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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by augiedog, Oct 8, 2018.
Thank you for what you are sharing and will share
Wow!!! Really enjoying your stories!!! Looking forward!
After spending 3 days in in Las Cruses it was time to get on the road. I spent several hours going over the bike changing the oil, cleaning the chain, lubing the cables and checking for loose bolts. I had lost one of the front fender bolts a couple days earlier so I bought 4 new bolts with nuts and lock washers, drilled out the the threaded bosses on the front forks and thru bolted the fender brackets. I also adjusted the chain and clutch cable as both seemed a little loose to me. My friends dad was a construction foreman at White Sands Missile Range and told me I should ride thru, stop at the Visitors center and check it out. It was a great call, very interesting and informative place. From there I began working my way northeast on rt 62 toward central Texas. I had a good assortment of paper maps I had bought before and during the trip so far and every evening I would sit down and map out several routes three or four hundred miles in the direction I was planning to go, (wern't no Garmins back then). I carried a small binder notebook and would write down the rt numbers and towns along each one where I figures I could get gas or some type of shelter come nightfall. I was very lucky out west across the deserts and only ended up riding all nite once and camping once in a gas station parking lot somewhere between Searchlight and Lordsburg after getting real low on gas. I quickly found out if I would stop in a small town or rural community late in the afternoon you could strike up a conversation with someone who was willing to offer you a place to spend the night or knew a place you could camp or someone willing to put you up for the night. I had studied a lot of routes before starting out and figured if I could make it into Texas and pick up rt 84 east I would be far enough south to miss the cold late fall temps. The cold nights and mornings were always in the back of my mind as it was very late in the year to be attempting such an adventure. There were quiet a few mornings a Lexan Windscreen and a pair of heated grips would have have been wonderful. I had been real lucky having been on the road for nearly two weeks with no sign of rain.
You should have never considered your luck with Mother Nature. Just saying.
Correct me if I am wrong. You are fixing to get wet, Boss.
Looking forward to your next installment. Great RR, please keep it coming.
Thanks for following along Scott. In answer to your question . I spent 35 days on the coast to coast trip and took took two days off for rain related days. One in east Texas and one in southern Ga. I ended up riding about fourty hours total in the rain the entire trip.
What was wrong with riding in the rain back in the 70's?
Hard compound tires and the absence of GoreTex gear made it more of an adventure
If you have ever spent eight hours riding in 40 degree temps in an all day rain on two lane blacktop roads, wearing jeans, an army issue field Jacket, an open face helmet with googles, and no wind protection you would know what was wrong with it. It is about as close as freezing to death as you can get.
In! Very interesting read. Don't need no pictures. Augie's gotta way with words! Thanks Augiedog
Ride safe all.
PS: the first picture is a treasure!
I never took pictures back the those days. No one did. I have seen a few on one of the threads under the title of the first adventure riders or something like that. My dad had a few of a trip or two he took to Colorado in the 60s on his old 74 harley.
Here are a few pictures of me and several riding buddies someone took of us riding in the Brown Mt area around Table Rock mt in NC.
These were taken after I returned home from Vietnam. My dad had two older brothers who lived in the Jonas Ridge area and I spent a lot of weekends riding the mountians around that area.
Thank you for your service, Augiedog.
After leaving White Sands I began working my way east using a maze of rural two lane roads. My planned objective of this adventure from the start was to see as much of rural America as I could see, places I had heard and read about in school and from the many friends I had made while serving in the military. I had already concluded that the US was a lot bigger than I ever imagined. The vastness and the beauty of west was a bit overwhelming. I cannot tell you how many miles I would ride at times and not see another sole. As I kid I watched my share of westerns on TV and in movies. After riding alone thru some of the same deserts and small western towns that were still the same was something I will never forget. Even now, 50 years later the west still has a magical attraction for me and I get excited every time I go back there. Things I see now on TV, in the News, read about on ADV or in any book , magazine or internet blog take on a whole new meaning because a long time ago I was there. I guess some things you have to see in person and be there to understand. It is the one of those things you have to experience for yourself. As I continued on east I saw signs like El Paso, Dodge City. Pecos, Laredo, Sweetwater and countless other little towns scattered along or off my route to the north or south. The weather gods were still smiling on me and other than several cold morning starts things were good. I had been keeping a close eye on the weather and there was rain forecast east and south of Dallas and I was going to catch it eventually. I was headed toward Waco and was hoping to get there before I got wet.
I spent the next 2 days with family members eating Turkey and catching up on things back on the home front and watching and waiting for a break in the weather. The temps had once again became cold enough that it was next to impossible to ride long distance wet and in the rain. From Waco I was looking at around 1000 miles home. With daytime highs in the 50s and lows in the mid 30s three hundred mile days would likely be the max. My plan became to contine on riding rural roads and cover as much ground as I could avoiding the rain if possible. Other than finding strangers along the way from here, motels were likely to be the only option at nite. I was ready to go home and the cold days and freezing nites were wearing me down. It had been almost five weeks and 3400 miles since I left Seattle. After leaving Waco I ran into rain about 4:00 and ended up in a motel. It rained all nite and finally stopped about daylight. It was around 40 degrees when I left the motel the next morning. I rode till about ten before stopping to grab some breakfast, hot coffee and warm up a bit. After about an hour I took off again with it around 45 degrees. It was cloudy damp and cold I just did not have enough to keep me warm at these damp temps. After stopping 3 or four more times to warm up I got another room some where in central Louisiana. The rain had been pushed north and a cold front was setting in for the next few days moving slowly east with me. I decided that evening I was going to try and find a pair of heavy coveralls and some heaver gloves. While at the hardware store buying a pair of Oshkosh work coveralls and a pair of heavy insulated gloves I found 2 canvas bags about 12 by 18 inches each. I took the bags, split them on the closed end and slid them onto the handlebars like hippo hands knocking some of the cold air off my hands. The next day was still cold but the extra protection helped a lot.
The next 4 days would prove to be the toughest of the entire trip. The coveralls heavy gloves and hand covers helped a lot but daytime highs in the low 50s and morning temps in the 30s make making long runs near impossible. I would ride until I was so cold I couldn't stop shivering and my feet and hands were numb, get coffee or hot chocolate, warm up and go again. I would repeat this over and over finally getting a cheap room around Five just before dark. I always got a room where I could sneak the bike in the room after dark. First thing I would turn the shower wide open hot, strip down get in the shower and warm up. I would spend about thirty minutes warming up and getting the feeling back in my hands before rolling the bike inside and unloading what gear I needed that nite. I would always get something to eat or either eat before my last stop each day. I would eat whatever I had, relax a little and check the bike over for the next day. The rear tire was starting to show a lot of ware. I had ridden two days now in the cold and figured in a day and a half I could be home if I could stay dry and avoid any rain. I spent my last nite in a motel in Macon Ga. The weather report was calling for rain to move in over the mountians in north Ga. and move east thru South Carolina toward North Carolina late tomorrow afternoon. If I got caught in the rain I knew there was no way I would be able to continue in 40 degree rain. I left the motel around 5 am in the cold dark determined to get home that afternoon. I ran east on rt 16 turning north east of Savannah, where I got on rt 29 crossing the Savannah river in Lincoln Ga into SC. It was a little over 150 miles to my home from Lincoln. I had rode rt 29 several times earlier on my old BSA down to my uncles cabin on Lake Hartwell on fishing trips with my Dad. It warmed up some that day as the rain closed in on me and I got home around four thirty just as it began to rain. Those last 3 days were some of the toughest I would ever spend on a motorcycle. It had taken me 39 days and 4400 miles to get home.
Really enjoying your RR. Thanks for your service.
Thanks Augiedog for telling us your story.
I realize this particular chapter may be over or close to over, but you said over next several days or weeks you would tell us more...
I'm subbed to this for sure and looking forward to "much" more.
I'm up here in cold Canada and my bike just went in the shed this week so now I will have to survive several months by reading stories like yours.