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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
We had just spent 9 days ridding trough CA, NV, UT (with a little bit of AZ), WI and Mt to get to the Canadian border and then spent 9 days ridding trough the Canadian Rockies, down to the pacific coast, trough half of Vancouver Island and NOW, Back on the USA.

As I said, we needed to make some ground south to stay out of the rain, this dry spell was not gonna last long and by the time we came down from the ferry on US soil and stopped for gas (gad is very $$$pensive in BC) it was almost 1:00 PM so we got going right away. The goal for the day to get all the way to the Columbia river and spend the night in Oregon. Originally we had intended to spend 2 nights in the Seattle area to get to know the city a little but if we would have done that the rain would have caught up with us and we already had spend an unscheduled day in Victorias so we had to scratch that plan and headed to the WA-OR border. Again the sprinkles on part of the day discouraged stopping for picturesa whole lot but as we got close to the Columbia RIver and with Astoria within sight we could not resist.

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As we approach the 2nd structure on the bridge the speed of the bike against the speed of the shutter play funny things with the images.

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This last one from that day taken from the Astoria, Oregon side of the river.

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And I'll cose this day with another moto-selfie taken midway across the Columbia RIver.

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Discussion Starter #22
PS: While looking for a hotel in the area this one pop up, and the name and description was so alluring that I had to stay here, it is very basic but the small details made it feel very confy, the staff was very friendly and it turned out very well.

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And when we got there I knew I had made the right choice:

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The manager had his brand new Kawi Voyager, we got to talk bike for a while.

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Discussion Starter #23
DAY 18: Oregon here we come... but before we left Astoria I had to find out what was the deal with the place, turned out there is quite a bit of history there but there is not much physical evidence of it, only stories and accounts from a time long gone. The only place to visit was the Astoria tower, we were not fixing to be back here anytime soon so might as well go take a look.

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Very nice view from the top of the hill, even better from top of the tower (worth the climb), the best part was seeing the joy on the kids trowing their $1 toy planes from the top and watching them fly down around the tower and then go down in a hurry to recover them. but we had to move on South.

We spent all day ridding the 101 along the coast, beautiful scenery, did not have a place picked out to spend the night, kinda wanting to see how the day progressed before we decided but it would be along the coast, depended on how many sites called us to stop and enjoy the scenery.

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As it turns out, ridding on hte coast there is no shortage of beautiful scenes you want to catch so we were not making a lot of miles, not really in a hurry, we figure we could get to Thor's Well early the next day and enjoy the day for what it was offering.

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Got a room in a small "fishing village" (if there is still such a thing anymore in the west coast) called Yachats, had a forgettable lunch/dinner and figure out the plan for the next day, send home some "hellos" and some pix.

We knew we had stopped just shy of Thor's Well and I wanted to stop by before we moved away from the coast, this section of coastal 101 was not dissapointing at all and we had a great weather day to enjoy it, skipping Seattle and Portland had payed off as we were seeing rain had stayed north of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
DAY 19: The day started Early, first order of business was to get to Thor's Well, I would have figure I would see more and clearer signs on the road as where to find it but before I knew it we had ridden past it. The morning was a good fall coastal morning, lots of fog but with good enough visibility for ridding, very little traffic, so it was no problem to find a view point where we could turn back the 3 or so miles we had overshoot the feature site and come back to it.

WE knew it was not A BIG DEAL but still, we wanted to see it for ourselves, the hole it self is not that big but rather impressive for the way the waves come into the rock formations and empty themselves into the hole, hard to take a picture though, without risking getting wet and harder still to get one without a tourist in your shot.

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But I did managed this one of the blow-hole we found at the same spot.

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The short ride we had that morning before breakfast was as magical as a coastal ride we could had asked for, the views were amazing with the right amount of fog and going up and down in elevation with the cliffs right at out side.
Before an hour and a half had gone by we were freshly feed and on our way off the coast. When planing this part of the trip I was looking for certain roads I had see on maps or motorcycle ride websites and had picked a couple of them to include, but for this day I had just picked the most convenient road, after Thor's Well, that took me in the direction of Crater Lake NP. That little road from Florence to Eugene did not promise any thing in particular, one of many roads that follow a river for some stretch and connect a couple of town but it turned out to be an outstanding morning ride.

Good road surface, very little traffic and we manage to set on a speed that keep us from traffic catching up to us and for us to catch up to traffic only a couple of times, good curvy road with lots of trees. It is weird, the road itself or the scenery not outstanding by themselves but both my wife and I were in a ZEN like state for a couple of hours in that road that just made that morning ride just stand out. The Trees hugging the road, going in and out of the sunlight, the smells and wind were just very enjoyable.

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After crossing the !-5 hwy we went trough Dexter reservoir and kept ridding up the creek until we got to Odell Lake, after that the road turn really boring and straight for the last 2 hours, no place to stop for lunch anywhere, almost no traffic at all and the day was getting late. As we had gone way up in altitude the trees had turned to pines a while back and by this time they were getting les and less. By the time we got to the parks access road it was around 5 PM so we did not have much sunlight left, nobody at the parks gates to show we were very late in the day but I had confidence the crater and the lake were well worth the ride.

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As you can see from the pix, the lake is this deep blue color that really surprises you as you see it live, a surreal scene.... and really, really cold. After taking a good dose of pictures, we moved to the visitor center and barely catch it open, all we could manage was buying a stiker for the trailer and using the restrooms, even the food was not appetizing so we looked at the lake for a few more minutes and headed down out of the park to the only lodging I had been able to find a few miles west just outside the park. Originally our stop here involved one camp night and some hiking but, again, it was too cold to camp and lodging inside the park is really expensive so we would maybe consider ridding up to the lake again the next morning after we did the plan for the next day's ride to Happy Camp.

We came to our hotel as the day was turning dark and were happy to find out they had a dinner right in front across the road, with famous pies and everything.... and we were starving!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #25
As we were calmly having dinner we realized we were on the road most of the day and it had felt hurried at times, We had barely made it to crater lake in time to enjoy the view, even though we skipped lunch. The few stops of the day were short and even we were relaxed at the end of the day, with good lodging and had achieved our goals for the day, we were counting way too much on things going the right way. We decided to start taking thing easier and a bit more time to "smell the roses".

So DAY 20 started with a quick shower and then breakfast across the road, a short walk to the near by creek to get the feel of the area, we inquired for land features worth seeing on the way down the mountain and were directed to some waterfalls that involved some hiking. That sounded more like the kinda day we wanted to have.

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As you can see by the pix, we took our homework very seriously, all the sites were enjoyed to the fullest and we took our time on the hike, we also knew we had some hiway time later that day so we could make up some miles.

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By mid day we had reached the interstate and we stopped for a leg stretcher right before crossing over to California, that meant only one state to cross before we got home, luckily it was a long state.

Shortly after rolling into CA, right after crossing the highest point in I5, we turn into hwy 96 toward Happy Camp, A road I've read about by some Bike Rider/writer (a famous one) that talked about a wonderful fun road he had ridden a couple of times, it looked fun on the map also.... and it was but I had built it up in my head enough that it did not measure up. Don't get me wrong, the road was fine, the pavement was a bit beat up but it was curvy enough the enjoy the ride. All rural road so no-where to stop for lunch again and we had certainly gone out of the mountain ecosystem so no pines and very little trees to be seen. For us, a very familiar type of vegetation but the curves in the road made up for the loss of the Oregon vegetation we had just run out of.

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As we arrived to happy camp we were greeted by Big Foot, and a hard time to find a hotel room. This night snow was expected on crater lake and the whole mountain we had left behind, it was only gonna rain where we were at but it was not gonna be warm rain, so camping was out of the question.

The town, as the road, was made up in my mind to a level that was hard to live up to, but the reality was it was a strugglin' town, but we did find nice people to talk to and for them to let us know the best roads to get on the next day.

Just a day before we had found a wonderful road just by chance and today we did a road that "under- perfomed" and both have a lot to do with state of mind really, in different circumstances those roads might feel different to a different set of riders. Such is the nature of the ride itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
One thing I do have to say, people in Happy Camp were very nice to us, very friendly all over the place. There were only 2 hotels in the area and as we arrived in town we went into one to ask for a room, none to be found (seemed road workers, some truckers and such had the place full). The attendants did help me going trough the options: some campgrounds 15-20 miles ahead but there was some rain coming during the night, another hotel 1 block away I could check for vacancy, no restaurant but there was a market still open where some stuff to eat.

We got to the 2nd hotel and as we entered there was a group of European young tourists walking out of te office and it seemed with the keys of the last 2 rooms in hand, they heard us asking for a room and as we were having a chat with the owners the kids decided to let us have one of the rooms and stay on just the other one, like I said, full of nice people.

Most every body we talk to was saying the same thing, the road that lay ahead of us (due SW) was basically more of the same we had encountered since we had left Interstate 5..... and all fingers seemed to point to the road leaving town to the North over the mountains so.... North we went. About one hour ride over the mountains should take us to Hwy 199 connecting Medford to Crescent City at the coast and, unknown to us at the time, take us briefly into Oregon again.

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So DAY 21 had us riding up the curvy mountain road under sprinkles with some menacing clouds above us, we saw maybe 3 or 4 cars all that first hour, slowly making progress for the threat of slippery asphalt, once on the hwy we started looking for someplace to get breakfast but the road was not that populated and then the rain caught up with us as we re-enter California and the road started downhill with very nice curves to it, we just kept aware of the poor traction so we kept the speed on the low side.

After a bit of front tire slippage (scary) I opted to stop at a resort and we had whatever food we could manage as they were no longer serving breakfast, we stuck around enjoying the creek right by the restaurant while the rain pass. As soon as we saw a window in the rain we took off. The road just kept getting more and more beautiful as we move closer to the coast and as we were to reach Crescent City we hit the Redwood forest and it greeted us whit an awesome short stretch of road curving around these thick legged giants, I would recommend this road just because that final stretch to any one ridding a bike, even on a wet day like the one we had.

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By 1 PM we had reached the ocean again and started a new coastal run on HWY 101, we would find ourselves ridding though redwoods twice that day, rain prevented us from stopping or taking more pix but the woods were wesome and the ride was very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
On the last part of Day 21, as we moved away from the coast we were faced with a new mountain range to ride up to, the road was superb and we found ourselves ridding the Avenue of the Giants, we did not really went into the side road (kinda regret not doing so) but it was later on the day and again we were not sure what kind of place we could find for our late late lunch so we sisi not want to get to our destination too late. This also meant I had made the choice to adjust the ride plan and eliminate taking Hwy 36 toward Red Bluff, Ca. and try to stay closer to the coast all the way to San Francisco.

We chose to spend the night, frankly were we could find a hotel at accesible cost. Most towns in the area being tourist oriented we did not have many choices, most were too expensive for just spending the night but I did find one in a town called Garberville, we got to the small town still high up in the mountain, with plenty of light, for all we knew we had ridden out of the threat of rain, all we needed now was some food.

Most of the trip we had had a hard time finding good food, partly because we were looking to ride the road less travel and we accepted the fact that moving away from main roads and the crowds meant less food choices, but even on the touristy towns we did not seemed to be lucky on the food side. In Garberville, as we had done many times, we asked the hotel desk for recommendations for good food and this time we hit a really good place, The "Woodrose Cafe" had a small but appetizing menu, the eating was so good we decided the we would come back for breakfast the next morning to the same place and were not disappointed.

It made for a great start for the first day of our 4th week on the road, we were schedule to hit the Pacific Coast Hwy by mid day (Ca Hwy 1) and the plan was to ride it most of the way to LA.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I just went back to check my maps and schedule for the trip and realized i've gotten the day count off by one day, this ride out from Garberville is actually DAY 23 of the trip (I think my error was all the way back as we crossed into Canada on DAY 10), DOes not matter much except for the fact this was a Sunday (the 4th Sunday of the trip) and our plan for the day was to ride the coast all the way to San Francisco to check the box on one long time wish to ride my bike across the Golden Gate. doing this on a Sunday was significant and kinda planned to try to avoid city traffic as much as posible.

Very soon after hitting the road we got to Leggett, where Hwy 1 is born to go the rest of the state along the coast almost all the way to the Southern Border replacing the 101 that goes a bit inland and widens to carry more speed and more traffic. We obviously took a right and headed for the coast past the inmediate mountain road, this tour out to be a bit longer and quite more curvy than anticipated, not that this was bad, it only turn out slow because we get a few sprinkles during the morning with the slow pace the comes with it and almost nill pix.

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Before noon we were at the coast, as you can see, still wearing the rain gear but it seemed we had reached dry skies.

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The day turn into a scenic wonder, that road going up to the clouds in heights right along the clifff with the ocean way down right to our right side, a lot of sections well over 1500 feet in elevation and some small sections without even a rail to separate you from the cliffs.

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Although the scenery was glorious, a lot of sections of the road surface were really beat up and got to the point that the road felt dangerous and made for very slow progress, after 2and a half hours we were averaging less than 40 MPH. This was a conbo of very bumpy road, road blocks for road repair or some traffic (witch was not really bad at all). As we were getting close to Jenner I notice this was the last chance I would have to ride away from the coastal hwy before SF and if the road conditions remained it just might get dark on us before we reached the golden gate.

I opted to head toward Santa Rosa to get lunch and spend the night and that would allow us to get to SF late the ext morning with fresh legs but about 13 miles later this happen:

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OOOOUUUUCHHHHHH!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
"What the crap is that!" you might say.... well, as we left the small town of Guerneville, just as we crossed the river bridge and hit yet another bump on the road, I started to gain speed and about 400-500 meters ahead we just heard the loud sound of metal scraping the asphalt at the same time I felt the bike slowing down, came off the throttle instantly and was careful to go to the side of the road as much as possible (at this point the road had no shoulder, not 4 inches!) before I turn around to see my trailer had lost the left wheel and the fender was resting against the pavement.

After a couple of mental "WTF's" I had my wife climb off and start diverting traffic as we were still using half of the eastbound lane in a very narrow, 2 lane road. We were at the middle of a long curve and as long as nobody was speeding we could warn other drivers to go by us carefully but it took me a couple of minutes to figure out what to do. With my wife directing traffic in her hot pink rain suit (with a startled look in her face) I looked for the missing wheel, it had gone of the right side down a small hill and stopped in a bob-wire fence about 30-40 feet from the edge of the road, it still had the axle and attachment plate with it, had this happen any time 15 miles earlier or any place in the coastal hwy that wheel could have easily be floating in the Pacific ocean.

Brought the wheel back up to the road and tried to figure how to proceed, it was already past 5 pm so not much light left (around 90 minutes worth), several people had offered to help but I still did not know what to do but within 10 minutes I had a plan.

First I had to get the rig out of the traffic lane, my side of the road had absolutely no shoulder but a few feet behind us there was a large entrance that created some room in the asphalt to get enough to the side that we could be safe from traffic, so I disconnected the trailer from the bike and half emptied the trailer to make it lighter, with the help of a fellow biker I moved the trailer to the safer area and then moved the bike over as well... o yeah, made 8 or 9 trips bringing over all the stuff I had taken out of the trailer. About 30-40 minutes had passed. The guy helping me took off on his way.

Then, as I rested, I took the pix shown in the last post.

I proceeded to find out what that entrance was to and it turn out to be a fancy SPA, I went in to see if it was posible for us to stay there for the night ($$$) gently grasping at my wallet in a protective gesture. As I suspected from the state of the place and the beautiful gardens the place was very expensive ($275 per night for a weekday) but the manager was really helpful and he gave us a good discount, furthermore he was sympathetic to our predicament and offer the maintenance room for us to store our "Stuff" and save me a LOT of trips hauling camping gear into our room. By this time it was almost dark and it had started raining, light rain but still the last trip bringing stuff in was under the rain.

No going out for late lunch under those conditions so all I could do is order a salad and pizza from the town, go back to our room and count our blessings, there are a LOT OF WAYS this could had turned a lot worse. We had a big problem to solve the next day but for the night we had a very soft bed, wifi to make plans for different scenarios, warm room to rest and an empty SPA all to ourselves (there were no employees until the next morning, that's really empty).

Next morning we had a nice shower, a very tasty, gourmet breakfast (included in the cost of the room so I wasn't passing it up) and then I meet with the guy in charge of maintenance, he turned out to be a Mexican handyman and we hit it right off, he help me with a workbench to start my repairs, lend me use of his tools and directed me to the nearest hardware store.

Still trying to find a way to substitute a welded plate in witch the welds had given out was no easy task, It took every once of "McGiver" I could mustard and a lot, I mean a lot of elbow grease to put the trailer back together in a way that was safe enough to continue our travels, needless to say I did not want to have to stay again in the spa, as helpful and as accommodating as they had been I did not want to pay another $200 for a fancy bed. I finished packing the trailer and bike just about 24 hrs after the incident, it meant we had about 90 min worth of light to make some ground toward SF (crossing the Golden Gate on a Sunday out the window). 45 Miles away we were rolling into a small hotel by Hwy 101 in Petaluma, Ca, DAY 24 spent in repairs and DAY 25 would be for leaving northern CA behind and hitting the home stretch.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
As we were about to leave the hotel the next morning (DAY 25 at this point) I took a peak under the trailer to check how my improvised fix was working. What had happened was the long miles and bumpiness of the roads along with the weight we were carrying had worn a crack in the welds holding the axle mounting plates on the left side. After inspection I had notice this was not the first time the welds had failed and the last fix they had done was not a good one, the welds did not show to have melted both side as a good weld should. Having squeezed 3 trips out of the trailer (1,800 miles to Yosemite, 4,500 miles to NM and almost 5,000 miles on this trip so far) as it was might not been a bad deal but an incident like that on a mayor highway could have been disastrous, both for us but also for a lot of other people.

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This had put a lot of weight on my mind, I did not even look for a place that could weld aluminum, that would had been almost impossible in a small town, so I had gotten longer bolts and an improvised 2nd plate and held the axle in its place attaching one plate on each side of the chasis. the fix was very secured and at worse it could potentially slide back or forward a few millimeters at most so other than misalignment I did not feel I was at risk of losing the wheel again. Given the faulty welds I was not that sure about the other axle.

So without worrying my wife I proceeded carefully, did not press the speed but it also mean I would probably not take the coastal highway home, very few settlements in that stretch of hwy (between Monterrey and San Luis Obispo), Additionally I had just experienced a very rough road in the part of Hwy 1 I had taken and I think it had been a big part of the problem.

By late morning we were taking pictures of the Golden Gate, 'cus I was also determined it was not gonna take the enjoyment of the trip from me.

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It had turned out to be a gorgeous day for a bike ride, sunny but not hot, clear skies but enough clouds to make for good photos.

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We proceeded to ride trough the bridge (bucket list item: check) and planned to stop for lunch in the city, tried to get a parking spot but everywhere we looked was full (we did not tried that hard) and opted to skip the city and try and beat the traffic.... we DID NOT succeed!!

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We got caught in the mayhem ridding out of town and it was going SO SLOW we started to see signs of the bike heating up so we had to stop for a burger while we waited for the bike to cool down and hopefuly the traffic would also ease up some. Not knowing how much we would be able to make progress I did not make hotel reservations just yet and we did have to stop for the traffic once more before we got up to a comfortable speed and rode to La Salina for a hwy side hotel, we had decided to stick to the 101 for as long as possible without having to go to the coast again (that meant more traffic), so before Paso Robles we would turn eastward toward Bakersfield and take the interstate 5 from there.

Before we left Salina, I did another check up on the trailer, my left side was doing fine but the right side did kinda show a small crack in the welds, it started to worry me it might fail just as the left side had done so I took it even easier on the speed, just slow enough to be OK on the hwy and not be run over and we rode for about a 100 miles more before stopping for breakfast and gas. I laid down under the trailer again and the crack was evident by now so during breakfast I did a search for hardware stores and the only decent one for a lot of miles was right in the town we were at so we headed that way to do the same fix to my right side axle plate before it failed, figuring it was gonna be much easier to do the fix with the plate still in its place and at the hardware store parking lot than in the middle of a highway.

Never even remembered to bring out the camera all this time so no pix for DAY 26, we had left very early so the 2 and half hours it took me to put the extra plate and longer bolts on the right side were no big problem, the goal for the day was to get to Santa Clarita (just North of LA) before sundown and have dinner (again no lunch) with my wife's sister and her husband and stay with them for a couple of day to kinda decompress.

They greeted us very warmly, as always and had prepared a very tasty "Carne Asada" dinner for us. Made us feel right at home and it felt great to be among family. We spend the night telling stories of out adventure (most of them tru), drinking cold beer and eating every piece of meat they had out on the grill.

At this point I was so near our home that I could help to start thinking about work, I knew I had a ton of stuff to take care of for next week so it was hard to stay in rider mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
We spent DAY 27 relaxing in Santa Clarita, I took this chance to empty the trailer and do a detail inspection of the new (temporary) plates I had installed on the last 3 day of the trip, they were holding fine, not even a need for re-alignment.

Only 3 and a half hours from home meant I could pick and choose the time and route to get there, not that I was gonna take the long way home, after almost 4 weeks on the road we were somewhat saddle sore, we missed our sons, our bed, our dogs and we were in a way wanting to come back to somewhat of a routine that we could get tired of in a matter of days.

From the start we anticipated to spend 28-30 days on the road, if I consider the 4 week delay that my job forced and the fact that we were trying at points to stay barely ahead of winter weather, having completed the whole trip (minor some little adjustments), spanning 11 states, crossing 2 borders (twice each), 5,800 miles and one long time dream realized.

We got to our home early afternoon on DAY 28, we had the weekend in front of us to unpack, tell stories to our kids and NOT RIDE A BIKE for a while.

To all that have payed attention to this thread I thank you, even though I tried to make it informative and interesting to the readers, the telling of the story was intended to mentally re-organize the trip for My wife and I, to try and get stuff down in words so we can revisit later on and to maybe help somebody with a similar wish know it can happen, takes work and planning and sticking to your guns. But knowing there are people following up the trip with me as I wrote it was big in encouraging to stay with it.

As I feared, when you manage to achieve a far fetched goal you put on your plate, you are left with a big sense of, well, achievement, but also you are left with an empty feel inside. As you clear your plate you are left with the need to make the next plan, but I intended to let the next one come by it self, not rush it. The writing of this "ride report" has given me time to figure out what come after "the big trip".

During the trip there were stuff we left out, so we want to go back in some fashion and experience the areas we missed in a more exploratory way, there were the places and roads we rode that amazed us and we want to ride those again and then there are places we have yet to go and ride.

I use to say I had plenty of places to go ride just in western states, still do in a way, but having done this trip and in the process put a check mark in many of the places / states that I had yet to ride have changed the whole perspective for me. I still want to make the West my main focus, but now places like Tennessee and the Carolinas have become interesting to me to include on the "places to go ride" list, parts of Texas and getting the Bike to New Orleans have some allure also. In a way, a larger world has opened up, thoughts of ridding in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Australia have come up on conversations as the new far fetched ideas.

But most important is the fact that now I know all this is doable, is just a matter of not rushing it, let it happen in a way the I can maximize the enjoyment of it.

And, again, stealing from Ponch (and I know this was himself stealing from somewhere)....

CHANOC OUT!!
 

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EXCELLENT REPORT!!!

I have enjoyed following you with your words and your wife's pics. And you're correct in that you will reread this report and relive the trip.
 

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But most important is the fact that now I know all this is doable, is just a matter of not rushing it, let it happen in a way the I can maximize the enjoyment of it.
And, again, stealing from Ponch (and I know this was himself stealing from somewhere)....CHANOC OUT!!
another very Epic Adventure of QuicksDraw McGraw and his sidekick Babalouie ! yeah that is your new name I'm sticking on you QDM. if the hat fits, wear it.

and it looks like I've created a monster.. again! fwiw, old jet pilots when their rig was on fire and pointed at terra firma would punchout
 

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QuiksDraw,, you should check the fan on your BeastMaster v2k. see if it is operating, may be the reason for your overheat problems. Mine quit working on the 'puter temp control. I hard wired it to a hand switch and turn it on anytime in slow traffic or stopped at a light. Rolling at speed was plenty air over. But check it out. may very well be why yours is running hot when crawling. ponchout
 

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Sure enjoyed reading this! Thanks for posting it up.
Makes me anxious to get out and ride this spring/do some traveling...right now we got CORONA to think about. :(
 

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Sure enjoyed reading this! Thanks for posting it up.
Makes me anxious to get out and ride this spring/do some traveling...right now we got CORONA to think about. :(
BB's, long distance ride therapy is a necessary part of your 12 step recovery program.. actually it is only 1 step, ride.. also, try switching to a domestic brand. now I'm thirsty. ponchout
 
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