Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen Colorado and I’m staying downtown tonight…checkout the accommodations and the creek. Thanks to David, Tom, Jason and Scott for pointing me to the island in the downtown park and apparently the cops are pretty easy going that as long as they can’t see the tent from the road, should be ok. Now trying to figure out where to park the bike so as not to bring attention to myself and according to Steve, Aspen’s best bartender says the locals, park in residential. Found out in this town if you have too much to drink and leave your vehicle for the night, good chance it’ll get towed…just the kind of decision a drunk needs - should I take the chance on a DUI or pay for towing.

Took too long to get out of Denver, but that’s because things just weren’t going according to plan. Did get a couple loads of laundry done to wipe away the New Mexican dust, but things from there, well, ok, no plan, but you do kinda have an idea what you want to do. For starters found a local Best Buy to see if they could help with the camera, but no, not without sending it in to Canon and don’t have the time for that, that is unless you can go without the pictures. Time to move on and find a Harley shop that can help with some more nuts that have vibrated loose as well as a rattle…remember, that’s why women like riding Harleys. Thanks to Darrin for taking good care of me and getting me on my way, now if I could fix the squeak in the front brakes, I’d be happy.

Ran out of gas again, but thankfully the exit had a gas station. The bike definitely likes this higher altitude though cuz for those gear heads, I’ve gone from 32 mpg to about 40…not the greatest of gas mileage, but still trying to get this fuel injection figured out. Ended up back at the same place I had to call from the find the Harley dealer, but this time it was time to put the rain gear on. Didn’t get far from there because according to Darrin; remember from the Harley shop, a stop at Idaho Springs for something to eat is a must. Hit the Buffalo and had a great Buffalo burger and was almost talked into spending the day to relax, do the gold mine tour and hot springs, but eventually things started clearing up that it was time to move on…yep, I was that close.

What a spectacular view along the way. Made the trip west from Denver over the mountains and got to Vail, nice little downtown for a ski town, but looked pretty quiet. What an awesome ride and I mean awesome taking the Independence Pass from there to Aspen. The pass has only been open for a week because of the snow and traitorous driving, but hey, open just in time for me to take. Ok, so the camera only worked when it wanted to, but there were stretches that I just enjoyed the turn backs and again, get too close to the edge and if you go over, forget about coming back. You can see from the pictures that there’s still a lot of snow along the way and yep, it was cold, but still an unbelievable ride.

Ok, now why Aspen, and especially Little Annie’s, well, first of all, Aspen is a beautiful place to be and thought, hey, lets party with the rich and famous. Now Little Annie’s though, well, ran into Michelle and Rachel standing in front of this place saying it was the place to party in Aspen…oh, yea and it has the best bartender in Aspen, so gotta take their word for it. Am having a great time and tomorrow I should be able to make up some ground, wait a minute, I have all the time in the world, right? well, much more country to cover so more Colorado to see…awesome riding. Here are the awesome pics.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Denver, Colorado

Made it to the ‘Mile High City’ and just in time since the rain was setting in…that’s better than what it could be, snow. Everything worth seeing was from the Red River to Colorado Springs though, not much from there to Denver. Once again, never did see the sign entering Colorado, but that’s like so many of the other states crossed…finally realized it going thru a town boasting itself as the oldest city in Colorado, you know the one - San Luis…yep, never heard of it before.

Hello Rocky Mountains….what an unbelievable view and again the pictures won’t do it justice, but these aren’t just hills like we’re use to in the Midwest, but real mountains. Could’ve made a straight shot to Colorado Springs, but way too much of Colorado that has to be seen...Oh yea, wondering about the donut shop in Red River? needed something to get me going for the day. You can really tell when you’re getting into the mountains though, cuz it takes layers to stay warm…leather just won’t do.

Pikes Peak was unbelievable and not for the faint of heart especially on a motorcycle. About 10 miles of pavement and 8 miles of gravel and don’t get too close to the edge, ya go over one of those and you’ll never be coming back. I can’t describe it because it was an unbelievable drive and although very tense at times, you feel like accomplishing something when you reach the top…and cold? Nothing like going from the heat of hell in New Mexico to colder than a witches – ok, you get the idea. Didn’t take too many pictures while riding up or down cuz it takes all the concentration to keep the shiny side up on these roads, but check out the view from the top. Its breath taking, literally - after walking around the entire peak to take pictures I was outta breathe. Check it out, that’s real snow and tried taking a picture of my boot in it, ok, kept it on, but its real snow. Thought going down was going to be a lot easier than the climb, but it still took all your concentration and you can’t just coast, you have to drive it. There’s no way the brakes could keep you from getting going too fast for some of the turns so it’s riding in one gear most of the way…and again, don’t get too close to the edge, one slip and it’s over. Thought on the way up and down how many problems there are with some of the hairpin turns in Sturgis for bike week that I’d hate to see that many bikes trying to do this. Well for only an 18 mile drive, that took a couple of hours so it was on to Colorado Springs and once in town you have to checkout the Garden of the Gods, well, maybe not, but it was pretty interesting to see many of the rock formations.

Finally on the road to Denver and again, not much to see and freeway driving, well you can imagine on Memorial weekend what it’s like. Found a place on the way in to town, but someone told me I should head downtown cuz can get a room cheap and checkout the party street…right, couldn’t get out of there quick enough to find something half way decent for a decent price, but did end up here, another Motel 6 - time to clean the dust and grime of New Mexico away. More Rockies to see tomorrow and someone tells me gotta do the million dollar highway. Not only because of the view, but can imagine the cost in this area…hey; there’s as much road construction around here as back home. Let’s hope the rain goes away and especially, no snow.

Ok, although I may be lost hopefully I’m not forgotten that if you get a chance either comment on a blog and/or drop me an email, would enjoy hearing from those checking out, Where-is-Webby. Here ya go with the Pics.

Red River Run

Hey look at what I found a bike rally in the mountains of New Mexico. There must be something with riding a bike that it just seems to lead to these kinds of things, but it does help with who you meet along the way. Tried to get a perspective of what the ride there was like with pics, but just wanted to get there, figure out what was going on, where to stay and where the party was. So someone downtown tells me ‘tent city’ at the end of town is the place to stay cuz it’s close to the bars…checkout the picture, nothing but a dry, dusty horse ranch and for $20, what a mistake - ok, so deal with it, but that’s not what this weekend was all about.

The temps really started to change so a jacket was in order to get around. Tried to get some pictures of the snow capped mountains that are in the area and even visited the local ski area, noticed it wouldn’t open until Thanksgiving – so, the ski season in these parts is Thanksgiving to March…not very long, hey..

Found out early what the Red River Run is really all about and it’s just what we’re enjoying - Memorial weekend, but with the right perspective. I’m as guilty as any that when Memorial weekend comes along it’s only an extended weekend, the unofficial start of summer and depending on the weather a weekend to play and party. Well, from the original beginnings of this rally, it’s all about he veterans and honoring those who have given up their lives for our freedom…hell, I wouldn’t be able to be doing this if it weren’t for those who gave there lives for this country. Because of that, had to make a stop at the Veterans Memorial which was along what they call the enchanted loop and it was something that really hit home with me and what this weekend is all about. They had a video as part of the memorial and the one thing I remember is the letter read from a mother to her son who was killed in Vietnam…it was that although it was very painful having lost him, she would never give up the 21 years that she did get to have him even with the pain, than not have him at all…Please, just remember what this weekend is really all about – I won’t forget.

Ok, now more sights, but they were the ones I found at the bar/restaurant in town. Met Harold and Elena and although they were interested in the basketball game, from Phoenix ya know, so had to watch the Suns, Harold found time to tell me what rides through Colorado I should consider...Elena, well she wasn’t much help, but being from St Petersburg Russia, she was more into the basketball. Also had a table full of sights so of course had to whoop it up with them, Shanna, Tori and Denali…a couple of friends from Oklahoma city, sisters and one of them owned the place…well, yes there may be more, but that’s for me to know and you to, well, maybe find out. Summer your suggestion to stay was the right call, and Daryle, did I really need those shots? Was excited to tell others that this is a rally you should checkout, but after checking out the other bars, maybe not. Because it was a Sunday night they were closing things down by midnight and I’ve never seen so many cops in a bar at one time. They’re taking all the fun outta these things…ok, well there’s still Sturgis. Colorado, here I come. Here are the Pics.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Santa Fe, New Mexico

I’d wonder the same thing, how does a person end up in Santa Fe? Well, no problems except the camera working only when it wants to, but there was a lot to cover, seeing the sites and trying to get to the Red River Run. Ok, so still about 3 hours away, but after my stop in Albuquerque the suggestion was to call it a night because the view on the way from Santa Fe to Red River was worth a daylight ride. For a Memorial weekend, this place is dead, except for all the hotels being full…you know, those travelers that when they decide to call it a day take an exit looking for a place to crash – pretty much like me. Found another Motel 6 and although they’re full, gave me an out of commission room at a discount…so the door doesn’t open with a card key and I have to have the person in the office open it for me, more of an inconvenience for them than me.

So the reason for going thru Roswell is to at least see the Alien museum and boy am I glad I did that…ok, it was free so it didn’t hurt so much, but the old lady at the front desk was a hoot. I know, should’ve gotten her picture, but she asked how I was –I reciprocate to which she said if she were any younger and better, I’d be in trouble…ok, knock 20 years off and it be considered, but, not today. Well, we also got a talking about being ‘bad’ and gettin thrown in jail, but her story was much better, something about having key even though she was locked up…think about it.

Time to escape the heat and it only took 20 miles west to feel a difference. According to my temp gauge, it dropped 10 degrees and another 30 miles and it was a whole 20 degrees cooler – must be in the mountains. Saw more awesome country, but quite different than other mountain ranges I’ve seen since these were all still pretty barren…a lot of rock and dirt so saw plenty of dust storms in the distance. Wanted to do Ski Apache since Dale (yep, notice the spelling) suggested it, but you can see I was turned down by Christina. Yea, did see the closed sign about 10 miles earlier, but you know me, gotta check it out and make sure there’s no way thru…could’ve snuck trough, but decided to chat instead of starting a chase. From there it was out of the mountains to canyon between the ranges…still cooler than the other side so not such a bad ride and according to the lady at the visitors center, a stop at the Outpost for a green chili cheese burger and fries was the thing to do…one of those places like Mayslack’s or the Gopher bar that you’d drive miles just to eat…well, it was excellent.

So the camera still cooperating only when it wants to, but if you look close you’ll see mountain ranges in the distance. Part of the loop was hitting the White Sands and that was quite a site to see. Tried to give you a perspective with the bike in the pictures, but the drift I climbed must’ve been at least 50 feet and if you look around, nothing but white sand…only one of two places that are Gypsum sand which is really fine. Time to high tail it north since I had the entire state to cover to get to the Colorado boarder…oh yea, a picture of me going down the road with the cruise set at 85…and at that speed a better workout than the 80mph workout video…still working on it. That I guess answers how I ended up in Santa Fe and you’d be surprised how a person on a laptop draws peoples attention…and it’s only the women that seem curious – hell, that’s the way it should be. Have already heard they don’t rest at the Red River Run so need to get there quick.
White Sand pics.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Roswell, NM

It must’ve been an alien abduction in Alabama that brought me here to Roswell and it took longer than expected with everything that happened today. Ok, for those who tuned in to find out what my decision was last night, well since there were too many eyes watching me on the road to Childress and it was late, setting up camp at the local city park was my choice. Ran into more kids hanging out down there, but they said the cops wouldn’t bother me so it was sleeping back on top of table night. Was a good night sleep except for the early morning walkers and squiters. My earliest day on the road though, and in these here parts the only time to be riding is the early morning or late night, hell, it’s like riding thru hell in the middle of the afternoon.

Now how did I only get as far as Roswell, well, the day started out with me having lost a screw…ok, not funny, but the one for my camera mount on the bike. It must’ve come loose sometime last night and vibrated its way off the bike…yep, that’s why women like riding Harleys - the vibration. Ok, back to the story, so I’ll just stop at Lubbock and checkout Radio shack and get what I need, right? Well, an early morning ride in these parts required a long sleeve shirt, sounds funny, but it’s surprising as hell, yea the afternoon heat, how cool it gets at night. Anyway, on my early morning ride had the wildlife crossing my path, first a cougar ran in front of me, well it was a big cat so I’ll assume in these parts that’s what it was, had a deer which just missed, I really wish they’d make up their mind and stay on the side they went to instead of backtracking at the last minute right in front of you, had some wild turkeys cross my path and hit a bird…some of those birds dart out and with my fairing get hit before they realize it – actually it was the front tire that got him. Well, once in Lubbock checked out Radio Shack once I finally found it and no luck, headed to Ritz camera and again, no luck with the screw, but we spent half an hour trying to tear a tripod apart for the piece I could’ve used. Ok, next stop, Armadillo camera because they had the ball mounts for tripods that might work, but again, no luck. Hey how about Home Depot and seeing what kind of screw I can find there, well, wouldn’t you know it, with the help of Christy and Brent, got what I needed, probably should’ve been my first stop, but someone wanted me seeing more of Lubbock and I was interested in…thanks Brent for your help.

It sucks trying to get out of Lubbock and took awhile, but eventually on the road to Carlsbad and gained an hour crossing the state border…that’s cool. For as hot as it was and since in the mood for a blizzard, stopped at the first Dairy Queen could find and picked the right one cuz got to talk to Lisa and her daughter Shelby…too bad you couldn’t have gotten your bike and rode Lisa cuz it probably would’ve taught me a few things…now, I learned a valuable lesson in these here parts myself…when you see a sign saying how far the next town is, check your gas and make sure you can make it. The sign outta Hobbs said Carlsbad 87 miles and figured there’d be another small town along the way to get gas, but, no luck…yep, ran out about 3 miles out of Carlsbad and thanks to Wayne who stopped, I might still be sitting there. We drove to his place to get his lawnmower gas, hey, that was the same gas along the river road and eventually got me back to the bike and going, thanks much for the gas Wayne and hope you had enough left to be able to mow your lawn. Back on the road and on my way out of Carlsbad took pictures of what I thought was grass fires, well, once in the middle of it, found out it wasn’t smoke but a dust storm…not to fun getting caught in the middle of that, but had to pull over since couldn’t see and hope no one runs into you. Well, it finally passed enough for me to move on to the caverns. Ok, so I was late for the last elevator down, but I did catch the video so I saw enough. Talked to some other bikers from Kansas and thanks for taking my picture Sandy…yep, I remembered.

Now tonight and Roswell, had troubles finding a room since there’s graduation and some kind of football tournament, but finally found something, took a quick shower, washed the bike and headed here to Farley’s to have a drink and eat. Well, sat next to Eric and Mark, to locals, well for the time being working on a cheese factory down here. Yep, was as surprised as you, cheese in New Mexico, well, Eric is originally from Osceola, then the cities, but moving to Denver and Mark who comes from Green Bay is now in Kansas…hey, that’s where those bikers at the caverns were from…what a small world. Oh, and on the way there ran into Jennifer and Paula leaving school and talked them into coming down to Farley’s…right, if you believe that than anything’s possible, anyway have a good summer ladies.

Hey check this out, my website is now Google-able. Google where-is-webby and it’s the second one on the list…now that’s pretty cool and what’dya know, a Memorial Day Red River Bike Run in New Mexico and it’s on my way…let’s see how red the river runs.

For those traveling this holiday weekend be safe and watch out for guys like me.
Cavern pics.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Childress Texas

So it was either going tubing with Kendra and Bonnie or moving on…now what do you think since I’m still in Texas and the picture of the falls? Well, if it weren’t for an early morning email telling me to get outta Texas, tubing would’ve been the thing to do, but a visit to;
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweetWhen the wind comes right behind the rain…was the thing to do. Caught a little more of home down south heading north on 35 and eventually had to make a decision, 35E or 35W, well, if you look close and the lean of the picture the Dallas route was the way to go and 35E back home is a little more familiar…besides showing a picture of downtown Dallas most people remember that TV show, but I’m sure few if any have heard of the show Fort Worth, well, at least I don’t think there was such a show. Ok Kendra and
Bonnie, how fun a time did I miss...wait, maybe don't tell me.

Kim told me about Turner falls and something worth seeing, but a stop at the visitors center to get some great directions from the ladies on duty was first…yep, probably should’ve gotten a picture since they were so helpful, but not everything is gonna be perfect. You can see by the shots how great the water is and man, for as hot as it is, a dip might be a good idea…what’dya know, I just bought a suit the day before…what was I saying a few days earlier – everything happens for a reason? Well, since the water looked inviting and the young ladies, ok, I know too young, but a picture doesn’t hurt…had to get on the suit and take a dip – a great way to wash off the road grime getting outta Texas.

Ok, on the way to the falls, made a stop at Waco’s Harley shop only to walk in and out, they didn’t have my morning coffee, Mt Dew, so moved on. Once in Oklahoma and because of the signs I saw along the freeway for ham sandwiches a stop at Richardson’s was needed, hey when a guy gets hungry he better eat and what a great sandwich, wouldn’t of found it any other way than advertising…maybe that’s what I can do when I have to find a job, advertise. Well, after all that and a dip in the falls it was on to the mountains of Oklahoma…hey, looks just like South Dakota where I head to Sturgis every August and it is pretty much the same, and remember the Buffalo are wild so when you see them crossing the road you keep you distance, especially on the bike I have since I’m sure it looks like another Buffalo to them…bad picture cuz was turning around just in case had to hightail it outta there, we’ve seen one charge a bike before.

Now to a little daring for the day; not only did I do another 80mph workout, but after climbing the mountain that the shots are from, had to get down so decided to coast and see whether it could be done without brakes, well, found out pretty quick it’s probably not such a good idea, especially when you hit a 25mph curve at 50 and if you don’t brake and lean a little more…well, you could imagine what could happen.

Well, now to how I ended up in Texas again, ran into some kids in Oklahoma and eyed up a park to spend the night at and figured I’d hit a bar and then crash at the park, but they suggested I go across the border cuz they wouldn’t care in Childress…the one thing they forgot to mention was Childress is in a dry county. Great, no going to a bar to see about finding a place to stay, but Michelle and Elena told me about a park down the road. Ok, now for a little more daring for the day, not too tired so do I drive another 2 hours to Amarillo or crash in the park for the night…well, now you’ll have to tune in. Isn’t that how all the TV shows get you hooked? I’m learning.

Oh, one other thing, stopped at the Holy city in the hills of Oklahoma and isn’t it something that there is always some kind of saying that hits home, or at least reminds you of something or someone…I particular liked the one about not being complete without burdens and asking for help…we could all use a little help now and then.
The rest of Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Austin Texas

You ever have an image of something and until you see it, don’t believe otherwise? well that’s exactly what happened to me with Texas. Always thought it was desolate and nothing but desert and cactus and hot – well, it is hot, but this is actually a beautiful state to visit. You can see by many of the pictures of the land that along the river and lakes it’s quite a place to see and again, those hot Texas women. I finally found where you meet and see them all, ya gotta go shopping. The first two were Kendra and Bonnie at the Austin Harley shop…you know you could’ve sold me what’s gonna be a collector shirt someday for less than actual cost, the rest will probably go on sale – how’bout sending me the difference when they do go on sale? Anyway, thanks for the offer to go tubing with you tomorrow, but I must be moving on…hey wait a minute, what am I thinking, hot Texas women and an offer to party with them…ya never know, you might get a call from me in the morning.

And that leads me to the next two, Denise and Tiffany at the Gruene Outfitters who sold me a swimsuit. It was something I forgot to pack and even if I don’t go tubing, sure will need one along the way. Only problem, they weren’t modeling, but hey, I got to model it for them. Also found out just how small a world this really is. Denise grew up in Coon Rapids, well ok only her first 9 years, but hey here mom is from Bemidji and she knows what curling is…ain’t that something – curling…still more fun than bowling Denise.

The next two, Kim and JoJo sold us beers at one of the stops seeing the sites and I guess if we would have bought a couple more beers, would’ve gotten a massage from Kim. Well, both of you could’ve given me a massage, remember I’ve been on the road for days and JoJo, for it being your first day you were doing great.

Ok, now to some of the other interesting connections and even some from yesterday which I failed to mention. If you’ll notice from the Alamo pictures, Dick’s bar, hey that reminds me of Dick’s in Hudson, both fun places to party. The other was my Minnesota connection both yesterday and today, riding on I35…only this on the Texas end of things. One other is the river ride we rode along is Texas’ version of the Apple River in Somerset Wiscony, a lot of people tubing and partying and you’ll notice some of the places just getting prepared for what’s gonna be a hell of a weekend, Memorial weekend.

Now to some more of the day and where it took us after the Harley shop, just follow along with the pictures. It was a water fall, don’t remember what town, but there was college women and hey, another warning sign…you bet, another one of those signs that I’ll definitely heed the warning, well, in this case I had to cuz didn’t want to get arrested for indecent exposure…now wouldn’t that make a difference on who saw and whether they thought it decent or not? We eventually made it back to Gruene and after having lunch at Adobe Verdi and Bobby being able to join us…remember, my Cozumel connection and New Braunfels the day before, sorry I missed you both days Amanda, but hope all is going well. Now on to the river ride and although I got a picture of the two in the water, didn’t jump in to get their names, even though I had just bought a suit. my bad. Catch that ugly duck or whatever and do you think we can believe the ladies in the bar that it’s a cross between a rooster, duck and goose, well is sure looks like it. That took us to a custom cycle shop in Austin which not only builds bikes, but also works on Cobra’s, ok, Cobra knockoffs, but they look pretty cool. Finally the rest of the trip was thru the hills around Austin and you can see there are some pretty neat sites to see. Didn’t make it down to the water, but got to go thru the exclusive part of town to see the view that they have…hey, saw there was 5.6 acres available in those hills, only cost a million bucks – too rich for my blood. Probably missed something, but the pictures do speak words and again, thanks to Kim and Kirk for not only showing me what more Texas has to offer, but letting me stay another night. Let’s see what I decide to do in the morning, ride on or use my new suit.
Austin Pictures.

The Alamo

Remember the Alamo. What an awesome experience and one that makes you really appreciate what you have. What some people will do for the freedom we have and what they believe in. Ok, maybe the Alamo wasn’t about the freedom of this country, but could you imagine being one of those 32 men who knew their death was imminent and stayed instead of leaving? They had 3 choices, surrender which with the Red flag the Mexican’s flew meant sure death, flee or fight and all but one chose to fight. It was surprising to find the Alamo right in the center of town. The city was built around it and times it was going to be torn down until they decided to preserve it as a memorial to the 32 men. Something of interest, no pictures allowed in any of the buildings, only outside, again because it’s a memorial. Some think they moved the Alamo downtown for the tourists, but nope, that’s where it sits and everything else around it came later.

Left the Texas ranch where my cousin and her family live and made it to Seguin for lunch, about 30 miles east of San Antonio. My first day missing a picture of the place stopped for lunch, but it was a very good Mexican lunch at a little roadside café. They had a lunch special of enchiladas with rice and beans which hit the spot…yep, beans, just what a person needs on a ride like this.

Ok, back to San Antonio and the other thing to do when in San Anton’ is the River walk. It’s across the street from the Alamo below street level and it’s like a canal walk you’d experience in a place like Venice, nope never been there, but just imagining that’s what it’s like. The walk is loaded with bars and restaurants as well as shops for the shopper types, but you can see they put the hot lookin Texas chic’s outside each bar to bring you in…sorry I didn’t have time to stick around Kaeleigh, but thanks for the chat and picture.

On my north outta town, saw a sign for a city that looked familiar…ok, only because I saw it in an email…New Braunfels. Had finally made contact with a couple we met in Cozumel and although they said they lived near the Austin area sent me the name of the town…hey, isn’t it closer to San Antonio than Austin. Anyway, took the exit and made a call and found out that if I could spare half an hour, there’s a place I needed to see. Of course had to think about that one, spare half an hour to see a place and visit someone, hell, that’s what this trip is all about and remember - I have all the time in the world. That is the greatest thing about this trip too, not only the new people that I’m meeting along the way and getting to know, but getting together with those who I’ve already met, anxious and eager to show me their towns and a little of where they live. Well, ok, back to New Braunfels, met up with Bobby and he showed me downtown Gruene, Texas, home of the nation’s oldest dance haul where all the big names have probably played at one time or another – do you recognize the place? yep, the same one from the movie ‘Michael’.

Finally made it to Austin after the short detour and hooked up with Kim and Kirk, my stop for the night. They’re a couple I met my first year in Sturgis and they wanted to show me a little more of Texas, remember, that’s what this trip is all about…right, places and people to see. Well, they had a bbq place called the Salt Lick, a well known place in these here parts that you just have to visit cuz it’s pretty unique and one of the few if any restaurants that has a BYOB – that’s cool. Ok, for you city folk, a salt lick is a salt block you put out for the cattle to lick – a place where all the animals congregate, get it? It was family style all you could eat bbq with sausage, pork and beef brisket and not only was the food great, but Jamie made sure we had more than we could eat…and thanks for taking our picture Jamie. Tomorrow, let’s see what else Texas has to show us. Alamo Pics.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Brenham, Galveston TX - Day 2

Today was a trip to the Texas coastal town of Galveston. It’s plenty hot in these here parts that escaping the heat along the coast ain’t a bad idea. The temps were in the mid 90’s today and it was already forecasted to hit the 100’s the next few days…not sure where, but definitely someplace in Texas. On the way kept seeing the seat belt signs ‘Click it or Ticket’ and that the fine is $200, do have a strap on the seat, but sure hope I’m exempt cuz there’s no way that’s going around me. Hey, there is a coat that’ll inflate if thrown from the bike to minimize the damage and someone has even come out with a bike with airbags…think it was BMW – that’ll definitely make a difference if you hit something – sure.

Thought for sure an Ihop along the way would have free internet service, but no luck so the pictures will have to wait. Took in a quick breakfast/lunch and headed to the coast only to get rained on a little, but hey, the temps were much better than the mid 90’s that I left behind. Oh yea, that reminds me of a sign that caught my interested in Rosenberg, but no one home, a Tarot or psychic reading, should’ve gotten a picture, but again, no one home. Galveston Island was pretty cool and checkout the great sea wall. There’s a plaque that says something about it and another about the original building of the thing, but didn’t catch it all. See the warning sign? you know me, see a sign like that and I’m gonna heed it’s warning – not. That just get’s people to venture out on the thing…something about reverse psychology, right? Took another ferry ride from the island and there’s been plenty of water crossed so far on this trip, either by boat or ferry and I don’t mind the ferry’s – no, not those kind of ferry’s. Notice the birds? reminded me of the Hitchcock movie – you know the one…’Birds’.

Headed north to find the road between Galveston and Port Arthur was wiped out, again, hurricane damage so of course there was a detour around it. Made the same trip though from there on the interstate thru Houston, but this time in rush hour traffic and rain, I definitely didn’t mind the ride the day before, but those people driving on the freeways are crazy – yea, ok guess I’m one of them, but there wasn’t any other way around the place. Made it back to Brenham ok, tired from all the freeway riding, but hey, finally had a good home cooked meal and one of my favorite comfort meals, beef roast with potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and gravy…mm good. Thanks again to Deb, Dale (notice the spelling) and Randi for their great hospitality and putting up with me for another night. Galveston pics. Tomorrow, it’s the Alamo.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Brenham Texas - Day 1

Day 14 has brought me here to Brenham Texas to visit my cousin Debbie and her family Randi and Dale - yep, same name just a different spelling. Where is Brenham you ask? – well, half way between Houston and Austin and not a place I figured to reach in a day from New Orleans.

Took a few more pictures of New Orleans on my way out to see more of Louisiana and I was sure hoping to catch an air boat tour or swamp tour, but things just didn’t turn out that way. Had called the air boat place the night before, but no tours planned in the morning so figured I’d stop in on my way through, well, had just missed a group of 4 that showed up half an hour earlier…ok, yea, if I would have gotten myself going earlier this morning could’ve made it, but everything happens for a reason. Checked out the swamp tour next door, but for just one, it’d cost too much so moved on. Stopped at a visitor center on the way and found out about a local swamp tour leaving in an hour so figured it was time for something to eat. Well, I’ve seen so many Waffle houses in the south that it had to be checked out; this one wasn’t the greatest choice though. The food wasn’t bad except for a cold waffle, but that was because the service was terrible…that’s why you tip accordingly – right? It was time to hit the road for the swamp tour, but for some reason I missed my exit. Must’ve been an abduction again or day dreaming about something because by the time I realized it, it was too late to backtrack – remember, everything happens for a reason.

Saw some of the worst devastation from a hurricane along the southwest gulf coast of Louisiana from the other hurricane, Rita. There were complete beach towns as well as the city of Cameron completed wipe out and not too much going on for rebuilding efforts. The beach town had been cleared of most of the debris except for some of the stilts and all the paved roads were still in tact. Hey, could I interest you in some beach property? Forgot to mention that I’ve seen a lot of homes for sale along the gulf with every trip that I’ve taken, sure you could get one for a steal, it’s just the cleanup, fix up and insurance that’ll cost you…Ok, it’s not funny because the devastation is pretty bad.

Once I hit Port Arthur got directions from a guy walking out with two beers in paper bags…is that how they drink their beer in Texas? Found out wasn’t too far from Brenham so hightailed it over, thru Houston that is. Had to make another stop to eat, again another place I’ve seen a lot of along the south, Sonic and the burger was ok, but the service was much, much better, thanks Jessica – remember, you tip accordingly.

I actually got a workout in too today. Not only did I do my daily butt crunches…ya gotta have a hard ass for a ride like this, but I did some upper body work. The wind resistance at 80mph on a bike is pretty good…now it’s just figuring out how I can shoot a workout video while traveling that fast down the road. More Texas to come. Here are the pictures.

New Orleans - Day 2

Figured since spending an extra night in New Orleans a trip to see more hurricane damage was in order, so headed south to the southern most tip of Louisiana, Grand Isle – this is a bike trip, so probably should be riding every day. The ride started out with some more damage of my own though – yep, dropped the bike again. Ok, no excuses, but hell the streets in downtown New Orleans suck. While trying to park in front of the hotel, put my foot down just to have it slip into the curb and with that my bike tipping to the curb – no help from the engine guard either, but just a couple scratches on the bags…isn’t that what we have insurance for?

The ride was a hot one with the temps already in the mid 90’s, but heading to the gulf was the right call cuz the closer to the water you got, the cooler the temps got. From the highway south the trip was along a canal which had a lot of shrimp boats…no, not the Bubba Gump Shrimper’s but smaller versions and with that a lot of small mom and pop fresh shrimp and crab shacks – do you think a lot of people drive along there just to pickup fresh shrimp? Well, since that’s all I saw and you know how subliminal advertising works, a fresh shrimp lunch would make for a good stop so stopped at one of the few restaurants I saw along the way – oh yea, and it is right across the street from a fresh shrimp place. Did have me thinking there’s been a lot of seafood eaten by me this week, but hey it’s all been fresh and when it’s this fresh it’s that much better – doesn’t have that fishy smell.

Found out the damage might not be as bad as first thought either cuz apparently Katrina just skirted East of the Grand Isle, but you can see there was obviously some damage done. From there it was back to New Orleans to get ready to light it up for another night and hey, I picked a good night to stay in town, election night. Had to stop at the Bourbon Cowboy again to visit Colleen and Rose for the 2fer1 special before dinner and from there it was in search of a Mufaletta sandwich – heard ya gotta have one while in New Orleans. Well, the place I went to didn’t have the original version of the sandwich, an Italian joint, but the pizza version was excellent so spent the time there with a number of people tuned into the tv – remember it’s election night? From there it was back to Bourbon street and things were really hopping, that many more people than the night before and for some reason there were a lot of them dressed up – ok, remember, election night. Not sure if they were partying because of the results, hoping for the results, but probably just an excuse to party. Ok, didn’t get many shots from the street, but I wasn’t there to take pictures, just to have a good time. You can see by some of the shots I did take during the day, the damage to the Super dome, the hotel and comfy room I got to stay in and oh yea, and how you like how they park their cars downtown – that was something to see. Tomorrow it’s west young man. Day2 NO pics.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Orleans - Day 1

Checkout the camping arrangement and what a great night camping - falling to sleep under the stars and waking up to a clear blue sky – who needs a tent when you have a view like that? - awesome.

Today my first stop took me to the Pensacola Harley shop for my first oil and filter change, yep, 5,000 miles already and these changes don’t come cheap…hey, I did get a free bike wash though. Got some great directions for gulf riding, so 2 hours later and trying to get connected, was on the road toward New Orleans. More great views of the gulf and a street sign which I saw a lot of; ‘check fuel, long bridge ahead’ fortunately no running outta gas for me.

The trip took me to Fort Morgan where the ferry from there goes to Dauphin Island. Had to checkout Fort Morgan before boarding and it was actually worth the $5 even though I didn’t get to see the entire thing. Once we crossed the gulf with the oil rigs and boats passing in front of us, I saw the other fort which fought against Morgan – no, I don’t know what country was on the Dauphin side, but I do know that Morgan was an English fort. It was surprising to learn too that the two forts fought against each other using cannonballs, had no idea they could shoot those things 4 – 5 miles away. Did miss my turn on Dauphin island, but got to see more or the hurricane destruction.

Hey I crossed four states today. From Florida thru Alabama, Mississippi into Louisiana – that’s cool. Following the gulf road turned out to take me on a detour though because the bridge to Biloxi was out and I found out all of them to New Orleans were being worked on - yep, more hurricane damage. Figured once on the freeway, might as well hightail it to New Orleans to get a room and party in the French district and all I have to say was I was afraid for my life. The first was the long bridge was rough and some of it torn up from the Hurricane, the other was just the traffic itself and once I got off the freeway looking for gas, that’s when I saw the worst hit part of the city, nothing but debris all over and nothing open…no pictures cuz I just wanted to get outta there as quick as I could. Once I finally did get downtown though, found a nice hotel with a reasonable price only 3 blocks from the partying, ‘The Queen and Crescent Hotel’.

Today was a day for Melissa’s and me too since I had one for lunch and another for dinner. Hooters Melissa is the third from the right and it was only me and Melissa at the Acme Oyster and Seafood House – hey, aren’t raw oysters some kind of aphrodisiac? - Poor, poor pitiful me. Bourbon Street was great and they’re right it doesn’t close. I had Colleen and Rose show be the ropes with a start at the Bourbon Cowboy – now howya think it got that name. Gonna spend more than a night here in New Orleans, so stay tune. Day1 NO pics.

Milton, Florida

Today it’s Milton Florida which is just north of Destin on the gulf, ok, how about 12 miles east of Pensacola? I was hoping to stay in Destin or at least a state park along the gulf, but apparently they’re all still closed because of the hurricanes. I did eye up some other parks that I thought I would just crash at, or even a beach, but with all the construction and devastation, figured the nearest KOA’ll work. Am going to sleep like a cowboy though, no need for a tent since there’s no forecast for rain so it’ll just be the sleeping bag and pad on top of a picnic table…I’m sure I don’t need to worry about gators, but don’t want any other critters joining me.

The first few pictures are me leaving Tifton which thanks again Debra Lee for a great time. Tried getting a picture of the moon in the clear blue sky that I was riding toward, but couldn’t get any to turn out...quite a site though, the moon in the clear blue skies with the sun behind me. Well, anyway, did happen to catch the Florida state border which I almost missed. They just don’t seem to have the same state pride as Wiscony or Minnesota cuz they don’t have the big welcome signs like we’re use to seeing. I missed the Georgia border because of it and have to thank the guys in the truck that honked at me tapping their heads, no not for anything other than just letting me know about the helmet law. Already heard from the chic at the Harley shop they’ll nail you as soon as you cross the border if you don’t have one on…I guess I’ll be watching for the signs a little closer.

Today was a strange drive leaving Georgia though cuz I was either abducted by aliens or had an outta body experience, yep, I did cuz I don’t remember most of the trip thru Georgia – the last thing I remember is listening to Rascal Flatt’s Broken Road before I realized where I was. That song meant something to me and I’m sure there’s someone out there who knows what I’m talkin about.

Hey, finally a coastal highway that shows you most of the coast. The ride along the gulf has been great and the scenery is unbelievable. They have some awful long bridges and I had to make a trip over one of them to St George’s Island for lunch. Do you recognize the section of bridge that I did get a picture of? It’s the one they blew up for the movie ‘True Lies’…I liked that movie or maybe it was just Jamie Lee Curtis, well, she is hot. Lunch was a little slow, but the beach reminded me of Cozumel, but hey checkout the soft crab sandwich I had, now I know why they call it a Poboy – I felt sorry for the Poboy while I was eating him…tasty. The trip west of Panama City took a long time, not only because of hitting rush hour, but there’s an awful lot of construction going on, both road and hotels due again to the hurricanes. Tonight though, it’s steak from another Texas Roadhouse (remember the one in Myrtle Beach) but this time I have Victoria and Michell to thank for the service…sorry Will. More gulf to come.
And more pics.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tifton, Georgia

Today’s travel brought me here, Tifton, Georgia. Ok, I know I thought the same thing, why would anyone go to Tifton GA. Well, besides being known as the ‘Friendly City’ and having a Harley dealership, this is home to my old high school sweetheart, Debra Lee. Yep, to me that’s definitely worth a visit and thanks Debra Lee for dinner and putting me up for the night, it’s always a pleasure visiting and catching up on old times with you.

From Savannah a stop at the Harley shop for a scenic route to Tifton was in order so they sent me down the coastal hwy. You can see from the pictures there’s not much if any coast to see, but I did see where you could easily hit a tree right on the road and if you look close, the shoes hanging on the phone line…reminded me of that town in the movie ‘Big Fish’, was I coming upon the same thing?

On my way to Brunswick I noticed a sign for King George’s Fort so thought it’d be worth a visit, boy am I glad I spent the $5 on that. Well, for the way things turned out, it was probably a good thing. Once I got back on the road, it was closed because of a fatality accident which had happened about half an hour earlier – hey, that’s about how long I took at the fort, so ya never know, someone might’ve been watching out for me.

Once thru Brunswick and over a bridge which has been a common theme from the Midwest, the large double suspension bridges; it was time for a stop at Jekyll Island for lunch. I had a great lunch at Blackbeard’s and thank you Anita and Tracie for the interest in my travels, welcome along for the ride. From there nothing but bush along the way to Tifton, but I had to make a stop at the Harley shop to get my bike fixed. Good thing that I did too cuz Joe made sure I got the parts I needed and the owner Doug made sure I was well taken care of and covered under warranty. What a small world, but Doug knew about Chippewa falls, Leinenkugel’s beer, Eagan and curling, hell, he grew up in Duluth. Time to head south James, to the gulf. Tifton pics.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Georgetown, Charleston, Savannah

What’dya know, a dry day and with the faithful serving a free pancake breakfast, a good day to hit the road. They are very religious in the south and thanks to the campground for giving us a different message every day to believe. Did you catch the first message? ‘A woman that feareth the Lord shall be praised’ well, fear bike week in Myrtle Beach.

South it was to see some of the history along the sea front. Surprisingly there isn’t much to see along the rides because they don’t have a road right along the beaches like the Great River Road, but once in town, there is plenty of old building and history to catch up on. First stop was Georgetown. A pretty cool boardwalk and it’s amazing how all the buildings are built right over the water – hey, isn’t that the Bubba Gump Shrimp boat? Georgtown pics.

Next stop, Charlestown and this town shows a lot of history, mostly mansions so this was definitely where the money was at…where did the help stay? There’s a lot to see just walking around, but being on a schedule and not being able to do a lot of these places justice with the pictures, it was time for lunch and where better than the Noisy Oyster – I don’t mind seafood talking back. Thanks Wayne and Nancy for the free onion rings, they were pretty good. Had to have some shrimp though and again with the good lookin bartender Amanda serving it up, it was tasty. Had to get Keith in the picture too cuz he helped me with a route to take to Savannah, sorry to say, I missed my turn. Charleston pics.

I ended up here, the Savannah Inn. It’s worth the extra $10 for a room instead of setting up and tearing down camp…so deal with it. Had to checkout downtown and it’s great along the river – needless to say I did find out from the locals that it’s just the tourist area, but hey, the seafood dinner was great…sushi quality Ahi with an Asian flare. A great ride back to the Inn under the moonlight and have I ever told you how much I love riding at night? Well, last night was almost my last with some young chic pulling out cutting me off – the only way I got her attention was kicking the car – hey, watch out for motorcycles, we do share the road. Shiny side is still up. Savannah pics.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Myrtle Beach - Day 3

Day 3 came in Myrtle Beach and with the thunderstorms during the night, figured it’d be a good day to stay and let things dry out…hey, I got all the time in the world – well, at least a few months. Also figured it’d be a good time to do laundry with the facilities they had, so got that outta the way – at least clean cloths for another week…I knew I should’ve packed more riding jeans Jim – they get dirty fast on the road…even with chaps on.

Today was O’Canada day, ah? The couple camping next to me, Ray and Barb rode that Road Star, nope, not an Indian, just a Yamaha and apparently that saddle was harder than a board – but hey, checkout the seat Barb rode, man, we all could use a woman like that. The others were downtown Myrtle Beach at McAdoos - yep, now you’ve seen it. From left to right, Rob, Colleen and Peter and we had a great time partying it up even without the band playing. I also found another place to visit on this trip, north of the border in Canada thanks to Pete and Colleen - you’ll be hearing from me…like I said, I got all the time in the world. Can you believe for being O’Canada day, none of them curl?

The day was sunny, but cooler than normal so a good time to checkout the North side of Myrtle Beach - the Dog House and right next door, Secrets - they’re right, girls, girls, girls. It wasn’t the party side of town though, just more vendors so of course I had to buy something – not for the bike, but for me. I finally broke down and bought a pair of the Panoptx, but hey, for $200 they are special editions and match the color of the bike. They should last a lifetime, but we’ll see just how special edition they are.

So there was no getting out of Myrtle Beach without some damage to the bike and no, it didn’t take me dropping it, but parking it with all the other bikes. Looks like someone caught the fairing with a lever, but if you don’t know it, you’ll never notice it. And can you believe it? the night ends with more rain…this time rain gear on before getting wet for the ride back to camp. Let’s hope for a dryer tomorrow. Get ur pics here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Myrtle Beach - Day 2

Day 2 in Myrtle Beach and the damn matting birds woke me up - don’t they know they shouldn’t be doing that to a single guy alone on the road? It started out dreary, but warmer than home so figured it was a good day to find a place with free wireless internet to get caught up on my blog – that brought me here, the Woodhaven Pancake house, not a bad meal and even an outlet to plug my machine in to. Once done, it was a good time to check out what else Myrtle Beach has to offer. Sorry, the camera was on the blink so I didn’t get any pictures of downtown, but trust me, ya ain’t missing anything. This rally is like Daytona and talking to some regulars, nothing like Sturgis where you spend more time riding to see the sites, this is just a big party and I’m sure finding that out.

Between the rain and checking out more of the area, there wasn’t much else to do but spend sometime shopping for what’s popular at events like this, biker garb and yep, chrome for the bike. I skipped the chrome though because for as dirty as my bike is, making it shine for a trip like this won’t make much difference – I know some who wouldn’t think of riding such a mess, right Mark? Dinner and again between the rain thought a good steak would be in order. That took me to the Texas Roadhouse where Tami and Will made sure I was well taken care of. Could’ve had the 32 oz special or a piece cut to order, but figured the regular ribeye with all the fixins was more than enough.

Finally party time, and again, between the rain made it to Suck Bang and Blow for the burnouts as well as the hot body contest. It probably would have been a good idea to leave before the rain started – I mean thunderstorm, but miss the hot body contest? – no way. Well, for the way things turned out, it probably would have been a good idea, but remember, everything happens for a reason. With the thunderstorm came the hail, that you got it, I had to save the bike from the hail. While in the process, when I pulled it under the cover, the crash bar caught a picnic table and sent me over the other way – the damn crash bar, but thank goodness for the other and I’m happy to report, No damage. Ya gotta drop a bike at least once, otherwise it hasn’t been rode hard. Now for a ride back to camp in wet pants and shirt under rain gear just to keep from getting any wetter. Does this rain have to follow me everywhere I go? Hot Bod Pics.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Myrtle Beach Day1

Rode back to the campsite under the full moon – sure did - and the first night of camping wasn’t bad at all. It got pretty chilly in the mountains, but the new sleeping bag, mattress and pillow really made a difference – thanks Jackie. The tear down wasn’t bad either and it helped not having any rain. Tore down packed up and showered – well ok, more like sh1t, shaved and showered before hitting the road, figured that’d be the least I could do before seeing the hotties in Myrtle beach. Had me wondering though, what does a couple do at a KOA with no scenery and so few campers? – yea, I thought so.

Decided to hightail it to Myrtle Beach to enjoy more of the festivities and boy am I glad I did. The freeway riding was great, finally able to open it up and I’ll tell you, having cruise control and a radio is awesome, it feels like the Cadillac of biking. Finally hit warmer weather too in South Carolina and noticed a number of bikers without helmets. Sure enough, checked the HOG book and a helmet isn’t required over the age of 21 that I figured I’d pass, that I got rid of the helmet, packed the leathers and lubed up for a ride under the sun…thank you for the sunshine.

I was thinking most of my way here though, that should this be like Vegas, Sturgis and so many of those boyz weekends that what happens in Myrtle Beach, stays in Myrtle Beach…well, I guess with no one else to witness it, I might have to share a little of my fun. My connection for a place to stay didn’t workout last night so I setup camp in a nearby biker friendly campground, right on the main drag close to all the fun. From there it was down to the four corners for a late night, yep, at the Suck Bang and Blow.

Had a great meal at the Hoof ‘n’ Finz and again felt loved, this time by a hotty – Dawn. Not only was she calling me ‘Hon’, but I think she meant it…is it just me or do you think they call all the guys ‘Hon’? Headed across the street to the Beaver bar looking for my connection and instead I connected with Ava, nice chaps and her mom owns the place, there’s hope for me after all. Which reminds me, one of the rules for Spring bike week, No Thongs or other displaying of body parts otherwise you might be arrested…they’re taking all the fun out of these events.
More fun to come from Spring Bike week, Myrtle Beach style! Hot pix here.

Great Smoky Mountains

My first night of camping so we’ll see whether the money I spent on camp gear was worth it or not. I already know why I don’t mind spending the extra on a hotel, no setup, but the real test will be in the morning when I have to tear down and pack it all back on the bike.…the trials and tribulations of such a trip. Let’s see how I sleep tonight, maybe a few more beers and some party campers’ll help.

What an awesome ride, the smoky mts are incredible, especially the ‘Tail of the Dragon’. The pictures don’t do it justice, you have to ride it to appreciate it and I wouldn’t do it any other way than on a bike. The day started out with a trip to the Harley shop to get directions and once I left there and off the freeway, it was past the Ocoee river, remember that? that’s where the 1996 Olympic kayaking competition was – nope, I didn’t know that until Gary told me and the 1996 was from all the signs. Which reminds me, incase you’re wondering why some of the pictures are tilted – I’m shooting as I’m riding. I have a mount for the camera and I know I probably shouldn’t be pushing it, but I am slowing down – ok, I’ll watch it.

The directions from the shop were backwards, not really, but they didn’t realize I was coming in a different way. Once I got turned around and back tracked where I had just come from, it turned out to be a good thing cuz I had a great lunch at the Telicafe and felt loved – yep, the waitress was calling me ‘Hon’ all day.

The ride was twisty and turny and once I got past the slow traffic, took the lead and hit the curves hard – those who have ridden with me know what I’m talking about – what an adrenaline rush. The road and scenery were breathtaking and it especially took your breath away when into a curve realizing you were going faster than what you should be – remember, only rear brake and downshift. The Tail was a whole other story though cuz even for the twists and turnarounds we’ve seen in the Black Hills, those are nothing compared to the tail.

I had hoped to see my cousin’s daughter and stay with her family tonight in Georgia, but that didn’t workout so here I am, Enka North Carolina – not exactly sure where, but I do at least have a city and state. Look to the moon cuz I’ll be riding to the campsite under it.
More fun to come – especially Myrtle beach. Smoky mt pix.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Is Elvis in the house?

Well, Elvis is dead, believe it or not, but he is. I would’ve spent more time with him, but I’ve seen it before and someone on Beale even said the 70’s décor didn’t do it for them anymore…I’d agree, but a mirrored ceiling? that could still work. The one thing I didn’t understand though, the guy who gave me directions to Graceland told me to watch myself because it was a war-zone out there - why would anyone in their right mind send a stranger thru a place like that?

The trip to Nashville was a nice ride and my stop for lunch took me thru Centerville – that was something else when the hwy takes you thru downtown and depending on the direction loop around the circle in the middle of town one way or the other. The lunch was great though in the little café, a good home-cooked meal served by a waitress who calls ya ‘Hon’ all day with her sweet southern accent. I do think I could handle that every day.

It was great seeing the Old Grand Ole Opry (The Ryman) in Nashville and I do think I was in that building years back…who knows, but I’ll tell you that new complex is something else. The Grand Ole Opry House looked pretty impressive as did the huge hotel they have and I did hear I should have taken some time touring the hotel. The way I figure it, if I take someone who loves country music there, I’ll get more fun out of seeing how thrilled they are than I would seeing it myself…Ok, any hotties out there who love country music?

The ride to Chattanooga was the best of the day and I could tell I was gettin into the mountains, it got cold – oh yea, and before I forget, no rain today, yippee - well that is except for a few large drops in Nashville, but nothing that I needed rain gear for. I was able to dry out a little and the end of the day was nice visiting with my cousin and family – can you tell which one is my cousin?
Look to the full moon the next few nights and me riding – ever dance with the devil under the pale moon light? I ask that of all my prey.
More pics here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Great River Road - Last wet day

I headed south for warmer weather, but it’s cold here in Memphis - so it’s time to head east. After 3 days of rain along the Great River road, I need to dry out. Kentucky was a beautiful ride, but with the rain just rode instead of mounting the camera and taking shots along the way. It wasn’t just rain either, but a damn thunderstorm – no funnels, but I’ll tell ya, with the heavier rain and winds the bike gets a little squirrelly on the roads.

Since I woke up close to St Louis I figured I better head back to get pictures of the arch – boy am I glad I did that…not. It wasn’t the greatest day to visit and after talking to a few people they suggested not to waste my money on going up in the thing because they could only see the downtown and river, so here you go, I took pictures of both from under the arch – be happy with them, I am. Also had a few problems getting out of town because of the baseball game and the messy traffic, but another trip to spend more time and see Bud (Anheuser-Busch) will have to wait.

Nothing but a wet ride so not as much excitement as yesterday - well I guess keeping two wheels between you and wet pavement is exciting in itself. Once I hit Cape Girardeau it was time for a nice lunch along the river. The staff was friendly and helpful as all have been so they had plenty of suggestions on what route I should be taking. One of the waitresses was from Michigan so told me to take a route that reminded her of home, but I went the other – see too much of that in Minnesota.

Memphis has been very good to me though cuz once I got downtown I found the same hotel I stayed in a few years ago. Not only did they still have my info, but the lady remembered me and had so much fun, that she gave me the same rate I had then…what a deal, coupon special without the coupon.

Last night, not only did I have bbq, but when in Memphis ya have to hit Beale Street. Perfect, they had the street blocked off for bikers so I fit right in…not only was I called a ‘bad ass’, but I found a place to stay when I get to Myrtle beach for bike week. Things are definitely coming together and today it’s on my way to Chattanooga to visit a cousin.
Stay tune, still riding and a lot more country to see.
Wet pictures.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Great River Road Ride - Day Two

Today was a day of structures and ferry’s, not those kind of ferry’s – river ferry’s. It’s unbelievable how friendly people are and although I’d like to believe it’s my looks, ya know it’s the bike. Almost everyone got out of their vehicles on the ferry rides to check out the bike, hear about the trip and make suggestions on destinations - needless to say, I didn’t get to where I was hoping to for the day, but that’s nothing compared to everything else that happened, listen to this.

Well ok, remember I was a government worker for breakfast this morning. Of course the skies were just cloudy and grey then, but as soon as I was ready to leave, 10:00 (same time, different day), it was raining. I was hoping to get thru St Louis and on my way toward Memphis that I figured no need to wait so I strapped on the rain gear and took off. Ladies if you’re looking for a good exfoliation, just ride a bike in the rain for a few hours. It was a comfortable ride with the rain gear and new bike, but the most important is keeping the shiny side up.

Well, when I finally reached Burlington it had let up, but it wasn’t until I reached Nauvoo that I was blessed. Those Christians of Latter Day Saints have one hell of a building and view – oops, should I even be mentioning hell in the same sentence?

Quincy was a whole other story. I decided to treat myself to an upscale lunch at The Pier which had a great view, but if it weren’t for the Red Hat Ladies group, it would’ve just been another lunch. I had a great time with you ladies and although I’m sorry I couldn’t stick around and don’t have any plans to move to Quincy anytime soon, trust me, you’ll be the first to know..

From there it was on to more Great River Road riding and eventually me running outta gas. Yep, with the new fuel injected bike, I don’t have the reserve to switch over too and I knew it was destine to happen. Once I finally noticed I was low and stopped at the only gas station in town, they were out of gas – a gas station out of gas? you bet. Well, the next town, 8 miles away didn’t even have a gas station. When I hit the gas on my way out of town, the damn thing quit on me. I had notice an auto shop in town that I figured if I could get it back there, maybe they’d be able to help me out. Well, not even the owner thought he had any, but was able to find a container with just enough to get me to the next station…like he said, today must be my lucky day and thanks, I appreciate you selling me the gas and hope you still got your lawn mowed.

Ok, now how I ended up here, the Econo Lodge in Erueka MO. Well since my travels lasted later than I expected, I didn’t get to downtown St Louis until 8:00 and wouldn’t you know it, they did it to me again - no rooms downtown because of the baseball game. The cheapest they found in the burbs was a $110 bucks that they sent me here lookin for a campground. Well, Jelly Stone wanted $20 for a campsite and after getting lost in the state park where I found out I couldn’t camp, this was the best thing to come along – for $20 more it’s worth sleeping in comfort.

What a day, but I’m finding out that if you treat people with respect and kindness, you’ll get the same in return.
Here are the rest of the pictures.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Great River Road Ride - Day One

Day One and although there was rain from La Crosse to Swing Inn, what a great ride! Steve – you remember the Swing Inn? We had to back-track bars for someone’s cell phone…nope, not mine. Hey, I was a movie star for the lunch though. The young girl, who was helping her mom out, thought I was the star from her favorite movie, too bad I don’t remember which one.

Took off at 10:00 with the odometer reading 1610, and 350 miles later, ended up here - Blue Cat Brew. Yep, where better to be working on my blog than a bar? Thanks to Lindsey for feeding me the beers, but that must be what it takes to get my creative juices flowing, a good looking chic serving alcohol.

Where is Blue Cat Brew, you ask? The Quad-Cities - Rock Island, IL to be exact and it pays to talk to people along the way. While at a gas stop, I decided to hit the local park Sheriff up on which downtown would be more fun for a young guy like me on a Monday night - yep, he sent me to Rock Island. Once I finally found it, I decided to ask a guy walking along downtown where a decent place to stay was – well, the way it turns out, he works for the government on the Great River Road and since I told him I rode it from St Paul down, he decided to hire me for a meeting tomorrow morning, what a deal, a room for half price and free breakfast just to tell them what I think of the road – so, for tonight, I work for the government.

You can see from the pictures that the weather started out cloudy and rainy, but after lunch, it was clear sailing. If you’re wondering about the picture with the rock, no trip thru Wisconsin is a trip without stopping at the Rock in the House…someone was awfully lucky they had to piss before the rock went through the bedroom. Another suggested stop; Galena IL, a great artist colony that I’ll be sure to bring someone to romance for a weekend - nope, I didn’t stop for pictures, that’d ruin the surprise.

Rain, rain go away; let’s hope for a dry ride tomorrow.
See the rest of the pictures here!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

PreTrip Preparations

Man there’s more that goes into a trip like this than a person realizes…it costs an arm and a leg. I probably could have saved a leg or two without a new bike, but there’s no way I would have been able to travel the country on my old bike, not enough room and a much rougher ride. The Harleys have come a long way since old.

Besides the new bike there were the other major purchases; the digital camera to photo the journey so you can see the sites, a laptop to create these blogs so you can listen to me blab and the camping gear for those nights I just want to sleep under the stars, well I guess I won’t see those stars thru the top of the tent, but there’ll be nights I can sleep like the cowboys, just me and the stars. Ok, those are the major purchases, but a person can still be nickeled and dimed to death with all the small stuff that one has to get for such a trip – yep, I’m talking chrome for the bike. Why’ya think they call it HD, that’s cuz everything’s a Hundred Dollars.

Stay posted and let’s see what this country has to show us

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Happy Hour at OC

Thanks to all who showed up for my Going Away Happy hour at Old Chicago in Eagan. The party was a success and not only did I have many of my friends show up, but I had plenty to drink. Thanks to Jim and Eric for getting me outta there and seeing that I got home ok. How'd I feel the next day? - fine, what's a hangover? How about that waitress staff - Check out the pictures!

Test trial

This is my first attempt at a free blog so lets see how it goes, how it looks and whether the website getting setup for me can get me here.