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post #1 of 18 Old 05-18-2010, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
Keith Falkner's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sarasota FL
Posts: 2,350
To B.C. or not to B.C.

Well, I didn't get there ... yet.

On May 11, I set out to visit family in British Columbia Canada.
That is the province between the states of Washington and Alaska.

I do not blame the motorcycle, because when this outfit has any trouble,
the problem is always the old fart at the helm. Nothing wrong happened,
but the weather was too difficult for me to handle.

I rode north from Sarasota, turned west, angled northwest through Oklahoma,
(you don't need to ride Oklahoma's long panhandle; it smells of bovine urine)
and had a fine ride to the town of Springer in northeast New Mexico.
I can report that the Brown Hotel in Springer NM is a fine place to stay.
For under $50, I got a comfortable room and a very fine breakfast.

Then I went west on NM-21 to Cimmaron, then more west on US-64. The scenery was terrific, and the weather presented lots and lots of variety. There was plenty of wind, along with a mixture of sunshine, cloud, and rain. When the road climbed into the foothills, the temperature fell, so I stopped to put on another layer, and was snowed on briefly!

But the crosswinds were the most ominous feature of the weather. The closer I got to Arizona, the worse I found the crosswinds. Eventually, I reached the end of US-64, just west of the NM-AZ border, right near the Four Corners, where AZ, NM, CO, and UT all meet.
At this moment, the monument at that spot has been torn down, and there is just a hole in the ground, guarded by a tall fence that a gent from New York climbed. He reported there is nothing to see, and not much construction happening.
In all, I rode about 16 miles in the state of Arizona. There were sudden fierce crosswinds that challenged my strength severely. I was able to keep my heading, but the suddenness of the gusts convinced me that, for me, the tour was no longer safe enough to attempt.

Reluctantly, I turned for home. I adopted a new purpose, to see the scenery of New Mexico, because I had to cross the state diagonally to get to I-20 and a swift route to Florida. This was a complete success, because New Mexico presents lots of vertical and colorful cliffs, buttes, berms, slashes, and wrinkles of all varieties. Everywhere I looked, chunky rocks and crags were tempting me to interpret them as shapes, generally faces like New Hampshire's (now fallen) Old Man of the Mountain. I seemed to see the faces of Statler and Waldorf, the old balcony-dwellers of The Muppet Show, looking back at me.

I visited Albuquerque and made a left toin in honor of Bugs Bunny, saw Roswell but no aliens, and rode through Carlsbad above ground all the way. Exiting NM, I saw the ghost town of Orla, TX, where you can move right in to whatever sort of derelict building takes your fancy.

I rode 623 miles of I-20 across Texas, then explored some parts of Louisiana that I won't visit again, then took familiar I-10, US-27, US-98, and I-75 to home. I was away from home for 148-and-a-half hours, and rode 4517 miles. My longest one-day ride was 956 miles, so no Iron Butt for me, but if I find a tin butterfly, I will buy it and wear it proudly.

I generally got 50 MPG, heavily laden, going 75 MPH true. When I needed to cover 60 miles of ground on 40 miles of fuel, I went slowly in top gear, and reached gas with some to spare.

My Wee-Strom, named Colorado, functioned flawlessly all the way, burning about 12 ounces of oil on the entire voyage. The odometer now says 54530 miles.

I will find another way to British Columbia, to see my descendants and my lovely daughter-in-law, but I won't ride there until summer is here and I can choose where to go north.


Last edited by Keith Falkner; 05-18-2010 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Mis-stated odo as 44530; it's really 54530 miles.
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-18-2010, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa, fl
Posts: 251
British Columbia.

Welcome back Keith, Sorry to hear you had to give up your quest o get th B.C.But we are happy to have you back safe and sound. I think Clem and I are planning to ride somewhere Saturday morning and if your bum has recovered you are welcome to join us. Curt
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-18-2010, 10:51 PM
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Location: Sarasota
Posts: 235

You are an inspiration.

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post #4 of 18 Old 05-18-2010, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
Keith Falkner's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sarasota FL
Posts: 2,350
Saturday expedition.

Curt, that sounds like a great idea. I am not all that sore,
but I have been wondering just how foolish I was not to
at least try out the special seat you had on Prodigal.

I think I can carry your trailer-kit on my Wee-Strom,
and deliver it to you so you can commence converting
it into a trailer to carry your canoe.

Morrie, I have studied the British Antarctic explorer Shackleton,
and he had to abandon three goals during his life, most famously
his Trans-Antarctic Expedition when his ship Endurance sank.
That saga should be required reading for all bikers ... maybe for everyone.
I care mightily about the story, and I have touched the James Caird!

(If you click that, prepare for half an hour of captivating reading!)

I am no Shackleton, for one thing I don't like being boss, and Boss is
what Shackleton's crews invariably called him. But I do like demonstrating
resourcefulness and tenacity, and Shackleton was the exemplar for
those two fine qualities.

Let's go and see what Curtis' new scooter looks like!
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-19-2010, 10:56 AM
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I can't imagine doing a 900-mile day. The only drawback to my current setup is that the Beemer sits a little short for me so my legs cramp periodically, making it hard for me on long trips. I had lowered pegs but was always dragging them so they are now gone. I'm stil working for a solution.

A Saturday morning ride sounds good. From where and at what time do you guys plan to launch?

If anyone is interested, the Beemer gang has a RTE to the Nav A Gator cafe near Fort Myers on Sunday. I may tour on down to Jeanie's Blue Crab Cafe in the Glades after that. It's an interesting ride with a bonus. One area of the cafe is festooned with photos of a very nice lady who works there. The photos are most notable for what she is not wearing.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-19-2010, 03:17 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Miles to go before I sleep, FL
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Welcome back Keith. A true sign of wisdom is when intelligence overrides the machismo button. I'm sorry you didn't make B.C., but happy that you are safe.

Greg "Pinkman" Pink
Leesburg, FL
K4, Flat Black Club #135
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-19-2010, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa, fl
Posts: 251
Saturday ride

Unfortuatly, Cahills just called and they want the Kymco in the shop Saturday morning to try to get the belt squeal out. I think I can join up around noon. Im callin Clem this evening to set every thing up and will post the ride tonite. By the way. Ive been riding bikes for a long long time and I have found tha Cahills in Zephyrhills has ben the best dealer that I have dealt with period. Curt
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-19-2010, 05:46 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central FL
Posts: 188
Glad you made it back safe, Keith! I enjoyed your story, that is a hell of a trip in 6 days!

The James Caird story was a great read too, thanks for sharing.
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-19-2010, 06:46 PM
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Glad you made it back safe and sound. The states that you did ride in are all outstanding in their own right. You were very close to the Coronado trail, it borders Arizona and NM, I did not have time to go, but it is in plans to be there one day, if it is not annexed. I have ridden the area you speak about, riding over eagles nest (NM), and the "enchanted circle" is incredible as is fire angel. I would like to spend about a week out there, as their is a lot of history in that area.

I have not made it to the Vancouver area, but it's in the plans.

Knowing when to turn back is a special skill.

happy trails,

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post #10 of 18 Old 05-19-2010, 07:45 PM
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Location: Sarasota
Posts: 235

You probably know how scenic the ride from Angel Fire to Taos is. And some of the nifty switchbacks. South from Taos you will find some great scenery on 518 to 76 which brings you out just above Santa Fe as I recall. It has been quite a few years since I was there. Or you can take 64 north from Taos and a few miles out of town there is a bridge over a deep canyon with the Rio Grande more than a hundred feet below.

I didn't ride and rarely drove at night in New Mexico. The state has the highest incidence of DUI in the nation.
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