11/09/2009

2,600 miles on a Honda - part 1

Leaving Adam's house my odometer read 18,598.8 I was kinda nervous and thought "There's no way i'm going to be able to make it all the way back to Michigan." But less than 1 hour later i knew i made the right choice. I was driving to Globe, Arizona which is at an elevation of something like 4,000 feet above sea level. Half way there the view was amazing and i stopped to take pictures.
arizona motorcycle ride, mountains, honda motorcycle
I got really excited while riding on one of the mountain roads, i rode through a tunnel in the side of the mountain. It was the best bike ride of my life, until two days later.

I rode to Globe to visit my friend Laura who just got a job out there as a counselor for kids on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. The next day i helped chaperon for the all day field trip to the zoo, back in Phoenix. The zoo was actually really cool, they had pretty much everything except elephants.
arizona zoo, turtle, petting
giraffe tongue, arizona zoo, feeding
The next day i was back on the bike riding to the Salt River Canyon. I didn't really notice it on the map but Laura said i would probably enjoy it. She was right. On the motorcycle it was great, with road switch-backs going right down the mountain. salt river canyon, arizona, river, great ride
That same day i made it to the Petrified Forest. I just assumed this would be old logs, that you weren't suppose to touch, lying on the ground. It was a lot better then that.
petrified forest, national park, view, trip
petrified trees, wood, petrified forest, national park, take
riding through the petrified forest, driving
I was planning on camping somewhere near the park but it was too cold and no campsites were around. So i rode east on I-40 into New Mexico.

Here's some other pictures from the first few days:

Michigan to Arizona - part 2

From Nashville we headed to Texas to stay with our old roommate from MSU, Josh. It was basically either driving:driving cross country, USA, michigan to arizona
or not driving:
sleeping in the car ride, trip, vacation
One thing i learned from this trip...Texas is Big.
There are miles and miles of roads that look exactly like this.
texas is big, typical road
Then in New Mexico we went into some stores selling Mexican blankets and unusual "Action Figures???" With removable stone tablets and "gliding action"
jesus action figure, moses, ten commandments, toy
It took almost a whole day to drive across that state but we finally made it to Phoenix. Where upon trying to unload the bike, i broke the throttle cable. I had gone 0.00 miles and already had something break. The cable rusted and snapped in the tube. I was actually really lucky it happened there as opposed to the middle of nowhere. We had the closest shop order a new cable and overnight it.broken throttle cable, motorcycle
Here's some other pictures from that part of the trip:


Then ready or not i was on my way back to Michigan...

Michigan to Arizona - part 1

Well i just got home from my 2 week trip to across the United States. The main part of the trip was me riding my 1972 Honda CB500 from Phoenix to Michigan. But before i get to that , the week before i left with my friend John, we went up to Bad Axe and spent some time with his relatives on their farm. I got to help milk cows and plow a field. They actually let me drive that thing for almost half the day, by myself. I think i plowed around 60 acres.

bidirectional tractor, bad axe michigan, chisel plow
view from inside the tractor, field plowing
done plowing for the day, international harvester
Now on to the trip. Basically it was three days of driving:
Michigan to Nashville
Nashville to Texas
Texas to Phoenix

Before getting to Nashville though we went to the Louisville Slugger factory and got bats made with our names on them. But Nashville was really great. John and i went to the Country Music Hall of Fame, saw some of the Montreal Canadians players walking from the hotel to the ice arena, went to a concert at the Grand Ole Opry and hung out downtown afterwords.

Carrie Underwood was just one of the people singing that night
carrie underwood, live, ryman theater, grand ole opry, concert
video

Main street in downtown Nashville, there was live country music in just about every bar
downtown nashville, main street, at night, music, bars
Oh ya and we played putt-putt and rode go-carts every chance we could
go cart riding in nashville tennessee, fun, ride
racing go carts

video

Arizona to Michigan

Well i'm getting ready to drive with my friend John to Arizona. We're planning on stopping at a few places on the way down there. First stop is at the Louisville Slugger factory to have bats made with our names on them. For some reason i feel like this is going to be the absolute best part of the entire trip. Forget sunset views, national landmarks...i'm excited about a customized wood bat. Next we'll be headed to Nashville to see a concert at the Grand Ole Opry, Carrie Underwood i think. Then driving to Dallas to visit our friend Josh. Then it's off to Arizona.

I've been getting ready for the past several weeks. Se
tting up the tent in the living room, planning my route and getting the bike ready. It should be around 2,400 miles, taking around 15 to 20 days. Starting in Phoenix, then to Globe, then camp in the Petrified Forest, El Malpais National Forest... I'm going to try and do a lot of camping at national and state parks but who knows. After 200 miles of riding a day i might wuss out and stay in some motels.

White board organization
motorcycle plan, take, equipment, cross country ride, USA, US
Route
2600 miles on a honda motorcycle, across us
All the stuff i'm taking
motorcycle ride, trip, gear, on the bike
Final bike prep and cleaning
motorcycle prep, cleaning, maintenance, honda CB500
Practicing loading the bike up
practice loading the motorcycle, cross country trip, honda 1972
Setting up the tent with the dogs
setting up tent in living room, practice camping