[CENTER]my buddy john agreed to dip his toe into the pool of insanity with me and join me on a trip to escanaba for the rounders first annual round up. we took 2.5 days to get there, and a day and half to get back. we had a blast, met a ton of cool people, and drank a fair number of leinenkugels. see below for details...
the bike is loaded and ready to go. that blue dry bag is special heat treated titanium fabric, and i get three more horsepower at the wheel with that on there. (i think cliffy uses an old laundry bag on his bike.)
john showed up as his usual cheerful self. little did he know that we were going to be hitting the cycle as far as weather goes.
our route took us up I-35 from austin, through dallas. we ate in denton at the catfish king. (motto: "we sell yellow packing foam as hush puppies.")
we spent the night in ardmore, and got up the next day and rode some more to pauls valley where we had a great breakfast in the little downtown area. (john is a master of leaving the interstate area of cookie cutter junk places, and finding fantastic little restaurants where the locals hang out.) here's a shot of the street.[/CENTER]
look at the look on this guy's face as i sneakily snap his picture. he looks like an A-1 tight ass. i can picture this guy going to the office and lining up his pencils, then yelling at someone for forgetting the covers on their TPS reports. he may have been stressed - his children were behaving like demons. i experienced what i call a "birth control moment" watching he and his wife try to deal with them. yeah, yeah, miracle of life, kids are so special, blah blah blah. these two kids needed a solid spanking and to go without their breakfast. then maybe tomorrow they'd shut the [censored] up and let us eat in peace.
these two old boys were having a blast. they laughed all through breakfast. i think they knew the weather we'd be getting. check out the orange booths! this place was fantastic.
oklahoma capitol. our plan was to start at the austin capitol, and then ride to the capitol of each state along our route. long meals and crap weather fouled this plan, and this is the only one we got. :([/CENTER]
here we are taking refuge in a loading dock in st. louis. we got caught in, then outran some heinous storms at the oklahoma/missouri border. we made good time, and ended catching another batch of severe weather in saint louis, and it went with us all up through illinois. we were lucky - despite having an unbelievable amount of lightning (i couldve ridden without lights) and also having a few strikes that were so close that the clap and the light were simultaneous, we missed the really bad weather. ten miles north of us, tornados were touching down. 5 miles south, softball-sized hail fell. i dont want to think about what would happen if softball-sized hail fell on me while i was going 70mph in the rain. these storms were awful to ride through. my gear did its job, and i was dry at my base layer. my gloves soaked through, but i was ok with that. that all changed at about 1am just outside el paso, illinois. we were trying to make it up to rockford (another 90 miles i think) when we got caught in the most god-awful storm i've seen. visibility was about ten feet, and my visor fogged over. i was on the interstate, going about 20 mph, with my four ways on, waiting for a tractor trailer to come kill me. i rode that way, nearly blind, for about a mile and saw an exit. i made it there, and john was waiting. we got a room for $40 (that clerk couldve charged me $500.) and finally got to sleep around 2am. all of our gear was 100% soaked. the rain fell at a rate i've never seen (i'm in texas, and we get some nasty storms) and the lightning was also very intense. we figured this storm like had twisters and hail, so we just bailed. we got up the next morning at 6, and it was dang cold out. but not raining, so we were happy. we put on our wet gear (god does that suck!) and hit the road.
we rode our asses off, and finally made it to the hotel. there were flurries falling when we pulled up. we left austin in mesh gear.
view from our room.
[CENTER]we unpacked and showered and turned on the weather channel. neither of us have cable, so we like staying in hotels just for all the channels. this weekend we watched a lot of the weather channel.
"look at this crap!" she seems to say. "all this dang wind will blow lots of awful weather down here to lorazepam's house."
"two idiots are leaving this weather here in texas, and riding up to escanaba. they're going to be huddled around pasties trying to stay warm!"
let's all close our eyes and say a prayer for these two dipwads, who are leaving the perfect spring weather for the rounder round up.
we're going to have snow up to my boobs if this weather pattern doesn't change. the rounders will be holed up in the terrace bay like the donner party![/CENTER]
[CENTER]saturday we went out to see what there was to do in escanaba. i like anything that is an a-rama. for instance:
was it cold?
look at this next one! the locals are all freezing to death. they have to keep the insulation locked up! and still people break into it!
while were inside, some joker put this on john's bike. (they saw our plates i guess...)
i had a witty rejoinder, but the perp was not around for me to deliver it: "that thing that came from your pooper, are you sure it wasn't just a yooper?" :D
next we went to get a pastie. (PASS-tee)
thankfully, *all* the pasties contain rutabega! my favorite!
here is what one looks like prior to eating.
and after having a little...
[CENTER]we went back to the room for more of this crazy stuff...
i'll tell you where spring is, it's at my house, back home!
then we all hung out and had fun and pictures were taken and swag was distributed. everyone else is doing a good job of covering that, so i'll skip it.
soon we left. we stopped at a wind farm in illinois. i like wind farms.
you can get close to these windmills.
a nice breezy day...
skip to st. louis in fading light.
on the trip home we decided to try to do it all non-stop. we made it. here's a shot of the GPS as we finished our saddlesore 1000 around five this morning...
and here is is after we'd rolled into austin, which i think gives us the 1500 miles in 36 hours one too.
we made bad time since we stopped a lot, hung out at the arch for a while, and spent 1.5 hours futzing around in arkadelphia visiting some old friends of mine. well, i visited. john took a quick nap.
and what's the first thing we did when we got into texas? found a nice barbecue joint. wuhoo! it's sunny, it's warm and we're home!
so thanks to all the rounders that came, and let's all raise a glass to being able to live lives with good motorbikes, good people, and good rides![/CENTER]
Wonderful ride report and pictures. Glad to hear the Texas Twosome made it home safely. You guys kick ass
most excellent report. most excellent ride. loved the pics with the arch. (i have constructed a similar arch outside our store in lowell. mine is taller, shinier, and interacts with people musically as you get closer to it and/or touch it, but that is another story).
all of that and you toss in a bun burner. dang. plus he does poetry boys and girls. i am not worthy to polish the titanium bearings in your garmin holder thingamabob.
Tears in my laughing at that one, loved the Weather Channel inserts!
You guys are my motorcycle heroes! Well, sorta. I'm not sure what to think of anyone willing to leave Texas in April to ride to Escanaba. And just think, you were there for the good weather! Thanks for the ride report and the great pictures. Glad you made it home safe.
:drink :drink :drink
Very cool. Glad you made it safely.
[QUOTE]a nice breezy day...[/QUOTE]
I wish you would of flipped the switch OFF on those dang fans while you were right there. They were blowin' us all over the road.
You crack me up...!!!!! :D
Hey, how about posting your poem?
Awesome Photo montage :thumb
Im not posed to say this, but Cliffys tattered addias bag incorporates a cloaking device ( He showed me)which keeps prying eyes away from its true nature. Im also not supposed to tell you that its really made from select woven spider silk (10 times stronger than kevlar) whose proteins were genetically laced into goats milk then harvested at his skunkworks farm near Ada, which mysteriously is in a no fly zone.
[QUOTE=dancogan]You guys are my motorcycle heroes! Well, sorta. I'm not sure what to think of anyone willing to leave Texas in April to ride to Escanaba. And just think, you were there for the good weather! Thanks for the ride report and the great pictures. Glad you made it home safe.
:drink :drink :drink[/QUOTE]
everyone kept saying, "why'd you come up here, it's nice back in texas!" this started in northern oklahoma, and didn't let up. at one point john told a guy in escanaba, "we didn't come up here to be warm, we came up for the cold. we get warm all the time, we wanted a change."
that just caused us to get weirder looks. :D