Our good friend Mark Haldane shares his amazing Motorcycle vs. Moose experience and some of the sentiments regarding the motorcycle it happened on.

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Stories from the Road: Patti Bogan

Local riding legend Patti Bogan shares her experiences with parking lots. Don’t worry Patti, we’ll never call you by that nickname!

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Evansville, IN to Mesa, AZ – 2450 miles

Summary of the remainder of my journey…

The morning after we arrived in Evansville, IN, Sarah and I took our bikes over to Bud’s Harley-Davidson, where my friend Dawn had graciously pushed us to the front of the line. When we arrived Dawn was mopping the bathrooms and making sure the place was nice and clean from the carnage of their bike night the weekend before. Rather than sit at the dealership for a few hours, Dawn took us to grab some breakfast. We went to a local dive bar/restaurant and I had a bloody mary and Dawn got a mimosa. We chatted and enjoyed too much food. From there Dawn took us to the part of town were her super cool restored old house is on the river so Sarah and I could wander for a bit while she worked. There weren’t any thrift stores for Sarah but we found a cool coffee shop and made friends with the girlfriend of the guy making coffee, Lexie. She chatted with us and was excited to hear about motorcycling and our adventures.

Dawn met us at her house, which was only a block from the coffee shop, where Sarah and I waited on her porch swing. We got the tour and chatted about all the work she put into the place and we both strongly encouraged her to put it on Airbnb. What an amazing house. From here we headed back to the dealership. They couldn’t fix my speakers that I blew, because Harley is coming out with an upgraded replacement so they don’t have the old style in stock. Sarah needed a full service, a brake fluid flush and a rear tire. I just needed a 20K. they washed our bikes and I shopped a little. I ended up getting a pair of boots to replace my waterproof and extremely hot ones I brought. Sarah and I filled a box and Dawn mailed it home for me. From there we hauled ass heading toward Tulsa, OK to visit my sister Bonita.

We rode across Illinois and made it to Rolla, MO. Nothing too exciting but we did see a lot of cool old towns and old houses. From there we made it to Tulsa the next day and got to my sister’s house. She was still at work and Ashley needed to finish delivering her papers, so Sarah and I headed to the Harley dealership. There used to be a café attached but since the new owner bought it he has remodeled. The staff were nice and we ended up chatting to several of them for about an hour. I met the GM and then we headed to a local bar/restaurant that one of them recommended to grab a snack. It was great to visit my sister in her new home. She made us homemade curry and we got to have a sit-down dinner with her and Ashley and one of their friends stopped by.

The next morning it was pouring rain, so we had Bonnie drive us to breakfast with her, in the hopes the rain would pass. We finished our good breakfast and sure enough the rain hadn’t let up. So, like the buffalo that run through the storm to get to the other side, Sarah and I set out.


We rode through the rain for almost 100 miles. It was pretty sketchy in town, my tire kept slipping from all the grime on the road and the water. Once we were out of the city it was a lot of farm land but it was in the hills and it was all rainy and cloudy. We kept on hauling and made it to Burlington, CO. I know the path doesn’t make much sense but I had friends and family to see. So, we made it to Loveland, CO to visit my friends at Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson. After catching up with my friend Justin, it was time for Sarah and I to split ways. Sarah suggested going to a vegan restaurant for our last meal until we reunite in AK. Of course, I loved that idea, so we headed to Crash.

After our delicious food, I was heading to Boulder and she was going to head north west toward Portland. It was harder to say goodbye to my 20+ day road partner than I expected but it was exciting to see my friend Ariel. I made it to her place pretty quick. We got to catch up and chat a bit, then we both busted out some work and I kept working while she walked her adorable dog Gulliver. He is a little skittish, but I think he deep down knew I was a dog person. We had a beer at the Gunbarrel Brewery where she works for fun (her other job is part remote online and part onsite so she works at the brewery for social time) then we headed to dinner at a place called Elemental.

I had been in contact with my friend Djonas (pronounced Yonas) from Belgium. I met him during Spenard Bike Week at the House of Harley in Anchorage. He was camping there after riding up to the north slope and was eventually making his way to the states to continue his ride toward Ushuaia, Argentina. I was there this spring and always enjoy hearing about the bikers making that long trek. We hit it off and hung out quite a bit while he was staying there. He left mid bike week and headed to Valdez and then into Canada. We have been in touch through Instagram and Facebook and we were going to be near the same places during my ride across the U.S. He was in Portland while I was heading west, so I figured we wouldn’t meet up, but he managed to make it through Wyoming and after a couple days of hard riding met me in Longmont. It was great to see him again and we got to spend the afternoon chilling and then got drinks and dinner and more drinks on the town in Longmont with Ariel.

The next day was tough to say all my goodbyes. It was so good to see Ariel after over a year since she moved down here. We used to spend a lot of time together in AK and were workout buddies. I miss her dearly. It was also great to see Djonas and I am excited to continue to follow his journey to Argentina.

He is on Instagram as americananas_88 if you want to follow his journey as well as his blog at americananas.wordpress.com.

I hit the road, and planned to get as far as I could make it and handle but about 100 miles from boulder I was going to stop and see Pat, my friend that drove up to SD for my b-day so I could see him and his kids Mary and Michael one more time before I see them next summer when they come back up to Alaska. We got coffee in a small town in the middle of all the ski resorts.

The freeway around there was pretty intense. A lot of traffic and all winding roads. When I first got on the freeway I was almost squished between two cars by a guy that refused to see me even though I was almost touching his window. Other than that, it was a pretty ride. After coffee with the Kelley’s I hauled ass. I couldn’t really find a place to stay, almost ran out of gas in Utah somewhere but saw some amazing scenery.

I definitely have to come back when I have some time in the Moab area to check out the arches and all the parks around there. I was on 191 and thought I would be through the reservation soon and saw on a search there was a Best Western in Chinle, AZ. I was chasing the sunset and pulled into the lot right at 7:30pm. I checked in and found out I was still on the reservation and it was a dry reservation. Well, no wine with dinner, but I had a traditional soup for dinner and headed back to my room. I slept pretty good and was back on the road at 7:30am.

I figured I would be off the reservation soon and find a town with gas, so I skipped filling up. As I took backroad to backroad, I started to get nervous as my gas gauge got lower and lower. When I was at about 17 miles left, I saw a sign that said I-40 16 miles.

Thank God!!! I was at “low range” when I got to Winslow, AZ to get gas. The whole day was a really beautiful ride through hills, mountains, rocks and forests. It was pretty cool all morning too, until I was about 80 miles north of Mesa and as I dropped into the valley it jumped about 20* and was HOT!! I made it to the house at 11:30am (I forgot I would gain an hour) and got to chill with Barry for a bit. I got my bike unpacked, took a nap and got my shit all packed for my flight home tomorrow!

This trip was a total of 7,736 (plus a few miles from AK that I didn’t include) so we could call it 7,770 and 26 days. This is the longest motorcycle trip I have taken to date. Pretty epic and the party in Milwaukee in the middle was epic. I will be back to work soon, but I will never forget this journey! Much love to everyone who takes the time to read my long-winded stories.

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Milwaukee to Joliet, IL (128 miles) to Evansville, IN (295 miles)

Ah, the end to the party is never fun but it is necessary and we all survived the adventures of the 115th. Sunday afternoon as we all chilled at the Airbnb, Levi and Sarah packed their bags to head to Chicago to drop off Levi at the airport so he could get back home in time for work. Rather than drive all the way back to Milwaukee, Sarah booked an Airbnb and stayed in Joliet. My plan has been pretty fluid. One day, I was going to stay in Milwaukee for an extra day with Christy, then the next I was going to ride with Sarah and Levi to the airport and Joliet. My final plan ended up being to stay in Milwaukee Sunday night then head to Joliet to met up with Sarah the next day (Labor Day). After almost a week of partying in Milwaukee, I was ready to hit the road again and get back toward my trek home.

As I got my bike loaded and said goodbye to my dad, Christy and Fred I was a little sad to be leaving the group but excited at the same time. I had a bought of a little too much heat the day before, plus almost a week walking around on my knee at all the parties I was a little rough starting out the day. I got about an hour into my ride south and hit a horrendous rain storm. There were a ton of riders out there on the highway heading south but we all were miserable in the torrential downpour. I didn’t want to pull over, because I felt like it would be pointless. I left that morning in jeans, my knee brace a t-shirt, leather jacket, half helmet and Oakley sunglasses. I was already soaked, so adding more gear would be mostly pointless…although my Oakley’s are not made for riding and were getting hard to see out of. Eventually, I came up to a toll booth “SHIT!” I forgot to input “avoid tolls” and when I stopped for that I jumped off my bike, swapped my glasses and paid the fee. As I kept going I had a couple more tolls and was quickly running low on cash…(Damn all those cash only bars at all the parties in Milwaukee).

Eventually, the rain got so bad I could not see in front of me, so I pulled under the next overpass I saw. There were about 20 bikes all pulled over and everyone waiting out the storm. I parked about half my bike still out in the rain and pulled out my rain coat. I decided I didn’t want my gloves to get wet so I left them off. One of the guys told me it was going to be at least 30 minutes to clear and that it was really bad. After about 5 minutes of sitting there and updating Sarah on where I was, I decided to be like the buffalo and run head first into the storm to get to the other side faster. I was less than 15 minutes and I was out of the worst of it and then soon after that back in the sun.

As I kept going and kept seeing toll booths, I eventually blew through a couple because I was sick of fishing out the little change I had. I stopped at one, took off my rain coat and leather jacket and swapped back to my shades. There was a large group of bikers from another country, they were all wearing full face helmets, but I think it was a group for Asia. They gave me a thumbs up and I gave one back. As I rode up to pay my toll, I realized it was “exact change only” and I had none. I had rolled up to the booth with my saddlebag open and the same nice foreign biker ran over to make sure I knew it was open, kindly shut it for me and nodded. I reopened it, dug for change then finally threw all that I had left into the bucket and rode on. I assume I will be coming home to a few tickets??

After a couple wrong turns and having to pay tolls twice, I made it to Joliet…Oh, I guess that might not have happened in my prior blogs, not sure, but my “B*&#@ in the box” only talks to me when she feels like it, so I basically don’t have navigation anymore which makes it difficult to get around at times. But hey, it makes for an adventure sometimes too.

(Sarah’s cute Airbnb in Joliet)

I finally made it to Joliet and met up with Sarah at a coffee shop called Jitters. It was great to get on the road with Sarah again. We hammered down and headed south. We had decided at the coffee shop, that although I had originally planned to head towards Tulsa, OK first, we would instead go to Evansville, IN to visit my friend Dawn Morand’s dealership, Buds Harley-Davidson. We both were due for service and better to get it done with a dealer you know and trust.

So, I called Dawn and let her know we were on our way. We rode for a bit before we hit a rain storm. We were both in short sleeves and just rode all the way through it. Right before I turned east again, it got really bad and if I hadn’t have been turning I might have had to stop from the wind and intense rain, but I could tell we would be out of it soon. We were completely drenched but the sun came out and we dried quickly. It was about 97* all day. We didn’t really hit much else for rain and the scenery isn’t too exciting in this part of the world, but we did take all back roads which was fun. Many of them country roads with no center lane and not much for traffic. As we got closer to Evansville, it was pretty flat, but there were some great old buildings to check out as we rolled through small towns.

When we got to Evansville, after stopping at the wrong hotel, we found the right one which was right down the street from the dealership. Dawn picked us up an hour after we got here, enough time to freshen up. We went to dinner with her and her husband and got a drink at a bar where despite the lack of crowd there was still some enthusiastic karaoke singers. We got a little laundry done and will be taking our bikes to the dealership at 8am to get them serviced. Sarah is already at her 10K in a year…pretty bad ass. We are over our 5K mark on this trip so a good time to get them checked out and ready for the next several thousand.

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Milwaukee 115th Anniversary…

What happens satays in Milwaukee…you should have been there. No, but in all seriousness, it was an awesome party. We did all the things we could and it was amazing and you should all start planning now for the next trip down in 5 years. Follow our Instagram and Facebook pages for other highlights from our time there.


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Rogue Riders Day 14

La Crosse, Wi to Milwaukee!!! 437 miles

WE MADE IT!!!! #milwaukeeorbust

Last night Christy and Levi showed up while I was sitting on my bike trying to get signal outside to check my emails and get some work done. It was great to have my bestie join me. We promptly discovered that the liquor stores don’t sell liquor or wine after 9pm so we opted for some spiked sparkling water. We hung out by the fire pit and talked Fred into waking back up and coming out to hang out with us for a bit. It was a lot of fun, but we eventually were told by the hotel staff that we had to go to bed…rebels.

We all got up this morning and got our stuff packed up and ready to hit the road for the final ride before the party. As we were packing Sarah ran over to a thrift shop and hardware store to try to find us some stick on letters to write on our windshields. While she was doing that, Levi and I went to get the breakfast at the hotel. When we walked in, I joked about the fact that I wasn’t wearing shoes…and sure enough they had a sign that said “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.” I walked in and the gal stopped me and said, that I couldn’t eat without shoes.

I told her I just wanted coffee and she tried to stop me to tell me “He can get you coffee and bring it to you” in her Russian accent. I looked at her and said “No, I will get my own coffee and then I will leave. I paid for my room and I will get coffee.” I might have been a little hung over and grumpy but I also was just cracking up at the ridiculous behavior. I got my coffee and left. Levi was trying to get breakfast and leave, and she followed him around telling him he had to eat the food in the dining area and could not take it to go, so he finally snuck out with an english muffin.

Sarah got back and Fred waited for us, so it was us 3 again and Levi and Christy followed in the car, which was great so I could put all my gear in there and have a lighter bike. We agreed to just take the freeway so we could meet the group at Wisconsin Harley-Davidson so we could go to the museum as a group to get a photo. Everyone was gone except for us, so we hit the freeway and hauled some @$$ until we hit the freeway closure. It was pretty funny, the exit before the closure a car pulled over in front of us and kept waving us to exit, but I thought “Surely he isn’t signaling us and I am not gonna follow a perfect stranger…” well we should have followed him. He was trying to save us from almost an hour on the freeway trying to exit all of the vehicles.

Once we finally made the exit, we stopped for gas. Christy and Levi were behind us so they pulled into the gas station as well. We stocked up on a lot of water…a lot of water… and I got a pickle and some almonds. You have to love gas station food. And from there we followed the mass of people on this side road since the freeway was closed. Eventually we came to a spot in the road that was completely backed up. As we slowly rolled along I waved Christy forward in the car and she fed me pretzels and water through the window while I rode down the road. While I was slowly rolling along I realized my speaker or amp had blown and I had a distinct rattle and weird thump from the bass. Bummer! I guess I will have them look at that when I get my 20K in the next week. I changed my GPS settings to send us on “avoid highway” to find an alternate route and it told me to turn right on “County Road Z.” So, after sitting forever in this traffic we could have rode the shoulder and passed all the traffic to turn right on this road. Oh well, you live and learn.

The county road was great and hardly had anyone on it. We hauled @$$ as much as we could with the rough shape of the pavement and all the towns we rode through. Eventually we came back upon I-39 and I was thinking it might get us to where we were going but my GPS was still on avoid highway. By the time I got it caught up to stop avoiding highways, it had already sent me past the intersection. It was ok, because we got to ride through a beautiful small town and see a little more scenery before we got on the freeway. Actually, the whole ride on the backroads was great. Big trees, hills and curves. Can’t complain. I texted Barry while we were stuck in the traffic and told him we were going to be later than 1pm. We got on the freeway and hammered down tracking about 85 to 90 the whole way to Wisconsin H-D. When we arrived, most of our group was there but Barry and a few others were not.

While we waited for the group Sarah and I decorated our windshields so people could see where we came from Her bike said “Heard there was a party – rode from Alaska 4K+ Miles” which was great. Mine just said “Alaska to Milwaukee.” Once we got most of the group assimilated we took a photo of all of us in front of the Wisconsin HD Sign. From that point we decided to head to Veteran’s Park to check out the welcome part from HOG and HD. We parked in the grass and walked in. There has been a bit of rain so there was a lot of mud and muck to walk through.

We hung out, listened to some good music and ate some food. We checked out the Ferris wheel and did some live videos from there and it was fun.

After awhile, I asked the group if they would be ok with going to my friend Anne Marie and Tammy’s restaurant called Moxie. Everyone was down to go, so Fred, Christy, Sarah, Levi and I rode to Moxie. I was super excited to see Ann Marie and Tammy and we got to hang out with them for a bit.

They have Gloria Struck coming to the restaurant tomorrow to do a book signing. If you don’t know who she is, you should GTS. I shared it with the group, so our plan is to go tomorrow after we check out the factory.

Milwaukee Graffiti/Mural outside our Airbnb

I may not blog the next couple days if they go long and I don’t have time, but we will be in Milwaukee until the 3rd. I will continue blogging from there for sure!

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Rogue Riders Day 13

Sioux Falls, SD to La Crosse, WI 437 miles

I had a tough time sleeping last night, and was awake around 4am to watch and listen to the huge lightening and thunder storm. Although as an Alaskan I enjoy them, I was not thrilled about the idea of riding in it today. When we woke up around 8am Fred texted me to set a time and a route. He suggested we go north through a small town called Florence then over to Lake City and then down to La Crosse. It was pretty much the same route I was thinking would be good and according to the radar north was going to have less rain. We agreed to head out at 9am, and as we were getting the bikes loaded up it really started to rain.

When I was in Billings, I sent home my awesome nylon, waterproof riding pants. Total fail. So, I had my chaps on and my rain jacket over my leather jacket. I had also sent home the only thick gloves, my heated gloves home. So, I only had my thin little leather gloves that are about 16 years old! We rode through some rough rain for about 20 miles then it lightened up. I had my full face on, but the visor is tinted and kept fogging up, so I had to ride with it open. In hind sight, I should have put on my night riding glasses, but I didn’t think about it so I was getting soaked.

We made it about 100 miles and my fingers were almost completely numb. We stopped and got gas, coffee and thawed out a bit. My left glove dyed my hand black and they were so soaked I wasn’t sure I would be able to get hem on. While I was in the gas station, they had a food bar, I asked for some rubber gloves like they use for food prep. They gave me a couple of small blue gloves which are a quick fix for freezing hands and wet gloves. I was going to wear them as a liner. I asked Sarah if she wanted some but she said her gloves were ok. Then she offered me these big thick gloves that looked like trike winter weather gloves. I gratefully accepted them and put the blue latex gloves in my saddle bag for the rest of my trip.

We were all warmed up and Fred and I had all our gear on and Sarah was still sitting on her bike on her phone. I finally honked at her and got her to get a move on.

From there we headed to this cute town called Mankato.

While we were riding in there I spotted a cute coffee shop/deco store so I pulled over in a 10 minute parking spot and parked the bikes. Fred and Sarah pointed at the sign, and is said “I don’t care.” I figure we would see someone trying to give us a ticket and just explain we were from AK and move the bikes.

Of course, no one ever came to give us a ticket so we enjoyed some coffee and snacks. While we were there we decided we need to get as many pictures for the blog as possible.

Sarah put on her Spenard Bike Week hat and we had a great idea to take pictures of all of us in our black beanies doing “gangster shit.”

So we found the most “white girl” deco store background we could and took photos with fake gang signs. It was hilarious and the coffee shop patrons also thought it was funny.

The town was adorable and my GPS took us right through the old downtown. I had put “scenic” on my route preferences and to avoid highways, so it was an interesting ride with a lot of turns. From the very beginning all the way to the end the route kept taking us from one rural county road to the next often zig zagging north then east then north etc. The ride was actually really fun and pretty. We rode through some farm land, hills, rocky cliffs, rivers and lakes. It was all full of large trees and super green. After our coffee shop stop we headed south east toward Lake City. When we were about 18 miles from town I stopped at a big gas station to fill up. From there we decided just to ride straight to La Crosse and to the hotel.

The rest of the ride was equally as beautiful and fun. We were going through a lot of small towns, by the river and some lakes. The speed limit was usually 55 but the three of us were running about 75 most places and having fun passing cars. At one point I was cruising along with Sarah and Fred behind me. I saw the sheriff’s car on the right pulling across our road, but by the time I realized I was doing 75 in the 55 he was pulling out right in front of us, across our lane and heading in the opposite direction. I am not sure if he was doing this on purpose to slow us down or if he just didn’t see us. Either way, I was glad he was going the other direction as I slammed on my brakes and slowed down. He didn’t even tap his brakes and kept on going the other way. We did see several people pulled over on the way, I am just glad it wasn’t us!

This is our last night on the road before we get into Milwaukee. When we arrived at the hotel all the bikes were parked under the overhang, so we parked there as well. Apparently, there might be hail, so the hotel was kind enough to let us park under there.

I was also able to get a room on the first floor so I didn’t have to climb stairs hauling all my shit with a bum knee. After a quick shower we met most of the group in the restaurant and got some food. Tonight, my best friend Christy Revet (I have known her since I was 16 when we both worked at the House of Harley-Davidson). We have pretty much been twins ever since. Tagging along with Christy on the trip down is Levi (Sarah’s boyfriend, sales employee at the shop and cool guy that loves Harley’s). Sarah and I are both stoked to have our other halves here for the rest of the trip. (Other half for me is my best friend…just to be clear…Christy is still available I don’t want to screw up her game). They flew into Milwaukee and picked up a rental car and are heading to meet up with us in La Crosse.

Some of our ladies of Harley are getting crafty with T-shirt’s in the middle of the bar.

Tomorrow we will ride into Milwaukee and get the group to meet up at the H-D dealership before town and then we will all ride in together and go to the H-D Museum to get our group photo.

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