Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Santa and I 'Bama bound for Christmas Dec 2008

What happens when you have three weeks off for Christmas break, AND your favorite daughter is in Alabama, AND your hobby is motorcycling? Yep, you guessed it! You ride the motorcycle to 'Bama to visit your daughter and her family!

There is only one small is winter time, no the cold isn't the problem, it's the snow!

The Strom is ready to go, new tire and all. Hmmm....what is the weather going to be like?
Snow, snow, and more snow! Good thing Will had access to a trailer. We load the trailer and Will drives me to Cedar City where we stay for the night. It takes us 7 1/2 hours to make the 250 mile drive to Cedar. That was a LOT of snow!

The next morning we drive to Mesquite Nevada, wash off the bike then the Jolly Elf and I get ready to go.

I go south, and Will goes north back home. I'm so greatful to Will for trailering me down here, and very greatful to mother nature for giving us that 7 1/2 hour snowy drive to talk. Time spent with ones kids is time well spent!

I ride thru Las Vegas on over Hoover dam. You can see the bypass bridge under construction in the background. The bridge will be almost 2000 feet long and should be completed late 2010

Hoover dam, completed in 1936. You can take a Dam tour, but at $30 for Dam tour tickets I found it to be to damm expensive. So I just rode across the dam and went on my way so I wouldn't be to damm late to Wickenburg Az, where I would stay overnight.

On the way to Wickenburg near Kingman Az I hit thick fog...I HATE fog. So I just keep the taillights of the car in front of me in sight, and hope the ones behind don't go to fast. It ends soon and all is well.

Finally the fog burns off.

This is what the hotel in Wickenburg looks like, if you are looking out the room door towards my bike. And note the cool windscreen cover! Thanks Debbie!

I leave Wickenburg and go east on hwy 70 Just before dark I pull into this small town. It only has one stoplight, and one gas station. As soon as I enter the town I get a creepy feeling...but I need a room and gas, as I'm getting gas I ask if there is a motel in town. My creepy feeling grows with the station attendant's strange look and two word answer, "down there" she points.

I go "down there" about a block down the main road, I'm cold, tired, and it is almost dark. I really want a room and sleep. When I get to the hotel, the lady takes my money and hands me a key for the room. I walk in and see it has not been cleaned from the last visitor. Back to the lady, another key, and out to the room. This one is clean, but the gas space heater has a "DO NOT USE" sign on this one is a no go also. Back to the lady, another key, walk out to the room, but the lady goes with me and goes into the room first. As I walk in I see her trying to quickly make the bed, obviously this room hasn't been cleaned either. Even though it is now quite dark I get my money back and hit the road again.
I arrive in Lordsburg New Mexico 35 dark miles later and get a decent, warm, clean room for less money. Awwwww... a hot shower and clean bed!

The next morning I meet this couple from Oz. They are traveling the world in their pickup truck. They have been through Canada, North America, South America, and plan to go to Europe next. His parting words to me are, "Stay upright"...good advice!

Somewhere in Texas. I had stopped for lunch, and met a man from Utah. He now works for the railroad in Texas. We had a nice conversation over lunch and he snapped this pic as we left.

Rain and cold across Texas, rain and cold across Texas, rain and cold across Texas......

While in Louisiana I need a rest so I pull into LSU, and wander around their beautiful campus! It is huge and very pretty. What a nice break!

On I go. Near Mobile, Alabama it starts to rain HARD! I see four cars that have slid off the road, drivers still in them with big eyes! After lunch I really don't want to stop because I'm so close to Kaybi's house. If I just press on I'll be there that night. So I keep going, and get wetter and wetter.

Some wet places in 'bama

I finally arrive at Fort Rucker in 'Bama around 10:00 at night. I spread out my wet gear (everything on the bike is soaked) in Kaybi's mud room. The next three days I'm treated like a king!

Future biker, Luke.

Christmas morning.

We ride to Georgia to get the Strom Cache from "Snooze" The cache will go with me to Utah and be handed off to another rider, who will in turn hand off to another.....and on and on.

The cache hand off. Snooze and I

I head for home. At the last minute I decide to go south to Florida. I don't have a Florida map, but figure, since it is early morning, if I keep the sun on my left shoulder until I run into I-10 I'll be fine...and it works, sorta. At Niceville I have to ask some nice folks on a nice honda VTX how to get to the freeway, they give me directions and I think, "You really do meet the nicest folks on nice hondas in Niceville."

Texas, The Alamo. I barely had time to snap this pic before the motor cops ran me off.

Down the road a ways.


Tombstone, Arizona

Whetstone, Arizona

Fort Huachuca, one of my Strom buddies, "Drake" was born here so I had to take this pic for him.

Somewhere else in Arizona

Beaver Utah. I call home and it is snowing hard there. Beverly grabs the trailer and drives to Beaver where we load the bike and go home the same way I left 12 days earlier.

Home again!

I hand off the cache to Satch at Saltair.

Drake, and Cavehamster are there to be a part of the handoff, later they too will be a part of the caches travels. The cache has been in all the lower 48, and Canada, as well as Alaska. I've lost track of it I don't know where it is currently.

Trip overview:

Depart - 19 Dec 08

Return - 02 Jan 09

Total bike miles - 5030

Trailer miles - 490




New Mexico







I love to ride, but the best part of this trip was seeing my daughter, grand-son, and son-in-law. Maybe I'll ride to their house for Christmas next year!

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