VOG Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I actually got back last Saturday but everything at work went straight to hell while I was gone so I am just now able to post this.

The trip was amazing!! Gone for 15 days total and spent 9 of them on the road for a total of 6500 miles.

I left on August 10th at 12:30am with the goal in mind to get as close to my parents property in Northern Idaho as I possibly could!! First day I did 1260 miles all on 90 West before stopping at a hotel in Billings Montana. Probably could have made it further if it wasnt for Sturgis traffic and a horrible creaking noise coming from my suspension. Sat in a gas station parking lot for an hour and a half in South Dakota to unpack everything I brought to get at my tools and make sure nothing was loose. About 45 minutes in another Vic rider pulled up and mentioned my shock could possibly need air so taking his advise I checked specs on it and added a few pounds. That did not work. Still hearing the noise but everything was tight so back on the road. The next day I would reach my parents place and have a nice cozy shop to work in and 4 days to figure out the issue.

First stop for gas in Huntley, IL
Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive lighting


Wasnt a big day for pictures as I was going for the distance so next pic is after 1,260 miles in Billings, MT

Wheel Tire Sky Fuel tank Plant


Also rode through what was probably my worst storm in 20 years on a bike coming into the mountains in Wyoming. Within about a 1/2 mile stretch the temperature dropped almost 30 degrees, went from perfectly calm to 50-60mph gusting wind,and lightning strikes every few seconds accompanied by rain/hail that was coming straight across the road instead of down at it.

Day one was definitely one to remember!!!

The next morning I had a short ride through Western Montana and a quick stretch in Idaho to get to my parents place. 6 hours later and the first leg of my trip was done!

Cloud Sky Plant Mountain Highland


Spent just over 4 days here and did not want to leave!!!

Took that time to spend with the family and dig into that noise coming from my suspension. Turned out to be very simple. I had installed an adjustable lowering link right before the trip and during the rain storms (I am assuming) all the grease washed off the joint at the top of the link. Pulled everything apart, greased it all up and she is good as new again.

The next day of riding was Friday the 16th. 90 West again till I got close to Seattle then around the bay through Tacoma and on to the Pacific!!

Pic from the Gorge East of Seattle
Tire Wheel Sky Cloud Vehicle


Left Idaho at about 6am, had a quick detour in Port Orchard for lunch with my sister, then fought with traffic all the way through Aberdeen and finally....Pacific Beach. Strange going back to a town 34 years later and it appears nothing has changed!

Wheel Tire Land vehicle Sky Cloud


Finished that night of right at 9pm at a campground just North of the Oregon border

Automotive lighting Tints and shades Midnight Grass Space


Woke up the next morning at 5am to the sound of rain drops on my tent. Took me almost an hour to pack up and get my rain gear on to hit the road. Continued south on the Pacific Coast highway and it slowly began to clear up. Here are a few pics along the way to Ferndale, Ca.

Fuel tank Tire Sky Plant Automotive fuel system


Cloud Sky Water Natural landscape Coastal and oceanic landforms


Plant Sky Plant community Larch Natural landscape


Cloud Sky Water Plant Mountain


Water Sky Plant Plant community Ecoregion


Crossed the border into Northern California and had to stop for gas. First thing I see there is a homeless man digging through fast food bags in the garbage can......ready to leave Cali right away.

Stayed south on the PCH through the Redwood Forest, down just past Eureka into the small town of Ferndale, Ca. Yet another town that appears unchanged after 35 years!

Plant Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire


Tire Plant Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire


Sky Motor vehicle Road surface Asphalt Tree


Sky Building Daytime Cloud Road surface


When I left Ferndale that day I headed back towards Eureka and picked up 299 east. Managed to make it to Willow Creek, Ca that night, just under 100 miles West of Redding.

Gotta get back to work.

To be continued............
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,722 Posts
Nice ride report and great photos.
Looking forward to the rest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DC907

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,207 Posts
Would love to have 15 days straight to travel. 10 is the best I can do with work. Very nice ride and pics. Glad you got to do that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DC907

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Much to see on that trip I had done many times. Thanks for the reminder photos...
 
  • Like
Reactions: DC907

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,367 Posts
Great pictures and write up! I know I’m not alone in looking forward to your additional photos and a description. The trip looks and reads amazing. Congratulations to you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DC907

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, back to it.

After my day of riding down the Pacific coast I was heading back Northeast to visit family friends in Marsing Id just a few miles from Boise.

Started that Sunday the 18th at 4am heading East on 299. Pulling out of Willow Creek, Ca that early in the morning I was the only one on the road and had 99 miles of sharp corners in the dark. It took me 2 and a half hours to make it to Redding, Ca. Multiple corners had signs for falling rocks followed shortly by lots of rocks in the road. That definitely slowed me down some but the LED bulbs in my headlight with that light bar on ensured vision was a non issue!

First pic stop.. believe this one was overlooking Weaverville, Ca

Atmosphere Sky Nature Moon Automotive lighting


Then a short time later at Whiskeytown Lake just outside of Redding, Ca

Sky Water Plant community Mountain Plant


Tire Wheel Sky Plant Motorcycle


Followed 299 for awhile then picked up 395 North heading into Oregon. These pics are all around Lake Abert. Very neat area, black sand all around the lake and maybe salt on top of it? I was the only one on the road for a couple hours through South East Oregon. Very Peaceful!

Tire Sky Plant Vehicle Plant community


Glasses Sky Water Helmet Plant


The rest of that day kinda sucked. Lots of Construction on 20 and though it only got up to 90 degrees it felt very hot! Made it to Marsing, Id just before 5pm. Perfect time to break for cold beers and good company!!!

Once I got to Marsing I decided to stay an extra day there for a tour of the area followed by a ride up into the hills Monday night. We headed out around noon that Monday and swapped bikes for the ride. My friend Jim on the Vic......

Sky Tire Fuel tank Wheel Vehicle


And I got to cruise around on his KTM 1090 adventure bike. Definitely a different experience for me but had a blast!!

Tire Wheel Sky Cloud Vehicle


Cruised around sight seeing for a couple hours then stopped at this perfect old bridge for some pics.

Water Sky Water resources Plant Natural landscape


Cloud Sky Wood Tree Road surface


But wait! Gotta ride between those rocks for a pic on the bridge.

Sky Tied-arch bridge Wheel Mammal Tire


It was getting pretty hot out by this time, so we headed back to the house and waited for the sun to go down. Once the temp finally dropped we hopped on the adventures bikes (his KTM and his wifes BMW) and it was time for a little off road fun. It was a little too dark for any good pics but I had to have at least one.

Tire Wheel Automotive lighting Automotive tire Motorcycle


Thats all for today, will finish it off tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A little late again but here we go, back at it!

I left Marsing, Id around 5:00 am on Tuesday the 21st trying to get to Vegas before I melted!. I walked outside to a beautiful 67 degrees, no wind, and no rain. Perfect start to the day! Started on 95 south and within the first hour of riding I was headed back into high desert in Eastern Oregon and the temp quickly fell to 42 degrees. Being a little stubborn and knowing it was going to be a hot day I decided to suck it up and not stop to add layers. There were only a few other vehicles on the road at that time so I was cruising along at 85 thinking I would make good time, and I almost did. Had a few firsts for me that day! About an hour after the sun came up I spotted an animal in the road. He was in the opposite lane but heading toward mine as I was coming at him. As I got closer I see something that looked about the size of a beaver so I move all the way right in my lane a pin it to try and get by without hitting him. He bolted at me of course and I barely miss and keep on rolling. Experience struck me as odd because I could not figure out what animal that size would be living in that environment. Googled the area wildlife when I got back and the only thing that makes sense is a Badger, but I will never know for sure.
I continued south on 95 without incident, picked up 80 East over to Battle Mountain, NV, and then 305 south toward Austin. That when things got strange!
I was about 20 - 30 minutes south of Battle Mountain when I started seeing what I thought were very large rocks in the road. Naturally, I swerved to avoid them and continued to do so for a couple miles. Seemed like a very normal task to me right up until the "rocks" began to crawl. I had found the grasshoppers that invaded Vegas! For over 50 miles I rode through what was probably millions of grasshoppers. 50 miles of non stop swerving all over the road as I suspected they would probably not make for good traction and ducking constantly to avoid the flying ones. That was one hell of a work out....lol.
After passing through Austin, NV there are some nice sharp corners with low speed limits to run through as you come out of the hills. I actually slowed down to 15-20 mph because I was worried about slipping on the dead grasshoppers that covered the road there. That was definitely another first for me!!

I was in a hurry that day trying to beat the heat. Between my rush and the grasshopper invasion I did not take any pics on the road that day. For most of the day it was pretty nice riding through the desert and up until the last two hours I really enjoyed the weather and the firsts on the road.

My last two hours to get to Vegas............brutal.

Temperature outside climbed to 111 degrees. For those of you paying attention earlier that is a 69 degree temperature difference in under 10 hours. Nothing like the feeling of a heat gun right in your face while you ride!
I would pull over and drench my fabric face shield with water and put it right back on but it just doesnt last. Within 5 minutes of riding it is completely dry again. I quickly became focused on shortening that ride. Most of that last two hours was 90+ MPH which only allowed for passing glances of Area 51 and that gas station with the aliens all over it. Looks neat, seen it, keep moving and get out of the heat.

I pulled into the Aria parking garage right at 5pm and while I felt good about the time I made to get there I was exhausted from the heat. Checked into my room, cleaned up and ate, then it was time to head back out!
I have an old friend who lives in town that I had not seen in about 12 years so we met up for an evening ride and then a couple beers. I am not a fan of his style of bike but I have never seen a single bike get so much attention!!! I only took one shot of our bikes together because I was damn tired of even seeing pictures taken after our cruise down the strip.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting


This was right outside some biker bar near Freemont street. While we were hanging out talking bikes with everyone who would walk by we happened to see this.......

Felidae Carnivore Companion dog Sneakers Sidewalk


Dog breed Fawn Flooring Tail Snout


Yes. Those are real dogs, painted. Who on earth paints their dog???? I wanted to cry when she told me it cost $500 PER DOG!!!!!!

Only in Vegas!

I of course stayed out too late that night and as a result got a late start the next morning. Didnt leave the Hotel till about 8:30 am and heading North on 15 almost immediately found a horrible traffic jam. It lasted quite a few miles and when I finally get to the problem its a semi hauling garbage that caught fire, smelled wonderful.
By the way, temp when I left Vegas was already 98 degrees. It quickly climbed over 100 and most of the day was closer to 106 degrees. Yet another day I wasnt really up to stopping for pics. Followed 15 into Utah then took 59 over to Kanab then 89 over to Lake Powell. This happened to be the same route I took on my Warrior 7 years prior so I did stop for a pic in the same spot I did on the Warrior.

Sky Plant Mountain Bedrock Natural landscape

Sky Plant community Cloud Plant Mountain

Sky Wheel Mountain Tire Ecoregion

Thats it for today. Takes me forever to post these!!
Last post coming monday......I swear...lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,303 Posts


Hey DC, that looks like a place in the Wisconsin Dells :) When my sister picked up her new car she mentioned you had a bit of a mishap around the same time. Glad that you're well and to see you got out on the ride. The pix look awesome. We'll have to go for another ride this fall. Have a safe trip back to the flat lands!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DC907

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,141 Posts
Very nice write up!
That first day was a serious run!
I've taken two days for that stretch.
Did you pop up through Rockford and into Wisconsin before hanging a left on 90?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Agree, awesome write up with pictures. Just by the description of your ride and the pictures, it was like,”now that’s an adventure!”
 
  • Like
Reactions: DC907

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Very nice write up!
That first day was a serious run!
I've taken two days for that stretch.
Did you pop up through Rockford and into Wisconsin before hanging a left on 90?
I hopped on 90 in Huntley IL. The directions for the 1800 miles to get to my parents house were very easy, 90 West to Idaho 3 and turn left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, so now I can get to the end of my trip.

Wednesday August 21st I was heading East across Northern Arizona. I cruised right by Lake Powell with no desire to stop as it was brutally hot all damn day! Took 98 down to 160 east and hauled ass towards Colorado!!!
I was doing 90+ mph most of the way across 160 just trying to get through the heat and finish my day. It was on this stretch that I had my only close call of the trip. Most of that road is nice and flat so you can usually see whats coming for miles. Had a car coming towards me that was at least a mile out and as he got closer I saw the turn signal, then watched him pull into the turn lane to make his left. At this point he had plenty of room but obviously saw me coming so he stopped in the turn lane. My cruise control at this point was on and set a little over 90mph but I didnt like what I was seeing so started to slow a little. Mr. Moron in the SUV decides this would be a good time to start his left turn as I am now less than 100 yards from him and still flying. I grabbed hold of the front brake and stood on the rear at the same time......LOVE that ABS!!!!!! Had to swerve into the left lane while doing this because the moron of course hit his brakes right after pulling in front of me. As soon as he realized I wasnt hitting him he took off! Plus side to that is I now know just how quickly I can come to a dead stop from 90mph, and in that short time frame my heart can quickly jump to about 50,000 beats per minute!

That was it for excitement on Wednesday. I made it into Cortez, Co around 5:30pm that night, just enough time to get some laundry done and relax a little before hitting the mountains the next morning.

Thursday was going to be a great day, forecast showed sunny skies and 70's all day.
I left Cortez a little after 5am and headed to Durango for breakfast. It was a quick 45 minute ride to get into downtown Durango for some mediocre food and bad coffee(not what the google reviews said!!).

Here she is in down town Durango right before breakfast.

Sky Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle

After my bad breakfast to start the day, I went right around the corner to gas up before my cruise up the million dollar highway. And because I am weird like that, I stop at the same gas station and gas pump as I did 7 years prior on the warrior. Strange the things we choose to remember.

Wheel Tire Sky Automotive tail & brake light Mountain

In August of 2012 I did my previous trip up 550 in the rain and though I did stop for pictures, they were nothing compared to the bright sunny skies I had this time. Found a couple places I was able to stop and get off the bike, and a couple more where I had to stay on and hold a brake lever while snapping pics with my other hand.
So these shots are all from 550 North out of Durango, Co....A.K.A The Million Dollar Highway

Tire Wheel Sky Land vehicle Plant

Tire Sky Mountain Vehicle Plant


Sky Plant community Plant Natural landscape Larch


Cloud Sky Ecoregion Plant Mountain


Wheel Sky Tire Mountain Cloud


Tire Mountain Sky Wheel Automotive lighting


Cloud Sky Tire Mountain Plant


The last couple pics there are right before you drop down into Ouray, Co. From there heading north gets very boring for awhile so no pics of course.
I stayed on 550 to 50 North up to Delta, Co then took 92 over to Hotchkiss and then it started to get fun again!
Leaving Hotchkiss I took 133 North toward Carbondale, Co. It is definitely not a long stretch of road but the scenery was beautiful!! I had not intended to stop for any pictures as it was a short stretch of road some things we do are just meant for us. However, I did have a very unscheduled, unplanned, and unwanted stop so I did snap a couple pics.

Water Plant Sky Cloud Fluvial landforms of streams


Tire Plant Wheel Sky Automotive tire


Tire Wheel Plant Sky Vehicle


It was a perfect spot to stop just not by choice. A mere seconds prior to pulling off the road there I got my first ever bee in the helmet. It amazing just how quickly you can come to a complete stop, fly off the bike, and remove a strapped helmet!!!!

Once I calmed down a little from all that excitement it was back on the road, next stop Aspen!

The only road that goes through Aspen is 82, as you approach the town from the West the first thing you come to is the airport. I was shocked by how many private jets filled that airport!! Definitely a big money town.
I stopped at a gas station in town for quick drink and a snack while I debated on rain gear/cold weather gear. I was about to head up Independence Pass and the clouds were getting dark! Since I was in no rush that day I decided to keep moving and just stop to gear up if the rain actually hit.

Aspen, Co,.

Cloud Sky Plant Wheel Tree


As I was pulling out of the gas station one of the first things I see is a little scooter coming at me carrying two people. Sadly, it was not Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Oh well, maybe next time.

So Independence Pass has been on my mind since early January when I first started considering this trip. As time went on it became more of a need for me to ride due to the fact that I couldnt even plan a route through it until sometime in May when the pass actually opened.
Just like the Million Dollar Highway, there were a lot of places I couldnt put a kickstand down and walk around for pics so on this one I just got back on the road right away if I couldnt get off the bike.
Independence Pass was very frustrating at first, lots of cars and bikes on the road and they were all going very slow. Those of you that have ridden it know its not the kind of road to fly on, but I got stuck behind 6 bikes going under the speed limit. Found a spot to pull over where I could get off the bike and there were no other vehicles to ruin my view.

Plant Sky Cloud Mountain Tree


Cloud Plant Sky Larch Natural landscape


Cloud Sky Plant community Ecoregion Natural landscape


Cloud Plant Tire Sky Vehicle


Plant Cloud Sky Mountain Natural landscape


Plant Cloud Sky Plant community Bedrock


Took a nice 20 minute break on that corner just looking around. It was still a little cloudy but no longer looked like rain and the temp was still in the mid 60's. Got back on the road to the summit. Came to a perfect corner towards the top of the pass that I really wanted to stop at but the number of people there was ridiculous! I passed up that spot and found a small pull out next to the guard rail where I could see the entire valley below. Sketchy place to stop but still amazing.

Cloud Sky Mountain Plant Natural landscape


Cloud Sky Mountain Natural landscape Slope


Tire Wheel Sky Cloud Mountain


Cloud Sky Plant community Mountain Plant


While I was standing there snapping pics I realized I was getting pretty high up and the temp had dropped a couple of degrees. Remembering how cold Pikes Peak had been on my last trip I decided this would be a good to add a couple layers to stay warm. Mind you it was still over 60 degrees out. Little did I know I was only one corner away from the summit and had absolutely Zero need for anything warmer than what I was already wearing.

Pic at the summit.

Sky Tire Cloud Wheel Fuel tank


I had now accomplished my goal, time to head toward Pikes Peak.
I came down the East side of the pass into the small town of Twin Lakes, Co.
One side of the street was houses, small buildings, and general ugly compared to the other side of the street

Water Cloud Sky Plant Wheel


This next shot is going to be a painting, my mother is quite the artist and asked me to send her this one right away.

Cloud Sky Water Plant Mountain


Such an incredible view.......

from there on out was nothing special that day but I did need a good place to camp for the night. I found the perfect spot (so I thought) just outside Cripple Creek, Co. The highest KOA campground in the world at over 10,000 feet. Stopped nice and early that day so I went down to the gas station to pick up some dinner. Six pack and some plain hotdogs anyone?

Plant Plant community Sky Cloud Tent


Sky Plant Cloud Ecoregion Natural environment


Looks nice and cozy right......

About an hour or two in and twice as many beers, the temp dropped into the 30's. Didnt think much of it as I had a nice warm fire and a couple bottles of beer left. Woke up the next morning FREEZING. I was moving quickly trying to pack up and get the hell out of there. Problem time. After a long day of running hot followed immediately be freezing temps, the bike would not start. Let me tell you, thats a great feeling at 6am when you a freezing cold. At this point I hadnt loaded any of my gear yet as I had planned to do that while it was warming up.
Lucky me, got to push that big sucker uphill for 20-30 feet before I could attempt to roll it downhill. Keep in mind, this is a long damn hill and I am trying to roll start a very cold and very heavy bike on gravel. Three starting attempts in with no luck. I look up the hill toward my campsite and realize just how long of a walk it would be to get all my gear if she does not start this time...........

Sky Cloud Plant Plant community Natural landscape


On the right hand side of this pic you can see the gravel road that takes you to the main road. I was probably halfway between that last little cabin and the turn to head out to the main road when she finally fired over. Could not begin to describe how good that felt! I ride out to the main road to turn around then head right back up to my campsite. Now this is a good time for a lesson or two in common sense. First, always have a damn spare key with you. Second, if you do not have a spare key be smart enough to unlock all bags that you will need to load up BEFORE you attempt to push or roll start your bike. I failed on both accounts here. Had purchased a spare for the bike at a dealer in Spokane Wa. but they could not cut it and I neglected to stop and have it cut. I pulled back up to that campsite and parked the bike right on the tent pad to load up, feeling all sorts of accomplished until I went to open that first saddlebag....oops.

I just sat there, smoking a cigarette and laughing at myself. Let it run for a couple minutes before I shut her down. Got my bags all unlocked, key right back in the ignition and fired up right away. Thats a relief there, but only the start of my bad day.

Last stop of my trip was the top of Pikes Peak. As it turns out, I was only one day early from doing the Colorado portion of this trip exactly 7 years after my first one. But it did not matter. I got to the entrance of Pikes Peak and as I was grabbing my $15 that I had ready the lady working there tells me I can ride as high as 3 miles from the top. Says there is construction on the top parking lot so I have to stop short and take a shuttle to the top.

I tried everything. Told her about my last trip, told her all I was there for was to take a quick pic of my bike in front of the sign up top, and I told her I wouldnt even stay up there. Nothing mattered. All the miles I had ridden to get to this point and I had to leave for home without going to the top of Pikes Peak. I was naturally very pissed off so I began my defeated trip back home.

I made it to Western Iowa that night problem free and at this point just wanting to be home. Checked into a hotel around 7:30pm to attempt to get some rest but there was no sleeping. I just layed there till around 2am before I said screw it and started packing up for my last leg of the trip. Just over 400 miles to go, leaving the hotel early as hell, I should be home in no time. Wrong again. Came outside with all my gear, unlocked the saddlebags first this time...lol, and the bike would not start again. It took a few feeble attempts of push starting by myself in a flat parking lot before I finally called a tow truck for a jump. Luckily, he showed up in less than ten minutes and got me on the road.

I was only riding for about 30 minutes before my first gas stop and with the battery issues I am looking for gas stations on hills. Not an easy task in Iowa. First gas stop it started back up but slowly. I was not trying to stop and buy a battery on my last day of my trip within hours of my house.
So I rode just far enough that my second gas stop would get me home and I found a gas station with a nice flat parking lot that led out to the road on a steep hill. And yes, I had to push it out to the road there.
Last few hours were nice and easy, I just couldnt shut the bike off. Made it home around 11am that Saturday, napped all day and then slept for 12 hours that night. Guess I was a little tired.

Sunday I pulled it out for a bath and magically.....it starts.
I did go ahead and replace the battery, that thing was probably 6 years old.
Here are my last pics of a bug covered Vic once my trip ended.

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Bicycle tire Motor vehicle


And washed up and ready to ride around town again.......

Wheel Tire Land vehicle Fuel tank Plant


And for those wondering....after all that I still rode to work Monday morning....

Thanks for reading all this and for how long it took to post it all!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to share that adventure! Nice to see parts of the PNW and especially northern ID - home to me as well. I think one truth that I've yet to see proven otherwise is that it's impossible to cross the country on a motorcycle in the summer without hitting at least one wild summer thunderstorm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for taking the time to share that adventure! Nice to see parts of the PNW and especially northern ID - home to me as well. I think one truth that I've yet to see proven otherwise is that it's impossible to cross the country on a motorcycle in the summer without hitting at least one wild summer thunderstorm.
I will definitely agree with that!! The one I rode through in Wyoming is one I will never forget!!
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top