Monday, October 11, 2010

Gallup to Los Angeles.

Day 9 (last day)
675 miles

Last day.  It's finally coming to an end.  It's kinda crazy to think that two and a half months have gone by.  I felt excited and sad for this trip to come to an end.
I woke up early and got on the road.  The sun was just barely up and it was about 40 degrees out.  After riding for half an hour I couldn't feel my finger tips, I pressed on and finally stopped for breakfast after 100 miles.  There was snow on the mountains near Flagstaff, but by the time I got there the sun had been up for a few hours and it was a comfortable temperature.
I got down into the desert and I was close to 90 degrees.  I had to shed all the layers off quickly.  I found an old, abandoned truck stop and stopped and took some photos.  I was in haul ass mode and got back onto to my bike.
I made it to Victorville by 4:00pm and was gonna meet some friends that were racing mopeds out there.  They were packing up and driving out as I was coming it.  I surprised them and then got back on the the Interstate.  100 miles to go.  We stopped at Mike's house in Rancho Cucamonga and jumped in the pool, it felt great to get out of the hot leathers.
I rode into LA as the sun was coming down.  It was an unusually warm evening with one of the most awesome sunsets I've seen in a long time.  It felt like the day I left in August.
It feels good to be home.

Bug Report:
5- Today was really weak. I'm guessing the cold in the morning and then the desert kept most of the bugs away.  Kind of a bummer way to end.

Budget Inn. Gallup, NM.



Inside Ted's Truck Stop.

Outside Ted's Truck Stop.

Ted's Garage.

No Trespassing.

Ted's lightswitch.


Colorado River.

California. Two thumbs up!

Mojave Desert.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oklahoma City to Gallup.

Day 8.
702 miles.

I just beat my personal record for most miles in one day, 702! I was on the road for about 14 hours. I feel a lot better today than I did at the end of yesterday. It's funny how your body works.
Oklahoma and Texas are pretty boring, there are a few neat things along the road, but not much. The roads are pretty smooth, except in Oklahoma City. The speed limit is high and the roads are straight. I saw lots of roadkill.
New Mexico is pretty rad, I want to co e back and explore it more. I stopped a few times along old Route 66 and found an old church and service station. There are lots of abandoned buildings along the 40. It's sad to think that people invested their time and money to these places and now they sit rotting in the desert. I have a feeling the mega truck stops were part of the reason these places are now abandoned.
Once the sun goes down the truckers all get a lead foot. It's insane how many are on the road, especially on a Saturday night. I guess they don't have to got through inspection.
I pussed out and got a hotel room tonight, again. I was gonna camp in the National Forest near Gallup, but the thought of having to unpack, setup, take down, and repack sounded awful. I still have about 650 miles to go and I just want to get back to LA and see Ann and all my friends. See you tomorrow night dudes!

Bug Report:
7- I'm pretty disappointed. I thought I'd be covered, maybe it was because it was so windy. Oh well.



Britten, TX.

The Big Texan.

New Mexico.

Route 66 gas.

Route 66.

Route 66.


Abandoned church, outside.

Abandoned church, inside.


Rest Area, New Mexico.

Switch at Front door.

Thank you. Come again.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Memphis to Oklahoma City.

Day 7.
518 miles.

I woke up and rode south of Memphis to Graceland. They wanted $15 to park and another $30 to do the basic tour of the mansion. Instead of paying I parked out front and took some photos.
I got on the road and just started going west. There's a lot of semi traffic on the 40, so at least I got to have some excitement dodging them. My body is really starting to shut down. Months of sleeping in my tent and on couches, along with riding day on end is really starting to have an effect on me. I can't ride for more than hour without my ass or legs starting to fall asleep or cramp. I usually can go 2 hours before it sets in.
I'm trying to get back to LA as safely and quickly as possible, I'm hoping to be back Sunday night. That means I'll have to ride about 650 miles each day for the next two days. I got a hotel room again tonight so I could rest well. Wish me luck.

Bug Report:
8- pretty awesome bug day, but not as good as yesterday.

Not Graceland.

Walls of Graceland.

Shelby! Luv's Elvis.




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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tellico Plains to Memphis.

Day 6.
443 miles.

Too much fun last night made me get a really late start this morning. I left around noon. Buck suggested that I take Highway 68 to the 40 and it turned out to be a really fun road through beautiful farmland and over a few mountains. The leaves are really starting to change and I would guess that in a week the whole area will be red and orange with fall colors.
I got on the 40 and headed west. Lots of cops on the road today, so I kept my speed in check. It wasn't Sunday and I'm in the South, so I went to Chik Fil A, I love that place.
Tom had suggested that I do the Iron Butt Challenge on my last leg home. It requires that I ride 1000 miles in 24 hours, basically Amarillo to LA in one shot. I've been giving it a lot of though and think I may day it.
I made it to Memphis just as the sun was setting. I went downtown and looked for a hotel room, they were way out of my price range so I headed to West Memphis and found a nice little dump.
I went back into Memphis and ate at Charlie Vergos Rendezvous BBQ. It was pretty tasty, but not as good as the ribs I had last night in Tellico Plains.

Bug Report:
10- today was awesome. I smashed a ton of bugs today. Lots of big fat juicy ones too!

Outside Memphis.

Deluxe Inn.


Weiner fest.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deal's Gap and the Cherohala Skyway.

Day 5.
157 miles.

Keith let me borrow his sweet van so I could go get my tire in Chattanooga. I was back by 1 and they both waited for me and helped me mount the tire to the wheel. We got the bike back together and I was ready to slay The Dragon.
We had a nice ride to Deal's Gap and it gave me plenty of time to scuff up the new tire. Deal's Gap, aka Tail of the Dragon is an 11 mile road with 318 turns on it. The bike is basically in a state of falling over for the 11 miles with very few times of standing straight up. The road is gnarly and it scared the shit out of me on my first run, but it was so fun that I ran it downhill and then back up once more. Most of the turns my boot or pegs were scraping and it was an awesome feeling.
We headed down the road and stopped by Thunder Mountain gas station and Tina had some homemade cookies for us. Tom and I then proceeded to race up the Skyway, more like Tom on my tail teasing me to go faster.
It's crazy to think how much of a better rider have become in the three days I've been on these roads. They are so fun and smooth. I could stay here for weeks and just ride.
We all went for out for BBQ in town and I learned what a strange place Tellico Plains is, dancing is outlawed! This is the real Footloose!! We went back and proceeded to drink moonshine that was given to us by a very nice person. It smells like paint thinner and makes your whole mouth burn and go numb, it's a blast. We polished it almost all the off and by the end of the night I puked all over Buck's patio, sorry.

Bug Report:
6- Nothing crazy, still a bit cold. There's anise yellow one by my top vent though.


Turn 256 or something.

The motorcycle gods have spoken.

More forest.

Tree of Shame.

My gift to the tree.

Teaching the young bucks a thing or two.

Western North Carolina moonshine. For the road.

Skid marks ok.

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