To Colorado via Hades, should be fun.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ShiftHead, Aug 22, 2020.

  1. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    I hope that story goes a long way to restoring your faith in humanity and the kindness of strangers. There are GOOD people out there, just have to meet them.
    #41
  2. motocopter

    motocopter Long timer

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    You guys got set up by ol' man Dale! :lol3

    That's quite a collection too.
    #42
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  3. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    Yep, this is one of those things that I've read about and always hoped I'd get to experience. So yeah, it did.

    Yeah, sneaky guy. I felt a little like the guy who accidentally stumbling into the Bat cave.
    #43
  4. Wkendwrench

    Wkendwrench Professional Lurker

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    Yeah. Pig Farmer my ass....
    :clap:clap:clap
    #44
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  5. Five of Clubs

    Five of Clubs Adventurer

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    OMG that story about Dale is fantastic. What an impossible stroke of luck bumping into him! I'm going to look into pig farming immediately...

    EDITED TO ADD: I'm really enjoying the RR, and sorry about the 650!
    #45
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  6. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    C'mon...there actually is big money in swine. As an ADV'er you should know...BACON!:lol3

    OP, good story and good writing. Congrats on the new bike.
    #46
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  7. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado Supporter

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    Mental note: If ever in Washington, KS hang out at the gas station until Dale shows up and offers a tour.
    :eek2

    (Is that a Desmosedici next to the gold Yamaha?)
    #47
  8. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    Good catch, yeah. Isn't that a sexy beast?
    #48
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  9. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado Supporter

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    Uh, yeah...that is one seriously cool collection!
    #49
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  10. Knute Dunrvnyet

    Knute Dunrvnyet Padawan

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  11. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    I'm starting to get that crappy feeling. You know the one you get when a big ride is almost over? And if I'm not careful it could mess up the rest of the ride, so I focus on the route and the scenery. Obviously I miss the mountain views out west, but these are not bad either. Today's goals are to meet our buddy in Carbondale IL and then head to our home for the night, some place to camp in Land Between The Lake state park. We agree to meet at 12:30, but we aren't moving till about 10:15. Also I just realized, Darius was in Johnson City TN, not Jefferson City IL. No wonder I couldn't find him. Oh well, we are rolling again and Google has me on a non-highway (I told it to avoid highways) that looks very much like a highway to me. Two lanes either direction with a median, 65 mph, that's a highway in my book. So I fire up OSMAnd+ and have it route us instead. It's wanting to do the same thing but it's got a very cool feature to help. When you hold your finger down on a road for a couple seconds and it will give you info about that road, but it will also let you AVOID that road. Once you do that it won't put you back on that road again, and it will route you off of it ASAP. We are off and down a tiny one laner for a bit, then come out onto some fantastic two lane country road.

    I'm doing a little mental math and I realize that 12:30 is very optimistic, more like impossible especially through these back roads. We are picking our way through the IL countryside, and it's nice hilly farmland. Beautiful countryside. So from four lane highway to this:

    SomewhereIL_2.jpg

    These roads are way better and totally worth taking the extra time to ride them. Riding through these back roads, along the river through Chester IL was really nice. I don't know why I'm always surprised to see how alike we all are at the end of the day. These back roads help me see how these communities are the glue that binds this country together.

    We are getting close to Carbondale now, about 30 minutes away when our buddy Dave gives Paul a ring. Paul adds me into his call with Dave and I give him the ETA. We are meeting at a place called Cool Spoons Frozen Yogurt in Carbondale. Sounds good to me, it's hot, so frozen anything sounds like a good idea. We haven't told Dave about my new ride, we are going to let him figure it out on his own. He saw the previous bike the day before I left town, and he's been following my InReach track. But we purposefully left this out of our updates just to see his reaction.

    We get to Cool Spoons and have some frozen yogurt. I'm pretty sure cocaine is cheaper than this stuff. $20+ for two cups of this stuff? Dave fills us in on his ride up to meet us. He headed out from our neighborhood Thursday night and found a room east of Nashville. Then he got up nice and early today and rode into Carbondale. He's a road warrior and did a lot of interstate to Nashville, but mostly two lane up to here. To be fair, his '15 R1200GS handles the interstate without any problems at all. Anyway, we sit inside cooling off for a good bit and then head out to the parking lot. We are making small talk when Dave asks "Oh hey, did you get new bags?" "Yeah, I got those in Montrose where Paul got his bike." "Cool! They look nice." "Yeah, they were pricey but I really like them." We keep walking and get to the bikes. Dave's face is contorting slightly now, "Wait. What? Uhm, what the heck?" "Oh yeah, the bags came with a free bike attached." "Dude! What, you got a new bike?" "Well seemed stupid to not take the bike too."

    This is Dave's second trip on his new to him GS. I mean, to be honest, it's a new bike. He found a guy in Chicago who was selling it. It had pretty much every accessory on it, as clean as the day it left the factory with only 2800 miles on it when he bought it. And he got a KILLER deal. So he flew in, bought it and rode it back. It's a beauty:

    IMG-20200809-WA0005.jpg

    We mount up and start rolling towards Land Between The Lakes where I've found a camp ground. It's a great ride, a bit warm, but not bad at all. We are making good time and really enjoying the scenery. We get back to the other side of the river from Paducah and are now crossing that crazy long and narrow metal grate bridge. It's not as terrifying this time for me, mostly because I knew it was coming, but I wonder how the guys are taking it. Paul is telling me he isn't a fan, in so many words. We make it across and pull into a gas station for a fill up on the other side. I learn that Dave isn't a fan of the bridge either. 3 for 3. We are only about an hour from the campground now, we head out for the final stretch.

    We find the entrance to the campground and head down the small road leading into the state park. I quickly realize this may have been a mistake as soon as the entrance comes into view. This is no rinky dink campground. They ask us to park off to the side and we walk over to the window. "This campground has 384 campsites." "Uhm, what?" "And there are only a few left." "Say again?" I'm getting a sinking feeling. The fee is $22, but it allows up to 3 tents. Paul finds one on the map of the place and we head into the camp-neighborhood. Camping trailers, golf carts, bicycles, satellite dishes, dogs, cats, oh my. Our camping pad is heavily graveled so I call the front and ask if we can pitch on the grass next to the pad. "No sir. I'm sorry. You have to be on the gravel." I'm getting annoyed now, and the stream of people and golf carts and cars by our gravel pad isn't helping my mood. Then I realize I have a fix for it.

    Just before we headed to the campground we stopped at a little convenience store down the road for some food and drinks. There was a little BBQ trailer next to it and we all bought the remnants of what they had left. It was pretty good BBQ, for Illinois I guess. And it was really nice talking to the lovely lady and her husband(?) in the trailer. I love supporting small businesses. You get to talk to executive management every time, and every dollar counts. I ordered a whole rack of ribs and realize that this was a mistake. After half the rack I am done. So I wrap it back up in the foil and head back into the small convenience store where I bought the drinks. I offer the remaining half a rack to the big fella behind the counter. I get the feeling "No" isn't a word that gets used much by him in the context of food. So the whole point of that sidebar was to say that I have the solution to this problem with me.

    I break out the first of the two Hard Ice Teas I bought. These suckers are big, the size of those Arizona ice teas, but with a kick. I down half or one pretty quick and in short order Dave and I are enjoying some of my cigars. It only takes the first can to cure the crowded campsite ailments from which I was suffering. Everything after that one was just for good measure. We sit around chewing the fat for a few more hours. I had two of these teas before Dave broke out the hard stuff. He had a bottle of some good bourbon with him. Does this guy know how to camp or what? Eventually we turned in, around midnight as I recall. I slept pretty good, but what I want to know is this, who got into my tent last night? When I got up at around 4am for the first time, as I recall, to take a leak into my Gatorade pee bottle that I keep in the tent, someone had come in and already filled it up! I mean, WTFO? I swear, you can't trust people these days!

    Today was another one for the books. I mean, it wasn't a Dale day, but it was a good nonetheless. Good riding, not too hot and got to meet up with another buddy. We were one the road about 10 hrs today, but probably only about 8 actually in the saddle. Probably 220 miles today? Easy day. Tomorrow Dave is heading home and we are gonna continue on 2 lane all the way back. I feel like I'm coming down with something. *cough cough*. I'm probably gonna be sick on Monday, I can just tell it.

    Day11.jpg
    #51
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  12. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    #52
  13. Knute Dunrvnyet

    Knute Dunrvnyet Padawan

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    Yes, lots of history. You should read the 'Cycle' magazine link next, especially the Ziff-Davis years.
    #53
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  14. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    I'm up, barely, but not early. I still want to know who had the nerve to sneak into my tent and use my piss bottle, but I guess I'll never know. I stick my head out of the tent and Dave is already packed up and ready to roll pretty much. He is heading back today since he's got work tomorrow. His plan is to get on interstate and get back today, so about 8 1/2 hrs by interstate. We have decided we aren't going to make it back today. *cough cough* Guess I did come down with something afterall. Dave heads out and we start packing up ourselves. We head out and it was a pretty good day, made it all the way to Oak Ridge TN for the night. Good riding, but nothing compares to what we've experienced. Every day can't be a Dale day afterall. The guy at the Hampton Inn check-in desk is a rider too. As we are parking he waves us up to the carport area and pulls a trashcan out of the way so we can park the bikes under cover. Cool dude. This is why I wave at everyone on 2 and 3 wheels. Everyone. For the most part we are all out there for the same reason, so we need to look out for each other.

    We are up and rolling again the next day around 10 and take the longest possible way back that we possibly can. We get back into the mountains around Sevierville and head kind of north easterly for a bit. On around to Little Switzerland and down 226a, a great road. Not the Dragon, but having been on the Dragon I can attest to the fact that there are dozens of Dragons up here. We get back home around 7pm. And just like that the trip was over.

    I'm home now and have been for a couple weeks. I emailed Dale like I promised. I thought I screwed up as I didn't hear from him for a bit, but the he replied:

    "Glad you got back safely. Please send me your mailing address. I have something I would like to send you.


    Dale"

    Well of course I replied immediately and thanked him profusely. Today I got this:
    20200910_123332.jpg

    And inside was another manila envelope filled with copies of articles and some glossy prints of two of the bikes. How AWESOME is that?!? This guy is a class act. Oh yeah, y'all might recognize the guy with a big chin too.

    20200910_123822.jpg
    20200910_123641.jpg
    20200910_123630.jpg
    20200910_123935.jpg
    20200910_124012.jpg

    So, damn, what a trip! I'm so grateful for being able to get out there and do these things. It's still an awesome world folks, no matter what you hear on the TV. See ya out there!
    #54
  15. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    Damn, its over...
    #55
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  16. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    Some numbers for the trip. Total distance travelled 4104 miles in 10 days. Hottest day 104F, coldest night 34F. Lowest elevation 560' highest 11330'. Top speed 92. Motorcycles required: 2. States touched: 8. Smiles had: Still counting

    upload_2020-9-10_13-53-49.png
    #56
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  17. Javelinky

    Javelinky Adventurer Supporter

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    That is a great book.
    #57
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  18. Gus_1869

    Gus_1869 Adventurer

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    Enjoyed following you on your trip!
    #58
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  19. Kidder

    Kidder Poser Super Supporter

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    Great RR. Care to do a write-up on your impressions of your new Strom 1050? I think Suzuki hit one out of the park with the new gen bike.
    #59
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  20. Folly1

    Folly1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Good to hear it Ray. 75 here and headed for Woodland Park tomorrow, the easy way. Towing. Will ride around Co for a week or so with two youngsters still in their 60's.
    Take care,

    Ben.
    #60