Friday, December 30, 2011

Tecate, Mexico

No, I have not ridden the bike to Tecate, Mexico, but I did visit Tecate whil spending Christmas with my son and his family in San Diego.  This is somewhat motorcycle related since I wanted to check out the border crossing I will be using when returning to the States in a few months.

My wife and I crossed the border easily and just strolled around looking at the town.  It is amazing how "Mexican" this town is being right on the border.  All in all we spent about three hours and had lunch at a great little outdoor restaurant called Lolo's.  Yes, we ate Mexican food but I was surprised how many Chinese restaurants were there!

Crossing the border back into the US was not so easy.  We could not find the pedestrian crossing at first and had to ask a Mexican border guard (with the biggest dang gun I've seen in some time) how to get back across. He did not speak English and my Spanish is pitiful.  Eventually we saw some folks following yellow arrows on the pavement and decided to follow them.  Voila! The arrows lead to the good ol' U S of A.

Stay tuned as I plan my trip to Central America with a tentative departure date of March 15, 2012.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Plan

My current plan (which I am sure will fall apart on day 2 of the trip) is to ride to Texas (my home state) and get new tires mounted. From there I'm going to ride across the state to Big Bend and spend few days there. I spent time there in the 70s when you could walk across the river to Boquillas del Carmen and get a cold Carta Blanca. I understand that since 9/11 you can't do that anymore.

From there I'm going to cross at Eagle Pass and head for the eastern coast and eventually cross into Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and winding up in Meteti, Panama. Spend a couple of days there and then head back up the Pan American Highway this time riding through El Salvador back to Mexico. In Mazatlan I will take the ferry over to Baja and ride up to San Diego (re-entering at Tecate) to visit my son that lives there. My wife will fly out and we will do some sight-seeing together for a while. 

From San Diego I'm riding up to Nevada to ride Highway 50 (The Lonliest Road in America) and then over to Monument Valley. From there I think I'm going to pretty much high tail it home through the mid-west.

As I said this plan will probably fall apart faster than it took me to type all that!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Planning for Central America

I know I have not posted ion a while but I have been busy!  I have begun my planning for my trip to Central America.  Below is my current reading material.  Stay tuned because this is gonna be a great trip!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

September 30 through October 2, 2011 were the dates for the annual ADV Old School Rally in Tellico Plains, TN.  It was a good time even if I did have some "issues" with the bike.  The dealer that had worked on my bike the previous week did not fully connect the ground wire to the battery.  I thought I was going to have to trailer the bike to a dealer but it turned out to be dealer error instead.  I was so happy that my problem was easily solved that I rode out and forgot to latch my Touratech bag lid.  It is somewhere on the highway between Georgia and home!  Oh well, they can be replaced to the tune of $100!!!  Here are some photos from a great weekend.

I am currently planning on making a trip to Panama in the spring. This is going to be a major trip and it is still in the planning stages.  I don't know how many more time I will get out this year but I will try to post monthly on how the planning for the Central America trip is progressing.  Check back or subscribe!  Ride safe!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Run to Loafer's Glory

On September18, 2011 I made a run to Loafer's Glory, NC.  I had just mounted new tires on my airhead and what better way to scuff them in.

 On the way back I rode through the clouds to Mt. Mitchell.  Mt. Mitchell is the highest point in the United States east of the Rockies.  At over 6,000 feet it was cool and foggy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

RoK On Rally 2011

September 9-11 were the dates of the RoK (Riders of Knoxville) Rally in Del Rio, TN. I have gone to this rally several times over the past ten years and have always enjoyed it.

Friday evening Mr. Moore, a local historian, told stories of Civil War happenings in Cocke County, TN. 
On Saturday I took a ride and got to do some forest service roads in the Cherokee National Forest. At the closing ceremonies I won a pair of sun glasses with flames in chrome on the side. Just what every BMW rider wants!!!!

On Sunday morning I packed up and went to see the Christy Mission. This is the actual "holler" where the historical events took place that led to the creation of the "Christy" television show years ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eurosports Asheville VIP Grand Opening

I don't know how I did it, but I swung a VIP invitation to the Grand Opening of Eurosports in Asheville. The event was held on August 19 at the new facilities. There was music, food from 12 Bones and a first look at the BMW K1600. I saw a lot of my old friends and it was a very pleasant evening.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dan'l Boone Rally - 2011 Edition

August 11-14, 2011 I attended the Dan'l Boone Rally in Boone, NC. This is a nice little rally that is really laid back. It is a "rider's" rally in that there are not a lot of activities during the day. You are supposed to be out riding anyway. The Snake (US 421) is nearby as are an abundance of sweet curvy roads. Dual sport riders are not disappointed either. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a mere 10 miles or so away. At this rally the roads are the entertainment. I really did not take many photos at this rally but did take one or two shots on the way home.

Dan'l Boone Rally

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Horizons Unlimited Traveller's Meeting 2011

Horizons Unlimited held their annual USA East Traveller's Meeting August 4-7 at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort in Stecoah, NC. This is an annual meeting of international motorcycle travelers from all over the east coast. I am very lucky to have this event only 80 miles from my home. I have attended the last several years and always learn something new. The day time events are mainly "how to" seminars on tire changing, maintenance, ergonomics, etc. The night time events are more inspirational and motivational. Most presentations are about trips our fellow travelers have made. I presented my "Solo to the Circle" presentation about my 2008 Alaska trip. If you like long distance or international motorcycle travel you owe it to yourself to attend this event next year if you are in the area. Check the web site (a wealth of information) for upcoming meetings and times.

Women discussing their "special needs" when traveling long distances.

Learning how to set the bike up ergonomically for long days in the saddle.

"How to" presentations during the day.

Bikes from all over!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 8)

I took the express home and stayed in some interesting places. I did stop in Baddeck, Nova Scotia to see the Alexander Graham Bell historical exhibit. Since it was Canada Day it was free.

In Whycocomagh there seemed to be a fellow that takes the Simpsons a little too seriously! There were life sized figures of all the Simpson characters in his front yard!

One of the motels I stayed in had the smoke alarm ripped out and a "roach motel" in the corner! I gotta start staying in better places.

In Natural Bridge, VA I ran across Foamhenge. A full size replica of Stonehenge made entirely of styrofoam!

I'm back home now and really have to say I had a good time despite some of the weather!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 7)

I rode back over the Confederation Bridge in time to avoid all the hoopla over Prince William and Princess Kate's visit. Prince Edward Island is a pleasant place, but most of it is heavily cultivated in the rich red soil. Not really a lot to interest a motorcyclist. I backtracked quite a bit and finally arrived at the Cabot Trail.

I joined the trail at the intersection of the trail and 105.I rode about half of the trail and made camp at Chitencamp. I noticed a flag flying in the area. It looked like the French flag, but with a single star.

I asked a park employee about it and he said it was the Acadian flag. This was the the land of my ancestors and I did not realize it! My father's side of the family is Cajun. I believe I am the first in my family to return to our ancestral home. My plan for tomorrow is to complete the Cabot Trail and begin my long, slow journey to the south and west towards home!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 6)

Today's ride was rather uneventful. I rode from Fundy National Park to Prince Edward Island National Park. On the way I stopped by Cape Enrage and Hopewell Rocks.

I rode over the Confederation Bridge to get to Prince Edward Island. The bridge is 13km long. It is very pleasant and most of the island is cultivated. I did the birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery in New London, PEI. She was the author of the Anne of Green Gables books.

My guidebook was correct that Cavendish is a tourists trap. They actually do have a Ripley's Believe It or Not! Water and amusement parks abound. It was just not what I was looking for. I did get a very nice campsite right on the ocean.

I walked a little on the beach and noticed a strange phenomenon. When the tide went out several (hundreds) of smallish silver fish were left stranded on a small gulley. They were flopping around and could not get back out to sea. Birds, some that appeared to be eagles, were swooping down and having a feast on the hapless fish.

Later in the evening I spoke with some fellow riders I had met in Fundy and even a couple from North Carolina

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 5)

I quickly had breakfast and packed up to more cursing and profanity from the next door neighbors. They were also hacking up their lungs before their first cigarette of the morning settled the phlegm in their lungs. In about an hour I was at the Canadian border. I was asked several questions, told to park the bike and wait in a little room while the immigration and customs officer “ran a few more checks”. While relatively easy this was my most difficult border crossing. Could my new “concealed carry permit” have had anything to do with it? Don't know. Eventually I was found worthy to enter Canada and I was off! It seems that after entering Canada there is about 50 miles of wasteland until you get to a real town. My first concern was to get some Canadian currency. No problem, I have a GPS. I told the GPS genie to find me an ATM and it took me to Nackawic. Nackawic is home to the largest ax in the world. I have to admit it was pretty big!

From there I rode Trans-Canada 2 to Fundy National Park. The bay of Fundy has the greatest difference in tide heights in the world. I arrived and set up camp and went to the Alma beach to see the tide. Low tide was 4:59 and that is when I was there. I was able to walk in the “watt”. In just a few hours everywhere I was now walking would be about 50 feet underwater.

I got off my “doing it on the cheap” and ate fish and chips with beer at the Tides restaurant overlooking the bay. Well, every once in a while you have to splurge while on vacation! It was a cool night. I took a shower and went to the program that was being presented that evening It was called Winter Wonderland and was supposed to give you a glimpse into the park in the winter time. I arrived early and began talking to the presenter who was from New Zealand. I mentioned that I had two sons, one in San Diego and one in Japan. She told me her son also lives in Japan. He was a JETT , like Niels, and married a Japanese girl and now lives there. I also mentioned I was a teacher and wound up on stage as the narrator for short play on the life span of fish in the Fundy National Park.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 4)

Today I rode up Mount Washington. It was a good ride, but not as scary as I was led to believe. We have scarier roads in North Carolina. The views from the top were worth the wait!

After visiting the summit I rode through Gorham into Maine. I was surprised at the number of Confederate Flags I saw flying from houses in Maine. Riding through Maine was uneventful and I wound up at the Green Cove Campground. This was a fishing campground and I thought I was back in the red neck south. I was assigned a tent spot next to a family that could have been from the deepest, darkest Alabama. I mean no offense to any one from Alabama. Every other word was the the F-bomb and I'm not talking just mamma and daddy. The kids were throwing it around like it was a cheap baseball. After a well deserved shower and laundry I drifted off to sleep with the sound of family cursing in the background.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 3)

Left Virginia and rode through Maryland into Delaware. Delaware seems to be the strip mall capital of the world. Every town I rode through was one strip mall after another. Saw a little place called Firebase Lloyd in Delaware.

Some kind of Viet Nam Vet's motorcycle club. From there it was on to the Allentown/Bethlehem area of Pennsylvania. It was like one large town. City traffic all day. I did ride into Nazareth, PA. Nazareth is where C. F. Martin guitars are made.

Later the weather turned nasty and I got dumped on near Stroudsburg, PA. I wound up staying in a motel.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Maritime Tour (Part 2)

The second day of my journey proved to be relatively uneventful. It entailed a long, straight ride on Highway 58 from Meadows of Dan to Norfolk, VA. Boring! The highlight of the day was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. There are actually two tunnels that take you under the Chesapeake Bay which allows large ships to enter the harbor at Norfolk. It was a really cool ride.

The low point of the day was my campsite for the night. I though that there was a National Park Service campground on the island of Chincoteague off the Virginia coast near the Maryland border. Upon arriving on the island, after quite a detour, I found only commercial campgrounds were available. For $35 I got a trashed out campsite at a “family campground”. I also got attitude from the kid running the registration. I don't think they like motorcycles staying here. My rating for Tom's Cove Park, two thumbs down!

The Maritime Tour Begins!

Shades of Alaska! Three years ago I took a took a ride to Alaska and had eighteen straight days of rain. It looked like this trip was going to start off the same way. I woke up to thunderstorms and before I had left home a tree had fallen and taken out the power to our whole neighborhood. Eventually the rain stopped and I left on the Maritime Tour. As do most of my trips this one started with a jaunt on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway was littered with debris and leaves due to the high winds. There was a detour from the Parkway at Laurel Springs and I had to take highway 18 from Laurel Springs, NC. About 15 miles into the detour I came upon another tree down across the road. Every traveler hates to backtrack, but sometimes it is necessary. My map was in my tankbag, but I really don't know why I keep it there. I can't see it without my glasses. I was going to have to depend on my GPS to get me out of this. I knew I needed to get to Highway 58 in Virginia and I knew that Willville Motorcycle Camp was near where I needed to be. Willville was a waypoint in my GPS so off I went. The wind picked up and blew me around the road quite a bit. Rain also began to fall. I finally found Highway 58 in Independence, VA and headed east. It was getting late afternoon and I decided to call it a night and camp at Willville.

That night I got to meet Rocky, the campground raccoon. I had been warned not to leave any food out and I was careful not to. I did not think Rocky would be interested in my sponge I use to wash dishes. I was wrong! Rocky brazenly climbed up on my picnic table and stole my sponge while daring me to do anything about it. I yelled an him and the chase was on! Rocky crossed a stream, dropped the sponge, and looked back at me as if to say “I didn't really want it anyway”. The next morning, when I could see better, I crossed the stream and retrieved my sponge from where Rocky had dropped it. Kurt 1... Rocky 0!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Moonshiner 28

On June 11 I rode the Moonshiner 28 between Deal's Gap, NC and Walhalla, SC. I rode to Kickstand Lodge in Stecoah, NC on June 10 and made that my base camp for the weekend.

First I rode to Deal's Gap. What a circus!! I live in this area and I know that folks come from far away to ride the Dragon at Deal's Gap, but it is probably my least favorite area to ride here. I'll leave the Dragon to the tourists ride the good roads that we local riders try to keep secret.

From Deal's Gap I rode Highway 28 all the way to Walhalla, SC. Highway 28 is an old moonshiner's route to take white lightening down from the hills of Tennessee and North Carolina to waiting customers in South Carolina. It is a very good ride.

After completing the Moonshiner 28 I had lunch in Seneca, SC at a local greasy spoon. The Time Drive In was not bad (as long as you like all your food deep fried!)

After lunch I rode back to Kickstand Lodge to relax and socialize with the other riders. Kickstand Lodge is a very laid back campground with a unique method of operation. You'll just have to visit it for yourself to see. Here is a photo of the stream behind my tent.

Next week I am planning on leaving for a long ride to Canada. The goal is to pick up some New England states that I have not ridden in. I hope to take the ferry to Labrador and Newfoundland. We'll see if it all works out. Things happen on the road!!! I do not plan on being near a lot of wi-fi hotspots so reporting on this blog may have to wait until the trip is over. Check back later and see how it shakes out!