Monthly Archives: June 2014

Don’t touch that dial!

A note about the future of this blog.

The post for the last day of the trip is in the queue, and some photo posts are coming up.

The blog isn’t done, though, as we’ll still have more bike adventures; there will probably be a trip out to Denton, NC, next month, and various other small ones.

We’re talking about additional trips, such as to the PNW, in coming years, plus some much more tentative plans further out.

The End, Act I


We started the day with an early lunch at a classic drive-in in Huntington, West Virgina, then got on the road.

The ride was uneventful, but I did have a surprise for Angela – stopping at a yarn shop in Meadows of Dan, Virginia.


During the ride Blue Bird rolled over 64,000 miles. That’s 55,200 miles since we bought it nearly a decade ago, and quite a lot for a 750cc Kawasaki UJM.

We pulled into our driveway at 8:30 last night and went to dinner at a local favorite, Geer St. Garden, with a toast to an adventure completed and another chapter in a life well lived.


In the coming days I’ll post some more photos from our DSLRs.




The Journey Home, part I

St Louis was the climax of this story and we are now in the two days of dénouement. Sunday was a long one of riding about 460 miles through 5 states – Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia – stopping for the night in Huntington, WV. There isn’t a lot to say about this segment: some nice scenery and that, but mostly a mileage grind. We skipped breakfast due to a late start and severe weather approaching. We did ride in some rain, but not enough to bother with rain gear. This brings the total of days we encountered precipitation while riding during the trip to four with only one, going to Houston, being serious rain.

While riding we were chatting about the trip. We both feel ready to go home now, and I feel that I really accomplished something going cross-country and back on a 750cc UJM.

We have vague plans for future trips of this sort and discuss how our experiences on this trip will inform future plans.

The R1100R rolled over 59,000 miles, 25,000 since we bought it in April of 2012, or an average of 1,000 miles per month.

Kansas City and St Louis

We rode down to breakfast with a couple who are friends of a friend. They’re also relatively new motorcycle riders and great people.

Then it was on the road to St Louis and dinner with a friend there. She took us to a fantastic little restaurant called Small Batch, which does whiskey and organic fare. The company, drinks, and meals were all fantastic, and I was sorry the night had to end.


Due to a lack of available rooms in the usual hotels we ended up at The Cheshire, which is a most interesting place – the rooms are named for authors.


We were in the Arthur C. Clarke room, which does not contain a monolith but does have a copy of “2001 A Space Odyssey.” Behind the front desk is the old hotel mail slots. They’re used still to hold complimentary bookmarks for the respective rooms bearing the author and title.

I loved the do not disturb/maid service requested doortag; one side is shown below while the other read “please tidy up the royal quarters.”



It’s been an exhausting few days…

We had an extra day in California as I was too tired to cover much ground. There are worse places to have to stop than South Lake Tahoe.


The next day we made Elko, Nevada.

After Elko was Rock Springs, Wyoming. There’s not a lot to say about that part, but it was pretty. The only point of interest was riding out to the Bonneville Speedway. See the photo below; other than an old, shot-up sign (likely stainless steel) that BLM installed at the end of the paved road, there is nothing out there.


Then Denver, plus dinner with some friends whom I’ve known online for fifteen years.

Our plan for the next day was Salina, Kansas, but we were only able to make Hays. Angela wasn’t complaining since there was a yarn shop in town.

Today we made it to Kansas City, Kansas, to have dinner with some new friends.

So long Santa Cruz, we’re heading home.

After checking out of our hotel we walked the wharf, having breakfast at a place on it, and doing some shopping.

For lunch we went to Alice’s Restaurant. I loved the ride up Black Rd to Skyline, but Angela didn’t. It’s full of sharp turns and not much fun when towing a trailer. Skyline was better for her, with some beautiful scenic vistas, and the restaurant was great.

After that we headed to Auburn, stopping to visit a friend in Sacramento.

Carlsbad and the Blur

We made it to Carlsbad, NM where we did a tour of the caverns, partially to see them and partially to see if the caverns would help me feel better. The caverns are amazing! We took lots of pictures. Unfortunately they really didn’t help me feel much better. We stayed the night in Carlsbad at a lovely hotel called the Trinity – a wonderful old place that’s been restored beautifully. Sadly I had another bad night and didn’t sleep well.

We pushed on to Salt Lake City, UT the next day. This day and the next several days were all lost in a haze of pain, exhaustion and general misery. I can’t tell you many of my impressions of the places we passed through due to this. After Salt Lake City, we went to Winnemucca, NV and Redwood City, CA. I remember the Bonneville salt flats; they were pretty neat.

Unfortunately the high desert didn’t agree with me any better than the low desert. I wasn’t getting any better and things became much worse when I noticed fluid backing up into my ears. This meant a sinus infection. Continue reading Carlsbad and the Blur