Travels with L'il Red: Up the Gut of the USA 2016 - Page 3 - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-Jul-2016, 10:57 PM (164) Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kemo Sabe View Post

GReat photos!! Great ride report. I enjoyed! You've done such a great job, you may want to consider posting these at adventure rider and Motorcycle Tourer's Forum!
It's on advrider. IN fact it's easier to post there because there is no 15 picture limit and they post the pictures full size--not big thumbnails, like here.

I have to check out Motorcycle Tourers Forum, that's a new one for me, thanks, Kemo Sabe
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-Jul-2016, 09:55 AM (621) Thread Starter
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I had stopped along the way to Winterset, at a Yamaha/Suzuki/Honda shop to get a second opinion on my rear tire. As I mentioned earlier, when just about stopped I could feel a little "scuffing" sensation coming from the rear.
The wear bars were showing in some places, but not in others. The tech looked at the tire. I figured I had about 1000 miles to home, maybe more. He thought it would make it, but "to keep an eye on it."
So, I ride on, with the angst building.
A couple of years ago I had a blow out of the rear at speed about 40 miles west of Kerrville, Texas. I remember:

1) thinking initially W T F was that??!!!
2) seeing the Robby the Robot from Lost in Space on my dash, flailing his arms, saying, in the most menacing way possible: DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! along with the rainbow of dash lights flashing and screaming if they could.
3)The front wheel shuddering
4) seeing the tire pressure monitor continue to digitally readout from 33 to 23 to 0 in two blinks of an eye
5) safely coasting to a stop on the shoulder
6) curses and resignation and Plan B
7) finding I fortunately had cell service and was able to arrange for a tow to the Yamaha dealer, where a new rear was fitted
and getting back on the road in time to make it to Cooper's BBQ in Llano for one of their pork chops

In the scheme of having this experience befall one, this is best case scenario. It should neither be expected that miracles will occur twice, nor that it couldn't be much worse.

When it comes to angst on the road, we are high tech teapots, able to steep and brew enough angst and paranoia to debauch Pollyanna.
Despite wanting to cross Missouri on backroads, I feel prudence, with each passing mile, making me more and more grown up. I take the shortest distance and that is I 49, and serendipitously it happens to be my old bud: the Jefferson Highway.

I decide for a progress report, a third opinion and head to Engle BMW in Kansas City. They have the STEEPEST driveway I've ever encountered, in fact, I asked them to ride L'il Red back up, for my exit, as there is an immediate turn where the driveway meets the street, the BUSY street.

Anyway...the tech looks at the rear and chuckling, says "it's toast." They have one, and I happen to have $291 to pay for it! But, in these circumstances, convenience demands a premium.
So, after chatting with the guys for an hour or so, I am on my way with fresh rubber on the rear (the front was fine, @ 7500+miles). No more scuffing when I stop.
I continue down the Jefferson Highway--I 49. It's not too bad, but it is an interstate. That's why I choose US 69 across the border in Kansas on the way up.

I stop in Monett, Mo for the evening, likely two days from home.

The next morning I am able to do backroads down through southern Missouri, able to avoid Branson.

Along the way, I traverse little towns and one was Cassville, Mo., and Hey! what's that? Do I turn around, two blocks of thought and the answer is YES!
A Saturday morning local car show in rural Missouri, pulling in people from Missouri and nearby NW Arkansas.



Check out the houndstooth upholstery. Those of a certain age will remember that as stock. You don't see houndstooth anymore, or cloth.



Yaas, indeed!




At first I thought it was a Chevy show as there were a lot of these





But other marques were represented--like the Cobra. What I realize now is that many times on these rides, I'll pass through a town, and I question whether to stop. After all it's not on the "agenda" as fluid as that is, and I have to be here then, no, I really don't...too many words to say, my advice is stop; these are things that make a trip memorable as much as anything planned. As Art Bell, on Paranoia Radio, the home of late night conspiracy theorists, often says: there are no coincidences. BTW, I usually do not wear foil under my helmet, but sometimes think it's a good idea, you know, just for protection from the Rigellian Reptilian Mind control. Laugh at your own risk...jus' sayin'...ok?

Bel-Air in Dreamsicle



and a dreamy Biscayne



These cars were pre Impala,

but only by a couple of years.
oh, yeah...the hand grenade shifter is a really nice touch









My first car was a '62 red Impala coupe. I had Moon Eyes decals on the back windows--that was the ONLY Moon accessory. I also changed the trim piece in the front from a "V" to the Chevy V with "crossed flags," indicating I had a 327 rather than a 283. Oh, and I had dual exhausts, with one "glass-pack" and one "steel pack" muffler. It sounded great, but this emperor had no clothes...total pretense. But at 17, pretense is often as good as the real thing, right?

And what I considered the class of the show..a 1957 T'Bird in an original color, a dark metallic grey. That's the owner in the windscreen. She told me that this was an original color and they only made 400 like this. It was gorgeous.






and again done in by the 15 image police..continued below
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-Jul-2016, 11:34 AM (690) Thread Starter
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I walk along and travel from the sublime to the Corvair, albeit, the best restored one I've ever seen. No Ralph Nader bumper stickers, but this was the poster car for the book he wrote, Unsafe At Any Speed.
https://www.amazon.com/Unsafe-Any-Sp...e+at+any+speed



Then I come across this: a Nash Metropolitan, a suppository of an automobile. It's a 1962, the same year as the Cuban Missile Crisis. We got through that ok, but we still had the Metro. On balance, and through the retrospectroscope, the Metro probably killed more Americans than the Soviets.



it's all buff though, manly as can be--and that ain't much, though the Skull shifter may appeal to some as an oh wow, but to others as automotive irony or sarcasm.



Can you think of a vehicle you rather travel at 80 mph in less than the "Metro?" Yes, that is a fire extinguisher on the seat, as if the aeros of the car weren't enough of a red flag. It does look like it would float, though I could be wrong. Minty Fresh, indeed.



East meets West



I bid adieu to Cassville and her car show, and now am on the last leg of this up and down the gut of the USA. In Arkansas, I do the Pig Trail and get a decal for L'il Red, and stop at Turner's Bend for a sandwich--I always do that. I know a lot of guys stop for pies along the road, but I stop for sandwiches. They make them just PERFECTLY, very home style and so very good. You sit on the porch and kick back and relaxe, listen to the conversations of other riders. But on this day, I could be a bit reflective on the great ride I just did. I'm a day from home now, and Turner's is a great spot to stop for a few. It's defintiely a tourist stop, but it is a tourist stop for motorcyclists--it is smack dab in the middle of great Arkansas roads, and canoeists and river riders for the nearby Mulberry River. Before anyone chimes in to say that there are other great roads in the area, other than the popular Pig Trail, yes, I know, but the Pig Trail is a right of passage road, like Deals Gap, and anytime a new bike is involved that new ride has to get some chops on certain iconic roads. The Pig Trail is one of them and L'il Red performed beautifully on it.


That evening I made it to Hope, at dusk, but along the way was able to stop at one of my favorite restaurants in the whole wide world, The Little Italy in Glenwood, Ark. The owner/chef is Neopolitan, speaks English poorly or haltingly, and concocts some of the best Italian food between New Orleans and Winnipeg. Put another way, I detour whenever nearby and time my rides to be able to eat there. That good.

So, the next day i made it home. I tried and succeeded in getting home by Mother's Day, surprising my wife and in time for grand-daughter #2's birthday, the next day.

It was a great trip on a level different than my other rides. It was more subtle, but so danm sweet. Too often we hear only the bad things about the USA and problems abound for sure. But, there is a thick and deep patina in the heartland, burnished by decades of good people trying to make things better for their children, and generations to come, that I just haven't seen to this extent elsewhere.

Riding an historic route, like the Jefferson, added to the ride immeasurably. Knowing I was riding the roads that people 100 years ago rode, and seeing what they would have experienced, was never far below conscious thought. It had to have been hard. I had great weather for the trip, and it was storming spring all around me, but I was able to tuck into the the good parts of the weather radar.

If you've never visited this part of the country, I thoroughly recommend it. It was so nice, and you'll be the only tourist around, except for Winterset. The scent of the apple trees in bloom was worth the price of the ticket all by itself, but riding through the heartland was like Dan Bern says "good for the soul."

thanks for coming along

John

details: 2016 r1200gs, no oil burned on the trip, total mileage just over 4500 miles.
Cameras: Nikon d700 with a 24-70, 16-35 and 70-200; Sony RX100 mk2; Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Best food of trip--Stella's Cafe in Winnipeg, 2nd Little Italy, Glenwood, Ar. Worst food, Caribou Grill, Hallock Mn.
Prob averaged mid to high 40s in mpg.
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 15-Aug-2016, 02:55 PM (830)
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Thanks for the great write up, your sarcasm is brilliant.
I've not toured that part of the country properly just a few blasts across the interstates to get to the east coast and back.
I admire a man that stops at the local cafe's and shops to take it in, it's something that I always want to do but when alone I'm more the sort that hits the gas station and gets a pre-made hoagie and water from the refrigerator and eats it with one hand while cleaning bugs of the windscreen and refueling with the other, I rarely have a tight schedule but feel as though I'm always a day behind.
Anyhow thanks again.

I support Chelsea Clinton as U.S ambassador to Benghazi.
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 15-Aug-2016, 04:35 PM (899) Thread Starter
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Thanks, JetSpeed; appreciate it

I'll say it again, I really liked the heartland. If I am on a tight schedule, or think I am, I usually don't stop at the mom and pop diners during the day. I do hit them when the riding for the day is done though. Just for the "ambience." I think what helped was that I had never really been to these areas before, so it was pretty new to me. But, when you're alone you have more meaningful conversations with complete strangers, esp when compared to riding with a group.

My cross country rides usually bring me across The Democratic People's Republic of Texas. Lots of fodder there. Unashamedly, I eaves drop all the time. And I try to sneak pictures.

but thanks for the kind words. Readying for a ride to Id/Mt now, but traveling with the only riding bud I can tolerate, actually a good friend, but he has a GS and we ride similarly. Still, I am a little, just a smidge, bummed that I won't have that awesome alone time like I do when traveling solo. Hoping to leave Sat am, if I can get out of La with the floods---they're bad, looks like Katrina bad---right now they would block my egress.
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 15-Aug-2016, 05:18 PM (929)
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Thanks again for this awesome ride report. I hope you weren't affected by the flooding. My daughter lives in Lafayette and it was a pretty devastating there. Many around her were evacuated but she was in a new development with good drainage. She was stranded but never in trouble.

Current scooters:
'13 S1000RR
'14 NE KLR 650
'16 R1200GS Triple Black
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 15-Aug-2016, 08:03 PM (044) Thread Starter
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Thanks, Graybeard.
Fortunately NOLa, was spared on this one. However, the surrounding parishes weren't so lucky. the Baton Rouge area and south and east of there were particularly hard hit. People were stranded in their cars on I 12 for hours and hours. It is still closed as are parts of I 10. Many rivers are just cresting today.
The pictures look like the flooding following Katrina. I work outside of NOLa in LaPlace and Lutcher/Gramercy. Many/all of those people are affected or have many family members who are. Something called a "monsoon depression" formed and just kept sucking moisture from the Gulf. This is a supposed rare event of historical importance.

Added benefit (sarcasm), is that these are wetlands and swamps, so the snakes and alligators and fire ants now have access far more than they usually do. TV was showing pictures of floating islands of fire ants in the flood waters. Apparently they organize and lock themselves together, with their eggs, and float as one.
Imagine having that floating in your direction.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 16-Aug-2016, 07:56 AM (539)
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
Added benefit (sarcasm), is that these are wetlands and swamps, so the snakes and alligators and fire ants now have access far more than they usually do. TV was showing pictures of floating islands of fire ants in the flood waters. Apparently they organize and lock themselves together, with their eggs, and float as one.
Imagine having that floating in your direction.


I grew up in Alabama and Georgia and know a little something of these fire ants.

Current scooters:
'13 S1000RR
'14 NE KLR 650
'16 R1200GS Triple Black
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