduled for later that night to commemorate Independence Day. It was 4th of July, a very hot day and we were already almost 1000 miles away from home.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Resting from the heat</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The St. Louis Gateway Arch</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Threatening clouds and very hot and humid</td></tr> </tbody></table>
    [​IMG]

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Old Courthouse</td></tr> </tbody></table>Corn Dogs are a staple of Indiana and I was soon eating one. The corn dog is a hotdog coated in cornmeal batter and deep fried in oil, they are really good. We got the pictures, watched a little of the air show and then retreated to the Old Courthouse for a little air conditioning. We entered the building and were surprised to see a band playing patriotic music and the building decorated with the Old Glory, it was a beautiful sight. We climbed to the top to take more pictures and then enjoyed a cup of lemonade in the company of some nice ladies dressed in period costumes.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Jumbo Corn Dogs</td></tr> </tbody></table>
    [​IMG]

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">4th of July and Corn Dogs :-)</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Old Glory</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The Three Ladies</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Orchestra</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Inside the Old Courthouse</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A piece of Old St. Louis</td></tr> </tbody></table>It was time to continue our trip and we soon left planning on doing the next 250 miles and arrive to have dinner in Kansas City, Missouri. Not much to see but farms along route 70.
    After a few stops to relax and refuel we arrive in Kansas City and head straight to the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial. It's a beautiful monument and after the obligatory pictures we went down to the Union Station where Amtrak calls home.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">National World War I Museum</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Liberty Memorial</td></tr> </tbody></table>Built in 1914, Union Station encompasses 850,000 square feet. At its peak during WWII, an estimated one million travelers passed through the Station in one year. The station also draws tourists from all over the world who marvel at the Grand Hall's 95-foot ceiling, three 3,500-pound chandeliers and the six-foot wide clock hanging in the Station's central arch. It's a beautiful building.
    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Union Station</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Union Station</td></tr> </tbody></table>
    [​IMG]

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Beautiful Old Train Station</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The main hall in Union Station</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">National World War I Museum in the background</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Ready to leave</td></tr> </tbody></table>We left Kansas City and rode a few more miles on route 70 stopping for the night near Salinas, Kansas.
    Monday morning, with a blue sky above us, we departed determined to do the next 450 miles across flat Kansas as soon as possible and arrive in Denver just in time for dinner and a stroll downtown. We pulled off the highway to admire the corn fields and take same pictures, the green fields contrasting with the beautiful sky.
    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Lots of Corn</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Beautiful blue sky</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Middle of Kansas</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Nothing but Corn</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The two Adventurers</td></tr> </tbody></table>A little later we cross into Colorado, almost missing the sign. We stopped and then had to push the bikes backwards on the side of the road for quite a while since a U-Turn was out of the question with all the trucks flying by us at over 75mph. It was worth it to get the picture.

    [​IMG]

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The Beautiful Colorado</td></tr> </tbody></table>We arrive in Denver and head straight for the 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian and transit mall in Denver, Colorado. The mall, 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) long, runs along 16th Street in downtown Denver, from Wewatta Street (at Union Station) to the intersection of 16th Avenue and Broadway (at Civic Center Station). It is home to over 300 chain stores and over 50 restaurants.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Downtown Denver</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">16th Street Mall</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Artists display their wares on the middle of the street</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Lots of Restaurants</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Free Mall Ride</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Denver Public Transportation</td></tr> </tbody></table>We found a nice place for a cold beer and a warm meal at the Paramount Cafe. We sat outside observing the pedestrian traffic on the Mall. After dinner we strolled around admiring the local stores lit up by the street lights and then retreated to our motel on the outskirts of Denver. The next day would be the beginning of our real touring, the first three days being a quick dash out west to the middle of the country.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Cold Beer after a long day</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paramount Cafe</td></tr> </tbody></table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Relaxing at the 16th Street Mall</td></tr></tbody></table>
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    #7
  8. zadok

    zadok Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,044
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Great trip on a great bike. I was fortunate to own a 1000GTR (as they are known here) for about 18 months, until it got written off in an unfortunate accident. At least I'm around to tell the tale.:wink: Old tech, but still a great bike.
    #8
  9. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    We left Denver around 7:30, blue sky above us, temperature on the cold side and we knew it was going to get colder as we start to climb up the Rockies. Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the High Plains, between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains to the east. Denver is nicknamed the "Mile-High City" because its elevation is one mile, or 5,280 feet (1,609 m) above sea level. The mountain range offers a breathtaking background to the city.
    The construction of I-70 in Colorado and Utah is considered an engineering marvel as the route passes through the Eisenhower Tunnel. The Eisenhower Tunnel is the highest point along the Interstate Highway system with an elevation of 11,158 ft (3,401 m). As we climbed we could feel the temperature drop, the top of the mountains still covered with specs of snow in some areas but we were prepared, we had put on our jacket liners just for good measure. We go through the Eisenhower Tunnel and the scenery changes, mountains covered by Pine trees, snow still covering the hidden parts of the mountains.
    We take the Route 9 North exit and make a quick stop in Silverthorne for a warm cup of coffee and call the family at home. The town sits in the middle of the Rockies, we admire some of the expensive homes on the side of the mountain.

    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Silverthorne</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Beautiful homes on the mountain</td></tr> </tbody></table>We leave Silvethrone and follow Route 9 north through the Arapaho National Forest towards Kremmling where we enter Route 40 which will takes us through the Routt National Forest towards Steamboat Springs. We pass lakes and mountains ranges, winding roads and long stretches of open road arriving in Steamboat Springs just in time for lunch.
    The night before my brand new, two week old Gateway laptop had stopped working, maybe didn't like the vibration on the back of the bike, but I was not going to continue to carry a brick for the rest of the trip so a quick stop at a UPS store and the laptop, power supply and a jacket I had brought but didn't need were packed and being shipped back home to NJ.
    We then made a stop at Freshies for lunch where the food was very tasteful and the waitresses very friendly. I obviously had to try the "Colorado" sandwich, a turkey, avocado, sprouts, swiss, tomatoes and sweet mustard on toasted organic wheat bread with sweet potato fries. While having lunch my brother made an observation how hot it was, in the 90's and not a single drop of condensation on the side of the ice water glasses or soft drinks we had. There's almost no humidity high up in the Rockies, you can feel the heat but you do not perspire at all, it's amazing how dry it is high up.

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    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sweet Potato Fries</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Interesting</td></tr> </tbody></table>We leave town passing the Rabbit Ears Motel and continue on Route 40 West immediately encountering a completely different terrain, a more desolate and hot flat terrain with long stretches of road and very light traffic. We make good time stopping only to admire the land and take pictures occasionally. I kept looking at the side of the road for wildlife and finally I was rewarded by a dear grazing on the side of the highway. I immediately stopped on the side of the road to take pictures.

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    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Empty roads</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Long stretches of open roads</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wildlife in Colorado</td></tr> </tbody></table>Later in the afternoon we take a detour into the Dinosaur National Monument visitor center and then proceed a few miles into the park. The road winds along the side of the mountain as it climbs and we stopped to take pictures in a few areas. At the top you get a beautiful view of the plains below and the road we had just come up from. Deeper into the park there's a beautiful Canyon but we decided to turn around, we still had a long way to Salt Lake City and the Canyon was quite a few miles into the park.

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    We comeback to the visitor center and then make a right into Route 40 again and quickly dispatch of a few miles until we arrive at Dinosaur. The Town of Dinosaur is located in Moffat County, Colorado. The town population was 319 at the U.S. Census 2000. It is the westernmost town in the State of Colorado, located 3 miles east of the Utah border. The town of Dinosaur was originally named Artesia; the current name was adopted in 1966, to capitalize on the town's proximity to Dinosaur National Monument. We stopped for cold water and I had a sudden urge for a cold ice cream.

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    We leave Dinosaur and within three miles arrive at the Utah border. We stop to take pictures and then continue into even more desolate country, the red rocks contrasting with a beautiful blue sky, passing sleepy towns along the way. Later we stop at the Starvation Lake State Park for more pictures and to bask in the quickly fading sun. It was so quite you could almost hear your heart beat. Not a single boat on the beautiful blue lake.

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    We continue determined to get to Salt Lake City before nightfall entering the Uinta National Forest, passing the beautiful Strawberry Reservoir and again stopping for pictures on occasion and specially when I saw deer on the side of the hills. It was getting darker and the last hour we rode in the dark missing the beautiful Canyons just before Salt Lake City. I guess I will have to come back.

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    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Strawberry Reservoir </td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Beautiful Strawberry Reservoir</td></tr> </tbody></table><table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">I have a good eye for deer</td></tr> </tbody></table>
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    We get to Salt Lake City and head straight to a motel near the BMW dealer my brother had scheduled in advance for the next day his 6000 mile service. The next morning he would drop the bike for service.
    We covered 490 miles in Colorado and Utah along a beautiful and much less traveled road than Route 70 or Route 80. Lonely at times but beautiful scenery and with some interesting places to stop.

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    #9
  10. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    Day 5, the day the BMW is going in for service. We got up early and had a warm continental breakfast at the motel, I then went back to the room to relax a little while my brother left early to drop the bike at the dealer. The bike had to be cold for the service. There was no point in me following him to the dealer. I took my time to get ready, took a shower, had some more coffee and then packed the bike and left to join my brother at the dealership. We had chosen a motel near the dealer, it only took me a few minutes to get there but to my amazement, when I got there, I was informed my brother had already left with a BMW S1000RR. I could just see the grin on his face, a pure sport bike to play with. I called him on his cell, he happened to be nearby and quickly turned around and returned to the dealer. We asked the dealer guys where we could go and ride some nice roads and were quickly told where to go, just up the road there happened to be a little Canyon full of surprises. We promptly saddled up and left towards the twisties, a big grin on our faces.​

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    Little Cottonwood Canyon road winds through the Canyon up the mountain surrounded by the most beautiful landscape we had seen so far on this trip. The mountains still had snow at their peaks and we passed some amazing and incredible expensive homes along the way. We continued up the mountain and deeper into the Canyon where we find quite a few ski resorts. One of the resorts had a pool on the top floor and the roof was covered with grass, I guess it was their way of being green.

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    We made lots of stops to take pictures, my brother seemed to be waiting for me all the time. I had to take pictures with the phone and camera and video all along.

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    At one stop I decided to climb the rocks and upon nearing the top heard a girl's voice. I announced I was coming up, didn't want to surprise anyone, and was promptly told it was okay to come up. When I got to the top, to my surprise it was a professional photographer and a beautiful model taking pictures. She had a beautiful and very short gold dress. I managed to sneak in a picture.

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    The road curved around lots of rocks and little mountains, it was an amazing road but one you do not want to go off. Every time I had my video camera up to record, I kept thinking about the sharp rocks just on the side of the road. I'm sure my brother would have loved to open up with the BMW S1000RR but he is too afraid of getting a ticket so he followed me around most of the time. The speed limit on the road was only 25mph.

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    We return to the dealer around lunch time but my brother's BMW was not ready yet. I asked for the expected time the bike would be done but since they couldn't give us a time, I decided I would leave alone towards the Salt Flats. I remember when I was a kid my dad telling me about the world speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Bonneville Speedway is an area of the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah, that is marked out for motor sports. It is particularly noted as the venue for numerous land speed records. The salt flats were first used for motor sports in 1912, but didn't become truly popular until the 1930s when Ab Jenkins and Sir Malcolm Campbell competed to set land speed records. I remember my dad telling me about Sir Malcolm Campbell's record-breaking Blue Bird. I had to go there while there was still daylight and I still had to cover 110 plus miles. Little did I know how hot it was going to be down the road along the salt flats.
    I left the dealer and following my GPS instructions got on Interstate 15 South. I traveled about 20 miles before I realize something is wrong with the directions, I quickly pull off at the next exit and stop at a gas station.

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    After looking at a real map I realize I have been going in the wrong direction, somehow my GPS had put in a different town somewhere else in Utah. I had a refreshment, turned around and followed the road back past the dealer again, loosing about an hour doing the 50 miles round trip. I was so upset I hadn't made sure the GPS was right in the first place. I consoled myself by saying it was still early and I had seen the southern suburbs of Slat Lake City. While stopped at the gas station I noted a big "G" on the side of the mountain, interesting I thought, the mountain is calling me by my first initial.

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    I enter Interstate Route 80 West and proceed along the Great Salt Lake marveling at the beauty of the lake and the mountains nearby. The temperature was above 95 F. The road stretches for miles and miles and it was a great opportunity to open up my Concours and clean the carburetors. I love speed and it was time to let loose the 100 plus horses under me. I did most of the 100 miles of Route 80 along the lake and later along the Salt Flats at between 85 and 95mph, occasionally touching 100mph, I had a big grin on my face all the way.

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    I stopped at the visitor center to walk on the salt and take some pictures. Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of Utah, is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere. The Great Salt Lake is endorheic (has no outlet besides evaporation) and has very high salinity, far saltier than sea water. For comparison, the average salinity of the world ocean is 3.5% while the salinity of Great Salt Lake is highly variable and depends on the lake's level; it ranges from 5 to 27%. Great Salt Lake's waters are slightly enriched in potassium and depleted in calcium, very corrosive to aluminum. I was not going to get the salt on my bike. It was nice for them to have a hose with running water to wash the boots of all the corrosive salt.

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    <table class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;">[​IMG]</td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Lots of salt</td></tr> </tbody></table>I then proceeded to the end of the Salt Flats on Route 80, near Wendover, and made a right turn where the entrance to Bonneville Speedway is. You travel about a mile and then make another right and follow it for another 4 miles in a straight as an arrow road until the end which culminates in a circle where the Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway starts. I get there and there's not a soul in sight for dozens of miles. It's an amazing place and to think that just in front of me was where most of the world speed records were broken. I took pictures and took notice of the bullet holes on the sign, I knew I was out west in cowboy territory.

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    In the middle of town there is a line that crosses the main street, one side is Utah and on the other side is Nevada. On the Utah side there's a few motels but on the other side of the line is casinos on both sides of the street. Nevada allows gambling and it was interesting to see the difference in such a small town. I went over to West Wendover to get a picture with Wendover Will, a giant sign typical of the area.

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    I walked around admiring the Red Garter Hotel and Casino and the typical western look of the buildings. A little later my brother showed up and we retreated to Wendover, Utah where we found a small motel with a few Harleys parked in front, turns out the other riders worked for a railway company fixing the controls along the Union Pacific rail lines. We struck up a conversation telling tales of previous trips and where we were headed. Bikers will always be bikers no matter what bike you ride. Later I spent time in the jacuzzi relaxing the tired muscles from the day's long ride. We had done about 300 miles for the day.

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    #10
  11. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    If you make it to Ft. Bragg, check out the Harbor Lite Lodge. It's located above the Noyo Harbor. Ask for Jay, and tell Jay, "Kurt of Santa Cruz sent me," and ask about the "advrider bro-deal."

    If you end up in Crescent City, try to take Hwy 199 while the sun is at your back. The lighting is fantastic and the highway is so much fun.

    Safe riding and enjoy our land and its people.
    #11
  12. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    The trip is already over :cry and yes, I did go through Fort Bragg (stayed overnight) and did go through Crescent city (also stayed overnight) loved it all :D and then we did go up 199 through Crater National Park, loved it too except for the mosquitos while camping there :eek1
    I will continue putting every days blog online as I find the time :wink:
    #12
  13. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap
    #13
  14. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    Day 6 was going to be an epic day, this was the day we would ride across Nevada on Highway 50, aka the Loneliest Road in America. We knew it was going to be hot and long but little did we know how beautiful and exciting the ride was going to be. We found places and people that surprised us and the road lived up to being the "Loneliest Road in America" with stretches of road that ran for miles and miles disappearing into the horizon.

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    I got up early, before 5:30, so I could see the sunrise and get a few photos. I left the room and walked about 300 yards as the motel was located right next to a little rocky mountain and I couldn't see the horizon eastwards towards Salt Lake City. The radiant sun came up with a beautiful red sky above it, sun rays shooting in all directions as if to distribute the heat across the land, a precursor to how hot the day was going to be.

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    I returned to the room, woke my brother up and started packing my stuff, there was no time to loose, we needed to get on the road really early to have time to enjoy the scenery and still make it to South Lake Tahoe before nightfall. We had to cover around 480 miles through mostly desert roads. We had a continental breakfast in the motel and were on the road going south out of Wendover soon thereafter. Wendover is a small town, we made a right out of the motel and immediately crossed over to West Wendover in Nevada where we picked up Route 93 South. Leaving West Wendover behind us we immediately came upon beautiful and striking terrain with dark brown colored hills that offered a stark contrast to the light colored desert and the bluest of skies. We stopped for pictures, I had to convince my brother it would be safe to stop the bikes in the middle of the road, we could see ahead and behind of us for miles and there were no automobiles in sight, and to show how desolate the area was I stood in the middle of the road for the picture. It was still early but the temperature was already high 80's.

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    We would ride to Ely on route 93 Alt South and then pickup Highway 50 West. Ely is exactly 120 miles away from Wendover and in the first 60 miles we encounter absolutely no signs of civilization when all of a sudden in the middle of nowhere we find the Stage Stop Bar Cafe Motel & RV Park. We pull in for a coup of coffee and a quick rest and encounter a friendly old couple running the place. The entire place was decorated with pictures from past hunting trips, a few old Winchesters hanging on the ceiling and trophy deer heads on the walls. We chit-chat for a while, the old lady shows me the hunting pictures of her family, she was really proud of her son and grandson. We ask what kind of business is there in the area, turns out there are a few alfalfa farms nearby and farmers need a place for coffee and supplies. The Stage Stop also happens to be at the junction of Route 93 Alt South and Route 93. We take the obligatory pictures and then move outside to admire the scenery and the beauty of the desolate area. We try to get near their dog but he looked at us with suspicious eyes, wouldn't let us get near him and then retreated to the top of the table where he could see his owners. We saddle up and continue south.

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    The next 60 miles to Ely turned out to be much the same as the first. We travel another 20 miles and run into another bar cafe, this time it's The Pony Express at Schellbourne Station, Nevada then nothing for the next 40 miles. We take a picture and move on. As we get near Ely we pass the sign for the historic Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall. A little history, when the 6-story Hotel Nevada opened in 1929, it was the tallest building in the state and its first fire-proof building. Rooms rented for $1.50 and up, "All with private toilet; 85% with private bath." Prohibition was still in effect when the hotel opened, and from the beginning bootlegged refreshment and gambling were available 24 hours a day. "Bathtub Gin" made from raw alcohol, water, and flavorings and "White Lightening" was conveniently supplied by local individuals.

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    It was now almost three hours since we had left Wendover, we enter Ely and look for a place to have breakfast again, I had the urge for a local pancake. We spot two fellow riders at a small restaurant and immediately pull in. They were on the way out, we chat for a while and then move inside. A fellow rider arrives and I invite him to join us for breakfast, turns out he is going East to Denver to join his wife. We exchange ride stories while I have my pancake and coffee and then take a few pictures on the way out. The place was beautifully decorated with antique furniture. We leave Ely and enter Highway 50 West.

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    Just outside of Ely we encounter the sign announcing Highway 50, "The Loneliest Road in America." We proceed into what turns out to be an even more deserted road until we come upon Eureka, the town is 77 miles from Ely in the East and 71 miles away from Austin in the West, smack in the middle of the Nevada desert. Eureka has a population of about 1100 and attractions include the Eureka Opera House (built in 1880 and restored in 1993) and the Jackson House Hotel (built 1877). The temperature had soared past 95 degrees and we stop for some cold water and to stroll around the little town. The center of town was under heavy construction and I later find out why after I visited the information center located in an old caboose. The world's third-largest and highest grade molybdenum-porphyry deposit has been found just outside Eureka. A proposed open pit molybdenum mine will be in operation for an estimated 45 to 55 years, produce 40 million pounds of molybdenum per year in the first five years of production, and generate nearly 8% of world molybdenum production annually. I chat with the lady in the caboose and then meet my brother at the old Opera House.

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    We leave Eureka and 133 miles later came upon Midlegate, population 18 until recently, now 17 according the the sign posted at the door. Arriving at the local bar, gas station and restaurant of Middlegate is like traveling back in time. I could just picture the cowboys tying their horses to the front of the bar and walking in through the swinging doors. The old folks tending the bar are a friendly couple with a beautiful and very suspicious blue eyed dog for a companion. We go inside to get away from the heat, which was now above 100 and find the entire ceiling covered with dollar bills stapled by visitors and a few guns on the ceiling beams. Rus Stevenson, the owner sees me admiring the guns and pulls down an old colt 45 and suggests I take a picture with it, I promptly comply and then proceed to add a dollar bill with my name to the ceiling. It was hard to find a place to staple the bill, Rus tells me the oldest is from the 1930's. We chat for a while, he had lots of amazing stories to tell, but we still had a long way to go. We step outside and tried to get near the blue eye dog to no avail but a puppy shows up, we play with him and after a while hit the road leaving Middlegate behind us.

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    We ride about 21 miles west when we encounter the Sand Springs Pony Express Station and an amazing sight is upon us in the shape of huge white sand dunes in the middle of the mountains. It's like someone dropped a mountain of pure beach sand in the middle of the mountains to create huge sand dunes. The dunes are open to all sorts of recreational vehicles. We take pictures from far but decide not to go all the way in. We check the temperature and it's 109 degrees but the funny thing is we are not perspiring at all due to the lack of humidity, it's a strange feeling for us coming from New Jersey as anything above 80 will make you perspire because of the high humidity. We don't even remove our riding jackets for the short time we were stopped. We get back on the bikes and continue.

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    We travel the next 27 miles to Fallon and then stop to fill up with gas, I venture into the store where I find a large collection of cigars on display. After buying a few cigars for my dad and myself, I get a liter bottle of water and quickly guzzle the entire bottle, the searing temperature having taken its toll on my body. We rest for a while and then continue west towards Carson City, 62 miles away, on Highway 50 now known as the Californian Emigrant Trail.

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    We pass Carson City, the sun low in the horizon, GPS now leading us towards Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village and enter a very twisty and panoramic piece of Highway 50 in the Eldorado National Forest. We soon see Lake Tahoe, as the road continues high up along the edge of the lake, a deep blue lake nested in between the mountains. Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, its depth is 1,645 feet (501 metres) making it America's second-deepest. The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. We continue past Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village and only stop when we reach the Nevada/California state line. We find a motel and since it was dinner time we quickly unpack the bikes and head off to Lake Tahoe Boulevard looking for a place to feed our hunger. We stop at the corner of Lake Tahoe Boulevard and State Line Avenue which runs along the state line, our side is California and across the street is the Harrah's Casino in Nevada. We continue along Lake Tahoe Boulevard admiring the Marriott Timber Lodge, a beautiful hotel with some very upper scale stores running along its length on the outside. When we see a barbecue place across the street we both look at each other and immediately head towards it, it's the Womack's Texas Style Bar-B-Q, the sign proclaiming it as being voted the best barbecue place in Lake Tahoe. I downed my barbecued meal with a nice cold beer and a very tasteful dessert to top it. We later stroll along the boulevard before retiring back to the motel.

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    We covered 465 miles through the most deserted and hottest roads so far on this trip and we had made it to California, another two days and we will be on the Pacific coast but before hitting the coast we will visit Lake Mono and Yosemite National Park, two of the most beautiful locations in my route.

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    #14
  15. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap
    #15
  16. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    Day 7 - Lake Tahoe to Manteca


    We leave the Lake Tahoe area early in the morning and head south still on Highway 50 through the Eldorado National Forest until we catch route 89 and head south towards Alpine Village. The road snakes through the mountains on a very scenic and picturesque route and we stop various times to admire and take photos. We cross Mount Bullion and continue East on 89, the road at about 6000 feet following the contours of the mountains. The scenery overwhelms the senses with it's beauty, a green valley below offering a beautiful contrast with a deep blue sky above us and with the tips of the mountains still sprinkled with snow, a postcard scene for sure.
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    Towards the end of route 89 we cross Monitor Pass (8314ft) and as we approach our next turn into 395 South, we descend from the top of the mountain through a terrain that appeared to have been devastated by a huge fire storm. The terrain went from forestry to rocky and desolate in a few miles but as we get to the bottom and make a right on 395 and continue south, the valley in front of us is green with beautiful pastures where we see hundreds of cows grazing. We stop at the Shingle Mill area by the river in the Toiyabe National Forest to rest and cool our feet in the cold water. Mom always said, don't go in the water with your shoes, but she didn't come with us. I wasn't afraid to step into the water, besides the riding boots are waterproof and with the temperature in the 90's it felt good stepping on the immersed stones and cool my feet.

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    We continue south passing farms and grazing fields along the way, past the Bridgeport Reservoir and then climb a few more mountains until we crest and see the beautiful Mono Lake in front and below us. We stop at the top of the mountain to take pictures and let our brain digest the beautiful scenery. From the top of the mountain the cars on the road below looked like busy ants going about their business, we would soon join them after a long and twisty descent.


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    We move on down the road towards the edge of Lake Mono, an alkaline and hyper saline lake in Mono County, California. Mono Lake is believed to have formed at least 760,000 years ago, dating back to the Long Valley eruption. Sediments located below the ash layer hint that Mono Lake could be a remnant of a larger and older lake that once covered a large part of Nevada and Utah, making it among the oldest lakes in North America. The hypersalinity and high alkalinity of the lake, means that no fish are native to the lake. The lake is famous for the Mono Lake brine shrimp, Artemia monica, a tiny species of brine shrimp, no bigger than a thumbnail, that are found nowhere else on earth. During the warmer summer months, an estimated 4-6 trillion brine shrimp inhabit the lake. Alkali flies (Ephydra hians) live along the shores of the lake and walk underwater encased in small air bubbles to graze and to lay eggs. By March the lake is "as green as pea soup" with photosynthesizing algae. The whole food chain of the lake is based on the high population of single-celled algae present in the warm shallow waters. I walk around the edge of the lake admiring the formation of the rocks and the sediments where the flies concentrate. I couldn't believe the number of the alkali flies and when I disturbed them they would all take off at the same time buzz around a little and then land almost like a small cloud attracted to the sediments, it was an amazing sight. A huge flock of seagulls made their home on the nearby island. I sat on a rickety wooden bench and admired the scenery for a while.

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    We move on towards Lee Vining stopping for lunch at another barbecue place, this time it's Bodie Mike's Bar-B-Q, "it's as good as gold" is the tag line. The barbecued sandwiches were very tasty, the waitresses friendly, warm weather and a beautiful blue sky, what else could we ask for.

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    We leave Lee Vining and continue towards the entrance of Yosemite National Park. Coming in from the East you go up a steep climb of 3,000 ft (914 m) feet towards Tioga Pass (el. 9,943 ft. / 3,031 m.) in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. State Route 120 runs through it, and serves as the eastern entry point for Yosemite National Park. It is the highest highway pass in California and in the Sierra Nevada. The climb is slow due to a few four door cages in front of us but it gives us time to appreciate the granite formations. ​

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    Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams and Giant Sequoia groves. The park is 1,189 sq mi (3,080 km2) and is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Almost all of the landforms in the Yosemite area are cut from the granitic rock of the Sierra Nevada Batholith. The mountains behind me are not made of dirt and rocks but of a single granite piece that has been pushed up over the years. It's an amazing sight of valleys, canyons and domes all around us.

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    We continued on route 120 until Big Oak Road where we made a left and followed the road to the valley down bellow. We stopped at Bridalveil Fall, at 188 metres (617 ft) high, it is one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley. We walk up to the base of the fall but there's too much spray in the air, my brother took one quick picture of me with my phone and then retreats with his expensive camera back to the safety of the forest nearby. I stayed and took pictures of myself, not the most flattering pictures but I have never been one to care about my best angle. I got my camera and phone wet but it was worth it. The Ahwahneechee tribe believed that Bridalveil Fall was home to a vengeful spirit named Pohono which guarded the entrance to the valley, and that those leaving the valley must not look directly into the waterfall lest they be cursed. I left without looking back just to be sure.​

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    We move on pass El Capitan, a prominent granite cliff that looms over Yosemite Valley, is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the world and was featured in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. As a challenge to himself in 2287, James T. Kirk attempted free climbing El Capitan solo, without any safety equipment; an attempt which nearly resulted in his death. Fortunately Spock saved Kirk's life with the help of his jet boots. I have always loved Star Trek and that scene had been stuck in my mind. It's an impressive vertical rock formation, 3,000 feet (910 m) high located on the north side of Yosemite Valley and is composed almost entirely of El Capitan Granite, a pale, coarse-grained granite emplaced approximately 100 million years ago. I wished I had jet boots to be able to soar over the park and enjoy the beauty from above. Yosemite is truly a treasure in the US National Park system. We pass a few water falls on the way out of the valley and back to route 120 and then proceed west towards the park exit.

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    It was late afternoon when we exit the park and arrive in Groveland just outside the park. We park our bikes and stroll around the little town. We visit the Iron Door Grill, California oldest saloon. The Historic Iron Door Saloon was built in the California Gold Country sometime before 1852. It was first called the "Granite Store", perhaps because the front and back walls are made of solid granite blocks. We admire the heavy metal door but since my brother is not a drinker we moved on, besides we still had to ride a few more hours and alcohol and bikes don't mix. The front of the building has a beautiful mural depicting the Yosemite National Park.

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    We leave Groveland and decide to continue towards Manteca, about 65 miles away, where we would find a motel to spend the night. We left Groveland after sunset with the dark sky quickly engulfing us. We continued on route 120 but were surprised to encounter the first 45 miles completely deserted, not a single town or lights around us. We made good progress, the traffic not that heavy, but always on the look out for deer crossing the road, dusk being one of the most dangerous time to ride a motorcycle. We arrive in Manteca and after a quick search on the GPS and a few calls we find a motel and quickly head there.

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    We rode 320 miles through beautiful mountains passes, valleys, lakes, cute little towns along the way and we visited California's oldest Saloon, one of the best days so far. It had been a long day but also an amazing day of overwhelming beautiful scenery.



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    #16
  17. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    It is a great bike, did 8900 miles round trip and not a single problem :D
    One oil change and 2 new tires in Redmond :wink:
    Started running a little rough somewhere in Oregon but after 3 bottles of Techron it went away, must have picked up bad gas along the way :D
    #17
  18. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    Today is the day we reach the Pacific Coast, the goal of our cross country trip. After leaving New Jersey and covering over 3000 miles (4800Km) we will ride into San Francisco through the Oakland Bay Bridge and have lunch at the Fisherman's Wharf by the water. The ride to San Francisco was only going to be 80 miles, we got up a little later than usual and after having breakfast in the motel we hit the road, the sky cloudy and colder than usual. We followed Highway 205 through Tracy and later Highway 580 West, where we passed literally hundreds of wind turbines up on the hills, through Livermore and Castro Valley before we started going north towards Oakland and the Bay Bridge. The traffic was light until we approached the Oakland Bay Bridge, the early Saturday commuters trying to funnel into the Bay Bridge to get into downtown San Francisco. Forming part of Interstate 80, the bridge consists of two major crossings connecting each shore with Yerba Buena Island, a natural outcropping located mid-bay. We stayed close together, my brother acting as my wingman, trying to navigate around the cage traffic. We entered the bridge and moved onto the upper deck which carries 5 lanes of traffic into San Francisco, the bottom deck used for outbound traffic. We cross the Yerba Buena Island tunnel and enter the second span of the bridge with the city skyline now in front of us.

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    I had pointed my GPS to Coit Tower and after navigating through the difficult downtown hills, always wary of the slippery metal rail tracks from the cable cars, we reach the top of the hill where the tower is located. Coit Tower is a 210-foot (64 m) tower located in the city's Pioneer Park built in 1933 and is a monument to the firefighters of San Francisco. Paid for by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy socialite who loved to chase fires in the early days of the city's history, the tower took five years to construct and it's built with unpainted reinforced concrete. We pay the $4.50 and go up in a very old and slow elevator, guided by an old Chinese lady, as she tells us the history of the tower in a heavily accented and broken English. The tower offers a beautiful three hundred and sixty degree view of the city and you can see the nearby Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridge, the famous and easily recognizable Transamerica Pyramid building and the curves of Lombard Street. The observation deck was packed with tourists and we struggle to get a good place to take a few photos.

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    We descend the tower and move on to the parking lot where we chat with a few Koreans girls on a visit to the USA. They marvel at the self cleaning public restroom nearby and we all tease my brother as he enters the restroom and presses the button to close the door, we could just imagine the system malfunctioning and the door opening while he is sitting on the lavatory.

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    We leave the hill and head to Fisherman's Warf finding a place to park the bikes in front of a park on Columbus Avenue. We had just dismounted our bikes when a disheveled young lady approaches my brother and asks him if she could touch his bike as she marvels at his BMW. My brother agrees to it and she starts running her hands up and down the bike stroking ever so gently but my brother quickly retracts the offer when she starts cleaning his headlight. She then suggest, after noticing all the dead bugs on the windshield, she could wash the bike for a nominal fee to which my brother vehemently refuses as she would most likely scratch his prized bike. She continues to protest as she doesn't understand why we wouldn't want our bikes washed and then ask us if we can help her with money. We explain we on a cross country trip and on a tight budget and don't have any money to spare, she doesn't seem too happy and we quickly retreat out of there, getting back on our bikes and moving on to another location after noticing the group of guys she was hanging with. We didn't feel the bikes would be safe after refusing her offer and not helping her with money. The park seems to be a hangout for the local hobos. We go around the block and find a public garage where we feel the bikes are secure. We leave the bikes and continue walking down a block to Fisherman's Wharf.

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    Fisherman's Wharf is lined with seafood restaurants ranging from casual, open-air clam bars, to formal indoor dining with views of the bay. Whale watching tours and fishing trips leave from the wharf, and sea lions often sleep on the pilings, buoys, and moored boats in the bay. All kinds of music permeate the area as we stroll through Jefferson's Street and walk up the piers. We admire the old ships on Hyde Street Pier and man and woman dressed in period costumes. We continue down the street through the cacophony of sounds from all the tourist mixed with the loud music emanating from the restaurants and local street musicians. We stroll into an alley after hearing beautiful sounds and music emanating from it to find a solo musician playing beautiful music under a flower covered awning. The place is full of tourists, some just walking around while others are savoring the local restaurants.

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    We continue along Jefferson's Street on the way to Pier 41 where we would surely see the famous and noisy seals. We weren't disappointed as hundreds of seals were sun basking in between the piers. We were walking along the pier when out of nowhere I hear someone calling my name, I turn around and it's my friend Chris from the Central Jersey Motorcycle Riders Club. Chris and I did a nice bike trip to Gaspe in Quebec Canada last year. What a surprise, he's visiting San Francisco and we happen to be present at the same time on the same pier. We chat for a while and then split up, it was lunch time and we were starving.

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    We return to Jefferson's Street and start looking for a place to have some of the local seafood that Fisherman's Wharf is so famous for. We find the right place at the Lou's Blues Club. The Blues music coming from upstairs providing the right atmosphere to my Gumbo and Anchor Steam Beer, a local beer from San Francisco. I have never been fond of clams or mussels but I just had to try a local Gumbo and it was really good, so good that I cleaned up the plate with slices of warm bread, I ate it all.

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    We leave the Wharf area and walk towards Lombard Street climbing up the steep hills passing beautiful homes along the way. Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill in which the roadway has eight steep and sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest street in the world. We walk down Lombard Street admiring the beautiful homes and all the flowers adorning the sidewalk.

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    We return to our bikes and head out of San Francisco towards the Golden Gate Bridge. The weather was not cooperating with us though, the Pacific fog having engulfed the top of the bridge preventing us from truly enjoying the views from the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed during the year 1937, and has become one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco. We cross the bridge and pull into the observation area on the north end, the strong wind almost blowing us off the road. We take a few pictures and then decide to continue north taking the route 1 exit towards the Pacific coast.

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    Route 1 winds along towards the coast through Mt. Tamalpais State Park offering beautiful views. We pass a few riders along the way only making a stop at the top of a cliff to take pictures. It was getting late in the day but we decided to stop in Bolinas for a cup of coffee and cake, the temperature having dropped to the mid 50's. I have never had such a huge cup of coffee as I had that day, the cup dwarfing my camera. We sat under a heat lamp eating our slice of cake and enjoying the warm cup of coffee. We later walk along the main street past a few art galleries and make a quick stop to admire the Smiley's Schooner Saloon and Hotel established in 1851.

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    After inquiring about motels in the area we are told to head inland towards Fairfax as nothing was available in Bolinas. We leave town and stop on the edge of route 1, it was already dark. The GPS pointed us forward towards the Bolinas Fairfax road in front of us, the road didn't look like much, we look at each other and decided to continue straight. I look down at my GPS and all I see is a very long squiggly line. How bad could it be? I have done the Dragon, route 129 from NC to TN but this road was a much bigger challenge. It climbs up steep hills with tight switchbacks and steep descents, we did it at night and with fog throughout the route. Bing maps says it's only 16.5 miles and will take 45 minutes to traverse, they are being very optimistic. It took us over an hour and a half to get to Fairfax. We stopped for a few pictures on Alpine Lake and then continued to Fairfax. We call a few motels in town but they were either expensive or full, we look on the GPS and find a hotel in Pinole, about 21 miles away. We leave Fairfax after 9 and after crossing the Richmond San Rafael Bridge arrive at the motel around 9:30PM.

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    Another great day, we had achieved our main goal, crossing the country on a bike and seen the Pacific Ocean. It would still be a couple of days before I could get my feet in the Pacific Ocean but I had enjoyed the first part of the trip, seen lots of beautiful roads, mountains and cities, had crossed a few parks, met interesting people and had good food. Tomorrow we head up along the coast towards Oregon

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    #18
  19. TK-LA

    TK-LA SoCal Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Southern California
    ...ride reports like this really kill my work productivity.
    #19
  20. Goldie05

    Goldie05 Fast George

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Jackson, NJ
    ha ha :D ADVrider is what's killing my work productivity :evil

    So many reports, so little time to read them :wink: by next year I expect to have a real adventure bike (listening Yamaha??) (listening Triumph??):D then I will be able to do some real adventures :wink:
    #20