30th Birthday Cross Country Trip

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

  1. bikeneil

    bikeneil Been here awhile

    Apr 12, 2010
    Southern Ohio
    I’m enjoying following your ride report. If you are still close to Mt Evans, Beau Jo’s pizza in Idaho Springs Colorado is a great place to eat.
  2. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2012
    Kevin again.

    I love Mt Evans.
    I don't know exactly what it is...I can't put my finger on it. It's tall, the highest motorway in the US. Apx 14250 feet. It's raw. No guardrails for much of it and drop offs that take your breath away. It's narrow, the hairpin turns can be unnerving with a car coming at you the other way. The road in stretches is bumpy and has giant heaves in it from the mountains doing their thing. The views the whole way up is awesome. Then you got the summit and it's magnificent.
    You feel like you are king/ queen of the whole world. It is pretty amazing

    I was so happy to be able to share it with Jacie on this trip.

    As always, the road leading up to the entrance of the roadway is a blast. it starts off pretty straight with gentle curves and slowly begins to get a bit more technical. Sweepers, a hairpin or two oh, and some s-curves to keep you on your toes.

    we paid our six bucks to go to the summit and off we went. The Goldwing did an admirable job of getting us the top. I really wish for a more firm suspension and not a cruiser soft floating one.

    We stopped at echo Lake pass or something like that and had a few photos and took some time to adjust to the altitude as you climb up the mountain quite quickly.

    towards the top it was a little bit crowded, but I was able to maneuver the bike through the traffic and park in designated motorcycle spots.

    I had a blast just hanging out with Jacie taking in the awesome views. It was a highlight of this trip to see her taking it all in.

    Later, once we got down Jacie told you all about the gift shop and the pie story. What a riot! I was so speechless. The guy kept saying how good the pie was and how I should try it and maybe try the peach pie. Next thing I know I am eating peach pie.
    It was great and I thank you whoever you are for that. It was funny and a fun memory.


    Not long after we stopped for a sub from the supermarket for a filling lunch
    EZMoney, Samspade and staticPort like this.
  3. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2012
    Last night after riding in the heat for about 350 miles we found a nice hotel with a big pool. We walked over to the gas station and bought some tall boys and chips. We put our clothes in the washer and got right into the pool. It was really nice to relax, cool down and unwind in the pool. Just Kevin and I talking and enjoying our time together. My favorite thing to do... spend time with my husband :rogue

    EZMoney, twowings, misterk and 4 others like this.
  4. HuckIt

    HuckIt Adventurer

    May 5, 2014
    Mesa, AZ
    Enjoying the ride report! I'm planning a trip to Colorado in a few weeks and have been debating including Mt. Evans - this persuaded me to include it...
  5. AZgman

    AZgman Addicted to curves

    Jan 1, 2014
    Gilbert AZ
    Awesome trip and reports. Once you are home and as you reflect back on the trip, you will find that all the "issues" you encountered only make the trip that much more memorable.

    Try to stay off the highways and out of the fast food joints! :)
  6. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2012
    Ok. Back with some updates!

    After a great night hanging at the hot tub/ pool with Jacie and after a few beers and a wonderful chat we made some new plans yet again.
    Jacie suggested that instead of being on the road in the middle of nowhere, we book it home and celebrate my 30th in our own house. We would be home a slight bit earlier but then it wouldn't be so crazy going back to work and the could slowly ease back into life.
    After some beer and mulling over her plan and running several scenarios out in my head I agreed with her. The way I saw it we would be in Iowa or east end of Nebraska and there was a certain appeal of spending some time together unwinding at home vs abruptly coming home/ going back to work at 4 A.M.

    Finishing beers and some laundry we went to bed and were ready to put on some serious miles to make a stab towards home.
    staticPort likes this.
  7. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2012
    Morning came and we headed to the Howard Johnson breakfast bar. Jacie had mentioned that she was getting tired of "road breakfasts" and after this morning I think I was right there with her. Canned gravy, hard biscuits with a side of ready mix waffle got old to even me today. But, we ate and enjoyed our next adventure.

    The bike was packed, gas tank filled, tire pressures double checked and we hopped on the Goldwing and headed for Ohio.

    This would be the start of our longest riding day together.

    Andddd it went amazing!

    We actually traveled 650+/- miles from Gothenburg NE to the KOA in LaSalle/Utica IL. The trip went better than either of us could have thought. We went a tank and pulled over to fill up and grab a coffee/donut and stretch a bit.
    The next tank we decided to get fuel and try out a Taco John. Neither of us had tried it but we had been seeing signs for it all over so we decided to take a gamble. I actually quite enjoyed my chicken street tacos and the potato bites were awesome. After some walking around we got back to it.


    The last fuel stop was great because we knew that the end of the day was in sight. For that I was happy, but at the same time I was starting to get a bit saddened by the closing of the trip.
    I was noticing that from the beginning of our ride home to now the scenery had changed and things were getting to look more and more like home and less and less exciting. I tried to block all that.

    We arrived at our exit and stopped to get some grub and a few beers for the night. We had planned to stay at the same KOA as the first night--full circle kinda thing. As we pulled in to the camp the hosts opened up the office and got us checked in. For fun we asked how much a cabin would be for the night thinking that like all the other places we visited it would be absurd. To our surprise, it was well within reason and had AC so we splurged and booked it. As I pulled the bike into camp toward the cabin we both were so happy we chose the cabin. It had rained earlier in the day and all the tent sites were all mushy and muddy and had large puddles. We were relieved to have dry quarters for the night.
    The cabin was at the end of the road and secluded. Perfect. Quiet. Actually, most of the camp area was quiet as most of the camping for the season had been winding down. We had our food and sat on the porch swing reminiscing about our trip. It was a blast. We had our beers and watched a storm off in the distance. (luckily headed away from us)


    I really enjoyed this night. It was a great time together and talking about all that we had gone through and all the people we met and things we had seen. It helped with the transition from trip to "back to reality."
    After star gazing and a trip to the bathroom we called it a night.
    twowings, EZMoney, Zapgarou and 2 others like this.
  8. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2012
    Halfway through the night we both woke up from a sound sleep thinking that something was trying to get in the cabin. Some awful scraping noises and rustling were coming from the AC unit area. After turning the unit to LOW we realized there must have been a twig or leaves by the fan. Glad we dodged a bullet.:jack

    Woke up nice and early and since we hardly unpacked the bike at all the night before, packing and getting going was easy. The gravel down the hill from the cabin was testing me but I think it was mostly because I was riding pre-coffee and still "cold." Made it with no issues and off we went to Ohio.

    Again, it was a day of smooth sailing. No issues at all.

    We set out longest single stint in the saddle record as well! Just barely shy of 200 miles in one sitting before we got off to refuel. We sat a bit extra at the rest stop drinking our fancy coffees. Talking. Sitting. Me not wanting to go back.


    Made our way back to the parking lot for the last stint.
    Long straight highway, a few turns.
    We were home.

  9. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2012
    The story does not quite end yet.

    We made it home and Jacie and I had a lovely steak dinner to celebrate my birthday and safe arrival home. One little personal tradition I have is that after a big trip or adventure I always make sure to get a good steak. I cant explain how or why this started but I have been doing it for years. I made sure to have it happen for this trip...instead of having one on the road, we had it in our home.
    I think it tasted even better then usual.

    The following day be loaded up the bike and rode up to Marblehead Ohio to visit/ spend the night with Jacie's parents in their cottage on the lake. It was such a laughably simple ride in comparison to the trip. It felt like nothing to get there. We had a lovely time there and ended the night with a bonfire and beers.

    Anddd that's all there is.

    I have a lot on my mind that I want to share with everyone yet. A debrief. Some thoughts. I will compile those and add them in shortly.

    Thank you to all who followed along. I had a blast sharing our adventure with everyone.
    pnoman, TacomaJD, uraldude and 7 others like this.
  10. davidaid

    davidaid Adventurer

    Jun 13, 2008
    Fantastic. You are fortunate that you have your spouse to go with you. We should all be that lucky.
  11. WJL1984

    WJL1984 Been here awhile

    May 5, 2014
    Sandusky, Ohio
    Fantastic! Great report and memories that you two will share together forever.
  12. TacomaJD

    TacomaJD Adventurer

    Jun 27, 2019
    North Alabama
    What a fantastic trip and what a cool wife. Mine likes to ride with me, but no more than a couple hours tops.

    I've never done more than 500 miles in a 2 day weekend, but done several of those. It's on the bucket list to take a "big" trip like this one day, maybe not as big, baby steps?

    Mt Evans looked like a place I'd enjoy! Very cool shots of the Grand Canyon too! Also, all the endings to each day consisting of grabbing some beers, food, and winding down in the water is awesome, I wouldn't have done it any differently. Good times there.

    Did you just ride the rest of the trip with the blown fork seal? Long as the other fork was good, I imagine it was fine, just a little less damping.
  13. riderjacob

    riderjacob Been here awhile

    Feb 3, 2019
    Mount Pleasant
    Ice cream is always an important stop on a motorcycle trip! Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it!
    Tell us about the key things you learned on your trip. Either about motorcycle road trips, yourself, traveling with a pillion.
  14. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

    Jan 9, 2006
    West Virginia
    Great ride report! This is the first I've been on a computer to read your posts since Sept 1st. Looks like you visited many of the places we did over the past 3 weeks (Grand Canyon, 4 Corners, etc). I just skimmed because of limited screen time (at brother/sister in law's house in Wisconsin) but will read n more detail when we get home in a few days. We did go through Gothenburg NE (we did old Rt 30 Lincoln Highway across Nebraska) and Taco Johns was one of our son's favorite hangouts when we lived in NE. We stopped for lunch at one and sent him photos to tease. Potato Oles!!!!

    Glad you made it home safely. Happy Birthday!