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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.

Keith
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyage_of_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!
Keith
 

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Keith,

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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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.
 

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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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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. :thumbup:
 

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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,

Clem
 

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Clem,

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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Clem,

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.

I was in Eagle nest last September, and it was sleeting, nearly snowing on us. It was probably 32 degrees at 7,000 plus feet. I went through Taos, one of my favorite places in NM. This year we are trying to get to Nova Scotia, PEI, and the New England area where my family resides. I am doing it in the week of Summer (last of August)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Second verse, same as the first ...

OK, chaps, here I go again. On Wednesday June 9 I will set out to reach
British Columbia, where all my descendants live (three at last count).

I hope that June provides less severe crosswinds than May did. I went out this way in early June four years ago, and had wonderful weather, except for Saskatchewan, which was going through the wash cycle when I splashed my way through. Manitoba looked after the drying, though, so by the time I got to Whip-an-Egg (I like that distortion of Manitoba's capital!) I was clean and dry.

I won't have much computer access en route, but I will eventually report on progress or lack thereof.

Keith
 

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BC or not

Weather has been iffy across the midwest this year. My friend from Salmon Arm was just here on his Beemer last week and left to return Tuesday the 1st. Said he had some rain on the way out and encountered more on the way home. The Beartooth was closed because of snow so he went through Idaho instead. Made no mention of bad crosswinds but one can encounter them at anytime especially in Oklahoma and Texas. He rode I80/90 mostly out towards SD the first couple of days. Get you a good GPS that gives weather reports so youu can choose alternate routes or a nice little weather radio if the former is too pricey. Bon voyage et bon chance mon ami.
 

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Hi Keith,

Just remember to keep the bike on the road and don't fall down.




Expert advice from the Frozen North©

xxoxo



OK, chaps, here I go again. On Wednesday June 9 I will set out to reach
British Columbia, where all my descendants live (three at last count).

I hope that June provides less severe crosswinds than May did. I went out this way in early June four years ago, and had wonderful weather, except for Saskatchewan, which was going through the wash cycle when I splashed my way through. Manitoba looked after the drying, though, so by the time I got to Whip-an-Egg (I like that distortion of Manitoba's capital!) I was clean and dry.

I won't have much computer access en route, but I will eventually report on progress or lack thereof.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Second Verse, same as the first.

Well, I tried again to ride to British Columbia, and failed again.

I didn't get as far west as Arizona, but I got farther north. Consequently I rode into a corner near Burlington Colorado. Snow ahead of me in Colorado, more snow after that in Utah, and deeper snow north of me in Wyoming.

I thought I was riding in June, but given the choice between April and March, I chose to make another embarrassing about-face and head for home.

In fact, I should not have set out again, because I have plenty to do, quite urgently, here in Florida, and this is where I belong. That's my story, and I'm stuck with it.

Details of the ride? Forget it. Riding exclusively on Interstate Highways, I saw not much variety from state to state. Sure, I know Kansas and Missouri a bit better than I did before, and I actually rode some 30 miles near Cairo Illinois that I rode on my very first long trip, which occurred when LBJ was president, but mainly I saw 327,655 dashed lines flowing under my front fender. Yes, I counted them.

Well, no, I didn't, but the number is approximately correct. You get about 100 per mile, and I rode over 3600 miles to get back home.

So when and how will I get to B.C.? It seems I will fly, and maybe in October.

Keith (sigh)

P.S. Hero of the trip was a small cushion I fabricated from leftovers. Details later.
 
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