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qwerty123
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Cross-country Boston to SF
06/19/17 at 12:04:16
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Hi all,

I've mentioned the trip in a few other threads related to planning and maintenance, but I thought I'd throw up a few pictures here for you to enjoy. I'm currently in Chattanooga, TN headed for somewhere in eastern MS today--I think I'll camp tonight since it's been a few days of hotels. Maybe Tishomingo State Park?

Pictures here:
https://goo.gl/photos/BhxUQDUgntbuPi6U8

All best,
Matt
  
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qwerty123
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #1 - 06/19/17 at 23:05:01
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Now with a link that works:
https://goo.gl/photos/GRwQMzJemz6cYC3N7

The ride from Boston to DC via New York was pretty difficult (95+, traffic, construction...) but Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway were pretty sublime.
  
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Justin B.
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #2 - 06/19/17 at 23:11:44
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You gonna get a chance to ride the Dragon?
  

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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #3 - 06/20/17 at 07:24:54
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Or better yet the Cherohala Skyway!
  
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qwerty123
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #4 - 06/20/17 at 09:09:34
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Done already! I'm through the Nantahala area and on to flatter parts (MS, LA, TX)
  
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Justin B.
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #5 - 06/20/17 at 10:31:23
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Cool!  Give a yell when you reach N. Texas if you want to give the steed a quick once-over before moving on...
  

Justin B.

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Matt Chapter
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #6 - 06/26/17 at 14:20:27
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I talked to Matt on Friday for a bit, and we did a run out Lime Creek and back to my office here in Austin.

Here's a photo of our R65s at the gas station where we turned around.
https://goo.gl/photos/wert8eGKqVHGzq3A6
  

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'76 CB400F ~26000 miles.  Weepy SS lines, big dent in the tank.
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Bob_Roller
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #7 - 07/01/17 at 17:53:20
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qwerty, no progress reports for 11 days !!!
  

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qwerty123
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #8 - 07/03/17 at 19:40:17
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Yes indeed Bob, it's been too long!
The album (https://goo.gl/photos/GRwQMzJemz6cYC3N7) has been updated with new photos which I'll annotate.

Working backwards:
I arrived here in SF Friday evening, after a pleasant ride from Winnemucca, NV. The trip over the Sierras was beautiful, as was my first sight of Lake Tahoe. I did see someone going the other way on an airhead hack--was it Snowbum? Hard to say, but there aren't many airhead hacks anywhere!

The ride to Winnemucca, NV from Salt Lake City (more precisely Park City), UT was uneventful and had its fair share of beauty. Both of those rides were about 6h of actual riding--which I've learned will take me 8h or so.

The ride from Cheyenne, WY to Park City was my longest day by a wide margin. Google had it at about 10.5h of riding. I went south to Longmont, CO and picked up 34 over the Rockies. 34 hits about 12,000 feet elevation, but you won't notice the power difference because you'll be going 20mph behind a string of RVs for hours! Even on a Wednesday! However, 34 is striking and the snow came right up to the edge of the road. Even coming out of the mountains and picking up 40 towards Salt lake is quite beautiful. I arrived in Park City around 10:30pm, unfortunately an hour or so after dark--that last hour on 40 was pretty nerve-wracking because of the deer. I spied three live ones and one dead one by the side of the road. And one skunk!

The day before I started in Longmont, CO and ended in Cheyenne--not a long drive. But I did stop and see the helpful, friendly folks at Euromotoelectrics. I discussed my intermittent, unbalanced power loss at speed and ended up buying a new pair of plug wires as well as an uprated charging system. Since fully disassembling and cleaning the carbs it hasn't recurred, but having the full replacement system along makes me feel much better about the SF-> Boston trip, should I decide to make it.

Rewinding to Monday, I went Santa Fe --> Longmont, CO. Santa Fe was nice, but obviously well-touristed in the way that many nice, old city centers are: the city center is no longer really a city center, and it's easy to tell because all the shops sell nothing but kitschy tourist goods and the like. Southern Colorado was unexpected and very cool--good Mexican food and very big plains.

Before Santa Fe I stopped in Grulla National Wildlife reserve to camp (I didn't camp much, but this place was in the right location--and also in the middle of nowhere). The reserve was beautiful and has as its centerpiece a salt lake that, when it has water, is important for migrating birds. I was on a small rise in the land, and could see for miles in every direction; I was alone.

I have been using a hammock tent, and there aren't any trees in Grulla. Hmmmm...well, I found a stout steel fence that served okay. However, that evening thunderstorms rolled in (pretty bad ones!). I could see lightning strikes not too far off, so during the night (maybe 3am) I left my little shelter for lower ground and waited it out (recall I was camped on the highest piece of land around and tied to a metal fence!).

Abilene, TX to Grulla was pretty in parts but the real spectacular vistas were to come. Austin to Abilene was highlighted by a stop in Llano, TX which has a lovely old courthouse. The highlight in Austin, aside from seeing an old friend, was a ride with our own Matt Chapter! Thanks again for taking the time Matt, it was a blast. You can't really avoid the twisties back East if you're on secondary roads, but out West, well--avoiding twisties is easy! My back tire now has a pronounced flat spot.

The drive from Virginia to Tennessee along Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway was pretty sublime, and from a riding perspective probably my favorite stretch. It's nice and long and beautiful and fun.

I'll try to add some commentary to the photos this evening so they all fit together better! I'll also try to post a map of the route. I've been doing a lot more sleeping than usual, and all the aches and pains still haven't subsided. Two and a half weeks on the road will do that to you, I guess. I'm certainly getting both wheels and tires balanced and checked for concentricity before another long ride. Any reduction in buzz is worth it!

All best,
Matt
  
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #9 - 07/03/17 at 21:16:08
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Great photos, and story!
  

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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #10 - 07/03/17 at 21:55:28
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My thanks also. Great photos and thanks for sharing your adventure. I am a few short years from hanging up working for a living and want to do something similar. I have a son living in the Smoky Mountains and a daughter I am about to help move from high in the Rockies in Colorado to Nevada so I have a good piece of the US in between. Fill in the spaces with mates from my service days and I can travel the country for a while. I love my R65 and with a little pre-trip prep I wouldn't hesitate taking off for am extended journey. You have shown me anything is possible. Thanks!
  

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qwerty123
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #11 - 07/04/17 at 13:49:10
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I'm glad you guys have enjoyed it! It's certainly been a great experience for me; I've traveled a lot outside of the US, but never really within. I've also learned a lot on how to go about long motorcycle tours (as usual, I packed way more than was necessary).

I notice now I said I got an uprated charging system; what I really got was an uprated ignition system.

All best,
Matt
  
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #12 - 07/04/17 at 17:56:20
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I enjoyed the photo and made me think of my tour of America back in 1983. I went to a few of those places.
  
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #13 - 07/13/17 at 12:54:45
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Great pictures! Enjoy the euromotoelectrics ignition system. I got the charging system and the instructions were so clear and understandable that I pulled off the installation all by myself with a concusion to deal with after my '08 accident. The R65LS (LRB) has not had one blip in all those years since either. Highly recommended! It has been to NC, Oregon and Montana on that new system for some good testing too!
  

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qwerty123
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Re: Cross-country Boston to SF
Reply #14 - 07/23/17 at 23:42:13
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Thanks Sue! Glad to hear you've had good luck with Euromotoelectrics.

A few weeks after the end of the trip, I've finally gotten around to cleaning up my GPS data and making a map. Image is attached, but there's an interactive version here.

One more note: I think I may've ended up with a little bit of tinnitus as a result of the trip, and that's despite using earplugs 100% of the time. FWIW, I was using Hearos "Ultimate Softness" (and I know to roll them etc.). Soooo....remember your hearing protection!

  
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