Grumpy Travels the Americas !!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by davey1212, May 4, 2013.

  1. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    4th May 2013
    Hi all. After reading everyone else's travels here and on Horizons sites I am now just about to start my own.
    Two days ago I left my Tiger 800xc at Heathrow and on 7th May I then fly out to JFK to collect it. From there I will be travelling west, up to Alaska then, if all goes to plan, to Tierra Del Fuega by end of November 2013.
    Like many others, I will be attempting to keep in budget by camping as much as possible and hope to use the "Tent Space" offers if they are still available.
    I will try to document my trip on this forum but am certainly not a high tech guy so will do the best I can.
    [​IMG]

    Bike at James Cargo ready to be crated !!
    #1
  2. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
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    734
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Welcome to the colonies. Remember we do it on the other side of the road here and some of them act like they own both sides of the path.
    #2
  3. Hodgo

    Hodgo TWIN Cylinder ADV

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    Brisbane
    Gday mate,

    Only a couple of weeks to go for me & I'm doing exactly the same thing as you. Land in LAX then head north on the west coast.

    See ya on the road.
    #3
  4. Frog uk

    Frog uk Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Subscribed.

    I'm from the same part of the world as you, and a trip around the colonies is on the bucket list.

    Looking forward to reading this report as it happens, good luck.
    #4
  5. GeoDude

    GeoDude Oblio had a point

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Subscribed and living vicariously.

    Welcome to the States Grumpy! I hope you have a safe, wonderful and memorable trip. If you need a layover, bed or tent space, shower, laundry and/or a stable for your steed while in Central California (Sacramento) on your way through, give me a shout.

    Happy Trails,

    KJ
    #5
  6. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    6th May 2013
    Only one day left before I set off for New York to collect my Tiger and nerves ARE setting in.
    Yesterday, Jayne arranged a surprise "sending off"party which was wonderful as a number of friends & family had travelled quite a way, and on a Bamk Holiday weekend, to wish me bon voyage ! Almost as importantly they brought large volumes of superb food, wine & real ale......the weather also did its best to help as we all ended up a bit pinker than we started.
    To cap it all, Jayne even provided Grumpy Cake just so everyone knew who this "grumpy travelling the Americas" was. Yum !
    Thank you everyone (esp Jayne)for making the day special.
    I pick the bike up from JFK customs on 8th May then head to Naugatuck, Connecticut to stay one night with a distant relation who I last met in 2000 when I was in NY for the marathon. From there I ride to the Adirondaks, then West with the exact route undecided but will avoid Interstates where possible.
    After 23 years with the last company (hence the grumpy) it was time to do something different and this is it. The Pan American had always appealed and with Jaynes help the decision was made. USA, here I come !!!
    Grumpy Cake
    [​IMG]
    A great send off !
    #6
  7. IslandMonkey

    IslandMonkey Been here awhile

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    Jan 17, 2010
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    443
    Location:
    Manchester (ish), England
    In for this one mate. Good luck, enjoy and ride safe.
    #7
  8. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
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    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    Welcome to the the Yousay!
    #8
  9. Minus1

    Minus1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    I'm in....:freakySafe travels
    #9
  10. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
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    885
    Location:
    So Cal
    Have a safe fly and welcome to the U.S of A :D
    As other mention, make sure ride on the right the other right :evil
    Looking forward to your RR:deal
    #10
  11. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
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    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    For some reason I have am having a problem downloading photos from Photobucket to this site but am able to do it on Travelpod ?????? It IS me but I am seeking assistance from a younger person.

    Getting the bike released by Customs at JFK was fairly painless even though they reacted as if this was the first time EVER this had been done. They asked ME what paperwork they had to complete !!!
    The rain had been really heavy all morning but luckily stopped while I took the bike out of the emergency exit of the cargo building and packed the panniers etc. The heavens then opened and the ride north via Manhattan was testing to say the least. Very poor visibility, heavy traffic, large slippery metal plates over potholes and a GPS that couldn't make up its mind made the initial ride very memorable. After some two hours or so the scenery and the traffic greatly improved and Connecticut was a delight despite the rain.
    I wont bore anyone with my stay with my second cousin but I was made VERY welcome by a fantastic family and felt obliged to enjoy the food, wine and beer. The things we must do for international relations !

    Today I left Naugatuck and rode West to NY state the up Highway 22, east of the Adirondacks, passing through the likes of Berlin and a beautiful small town of Hoosick !! The scenery has been stunning so far, the roads almost empty and the weather until the late afternoon great. As I approached Lake Placid I was on the lookout for for a campsite but passed a Ski hostel with wi-fi etc. No brainer for me as the price is good and has great character. Also I get a bunkroom all to myself. Rain is due tomorrow and I have to head west as have 7,500 miles to cover by 27th June.
    I will add the photos asap.
    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. squatch.f22

    squatch.f22 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Subscribed. Looking forward to following you. I'm planning a similar trip in 2015 although I live in Alaska so will start up here. Shoot me a line if you need anything in Anchorage.

    Justin
    #12
  13. screwit

    screwit One more time

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    852
    Location:
    New Mexico (yes it is a State)
    If you make it to southern NM you have a place to stay, safe travels
    #13
  14. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    11th May 2013
    Mileage at New York 9928
    To Naugatuck 97
    To Lake Placid 233
    To Niagra Falls 320 10578
    After a quick toast n coffee breakfast I left the hostel at 9-30 in light rain. This soon changed and the heavens opened making my progress slow-ish as visibility was not great, the roads bendy-ish and the scenery still worth watching. The Adirondacks are very green & the lakes are large so they require water to keep them that way.......well, approx 2/3rds of a lake fell on me in the morning but it is still a beautiful place. The winter olympics were held there many years ago and appear to be ignored by the Brits.
    The roads, as with most so far, were quite deserted and the surface moslty good despite the rain. There was a warning sign with a picture of a deer so a very large bird decided to "walk" right in front of me. Honest ! Not sure what is was but looked vulture-ish and I had to swerve to avoid hitting the damm thing as it could have done sone damage.
    I did not take many photos due to the weather although the scenery was great. The temperature dropped and the wind increased in the afternoon but I put off wearing my heated inner jacket as it was buried at the bottom of the pannier. Eventually I relented, it was great, and 10 mins later the sun came out !!!!! I will remember that one !!
    Travelling west I eventually rode along Lake Ontario. It is called a lake but it must be an ocean ! Beautiful and huge it really is a sight and I cannot o it justice here. I passed through many towns, some with strange names and many were beautiful, very neat and one had the Stars& Stripes outside every house. Memorable.
    I decided to stay in Niagara (still in NY State) as there was another hostel. The road took me through areas of boarded up houses, dumped cars and rough roads; enough to make me not want to stop at red lights. The hostel was full so I found the cheapest hotel (Passport Inn....don't bother !) at approx 20-30 and discovered that you can see the falls from the American side !!! Didn't know that. How dumb am I ??
    There were lit up & spectacular ! Photos don't do them justice but I will take more in the morning.
    Still having a problem loading pis so if you wish to see them, please click on the link to the blog.

    Also, thanks for the offers of encouragement and help. Greatly appreciated.
    #14
  15. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles today 191 841

    Not a good nights sleep as guests in another room somewhere decided to find the TV funny at 03-30 in the morning and room was cold. Also, I forgot to take a photo of what appeared to be a bullet hole in my bed headboard which I would swear was not there when I went to bed !!
    Walked down to the falls to take pics in daylight and have some breakfast hence a late departure at 11-30. It was freezing ie. approx 5 degrees c and VERY windy. Decided to get some miles in and set the GPS to include Interstates as I had this switched off. Hard to describe, but I spent most of the 191 miles fighting with the wind, gripping the handle bars and avoiding being blown into the next lane. There were sudden gusts that caught me by surprise and some scary episodes when going over bridges. Again though, the scenery for the most part was fantastic and I travelled through NY State, Pensylvania and into Ohio where I now reside.
    Rode alongside Lake Erie which is VAST !
    Due to the cold, wind and feeling knackered I decided to find a cheap hotel (as oposed to camping) early and not leave it late lake the previous night. Had to Skype Jane and catch up on the blog.
    Get a smoothie in the McDonalds, use their internet, find the cheapest hotel using Travel Supermarket and book it !!
    This one is cosy n cheap.

    Photos are in Blog below.
    #15
  16. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    848
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    I''d bet it was a turkey. First time I encountered one I thought it was a goose and that it would fly away when I got close to it. Apparently turkeys like playing chicken!
    #16
  17. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles today 280 Total 1121
    Last nights stay in Austinburg just happens to be the home (Ashtabula County) of covered bridges, similar to "The bridges of Madison County" fame. While there I had to have a look at a couple of them and take pics.
    From there the ride was across Ohio on a very cold day (4c when I got up) on very flat, straight open roads. I90, Highway 2, I475,Highway 20. The latter is the straightest road I have ever seen (Look at it on Google Earth) and just carried on into the horizon most of the day. Some sections of road appear to be named after soldiers recently killed in conflict. Not a bad way to remember them. One section was called "Jacky (can remember surname) Miss America highway !!!! It was a very flat road apart from a couple of hills !
    Nearly went into a store called the Happy Hooker, but it was only selling fishing equipment.
    During the late afternoon on th 20, started to see a couple of horse drawn carriages that looked like Aimish ones seen on TV and the movies. Obviously they were...took a couple of pics and even managed to get one group to wave at me. Two carriages were parked in McDonalds car park (see pic) but didn't see them eating a Big Mac.
    Finally got to Elkhart, Indiana where I am falling asleep as I write. The temperature is due to be 26c tomorrow ie. hot, so I will not be whingeing about the cold for a while.
    Pics available on Blog listed below.
    #17
  18. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles today 231.7 Total 1352.7

    Comfortable night in a cheap Red Roof Inn then off to the nearest motorcycle shop the get chain lube & engine oil. Got talking to a couple of guys and, well that took a while. Bike talk is very important.
    The weather was supposed to be warmer today and from a cool start it soon became quite sweltering. For most of the day it was good while I was moving but even that became uncomfortable. Jacket was ok as I bought it for the vents but the trousers were getting sticky. Sound good, does it not ? I guessed I would have to get mest trousers for the hotter states & countries so I will visit a Honda shop a few miles away in the morning.
    Not many pics today as I needed to get some miles on the clock and the roads were long, straigt n flat again. It is not boring as it is all new to me and you have to watch the 18 wheelers as I can see them coming in my mirrors before they overtake me at approx 75 mph. Don't get that at home.
    I gained an hour (now 6 hours behind the UK) so I guess this is Central time. Passed the place where Ronald Regan was born but otherwise not so interesting 'til I pulled off after seeing a "Camping" sign. Didn't know what to expect but this place place is beautiful, clean $22 for the night, middle of nowhere & I am sitting at a table outside my tent on the internet !! How cool is that ? (the kids would say).
    The owners, who thought I was CANADIAN ??????? are really friendly, the bloke wants to come with me and told me the best place to see the river M_I_SS_I-SS-I-PPI which is just up the road. Also the place to get the best American breakfast ! Hope I can report that tomorrow or the next day.
    I hope everyone is enjoying work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Again, having a problem placing pics on ADV but they are on the Blog below.
    #18
  19. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    848
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Dave, do you have the photos uploaded to a photo site like SmugMug, Picasa, or photobucket? If so it is quite easy to post to the forum. While you are writing your post, you just click the little button on the tool bar with the little mountain on it. Then paste the url of the photo which you get from the photo sharing site.
    You can also get the url from travelpod. Right click on the image and "copy image location".

    Like this!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. wiesdonline

    wiesdonline n00b

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Keep the photos coming!

    I was thinking of road tripping the USA in a van... but now a split trip of some van and some bike travel seems even better!
    #20