Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Ride of 2008!

I managed to get in a ride while my son and his girlfriend were here for the holidays. We had a very warm day after Christmas an I invited Yeseul for a ride. We cruised up the Blue Ridge Parkway and got in about 20 miles or so. After I dropped her off at home I took the airhead out for a spin just to keep the fluids moving around.

For 2009 I have several events already in planning. My "Chasing Hemingway" tour to Key West, FL (Arctic Circle to Key West in one year, pretty cool, huh?); "Coast to Coast with Kurt" (Ocracoke Island, NC to San Diego, CA maybe via Mexico?); the BMWMOA National in Johnson City, TN; the BMWRA National in Caanan Valley, WV; and the Horizons Unlimited USA East Meeting in North Carolina on my birthday. The new year is already getting full and it is still hours away!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

I just want to wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! To end my entries for the year here is a video highlight from this years Solo to the Circle trip. Stay tuned!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano!!!
Frohe Weinachten und einen guten Rutsch!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dreamin' of Ridin'

Today I took both bikes out for about 20 miles each just keep the fluids moving and the batteries charged. While riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville I kept thinking about my upcoming trips. Regular readers of my blog know that I went to the Arctic Circle this year. During Spring Break I plan on riding to Key West. Not only will it be cool to ride from the Arctic Circle to the southernmost point in the U.S. in one year, but I am also a huge fan of Earnest Hemingway. I also plan to see his home which is now a museum and stop in at Sloppy Joe's. I hope the town is not too engulfed with Spring Breakers. Shortly after that trip, in June, I will begin my coast to coast trip IF my son still lives in San Diego. Also the BMWMOA International Rally will be held in Tennessee this year. I sure won't be receiving the long distance award! Also, the Horizons Unlimited USA East meeting is scheduled for August. Looks like another great year ahead if I can just make it through winter!

You may have noticed that I have put a hit counter and a country counter on my page. Please leave comments!! I speak Spanish, English and German. So please, don't be shy about leaving a comment in any of those languages!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

DVD Time!

Winter has set in here in the mountains of North Carolina. The bikes are in the garage patiently waiting for their next ride. It is the day before Thanksgiving. It gets dark early and we have even had some snow. I did take a few rides since my last post but it was just mainly cruising around the back roads. To get me through the winter I watch DVDs by others that have made interesting trips. About a week ago I finished Long Way Down with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. This was the second journey in their series. I had watched the series on Fox Reality, but the DVDs included a lot of extra footage. I know a lot of guys think they're wimps with all their support and everything, but I like the show anyway. I have also watched Globeriders Indochina. This documents a scouting trip made by Helge Pedersen to Southeast Asia. He and a friend traveled through Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and a couple of other countries. I am now in the middle of watching a series by Gary Smith called Burro has Three Wheels. In this series Gary rides his Ural with a sidecar from Portland, OR to the tip of South America, then on to Prudhoe Bay, AK, then on to Goosebay, Labrador. That is still not enough riding for Gary and he heads for Key West. I watched the Mexico portion last night and he really made me yearn for a warmer climate. After I have finished Gary's series I will watch Get Lost: Oregon.

Don't think I am just a couch potato. I have also cracked open a book or two that deals with motorcycle travel. Right now I am reading Obsessions Die Hard by Ed Culberson. Ed was one of the first, if not the first, to get a motorcycle through the notorious Darien Gap. For those that don't know, the Darien Gap is a break in the Pan American Highway between Panama and Columbia. Most people will ship their bike by air or sea to get around the Gap. A few people have conquered it on motorcycle. I know only of Ed Culberson and Helge Pedersen. After reading this book, I would have to say I would fly my bike over. If you are starting to get cabin fever check out the links and support these guys by buying their products.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and check back soon to see how I am surviving the winter!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

3rd Annual ADV Eastern Airhead Rally

On October 17 - 19, 2008 the third annual ADV Eastern Airhead Rally was held in Tellico Plains, TN. This is traditionally my last big outing of the year. From now until March I will just do what I call maintenance rides. These are short 20 to 30 mile rides just to keep the batteries charged and the oils moved around. Also the next few months will be spent planning my my Ocracoke Island to San Diego cross county trip. I may make a few posts to let you know how the planning is going, but until March posts will be far and few between.
This past weekend, however, was a fitting end to a great riding season! I arrived late Friday night, in the rain, and Boojum still had some brats, chili, and Schlitz (that's right, Schlitz!) left over. After getting my tent up in the dark and standing around the campfire for a while I hit the sleeping bag for a good night's sleep. The next morning was foggy but it soon burned off and the rest of the day was beautiful! I rode to TWO in Suches, GA for lunch. This was the first time I had been at TWO in a couple of years and there were a lot of "Harley Posers" there. After lunch I ran the cooler run and returned to Tellico Plains. I won a "Ride the Dragon" board game as a door prize in the evening. Sort of appropriate for a third grade teacher. After the usual frivolity of the evening campfire, including Kayla the beer drinking bird dog, I hit the sack and during the night the temperature plummeted.
I awoke in the morning to a frozen rain fly and a motorcycle covered in frost! This photo is not that great, but the lens was fogging up in the cold. If I remember right the campground was at about 1800 feet and I was going to ride over the Cherohala Skyway which would take me up over 5300 feet. That meant I was in for a cold ride home! Oh well, so be it. This is what I do. The ride home was cold, but the skies were blue and the fall colors were out.
Keep check back during the course of the winter. I will try to make at least one post per month just to keep the site active. Meanwhile, if any one has any recommendations for my cross county trip, shoot me an email! Have a great winter!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blue Ridge Madness at Buzzard Brent's

This weekend there was an airhead rally at High Country Motorcycle Camp in Ferguson, NC. This is Turkey Tom's campground for all you old timers. We have started calling it Buzzard Brent's in honor of the "new" owner. Actually Brent has owned the place for a couple of years now. While Friday's weather was on the iffy side, the rest of the weekend was fantastic. Beautiful blue skies and the forest was showing off all of its fall colors. I have included a couple of pictures, but the camera could not do justice to the color. It was a great time!
Next Friday I will be heading off to the ADV Rider Fall Airhead rally in Tellico Plains, TN. So far the weather seems promising. Check back next weekend and find out how it was!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NO GAS in Western North Carolina

I have not posted anything to the blog in the last two weeks because there has been no gas in Western North Carolina since Hurricane Ike hit Galveston, Texas. The airhead is dry and the hexhead has about 100 miles of gas left in the tank. Hopefully the situation will resolve itself in the next couple of weeks and I can get back on the road. Plans are to attend the Blue Ridge Madness event at High Country Motorcycle Camp in Ferguson, NC October 10-12, 2008 and then the ADV Rider Old Skool event in Tellico Plains, TN the next weekend. I have been doing a lot of photography in and around Asheville the last couple of weeks. Please take a look at the Asheville gallery on my SmugMug site and let me know what you think of my photos! Check back in a couple of weeks to see if we have gotten fuel. I would really like to get in a couple of weekends of riding before winter sets in!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just a Relaxing Weekend in Western North Carolina

This past weekend I camped at Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, NC. It always relaxing to camp in the shadow of Cold Mountain. On Saturday I rode to Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. Due to closures on the Blue Ridge Parkway the restaurant on Mt. Mitchell has been having some hard times, so the Western North Carolina contingent of the ADV Riders decided to have lunch there. We had a good lunch after riding from the relative heat below to cool fog on Mt. Mitchell. I rode my airhead RT but several others rode the dirt to get there.
Even though it is the middle of September the riding season feels as though it is coming to an end. That's funny since I ride year round here. But I am not camping every weekend and time is taken up with school and other things that just need to get done. Keep an eye or subscribe to my blog, though. I will soon begin planning my next big trip. I will ride from Asheville to Ocracoke Island on the Atlantic and then to San Diego! Coast to Coast with mountains, prairies, and deserts in between! Hmmm! Deserts in June and July?!? I'm already starting to think of the trip to Alaska as the "good ol' days"!!
I aslo want to remind you of my SmugMug site. I will be posting photographs throughout the winter. Last weekend, for example, I photographed people at the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival. If you know anything about Asheville, you know this is worth a look!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

RoK On Rally - Newport, TN

This rally put on by the Riders of Knoxville is one of my favorite events of the year! It is a laid back affair and has become a Labor Day Weekend tradition with me. I left for the rally immediately after school on Friday. This year the weather was beautiful. On Saturday I just rode around East Tennessee and discovered the Harrisburg Covered Bridge near Sevierville. I also discovered a part of the Foothills Parkway I had never ridden. After spending the evening watching other riders win door prizes we watched Easy Rider for about the millionth time. Next weekend I plan on camping at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, NC. I plan on riding the airhead to this event. Check back to see if anything interesting happens!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dan'l Boone Rally in Boone, NC

First of all I have to apologize for not posting last week. I camped at Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, NC and had a great ride to Tennessee on Saturday. I rode through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Townsend, TN. The only problem was that I did not check the camera batteries before I left and I have no photos to show you. Oh well, that would be an excuse to do it again, right?
This past weekend, August 15 - 17, I spent at the Dan'l Boone Rally in Boone, NC. This is a nice little rally and about 275 people were in attendance. I rode 421, the Snake, to Shady Valley, TN and returned via Elizabethton, TN. Great roads and great weather! The rally is held at the Boone KOA, the highest KOA east of the Rockies. Here are some photos from around the rally site.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Horizons Unlimited Travellers Meeting

I spent this past weekend (July 16 - 20) at the Horizons Unlimited Travellers Meeting in Stecoah, North Carolina. Horizons Unlimited is an organization dedicated to long distance and international motorcycle travel. Several presentations were given on Latin American travel. There was on on South Africa and I gave two presentations, one on how tho make a travel DVD and the other on my trip to Alaska. All in all the weekend was very informative and inspirational. If you don't hit the road on your bike after attending one of these meetings there is something wrong with you!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 27 - 328.1 Miles

I left Clarksville, Tennessee about 7:00AM. I rode through Nashville and Maryville. We lived in Maryville for 18 years before moving to Asheville. I took the “back way” through Newport, TN and Hot Springs, NC. It was strange to be riding on my home roads after almost one month on the road. I arrived home safely and I am already planning my trip for next year. Stay tuned for Koast to Koast with Kurt – 2009!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day 26 - 484.1 Miles

When I started today I though it would be relatively uneventful. I knew that I would not be able to make it home today, so I broke away from the main highway and decided to take The Great River Road by the Mississippi. I had seen Alton Brown do this on his Food Network show “Feasting on Asphalt”. I had forgotten about the flooding. There was detour after detour routing me around the road. That was not my only problem. I had forgotten that today was the 4th of July. I was in the middle of America in small towns in Missouri. Every Main Street was having a parade! I called my wife because I thought this was hilarious. She said I could join the parade on my bike. At one point I had the Mississippi River to my left, water covered roads ahead of me and 4th of July patriotism on my right. What could I do. I decide to watch a parade. I was talking to a policeman about a possible route around the detours when I mentioned joining the parade on my bike. He said I should! I asked “Didn’t you see Easy Rider. The cops arrested them for that!” He thought that was funny! I decided that it was time to make some time, so I went back to the slab. I finished the day (with just a little rain) in Clarksville, Tennessee. Believe it or not, one thing I am looking forward to is changing oil in the bike. I last changed oil in Anchorage. I have been working this oil hard. I am looking forward to washing this bike and giving it some tender loving care. It has done everything I have asked of it and more. Tomorrow…home!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 25 - 432.2

Today was a good day. The weather was almost perfect. The highlight of today was riding through Marceline, MO, the boyhood home of Walt Disney. Did find one thing interesting while in South Dakota. While watching TV there were commercials trying to get people to stay in South Dakota. It was telling them that they had good jobs, better apartments, and a better way of life. As I left South Dakota there was a billboard that said “DON’T LEAVE SOUTH DAKOTA”. It made me wonder what is going on there. It certainly did not speak well of the state to tourists passing through.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 24

There is not much to report today. Guess what? I had a cold, rainy ride this morning. I did make it to Sioux Falls, SD. Sorry, the weather was too bad to photograph anything today. Tomorrow I will head further towards Dixie!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 23 - 71.9 Miles

Today was just a relaxing day. I rode less than 100 miles! It was almost like a day off. I rode to mount Rushmore and spent a little time there. It really does look bigger on TV. When I got back to the campground an older gentleman asked me what kind of motorcycle I had. I told him a BMW. He then asked if that was a British version of a Harley. I just said, “Yep!”. This is sort of the end of the trip. The next three days will be spent riding the slab to get home. I will update you each night as to how where I made it to and how many miles I covered. I know how you mother hens worry!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 22 - 371.9 Miles

I left Billings and headed for the Dakotas. Just a lot of prairie riding. I did see quite a few antelope in southeastern Montana. I started singing “Home, Home on the Range” in my helmet. I cut through the northeast corner of Wyoming and into South Dakota. I finally made it to Sturgis, site of the (in)famous Black Hills Rally. There is not much to Sturgis when the rally is not in town. It is just a lot of Harley Davidson souvenir shops. I did ride down Main Street, though. Afterwards I rode on Highway 385 through the Black Hills National Forest to Rapid City, South Dakota. Tomorrow I plan on seeing Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Believe it or not, I visited Mount Rushmore with my mom and dad when I was only about four years old and I sort of remember it. The area around Mt. Rushmore sort of reminds me of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in Tennessee. A lot of tourist trap type attractions.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 21 - 240.6 Miles

Today was arguably the best day of the trip so far. The weather was great! Not a cloud in this big ol’ Montana sky. I rode to Beartooth Pass and what a ride! There were times I was riding between two walls of snow that were about 10 feet tall! The scenery was the best I have seen on my trip. I then rode the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and then back to the KOA. The pictures do not do today justice. I just could not capture the beauty of this place. Tomorrow I will be heading for a campground near Mount Rushmore. Check back then!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 20 - 399.9 Miles

I reentered the US today. It feels good to be back “home”. By the way the sky was cloudless and I actually rode without fleece or my heated grips today! I rode through Montana to Billings where I am staying in North America’s first KOA. I love history! Tomorrow I will ride the famed Beartooth Pass in Wyoming. Then on to Mount Rushmore. From the photos you will see why Montana is call the Big Sky country. One interesting item of note is that I passed several defunct missile silos. It sort of reminded me of my trip a few years ago to the former DDR where I saw several old East German bases slowly deteriorating. I guess the Cold War really is over.

Day 19 - 599.3 Miles!

I left Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada and rode almost 600 miles to Lethbridge, Alberta. Tomorrow I will reenter the US and try to run Beartooth Pass and see Mount Rushmore before heading for home. Sorry, no photos today.

Day 18 - 541.1 Miles

Today I left Liard Hot Springs in a cold rain. Other than my continuing weather problems, the ride was ling and uneventful. I ended up in a hotel in Grand Prairie, Alberta. The photo is of my tent drying out in my room. I hope to reach the States tomorrow.

Day 17 - 398.7 Miles

Well, I found a tire at Yukon Honda. Those guys were great! They moved me to the head of the line and I was in and out in less that one hour. Thanks guys. I rode on (in a cold rain of course) to Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park. Along the way I ran into a fellow had flown to Alaska, bought a used 1150 GS and went to the Arctic Circle on the Dempster. He decided to ride the bike back to Toronto with knobbies. Needless to say the chip seal pavement on the Alaska Highway ate his front knobbie. He was very concerned. I told him he could probably make it to Dawson Creek where he could find a new tire. Later some friends of his with a trailer arrived! End of his worries. I went to sleep to the sound of rain falling on the tent. I am getting tired of this!!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 16 - 390.3 Miles

I left Tok, AK in a cold rain, but by noon the sun finally came out and my spirits were lifted. After a lot of construction I crossed the border back into Canada. I am really beginning to need a rear tire. I will try to find one in Whithorse tomorrow. For the next few days I will be backtracking my trip up the Alaska Highway. The ride reports for the next few days will probably just be mileage and staring and ending points. That’s all today.

Day 15 - 335.2 Miles

What can I say? Today sucked! First two good things happened. I changed my oil at Alaska Leather and I cannot say enough about Barb, the owner. I had forgotten my filter wrench at home and she did not have one at the shop. She drove to her house, tot her wrench for me to use and returned to the store. Not many people would do that for a customer. Thanks, Barb!! The second good thing was that I saw my first glacier. It was truly magnificent, a river of ice. Can you guess how the weather was today? That’s right! Cold and rainy. My worst weather so far. I had 285 miles of cold rain. Alaska’s weather has whipped my butt. I am going home. Tonight I am in Tok, but not at the campground. I am am hotelling it again. Tomorrow I will head for Whithorse. Hopefully I will be able to camp at the Robert Service Campground again.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 14 - 370.2 Miles

Last night in Fairbanks they had the annual Midnight Sun Fun Run. The race went right by the campground I was stay at. These photos were taken at about 11:00PM. Today I left Fairbanks with fairly decent weather. The ride through Denali National Park was very nice. After that (you guessed it) the weather turned cold and rainy. So much so I found a hotel for the night. Tomorrow I will give Brunhilde a well deserved oil change. I wanted to have a new rear tire mounted, but Barb’s tire guy broke down in Dawson and will not be able to mount the tire until after 6:00PM. I am getting a case of get-home-it is so I will skip the tire change. It really doesn’t need to be changed I just wanted new rubber for the trip home. I know this tire will last until I reach the lower 48, but I’ll have to see after that. Oh well, enjoying the luxury of a Super 8 tonight, tomorrow I will be homeward bound!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 13 - 400.2 Miles

Today I made my assault on the Arctic Circle. June 21, 2008, the summer solstice. The Haul (Dalton Highway) Road was not as bad as I was expecting. But I had perfect weather. In the rain I think this road would have killed me. But I still feel like I have been beaten like a rental mule. It was so jiggly that I think some of my organs have been rearranged. I had a little rain on the way back, but not too much. After I visited the Arctic Circle Wayside I saw Jim on the way up to Prudhoe. He flagged me down and told me that he had seen a family of four on bicycles that were going from Alaska to South America. Their water filter had broke and he sold them his for $40.00. He felt bad about this and asked if when I passed them I would give them the $40.00 back. Boy, were they surprised when Brunhilde and I pulled up beside them and gave them the 40 bucks. Hey, we travelers have got to stick together!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

This is It!

In about one hour I will be leaving for the Arctic Circle. Jim slept in, but it is not like I have to worry about riding in the dark on the way back. I don't really know what to expect of the Haul Road. Some folks say you can do it at 80 MPH and others say no way over 40. The weather is liiking good. According to my GPS it is a 12 hour rond trip to the Circle, but only 157 miles?!? We'll see, it is kind of screwy sometimes. Check back later today or tomorrow for my report.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 12 - 210.6 Miles

I can’t believe it!! Finally a day without rain. After breakfast I left Tok and headed for Fairbanks. No fleece, no heated grips and no rain. The weather was beautiful. The most remarkable event of the day was eating lunch at a Taco Bell in North Pole, AK. Tonight I am camped at Chena River Wayside. Tomorrow… the Arctic Circle. Jim and I will also part way tomorrow, he is headed all the way to Prudhoe Bay. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be writing my report on the Arctic Circle.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 11 - 187.7 Miles

Today I left the Yukon on the Top of the World Highway. What a ride! When the sun was out the vistas were beautiful. The road is partly paved on the Canadian side, but mostly mud on the American side. I reentered the U.S. at Poker Creek, the most northern land port of the United Stated. I rode to Boundary for coffee and proceeded to display my riding skills by dropping my bike in the parking lot. How embarrassing! Anyway, I continued on the highway to Chicken, AK where I had breakfast at noon. After Chicken the road conditions improved and I camped at the Sourdough Campground in Tok, AK. Tomorrow I will be heading for Fairbanks!

Day 10

When I woke up this morning it was raining, of course. As soon as the weather broke, I headed out on the Klondike Highway to Dawson City, Yukon. The riding was pretty good considering the weather. I had my first real experience with northern road construction. After passing through a construction site just beyond Stewart’s Crossing, Brunhilde was filthy. But, she wears the dirt well. After arriving in Dawson I set up camp on the other side of the Yukon River. A short ferry ride back to town got me back to Dawson. First we (Jim, a fellow traveler) went to the Downtown Hotel for beer and wings. Then we had dinner at the Drunken Goat, a Greek restaurant. Afterwards we met some locals and let’s just say the evening got weird. The cast of characters for the evening was a bar owner, retired bar owner, a suspected meth addict, and one other guy who just shoed up. That’s all I’ll say about that because I really don’t know how the evening went down, but somehow by the end of the evening Jim got his beard shaved. Anyway, we went back to the campground (via ferry) about midnight to get ready for the Top of the World Highway tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 9

Today I left Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park and rod to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The weather was again on again and off again. I did see two bear, one black and one grizzly. Of course, I stopped at Watson Lake to see the signpost forest. I met Jim again on the road and we rode together to Robert Service Campground in Whitehorse. This is sort of a hippy campground…coffee shop, old sofas set up under an awning, etc. Really cool, man. At 51 I may be the oldest person here. Lots of Europeans judging from the languages I am hearing. It reminds me of the European youth hostels, but with tents. The plan for tomorrow is to ride to Dawson City Yukon and then to Alaska on Thursday. I made it to the Yukon!

Day 8

I left Beatton Provincial Park about 8:00AM The sun, however, was up about 3:30AM. These northern latitudes are going to take some getting use to. I looked forward to my first full day on the Alaska Highway. What a day it was to be! The weather was on again then off again. The pattern seemed to be 1 hour of beautiful weather and then one hour of cold rain. The same with the Alaska Highway, one hour of smooth road, one hour of road that made the GS earn its name. I finally saw a moose, four in fact. I also saw buffalo on the road. No bears, yet. Tonight I am staying in Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park. I have the tent set up under a shelter so I do not have to worry about rain tonight. To my surprise I ran into a third grade class on a field trip. They were from the Chalo School in Ft. Nelson, British Columbia. I wound up talking shop with the teacher and they offered to feed me hot dogs and cookies for dinner. It seems like teaching is teaching no matter where you do it. Their teacher has the same problems and headaches as we do in North Carolina. It was kind of neat being surrounded by eight-year-olds after being mostly alone for a week. I also met a guy named Jim that is also on a GS headed north. I am stating to have problems with the light. It never gets dark here! I think you may be able to say that I am out of my comfort zone. Later I will take a soak in the Hot Springs. Ahhhh! This is the life!

Day 7

Today started just like the rest…cold and rainy. But during the afternoon the clouds began to break and the sun appeared. I felt something that resembled warmth. The highlight of the day was reaching the Alaska Highway. I took the usual photos at the marker in Dawson Creek and rode on to Beatton Provincial Park on Charlie Lake. As I write this in my tent showers are falling. Oh yeah, finally some scenery. It can only get better from here (I hope)!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 6 - 409.2 Miles

Another bad day. It started out OK, but the temperature dropped and it began to rain outside the Battlefords. Again I had to put on all my clothes and use my heated grips to stay warm. I decided to hotel it again. I pulled into the Ventura Motel in Vermilion, Alberta, Canada. The weather was so bad that the receptionist took pity on me and let me have a room free for the night! I don’t think that would ever happen in the states. I am about one hundred miles from where I wanted to stay tonight. I have just checked the weather for tomorrow and it does not look much better. As far as the riding goes, the worst part is the wind! At times the wind gets under may helmet and it feels like it is trying to yank it off my head. I am starting to wonder how many more days of weather like this I can endure. Since I got tonight free in a hotel, I am going to press on westward tomorrow and if the weather does not improve I may hotel it again tomorrow. I think I can justify the cost of the hotel as a safety factor. I have already experienced hypothermia twice on this trip and the object is to see Alaska, not injure myself for foolish pride.

Day 5 - 337.5 Miles

Today was a hard one. I left Winnipeg about 7:00AM and it was very cold (remember I am from the South). I put on all the clothes I had and rode westward. Then it began to rain. I don’t mind being cold and I don’t mind being wet. But, I hate being cold AND wet. The low point of the day was heavy rain in Neepawa, Manitoba. I stopped at a McDonald’s and drank two large coffees to warm up and wait for the rain to end. Once I got back on the road the weather got better… and then it got worse. I actually contemplated getting another hotel room, but I did not want to get in that habit. Brunhilde and I pushed on to Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park in Saskatchewan. God bless Brunhilde. She has done everything I have asked of her and more. She has run on premium, ethanol, and regular. I have not seen premium gas in Canada. But 87 octane seems to suit her fine. Just long, straight roads with farm field on either side. The weather has to change sometime. Right? Onward to Alaska! Oh yeah! I just remembered… today is Friday the 13th!