Today is start of day 16 & 17 of my 5000+ miles, 17 day motorcycle ride… Alliance to home, 1019 miles. Larry T., Larry A. and myself have been riding together for 15 days seeing some of the most scenic parts of the western US. We met up in Canyon, Texas, then rode US-60 to Payton, Arizona. On day 5 we turned onto US-89 just north of Prescott, AZ and followed it all the way to Great Falls, Montana, visiting the Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Salt Lake City, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. From Great Falls we back tracked a bit to Yellowstone National Park before heading east via US-212 thru Beartooth Pass and on to Billings, MT. From Billings we rode to Devils Tower via US-212 before continuing on to Spearfish, SD. Yesterday we rode on to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument via Needles and Iron Mountain Highways.
Today is the last day we will be riding together. Except for the unseasonably warm temperatures, this ride has been great… Great ride with great scenery in a very scenic area of the U.S. with the best riding friends…
I am a bit sad about leaving my riding buddies today, but have a bit of joy knowing I will be getting back to my lovely wife at home the following day. 17 days is way too long to be away from Janet… 🙂
The day starts with big blue skies with some high thin clouds scattered around. It should be another good riding day.
Our ride together will be from Alliance, NE to Oakley, KS (318 miles) through miles and miles of scenic farm and ranch lands. Having grown up on a cotton farm in Texas, I always enjoy riding through farm and ranch land. I know what the lives of these people are like and I have a great deal of respect for their way of life. There are many joys and trials of farming and ranching and it takes a special kind of person who can do it. We saw many farmers, ranchers working hard on the land where tractors were plowing and were engulfed in dust, combines harvesting wheat with trails of dust from the wheat being threshed in the bowels of the combines, tractors pulling auger carts that are waiting to unload the hoppers from the combines and hay being baled into large round hay bales… There were acres and acres of corn that will be ready for harvest in the fall and, of course, large pastures with hundreds of cattle.
The temperature was climbing the further we rode. It was approaching 90 degrees (F) by the time we reached Oakley. After gassing up we had a good lunch at a café across the street. The time has finally come… we knew it would eventually come, but at the beginning of our ride it seemed so far into the future. This is where we say our goodbyes until our next ride. We don’t know when and where that will be, but we do know there will be another ride. Larry T. will be heading home to Tunnel Hill, Georgia. Larry A. will be heading home to Atlanta, Georgia. They will be riding together back to Georgia some 1000+ miles. Their ride will be ~6500+ miles while mine will be ~5000+ miles.
It seemed a bit odd not having someone to chat with on the CB radios as I rode along. It was just me and the hum of the boxer 6 cylinder of Goldie (my Goldwing) and music when I felt like listening… I planned on riding as far as Perryton, TX and further if I feel up to it. My route took me from Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma to Texas. The ride from Oakley to Perryton was miles and miles (197 miles) of more farm and ranch land. When I reached Perryton I had ridden 515 miles so far and it was unseasonably hot so I decided to call it a day… Tomorrow I will have just 504 miles to home…
Day 17: My last day of riding… Going home…
I was up early to get as many miles behind me as possible before the heat set in. To get as early start as possible I opted to eat breakfast at McDonald’s because they were open and I could get on the road sooner. McDonald is always quick and I love their coffee and the breakfasts are good at a reasonable price. I was leaving McDonald’s just as the sun started to peak over the horizon… The temperature was in the mid 60’s, not too bad, and there was a cloud cover to offer shade for most of the morning. By noon the clouds were gone and the temperature was climbing.
I’ve ridden this route home many times on other rides. Though it is very familiar it is still a fun ride and I always notice something new each time I ride this way. The ride is mostly rural Texas, lots and lots of farms and ranches with small Texas towns scattered along my route. Small towns are the life blood to the farms and ranches out here. The only city I am riding through is Abilene.
My only stops are for gas, food and breaks to rest and to rehydrate. This day is all about getting home and out of the heat. As it turned out it was warm not hot, only getting into the low 90’s. Not too bad after riding in triple digit temps (113 degrees one day).
I made good time and was home around 5:00 PM. It is nice to be home. I missed Janet and we had a lot to catch up on.
This was a great ride. We saw a lot of scenic places in the Western U.S. We thought riding in June we would be riding in moderate temperatures but instead we ended up riding in unseasonably warm weather. There were triple digit temps on many days. Somehow these three old guys managed to survive the heat and are ready for the next adventure…
If you liked this ride post, you may checkout the other post from this ride below…
- Introduction to our Motorcycle Ride (5000+ Miles In 17 Days)
- Day 1 of 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Georgetown, TX to Canyon, TX 458 Miles)
- Day 2 of 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Canyon, TX to Ft. Sumner, NM 173 Miles)
- Day 3 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Ft. Sumner to Eagar, NM 343 Miles)
- Day 4 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Eagar to Payson 231 Miles)
- Day 5 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Payson to Cameron 222 Miles)
- Day 6 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Cameron to Grand Canyon to Cameron 130 Miles)
- Day 7 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Cameron to Panguitch 287 Miles)
- Day 8 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Panguitch to Ogden 287 Miles)
- Day 9 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Ogden to Jackson 235 Miles)
- Day 10 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Jackson to Gardiner 203 Miles)
- Day 11 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Gardiner to Great Falls 226 Miles)
- Day 12 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride
- Day 13 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Great Falls to Billings 402 miles)
- Day 14 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Billings to Spearfish 332 miles)
- Day 15 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Spearfish to Alliance)
Hera are other rides you may like too…
- National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
- Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014
- Big Bend & Carlsbad Caverns National Parks Motorcycle Trip September 09
- Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride
- Big Bend National Park Motorcycle Ride April 2007
I hope we see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…