Sunday – Friday Sep 4-9
It’s that time of year to visit Mandi’s family in Wintersville, OH. In order to make that happen on a bike, requires me to ride out to ahead of time and meet her at the Pittsburgh Airport. To accomplish that I break the trip into 400 or so miles a day, so it takes me a good 6 days to get out there. Below are the mapping of my trip out, as I don’t have any pictures to share, but may in the future have some video of the trip…
Now the Fun Begins
Saturday – Monday Sep 10-12
First we get up at like 6 am to drive an hour to the airport to pick-up Mandi, who has flown in on a Red Eye from Pasco. Then it’s back to her folks’ house to enjoy a 3 day visitation, before branching out for a week of adventure. We decided to try a more southerly route to accomodate visiting other family along the way, as usual it’s always so hard to say goodbye…
Tuesday Sep 13
Today we start our week long adventure, tonights destination is Mt Sterling, KY, to catch dinner with Mandi’s Sister and Brother-Inlaw. The ride started out slow as we rolled into Zanesville and checked out the Harley Dealership. We then meandered down the infamous Triple Nickle Highway otherwise known as OH 555. Only 34 miles long, it took us about about an hour to navigate the slow rolling curves and hills, beautiful country. But we have a dinner date and had to kick it up a notch to get there on time. We did it but just in the knick of time.
Wednesday Sep 14
Today we’re rolling to Grand Rivers, KY. Along the way Mandi found a cool place to check out, Mammoth Mountain Caves. After a jaunt through the caves we rolled down to Grand Rivers. Tonight we were staying in a tiny house with a hot tub. Before the tub we ventured over to the Marina to catch a beautiful sunset, then we had to find food. We learned that as this town is a resort, it basically starts shutting down after Labor Day, oh lucky us! We did find the local burger stand to be quite tasty though, then hit the hot tub with a nice adult bevy, before hitting the rack.
Thursday Sep 15
I noticed last night on the way in that something felt wrong on the bike but couldn’t place the cause. I knew I needed and oil change, and started looking for a Harley Dealer. According to all the info we could find there was one right here on the island. Remember what I said about the place closing down, well the HD shop had actually been gone since the China Virus crap went down, so we looked for the next one and had to re-route to Paducah, KY. THe bike felt off most of the way there, I was concerned it might be swing arm or tranny related. We pulled into Four Rivers HD, and the Service Writer grabbed a helmet and took her for a spin and figured it out immediately. My high dollar Legend Coilovers had blown out.
Having rode all across this country there are maybe a handful of dealers I trust to work on my bike, and these guys just jumped to the head of that list. Unfortunately they didn’t have the shocks I needed, and tried to find some within a100 miles of our route. Finally they had some OEM HD take offs, that I was able to get cheap, they got my oil changed and the shocks replaced in like 45 mins from us arriving. It took me longer to drop the bags and gear! Since we had made it to Paducah, Mandi’s mom insisted we had to see the flood wall. It’s pretty neat, right in the heart of Paducah, seemed to be a place we might enjoy at night. After that we had miles to kill and rolled into Mountain Home, AR just as the sun was setting. We found our accomodations, then ventured back into town for eats, Rapp’s Barren Brewing Company. Unfortunately, we both agreed we should have gone to Buncles Brickoven & Brews that was hopping with a bunch of bikes out front. Live and Learn.
Friday Sep 16
Having enjoyed an early night last night we decided to ride into town and do a little laundry. We found a place run by a veteran, nice! We got all our clothes refreshed before heading out a couple of the locals mentioned we needed to go by Bull Shoals. Now I’d heard of it being phenominal for fishing, but I gotta say it ain’t much for blowing by on a bike.
We cruised through some pretty country including Dodd City, Lead Hill, Harrison, Compton, and Osage before arriving at our destination of Eureks Springs, AR. First stop the little HD store, to see if they had anything we couldn’t live without, I was looking for new boots, but they weren’t selling any I liked, so we headed for our accommodations.
Mandi had found us a cool little chalet in town, within walking distance to downtown. So we got our gear and the bike all settled in and went for a end to end stroll through Eureka Springs historic district. It wasn’t as much fun as in the past, maybe I’m just getting older? And of all things, we’re here on the bike and they have a Jeep Jamboree going on…
Saturday Sep 17
On our way out of Eureka Springs, Mandi wanted to stop at a glass church, it was pretty cool. After spending a bit of time admiring the craftsmenship and dedication of the builders, we rolled into Rodgers looking for brunch, then it was on to Moyers, OK and Adam Sandoval’s K-River Campground.
Mandi got us a tree house for the evening right on the river, pretty cool. There was supposed to be a Car Show going on with food vendors etc, but a family emergency put the kybosh on that, so we dumped our gear in the tree house and rolled down to Antlers, OK for some dinner at a mexican restaurant.
Note to self Oklahoma is apparently too far away from Mexico to import them, when you notice Native Americans cooking Mexican food, you probably ought to look for a more authentic place to eat. We were here for more than an hour as the native lads in the kitchen, couldn’t apparently remember Chicken Enchiladas get white sauce, and the Beef Enchiladas get topped with chili, but they got it right the second time around.
Back to K-River, with some goodies we picked up at the store for a night cap. Then we took in the view of the river on our balcony, before hitting the sack, in the morning we gotta get Mandi to OK City (Will Rodgers World) Airport!
Sunday Sep 18
So we got up and kind of took our time getting going. I had forgotten I put my mapping on small roads (Avoid Highways), so it was taking awhile to get over to OKC. We somehow got into town early and Mandi wanted to eat before her flight, so we pulled into Cracker Barrel or something.
Don’t Ever Do This If You’re On A Schedule!
We barely got out of there in time to get across town to the airport and get Mandi on her plane home. Apparently Sunday eatin’ in the south is a more leisurely affair.
WAIT!!! I’m not done yet…
I have to beat feet to Amarillo, and it’s like 2:30 pm. Gonna be a long riding day. With nearly 200 miles accomplished, I still had just over 250 miles to go, Solo again, I high balled it into Amarillo and ate some dinner and died in my hotel.
Monday Sep 19
I put word out ahead of me that I would be in Gallup NM this evening hoping to get to see Fred & Jeanie Carabajal who I had the pleasure of serving with in the USAF in Germany. They got back to me and we set dinner plans, which would be nice as I haven’t seen them in some 3 years. This was a big road day, all Freeway I-40 averaging 75 MPH the whole way. I got to Gallup with time to spare, so I dropped my gear and rode up to wash the bike and fuel it for the next day. I was minorly concerned as I saw some weather rolling in from the Baja California area.
Fred & Jeanie Carabajal
My route for the day:
Tuesday- Thursday Sep 20-22
My turn to visit family for a couple of days in Topock, AZ, and I’m ahead of schedule. My uncle Steve & Krissy hosted me for a couple days, and I got to see my Dad too. I’m ahead of schedule due to that storm I saw coming eastward from Baja California, it kept me from sleeping too late and I was up and rolling before 5 am.
This put me in Williams, AZ for breakfast. I knew if I could get past Flagstaff before 1 pm I might get lucky and stay dry by missing the storm. And luck was with me although the early start meant some night (dark) riding, I was happy to miss most of the storm, but most especially not having to break-out the rain gear (I hate that stuff). I arrived at my Uncle’s just after 2 pm, and took it easy for a couple of days, somehow missing a chance for pictures before moving on to my Mom’s in California.
Friday-Sunday Sep 23-25
A smooth 4 hour ride to my Mom’s for a nice couple days visit, and even got to see my Brother Dave. It was nice to have a little down time as I had decided to get home in 2 days instead of 3.
My trip across the desert to Mom’s in Beaumont, CA
Monday Sep 26
Blazing a trail, high balling it 500 plus miles from Beaumont, CA to Lovelock, NV.
Tuesday Sep 27
Final leg and it’s going to be brutal 560 mile day. I rode out of LoveLock, NV all the way home to Kennewick, WA. I put the bike up and may not look at it again until spring…