Trip out West 2010 - 2 K Bikers on the Road - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:24 pm Thread Starter
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Trip out West 2010 - 2 K Bikers on the Road

Day One

This trip was not off to a great start. I'd preloaded almost all the maps for the trip into my Garmin 60CS, but running short on memory, of course I didn't load Chicago - heck I live here!

And how hard could it be to find my friend's house in the cornfields and suburban sprawl that comprises the far edges of Chicagoland….I'd been there a few years (and many new gas stations, and mini malls) ago. Anyhow my memory utterly failed me - I had to use some more technology in my Bluetooth Sena system to call him - and literally have him talk me past all the new landmarks to his house.

OK, kickstand down - I have a new (ish) 2004 BMW K1200GT and my friend rides a late model BMW K1200LT. I quickly installed my other Sena system into his helmet - tested same and gave a two minute training to him - gulped a cup of coffee, unwrapped his wife's cats from my leg…. and we hit the roads heading West.

Unlike some riders I don't despise riding the Great Plains, like Persig I find riding across the prairies to be interesting - I like watching the transition in the land and forgotten prairie towns as we ride in a day… what took our forefathers weeks to accomplish with horses and wagons.



Lacking the frame of windows helps define these changes and thoughts.

Sticky hot as we blasted across Iowa, we got occasionally drenched by rolling thunderstorms and rerouted off I-80 to avoid accidents, we wound up in Omaha after 500 miles at their local KOA. You know it's hot and humid when you walk out of a McDonalds… and your glasses immediately fog up as the humidity hits you like a load of bricks.

Riding tips - we both had Camelbacks and would frequently reload them with free ice and lemonade. This is far better system than our previous trips where we would buy water at every gas stop and try to remain hydrated - usually a losing battle as the day wears on. Bike to bike Bluetooth communication is also highly recommended, miscommunication vanishes and we travel more efficiently.

The Omaha KOA was fine. We pitched our respective tents, recharged our Sena headsets, drank beers (to remain rehydrated) and hit the hay…. still in the sweltering heat and humidity.

Tomorrow… Colorado ("Colorado…." The waitress has wistfully repeated when she had handed us our bill at lunch…."I've never been to Colorado…"). Sorry lady, no room on our bikes for passengers!

Day Two

When I travel by Motorcycle, I'm up, packed and at it early. This morning we were loaded and trying to find coffee by 5:15 AM. We were kick stands up even before the local Starbucks opened - so time to crack throttles and make time before the heat would return. Coffee would have to wait.

We accelerated down the entrance ramp and were soon making serious time, with the shadows created by the rising sun cast far in front of us. We covered 150 miles before breaking for fuel, coffee and food … in that order. Our goal that day was Vail Colorado - via a scenic route that evening - a 750 mile day. Nebraska disappeared in our mirrors when we left I-80 and hit the two lane route across Eastern Colorado.
Eastern Colorado… looks unsurprisingly just like Western Nebraska. But we are clearly out West here, the occasional small town is identified by towering Cargill or ADM grain elevators seen from 20 miles away on the straight two lane roads. Towns have WIDE streets, a few dusty work vehicles and sun bleached store fronts with faded signs. People here start random conversations with us - mostly along the lines of "My Brother-in-law has a Harley.."

We stopped for fuel, water/ice and coffee with pie at a little place in Briggsville, Colorado that seemed to have a local and dedicated clientele. The only pie they actually had to serve was a Banana Cream concoction as opposed the broader offerings on their decidedly more optimistic menu. The coffee was - well hot. Starbucks level caffeine in coffee hasn't made inroads in this town.

We wanted to be in Ft. Collins by noon and we were. When I was in college, a friend had gone to school here and I had many foggy memories of the campus and parties. But importantly for this trip, I had clear memories about heading up the Poudre River Road (14) and crossing that pass to reach Central Colorado.

A bit of dead reckoning (and stopping for directions once) got us onto this river road. What fun after a day and a half of flat straight roads!
14 got us up and over this range of the Rockies - tight turns and brisk riding on this twisting two lane road were fun - we stopped occasionally to take in the views and enjoy the rushing ice cold water of the Poudre River as trout anglers waded in to get just that right cast. As we climbed higher and higher the vegetation changed from the tans and browns of the lower elevations to the bright piercing greens of higher mountain forests, temperatures dropped, the air thinned and birds sang.



Yeah! This is fun riding. The low mountain pass led to the high valleys of North and South Park - sweepers replaced tight turns and our speeds crept up. 14 to 40 to 131 down to I-70 and a brief run to Vail where I have friends with a house we were allowed to stay at. 14 hours in the saddle, 750 miles and fully half of that in the mountains and high valleys of Colorado.
We were beat - the showers, beer and food were very welcome!

Day Three

A 'base camp' day - we shed our loads and did a riding loop out of Vail over Centennial Pass through Aspen, Glenwood Springs and back. 24 to 82 and back on 70.

Both 24 and 82 are narrow, twisty roads that require composure, concentration and a quick throttle hand to ride quickly. On the way up 24 the Bike to Bike Sena communication came in handy - I was in the lead and moved quickly to pass a dawdling Toyota, as I cut back into my lane it became obvious that someone had spilled Diesel fuel all over the asphalt pavement - yikes! This is not a great combination for traction when you're on a bike moving at speed on roads that demand traction. I was on the Sena in an instant telling Thomas NOT to follow my lead until we had passed over this hazard.

When Thomas and I reached the summit we dismounted and took in the view, including a couple of Harley riders with sophisticated protective gear and full face helmets. This was a rather notable exception to the rest of the Harley crowd, all of whom seemed to be dressed like Pirates. These were a couple of middle aged German guys on rented Harleys doing the full American motorcycle tour. Thomas - who has had a number of interesting careers, at least two of which required being fluent in German - had an extended conversation with these gentlemen - neither of whom spoke a lick of English. Our guests were gracious and were really enjoying their American motorcycle vacation.




24 heading down into Aspen is a narrow, twisting road… seemingly made for a motorcycle. Larger vehicles would be challenged to navigate the turns and frankly the rock walls looming on the right side. This delightful road eventually turns into Aspen - still another Colorado millionaire's playground. We parked our bikes in a nicely located and marked 'Motorcycle only' free parking space near the town center and went walking around. Sadly, I noted that the recession has taken a toll here too; there were quite a number of vacant shops and store fronts. We had a late lunch, and bribed the waiter to bring an extra pitcher of water and ice to refill our Camelbacks.



As we headed out of Aspen, past their Airport, I pointed out the dozens of private jets parked on the tarmack - there is an economic downturn….. but the rich guys still fly to Colorado to play.

At one point this day Thomas and I traded bikes. It is really interesting to see what a different bike the K1200LT is than the K1200GT. Apart from the difference in weight and mass, the engines seem to be completely different. Certainly the magic of computer mapping has allowed BMW to tailor and tune these engines to the different riding and performance demands of these distinct bikes. Neither is better or worse, just markedly different. My GT has a sharper and quicker throttle, and seems to rev higher, the LT offers a broader torque range and likes to cruise along. Interesting.

As we approached Glenwood, I could smell the sulphur springs - we passed by the famous Glenwood Springs pool and spa and I was able to share those parts of the history of this natural attraction with my riding companion on our bike to bike Bluetooth Systems as we accelerated out of town and East onto I-70.

I-70 East of Glenwood is often regarded as one of the most beautiful stretches of Interstate in the US. Squeezed into a narrow valley, the East and West bound lanes twist and turn and are sometimes suspended over thin air, each other and the tumbling river - long, cool and very dark tunnels are frequent. We could see white water rafting parties spinning and tumbling over and through the sparkling rapids as we flashed past.


"What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:26 pm Thread Starter
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The Ride continues -

Day Four

As per usual, we departed our luxurious Vail digs bright and early, heading Southwest across Colorado, now on beautiful 133. This is an arid end of Colorado with a long history of coal mining - active mines are still seen. We passed through a area of tiny wineries, some of whom offered tours and tastings. On an impulse we swung our bikes up a narrow side road, which quickly turned into gravel. We soldiered on, eventually reaching a small boutique winery with pretty sculptures, outdoor chairs positioned to capture the view, and very pretty tasting rooms with displays of art and hand made jewellery.



This micro winery produces a grand total of 5 barrels (135 gallons or so ) of wine annually, so safe to say this is the owner's hobby, not actually a business…. But their wines were wonderful - we bought a bottle of Merlot to go. Nothing like hot dusty riding to further age a nice Red wine.

The owner was - as you might imagine - quite an interesting character - originally from San Francisco - he and his wife sailed around the world on their own sailboat (a model of which hung on his wall) for a decade before moving to Colorado to start a winery. He asked about our lunch plans… and recommended that we visit Joe Cocker's restaurant in Crawford, Colorado.

How Joe Cocker wound up in dusty Southwest Colorado must be an interesting story - we were game for this stop! A hand drawn map got us to Crawford - a tiny town adjacent to Black Canyon in Gunnison National Park. In Crawford, Cocker's restaurant wasn't hard to find - a completely over the top exercise in restauranting inappropriate in investment and scale for tiny Crawford. Really a nice place with several of Cocker's Gold Albums displayed on the wall. Fantastic!!! The food was great and portions were large. Joe wasn't there.





After lunch we followed the hand drawn map over to Black Canyon - an absolutely fantastic crack in the earth that I'd never even heard of before visiting the winery. (This is the aspect of motorcycle touring that I love - random changes in direction triggered by even more random conversations and recommendations from local characters). What an amazing canyon - and given that to reach it one gets to ride many miles of dusty gravel roads there aren't too many visitors here.





We got back on the road with Utah in our sights. Some very valuable road tips from one of the inmates on ADV.com got us onto 90 - OMG what a ride. This is a road on which one can easily wear out the sides of your tires on the sweepers and tight turns. Fantastic. In the middle of literally no where - appears a deluxe and very high end spa, fortunately complete with a gas station and general store. Odd, but welcome.

Since the day was drawing to a close, we asked if there was camping nearby - the clerk at the store gave some vague directions and we set out for the 'campground'. We never found that campground, but did enjoy quite a side trip down narrow and dusty roads that seemed to lead to nothing but scenery! (I wish I still had my 1150GS at this point!)




Giving up on early camping we headed West again - absolute scenery overload with the setting sun. Camping opportunities in the form of campgrounds were actually scarce so we continued on late into the afternoon and into the evening. Thomas had equipped his LT with enough HID illumination to scorch the top layers of asphalt - two sets of HID PIAAs augment the Factory Xenon lighting. When he was following me, I felt like there was an F-16 landing on the road behind me. I let him take point to spare what was left of my night vision as we entered Utah.

Riding in the early evening out in open range country is always an adventure - even with 8 trillion candlepower ahead of me. Suddenly a black (naturally) cow appeared on the road with a rather concerned look on its face as it trotted towards us on the center line. I glanced over and the entire herd of his (her?) family and friends were stampeding across the field….. a glance in the fading sunlight showed what I'm certain was a tan mountain lion carefully creeping towards the cattle. Smart cat, all it would take is a single cow to stumble and break a leg …..and dinner is served. No wonder ranchers are against anything higher on the food chain than their cattle and sheep.

It was completely desert dark when we pulled into Moab Utah's KOA. I actually like KOAs - a hot shower, a decent tent pad, a store and laundry room (where I recharge my various electronic devices) and for about $25 split two ways. Hard to beat.

"What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


1985 K100RS (Sold)
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:28 pm Thread Starter
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And so we ride - ever West

Day Five
Dawn broke and OMG, the cliffs of Moab! Utah has amazing vistas and this was no exception. Even the KOA has views that make Midwesterners break down and sob for joy.



We reclaimed all our charged up stuff and headed into town for breakfast. I found a suitable local diner and we chowed down, making up for missing dinner the evening before. I was however concerned about the oil spots which were appearing on my rear wheel. The last thing I needed was a final drive problem. There was clearly a leak of the final drive oil or the transmission oil seal and it was winding up on the wheel. I checked the oil level in the final drive and it looked to be ok, I checked the oil level in the transmission and it too seemed to be fine. I had to borrow a couple of tools from Thomas' tool kit to do these inspections. I was still concerned as another drop fell onto the rim.

In the process of doing this I think I knocked his aging Nolan helmet to the ground damaging his Sena unit. Clearly my fault and it no longer worked. Drat. Back to hand signals - grrrrrr.

We hit the road as the temps started to work their way up. And up. And up.



Arches National Park - a 'must see' since it anchors the Utah license plate. We parked the bikes and grabbing our cameras and camelbacks joined the throngs of tourists hiking the small scenic loops to see these natural formations of all types, including soaring arches. Actually throngs is the wrong word, many tourist types are simply too out of shape to actually leave their air conditioned cars and hike to see anything. One rather rotund couple in a minivan stopped and asked if they'd actually have to leave their vehicle to see the arches. When I assured them that it was only a mile hike to see some outstanding formations, they demurred - rolled up their window and drove away. But astonishing formations are seemingly everywhere - I think Utah has a significant percentage of the Globe's rock inventory.





We rode North and found traffic to be snarled up by whatever stimulus money had found its way into road repair in this very Red State. Following what I thought was standard practice, we filtered our way to the front of the line of waiting cars and trucks only to get the Evil Eye from an old Biddy in her car at the front of the line. I asked the sign guy if we were OK in moving to the front of the line. He couldn't possibly care less. It's 105 degrees out there - he just wanted to survive the day.

Stopping for fresh ice and watery lemonade every time we refuelled, we wound our way West and then South to Capitol Reef National Park. Fantastic riding with fast sweepers amidst the quiet canyons. We stopped at the visitors center and took in the story of this fantastic park - I always enjoy talking to Rangers and getting the inside scoops. Capitol Reef was the home to a tiny Mormon settlement until WW2 - their buildings survive and their orchards continue to thrive to this day along the river and below the soaring cliffs. Ancient Indian pectrographs are carved into the soft limestone untouched by the centuries or other human hands.

A beautiful campground here is nestled amidst an Apricot orchard, which had a bumper crop of ripe apricots ready for picking. I don't recall if we ate dinner, I do remember that we opened that bottle of fine Colorado Merlot and WT that we are, we cooled it down with a couple of ice cubes in plastic cups. Another rider showed up and we shared a bit of the grape with him as we exchanged stories and smoked cigars. Several very fine communist cigars if memory serves.

"What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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2003 1150GS (Sold)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:29 pm Thread Starter
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In need of a professional opinion..

Day Six
Kickstands up early, we began to work our way in the near darkness out of Capitol Reef. The riding was stunning that morning as we picked our way thru the near wilderness and breathtaking vistas - always aware that much of where we were riding was again open range country. Random cows augmented by roaming deer conspired to keep our throttle hands in check.





We stopped for 'breakfast' at a gas station - weak coffee and packaged muffins would have to do this morning. I checked my rear wheel - yep more oil spots. Oh boy.



The scenery we saw was even more fantastic - we were getting numb from the breathtaking vistas - each more breathtaking than the one before - at times I felt like I was riding through the pages of a Dr. Seuss book.





We wound up in Salt Lake City late that afternoon. I thought it wise to get a professional opinion on my final drive before it blew up in the wilderness and I was eaten by wolves - also my father and step mother live in Salt Lake and we were promised ice cold beer, pizza, showers and air conditioning if we spent the evening there.

I eventually was able to find the BMW Dealership in Salt Lake (BMW/Triumph of Salt Lake) and dropped off my bike to their care and feeding. They immediately put her up on a rack and pulled the rear wheel and final drive housing. The verdict was that the final drive was not failing, but the real seal was leaking. But they didn't have any seals in stock. But a new shipment was due in the following morning. And new seals were probably in that shipment. And if not they could get one from the other dealership in town.

All this aside, this is a beautiful and top notch dealership that absolutely puts to shame either of the dealers in Chicago. And note they immediately went to work on getting a traveller back on the road.

http://www.bmwtriumphsaltlake.com/home.html

But I was getting a headache. I was reasonably certain that I'd be back on the road tomorrow. I hoped.

My father picked me up and with Thomas following eventually found our way back to his house where the promised food, water and beverages materialized.



Thomas is a better guest than me, he has wonderful stories about his days as a DIA investigator, a Secret Service agent and running security in Baghdad for the first Six months. I just prime the pump and turn him loose with his self deprecating and fascinating stories of global travel, sophisticated guns and all kinds of bad guys.:drink

"What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


1985 K100RS (Sold)
2000 323i (Sold)
2003 1150GS (Sold)
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:30 pm Thread Starter
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Back to Wyoming -

Day Seven

Dad dropped us off at the dealership the following morning after buying us a hearty breakfast at the place he's been frequently since the early 1960s. The part hadn't arrived yet .....but any minute!

They have a great sales crew there, one of their very knowledgeable sales guys suggested that we take a couple of bikes out for test rides. In the Mountains. Like we'd refuse that offer.

A brand new Triumph Speed Triple and the spanking new R1200GS were rolled out. We signed our lives away leaving copies of all important documents with them and concise directions on how to get to Big Cottonwood Canyon.

We started up the Canyon mindful of traffic and occasional rock debris on the road. Up and up we wound, me on the Triumph and Thomas on the GS. Occasional spurts of speed to pass cars put a smile on my face, the Triumph is a lot lighter feeling than my GT and is correspondingly more 'flickable' on the twisting road ahead of us.



Too soon we reached the Brighton Ski Resort at the end of the road. Temps were a mite chilly up here. We switched bikes and rode back down. I flat out love the new GS. All the reviews I've read have been spot on. The electronically adjustable suspension works and works well - this 1200 is lighter than my old 1150GS and the engine is a lot more flexible and tractable.

For Thomas, both bikes were a bit of a revelation. He's owned several LTs and before that owned a BMW Montauk. He also has a Harley cop bike in his inventory - either of these bikes represented very different feeling machines. We may see Thomas on a GS before long.

Some hours later we rolled back into the dealership and I retrieved my machine - oil leak problem solved. I settled up got directions from their helpful staff, and glancing over our shoulders at the rain squalls rolling across the valley we headed off towards Wyoming.

Our efforts of avoid the rain were useless and we got soaked. BMW riders that we are, we naturally rolled right on through the rain and thunder. Ahead of us I saw something fall out of a pickup truck and crash to the freeway rolling, skidding and rolling more down my lane. I slowed down and switched lanes, noting with shock that this was a dog crate - which was then smashed flat by a following Semi truck behind me. This all happened pretty fast.

I thought about pulled alongside the pickup and telling her…. but what would I say? And what if her tiny dog had been in that carrier when it bounced out of the pickup bed?

I glanced over through the rain and decided that it'd be better for her not to know. The Semi passed downshifting up the grade - the crushed debris of the dog carrier left far behind on the wet road.

I rode on -perhaps it had been an empty carrier? I hope? They really wouldn't have left a dog in a carrier in the back of a pick up truck in a thunder storm… right?

We pulled into a very nice restaurant with our wet gear, and grabbed a bite to eat with mugs of steaming coffee along side. I noted with amusement that the owner of this establishment had pet Peacocks roaming the grounds and hanging around outside the windows. I put the images of the shattered dog carrier out of my mind.

Up and up we rode and were soon gassing up in Wyoming. I love Wyoming - always have. The wide open, bigger than life swagger that defines the land and the people here is great. We were taking a Southwest to Northeast diagonal path across the State aiming at the Black Hills.





Fantastic open lands - you can literally see weather moving all around you. Out here on the open range there are a number of critters to watch out for - the Prong Horned Antelope are one of the many I worry about. Their threat was made more real when I saw a sign that advised that these Antelope will enter the roads at running speeds of 55 MPH.

Yeah, avoid that! Fortunately these speedy killers were well behaved today and stayed off our roads. We crossed a pass that in the days of covered wagons was probably a hugely significant landmark - in a matter of seconds it was behind us as we sped along Wyoming's empty highways.

We wound up that night in the beautiful town of Lander, Wyoming which offers free tent camping in their lush and watered town park! What a great and memorable feature! We enjoyed an reasonably priced Steak dinner at a local establishment and then returned to the park where we knocked back a bottle of wine and burned several more cigars, toasting the waning days of our trip in the cool Wyoming evening, the sound of a burbling stream in the background.


"What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


1985 K100RS (Sold)
2000 323i (Sold)
2003 1150GS (Sold)
2009 528Xi
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:32 pm Thread Starter
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More Wyoming

Day Eight

We left at the break of dawn and went to a local restaurant/motel where quite a few dusty pickups were parked - usually a sign of good eating. This restaurant didn't disappoint.

Today's travel was recommended to me by several people - we rode up thru Thermopolis to Ten Sleep and finally Buffalo.






More superlatives must be found for this leg of the trip, but I'm running out. The LT did seem to be showing signs of running hot, whereas the GT didn't - we did a cursory inspection in Buffalo and decided to keep an eye on it, I suspected the sensor was flaky and the engine was fine. This proved to be true.

Out of Buffalo we took 14/16 (The long way around) to Gillette.





On an impulse, we detoured onto 59 with an eye towards taking the back roads over to Devil's Tower in South Dakota. This would have been an excellent and inspired idea on Dual Sport bikes - not so much with our street machines.




After 20 miles or so of washboarded dusty gravel roads we flagged down a passing woman rancher - she processed our question and allowed that the 'back road' route I was proposing was probably another 50 miles of so of rough riding. (Man, the Ranches out in this part of Wyoming are really, really isolated. I expect that even with the mandatory 4x4 trucks, they are isolated for weeks at a time come winter. I'm also sure that they aren't terribly concerned about that)

We turned around - these roads just aren't as much fun on street bikes. (Last year I rode 2500 miles on far worse roads in the Great White North on the GS - much easier on the GS!)

Back into Gillette on our quest for the Devil's Tower! A short shot on I-90 and then back onto to two lanes - auguring our way North to this iconic landmark. We passed several Harleys evidently headed to a costume party somewhere (oh, by the way - what does that fringe actually do on their faux leather saddle bags?). We reached the Tower, took the requisite snapshots - bought some ice cream cones and got back on our way.



Some quality time in the saddles and we reached Spearfish SD, where we decided to pop for the only motel on this trip. Dinner and a few drinks and lights out.

"What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


1985 K100RS (Sold)
2000 323i (Sold)
2003 1150GS (Sold)
2009 528Xi
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:33 pm Thread Starter
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Homeward bound

Day Nine

Rock and Roll - Break of Dawn and hit it. Today would be another 700 some mile day as we aimed leaving the dry hills of South Dakota and reaching the lush Mississippi Valley town of La Crosse, Wisconsin. 700 miles in this case meant a lot of freeway riding across South Dakota and then Minnesota.

The Black Hills flattened out into High Plains, and these turned into the lush green fields of Minnesota with what looked to be a bumper crop of corns and beans coming in.

Down and down we rode - al long last LaCrosse came into view.



A nice lady at the Gas Station directed us to a public campground just outside town where we pitched tents for the last night on the road. Lots of people, but very well managed and supervised - sleep came easily, despite those annoying campground overhead lights.

Day Ten

We awoke to thick, almost impenetrable fog. We quietly packed up and rode through the swirling mists and back onto I-90. Even keeping our visors more or less dry was nearly impossible - greatly reduced speeds, lights on low - just so we could be seen - and probably 40 MPH on the freeway, worried that we'd be run over from the rear!

First town we came to East of La Crosse, we stopped and had breakfast to wait this out. Sure enough a couple of cups of coffee and the fog magically vanished. Wisconsin was covered quickly, we split up at Madison and the trip came to an end.

Lessons learned -

Bike to Bike Bluetooth is very very good. Not for endless chatter, but critical stuff like stopping for fuel, where to camp and so forth. Add in the ability to tap into XM radio, or iPod music or podcasts - and to place and receive phone calls - with high fidelity stereo and this is a worthwhile addition. Thomas liked my Sena system so much he has scrapped the Nolan system he has and bought Senas for he and his wife.

Camelbacks - 'Nough said. Great solution to hydration when riding.

Gear - I've learned to pack lighter and lighter - one change of clothing, minimal camping gear, some tools and I'm ready to roll. All in my gear and accessories probably weighed 35-40 pounds.

Garmins plus paper maps worked very well for navigation. Advice from other riders on several forums assured us of fantastic roads and great travel. Thanks to everyone who provides this guidance and support. How did we ever travel before the Internet?

BMW/Triumph of Salt Lake. Outstanding facility and good service. They squeezed me in with zero notice and got me back on the road in 20 hours. And let us test drive new bikes! Wow -

New generation of BMWs. Linked ABS and the sophisticated suspensions these bikes had clearly kept me out of trouble when I occasionally went too hot into curves. Cruise control rocks for those shots on the Superslab, but also for giving your throttle hand a break at any time. Great engineering across the bike.

"What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


1985 K100RS (Sold)
2000 323i (Sold)
2003 1150GS (Sold)
2009 528Xi
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:55 pm
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What a sweet writeup, I felt like I was along for the ride with you.

tim-----still on the right side of the frostline

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2010, 11:02 am
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Very nice write up indeed.....thanks for sharing!

'07 GT Sold- 2012 GSA Triple Black - Farkles O'Plenty!

I think I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe....but I am NOT a Dental Floss Tycoon!
What's with this STUPID Cosmic Door?! ....Going Somewhere?!....Going Somewhere?!


Robert_W is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2010, 3:06 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Anaheim, CA, USA
Posts: 1,394
Great writing, it's true, but the photos really made the trip come alive. You definitely have "the eye". Thank you for posting this everyone.
XMagnaRider is offline  
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