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OldRider

Finally, the Whole Store of my 2002 Four Corners Trip by Popular Request. Very long

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OldRider

So You want to do a USA Four Corners Trip

 

The USA Four Corners MC ride is visiting and documenting the visit to Blaine, Wa., San Ysidro, Ca., Key West, Fl., and Madawaska, Me. It is sponsored by the SCMC club. You can visit the locations in any order but it must be done within 21 days. I did the trip in a total of 19 days, leaving from Blaine, Wa. April 19th and arrived in Madwaska, Me. 19 days later on May 8th a total of 8273 miles but who is counting. Only one day was not spent in the saddle with the shortest distance traveled 186 miles and the longest day was 756 miles. By the time I returned home, I had put 12483 miles on Big Red.

 

Key factors to a successful trip, planning, planning, planning and working the plan, along with a somewhat healthy body, reliable motorcycle, good weather and a little luck.

 

I had all of the above along with one more very import factor that made this event a lot easier for me was the great people who opened their CASA’s and hearts to the Oldrider. Thanks to all of you for your great hospitality.

 

This is long and may be boring to you. Ask questions or pass along suggestions for others that may take on this activity.

 

The weather was great, not to hot, not to cold, not much wind and only a few hours of rain. All rain occurred on the return home. However, I left a lot of crappy weather behind me along with road construction in some key areas like Deals Gap and other areas of NC.

 

The BMW RT1150 ran flawlessly as I expected. Had it crapped out, I would have sent it to nearest dealer and flown home.

 

Can’t say enough about the great weather.

 

Used all the items I packed.

 

All but one of my board hosts have dogs and some cats as well.

 

Most bugs award goes to New York and South Dakota. Timing is everything, since I didn’t see a mosquito in Mississippi or La. Who would believe that after spending a year in that area many years ago.

 

 

Me (OldRider) and The Big Red (2002 BMW RT1150) left the stable on Thursday April 18th for Blaine, Wa. I had packed and repacked many times. The MC had been serviced which included switching to Syn motor oil, Tranny, Drive and a new set of BT020 tires. Speedo reading was 9202 miles.

 

The visit to the first three key locations of this trip was done at a very fast pace. I can revisit the West anytime and I wanted to spend more time on the east coast since I didn’t (don’t) expect to return there in the near future.

 

The Trip Begins

Day 1 Fri April 19th - The four corners started officially from Blaine, Wa. (First Corner) heading south to Palo Cedro, Ca.. 749 miles traveled.

Would you believe, no rain in Western Wa.? I was able to rest at Doug’s in Bothell, then continuing on to meet up with Jackie who had her problems with a flat tire and she was unable to make the agreed upon meeting time. So, I continued on to meet BigMak in Jefferson, Or. He rode with me to Ashland. I continued to Palo Cedro to stay with BubWood. Had a great Steak and fresh abalone dinner prepared by Ken himself. Ken was the only member in the family that had recovered from the flu. That made me nervous. I was sure I was going to come down with Flu after being out about three days. It didn’t happen. Julie, thanks for giving up your room and I am sure the stars on the ceiling helped me get a good nights rest. The Woods, along with almost every rider I stayed with, had a great group of dogs. (Tuck, Abbe, Bridget)

 

Day 2 Sat April 20 - Started at 5 am in order to make my lunch date between 1 and 2 with Dick and his gang at Tehachapi, Ca. Ken and I road together to Sacramento and I continued on to meet up with Dick and Denny. We had a wonderful lunch (Thanks again for lunch Dick). Got to chat with some more board members. (Steve, Denny, Dick, Laney, Russel, Daryl and others) So was the Sock Monkey there? Yes, Wurty was there. No, he isn’t the sock monkey) Denny and I took the back desert roads (Mojave, Palmdale, Lancaster, Victorville) hit I15 to avoid LA and went to Dtools in Bonita, Ca. Had a great meal prepared by Mrs. Dtool (Chris) and met two more dogs (Buckley and Luna) *&^% Buckley, a huge Boxer, wanted to sleep In my bed. 756 miles traveled. Another Great Host. Thanks Dtool. Sorry about not making Torrey(Last Spring) Be seeing you. Come on up north big guy.

 

Day 3 Sun April 21. Denny lead me to San Ysidro (Second Corner) where we got the required information including photo and mailed envelope. Denny then lead me out to Interstate 8 and I continued on the second leg as I headed for Tucson but kept going to Willcox. Met two HD riders heading for Laughlin. Hope they dodged the bullets. One of the riders had already had a little bad luck. His Trailer with all his professional camera gear was totaled by an old lady as he was headed west about two days earlier. Passed up chance to visit the Pima Air Museum. Will catch it another time. 522 miles traveled.

 

Day 4 Mon April 22 Changed route from Fort Stockton,Tx to Midland, Tx. I wanted to see the CFA Air Museum. Point to remember when heading east. Remember to set watch for time zones. Got to Midland and it was 2:30 by my watch as I rode up to the Museum. Was planning to visit, and move on further across Texas prior to bedding down for the night. Wrong, it was 4:30 and they closed at 5. Well stayed the night at the Motel 6 in Midland. Ah, worst place I stayed during the whole trip. I think it was built when it was only $6 to stay at a motel 6. 559 miles traveled

 

Day 5 Tue April 23 - Started the day off by visiting the CFA Air Museum. If you are interested in WWII history you will love the Bomber Nose Art Collection they have on display. It was worth staying over in the old crappy motel6 to see it. Off to Katy Tx to Stay with Arch. Went through some foothills North of San Antonio and rode on the special highway that President Johnson had made so it was easier for him to get to his house. You Gotta love the way politicians spend our money. Was about 4 days early on the wild flowers, but am sure it would be very beautiful when they are in full bloom. Anyway, went through Austin on to Katy to stay at Arch’s. Was that a treat? You bet. Met Gunner and Neely the dogs and Arches significant other, Julie. Everyone should have a custom shop with 8 or 9 bikes to chose from for riding as well as a collector’s Ducati in their living room. Was treated great and we had a wonderful meal at one of the local TexMex restaurant in Katy. Dick, had the bacon wrapped shrimp, as I had in Tehachapi, CA. The TX wrapped shrimp were better than those in Tehachapi but the overall meal presentation was better in Calif. Thanks for the great hospitality Arch. I must say it again, It is greatest the way the board members gave their time and opened their homes to me. It was especially great since, we talked motorcycles everywhere I stayed. 544 miles traveled. PS- Arch, I have something about a Poo Bear in my notes. Help me out here Arch. I think it was the cats name.

 

Day 6 Wed April 24- Left Arch’s and headed for Baton Rouge to met up with Al for lunch. Say, Al, have you got an RT yet? We met at the Baton Rouge BMW shop where I spent a few dollars. Al treated me to Cajun LA special of Crayfish for a late lunch. Was an hour late due to the old time zone switch. Now I could make a steady diet of seasoned Cajun crayfish. Shared some stories about Crawdads (West Coast Name for Crayfish when we caught them when I was a kid) Continued on to Mobile. Note: I don’t think I saw a single mosquito as I went through La, MS and Al. Who would believe that. 500 miles traveled.

 

Day 7 Thr April 25 - Head toward Lakeland Fl – Stopped in Pensacola to visit the Navy/Marine Nat. Air Museum. Another must see air museum. It had almost every aircraft on display that the navy and marines have had since the beginning of air flight. Also met another RT rider while I was there. Lost paper with his name on it. Well, as result of this unscheduled stop at the museum, I got a little behind schedule, so I decided to go to Jacksonville and stay with my old neighbor who also has a dog. I roll into town and all the power goes out for 6 hours. Go figure.

 

I saw a lot of old tire carcass all the way across the US on I-10. Not a good idea to ride near a semi while on the road based the tire debris on the side of the freeway. Traveled 480 miles. Total of 4110 over the last 7 days.

 

Day 8 Fri April 26 - Left Jacksonville and headed to Lakeland Fl to attend the Top Gun Scale Radio Control Model Meet. For me as well as any Radio control model junkie, it was a real treat to see the beautiful museum quality aircraft that were flown at this meet.

 

It was a boring ride. In fact, I may as well get this off my chest now. Sorry Fl. Riders, but riding in Florida really sucks. If there is a curve in a road other than the on ramp to a freeway, I would sure have liked to have found it. More power to those of you who ride there. Only 233 miles traveled today

 

Day 9 Sat April 27th - Headed for Corals Gable via Alligator Alley. Went along highway 19 from the Fort Myers area through Naples. Was trying to get a little flavor for the Gulf. Was that a mistake? Very crowded along the beach areas. Along with the old F**Ks that shouldn't be driving a car and almost every driver having a Cell phone stuck in their ears, it real added to my bad attitude about riding in Florida. You know where I wanted to stick those phones. Ah, forget that, let us think positive. Visited Everglades City and a very nice Artist Museum along Hy 41. The weather was very pleasant and the parts of the Everglades that I visited were very pretty. However, even though there was water everywhere, the everglades appeared to be very dry in the area I traveled. I stayed with Bob and Judy in Corals Gable. He is an RT rider and they have a dog named Annie. They were great hosts and Judy prepared a wonderful Cuban seafood dish that I will never forget. Their hospitality made the trip in the Miami and to Key West more acceptable. It would have been a boring grind without having the opportunity to visit with them and other Fl riders on Sunday. PS - Dr. Bob goes up into the GA and NC hills to get some interesting riding. 313 miles traveled.

 

Day10 Sun April 28th - Coral Gable to Key West and return. Thanks to the hospitality provided by Bob and Judy. Where can you go that you come out to clean your bike, and it is being done for you by your host. I was able to ride to Key West making Corner number three and return to stay another night with Bob and Judy. Having the extra day also gave me an opportunity to go riding on Sunday morning with the local Miami riders. This opportunity allowed me to see some interesting country I would have missed. Spent 2 hours of straight line riding, stop. Right or Left Turn and ride in a straight line some more. Anyway, we got to Key Largo and had brunch. Met some more very nice Fl riders. They probably don’t think much of me after complaining about the quality of riding in Florida. From Key Largo, I did the ride to Key West, logged in the third Corner and returned to Coral Gable. The speed limit max was 55 and strictly enforced. However, it was Sunday and the return was an average of 30 or 40 miles an hour from Key West to Miami. Poor timing on my part but sometimes you don’t have a choice. 359 miles Traveled. Total of 5015 miles over the last 10 days.

 

Day 11 Mon April 29th Left Docs in the early morning heading to Jacksonville Fl to visit Merrick. Stopped and visited the Kennedy Space Center on the way. Travel 383 miles

 

Day 12 Tues April 30 - Laid over in Jacksonville Fl. Kicked back and relaxed. Merrick took me to Flying field and Glider Field as well as his old Air station where he flew A4s that has been closed. No miles traveled

 

Day 13 Wed May 1 – Headed for Lawrenceville, Ga to stay with Randy and family which included two dogs. His wife and son are riders as well. Another great host. Traveled 405 miles.

 

Day 14 Thu May 2 – Randy lead me to Suches to Two Wheels Camp Ground. Had a great breakfast. Randy return home and I Met up with Nelson from Texas on a KRS1200 who has travel the area roads many time before. We road the Tenn Parkway and Deals Gap. Then I proceeded onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stayed to Canton, NC. Traveled 409 miles.

 

Day 15 Fri May 3 – Did some more of the parkway within the Shandowah National Park. Stayed in Woodstock, VA. Discovered one of their old Covered bridges. Traveled 524 miles.

 

Day 16 Sat May 4 - Visited Harper’s Ferry and saw Union cannon team demo. Visited Gettysburg Museum and battlefields. Traveled 186 miles.

 

Day 17 Sun May 5 – Visited the battlefields again early in the morning, then proceeded to the BMW Swap meet in Gettysburg, Met some more good old board members and experienced a great milk shake. Was also hoping to met up with Pilgrim but he was visiting a sister in the area. Then I went on to Wappering Falls. Ny to meet up with Eric. We went for an early evening ride to Rhinebeck. He lead the way on back roads and a NY park way to the Rhinebeck Aerodrome. It was closed but the primary pilot of the WW I planes was there and he provided a personnel tour of the aerodrome. Traveled 382 miles.

 

Day 18 Mon May 6 -- Went to Limerock racetrack with Eric. Then I proceeded on to Winsor Lock, CN to visit the NE Aero museum. I then continued on to Bangor, Me. Went through Mass, Vermont and NH on to Bangor, ME. Long day.

Traveled 563 miles.

 

Day 19 Tue May 7 - Visited Bar Harbor, ME and Arcadia National Park then headed for Madawaska on Hwy 1. Note: the Lobster Pounds are not open that early in the year. Bad weather on horizon, so I stopped in Presque Isle, Me. Roads suck in Me. Should have crossed over and taken Canadian Hwy as soon as possible instead of traveling on Hwy 1. I could have used a moto crossbike for traveling on Hwy 1. Really regret not taking the truckers advice about taking Canadian Hwy to Edmond and then crossing back over to Madawaska. Traveled 334 miles.

 

Day 20 Wed May 8 Travel 72 miles to Madawaska. Bike fell over from gust of wind in front of the Post Office. Scratched tupperware, broke some signal wires. and scratched Panner side case. Fixed broken signal wires, mailed final forms and sent Radar to Tom. Start my return home by crossing the boarder into Canada and headed for Cornwall, On. It is near Trenton where the 2002 BWM International rally was held.

 

Radar detectors will be confiscated in many of the Canadian Providence. Do not take them into Canada. BC is ok.

 

The Return Home

Total miles traveled 8273 to complete the Four Corners. Traveled another 428 miles to Cornwall, On for a total of 500 miles Traveled for day.

 

Thu May 9 - Rode around the Trenton area . Got some serious rain and lightening for the first time on the trip as a visited Trenton. I then continued on to a motel near Niagara Falls. Nasty clouds in Niagara area so I stopped early. Wish I had continued and stayed in Niagara. Total of 437 miles Traveled for day

 

Fri May 10 - Went to Niagara Falls early this morning. It was well worth the visit. I then headed for Wolf’s BMW located in Ailsa Craig, ON. Not much there except the BMW dealer (Very nice group of folks own Wolf’s) and a wonderful restaurant called the Pinewood. I then headed for Port Huron and on to Benton Harbor, MI. Total of 531 miles traveled.

 

Sat May 11 - I got to the Chi Town crew lodging in Bloomingdale at PBs. What a great group (They had a great gathering at PB’s house and I met many of the Crew) If I was a big writer, I could write pages on the hospitality. Thanks Crew. Total of 131 miles traveled

 

Sunday May 12 - Stayed in the Chicago area with the crew and visited the Highland House bfor breakfast. Even though it was raining, I road some of the roads in Wisconsin and Illinois with the crew. They don’t let a little rain some them from riding. They are like the NW riders. Total of 162 miles traveled

 

Mon May 13 - Headed for Mr. T. Roe’s home in Minneapolis, Mn. What a great family. Tom has some good old dogs as well. Have to mention the hospitality again. After Big Red had traveled 11K miles since it’s last service by me at my home, we did a quick check of her and we decided it would be wise to put new tires on. Took wheels off and headed for the local bike shop in the neighborhood. Got to go to Al’s (Twice) in the U district while there. Over today and tomorrow, Tom proceed to do a complete 18K service on my BMW. I don’t think he let me touch a single nut or bolt. Thank you very much Tom. Big Red needed the attention. Total of 406 miles traveled

 

 

 

Tues May 14 - Kicked back and relaxed for the day. Met a few of the local bikers and had a great time with Tom and his family. Total Miles 0 traveled.

 

Wed May 15 – Headed for Rapid City Sd. Did the Bad Lands and got to Rapid City in the late afternoon. Headed for the first night show of the year at Mt. Rushmore.(Another Must see) Then I road around in the dark to the Crazy horse Mt and back to Rapid City. Total of 698 miles traveled for the day.

 

Was planning to head for Colorado Springs, Torrey, Las Vegas and the 49er rally. Called home and learned the bad news from the Captain which resulted in heading for home the next day. She let me know that here Dad had run over himself while installing a wench cable on to a friends Jeep. (He has recovered from his near death experience and is as mean and nasty as ever)

 

Thur May 16 - Headed West for home. Stopped in Butte, Mt. Visited Sturgis on the way. Not much to it. Wouldn’t want to be there with 500,000 MC riders there at the same time. Would not be my idea of a good time. Must be getting old. Oh well. Might consider doing it with a group of riding buddies. Total of 622 miles traveled

 

Fri May 17 – Home alone in Kennewick, Wa. After traveling close to 14K miles over the last 29 days. Total of 467 miles traveled

 

For those of you planning to do a Four Corners, I can provide you most of the road numbers for my trip if interested. Send me an email and I will send you a spreadsheet on the trip.

 

As I always say. It is about the riding and the people you met along the way. This board has a great bunch of members with hearts of gold.

 

Thanks to all you.

 

 

 

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Corkus

Thanks for the post. Enjoyed the story. It makes me want to do something like that.

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