It was about two years and a month ago now that I embarked on a similar journey of my own. Bright and early one late May morning I mounted my barely broken in '00 900SS in the heart of downtown Milwaukee and headed west. Mostly on my own, I took in all the country had to offer and at my own pace, which on more than one occasion meant triple digit speeds.
Western Wisconsin was okay, Minnesota blew goats, as did most of South Dakota. Thankfully I had the glorious corn palace and wall drug to break up the monotony. On then to Rushmore, Crazyhorse, and the Black Hills forest. Nip the corner of Wyoming, on into Montana. Up to Billings, I think I passed Little Big Horn somewhere in there, to stay with a girl I'd been fortunate enough to meet while in Mexico on spring break only a month or so earlier... funny how things work out.
Across the narrow part of Idaho, C'orte Du Laine (no way is that spelled right) was gorgeous, and into Eastern Washington, which blows. I took a little detour up to the Grand Coulee Dam, and damn, that thing is friggin' enormous. Fortunately, the man-made lakes in that area made for some of the best riding I'd had up to that point.
Over another set of mountains (cascades maybe) and out onto the Olympic (Olympia?) penninsula. Taking the ferry into Seattle was definately a highlight of the trip, and scored me some excellent pictures. I had some spare time in Seattle, so I caught game 4 (I think) of the Eastern Conference Finals, Bucks vs. Hornets. Don't remember who won.
After Seattle I headed down the Oregonian coast to meet a guy who I'd met after visiting that girl I'd met on spring break at school (catch that). LIke I said, funny how things work out. It gets better though. While at his place, his mom informs me that her sister happens to live in Vegas, where I'll be in about a week or so. Before I can even say anything, she's on the phone hooking me up with a place to crash in sin city. Sweet.
Off then into northern California. Redwoods, PCH, all that good stuff. INcluding, I might add, a very comely CHP officer who tagged me doing 79 in a 65, but only wrote me up for 71. It was another great photo op, and she happily joined me for a shot to commemorate my first violation on my new bike.
I'd been looking forward to San Francisco for a long time and knew I was getting close. All the sudden I come around a corner like any other on the interstate and BAM! The golden gate bridge is right in front of me. Having never seen it before, it was awe inspiring to say the least. I had a little extra time in San Fran, and scored some more sweet pictures of the Duc with the Bridge.
Continue down to LA to hook up with a fraternity brother and enjoy a duff day. I saw Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Compton. I didn't get shot.
After LA I headed to Vegas and met up with the aforemention sister of the mother of the guy who's friends with the girl who I'd met on spring break a few months before. Did I mention she had a hot 21 year old daughter with a hot friend? Must have slipped my mind. They showed me ghetto Vegas first, and then we went to New York New York, which was cool, but not really that cool. I prefered the cover band comprised of 5 Chinese guys playing Kid Rock in one of the dive casinos more than the frilly dualing piano bar in NYNY anyway. Oh yeah, and right before I rolled into Vegas, the inevitable happend and my rear tire went down. $450 later (including towing) I had a new Dunlop D207 on the rear, which matched terribly with my stock Michelin Pilot Something (not sport).
After LA I headed up towards southern Utah, which I had expected to really suck, but ended up being the most beautiful scenery of the trip. Escalante, Bryce Canyon, and some others that slip my mind right now, were all absolutely breathtaking. I continued on to Aspen, over independence pass (not unlike young Tim, but in the opposite direction), and into Colorado springs.
After that, things sucked. Eastern Colorado? Sucked. Nebraska? Double sucked. Iowa... Illinois... suck suck suck.
The only two days it rained were my first and my last, which made me question why the hell was I living where I was living anyway? All told, two weeks, 6,666 miles. I found that mileage number a bit disturbing.
I did keep a journal, but this is honestly the first time I've actually described it in writing, and I've tried to be brief. I also haven't proofread anything. Maybe it's time I reviewed my notes and spent some time documenting the trip in the manner in which it deserves to be preserved.
Thanks to anyone who got this far, and thanks to Young Tim for reminding me how amazing life can be when you're riding your favorite motorcycle to no where in particular for not much of a reason at all.
An uncle sent me On The Road when I was stationed in SC, it was a good read. Although kind of hard to follow sometimes, of course I was preoccupied with dreams of riding back home. He(my uncle) evidentally got some ideas from that book because he travels a lot in much the same fashion as Salvadore did. It's funny though, he's a cabby in Minneapolis now and still finds time and $$$$ to backpack around Europe every year.
That boy sure is having a good time, he really will be blown away by some of the best roads in the southwest, once he reaches southern Utah and Arizona, route 89 is one of the most demanding and rewarding roads on a motorcycle (I ride it every weekend and every chance I get) I just hope that his mid-western bike experience (no hairpins!) does not cause him a misshap, otherwise he will survive to survive LA.
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