Restoring my Soul! Riding, Golfing, Dining, Drinking and watching football across North America!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SoosCreek, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    I really, really, really need this trip. Why? Well its been a rough 5-6 years since my last long solo trip with many unexpected deaths, coping with family members with mental illness and unforeseen new responsibilities with my extended family. Oh, and then there’s the Arthritis problems that makes it harder to play golf or ride a motorcycle each year! My two passions, other than my wife, etc. I will elaborate more as I go along this adventure.

    I need this trip so bad. To get away by myself and rebuild the fun in my life and re-center my soul. My last big trip alone was probably 7-8 years ago when I did some Baja California and Cooper Canyon Mexico. Since then I have ridden some but mostly shorter trips and/or with my wife and another “best friends” couple. We did a long National Parks trip of the west with our friends a couple of years ago that was really a lot of fun but she (the friend) unexpectedly passed away this June from a heart attack. We had been close friends for almost 40 years and it was just the final straw that broke my spirit. Time to get back on the bike and ride by myself!

    This trip starts in Washington State in the Puget Sound area and will end (perhaps) on the East Coast, maybe Boston or something. No specific plan, I can turn around anytime. I need to go to Minnesota to help some extended family, but can turn around and head back west or continue on the East Coast. It is the fall season so I need to pay attention to the weather and adjust accordingly.

    Is it an EPIC ADVENTURE? I checked to make sure this qualified as an “Epic Ride” since there are no foreign countries (maybe Canada) and no off-pavement riding (if you don’t include construction zones!). Sure enough I am good to go with this Ride Report after meeting the “Epic” requirements. Not sure if it will be of interest to the macho man (and woman) riders but might keep you company for a couple of rainy and windy weeks in the fall. I know I really enjoy following along with many inmates year round.

    Oh and BTW, there will be rules! GIBBS rules and my motorcycle rules.

    2019-09-19 10.27.15-1.jpg
    #1
  2. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Day 1 – Seattle to Wenatchee, Washington

    132 Miles

    Start of trip. Late start. Load the motorcycle stuff – tools, tire inflator, tire repair, etc. Load up the clothing stuff, toss a few things you won’t need. Load up the golf equipment. Test the tire pressure. Good to Go. Move things around one more time. Now what should go in the tank bag? What can I live without if it gets stolen, etc. Oh, well. Onward.

    I always get this weird feeling when I leave on a trip. Is it trepidation? Fear? I see myself coming back down the same road but after so many miles, etc. What will go wrong? What will be the best experiences? Will I make it back alive? What will I miss by being away? Am I crazy?

    Why Wenatchee? Place to stay as I am scheduled to play the Gamble Sands golf course next day and it so remote that there are few lodging choices…

    Up highway 18, over to I90 mountain pass over the Cascades to Cle Elum, then down highway 97 over Blewett Pass. Weather good.

    2019-09-19 12.43.03-1.jpg

    Stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown Wenatchee. Nicest Garden Inn ever stayed in. Seems they are rebuilding the whole riverfront, changing it from industrial to a park trail, etc. New hotels and restaurants.

    GIBBS Rule #3 – “Never be unreachable.” Pretty straightforward. People may need you.

    MOTO Rule #10 – “Check your phone every stop.” While riding we still have responsibilities so I always check my cell phone for calls, texts, emails, etc.
    #2
    Oznay and Samspade like this.
  3. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Day 2 – Wenatchee to Brewster to Liberty Lake

    224 Miles

    GOLF? Not a lot about golfing on this forum… but I love to play golf. So I decided to take an older set of clubs with me on this trip using the CaddyDaddy Co-Pilot golf bag. I chose this bag since it is essentially a big tube. It has a hard hat and sits across my back seat and does not come in contact with the saddlebags. I have done a trip before like this when I did a 1,000 mile golf trip from Palm Desert to Vegas to Prescott to Phoenix and back to Palm Desert. Works pretty well.

    https://www.caddydaddygolf.com/shop/CDYCPP2.html

    Caddy Daddy.jpg

    Gamble Sands is supposedly the #35 Greatest Courses in America and the top course in the State of Washington. I had never played it so I thought it was a good idea. Showed up on the bike with the clubs. Always gets comments. Got a special parking spot!

    2019-09-20 10.23.28-1.jpg

    Golfing was OK. Played with a couple of guys that would normally drive you crazy but I survived. Here is a couple of photos:

    2019-09-20 14.11.05-1.jpg
    2019-09-20 11.11.42-1.jpg

    After golf I raced across Eastern Washington to Liberty Lake, which is right on the Idaho border. Went right by the Grand Coulee dam. Nice. Too much food! Breakfast out to meet more friends, dinner party with others, etc. More come...

    Here is the trip so far:

    View attachment 1921074
    #3
    Oznay, Samspade and Pongo like this.
  4. haggis mctavish

    haggis mctavish Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    brisbane oztralia
    Hi sooscreek, my soul also needs a bit of restoring as do I suspect the souls of a lot of other inmates. Looking forward to your how to guide. Good start with a k1600? and the golf clubs!

    Cheers from down under!
    #4
  5. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Day 3 – Liberty Lake, Washington

    0 Miles

    This was an off day, just spending some time with some friends. We did go to the local motorcycle shop which had a little of everything KTM, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, etc. They did not have the new KTM 690 but we did a comparison on the Honda CRF250 and the Yamaha WR350R with the sales guy who was very knowledgeable.

    We back to my room to watch the late Washington State University (WSU) vs UCLA game. Decided to turn it off in the 3rd quarter with WSU leading by 31. Checked the score the next day and it turns out WSU lost 67 – 63. WTF?

    GIBBS Rule # 8– “Never take anything for granted.” Well I learned that the hard way on the football game!
    #5
  6. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Day 4 – Liberty Lake, Washington to Great Falls, Montana

    375 Miles

    First day of real riding! Left Liberty Lake pretty early in the morning knowing that it was a long way to Great Falls. Headed down I90 about 40 miles then turned off to Couer d’Alene River Road to go to Thompson Falls over Thompson Pass. If you have not been to the Clark River and the Thompson Falls valley, it is spectacular!

    2019-09-22 10.13.43-1.jpg

    Along the Couer d’Alene river I was surprised at how many folks were out camping along the river. Now this is a 30-40 mile run along a beautiful valley so in some ways it make sense, but I was wondering if they were setting up for early hunting season. Large trailers, 5th wheels, etc. with lots of quads and such. They were everywhere on the other side of the river.

    Here is a photo of the top of Thompson Pass.

    DSCF0176.JPG

    Continued on to Missoula and stopped to watch the end of the morning NFL football games and the start of the afternoon game. Seattle Seahawks was playing the New Orleans Saints. I left when it was tied in the second quarter. Once again when I stopped I come to find out New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater put it on the Seahawks 33-27!

    Left Missoula and headed up I15 to Great Falls, Montana. Not exactly an interstate as much of it was 2 lane but it was a great ride. Takes you from the forest into the plains. Nice fast riding, just what my bike was designed for.

    Walked over the Chili’s for dinner and got into a conversation with an older Canadian couple where asking me about my trip. When I said I may go into Ontario, they recommended I just stay in the US as Ontario roads had noting but trees! They were from Medicine Hat so I guess they like the wide open spaces…

    GIBBS Rule # 5– “You don’t waste good.” These were great wide open roads, just had to take everything it offered!

    MOTO Rule #10: “Pack lighter than you can.” While riding I was starting to wonder if I just brought too much stuff, other than the golf equipment. The K1600GTL actually has more storage capacity then the Honda Goldwing based on the yellow ducky test on one YouTube video. I tend to keep adding things until my storage capacity has been exceeded. Bike handles it but it just creates more work to keep things in order.
    #6
    Samspade likes this.
  7. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Day 5 – Great Falls, Montana to Williston, North Dakota

    Highway 2 that essentially crosses the US was part of my routing from the beginning of this trip. I took it from Wilbur, Washington to Spokane the 2nd day and was planning on reconnecting in Sandpoint, Idaho. But there was a problem. If I went that way I would go through Glacier National Park, which was closed on the Going to the Sun Highway for 2 weeks for repaving which included the timing of my trip. Which is why I went through Thompson Falls, Missoula and Great Falls.

    Woke up in Great Falls a little tired from the 375 mile trip the day before. I am clearly not in riding shape for the longer days. My butt gets sore and my legs start to ache. So when I walked out in the morning to a weather report that says sunshine but with sustained 15-20 mile winds with guts up to 30, I was a bit apprehensive. But the sun was shining and it was bright and beautiful outside.

    Alas, the wind was not really a problem because it was going my direction. Helped push me toward North Dakota. It was going to be a long day with over 400 miles to go to Williston, North Dakota following Highway 2 . I was going to cross the wide open spaces of eastern Montana and the Great Plains. Giddy Up!

    Highway 2 is basically an old original (northern most?) highway that never made it to an “interstate” or anywhere close. It is a two lane highway that runs from one small town to another as it move across the most northern part of the US. It contains big cities like Havre (Harv), Malta, Sleeping Buffalo, Wolf Point, etc. The highway runs near the Missouri Breaks and along or next to the Missouri River almost the whole way and all the way to the confluence with the Yellowstone River just over the border in North Dakota. You could imagine the herds of buffalo roaming these plains…

    This Missouri Breaks. “It is a series of badland areas characterized by rock outcroppings, steep bluffs and grassy plains, a topography referred to as "The Breaks" by locals (as the land appears to "break away" to the river.” It was also the location in the movie with Jack Nicholson with the same name.

    No photos from me as I was holding on tight and moving fast. Here is a great photo on the Breaks from Wikipedia.

    Upper_Missouri_National_WSR_(9442829118).jpg

    GIBBS Rule #9 – “Never go anywhere without a knife”. I agree, but I don’t have a “knife” but I do have a mutli-tool that contains a knife blade. Does that work? I already used it once to help get the battery out of my motorcycle remote…

    MOTO Rule #5 – “Properly prepare for the trip”. While this is a road trip, I am used my adventure trip experience to prepare for this trip. I have my tire pump, tire repair kit, zip ties, emergency kit, etc.


    NEXT: The oil fields of North Dakota!
    #7
    Oznay and Samspade like this.
  8. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Day 6 – Williston, North Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota

    Bakken Oil Fields. Well I had heard of them and I kinda know what “fracking” is, but I was not prepared for what I saw in and around Northwestern North Dakota. Oil drilling and pumping just everywhere. You can be anywhere and look around and see at least a dozen oil rigs working and most of them burning off the gas. Looked like a bunch of torches. Some facts from a local paper:

    “North Dakota oil production hit a record 1.39 million barrels per day in October, 2018, a 2.4 percent increase as operators accelerated production ahead of winter, the state’s top regulator said Friday.” This is huge, Texas size!

    “Natural gas production also hit another record, but so did the volume of gas that was flared. The percentage of gas flared in October grew to 20 percent, the highest the state has seen since August 2015.” Explains the burn off.

    ND Oil Image.jpg

    Oil drilling equipment is everywhere and the supporting infrastructure looks like Houston. Loads of trucks, equipment and workers from everywhere. In my hotel they actually set up a bar and sorta (frozen food that can be heated) restaurant because the workers work 12 hours days and don’t want to go anywhere to find food. First time I had ever seen something like that.

    Reminds me of a story from my Alaska trip. I checked into a chain motel in Prince George, British Columbia. As I was checking in a van with a luggage trailer rolls up and about 8 young, slender, tall guys get out and check into their rooms. Maybe 180 to 200 lbs each. It appears this is the new “night” shift for the oil fields. They work 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off or something like that. In the morning I get up and go to the “breakfast” and it is filled with the “day shift” guys. Well, they have seniority and they are all tall, older, heavy set guys who have been doing this awhile. Not a one of them is less than 300 lbs! Clearly a rough life and not good for your health.
    #8
    Oznay and Ol Man like this.
  9. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Here is map of the last couple of days:

    2019-10-01 (7).png
    #9
    Oznay and RedDogAlberta like this.
  10. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose... Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Day 6 – Williston, North Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota (cont’d)

    The other reason I headed to Williston was to play golf a the Links of North Dakota which is rated the number one course in the state and only about 25 miles east of town. I called to see if they were open, they were, and headed out. Followed a two-lane road to a smaller road to basically a dirt road. Not what I was expecting…

    So I rolled up and there were 2 whole cars in the parking lot at 10 am. The wind was howling and the skies did not look that great. Oh well, this is why I came, so I took off my motorcycle gear and put on my golf attire and went on into the clubhouse. Looks like the Pro and the course Superintendent were having coffee and wondering who the fool in the motorcycle was. We had a nice chat and off I went. Nice course, great layout, right along the Missouri river. Here is a photo on the course with the river.

    2019-09-24 10.18.27-1.jpg

    After playing, I got my motorcycle gear back on and headed down the dirt road to the main road. Drove all the way to Bismarck (180+ miles). Wind picked up some but it was a nice ride along the river. The oil fields gave way to wind farms and I was ready to call it a day. 200+ miles of riding and 18 holes of golf.
    #10