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RTJohn Beck & Tom "Yogi" Maidenís

U.S. 4 Corners Ride

From Yogiís Perspective

 

 

 

You can see a slide show of the pic's at http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=8qhm4cm.3gw9j63i&x=0&y=eoofi7

 

Prequel


The 4 Corners Ride  is sponsored and certified by the Southern California Motorcycling Association

for those that don't know is a ride that takes you to the following locations;

1.        San Ysidro, California

2.        Blaine, Washington

3.        Madawaska, Maine

4.        Key West, Florida

 

You can do these in any order you wish and you do not have to return to your starting location and you have 3 weeks to accomplish this from your 1st stop to your 4th stop. We will be running the route in the order above.


John is the instigator in this and he is the one paying the fees for him and getting certified. I am just along for the ride as I believe the charge is too great but thatís just me. I will be mailing pics back to myself in two separate envelopes so I can open one for the pic and have one enclosed in an envelope with the cancelled stamp from that Post office so I will have proof I did it just not the OFFICIAL Certification.

One of the things we are planning on is riding the Skyline Parkway down to the Blue Ridge Parkway running it the entire length then Heading over to the Tail of the Dragon on the route from Madawaska to Key West time permitting.

All in all our trip should be in the 10,000 mile mark and we have the 3 weeks cleared from the time we leave home.That means we have a little over two weeks to do the actual 4 corners ride.


 

Friday May 25th, 2007

 

I got to play hooky from work so John rode over to Chandler after Rush Hour and we headed out to San Ysidro, California for the Start of our journey.  We took Maricopa road to 238 to I-8 then just as you head into the Mountains we get off to get on old US80 then 94 to Stopping in Barrett's Junction for a quick break then on to Otay Lake Road then Telegraph Canyon Road to take the back way in to Chula Vista and on to I-5 which we took South to the Motel 6 down on the border.  We had to get a pic with San Ysidro in the Background and we decided to use the Post Office so we went down after they closed got the pics needed then got the rest of the information John needed for his certification and headed back to a lil Mom and Pop Mexican food Restaurant close to the hotel for our evening meal..  All in all around 400 miles for the day some great riding on the back way into Chula Vista.  We arranged for a 4 am wake up call and hit the sack early.  Temps coming across the desert hit a high of 97 and as we were riding around San Ysidro Friday Evening I saw a temp of 61. 

 

Saturday May 26th, 2007††† The Official Start of the 4 Corners Ride.

 

0400 came early, as it seems it always does, but we got up and going and Mailed off Johns packets for his certification so the Ride actually starts today!  We were slabbing it today taking the 5 North basically.  By the time we got to Redding around 700 miles later we decided to stop for the evening since we had no reservations anywhere we figured an early stop would get us a room easier..  As it turns out Redding is the Ĺ way point between San Ysidro and Blaine, WA.  I have arranged for a room in Blaine tomorrow night so we at least have a place to sleep.  The temps ranged today between 54 and 87 degrees  We stayed at the Vagabond Inn which happened to have free wifi so I was able to get on the Internet and post some updates.

 

 

 

Sunday May 27th, 2007

 

Once again we opted to get up at 0400 to be on the road by 0500, our mission was to make Blaine, Washington today approximately 705 miles from Redding, California.  I am happy to say Mission Accomplished but we did run through some on again off again rain showers from the time we hit the Oregon Border to Everett, Washington.  The Frog Toggís worked great, both against the rain and the cold! The highest temp we saw today was 62 and that was the one sunny spot as we came into Olympia, Washington.  Not much to say about the route as we took I-5 all the way, but it is a very pretty interstate from the Shasta Lake Dam turnoff just north of Redding all the way into Washington.  I will say that the 60-65 mph speed limits in Oregon and the 60-70 mph speed limits in Washington were very annoying!  So two days into the official ride we have already gotten two of the 4 corners.  Since we had Mexican food on the Mexican Border we went to a seafood restaurant here and I had the Halibut.  John had the Spaghetti as he is just not a seafood person.  Now comes the fun stuff!

 

Monday May 28, 2007  Memorial Day

 

The day started early once again at 0400 wakeup and 0500 on the road.  Day started good temps in the high 40ís going into the 50ís as we approached Seattle from Blaine but when we got on 90 and had to transverse the summit heading east temps fell into the high 30ís plus we were getting spritzed on and riding thru low clouds.  The day didnít get any better until we were almost to Butte Montana.  The majority of the day was spent in either sprinkles, rain or low cloud cover most of the time we were in the mid to low 40ís temperature wise with the occasional dip into the high 30ís and one spot we actually got up to 60 for a couple of miles.

 

 

Tuesday May 29th, 2007

 

Well Sunny didnít happen!  We left Butte Montana around 0645 local time in 36-degree weather.  It wasnít long before we were climbing in elevation and the temp dropped to 34 degrees and we saw a light dusting of snow on the ground beside the road.  A little while later it started to drizzle again no big thing but definitely not sunny!  Just about 30 miles west of Bozeman it really started to rain with temps in the low 30ís then the snow started to fall and the windshields were icing up along with the face shields.  I have always read that discretion is the better part of valor so I pulled off at the first ramp coming into
Bozeman to get a room for the day/night only 81 miles after we started. 

 

Definitely wasnít the plan.  We are taking the opportunity to do laundry and repack gear but we would much rather be on the road.  The good news is we came across this really nice new hotel the Címon Inn at exit 305 in Bozeman., and while a little pricier then what we normally do it is very nice and since we will be here all day and night well worth the money.  Something I could recommend to anyone passing thru this part of the country.  Since we had time to kill John got some various pics of the place so check out the picís place.

 

We will have to see if we can make up these 550 missed miles today on subsequent days.

 

We are already thinking of ways to make up the time if necessary like forgoing the Skyline and Blue Ridge Parkways but its too early in the ride to make any hasty decisions.  We will just have to wait and see how we make out in the next few days as this storm seems to be stalled over this part of the country.

 

Wednesday May 30th, 2007

 

We  got up early and were on the road by 0450 temp in Bozeman  was 35 degrees shortly out of Bozeman it dropped to 34 but didnít get any lower.  Going thru the pass on the way out of Bozeman there was some pretty good fog so I just followed an 18 wheeler till we got clear of the fog.  I thought we were doing good as it wasnít raining,  Mother Nature was just teasing us it didnít take too long before we were getting rained on but after awhile it cleared up a little to where it was just overcast for about 100 miles.  Once again Mother Nature was teasing because after that 100 miles we spent the rest of the day in rain with the high temp being 52 degrees.  This continued till we were about 20 miles out of Fargo North Dakota where the sky turned blue the temp shot up into the 70ís and I thought cool we will get into our hotel with no more rainÖ WRONG!  We got dumped on again at about the 10-mile mark then it just spritzed on us the rest of the way in.  Needless to say we have a dryer full of wet gear as I am writing this.  We did a lil over 750 miles today in about 11 hours with I would say over 500 of those miles in Rain and cold.  DAMN whose idea was this anyway?  Canít wait to see what tomorrow brings

 

Thursday May 31st, 2007

 

Last night after my update John tried replacing the right side bulb in his headlamp assy as he had been running with a burnt out one for a few days.  When he tried to pull the connector it just came apart in his hands.  Using the Internet I found the closest BMW Dealer (Moon Motorsports) in Monticello, MN and found they opened at 0830.  So another early morning start for us as we needed to run the 200 miles there and be there when they opened.  We did accomplish that getting there as they were rolling bikes out of the Service Dept in preparation for the day.  They got John right in and while they didnít have a connector they did replace the bulb and used the separate connections to get him back on the road.  While on the lift he also got an oil change so he should be good till he gets home as far as Service.  We got out of there a lil after 10am only losing a hour and a half there plus the extra 70 or so miles it took us out of the way.  The good news was there was no rain till we were in Wisconsin and it only lasted for around 20 miles then again in Michigan again not lasting all that long.  PLUS while I was waiting on John I found a pair of Waterproof gloves by First Gear at Moon Motorsports so my hands actually stayed dry and warm today YIPPEE.  Since we had the maintenance stop and we have also been on 2 lane roads for around the last 200 miles we only got in a lil over 600 miles for the day when we stopped.  This evening we are in Marquette, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula about Ĺ ways across right on the water. 

 

Summary of the first week on the road.

 

We have covered 3,910 miles.  We have been to the West Coast two corners of San Ysidro, California and Blaine, Washington.  We are well over Ĺ ways to our 3rd stop in Madawaska Maine and still have two weeks and 3 weekends to complete the ride back to Phoenix.  We have ridden in well over of a 1000 miles in the rain with most of the temps in the mid 30ís to low 50ís.  We have also ridden in snow for a short period.  We have met some very accommodating people from the Hotel people allowing us early entry on the day we got waylaid to the ones that let us dry out our gear in their entry way as it was super warm there.  I am sure we got some looks from those in cars and trucks as there we were passing them on Motorcycles in 30-degree weather.

 

 

Friday June 1st2007

 

We got in around 560 miles today on two lane roads for the most part with only about 5 miles of it in the rain..  Though as I sit and write this in my motel room in Pembroke Canada it is Lightening and thundering and pouring outside.  At least it is outside and I am inside. It started to rain just as we got the bikes unloaded.  The day started in Marquette Michigan about Ĺ ways across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We are now around 88 miles west of Ottawa Canada and only a lil over 500 miles from Madawaska Maine our next corner.  It was a good day and we are positioned very well to possibly make Madawaska tomorrow or the next day at the latest barring bad weather.  The going is slow as the speed limits are lower and traveling two lane roads is pretty it is a lot more time consuming due to all the towns along the way.   But this has been a great ride, very scenic.  We only got a couple pics today I will load them the next time I have more computer time.  We are both still good and raring to go.

 

 

Saturday June 2nd 2007

 

Once again we were in the 560 range in miles and made it to the 3rd stop of our tour Madawaska Maine.  One thing I noticed as we traveled thru Canada, when we entered thru Sault Ste Marie in the Ontario Province there were bilingual signs in both English and French or multiple signs even temporary warning signs were in both languages..  We then entered the Quebec province where the only signage is in French.  I thought this very odd.  The trip thru Canada was beautiful and well worth the extra time but I doubt I would personally ever go back to the Quebec Province if I could avoid it.  Once we arrived in Madawaska we were taking the mandatory pictures in front of the post office when Barb Deschaine, (the self proclaimed 4 corners stalker) who is the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, stopped by and chatted with us. She is the one in the pictures as well as a local Rob. 

 

Barb gave us her phone number and told us to call her Sunday Morning and she would come down to the office to give us some kind of paperwork they do for the 4-corner ride.  It was another great day in all, the precipitation we today got were just a couple sprinkles all day long.   Well itís been just a week and a day and we have made 3 of the stops of the 4 corners and are now laying in a course for Key West.  Barb also told us of a monument they were establishing along with a small park to honor their place to the 4 corners ride.  We got a couple pics there Saturday evening.

 

Sunday June 3rd 2007

 

Morning we went down to Dollyís Diner in Frenchville for a very good breakfast then gave Barb a call and met her at the Chamber of Commerce.  There she presented both John and me a lil certificate acknowledging our presence in Madawaska with signatures from the Town Manager and the Governor.  The park they are planning is going to have those pavers where you have your name carved into them so John and I went together on one to help with the park and to put our mark on the area.  We thought that a better option then peeing on the monument.  ;^) 

 

You can go to www.madawaskafourcorners.org to see pics of the envisioned park and to order your own paver if you want.

 

Johnís and mine should read as follows;

 

RTJohn Beck and Tom ďYogiĒ Maiden

Phoenix, AZ

6/3/2007

4 Corners Ride

 

After saying our good-byes to Barb we headed on 1 to Fort Kent then connected with 11 south.  A little ways down the road we ended up behind a truck with a bucket that was hitting the overhead wires as it went down the road.   We were keeping our distance when he finally knocked down a telephone line.  John and I stopped and directed traffic for close to two hours,  at one point I climbed up the trailer of a semi to get the line over his trailer so he could continue on.  The police had been called at least twice and had not responded so we did what was necessary to make the road safe for people to travel.  I wonít say any more about that on a public venue, but no one was going to hit the wire when we left.

 

Well the down telephone line killed around 2 hours of our day along with our late start we only ended up with just shy of 300 miles for the day. We are currently at the Super 8 in Augusta Maine on I-95.   This is like the 4th Super 8 we have stayed at on this trip and they all had wifi capability for those of you interested in that.  Plus they have all been fairly nice places to stay.  I would definitely say a couple notches up from a Motel 6.

 

We have had fairly good weather for the last few days, ever since May 31st.  Temps have been much better and we have only been sprinkled on other than the one 5mile stretch in Canada that we suited up for we havenít had to wear our rain gear.  Funny we had to go to Canada to get clear skies and great temps.

 

On a side note letís have a moment of silence for the passing of my Garmin Street Pilot 3.   I have been holding out hope but all seems lost.   You see I have been running with out it ever since May 31st when it got drowned on our trip from Bozeman to Fargo.   I kept hoping it would dry out and start working again but I donít believe that is going to happen.  So keep a kind thought for a loyal farkle that gave its life in my pursuit of whatever it is I am pursuing.  ;^) 

 

Monday June 4th 2007

 

Well the good news was no more bugs sticking to the face shield or windshield.  The bad news was it was because they were hiding from the rain.  We only made it a lil over 320 miles today down to Danbury Conn.  We stopped early and did laundry and some route planning.  Not much to say other then we started in the Rain it got worse and we ended in the rain.  Temps in the high 40ís to high 50ís fluctuating up and down.  Visibility just finally got real bad around here so we looked for a place to stop. I guess the good news is the weather report says itís clearing up tonight.  We will see.  Oh by the way in Hartford Conn. traffic started to back up fast and we had to come to a stop in the freeway during a downpour and John saw a couple cars spin out behind him and into the median.  Luckily they went into the median and not into us or other traffic.

 

Tuesday June 5th 2007

 

We got in a lil over 500 miles with only a few sprinkles today, Hooray!!!  The first 400 were slabbing it from Danbury Conn. Thru New York, PA, MD, WV and part of Virginia down to Front Royal at the North end of the Shenandoah Natl. Park and the Northern Start of the Skyline Drive.  We ran the entire length of the skyline in about 3 Ĺ hours.   We are stopping for the night in Waynesboro Virginia.  If the weather holds we are planning on the Blue Ridge Parkway tomorrow.

 

Wednesday June 6th 2007

 

400 miles of heaven, what is there to say about the Blue Ridge Parkway that hasnít been said before.  This has been part of the plan since the beginning to run the Skyline Drive in Virginia then continue on to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We started at the Northern Most point of the Parkway and rode to Asheville, NC today.. Tomorrow we will finish up the last 80 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway then mosey on over to the Tail of the Dragon.  After all we have been wearing out the middle of our tires all these preceding days its only fair we take some rubber off the sides.  Our only freeway this morning was from our motel to the Blue Ridge Parkway so today was one of the best days of the ride.  Boo Boo and I rode a small section of the Blue Ridge a couple of years ago but the views were a little hazy that day.  Today the views were great and the weather was fantastic, Cool but not cold.  Slightly cloudy but not overcast.  All in all a great day.

 

Thursday June 7th 2007 

 

The last couple of days have been great but today lived right up there with them.  We got up and on the road around 8am to run the last 88 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Temps were in the High 50ís so it was quite comfortable.  The road was great though the view this early was a lil hazy.  There were plenty of sweepers to get them juices going then some tight stuff to get the adrenaline going.  Alas it was over all to soon as we came to the end in Cherokee NC. 

 

From there we made our way over to the Famous/Infamous Tail of the Dragon on US129 at Deals Gap right on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.  318 turns in 11 miles but first we had to raid the store  http://www.dealsgap.com/  where John and I both got shirts, I picked up a couple stickers and some Hyperlites for me to install when I get home.  It was a very fun ride though very intense, some of the curves were deceptively tight but both John and I managed to Slay the Dragon.  From there we were on our way to I-75 to start making our way south when we ran across the Motorcycle Pit Stop where we stopped and had a Dragon Burger with Chili and Jalapenos.  I think that Dragon Slayed us!  From there we did go Jump on I-75 and we now sit in a Super 8 at exit 218 on I-75 just south of Atlanta a lil over 400 miles for the day.

 

Let me take this opportunity to just say if you have never ridden the Skyline Drive or Blue Ridge Parkway or the Tail of the Dragon you need to find the time to go do them that was just a great 3 days of riding!!

 

Friday June 8th 2007

 

We just needed to run a lil over 350 miles down to Johnís Sister in Lawís place in Lady Lake Florida.  This should have been easy but we ran into a problem on I-75 Some where around mm 406 a semi overturned in the median causing traffic both north and south to come to a standstill.  Now normally other then being an annoyance this wouldnít have been that big a deal as we only had to crawl for about 4 Ė 5 miles before we cleared (took about an hour). This was not a normal time though as I had previously called a Honda Dealership in Leesburg and set up for them to squeeze me in for an oil/filter and final drive gear lube change. So I was sweating being able to get that done.  We did make it and they did squeeze me in so I feel better for the bikes sake.  After my service we made it up to Sueís (Johnís Sister in Law) place and met up with her and then went to a local watering hole to celebrate then a fine dinner then some Karaoke.  All in all a great evening.

 

Saturday June 9th 2007

 

John and I got up early and made our way to BMW Orlando as he had setup for a 6k service first thing. His bike had to be cold for them to work on it so we made the 60 mile journey at around 5:30 am and the weather was great just cool enough to be really comfortable wearing a jacket.  John got his service done and we got out of there around 11:30 back on the road to Lady Lake when we stopped for a quick lunch then we went over to Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.  http://www.garlits.com/  We took a lot of pics but the pics donít do the place justice.  If you are ever in the area make sure to stop and check it out if you are a fan of Drag Racing..  Now we are getting ready for the last push down to Key West tomorrow around 500 miles the way we are routed.  We plan on spending Sunday and Monday nights down there before coming back to Sueís then heading for home on Wed.

 

Sunday June 10th   2007

 

We have made the 4th Corner KEY WEST, FLA, in 16 days.  We started the actual 4 Corners ride on May 26th and had 3 weeks to complete which would have been Friday June 15th the entire trip so far has covered just short of 8,000 miles and we still have around 2,500 to make it home.

 

 We both woke up around 4:30am this morning, when the alarm was set for 5, so we got up anyway and were actually on the road a little after 5am.  It was right at 500 miles from where we were to the Hotel we are staying in at Key West.  I was quite surprised on the trip down here.  For the most part you are on the land on the various keys with just a few bridges and I for some reason, thought it would be mostly bridges.  The going is slow for the trip down the Keyís though so if you are planning a trip donít be in a big hurry for the last bit down there.  We took I-75 down the West Side of the Island then hooked up with Route 41, which took us through the everglades.  We actually saw a real Gator on the road and no not one of them tire Gators but an Alligator that had lost a fight with a moving vehicle.  This adds to the other varmints we have seen on the road this trip, From Deer to Bobcats and wild Turkey, (NO NOT THE WHISKEY) on the Blue Ridge Parkway to a turtle crossing a major road over by Johnís SIL home. To seeing this alligator.

 

We have made it down to the Southernmost Point in the United States and have taken the Pics necessary for Johnís Certification.  We went back down on Duvall Street later in the evening and had a nice celebratory dinner at Red Fish/Blue Fish.  We then walked around a street marketplace, finally making our way over to the Hogsbreath Saloon, Sloppy Joeís Bar (where Ernest Hemmingway use to hang out) then on down to Margaritaville.   I had a Hogsbreath Lager at the Hogsbreath, and a Land Shark Lager at Margaritaville. John had a Margarita in Margaritaville.  We both had a Draft at Sloppy Joeís. All in all a great ending to a great day and an exceptional trip

 

 

Monday June 11th 2007The Official End of the 4 Corners Trip

 

Since the Bell at the Southernmost point was crowded when we were getting our pics last evening John and I went down early this morning to have some more pics opportunity with the bell.  We also ran over to the beginning of Highway 1 and got a couple pics at Milepost 0.  Then back up to the motel for breakfast and to wait for the Post Office to open.  

 

After doing some work on this log and some pics I am getting ready to upload John and I headed for the Post Office.  On the way there I noticed a car pulling out in front of me from my right so I stopped to let them in.  They hemmed and hawed and I noticed a Titanium colored Goldwing stopped coming towards me.  I remember Bob Vail, from the Motorcycle Touring Forum, had posted he would possibly be down here around this time starting his 4 Corners Tour.  So as he rode by I yelled asking if he was indeed Bob I let him know I was Yogi and I would turn around.  After we caught up with him we found a place to park and talked for the better part of a Ĺ hour before we both continued on our way.  It was just too weird running into him like that, but I am glad we did. 

 

John and I finally made it to the Post Office and we went inside to get hand cancellation done on our stamps and insure we had enough stamps for the weight.  I got a pic inside the Post Office though I guess you are not suppose to do that as the Attendants yelled No Pictures!  After that we went and found a parking space close to Margaritaville, (the hardest part of visiting Key West is finding parking you donít have to pay for) we then walked down and got tickets to ride the Conch Train for a tour of the Island.  It was a very good tour and well worth the time.  After the tour we headed back up to Margaritaville and we both had a Cheeseburger in Paradise and I topped off my meal with a slice of Key Lime Pie!  Not a bad day.  Tomorrow we head back up to Lady Lake Fla. and on Wed Start the journey back to Phoenix, with a lil side trip to Bourbon Street in New Orleans on the way.  Right now I have walked next door to the Holiday Inn so I could use their wifi as the Days Inn we are in doesnít have it.  So I am getting my pics uploaded and updating the logs as I am having a brew in the bar at Holiday Inn.

 

Tuesday June 12th 2007

 

We started early (on the road at 0430) for the trip back up the Keys as traffic is just stifling later. We made it back up to the mainland by 0700 not too bad considering the speed limits and there were a lot of LEO's out this morning for some reason.

 

John had noticed that another headlamp bulb had burned out so we planned on stopping in on the same BMW dealership that he had his service done at last Saturday. We ran the Florida Turnpike, which was a mistake probably over $20.00 total in tolls and we were in stop n go traffic around Miami.

 

Anyway we get his new headlamp installed, stopped for a short lunch then headed back up the Turnpike. Then our old friend showed up, but this time he came with force, that's right I am talking about RAIN, but this was no normal Rain This was a very Heavy Rain with the wind blowing hard enough to move me around. Cars were almost coming to a standstill in the middle of the Turnpike so I did what anyone in my position would do. Hit the passing lane! We at least cleared the idiots stopping in the middle of the road.

 

I was looking for an overpass to stop under but the rain was so hard I didn't see the first one till I was under it. But I did manage to catch the next one but we were already pretty much drowned by that point. We did wait out the majority of the storm before heading out again and I rode the last 10 miles to our exit standing on the footpegs trying to air dry.

 

We are now back at John's sister in laws place and have a load in the washer going getting ready to start our run back to Arizona tomorrow. Other then a stop in New Orleans to go down to Bourbon Street there probably won't be much to write about as we will just be putting in long days on the slab. We hope to be home Friday.

 

 

 

Wednesday June 13th 2007

 

We had another early morning start on the road out of Lady Lake Fla. at 0430. After riding a little over 600 miles we arrived at the Days Inn on Canal Street just off of I-10 and right off the trolley line.Here is a BIG THANKS to SUE, for letting us stay at her place for 3 nights on this trip.It is greatly appreciated!

 

After settling in we went to catch the trolley down to Bourbon Street when a Local at the trolley stop suggested we ride to the end and take the free Ferry ride across and back over the Mississippi which we did. We got to see some tugs working the barges on the River and one in Dry Dock being worked on and a paddleboat moving up the river. Well worth the time. We then walked from there up to the French Quarter walking up and down streets till we eventually worked our way up to Bourbon Street where we walked up and down the street. We stopped in a lil Mom and Pop restaurant and I had a bowl of Seafood Gumbo with 1/2 a smoked sausage Po Boy that both were just delicious and John had a Roast Beef Gumbo. We then walked some more checking out all the sights and sounds before stopping in a lil bar and I had a shot of Jack Daniels (Bourbon) on Bourbon Street.

 

This is another place I want to come back to someday when I have more time.

 

 

Thursday June 14th 2007

 

First let me say this is Boo Booís Birthday and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for being so understanding and allowing me this madness of mine.  Now I did send flowers while I was on the road and did get a present shipped to her in time for her Birthday but I donít know many wives that would put up with a 3 week road trip especially when their birthday falls within that time frame.  So Thanks Boo Boo!  I do indeed appreciate it!

 

John and I took off around 0530 from New Orleans and just slabbed it west to Fort Stockton a lil over 860 miles and 14 hours later.  I finally rode straight (or as straight as you can) thru San Antonio.  I always took the bypasses before.  San Antonio is a very interesting looking city.  This is another place I want to come back to someday.  The 80mph speed limit was nice when we got past Kerrville as well.  The higher speed limit really helped us cover some ground.  Though we are both starting to get concerned with our tires and will probably slow it down a little tomorrow in an attempt to save them.

 

Friday June 15th 2007

 

We got a later start our at Fort Stockton then we had been used to since we knew we would be gaining 2 hours  in time zones along the way, but we still were on the road by 0630.  As our tires were wearing thin we decided to keep the speeds down for the return home so we tried to stay at about 75mph all the way home.  We ran thru two tanks of gas basically and that got us to Willcox, AZ where we stopped for lunch.  We then stopped off at the STAR Intl offices in Tucson for a lil break before we headed up to Phoenix.  It was great seeing Deb, and Carol. 

 

We then took off for Phoenix.  Just a lil bit out of Tucson traffic was coming to a stop as there had been a bad accident and a car had gone off of the elevated section of road and thru a guard rail.  This caused some loss of time and we had to run thru the debris field to get thru.  Now the reason I mention that is that I believe the thin tires and debris field led to me getting a flat rear tire.  I was doing about 75 in the passing lane when I noticed my bike develop a shimmy.  Suspecting a flat I moved over to the shoulder and brought her down to a complete stop slowly down around mile marker 207 in Eloy.  Sure enough my rear had a slice in the tread area. 

 

I didnít think my plugs would work on the slice so I called AAA (I have the plus RV coverage which covers motorcycles) while John went up to the next exit and got us something cold to drink.  John got back and we waited in the shade, what little there was, of a scrawny mesquite tree, did I mention the temp was about 110.  The wrecker was there in about 40 minutes and we got it loaded up and home safe and sound in my garage.  So the trip is over though it would have been nice to ride into the garage and have a flat tire.

I have a lil over 10,000 miles for the trip Doorway to Eloy ;^)  John can add about 100 extra miles over me for riding over to my place to start and actually getting home on two wheels

 

Failures on the trip

 

For Yogi

  • Street Pilot III died p.s. they are not waterproof
  • Zipper on liner for heavy leather jacket failed
  • Zipper on First gear jacket needs to be replaced
  • Torn set of Frogg Togg pants
  • 1 rear flat tire

 

 For John

  • Both low beam headlights needed to get replaced
  • One of the low beam connectors fell apart when he tried to change the first bulb.
  • The controller for his Gerbingís malfunctioned first time out and he didnít have use of his heated clothing.
  • His digital camera had to be held together with rubber bands
  • Frogg Toggís not as waterproof as he would have liked
  • Broken CB Antenna when we caught it on that downed telephone line.

 

Things that I found out on this journey

        I like riding in the rain when I am in the desert and the temp is around 110 to 115

        Riding in the rain over a mountain pass in 39 degree weather is not as much fun

        Riding in these conditions also made me appreciate my full face helmet especially after we were riding along with some Harley riders and it started to rain and they slowed way down due to the cold rain hitting their faces due to the Ĺ helmets they were wearing.Whereas we could continue on at the same pace.

        Speaking of Helmets I found that if I run the windshield at a certain height it causes the wind to hit my helmet in such a way that it clears it of the rain. Pretty sweet

        A combination of Frogg Toggís /Sweatshirt/Chaps and heavy leather jacket worked fairly well at holding off the cold but I felt like the Michelin Man. Gerbingís electric wear would work better.

        Even in the Rain and cold we still covered a lil over 700 miles in around 11 and Ĺ hours.

        I want grip heaters and a real set of waterproof gloves

        We found that most Super 8ís and Days Inns have wifi for those that need it

        If you need wifi you can always go to the hotel next doors bar and try there (at least you can get a beer)

        Be careful riding thru debris fields at accidents with thin tires;^)

        I packed way too many clothes as I didnít wear Ĺ of them.Itís better to pack liter and stop and do laundry occasionally.

 

This was a very great memorable trip that I am glad we made.  We covered over 10,400 miles in 22 days, got to see the 4 corners of the U.S. as well as many points in between.It was well worth the money and time invested and I would recommend the trip or any portion of it to anyone. 

 

Here is some advice if you should decide to do this trip. 

        Try and build up some time at the beginning of the trip as weather or mechanical problems can shut you down for a day or two.

        Also if you have the time, stop and smell the roses at the end of the trip.  In our case that would be the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway as well as the Garlits Museum, Key West and then our side trip to New Orleans on the way home.

        Figure on around $100-$150 per person per day if you keep it on the cheap side at motels and restaurants.Obviously it can be much more than that.

        Have a good Tow Service.I tried using my Honda Road Assistance and seemed to be on permanent hold.Called my AAA plus RV and was talking to a real person in a minute or two and had the wrecker on site in 40 minutes.

 

Now quit reading and go hit the Road!