Wednesday, December 24, 2014

11,900 Mile's East Coast Ride_2014

The past meets the present.Thanks for a great time Petra!
Stacie and her idea of putting Billy in the middle sounded great.  I'm stuck in the middle with you...It didn't hurt as much as I had imagined.LOL

 In the Everglades at a gator farm. As we went out on an air boat ride this bearded dragon was enjoying the sun.
Later, whether the same or different dragon this one was cruising the walk path.
 Stacie remarked "you have to get a photo of this".
 Mom had a thing for Cardinal birds, when I see one my first thought is of how happy she would be and that she is enjoying the moment with me.
Key West the Rooster's run wild and are seen everywhere.This particular one must of had a beef with the Post Office!
Museum of art in Key West.
A line of people were waiting to get their photo taken. Billy  isn't into lines and waiting,no I don't know these women. It is all about the Bouy!
 We had changed our riding gear into a more comfortable attire once we arrived in K.W.
120 miles and, it was a boring 3 hr. ride. Traffic,crazy driver's,and slow,slow speed drove me nuts!
 Ochlockonee S. Park in Fl.
Woe what was in that last drink? A white squirrel, albino you say. Nope just a white awesome creature and you don't get this if you are a Hotel traveler. Get out into the park system and be amazed!

 Sunset at the same S.P.
We enjoyed the S.Parks in Fl. they were clean,cheap,and interesting.We spent over a week exploring the state without ever going to the big cities. I don't care for city life and prefer to go rural.
Below: at the Alabama War Memorial, Me in front of an APC ,what I was assigned to but with a 20mm Gatlin gun on top with radar .
Terelingua,Tx. just outside of Big Bend N.P. Darth Is looking good and with 121,000 miles at this point is my conversation starter with fellow rider's.
A little dirt action in Big Bend N.P.
As we were coming out of Monarch Pass West of Denver .
I looked in the mirror and noticed Stacie pulled over. Her rear tire was deflated.Look closely and you will see the rim band gone and tube is shredded.I used duct tape for rim band replacement.
Looking at a great view of Grand Lake,Co.
Truth be told I was to blame for this rear tire incident! I forgot to verify our tire pressures on a daily basis , due to the altitude and weather fluctuations this is the result. I was overwhelmed with relief that Stacie didn't crash or get hurt.
This big Elk wandered into our camp with his family. Was awesome and insightful to see him burp or call his herd together and keep them in line.
Another view of Grand Lake
Photo is fogged due to the weather temperature of 21 degrees. The elk are licking the frost off the table,cars,and whatever else.
Here is Stacie being a criminal, putting the final push on a leaning crapper! NOT!
Going from R. Mtn. N.P. to Estes, we had to turn around due to road closed.
Nice fall colors in Colorado.
Monarch Pass as we were headed to Rocky Mtn. N.P.
Descending into Gunnison Black Canyon N.P. Cows,cows,cows

Gunnison N.P. was a fantastic discovery for us. We just picked it out of the blue from the map. We focused our ride on camping in as many National,State,public camp grounds. Gunnison with its steep canyon walls and fantastic views made our day.

Let me slither while you are amazed at my beauty!
Arches N.P.
Don't we look cute? Fine looking people if you want my .02

We had just missed a flood in Arches, due to this some campgrounds were closed. This was the morning when we woke and knew we had to find a better place to camp.
Utah,a part of I-70 and this is one interstate that is worth riding slab. The views can be spectacular.

Arches,no place to camp the previous night . We camped on BLM.and it was quite muddy.

Alive and for most a distant memory of day's gone by. Sure miss the opportunity of going to a drive inn movie's.
Rocky Mtn. N.P. was it cold? I'd say if 21 degrees at 8 a.m. is cold then IT'S COLD!
Death Valley N.P. We had set up camp the day was sunny,warm and we headed to restaurant to get supper.Stacie then headed to get shower,I went back to camp. The wind picked up to about 40-50 and it was a brown out. The tent was only held down with 1 tent peg. I tried to reset tent but the wind proved to be too much. I sat on the tent and waited for Stacie to return all awhile being shredded with sand. When she returned I used the picnic tables for a wind breaker.
We had to remove the rain cover so the tent would not act like a sail. One tent pole and inner rope was broke. We had to repair this in the dark and then it began to rain. It is times like this that I really enjoy my partner. No bitching,arguing,we work as a team and overcome our problems.As you see we had sand in everything,took 2-3 days to get it all removed. heck our teeth ground sand for a few days!
Most signs in Nv. have signs of target practice on them. Apparently the people who live there get bored or can't afford a target.
Cave Lake S.P. in Nv. , this was recommended to us by a guy we met while in a grocery store parking lot.Turned out to be a nice place and we took advantage of some hiking trails before dark.
Death Valley before the brown out. Stacie remarked "I hope this isn't an indication of how our ride will be"
I left 09/23 for the Horizon's Unlimited Rally of which I had a presentation to give on Alaska. This was Sunday morning and it had rained all night. Due to the Tioga Pass and snow we had to go down thru Bakersfield and Death Valley.
Mike has informed me that he needed a tire for his 800GS. I caught Stacie before she left and asked her to bring a Heidenau Tire with her.(WE ARE A HEIDENAU Dealer!)
This is a fantastic event, you want to hear experience's,stories and learn of foreign travel this is where you want to go.
Jimmy Lewis was on hand to give tips on riding and safety. His training site is located in Pahrump, Nv. At this particular time he is just showing off LOL
The bike was well loaded due to all of the gear Stacie had to pack for our 2 month ride across the country.
The morning I left home I glanced back to Mt. Bachelor and this was my view.
Churches,old time plantations,and homes of the South.

Emerald Mound, see the photo below for information.

A detour off of the Natchez Trail led us to the church above and the Hardware store below.

Stacie was looking forward to meeting A SWAMP, I'd say she experienced a few.
Bales of cotton or are they sofa cushion's?

We had time between New Orleans and the Swamp Scooter rally in so we headed up to Mississippi to ride the Natchez Trail from Tupelo down to Inez. Nice Historical route with numerous pull outs to read of the history.

13 unmarked confederate graves
The grand river herself.
In Big Bend after Stacie had eaten some rock and gravel.
The left side Mexico,right side U.S.A.
Remember I mentioned B.Bend had flooded?Here is Darth and the old man getting a bath in Ice Cold muddy water and deep mud.I rode Darth and Ole Yeller across, Stacie didn't want to try.
Hungry for some worm? This would be a meal for most birds and have left over.
My Agnes began leaking soon after we left. My sweet wife is trying to glue anything that would seep air. This was in B. Bend,at this point I was fed up with Agnes!!!!!!!!

Wonder what is under ground and does this bug get a bug rush when it stands upright?
Seminole S. P in Tx. those clouds are the Alaska Vertex . The weather was about to get extremely cold in the next few hours.
We awoke 4 a.m. and thought that the storm was late. At 6 it hit the fan,wind was expanding/collapsing the tent . The temperature dropped big time. We discussed it and thought when wind dies a bit lets run and ride.
Lunch at Cooper's in Llamo,Tx.Great BBQ food but don't get greedy. Those vittles are gonna cost you some bucks!
Fantastic sunset.

Games at the Swamp Scooter Rally in Louisiana. I CAN'T SEE!Just ride you fool and don't hit the tree
Steve and I met while stationed at Coleman Barracks (Mannheim Germany}Was nice to spend time with and catch up. You rock dude and your concoction was spot on!
Woman put your ball's on the top of the cone game.
Big Bend

A beautiful view of the valley from Big Bend
Sunflower field in W. Kansas. Stacie had remarked"I've never seen so much sky in my life.
A wanted man returns to the state of the crime!!!!!!!LOL
Bodean,a dear friend and Army buddy whom I met 12/1974 and we have been like brother's ever since. Love ya man!
Another first for Stacie, a Hedge Apple that I retrieved from a ditch in Arkansas.
Ok, another first Armadillo coming through camp in Arkansas,
Some fantastic riding in Arkansas,nice roads,lots of sweepers and little or no traffic.

She keeps wrecking her bike and this is what she will ride! I see it fits her JUST FINE!
Missouri and Illinois was a wet fest. 2 nights in hotels due to torrential downpour's. I stepped into a Hotel lobby at 1p.m. as we were saturated thru and thru. upon receiving the key I said to clerk " YOUR GOING TO NEED MAINTENANCE " . The floor had a 4 foot lake around me body. I kid you not water was coming flowing out everywhere.
Ants view of the Jefferson Davis Monument.
Our view of the Monument.
Needless to say, I'm near the Corvette Museum we will stop. Nice set of Bmer's to give it a European edge.
Aftermath of when the sink hole happened.
We had to sign a waiver stating "we wouldn't go or attempt to go down into the sink hole" DUH
Dan Dickie and his wife Debbie own this fine rental company . We have had numerous conversations on the phone and it was finally time to get acquainted,
A long time friend "Boyd", We grew up together and I hadn't seen the man since 1990. I will admit we had some stories to tell. I know Stacie was amused and enjoyed the reminiscing.
The only Corvette Duntov owned was this 1982. Oh it was equipped with every option and then some but the father of Corvette who could have any only owned this one!
Smokey Mtn.N.P. It was wet and windy. It rained,rained,and rained until the creek overflowed and on our second night we were told to evacuate the park.
Trying to remain dry while get my java dance on,
Leaves had really fallen due to the previous nights gust's.
The far side is already out of it's bank. A few hours later both sides.
Raging waters
Now GSM looks like a respectable establishment with Darth in the foreground.......
North Carolina and views of the valley's

We rode the Dragon and honestly didn't do much for me. The Auferheide,Old Santiam Pass(242  and more to consider are to me a better ride.
Some unlucky rider's got the honorable tree to hang their parts in.
Brother Everett in Ga. modifying the side stand on Stacie's bike,
Mark that off my list, I've been to Duck Town.
Harrison Ford jumped off this bridge in Fugitive. We passed this on our Cherola Parkway route.
Gs's getting a few days to rest in Ga. after 5000 miles had been completed and many more to ride!
I don't know, what do you see?I don't know.
Sarah came down from Ft. Shaw to spend some time with us. She also had purchased a LED lights for her truck :Black Betty"
Are you ready to meet some down to earth Red Necks? I wanted Stacie to experience a real Southern Hoe Down of a time.

Short Timer Sarah, Always a Happy Dad when my girls are around. Seems as you get older these moments become more precious.
Some Redneck wants a wooden pig.
Don't know what you will see at a Nascar race.

Looking Great Sarah! Oh your boots are unlaced.
Nice day for a race we had a great time and Stacie was surrounded with R.N. people.
Opening Ceremonies at a race are always unique and sometimes quite moving WE ARE AMERICA
Bring back the America that I love and respect!
Coming off of Pit Row
Plantation homes are quite unique in their architectural style.

This would make a great Haunted house.
A photo to only capture the evening and the reflections off the water.
Florida and it's aqua firs,These are hidden underground all over Florida.
Clear beautiful water .
Our friends have come for dinner or brunch.
When hiking, one must be alert to all things whether high or low. This spider would put a hell of a hurt on one if bitten.

Wow an enormous cone,turn around and we have to try one . They were delicious and at 10 a.m. hit the spot.

Those of us who are aged remember Lost In Space.
Nice photo,
Numerous Osprey in the area .
Everglades N.P. this crow or raven is eating a RAT!
The Atlantis on display Kennedy Space Center.
We as well as the gator's were enjoying the warm sunny day.
Notice he is missing his left hand! I guess he graduated from handling gator to snakes after that mishap.
Our guide out into the Glades.
No swimming here.
In the Everglades, This N.P. was in our opinion neglected and in need of a T.L.C. Posted signage was still putting Katrina to blame. Come On! How many years ago was that storm?