Misadventures of a Hoosierbilly Motorcycle Tramp

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JB2, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    JD, I like they way you think. I've often had the same thoughts but gathering up ADV'ers for a ride is a lot like herding cats. :lol3

    "Old Coot Hoosier Rally" works for me. Joel seems to be the busiest with his job and family so we would have to set a date that would fit him into the schedule. There was also a couple of people who posted on Joel's thread that had recently moved to the area. I'm thinking that we should pick a region/area and then pick a home-base(lodging) central to several days of riding. There's the Ohio River area in the south. The covered bridge area to the west. Those are the areas that offer the most dual-sport options. My preference would be the spring or fall but any time of year that would capture the most Indiana inmates would work. Maybe we should start a thread in the Regional Forums?

    I can tell you from experience that it will involve several recon rides, putting maps together for participants, securing agreements with the motel/lodging/campground & seeking out the good places to eat all of which will require more riding and time. Like there would be a problem with that... :lol3

    So are we doing a recon ride this weekend? :*sip*

    I'm in. :thumb
  2. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Not sure I'm brave enough to tell Deb that I want to spent my only break between now and Thanksgiving riding around the state with old coots rather than spend it with her:lol3:lol3.

    I don't have a break until the 27 of Oct. and I'm guessing the odds of getting riding weather at that point will be slim.

    In principle...I'm good for this, but I'm not huge on mass rides. Four or five bikes? All in. More---hmmm...I'd have to think about it.

    You guys? I don't even have to question it...I'd love it.

    Either style riding is good for me--want to go slow? Dual sport. A combo of road and easy gravel? Triumph. Solved!
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  3. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

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    JB. All good and valid comments! Exactly what I was thinking would happen once we got the conversation started.
    I have a good friend that is a big time rally rider. He's sending me some rally document examples (rules, bonuses, etc.) from a previous rally he was the Rally Master for. I asked him if he was interested in that roll for our initial rally and he was kind of like "Um, yeah, let me get back to you on that." :)

    So I forgot about the regional forum. I sure want to make sure we don't intrude on what the Southern Indiana rides have been doing. Maybe we could talk them into partnering or something, especially on the "Not road only" option. I'd want to be sure that whatever we did wasn't scheduled around the same time they plan there stuff. We don't want to compete with them, we just want to increase... along side them is my thought

    Joel, you don't have to ride with anyone else in this kind of rally. You ride your own ride (and you can partner with someone if you want but it's not required). You are basically on a scavenger hunt and you design your own route to each "prize." (Bonus location) from a list of more bonus locations than you can probably get to in the allotted time.

    For example, we might have 8 or 10 bonuses along a certain easy to plan path that total up to 500pts. But we also might have one out of the way - far away bonus that's worth 400 pts all on it's own. Some folks will try to go for the 400 AND get some of the lower point bonuses so they can end up with way more than 500 that they could get from that easy to plan path. But they may risk them all if they can't get back to the checkin point in time.

    I'll do some more research the next few days (riding at least part time this weekend I hope).

    JD
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  4. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    I'm with Joel on the "mass rides". I usually travel in groups of 2-3 people. That said, in a rally type situation riders pick the routes(dirt or asphalt) and break off into small groups. There were a thousand or more at that 1994 H.O.G. rally but the only time we ran into a number of other riders were at check points.

    Maybe the way we should approach this as an offline event. Invite the people we know and trust and just go riding? Brian and I left a lot on the table. There were a bunch of gravel roads we did not take. There were a bunch of asphalt roads we did not ride. Even if our group adventure turned into 5 or more people we could still break into small groups and intentionally take opposite routes of the other group(s).

    We have plenty of time to put something together that fits everyone's preferences but I do like the idea of an Old Coots Rally/Adventure. Very much so. Even if it is just our small circle of friends we should do something.
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  5. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Not much riding in the past few weeks even with the nice weather. I've been working in the shop... bench riding, if you will.

    [​IMG]

    We ripped a little KZ400 down to the bones and are building an adventure chopper. You can find the thread HERE.​
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  6. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    And for those wondering--Brutus is still waiting patiently for JB2 to get back to her. :D
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  7. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Brutus is on hold until winter. GRIM will get all the attention for a few months. Once it is turned into a roller the engine will get sent out for rebuild and Brutus will be back at the top. :D
  8. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    So early this summer @Bhuff , @jim a and myself hatched a plan for a Lake Superior/U.P. trip. As time drew near I was in a scramble to make a new luggage rack for the Scrambler that would carry the mass of the Mosko-Moto 30L bag. I had a Hepko-Becker rack that had to be modified to work with the Corbin seat but the Mosko overhung the tail lamp and turn signals. Not good.

    Any self respecting Hooiserbilly would find what's in the scrap barrel and have one made up. I chose 1/2" diamond pattern rebar(you know, to match the stitching in the seat) and 3/8" round bar... cause I had it.

    [​IMG]

    I started off with a set of sissybar tabs from Gasbox.

    Considering Brian and I had 10 days on the road, most with Gentleman Jim, there was a slight chance we could work in a trip to South Dakota from the U.P. However later in the planning his time on the road got cut to 9 days. Well, do we do the U.P. or skip it and head for South Dakota? I pitched to Brian that he should decide. We had all been to the U.P. together but he had never been to South Dakota. He picked South Dakota. Jim and I already had 3 trips under our belt to SD together but always willing to go back. The plans changed. We were going to get to see it through new eyes again with Brian. Cool.

    [​IMG]

    Next I bent the shortest piece of rebar(I only had three, 2 at 48" and one at 32") Over a 6qt., cast iron bean pot that had the perfect radius. All the other bends on this project were done over a piece of 1" tubing with fire of course. :thumbup

    Gentleman Jim had left the week before our departure to visit a friend in Franklin, OH. He would hook up with Brian in Greens Fork the following Saturday then we'd all three head west.

    [​IMG]

    A quick check on the bike...

    [​IMG]

    ... and yes it clears the seat and has just enough height to create a forward stop for the bag.

    [​IMG]

    Next, starting from the center, I bent the main platform. This piece is 48" but wouldn't be quite long enough so I planned on using a buckle made of tubing to fill the gap at the front.

    [​IMG]

    The final bends on the platform are done and I've cut four cross braces out of 3/8" round bar.

    [​IMG]

    The Hepko-Becker at the left, the new platform after blasting and the Mosko that it would carry.

    [​IMG]

    I then cut the rear mounting brackets out of 1" X 1" angle iron and drilled.

    [​IMG]

    Next I mocked it up using scrap angle to calculate the length each rear brace would have to be. House of cards clamping project going on here.

    [​IMG]

    The buckle added, which BTW, came from the rear frame section I cut from the GRIM project. :thumb

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut the rear supports cut and marked them for bend where they meet the platform.

    [​IMG]

    The rear braces cut, bent and welded into place along with all of the cross braces. At this point the only issues is there is a LOT of side-to-side flex and almost no way to add a "V" or "X" brace because of the seat and high mounted tail lamp and signals. But... I could put "Z" braces to the front and rear supports and solve the problem.

    [​IMG]

    Viola! The "Z" bracing worked! I had done a double pass on the welds that show with the intention to smooth them out. About half the way through the finishing process I said it's time to epoxy coat it and get it on the bike. We leave in four days.

    [​IMG]

    After 3 coats of DP90(black epoxy primer) I let it set three days and bolted in on the night before the trip. There's plenty of room for the rider. There's plenty of height to keep the rear lamps in full view. A milk crate fits the platform perfectly BTW. It should come with high approval from the KLR crowd! We are ready to go. South Dakota here we come!

    Stay tuned, the best is hopefully yet to come!



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  9. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    South Dakota by the numbers. Mind you; this is from my perspective, Gentleman Jim's mileage was probably double or more of mine or Brian's.

    Days on the road: 9
    Miles traveled: 2993.3(Brian's was just over 3K)
    States visited: 6(IN, IL, IA, SD, NE, MO)
    Detours: 3
    Times we got lost: 2 majors, 2 minors
    Miles of rain: 50
    Miles in the wind: Too many.
    Miles on the interstate: Approximately 100-125
    Miles on gravel: Approximately 100-125
    State Parks: 2 - Custer & Wind Cave
    National Parks: 2 - Badlands, Mt Rushmore(viewed from the road)
    National Forests and State Forests: Lost count

    Brian and I are both invigorated and beat up. The winds on the plains were the biggest hurdle beyond the bikes and closely followed by never ending frost-heaves on the two-lanes. We will be going back though and make it a two-week trip. This was a "turn-and-burn" trip that had us on the roll each day. We met wonderful people and had a great time while generally avoiding crowds of people. Many times we had the road to ourselves and could go hours without seeing a car. I am a firm believer that no matter how much planning you do, you end up meeting the people you were supposed to meet and going the places you were supposed to go. Almost as if someone else planned it well in advance.

    Brian and I took two of the hardest riding bikes on the market and pushed them and ourselves to over 300 miles a day of two-lane backroads. He has 2-1/2" of rear travel on his Scout Bobber and I have 2-3/4" on the Scrambler. We were both out of riding shape and paid the price in pain... but every mile was worth it. I can't throw a blanket over Gentleman Jim on this one because he was riding a GS. :D

    I really sucked at taking pictures this trip so I will have to paint a lot of pictures with words. I'll do my best but will warn you ahead of time I am no Clement Salvadori nor any of the hundreds of people who post here so eloquently.

    It will take several nights of editing and publishing photos along with telling most of the story that I can't in pictures. Stay Tuned!

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  10. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Are either of you riding with an AirHawk or WildAss inflatable seat cushion? If not, you might want to make that a priority as it could give you additional seat comfort and virtual suspension improvement. (Elvis only has about four inches of suspension but the Hammock seat provides more isolation from bumps.)

    I look forward to your account of the trip and photos.

    Anyone who rides west into the wind on the Great Plains without a full windshield is a bada$$. A backrest helps but it’s still exhausting compared to a touring bike setup.
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  11. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    No. Neither. Brian has a Mustang touring seat which is supposed to be comparable to the Indian touring seat. Even done in the same colors. His wife got it on closeout. Mine is a standard Corbin with firm foam. It was supposed to lower the seat height by about an inch. I barely can touch both feet down but normally lean the bike to one side or the other to get one foot solidly planted. Any addition to seat height would make it unrideable for me. It has stiff front and rear suspension. Brian's Indian is more soft in front but it wears a fat 16" tire. His rear suspension is fairly stiff like mine. Very little give. You'd have to put a Sleep Number mattress on either one of them to make them comfortable. :lol2

    We both knew we were out of riding shape and riding bikes not intended for the journey we were taking. I'm glad we did. We proved to ourselves we still have "it" and probably won't ever try that trick again. :lol3

    Our future plans for a return trip include a pickup truck, a trailer and some small caliber dual-sports. I've thought about another KLR. I've thought about a more comfortable bike. Doing the long-hauls across the country on two wheels is something I've been doing all my life, mostly on sport bikes and bikes like the Yamaha(Sportsters). I got rid of the ST1300 and the Cross Country within a year of buying them new. Even ordered both of them. I just can't do the 800 pound sled. I'd rather suffer a little on the comfort to have a bike no one else is long distance touring on.

    There's some good stories coming... it will be shy on photos though.

    I borrowed your perspective on the GS from the post you left on Joel's page. We all got a laugh out of that when Jim read it to us. We were in Hill City at the time. Thanks. :thumb
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  12. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Small caliber dual sport in the garage awaiting the chance to wander South Dakota!

    Good stuff, keep it coming!
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  13. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Grow old. Live. Learn. :muutt

    I love to give GS riders sh*t. None of them wave at me on my Harley :dirtdog:dirtdog:dirtdog.

    I'll probably be doing the pickup truck and trailer thing next year. Mrs.RD and I have done two successful weekend jaunts without another tip-over but I'm not certain how comfortable we'd be on a really long haul. Besides, we seem to stop every 60 minutes so it could take us about as long to cross the plains as Lewis & Clark. We may have to do one big trip just to prove that we really do prefer to trailer the long miles. I have some vacation time coming up and we'll be doing something... just not sure what... or where. I'm kind of wore out on South Dakota (more like I-90 to be specific or, better yet, just getting to I-90). I was thinking of the Ozarks for BBQ, Bikes, and Blues rally the week I'm off but that got cancelled again due to Covid. I'd still go but Mrs.RD isn't keen on riding into areas with no available hospital beds or ICU units. Indiana is an option but not thrilled about it unless we couple it with something else.

    I had to take the King Tour Pak off last week for a minor issue. Rode it for a day without it. It's only ~30 lbs but I was amazed at how petite Elvis felt without it.

    I've never ridden a Cross Country but the ST1100/1300 felt very top heavy to me which is too bad because it's such a great engine.
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  14. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    DAY 1

    Start: Hartford City, IN. End: Galesburg, IL. Total Mileage: 312.0

    Gentleman Jim actually left that morning from Franklin, OH and Brian from Greens Fork, IN. Their mileage was slightly more. In a rare incident we had a couple of extra riders joining us for the first day. Joel ( @radianrider ) had wanted to meet Jim since he had followed some of his travels on FaceBook. I told him the next time Jim was in town I'd introduce them so I did. :D L.D. is a co-worker who also rides and had hoped our shop owner would let him have the time off to go with us. We are just too covered up at work to have multiple vacations in the same week. BUT, he wanted to ride with us the first day out and break off with us near the Illinois state line. Jim and Brian were the first to show then L.D., then Joel. By noon we had assembled all the riders and planned route and where Joel and L.D. would eventually break away.

    It was very hot and very humid that day so stopping was only for gas in Fairmount, IN and then at a Mickey D's on the IL/IN line when we said goodbye to L.D. Joel broke ranks when we crossed IN18. He continued straight east to a little town called Wopecong. There is a gas station there that has been beautifully restored. I thought it would give him a good place to stop and get a pic.

    [​IMG]

    This is the trio of bikes that would be on this journey from beginning to end. I waited to take another picture until after L.D. and Joel showed up. It was getting hotter by the minute so we went rode off to get some wind and consequently I didn't get a shot. We were too scattered in the parking lot of the gas station to get all the bikes in one place. This will be a story that repeats itself throughout the entire journey... me not getting a shot.

    After departing from L.D. we followed US24 across Illinois. I found a road marked as a scenic route that ran along the Illinois River and we'd jog around Peoria and stair-step our way towards Muscatine, IA. It was getting late so we also had decided at the last stop that we'd start looking for motel rooms once north of the city. Well, JB2 took the wrong lane on a split exit ramp and was headed for downtown Peoria. CRAP! However, almost immediately there were signs for I74. I don't know the Peoria metro area at all but I knew that I74 goes north through this part of Illinois. We'd miss the very short river ride but at least we weren't losing time or distance.

    Thankfully as we entered the madness of interstate there were signs for a rest area ahead. We pulled off and Jim started looking for rooms. Everything is booked with a city-wide, 60th High School Reunions weekend. After numerous calls, our bellies growling for food and the shadows starting to get long we took a chance and stopped at an exit further north and found a Best Western in Galesburg with rooms. It was pricey and second floor but they had a bar/grille, cold beer and good hamburgers. Problem solved. :nod

    There's only one tune that covers two riders who just arose from COVID mothballs traveling with a guy who rides more miles in a trip than most people ride all year. Enjoy!



    It gets better. Stay Tuned!
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  15. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    DAY 2

    Start: Galesburg, IL. Finish: Sac City, IA. Total Mileage: 361.5

    The continental breakfast at the Best Western started at 7:00am. We were the first ones there and on the road again shortly afterwards. We got back on I74 because just up ahead was the highway I had intended for us to take after the run along the Illinois River. Back on the two-lane and clear of any bustling traffic the scenery starts to change. This is farm country and the fields were standing tall. America IS the Bread Basket of the world. We crossed the Mississippi River at Muscatine and continued west on IA22. I believe this was a "new to all of us" crossing bridge on the big river. I've been keeping tabs on everyone of my crossings and trying to hit new ones when we head west.

    In Riverside, IA we stopped for gas. Just after we had made our lap through the gas aisle and the store a guy pulls up in a rusty F250. It's white with a decal of an anvil with some lettering that included the word forge. I figured he was a blacksmith. He was.

    He first admired our bikes and asked where we were headed and where we were from. At this point in the trip we're all some distance from home and often end up in conversations with the locals. They do seem to always want to ask if we are headed to or from the "rally" since our destination is South Dakota. No, we don't do rallies. Then he went on to tell us he makes custom knives and that he started doing the hand guards with old Harley sprockets. So down goes the tailgate and out came the black plastic case with a gorgeous knife... and the beginning of a bullshit headlock. :lol3

    [​IMG]


    Easy now. Meet Rocken Mike of Rocken Mikes Knives & Bladesmith Forge. No, he's not ready to cut Jim for not offering a bit of jerky, he's showing us knife that will be an auction or raffle knife for a veterans support group. You can find him on FaceBook if you're looking for something really unique in knives.

    [​IMG]

    Everything in that hand was made by that hand.

    [​IMG]

    Just look at that blade. And duly noted I did not miss these shots as I will so many times in the next coming days.

    We bantered with Rocken Mike for a spell then got back on the road. Rocken Mike was someone we were supposed to meet. Not that we knew it in advance but you do meet the people you are supposed to meet, I'm just not sure who plans it.:hmmmmm

    In a stair-step fashion we traversed a good bit of Iowa. Our plan was to cross into South Dakota the next day and ride the southern most route across. Gentleman Jim had spotted a small Mom-n-Pop when he was heading east a week earlier in Sac City, Iowa... also home to the world's largest... Guinness Record setting... popcorn ball. Who knew? We made it to the Sac City Motel around early evening with the sun still up. All the restaurants in town were closed so Brian and Jim took off on a SubWay/beer run. I stayed behind and called Kim.

    Jim had been through this town because of a town just south of here named Ulmer. Jim was adopted at a young age but found out through records his birth name was Ulmer. He went through Sac City to get to Ulmer for the required picture. Kudos to Jim on his quest and finding this place. It was a great motel. It was clean, it was ground level with the bikes parked outside the door and dirt cheap at $53.00, cheapest of the trip BTW.

    Just about as the sun was setting a good old boy on a GMC or Chevy 3500 flatbed comes pulling in. If you have ever seen the huge cow catchers on the semis out here imagine that only bigger on the front of the truck. On the flatbed was a 200 galloon diesel fuel tank and what appeared to be a generator/welder along with side boxes and other equipment and tools. We had just finished our supper and was admiring the bumper from about 20 feet. Out pops this guy that was maybe 5'8" but well over the 400lb mark with a tiny little dog in tow. Brian is enamored enough with the bumper and the beer that he shouts out, "That's one helluva bumper, what do you push with that?" The guy looks back at his truck then looks at us with a cheeky grin and replied, "Anything that gets in the way." Laugh of the day! We laughed hard and called it a night. You meet the people you're supposed to meet by going the places you're supposed to go even though you didn't know it. :nod

    I will tell you that Brian did take a picture of it the next morning so maybe he'll post it up because I did not. :fpalm

    Celebrating crossing the Illinois River yesterday... Brian and I had this song going through our minds on replay yesterday and even today. Enjoy!



    There's more missing pictures coming tomorrow, Stay Tuned!



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  16. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

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    Bhuff and JB2 - are in fact bad a$$ dudes!
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  17. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    DAY 3, Part 1

    Start: Sac City, IA. End: Murdo, SD. Total Mileage: 463.1

    We rolled out of Sac City as the sun was coming up for Brian and I's longest day on the road. Brian did manage to get a picture of the aforementioned bumper. It was in the dark with high intensity backlighting but worthy of posting... Brian. We passed the World's Largest Popcorn Ball which was encased in a large glass alter near the center of town fronting a park. The search was on for a Mom-n-Pop to eat breakfast so onward we rode to Cherokee. No popcorn ball picture taken.

    The chill of the morning air was just starting to break as we rode into town but the beginning of a very windy day was upon us. I was put up front to bird-dog a good cafe. I spotted a corner cafe called Carey's Diner. I rolled slow in hopes they were open but they looked boarded up. At the last second I seen a sign tucked in the recessed entrance of cafe that read, "YES! We Are Open!" I turned hard left and found parking on the side street around the corner from the front door. When we got off the bikes Jim and Brian were doubting my find so Brian walked around and yes, indeed, they were open. Cool!

    We removed the road gear and took a table near the bar. A friendly waitress made conversation. "Where are y'all from? Where are y'all goin'? Do you go to the rally? Where are your bikes? What would you gentlemen like to order?" We placed our order which was promptly taken to the kitchen and she disappeared. We barely had a sip of our coffee when she returns with our food. Damn, that was fast! She then tells us she was out looking at our bikes and thought they were really cool and that she admired us getting out and traveling. They didn't get many strangers anymore since COVID.

    Just as we start to eat an elderly gentleman from the back took a seat at one of the swivel barstools and announces that, "If it ain't any good, you don't have to pay." We bantered back and forth for a minute or two and in the barrage of BS found out he'd been cooking on that grille for 43 years, he was 84 years old and "they haven't fired me yet!" The waitress added she had been there 23 years. With the carry-out orders getting picked up they were obviously staples in the community.

    They both wandered away for a few minutes and allowed us to eat. The cook came back and made sure we had a good breakfast and reiterated that if it wasn't good we didn't have to pay. We paid and tipped well. A trip through the hallway to the restrooms revealed another side of the cafe. There was a steakhouse/bar adjoining the cafe but were closed. The steakhouse appeared to use the same kitchen as the cafe as well as the restrooms. The old guys points us through the shuddered part of the business. It finally hits me... this is Carey.

    Carey followed us outside to check out our bikes and asked the famous three questions. He explained that he found God 43 years ago. During a hard time in his life he and his wife decided to start a Christian Book Store next to the steakhouse. After a period of time they felt the steakhouse/bar conflicted with their beliefs and closed it but kept the cafe and bookstore alive. His wife had passed years earlier but he never remarried. His faith in God and the two businesses sustained him. A simple and dedicated life. He talked with us for a while then said an out-loud prayer for our trip and our safety while laughing and looking up the sky. One look in his eye and you knew his prayer was genuine. Gave me goosebumps. Still does.

    I didn't take any pictures. Yeah, I know, so save the scolding for later. I felt Carey and his waitress deserved their own post sans images. I've posted this song on other threads but it hits the right notes for this chance meeting. You meet the people you are supposed to meet by going the places you are supposed to go. There's only one catch, you have to go and follow your front wheel even if you don't quite know where it is taking you. God bless Carey. Enjoy!



    Part 2 of day three... with pictures, coming soon. Stay Tuned!



  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    DAY 3, Part 2

    We were all quite taken with Carey and his waitress but it was time to hit the road. South Dakota was in our gun-sights. Thirty-five miles up the road we crossed the Big Sioux River just north of Westfield, IA. We took SD50 westward and noticed the winds picking up considerably. These were east winds instead of west winds like one would expect. Heading west they were at our backs but traveling north or south made for an interesting ride.

    SD50 turned into SD18 just before we crossed the Missouri River via the Fort Randall Dam. SD18 would take us all the way to SD83 where we turned north towards Murdo. There were signs saying there was construction north of White River and to "consider" a different route. To us that meant it was passable. At a gas station in White River I inquired about the road conditions. An elderly Native American said it was not passable. But, at the general store next door, the old cowboys who had gathered there insisted it was passable, especially on a bike. We opted to go for it.

    Three miles up the road we hit stopped traffic. The road crews were compacting gravel and using copious amounts of water spraying to aid the process. When the flagman seen us pull up he made a beeline towards our bikes. He explained they weren't letting any motorcycles pass today. Earlier in the day a guy on a large touring bike went down three times and required the help of the road workers to get upright and going again. We tried to assure him that we would be okay but our words fell on deaf ears. He would not let us pass.

    The detour would take us back 4 miles south to White River, then 45 miles west on SD44 to SD73 north and, worst of all, I90 for 45 miles back east to Murdo. ARRRGH! In a rare instance Jim expressed his anger at being denied passage while cussing the guy who dropped his bike three times. "Had to have been a big Harley ridden by a guy who didn't know how to ride and probably didn't have any business riding." We concurred but pointed our bikes in the detour direction. Adding almost a 100 miles to our day after being less than 20 miles from our destination was a kick in the gut.

    SD44 was surrounded by the beauty of the Dakotas but it was frost heaved terribly. Brian and I both paid the price with our short travel suspension. The first road turning north that was not a private road or ranch road was SD63. Why didn't they tell us about this road? It was 10 or more miles closer that SD73 was. The pavement was brand new so north we turned on 63. Well after about a mile of asphalt bliss we crested a hill with a sign that read "Pavement Ends Here". And it did. There were three "oh shit" moments with three riders who were cooking along at about 70mph. With newly pleated seats we stopped to look at the maps. The road went all the way through to I90 with an on-ramp. It was hard packed gravel and the scenery was similar to the Badlands.

    The next 35 or 40 miles north on 63 was absolutely wonderful We were able to stop in the middle of the road and take a break. There were no homes, no power lines, no traffic and no people. Although it was hard packed gravel it was still a better road the SD44 had been. We had Brian lead and he was able to keep a steady 45mph pace without problems.

    [​IMG]

    The Little Badlands east of and outside the park. Brian is getting in a good place again even with the winds and frost-heaved roads.

    [​IMG]

    Through the seat of the Scrambler.

    [​IMG]

    Nature paints some wonderful pictures. So good to be here.

    In Belvidere I missed the chance to take the frontage road to Murdo. The last 35 miles on I90 were pure hell. Straight line winds of 25 to 30 mph were coming directly out of the east. The speed limit is 80 mph on the big road but we could barely maintain 65 mph. At 65 the combined force was trying to tear the helmets off our heads. The buffeting created by the semis roaring past us was un-nerving. We pushed towards Murdo.

    In Murdo we secured our rooms at the Sioux Motel and headed across the street to the Rusty Spur for ribeyes, beer and relaxation. We earned this day, those wonderful steaks and time off the bikes. Sleep came easy that night along with the relaxing sound of heavy rain.

    This song somehow feels right for the day. We were finally in the west. Land of cowboys, Indians, outlaws, high plains, buffalo and expanses of land without people. Good to be here again. I had missed it more than I knew.



    Stay Tuned!



  19. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,906
    Location:
    Lake Wobegon
    Funny, I don't remember riding through that part of South Dakota last week!!! :muutt:muutt:muutt

    I've never dropped Elvis in a construction zone but I'm sure my cheeks have sucked up at least half the seat while riding on watered down hard pack. My cheeks might have sucked up the entire seat during that one construction zone when a black bear came out to cross in front of me. :dirtdog

    I suspect it is less of rider skill issue and more a tire tread and surface conditions problem. Touring tires don't have a whole lot of tread when they are brand new let alone when they have been worn 30% or more. There just isn't much grip on wet, muddy surfaces with that little tread.

    Glad you made it through to the promised land.
    JB2 likes this.
  20. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,861
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    @72 Yamaha RD350 - We've often found that there are many folks who just bought a bike after being away from them for years and take off on a trip long before they've sharpened their skills. And... some are Harley riders... and Gold Wingers... and, well you know.

    The Cross Country is an excellent machine with all the power and comfort anyone would ever need. Comparable to the Harley and Goldwing offerings but not my style and too heavy for my liking.

    "Grow old. Live. Learn. :muutt" - HA! Well, we got the growing old part down and we did a lot of living and learning on this trip. It could have been the motto for the ride actually.

    @jdfog2 - "Bhuff and JB2 - are in fact bad a$$ dudes!" - Thanks, I think. :D Don't give away anymore of our secrets though.
    72 Yamaha RD350 likes this.