Philly to Anchorage - Leaving May 21 on an F650GS

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JackB1, May 13, 2009.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101

    Went back today. Table is gone!!!
    #81
  2. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CJack%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Day 38 – Saturday, June 27, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Pendleton, Or.<o:p></o:p>
    End: Nampa, Idaho<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 270 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 9279<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    On the way back to Athena early this morning I took a few moments to cruise by the Pendleton Woolen Mills. Founded in 1893, Pendleton Woolen Mills is known worldwide as a maker of fine Indian blankets and men’s plaid shirts. It could very well be the only thing you ever heard of from Pendleton, OR. My early morning ride also gave me time to soak up the views of the local farms and the agribusiness. The area’s main crops are wheat and hay but I’m also told that a great percentage of world’s commercial green pea crop also comes from here. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Back, then, to Athena I went. What I found were many more bikes now present – maybe as many as 150-200? Also present were a couple of examples of the defunct Japanese brand Yamaguchi. It was Yamaguchi going out of business that, in part, precipitated PABATCO getting into business with their very own brand, Hodaka. This morning I also got to view the Hodaka Parade through downtown Athena – a sight not to be missed! Not only is the parade fun for the participants but local folks all come out and it’s a grand old time. Many of the local residents seem to look back fondly on the Hodaka era when the brand carried Athena’s name proudly to the furthest corners of the United States. The parade brings with it the sounds and smells (and smoke!) that was the signature of two-stroke motorcycling in the 60s and 70s. Just like a trip back in a time machine! Additionally I got some time to speak to Paul Stannard and his wife Patti who are the real catalysts behind the continuation of this great event. Paul is the president of the Hodaka Club and also operates one of the premier outlets for Hodaka Parts, information, and accessories. Their company, Strictly Hodaka, is based in Vermont. Paul and Patti are friendly, outgoing people, willing to help in any way and they have made a successful business out of their passion. We should all be so lucky! However, even this fun had to come to an end as I needed to get on the road and cover some ground eastward. Before noon I was on my way, rolling eastward in I-84 and covering the last 100 miles of Oregon. Shortly after crossing into Idaho I decided that enough was enough and that I had to get off the Interstate if I was to retain my sanity. I took a chance and went south from the highway and worked my way into the Snake River Valley. I followed that for about thirty scenic miles before turning back north to Nampa, ID. my overnight destination. Unfortunately, going eastbound the time zone changes steal hours from you. When I crossed into Idaho I entered the Mountain Time Zone and lost an hour from the available riding time. Fortunately I’ll be in Mountain Time for the next couple of days so I don’t have to dial that correction into my travel plans again for a while.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It looks like each of the next few days will need to be over 400 milers in order to make my planned arrival at home on Friday, July 3. Tomorrow’s destination is Rock Springs, WY and Limon, CO the day after that. Riding the Interstates will make the mileage accumulation possible but I’m not looking forward to just highway miles. Hopefully I can cover ground quick enough to get off the highway from time to time and see the truly interesting stuff. Time will tell.


    [​IMG]
    Wheatfields near Pendleton, OR


    [​IMG]
    Athena's Main Street is like a step back into the 60s


    [​IMG]
    Hodaka Parade in Downtown Athena. Check out the smoke!


    [​IMG]
    Hodaka Days bike show!


    [​IMG]
    Snake River South of Nampa, ID


    There are plenty of additional pictures to be seen at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    #82
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    101
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CJack%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Day 39 – Sunday, June 28, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Nampa, ID<o:p></o:p>
    End: Rock Springs, WY<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 478 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 9757<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    What can I say about today? 478 miles (3<sup>rd</sup> longest day of the trip!) but all on the Interstate. My route of travel is easily described – I left Nampa, ID on I-84 East. I stayed on I-84 until it ends in Utah East of Salt Lake City and at that point I jumped on I-80 East for the rest of the day. You can certainly make good time on the Interstates, especially in the west where the speed limits are high (like 75 all day today!) You do miss out, however, on much of the scenery and interesting elements of how people live their lives in the localities that you pass through. That being said, for tomorrow I’m going to leave the Interstate for a few hours and cut through the Northeast corner of Colorado via secondary roads. It’s my last day in the mountains and I’m really looking forward to the diversion, regardless of how long it may take me to reach tomorrow’s overnight destination, Limon, CO. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Highlights for today were few but the one which always stands out for me is the ride from the Salt Lake City area heading east. The climb up through the mountains is eye-popping and even the Interstate is interesting here, with sweeping s-turns, many posted for 45 or 55 mph but capable of being negotiated at higher speeds. I am definitely looking forward to lots of mountain twisties tomorrow. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The bike continues to handle the miles without complaint. I did confirm today an observation I made at the beginning of the trip coming across North Dakota and Montana. That is that the gas mileage really goes in the pot when you try to cruise at speeds above 75. While I would suspect that the overall gas mileage for the trip is about 57mpg, by really twisting the throttle to cover ground quickly the rider can drive the mpg value into the 40s. On the other hand, proceeding at more “sedate” speeds on secondary roads often yields over 60 mpg. Take your pick! <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As I mentioned, tomorrow it’s Limon, CO. I’m getting far enough along that it’s getting possible to predict where I’m gonna land for the rest of the trip. That projection kinda looks like this: Monday night-Limon, CO; Tuesday night- somewhere around Salina or Lawrence, KS; Wednesday night-St Louis area; Thursday night- Columbus, Ohio area; Friday night – HOME in Malvern, PA. Still lots of miles to go but the end is coming in sight!


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Seen on I-84 in Idaho, near the Utah border.


    [​IMG]
    I-80 in Utah, near the Wyoming border


    [​IMG]
    Big Rocky Mountain thunderstorm brewing. South of Evanston, WY


    More pics at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    <o:p></o:p>
    #83
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
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    Start: Rock Springs, WY <o:p></o:p>
    End: Limon, CO<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 497 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 10254<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I feel really good about today and the route I took. By getting off Interstate 80 near Rawlings and heading south into Colorado, I was able to entirely change the character of the ride. My route took me off of the Interstate by 8:30 in the morning (yea!). Near the small town of Wamsutter I turned south on Wyoming Route 789 toward the Colorado border and the small town of Craig, CO. This portion took me through high desert and across the Continental Divide for the first of 4 times today. By the time I entered Craig, the terrain had transformed from the Wyoming High desert browns and reds to the Colorado lush greens. A VERY refreshing change. In Craig I turned East on US 40. Next location of note was the ski town of Steamboat Springs, CO. Steamboat is a little bit artsy and touristy but still with a taste of the old west. From Steamboat the Route 40 goes seriously uphill and into the Routt National Forest. The segment from Steamboat to Kremmling was the surprise and delight of the day for scenery. Forested mountainsides, alpine lakes and more. Then it was on to Granby, Grand Lake and Route 34 through the Rocky Mountain National Park. Pictures do not do these places justice, you must visit! Aside from about 15 miles of construction, near the West entrance, the Park was just about perfect. I also had my closest ever encounter with Elk. They were actually grazing in the roadway. After leaving the park I passed through Estes Park then continued on through Bolder, Denver and (sadly) out of the mountains and into the prairie. After Denver I joined I-70 and proceeded to Limon, CO, my overnight digs. I say sadly because there is a lot of flat and seeming featureless country before me as I proceed across Eastern Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. I will be on Interstate 70 for well over 1000 miles before I exit in Pennsylvania some 4 days hence. The trip total miles is now over 10,000 and that seems like a real trek. Someday it will make me tired just thinking about it. But not yet. I’m beginning to get amped up to just pound out miles and get home. Thanks again for letting me share this little adventure with you.



    [​IMG]
    Crossed the Continental Divide at least 3 times today. Shouldn't I be able to just coast home?


    [​IMG]
    Near Steamboat Springs, CO


    [​IMG]
    Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park


    See more pics at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #84
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
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    Start: Limon, CO <o:p></o:p>
    End: Wichita, KS<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 433 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 10687<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today was the first of several days in a row of highway mileage that will close out my trip. Eastern Colorado and Kansas are really lovely places but I am very sure that riding through these states on Interstate 70 doesn’t show off their beauty to maximum effect. The first thing I noticed this morning, upon leaving Limon, CO before 7:00 AM was that it was already over 60 deg (f)! I took this as a clue that today might be a “warm” day. Riding eastward and looking directly into the morning sun is always a challenge but I guess that’s the price to be paid for these early morning departures. Today was, again, all about covering maximum distance so I didn’t factor in adequate time to check out many of the “ attractions” to be found in this part of the world. For example I had to pass up the “World’s Largest Prairie Dog” in Oakley, Kansas. I also made the mistake of failing to leave time for visits to any of the many “boyhood homes of famous people” scattered across the Kansas landscape. For example, I drove right past the boyhood home of Walter P. Chrysler in Ellis, KS and completely missed the boyhood homes of both Bob Dole and Senator Arlen Specter in Hays, Kansas. First thing tomorrow morning I will likewise miss, no doubt, the boyhood home of Dwight D. Eisenhower in Abilene, KS. What I did see today were the rich farmlands of Kansas which deliver wheat, corn, and other important crops to all of us. Not the most scenic of views but beautiful in their own way. The heat of today was pretty oppressive. By the end of the day I was looking at 98 degrees on the bike thermometer. Hope fully tomorrow will be a bit cooler as I make my way to St. Louis and hopefully beyond the Mississippi river. Thanks for being along for these last few days of the ride. Jack



    [​IMG]
    Kansas Farmland!


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    Chcek out that temperature!
    <o:p></o:p>
    #85
  6. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
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    Start: Wichita, KS <o:p></o:p>
    End: Vandalia, IL<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 527 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 11214<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This was a day for which I had no real expectations, except that it would be a long ride on a hot day. Well, as it turned out, this was a day of a number of fun surprises. My only real goal for the day was to make it across the Mississippi River before calling it a day. To do so, I felt the need to leave depart early, which I did by getting underway just before 6:30AM. It seemed a bit unusual to be packing up the bike in the pre-dawn darkness inasmuch as two weeks ago I was in Alaska where there was virtually no darkness at all. It was 65 degrees when I took to the Kansas byways and I took that as an omen that another sweltering day was in store. Anyway, off I went. The initial part of the trip took me on the Kansas Turnpike toward Kansas City, about 200 miles distant. I relished the lack of traffic at that hour and in the bright morning sunlight one could see lots of deer grazing in the farm fields. Pretty nice! I covered 100 miles before 8:00am and that amount of progress gave me confidence that my Mississippi Crossing goal was in reach as well as reinforcing the notion that I could stop in St. Louis and visit the Headquarters of the BMW Motorcycles Owners of America. So on I pressed. It was shortly after passing Kansas City that I got my first exciting “surprise” sighting of the day. Just barely into Missouri and what should I see but a sign proclaiming that the town I was passing through, Blue Springs, was the home of American Idol 2008 winner David Cook! The “World’s Biggest Prairie Dog “ yesterday and now this! I guess it’s just plain wrong to say there’s nothing to see on the prairie! And on I rode. About 2:30 I arrived in Ellisville, just outside St Louis at the BMW MOA headquarters, an organizaion to which I have belonged since the early 1990s. They gave me the grand tour and I spent some time speaking with the organization’s magazine editor about doing a piece based on this blog and on my trip. We explored ideas and left open the possibility. Maybe the best part of stopping in at BMW MOA was that it’s just right down the street from the Historic Route 66! I’ve spent days (no weeks!) following all manner of pioneer trails – the Oregon Trail, The California Trail, the Mormon Trail, etc, etc, etc. However, to we geezers from the motorized travel era nothing is bigger that Route 66. The Mother Road! And I got to ride on it (if only briefly) on my bike. How cool is that? Later in the day I had another encounter with Route 66 as I stopped just before crossing the Mississippi at the location of the historic “Chain of Rocks Bridge” that carried Route 66 over the Mississippi “back in the day.” All in all a pretty good day. Oh yes, it never really got hot either. Highest temp I saw all day was about 85 and after crossing the River I rode for another hour in mid 70s temps. Just about perfect I’d say.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The plan for tomorrow is to get another early start and to arrive in the Columbus, Ohio area early enough in the afternoon to go and visit the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Heritage Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. The distance is reasonable (only about 370 miles) but I get hit with another of those pesky time zone changes and lose an hour! Ortunately it’s the last one as , by this time tomorrow I’ll be back in the Eastern Time Zone where I belong! I only have one other thing to tell today but this is really weird. Tonight I’m in a hotel in Vandalia, Il. My room number is 312. In fact my room number has been 312 for 3 of the last 4 nights! Rock Springs, WY – 312. Limon, CO – 312. Now Vandalia, IL – 312. Very creepy! Maybe this means something but I don’t quite know just what yet. Stick around and maybe we’ll see before the trip is over!!


    [​IMG]
    Loadin' up pretty early!


    [​IMG]
    Gotta Love this!


    [​IMG]
    Mississippi River North of St. Louis
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    More pictures are available to be seen at https://jackb1.smugmug.com <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #86
  7. Treadless

    Treadless avoiding gravity storms if at all possible Supporter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,373
    Location:
    above the soil's surface on the left coast
    Thank YOU!






    Too bad you missed out on the table. :lol3
    #87
  8. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 43 &#8211; Thursday, July 2, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Vandalia, IL <o:p></o:p>
    End: Pickerington, OH<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 358 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 11572<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today started out a little differently. At departure time it was cloudy, overcast, and it looked as if I might get rained on. The lack of that early morning sun burning my retinas was actually a welcome relief from the past few days. Off we went, first through the southern Illinois farmlands, then into Indiana, and ultimately through the cities of Indianapolis, Dayton and Columbus. These are bigger cities now and they come at me more often as I near the more populous Northeast. There is not much to really say about the ride as it was all Interstate 70, as it has been for days now. And it never did rain!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We haven&#8217;t really talked much about &#8220;road warrior cuisine&#8221; but I do want to give a shout out today for one of my favorite road foods &#8211; Skyline Chili! Skyline Chili is the prototypical &#8220;Cincinnati Style&#8221; chili. The company was founded in 1949 by Greek immigrants and has, over the years grown from the original store (within sight of the Cincinnati &#8220;skyline&#8221;) to outlets through Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and a few others. Mostly it&#8217;s a Midwest thing. I believe I previously mentioned that I lived in Michigan for many years and any travel going through the Cincinnati area always required a stop for Skyline Chili. I was fortunate enough to find on of their restaurants near Dayton today and boy did that make me happy! I heartily recommend the 5-way (Chili, beans, onions, cheese, and spaghetti) if you ever get the chance. Skyline Chili can sometimes be found in food stores in other parts of the country but it&#8217;s somehow not the same as having it served to you at one of the restaurants.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    For lack of time, I passed up two stops that ought to be on every traveler&#8217;s short list. I skipped the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum because it was sort of out of the way and also because the Indianapolis Beltway, I-465, is all torn up with construction. I feared taking a huge amount of time just getting to and from the Speedway. I&#8217;ve also been there in the past several years so I just kept on riding. Likewise I drove past the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. As much as I would have like to stop in I just didn&#8217;t have the extra time. Since this is a motorcycle trip, I voted to allocate my time to the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum just outside Columbus, OH. I&#8217;m glad I did. The museum has two currently active displays. The first is &#8220;Moto-Stars&#8221; a display dedicated to celebrities and their motorcycles. Among the notables with strong motorcycle connections are Steve McQueen, Tom Cruise, and Keith Urban and there are both bikes and cycling memorabilia from these and others on display. Also featured, in a different gallery is a collection of the customs from noted builder Arlen Ness. Not exactly my cup of tea stylistically but nonetheless incredible craftsmanship that anyone can surely appreciate. In addition to these special displays there is the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Gallery and much more. If you ever travel this direction the Museum is just moments off I-70 a few miles East of Columbus in Pickerington, Ohio. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Well, tonight is my last evening in a hotel and for that I am grateful. Another 450 miles or so tomorrow and I&#8217;m back home after 6 ½ weeks on the road. I have no particular stops in mind for the final day. Just whatever coffee and &#8220;stretch your legs&#8221; breaks are required to get me through. It&#8217;s been fun but I&#8217;m not quite through yet. Maybe something surprising or interesting could yet happen. If so I&#8217;ll let you know. I really enjoy having others travel along with me. <o:p></o:p>
    Jack <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Welcome to Ohio! Only one more state to go!

    [​IMG]
    One of my favorite "Road Food" places anywhere!

    [​IMG]
    Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, Pickerington, Ohio

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    Just one gallery in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

    More pictures to see at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #88
  9. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 44 &#8211; Friday, July 3, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Pickerington, OH <o:p></o:p>
    End: Malvern, PA<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 447 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 12019<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I can only say WOW! After 44 days, 20 states, 2 Canadian Provinces and a Territory, 4 time zones and 12,019 Miles I am, at last back home. No crashes, no tickets, no bike drops. Just home. Safe and sound. <o:p></o:p>Friends who know more about geography than I say that this is very nearly the equivalent of halfway around the world.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There isn&#8217;t a great deal to say about today&#8217;s ride. I slept in just a bit and didn&#8217;t get on the road until about 8 AM. I ground out 100 miles in the first 90 minutes across Eastern Ohio via I-70. Inasmuch as I skipped all those &#8220;Boyhood home(s) of &#8230;&#8230;&#8221; in Kansas the other day I decided to catch at least one in Ohio. In New Concord, OH. I stopped by the boyhood home of astronaut John Glenn &#8211; now set up as the John and Annie Glenn Historic site, right there on the main street in New Concord. As a kid I was enthralled by the space program so John Glenn was a boyhood hero of mine, as he was for many of my generation. Alas, the house was not open for visitors so I kept on rolling. Sometime later, when I was about 200 miles out, and just beyond the Pennsylvania State Line it began to rain. A fine welcome back! I rode on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for about an hour in and out of showers. Nothing drenching, just enough to require full rain gear and the increased attention rain riding requires. Later the rain abated and I took the opportunity to leave the PA Turnpike to follow US-30 (The Lincoln Highway) through the western part of the state. Route 30 is a marvelous ride from Breezewood, PA headed East for about the next 30-40 miles. It&#8217;s mostly mountain views and twisties up and downhill. Any road posted &#8220;Dangerous Curves Ahead &#8211; Truck runaway Ramp 1 Mile!&#8221; has to be prime motorcycling territory. The number of other bikes out confirmed my assessment. A great ride. Further on I stopped briefly in Gettysburg, PA sight of the famous Civil War Battle (fought July 3-4, 1863&#8230;146 years ago to the day.) Pretty facsinating stuff for the Fourth of July weekend. After that it was just grinding out those last hundred miles. I was met just as I exited the PA Turnpike for the final time by my wife Lisa, and friend Don Verdiani who had ridden out to the same place they left me on that Thursday Morning 6+ weeks ago as I departed. Then my &#8220;posse&#8221; escorted me the last few miles home. That&#8217;s it. I&#8217;m home now. Of course, with ideas for other adventures after a suitable rest period! <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As you know, an important part of this entire enterprise was to raise awareness for and generate donations to the Austin Hatcher Foundation (www.hatcherfoundation.org). If you have enjoyed this story and have, at any point felt compelled to join me in doing something good for those who are in need then I&#8217;d ask you now to make a donation to the Austin Hatcher Foundation. Just go to their website and click on the &#8220;Donations&#8221; tab. If you do so please make a note in the comments field that you are supporting the &#8220;Ride to Alaska&#8221; or similar. If you don&#8217;t wish to donate online but would feel better writing a check simply send a check along to The Austin Hatcher Foundation, 7421 Savannah Drive, Ooltewah, TN. 37363. Again, please enclose a note that says you are supporting the 2009 Ride to Alaska. The Austin Hatcher Foundation is a 501c3 charity.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    A big part of the fun of this adventure was meeting new friends, both on the road and online. I consider all of you who are reading this to be my friends and it&#8217;s been great to have you along for the ride. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Over the next few days I&#8217;ll be posting some &#8220;epilog&#8221; and summary stuff so don&#8217;t stop visiting just yet!!



    [​IMG]
    Return route with overnight stops!


    [​IMG]
    John Glenn homestead. New Concord, OH


    [​IMG]
    Pennsylvania. Welcome back!!


    [​IMG]
    Cruising in my driveway - 12, 019 miles later!


    More pictures to view at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    <o:p></o:p>
    #89
  10. XPLORZ

    XPLORZ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    312
    Location:
    Battle Ground, WA
    WOW! Thats some serious miles! Congratulations on a journey completed. I enjoyed the ride along, heck, I even waved at you going down the Alaska Hwy. I appologize again for being a day late with info on the Cassiar.
    #90
  11. RickatSF

    RickatSF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    100
    Wow! What a great trip. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. So now that you've done your ride, any lessons learned you can offer? Things you would have done differently, equipment you wished you had, I didn't see a GPS on bike. What do you think about your '09 F650GS? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Thx again for the great narratives and pics.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Rick<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #91
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 45 &#8211; Epilogue<o:p></o:p>

    Miles Today &#8211; 0
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Here I sit on 4<sup>th</sup> of July. A mountain of mail needs to be sorted and the bills paid. The first of several loads of laundry is underway. Even so, I am drawn to reflect on the events of the past month. By several thousand miles this was my longest motorcycle trip to date. Friends have pointed out that 12,000 miles is equivalent to just about halfway around the Earth. Even so I don&#8217;t feel particularly weary. Rather, I feel invigorated by having been so far and having seen so much. Were there things I would do differently? Sure.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Regarding the bike:
    My F650GS performed almost perfectly throughout the trip. The exception was an intermittent stalling issue that appeared at about 4000 miles into the trip. I lived with the issue for about a week before putting the bike in the BMW dealer in Anchorage. Whatever they did (they weren&#8217;t talking) fixed the issue as it occurred again. If I were starting out again I would do two things differently with the bike. First, I would add an extension to the side stand to make the foot bigger. I had repeated issues with the small &#8220;foot&#8221; sinking into the soft gravel and dirt in gas stations and parking lots in the North. Likewise, when it was just about 100 degrees last Tuesday in Wichita the bike began to sink into the soft asphalt. Fortunately things never quite so far out of hand that the bike fell down. Secondly, I would have replaced the very good, but street riding focused original equipment Bridgestone Battle Wing Tires with something a little more appropriate to the dirt and gravel I regularly found myself riding. In Oregon, on the way back I had a set of Metzeler Tourances installed but, of course, by then most of that sort of riding was over. The greatest &#8220;pucker&#8221;/&#8221;heart stopping&#8221; moments of the trip were in the mud and soft gravel of construction areas in Northern BC and the Yukon. Sure did wish I had some more appropriate tires then! The BMW Vario bags are spacious and seal well (though not perfectly. The hardware that latches the bags to the bike is a little "fiddly" and I worried throughout about the possibility of breaking the plastic latch handle. Nonetheless they held up pretty well. Fortunately the bike never got dropped so I can't comment on how they endure the incidental "muddy gas station drop". If I were starting from scratch I think I'd probably opt for some aluminum Top-loads (Touratech or other). They have the advantage that you don't compromise the sealing or hinges in a static drop over and also, if you drop the bike you can easily empty the bags to make the bike light enough to pick up. Admittedly they don't clip on and off quite so easily as the OEM BMW Stuff. Based on the number of times I got peppered with rocks by trucks going the other way in construction zones, some sort of headlamp protection is mandatory. I did actually see two other bikes with broken headlamps. Don't leave home without protection! As I have mentioned several times in previous commentary, the F650GS (as most other bikes) doesn't like all that weight up high which makes it a bit "wobbly" at low speeds. It also makes it more "entertaining" in the soft stfff. Again, if starting today I would try real hard to develop a packing scheme that kept weight out of the topcase and off the back seat. Likewise for crosswind stability - I had a lot of "Sail" area out back and it does blow around a bit at highway speeds. Bike (with stock gearing) seems perfectly happy to cruise at 75 all day. Average gas mileage for the return trip was about 56 mpg. Used about 100ml of oil every thousand miles though that seemed to be reducing as time went by and the bike was further broken in.

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Regarding the route:
    If I had this amount of time to make this trip again I don&#8217;t think I&#8217;d alter my route much. I did keep a pretty aggressive travel schedile and if I had wanted to have the opportunity to stop and see more things, make more sidetrips along the way then I just flat would have needed more time. Disregarding the days when I layed over somewhere, I averaged 332 miles per day on the Northbound trip and 375 miles per day coming back. That&#8217;s quite a bit and doesn&#8217;t leave a huge amount of time to enjoy the incredible number of diversions to be found virtually everywhere I went. On the other hand, if I had cut back to 200 or 250 miles per day it would have taken another month to make the trip. There are places that I should have gone (Cassiar Highway in BC) but it&#8217;s a little late to second guess now.The seat, well, was tolerable but certainly not as comfortable as my R1150RT was. Nonetheless not a big problem. Overall the bike was a very good compromise for this trip. Given the nature of the routes available in Northern BC, the Yukon, and Alaska, and that I really wasn't getting very far off the beaten path I didn't feel at a loss for not having a GPS.

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Regarding my equipment:
    My only equipment failure of the whole trip was when the heated vest quit (conveniently-the day before the coldest/wettest day of the trip!). I carried all the appropriate gear that I needed for the conditions I encountered &#8211; everything from the high 20s with freezing rain and sleet to nearly 100 degrees (F). One irony of the trip is that I carried camping gear but never camped. It&#8217;s a little hard to explain but during the Northbound portion of the trip it was mostly too cold to seriously think about it. Overnight temps around the low 30s were just beyond what my stuff would have been comfortable with. Then on the return trip I had gotten so geared up to have internet each night and do daily postings here and elsewhere that I kinda forgot about the camping thing. Of course, it was always there if I needed it in a pinch. Which I did not. I think for future travel I&#8217;ll be a little more specific in planning whether it&#8217;s a camping trip or not. My RevIt Sirocco Jacket performed brilliantly, although it is now so filthy that the only appropriate thing to do migh be to burn it (only kidding!). It (along with my helmet) was the only piece of equipment that I wore every mile of every day. I might have wanted it to be a bit warmer on those 30 and 40 degree mornings but, on the other hand, it remained mighty comfortable in the 80 and 90 degree afternoons toward the end of the trip. For sure it&#8217;s a sound 3 season jacket not a piece of winter gear. Maybe I just didn&#8217;t understand that winter wasn&#8217;t quite over everywhere I went.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Other thoughts:
    One of the very best parts of the trip was meeting new friends, whether on the road or online through my blog or web forum postings. There are plenty of motorcyclists on the road in the North from the end of May on. They are friendly, helpful, and most are also fascinating to listen to as they tell their stories. People in the hotels, restaurants and other motorists are also helpful, interested and attentive. Traveling North America is easy and it&#8217;s as rewarding as it is interesting. I have just this one additional interesting anecdote to add. I had no GPS and, frankly didn&#8217;t really need to use maps all that much. However I did usually have a map in my tankbag. Occasionally I would stop alongside the road to look at or study the map. I did this a number of times throughout the trip. I specifically recall that I did it 3 times in Wisconsin. The reason I remember Wisconsin so well is that EACH time I stopped, someone pulled up in a car or pickup to ask if I was having any trouble or needed any help. On the other hand this NEVER happened anywhere else I went. I don&#8217;t know what it is about Wisconsin people but they sure are eager to help. Fascinating. Reassuring.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    While there were many highlights to this trip, the biggest of all was to be able to do something for others who are less fortunate than I. The trip has managed to raise several thousand dollars for the Austin Hatcher Foundation and, even now, additional donations continue to arrive. Thank you all for your generosity!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I also need to thank, once again, the fine folks at RevZilla and RevZilla.com. Their support and encouragement was first rate throughout. If you need motorcycle gear & equipment they&#8217;re your guys. Give &#8216;em a call or check &#8216;em out on the web at www.revzilla.com. Likewise a shout out to Hermy&#8217;s Cycles in Port Clinton, PA. They&#8217;re my BMW dealer of choice and became a supporter of the ride early on. I especially liked being able to participate in their Spring Open House back in May before the trip began. The F650GS is going to go to Hermy&#8217;s for it&#8217;s regular service just as soon as it can be scheduled. See them for your BMW and Triumph needs.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Anyone who is contemplating such a trip, even remotely following my route, is welcome to contact me at jhbfly@yahoo.com for insights, advice , or just to talk about the great adventure of it all.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    A sincere thank you to everyone who has joined me on this trip. You&#8217;ll never know how much encouragement your interest has provided me.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Be Well,
    Jack Broomall
    #92
  13. Footprint

    Footprint Rat race Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,915
    Location:
    Bettendorf, Iowa
    Better than my hotel room on last years trip!!!

    [​IMG]
    #93
  14. RickatSF

    RickatSF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    100
    Jack,

    Thank you. I've learned a thing or two from your postings, which I'm certain will come in handy when I go on my first ever trip on my ’09 F650GS. It'll be a short one, from SF to Vegas, but I think it'ill be a lot of fun.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Rick
    #94
  15. y2blade

    y2blade Long timer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,536
    Location:
    UK
    thank you for taking the time to post and share your experainces with us all Jack

    hopefully meet you on your next trip if it works out as planned :freaky

    keep safe

    Chris
    #95