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Long Trip Planning and Report


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Being in the middle of Alabama and wanting to somewhere like Wyoming means a hard day or two before getting to different scenery.  This time I did very well and had the bike packed and ready to go the night before and got a good nights sleep.  Was a threat of rain but got away without encountering any.  After getting thru Birmingham on the intestate then pick up I22 to Memphis TN.  Yup that place were the bridge is out.  Thought a lot about alternate routes but decided to just go thru Memphis.  Pretty uneventful set the cruse control to the unofficial speed limit of 79 and went.  Would thing I would leave with a full tank of gas but no had a little over half a tank so high off it's the how far can I go and where can I stop.  Roads are good and traffic is good so made it to Memphis without any drama.  Best route thru Memphis is to take I22 to I269 west to I55 north.  Memphis is like a lot of big cities - what speed limit!  They have signs but those are generally disregarded and traffic enforcement appears to have been disbanded.  I try and make a rest/gas/food stop just before I get into places like that so that I am refreshed and alert.      West of Memphis take I555 northwest thru Jonesboro where they have road construction.  North of Jonesboro it goes from interstate to 4 lane highway then two lane as it snakes thru the Ozarks.  Some fun to be had in the turns but generally a somewhat pleasant ride with a slowpoke or two plus the a couple of folks who are impersonating Lewis Hamilton but forgot to get the Mercedes F1 car 🙂  Once in Missouri it gets better with more uniform traffic and a good road to Springfield MO.  The KOA in Springfield was a welcome sight where I had a cabin reserved.  Total miles for the day was about 560 and the temperatures got up to the lower 90s F.  The KOA is owned and operated by a young couple and all of the folks are super nice.  They make good Hunt Brothers pizza.  My cabin was on the back side which is quieter.  My goal is always to arrive in time to get a pizza.  It is nice after a long hot day to get a pizza and coke and relax.  Route 66 goes thru there so lots of folks traveling Route 66 stay at the KOA.  There is also a place in Springfield which does custom work for CanAm Spiders and over the years have met a few CanAm owners there for work on their machines.  

Next morning get up and head west.  If possible I avoid Kansas City so go west from Springfield to Pittsburg KS.  From there picked up KS400 then went north on KS77 thru ElDorado and north of Florence KS took 56 west to I135.  Stopped at the Loves truck stop at the intersection of 56 and I135 for gas food and liquids - lots of liquids.  When I stopped the temperature was 103F!  As I got on I135 north temperature was 104 then 105!!!!  Took I135 thru Salina.  I135 turn into 81 which I took all the way to I90 in Nebraska.  Had a great tailwind out of the south so gas mileage was wonderful and made it the 170+ miles to the interstate just north of McCool Junction which wasn't very cool at 105F.  Got gas and rode the 38 miles west on I80 to the KOA exit at Grand Island.  Grand Island is owned and operated by super nice folks and it's always a pleasure to stay there.  Thankfully I had a cabin but the AC was struggling to keep up with the heat but kept it cool.  Campground was very busy with lots of folks stopping for the night.  I decided to skip pizza and go into town for dinner.  Went to a place called Tommy Guns and had a steak which was good.  Rode back after dark which was one of the very few times riding at night.  I generally avoid evening and night due to deer.  At this point I had covered 1,100 miles in two days but now starting to feel like i was out west.  

Day 3 was riding to Laramie WY.  Could be just a cruse west on I80 but I took a few of the roads that parallel the interstate for a while and arrived in Laramie without issues.  I did stop in Cheyanne to get a Chick-fil-A milkshake.  Have to send pics back to those at home.  Laramie is a nice KOA and the folks are nice but haven't stayed there as much and dont know them as well.  It is a more arid environment but one that cools at night.  My first night in the tent.  After setting up the tent many times it is stiff fun and easy to do.  Put the ground cloth down and stake the corners then put the tent down putting the corners on the stakes holding the ground cloth down.  Put tent poles together and in place and clip the tint to them.  Finally put the rain fly on top and secure it.  A couple of years ago I bought a plastic tent stake mallet from Amazon.  Doesn't weigh much and actually fits into the tent bag.  I pack the tent and all it's stuff into the bag then carefully insert the mallet handle into the center of the tent and I'm ready to go.  It's heavy enough to drive the stakes but doesn't add much weight.  You will quickly learn to keep unzipping and zipping the tent doors to a minimum to keep mosquitoes out.  At some point I bought insect repellant and sunscreen.  I had a tent site with electricity and water which also had a wall around it to keep wind down.  The KOA didn't have food so wound up going to Wendys nearby for dinner.  

At this point I'm 3 days into the trip and just about to get to some fun mountain roads and scenery.


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Pictures, we want pictures.  For all we know, you are just making all this stuff up.  Also a map would be great to follow you.  If you have allowed Google to monitor your location, you can get a copy of your daily ride in that account.  Then you can share it and we can load it onto Google Maps or even Google Earth.  Relive app is also available and really easy to use.  You could share the link in your post here.  Rever also can track you and make a map.  Pictures will bring the ride to life, so we want pictures or it didn't happen.

Ken, Candy Ass L.D.R. Sleeps 8 hours
(2)2005 FJR1300abs:  230,000 m
2015 FJ-09:  114,000 m (Replaced engine at 106K)

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I asked him before we both left, why Greybull?  I stayed a night there in the seediest motel ever a few years ago.  There was nothing I could think of to make me want to stay there.  But...he had it picked out as a place to stay for a few days.

He'd better get busy and update this thread, or it'll all be about pictures and hot lonely places in Wyoming.  :D


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OK, I'll digress and answer the Greybull question.  Decided to stop there as it was a good waypoint.  then spent 2 nights there so I could spend a day riding highway 14 in the Bighorn Mountains.  I really enjoyed Greybull, stayed in the KOA and spent first night in a cabin and 2nd in a tent.  Found a couple of good places to eat.  A surprise and certainly unexpected but probably the best all round food of the trip.  One place on highway 14 in town was BoBs.  A sandwich place where I had lunch and breakfast twice.  The other place was Lisa's had a great mac n cheese with chicken.  Just a little spicy but delicious.  I only ate the sausage once with breakfast but it was delicious, next day just pancakes.







Edited by PhotoAl
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On a motorcycle trip through beautiful parts of the country, and we have no pictures of (a) motorcycles, or (b) countryside.   :)  

The food looks pretty tasty, however!   

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OK, here are some pics from the first 3 days.  I use a GoPro to record parts of the ride and don't take tons of photos but have lots of video.  These are frame grabs from the video.  Didn't have any on the first day - it's all familiar territory to me.  

Western Missouri on my way to Pittsburg KS.  Beautiful country with wheat ready for harvest and a wonderful day.  It was already getting hot and didn't shoot any video, just tried to keep cool as it went to 105F!  After arriving in Grand Island rode into town for dinner.  Photo of sunset with the really nice glow over the rolling flatness of Nebraska 🙂  Very different from here so I enjoy seeing it.

Next morning got on I80 and headed west.  Can see a long way so therefore have lots of time to spot potential rain.  This looked interesting for a distance and as I rode thru it a good bit later was hit by 5 or maybe 6 drops of rain.

Further west abandoned I80 and took parallel roads - tis is somewhere on 30 east of Lodgepole.  Nice straight and open road.  

Somewhere along Hwy 30 saw a car train.  See lots of trains in that part of the country. 

Cannot forget traffic lights.  Saw a number of these in construction zones.  Had not seen them so much before but were nice to have.  I80 is to the left and at this point I'm just riding parallel a little north but much more relaxed.

Went thru a small town names Lodgepole Nebraska.  Typical small town in Nebraska.  

Went thru the big city of Sidney Nebraska.  For those who are in a big city hurry there is the Get'N Split gas station and for those who want good food at a relaxed pace there is Grandma Jo's which serves Pepsi.  A nice small town.  When hustling down the interstate sights like these are missed. 

Got back on I80 and getting closer to Cheyenne and the wonderful state of Wyoming.

Coming downhill into Cheyenne where I stopped by Chick-fil-A to grab a milkshake and just to say I've been there. 

 West of Cheyenne it gets more interesting and some hills.  The pickup and trailer I'm passing had passed me earlier doing 85+ mph but slowed down on the somewhat steep descent.

This catches my description up on photos.  Next to come is the start of the really fun part of the trip the ride from Laramie WY to Vernal Utah.  

Western Missouri.jpg

Grand Island Nebraska.jpg

I80 west of Grand Island.jpg

Western Nebraska.jpg

Western Nebraska Train.jpg

Traffic Light.jpg

Lodgepole Nebraska.jpg

Sidney Nebraska.jpg

29 to Cheyenne.jpg

Arriving in Cheyenne.jpg

I80 West of Cheyanne.jpg

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