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Juan_S

49 States in 30 days - A tale of a mid-life crisis ride

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Juan_S

Mid-life crisis number 50. It seems that for the last ten years I have been having a new mid-life crisis every other day. My current crisis is to take a little motorcycle ride. I plan to visit all lower 48 states plus Alaska in the next 30 days.

 

I have been hanging around this board for the last couple of years, and have attended the last two spring El Paseo, were I have met many of you wonderful members of this board. As far as posting, I am a complete zero but I will attempt to change that with this trip. Therefore, I will have not one but two challenges during this ride- one, staying safe on the MC, but also keeping all of you posted on the trip’s progress.

 

Motorcycling has been in my blood since I was fourteen; I started riding a Lambretta motor scooter when I was fourteen, moving on to a Honda CB350 in High School. I stopped riding during college and my early career days and picked up biking up again in the late 80’s on a ST1000 and later a Gold Wing. In the late 90’s, as my wallet got a little fatter, I went over to the Harley crowd. As a matter of fact, I still have a Road King and, even thought I do not ride it much, I don’t seem to be able to part with it. My ride for this trip is a new R1200RT. This is my second BMW, the previous one being a 2004 RT, which I managed to put 36,000 miles in approximately 18 months and absolutely loved.

 

So tomorrow, August 24, is departure day for me. Needless to say, I have not slept for the last week in anticipation of this day. My plan is to go from Orlando and head toward Kentucky, and then I will turn right and head towards New England before heading west. The total trip will be around 13,000 miles.

 

See attached for an idea of my planed route.

 

 

 

 

I plan to use mostly back roads and will only use the slab when the alternative is heavy local traffic. Tomorrow I will use 95 until I get to Georgia then it will be all back roads to Ashville, my destination for the day.

 

Got to get to bed… so I will see you tomorrow

552876-RouteMap1.JPG.9b686c0a34503f6cdfe4c39f5fad7173.JPG

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ELP_JC

It sounds like fun 'tocayo' (I'm Juan too <he he>). Unfortunately, a mid-life crisis like yours would mean divorce for me, so I'll keep enjoying my 3 or 4-day tours; better than nothing. smile.gif I'll hit CO in Sep for 4 days.

Best of luck, and be careful.

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aTennesseebmw22

49 states in 30 days ahhhhhhh what a dream vacation. ok ok you are da bomb...keep us up to date ...be careful and safe. Good luck.

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BamaRider

Have a good ride bro, keep us posted. Man, some jokers get ALL the ridin in.

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ClearwaterBMW

Juan,

sorry we missed you last weekend in mount dora. i am so jealous of your newest midlife crisis. have a wonderful, safe trip and try to let us know what's going on from time to time

 

greg

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SCOTTinNJ

Good luck with your trip! Enjoy the ride. If you feeling like stopping - stop. If you feel like riding - ride. Don't worry about making the 48 states. Just enjoy . . .

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Voodoo

Have a great ride, Juan. Keep us posted and take lots of pics!

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Joel
See attached for an idea of my planed route.

 

Oh, I see, there's a map at the bottom of that plate of colored spaghetti. grin.gif

 

Wow. I hope this soothes whatever is troubling your soul. Be safe and enjoy!

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Warren_H

I'm looking forward to reading your reports, be safe.

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Camilo

Some people have all the luck in the world.

Besides having an understanding wife who lets you take off for a whole month for a ride, he has some poor slobs do his dirty work.

 

Actually, while he rides I have to figure out how to include the pictures in the message, then explain it to him in five words or less….

 

Here is the map of his route

RouteMap1.jpg

Camilo

(the poor slob)

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Calvin  (no socks)

Camilo, Take it easy on Juan....He may get done with the trip in less than 30 days... grin.gif

 

If he passes thru Jacksonville at a decent hour I will escort him on some good back roads for North Florida....

Juan, have a safe trip....

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Juan_S

Today I finally have time to post while I wait for my bike to be serviced at Woodsons Motorsports in Fort Wayne Indiana. Needless to say, I am having a fantastic time on my trip.

 

Day 1 Wednesday August 24th – launch day.,

 

Ok, so I have started on my crazy trip across this beautiful country. My destination for the day is Asheville NC, so after finally fitting all the stuff in the motorcycle, I left my home in Orlando at 5:30 am.

 

Way too much stuff!!!! I probably will only use half of it but since it fits, I pack it.

49in30day-1_002.JPG

 

 

Yes I did not forget to pack the Monkey Butt powder (a must!!!!)

 

49in30day-1_001.JPG

 

 

There is nothing like the excitement and anticipation of the beginning of a long adventure, so here we go..

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At the beginning of the journey, the call of the open road is exhilarating.

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Right after Brunswick GA, I turn left and leave route 95 in search of the less beaten path. For those of you that use the Garmin GPS, I try to use the black or green roads as much as possible.

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And soon enough, I am into the twisties… for a Florida boy that is…

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It is amazing to me the amount of old quaint little towns in the back woods of rural Georgia and South Carolina. I have no idea what keeps them alive, as a matter of fact a lot of them look like they are dying or dead already. I wonder why.

IMG_0323.JPG

 

 

 

Parkville South Carolina on old Augusta road.

IMG_0328.JPG

 

 

 

Soon enough, I am in the South Carolina foothills, and finally I get some twisties. From Greenville SC to Brevard NC, there is a fantastic ride through the Caesar’s Head State Park, which is sure to get rid of the flat-land blues. (no picture, I was too busy enjoying the ride)

IMG_0330.JPG

 

 

And to finish a perfect day, a nice ride from Pisgah to Ashville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This road at the end of the day is like a fine cigar at the end of a meal.

IMG_0333.JPG

 

 

 

Stats for the day:

Orlando Departure: 5:30am

Asheville Arrival : 6:15pm

Miles 613

 

Weather: Great

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

 

See you tomorrow

Edited by Juan_S

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Juan_S

Day 2 Thursday August 25th – Asheville

 

Woke up bright and early in Asheville to a nice cool morning, I was feeling so good that I went for a run before starting the day’s ride. I have been visiting this area for the last 15 or so years, and in all this time, I had never gone to the downtown area. They have restored the old town, and it now looks like a great place to visit. (I can’t tell you about the mood of the place, since at 5:30 am, the only people down there are me and the homeless).

 

Left the hotel around 9:30 and my destination for the day is to finish around Roanoke. I plan to go north from Asheville on route 70 towards Tennessee and Kentucky before turning NE and heading toward New England. It does not take long before I start eyeing my GPS with all those nice little black and green roads…..

 

Goodbye 70 Hello rural roads…

48PlusAlaska_20050825_001.JPG

 

 

 

 

I love the little valleys in North Carolina. Route 208 is a great road. Typical tobacco Farm

48PlusAlaska_20050825_004.JPG

 

 

 

More 208 …

48PlusAlaska_20050825_009.JPG

 

 

 

Be careful when you follow your GPS. I did and I had a 63 mile detour due to the ridge that runs between Virginia and Kentucky. I had planned to take 70 across and go to Harlan Ky. (So I could say I had been there) and again, I was following the little GPS roads, so to make a long story short I ended up on 58. Where to go …. Turn right and re-join 70 or go left and hook up with little route 797. Guess what… 797 does not exist, it is but a trail, I do not think even dual sport bikes can make it to the other side on it. I continued on 58 and went across the Cumberland Gap tunnel. The ridge is pictured below, and the road is 987 in Kentucky, a very nice ride that parallels 58 on the other side.

 

48PlusAlaska_20050825_015.JPG

 

 

 

So you would think I’d learn and not continue to follow the little green roads on my GPS? Guess again. No pavement? No problem, I am going to Alaska, so I might as well get some practice on the way there.

48PlusAlaska_20050825_017.JPG

 

 

 

OK, I think now I am in trouble, that is the road I need up there. I do not think my RT can handle the bush.

48PlusAlaska_20050825_018.JPG

 

 

 

I had planned to spend most of the second day riding on the small country roads of the Shenandoah valley in VA, but it was not to be, I followed too many small roads getting to Kentucky so around 4:30 I was still 300 miles away from my destination. Normally, this would not matter, but I had a date with my son in NYC for Friday night so time to buggy and get on 81 to make tracks.

 

Here are a couple of the small Virginia roads that I did manage to take before getting on the highway.

48PlusAlaska_20050825_021.JPG

 

 

 

The Shenandoah valley is full of small country roads like these, you can spend days exploring it with out repeating roads.

48PlusAlaska_20050825_022.JPG

 

 

 

Got on 81 heading NE and made it to Lexington VA.

 

Stats:

Asheville Departure 9:15am

Lexington Arrival 9:00pm

 

Miles 498

 

Weather: Great

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

 

 

See you tomorrow

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Juan_S

Day 3 Friday August 29th. - Lexington VA

 

Last night after a mad dash trying to get back on schedule, I followed the signs on 81 to the Hampton Inn in Lexington and this is what I found. When I pulled up at around 9:30pm, I thought that I was going into a private residence, but no, it is a Hampton Inn, very nice and definitely a good place to stop when in the area

49In30Day3_001.JPG

 

 

49In30Day3_002.JPG

 

 

 

It is always fun to arrive in the night at a new place with no prior knowledge and wake up to beautiful surroundings. Lexington is definitely one of these places; by the way, it is the home of Washington and Lee University as well as the Virginia military academy. It is full of college kids and has a whole bunch of nice restaurants and shops in the downtown area. In addition, they have a walking trail that goes from one side of town to the other following a brook that is very pleasant for walking or jogging.

 

49In30Day3_005.JPG

 

 

Anyway I digress, today is day 3 of my wonderful journey through this beautiful country of ours. My destination today is dinner in NYC roughly 400 miles away through the Washington to NY corridor, the most traffic congested area that I know of.

 

Even thought I know that I need to stay on the super slab to make it on time, I can’t resist the little roads that keep showing up on my GPS, so Harpers Ferry here I come..

 

Temperature was around 90 degrees, and I was wearing full riding gear, so I was tempted to join the rafters, but a fat Colombian skinny dipping in the middle of the day??

49In30Day3_007.JPG

 

 

 

So anyway, the GPS does not let me down, the small roads are wonderful and provide great riding

49In30Day3_012.JPG

 

 

 

The traffic gods have been looking out for me; this is the NJ turnpike near Newark. Those of you that travel through this area can relate on how strange is to have this road this empty on a Friday evening…

49In30Day3_021.JPG

 

 

 

Finally the Big Apple. (Please excuse the power lines, but that is the only shot to be had coming toward the Lincoln tunnel).

49In30Day3_028.JPG

 

 

 

I made it through; going into the tunnel on a motorcycle is a challenge. It is hard pushing your way into the traffic funnel with all those New Jersey transit buses. They do not yield…you just close your eyes and go….no crunch… ok keep moving forward no do not look at them, they will crush you… Also, I had forgotten what these tunnels were like when we drove non air conditioned cars. The temperature rose about 10 degrees and the fumes were bad.

49In30Day3_032.JPG

 

 

 

Arrival for my dinner date and as you can see from my silly grin, I am still have a fantastic time.

49In30Day3_034.JPG

 

 

 

 

Stats:

Lexington Departure 10:00am

NYC Arrival 8:00pm

 

Miles 427

 

Weather: Great

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Day 4 Saturday August 27th – NYC

 

Today’s destination is Ticonderoga in NY after cruising the five states of New England, but before leaving the city I must do some urban canyon cruising. NYC early on a Saturday morning is definitely an excellent time to ride the city with no traffic.

 

Saturday morning promises the beginning of another great day. My son Peter, booked me in a wonderful hotel, the Affinia Dumont, in mid-town towards the east side of Manhattan. This is the view from my room towards the east river.

49In30Day4_003.JPG

 

 

 

Urban canyon cruising at its best

49In30Day4_005.JPG

 

 

 

Time square on Saturday morning looks hung over:

49In30Day4_012.JPG

 

 

 

The other side of the famous square

49In30Day4_011.JPG

 

 

 

After cruising around the big apple and enjoying the still sleeping city, I left for New England on 95. Big mistake since, as someone pointed out to me, it was beach rental switch day, and this was the beginning of the last full week of summer with the end of the week being labor day weekend. What a PITA, on top of that, I wasted another good hour getting breakfast at the slowest moving McDonalds in the world. After getting past New Haven I left the parking lot called route 95 and immediately starting enjoying the best of New England.

 

Typical New England old home

49In30Day4_017.JPG

 

 

 

New England tourist trap. In Florida we have orange fruit stands, or discount tickets for Disney. In New England, they have old stuff. They really make good antiques in China nowadays….

49In30Day4_023.JPG

 

 

 

Since I was running so late, and I lived in Massachusetts for sixteen years, I bypassed that fine state on route 495 and headed straight to Rye Beach in New Hampshire.

49In30Day4_026.JPG

 

 

 

This is definitely a beach were you do not run barefoot at the edge of the water. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful and rugged piece of real estate. In addition, the homes along the shore are fantastic.

49In30Day4_027.JPG

 

 

 

Being a beautiful Saturday afternoon the traffic was very heavy on route 1A --- so I headed off to Kittery Maine on 95. The Maine coast is full of little coves and towns. Here is a shot of the harbor in Kittery.

49In30Day4_030.JPG

 

 

 

Once again, even thought is getting late in the afternoon, I have to follow the little green roads in my GPS.

49In30Day4_035.JPG

 

 

 

 

Nice place to be buried in….I guess all these ghosts really enjoy the view.

49In30Day4_034.JPG

 

 

 

 

More Maine coast line

49In30Day4_036.JPG

 

 

 

Now back to New Hampshire, I had to stop by my alma mater. Talk about feeling old, it happened to be orientation weekend for the incoming class. I asked a young freshman who happened to be walking by to snap the pic for me, and I told him that I had graduated from the school. When he asked me what year, I realized that it has been over 29 years since I graduated… but it feels like it was yesterday…

49In30Day4_041.JPG

 

 

 

Can you guess the school?

49In30Day4_040.JPG

 

 

 

Another end to a wonderful day of riding and even though it started slow on 95 it ended on a wonderful note riding into the sunset on the hills of New Hampshire.

49In30Day4_043.JPG

 

 

 

Stats:

NYC Departure 7:30am

White River Junction Arrival 7:30pm

 

Miles 432

 

Weather: Great

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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ClearwaterBMW

wow

great writeup so far

thrilled for your ride

all the experiences.... to last a lifetime

keep in touch with us

take care of yourself

greg

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algover

Good for you, Juan! thumbsup.gif Enjoy the ride, and thanks for taking us along. clap.gif

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BULLman

Excellent post thumbsup.gif

 

After my recent visit to NYC, I don't know if I would drive much less ride there dopeslap.gif

 

Good Luck with the rest of your trip. cool.gif

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ClearwaterBMW

i've ridden a couple of bikes there

love the challenge... love NYC....

it was worth it and i would do it again anytime

 

greg

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Juan_S

Day 5 Sunday August 28th – White River Junction, Vt

 

Yesterday after my delays on 95 I ran out of light before making it to Ticonderoga NY. White River Junction is a nice place to stop anyway; it is situated amongst rolling hills and right next door is Hanover NH, the home of Dartmouth, so the area has a nice atmosphere.

 

My plan for today is to ride through Vermont and the Adirondacks through the small roads before getting on the NY throughway and shooting west. I have an appointment at 1:00 pm in Fort Wayne Indiana for my motorcycle to have it’s 6000 miles service and to get new tires.

 

When I went for my morning run…walk…crawl…it was cloudy but the temperature was good. It started raining by the time I left the hotel, so I did not get to see the famous Vermont green mountains but the roads were still very nice to ride on.

49In30_Day5_001.JPG

 

 

By the time I made it across Vermont it had stopped raining even though the clouds and poor visibility remained. As planned I took the ferry on Lake Champlain to get to Ticonderoga NY. A pleasant break on a long day’s ride, and only four bucks.

49In30_Day5_005.JPG

 

I am told that Lake Champlain is worth coming back for, so I guess I have a reason to get back here next year. Today, the weather was not cooperating so I really could not see the lake.

49In30_Day5_006.JPG

 

 

The roads in the Adirondacks do not disappoint. Route 28 is definitely a nice road, the floor is rough but not trouble on the RT.

49In30_Day5_012.JPG

 

 

By now, I have developed a routine for my day. I have been staying in hotels that have breakfast included aka Hampton Inn. I pack some fruit from the breakfast bar, bananas apples etc. whatever they might have. And then eat it on the road in a nice spot. I really could not afford to buy larger riding gear during this trip, so this way I will still fit in my clothes at the end of the trip.

49In30_Day5_014.JPG

 

 

Once again, even though I have a plan to stick to the planned roads, I can’t resist the temptation of exploring those small roads that keep appearing on my GPS. Some times I run out of pavement, or even the roads, but most of the time I find wonderful spots like this one, Moose River on the Adirondacks.

49In30_Day5_017.JPG

 

 

Once out of the Adirondacks mountains, upstate NY turns into rolling hills filled with farms. It is very pretty and little road are excellent. But for me it is time to head on to the highway and make some tracks.

49In30_Day5_018.JPG

 

 

Another end to another wonderful day of riding. I finally stopped just past Cleveland OH for the night.

49In30_Day5_021.JPG

 

 

 

Stats:

White River Junction Departure 9:00am

Cleveland Arrival 11:00pm

 

Miles 630

 

Weather: Lousy in the morning, Great for the rest of the day

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Day 6 Monday August 29. – Cleveland, OH

 

Once again the weather this morning is fantastic. The temperature went from mid 60’s in the morning, to around 85 by the time I made it to Fort Wayne for my service appointment at Woodson Motorsports the local BMW dealer. It took them until 6:00 pm to get the job done, but they did a great job and were very pleasant.

 

My plan for the day is to finish in Muskegon to wait for the ferry to Milwaukee.

Day6_001.JPG

 

 

Even though it was 6:00 pm when I left Woodson’s the afternoon was not a total waste, there were still three ours of daylight left, so off to Muskegon MI I go.

Day6_005.JPG

 

The Michigan country roads offer great views and in the late afternoon, they provide some fantastic riding

Day6_006.JPG

 

 

I wish there was a way I could post the smells that I experience through motorcycle riding. I can give you a picture, but the aromas that you get are incredible. In western Michigan, the aroma definitely turns earthy. I am a farm boy by heart, but the aromas that come in the area of Grand Rapids… those get very earthy…

 

Short day, tomorrow is the ferry to Milwaukee

 

Stats:

Cleveland Departure 8:00am

Muskegon Arrival 9:20pm

 

Miles 492.6

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Barbara_S

Juan/Dad,

 

Can't think of anywhere else you'd rather be on your birthday than on the back of your "moto". Except maybe home with us....?

 

We love you. Happy Birthday! Be safe. Enjoy!

 

Barbara, Peter, Paul, Christina and Michael XOXOXO

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BamaRider

Great post Barbara, it is good for a Long Rider to be understood, and loved back home.

 

He will be just fine.

 

Ride as many roads as you can brother, and keep it safe. I'm enjoying your trip reports, and waiting patiently to take the RT to Prince Edward Island. I just might hafta stop at some of the places you post, on my way north.

Edited by BamaRider

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ClearwaterBMW
Juan/Dad,

 

Can't think of anywhere else you'd rather be on your birthday than on the back of your "moto". Except maybe home with us....?

 

We love you. Happy Birthday! Be safe. Enjoy!

 

Barbara, Peter, Paul, Christina and Michael XOXOXO

 

how sweet this message is.

it's nice to have your dreams accepted by your family

 

juan, you are a lucky man

 

greg

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Juan_S

Greg,

 

Thanks so much for all your support. I really was sorry that I missed the get together in Mount Dora, since I would have loved to talk to some of our fellow Floridians that have done this trip.

 

I am having the time of my life, and every day is a new adventure. I cannot begin to tell you how amazingly beautiful this country of ours is.

 

Juan

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ClearwaterBMW

Juan

this country needs to hear that right now, as so much of it is hurting.

 

thanks for your inspiring ride

greg

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Juan_S

Day 7 Tuesday August 30th - Muskegon MI

 

Ok, I really must have been very good in a previous life, because the weather gods are definitely looking out for me. The weather for this trip has been fantastic and today is no exception. My destination today is St Paul were I am meeting some good friends for dinner.

 

My day starts with a five-minute ride to the Lake Express ferry. This ferry runs between Muskegon and Milwaukee in about two and half hours. It is pricy ($80) for a motorcycle and the rider, but it is very comfortable and it saves you from having to ride through the lower lakes and Chicago, both very busy and full of trucks.

 

Here is my ride ready to go all tied up

Day7_002.JPG

 

 

 

As you can see the weather is fantastic this morning, here is the ferry pulling out of Muskegon towards Lake Michigan.

Day7_008.JPG

 

 

 

As you can see from the rooster tail, this thing moves along at a very high speed. It is a catamaran type ship, and I would guess that it cruises at around 30 knots. As their advertising says, the passenger cabin is definitely top shelf and very comfortable.

Day7_011.JPG

 

 

 

The Milwaukee skyline is very impressive. I had been through this city back in ‘76, and it was definitely an old decaying city, but now it looks very nice.

Day7_013.JPG

 

 

 

After landing, I make a quick dash south to Illinois, remember I am going to all the states, and then it is the highway to St. Paul for my dinner engagement.

Day7_019.JPG

 

 

 

Stats:

Muskego Departure 9:30am

St. Paul Arrival 7:20pm

 

Miles 397 plus the ferry ride

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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bmwdave152

Juan, you have given me a good idea for what to do my first year of retirement. thumbsup.gif

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jackflash

Juan,

 

Thanks for sharing the trip of a lifetime! Couple of question. What kind of padding is that on your seat and where did you get it? Secondly, just curious about your oil consumption so far on a new bike and the type of use it's getting.

 

Thanks and be careful!

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Juan_S

I am using the stock seat with a sheepskin from Alaska leather. It has been a very comfortable arrangement for me, I have been spending about 12 hours on the saddle with no problems. I would highly recommend it as something to try before shelling all that extra money for an after market seat. Their site is www.alaskaleather.com

 

As far as oil consumption, my bike drank it like a drunken sailor for the first 3000 miles. It used one quart between the 800-mile and the 3000 miles services. The consumption went down to about half of that between 3k and the 6k, ½ quart. Since my service in Fort Wayne, roughly 2500 miles ago it has not required any oil. Even the oil check mark keeps showing on the trip computer.

thumbsup.gif

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ClearwaterBMW

i just ordered the alaska sheepskin butt pad.... 1 hour ago... i should have done it before. so many have sung its praises

glad you like it as well

greg

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jackflash

Thanks Juan. I do need to take better care of my butt.

 

Sounds like you broke her in good. I just turned 4600 miles on mine and it's used 20 oz. total since the 600 mile service. I ride mine very hard in the mountain twisties and engine break it so hard I can't believe the engine isn't worn out. My bike has seen a mix of slab and hard mountain use. I think the engine likes the twisties and the throttle on and off use...but I wonder how long it will last at this rate.

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Juan_S

Day 8 Wednesday August 31st – Saint Paul

 

Once again it is a beautiful day; in St Paul the temperature was around 65 in the early morning and it soon warmed up to low 80s. My plan for the day is to head northwest to North Dakota and then thread my way down south to Missouri or Kansas for the night. Left the city via I694 and I94 and as soon as I was out of the metropolitan area, I left the highway and started following the small roads.

 

The terrain in northern Minnesota is rolling hills, so for a Floridian this is still a very pleasant ride, not thrilling like the mountains, but still very nice.

Day8_001.JPG

 

 

Soon enough, my roaming eye start looking at the neat little green roads on the GPS…. off I go, away from my planned route. Sure enough, after a few miles of very nice country roads the pavement ends. No problem, even though there is no pavement, the surface is in excellent shape… and I am heading towards Alaska, so some practice on this surface is not a bad idea…

Day8_002.JPG

 

 

I always thought of the plains as all being the same- flat. This is not true, the north, around Minnesota and the Dakotas is rolling hills and very pretty. I guess that on a beautiful day on a motorcycle, everything looks beautiful.

Day8_010.JPG

 

 

Look at the way the grass is lying down on the picture below, this is a result of the very strong wind blowing east. Once I turned south in North Dakota, the crosswind buffeted the bike for about 200 miles; it made the ride challenging since the motorcycle wanted to go in all different directions.

Day8_011.JPG

 

 

Even though the ride in the plains is not very technical, the roads are fantastic and totally un-crowded, the vistas go for miles.

Day8_013.JPG

 

 

The vistas go forever and in the late afternoon light…inspirational…

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Today, for the first time since last Friday, I am not riding into the sunset, but instead the end of the day catches me north of Sioux City, Iowa where I called it a day and spent the night.

Day8_022.JPG

 

 

 

Stats:

St Paul Departure 10:05am

Sioux City Arrival 8:55pm

 

Miles 565

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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soboy

Juan: You are truly on the trip of a lifetime - I am really enjoying your posts and I love the pictures. I also enjoy the roads less travelled. Have fun and ride safe - looking forward to your next installment.

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Marty Hill

Great trip,

 

Enjoy! thumbsup.gif

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Juan_S

Day 9 Thursday September 1st. –Sioux City, Iowa

 

Once again, the weather continues to hold out for me. Today is no exception, the sky is blue and the temperatures in the early morning are in the mid sixties and soon warm up to the mid eighties.

 

I leave Sioux City heading south past Omaha where once again I am off to the secondary roads. As you can see below, there are some hills in the plains and, overall, it is a very nice ride in these smaller roads.

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The small towns in Missouri provide a nice break during the ride.

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The Missouri River is not very large this far up north. This is the river at the crossover of route 136 between the states of Missouri and Nebraska.

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The bug collection in the front of my motorcycle continues to grow more and more interesting. I guess that I should make time to clean the bike up, but I am having too much fun to stop to clean the motorcycle.

Day9_008.JPG

 

 

Route 136 through Nebraska and route 36 in Kansas are parallel and both of them provide a very nice alternative to the interstate. Even thought the speed limit is 65 and only 2 lanes, there are very few towns and traffic was light for the almost two days I spent crossing these states.

Day9_010.JPG

 

 

Did I tell you Nebraska is one big state? It seems to go forever

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Even thought these states go forever, the cornfields are totally incredible. As you ride for days through these plains, you begin to understand why the USA is such a tremendous provider of food to the world.

Day9_013.JPG

 

 

And it is not all corn and rye; here is a typical steak factory in Kansas. Yes—factory, these are not farms anymore…these installations have thousands of animals in feeding lots, there is not a spec of grass in any of them. They also provide a very rich and enhancing aroma to the motorcycle rider, like the chicken farms in North Georgia for those of you that have experienced them.

Day9_016.JPG

 

 

The end of the day catches me in McCook, Nebraska, a nice little farming town in the middle of the state where I found a nice hotel within walking distance of “The Coppermill” the local and, I might add, very nice steak restaurant.

Day9_020.JPG

 

 

Stats:

Sioux City, IA Departure 9:10am

McCook, NE Arrival 6:45pm

 

Miles 500

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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ClearwaterBMW

Juanito,

 

fabulous as always

love the bugs as well

keep 'em coming

what day are you arriving home?

i guess you might not even know

 

greg

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Juan_S

Day 10 Friday September 2nd. – McCook, NE

 

This morning I continued west on Route 6, again the weather gods are looking out for me since the temperature is perfect for riding, the sky is deep blue with puffy clouds and you can see for miles and miles, just amazing.

 

My planned route is supposed to take me on to I80 for my approach to Wyoming, but instead I take route 30, which parallels the interstate, but still provides you a feeling of being on rural America since you still have to go through the little towns. There is also not a big speed penalty, since you can move at highway speeds in these rural roads.

 

Nebraska kind of flattens out as you go west which is kind of interesting, since that is the area closer to the Rockies. The vistas go on forever…..

Day10_004.JPG

 

 

Finally what I have been driving towards, the Rockies become visible in the distance, and let me tell you the distance, the day was so clear that these mountains were like 30 miles away.

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Wyoming vistas are just amazing, this is route 130 on my way to Medicine bowl.

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This new RT does not know it is supposed to stay on the pavement, I think it believes that it is a GS, anyway, I could not resist going down to this high altitude meadow. According to my GPS we were around 9,500 feet and the air was so crisp and fresh, just a wonderful spot. Remember route 130 out of Laramie, a must if you are in the area.

Day10_017.JPG

 

 

Route 130 brings you to Medicine bowl, the road is magnificent, but you do have to force yourself to stop and take in the views, they are out of this world.

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After hanging around Medicine bowl it is a kick ride down the mountain and joining 230 back to I80. This area of Wyoming is very arid and desolate, therefore there are very few paved roads. I ended this wonderful day in Rawlins, not much of town, but it does have hotels and restaurants.

Day10_022.JPG

 

 

 

Stats:

McCook NE Departure 9:20am

Rawlins WI Arrival 6:05pm

 

Miles 460

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Graig,

 

Thanks for your comments.

As I told one of my kids, I might never come back, I am having a fantastic trip.

However, in case I do come back, it will be around September 24

thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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ClearwaterBMW

i can't wait to get together and spend some time hearing your stories first-hand.... when your family will let you come out and play again.

 

greg

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Warren_H

Thanks for the pictures and posts, great reading.

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Zakato

Each post and picture is more inspiring than the next. I don't know about the rest of the board, but I am with you on this ride. Tomorrow, at work, I will be sitting behind you enjoying the journey. Keep safe, enjoy this great nation of ours, and I look forward to more pics and stories.

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Juan_S

Day 11 Saturday September 3rd – Rawlings, Wyoming

 

Gosh another day in paradise, I wake up early in Rawlings to a beautiful cool morning and go for my morning run….it soon becomes a brisk walk….then a walk….

I did not realize how much altitude affects your physical activity. I was born in the mountains in Colombia so for most of my youth I was used to high altitude, but now after being a flatlander for so long I sure felt the altitude this morning.

 

Today’s plan is to head west into Utah and then turn north and finish the day in Jackson, Wyoming. Southeastern Wyoming is desolate; outside of the cities of Cheyenne and Laramie there are hardly any towns or farms, or even cows!!! So therefore there are few roads outside of the interstate I80.

 

I soon decide that I80 is not for me, and even though route 789 south into Colorado is totally in the wrong direction of my day’s plan, I take it for some exploring.

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As I said before, this area of Wyoming is desolate. The views this morning are out of this world and go on forever.

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More Wyoming vistas

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Route 278 turns into route 13 in Colorado. I followed this road until meeting up with Colorado 40, which runs east west. 40 is not a very exciting road, but in my book, it does beat the interstate any day of the week.

 

As we near the Utah Colorado border, the topography changes rapidly, and the red rocks start being visible. The photo below is in Dinosaur national monument. I believe this has been the primary source of Dinosaur bones. As part of the park, they have an exhibit of the actual excavation, pretty cool, especially for little kids.

Day11_012.JPG

 

 

The views in this area go forever….

Day11_015.JPG

 

 

It is hard to keep your eye on the roads, but for a Florida boy, these are amazing sights. The texture and vistas are just breathtaking.

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Utah is full of contrasts, desert to rock formations to green valleys….

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Once again, my wandering eye leads me to the end of the road…I guess I should be on a GS instead, but then I would never get anywhere….

 

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After playing around the Dinosaur area, I again continue to ride route 40 towards Salt Lake City, which keeps getting better the further west I go…

Day11_038.JPG

 

 

Another end to another fantastic day of riding. I ended the day in Heber City Utah, about 400 miles from my day’s destination, but with a smile on my face….

Day11_035.JPG

 

 

Stats:

Rawlins WI Departure 9:10am

Heber UT Arrival 7:45pm

 

Miles 446

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Day12 Sunday September 4th - Heber City, Utah

 

Following the unplanned route can lead you to the most pleasant of places. Heber City is in a nice mountain valley, and once again, the weather gods are looking out for me. If I were not having so much fun on this ride, I would consider going for an early morning balloon ride like these folks.

Day12_002.JPG

 

 

 

Soon enough I am off route 40 onto 32 which does not disappoint.

Day12_003.JPG

 

 

Then route Utah 150 into the Wasatch National Forest. A great mountain road full of twisties. Here is a view from the top of the pass at Hyden Peak.

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At Hyden Peak off rte 150 the elevation of the road is 10,710 feet.

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Here is yours truly at the peak

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The road on the way up to the peak was fantastic. Well on the way down it was just as good.

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Soon enough 150 crosses into Wyoming and meets up with route 89. Route 89 is a wonderful scenic road, but I can’t help exploring all those little side roads…

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Soon enough, the road runs out of pavement….. oh well it is beautiful out here…

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So who said you had to be at either of the coasts to experience sand in your feet and deep blue waters…

Day12_023.JPG

 

 

 

Bear Lake between Utah and Idaho has sand like the beach. Not a bad spot to have lunch either…Day12_024.JPG

 

 

I continued north on 89 and as you can see the views are just amazing.

Day12_027.JPG

 

 

 

Late afternoon coming towards Jackson Hole, WY still on 89.

Day12_028.JPG

 

 

Got to Jackson Hole around 5:00pm and decided to stay and enjoy the town. I found a fantastic room at the Ranch Inn, one block from the main town square, well within walking distance of all the places in town.

 

 

 

Mandatory picture of the town’s antlers arches. They have one of these on each corner of the main town square…

Day12_034.JPG

 

 

I found Jackson Hole to be a very pretty town, albeit very touristy, after being sent by the very nice hotel front desk clerk to the million-dollar cowboy bar for a beer. The attraction you ask??? Yeah, horse saddles for bar stools, and a whole bunch of tourists wearing their brand new Stetsons!!! Felt as if I was back in Orlando with the Mickey hats….so I was determined not to eat in one of the tourist driven restaurants and found this truly wonderful Mexican food restaurant called Sanches.

Day13_001.JPG

 

 

Stats:

Heber UT Departure 9:20am

Jackson Hole WY Arrival 5:00pm

 

Miles 236

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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ClearwaterBMW

juan

why didn't you take some of us with you??????

(of course, you have done so, figuratively, with your amazing tale and pictures

 

greg

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ELP_JC

Yeah Juan, why don't you annouce in advance your destination points and maybe enjoy dinner with members of this fine board? Better than eating alone, don't you think? I'm sure you have a lot to talk about smile.gif.

Great pictures and stories. We're all enjoying your trip vicariously.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

Another end to another fantastic day of riding. I ended the day in Heber City Utah, about 400 miles from my day’s destination, but with a smile on my face….

 

Keep it coming! It sounds like you've found your groove.

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StretchMark

WOW thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

I just checked in on this thread, but I'll be following your progress the rest of the way. Great stuff!!

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Highway41

Like others, I have thoroughly enjoyed the posts/pics but nothing for three days. Has anyone heard anything?

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ClearwaterBMW

whoa

you are right about that

where is Juan... why haven't we heard from him

was this the part of the trip where he was making his way to and from alaska, and didn't have internet access to post.

i know that his wife also took an id here briefly... if she is reading this, i hope that she will let us know

 

greg

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