SuperTour 1: 18 U.S. States, 7,397 Miles, in 15 Days.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LoneTraveler, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    I've been a motorcycle junkie for the past 5 years. Started out on a '93 EX-500 and promptly rode it 12k miles between October '08 and May '09. I was hooked on long-distance riding, but needed a bigger and better bike to do it.

    So I bought a 2000 Concours. Rode that for 3.5 years and 54k miles. That bike saw most of the eastern half of the U.S., but I wanted something bigger, and more powerful (and, admittedly, newer and more reliable.) My dream was to ride from New Jersey to California and back, with stops at Mt. Rushmore, the Tetons, Yellowstone, and the California Coast. The 2013 COG National was also in Idaho Falls, ID this year, so I lumped both trips into one big tour, a SuperTour, as I call them. So, in February of 2013, I bought this:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702273718/" title="IMG_0495 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2846/9702273718_7f8d24011d.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0495"></a>

    A leftover 2012 Concours 14, with 1 mile on the odometer. Between February 28th and August 22nd of this year, I rode this bike 7,943 miles, most of which were test miles to figure out what, if any changes, I would need to make before I left on the SuperTour. I added bar risers, a taller windscreen, a Sargent saddle, and a Givi trunk. It's a fantastic bike for eating up tons of miles, and is equally at home on the interstate, or carving canyons.

    So, enough about the bike, for now. On with the ride report. (Feel free to click on any of the image links. I'm just showing highlights here, the full gallery is on my Flickr page.)

    I left at 5:55am on Friday, August 23, from my home in New Jersey. Headed up Rt 206 to I-80, and across Pennsylvania. Quick pic of the highway from the rest area. Northern Pennsylvania is quite beautiful, and not at all as densely populated as the eastern part of the state:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702273410/" title="IMG_0498 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2844/9702273410_e4f524714d.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0498"></a>

    First night's stop was at a friend's house in North Barrington, IL, 857 miles away. We work together, and have been friends for a few years, so he offered to let me stay at his house for the night. Along the way, I met up with another friend and co-worker, Steve, in Indiana, who was kind enough to buy me dinner at Denny's. As I was getting ready to leave, he snapped this pic of me:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699036543/" title="Dinner stop in Lake Station, IN by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7424/9699036543_276853aee3.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Dinner stop in Lake Station, IN"></a>

    After dinner, I had miles to burn, so I hit the road and took 80 across Illinois, up the Chicago Skyway (an absolutely breathtaking experience at night. This is one of the best lead-ups to a major city I have ever seen.) I wanted to stop and take pics, but there was no really safe place to do so with all the traffic. Will have to save that for another trip, I suppose.

    Once in Illinois, I was treated to a hot shower and a very comfortable bed at my friend Tony's house. He's a really awesome guy, and a lot of fun to work with. He's also quite the gardener, and this is what he's been working on for the past few years:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699036307/" title="IMG_0500 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5344/9699036307_b987b074bd.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0500"></a>

    Ending mileage for the first day:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702272680/" title="IMG_0504 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5501/9702272680_841af19c94.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0504"></a>

    Will split this up across multiple posts. Day two coming shortly.
    #1
  2. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,554
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Looks to be an interesting ride. Hope you get to slow down and enjoy the scenery. 900 miles in a day don't let you see much but highway. ;-( .
    #2
  3. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,993
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    so like a great ride looking forward to reading on. Thanks in advance
    for sharing with us
    #3
  4. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day two: North Barrington, IL to Wall, SD - 825 miles

    The second day of the SuperTour got off to a later start than the first, with me leaving Tony's house around 8am on Saturday, 8/24. I headed north through southern Wisconsin, and then on into Minnesota. I got lost at one point and wound up riding some very rough roads through cornfields. I was pressed for time and desperate to use a bathroom, so no pics of that experience (hey, you seen one cornfield, you seen 'em all...)

    A few weeks prior, and old friend had mentioned he would be in Albert Lea, MN, and that we should have lunch since I would be passing by, on I-90. Sure, I said, let's do it, so we had awesome Chinese food at the China Restaurant there. While I was waiting for him to arrive, I snapped a pic of the lake across the street. Nice town, and an area I'd like to revisit at some point:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699034701/" title="IMG_0510 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7429/9699034701_6854a6f36c.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0510"></a>

    Fuel economy thus far was averaging about 45mpg, with an average speed (according to my GPS) of 67mph, inclusive of downtime for stops. So far, so good. Then I hit southern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. The stretch of I-90 that runs past Albert Lea to about Chamberlain was quite boring. At this point, it had started to get dark, and I did get to stop at one point, and was amazed at just how many stars one could see at night there. Light pollution on the east coast is quite bad, to the extent that only the brightest stars are visible here anymore. Not so in South Dakota.

    825 miles from where I started, I checked into the Motel 6 in Wall, SD, around 10:45pm local time. I was exhausted, and mildly amused to discover that my motorcycle, in addition to being a fabulous form of transportation and entertainment, also makes quite the insecticide machine:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699034409/" title="IMG_0511 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7338/9699034409_c8dabf8e53_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0511"></a>

    It's at this point that I joined up with my friends Marc, Chris, and Traci. We would ride together the rest of the way out to Idaho Falls for the 2013 COG National rally, the "Rocky Mountain Rendezvous."
    #4
  5. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day three Part 1 - Wall, SD to Powell, WY - 415 miles.

    Day three saw breakfast at the famous Wall Drug, which had a very nice breakfast buffet and a pretty awesome downtown area. Below are some pics from the town:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699034151/" title="IMG_0512 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5455/9699034151_f9f51a112e_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0512"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702270502/" title="IMG_0513 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3781/9702270502_092f9bf3fe_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0513"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702270304/" title="IMG_0514 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5543/9702270304_d3c301f560_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0514"></a>

    I really liked this sign:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702270006/" title="IMG_0515 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3699/9702270006_3cf05b9b99_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0515"></a>

    Inside the dining room. One cool feature was that the walls were covered with wooden plaques, with all the different cattle branding logos in the West:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707538659/" title="P8250003 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5503/9707538659_d5e555a6a4_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250003"></a>

    After breakfast, we decided to go visit the Badlands National Park, which is not too far back east on I-90 from Wall. It's well worth the trip to go see the amazing rock formations out there:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710780676/" title="P8250006 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5441/9710780676_f589665116_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250006"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707543891/" title="P8250009 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5477/9707543891_6a4fd5a0a2_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250009"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710786242/" title="P8250012 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/9710786242_ec8f7cc534_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250012"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707547013/" title="P8250013 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7427/9707547013_fdf23a6f74_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250013"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710787986/" title="P8250014 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7282/9710787986_05a7cbd20b_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250014"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707549259/" title="P8250015 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2852/9707549259_6a6dfa66a3_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250015"></a>

    The Crew - Chris and Traci's bike in front, mine in the middle, and Marc at the back:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710790198/" title="P8250016 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3794/9710790198_208f5dd578_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250016"></a>

    Next installment will be Mt Rushmore!
    #5
  6. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day three Part 2 - Wall, SD to Powell, WY - 415 miles. Mt. Rushmore

    After the Badlands, we rode on down to the gorgeous Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, SD. This was a huge thing for me, as growing up, my grandfather always talked about how he wanted to see it someday. He unfortunately never lived to see the place, so part of this was in his memory, and also because I genuinely wanted to see this immense monument.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710794714/" title="P8250020 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2844/9710794714_abbc0481a8_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250020"></a>

    Here's the pretty standard zoomed-in shot:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707566135/" title="P8250032 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3702/9707566135_7592803d47_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250032"></a>

    And to give a sense of scale, here it is zoomed out:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707577091/" title="P8250036 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3784/9707577091_290e942ebc_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250036"></a>

    I was really taken aback by how beautiful the monument was. The very thought that men and women carved this out with their hands, using fairly simple tools, just blew me away. It speaks volumes as to how we, as a culture, are dedicated to preserving our history. Truly, awe-inspiringly impressive.

    After Mt. Rushmore, we rode back up to I-90, into Wyoming. This was a doubly special time for me, as this was the furthest from home I'd ridden thus far, and also, my bike would hit 10,000 miles just outside of Sheridan, WY. The beauty of this place, along with the realisation that my Big Dream was finally coming true, literally brought me to my knees. I had never cried tears of joy, or astonishment before, at anything so beautiful. I'm 29 years old, and for the first time in my life, I felt as if I had seen true beauty. The emotions kept flowing for hours afterwards. I felt like I had been reborn, no longer the geeky guy who always gave up on his dreams. I was DOING IT.

    This is what made me feel so small, so insignificant, yet so large and incredibly alive all at the same time:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710823752/" title="P8250042 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5345/9710823752_83bfd77306_z.jpg" width="640" height="444" alt="P8250042"></a>

    And this:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707584775/" title="P8250043 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3709/9707584775_69185d3425_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250043"></a>

    And finally, this, a scene literally taken from a dream I've been having for 5 years. It's like I knew this whole time, that this moment would come true:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710825856/" title="P8250044 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3789/9710825856_7b87eac9d9_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250044"></a>

    10,000 miles in just a few days under 6 months, man do I love this bike:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707581811/" title="P8250040 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3777/9707581811_03529b20f4_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8250040"></a>

    Day 4 is coming up next.
    #6
  7. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day four Part 1 - Powell, WY to Idaho Falls, ID. 278 Miles.

    Day four had us start off in Powell, WY. We'd decided to stop for the night as the deer were out in droves, and it didn't make sense to keep pushing onward when there were literally bucks and does every 30' or so, along the road.

    Super 8 in Powell was nice enough, if a bit pricey. Traci and I went foraging for food, and the 18 year old "manager" at the McDonald's refused to serve us food because we showed up on foot, instead of in a car. We decided to get some hoagies from the Maverick across the street from the hotel, which were decent enough.

    We also met a nice fellow who works as a combine harvester. He's from Oklahoma, but travels all over the west with his combine, harvesting grain, corn, and so on.

    We took the North Fork Highway directly from Powell to the gate at Yellowstone. Along the way, we stopped for fuel, and I was able to snap a few pics of the hills around there:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699031425/" title="IMG_0524 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/9699031425_64e22d370b_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0524"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702267804/" title="IMG_0525 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7358/9702267804_046daf6b2e_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0525"></a>

    This is an interesting looking, well, I dunno what it is, but it was cool!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707592351/" title="P8260050 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3694/9707592351_53c0ec551c_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8260050"></a>

    We rode on some more, the curves and twisties getting better with each mile. We were on somewhat of a schedule, so we tried to avoid making too many stops. Below are some highlights of after we entered Yellowstone.

    Bison:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702267128/" title="IMG_0528 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2875/9702267128_f893e72ec2_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0528"></a>

    Beautiful lake:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702266786/" title="IMG_0530 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7307/9702266786_5b4394d3c5_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0530"></a>

    Valley panorama, if you look closely, you can see a herd of Bison below:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699029357/" title="Valley Panorama by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5474/9699029357_6d3ce1ef69_z.jpg" width="640" height="234" alt="Valley Panorama"></a>

    This spot also got me a little emotional. There's nothing in New Jersey to compare this to. It was like seeing a world before people. Really quite stunning:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702264836/" title="IMG_0538 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2864/9702264836_44a962ca27_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0538"></a>

    Geyser. It smelled really bad, but was cool nonetheless!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702264418/" title="IMG_0540 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5490/9702264418_bc1e64b841_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0540"></a>

    Mountains and the access road:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702263340/" title="IMG_0543 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3678/9702263340_986bf9ab0b_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0543"></a>

    Me and Marc up ahead, Traci took a lot of on the road pictures for me:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710833204/" title="P8260051 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7350/9710833204_b9990f5cb3_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8260051"></a>

    I like how this turned out, man, and nature's creations. One is so small, the other, so incredibly large:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707611797/" title="P8260065 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2835/9707611797_e008053cb5_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8260065"></a>

    Here's a bison taking a shit:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707618515/" title="P8260072 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7329/9707618515_96a8c74620_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8260072"></a>

    So beautiful:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710876660/" title="P8260092 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5464/9710876660_23ea5ae0a0_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8260092"></a>

    Bison chilling out:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707645345/" title="P8260099 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5547/9707645345_38bb6b806c_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8260099"></a>

    Beautiful river valley:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707654403/" title="P8260107 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3736/9707654403_1544dcedf3_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8260107"></a>

    More to come in part 2!
    #7
  8. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day four, part 2. Powell, WY to Idaho Falls, ID. 285 miles.

    Continuing on in Yellowstone, we had a really awesome time riding the access road. Quite a nice set of curves out there, and the surface was excellent for the most part.

    Here's a money shot of my bike. I like how this turned out:
    [​IMG]

    Traci took this while riding pillion. She's quite the motophotographer!
    [​IMG]

    Beautiful forest:
    [​IMG]

    Beautiful Elk (thanks to Marine By Choice for the clarification.) We don't have these where I live!
    [​IMG]

    Almost there! Interesting fact, as I understand it, about the Continental divide, is that all rivers on one side flow to the Atlantic ocean, and all rivers on the other side flow to the Pacific. (At least, that's what Stephen Fry said, in this very same spot.)
    [​IMG]

    We arrived at the hotel mid afternoon, checked in, and went over to hang out at the free BBQ they were having at a campground down the road. I had a few beers, so didn't get many pictures. It was a fun time, with good food and I even got some good information about the roads heading west after the National.

    2013 COG National BBQ:
    [​IMG]

    Day 5 is up next: The Windfarm
    #8
  9. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day five, The Wind Farm.

    I had noticed on the way in to Idaho Falls that there were huge wind farms just to the northeast of the city. There didn't appear to be a clear access route so I just rode around until I found a way up into the hills. I have a thing for wind turbines and green energy in general, so seeing this out in the middle of Idaho was really cool. Below are some pics from my ride up in the hills on day five.

    Quite cloudy, but it gave a cool cast to the lighting:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699026017/" title="IMG_0546 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7351/9699026017_07420a9b38_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0546"></a>

    Panorama of the wind farm. I really like this feature on the iPhone, works pretty well!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699025667/" title="IMG_0548 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7450/9699025667_2f0e34221d_z.jpg" width="640" height="234" alt="IMG_0548"></a>

    Bikes and wind farms together really do it for me:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702261490/" title="IMG_0550 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5335/9702261490_242a9ded5a_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0550"></a>

    After I was done riding around in the hills, I hurried back to the hotel for the annual bike show. I'd never entered a bike in one before, so I tried my best to get Ziggy looking squeaky clean. I think I did ok:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710928796/" title="P8270141 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7329/9710928796_dc22ef824a_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8270141"></a>

    That green Concours 14 on the end is a very special bike, ridden by a really nice guy. He's put a ton of work into this thing, and it really does show:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710930894/" title="P8270143 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2813/9710930894_a5de572c2f_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8270143"></a>

    COG isn't just about the Concours/14, it's about the people too!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707694339/" title="P8270144 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/9707694339_ef568629fd_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8270144"></a>

    You can come to a COG event on anything, even a Ural sidecar:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707695459/" title="P8270145 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7442/9707695459_6f2f7b8bb5_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8270145"></a>

    Classic Connies:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710941320/" title="P8270146 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3685/9710941320_e6488459b9_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8270146"></a>

    More to come for day six: The Tetons!
    #9
  10. amzouri

    amzouri Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Morocco
    Wonderful
    Beautiful
    Shares following trip
    Rapid and well-established
    #10
  11. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,993
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    continued great imagery. Once again, thank you for sharing with us
    #11
  12. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    738
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Thanks for sharing some of your dreams and rides.
    #12
  13. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Thanks for the kind words! Working on the next few days later on today. I have a ton of pictures and want to write up everything, so thanks also for your patience with this!
    #13
  14. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,554
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    :clap:clap:clap So glad you are getting to see the West. The more you travel, the more you realize what a small speck we are in the grand theme of life and geology of our world, Keep the great pics and narrations coming. Been to a few COG gathering back when I was doing my BMW rallies about the county. Really miss those days in many ways. :clap:clap:clap
    #14
  15. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    I really like it out there. To the extent that I'm planning on moving to California next year (I'm lucky that I work remotely, and we have offices in SF and LA)
    #15
  16. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day six - Riding the Tetons

    On day six, I went and rode up to Grand Teton National Park, about 100 miles from our hotel in Idaho Falls. Rt 26 is an incredibly beautiful two-lane road that passes through the mountain foothills and gets twistier the further east you go. It was a spectacular ride and I got some amazing photos. This place, as well as Yellowstone, are both on my list of "Revisit ASAP."

    Here are some pics from the ride up and into the Tetons:

    Mid-morning, from just outside the chapel on the edge of the park:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702260770/" title="IMG_0555 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7308/9702260770_da38274c74_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0555"></a>

    Panorama from behind the chapel:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9722552435/" title="Tetons Panorama 1 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7370/9722552435_9f6a20a386_z.jpg" width="640" height="205" alt="Tetons Panorama 1"></a>

    Antler sculpture in Jackson, WY
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710947158/" title="P8280151 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7375/9710947158_bc6511f214_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280151"></a>

    Chuck, my roommate for the 2013 COG National, on his ST1300. We rode together for half the day, and then he headed back to the hotel (he was in charge of prizes and giveaways for this year's National. A really nice guy and we had a lot of fun hanging out.)
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707713115/" title="P8280154 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2842/9707713115_28e60d4ce2_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280154"></a>

    Park entrance sign:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710956528/" title="P8280158 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2825/9710956528_28f3989b8e_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280158"></a>

    Me and Ziggy sure are a long way from home...
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710960620/" title="P8280161 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7452/9710960620_e1c2cea6bf_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280161"></a>

    Peaks obscured by clouds:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707726803/" title="P8280164 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7442/9707726803_bdb00a2cc6_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280164"></a>

    Signal Lake, from the Lodge. Good lunch there. The hummus and cucumber sandwich was lovely, as was the marionberry pie for dessert.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9707731623/" title="P8280168 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7287/9707731623_268c807235_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280168"></a>

    Mountains and foothills. Reminded me of a Bob Ross painting:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710973378/" title="P8280171 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5457/9710973378_9fdb443dc4_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280171"></a>

    I had stopped to snap a few pictures at the same time that a really nice lady from California had pulled off to do the same. She offered to take my pic, and I thought this turned out really nicely:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9708074629/" title="Me in the Tetons by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7349/9708074629_a7c07fa034_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="Me in the Tetons"></a>

    Peaks and valleys, really beautiful. Shame that shortly after I took this, I got utterly drenched in a downpour. Sideways rain was blasting me for a good half hour.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9710768072/" title="P8280191 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/9710768072_764a0b2295_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8280191"></a>

    I really cannot put into words just how beautiful western Wyoming is. I was completely and utterly besotted with the terrain out there. The mountains, the forests, the lakes and rivers, it just blew my mind. I still get chills down my spine thinking about how immense this place is, and how small we all are in comparison to it.

    Day seven is up next, with a trip to Lava Hot Springs, my penultimate day in Idaho Falls.
    #16
  17. Marine By Choice

    Marine By Choice Sergeant 0311

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Winlock, Washington
    IT is an elk, not a caribou!
    #17
  18. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Thank you for the clarification, will correct the info.
    #18
  19. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day seven - Lava Hot Springs, COG banquet, final day in Idaho Falls.

    On my final day in Idaho Falls, I decided to go ride with this fellow named Duane, down through the wind farm again, and to a town called Lava Hot Springs, about an hour and a half south of Idaho Falls. At first, I thought he was crazy, since the region was in the middle of a pretty nasty heatwave. Figuring, "What the hell, I'm here, might as well go check it out..." I went. Here are some pics:

    This was the medium temperature pool. The "hot pool" was so hot, I jumped out like a frog thrown into a pot of boiling water:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9711371652/" title="P8290209 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3738/9711371652_182e76e697_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8290209"></a>

    Very nice facility, and not too terribly expensive either:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9711372646/" title="P8290214 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3684/9711372646_d979a7fb3b_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8290214"></a>

    Very relaxing place, will go there again, maybe in winter though:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9711369690/" title="P8290216 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7346/9711369690_6313ae5bce_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8290216"></a>

    The sunshades were quite pleasant, and necessary. It was well into the 90s that day:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9711374848/" title="P8290218 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7335/9711374848_58b75dc638_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8290218"></a>

    A resident of the facility, quite the cute little fella:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9711361500/" title="P8290220 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7285/9711361500_a9a63db4a5_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8290220"></a>

    Parting shot, quite the lovely place:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9708138241/" title="P8290223 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2880/9708138241_b33c1632df_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P8290223"></a>

    After we were done, we hightailed it back to Idaho Falls for the COG group picture, and then the banquet dinner. I was a little sad that the rally was coming to an end, but also excited to hit the road to California the next day.

    Here are some pics of the hotel, and around the banquet:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699022449/" title="IMG_0565 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7415/9699022449_fcab407a93_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0565"></a>

    Idaho Falls:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702258300/" title="IMG_0568 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7366/9702258300_3b581277e2_z.jpg" width="640" height="274" alt="IMG_0568"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699021235/" title="IMG_0570 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7301/9699021235_b5095f954f_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0570"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699020949/" title="IMG_0571 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2877/9699020949_a64945b8e0_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0571"></a>

    Banquet party in full swing:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702256578/" title="IMG_0575 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5471/9702256578_9fae3fccee_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_0575"></a>

    I had a great time out there. Admittedly, though, a lot of the good riding was some distance away from where we stayed, but the atmosphere was quite nice, and everyone at the Hotel on the Falls was friendly and helpful. Special mention goes to this young fellow named Brandon who works the front desk. He's a really nice guy and has an awesome sense of humour. If you're in town, check this place out.

    Next up in the series will be day eight, Ziggy's California Adventure!
    #19
  20. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Day eight - Ziggy's California Adventure!

    It has been my dream, since I first threw a leg over a motorcycle, to ride across the United States, from New Jersey to California. For the past 3 years, I've been planning this trip, losing 140lbs, buying a Concours 14, getting it exactly how I wanted it, and so on and so forth.

    I honestly tried not to over think things too much, I just went where it seemed interesting, and took roads that looked like they'd get me to where I wanted to go. Spending a week in Idaho Falls gave me a chance to rest up, look over everything, and also get to see Yellowstone and the Tetons, which were on my bucket list anyway.

    I had arranged to stay with my friend and co-worker, Gil, and his wife Catherine, at their home in Oakland, CA. They're a really awesome couple, and I can't say enough good things about them. Gil and I have worked together for the past 4 years, he in California, I in New Jersey. This was our first meeting in the flesh after all these years, and we picked up just as if we were collaborating on another project.

    Left Idaho Falls around 8am local time, and got to Gil and Catherine's house around 8:30 their time. I rode south down Rt 15 to I-80, just outside Elko, NV. It was HOT. Temps were in the mid 90s that day, and the further south and west I went, the hazier it got. At a truckstop, a state patrolman explained that the haze was from the smoke from the fires in Yosemite National Park, and the wind had carried it out into the desert. I made it a point to just get the miles out of my way, and thankfully, there was minimal traffic, and I was able to cross the desert without issue.

    I didn't stop to take any pictures, partially because it was so hot, and also because I wanted to make good time. I made fuel/water stops in Elko, NV, Winnemucca, NV, Lovelock, NV, and Colfax, CA. Crossing into California on I-80, I started to get emotional again. I had DONE IT! New Jersey to California, on my own motorcycle, my dream bike!

    Eastern California in the areas around I-80 is really quite stunning. Beautiful evergreen forests, mountains, lakes, and so on. Yet another place on my "Revisit ASAP" list.

    Next up is day nine, the adventure continues.
    #20