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My Ride Into Oblivion.

Joined
Jun 26, 2003
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Huntsville, Tx
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Debbie
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McMullen
How the heck did I miss this post?
You're not the only one. And I thought I had a friend who would keep me informed ...... you know who you are...:shame:

Hope your adventure is great. :pilot: How exciting for you to be able to do this. Looking forward to see pics & hearing about your trip. :sun: Be safe.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
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Exit. Stage West.
FYI - He does not like camping when its 29 in the morning
Pffttt.... If I can do it, in snow, ice and wind, he can.
Not that I *liked* it........ ;-)

I'm glad he's going to Moab. I wish I could see his face and his reactions there. I love those canyons.

Oh, and tell him I have an ADV collective decal for him; it finally arrived.
And that we miss him. :mrgreen:
 
Joined
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Sumter, SC
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Russ
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Thomas
Bill, I hope you are having a great time (another "how the heck did I miss this thread guy")!
 
Joined
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Sugar Land, TX
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Bryan
I totally missed this thread. I had to see the man himself face-to-face before I knew he was even on the road. :giveup: I've been working too much - need to get my priorities straight. :doh:
 

Squeaky

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Pointed him north around 1pm. He had a few things planned for the ride back, but should be home later tonight.
 

scar04

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He posted in the weather thread griping about running parallel to the storm edge and houston drivers.
 

Squeaky

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He was in Houston? How lost did he get? :-P
He called from out in Sonora and had to decide if he was going to split north for home or stay on 10 for Houston. :trust:

Thing is, he really didn't think he was going to be coming this way so he didn't bother loading the Houston area in his GPS! :lol2:
 

pacman

Die with memories, not dreams.
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Thing is, he really didn't think he was going to be coming this way so he didn't bother loading the Houston area in his GPS! :lol2:
Good lord, how did he ever find it?!?
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
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Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
Well.... the ride is officially over. I pulled into the driveway at 9:45 tonight. After leaving Houston I just didn't want it to be over just yet so I swung over to Hillsboro for some dinner with a friend, and then I decided to go crash a Tuesday Meet and Greet since I crashed a Monday one in Houston yesterday.

Here's some of the quick facts so far....

  • 8 days
  • 3867.7 miles
  • Longest day was 725 miles (16 hours), the shortest day was 40 miles
  • Chain and sprockets are toast
  • Front tire is toast
  • Rear tire had a plug fail and needed repair
  • Need an oil change
  • Heated grips shorted out in the 300 miles of downpour
  • My boots are still wet two days later
  • Speed limits...what speed limits? Hellllllooooooo Mr. Speeding Ticket.
  • I dropped the bike in Plateau, TX
  • Rode through 300 miles of the worst weather in my life (Houston drivers suck)
  • Froze every single night except one while camping
  • Found out that nothing I have works well in 20 degree weather
And despite all that, this was the most memorable trip I've ever had on two wheels in my 23 years of riding motorcycles. I'll start on a proper ride report tomorrow once I get some sleep in me.

But for now I'll leave you with the image of what I saw when I stepped in my door tonight. I think they were happy to see Daddy come home.
image109.jpg
 

Squeaky

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Yawn. You again? You're such an attention junkie... ;-)
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
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891
Location
Central Texas
It's good to have you home Bill. I have often thought about carrying an electric throw with me and camping in a space that has electricity. I can stand too hot, but I can not stand to be even the slightest bit cool or cold. I feel for you having to sleep on those cold nights. Better luck next trip.
:sun:
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2003
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Red Oak
Have fun when you get back in the office.. I was there for about 5 hrs on Monday.. all new people.. guess I need to get there more then a few hrs a month.. lol..
 
Joined
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Rode through 300 miles of the worst weather in my life (Houston drivers suck)


and just what, Dick Tracy, was your first clue??:eek2:
Welcome back.
 
Joined
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I have to go pop another bag of corn...:popcorn: Where's the ride report? Pics? the natives are getting restless......:scratch:
 
Joined
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Arlington, TX
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Bill
I'm actually working on it right now... I am warning you though, it's long and wordy...... This is what you all get for me actually bringing a journal along for the ride....

Here... Here is a teaser pic for you...
image078.jpg

Don't worry, the story will follow shortly...
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
891
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Central Texas
:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

More! More!

**************************

Bill, I'll be thinking about you this weekend and your ride on 123. We are leaving tomorrow for the ARK and returning on Monday or later if we make it to MO.
:sun:
 
Joined
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Bill
Jerry, please be safe buddy!!! Watch out for that gravel that can seemingly blend in so well with the chip seal. I'll be thinking about you guys.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
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Bill
BTW, if you don’t like this report….. yep, that’s right, I don’t care. Don’t read it then, just look at the pictures and you’ll see where I went. See it was that easy. LOL

The Pre-Planning Stage

What can I say; I didn’t plan much for this trip. Well, at least not in the typical sense. There were no pre-planned destinations, routes, camp sites, hotel rooms, expectations, or anything. I will admit, I had one stop that was planned out in advance, and that was to meet up with my Aunt and Uncle in Howard, CO. I had some family flying in from Germany for the first time ever and I could not pass up the opportunity to meet them. But other than that, I had no clue about where I would end up.

One goal I did have for this trip was to be 95% self sufficient over the duration of the ride. So I carried everything I would need other than fuel for the bike and fluids for myself. Almost all other food items were already on board (other than eggs and tortillas). Oh yeah, and no hotels except in extreme circumstances. I wanted to survive on my own without the typical comforts of a vacation. It just felt like more fun that way.

Other unusual things I brought for this particular trip…

  • A GPS, but with no routes loaded what so ever. And it stayed off until I returned to TX and then it was only to monitor my speed a little more accurately.
  • A Rand McNally Road Atlas
  • A copy of Neil Peart’s Ghost Rider
  • And a Journal (a first for me ever, not just on a road trip)
So now, it’s Monday morning October 8th at 5:30 AM and it’s time to go, somewhere. Won’t you ride along with me?:mrgreen:
 

Squeaky

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[*]A GPS, but with no routes loaded what so ever. And it stayed off until I returned to TX and then it was only to monitor my speed a little more accurately.
Gee, if you were going to only use it in Texas, maybe loading all of Texas might have been an idea! :lol2:

Won’t you ride along with me?
YES PLEASE!
 

Janet

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This is like waiting through all of the previews waiting for the movie to start.....
 
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Arlington, TX
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Bill
Day 1 (10-08-07)

I was excited to get going, but sad at the same time. The puppies knew that something was up. Their beds are in the living room and they see me doing stuff that doesn’t jive with my normal routine for work in the morning. I don’t like the idea of someone else caring for them other than me. I like to think that I take better care of them than anyone else.

A breakfast of some scrambled eggs, and the last of a bottle of orange juice. Then take the trash out, and leave the lights on so the doggies won’t be in the dark. Now just time to shut the door and get rolling.

I made good time to Amarillo, despite a cold front blowing through and having 20-30 mph winds blowing me around. I decided to swing by and see Forrest (flb_78) for a bit while I was close by. Forrest is one of my best friends when it comes to motorcycling and I will always swing by to say hi when I’m within a couple hundred miles. If you’ve never met him that I will honestly say that you are missing out. He is a one of a kind individual that everyone should know at one point or another. Sorry no pictures of that encounter. But it was chilly out and I was busy sipping a hot cocoa from the front store. I stayed for a bit, but he was quite busy trying to work so I pressed on.

West on 40 for just a bit until I reached Vega.

For those that don’t know what Vega looks like, just picture the town featured in the movie Cars but in real life. It is ironic how similar they look. Right down to the single blinking red light on the main drag (old Route 66 BTW). Vega just happens to be one of my favorite towns in the state for that very reason. Time hasn’t changed it much.

Still reading, or already skipping to the pic’s??? Just wondering.

Leaving out of Vega on 385 I spotted a bike on the left side of the road so I pulled over to see if I could render assistance if it was needed. Well it turns out he was just stopped to take a picture of the wind generators, so I decided to stop and take a few as well. But then he spotted my screen name stickers on the side of the bike and asked if I was with TWT?!?!?!? Holy crap, I can’t go anywhere alone!!!! It was cruisin (aka Kievan) from the forum out on a day ride! Busted!!

image113.jpg


We chatted a bit, he gave me some tips on places to camp maybe and some killer routes to get up into Colorado. So off I went…

385, to 87, to 64… yes, boring roads. Still, even as desolate as they were there was a certain peacefulness to them. I was on a trip after all and I really do believe that every part of it had it’s purpose. On those roads, it was to make me more familiar with my MP3’s…. LOL. But still fun.

Into New Mexico and time to find my first “good” road of the trip.
image114.jpg


Yes, I know this pic doesn’t look like much, but trust me the road is worth riding. Just watch out for wildlife, it’s everywhere out here. Turkeys, deer, cattle, goats, and a host of other critters were out and about to keep me on my toes. This road is 72 out of Des Moines, NM in case you were wondering.
image116.jpg


I couldn’t find the park that Kievan told me about so I pressed on and tried to make it into Colorado, and Trinidad State Park.

Ahhhhh, Raton pass, and mountains. Finally!!!!
image117.jpg


Trinidad is a neat little town perched in a quiet little valley with a HUGE state park that is almost the size of the town itself. I paid the quite high camp site fee of $21 and went about finding a decent spot.
image121.jpg


Yep, table to cook on, and a view of the lake, what more could I ask for?
image124.jpg


After a dinner of Beef Stroganoff and some water, it was time to turn in and read a little and fill out that dreaded little journal…. Good night. Tomorrow…. Mountains…
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
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Arlington, TX
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Bill
Day 2 (10-09-07)

Wow… it got cold quick!!!! I tossed and turned trying to keep warm. Once I got up it was apparent just how chilly it got. The beaded seat and top case were covered in a thin layer of frost, and my camera refused to work in the cold temps. I would later find out that this would be the first of many sub-freezing nights I would be spending in my tent on this trip. Oh joy..

Breakfast consisted of some peppered beef jerky chopped into bits and mixed in with some scrambled eggs. Those were honestly some of the best breakfast burritos that I’ve ever had in my life. Honest, you need to try that sometime at home. It will surprise you, I promise!!!

Out of Trinidad I boogied up Scenic Route 12 (aka the Highway of Legends) where I found this little lake my Monument Park. The water was so clear in it you could see at least 20-30 feet down. I guess this feature makes it quite popular with the local fisherman because all along the shore were guys lined up trying to catch dinner.
image127.jpg


From there the road climbed in elevation and the drop offs became more serious as there were no guard rails and just a few feet off of the road and you would not be coming back any time soon.
image128.jpg


12 dumped me onto 160 where I headed West towards La Veta Pass. It was at the top of the pass where I saw a county road that was heading due North so I decided to take a little detour. After the first mile of it I was thinking again. It was nothing but sections of washboard, and sand with rocks thrown in there. Yes rocketbunny, there actually ARE some street bikes that can handle gravel…… just not the German ones…. HAHA… BTW, the roads were 572, to 570, to 550.

I’m glad I didn’t turn around, because after the first mile it turned into a wonderfully smooth gravel road in this awesome valley.
image132.jpg

image133.jpg


I pressed on from there until I reached the pavement again on 69 just outside Gardner, CO. From there it was a pretty uneventful ride Northwest into Howard, CO.

Wahoo, my first and only goal made for the entire trip. I made it to my Aunt and Uncle’s house.
image141.jpg


I was actually a couple hours early so I decided to head into Salida (the town where my Mom grew up) and poke around a bit. Salida had a very cool feature, it’s a place called Tenderfoot Mountain. Basically it’s a small mountain on one end of town that has a spiral road going up to the top of it. From there it’s a short climb of stairs until you reach a lookout point over the whole town. What a great view!!
image135.jpg


Again, the road going up there was not the greatest in the world. Large rocks half embedded in the road surface and a drop off within a couple of feet made the ascent and decent very nerve-racking.

After putting around town for a while it was time to head back to the house and meet up with the family. We all sat down and talked while chowing down on some slow cooked beef stew that my Aunt had been making since early that morning. Sorry, no pics of that night. I was busy hanging out and talking…..

I setup my sleeping pad in the dining room once it started to get late and then it was off to sleep for me. Man, I’m going to get spoiled quick, beef stew and a warm house. What’s a guy to do?

Tomorrow, off to the place where Squeaker dreads. The land of tall suspension bridges.

Goodnight.
 

Squeaky

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Yes rocketbunny, there actually ARE some street bikes that can handle gravel…… just not the German ones….
(snip)
Tomorrow, off to the place where Squeaker dreads. The land of tall suspension bridges.
Wow, you managed to fit BOTH BECCAS into the day 2 report! :rofl:
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
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Fort Worth
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Dan
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Gill
I've been up that way (through Clayton, Des Moines, and Raton), although never on a bike. It's one of our favorite routes. Next time through, visit the Whittington Center. We've stayed there several times in the youth cabins, and it's gorgeous country at the feet of the pass. It is dotted with coal mines and there are artifacts from the miners in various places. Tons of wildlife, too.

I've been up that hill outside Salida, too. You can see some really nice sunsets there.

Great report. I'm looking forward to the rest of it.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
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Bill
Where is Oblivion, anyway? :shrug:

I can't find it on my GPS... :doh:
It's a secret. I could tell you but then I'd have to... well you know....;-) The serious answer now...... it's wherever you want it to be. For me it was Utah, but for someone else it may be somewhere completely different. That's the beauty of it. I'll explain more in the upcoming day's ride reports.

I'm going to head home early from work today and try to get quite a bit more done on the ride report. I don't want people calling me Sparky after all!!!
 
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