30th Birthday Cross Country Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CarKid1989, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    This trip mostly started because of a cross country trip I took in 2007; one I completed solo on my 03 FZ1. Even before the trip was over I was calling/texting/sending postcards to my then girlfriend about how amazing everything was and how she would have loved to have seen and experienced everything that I was taking in.

    Fast forward a bit and now that same girlfriend is now my wife, we bought a home, got our careers on track and I still have not shut up about going on another cross country motorcycle trip with her. After a late night out Jacie said: "we need to take this trip for your 30th birthday" Thinking it was the late night combined with the beers I laughed and said ok. To be sure, the next day I confirmed the previous nights conversation and things were still on. In fact, we decided we HAD to do this trip before life got any more crazy and before we started our family. The perfect time for this was NOW.

    We debated (with your help at times in another thread) about the +/- of taking this trip in a car vs bike and the motorcycle won out. My thinking was that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I really wanted to seize it and share with Jacie the experiences I had. Plus, it will be a great memory together.

    I sold my 03 FZ1 and after spending a huge amount of time weighing out which bike to get I had it narrowed down to a handful. It had to be more passenger friendly and have storage room. Jacie was patient but sick of hearing about the virtues and shortcomings of each motorcycle. Finally we settled on one bike designed for eating up miles and being the gold standard to long distance motorcycle touring. I called/emailed/texted almost daily about bikes and none worked out. One Sunday morning, on a limb, I checked out the areas Craigslist and found a Goldwing 1800. Calls were made and within 10 minutes I was out the door to purchase a bike.

    signal-2019-07-29-213210.jpg

    So that leads us to here, Thursday August 22, 2019. Bike is 80% packed (yeah right, 50% tops) However, everything is laid out in our staging zone in the basement. Bike is ready to set out at a moments notice.

    We are leaving Saturday morning (24th) and will be out on the road until September 8th +/-. We are planning on going as far west as California and hitting some awesome spots along the way. I am hoping to have Jacie post here under my screen name along the trip as well.

    Hope you all come along for a fun trip!
    #1
  2. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Sounds like you are beginning a trip you both will cherish for a lifetime. Don't be in a rush - enjoy the ride and enjoy each other's company. I hope you both have ATGATT gear for your trip.

    I had to hang up my helmet in 2016 (due to occasional balance issues) after 40 great years of riding. Enjoy every moment while you're young and able.

    Safe travels to you both.
    #2
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  3. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190728_143430877.jpg

    I really cannot express to you how clean this bike was and how good care the previous owner took of it. It was essentially a one-owner bike. Him and his wife traveled for week-long trips and the previous owner was full of stories of all the fun times they had.

    I hope the bike treats us well for this trip.

    And yes we both have full gear that we will be wearing.

    We might try to utilize the advrider tent space map. But with having such a vague schedule that might be difficult. We will give it a try.

    the last time I took a trip I had a laptop with me. However it does not look like it will fit in our set up this time. Can someone p.m. me a good way to upload photos from my mobile Android phone
    #3
  4. StayFrosty

    StayFrosty Mid Life Crisis -Wish it happened 20 yrs ago Supporter

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    Congrats! Look forward to having us tag along!
    #4
  5. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    All the best on this Adventure, this aught to be a blast!

    :lurk
    #5
  6. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Took a test ride to work out a kink in the helmet com system. Checked air in tires and tanked up. Came home, packed the bags. Tried three configurations on the bike for packing and FINALLY got it all together. Ugh.

    All systems go
    #6
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  7. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    First stop. 145 mi in and we both need a coffee and a major stretch. Almost out of Ohio and things are going smooth 15666669318425815728807620844465.jpg
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  8. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Had a great day of riding today. It was in the low-to-mid 70s and the sun was out most of the day with a couple clouds are in there. Super comfortable weather for the both of us. we stopped a couple times for fuel and I was pleasantly surprised to find we were almost at 40 miles per gallon.
    Made it across Ohio with no real hiccups.

    However, however, I was trying to avoid toll roads all the way up to Chicago, at first it was going well and we were doing great on some 55 mile an hour country roads but then we started getting detour after detour after detour which added a whole bunch of time so we hopped on the toll roads and booked it West.
    Stopped for mass at saint emeric in country club hills in Illinois followed by a tasty chicken Sandwhich at Wendy's.
    we are planning on hopping across the Mississippi River and camping in Iowa just over the border but by the time I got back on the road it was getting dark quickly. So we did the next best thing and stopped at a KOA in Utica IL.

    We did it! We left home at 10 in the morning and made it to camp safe and sound. 444 miles behind us. great first day and Jacie was comfy for most of the time
    Camp set up quickly and shortly thereafter we sit down and enjoyed a beer together signal-2019-08-24-211616.jpg
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  9. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    The morning went great :-)
    Can't say the same about the night though. our air mattress cover deflating and halfway through the night I was laying nearly on the ground. Jacie had the same exact experience and was rather chilly. We're working on it.

    this morning however went great. We broke down camp relatively quickly and had wonderful hot showers at the KOA. One of the best parts of the trip is having that first thing in the morning.

    We hopped on the bike and put a hundred miles on and had our first meal at Denny's. Yummy food
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  10. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    54EAA9AA-2B3F-4BB9-AE92-77370AD1696C.jpeg
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  11. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Then off to a quick pit stop at Iowa 80 to stop by the world's largest gift shop.... I mean world's largest truck stop
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  12. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190825_114250849.jpg

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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  14. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Glad to hear you guys are having a good ride. If you get tired of the interstate, you could jump over to Rt 30 (Lincoln Hwy) when you get closer to Omaha. Nice, old historic road with interesting small towns. Goes all the way to Oregon (in bits and pieces). The old Lincoln Hwy actually splits off Rt 30 and follows bits of Rt 50 into California. Very confusing. Either way, it's more scenic than the slabs. LOL

    Safe travels.
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  15. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Thanks pnoman for the input. I'll play with the maps a bit to see if it's possible.

    Spent some more time on the slab today just to make our way west. Bike ran really well and there were times it ran too well and I had to get the speed back in check. Mid 80s feel like 63 mph.

    Our plan was to camp again and we made it to Sioux Falls in good time. Jacie was getting weather reports of thunderstorms with very strong winds just as we were getting the tent stuff planned out. In the time it took for me to come up with a bad idea to setup our air mattress and sleeping bags in the emergency shelter/ garage, Jacie had gotten us a cheap hotel up the road.

    So for the same cost of camping and getting soaked we got a room and breakfast. I guess I can compromise. IMG_20190825_213646939.jpg
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  16. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    E5FAA1C6-BFEB-482F-8145-144E9DD64EA8.jpeg Jaclyn here...
    Today was another long day on the bike. We were mostly on the boring highway but we did get to stop at a pretty cool place... the Worlds Largest Truck Stop. We spent some time walking around checking everything out. Kevin found a cool outfit that he wanted.... I said absolutely not.
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  17. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Cue music for "Good, Bad, and the Ugly".

    LOL
    #17
  18. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    I like that you thought of your girl as you rode through some beautiful areas. I do that, too.

    You see these spectacular sights and you want to share them.
    #18
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  19. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    F272B2A6-9697-4B2D-9F83-1A03704E1B9A.jpeg BFE6AD23-F62E-44F9-9473-22E7891A9906.jpeg Jaclyn here...
    Today started off good we had a great, FREE breakfast at the hotel.. biscuits and gravy... blueberry muffins yummm! Then we headed to Sioux Falls. We are so happy we stopped, it’s beautiful.

    Off to Badland National Park :-)
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  20. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    We walked around Sioux Falls for a bit and climbed the observatory as well. Great views from up there. The ladies in the gift shop were so nice and one even used to live close to where we live. Small world.

    We got back on the highway and set out to the Badlands. When stopping for gas we came across a guy on a Honda F6B and chatted with him for a bit. He was very nice and shared some stories about riding in MI and to Niagara Falls. Seems as though he had bad luck as all his trips involved a lot of rain riding.

    We hopped back on the highway (90 west) and I was pleased to find an 80 mph speed limit. Bliss. The bike cruised effortlessly at that speed and we started to make some very good time.

    IMG_20190826_131128711.jpg IMG_20190826_131450413.jpg

    We stopped in Mitchell to take a look at the Corn Palace. I thought it was going to be a silly tourist trap based on the billboards but it was a cool stop. The palace is a giant brick palace looking building that it decorated yearly with real corn. The whole thing started in the early 1900s and continues today. It was a neat stop and I was happy Jacie suggested it.

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    Alas not long after things took a turn for the worse.

    The wind started to pick up. At first it was just a blast from time to time left to right or right to left depending on the road direction. The wind was STRONG but the blasts were manageable. I was able to keep the bike within the lane and though it came unexpectedly I was ok with it.

    Then the wind got worse and no longer was 80mph safe. I dialed it back to 70's and now had a steady lean going into the wind to keep the bike on the road. Every semi truck we passed brought some nervousness. It was fine to get next to them, but as soon as you got to the cab the semis windbreak vanished and the bike got shoved hard to the left toward the median. We did this for mile after mile. It was getting exhausting to ride and now I was having issues keeping the bike in the lane even with lower speeds.
    We pulled off for gas and some coffee and snacks. A huge relief for me. The lady at the store said the wind was rather normal and to expect it for a while.

    We got back on and suffered the last nearly thirty miles to the entrance of the Badlands.

    There things were still windy but not like the highway and the low speeds helped a lot. I think Jacie really enjoyed the odd formations and the colors in the layering and it was such great fun for me to see her having fun. We both got a lot out of it I think. We ended up seeing a huge lovely rainbow and avoided some giant front that was passing by.
    #20
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