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Summer 2017 Tour (feat. Blind_Io, Kiki and Der Stig)

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    Summer 2017 Tour (feat. Blind_Io, Kiki and Der Stig)

    Another summer, time for another bike trip. This year it was time for one side of my family to have it's reunion and we settled on all heading to see Grandma up in Williston, North Dakota. Since my job also requires me to travel there fairly regularly, I figured I'd kill 3 birds with one stone. I'd get to see my extended family, get some work done, and pile another bunch of miles onto the Super Tenere.

    Day -1:
    I usually try and bust out as many miles as possible on the first day, but the timing was such that instead I had to go watch some middle aged men from England play some music the night before leaving.

    One of the bets shows I've ever seen. Only thing that would have made it better is if you could actually see the drummer.

    Day 1: Dallas Texas to Hasting Nebraska
    After Kansas tried to kill me last year I was hoping the weather would be a little better. Mercifully it was only hot, and not thunderstormy. I was taking a route I'd never taken before and happened across this little monument.

    They had a little pavillion, chapel, bench, and a flag. Really it's all the stuff you need for the center of a country.

    Shortly thereafter I entered Nebraska

    600 miles down, 750 to go to Williston.

    Day 2: Hastings Nebraska to Williston North Dakota

    Nebraska is a much taller state than it looks. Seemed like it took me forever to get to this sign.

    I had a quick lunch in the state capital of Pierre and then took some very back roads the rest of the way up to NoDak.

    At this point the wind was really coming up out of the West and North, the two directions I was headed. I generally don't mind fighting the wind but when loaded down with bags it has a catastrophic effect on my fuel economy. Due to the scarcity of fuel stations in this part of the country I had to stop basically every 80 miles to make sure I didn't run dry. Very annoying but after about 12.5 hours and 750 miles I rolled into town.

    Days 3-6

    Did some work, hung out with people, went to this weird museum in Parshall North Dakota.

    This farmer started picking rocks out of his field and polishing them into perfect spheres. He then built a museum and put them all on display. It's called the Paul Broste Rock Museum.

    My Grandma's neighbor also came by and let me take his Harley around the block.

    I have to say, I liked it a lot more than the Road King I rented 5 years ago. A counterbalanced engine makes such a huge difference.

    Day 7: Williston North Dakota to Cody Wyoming

    Some of you may recall I had a little difficulty with brown gravy on my last trip which caused me to cut off a bunch of miles. This year I avoid the ooze of intestinal death and decided to ride that route that I had to cut last time.

    Entering Montana

    Cool sculpture at a gas station in Glendive

    End of the pavement on the Tongue River Road

    Wide open spaces

    Some birds and the Tongue River

    40,000 miles!

    Old and new irrigation systems

    The road became this really loose scoria for the last 10 miles before pavement resumed. It was extremely squirrely.

    And back into pavement after 70 miles or so.

    Entering Wyoming

    Climbing up the east side of the Bighorns

    High alpine meadow

    The wildflowers were in full bloom

    It's over 9000!

    Looking west into the Bighorn basin

    My little point and shoot doesn't give this view justice

    I had always heard that US 14-Alt across the Bighorns was spectacular and it did not disappoint at all.

    Day 8: Cody Wyoming to Salt Lake City Utah

    This morning started quite cold heading down the valley towards Yellowstone. I had bolted early so I could hopefully get through the park before the traffic started.

    Relatively low pass for this part of the world

    Yellowstone Lake

    Grand Tetons in the distance

    Some geologic stuff happening here

    Really a stunning place. I've been to the park numerous times and it never gets old.

    Entering Idaho

    Then back into Wyoming

    And finally into Utah

    Even though I was doing some big miles I wanted to hit up a road I'd never done before in the Wasatch mountains.

    It quickly got into the 90s as I decended into the Valley and I rolled into my friends place just in time for a beer infusion followed by dinner and a night in a proper non motel bed.

    Day 9: Salt Lake City Utah to Grand Junction Colorado

    After years of visting, I'd finally convinced Blind and Kiki to come with me on a leg of one of my trips. We decided to head for Grand Junction Colorado and meet up with Der Stig and then the four of us would all ride down to Pagosa Springs where we would go our seperate ways.

    Hanging out at the gas station

    They had never ridden in Colorado before...

    The pass headed into Grand Junction

    This should be their christmas card

    A wild Der Stig has appeared with his noise pump

    Day 10: Grand Junction Colorado to Pagosa Springs Colorado

    Our original plan had been to head down through Telluride on 141 and hit this big canyon south of Grand Junction on the way. Unfortunantly CODOT decided to chipseal that road so we had to reroute. Luckily it just so happened there was CO hwy 149 which I had been eyeing on the map for years but hadn't yet worked up an excuse to ride it. With our new route in my head we headed up the Grand Mesa.

    A rare picture of me

    Hanging out at yet another gas station

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison river

    CO-92. A truly spectacular road

    Next we headed into Gunnison for lunch and then down 149 through Lake City

    There wasn't a place to stop at the top of the 11,500ft pass so this will have to do

    Into the valley headed towards South Fork

    Other than a guy nearly backing over me in a Tahoe in the parking lot of the resturant, it was a great day.

    Day 11: Pagosa Springs Colorado to Dallas Texas

    Time to yet again break my personal record for longest road day, and this won't just be droning on the slab.


    Into New Mexico

    Lunch was truck stop Carl's Jr in Santa Rosa, NM. We just pounded the miles away and our last gas stop was in Bowie Texas, 100 miles from home.


    Longest day ever in the bag

    Total trip mileage

    And on our 5 year anniversary, 42,000 on the Super Tenere.

    Thanks for reading, it was great to be able to share part of this journey with some friends. Looking forward to the next one!
    Last edited by Crazyjeeper; August 13th, 2017, 4:09 AM.

    The sky has been falling for decades.

    Nice trip. Thanks for wearing the helmet in the pic. lol
    "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed

    We’ve gone from 'Hope and Change' to 'Hope and Change Your Story.' -Bill Maher


      Really nice report. Thanks for all the pics.


        Well, maybe I should chip in with the story after Kiki and I parted ways with Jeeper and DerStig in Pagosa Springs. This was the turn-around point for us, as we needed to be back in Salt Lake in two days for work (some of us don't have Jeeper's Titanium Ass). Many of these photos were posted to Instagram.

        Prior to the trip I replaced the regulator rectifier on the VFR as a preventative measure. The morning Jeeper and DerStig headed out was glorious.

        Then the VFR refused to start. It was acting like the battery was low, but the bike had started the fine the night before and had run flawlessly since the new part was installed. I naturally assumed the used regulator rectifier was a bad part and had not been charging the battery. I thought it might be a bad connection, but it was now the 4th of July and we were in a small Colorado town. We broke out the jumper pack I had purchased several months earlier (and had gotten a small amount of shit for spending $60 on it) and got the bike running. We headed out of Pagosa Springs and pointed the bikes west, against the incoming flow of traffic headed for the holiday festivities in town.

        At the first fuel stop, we shut the bike off and hoped it would re-start. No dice, so the jump pack came out again and got the VFR purring. We headed to Durango, the first town of notable size on the return trip and I hoped to find an autoparts store where I might get the battery tested or at least something to aid the connections from the regulator to the battery in an attempt to get every last amp into it. Unfortunately, with the holiday everything was closed, so we continued on with the plan to not turn the VFR off unless we absolutely had to. The jumper pack could start a motorcycle a couple dozen times before needing a recharge, and we could always top it up overnight at the next hotel.

        We started up the Million Dollar Highway and soon encountered the Durango-Silverton train headed up the canyon. I wish I could have gotten a photo of us riding next to that steam engine, but riding and trying to take selfies is rarely a good combination. Needless to say, it was an incredible sight to see the train running at speed through the valley as it started the climb to Silverton.

        As we started to climb the road only got better and better, the corners were fantastic and the road surface was nearly perfect. The traffic was a little heavy at times, but some well timed throttle got us around. Colorado is very generous with their passing zones, allowing passes where Utah would have miles and miles of uninterrupted double-yellow.

        It wasn't to last, however, soon we came into traffic waiting to pass a single-lane section of highway. Apparently one lane fell off the side of the mountain and all traffic had to wait for the signals to take their turn.

        The orange construction sign in the above photo is still half a mile from the construction zone, and we had already moved forward several times.

        The least happy with the situation was the VFR, followed closely by Kiki. The bike has side-mounted radiators and needs moving air to stay cool. Kiki watched as the temperature began to climb. The heat started to take it's toll on the ailing battery, here you can see the headlights are very dim despite the bike running. Eventually the bike shut down entirely and we pulled over to let it cool. We had to jump it again and after two more times repeating this process, we eventually made it to the front of the line, where the bike died just as the light turned green.

        A very unhappy Blind_Io taking the VFR apart for the 6th time. Behind me you can see the rebar staged for the construction zone, we actually had stopped inside their cones to escape the traffic.

        We let it cool again and got through the construction and finally headed towards Silverton with no traffic ahead. The VFR's temperature began to drop in the cool mountain air and we started the climb out of Silverton towards the pass to Ouray.

        About half a mile before the summit, I heard Kiki beeping the horn behind me; it was what I had been worried about all day. The fuel injection warning light had come on, probably due to the power issue. We pulled over and shut the bike down for the last time on this trip, it wasn't worth risking the computer or fuel injection system. We shifted everything not already off the VFR to the ST1300 and Kiki climbed on the back. I pointed the bike back down towards the closest town, Silverton, to try to find cell service. I had also seen a sign as we passed earlier for Silverton Harley Davidson, and hoped they might be open for events on the holiday.

        We arrived in Silverton and miraculously found a parking spot right on main street. The ST looked pretty lonely by herself.

        We set out to find the Harley shop but discovered that HD hadn't actually bothered to open a shop in Silverton, just a cheap tourist-trap full of Harley branded crap. I asked if they had a Harley Davidson branded multimeter, but no luck. At this point I gave up and called AAA, it was time for that membership to pay for itself.

        After having my call forwarded from California to Colorado and explaining several times that I was A) not on the Interstate, B) not actually with the bike and C) yes, it is a bike and it must be on a flatbed or a trailer. I was finally able to get a truck dispatched from Grand Junction. It would be nearly five hours before the truck arrived, involving several calls with dispatch and automated updates from AAA. Since we needed to be with the bike for loading and Silverton was the only island of cell service, we decided to get some food and enjoy the small picturesque mountain town on the 4th of July.

        If you ever are going to break down, I highly recommend Silverton, Colorado. You won't find a more pleasant and beautiful spot full of helpful and friendly people. Since we had lots of time to walk around town, I decided to try out my Instagram skills:

        You can't get much more "America" than this:

        New overland rig?

        From Kiki's photos:

        Lunch time. Leave it to us to break down outside a small mountain town and manage to find the one
        Last edited by Blind_Io; August 25th, 2017, 7:42 AM.

        No trees were killed in the transmission of this message;
        but a stupendous number of photons and electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


          Sucks to have a flailing vehicle on a road trip, but hey, at least that gives a good story aftwerwards.

          Great detailed report. Like it.


            Breaking down is always a good excuse to look around a place, which you normally wouldn't visit


              We had planned to visit Silverton, but hadn't planned to stay for so long. We initially skipped it and headed up the pass because the VFR needed to move to cool down and hopefully get some charge back in the battery with higher RPMs. We plan to go back next year in the Xterra to do some off roading, there are some amazing old mining roads that cross over the mountains in that area.

              No trees were killed in the transmission of this message;
              but a stupendous number of photons and electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


                You guys are killing me with these motorcycle adventures!



                  The only upside is that I got a chance to take cool pics of Blind and the scenery... when I wasn't falling asleep.

                  Here's the road into Ouray:

                  Blind in the Colorado countryside:


                    What he said. I am insanely jealous and wish I could take part in something like that one day although bikes scare me witless.
                    WillDAQ: To use the technical terms: "the Mustang is to aerodynamics what horse shit is to fine dining"

                    Dr Grip: Brilliant!

                    EyeMWing Because what fun is a silicone dick if you don't try putting it in somebody's backside at least once.

                    Jay IKEA now ranks up in my awesome list, quite near bacon and blowjobs.

                    Cowboy I've never gotten so drunk I wanted to rub one out while shoving a fire extinguisher up my ass.

                    Remind me never to have him round to dinner!



                      Because I'm procrastinating at work, here are some quick gifs...

                      Holiday Traffic on the Million Dollar Highway

                      Richard the Awesome and Blind loading up the VFR


                        This was a great trip, much better than my trip to CO last year. The weather was much more cooperative and it was great to meet up and ride with Blind and Kiki

                        My trip started off nice and wet early in the morning. Yay.

                        In New Mexico, the weather held up, despite appearances. Here on NM 518.

                        A guy on a new Indian Scout and I took turns taking each other's pictures in NM.

                        View from the patio at the Guadalajara Grill in Taos, NM

                        Now in Colorado, off the 550 somewhere

                        Ahh construction. Down to one lane on 550...

                        20 minutes later...

                        Time for photos

                        Finally in Silverton, CO

                        Met up with everyone in Grand Junction and then we went off in search of twisties. 92 was the highlight for me.

                        Found some nice vistas

                        Definitely got altitude retarded at about 11,000 feet when I screwed up a few corners on 149 and decided to not try to keep up with everyone else. But damn if the roads weren't great and the scenery beautiful.

                        Crazy Jeeper and I had a nice long slog back to Dallas from Pagosa Springs, but it was a gorgeous morning when we left.

                        And home.
                        Last edited by Der Stig; August 26th, 2017, 7:55 PM.

                        Bikes:Honda VFR 800 Honda 919
                        Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Sport
                        Cars:Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Jaguar XJR 4.0
                        Broken:Ford Bronco 4.9 4x4


                          So many good roads! Also, the Multi sounds awesome!