Cross Country on a RE Himmalayan

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Loadtoad101, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    Been wanting to make a cross-country trip for a long time now, after reading all the exciting threads in this forum. I had the perfect excuse to go to California to attend a military reunion of 15th MAS Loadmasters and Flight Engineers. I wanted to avoid the interstate if it all possible so I started my journey a hundred miles east of Nashville and made my way through southern Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas. I have a app on my phone called ultimate public campgrounds and it was a great resource. This was my campsite in Kansas, right on a small fishing lake. The only issue was it was only about a hundred yards from an active railroad crossing, but for free I couldn't complain. I was so tired I didn't even hear any trains go by during the night.
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    This next pic was in far Western Kansas.
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    While passing this abandoned facility in Western Kansas all I could think about was those mad Max movies. It would be a perfect place to film some kind of dystopian movie.
    IMG_20190712_125026324_HDR.jpg Temperatures were running close to a hundred degrees when I stopped to take this picture on the border of Kansas and Colorado. I couldn't wait until I got to the mountains of Colorado where the temperature would cool down.
    #1
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  2. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    After crossing the Kansas Colorado border the next hundred fifty miles was one very hot very long and lonely road. I don't think I passed more than four or five cars during that whole time. Got to Trinidad and decided to continue my journey North to Walsenburg Colorado. I'm from Tennessee and on every corner there's either a bank or a church, but after crossing into Colorado I noticed that on every corner was a marijuana dispensary. Unfortunately it was a Saturday night and just about every motel and facility was booked. I passed a motel that I thought was closed and abandoned but I saw a small red open sign flashing in the window. I stopped and knocked on the door and a woman came and opened it up and let me in. She didn't speak any English and I tried to communicate with her and asked her why there was not one car in the parking lot while the rest of the motels in town were filled. I really didn't care because it was late and I needed a room. Unfortunately I wished I had taken a picture of that place. But the morning was a new day and I was on my way. IMG_20190713_122751478_HDR.jpg IMG_20190713_122737395_HDR.jpg
    The weather definitely turned cooler as I was climbing in altitude. This small lake was along highway 160 West of Walsenburg.
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    After getting off my bike and taking a stretch I realized I was out of breath. I was not used to these high altitudes.
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    I continued my journey that day West on highway 160 through Alamosa, Pagosa Springs, Durango and ended up in Mancos Colorado where I spent the night in this ramshackle Airbnb. IMG_20190713_190632143_HDR.jpg
    A young lady pulled right off Haight-Ashbury street from 1960 San Francisco answered the door. She was very nice and showed me around her small home. My small room was called The Cave. The room was about 8 foot by 8 foot with a 4-foot ceiling. I wasn't in that room more than 90 seconds before I banged my head on the ceiling, I'm 6ft tall. The host gave me the full run of the house and told me that they were leaving for the evening and we're going to spend the night in their cabin in the mountains. She said help yourself there's beer in the refrigerator, if you smoke marijuana here's some if you want it! Well, I was in Colorado.:jjen
    #2
  3. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

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    Excellent. Keep it coming. I'm sure we'd all also like to hear how the bike is doing.
    #3
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  4. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    The bike has actually been Flawless on this trip, I haven't had any issues to speak of. I now have 10500 miles on the bike. Depending on the grade and the wind I've gotten as low as 43 miles to the gallon and as much as 60 miles to the gallon. I am running very heavy and lots of drag with the side panniers.
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  5. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    My night in the cave got exciting at one point, I developed cramps in both calves at the same time and tried to exit the cave and slipped on the stairs on the way out.:oscarI left early that morning and was greeted with this view while heading west on highway 160 IMG_20190714_062321701_HDR.jpg
    My goal for this day was to ride through Valley Of The Gods, climb the Moki Dugway and then stop for the night in Flagstaff Arizona
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    The Valley of the Gods road is a 16 mile loop that travels through majestic rock formations with interesting names such as Rooster Butte, Battleship Rock and Castle Butte. The road terminates at highway 261 just at the bottom of the Moki dugway. IMG_20190714_091853683_BURST000_COVER.jpg IMG_20190714_092235913_BURST000_COVER.jpg IMG_20190714_091151564_BURST000_COVER.jpg IMG_20190714_091849428_BURST000_COVER.jpg
    #5
  6. TCBronson

    TCBronson Been here awhile

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    Awesome trip and photos! Very interested in the bike and what all you did to it for touring and how it performs!
    Ride safe!
    #6
  7. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    For touring I have added the factory pannier mounts, but I added tusk aftermarket panniers. I built my own crash bars and added highway pegs, the pegs proved indispensable on my cross-country trip. They allowed me an opportunity to shift my legs around and also to remove my legs from the heat generated by the front loaded bags. The bag on the right side blocks airflow, so the heat from the exhaust pipe flows up and hits your leg.
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  8. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    After completing the valley of the Gods loop I found myself sitting at the bottom of the Moki dugway. The Moki dugway is very short but it's a steep hairpin filled climb to the top of the Mesa. After arriving at the top take the first left and go approximately 5 miles to Miley Pointe.
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    It was an easy climb to the top.
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    The canyon is caused by the flowing of the San Juan River
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    #8
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  9. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    After descending the Moki dugway I headed for Mexican Hat Utah and took a picture of the famous Mexican hat Rock.
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    after leaving Mexican Hat I continued on for my final destination which would be Flagstaff Arizona. This route took me through monument valley where I got another few shots of the countryside. IMG_20190714_123357422_BURST000_COVER.jpg
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  10. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    After a long hot tiring day I arrived at my Airbnb accommodations. Ready to shed my motorcycle gear and get into something more comfortable I look into my stash of clothes and discover that I forgot my only pair of pants at the last air b&b I stayed at. So much for trying to travel light. I sheepishly asked the host if she has an old pair of shorts I could wear!:imaposer Obviously she had never been asked for a pair of pants by one of her visitors.
    She went in the other room and came out with these! WTF! But they were better than nothing. IMG_20190721_194144596_HDR.jpg
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  11. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    The next leg of my adventure wouldtake me to Redlands California, this would entail traversing the Mojave Desert through Needles California. The temperatures in Needles can reach approximately 110 to 115 degrees in the summer. No matter how early I left Flagstaff in the morning I would still be caught in the middle of the hottest part of the day crossing the Mojave Desert. I had to come up with another plan. I decided to go to Kingman Arizona and spend the night, I could leave early in the morning, cross the desert and avoid the afternoon Heat. It wouldn't take long to get from Flagstaff to Kingman so I decided to take my time and investigate the area around Williams Arizona.
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    Open range.
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    White Rim Lake.
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    Taking a break in Williams Arizona.
    I found a very nice comfortable air b&b in Kingman Arizona where I spent the night. It had a private entrance so I was able to sneak out at 4 am in the morning to start my mad dash across the desert. I was on the road by 4:15 and at 9:15 a.m. I was in Barstow California. I had been so afraid of the heat, but actually I got cold at one time when the temperatures dropped to 74-75 degrees and I was wearing mesh gear. IMG_20190716_081357487.jpg
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  12. TCBronson

    TCBronson Been here awhile

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    At what speed and gear are you running to cruise across the desert?
    #12
  13. TCBronson

    TCBronson Been here awhile

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    I like the way you set your bike up. I wish I new how to weld. What tires are you running?
    #13
  14. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    5th gear wide open! if there's a grade and some wind blowing I have to drop down to 4th, I have even been in 3rd gear. But normally I can Cruise 65-70 in 5th gear with no issues. I weigh 195 lb plus I'm heavily loaded, that does have a big impact on my top speed.
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  15. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    Right now I have shinko 705 front and back.
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  16. TCBronson

    TCBronson Been here awhile

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    Thanks for your responses! I live next door to you in Arkansas and have been thinking about getting a Himalayan but there are no dealers in my state. The closest one is Memphis or Tulsa.
    #16
  17. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    Great trip! Last time I rode to Kingman from California in the summer I got up at 1 am.
    #17
  18. Thinwater

    Thinwater Adventurer

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    How do you like that Cool-r wear? How much extra clothes for the higher elevation.
    #18
  19. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    That was an option for me, but I was really afraid of riding at night in the desert. Biggest worry was the animals jumping out in front of me. But I did need to ride some in the dark, approximately two hours. When I left Kingman it was dark out and I was keeping my speed down to 60 miles per hour. I had bought some reflective tape to put on my panniers to give me some visibility.
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  20. Loadtoad101

    Loadtoad101 Been here awhile

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    I bought these at Cycle Gear I think for about $27. I bought my first shirt and I liked it so much I went ahead and bought another one. As far as extra gear for higher altitudes that hasn't really been an issue yet but I did bring along a pair of thermal underwear and a heavy hoody. Heading back to Tennessee I will be going through Idaho and Montana so I'm sure that I will run into some cold weather. If I have to I'll stop at Walmart and buy more gear:fpalm
    #20
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