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Day 3 – Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

Day 3 – Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

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Day 3 Pacific Coast Motorcycle Ride Route Map

Today is day 3 – Pacific Coast Highway motorcycle ride, we are just riding, putting some miles (517) behind us, getting to our destination, the Pacific Coast. So, we won’t be stopping except for gas, food and rest but we will be seeing nice scenery along the way… I am riding with riding buddies, Larry C, Larry T and Larry A… Yes, they are all named Larry… I won’t ride with anyone unless their name is Larry… Well, it does make for a good story… 😊

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Rolling down scenic I-70

Come follow along as we ride 5534 miles in 14 days, riding more scenic western U.S. roads. Today we are riding from Georgetown, Colorado to Ogden, Utah, 519 miles via I-70, U.S. 191, U.S. 6 & I-15.

This morning leaving Georgetown, Colorado, it is a bit chilly at 38 degrees. It felt even colder while riding through the shadows of the majestic Rocky Mountain canyons. Riding I-70 is a scenic, long, mountainous stretch of interstate highway from Georgetown to Grand Junction. When living in Colorado, Janet and I loved driving I-70 because of its beauty. Larry C. commented as we made our way down I-70, “Who would have thought an interstate highway would ever be considered a motorcycle road!”. It really is a motorcycle road. For those of you who would never consider an interstate as a motorcycle road, I would highly recommend you ride this stretch and find out for yourself.

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Larry’s following on I-70

From Georgetown, we rode down scenic I-70 300 miles to Green River, Utah. We turned northwest on to US 191. The scenery has gone from mountains to flat… really flat with views of mountains to the east and west of us. It was a stark difference from the first 200+ miles. It is beautiful in a very rugged panoramic sense. At Spring Canyon, the scenery is starting to get mountainous again. At Castle Gate, we leave US 191 and continue northwest via US 6. The scenery was greener with rolling hills. Very nice, then getting a bit more rugged. North of Spanish Fork we pick up I-15. We are riding the interstate to Ogden our home away from home for the night. It was getting unseasonably warm and we got stuck in heavy traffic for most of the way riding up I-15. This, as it was on a previous ride, did not make for fun riding. I think we will avoid I-15 for future routes in and around Salt Lake City. I would suggest you do the same unless you like riding in heavy traffic in the heat…

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Leaving Colorado

We were glad to finally make it to Ogden. We were hot and tired and in need of a good night’s sleep…

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Gas and break

Tomorrow will be another long mileage day of 551 miles. Putting miles behind us to get to the Pacific Coast.

Come follow along, enjoying more beautiful scenery as the Larry’s and I continue our ride.

Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

Day 2 – Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

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Day 2 route map Amarillo, TX to Georgetown, CO

Day 2 – Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

Our motorcycle ride of 5534 miles in 14 days, riding more scenic western U.S. roads. Today we are riding from Amarillo, Texas to Georgetown, Colorado, 476 miles via Hwy 87, I-25 & I-70. We rode up this way several years ago on what I called our “National Park” and our “Mount Rushmore” rides. On those rides we made stops at Capulin Volcano National Monument and Pikes Peak National Monument. Today, we are just riding, putting some miles behind us, getting to our destination, the Pacific Coast. So, we won’t be stopping except for gas, food and rest but we will be seeing nice scenery along the way…

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Leaving Amarillo early morning

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Somewhere between Amarillo and New Mexico state line

We were up, and on the road a bit later than usual, but not too late for the number of miles we are riding today. It is partly overcast and 67 degrees, making for some nice riding weather but it did warm up as we traveled northwest and it was a little above the average temperatures for this time of the year. On our ride last year the temperatures were 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal and we rode in triple digit weather on several days. The hottest temperature last year reached 115 degrees L… This year so far… so good…

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Riding past Capulin Volcano in New Mexico

We picked up US Highway 87 just outside Dumas, Texas and rode it to Raton, New Mexico (215 miles). Everything is few and far between on this stretch of road so, if you are riding out this way, I would suggest planning food and gas stops appropriately.  The scenery  on Highway 87 is mainly rolling hills with a few sizable peaks. Scenery along this route is mostly ranch land with views of cattle and antelope along the way. Capulin Volcano National Monument is just 30 miles from Raton. If you haven’t been there, I would suggest checking it out. The history and views from the top of Capulin Volcano is something you don’t want to miss. At its base is a visitor center featuring exhibits about the volcano and the geology, natural and cultural history. In Raton there are many places to eat, stay and get gas. And is a good place to stop at the end of the day.

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Old Dairy from early 1900’s in Pueblo, CO

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Rolling down I-25 headed to Colorado Springs.

At Raton, we picked up I-25 and headed north. Once on I-25 we were in the mountains and rode across Raton Pass. Just over the pass, I-25 pretty much parallels the Rocky Mountains to the west. We planned on staying on the interstate to make time… and intended riding it to Georgetown, CO. via I-70… But we ran into very heavy traffic at Colorado Springs. Instead we took Hwy, 24, 67 and 285 to I-70. We traveled this route to Georgetown several years ago when we rode “Pikes Peak” The scenery along this route is better and a bit slower pace. It did take a little longer but I’m not sure it was any slower than I-25 traffic. Going this way was a lot easier on the nerves for sure. Traffic on I-70 was heavy but not too bad for the time of day.  Today has been a long day. The sun was starting to set by the time we arrived at our home away from home in Georgetown. We were ready to eat and rest up for the next day.

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Rolling down I-70 to Georgetown, CO with sun setting…

Larry T. found a fellow “Vision” rider among the “Damn Builders” who were staying at the motel. They swapped Vision stories. He gave us a few suggestion for places to eat. We walked down the road to a little café for some good local food.

When Janet and I lived in Aurora, Georgetown was a favorite get away for us. If you are out this way there are lots of things to see and do here in Georgetown.

Georgetown was once the third largest town in Colorado, but today it is home to about a thousand residents. George and David Griffith, two prospectors from Kentucky founded Georgetown in 1859. Georgetown’s name honors the older brother. Before the silver boom collapsed in 1893, the town’s population exceeded 10,000. At one time, some of the town’s people tried to move the state capital to Georgetown from Denver. It’s probably a good thing that never happened.

Georgetown is a great place for visitors who want to shop, sight see, have lunch or spend the night at a Victorian bed-and-breakfast.

If out this way you will want to check-out some of the history. A must see are the Hotel de Paris and Hamill House Museum. The Georgetown Loop Railroad  takes visitors on a round-trip narrow-gauge steam train ride from Georgetown to Silver Plume and back.

If hungry, there are many restaurants like these to choose from.

We will have to explore Georgetown the next time through because we are just riding to get to the Pacific Coast Highway. We will be leaving early and riding 517 miles to Ogden, UT via I-70, US 191, US 89 & I-15.  Come follow along and enjoy the ride…

I hope we see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…

Day 1 – Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

Day 1 – Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

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Day 1 Route Georgetown, TX to Amarillo, TX

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Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

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Pacific Coast Highway ride route

Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride

I am calling this ride the Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Ride because our destination this year is the Pacific Coast Highway. We will be riding other good motorcycle roads like I-70 with its beautiful sweeping curves through scenic mountain canyons and Washington State Highway 14 the Lewis and Clark Hwy Highway which hugs the scenic Columbia River through the Columbia River Gorge. I must say riding anywhere in the western U.S. is scenic with panoramic views and it has many good motorcycle roads.

This year, as in past years, I’m riding with the Larry’s. My old Air Force buddy Larry C. and his childhood friends Larry T. and Larry A. This is the first year all 3 of them have been able to make the ride. Because I’m always riding with one or more of the Larry’s, I’ve started telling everyone I will only ride with them if their name is Larry.

This year, we rode one of the roads on my ride bucket list. Janet and I have driven part of the Pacific Coast Highway from south to north. I knew then, I needed to ride it, but from north to south. The reason for riding north to the south is because the pullouts will be on the right side of the road. That way you only have to worry about one lane of traffic when pulling over and back onto the road. Also many of the pullouts are on points that restrict your vision to on-coming traffic. It makes for a tense situation when having to deal with two lanes of traffic when pulling back onto the roadway. Pulling on and off the road crossing two lanes in a car is intense and more so on a bike… Riding the Pacific Coast Highway, from the north to the south, was a good decision.

On this ride I planned two different return routes. For the original route we were to return on a more southern route via I-8 and I-10.The average temperatures along this route for September is in the triple digits. I planned an alternate more northern route where the average temperatures are about 15 degrees cooler. Before we committed to either route, we could look at the weather. As it turned out we took a modified version of the northern route back.  Even on this route we managed to reach 103 degrees when riding into Needles, CA. Riding out of Gallup, NM was our coldest temperature for the ride of 35 degrees. Rather extreme for being just 395 miles apart but the elevations went from 495 feet in Needles, CA to 6467 feet in Gallup, NM.  All in all the weather for this ride was pretty good over the entire trip. Just a sprinkle or two, clear to partly cloudy with fog in a few places and temperatures that were cool to warm for the most part. Great riding weather…

Larry C., Larry T. and Larry A. met me in Amarillo, Texas. They were riding in from Alabama and Georgia. From Amarillo we rode together 13 days taking in all the great scenery along the way. On day 13 we split up in Sweet Water, TX. I headed home and they headed back to Alabama and Georgia.

Below is a thumb nail sketch of our route and a few pictures as teasers. I will be posting ride stories about each day so check back from time to time “for the rest of the story”…

Day 1: I rode from Georgetown, TX to Amarillo, TX (470 miles) to meet the Larry’s. No stops except for gas, food and rest stops.

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Heading to Amarillo to meetup with my riding buddies…

 

Day 2: Amarillo, TX to Georgetown, CO (476 miles) via Hwy 87 & I-25.

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Riding past Capulin Volcano in New Mexico

 

Day 3: Georgetown, CO to Ogden, UT (519 miles) via I-70, US 191 & I-15.

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Riding the scenic canyons of I-70 in Colorado

 

Day 4: Ogden, UT to Hermiston, OR (551 miles) via I-84.

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Snake River riding I-84 Oregon – Idaho border

 

Day 5: Hermiston, OR to Poulsbo, WA. (380 miles) Via WA 14,  NFD 25, US-12, WA-123 to WA-410, WA-164, WA-18 & I-5.

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Riding through the Columbia Gorge

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Taking in the majesty of the Columbia River Gorge

 

Day 6: Poulsbo, WA to Garibaldi, OR (360 miles) via US 101.

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Ruby Beach in Washington

 

Day 7: Garibaldi, OR to Coos Bay, OR (177 miles) via US 101.

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Cape Cove in Oregon

 

Day 8: Coos Bay to Eureka, CA (215 miles) via US 101.

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Larry C. riding through the drive through tree near Trees of Mystery…

 

Day 9: Eureka, CA to El Granada, CA (331 miles) via US 101 & CA 1.

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Riding across the foggy Golden Gate Bridge at dusk…

 

Day 10: El Granada, CA to Morro Bay, CA (216 miles) via CA 1.

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Morro Rock at dust in Morro Bay, California

 

Day 11: Morro Bay, CA to Needles (405 miles) via CA 41, CA 46, I-5, CA 58 & I-40.

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Larry C. leading the way down CA Highway 41

 

Day 12: Needles, Ca to Gallup, NM (384 miles) via Historic Route 66 & I-40.

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The lovable donkeys of Oatman, Arizona

 

Day 13: Gallup, NM to Lubbock, TX (457 miles) via I-40 & US 84.

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Leaving Gallup, New Mexico early morning with temperature at 25 degrees…

 

Day 14: Lubbock, TX to Home (354 miles) via US 84, TX-153, US-84, US-183 S to TX 29.. I left the Larry’s behind at Sweetwater, TX. I continued south toward home and they continue east on I-20 then I-30 to Alabama and Georgia.

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Wind Turbines near Sweetwater, Texas… I’ll be home soon… 😉

 

For more pictures, have a look at the ride video below….

Ride safe and I hope we meet somewhere down the road…

Day 16 & 17 of My 5000+ Miles, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Alliance  to Home)

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Day 16 Leg 1 Route map

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Getting on down the road…

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.

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I’m going to miss seeing these guys in my rear view mirror…

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Combining wheat…

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… 🙂

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Lots of hay bales…

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.

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Life down on the farm

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.

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Day 16 Leg 2 Route map

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…

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Day 17 Route map home

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Early Start… Beautiful Morning…

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.

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I love windmills and there are thousands out here…

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Small town Texas…

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.

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My riding buddy going home…

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).

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Rest stop… Almost home…

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…

Hera are other rides you may like too…

I hope we see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…