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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear dudes and the few dudettes who are members or just visitors of this fine forum, I recently completed a 4,686 mile motorbike ride with friends out west and I'd like to share it with y'all. It was 17 days in all on the road, riding every day and spending only two nights in one place. It was a fantastic trip to say the least. Saw many sights and places that we dreamed of, and at the same time had to pass on many many places that we wanted to see but just didn't have enough time to cover, or cover properly I should say. So that means there's another similar trip some time in the future.

Reporting on this adventure will take numerous posts, so bear with me please as this story will be a bit of a long and an ongoing one for several days until it's properly submitted.

First a little background on the event to set the stage.

There were four of us on this excursion, my friend Brian Berthelot, his wife Kim (she rode her own bike) and their friend Philip Underhill. I grew up with Brian and Kim in Baker, La. Brian's Mom was my Sunday School teacher. Kim lived a street over from me and down the road a bit in the old neighborhood. Philip dates a friend of Kim's now, and she's another friend and classmate of our's from Baker also. That's how I met Philip a few rides back. This was the group that was supposed to fly into Lisbon, Portugal and rent bikes, then go into Spain to catch a ferry over to Morocco, then tool around down there before crossing back over to Gibraltar, Spain again and back to Lisbon for the flight home. But that trip (scheduled for this past April) was scrubbed due to the Kung Flu. Dang. This most recent trip was an attempt to make up for it.

Me and my Indian. Day 1 of 17. I have on new Rev'it Cayenne motorcycle pants because I lost about 55 pounds and my old pants are sort of too big. The Icon jacket is several years old but since I burned a hole in the left sleeve when I dropped it on the tailpipe at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon I just might have to get a new one. Probably go with a Rev'it jacket this time, but not the same color of my pants since I don't want to make it look like I'm wearing a onesie. I'm wearing new Muck boots too. These are a great feeling set of manly footwear I'm here to tell y'all. A bit pricey, but worth every centavo. To round out my outfit I have on an el cheapo dry fit short sleeve shirt from Wallyworld, a pair of Army socks and no drawers. Just some el cheapo dry fit gym shorts from Wallyworld too.

609104


Kim and Brian ride BMW AT bikes. Not sure what model, but they have off-road capability. Philip rides a KTM. Again not sure of what model, but he has off-road capabilities as well. The only thing that I like about their bikes are the strong saddle bags they call panniers. We did no off-roading on this trip apart from driving in a campground and a few restaurants with gravel parking lots. Well there was one stretch of road Utah that was all packed gravel but it proved to be no problems traversing it with my Chief Vintage at all. They are all excellent riders with dirt bike and racing experience. They have $800 sets of motorcycle pants and jackets. Vented, water resistant, armored, the works. Looks like onesies though, so I won't be in the market for them ever. They also keep after me about ditching the Indian and going to Euro metrics AT motorbikes like them. No way. Won't happen. Ever.

We departed Baton Rouge Friday September 25. Met up at a truck stop in Port Allen, Louisiana and topped off before heading out. Rendezvous time was 10:30 in the AM. By the time everyone was there and ready we finally rolled out about 11:15. West bound and down, with no specific plans, itinerary, or route planned out. Just ride west, keep an eye on the weather and make it up as we go along. I like trips like that. It adds to the excitement and adventure I think. Some people need much more extensive planning for a ride such as this. My couzan from New Orleans for example. He is so structured that a trip like this would cause him so much stress and anxiety that he'd have to go in for extended therapy and heavy sedation after getting home. I never thought to invite him for that reason. Don't get me wrong, he's a nice dude, but definitely he is so opposed to the "flying by the seat of his pants" concept and would be such an obstacle to the fun. But if you want a meticulously planned out trip, he's the man with the plan.

We headed due west and crossed the Sabine River at Merryvile, La. While about 20 out from Lufkin, Texas I hit something on the road, maybe a bolt or a rock, something like that . Saw it coming, but I didn't have time to veer off from hitting it. I was looking off to my left and when I looked back and saw it it was about 10 feet in front of me. I hit it and heard a loud sharp crack. I thought that the front tire had blown, but it handled well. Nothing else seemed to be wrong so I didn't think anything of it. We stopped for gas, a bathroom break and refreshments. A quick inspection revealed nothing out of the ordinary. So we rode on. I did notice that I was unable to engage the cruise control after getting on the road though. As we were in Lufkin and was merging onto a divided highway, I lost power and was not able to keep up with everyone. Luckily I was able to duck into a Mexican restaurant parking lot and coast to a safe spot.

609105


Trying to sort out the problem. Me on the left, Philip in the middle, Brian on the right. Philp had one of those electrical tester thingees. He also has a drone that he launched form time to time for aerial pix.

609106


I am not a happy camper at all as you can tell by the look on my face.

609107


Even with my bike broke down and partially disassembled, an elderly couple walked up and remarked that I had a beautiful motorcycle. My response was thanks, but it would look better if it were running. I guess that there's an upside to everything.

After hopping up and down and cussing for a bit, I unloaded my motorbike and started trouble shooting. By then my friends saw that I was no longer with them (when they pulled into the Dairy Queen) had arrived on the scene with me. Brian and I (mostly Brian) checked fuses, wiring and the battery. The battery wasn't strong enough to power up anything so we deduced that it was time to replace it. It was the original. Brian found a place nearby on his smart phone that sold the battery that I had. He hopped on his motorbike and took off to get it before they closed. We put it in and it started up. On the road again! I kept an eye of the battery charging feature on the readout. It was charging at about 11.8 volts. Should be 12.5 or so. Brian and Philip said to let them know right away if it dropped to 11.0. We all had the Sena commo systems. Now we were heading to towards Tyler, Texas to the nearest Indian authorized dealer in case of further complications. About 10 miles down the road the battery dropped to 11.3. We turned around and headed back to Lufkin to get a room for the night since it was getting late. Next door to the hotel was an Outback restaurant, so we went there for dinner. The waiter dropped the tray with three 24 ounces mugs of beer and a margarita on our table as he arrived. Dang. He brought more, and was very careful this time. On the way to the restaurant, we ducked into the Tractor Supply Store and bought a battery charger. The battery charged up to 12.3 or so by the next morning. Philp and Brian thought that it would be best to disconnect all the lights on my bike before we rolled to avoid total battery discharge, so we did that and I rode in the middle of the pack. No more problems on the way to Tyler.

It was a good feeling pulling into the parking lot of Broadway Powersports. Too bad that feeling didn't last too long. We told the shop manager that we were on the road and of the problem with the bike. He said flat out that it would be four to six weeks before they could even take the time to look at it and asked with a straight face for me to leave it with if I could. I reiterated that we were on the road and that we could wait for a mechanic to look at it between projects. No dice. He said that they don't do that here. He really said that. Dang. No amount of pleading my case would help. Dang dang. One of the more sympathetic guys there overheard the story said that he could loan me one of their big battery chargers if that could help. He also got online and found two places that would look at my bike and had parts that could probably help me out. One was in Shreveport, La which was going the wrong way and the other was in Ft. Worth, Texas which was sort of on the way. He did say that they just started servicing Indian motorcycles there about three months earlier and the only Indian items they have on the shelf were t-shirts, tires, oil and filters. We walked across the parking lot for lunch at the What-A-Burger while the charger was hooked up on my bike. About an hour later it showed 11.5 volts, and I'd never make it to Ft. Worth like that. So at Brian's suggestion I rented a U-Haul van and trailer, loaded up and got back on the road in the direction of Ft. Worth. By now it was getting to be close to 3 in the PM, and the Indian shop in Ft. Worth closed at 7. We pulled into the parking lot in Ft. Worth around 5:30 and they jumped right on it. The Indian shop was not only right next door to a huge Harley shop, their parking lots were adjoining. Strange, but all I was really concerned with was getting my bike fixed. About 15 minutes later they determined the problem - the voltage regulator was broken. The shop manager (he did the work, all the mechanics went home for the day earlier) said that it looked like something struck it. I told him what happened and he said that was it, and that he could fix it in about an hour. He also said that he would not let the bike out of his shop without going over the entire electrical system since we were on the road and didn't need anymore surprises. Everyone agreed and we were out of there by 6:45. I cannot say enough good things about the good people at Ft. Worth Indian Motorcycle. The parts and service manager there is Lonnie Williams, and the general manager is Yolanda Retiz and both of them went the extra mile and bent over backwards to help me out. Yolanda even gave me a 10% discount for being a veteran. All I had to prove my status was my dog tags that I wear every day due to a medical alert tag I have to wear. She that was good enough for her. I asked Yolanda how things worked out being next door to the Harley shop. She said it worked great since the guy that owns the Indian shop owns the Harley shop too. Handling trade-ins is a breeze. Not bad, they have it all coming and going. We got back on the road and made it about 20 miles to Weatherford, Texas on Yolanda's recommendation. She said that the area where the shop is was not the best place to be after dark for some reason.

609108


Loading up for the ride to Ft. Worth. Don't worry, we stood the bike upright before ratcheting it down. Made that mistake once already. Never again!

609109


Brian riding me back to the Indian shop after dropping off the U-Haul. Naturally I do not want to ride the nut-to-butt thing, but desperate times calls for desperate measures you know. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, even if it means riding ***** with your buddy in an emergency.

Day 3. After a quick happy meal in the parking lot of Mickie D's, we were west bound and down again by 8:15 in the AM. Other than riding all day in the west Texas sweltering heat there were no surprises, which was a good thing. We crossed into New Mexico and stopped for the night in Artesia, NM. The sign on the bank across the street indicated it was only 104F, and this was 7 in the PM. It felt good to take a dip in the pool. It felt so good that we ordered pizza and ate by the pool.

That's enough for today. More to follow tomorrow.
 

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well sounds like an interesting trip so far... Indian is supposed to come out with a ADV bike.. I've really been thinking about getting into it...
 

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So glad you were able to adapt and find a good dealer. My buddy and I were coming back from Arkansas on a recent road trip and he blew a tire. We managed to get it to a HD dealer, but it was Sunday and they weren't going to be open until Tuesday. I suggested he do the rent a trailer thing, but he stayed overnight and the dealer shop employee came in on their day off to fix it. Good stuff. I've since found a Facebook group called NABR - North American Biker Rescue. A group of folks where you can put out an SOS call and people will help you get to somewhere. Good to have resources when needed.
 

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Thanks for sharing. Great story...

Cu,
Sven
 
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Loved reading every paragraph! Can't wait to read more.
 
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Dear dudes and the few dudettes who are members or just visitors of this fine forum, I recently completed a 4,686 mile motorbike ride with friends out west and I'd like to share it with y'all. It was 17 days in all on the road, riding every day and spending only two nights in one place. It was a fantastic trip to say the least. Saw many sights and places that we dreamed of, and at the same time had to pass on many many places that we wanted to see but just didn't have enough time to cover, or cover properly I should say. So that means there's another similar trip some time in the future.

Reporting on this adventure will take numerous posts, so bear with me please as this story will be a bit of a long and an ongoing one for several days until it's properly submitted.

First a little background on the event to set the stage.

There were four of us on this excursion, my friend Brian Berthelot, his wife Kim (she rode her own bike) and their friend Philip Underhill. I grew up with Brian and Kim in Baker, La. Brian's Mom was my Sunday School teacher. Kim lived a street over from me and down the road a bit in the old neighborhood. Philip dates a friend of Kim's now, and she's another friend and classmate of our's from Baker also. That's how I met Philip a few rides back. This was the group that was supposed to fly into Lisbon, Portugal and rent bikes, then go into Spain to catch a ferry over to Morocco, then tool around down there before crossing back over to Gibraltar, Spain again and back to Lisbon for the flight home. But that trip (scheduled for this past April) was scrubbed due to the Kung Flu. Dang. This most recent trip was an attempt to make up for it.

Me and my Indian. Day 1 of 17. I have on new Rev'it Cayenne motorcycle pants because I lost about 55 pounds and my old pants are sort of too big. The Icon jacket is several years old but since I burned a hole in the left sleeve when I dropped it on the tailpipe at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon I just might have to get a new one. Probably go with a Rev'it jacket this time, but not the same color of my pants since I don't want to make it look like I'm wearing a onesie. I'm wearing new Muck boots too. These are a great feeling set of manly footwear I'm here to tell y'all. A bit pricey, but worth every centavo. To round out my outfit I have on an el cheapo dry fit short sleeve shirt from Wallyworld, a pair of Army socks and no drawers. Just some el cheapo dry fit gym shorts from Wallyworld too.

View attachment 609104

Kim and Brian ride BMW AT bikes. Not sure what model, but they have off-road capability. Philip rides a KTM. Again not sure of what model, but he has off-road capabilities as well. The only thing that I like about their bikes are the strong saddle bags they call panniers. We did no off-roading on this trip apart from driving in a campground and a few restaurants with gravel parking lots. Well there was one stretch of road Utah that was all packed gravel but it proved to be no problems traversing it with my Chief Vintage at all. They are all excellent riders with dirt bike and racing experience. They have $800 sets of motorcycle pants and jackets. Vented, water resistant, armored, the works. Looks like onesies though, so I won't be in the market for them ever. They also keep after me about ditching the Indian and going to Euro metrics AT motorbikes like them. No way. Won't happen. Ever.

We departed Baton Rouge Friday September 25. Met up at a truck stop in Port Allen, Louisiana and topped off before heading out. Rendezvous time was 10:30 in the AM. By the time everyone was there and ready we finally rolled out about 11:15. West bound and down, with no specific plans, itinerary, or route planned out. Just ride west, keep an eye on the weather and make it up as we go along. I like trips like that. It adds to the excitement and adventure I think. Some people need much more extensive planning for a ride such as this. My couzan from New Orleans for example. He is so structured that a trip like this would cause him so much stress and anxiety that he'd have to go in for extended therapy and heavy sedation after getting home. I never thought to invite him for that reason. Don't get me wrong, he's a nice dude, but definitely he is so opposed to the "flying by the seat of his pants" concept and would be such an obstacle to the fun. But if you want a meticulously planned out trip, he's the man with the plan.

We headed due west and crossed the Sabine River at Merryvile, La. While about 20 out from Lufkin, Texas I hit something on the road, maybe a bolt or a rock, something like that . Saw it coming, but I didn't have time to veer off from hitting it. I was looking off to my left and when I looked back and saw it it was about 10 feet in front of me. I hit it and heard a loud sharp crack. I thought that the front tire had blown, but it handled well. Nothing else seemed to be wrong so I didn't think anything of it. We stopped for gas, a bathroom break and refreshments. A quick inspection revealed nothing out of the ordinary. So we rode on. I did notice that I was unable to engage the cruise control after getting on the road though. As we were in Lufkin and was merging onto a divided highway, I lost power and was not able to keep up with everyone. Luckily I was able to duck into a Mexican restaurant parking lot and coast to a safe spot.

View attachment 609105

Trying to sort out the problem. Me on the left, Philip in the middle, Brian on the right. Philp had one of those electrical tester thingees. He also has a drone that he launched form time to time for aerial pix.

View attachment 609106

I am not a happy camper at all as you can tell by the look on my face.

View attachment 609107

Even with my bike broke down and partially disassembled, an elderly couple walked up and remarked that I had a beautiful motorcycle. My response was thanks, but it would look better if it were running. I guess that there's an upside to everything.

After hopping up and down and cussing for a bit, I unloaded my motorbike and started trouble shooting. By then my friends saw that I was no longer with them (when they pulled into the Dairy Queen) had arrived on the scene with me. Brian and I (mostly Brian) checked fuses, wiring and the battery. The battery wasn't strong enough to power up anything so we deduced that it was time to replace it. It was the original. Brian found a place nearby on his smart phone that sold the battery that I had. He hopped on his motorbike and took off to get it before they closed. We put it in and it started up. On the road again! I kept an eye of the battery charging feature on the readout. It was charging at about 11.8 volts. Should be 12.5 or so. Brian and Philip said to let them know right away if it dropped to 11.0. We all had the Sena commo systems. Now we were heading to towards Tyler, Texas to the nearest Indian authorized dealer in case of further complications. About 10 miles down the road the battery dropped to 11.3. We turned around and headed back to Lufkin to get a room for the night since it was getting late. Next door to the hotel was an Outback restaurant, so we went there for dinner. The waiter dropped the tray with three 24 ounces mugs of beer and a margarita on our table as he arrived. Dang. He brought more, and was very careful this time. On the way to the restaurant, we ducked into the Tractor Supply Store and bought a battery charger. The battery charged up to 12.3 or so by the next morning. Philp and Brian thought that it would be best to disconnect all the lights on my bike before we rolled to avoid total battery discharge, so we did that and I rode in the middle of the pack. No more problems on the way to Tyler.

It was a good feeling pulling into the parking lot of Broadway Powersports. Too bad that feeling didn't last too long. We told the shop manager that we were on the road and of the problem with the bike. He said flat out that it would be four to six weeks before they could even take the time to look at it and asked with a straight face for me to leave it with if I could. I reiterated that we were on the road and that we could wait for a mechanic to look at it between projects. No dice. He said that they don't do that here. He really said that. Dang. No amount of pleading my case would help. Dang dang. One of the more sympathetic guys there overheard the story said that he could loan me one of their big battery chargers if that could help. He also got online and found two places that would look at my bike and had parts that could probably help me out. One was in Shreveport, La which was going the wrong way and the other was in Ft. Worth, Texas which was sort of on the way. He did say that they just started servicing Indian motorcycles there about three months earlier and the only Indian items they have on the shelf were t-shirts, tires, oil and filters. We walked across the parking lot for lunch at the What-A-Burger while the charger was hooked up on my bike. About an hour later it showed 11.5 volts, and I'd never make it to Ft. Worth like that. So at Brian's suggestion I rented a U-Haul van and trailer, loaded up and got back on the road in the direction of Ft. Worth. By now it was getting to be close to 3 in the PM, and the Indian shop in Ft. Worth closed at 7. We pulled into the parking lot in Ft. Worth around 5:30 and they jumped right on it. The Indian shop was not only right next door to a huge Harley shop, their parking lots were adjoining. Strange, but all I was really concerned with was getting my bike fixed. About 15 minutes later they determined the problem - the voltage regulator was broken. The shop manager (he did the work, all the mechanics went home for the day earlier) said that it looked like something struck it. I told him what happened and he said that was it, and that he could fix it in about an hour. He also said that he would not let the bike out of his shop without going over the entire electrical system since we were on the road and didn't need anymore surprises. Everyone agreed and we were out of there by 6:45. I cannot say enough good things about the good people at Ft. Worth Indian Motorcycle. The parts and service manager there is Lonnie Williams, and the general manager is Yolanda Retiz and both of them went the extra mile and bent over backwards to help me out. Yolanda even gave me a 10% discount for being a veteran. All I had to prove my status was my dog tags that I wear every day due to a medical alert tag I have to wear. She that was good enough for her. I asked Yolanda how things worked out being next door to the Harley shop. She said it worked great since the guy that owns the Indian shop owns the Harley shop too. Handling trade-ins is a breeze. Not bad, they have it all coming and going. We got back on the road and made it about 20 miles to Weatherford, Texas on Yolanda's recommendation. She said that the area where the shop is was not the best place to be after dark for some reason.

View attachment 609108

Loading up for the ride to Ft. Worth. Don't worry, we stood the bike upright before ratcheting it down. Made that mistake once already. Never again!

View attachment 609109

Brian riding me back to the Indian shop after dropping off the U-Haul. Naturally I do not want to ride the nut-to-butt thing, but desperate times calls for desperate measures you know. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, even if it means riding * with your buddy in an emergency.

Day 3. After a quick happy meal in the parking lot of Mickie D's, we were west bound and down again by 8:15 in the AM. Other than riding all day in the west Texas sweltering heat there were no surprises, which was a good thing. We crossed into New Mexico and stopped for the night in Artesia, NM. The sign on the bank across the street indicated it was only 104F, and this was 7 in the PM. It felt good to take a dip in the pool. It felt so good that we ordered pizza and ate by the pool.

That's enough for today. More to follow tomorrow.
[/QU
Looking forward to another chapter!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well sounds like an interesting trip so far... Indian is supposed to come out with a ADV bike.. I've really been thinking about getting into it...
Yeah I saw one while in the showroom waiting for my Indian to get fixed in Ft. Worth. The salesman said that Polaris hired a couple of engineers from BMW, hence the look. Still not my kind of bike or riding style. But it does look sort of cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Day 4. After a nice breakfast consisting of some sort of Tex-Mex overstuffed burrito at the hotel, we were west bound and down again.

I insisted on stopping at just about every DQ that we passed by, until it got to the point that just about every exit, crossroads and little town in west Texas and eastern New Mexico had a DQ. I'm not sure where this one is at, but we did eat lunch here. I always get a hot fudge sundae with either pecans or whatever nuts they have available.

609179


We saw a lot of this while on the road. Lots of desolate looking roads. A bit different from where we're from that's for sure. That's Philip leading out. I really cringe when it's his turn to lead out since he's a confirmed Iron Butt rider, and when he heads out, we're rolling. I'm more of a stop every hour and a half or so rider. It took several days for him to realize that I had to stop more frequently mainly due to the fact that I have a 5 1/2 gallon tank as opposed to their 7 gallon tanks. But still, stopping to tank up every 7/8 of a tank is still too long for me. My butt goes to sleep and I have one of those Wild Ass seats.

609181


This is Kim, and the background is different from what we were seeing for that last umpteen hundred miles. It looks like she has an antennae growing out of her helmet.

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That's me on the left. They take lots of pix. I'm more worried about losing a glove while riding.

609184



We stopped in the Lincoln National Forrest in south eastern New Mexico for a rest and to take in the sights since it was one of those scenic overlooks. That's me falling down as I got off my motorbike. As soon as I put my foot down right against the curb I lost balance and fell. Brian was taking a pic of Kim and I did the perfect photo bomb. Good thing that I was wearing my armored pants and jacket. They thought that it was funny.

609185



And now, for my next trick....

609186


Yeah I have a lot of gear. Most of it is camping gear. There's more to the story to that part, but we haven't gotten there just yet. Stay tuned.

That's my motorcycle Frogg Togg rain jacket I'm wearing. I put it on when it gets a bit nipply like it does in the upper elevations. We never had a drop of rain for the entire trip, but we did run into some cooler and some dang right cold temps though, and I was extremely glad to have my rain jacket bungee corded down for easy access. I highly recommend them. The Frogg Toggs, not the bungee cords. Bungee cords are nice, but they're just bungee cords. I use cargo nets too.

Next stop of interest was White Sands, NM. Now that was a neat place. We had to pick between this and Carlsbad Caverns because there's not enough time to see and do everything. I think we made a good choice. We didn't go to the missile range really.

609187


That's Brian on the left. Me in the background hoping that my motorbike doesn't tump over since we are parked in the sand. Brian got pulled off of his bike a little later after this pic. He was riding down the road with his right foot dragging in the sand piled up on the side of the road, sort of like the snow after it's been plowed. Some hard object in the sand grabbed him and held on and stopped him on the spot and his bike went down.

609188


There he is, down but not out. Philip is pretty quick on the draw with his camera. Of course he rode with it on a lanyard around his neck for those "must have" shots.

609190


A pretty cool looking group shot of us. Looks like snow. This was before Brian got yanked off his motorbike.

609191



That'll be enough for now. The website will only allow me to post 10 pix per post. Time for a break anyway. More to follow, stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A little rest stop along the way. I was just happy to make it out of Texas with all the trouble I had with my motorbike there. Out of chronological order I know, but here it is anyway. We didn't take one going into to Texas.

609212


More action at White Sands National Park. When I took my sunglasses off I was just about blinded by the glare. It was just that bright. As you can see there's not a cloud in the sky either which makes it worse. It's not really that bad, just don't take off your sunglasses and you'll be fine.

609203


A nice action pic of my manly footwear. Muck Boots. Try some.

609204


From White Sands, NM we rode west to Las Cruces, then up to Hatch, NM which is the green chili capital of the world they say. They are pretty good, spicy and not hot. I get them every year and use them in stews, jambalaya, pastalaya and gumbo. From Hatch we travelled northeast and made it to Silver City, NM. We stayed two nights there and used it as a base of operations to tour the area. Lots of hills and turns out that way, which was a bit of work for my and my Indian. My friends found it to be not so much of a challenge for their bikes and the fact that they ride terrain like this fairly often.

Kim made a "sand angel" and needed a little help getting up. You can't really see it but it's there.

609205


This is Kim again. She pulled too far off the main traveled portion of the road and almost dumped her bike when she put the kick stand down. They call them side stands. I think that kick stands sound better. Had to put a puck down for her.

609206




Here's one of the places we visited while in Silver City. Again there were lots of scenic riding out to see this place. Lots of twisties. Lots of ups and downs too. Real work.

609207


A little action shot on the road to Silver City.

609208


More action shots. I was glad that we finally ran up behind some slower moving traffic for awhile. The RV pulled over up ahead and we passed it. I signaled for Philip to pass me when I drug the left running board in a tight turn. At at that point I quit trying to keep up with them and just concentrated on trying to keep them in sight. That didn't work either. They always wait for me at the next intersection and I'm usually not very far behind them.

609209



More from along the road to Silver City.

609210



We saw this set up on the road. I guess that they couldn't decide if they wanted an RV or a travel trailer, so they went with both just in case. Lots of space like that.

609213


Time for lunch now. We're having chicken and sausage gumbo today!
 

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Day 4. After a nice breakfast consisting of some sort of Tex-Mex overstuffed burrito at the hotel, we were west bound and down again.

I insisted on stopping at just about every DQ that we passed by, until it got to the point that just about every exit, crossroads and little town in west Texas and eastern New Mexico had a DQ. I'm not sure where this one is at, but we did eat lunch here. I always get a hot fudge sundae with either pecans or whatever nuts they have available.

View attachment 609179

We saw a lot of this while on the road. Lots of desolate looking roads. A bit different from where we're from that's for sure. That's Philip leading out. I really cringe when it's his turn to lead out since he's a confirmed Iron Butt rider, and when he heads out, we're rolling. I'm more of a stop every hour and a half or so rider. It took several days for him to realize that I had to stop more frequently mainly due to the fact that I have a 5 1/2 gallon tank as opposed to their 7 gallon tanks. But still, stopping to tank up every 7/8 of a tank is still too long for me. My butt goes to sleep and I have one of those Wild Ass seats.

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This is Kim, and the background is different from what we were seeing for that last umpteen hundred miles. It looks like she has an antennae growing out of her helmet.

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That's me on the left. They take lots of pix. I'm more worried about losing a glove while riding.

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We stopped in the Lincoln National Forrest in south eastern New Mexico for a rest and to take in the sights since it was one of those scenic overlooks. That's me falling down as I got off my motorbike. As soon as I put my foot down right against the curb I lost balance and fell. Brian was taking a pic of Kim and I did the perfect photo bomb. Good thing that I was wearing my armored pants and jacket. They thought that it was funny.

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And now, for my next trick....

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Yeah I have a lot of gear. Most of it is camping gear. There's more to the story to that part, but we haven't gotten there just yet. Stay tuned.

That's my motorcycle Frogg Togg rain jacket I'm wearing. I put it on when it gets a bit nipply like it does in the upper elevations. We never had a drop of rain for the entire trip, but we did run into some cooler and some dang right cold temps though, and I was extremely glad to have my rain jacket bungee corded down for easy access. I highly recommend them. The Frogg Toggs, not the bungee cords. Bungee cords are nice, but they're just bungee cords. I use cargo nets too.

Next stop of interest was White Sands, NM. Now that was a neat place. We had to pick between this and Carlsbad Caverns because there's not enough time to see and do everything. I think we made a good choice. We didn't go to the missile range really.

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That's Brian on the left. Me in the background hoping that my motorbike doesn't tump over since we are parked in the sand. Brian got pulled off of his bike a little later after this pic. He was riding down the road with his right foot dragging in the sand piled up on the side of the road, sort of like the snow after it's been plowed. Some hard object in the sand grabbed him and held on and stopped him on the spot and his bike went down.

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There he is, down but not out. Philip is pretty quick on the draw with his camera. Of course he rode with it on a lanyard around his neck for those "must have" shots.

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A pretty cool looking group shot of us. Looks like snow. This was before Brian got yanked off his motorbike.

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That'll be enough for now. The website will only allow me to post 10 pix per post. Time for a break anyway. More to follow, stay tuned.
every time I read "west bound and down "I think of Smokey and the Bandit".. with Jerry Reed singing that damn song
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Day 6

When we left Silver City, Philip headed for a motorbike shop in Phoenix, Arizona and Kim, Brian and I headed northeast towards Winslow, Arizona. Philip had to replace his chain and rear sprocket because he didn't think that they would hold out for the rest of the trip. This is his bike up on the rack getting the works. He said that it was 108F when he got there.

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While Philip went off on his side trip to Phoenix, we headed north by northwest into northeast Arizona. The route that Kim chose was a 107 mile stretch of US Hwy 180 that was chock full of twisties, curvies, uppies, downies and whatever else you can think of that makes for an interesting ride. I thought that the roads around Silver City were overly challenging. And the scenery along the way was breathtaking. Breathtaking is a pretty strong description I think. Maybe beautiful would be a better choice of words. I've never ridden it but Brian and Kim said that the felt that this stretch of highway was more difficult than the Tail of the Dragon road. They said that the Tail of the Dragon was too crowded and overrated. I've never ridden it but maybe one day just to see how it is and to say that I rode it and to see for myself.

Arizona!

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They like to put stickers on their panniers. That's one of the first things they look for in the gift shops after they go to the bathroom. They always say that I should put those stickers on my bike to show everyone where I went. I said that the only thing that goes on the paint of my motorbike is dirt and scratches. Besides, I collect squished pennies. I'm always on the lookout for those squished penny machines. They don't take up much room at all in the luggage either.

Don't run off the road over there.

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You can tell that the whitewalls on my Indian are starting to show grime. They were sparkling white when I left the house. I'm going to have to really put a good scrubbing on them when I decide to clean it.

Going into a tunnel somewhere in northeast Arizona. We went through many tunnels on this trip. Always reminded me of the coyote and the roadrunner. Tunnels are pretty neat.

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Philip caught up with us in Winslow, Arizona.

Yep, we went there.

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There's a flat bed Ford off camera right. Someone stole the girl mannequin out of it. Those bastards!

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This part of Winslow, Arizona is on Hwy 66, yep the Mother Road itself. All the gift shops in that area were playing Eagles music, and the single Take It Easy continually. I asked them if they got tired of listening to it all day long every day. They said "what music"?

After breakfast and buying stickers and squished pennies, we headed north into the wilderness. That's the area where I have to top off with gas every time I see a gas station. And we haven't seen a DQ since about halfway back across New Mexico at least. Man, I wonder how the people did it in the old days in covered wagons.

We stopped here for a bit and took some pix of this big bridge. Not sure where it was at but it was on the approach to the Grand Canyon. I think that it's Marble Canyon. You can't see them but there were people tubing down there in the water. There were signs up on bridge warning people not to throw stuff off the bridge because of the people tubing down below. Makes sense.


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This is another shot on the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The leaves turning look nice. At home they just turn brown and fall off after the first freeze.

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We saw a lot of buffalo along this stretch of highway. Running into one of those would make for a bad day, either in a car or on a motorbike.

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Well, I hit my 10 pic posting limit per post again. Time for another break.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Well, there's the Grand Canyon. They say that the vistas are much better on the South Rim. This was good enough. I wasn't about to ride all the way around this great big hole in the ground for better pix. We ate dinner at a cabin. I had the elk chili. It was pretty good I should say. After we watched the sun go down we camped for the night. That was a mistake. It was after dark by the time we found a place to set up camp. There was a full moon out, so we could see a little. I decided not to pitch my tent. Just bivouac out in the crisp mountain air like when I was in the Army. Man talk about a big mistake that was. All I brought to bed down with was a poncho, poncho liner and a fleece blanket. I had loaned my sleeping bag out to someone and couldn't remember who I loaned it to, and I thought that what I was bringing would be good enough. Turned out that it went down to 27F that night. I woke up to go take a leak around 0330 in the AM and it was so cold I couldn't go back to sleep. Brian and Kim had brought their summer sleeping bags and said that they got pretty cold too. Philip had his winter bag and slept like a baby he said. If I had known that I would've rolled him and his tent down the hill because he wanted to camp a lot on this trip.

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Brian and Kim's campsite.

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Brian got up and make a fire about the time I decided that it was waaaaay too cold to go back to sleep, so I moseyed on over there to get warm. He had a pot of coffee going too. Sure felt good. Now I remember why I got out of the Army. There were signs up at the entrance to the park saying that the fire hazard rating was medium, but there were no directives to not make a fire. We were so cold that we didn't even think of it at the time. I took my entrenching tool and buried the camp fire real good before we left. We poured water and peed on it too. Not Kim though. She walked down the hill to brush her teeth while Brian and I were extinguishing the fire. Philp was still sleeping. Smokey the Bear would've been proud of us.

During the long sleepless night, I got up to stroll around a bit. That warmed me up some too. Even though it was a full moon out, there was not a cloud in the sky and you could see a bazillion stars. Now that was worth looking at. I thought that it was much more motivating than the Grand Canyon.

Later after we were loading up the bikes to go look for some hot breakfast (I had whisky, bottled H20, beef jerky and gummie bears in the saddle bag for emergencies), we saw a great big deer walking up the gravel road towards us. He stopped about 25 feet away and gave us a good look before angling off into the woods. It was about this time that we noticed some strange looking foot prints in the dirt around the campsite. Nothing I ever seen before. Brian said that they were buffalo tracks. They were hooves, but huge hooves. I did hear some bumping around while I was in and out of consciousness during the night, but didn't get up to investigate. Dang. Buffalo wandering that close to us. Well we were in their neighborhood.

We found a place to eat breakfast about 20 miles down the road. Over breakfast Kim and I decided that we would not be camping anymore. Brian didn't argue but we could tell that Philip was interested in camping some more. To hell with that, I stopped at the first UPS Store we drove by and shipped my camping gear to my Mom's house. Didn't insure it because I really didn't care if it made it home or not. I was that opposed to the concept of camping any further.

Philip and his tent.

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Day 7

We stayed at the restaurant eating breakfast and chatting for a couple of hours. Nobody was in a hurry to get out in the cold and back on the road. Turns out that our waitress was from Louisiana, not very far from where we were all from. She was so happy to talk to us, and we could tell that she was very homesick. She had been there since the summer and was going to be home by Thanksgiving. After the Christmas break she was going to a school in Dallas, Texas to learning farriering. I didn't know what that was. She said that a farrier was someone who shoed horses, and she was going to learn how to shoe horses at a real good school for that in Dallas. Strange job for a cute girl I thought. There are lots of horse tracks in Louisiana though so who knows.

After our rather lengthy breakfast stop, we continued mostly north and a bit to the northwest towards Utah.

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He we are in Utah. It was a good bit warmer by now I might add, which was a good thing.

We rode into Utah a bit, then ended up staying in Page, Arizona for the night. Page is right near the Utah border. That's where I shipped my camping gear home from. The next morning we headed north east towards one of the stops that I requested. It was my highest priority. The famous Forrest Gump road. Yes, that one from the movie when he was running along, stopped and turned to tell the group following him that he felt tired and wanted to go home.

Day 8

Here it is!

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More of Monument Valley. That's where Forrest Gump Road and Forrest Gump Hill is located.

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I wasn't exactly sure where it was. It was just a mark on the map feature on my iPhone. In the movie, Forrest and his people were running from south to north. That's the way we were riding. We were tooling along down in that long stretch of blacktop in the distance and I glanced into my rear view mirror and noticed that what was behind me looked awful familiar. You can see just so much in a motorcycle rear view mirror you know. Just about where that pull over spot is is when it dawned on me that we were there. Right about where this pic was taken a van had pulled over. There were about 20 Chinamen out there taking pix. A lot of them were running along in a group and one was out front recreating the scene from the movie. They were hollering "run Rorrest run run Rorrest run! Man they were having a ball. After they left it was just us there doing the same thing.

We called this formation Nipple Top. Not sure what the Native Americans called it or it's real name. If y'all never rode Monument Valley y'all should really consider it. Cool place.

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That's me in the mirror. Not the man in the mirror, me in the mirror. They like to take mirror pix like that. Meh.

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This is about all I feel like doing today. Probably won't get back with y'all until Monday when I get back to work. Got a real busy weekend coming up, so enjoy the pix and catch y'all later!
 

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How did you remember all the details? Did you voice record during the rides and compile them to make this or did you write the experience down as you encountered them?

@A-58
 

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Discussion Starter #19
@A-58
[/QUOTE]
How did you remember all the details? Did you voice record during the rides and compile them to make this or did you write the experience down as you encountered them?

@A-58
No notes, I just sit and think and look at the pix, the map, look at Kim’s, Brian’s and Philip’s Facebook posts, check with them for details and then churn out the Reader’s Digest version y’all see here. It does take awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What a hoot! Love your details and self deprecating humor, anxious to read more!
Philip made numerous videos with his drone and is compiling a montage movie for us at a later date. I’ll try to post it here if possible.
 
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