August 26 Boston, MA to Stowe, VT

This morning we had an early departure from our hotel to Boston HD. We arrived and checked in to find out where our bikes were located in the parking lot that house 200 Harley’s! Dawn and I are from different areas, but our bikes were relatively close. We both got the new 2017 CVO Streetglide in the orange and black paint. Boston HD was awesome in the whole process and they installed my sissy bar for me that I mailed to them in advance. We got the bikes loaded and headed out. Just for some idea of the craziness that is this ride…probably about 30% of the people on this ride are not from the U.S!!!!

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My new ride

 

 

So, I have a 2015 CVO Streetglide in Alaska, and I am on the same bike here. Well, I failed the Dealer test, because I have yet to really learn the new 6.5 stereo system on the Harley’s, because I never need navigation in Alaska! So, I immediately start our trip out by going the wrong way, primarily because I followed someone else. Then we go the wrong way again while it was recalculating… Despite that headache the navigation did get us where we needed to go and I didn’t have to experience any bad drivers. Dawn had to trust that I was on the right track for the first part, because she couldn’t get her navigation to the right setting…this is why it is important to read the manual!!

So, we followed HD’s route which took us through primarily rural areas on back roads. The whole trip was beautiful. We headed West from Boston and then eventually north toward Stowe Vermont. We took a few side trips, like one to get as and water after the first 80 miles or so. Then we were heading on the right path and I had finally gotten the gist of the GPS, so I turner the “bitch in the box” down so she wouldn’t yell at me. Dawn and another rider (unknown) where behind me and I went left and left again when I should have gone left and right. I knew as soon as I went left that I was wrong and then Dawn and the unknown rider went right and she honked at me. Luckily I was able to make a quick loop since the streets were all one way and get on the right track.

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Birds of a feather

The rest of the ride was pretty smooth as far as following the GPS from that point. We started to get hungry so we stopped in Weston and found a little restaurant called the Bryant House. This was an old house that had been re-purposed into a restaurant. It had great food and the layout was kept very much original including a cool room upstairs that they had the original bedroom set from the 1800’s!!

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Bryant House

Original owners of the house, clothing and furniture

Original owners of the house, clothing and furniture

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I really was hoping that along this beautiful road we would find little spots to pull over and take photos but unfortunately there was rarely any shoulder and the pull off spots were all sand and gravel. Mostly we rode through the hills and through forests. Right outside of Stowe we make a quick detour to the Cider Mill, I’m not gonna lie, I thought it was going to be “hard cider” but instead it was a family friend place with apple cider donuts and a pack of Goldwing Riders..you know, you meet the nicest people on a Goldwing😛

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Cider donuts are not as exciting as hard cider

We got some cider and then headed to the Stowe Mountain Lodge which was our final destination. We arrived to covered parking in the garage and great assistance to get our bags and our sweaty hot messes to the room. (It was very hot and muggy…ALL DAY). We had a dinner schedule for the HD Ride at 7pm so around 7:10 we headed down for a drink before dinner was served. As we passed the lobby we saw about 50 people waiting to get checked in, apparently about half of the riders were late getting in, so the line kept getting longer and the dinner kept getting pushed back.

They had a great fire pit outside, so Dawn and I mingled with the folks that were there and waited for dinner to start. It was an early night, as we are all tired from the long ride and warm weather. Tomorrow we will be riding from Stowe, VT to Portland, ME.

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Campfire at the end of the day

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Dirty Thirty

This morning I woke up to a text from my mom…”so happy I’m thirty” which I didn’t realize until tonight was an acronym for SHIT. Well played mom, well played.

Despite my personal anguish with leaving my 20’s I am blessed to be spending my 30th with amazing friends from all over the country at the Annual Harley-Davidson Dealer Show. This year, they revealed the brand new Milwaukee Eight Engine! This motor is a game changer and my birthday ride from Boston, MA to Mesa, AZ will be a testament to that.

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Thanks for the shot of wine Si!

Let me start at the beginning…

A few months ago, my District Manager strongly encouraged me to go on the “Dealer Ride” which is a ride that only HD Dealers can go on with some HD Executives after the Dealer Show. After some prodding, I finally agreed and signed up for the ride. I then discovered I was going to ride a brand new 2017 model and that it was going to be billed to my dealership. After a quick inquiry I didn’t seem to have a good chance of HD shipping my new bike back to AK (I am sure they would have if I whined loud enough) but I saw this as a great excuse to ride cross country. So, I requested a FLHXS….then surprise from HD I get a new 2017 CVO FLHXSSE! So I get to ride a brand new CVO Streetglide with HD for 3 days around the northeast then cross country!

 Have I mentioned, I LOVE MY JOB?!

Let me back track a little… I signed up for the Dealer Ride which is only 3 days. A good friend of mine is the dealer in Evansville, Indian so I begged and pleaded for her to join me when I saw her last winter in Phoenix. After dragging her feet and having to get a special exception from HD she snuck her way into the Dealer Ride. I then convinced her that she may as well ride all the way back to Indiana (The VERY scenic route) with me!

Fast forward to now… All the dealers met up this afternoon to go to our “debriefing” with HD about the ride. They are so prepared and well planned out! They have an awesome route for us to take from Boston to Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont then to Portland, Maine and then finally back to Boston. So we have 3 days of fun with other HD dealers and HD employees around the northeast. They were extremely well planned and executed, the dealership Boston HD actually got our first day map installed on our GPS for us!!!

We pick up our bikes tomorrow morning and will be riding through some beautiful country to Stowe, VT. We will be hitting some amazing county along the way and I will take photos and blog the trip so stay tuned!

Dia

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Leaving Boston Harley-Davidson with Dawn

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Preparing for your epic journey…according to Dia

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When planning a motorcycle trip, especially a long one, there are so many things to think about and get ready for prior to hitting the road. I am going to put together a basic outline of what I do to prepare for my longer trips, like the one I am taking in a couple of weeks from Boston, MA to Mesa, AZ. There are 3 key areas to discuss and plan during a long motorcycle trip: the bike, the gear and the journey.

I will start first with the journey since it will greatly impact the bike prep and the gear packing. Often times a motorcycle trip has a very specific set of parameters, where you will start, what route you will take, where you will stay along the way and how many miles you will do each day. For example, on the trips I have taken from Anchorage to Milwaukee for the HD anniversary parties, we have a complete schedule of the trip with each hotel booked in advance. If you have to be from point A to point B on a schedule you should plan a detailed route with the mileage between each point. You then need to determine if you will be camping or staying in a hotel. I am not one for camping, so I always get hotels. (Camping will be discussed further in the gear section)

Once you have figured out where you are going to, you should determine a reasonable amount of miles you are willing and able to achieve each day. Since you are booking hotels or camping spots you will want to make sure you plan for the unexpected and don’t put yourself in the position to have way too many miles to complete if you are held up for some reason.

Also, if you are having a set itinerary, you should consider the maintenance your bike will need along the way and you should schedule this in advance as best you can to ensure you are not delayed waiting for service. I will go into bike maintenance a little further along, but while you are booking hotels it is very smart and courteous to contact dealerships that will be along your route to let them know when you will be planning on arriving and what services you will need. For example, if you will be needing a new tire midway through your trip, plan for that and make sure the dealership has the tire you need held for your appointment.

The other alternative is my favorite way to travel, WING IT!!! (Disclaimer: This method of travel is not for those who cannot problem solve or handle uncertainty) In general, my life is very planned and organized, so when I get the chance to go on a long ride I like the thrill of the unknown. I like to allow my route to change as I heed advice of locals and stick to the backroads. My favorite tool is the HOG Touring Handbook. I use this as a general guide to find the scenic, fun motorcycle routes and figure out how I can fit them into my journey. I still have a starting point and final destination but I can take whichever path I would like, which allows for exploration and choosing direction based on weather too!

Although I am not booking any hotels or having a set itinerary, it is still good practice to have a general idea of what route you want to take and where you are going. I like to ride as much on smaller highways and country roads as possible. So, when I am planning my route I try to avoid freeways. This is where the HOG map book comes in handy. As I plan a basic course, I use the state by state maps to determine if there are some scenic roads I can use to get from one place to another. I generally plan the night before and determine my destination. I look up the hotels in the town that I have selected to make sure there are some options then I hit the road. I stop where I want and take any detours I think will be fun. (This is a great way to travel if you are going solo or with someone who is as eager to enjoy the random ride as you are!)

Regardless of your itinerary it is always good to ensure you keep your tank full, so I often plan to stop every 100 to 200 miles. (This can vary depending on the type of bike as well). Depending on your personality and timeframe you can choose how you travel. If you are going to have a set itinerary, you need to book in advance and set a pace that is reasonable and allows some flexibility. If you are going the alternative route and “winging it” try to establish a basic idea of places you would like to see and the fun roads to get there.

Second, you need to prepare your motorcycle for the journey. After a few long trips, all of which have been on a Harley-Davidson Touring bike, I have a hard time recommending anything else. Not to say you can’t do a long trip on a Sportster, but it is a lot easier on a bagger. For a long trip you will need storage capacity, comfort and durability. Once you have selected the right bike for you, you will need to get it set up and ready for the haul.

If you are on a full dress Harley, you will already have the saddle bags and the tourpack. If you need additional storage you can place a rack on the top of the tourpack and a bag on the passenger seat if you are solo. If you have something like a Heritage, Switchback, Roadking or Streetglide I would recommend putting a sissybar and luggage rack on the bike for additional storage. You want to keep in mind the Gross Vehicle Weight, which is what the Motor Company recommends for the amount of weight the bike carries. This includes the rider, passenger and gear. This weight measurement is important because it affects the integrity of the motorcycle as well as the tire wear and overall safety.

The amount of storage space will greatly depend on the type of ride you are doing. If you are going on a ride that covers a lot of distance and a variety of weather should be expected you will need to pack layers and a diversity of gear. If you are camping you also need to consider what gear you will need to be comfortable camping. (I am not an expert in the camping department so, you may want to seek further council) My dad always taught me that if I had to ask “What If” I probably don’t need it. Although that can be misconstrued, what I believe he meant was bring the essentials and if you have to ask “What if I find myself needing a ballroom gown for a formal occasion I randomly get asked to” you should not pack the ballroom gown. So, be smart when you select your items and keep in mind your storage space. (More on packing later).

You will also want to make sure your bike is in the best running condition. I am not a mechanic, so I take mine in and have the trained technicians perform a service and make sure I am good to go for the long haul. I am a bit of an optimist when I travel, and hope nothing serious will break, but I did witness two flat tires in basically the middle of nowhere so, bring a patch kit and know where the nearest HD dealership is! It is also smart to get the Road America plan you can purchase at a great rate by being a HOG member. Every evening when you reach your destination, do a quick walk around on your bike as you unpack and make sure things are tight and not over worn. Check your oil to make sure it is at a good level and your tires and brakes look good. If you notice a noise or something not working right try to stop by a dealership along the way to have it checked out, and remember you should be willing and able to pay for their time, they have to make a living too.

Security is also important for motorcycle adventures. It is good to have a security system and to ensure you lock your bike, both the ignition and the fork locks when you park for any length of time. If you are feeling you need more security you can get additional locks to secure the bike. By having the fork lock engaged you make it difficult for someone to roll your bike into the back of a truck. Siren alarms are great as well to alert you if someone is moving your bike. Additionally, I ask the front desk if I can park in the covered entry area where they have loading and unloading vehicles. This way, the front desk can see your bike and people will be much less likely to mess with it. If you don’t have that option get a room on the outside where you can park within a view from your window.

Depending on where you are traveling you may want to consider some additional items, better lighting to be seen and to see at night, weather protection like fairing lowers, seat covers, and windshields. You also want to consider comfort. Do your handlebars put your arms in the right position for long distance riding? Is your ass comfy on that stock seat or do you need a Hammock Seat? Is the bike too high for you? Do you need a lower more narrow seat? What about the suspension? Is it set up for the extra weight you are going to be carrying? No need to worry, all of these things have already been thought of by the experts and you can pretty much find whatever you need for your trip at your HD dealership.

Every rider will be different but think about the things you will need to be comfortable and safe as well as provide you with convenient storage and space for your trip. I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in making sure you are comfortable and you have the right accessories to help you on your journey.

Lastly we need to think about how we are going to pack all this stuff on our motorcycle! First remember the wisdom of “If you have to ask ‘what if’, you don’t need it!” The variety of what you will need to pack is even more diverse than the accessories you will need to put on your bike. Weather is probably one of the biggest factors. You will need layers if you are going through areas that will have variability. If it is very hot, you will be best served to have some lightweight gear that will allow airflow, just remember to stay hydrated. When you are riding in high temps it is very easy to become dehydrated from the wind wicking the perspiration off of you and not drinking enough water to replenish. If the climates will be diverse a jacket that provides multiple layers is best. This way you can add or subtract layers as needed, and utilize the ventilation features.  This is also a great option if the jacket is waterproof. The more combinations one jacket can provide, the better, since you will have less to pack. IF you are not familiar with the FXRG line from Harley-Davidson, it is worth the investment as it provides all of the above and a lifetime warranty. There are a few options for full pants, chaps or riding jeans. Again, dress for the diversity of weather. Helmets are required in some states, so you should pack a helmet if you don’t already plan on wearing one the whole way. If you will be riding at night you should pack some eyewear that works at night, clear or yellow are most common.

When it comes to packing your clothing and toiletries, think less is more! Remember if you are on the road, no one but you and your riding buddies will know if you wear the same shirt 3 or 4 times. Obviously be considerate of others and don’t get too stinky! I have found that a lot of hotels provide laundry facilities so you can wash clothes along the way. Again remember to pack in layers and bring clothing items that are comfortable under your riding gear. Bring only what you need and remember if you are traveling in a civilized area you can always buy something if you need it!

If you are camping you need to pack with the plan to carry a lot of additional items, so plan accordingly. If you need a small camp stove, tent, sleeping bag, mattress pad etc that is a lot of space to take up on the bike. It is a good idea to pack some basic first aid items, tire patch kit (not for long term patch but to get you to a dealership) rag to wipe down your windshield, cleaning supplies, additional gas and/or oil if you are going to rural areas, and sunscreen! It is really easy to get sun burned while riding, so bring some good sun block and be prepared.

There is a lot more detail that could be covered in a topic like this but hopefully this gets you thinking in the right direction. Your HD dealership is a great resource and fellow riders who have been there done that. I will never forget when I was a kid and I forgot to pack underwear on a trip to Mexico…guess what? You can buy underwear in Mexico! Ride and have fun!

Dia

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This is how we do it in Alaska…

Trike riding in Alaska during the winter is not for the fashion conscious. You look like the “Michelin Man” with all your layers to stay warm, but it is probably the one of the best adventures I have had with my Harley lifestyle.

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Our new Sales Manager at House of Harley, had this wild idea to do a trike ride on Halloween. From this seed we developed the Trick or Treat Ride to be a poker run to benefit The Downtown Soup Kitchen with a $10 buy in and prizes from House of Harley for the winner. I was in the mood for adventure so I told Sal he and I could go on the trike ride on a couple of used trikes we had. I figured I would borrow the beautiful used Dyna trike with the Frankenstein conversion that we just took in on trade. Well as things go, the trike I was going to ride was sold! Good for business bad for me. So, I thought well I guess I can take the new Freewheeler that is on the floor for a “demo” ride. To be 100% honest I was super nervous for this ride since I had never really ridden a trike more than around the parking lot and then add in the snow! Sarah, our Marketing Director decided to also join on a borrowed trike. I pretty much had no room to be nervous since she is pretty far along in her pregnancy and was hardcore enough to go on the ride!

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After a super short practice ride I was already grinning ear to ear. So our small group of bad ass trike riders gathered up and pulled our first card for the poker ride. We headed out and in about forty-five seconds I knew I was hooked. I literally don’t think I have smiled so much in one ride in a long time. Trike riding is completely different than riding two wheels. Don’t get me wrong I won’t give up my awesome two wheeled bikes but trikes open up a whole new type of riding. It is a lot easier than I thought to switch from two wheels to three wheels. I was worried I would forget to keep my feet up at stops and have a hard time turning without the ability to “lean” in the corners. Our buddy Ben aka “Jamaican” gave Sarah and I some tips along the way on how to turn and where to ride in the lane. Our poker run was not super long or spread out but was so much fun. We had a small group, Dan on another Freewheeler, Ben on his Bengineered “big wheel,” Nich on his Dyna trike, Mike on his Sidecar Ultra, Ed on his Triglide Ultra, Sarah on the Sportster trike and myself on another Freewheeler. As we rode through town we had people waving and cheering us on. We even had a guy stop and take a selfie with us as he walked through the crosswalk. Our ride took us from HOH to the Northway Mall, then from there to the cemetery downtown (it was Halloween after all), then to Earthquake park and finally back to HOH for the final card.

After we arrived at the shop most of the group hung out and drank some coffee to warm up. I managed to do about 20 minutes of work and knew I had to go ride some more. We had such a beautiful day. So, I talked Jamaican and Nich into continuing our ride a little further. I was hooked.

Monday morning several roads were closed and we had something close to 60 accidents in Anchorage because of the snow we had and the icy roads. I stayed home for the morning and did some yoga. I had an appointment to get my hair done at 12:30 and didn’t want to miss that appointment (I have to maintain my bangs) so I jumped in my car and headed down the hill. I was only planning on getting my hair done then heading back home. However, after I made it down from hillside I saw the roads really weren’t that bad. The main ones were pretty much melted. I saw that my riding gear was still in the car from Saturday and decided I wanted to take that trike out again. The Freewheeler handles amazing. I can’t believe how well it corners and how much fun it is to ride. So I called my buddy Ben and asked him to go triking. Of course he was still in bed…at 1:30 in the afternoon, so after he got ready he met up with at the Peanut Farm. We grabbed some lunch and headed to the east side of town. Just a week ago Nich was saying how there are not enough people to ride trikes with, so I guess when he saw Ben and I posting our adventures he decided to join. He met up with us at Cabin Tavern on the east side. By the time we left there it was getting dark and a little icier, the Freewheeler handed great! We headed to downtown then back to the shop. Besides getting coated with slush from my fellow riders I had a blast! Now I am looking forward to getting some more heated gear and extending my Alaska riding season to year round.

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Harley-Davidson, Sturgis plan 75-year agreement

Deal Names Harley-Davidson Official Motorcycle of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally; Creates Year-Round Main Street Plaza For Riders in Sturgis, S.D.

MILWAUKEE – (Jan. 15, 2015) – Harley-Davidson and the City of Sturgis, S.D., are setting their sights on the future – far into the future. In the spirit of
this year’s 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the company and city officials are finalizing an agreement covering the next 75 years making Harley-Davidson the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

“Harley-Davidson riders have attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for decades. This new agreement will help fuel many more years of freedom, independence and rebellion for this iconic gathering,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief operating officer at Harley-Davidson. “Riding is a passion passed down through generations, so it’s important we celebrate the legacy and history of Harley-Davidson in Sturgis, while helping creating new memories.”

As part of the agreement, a permanent plaza will be built on Main Street in Sturgis that will include a stage for events, concerts and even weddings. The year-round location, which will be completed in time for this year’s 75th rally, will be the official Harley-Davidson destination for riders and fans alike.

“For decades, Harley-Davidson has been the motorcycle of choice for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally fans and a great partner to the City of Sturgis,” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen.  “Today it gives me great pleasure to solidify its importance by making it the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

Sturgis: Baked into the bricks of Harley-Davidson
To ensure the new multi-purpose space builds on the legacy of the brand and is pure Harley-Davidson, the plaza will integrate bricks from the company’s Milwaukee headquarters, a building that once housed the company’s factory dating back more than 100 years.

During a news conference at the company’s headquarters, Harley-Davidson announced the planned agreement, which has an initial term and renewals running through 2090. To unveil the deal, Harley-Davidson removed a brick from the historic front entrance using a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street® 750 motorcycle. That brick, alongside one from the Harley-Davidson Museum and 73 bricks from the headquarters’ famous motorcycle-only parking area will be delivered to Sturgis on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Whether riders are trapped inside for the winter or riding south toward warmer weather, now is the perfect time to plan a trip to the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The party starts Aug. 1, 2015, and for those who’ve had Sturgis on a bucket list, this might just be the year to attend. For inspiration and pictures from the 2014 rally, visit www.h-d.com/sturgis.

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Dia’s Journey Spokane to Mesa – Final Days  

As planned we stopped by Henderson Harley-Davidson which I believe is Route 66 Motorsports. It is a fairly small shop, and back in the service area we found Carl, who used to work for my dad years ago. We chatted with him for a minute, then I headed over to motorclothes to find some sunglasses that were a little darker than the ones I had brought down. Tom came out from the service bay and we chatted for a while about the latest. It is always fun to catch up with old friends, he was part of our “party crew” back in the day when he worked at the shop. He walked us out to the bikes and Barry and I got on the road. We stopped for gas in a small town about an hour out of Phoenix, and we were going to get food, but we decided to eat a handful of nuts and hit the road to make it to our house a little quicker. It was HOT the whole way and we were ready to get into some AC.

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When we got to the house my mom and their dog Zoe where already opening the garage door as we rolled down the street. We got the bikes parked and cooled off. Our house is right on the golf course, so we drove to the restaurant at the golf resort and had some lunch. Lorie was flying in around 9pm so Mom and I headed out to go shop for some household items. We are setting up the house to be ready for us when we come down as well as for renters, since we will be setting it up as a vacation rental. (If you are looking to rent let me know! This place is awesome)

Friday was pretty much a lazy day for Lorie and I, we both needed a little bit of “vacation relaxation” we went to the onsite gym to work out then later in the day walked to the onsite pool to lounge in the shade, swim and relax. We had a nice calm day, then later that night we cooked steaks on our built in grill in the back yard and sat by our cool fire place back there.

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Back to riding! Since Lorie and I decided to lounge around and talk business on Friday, we decided to get up a little earlier and get on the road. We headed out around 9am to check out my dad’s latest route that he had discovered, the Salt River Canyon.

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We headed out of Mesa, Lorie on Barry’s bike and me on my Street Glide. We stopped in Globe for some gas, taking Hwy 60 toward the canyon. We didn’t have all day, since Lorie was flying home tonight, but we decided we would try to go to the canyon then come back to Globe for lunch in the historic part of town. Even the ride to Globe was full of scenic views, I LOVE riding down here. Surprisingly it was a bit chilly coming through some of the passes on the way to Globe as well as towards the canyon. We both only had sweaters on, so it was cooler then we planned!

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The canyon was magnificent! It is full of some great curves and awesome views. It is a little slower paced, but obviously well loved by bikers as there were Harley riders everywhere! We rode through the canyon with no stops at a pretty steady pace then once we left on the other side we turned around and got a picture with the Salt River Canyon sign and headed back through. Lorie led on the way back and we preplanned to stop at two pullouts. The first one was right as you were going back into the canyon. This was the most scenic view. We were at the top of the canyon and you could see across most of it as well as some good views of the natural caves that were carved out of the rock cliffs from years and years of erosion.

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While we were stopped and getting off the bikes I overheard the bikers that were parked their commenting “isn’t that the same two girls who just rode through the canyon?” I turned and told them “you have to do it twice right?” We had a quick conversation about how we were riding to the canyon and back. They asked where I was from, and when I told them Alaska, their next statement was “So you shipped your bike down here?” I told them, “well actually I rode it from Alaska to Milwaukee last year…” they looked surprised and suspicious. One was on a nice 2015 CVO Streetglide, same as mine but a different color and the other guy was on a pretty radical custom Street Glide. Not the kind of bikes you take down the AlCan, well unless you are a crazy AK Biker!🙂 We cruised back through the canyon and made it back to the other side. When we got back to Globe, we pulled into the historic part of town. There were great old buildings, unfortunately most of them empty. I am always excited to see old buildings being repurposed as shops and restaurants rather than having downtown be vacant. We parked the bikes and started walking down the street looking for a restaurant. We saw a little cafe first, and popped in. To be 100% honest I was totally scared to eat anything from there. It was this tiny little hole in the wall and the they were cooking the food on a large grill top right there in the same room. Much to my surprise, I ordered an egg and veggie “burro” aka burrito and Lorie got eggs and bacon. We were both completely blown away. Their food was 100% fresh made to order. The veggies were all cut in house and were fresh and the tortilla for my burro was so fresh I could have eaten it plane. It reminded me of the fresh tortillas you got in Costa Rica. It was so good I practically ate the entire burro that looked too big to eat when it landed on the table. The waitress was fun as well. It is obviously a family establishment, I am pretty sure the 3 big women cooking and serving were all related. After she gave Lorie directions to the bathroom, she told her “they don’t like it when you pee outside there” and gestured toward Main Street! what a crack up! We left with full bellies and smiles on our faces. When we got back to the bikes we found this awesome Buick parked next to us. Lorie is really into classic cars and even has one herself, so as she admired it, I got a brief lesson. She is pretty bad ass, knowing all that about cars!

As we rode out of Globe we spotted a few bikes sitting in front of what looked like a biker bar. Guess I will have to go back next time I am in town to check it out! Meanwhile, I am writing my blog sitting in our back yard with the fire going and a nice 75* on the thermometer. I could get used to this…unfortunately I am too young to retire, so I will be heading back to the cold land of Alaska in a couple days. In the meantime, I am going to explore the area on my Harley, since my parents are taking the rental car back tomorrow.

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Dia’s Journey Spokane to Mesa – Day 3 Ely, NV to Vegas

Barry kept checking the weather and it was supposed to be sunny but cold this morning leaving Ely. So, we took our time getting ready this morning and didn’t leave until about 10:20am. It was a little cool but the sun warmed us and neither of us used heated gear. We had a little trouble getting out of Ely, and I was trying to take 93 South but Barry followed a sign for Las Vegas which took us on 6. I had to do a u turn, but after a few seconds of bickering while riding on which way to go, I followed Barry. The sign did say “Las Vegas” but we had used a map yesterday and routed it on Hwy 93…I figured we would be meeting back up with 93 at some point.

Along the road

Along the road

Just out of Ely there was some fun curves through some mountainous area, but that only lasted about 10 minutes. From there we were back on the flat lands with mountains and hills in the distance. There were a few small towns, and as we drove through them all I could think was “why do people live out here? what kind of economy is there? what jobs do they have? etc” The little blips on the road broke up the scenery but it was mostly a lot of sandy and rocks. There was an area that had some lakes, and one of the smaller lakes was almost completely dried up. It looked like salt flats. It was so white, I thought for a second it was the reflection of the sun on the water it was so bright, but it was just a dried up lake. I imagine in the spring when they get more rain it actually has some water in it. Today there was a lone deer in the middle drinking out of a small puddle.

photo 4

We stopped in a small gas station a few miles outside of Alamo, but I was ready for some food, so I suggested we ride up the road to Alamo in hopes of a restaurant rather than gas station food. We found a cool little spot that was a hotel and restaurant. When we pulled in the parking lot there were two sherif’s vehicles, so I figured we would be eating lunch with the police and better not drink a beer!

photo 3

The waitress was a little goofy, but good natured. She informed us that they cannot serve alcohol but we could bring in our own. Of course, Barry always has some beer and some wine in the bike, so we had wine and beer with our lunch.

Byob or wine

Byob or wine

They had a veggie soup that was great with a sandwich. Perfect size for a road meal. On the way out the waitress asked if my husband had gotten his beer that she had put in the fridge…yep “husband”! I had to laugh and tell her that Barry was my dad. After a good laugh we hit the road with no layers, cause it was HOT out!

Yuck!

Yuck!

From Alamo we had a little over 100 miles to Vegas. It was more flat land, and as we got closer to Vegas there were all the power lines and different industrial looking buildings. Then after a few hills you could see the sprawl that is Vegas. The traffic got pretty busy and the roads were surprisingly shitty, I guess because they are too busy fixing the strip and keeping that part of Vegas looking fabulous. It was pretty hot going through all that traffic, and Barry and I decided to stop in Boulder.

I played $1 on a penny slot

I played $1 on a penny slot

Barry led us into this small casino/hotel. It was super old school and looked like time had forgotten it. The casino was small and full of stale smoke and old people playing the machines. We sat at the bar and got a beer, which were told would be comped if we spent $10 each on gambling…ummmm that is not a good deal! So we opted to pay for the beers which were $3 each. I had to laugh, if we had been playing the $1 slot machine and the waitress had come buy I could have gotten a beer for the $1 I put in the machine. I think she probably got a cut from the machines at the bar. Anyhow, I could only handle so much smoke so we headed out. We only had about 80 miles to go to get to Kingman.

Casino

Casino

We had called ahead and booked a room at the Best Western, only to find out there were two of them in Kingman…across the street from each other. As we were riding in, Barry was supposed to be getting directions from the “bitch in the box” aka GPS but we could see both hotels and we weren’t sure which one. I realized that the one of the left would be on the East side of the street which is what the address was, but the Bitch said it was on the right. We went inside only to find out it was in fact back at the other location on the other side of the street. When we got back on the bikes Barry yelled behind me “Just take me home, Dia!” I laughed and told him if he would have listened to me in the first place we would have stopped at the right one! So we finally got all checked in and settled. I am of course burnt in my classic face burn pattern with an extremely red nose and upper lip. I put on a lot of sun screen, but it just doesn’t seem to work since I only see the sun on my motorcycle adventures!

 Sun burn and giant margarita

Once we got settled we walked next door to a Mexican restaurant called Oysters…yes, not only do Mexican restaurants scare me, but one called “Oysters” in the middle of the desert is especially suspect!

Oysters

Oysters

Despite the scary name we walked inside and found it to be completely packed, probably because there are not many choices near by. There was only one server and she was busy, we ate a lot of chips and salsa and I had a margarita that was the size of my head. We split a chicken fajita, and overall the food really wasn’t too bad.

photo 4.5

Tomorrow we will be stopping at Mother Road H-D to visit the dealership as well as a couple of guys who used to work with us at House of Harley. Should be a fun ride and we will get in early. It is a short trip to Mesa where my mom, Karen is waiting with Zoe their pug. We will be getting our house ready so we can rent it out to travelers as well as for us. Tomorrow night, Lorie, our Harley-Davidson District Manager, also a close friend of mine will be flying in. We will hopefully get some TLC and some riding in on Friday and Saturday.

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