NYC to San Francisco. (and back)

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Zack Pennetta, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Zack Pennetta

    Zack Pennetta Adventurer

    Joined:
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    UPDATE! NEW PHOTOS BELOW
    So I got around to developing my rolls of film from my trip only to have 3 of them ruined by the photo lab. I was angry, but at least I was able to get some of my photos from the trip developed.

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    Where do I even begin. So back in March I bought a brand new Triumph Bonneville T100 as my second bike. I've only been riding motorcycles for about two years and always dreamed of driving across the country. Since I would be graduating college next year I thought now would be best to go on my journey this summer since it would be the only time I would be able to take this much time off. I bought a Renntec luggage rack, windshield and a large army duffel bag backpack for the trip. My girlfriend rode on the back with me the whole time.


    This is what our route looked like on the way there. We left July 1st, planning to get back on August 1st. We decided to stretch the trip out an extra week and see a few more places.
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    This is the right before we left from my parent house in NJ.
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    This is from our first night. We camped out at Moshannon State Forest In Pennsylvania. Its a really nice place.
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    Most of the trip we camped, except for some nights where we stayed in a Motel 6. Here we camped in a field behind a school in Ohio.
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    Taking a break/nap
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    Got caught in the rain just getting into Chicago
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    We stayed at a nice little hostel in Wicker Park. It was extremely nice and cleaner then a lot of motel I've stayed at.

    This was right when we arrived in Des Moines, Iowa. There was a huge music festival going on when we were there.
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    By this time I actually realized "oh shit, I'm actually riding across America." It felt really good to be out of NYC and heading toward placed that were much less crowded and cheaper.

    Abandoned theme park in Indiana.
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    We camped at a place called Pokagon State Park in Indiana. It was a bit pricey for a campsite, but it was a really nice place and had showers. We went to a little restaurant about 2 miles away for a seafood dinner. I wouldnt mind going back to Indiana, I really enjoyed it.
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    My favorite part of the trip was riding through Grand Teton National Park. It was like nothing I've ever seen before. We stopped there and took a lot of pictures/video.
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    My girlfriend is from Idaho and her parents/family live there so we stayed with them for a few days. I also met her parents for the first time which was really nice. It was a fun way to meet them. (I'm driving a motorcycle across the country with your daughter, nice to meet you." haha)
    This is right when we arrived at her parents house. July 12th.
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    We relaxed there for a few days and I met her family, friends and showed me around Idaho. After a few days we were off to San Francisco to visit her brother and my best friend who just moved to Sacramento.
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    We spent two night in San Francisco at her brothers house, We went out to a really nice Thai dinner the first night in Walnut Creek and then heading into the city for some drinks. The next day we hung around the city where we did some shopping and walking up a lot of hills.

    The next morning we woke up and drove to Sacramento to visit my friend Matt. We took his car to spend the day in Old Sacramento. Unfortunately I have 4 rolls of film I havent developed so I dont have much pictures from San Francisco right now.

    Here are a few photos from the rest of the trip and return back home.

    Cool diner outside of Denver.
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    One of my favorite diners.
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    Stopped in Utah just outside Salt Lake City to get my 6,000 service.
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    Lake Tahoe
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    Kansas is a long and hot state.
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    Buford, Wyoming!
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    Outside of one of the Motel 6 we stayed at
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    Really good German food in Kentucky!
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    Finally back home! We hit a large rainstorm about 50 miles away from my parents house that delayed us a few hours.
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    Now I am back home to my tiny apartment in NYC wishing I was still seeing more of the country. I honestly had the best time of my life on this trip and I am so thankful that we made it back safe. The United States isreally beautiful and I suggest everyone should try and plan a trip like this. There is so much to see and so many people to talk to.
    #1
  2. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    it's great that you could do that at your young age. most of us only dream about it until we get too old to go. too funny..i kept thinking this was a joke. all the pics looked old, like from a kodak 30 years a go. but the cars were new! I very much enjoyed your ride report!
    #2
  3. Morris4711

    Morris4711 n00b

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    Pretty cool ride report! Love your pics!
    #3
  4. jlmoulto

    jlmoulto Adventurer

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    Including the helmets! Great report for sure and excellent pictures.
    #4
  5. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    What a great, classic, American bike trip! Reminds me of my first trip across the USA on my old Kawasaki 700. Solo, camping with some motels mixed in, no real route plan other than a destination and rough time frame, no decent rain gear, and certainly no GPS or cell phone. Hit a bunch of national parks and other bits of Americana along the way. Fun stuff!
    #5
  6. Zack Pennetta

    Zack Pennetta Adventurer

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    Thanks everyone, I had a really great time. I'm actually planning a much shorter trip down to New Orleans in the spring. I actually met a few riders from ADV Rider when I was in Nebraska I believe. I think they were from Vermont/Maine and they left a few stickers on my bike! If you are reading this I hope you had a fun trip!
    #6
  7. zadok

    zadok Been here awhile

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    Well done. Did you go for the 'old' look pics deliberately? Many of them look like they were taken in the 60's.:D
    #7
  8. T

    T --------------

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    Very cool with a "Zen-like" feel to it......keep it up.
    #8
  9. skyguy

    skyguy Been here awhile

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    Looks like an Instagram overload. It's okay in small doses, but I'd rather see the unaltered pictures. A generational thing, I guess...

    Nice report though!
    #9
  10. chris93372

    chris93372 Adventurer

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    Glad that you got a chance to do it! Great job!
    #10
  11. Zack Pennetta

    Zack Pennetta Adventurer

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    You are correct with the Instagram overload haha! I brought along my 35mm camera as well and am still waiting to get those developed since I havent had the time. I am working on my thesis film.


    http://www.indiegogo.com/forestfilm?a=1178988


    If anyone could help donate for my film I'd really appreciate it!
    #11
  12. uzbek

    uzbek dreamer

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    nice trip!
    how long did it take you to cross the country? did you go back the same way?
    #12
  13. Nut Clutch

    Nut Clutch was Steve Lavigne

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    A fuel injected Bonneville and Instagram go together like skinny jeans and a v neck white undershirt.

    Looks like a fun trip!
    #13
  14. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Good rr! Always nice to see some folks on an adventure doing it in a way that's accessible to most everyone. That is, you didn't feel you had to have a BMW or KTM DS bike, with all top-end hardcases, riding suits, etc etc -- your report reminds us that there are viable options that don't involve getting every piece of the best gear. Sometimes it's more important to go with what you can put together, now.

    As for pics, my own taste is for straight photography, but I realize that with digital triumphalism comes the cultural norm that there is no "straight photography" any more....it is all just graphic arts. But then I"m a hardcore case anyway, since I've argued that Ansel Adams was really a graphic artist and not a photographer. Your pics were an interesting variation on the usual sort we see in ride reports. They took me back to an earlier time, looking at friends' photo albums and getting depressed because the quality was so horrendous and how glad I was to be shooting slide film and knowing how to use a meter correctly. I don't mean this as a personal attack on your ability as a photographer -- I'm just laying out my emotional/memorial response to your work. As an artist, you totally succeeded! :clap
    #14
  15. Zack Pennetta

    Zack Pennetta Adventurer

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    Nothing wrong with Instagram in my opinion. I work with cameras as my profession and I think its a great program, especially when you're on the go like this. Like I said I had my 35mm camera with me that is still waiting to be developed as well as my dslr photos and videos. So I'll post them eventually.

    The whole trip lasted 40 days. I cut a short montage from clips of my trip. It was an awesome experience.

    https://vimeo.com/50118467

    -Zack
    #15
  16. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Love it. :clap:clap:clap Don't ever quit. America the Beautiful has much to see and explore. I wish I would of started with the travel bug about 20 years earlier.
    #16
  17. TooTallRacing

    TooTallRacing Been here awhile

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    Marry your girlfriend now! Trust me, there are not a lot of them out there that look like that and are willing to ride across country on the back of a bike.
    Great trip on a beautiful bike.
    #17
  18. Zack Pennetta

    Zack Pennetta Adventurer

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    Thanks for the kind words!
    I actually proposed to her on this trip! :D

    We have another trip we're planning in the spring to New Orleans. Hopefully everything works out with that!

    Zack
    #18
  19. Zack Pennetta

    Zack Pennetta Adventurer

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    New photos added
    #19
  20. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    I'm in Ky. , I ride and eat ! Where do I find this "really good German food ' ?
    Also , link to new pics ?
    Kenneth
    #20