48 States- Leg 2

Discussion in 'Road Trips/Touring' started by RetiredJake, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. RetiredJake

    RetiredJake Junior Member

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    When I retired in 2007, I found I had time to return to an old love, motorcycles. I bought a Harley Davidson Street Bob for riding around town, thinking this would keep me happy. It wasn’t very long, maybe 6 months, and I signed up for a thousand mile ride, to be completed in 4 days. I found I really liked the long distance riding, but the Street Bob was not the right bike for this old body. So, back to the HD dealer, and pick an Ultra Classic in Black Pearl, with all the bells and whistles. Now I was ready to try again.

    I joined the local Harley Owners Group (HOG) Chapter to meet people with similar addictions, and to learn more about the HD brand. Nice people, nice group to belong to. One of the programs that HOG sponsors is called the ABC’s of Touring. The idea is to get pictures of you and your HD motorcycle in front of town, county, state and country signs, verifying the correct year by using the cover of a current HOG Tales magazine. You need to get one town and county for each letter of the alphabet, each state, other countries and their states/provinces. You also get points for state and national rallies, HD facilities, and one national park and one national forest. At the end of the year, you send in your pictures and cover sheet. High score wins. Gifts are given for various point levels, and the top ten get special recognition.

    I liked the sound of the ABC program, and managed to accumulate 88 points my first year. Had a lot of fun, and really enjoyed the longer rides. I decided for 2009, that I was going to bust 100 points, and ride to all 48 CONUS states. This is where I needed to cozy up to the better half. Bless her soul, she agreed with no reservations, and I started making plans.

    I broke the country into three loops, that seemed to be the most efficient way to ride to 48 states, plus 6 Canadian provinces. My total planned mileage for this was about 12,000 miles. As I added detours for scenic roads, this climbed to the current 14,000 miles. I figured that I could camp most nights to cut expenses, and use a motel once a week or so and do laundry while there.

    I completed the Southern Loop (9 states) in April, and am leaving for the Western Loop (20 states and 4 Canadian provinces)Tuesday, June 16th. The Northern Loop (19 states & 2 Canadian provinces) is planned for September, to pick up the fall colors in New England. The weather kicked my butt on the Southern Loop in April, but I'll try to do better on the Western leg.

    Today, I am trying to finish packing the bike. Have probably packed it 10 times already, keep pulling it apart and trying another way. May have it about right by the time I get back.

    I'll try to post to this thread on a daily basis during the ride, subject to WiFi accessability. The attached map shows the base route, subject to daily whims. All of the icons denote towns/counties/states that I need pictures of for my ABC points, and special interest places or friends/family to visit on the way.

    By the way, the shine on the bike is courtesy of Lemon Pledge, thanks guys. :small3d026:
     

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  2. martin14

    martin14 Active Member

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    Happy guy, thats what I'll do if I can ever retire :)

    Enjoy your visit to Canada, it's a great country.
    Don't forget your passport !! ( hope you have one )

    Good luck, good roads, dont forget the updates here ....
     
  3. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

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    What a great plan! I daydream about doing things like that when I eventually give up the day job.
    Have a brilliant time and ride safe. Keep us updated.:D
     
  4. ironmark

    ironmark Junior Member

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    Good Luck & ride safe ! I know you will enjoy the western states the area has some fantastic riding :D you may need more time .
     
  5. Scrappy

    Scrappy Active Member

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    best wishes, sounds like a blast. enjoy!
     
  6. Clint

    Clint Active Member

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    Very cool!

    We choose our rides by what's vacant on our map. This is from last year, we've added a few pins since. Hopefully We'll have more time to stretch out a bit when I retire!:D
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  7. RetiredJake

    RetiredJake Junior Member

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    Tuuesday, 6/16/2009

    Finally hit the road this morning. Was actually a day late, had to take the better half to the Dr. Monday. Will put in a few hard days trying to get back on schedule. Since part of the trip is to attend my 45th high school reunion, the back end of the schedule is fixed.

    Left at 0630 this morning. Ran through drizzle on the way to Dover, TN, then just leaden skies to worry about. I crossed the Mississippi River on I-155, and entered the bootheel of Missouri. About 10 miles from the AR border, the skies opened up. I waited out the worst of it at a gas station, then forged ahead. I saw miles and miles of rice fields, reminded me of Northern Califirnia on I-5. I crossed Northern AR on the backroads, Highways 9 and 14 are beautiful roads, and I highly recommend them. Got out of the rainsuit about 1400, clear skies for the rest of the day.

    Continuing with my ABC's, picked up Marshall, AR and Searcy Co, AR.

    Finally called it a day at the KOA in Eureka Springs, AR. Pitched the tent, pulled up the fly to hopefully llet it cool, went to get some cold ones and plopped in front of an AC unit to write this post. Goodnight all.

    Unable to upload pics, will try again tomorrow.
     
  8. ajjacobs

    ajjacobs Active Member

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    Great thread. I'll be keeping an eye on this for updates so, don't forget about us. Be safe.

    AJ
     
  9. RetiredJake

    RetiredJake Junior Member

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    Tuesday - 6/16

    Was able to post pictures this evening, these are for the 6/16 entry. For some reason, it will not let me edit the entry.

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  10. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

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    Sure wish I could me with you on you adventure Jake. Oh well, I'm sure a lot of your Hd Talking brothers and sisters will be with you in spirit. Be safe.