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North American Road Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sanguis, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    646
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Ben, sounds like a great trip! There is some amazing things to see and do along your route. You may want to try this website to locate free camping.
    https://freecampsites.net
    #21
  2. DWalt

    DWalt **** The Beans....

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    Location:
    At the Dew Drop Inn.
    Ben, I'm 75 miles north of NOLA.
    I've got tools, shop, beer, food, and comfortable guest accommodations.
    Hit me up for anything you need....

    Check yer PMs for my contact info
    #22
  3. MrBob

    MrBob In the Pines. Supporter

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    20,033
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    I spent 5 days in NO and am not unfamiliar with what you list but my experience may be completely different from one that Ben will have.
    When I took my first long-distance motorcycle tour almost 45 years ago there were many highs and lows and no shortage of blunders but I cherish each one of them in my memory as I get older and more decrepit.
    #23
    squonker, Appetite4Dirt and Jim K. like this.
  4. c17load

    c17load Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
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    picayune,ms
    I work in Nola every day. I agree that for the most part it is a dump, but there are still some gems in the mix that can not be seen or experienced any where else in the world. I live about an our out of the city on an old south farm and that I've offered up to Ben a friend of mine was a French quarter tour guide and we will take him into town and show him a good time. Plus some Cajun friends are planning on taking him out in the swamp and chasing aligators
    #24
  5. DWalt

    DWalt **** The Beans....

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,918
    Location:
    At the Dew Drop Inn.
    If yall gonna ride, holler at me, I'll ride with ya.....
    I'm up in Tylertown MS....
    #25
  6. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    371
    Hi guys,

    Thank you so much for your replies. I'll definately be in touch whenever I will be in your respective areas!

    Today I rode from Corvallis to the west on highway 20 to Newport and then turned south on the 101.
    It was absolutely awful...
    It was pouring... I was almost blown off bridges because of the winds (at least, that's what I'm gonna tell my grand children) and it was cold.
    But I also met some nice people today.
    I met a gentleman at a gas station (btw, why are there people in this country that help you put gas in your vehicle?!?!) who told me would ride to South Dakota soon. And he told me about the motorcycles he owned. He said he is also on this forum, so hopefully I will hear from him!
    Also, when I was at a rest area on highway 101 (with a nice view obviously) to drink some water and eat something, a nice older lady pulled over in her car just to ask me if I wanted a picture with my bike and the ocean on the background. When she heard my accent, she asked me where I was from. I said I was from Holland. "Oh, you are so brave coming out here to travel on your motorcycle." Haha
    At around 4 pm (It finally stopped raining) I decided that it was time for me to look for a place to camp. Because this is my first night on the road I thought it would be smart to set up camp in an actual camp ground and not in the bush. In order to ease my way into the trip a little bit. Also I took alot of time before sunset, so that I could set up the tent and cook myself a meal for the first time before it would get dark.
    I saw a campground at Klamath and took the exit.
    Guess what happened when I unloaded my camping gear... yep, it started raining.
    I think I might have set some kind of world record in tent setup... I hope that when I leave here tomorrow morning it will have stopped raining. I really don't want to load up my gear on wet on the bike.

    On the camp spot next to mine there is a young couple that is travelling around America in their van. The guy, Frank, is from Canada and his wife (I forgot her name) is from Mexico. Frank told me about all the places he visited, it was great hearing about these great places (where it is warm and not raining!)
    So after trying to remember what my uncle taught me about his little cooking set, I cooked myself a meal (Ko, I'm never buying oats at that store again, they were absolutely awful) and after writing this I am going straight to sleep.
    Tomorrow afternoon I want to make it to Santa Rosa. "dravnx" has generously offered me a place to stay, so that is where I am headed next.
    Thanks again for all your replies and kind offers. I highly appreciate it.

    Ben

    P.S.
    I tried uploading some pictures, but the "free" campground wifi is terrible, so hopefully tomorrow.
    #26
    DWalt likes this.
  7. c17load

    c17load Adventurer

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    picayune,ms
    When you cut east try to pass through white sands New Mexico. It is one more of those gems that can only be experienced in America and leaves a mental picture in your mind you will carry forever.
    Plus sledding down a sand Dune brings out the inner child In us all, no matter what your age
    #27
  8. DWalt

    DWalt **** The Beans....

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    At the Dew Drop Inn.
    And the road up to Cloudcroft NM is cool too!!!

    West Texas Aint....

    lol
    #28
  9. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    371
    Hey guys, thank you for your replies.
    White Sands has been on my list for a long time and so is a straight line through western texas lol. When I get to Louisiana I can go through my planned route with you guys if you are interested. I am always open for some new cool ideas!

    Ben
    #29
  10. c17load

    c17load Adventurer

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    Don't forget the Grand Canyon. And to the comment about straight through west Texas I say with emotion in my voice, like talking a friend off the edge of a building, "Don't do it man! You have so much to live for." :-)
    #30
  11. ChicoProf

    ChicoProf Been here awhile

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    Aug 17, 2013
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    615
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    The mandated help filling your tank is an Oregon thing (edit: and New Jersey) - You will pump your own in California and almost every other state.

    Looking forward to the rest of your ride report - ride safe and be well!
    #31
  12. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    There IS some cool stuff in West Texas...McDonald Observatory, Big Bend National Park, The Three Sisters, and the Marfa Lights come to mind...
    #32
    Runaway Train likes this.
  13. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    Location:
    New Haven, Ct.
    Welkom Ben, I've known more than a few of your landgenoten who have fallen in love with the wide American West.(one or two who have moved there permanently ) Perhaps Peter Stuyvesant should have gotten further west than Nieuw Amsterdam, he & his fellows would have stayed longer! I've visited your country several times & I can't imagine a more striking contrast. Instead of tidy towns & neat polders, you will find BIG empty spaces & lots of "sprawl" (slord?). And of course, the mountains! The Netherlands have many beautiful sights, but I seem to remember that they are mostly horizontal :-)

    You are in for a great adventure, one that you'll remember until you're my age, & I was your age in A-dam when Ajax won their first European Cup (...quite a long time ago).
    #33
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  14. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    Hi guys,
    Thank you for your replies.
    Here are some pictures from yesterday. Later I'll post my story from today and reply to your posts.
    Ben

    Attached Files:

    #34
    TheTraveler8 and rubline like this.
  15. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Grand Canyon definately a place that I will visit when I head back west. About west Texas: I'm open to suggestions. I'll definately check out the places twowings mentioned.

    It's good service, but completely unnecessary, just like people who bag your groceries for you at the supermarket. When I saw that for the first time, I thought "Hey, lady, keep your hands off my groceries!" But then I realised she worked there...

    Thanks, man. I'll check it out.

    That's exactly what I thought. When I got to the USA I was shocked by how spread out and big everything is...
    So far what I've seen, this country is beautiful and I can't wait to see the rest of it.

    I woke up this morning in Klamath and obviously it hadn't stopped raining. Everything was muddy and wet, so when I had finally finished packing all my gear on the bike (I was surprised I didn't drop the bike, because of all the slippery mud) I headed into the direction of Santa Rosa, where Jeff and his girlfriend Lori had so generously offered me to stay at their house for the night. I got in touch with Jeff through the tent space thread.
    The original plan was to ride down the 101 and then past the Lost Coast and then on 1, finishing with the 16 into Santa Rosa. But the weather was so awful that I just wanted to get there as soon as possible, so I took the 101 straight to Santa Rosa. The bad news is that I missed alot of nice scenary and that I've developed a new fobia of trucks when it's raining, but the good news is that I got to Jeff's house at like 01:15 am. Also I will take the planned route on my way north in summer anyway, when it's way nicer and I will be able to enjoy it better.
    I spread out and hung all my wet gear (so basically everything) in Jeff's garage and hopefully everything will be dry by tomorrow. If not, Jeff has offered to take out his leaf blower and dry the last things completely out. Also he is gonna show me how to do some maintance on my bike. This way I will learn slowly but surely more and more about it.
    Jeff took me to see a motorcycle shop in town. We saw a KTM 990 adventure for sale which was in way worse condition than mine is, without panniers or tankbag and with a way higher asking price. That made my day.
    Then we ate dinner at his house and in the evening we went to see some live music. I'm not a big drinker, so I was the designated driver, so I also got to drive my first American Dodge pick-up. That was awesome and I can cross that off my bucket list!
    Tomorrow my plan is to head out to San Fransisco and visit my uncle's family. It's not far, so if the weather is nice I will take the 116 back north and then follow it west. At the intersectiom, I will take 1 to the south and them follow it and cross the Golden Gate bridge. But... my family hasn't gotten back to me yet, because I contacted them just now, so we will see how that goes.
    Thanks again for your replies and generous offers and help.

    Ben

    Attached Files:

    #35
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  16. dannyboy57

    dannyboy57 n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
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    Location:
    H town Houston
    You might want to check out Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
    Have a great and safe trip.
    #36
    i4bikes likes this.
  17. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    +1,000 on Carlsbad Caverns....simply astounding!
    #37
  18. endgame

    endgame Adventurer

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    Location:
    SW Florida
    I’ve come to think that traveling is about seeing and learning the good the bad and the ugly of a country/place/culture/people. Smelling the vomit on Bourbon St. and getting covered in skeeters in Luisiana (been there done that) will all make for great stories and memories 10 or 20 years from now. If it doesn’t kill you it’ll make you more experienced and better informed. Otherwise… go on vacation.

    Many decades ago, in my early twenties, I came to the US as a wide-eyed kid from Amsterdam and I’m still here. As is already evident in this thread, Ben will find most Americans to be very friendly, hospitable and generous. I can attest that exploring the US as a kid from Holland is an eye popping experience that will make you realize how little you really understood about the US culture after watching it on tv from afar all those years.

    Be careful, be smart, and don’t push your luck unless you really have too. Just go en laat de leeuw niet in z'n hempie staan!
    #38
  19. dravnx

    dravnx Been here awhile

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    santa rosa, ca
    I had a pleasant visit with our visitor from Holland. We got everything of Ben's dried out, in spite of my small garage, and fed and entertained him. My neighbor noticed the activity and brought over some clamps to hang things and a small heater to speed up the drying process. It takes a community.

    My girlfriend has been a bit nervous about having strangers staying in the house as she is more private then I am. She was not entirely thrilled about the whole tent space sign up thing. Ben is a polite, easy to get along with young man and it was a great first traveler experience for Laurie and I. [​IMG] Ben.JPG
    #39
  20. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    I will check it out for sure. Thanks!

    It is definately different than I had expected so far and I have only been on the road for a few days. But it is different in a good way. For example, when I rode into San Fransisco yesterday, I was waiting in front of a traffic light. I wasn't too sure where I should turn in order to get to Half Moon Bay. So I asked thedriver of the car next to me. Not only did he tell me how to get there while riding the most scenic route. Over the next few traffic lights, everytime we had a red light, he was also telling me what other places in the area I should visit, because they are so special.
    In Holland people would probably just answer you with as little words as possible and if you're lucky give you a forced little smile.
    Don't get me wrong. Holland is great and all, but people are just less open and enthousiastic.

    Hey Jeff,

    I had a great time and you really helped me out alot. I was also nervous, because you and Laurie were also my first tent space. But it didn't take long until I felt comfortable. Thank you again for all your help and hopefully I will you again some day.

    All my stuff dried up nicely from my first camping experience and Jeff helped me with some small maintnance on my bike. We even got a nice afternoon ride in the Santa Rosa area on a nice twisty road to the coast before I set off to see my family in the San Francisco area. My uncle's brother lives there with his family and it would take me a couple of hours to get there.
    So when I was still at Jeff's, my family replied to my message that although their entire house is basically being rebuild, I could stay in their pool house. I still amazes me how hospitable people are although they are very busy and occupied themselves.
    From Santa Rosa I took the 101 (the 1 to San Francisco was closed) over the Golden Gate Bridge (another thing off my bucket list!) and then the 1 to Half Moon Bay. The ride was spectacular. The coastline is just amazing. It was really hard too keep some of my attention to the actual riding.
    I wanted to take the 35 to Saratoga, where my family lives, but I missed the turn, so instead I got to ride some very nice small roads with some great views.
    My family took me out for dinner and showed me where I could sleep. The pool house isn't really a pool house. It's basically a nice, big guest room with everything inside that a traveller can wish for.
    The ride there was definately an improvement. Most of the time the weather was alot nicer, although for some random reason it hailed for a couple of minutes when I was on the 101. The motorcycle did great again and I can't wait to ride it down the coast today.

    Thanks again for all your nice replies, you've all been a great help to me.
    If any of you know some cool spots, free campground or tent spaces down the 1 within a couple of good hours ride from Saratoga, I would appreciate it.

    Attached Files:

    #40
    rubline likes this.