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BigJohnSD and Festar Ride Again


'21 R1250 GS Adv
My Mate, Brother from another Mother, and absolute best friend Brian (Festar) from OZ arrives in Rapid City today at 1600. We have ridden over 100,000 miles together in the USA and Australia since 2014. This is the first time he has been able to come to the USA since 2019 and COVID.

Our good friend, Pterodactyl/AKBeemer, has graciously loaned Brian a motorcycle for the almost two months and at least 15,000 miles he will be here (he flies home on July 2nd).


Our "Plan" or my plan, as Brian doesn't plan, is to leave Spearfish on Saturday, May 11th, and ride to Omaha, spend the night at my sister-in-law's, then ride to Palmyra MO on Sunday before heading to a friend's in Lafayette, LA on Monday via the back roads of MO, AR and LA. We will arrive at Joey's in Lafayette on Tuesday evening, then head to Turk's in Jemison, AL on Thursday before riding to Toter's tech day Friday-Saturday somewhere near Jasper GA (Joey is in charge of Lafayette to Toter's).

From Toter's, we will accompany our friend Josh through Kentucky and Indiana to Georgetown IL.

Our route from Georgetown back to Spearfish is TBD but we will be in Spearfish for Memorial Day weekend.

After Memorial Day we will head to Pterodactyls in Helena for a few days of bike maintenance.

Leaving Pterodactyl's on Wednesday 5/29 we will head West towards Fred's in Wenatchee arriving Sunday, June 2nd.
Fred has plans for us for a few days at the lake.

Wednesday or Thursday we will head South to intercept Tyler's NORCAL ride in Ukiah or Weed.

We plan on hanging with Tyler through Sunday and then heading to Nevada City CA for a day or two, hopefully, Doug will be able to take a day off and ride with us on Tuesday, June 11th. The Laporte Quincy Road must be revisited as Brian was last on it in 2014.

From Doug's, we will make our way to rendezvous with 5,000 of our closest friends in Redmond, OR at the national BMW MOA Rally where we will join Pterodactyl (Kevin and Annie) and several of the Black Hills BMW Riders for a couple of days.

Sunday, June 16th we head for Spearfish arriving Tuesday or Wednesday to put on the 2024 Black Hills Rendezvous.

After the BH Rendezvous, we plan on heading North West to Helena, via the Beartooth Pass if it is open, fingers crossed, arriving Monday, June 24th.

Tuesday, June 25th we will take off for Eureka MT, and then on Wednesday, June 26th head to Lake Country BC for a few days with Dave and Sylvia Dykes.

Friday, June 28th we will ride to Fort Benton MT, and then on Saturday to Helena to return Brian's loaner bike.

SWMBO will pull my trailer to Helena and bring Brian and me home on Sunday, June 30th.

July 2nd Brian flies home

Stay tuned - Updates and most likely changes to follow!

Spotwalla Track Link Here - https://spotwalla.com/trip/9d15-384bb9f-5875/view
Don't forget Barber's Vintage Motorsports Museum just east of Birmingham (off Exit 140 on I-20). You'll be close on your way from Jemison, AL to Jasper, GA. It's definitely worth a couple of hours or more (if you have the time). https:.//www.barbermuseum.org
After a 100 mile shakedown through the Black Hills on Friday, Festar's and I set out for Omaha bright and early this morning.


A 580 mile 10 hour jaunt through SD and NE ended at my Sister in laws house.


We picked up our friend Scott in Rapid City, he rode with us as far as Valentine NE and lunch before heading back home.


Lunch in Valentine was great but as it was High School Graduation Saturday in Nebraska, service wax slow.

Scott chose a Bacon, Cheeseball, Pepper jack cheeseburger which looked like a heart attack on a p!ate!


Brian had a good Philly Cheese steak and I settled for a BLT. The Onion Rungs were excellent!


It was a beautiful day for a ride across the varied topography of Nebraska. Nary a cloud in the sky and temperatures between 65 - 81 F.



After a quick change and a few glasses if wine Brian and I cooked what Mary and Jim had provided - Rib Eye (Scotch Fillet in Australian), fresh grilled asparagus, and BigJohnsSD's special potatoes.




It didn't last long!


Tomorrow morning we head South East to Palmyra, MO. Stay tuned!
Looks like fun.
2 things.
1) I love BLTs also.
2) Your SIL and I have the same exact grill although hers looks to be in better shape.
Had mine more than 30 years now. It is a work horse.

Stay safe.
I still haven't found a half-decent Philly cheese steak anywhere outside of the northeast... Most of the places that advertise them have no idea what they REALLY are. :eat
A little shorter ride today from Omaha across Missouri to Palmyra MO.


Mostly straight roads, not boring though, lots of changes of both color and terrain.



More than a few bugs died making this post!


And a Courthouse for Hppants!


Then Festar abandoned me fleeing the scene when Mort arrived to ask questions!


Actually Mort was quite an interesting fellow, been riding since a Honda 305 Dream which he rode to the West Coast back in the day. Has a BMW R1150RT now. Health issues keep him close to home. But he was a quite talkative Bloke!

We ended our day with a rendezvous with Zzipp Skip in Kirksville, MO and he led us to Palmyra MO on some nice roads.

Good dinner and a planning session afterwards. We head straight south tomorrow with a target of Hazen AR. - Stay tuned.
Monday 13 May '24

Palmyra MO to Hansen AR - mostly on MO-19


After coffee with


Skip and Gail






and Angus

We (Skip, Brian, and I)hit the road headed to breakfast at 0730 under threatening skies. The Java Jive, Hannibal MO was our destination.


Java Jive is a regular haunt for Skip, they gracefully accepted us out of towners.


When we left Hannibal about 0930 the skies were threatening and the radar didn't look too good.




Crossed back to the West side of the Missouri River

We did pretty good weather wise until we got to Cuba MO, only receiving a few sprinkles,



but between Cuba MO and Mountain Home AR it was a steady rain. We followed a fellow from Iowa on his brand new Tracer 900 through heavy rain for about 90 miles.



Brian and I rolled into Hansen about 1800 I was wet, my neck scarf wicked water inside my jacket. My waterproof boots aren't anymore, and my waterproof gloves aren't either. Brian's boots were wet. The hairdryer is working overtime tonight.

Dinner at the Mexican restaurant in the motel parking lot. Fajitas and a beer for both of us.

Tomorrow - Lafayette LA and some Cajun Cuisine!
So with the "plan" under revision due to circumstances beyond our control, we reached out for help this morning. Multiple helpful friends suggested a day ride in the Ozarks. Yes it is/was in the wrong direction - NW of Hansen AR, rather than SE, the intended direction of movement, but we took "your" advice and were suitably rewarded. A bit of background - whenever Festar's (Brian) rides a new road, it is always " the best road I've ever ridden". I heard that a lot today. AR-7, AR-16, AR-21, AR-215, AR-123 and there are surely some we rode that I missed.


The Oark Cafe/Store was closed :( but the Turner Bend store was open and the Ice cream was good.


Random photos on the fly today are not very good.










We dodged most of these rain showers which threatened us all day. Stopped to eat to avoid a thunderstorm crossing I-40 near Moralton, AR. Then proceeded back to our cheap thin towel motel at Hazen AR.

Tomorrow we head for Jemison AL.

"The Ride is the Road, and, The Road is the Ride!"
Wednesday, 15 May '24, Hazen AR to Jemison AL

We rolled out of Hazen around 0830 bound for our friend Turk's in Jemison AL. Turk and his lovely wife Janna accommodated our changed schedule and welcomed us into their home.


Area random photos across Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. So lush and green, just a beautiful day to ride.


Crossing the Mississippi at West Helena AR






Passed Tupelo - birthplace of "The King"!


We finished the day with a relaxing visit on the porch

Followed by a great Mexican dinner at a local favorite restaurant.

Next - Jemison to " Tech Day" in Fairmount GA
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Thursday 16 May, '24 Jemison AL to Fairmont GA over the back roads.



Beautiful smooth twisty roads through the forests all day!




A little more traffic today.


The WEAX forecast is for lots of rain Friday and Saturday, we will be working under cover in a nice shop for our "Tech Days" Sunday, our next travel day, is looking better WEAX wise as we head up through Kentucky towards Georgetown IL.
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PM Thursday,16 May - Noon Saturday, 18 May - "Toter's Tech Days" - Fairmount GA

Brain Cells may have been harmed at this event. What could possibly have gone wrong. Fourteen various men working, servicing, riding motorcycles. Cooking, eating, cleaning, shooting, and possibly drinking when all was done and out away.

Just a few random pictures of this excellent event here:


Our host "Toter"


Electrical problems were corrected


Our Aussie Supervisor - FESTAR



Harley wannabes


Suspension linkages were serviced


FESTAR supervising



Stories were embellished




Canadians came and went





Ammunition was expended


Liquor was consumed


Food was prepared



And eaten!

It was a great couple of days!
Noon Saturday, 18 May - 1900 Saturday 18 May, 2024
Fairmount GA - Falls of Rough KY

We had been closely watching the WEAX all weekend and saw a "dry" window to get halfway to our next destination. So at noon we loaded up and departed Fairmount and headed Northwest towards Georgetown IL. Our plan was to ride until dark, or as it is known in these parts " Deer-Thirty". We stayed on rural roads only hitting the four lane for two or three brief intervals to get onto another rural route. Unbeknownst to me my Garmin In reach battery expired somewhere in Tennessee so I don't have today's complete track :( !

We avoided all but a few sprinkles and were clear of any WEAX threat once North of I-40.


Threatening skies to the North at launch!


Lots of "Tree Tunnels" and beautiful roads



The obligatory afternoon snack





Dinner in Gamaliel, KY. The three pork chops with two sides and a drink was $11, the Ribs with two sides and a drink were $13. Not certain how they are making any $$.




We rode just a few minutes too long but no deer were sighted or struck. Another great day!
"Take me out and make me ride my motorcycle" - Scott Henley
"The road is the ride, and the ride is the road" or vice versa.
Sunday -19 May, 2024 - Falls of Rough KY to Georgetown IL






Breakfast in KY overlooking the Ohio River





The boys indulged me with a stop to visit my Mom near Plainview IN.





Josh doing the Math - Gramps born in 1853, Mom born in 1922!
Conclusion - Gramps was a randy old goat!


We went to Paris


A courthouse for Mssr Pons

We arrived at Josh's in Georgetown IL about 1630, did a little maintenance and then sat in the cool, Josh grilled and we ate great steaks, then watched the NASCAR All Star Race and the Denver - Minnesota BBall game 7.


Our route on Sunday and Monday
Monday, May 20, 2024 - Georgetown IL to Altoona IA

We were on the road at 0700 to avoid some storms.


It was beautiful, 70f and calm.

We headed West on I-74 to get past Champagne IL, but by the time we got off the slab the wind had started to blow!

We crossed the Mississippi at Keokuk IA


The wind blew us to a friend and fellow rider's home in Altoona, IA.


The WEAX looks sketchy for tomorrow morning. We will try to skirt the storms by first streaking West on I-80, then reassessing at Omaha. Stay tuned, it will be an adventure!
Hanging tight here in Altoona until the Storm line passes us by about 0930.


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Tuesday 21 May 2024 - Altoona IA to Sioux Falls SD
300 miles today, 4150 miles since we left Spearfish SD on 11 May 2024


We hung tight at Craig's until this large cell passed.


Sirens were sounded for 70mph straight line winds, Craig got over an inch of rain in less than an hour. The cobbler was great!


Craig picture

Lots of standing water in the fields as we worked our way North and West, watching the radar on the Garmin XT and trying to navigate around storm cells.


Eventually we got caught and spent an hour sheltered in a little gas station in Smithland IA.


A cup of coffee, A tube steak, and a soft serve cone filled our time while we revised our route to try and get around the storm cells coming from the South West.

Eventually we got on I-29 and headed North towards Sioux City IA. The wind behind the storm was incredible 35-45 mph with higher gusts was blowing us across lanes. About 1630 we reached Sioux Falls and a Super 8 Motel for the night.

Home for the weekend tomorrow!

New headlight for the '21 R1250 GSA on Friday, the moving element in the adaptive headlight system is rubbing on the inside of the plastic lens.


Sturgis BMW has one in hand for a Friday morning extended warranty repair.
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So nice to have a well documented trip- with pictures!
Expect to see your trip in a Best of Forum!