Thursday, June 15, 2006

Final Entry....Home Sweet Home.

Well, my calculations were wrong , as usual. Did not get home until 3:45am Tuesday morning. That would be almost 22 hours of driving time. Covered 1106 miles in that time. Too bad I didn't sign for an Iron Butt ride. The traffic and road construction in Houston was terrible to say the least.
Anyway, after getting home, I more or less died. Slept for 1 1/2 days. The bike is a mess and so is my butt. Still numb along with my left hand. The ride from Florida was all in the rain until we got into Alabama. Then it got really hot the rest of the way. Had to stop several times to soak my shirt with water to stay cool.
Miles from first corner to fourth corner was about 7,050 and total trip miles were 10,764. These numbers are taken from my odometer instead of figuring map miles.

Tour Map (click it)

Some other stats that might be interesting:
Equipment failure on bikes - Gold Wing, front tire valve stem - VTX, turn signal bulb and rear tire
Number of gas tank fill ups - VTX, 90 - Gold Wing, about half that
State with best roads - all of them except one
State with worst roads - Michigan
States with most road kill - Minnesota, Wisconsin
States most likely to have an animal walk onto the road - Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Maine
States with most rainfall - the whole east coast
Worst traffic areas - LA, Phoenix, Montreal, Houston
Best sights - every where
Number of states crossed (USA) - 29
Number of provinces crossed (Canada) - 3
Number of tropical storms (Alberto) -1

So, that's about it. Thanks to everyone that sent an e-mail for support and encouragement. Will try to respond to each one.
It was a great trip. We live in an awesome country. Would I do it again?, nope, never!!!

More Trip Photos (click em')

Monday, June 12, 2006

Houston, Texas: Near The Finish Line

We're plowing on through. By the time most of you read this we'll be back home. Should arrive by 2:00 am Tuesday. Thanks to Charles Lamb for the detailed tour map he created. I'll be updating the site in the next day or so with more photos and text. Thanks to everyone who dropped by the site. It's been one great trip, we're glad you could be there.

Tour Map: 10,764 miles total (click it)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lake City, Florida

We got bored and decided to head for Texas on the last leg of the tour. We rode in a downpour the whole way. We didn't find out until later that the storm was upgraded to a tropical storm named Alberto. Crossing bridges over water (especially in the Keys) was rather intense with winds gusting to 30 mph. Considering that we rode through a tropical storm, it wasn't that bad. If it would turn into a hurricane and keep moving West, we could be home in a couple of hours.
Key West, FL to Lake City, FL (click to see route)

Lake City, Florida Satellite Image

High Temp: 94, Low Temp: 72, Wind-SE, 15-30mph
Skies cloudy
Next Stop: Houston, TX (click to see route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 811.5 miles Time: 12 hrs 6 min

Key West, Florida

As you can see from the satellite image, it's still real wet around here. So we're just going to hang out at Sloppy Joe's Bar until it stops. Thinkin' about another nap.

Key West, Florida Satellite Image
High Temp: 83, Low Temp: 79, Wind-SE, 16-25mph
Skies filled with water
Next Stop: Pensacola, FL (click to see route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 885.5 miles Time: 13 hrs 36 min

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Key West, Florida. The Fourth Corner

Hurray. We completed the fourth corner and stopped the clock at 10:46 am this morning. So we completed the run in 15 days. We picked up Barbara at the Ft. Lauderdale airport before continuing on to Key West. Next stop is Pensacola. I'll let you know the total trip miles after we make the full circuit to Ft. Worth, TX. As you can see from the satellite photo, we're getting slammed by some vicious thunderstorms. Winds are gusting to 30 mph. We'll wait out the weather before continuing. Stay tuned, more photos on the way. Me? I'm taking a long nap.

Key West, Florida Satellite Image

High Temp: 83, Low Temp: 79, Wind-SE, 16mph
Skies filled with water
Next Stop: Pensacola, FL (click to see route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 885.5 miles Time: 13 hrs 36 min

Friday, June 09, 2006

Florida City: The Tour End is in Sight

But we still have a long way to get home...
Saint George, SC to Florida City, FL (click to see route)

Key West, Florida Satellite Image

High Temp: 86, Low Temp: 80, Wind-SE, 16mph
Skies spongy, and rain, rain, rain
Next Stop: Pensacola, FL (click to see route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 885.5 miles Time: 13 hrs 36 min

Hey everyone.
Sorry not to have posted any text in the last three days. Have had lots of trouble trying to get connected in the last three hotels. (In case you're wondering, the audio is done by cell phone. Cool, huh?)
The last three days have been a trip. Lots of miles behind us, most of it in the rain. Tuesday had my rear tire replaced in Bangor, ME. Tread was down past the wear bars and was starting to vibrate. The guys at Bangor Motorsports got me in and out in less than an hour. Thanks very much to Luke, Rick, and Josh in the shop. Extremely great price on the tire and labor. Check em' out if you are in the area.
Good deal that the tire was changed Tuesday because Wednesday we woke up to rain. A steady miserable down pour. Did not get out of it till about 2:30pm. One intense moment to report, I was following Gary up an incline turning to the left and hit a slick spot. Bike almost came out from under me. Was very lucky that it didn't.
Spent Wednesday night in Roanoke, Virginia. Just so happens that the Hot Rod Power Tour was in town. There were more hot rods and muscle cars than one could imagine. I was told that there were over 2500 cars on this year's tour. Stayed up way too late talking drag racing, cars, and joke telling.
Started out Thursday morning and wasn't on the road for an hour and here came the rain again. Finally got out it at about 11:30am. Goal today was Deals Gap and the infamous Dragons Tail run. The ride from Knoxville, TN was great. Made it to the start of the Tail at 2:00pm and went after it. WOW, there are 318 very sharp turns in 11 miles. Might need some new foot pegs when I get back, VTX's are kinda too low to be doing that stuff. All kinds of bikes and cars were there making the run. Made it to the bottom and stopped in at the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort and had lunch. There were about 250 bikes there and more coming in. Left about 4:30pm and made it to St. George, South Carolina before another rain storm caught us with out any gear on. Got thoroughly soaked.
Left St. George, SC this morning and made it to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and picked Barbara up at the airport. Stopped tonight in Florida Cty, FL.
Will head out for Key West tomorrow and make the last corner and end this craziness.

Tree of Shame at Dragon's Tail (click it)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Saint George, South Carolina

Fall Into The Gap.
this is an audio post - click to play
Roanoke, VA to Saint George, SC (click to see route)

Saint George, SC Satellite Image

High Temp: 91, Low Temp: 67, Wind-NE, 7mph
Skies clear, sunny
Next Stop: Fort Lauderdale, FL (click to see route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 547.2 miles Time: 8 hrs 24 min

Photos from Oregon segment (click em')

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Roanoke, Virginia

Cool Cars and Cold Beer.
this is an audio post - click to play
Sturbridge, MA to Roanoke, VA (click to see route)

Roanoke, Virginia Satellite Image

High Temp: 84, Low Temp: 61, Wind-W, 5mph
Skies cloudy, rain
Next Stop: Deal's Gap (click to see route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 157 miles Time: 3 hrs 41 min

Dragon's Tail (Deal's Gap) Website

Meet the Dragon (click to enlarge)

Photos from San Francisco segment (click em')

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Black Flys, and Mooses, and Tires. Oh My!
this is an audio post - click to play
Madawaska, ME to Sturbridge, MA (click to see route)

Sturbridge, Massachusetts Satellite Image

High Temp: 74, Low Temp: 54, Wind-NE, 10mph
Skies cloudy, rain tomorrow
Next Stop: Raleigh, Nawth Car-o-lina (click to see route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 672.1 miles Time: 10 hrs 28 min

Trip Photos
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Monday, June 05, 2006

Madawaska, Maine. Three Down, One to Go.

Rolled into Madawaska, Maine today. I lied, we pushed it. What a ride.
Check out the route.

Rocket Convention and Sunny Beaches.
this is an audio post - click to play

Madawaska, Maine Satellite Image

High Temp: 67, Low Temp: 50, Wind-NE, 6mph
Skies clear
Next Stop: Gary's working on it. I'm thinkin' south. Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 0 miles Time: 0 hrs 0 min

Click here for total miles to date and actual route.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Toronto, Ontario, "Avast ye matey!"

We popped out of bed at 4:00am after a full nights sleep (3 1/2 hours) and loaded up and headed for the ferry. Only took about 30 minutes to get there and there was a nice snack bar/waiting area serving breakfast stuff. Waited about 30 minutes before the ferry started loading. We were first on, but the ferry was not going to be very full. Straps were provided to tie the bikes down. After that was taken care of we checked out the uppper deck and the seating area. Very large captains chair to kick back in and enjoy the ride. Talked for awhile to some other people that had brought their bikes on board for a ride in Michigan and then sat down in one of the chairs and was out like a light (Gary too). Anyone know how far it is across Lake Michigan? Didn't wake until the ferry was pulling up to the dock 3 hours later.
Didn't get any pictures crossing the border into Michigan. I guess there is a sign out in the middle of the lake. Could not take any pictures at the border going in to Canada, the Officers there would not allow it. Felt like we were back at the Golden Gate Bridge. Headed towards Port Huron, Michigan and the Canadian border. Crossed into Canada about 2:00pm and arrived in Toronto about 5:30pm. Will stop for the night and catch up on some sleep and blog back log.
Will head east on Hwy 401 to Montreal and then I 20 to Quebec. Quite possible to be in Madawaska, Maine tomorrow night. Will not push it though.

Toronto, Ontario Satellite Image

High Temp: 63, Low Temp: 53, Wind-NW, 5mph
Skies partly cloudy
Next Stop: Quebec (click for route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 496.4 miles (after ferry) Time: 7 hrs 43 min

June 3, 2006 - Long, long ride today. Started at 7:00am and did not stop until 11:10pm. Drove from Bismark, ND to Milwaulkee, WI. I think that winds up being about 770 miles, give or take a few. Went to sleep at midnight.
First stop of the day was at Gun & Reel Sports Honda to get another look at Gary's front tire. They got him in right away and pulled the tire off and went to looking for the leak. Dustin, the mechanic, found the problem right away. The valve stem, which had been checked several times was bad. The tire was dismounted and a new valve stem installed, then remounted. The whole job took about 1 1/2 hours.
While the work on Gary's bike was taking place, I was inspecting my rear tire , which is looking worse every day. Have lowered and raised air psi and it still is wearing really bad. The front tire still looks new, so I don't have an answer for this. Looks like I'll be replacing a tire very soon. Metzlers should wear better than this.
On the run across Minnesota nothing out of the ordinary happened. Going into Wisconsin looked like more of the same until we started seeing animal carcasses littering the road. Looked like an animal wrecking yard. Deer, racoons, and whatever were strewn on either side of the road. Kind of thought might being seeing cows and horses among them sooner or later. When we decided to make it into Milwaulkee, we knew that it was going to be dark before arriving and the thought of being on that road at night was scary. Expected to see a deer flying over the top of a semi and landing in front us at any time. Or worse, one just walking out in front off us. Well, too much thinking for nothing, we did not see anything.
Arrived at the hotel at 11:10pm and it was midnight before we got to sleep. Had to get up at 4:00am to catch ferry across Lake Michigan so I didn't post anything on the blog.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Do They Serve Beer Here?
this is an audio post - click to play
Milwaukee to Muskegon (Lake Michigan) Ferry (website)

Milwaukee, WI Satellite Image

High Temp: 73, Low Temp: 54, Wind-NE, 10mph
Skies sunny and clear
Next Stop: Sarnia, Ontario (click for route) Start Time 7:30am
Distance: 221 miles (after ferry) Time: 3 hrs 8 min

We'll be in Canada tomorrow. Go Oilers.

Montana To North Dakota Photos