Just Retired And Planning Trip please help

Discussion in 'Americas' started by GSCowboy, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. GSCowboy

    GSCowboy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    55
    I am retiring and my last day is 1/16/09. I am 52 years old and have been blessed in many more ways than I deserve. I have a 06 1200GS and have the desire to spend at least about 6 weeks traveling the US. I live in central Texas. I will plan to start in late spring to afford the best weather. I want to see the most beautiful places in the country. I have take many 3 to 7 day trips and have experienced a few 1000+ mile days so I have some knowledge of seat time and fatigue.

    Please help with ideas of route to take starting from central Texas and going west first.
    #1
  2. Crusier Dude

    Crusier Dude pavement inspecter

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Southern Idaho
    Hello Cowboy,

    I am 55 and FORCED into early retirement. Not a bad thing but trying to get used to it. (hahahaha)

    I live in Boise Idaho and we have allot of great riding and sight seeing any direction out of Boise.

    Why don't you stay in touch as see if you make it this way. I ride a 2005 Suzuki V Strom as a dual sport and a Yamaha Stratoliner for a road bike.

    PM me if and when you think you might get out west. There is another guy from Texas that I have chatted with that is coming out West this summer. He isn't sure if he is coming all the way to Boise but I let him know he has a room and shower and I cook a pretty good BBQ meal. Also have a garage to keep the bikes in and most tools. Live really close to the BMW and KTM dealer here in Boise.

    Hope to see you out this way if your plans work out.

    Can't post any pictures now but I have posted several of both my bikes in the past when the server would allow it.

    Les in Boise.
    #2
  3. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Antonio
    Congratulations on your retirement :thumb

    That voice you hear in your head is your 1200GS whispering in your ear - she wants you to take her to Mexico.

    Trust me.

    Bob :jose
    #3
  4. erider

    erider erider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    479
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Dear Cowboy -

    I'm 53. Just checked my retirement porfolio and I'm right on track to retire when I'm 97. I've only got another 44 model years to go. If you're looking for a 'good weather' spot to travel please come to Cleveland, OH. It's beautiful this time of year. The snow is up to the ass of a clown on stilts, and the temp is hovering around -0-. Please get here fast and leave room for me on the back of the GS.

    Signed -

    'I need a bailout in Ohio'
    #4
  5. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    From Central Texas I would recommend this route. Big Bend,Taos, Durango,Ouray,Telluride,Gateway,Moab,Grand Teton,Yellowstone,Glacier,Northern Idaho, anywhere in western Colorado and back home. Then ride to Alaska next time for a real ride. Done all of these and more, and will do them all again.
    #5
  6. GSCowboy

    GSCowboy Adventurer

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    Oddometer:
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    Thanks, looks like a good plan. I have a cousin who lives in Yellowstone. He is the Dam Keeper at one of the lakes and also have friends 100 miles west of Ancorage. The Alaska trip is out there for me someday for sure.
    #6
  7. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    What kind of retirement is that? You should have six months, not six weeks.

    What kind of "beauty" are you looking for? There are amazing wide open spaces in the west. Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Coast of California, Salt Flats of Utah, Rockies.

    In the east, you have the Appalachians, which aren't so high, but are much greener. The cities and architecture in the east is more interesting.

    Really, why the limitation on time? I think you'll be surprised how quickly six weeks pass. That, or after a week you'll be ready to go back home.

    Jamie
    #7
  8. Cuxo

    Cuxo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Toronto,Canada
    Hello GSCowboy,

    I'm riding from Toronto, Canada to Yucatan, Mexico in May so you are more than welcome to join me.

    Mario
    #8
  9. jshuck

    jshuck Iron Butt #31

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    402
    Location:
    been there
    I would head east to Birmingham to the Barber Museum. The best motorcycle museum in ther World. There is camping nearby. The best event at the Barber is the Vintage Festival in October. Don't forget the BMWMOA in July in Tenn. You will not regret it.
    #9
  10. Cornbread82

    Cornbread82 Sir Crash A Lot!

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    Location:
    Georgia
    +1 on Barber, if you are into bikes it is a must see, and you are spot on about the vintage festival, some great races that weekend.
    #10
  11. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Congradulations on your retirement. I am originally from El-Paso and now reside in NC, however been living on the East Coast ever since. I would definitely agree with FOTOtex's route.

    From where you are go the way to BIG BEND...then follow FOTOtex's.
    By the way I am also riding a 2005 1200 GS. Plan on heading to Alaska schlepping a sidecar....

    Enjoy, take your time...eat locally...camp occassionally...take pictures...fish...:clap
    #11
  12. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Congrats on your retirement! :clap You have the right idea as to taking a great trip just after retirement. FWIW, I am in Hamilton MT in the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains so if you get this way please let me know.
    Having spent time in the Dallas-Ft Worth area, a trip out and up here could manifest itself in many ways with lots of beautiful country and sights along the way. I always enjoyed the route along Hwy 287 as a pavement run during summer months. Your imagination can run wild if you choose dirt. So many roads and trails.... A nice route west would be hwy 90 west toward Langtry TX and on thru to Marfa, alpine, and on to El Paso. (The Big Bend area is always enjoyable , altho Marfa does occasionally get snow.)
    From there to Las Cruces up to Socorro turning West on Hwy 60. At Eager, NM, you will need to make a decision as to weather conditions to the north and west. I mention this as Route 66 is still a very cool route into Calif. Otherwise I would cover the routes along the border, Lordsburg NM on into AZ toward Tucson- Yuma. The border area will be absent of snow so travel will always be available.
    Anyway, travel into the areas here won't be pleasant until at least April or May due to the uncertainty of weather. There will be times of good and bad from here on so it is a crap shoot with the luck of the draw being in charge. I would try to stay south along the border areas for the initial crossing and then take a northward path in Calif along the PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy, or Hwy 101). In Ore. or Washington you can head East and catch ID, MT, WY, and on during the return.
    Mountain areas on dirt are pretty much out of the question for travel during winter in Montana. I am hoping for an early spring and summer here as last year it was way too short.
    Best of luck in your endeavors,

    TC:D
    #12
  13. bumblebmw

    bumblebmw n00b

    Joined:
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    If you come to Arizona take time to ride Highway 191 in the Eastern part of the state. One of the best motorcycle rides in the U.S. I have also been to the Barber Museum in Birmingham. Don't miss it !
    #13
  14. Thriller5

    Thriller5 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mammoth, CA
    Congrats on the retirement...make sure you trek through the Rockies (season specific)...if your looking for scenery stay more towards the west. I suggest going all the way down the California coast no matter what. Make a stop about an hour outside of San Diego in Temecula and go wine tasting..amazing and just right for the type of ambiance you will be looking for. Take tons of video and pics...it will make the trip that much more enjoyable especially later when you wanna watch old videos. Buy a helmet video camcorder. VholdR makes a nice one for like $299, which is better than lugging around a bunch of stuff. I would venture to the east coast in the beginning of the summer late spring and leave the summer months for the west coast. Now that your retired, think about where you have always wanted to go and do it. Nothing better than picking up and just going.

    Have fun
    #14
  15. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    Broken Arrow, Ok
    Just ride man, just ride.

    I never have had a bad day on the back of the two wheeled machine seeing what is over the next hill or around the next corner.

    I find something new every road I take and never take the same road twice. To many dirt roads out there to travel the same way.

    Congrats:freaky :freaky :freaky
    #15
  16. Knobbie

    Knobbie Ex Teams

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    Location:
    Out standing in the Field
    Congratulations on the retirement and a successful career. You sound like an experienced rider and like you've been on a few trips, so your question seems curious to me. I'm not sure if this is any help, but I think you may be subtly realizing that your definition and purpose around riding is changing. I've definitely been there so here goes,...

    FWIW, now that you're in retirement you may need to break your cherry,...again. I think you first have to ask yourself what you're interested in. Cities & pavement or country & backroads, motels or tent, relaxation or cramming as much in as possible, crowds or solitude, satellite TV or campfires. Then factor in any hobbies you have, Music, Civil War/Battlefield, National Parks, Steinbeck, Oceans, Mountains, Famous Motorcycle Hangouts, etc. Heck, even these categories are pretty general, for example you could orient several weeks around Blues Music alone. Then I'd gauge my appetite for adventure,... US, Canada, or Mexico if you stay on this continent for your first time.

    To me, the beauty of theme'ing a ride means you can go back a place several times and its new each time because you see it through different eyes, different experiences. Otherwise its easy to generalize and say,...Well I've Been There Done That. I hear that phrase countless times,... about everything from NYC to Mexico, and when you ask them you find they visited the place for 2 days 15 years ago.

    Even within the US there's plenty of Off The Beaten Path stuff you can see and do. Set a theme, agree on a loose plan, and Go. My friends and I call it Catching the Drift when we just let the ride take over. And the Drift is like one of those pictures in the early 90's that you had to relax and stare at to see the picture inside. You can't reach the Drift, it has to reach you.

    Good luck and Ride Safe.
    #16
  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
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    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    don't miss!

    141 dolores canyon, CO
    -one of the best sport touring roads in the country-
    & 550 million dollar hiway, CO

    beartooth hiway, WY & MT

    rt 12, UT
    #17
  18. HorizonSeekr

    HorizonSeekr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
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    Location:
    Washington State
    You should make a route of all 49 states, then write a book about it. At the very least you can probably write off the trip on your taxes as a business expense (for your writer business!)
    #18
  19. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

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    Strongsville, OH
    One of the finest, most eloquently profound posts I've ever read. Well said !
    #19
  20. GSCowboy

    GSCowboy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    I wish I could quote every response, and say thank you!

    my OP was forever ago. I havnt made the trip YET! Things with family, college kids, other interests etc and a rekindled interest in Team Roping have carved my motorcycle piece of the pie much thinner. I have however put 500 miles on the gs in the last few days locally and loving the weather and the trip visions are happening again
    #20