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.