12/03/2009

2,600 miles on a Honda - part 6

By this point in the trip i was basically planning where i was going the the next day, the night before in the tent. I'm not sure if i thought that i wouldn't make it this far or what. I probably thought "eh i'll figure it out when i get there." I reached another goal that day. I finally saw an armadillo. It was dead by the side of the road but it still counts. A couple of days earlier i saw two roadrunners, they were really cool how they ran, almost exactly like the cartoon with their heads pointed forward.armadillo by road, dead, tennessee, cross country motorcycle trip, USA
US-412 was great, lots of hills and turns. I saw on the map that it comes close to Wirth, Arkansas but 50 miles was too far of a detour. Then i came up the the border into Missouri. I still don't know what the Show-Me State even means. The state sure didn't show me much.
I know i only rode a hundred miles through the corner of the state, but I don't remember anything about Missouri except that every farm was growing cotton and it was all over the sides of the road, it looked like snow.

Missouri state line, cross country motorcycle trip, across US, honda motorcycle
Then the only real wrong turn i made was when i tried taking a side road across the Mississippi River into Tennessee. On the map there were two roads on either side of the river and it looked like there was a bridge. Turns out there was only a dead end at the river, no bridge and i had to double back 30 miles to cross into Tennessee.Tennessee state sign, cross country motorcycle trip, honda
Then it turned out that the State Park where i was going to camp was closed for the season. So i camped out at this weird bait shop/boat marina/RV park/campground. It was also weird that this place was the most expensive spot so far that i camped. Palo Duro was great and only $12, Bull Shoals was $17 and the best place out of all of them, Foss Lake was free. I could draw you a graph showing how as price increased, the campsites got worse but i'm sure you get the idea. Also it was really windy by the lake and rained all night.state park camground, tennesse, motorcycle, tent
state park tennessee, lake shore, stumps, i-40
Luckily the next day the roads were fairly dry. But since the high temp for the day was 45 degrees it was not that much fun. Then came the most dangerous part of the trip. Trying to take my picture in front of the border into Kentucky. The sign was in the center of a 4 lane divided highway with a 2 foot shoulder. Good thing the road wasn't busy.
welcome to kentucky, unbridled spirit, motorcycle trip, thousand miles
After a long day of riding i made it to Mammoth Cave and at 3:30 and got to go on the last tour of the day. It ended up being just me, a guy from Chicago and the tour guide. I had always pictured the cave as a small cramped tunnel maybe 10 foot wide. But now i know why it's called Mammoth Cave. It was huge. They said it was the longest cave system in the world, over 400 miles of tunnels, but the size of the "rooms" is what got me. Only a half mile in and there was 100 foot high ceilings and walls probably 200 feet wide. They had 3 hour trips the next day which i wanted to go on but i had to keep heading home. I would have liked to spend all day down there. Except when the guide turned out all the lights for a laugh.entrance to mammoth cave, tour, guide, air, dark
At this point i was 470 miles from home. I figured 2 more days. The next morning was really cold as can be seen from the thick layer of frost on the motorcycle.
cold morning, motorcycle ride, kentucky, ice, snow
To this point i had taken a picture in front of every state border that i crossed, until Ohio. There was absolutely no place to stop on the bridge, over the river, on the highway. So i just kept riding and made it to Dayton, 230 miles, by 2:30. When i stopped to get gas i saw a sign that said "Detroit 140 miles." My choices were to stop then and ride tomorrow in the cold rain or ride home in the dark. I decided on the second option. I crossed into Michigan right after sunset. An hour later and i was at 15 Mile and Ryan Rd, only a quarter of a mile from my house. That's when it finally hit me that i had actually made it. So if you happened to be standing on the corner that night you would have heard a crazy guy with a loaded down Honda motorcycle screaming for joy in his helmet.

For some reason i thought to myself "if the bike breaks now i can always push it home." Although the bike was GREAT. Other then replacing the throttle cable and some spark plugs it performed flawlessly. Not bad for a motorcycle that's 37 years old. The whole trip i wasn't really thinking that i would really make it the whole way, so when i pulled in the driveway i could not believe that i actually rode 2,600 miles.
welcome to pure michigan state sign, last state, motorcycle ride

1 comment:

Ostreko Family said...

So the real question is, will you do it again? Maybe some other road trip next summer. Sounded like a lot of fun.