Early Saturday morning we pulled out of a gas station in Rialto California a
few minutes after 3:00 am (pacific) and began an experience I won't soon
forget. For the past few years my dad had spent weekends or sometimes weeks
on long distance motorcycle rides going throughout the country and in one
case into the next (Canada).
On one recent occasion he suckered my older brother into going on a 2,000
mile trip, where my brother returned quite sore. I then became the next
Wanting to see what the whole deal was about I agreed to go with my dad on a
five day trip to Billings, Montana from our home in California. Now on a
straight shot that would take a lot less than five days, of course going
right there would be too easy. No I have learned one thing about all you
people, "short " is not in you vocabulary. Of course I say this with humor in
my heart and fondness, for I truly enjoyed myself.
First, we passed through California and into Arizona in the early morning
hours of July 1, 2000. Two states I was already familiar with and paid little
attention to, butt (I was told this is the required spelling) I then watched
as familiar became new in a smooth blend as we entered into New Mexico.
New Mexico remains one of my favorite states that we visited, of course it
was then here that we had our first mishap. We missed a road sign for Winslow
and lost about 20-30 minutes stopping in town for before getting back on
track. We stopped in Gallup, NM and ate at Dennys after going to Black Rock,
NM an IBET loser since they had no post office, police station or road signs.
We then went to Alburquerque, and Sante Fe, NM for IBET, losing 45 minutes in
the latter because there was no road sign. We ended our day at a KOA in
Tucumcari, NM. I was spellbound by the most amazing sunset in New Mexico, one
that no other state on the west coast or mid west can compare with, the sky
was on fire with so many colors it was truly beautiful. (note- I have an
interest in attending college in New Mexico, any suggestions on schools???)
I was very sore at the day end butt then found that after the first thousand
miles you get numb and no longer suffer from any real discomfort. We then
left New Mexico at 4:00 am (mountain) and continued on into Texas (another of
my favorites- college info??). We had to backtrack in Armarillo because we
missed the highway sign (IBET). We headed toward Dallas/Fort Worth on 287 and
stopped in Claude for gas. We missed our turn to go around Dallas/Fort Worth.
So instead we stopped in Fort Worth and ate at a Crackle Barrel where the
service was very SLOW, before going on to Canton then our next IBET in
Shreveport, LA. We also got a little wet leaving Shreveport, well actually a
lot more then a little.
Next we stopped Texarkana and Nashville for IBET. Then hit Little Rock and
Knoxville for IBET, before stopping in Clarksville for the night. Not so
stiff and rather numb, I got up, ready for, butt then not knowing the final
thousand mile day. We left Clarksville a little before 5:00 central time, I
had a queer felling going through the Ozarks, I grew up in a valley
surrounded by mountains (the San Gabriel/San Bernardino) and often visited
them. It was odd feeling to me as if you were in the mountains, the scenery
was almost perfect accept the mountains were missing, strange and awkward
feeling for myself that makes me uncomfortable thinking of it know as it did
After taking a road once in the plan butt taken out we had to backtrack to
Noel, Missouri. We lost time, were thrown back and gas up before going on. We
went around Joplin and got Pittsburgh, KS butt we could not find Chicopee,
Kansas. So went on to get Oklahoma for IBET before stopping at McDonald's to
Continuing on we got Tulsa and Davenport for IBET before getting gas in
Fountain Oaks. Forward then to Hennessey and to Fargo. While getting ready to
leave we were approached by a resident who asked if we had been here last
year. After replying no and explaining IBET he said anther couple had stopped
on a gold wing and taken a picture with the sign last year, a very nice man.
I will know take this time to note how many nice and kind people we met,
obviously none from California- tehhehe, sorry, state humor. We then got
Dodge City and Charleston for IBET but because of the severe weather decided
to forgo Tampa and headed straight for Newton and end the day.
My father decided to cancel the SS5000 and settle for a SS3000, I was happy I
had out done my brother (hehehe). The next day we hit El Dorado, Toronto,
Buffalo, Ottawa, Kansas City, Reno, Oskaloosa, Waterville and Lincoln, NE.
I must again stop here and comment on how beautiful it was. We came in to
Lincoln just after dark, the sight was amazing (this was July 4th). I was in
awe because from far off the city look to be at war, but coming in closer you
could see the bottle rockets and other fireworks going off. Everywhere you
turned you saw bright lights dancing in the sky. One would go off to my right
as if calling for another and then one to my left would jump up in response
and so on. This left me remembering what our country fought for and feeling
extremely patriotic and proud.
Some people would think it must be hard for a 15 year old girl to be away
from family and friends on a holiday. And to later hear of the fun that
occurred in her absence but with a memory like this, that none of my friends
have, because bottle rockets are illegal in California, I can honestly say
they missed out.
It was then decided that we would head on to the west and in reaching Odessa
and checking in a hotel for the night, we verified from the weather channel
the right decision had been made. There had been some severe storms north in
Iowa and Minnesota.
The next morning we went on to our final destination, Billings resting for a
few days as we visited with family.
Then early Saturday morning we arose and continued on to this time return
home. We had planned to make a two day trip of it, but as we got going six
more hours didn't seem that long to what we had already done and decided to
go full and get right home. Where we arrived very early Sunday mourning and
ended my week on the back of the motorcycle. It was a trip I would do again
if the occasion arose, only this time I would see about maybe expanding and
going for more room on the back of the motorcycle, personal stereo system or
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