Yep, I did it…1,000,000 miles, yes really, one million lifetime miles and that doesn’t include racing miles. It only took me 50 years but hey…I made it.
It all (long distance traveling) started in 1971, my friends Beny (on a somewhat chopperized Honda 350), Mike on a stock Yamaha 650 and me on a Honda SL350 (which shortly after this trip got converted into a Desert Racer) headed up into the Sierra’s. A week of riding like that got me hooked.
After that it was back and forth to New Mexico…the long way, and all around the Southwest. Next was my first ride up to Canada with my ski racing and riding friend Bud. It was one of those rides where we would camp 3 nights and then hotel it a night so we could shower and sleep comfortably.
But this last trip was special. I spent two weeks with my friend Les and…I crossed the 1,000,000 mile mark somewhere in Montana . We traveled the Western U.S for nearly 6000 miles, rode in 100+ degree weather, got rained on, hailed on, met great people and had one hell of a good time.
Hundreds of miles at triple digit speeds, and lot’s of gas station stops…my Roadliner drinks lots of 91 octane and Les has to pee a lot (he drinks a LOT of water).
Big bikes drink a lot of dead dinosaurs on this stretch of road, and don’t ask me where this is, I can’t even remember why I walked into the kitchen 15 minutes ago much less where I was five months ago?!?!
Here is yet another part of the ride where we got a chance to let the bikes stretch their legs. I was riding comfortably at about 100 miles per hour and Les was a ways back, but then I saw headlights coming closer..closer and then in the blink of an eye this big blue Harley passes by at 120!!! When did Harley’s get that fast??!!??
Now, those speeds only put us into that storm ahead sooner. Well, it was fun getting there.
The trip was a great experience and I’m happy that Les wanted to do this with me. I love traveling on a motorcycle. You see more, feel more and you are more alive. You, your motorcycle and a good friend seeing the world. What could be better? Not much.
In the Gallery section of this website is the full photo album. It’s kind of random because I’ve pulled photo’s out here and there for other posts but you’ll get an idea of how wonderful this trip really was.
One Million miles…I’m the luckiest guy in the world.
After 5000 plus miles, crazy ass weather, interesting people, good hotels and some maybe not so good, it was time to part ways. Les, a short ( a 150 miles or so..) me…600+ miles to home with Heather and Boscoe.
Our motorcycles had a tender moment saying goodbye. Then it was on the road. Back into 100+ degree heat and BIG speed. First gas stop the big bike met a new friend.
From here it was a Highway ride…hours and hours….well, and a lot of wind that day and I don’t like wind.
It truly was a great ride. The sights we saw , the people we met, the roads we rode, the weather we had to deal with…you name it we did it and it was great. This ride was all could you want in a motorcycle adventure.
Thank you Les for joining me in this ride
Wake up in Kanab Utah and time to go. But first, a hearty breakfast. Let’s start with STRONG coffee…well, according to Les. Next stop North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
“Ugghhh, Les…are you sure we’re going the right way???” Turns out, yes we were and what a fun ride.It was a great day at the North Rim, this was another of Les’ desires for this trip. It was a perfect day in all ways.It wasn’t a long day ride but it was a long day just the same.
After hiking around different view points of the North Rim of The Grand Canyon…and yes..no matter how many times I have been there it is a whole more than just a big hole in the ground.
Late lunch , early supper at the oldest (?) Navajo trading post in Arizona. Food was good. but….a little too touristy.
Next stop, Flagstaff…
The ride to Kanab was great, especially here…what a place. Beautiful. Even with a Porta Potty in the background?The ride from here was pretty easy but again…great scenery all the way. Never a dull moment…until we got to Kanab. It looked liked we were yet again running into rain however the motorcycle Gods shined on us and we arrived nice and dry.
You never know who you are going to meet on the road.So here we are at a Motel 6 in Kanab Utah. It was a very nice place. When Les and I checked in the young lady, Frankie, that checked us in was wonderful. She told us we could leave our motorcycles under the awning to keep them out of the rain…that did show up 30 minutes later. Wait…didn’t this happen just a few days ago in Colorado? Dodged the weather by minutes? Les and I are lucky guys…sometimes.
Anyway, back to meeting interesting people. When we tried to park our bikes under the canopy there was another motorcycle there and was positioned so that we couldn’t fit all three motorcycles. Frankie called the persons room and out he came and we all three got covered. Now, here is the interesting part (yes I know some these stories are a bit boring…) This is Brian, we got to talking about motorcycles (DUH) and we found out we have a common bond…Racing. He too is an ex-roadracer. He’s from Utah but has raced at Willow Springs (my home track here in Southern California) and other tracks we share in common. So there goes the next hour. An hour well spent.
Les and I left Green River bright and early…really early, and headed off to Escalante Utah.Riding through this area was just plain wonderful…we didn’t get rained on! I know this is getting boring to read but those of us who ride long distances each day, triple digit speeds are normal…as are multiple gas stops.
Next stop The Grand Escalante Staircase. What a beautiful place but…you really need to take the time to stop and look.So we ride into Escalante and Les pulls into this Palace of a hotel???? $200 a night? Yes. $200… and I think we were the only ones there besides the ones that work there. Now, we had dinner there in the hotel and it was pretty good and we had a really fun and good conversation with the Chef….he had nothing else to do.
Next morning off to Kanab Utah.
Leaving Pinedale Wyoming it was on to Green River Utah. However, we had to make a stop in Green River Wyoming. Les was noticing oil coming out that shouldn’t be so we made a stop Flaming Gorge Harley Davidson. They were great!!! Les used his handy dandy factory HD GPS that took us right there. I wasn’t allowed to park in front of the store because I was on a “not a Harley”…Ok, just kidding, they were great people. The service manager came out to the parking lot, checked over Les’ bike and told him not to worry, it’s just blow by. I convinced Les that he had to buy a T-Shirt from them and he did. Back on the road.
The Ride to Green River was great…uneventful but great. Wide open spaces easy roads and you guessed it…Triple digit speeds. The Roadliner is wonderful at speed, it can pass almost anything but a gas station. And speaking of gas stations…here we are at the border and we ran into (not literally) a couple who was traveling, and get this, from Atlanta Georgia to British Columbia and back!!! Les is really good at making friends and these folks were great. The lady had the worst case of “Raccoon Eyes” I’ve seen since my skiing days!From here it was onto the Motel 6 in Green river Utah. A pretty easy 400 mile day When we got to town it was smaller than small, but…the motel was just fine, met a really nice couple and their dog out in this area for some dirt bike riding…yes, the Dog did ride.
The restaurant next door was really good, almost as good as the view. Next morning The Grand Escalante Staircase and end the day in Kanab, Utah.