My ‘round the country ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Howboudanancypelosi, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    19DBF51F-9BDD-4D7F-BC64-38DE83363079.jpeg 074B632B-D16A-47D6-B6F4-5FA69FF1B5CF.jpeg 0A12C121-1DBD-4F5A-8176-38E2BB2924B9.jpeg 492AB578-841B-45C2-9EB2-D72211C6942F.jpeg 9EC1B14C-7D82-4DB5-83B0-43C106D386F1.png 8B1B5C34-2A58-45AE-BBE5-22817E2D1D15.png D40FD0A5-E034-4B9D-A169-53246845899C.jpeg 017C5E6A-3E3D-4A8D-9DDC-3B9F7D195AE0.jpeg 3F98BB73-B9BA-4F9F-81CF-4328006CB9B4.jpeg I figure the time is right now to begin this thread, my personal account of my first time riding around the country. Solo. This will be the “introduction” post so I expect it to be a lengthy one; just the backstory to this adventure.

    Im currently 29 years old, been living in Chattanooga since August 2009. Came here from Winston-Salem area for college, graduated, bought myself a home about 5 years ago and I’ve enjoyed it here. Been riding since I was 6 years old when my dad bought me a Manco minibike out of the local classifieds. Granted there were some years there between the dirt bike days and the street days but I’ve got 20 solid years under my belt.

    I am going to attempt this trip on my 2012 Triumph street triple r. It currently has about 20.500 miles; I blew the original engine right at 12000 so this random eBay ‘12 engine has X miles on it. Still, the bike is phenomenal and far better equipped than my ‘07 SV677 “track bike”. I’ve already spent roughly 1500 on the Kriega 50L combo bags, 3 sea to summit stuff sacks (probably overkill in hindsight), a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, kelty late start 2 tent, Smith and Wesson 40 cal mp shield, lantern, basic cooking/coffee stuff, and a couple other small items. Also got a set of Michelin road 5’s coming in Monday. Can’t think of much else I need, bare minimum speaking. Hoping to spend 5-6 nights a week camping where I can.

    My goal is to leave Wednesday July 1, around 6 am. My tires should arrive Monday, I’ll get them mounted Tuesday and get the bike sorted, and be done. I expect to take at least 3-4 weeks. Maybe double, who knows. I’m going till the unemployment money runs out or I give up.

    Leaving from Chattanooga I don’t have a too incredible specific route or agenda. I have never been to the Ozarks so I think I’d like to camp and spend a day there. I don’t want to rush so I expect to take two days to reach the Ozarks in Arkansas, but it doesn’t appear that I can camp at a national park in Mississippi. So I’ll try to make my way to East Arkansas day 1, find a place, then explore the Ozarks day 2. From there I will try to find Route 66 in Oklahoma and camp. Maybe ride Route 66 a day or two (although I wanted to see Austin and Texas), then head north to Colorado where I will ride pikes peak and check out Denver and the surrounding area probably at least a couple days.

    Maybe Vegas from there, then LA, then spend a few days in California, seeing the redwoods, traveling the Gold Coast up to the Pnw. After that I’ll make my way to the Black Hills. From there, I don’t know.

    Im lucky enough to be a second generation motorcyclist. My dad rode for 45 years before finally stopping after hitting his 70’s. Mind you at that time he was riding a 500+ rwhp, carbon-fiber wheels, handlebar-raised hayabusa. I grew up looking up to the story of my dad riding his Norton across the country from dc to San Francisco. Now I’m grown and realize how different our journeys will be seeing as he had a friend riding with him and he did it all in 6 days and flew back. Still, I’ve been wanting to do this since about Kindergarten.

    Now my dad is 72, and was diagnosed with Leukemia last September. He spent over 30 days in the hospital, I used FMLA, we for sure thought he may not survive. Luckily he has done well, he and my mother have just in the last couple of days settled into their hotel room outside Vandy in Nashville, where he will start his bone marrow transplant July 10. My 30th birthday is July 12. I know statistically it’s not really great for 70-somethings with Leukemia to survive bone marrow transplants, but it was enough for him to try, for us as a family. So of course that has me concerned. And at the beginning of the process they bring your immunity down to absolute zero, which is when you’d be most susceptible...which should happen for him right around my birthday. Regardless, I know he’d much rather I be undertaking a journey like this than sitting around at home twiddling my thumbs. So I’m going.

    To add to the emotional turbulence, I did split with a 4 year, live-in girlfriend in January. Lots of alcoholism and fighting and hardly any riding for years. So this trip has some significance to me. I was laid off in March and have been drawing unemployment and shredding Deals Gap since April. You could say my life has changed a little since this time last year. Regardless, I may never have enough time and money to do this again, so I’m going for it.

    Attached are some recent photos of me testing my new camping gear out at Deals gap and some other miscellaneous items. My parents with my dad’s old Harley.
    #1
  2. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    If things go well, I’m on the road june 30, this Tuesday.

    ive got brake pads coming in tomorrow morning. I’ll change them, bleed them, get packed up, and everything is done. I don’t see why I should sit around and wait.
    #2
  3. Golden955

    Golden955 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Looking forward to it. I'm planning a trip to the Ozarks this fall, just bought the Butler before logging on.
    #3
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  4. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    Well, the time has come. I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time. The day before.

    I believe I am all packed up and as ready as I’m going to be. Here is an inventory of what I have on the bike with me. All packed up with 2 liters of water it’s 45 lbs.


    Minor tools
    Tire plug kit
    Air compressor
    Wet wipes
    Super glue
    Zip ties
    Toiletries
    Ear plugs
    Jerky
    Oatmeal
    Coffee
    French press
    Pot
    Stove/fuel
    Lantern
    Charger
    Flashlight
    Tent, poles, stakes, rain fly
    Socks x4
    5 shirts 1 long sleeve
    1 pair of jeans
    1 shorts
    5 boxers
    Shoes
    Chair
    Pj bottoms
    Hat
    Sleeping bag
    Fleece blanket
    Pillow
    Sleeping pad
    3 stuff sacks
    Gun/knife
    ID
    Cooler
    Rain suit

    My plan is to wake up around 430 AM tomorrow, have a good breakfast, and hit the road at 6. I hope to take my time, cover over 400 miles, and find a place to camp in eastern Arkansas tomorrow night. From there I will explore the Ozarks, camp again, then make my way to Route 66.

    Wish me luck!

    Attached Files:

    #4
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  5. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    Day 1 almost all finished. So far so good. Would recommend Mississippi River state park in Marianna Arkansas to anybody in need.
    It’s fucking HOT though! Out here sweating my dick off finishing this pint of whiskey trying to get ready to sleep.

    Attached Files:

    #5
  6. Golden955

    Golden955 Been here awhile Supporter

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    That was some Houdini shit you pulled with the packing, nicely done sir. And makes me get the feels for my Sprint and it's saddlebags.
    #6
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  7. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    Just spent a night in the Ozark National Forest in nw Arkansas.
    My front left blinker has decided to fail so I am making the trip to a triumph dealer in OKC. High is 97 this afternoon and low of about 77 overnight... Hate to say it but I might be getting a hotel room tonight. Just need to escape the humidity!
    #7
  8. Crash217

    Crash217 The short guy with a beard

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    On your way to the OKC Triumph dealer, you can hop onto Route 66 and get some food at Pops 66 in Arcadia and check out the Seaba Station motorcycle museum in Warwick (Both east of OKC). And there is another motorcycle museum in Grove, Oklahoma as well, Second Kick Cycle Works. (its off I44 between Arkansas and Tulsa)

    And if you're too hot, next door to the Triumph shop is a big water park that serves booze.
    #8
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  9. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    Awesome suggestions!
    Sadly as I’m sure you’re familiar when motorcycle traveling....I never stopped to check this thread. So now I’m at a hotel in okc. The triumph dealer didn’t tell me anything about a water park! There is a shooting range next door though.

    So I’m learning that the motorcycle riding around here, compared to where I’m from....is lackluster to say the least. Also it’s extraordinarily hot for tent camping! I plan to hop on Route 66 tomorrow and end up in New Mexico. I’m going to have to find some sort of “tent fan” to camp at all the next couple nights.

    From Route 66 in New Mexico I’ll head north to Colorado, hopefully ending up somewhere near pikes peak. I have a feeling I may be in Colorado a few days once I see the mountains.
    #9
  10. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    Oklahoma City isn’t that bad a place

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    #10
  11. Crash217

    Crash217 The short guy with a beard

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    Your road riding will suck until you get a good way into New Mexico.

    I’d say hit up Meers for a burger tomorrow and ride up Mt. Scott near Lawton.

    Meers Store and Restaurant

    26005 OK-115, Meers, OK 73057
    (580) 429-8051 https://g.co/kgs/DTFhEX


    Mt Scott

    Oklahoma 73507 https://g.co/kgs/mv8wHZ
    #11
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  12. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    I’m loving your suggestions and appreciate them. If I were staying longer I’d do it. I now feel like I have to find mountains like a hungry person finding food.

    I feel a pressing urgency to get westward. I want to ride the Rockies, and the Gold Coast, and explore the Pacific Northwest. Hoping I can sit in the saddle long enough tomorrow to reach New Mexico high country. I’m afraid I may be looking at a 10 hour day riding but I’m going for it.
    Next expected night: Santa Fe National Forest
    #12
  13. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    I had too much fun last night drinking beer so I think I’m going to make a slightly less ambitious journey to Amarillo and find another hotel.
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  14. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    Outside of Amarillo you got the Cadillac Ranch , worth 30 minutes just to see one time. A little south of Amarillo is Palo Duro Canyon , 2nd largest canyon in the United States. I haven't been there , but , only because I didn't know about it. Worth more than 30 minutes I'd bet.
    #14
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  15. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

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    This is a warning! With the pandemic in full swing desperation has reached a dangerous level in New Mexico. Stealing cars, trailers and motorcycles is a critical problem. If you can bring your bike inside your room(if moteling) Do It.
    #15
  16. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

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    Secondly, if you decide to spend more time in Colorado and not on Route 66 that will be a very good decision!!
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  17. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    Shit. Thanks for the heads up. I hope to find high country in New Mexico and camp.
    #17
  18. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    Thank you so much for suggesting these otherwise I’d have never known. Going to get up tomorrow and check out the caddies, enjoy a bowl there, then pack up and go see the canyon. From there I’ll make the trek to Santa Fe and try to find some camping. This is awesome. I already am thinking about how to do the next trip around.
    #18
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  19. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

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    Consider buying a Butler Map of Colorado. Most dealers carry them. Very valuable. I almost wore mine out!
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  20. Howboudanancypelosi

    Howboudanancypelosi Adventurer

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    So I tried but was unable to actually get into Palo Duro state park because they’re booked up for day passes two days out, but it was still cool to go. Gonna get packed and showered then check out the Cadillac’s on my way west to New Mexico.

    I did get to drag race an airplane that was pretty awesome. They’re fast!

    Attached Files:

    #20