Today I got my first taste of riding into the Rocky Mountains. It's like loading up a roller coaster. Every turn produced a more and more elevated view looking east. Spectacular!
I got to thinking about the first poor bastards trying to make their way to the Pacific and they come around to a clearing and see this awesome mountain range looming in the distance. They must have been heartbroken.
Some really pretty roads, the kind that Ol' Blue is at home carving up. Nice sweeping 50mph +/- curves where the excess baggage doesn't hinder her handling.
Speaking of baggage, I wanted to let everyone in on how I'm packed.
BMW Tank Bag: Wallet, GPS case, Canon 5D Mk III with 24-70 zoom, Microfiber Cloth.
BMW 50L Trunk: Laptop, First Aid Kit, Grooming Kit, Pouch with Cords, Headphones, Passport, Etc. Another Pouch with Tire Repair Kit, Flashlights, Manuals, Swiss Army Knife. A 70-200 Canon Zoom with a 1.4 Teleconverter. Various Clothes, Long Underwear.
BMW Waterproof Seat Bag: Touring Pants and Jacket, Extra Set of Gloves, Various Long Pants, (My Leather Jacket if I'm Wearing the Touring Garb), Bottled Water, Casual Shoes, Extra Socks and Underwear.
Left Side Bag: Two 1.5 Liter Full Gas Cans, Two Quarts BMW 20-50 Oil, Pouch with Various Tools, Roll-up Tool Kit with Practically Every Tool I Need to Pull Ol' Blue Apart, Rags.
Right Side Bag: My Dads Ashes, Bike Cover, Heavy Duty Rain Gear.
On my head is the sweetest Arai Corsair V, Fiction Red Helmet.
Back to the ride.
I took route 14 west out of Sheridan, heading for Cody. The ride was beautiful but the temperature couldn't make up it's mind. 78˚, 42˚, 80˚, 55˚. How do you gear up for stuff like that? I erred on the side of being too warm rather than too cold.
Out of Cody it was into Yellowstone. I love our nations parks and this one did not disappoint. Just a nice leisurely ride through some tremendous landscapes. Thought of my dad a lot. He would have liked it here, but only to visit. Not to stay. So I decided against leaving a little of him behind.
After about a 2 1/2 hour ride through the park, which included waiting for Old Faithful to do its thing, I picked up hwy 191 that runs along a shallow river (the name escapes me) where I saw several fly fisherman doing their thing. Then north to Bozeman and I-90, into Montana.
I decided to let the Beemer role. I set the cruise to 80, set back and enjoyed the scenery for the next 250 miles, arriving in Missoula, Montana.
So far the BMW has handled everything splendidly that I've thrown at her.
One complaint. The instrumentation sucks. The center info screen in particular. In the daylight, it's nearly impossible to read. It's recessed so I can only read it clearly with the sun directly over my shoulders. Add to this that the screen protector reflects terribly. The tank bag has a white/silver reflector material on its handle. Most of the daylight time that reflects right onto the screen. And the speedometer numbers, why didn't BMW just put a number for every single mph? Jeez. 10, 20, 30, 40, and so on makes the numbers too small to read at a glance. Make the mph numbers bigger, and just do the even tens; 20, 40, 60 and so on.
Hope the old girl doesn't get wind of her faults because when everything is said and done, she's one sweet ride.
Is that a road in the lower right? You betcha.
The river along the road.
The river mentioned running along the road is the Callatin River. Also, a lot of the Madison River comes into play.
This morning the old girl got a little bath and boy, did she deserve it. The Beemer clicked the 10,000 mile mark on her odometer this morning, having clocked about 6500 miles thus far on this adventure.
I took I-90 to BMW Spokane to pick up some oil and then hopped on U.S. Hwy 2, headed for Seattle.
This highway is the counterpart to U.S. Hwy 98 that runs through the panhandle of Florida. 2 provides a diverse ride, long straights, occasional towns, a canyon and some of the most beautiful mountain passes.
The ride today was marked with several thumbs up from moms, to kids, to cowboys, once they got a glimpse of my Florida plates. What a great feeling!
My Dad was in my thoughts a lot today.
Taking U.S. Hwy 2 to I-5 south marked a milestone in my journey. The east to west portion of the trip, for all intents and purposes, is complete.
The next leg takes me south into San Francisco.
From there, I head east.
So much more to report but FSU is playing Clemson, and my daughter goes to FSU and my Dad is a Gamecock. I don't like the Tigers.
10,000 miles on the clock
Last edited by manwohr; 10-09-2012 at 03:31 AM.
U.S. Hwy 2 mountain pass. Amazing.
Last edited by manwohr; 10-02-2012 at 01:28 AM.
I left Seattle this morning heading for the 101. It was sometimes a cold and foggy ride getting to the coast. I must be spoiled rotten because all of these great roads are at my disposal.
The weather, even with this morning's chill, has been fantastic.
The Beemer loves the 101's kind of roads, 35 - 45mph sweepers with an ocean view. She's running like a Swiss watch. I grow more impressed with the boxer twin each and every day. What a great power plant.
The beach and the views are enticing. A couple of times I considered stopping and throwing on my bathing suit and chilling on the beach. The pleasure however is in the ride.
The towns you go through on the 101 are very cool. Lots of character and charm.
I ended up stopping for the night at Coos Bay, Oregon. It appears to be a fishing, industrial type town. At this point in the day, all I need is a clean bathroom and a comfortable bed. Oh, and hi-speed internet.
Tomorrow I'll cross into California and let the adventure unfold.
Unless I'm mistaken, all that controls the universe seems to be working in my favor. Loading up at the hotel this morning, a couple of Harley riders heading to AZ told me horror stories about deer and near misses (isn't a near miss a hit?). I'm always looking for things emerging from the bush.
Since my hotel was right on 101 it wasn't hard to find. Heading south, I came across some beautiful Pacific coast scenery. Being from the tropics where the water just begs for you to jump in, these waters are scary. Rough, rocky (yo Adrean), cold, and deep blue. I just realized that the color of the waters in these parts are eerily similar to the color of my bike. A good sign.
Driving south, I turned off of every "scenic" road that was offered. It was no mistake. I experienced some of the most awe inspiring roads I've ever ridden; riding through the Redwoods. Highly recommended! I took a road called "Avenue of the Giants" and the mere presence of these magnificent wonders of nature stirred my soul to it's very core. Looking up at these giants, I couldn't help but assimilate them with my dad. He was like these trees. I felt like I did when I was a small child. Looking up at these trees was like looking up at my dad.
It's no wonder that I took out his urn and spread his ashes here. It just felt so right.
God, I miss him.
Okay, regroup. I made the turn off of Hwy 101 to Hwy 1. This road is fast and technical with lot's of switchbacks. Getting on 1, I saw that I had a black Dodge Viper in my rear view. Is this guy serious? The first turn was a sharp right hander that I almost lost it on. What an idiot. Hit the the next pull off and waved the Viper past. I was a "bagger" after all, carrying about 100 extra pounds of luggage. If ever there was a moment when I wanted my Brutale this was it. A funny thing happened however. With me not knowing the roads, and the Viper up ahead, I was able to see where the tough corners were. Long story short, when we came out of all the switch backs, the Viper had a rear view full of me and Ol' Blue! Fun stuff.
After a while the light started getting low. And one place you don't want to be is on 1 at night. I was scrambling to find a place to rest my weary ass, when all of a sudden, this place appears. The Sea Cliff Inn. On the ocean with a fireplace. Super clean and simply awesome.
It may be getting repetitive, but today was a good day.
Last edited by manwohr; 10-09-2012 at 03:35 AM.
Loved the Avenue of the Giants from yrs ago. I'm enjoying reading about your experiences on this adventure!
93 R100R Legend
After a great night's sleep in front of a toasty warm fireplace and fabulous Pacific ocean views, I awoke to a virtual "white out". The air was thick with fog. My ocean scenery was gone replaced with a blanket of white nothingness.
Then it all started to hit me. I had about 70 miles of Pacific Coast Hwy to negotiate. In addition to the immense fog, I was also faced with wet roads. Roads that don't allow any margin for error in the best of conditions. Insult to injury, my glasses and face shield continued to accumulate the moistness from the air requiring several pull offs to clear. This was probably some of the most defensive riding I have ever done. Lot's of first gear turns knowing that any mistake could result in not only a crash but a fall off of a huge cliff. I'm not sure if it hurt or helped that through the fog I was unable to see just how far the plummet could be. All this might have been a bit more fun if not laden down with 150lbs of gear.
After about three hours of white knuckle riding, my route took me east toward wine country. Finally, the fog cleared and the temp started to warm up. 55mph cruise and catching my breath.
I had had enough for the day and it was only 1pm.
Into my hotel bed and out until morning.
I'll be taking today off to sit, relax and reflect a little bit. Also going to determine if I'm going to head south to Newport Beach. Got a friend who's dad passed away not too long before my dad and he helped me out with all that goes with the territory, for which I cannot thank him enough.
I feel compelled to make the jaunt despite the 450 mile "detour".
Last edited by manwohr; 11-12-2012 at 03:42 PM.
PCH Foggy Turn Out. Wiping the moisture from my shield and glasses often. Very scary!
Last edited by manwohr; 10-02-2012 at 01:30 AM.
Louisbourg Light, NS
You brother are on a ride! Hope you make that connection in Newport Beach;
it seems as though we are all with you on the trip.