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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Day 2, New Albany MS to Atlanta GA

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Good morning Mississippi…. Well I had planned to start the day at 7am since heading east puts you in the hole by an hour once you hit EST, but not to be so, I left at 7.30. Stayed in the Holliday Inn Express last night, good room, good rate. I generally avoid HIE but recently they seem to be lowering prices and the AAA discount brought it down another 10% (if you are riding a lot I suggest getting AAA with the RV add-on – that is the motorcycle rider that gives you 100 miles towing). Started out on Highway 78 south heading to Birmingham, hey to my Bama friends. A quick note to riders, 78 ends before Birmingham and you have to take surface roads to 65 then 20. At the end of 78 exit turn left on Coalberg Rd, rt on Shady Grove Rd then rt on Walker Chapel rd to 65 (not well marked).

The ride from Birmingham to Atlanta was of course simple, I 20, the road from Atlanta to Dallas will be even easier, I20 . Couple of highlights on Douglasville GA: 1) sat in McDonalds for an hour while my wonderful wife closed on the sale of our house – she must have signed her name and my name a hundred times; 2) in Douglasville at the Big Rips (on Fairburn) they detailed my bike, took an hour and they charged me $20, wow, in the neighborhood – go there.

On the bike again to Atlanta, 30 miles to go to get downtown to my hotel and ride intermission, resume the ride on Friday. What is the number one rule of washing your bike, yep you guessed it, got poured on heading into Atlanta. Big drops lots of cars, oh good an underpass, oh no three cars under the pass, oh good another underpass, oh wait the rain stopped….. Well the detail was more about 15 states worth of bugs not dirt, onward through the mist. Ten miles out of Atlanta and the rain has stopped, well is to the east of 75 my north turn, made the turn made it to the hotel and parked the bike.

One more piece of advice. The hotel I am staying at, will hold the name, lets you self-park in the valet lot but wanted to charge the standard car rate of $32 per night. I understand the need to cover cost but felt that self-parking my bike in a non-car slot against the wall might merit a discount. After nicely pressing the issue with the parking lot then with the desk the hotel lowered the rate from $32 a night to $10 a night – that is reasonable. Well I am off the bike for a few days and standing in my hotel room watching the rain pour, blessed timing tonight, off to a new adventure on Friday, see you then.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Day 1 Bentonville to New Albany Ms:

Well after meeting with the family that is buying our house, nice family, I loaded up and started the trip to Atlanta for business. Yea I know, only 24 hours earlier we completed our 10 state trip but with the house closing and us moving to Dallas on Friday I had to get my motorcycle to Texas and since my trip goes Bentonville to Atlanta to Dallas the ride was the only way for three people to move three vehicles so here I go.

Short blog since the ride was uneventful. Covered about 450 miles and from AR to MS and thanks to cloud cover starting in Little Rock the heat was very manageable. Interesting thing has developed over the last year. As everyone knows I love riding my motorcycle, I love long distance and the thought of getting back on the bike 24 hours after completing a 3,400 mile trip is something I look forward to. But… since last year when Julie started touring with me I have to say that as much as I love riding alone, riding with Julie is much better, I miss her when I am riding alone. When Julie is with me we share the experience, we talk about the surroundings and generally just focus on each other. Julie and I have been best friends for 26 years and I am looking forward to the next 26.

Ok promise to blog about motorcycles from now on but for my friends who ride single and have thought about going two-up, I would strongly recommend it. Well that is all for tonight. Talk to you tomorrow as I head to Atlanta for the week.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Day 9 – The final Day

Well what a great time we had. Just under 3,400 miles, ten states, and countless outstanding views. It goes without saying the company was awesome and the fellowship was a blessing. During the trip we traveled through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. The weather was excellent, we ran into very little rain, just a few hours of 100+ temperatures in the Badlands and on the southward run home.

Although our family is starting day one of our new adventure in Texas I have no doubt that we will enjoy another tour as a group in the future, we have 10 states down so obviously there are 40 more that need to be explored, ok maybe 38 unless Alaska and Hawaii take AARP or AAA.

Thanks or the great ride, the memories and the laughs.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Day 8

Well what can I say about today… HOT!!!

We covered 475 miles today! That’s pretty respectable especially for the new kids on the bikes!

We are just having a blast spending time with friends and seeing God’s remarkable creation.

We’ll be home by 1:00 tomorrow. Just in time for us (Robert and Julie) to thoroughly clean every inch of the house and make it ready for closing on Monday..

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
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After a great might’s sleep at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Lodge, a great value, by the way( and under a year old). We headed to Sturgis to see the world famous motorcycle rally place and shop at the Harley store. But of course we planned to be there when the rally wasn’t going on – smart aren’t we?

This is the hottest day of our trip so far! Sally finally gave in to the illness that has been trying to take her down since Monday so after spending some time at McDonald’s to cool off in Rapid City her and Dean decided it would be better to fly her home. So, as God always does, He had us positioned just right to get to the airport in about 10 minutes and Dean was able to use miles for the flight. “Feel better soon, Sally!”

Then we headed southeast on I-90 to Wall, SD. We visited Wall Drug where we ate lunch and bought a few souvenirs and of course, visited another Harley store. We loaded up on water and rode to The South Dakota Badlands. Wow! It was hot!!! But it was truly one the most awesome sights to see. We all talked about how tough those settlers must have been.

Well, it didn’t get any cooler after leaving the Badlands. After getting as many miles under our tires as possible, we stopped in Valentine, NE at the Comfort Inn.

Tomorrow promises to be another very hot day but that’s just part of the journey.

Day 7

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Day 6

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We started out the day at 8:00 sharp so we could make the 200 mile drive from the Super 8 in Wheatland, WY to Mount Rushmore. We stopped for lunch in Custer, SD and ate at the Buglin’ Bull then jumped back on the bikes and made it to the visitor’s center in just a few minutes.

Mount Rushmore was an awesome sight – it did not disappoint! Just walking up to the entrance you could see the mountain in the background and leading up to it was a walkway lined with all the state flags. I am so thrilled to have been able to see this in person! Being a native South Dakotan, I have always wanted to see it.

From there we went to see the Crazy Horse memorial.  We got there just in time to see an informative video in the visitor’s center which was extremely interesting. Such a labor of love and dedication from an individual family who has worked tirelessly for over 50 years…and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Next, we headed north on 385 to Deadwood – the desired finish to the day. Robert found us a great hotel right downtown – The Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel. Great find! We ate a fabulous dinner – appetizers, salads, steaks – the whole works! Now it’s off to bed for the next day of riding. We’ll be going to Sturgis first thing in the morning then hopefully to Wall Drug followed by a ride through the Badlands.

Night All!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Day 5

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Well the last day in Colorado, but what a grand way to exit the Rocky Mountain Empire state. We woke up in Estes Park, met up at 8.30 and rolled out to RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park). This trip has been very relaxing and we have been so fortunate on weather, finding hotel rooms and avoiding local events by a day or two at each stop. For example in Estes Park the “Rooftop Rodeo” started today so I am sure the hotel rooms were going to be going up in price and down in availability, oh well that is in our rearview mirror.
But enough about that – onto the day.

As mentioned we started out the day without any fireworks or setbacks, everything went smooth. On that note, I am very impressed with the team, we have been on the road since Thursday/Friday, close to 2,000 miles under the tires (and six states with 4 more to go) and everyone is having a great time and holding up under the miles. Anyone who has done long distance touring on a bike knows that the impact of the trip is cumulative. Long distance riding gets easier with experience and although the group are all experienced riders they are new to distance riding, you could not tell from the stamina and attitude of the group.

Ok back to the ride again. We entered RMNP at about 9am and the sights were spectacular. In addition to the views we also saw a lot of Elk (when we spotted them we became “those people”, you know the ones that stop in the middle of the road to look at wildlife, oops), some little mountain ground chucks called Marmots, and a few grey headed walker drivers. Our trip through the park took about three hours, entering at the main gate by Estes and exiting on the west (Grand Lake).

Instead of backtracking through the park then heading to Loveland and I-25 north we went west to Granby turned north on CO 125 to Walden (well after a 11 mile detour on US 40, thanks to my map reading skills) then to CO 127 (also known as WY 230) towards Laramie WY. CO 125 and 127 are both nice roads that wind through beautiful mountain valleys and then break out to wide plains. The road surface was good in the valleys but on the plains was a bit washboard, but really not too bad. If you are going to take this route, and I would recommend the ride, be sure you start with a full tank and some water, just in case. I do not mean to imply the ride is no gas or desolate but at one point we did notice a lady on her front porch waving to us like she had not seen other humans for a while.

After getting to Laramie we stopped at the Golden Arches for some “Sweet Tea”, french-fries, and hotel planning. In Laramie we were trying to decide if we should stop in Douglas (larger town with more hotels) or Wheatland, the Fracking boom in Douglas helped us make up our minds. So with Cindy and Dean working the phones and Trip Adviser we ended up with rooms in a new Super 8 in Wheatland – back on the road.

The trip from Laramie to Wheatland was a pleasant ride along US 30 then onto WY 34. The ride was full of wind, Antelope, and the occasional truck. On the ride we had both a crazy chipmunk and an antelope play frogger with the bike, no harm no foul. We arrived safely at Wheatland at about 6pm MST and hit the A&W for diner, started washing some clothes and ended the night with an aggressive game of Nertz, I think Cindy is winning.
Tomorrow we will start out at about 8am and head to Custer, Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore, ending up in Sturgis. Talk to you then.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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