Survey of U.S. Dads Reveals: 32 Percent Forgotten on Father’s Day; 53 Percent Would Return Gifts; and one Even Received a Santa Necktie

MILWAUKEE (May 29, 2014) – While Father’s Day is meant to celebrate fatherhood and family, new data shows most American dads aren’t feeling the love. This year, Harley-Davidson rides to the rescue with a list of fresh ideas for unique Father’s Day gifts to let dad know how cool we think he really is.

A few lucky dads will also win upgraded gifts in exchange for sharing photos of past year’s flubs on Twitter or Instagram and tagging the post with #HDGiftSwap.

The survey, commissioned by Harley-Davidson, interviewed more than 1,200 American dads about their Father’s Day gifts and experiences. The findings are clear that not all dads get their due on their day — following are a few of their confessions:

  • Sadly: Nearly a third of American dads (32 percent) confess they’ve had family members who have completely forgotten about them on Father’s Day.
  • My Family Missed the Mark: More than half (57 percent of fathers) confessed to receiving a Father’s Day gift they did not like.
  •  “Take it Back:” More than half of dads surveyed (53 percent) said they’d received gifts they wanted to return. Perhaps that’s because more than half of the dads also confirmed they’ve received the same type of Father’s Day gift more than once.
  • Not All Gifts Are Created Equal: When asked about the worst gift they’d ever received, dads were pretty candid, sharing the following gifting gaffes:
    • “A painted rock.”
    • “A tie with Santa Clauses on it!”
    • “A coffee mug – for the 4th year in a row.”
    • And, perhaps with mixed emotions: “My 45 year old unemployed daughter moving in.”

“We love our dads, but oftentimes we hit a roadblock when it comes to ideas for Father’s Day gifts,” said Karen Davidson, Creative Director, General Merchandise, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “That’s why we’re amping up Father’s Day with some great gift ideas so families can get out of the dad’s day gifting rut and give him what he really wants.”

#HDGiftSwap = Gift Upgrade

Through June 15 (Father’s Day), the Harley® Gift Swap invites dads to share on Instagram or Twitter the strangest, goofiest or worst Father’s Day gifts they’ve ever received. When they tag it #HDGiftSwap, Harley-Davidson will surprise a select few dads with free gear.

Stumped? Check out the Great Father’s Day Gifts at the House of Harley-Davidson! 

Harley-Davidson has the ultimate in cool Father’s Day gifts – from classic vintage tees and glassware to motorcycle accessories.

fathers

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson® motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.H-D.com.

About the Harley-Davidson Father’s Day Survey

The Harley-Davidson Father’s Day Survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading global insights firm, May 8 to May 15, 2014, among 1,242 adult American men who are fathers, using an email invitation and an online survey.

 

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- Day 6

It is a good thing I am blogging all of this, because when folks were asking me where I stayed and what routes I took I couldn’t tell them! I am a bit more visual and would need a map to retrace my route! This morning was nice and relaxing. I slept in till 7 then decided I would stay in bed until 8, since I was only 40 minutes away from my final destination. I knew I would go stir crazy or start working if I got to Spokane too early so I took my time getting ready and loading up the bike. I used my trusty “urban spoon” ap to find a local coffee shop called Grumpy Monkey to have a cup of coffee before I hit the road. I ended up getting my order taken by the young woman who owned the place and it was awesome sharing with her about my ride and journey. She was excited to hear I found out about her place on urban spoon and told me the name came from her daughters nickname. I sat out in the sun while I drank my coffee then I headed out. I decided I was going to ride to Bonners Ferry which is north or CDA and near the border of Canada. So basically I was able to ride from the base of Idaho to the very top.

Coffee on my leisure day!

Coffee on my leisure day!

Ok, this was from day 5 but after I wrote my blog. Must the art have a butt hole?

Ok, this was from day 5 but after I wrote my blog. Must the art have a butt hole?

The ride to Bonners was lovely, through the hills and forests.

Heading into the woods on the way to Bonners Ferry

Heading into the woods on the way to Bonners Ferry

When I got there I saw a sign for a local brewery which I figured would be a good spot to stop. The Brewery was on the north side of the old downtown area and had an awesome patio on the back so I got to sit outside. Since I was at a brewery I figured I should try a brew, they had a huckleberry wheat which was pretty phenomenal.

Huckleberry wheat brew

Huckleberry wheat brew

I even ended up buying a cool hoodie sweater with their logo on it in a fabulous teal color! The waitress was cool and got to hear all about my journey…what can I say I am lonely with all this solo riding and love sharing my story because it is exciting!

Downtown Bonners Ferry

Downtown Bonners Ferry

Looks like rain coming back to the road!

Looks like rain coming back to the road!

From here I had to backtrack down to Sandy Point which is a nice resort town and then I took 2 to 41 which was basically a back country route that had a lot of logging trucks on it. It was very forested and was like riding through a pine air freshener.

To the left is Canada smile

To the left is Canada :)

More beautiful scenery

More beautiful scenery

Leaving sandy point

Leaving sandy point

The whole ride was relaxing because I had all the time in the world and was enjoying the journey. I made it to Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson and was immediately greeted by my friend Beth. Her and Greg own and operate this amazing dealership.

My final landing place

She took me on a tour of the facility and all I can say is OMG FREAKING AMAZING! They have so much space and the dealership is beautiful and well kept. They literally have 20 to 40 of every model of motorcycle and most of them are in rows upon rows in their enormous storage space. I am still in awe. Her personal tour was not rushed and was just like Beth, thoughtful and pleasant. She is a fabulous woman, and I can see why all of her staff love her. Greg is probably more like me, a little more numbers focused and focused on “work” although I can see that they are equally important and their opposite strengths are what make their dealership so amazing. After my tour and catching up with Bill, their son and meeting most of the crew including their pit bull who lives upstairs and gets to look down on the action, I decided to head to the hotel to unload all my stuff.

I made my way back to the hotel, it was crazy hot outside and my plan to stay off the freeway was a bad one, as I melted through the stop and go traffic. I got back to the hotel, unloaded my bike, reapplied deodorant and then headed back to the dealership. Beth was throwing us a little party, so I knew there would be some good food (as I was now starving since I hadn’t eaten since my early lunch at 11:30 in Bonners Ferry.) Of course, I got completely lost on my way back to the dealership, but unlike the Dia of a week ago, I enjoyed the multiple detours and stayed calm. I knew I would eventually get there and was enjoying trying to even out my tan…which is complete biker with the sunglasses area all white and the chin strap and forehead all white. Basically I look like…well, a biker I guess.

The party was fabulous with lots of finger foods and drinks. It was so enjoyable talking to all of the Lone Wolf staff and reconnecting with my 20 club group. (Our 20 club is a group of HD dealers that share 100% of our financial data and we are all their to help each other become better. We are not dealers in the same area as each other, so we are not competitive, but I have learned so much from this group.) When I got to the dealership tonight I rode into the service department, they have an automatic door that opens when you pull up! I checked in my bike for a 10K and asked them to give her a good wash…I had quite the collection of bugs from Tucson to here! They are going to store my bike for me until I can find another excuse to come down and ride it back south…speaking of which I have meetings in Las Vegas in October…I smell another road trip!

In my final thoughts on this journey, I wanted to conclude with some of the things I learned. I am really proud of myself for taking this step to ride long distance solo. I am not one of those “girl power” type of people but I honestly feel more self-confident after this journey. I can not explain how cool it felt when I was telling other gals about my journey and to see them light up and see the inspiration and how they shared my excitement. It isn’t for everyone, but it definitely was the most empowering thing I have ever done. I compared it to my experience drag racing, because that too was stepping out of my comfort zone. I tend to be a control freak; I can get so caught up in making sure everything is perfect or close to it. This trip was eye opening, sometimes you really should just not plan and let life lead you where it will. I started every day with a prayer for my safety and a good journey. I felt so protected on this trip and I really never was scared. I feel like I have a greater appreciation for our country, for my career and a deeper connection with this brand that is truly my whole life. To be completely honest, before this trip I was having a pretty tough go of things at work and was feeling a little depressed. This trip has really inspired me and given me the opportunity to reflect on the choices I have made and the future I will have in the business. I am happy to say that I have all the answers…

Just KIDDING! But I am much more focused and I really did need this trip to reflect and reconnect. This brand is more than just that, it is a life. HARLEY FUCKING DAVIDSON!

(Sorry for swearing mom, but it gets the point across!)

Until the next adventure…

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- Day 5 Boise to Lewiston…no make that Coeur d’ Alene

As my routine has become I was up and on the road by 7am. Today my whole route was off the freeway which i was greatly anticipating. My plan was to only go to Lewiston, which would be about 270 miles, an easy day. I put on a lot of layers when I left, the air was cool and I figured it would be a cold morning. I completely underestimated the chill the air would have going through the mountains on the Payette Scenic Byway. The first 40 miles I was freezing. When I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore I pulled into a little cafe on the side of the road. The ride in was beautiful. It was hills and mountains with a fast moving river winding along the side of the road. The sun was still pretty low in the sky and the mountains and trees kept a lot of the road in the shade. When I pulled off my gloves my fingers were completely white. I put my gloves on the top of my primary to heat them. I went inside and drank two cups of hot tea waiting for my hands to gain some color.

Miserably cold but thankful for the mom and pop and their tea!

Miserably cold but thankful for the mom and pop and their tea!

The couple that ran the place were an older couple and there was old black and white pictures up of them when they presumably bought the place. The man shared with me about his drive up the AlCan years ago and about how he was moving a bunch of stuff up to AK and all was upended in the trailer from the rough roads. I told him it was still like that in the Yukon. After I was finished with my tea I went back out to my bike to add some layers. I ended up tying a bandana around my neck backwards so the thicker part would cover the back of my neck and then put my leather bandana up to my nose. At this point I was really wishing I would have brought my chaps and heated gear. Since I was riding from Tucson, I pretty much packed summer gear. Half helmet, jacket, gloves and I am glad I brought my leather bandana and bought that fleece headband!

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I was still cold when I entered Cascade, and I saw a sign for a scenic view/park so I took the turn and headed down the road. It was supposed to only be 6 miles back…when I got to the end of the road there was a round a bout that took you up to a really cool resort that was hidden in the mountain. Although it was a pretty ride, the wildlife viewing area that it promised was non-existent. I didn’t mind the slower paced ride for a little bit to “warm up.” When I got back to the main road I pulled in the gas station at the intersection to get some coffee. Put my gloves back on the primary and drank my coffee and called Jon. If you have never used your primary as a glove warmer, it is amazing. It was like putting heated gloves on! I headed back on the road, and at this point my two delays had helped me get some warmer weather as the sun was higher now.

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McCall was a really cool town to ride through. I wish I would have stopped to walk around a bit, it seemed like a little mountain village with a bit of tourist action, maybe like something you would find in Colorado. After McCall the road went into some meadow space that was like a scene from Little House on the Prairie. After the meadows it was back in the mountains. This really was a pretty ride. I would recommend making the trip, enough twisties to make it fun but not too technical that you are tense the whole time. From here on out it was pretty much all vast open spaces and rolling hills. It was pretty amazing how many farms there are and so many different colors. I was getting warmer now, as the sun was up and it was actually starting to get hot! When I was going through Grangeville, it was fields of different crops as far as you could see with distant hills and mountains surrounding this flat valley area. I was taking my time since I had such a short ride, so when I saw a sign that said something about mammoths and historic site I made the turn. The road took me straight across the valley almost to the other side then it dead ended with another road that was dirt. At this intersection there was no sign for a historic point in either direction. So I turned around, this was the last time an Idaho historic marker would lie to me! If I couldn’t see it from the road I wasn’t going looking!

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When I got to Lewiston, there wasn’t much going on. I saw the HD shop in town, but they are closed on Sunday so I kept following the road toward what appeared to be downtown. As I desperately searched the buildings there was no sign of life. I finally found a restaurant that was open so I parked across the street and started pealing off layers. At this point it is HOT! The restaurant was a little more “upscale” but at least I figured the food would be good as long as they let me in. The waitress was nice, and I told her the open sign was still off she was thankful for the reminder. They were still serving brunch, since I had gained an hour heading north and it was only noon. I had an awesome huevos rancheros that was totally worth every penny! When I was finished I chatted with the waitress about my ride so far. I asked her about Lewiston, and she said there wasn’t much going on there. I was trying to figure out where I was going to stay for the night. It was too early to stop for the day. I asked her about Coeur d’ Alene and she said it would be worth the ride and would have a lot more action tonight. So, I headed out with just my tank on so I could get some sun on my arms. Within about 50 miles the coat was going back on, it is like Alaska, when you are sitting in the sun it feels warm but the air is still cool.

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Coming into Coeur d’ Alene (CDA from now on) was really pretty. You climb through some hills and forrest which then opens to a huge lake. The town is right on the water. When I was a few miles out the truck in front of me braked and switched lanes, and I saw what looked like a dog on the side of the road. I slowed to almost a stop so I wouldn’t hit it if it ran out in front of me. I got within a foot of it and honked my horn trying to scare it off the road. It just stared at me and as I started to roll again it chased after me! I hope it didn’t get hit, it was really a pretty animal.

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day 5 9 day 5 8

Once in CDA, I went to the Best Western (for the HOG discount) and apparently they were closed for renovations! Luckily I saw a LaQuinta on the way there so I whipped around and headed there. The place was all newly remodeled and the gal at the front desk told me when I was ready I should go to Sherman St. So I showered and called a cab. I am currently walking down Sherman stopping at bars/restaurants along the way to get a drink and chat with the locals. A pretty cool spot. I am currently in a bar called Moose Lounge, with a slightly distracted bar tender named Steve.

day 5 10

For your info, there are no moose in Idaho, but they still have a bar named after them. They even have one from AK mounted in the bar. It is an AK moose, I can tell by the size. From here I will find some food and then back to the hotel. Tomorrow I only have to make it to Spokane which is like 45 minutes away. I am not really sure what I am going to do without 400+ miles to do!

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- Day 4 Richfield, UT to Boise, ID

Chicago, you have been misinformed. The real Windy City is Boise, Idaho! More on that when I get to the end of my day…as usual I was up by 6 and ready to go by 6:45. I ate some of the free breakfast at the hotel and chatted with the folks I saw the night before that were riding a Goldwing. It is true, you meet the nicest people on a Honda. They were heading back from Mt Rushmore to California. We shared some road stories and even gassed up our bikes together then they went South and I went North. Despite my best efforts today was going to be a Freeway Day. There really are not very many options heading in the direction I was going. I started out on a road that paralleled the freeway slightly east. Eventually the road intersected with 15 so that was my fate…

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Prior to the freeway there were some hills, or maybe you would call them old mountains. There were also a lot of farms and a lot of cows, including some disgusting feedlots (this is why I don’t eat cow check out King Corn the movie). Once I was on 15 I made some crazy good time. Basically since I left, my throttle has been sticking and has slowly been getting worse. Because I was aware of it, I made sure I didn’t get it stuck in an acceleration position I didn’t want. It was almost like cruise control. I literally could stick my throttle in position and take my hand off. There was a few times where I thought I had set the cruise but actually my throttle was just stuck. Since I haven’t made it to a lot of dealerships on this trip I decided to stop at one south of Salt Lake.

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Timpindale Harley-Davidson was one of the coolest buildings I have ever seen! When I pulled up at 8:42am they weren’t open and I assumed they may not open until 10 but I thought I would risk it for a break from the freeway. The sign said they were opening at 9am and there was already signs of life. Two girls came out and were hanging up a banner and they both were friendly and said hello. I started chatting with one of the girls and they were having a charity ride to Murray. I was tempted to join, until they told me the ride wasn’t leaving until around 11. Unfortunately I couldn’t detour that much today, as I was intending to make some distance. The gal I was talking to, Brittany, is coming up to Alaska for her honeymoon in 3 weeks! I gave her my card and told her to stop by the shop or email me for some tips.

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Inside the shop was just as unique as the outside. Apparently, they used all of the materials from an old steel factory to build the building.

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So everything was recycled and really cool looking. They had a small spiral staircase that was all welded out of metal that went up to the offices, I asked the gal if I could check it out and she told me that there were some cool antique bikes up there.

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Not only were they cool, it was quite a collection!

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I think they should have put them in a more visible location, but I am glad I went up to check it out. The service department was swamped so I gave up the idea of having them look at my grip. The service department was all in one room so the techs were working in the same room as the check in counter. I imagine that would be a little distracting but it was still kinda cool.

I figured on my way out before I got back on the freeway I would get some gas, while I was there one of the techs pulled up on a Triglide he was test riding. I asked him about my grip, but he said I would have to take the housing apart to find out what was going on in there, it was nice that he took the time to look.

From here I was back on the freeway, going through Salt Lake and beyond. I tried to get off the freeway and take a back road, but that was an epic fail. I stopped at a gas station to put some drops in my eyes and remove a layer. When I was pulling out of the gas station, I almost didn’t turn sharp enough and had to put my foot down as I over corrected my turn…total amateur move! Of course this was in front of some other guy on his Harley. Then as I shifted gears I felt stuff sliding out of my bag in between my back and the bag! I forgot to zip it! Luckily only my map book fell out and I was able to stop and run back to pick it up. I am not sure why I was having a clutz morning but I was. So from here I realized it was endless traffic stops through the downtown part of this town so I turned and got back on the freeway.

Here are my observations….

85 is fast on a Harley in sustained speed for hours at a time…I wish I hadn’t forgot my ipod…how many cows can a country eat?…apparently mutton is the new menu item, there sure are a lot of sheep…there are a lot of signs for national parks or other interesting things but all I can see is fields and farms…hot cold hot cold…why are there so many talk radio stations and no good music…

Basically there were hours of me riding on the freeway ready to drive off the side of a bridge. However, I as a hero at one point. Here I am cruising along and at this point the freeway is only two lanes. In the slow lane is a semi. In the fast lane is a semi with a white van behind it. Surely the semi in the fast lane is going to pass the one in the slow lane? After about 10 minutes of the van tailgating the semi I got in the slow line so I could get in the line of sight for the semi that wouldn’t move. I started flashing my light at him until I saw him look at me in his side mirror. He literally has us boxed in with his front end lined up with the other trucks tail end. When he looked at me I used my left hand to dramatically signal and point him to the slow lane while I mouthed “MOVE OVER!” Eventually he figured out what I was saying so I swooped back in behind him and led the way for all the trapped cars to get past them. One lady drove by me and gave me a thumbs up. I felt pretty accomplished at that point.

 photo 6

I tried to take a side road again and made it to Twin Falls where there was another HD dealer. I think it was called Snake Creek HD. On the way here I found a cool little sandwich place that hit the spot. When I made it to the HD dealer I was fed, but really cold as the temperature had dropped a bit. Their service department was great, Josh checked me in and told me he would get to it as soon as he could.

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I wandered into the store (which is separate from service) and figured I would find a head wrap that would cover my ears because it was cold again. I chatted with the girl that worked there for a bit and bought a fleece ear warmer.

photo 8

Josh came over and told me he was able to fix the grip himself and there was no need for a service RO. He informed me the housing was too far to the left which caused the grip to stick. It worked like a charm! While I was getting ready to take off I had decided I would take the faster route and go to Boise rather than taking a really scenic route that went north east then back down into Boise in a big loop. I am sure it would have been pretty but it was pretty cool and I had already done 400 miles. So I tried to take a scenic non freeway route again that wrapped its way toward Boise. When I put in the hotel I had picked in the GPS it said it was 160 miles away. I was really confused because the signs said Boise was 100 miles away. So I started out then realized there was no sort of “direct” side route and it had me turning onto different country roads left and right. So again I opted for the freeway. Almost immediately it got really hot again. I could feel my already burnt nose burning more, but was determined to continue. I finally pulled off to put on some sun screen. Just in time for some cloud cover.

 photo 10

Now for the big finale, when I was approaching Boise the land got really flat. Then when the signs were showing Boise about 20 miles away I noticed a haze across the whole plain that looked like fog. However, it was not fog it was dust from the INSANE winds that whipped up out of nowhere! So here I am going 80 and there are winds that feel like they are 100mph coming from all directions but a lot from the front. So my helmet was getting pulled back while my new ear warmer was sliding down and pushing my sunglasses down. I just couldn’t win. Meanwhile there were giant tumbleweeds blowing across the road. So I slowed down to about 70 and was dodging and weaving around these crazy bushes. I got nailed by one, which got stuck between my leg and the motor and another part of it got stuck in my seat. At this point I was cursing Boise and questioning why anyone would live here. When I pulled up to the hotel I was a complete mess. My face felt dry and raw and my eyes were wind blown, my hair was all over the place and I was exhausted. I made it 520 miles and was ready for a hot meal. After I got my room paid for I asked about nearby restaurants, preferably one that I could walk to so I could have some wine. I didn’t see any when I pulled in and as my luck would have it, there was only fast food at this exit. DAMMIT! While I was calling Jon and bitching to him about the end of my day and wanting a hot meal I had the brilliant idea to call a cab! So, I threw my jeans that were not only coated in bugs, tar and other road debris but were also fashioned with a large selection of splinters from the tumbleweed. I got a cab and headed to a place called the The Tavern at Brown Crossing. It was in a trendy little section of town tucked behind some neighborhoods. It was a cool spot, the food was all a little “buttery” and heavy but a good meal after a long day.

I ready for a freeway free day tomorrow! I am hoping to make it to Lewiston. Happy Trails, also I apparently left just in time to miss the crazy crappy weather we are having back home. :P

PS if you get a chance pull out a map and check out the ride it really puts it in perspective when you see the whole U.S.!

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- DAY 3 Tusayan to Richfield, UT

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It was a bit cooler this morning when I got loaded up and ready for the day. I actually used all my gear, gloves, leather bandana, leather jacket and sweater! To head out I got to ride north on 64 into the Grand Canyon park, like I did last night. It was a beautiful morning riding through the park, not cloud in the sky and hardly any cars on the road. As I made my way around the south eastern side of the canyon I would get little glimpses of it through the clearings. It was magnificent, and enormous. I was able to get a few more peaks as I rounded the base of it. It really is weird how it just stops. There is this vast canyon and then it just ends. The park is all pretty wooded and I saw a sign for mountain lion crossing! I didn’t see any, but I did get to see a really pretty fox that ran out in front of me, with enough distance I wasn’t panicked, but got a good look.

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Today was pretty varied in both terrain and temperature. The route took me along 64 until it ended at 89. This road was fabulous as well. The terrain went from the woods to a variety of rock formations and a really cool canyon that was a straight drop off from a flat surface. It was as if the wide plain had been ripped apart. The elevation changed dramatically throughout the day and with it the temperature. I had a lot of miles to go, so I didn’t stop much even though the scenery was amazing! I decided I would stop at a place called “Cliff Dwellers Lodge,” which was in my GPS and on my route. On the way there I passed through Marble Canyon. It was amazing! Pretty much the entire way up 89 there were large rock walls lining the east of the road. It was beautiful and pretty cool how the various layers in the walls were different colors, like the Grand Canyon. Along the way, the scenery was still awesome and as I approached Cliff Dwellers there was an area that was filled with large boulders sitting on top of smaller rock pillars. It was pretty cool, I wish I would have stopped and gotten a picture. I stopped at the restaurant and Cliff Dwellers, that is pretty much all that was there. When I pulled in I cringed at the soft rock and dirt parking area…sometimes my bike is a little heavy to move around in gravel. I parked and headed over to the restaurant. There was outdoor seating which was perfect. Although the air felt cool while I rode, it was pretty hot and sunny sitting still! I got a great breakfast of 2 eggs, hash browns and toast for $7. The waiter/owner was also really friendly, just a simple guy who was enjoying his day. I ate my eggs and browns (no need for the toast!) and was  getting ready to leave when he pointed out this really cool lizard right by my table! I got to take a picture and watch him crawl around the patio for a bit while I paid my bill. The old man, clearly a local, sitting in the corner told me it was a collared lizard and then shared with me about these weird lizards that are as big as his forearm and hiss like a snake. I recall hearing about these before, but he was quick to add that the Indians used to corner them in holes in the rocks and stab them with a stick and eat them! Yummy! I paid the bill and hit the road…well not quite because sure as shit, I couldn’t back my bike up in the loose dirt and gravel. It was a few minutes but I finally got her turned around and rode out of there!

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The road seemed long after this although still pretty scenery, I was climbing elevation again and started to get cold quick. I stopped at Jacob Lake to gas up and put on more layers. Oh, speaking of gas, apparently a bunch of gas stations put “See Cashier” on the screen when you try to pay outside if they don’t have enough business inside. This has happened to me twice and the clerk told me it is random but does it before you even try to run your card! Anyhow, at Jacob Lake I got some gas and added layers as I watched the overachieving gas station guy offer to wash windows and help all the drivers he could. He even taught them how to get the most clean windshield. This is cross roads for the Grand Canyon North Rim entrance, so I imagine he can make some decent tips by being so kind. After I got my gear on I headed out on 89A, and as luck would have it I was very near the decline into more desert terrain and got warm rather quickly.

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Near Cliff Dwellers I noticed my GPS was an hour ahead of my bike…apparently AZ doesn’t do the whole daylight savings thing and Utah does. So, I lost an hour which put me a little behind my schedule. I made it to Kanab which is the boarder town and right after I got through town, I got stuck in line for road construction. It was HOT while I waited but was a good chance to stretch my legs. I decided to take the scenic route, but I honestly underestimated the distance. I continued on 89 until it intersected with 12 which was a scenic byway that goes through all the parks. Almost immediately after getting on 12 you ride through what is almost like a wall  of red rock. It literally runs perpendicular to the road and has a gap down the middle that your ride through. You immediately are in “Red Canyon” and the red rocks are super cool, unfortunately I was feeling time crunched and didn’t stop. I am sure you can google it for an idea…the coolest part was the “tunnels” they cut through the rock for the road!

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From this point forward it was literally canyons, rocks, and forrest for the entire journey. I realized quickly that this was a much longer route than I had originally planned and decided that I wouldn’t be making it to Provo. Around Escalante there was a crazy run heading West with runners all along the road and a bike race (or something like that) heading east. The road has absolutely no shoulder and there are runners everywhere! It was hot right here and I felt bad for the folks huffing and puffing along. It was basically a climb the whole way for them since they were going up to Escalante and I was heading down. The road was curvy and in some spots you were literally riding on the ridge of the mountain with dropping slopes on either side. The bikes started appearing further east toward Boulder. They were part of some campaign for sharing the road with bicyclists. There was a lot of highway patrol support, who luckily didn’t pull me over when I blasted around one who started to pull over and changed his mind! The whole route was very curvy and kept me on my toes, which can also be exhausting. I was realizing that my plan to hit Provo was definitely out of the question and I was starting to feel anxious about finding a destination for the night.

 I was getting tired and cold, so I stopped at the interchange from 12 to 24. There was a little coffee shop, and there were also giant thunderstorms immediately in front of me. So far I had managed to skirt around most of the rain, with only a few drops along the way. This however was pretty daunting. I figured I was gonna ride through it now or in a few minutes and I could only hop that they would move further away while I got some coffee. I imagine I am quite a sight at this point. I was pretty dazed and confused, with itchy dry eyes and fatigue from the road. The young guy at the coffee shop with gauged ears was quiet and pretty much stared at me blankly. He was nice enough to bring me my coffee though, as I stood there looking at my map trying to figure out where I was going to stop for the night. I was at about 400 miles for the day already.

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I searched Google and looked at my maps, and decided I would have to call it quits at Richfield. There were a couple hotels here so it had to be a decent spot to stop, plus it was right off the freeway. While I was planning my route, the thunder storm was passing right by lightning and all. As soon as it started to sprinkle I was getting my gear on and loading up. Fortunately, the storm was splitting down the middle and it looked like I would only have to ride through a little bit of rain! I hit the road and about 1 mile down the road the rain started getting stronger then all of a sudden HOLY HAIL!!! I almost had to laugh as I ducked behind my fairing and my forehead got a brain freeze. I have only ridden through hail once before and that was with a full-face helmet! It stung but it was quickly passed through and after a few more miles most of the rain had stopped and it w as only wet roads. I made it safely into Richfield around 5:40 and got a room at the Best Western. Down the road, within walking distance was a local restaurant…if it has a cowboy riding a bucking horse on the roof it must be good right?!

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They all look at me like I am an alien…I guess a girl alone with a sun burnt nose and upper lip (I still don’t know how this happens…apparently my lips are so big they stick out as far as my nose) is a novelty around here! I am going to hit the hay early tonight, but only after I get someone to talk to me…it is a bit desolate riding alone! I have no clue what my destination for tomorrow will be…that is half the fun!

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- Day 2

Today was AWESOME!!!! Oh my, I am still stoked from my adventure today, I can hardly stand it. I am so glad I took this trip! This morning I woke up at about 6am and after packing up the bike and eating a quick breakfast I was on the road about 15 till 7. It was pretty liberating just brushing my teeth and not putting on any makeup! As I headed out I had my route written on a piece of paper, since my GPS is impossible to program the way I want to go! It was a little overcast and I got a little sprinkle of rain now and again as I was starting but it was a relief from the heat of yesterday. I headed north on 60 to Wickenburg and then got on 89 at Congress. I was a little unsure of myself for the first part of the way, since I was relying on my handwritten note to guide me, but sure enough I made it to 89 which was the majority of my route today.

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Once I was on 89 it was breath stopping scenery around every corner! When I was approaching the mountains it went through, I pulled off and put on my leather jacket. I could feel the cooler air and I could see the rain. A guy on a Fat Boy rode by me in a Tshirt, but I had already been riding a bit and had felt the cool of the air, so I was glad I stopped. A few miles into the forested hills, I found him pulled off on the side of the road putting on some layer. The ride to Prescott was much more curvy than I anticipated but it was magnificent! It was much more like a forrest than I anticipated and I was surprised to find signs for Elk around here! I stopped in Prescott at the HD shop, which was just a souvenir shop and was still closed. While I sat there reviewing my map a guy with a fat little chihuahua stopped to chat with me. He has an old 80′ something Heritage and said there was “no replacing his old chugger.” He complimented my bike and said “I’m sure that 103 rides nice!” We talked about the route and he was telling me how great 89A was, but I told him I didn’t think I had time to take it and was planning on taking a more boring route. While I was making my way through the small old western looking town I had a change of heart. Yesterday I had read that part of 89A was closed because of the wild fire, but it was raining a bit so I figured I would take a risk and take 89A. I stopped at a little cafe and spoke to some locals and they informed me that the 89A was open through to Sedona. They gave me the directions to get to 89A, since I had passed the main exit for the road, and I was on my way. As I walked out the woman who was working there (I am guessing she was an owner) hollered after me to “be careful.”

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I took 89A which was BEAUTIFUL, all the way to Sedona. There was a lot of curves and forest, but the best part was Jerome. When I was making my way into Jerome I was climbing elevation and taking a lot of twisties. The town itself is shocking, it literally looks like something you would see in another country. The houses and building are built into the side of the cliff. The town starts at the top and the road is lined with buildings on either side that are built into the side of the mountain. You wined through town switchback after switchback as you are dodging crazy tourists trying to park and delivery trucks in the middle of the street. I really felt like I was in a small rural town in France or Ireland. If I would have seen the coffee shop before I had passed it I would have stopped. From there it was all downhill, not the trip, just the ride down the mountain…

 

The continued ride on 89A was pretty as I approached Sedona. The ride into Sedona was pretty cool. You could see the famous skyline with the odd shaped rocks and remained of earth that appeared to be red towers, with most of the earth removed and only skeletons remaining. The colors were outstanding and you could see why the town tucked in between these red formations has become a tourist hot spot. I decided I would stop for some food and a coffee, at this point I was pretty wet from the continued rain. I stopped in a little bakery/cafe and got a cappuccino and a cup of soup. After lunch, I was looking for the HD shop. While I worked my way through town, my GPS made it look as though I passed it. I was pretty much to the end of town and was still on 89A when I saw the big sign stating that 89A was closed between Sedona and Flagstaff. While I sat there cursing and looking at my HOG map, I noticed the HD shop was a little souvinere shop, again, in the second floor of a strip mall. I parked across the street in front of a church and walked over. When I got inside I asked the ladies that worked there if I could get through on 89A or if I was going to have to back track half of my day. Luckily, there was a smaller scenic byway that was not really visible on my HOG map that left Sedona and connected to the freeway 17. I walked around the tiny little shop for a bit, and the rain wasn’t letting up so I figured I would just get on my way. The ladies told me to “Be Careful!” and I headed out to my bike. I took shelter in a covered sidewalk by the church to put on my rain pants and then covered my bags with the rain covers. I had to back track a tiny bit, but found 179 south. The road was actually really pretty and was a scenic byway. There were a lot of picturesque views of the red rocks that were left behind after centuries of rain or whatever it was that carved out the landscape around here.

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I made it to 17 and was headed to Flagstaff, and my intention was the HD dealership around there. The shop is a big one, and it is off of the connecting freeway 40 that heads east or west. I passed the freeway and stopped for gas and decided I didn’t really want to stop again so I found my way to 180 which is the road I would take to my destination for the evening. Again, it was a lot of forrest, which I am still amazed there is so much of in Arizona. As many times as I have been here I really had no idea there was so much forrest and wildlife. It was much cooler after Sedona, although the rain had stopped I was glad I had my rain pants to add an extra layer.

 

I arrived in Tusanya which is near the park entrance for the Grand Canyon. Because it is a tourist trap everything is overpriced. I stopped at the Best Western and without even really talking to me the woman behind the desk told me she would find me the cheapest rate they had. I guess I looked like a poor broke biker bitch. There nightly rate was $180 and the HOG discount was a whole $10! I got back on my bike and went to the next spot. I checked online and they all were over $100 and the Holiday Inn Express, was almost $200. So when the Grand Hotel (no chain affiliation) was $139 I figured that was the best I would get. I did about 320 miles today and although it was early, around 3pm I wanted to ride into the park and check out the Grand Canyon.

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After I unloaded my bike and cleaned up a bit, I got back on my bike and rode into the park. I did the tourist thing and walked the rim. It was pretty amazing. It really is HUGE! I rode around the park area a bit and did some more walking. The sun was out so it was nice to feel some heat after a little bit of a chilly day. I made my way back to the tourist trap town and ate dinner at my hotel…I am pretty sure all the food on my plate was prepared at least a day before and reheated…not so impressive but what can you expect in a tourist town.

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Tomorrow I am planning on riding to Prevo, UT or somewhere near there…

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane – Day 1

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I have been nervous about this trip since I booked it, especially the last two days. But I made the choice to take this journey alone to prove to myself that I could do it. I generally have a pretty confident view on life and I am not one to walk away from a challenge. However I think this long distance solo ride is about as challenging as when Barry bought me a drag bike and asked me to race it! I don’t openly talk about my fear too much, especially since I feel obligated to show a confident strong front as a leader of a company. But what the hell, I am a woman and I was nervous! I shared my feelings when people asked about my trip and I think that this openness helped me deal with it. Ok, enough with the thoughtful BS! Lets ride!

My flight left Anchorage at 7:00am this morning (May 28, 2014). I was happy to see our family friend Carol was my flight attendant and that helped soothe my nerves. She embodies kindness and was so sweet. That little comfort made my first flight a breeze. My second flight from Seattle to Tucson was also pleasant, as I was surprised to find I had a first class seat. Apparently I booked my ticket with miles that way, but I had forgotten so it was like a bonus! I was sitting next to a nice woman who had to take her cat to the pet ER that morning so her husband had to stay home and fly out later to make sure the cat was ok. Understanding her pain we bonded and chatted about our kids (aka pets). We chatted about my journey and her visit with her mom who lived in Tucson. When we landed the heat was like a furnace blasting as soon as they opened the door to the gate.

 

My bag was one of the first unloaded so I trudged with my two bags out to a cab. The driver was an older guy with long grey hair. I immediately pegged him for a transplant from CA and I was right. W chatted about my journey as we headed toward the Harley-Davidson of Tucson. He was a little bit of an odd character, sometimes interjecting comments that were inaudible and I was unsure if he was talking to me or the traffic. We made it to the shop in good time and I unloaded my stuff. I headed in and saw Romello, who was the service advisor who had assisted me when I dropped my bike off there. They were great to work with. They stored my bike and even washed it for me! I hung out and chatted with the staff for awhile hoping to come up with a plan and hoping the heat would subside. Eventually I decided I couldn’t just hang out in Tucson for the night (which was my original plan) so I loaded up my bike and started heading north.

Buffalo off the highway?

Buffalo off the highway?

I didn’t really know where I was going but I figured when I got closer to Phoenix I would find a place to stop for the night. I made it about 24 miles before I was literally melting! I was near Red Rock where I pulled off the freeway into a little Shell gas station with a store. I figured I would hang out here for a bit and get a cold drink. When I came in I was greeted by the manager with a big smile and as I told him I was a suffering biker from AK he told me to hang out in the AC as long as I needed. I bought a Gatorade and walked over to the large counter area that was a square of large glass cases with all sorts of jewelry, knives and other cool stuff. While I was perusing we chatted about my journey and a local trucker jumped in on the conversation. They pulled out a big map to show me the best routes to take for the rest of my night and tomorrow. I checked out some knives, but decided I didn’t see one I could see myself carrying with a straight face (Can you imagine me with a big knife in a sheath hanging from my non-existent belt?! Yeah, me neither) So, I opted for some jewelry and out of the 50 rings I tried on there was only one that fit me. So I bought it. I was entertained listening the the manager tell me about all the tribes and different artists that made all the different pieces. He knew where the stones were from and who made them. It was pretty impressive, although the pessimist in me still think it all might have been made in China :)

photo 2I put ona white long sleeve while I was there since the sun was still high enough to burn me. I headed north, still on the freeway toward Casa Grande. It was still pretty hot and I was considering stopping for the day. I saw a couple bikes parked at the Holiday Inn, so I stopped to chat with the guy still unloading his bike while I looked up the distance to another town. He was riding from California to Texas and seemed to be pretty interested in the amount of bikers from the north that keep bikes in the south….clearly it is because of our winters, but I guess in CA it is always so nice they just don’t understand. It was nice talking to him, he thought I was pretty “ballsy” for taking this trip alone. I agreed :)

From there I decided I would keep riding to Avondale where I had googled at least had a Best Western. The town of Avondale is mostly a giant distribution center. There were all sorts of big buildings with trucks coming and going as well as some type of stinky industry that was not pleasant to ride through. I took a back road off the freeway to get to Avondale and although it was nice to get off of the freeway, there wasn’t much scenery difference. It was great to get to watch a beautiful sunset as I was getting closer to my destination. The sky had some clouds and as the sun set they turned all sorts of pink and purple. I settled on a Holiday Inn Express and was greeted by a super nice receptionist. At this point I was starving and so hot. I got checked in, she even gave me a discount and got me a room really close to the lobby so I didn’t have to lug my bags really far. Without much thought I went next door to eat at the Mexican restaurant, it was alright and I got a discount for being a hotel guest. All in all my first day was great. I am excited for tomorrow, I am riding through Prescott and Flagstaff on my way to the Grand Canyon!

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