Chapter 22- My first big ride: Operation Z1000 across America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by WolfNman, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. WolfNman

    WolfNman I wanna rock!

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Day 1- I got up Monday morning a little late. As I told my friends, this month long road trip is about doing what ever I want. I left my house after double and triple checking that I had all my gear. The excitement was overwhelming as I fired up the motorcycle and started the painfully long procedure of putting all my gear on. This moment included jumping up and down and screaming in joy. Im excited :clap

    I took HWY 199 out of Grants Pass to HWY 101. A fun ride with a few twisties here and there. The destination was Arcata, California, I met an SV650S rider named Rick. Rick contacted me through the SVrider forum and said I should take 101 and he would show me around the town. After the meet and greet, Rick and I decided to go for a run. I took this picture the day of my departure, little did I know that minus the jacket and camelback, I would be running in that attire the same day.

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    Rick and I ran around the local marshs that they use to naturally clean water in Arcata. Rick explained all this to me, he is a environmental engineering major. Apparently he likes math, A LOT haha. We met up with some of his friends at a local bar, I tried convincing a girl (forgot her name) to take action on her dream of doing a cross country trip on a motorcycle and talked motorcycles and local riding roads with a James. James gave me all kinds of tips on how to make my trip through California more enjoyable. Im glad information is free. I learned two other things from people I met in Arcata. A Lackland AFB donut- One dinner roll, butter, and sugar. And when in Arcata, beware of "The Trashcan." After one of these acoholic suicide mixed drinks, I was buzzing good!

    The sign wasn't lying!
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    These elk just hang out in this field apparently, or I was lucky enough to catch them at the right time. There were at least 30 head of elk.
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    The people of this little hippy town gathering around the theater to smoke weed before the show.
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    The main gathering area of the city. The teal glow on the left side of the picture is the sign of the bar we went to.
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    Day 2- Rick and I got up at 7:30 am after just five and a half hours of sleep. After he made us an excellent breakfast I started to get my things ready. He rode with me for the first part of the day, showing me some beautiful back roads out of Arcata. We parted ways and I was on my way down 101. I hit the avenue of the giants, a scenic route with some twisties and even better views of the gigantic redwood trees. I then proceeded onto highway 1 to Fort Bragg which led to many more twisties, I am way out of practice and I find the leathers difficult to maneuver in, it will take some getting used to. The road was fairly clean and extremely fun, a few cars even pulled off and let me pass. Highway 1 then meets directly with the shoreline. The view from any point on the highway is amazing. But watch the road, many turns lay in your path. I then took highway 128 back to 101. By this time I am getting pretty tired. This road was more than I bargained for. A lot more twisties leading through beautiful countryside and vineyards galore. I enjoyed the ride nonetheless. Exhausted I found a campground and stayed for the night. I set up camp alone, this was a strange feeling. I usually have friends to help set up the tents and we build a big fire and visit. Tonight I felt lonesome. I went to sleep early, I had some miles to cover tomorrow to make up for all this scenic riding I did.

    Rick and I parting ways. Thanks again for everything.
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    That sign didn't disappoint!
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    That's a huge tree
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    Or is it two?
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    I thoroughly enjoyed it,
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    When I say it's right on the coastline, I mean you can taste the salt-close.
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    A vineyard I stopped at.
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    Camp all set up.
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    All my gear fits perfectly, leaving just enough room for me to sleep.
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    See you later Sonoma lake
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    Day 3- I took 101 to San Francisco. I got a video of me crossing the golden gate bridge, but no pictures. The roads in San Francisco can be really steep, and there's a stop sign at every block, so prepare your left hand for some serious clutch work. I don't like leaving the bike alone with all my gear, especially in a big city. I just don't trust people. I was still able to accomplish my goals for San Francisco. Eat lunch in China Town, get a video going across the golden gate bridge, and see Alcatraz. To make up for lost time, I decided to slab it on I5 to San Diego. I was disappointed. I didn't want to drive I5. But I realized, no matter what happens on this trip, I can't let it get to me. This is still way better than sitting at home waiting for bootcamp. I saw a sign on I5 that said "Choose Life." It inspired me to keep my spirits up. The flow of traffic really starts to pick up in So Cal. And I split lanes for the first time. A guy on a yellow FZ1 lead the convoy of bikes as we zoomed through traffic. At first it's a little scary, but then it's really fun. I didn't have my helmet cam on, I wish I would have. It was great to see a familiar face in San Diego. I5 was also a bit lonely. At times I wish a friend would have had the opportunity to ride along with me. But all my riding buddies couldn't do it. I am sure I'll get used to it.

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    I don't know what was in it, but it was pretty good.
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    So was the main course, and pretty cheap too!
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    Welcome to California, we have a lot of bugs.
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    This is Joe, he thinks my hairy feet are awesome
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    Day 4- I decided to stay in San Diego today. I got a personal tour of the Navy base and got to eat at the Five Guys Burgers Ive heard so much about. Really good food.

    Just hanging out
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    F18 Under construction
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    San Diego from a lookout
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    Tomorrow im going to the Grand Canyon. Take care and thanks for reading my story, if you see a guy with USAF on his helmet and a Z1000 under his butt, throw the guy a wave.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Nice! You're covering a lot of ground.. wish I could join you, but thanks for taking us along.. any more pics from SanFran? safe journey :lurk
    #2
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Glad to see you are on your way. It looks like you are off to a fantastic start. Great job on the ride report and pics:thumb. Do you have any more pics of NAS North Island, I was stationed there for 3 1/2 years.

    I hope that by going to the Grand Canyon you are not bypassing Southern Utah. Southern Utah has, IMO, the most unbelievable scenery in the country, even the Grand Canyon can't compete.

    I'm lookin forward to following along.
    #3
  4. jub jub

    jub jub frumiousbandersnatch Supporter

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    Good luck with your trip! I'd like to ride along if I may!

    BTW, 20 year AF veteran here. I loved every minute of it and I think you will too!
    #4
  5. gallinastrips

    gallinastrips Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Taos NM
    Nice, and thanks for taking us with. I would head north from the Grand Canyon towards Monument Valley, Moab, San Juans in Colorado for some real nice views and great roads. Just keep an eye on the weather and have fun.
    #5
  6. WolfNman

    WolfNman I wanna rock!

    Joined:
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    Sorry, that's all the pictures I took. A lot of the ships are out right now. The other stuff was just buildings and getting the layout of the base. Looks like im going to south Utah, thanks for the tip!!

    Your more than welcome to ride with me, as is everyone else who has time. Email me at Airmanwolfe@gmail.com

    The weather indeed! Im outrunning the rain so far, lets hope mother nature doesn't hear me talking this trash and dump on me. Ill check all that stuff out too.

    I don't know much about the United States as far as geography/cities and where to avoid/where to go. Ive lived most of my life in Oregon, and some of California. So from here it's all new to me. If you have anywhere you want me to go, and it's on my way, tell me. I wasn't going to south Utah until klaviator mentioned it. That's how loose my routing is.

    Thank you everyone for your replies and advice, im glad you are enjoying the journey, I am for sure. We have many more miles to cover, lets get this show on the road.
    #6
  7. mnesci

    mnesci Adventure Dad

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    If you are going into southern Utah, you should hit the 4 corners area Colorado/Arizona/New Mexico/Utah. Something you will never forget and some great roads in the area. From there go across Colorado on rt 160(dont forget Mesa Verde NP) to Durango and go north on rt 550 towards Montrose. Great roads and spectacular Mountains.
    Be safe and have a great ride!
    #7
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The best parts of Utah, IMO, for a street ride is Zion NP, and HWY12 going North from Escalante. While you're there, check out Bryce Canyon NP. Moab is even better, but only it you're on a dual sport bike.

    Colorado is also spectacular but many of the passes will still be closed this time of year.
    #8
  9. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    Cool start to a cool ride. I'm in.
    #9
  10. merickk

    merickk Living Folk Tale

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    It was great meetin ya Kenny. Enjoy the ride. :thumb
    #10
  11. WolfNman

    WolfNman I wanna rock!

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    Speed bump people. A big one.....

    On monday at 1p.m. my motorcycle was stolen along with all of my belongings. The New Mexico State police were able to recover it after 5 hours. But he had stashed it and took all my belongings. He crashed it too, but it's only cosmetic damage and im still riding it. I plan on continuing my ride to Tennessee. Im currently in Oklahoma. The only items I now have are my camera, motorcycle, tank and saddlebags. He took the rest of it. We know his name, hopefully he is caught and I get some stuff back. I'de rather not give this scum a name in my ride report, he isn't worth it.

    EDIT: My belongings were never recovered.
    #11
  12. WolfNman

    WolfNman I wanna rock!

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    Im also not going to be able to make it to PA. Im already too far behind on schedule with everything that has happened. The Dragon will be the last stop before heading home. If I get a wild hair, maybe the atlantic. Then im heading back to Oregon.
    #12
  13. merickk

    merickk Living Folk Tale

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    Damn that really sucks. fuckin theives anyways in the old days they used to hang ya for shit like that, then people got all touchy feely and said we couldn't anymore and look what happens. :bluduh
    #13
  14. jub jub

    jub jub frumiousbandersnatch Supporter

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    Sorry to hear about your bike. That really sucks big time. As far as riding the dragon, I've done it and all I can say it's way over rated. The ride through the Smokeys was more enjoyable to me.

    Hope you get your stuff back.
    #14
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Sorry to hear about your stuff being stolen. If you are passing near or through Huntsville, AL during the week (I'm here tues-fri) you're welcome to stop by if you need a place to crash (I've got a small APT here). You can use my computer, garage, tools, etc. I'll also be glad to show you the good riding around Deals Gap. Or if you just pass through during the day I'll be glad to feed you lunch.

    Hope you get your stuff back & have better luck on the rest of the trip.
    #15
  16. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    God, I hate thieves. If you don't mind me asking -- how'd the asshat nab your bike? Was he actually ballsy enough to grab it while you were eating lunch or something?

    Hope you manage to get your stuff back. And I hope that asshole hurt himself badly when he crashed your bike.

    --mark
    #16
  17. WolfNman

    WolfNman I wanna rock!

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    It was good meeting you too! Thanks again for letting me crash at your place. I hope your riding again soon.
    #17
  18. DocAxeYarYar

    DocAxeYarYar RideDualSport.com

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    Very cool! I love Northern California, and miss those days when I would ride from Seattle to my aunt's place in Bolinas....a little beach town just outside of Stinson Beach, you may have went right by it. Some incredible curves on those roads! Thanks for posting up!

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    #18
  19. WolfNman

    WolfNman I wanna rock!

    Joined:
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    Just a quick update. Ill tell you guys the full story when im back home and can upload pictures.


    I made it to the dragon and now back to Oklahoma. It was awesome. I don't know why everyone hates on the dragon. Yeah there's cops, yeah there's tourists, and I had a friggin great time with the Buell rally crew! Got some videos too. I want to go back to the smokies someday soon. It has been the highlight of my trip so far. The atmosphere, the riding, the people. Loved it. Also toured the Ozarks, great people, awesome food, highway 7 was a blast.

    Today I am changing my oil and getting my new debit card. Tomorrow I am heading north into Kansas, and west into Colorado. I might roll through Idaho and northern Oregon to see some friends before heading home. This trip has been so awesome, and I have met so many good people, it's bittersweet to go home.
    #19
  20. WolfNman

    WolfNman I wanna rock!

    Joined:
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    It has been my pleasure. And yes, Northern California has some great riding. The top of highway 1 into Fort Bragg is really fun.
    #20