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This Land Is Yours - Cross Country

652 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  Born to Run


How crazy do you have to be to drive a motorcycle across the country? I guess the answer is pretty crazy. It has been one of the most grueling, painful, and generally exhausting experiences of my life. But I have loved nearly every second of it. Because on a motorcycle you do not just see the country pass you by through a window, you are part of the experience. Every gust of wind, every smile and wave, every rapturous moment strikes you powerfully. If there is a way to truly see this country, then riding on the back of a motorcycle is it.

This Land Is Yours - My website

I started to post about this trip almost two months ago when I began it, but I simply was not able to follow up regularly. Tracking down a high speed internet connection (or the time to use one) while traveling the country, is not an easy thing to do. So this thread will have my ride reports from each day. Please take a look at my third party site to see the trip in full and if you need cheap motorcycle gear please take a look at my sponsor for the trip MotorcycleGear.com. Thanks to everyone for their help, guidance, and assistance throughout this crazy 8,047 mile journey across this land.
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Day 1 - Phoenix, Arizona to Sante Fe, New Mexico

Setting off on a trip is always a remarkable feeling. The excitement and energy is palpable, but so is the tension. At mile 20 or even 200 of an 8,000 mile journey there are really only two things on your mind: how incredibly far you have left to go, and how you are ever going to make it that far.



My first day took me up through Payson on AZ-87, past Red Mountain and Christopher Creek - places with a lot of significance to me. I was just thankful to finally get out of the 110 degree heat of the valley, and to see trees again.



After Payson I headed north, hoping to hit both Holbrook and Petrified National Forest. My route was interrupted by one of the forest fires in Northern Arizona. It is really both incredible and tragic how much damage those fires have done and still have the potential to do.



Eventually I made it to Petrified Forest which I had never been to before. The petrified wood was pretty interesting but all things considered I thought that the geology of the area was the most amazing part of the park. Unbelievable vistas of the painted desert extended to the horizon in every direction.




I also picked up Route 66 for the first time in the park. Shortly after leaving I learned the hard lesson for someone hoping to ride Route 66 - it is a frontage road. "Historic Route 66" through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma simply runs alongside Interstate 40. As a result I stuck mostly to the Interstate until pulling into Sante Fe, getting off occasionally just for kicks.



Riding up to Sante Fe I saw a giant cloud of smoke slowly grow larger. Sure enough there was a forest fire in Sante Fe National Forest - right where I was planning to camp for the night. Fortunately I found a nice, but crazy guy named Bill who showed me a campsite safe from the fire. He was the first person I really met on the road. A former Mechanical Engineer and Navy man he had some incredible stories but also believed some crazy stories and conspiracy theories. It was an earful, but I guess that is part of what this trip is all about - meeting unique people and hearing their stories.
 
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