Friday, September 10, 2021

The Four Corners of the U.S. - intro

 I didn't start riding seriously until I was around 43 years old. 

Yes... I had a Suzuki TS 125 in my mid 20s that I put about 5K on, but then kids came along and bikes got put waaaay down on the priority fact they weren't even on the list at all.

Me on the TS...I had just ridden through a canal and got some water in the intake... One of my sons in the red jacket. 

Then, in my 4th decade, several buddies started buying bikes - Goldwings and Beemers being the most popular. 

After hearing them talk about their bikes, and the riding they were doing...the motorcycle bug bit....HARD....and I joined in the fun with a well used Goldwing 1200 (no pic), 

then a short time later I got a little nicer GL 1200 and rode it for a year

(22,000 miles)

and then yet another wing that I rode for two years, this time a beautiful GL1500.

(60,000 miles)

At that point, I had surrendered to the 'moto-illness' and every spare moment was spent on the bike riding .......somewhere....anywhere it didn't matter where I was going as long as I was riding!

It was in year two of this moto-madness that I got wind of a ride called;

"Four Corners of the US"

Which is sponsored by the SCMA aka:

Southern California Motorcycle Association;

That ride....sounded like SO MUCH FUN and even though I KNEW I would enjoy it it seemed like a pipe dream...I really didn't think I would ever have a chance to do a 4 corners ride. 

....and then....

22 years and 473,000 motorcycle miles later I'm getting my chance!

And this is how it will happen:

For our annual family trip, we are going to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for three days.

The families will all drive over, and I'll ride.

When it is time to return home, instead of riding west into the setting sun, I'll go east toward Maine where I'll start my 4 corners ride. 

On the way to Maine, I'll do two of the 15 US Best. 

One in Ohio, another in Acadia NP, Maine, and also during the 4 corners I'll ride the Blue Ridge Parkway for my 15th road. 

(Fast forward to the end of family vaca......) 

And (I think) the family had a great time.  I know I did!

Will, Luke, Taylor, and I took the highly recommended Buffalo pass over to Walden and enjoyed some shopping at a huge yard sale!

(Thanks Mike, the GSA rider who told me about Buffalo Pass!) 

I'm not sure who enjoyed breakfast more Millie or Poppy.
Another breakfast with some of the family and it was time for them to head home and for me to motor northeast to finish up the 15 best, and start the four corners.

Along the way I decide it would be a good idea to stop on the freeway and hang out for an hour or so in this traffic jam...

It turned out wonderfully!!...

I made my way to Little Hocking, Ohio And rode the spectacular winding, twisting, and rolling  555 with Bob and Tom. 

Bob is on the SCMA board and is in charge of the 15 US best ride. 
It was so nice of him to meet us and lead us on this ride. I was very happy to meet Bob.

Tom was in the middle of a 600-mile day and is also riding the 15 best. After the 555 he has only one more road and he'll be done. It was also a pleasure meeting, and riding with Tom.

After we went our separate ways I went to see Vase Henge in Zanesville, Ohio.

Then I stopped in Hopeland Ohio at the Memorial Honoring Fallen Riders.

I was very impressed and moved by this well-done Memorial. Because of recent storms the glass on the registration case was dust covered, so before I left I got my spray polish and a rag out of the bike and made sure to leave it shiny and clean.

Next a quick stop in Keene, New Hampshire for this photo op in front of the Parrish Shoe Company sign of the Jumanji movie fame. Several scenes were filmed in Keene.

Then, a short 10 days after leaving home, as I entered Caribou, Maine I ran into this guy. He's trying to get this bike running so his mother-in-law can sell it. 

I pushed him a looong way down the hill until we got it running. He seems like a great guy I hope it works out for them

And that's kind of an intro to the Four Corners ride. Tomorrow morning I'll go to Madawaska, Maine and visit the Four Corners Park that honors long-distance motorcycle riding. 
I'll meet with Joe LaChance who is the motivating force behind the park and then I'll start my four corners ride, riding South to Key West Florida and that will be "part one". I hope you continue reading!
See-ya in part one.

Stir the oil, Baby!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The four corners of the US part 2

I'm at the Madawaska 4 corners park. This is where I'll start my 4 corners trek.

Joe and Diane LaChance are the creative and driving force behind the park/monument to Long Distance and touring Motorcyclists 

Diane gave me a fascinating tour of their beautiful park. 

I hope to have a red brick there with my name on it! (Red brick denotes a 4 corner finisher)

Leaving the 4 corners I ride across the road for gas and a receipt! And that is my start time!

Next corner is Key West. 
 I ran into remnants of Hurricane Henri on my way to Maine, now as I'm southbound it looks like I hit some of hurricane Ida as well.

I stayed in Ft Lauderdale a few days so as to miss most of Ida. I was in a place with a full kitchen so I ate a bit better while there.
I labored in the kitchen for hours to make this meal... Either that or I spent 5 minutes nuking it! ;)

I got a little carried away when shopping and had to be creative in hauling it back to my place!

Ok this isn't a foodie ride... back on track.... At Key West  I took photos at three different approved locations thinking I would use the best one for the blog. Well, they all turned out lousy so I'll post all three.

The post office.

The Chevron

And the famous bouy.
It's a good thing this isn't a beauty contest eh...

Next up is San Ysidro, California.
Hurricane Ida has just finished trashing Louisiana.. I'm hoping I can get through that area without any drama.
I'll leave Fla in the morning.

I was also hoping for a good night's rest but that didn't happen some idiot went into the stairwells to have a cigarette and set off the fire alarms at 2 a.m. in the morning. 
we all had to go out in the parking lot until the fire department cleared the building.

As I passed through the damage caused by Hurricane Ida I was amazed how much devastation it caused. 
Also gas stations (with gas) were hard to come by, I filled up at Mobile, Alabama and and a couple hours later my gas was getting low so I stopped and had to use my spare  tanks to keep going.  I had stayed on the freeway exclusively through the storm affected area and I ended up needing to get off the freeway 6 times before I found a gas station that had gas, and that station was CROWDED with gas hungry customers and their cars!

Yo. In tree of da Rambo movies Rambo sez his hometown is Bowie, Arizona. I tot dis was an interesting factoid to include in the blog.... :)

Corner #3
This is new territory for me. I've visited the other three corners before, but I've never visited this corner of California.

Lots of fog on my way to Blaine..I stopped at a gas station to wait for better visibility.

Annnnnd number 4!
Woohoo... I'm done and celebrated by eating an Oreo.

And homeward bound - as I worked my way across Washington I ran into these two beauties...the BIKES not the riders! ;)
'99 and 2000 if I remember right.
Dave and Ted were fun to visit with.

And on the way...nearly to McCall, Idaho I stop to don rain gear and meet this fellow rider.
I neglected to get her name but she is returning home after a couple weeks of riding through Yellowstone, Glacier ect.
What a great gal with an adventurous personality!

So that's it my 4 corners foray comes to an end. 6800 miles in 16 days, that includes some hunker-down time while the hurricanes wreaked their havoc.

(edit to correct totals)
Total trip distance was 11,320 miles, total trip time  (home to home) is 28 days.
Take away the days I was hiding from the storms or getting new tires, etc and I averaged around 435 miles a day.

Thanks for stopping in. 
See you on the next ride!

Life is certainly good!!!!