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Offline Chuck & Susan

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Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« on: January 22, 2021, 11:31:37 AM »
I'm going to see if I can make this interesting. But with not much going on right now in the riding world I'll at least offer up some reading material. And a short video or 4.

Let's start this story from the beginning. I retired back in June. I have since the age of 8 wanted to ride to all 4 corners of the country making a full lap around America. Or at least the lower 48. Life just never allowed it. Some of you have heard me speak of leaving on this trip the morning after I retired. And had been planning on that for several years. Then a little thing called Covid hit. Some of you may have heard about it. It's been on the news a couple of times. Well things where shut down and could not even get to Key West. So at this point I may try again the summer of 2022. I hope!!

While Susan and I where visiting our daughter, her husband, and the 3 grand kids in Bradenton, Florida I found out that our son-in-law was planning a road trip with his Brother-in-law. I asked if I could buy in and tag along. He accepted. It wasn't the trip I had always wanted  but sounded like an adventure.

Let me interduce the 3 main characters in this story:

Josh: from Bradinton Florida, Mid 30's, Our son-in-law, and the lead on this trip. He had a 12 day window from work that he wanted to make this 5,000+ mile trip in. He did all the planning. And named the ride as Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.

Mike: from Fort Paine, Alabama, also mid 30's and married to Josh's Sister.

And me: from Robertsdale, Alabama, the old fart... Late 50's but the only one of the group that has made road trips.

Yes you read that correctly, the kids on this trip had NEVER been on a road trip and was about to embark on a cross country 5,000 mile journey in 12 days. That's when I asked I could buy in and tag along. This could get very interesting.... And a little later you won't believe the bikes they are planning to ride. Stay tuned...

Ok lets meet Josh and let him tell you a bit about this trip. He has a YouTube channel where he reviews bike parts. He has posted some short videos on this trip.

This is Corona-cation Ep 1 - road trip across the U.S.A. on my Dyna project?!?! during COVID?!!



Yep he was planning to ride his Harley Dyna that was still being assembled. Cliff hanger... Stay tuned and lets see how this works out....

Hope I have your attention so far with this story... I'll post more soon.

Chuck
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 09:20:24 AM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.

Offline gulfcoaster

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 04:37:03 PM »
IN!!!!

Offline 2372ighost

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 08:29:26 PM »
Let me get some popcorn!  This could be interesting!
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Offline lazeebum

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 09:07:08 AM »
I'm liking it already.

Sent from my LG-M150 using Tapatalk


Offline Chuck & Susan

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 10:39:35 AM »
Corona-cation - Final days of preparation

Before the popcorn runs out, let's continue this saga. 

Josh brought it down to the wire with his bike.  Here, let Josh tell you with the video:

Corona-cation Ep 2 Across the U.S.A. on a DYNA?! FORCED into a NEW PLAN



Now, Josh bought this bike sight unseen.  The seller assured him that the bike was road ready.  However, once Josh got the bike home he found out that was not true.  The bike needed a front tire.  Now remember this is 4 days before he was leaving for the trip.  He ordered one and it was delivered the day before his departure from his house in Florida.  Talk about cutting it close!!!!  There were still alot of unknowns with this bike and he has a 500 mile shake down the next day to meet with Mike and I in Mobile.  Mike and I nicknamed the bike the "Baby Wing", which did not have cruise control and I will save that for a later story.

Mike has to come from Fort Payne to Mobile.  However, he did not do that on a bike.  He drove his F-150 Chevrolet Silverado to Mobile and was borrowing a bike from his father-in-law (Josh's dad - Jeff).  Jeff allow him to borrow his Honda NC 700 (now remember these boys have never been on a long bike trip of any kind!!).  Jeff assured him that it was ready for the trip (Jeff rides motorcycles as well) .  So all Mike had to do was pack his bag and get to Mobile.

Now I had to get my bike, the 2016 Goldwing and trailer ready to roll.  The bike already had 16,000 on the tires, so she got a new set of shoes.  She also got an oil change.  Now, the trailer got a workout the last time it was used.  It came from Nashville to Pensacola at about 100 mph due to an emergency.  So the bearings were iffy.  I changed bearings and tires.  I loaded the trailer with the old tires, two 5-gallon containers of gas, an ice chest (with sweet tea and bottled water) and my gear.  There was still plenty of room to load the guys' stuff.  I carried the spare gas because of prior trips I knew that gas stations where few and far in-between and did not know what Mike and Josh's fuel range would be. 

It was getting close to leaving and I was waiting to see how the two novices riders would make out.  I knew it was going to be an adventure.  They keep asking me if I will be alright with the long mileages.  Little did they know, I would be just Fine!!!!  I had the Goldwing!!   :)



To be continued.............

Chuck
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 12:42:18 PM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.

Offline 2372ighost

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 12:56:49 PM »
Let the games begin!!!😁
2009 Vespa GTS250IE
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2011 Suzuki GSX1250 fa
2010 Husaberg FE390
2012 KLR 650
1996 1400 Intruder

Offline Guidedawg

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2021, 09:05:19 AM »
Oh, this is good.  I see now that the trip was in Sept. and he has documented it, but I stopped myself to wait for your write ups and I'll watch his section along with it.

Excellent job and I'm looking forward to seeing how it progressed!

Offline Chuck & Susan

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2021, 02:03:38 PM »
Corona-cation - The first half of the adventure

Josh put a summary of the first half of the trip in his video of episode 3. So, after you see it, I'll add more to break it down. Notice at 58 seconds into the video he films me pulling alongside him. It is hard to see but I was holding a cigarette. (I'll fill you in on that after)

Corona-cation Ep 3 - HALF WAY ROUND - the first 2,800 miles:



Ok let’s break this down into the days.

Day 1  /  Thursday August 27th / Sarasota to Mobile  /  8hr  /  570 miles

This was Josh traveling solo to his dad's house in Mobile. The untested 2014 Honda CTX 1300 proved to be a good bike and ready to travel. Thankfully the front tire was all it needed. And Mike drove down from Fort Paine to meet him. Mike got interduce to the Honda NC 700 and its automatic transmission. His steed for the next 5,000+ miles. They become very close....  ;)

Day 2  /  Friday August 28th  /  Mobile to 10518 Co Rd 9690 West Plains, MO 65775  /   9hr  /  556 miles

YEAAA!! I get to join in!!

I left my house a couple of hours before daybreak. Very dark and drizzling rain as I headed across Mobile bay. They wanted to launch this party at daybreak. After arriving they strapped on their bags onto their bikes and we set up out intercoms. We were all using the Sena 30 wireless intercom with Mesh net. The Mesh system makes it so simple. Kind of like a CB, just choose a channel and everyone is in the open group. No pairing headsets. We did find that the wind noise would keep the mike open at highway speeds. But with the smart phone app you can mute your mike with a tap. Except Mike, He had no holder for his phone so when Josh or I would talk he would answer with hand gestures. Some can't be printed here.... lol

We had a word of prayer then rolled out of the driveway. Not 5 miles up the road the rain set in so we stopped and geared up. We knew it would happen. Hurricane Laura had just passed through La. and Ms. heading north. We would catch up with her and cross just behind her path before reaching our first Airbnb for the night.

I followed the two most of the trip and Josh would lead with the GPS of what he had planned out for this adventure. The kids were figuring me on the largest bike pulling a weighted trailer would set the pace for fuel stops. They under estimated me and my wing. It was Mike and his NC 700 that would pace the fuel stops. His smaller tank and higher RPM chain drive set the tone for fuel stops. Josh and I would top off the tank each time. Mike also found that he had to unstrap his bags to refuel the tank under the seat. I knew that the trailer would come in handy....

Most all day was light to moderate rain and breezy. Not too bad but enough to make it messy. Laura let us know she was still around.

In the video at 58 sec, you see me ride up alongside Josh. It's hard to see but I'm holding a cigarette.  I had been noticing that the 2 were having a hard time sitting in the seat after several hours of ridding. I figured this old fart would have a bit of fun and let them see that I was relaxed and enjoying a smoke and to kind of rag them a bit... I think I got one of those hand gestures from Mike about then too...

Our stop for the night was several miles outside of town so we stopped at the last civilization and picked up a Subway to eat when we got there. When we stopped at Subway, I found that one of the hinges for the lid of the trailer had broken and the corner was pushed up by the gas shock. Luckily there was a Walmart right next door to pick up a ratchet strap to hold it down. And popped the shock loose. It can be seen in the videos as the green stripe on the top of the trailer. Which reminds me I still need to fix that...

Still more on the way.....

Chuck
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 09:22:16 AM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.

Offline Chuck & Susan

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2021, 11:43:44 AM »
Day 3  /  Sat August 29th  /  West Plains to 409 N 4th St Plattsmouth, NE 68048  /  7hrs  /  450 miles

Morning started with coffee from an old-style percolator on the stove. I still love those things. They make the best coffee. And the owner upstairs brought breakfast as we readied the bikes. We found that Mike's 700 had a slow leak in the front tire. But I whipped out the air compressor that I carry in the wing with the tool pouch. Never found the cause of the leak, we just aired it up each morning.

We hoped it would be a nice ride today with no rain gear. You know on a true adventure thing something has got to happen to make it interesting and memorable. This day was no exception. As we were heading north near Springfield Mo. The skies become ominous and black. We rode into what we started calling a mini derecho storm. On a remote divided highway, we got hit with its full force. Heavy rain, hail, and a cross wind from the left that was sending debris across the road at us. Josh hit a large cardboard box that thank goodness was empty and wet. No harm – no fowl. Mike, moments later, somehow spotted storage buildings to the right and we all headed into the parking lot and parked against the building to shelter. The weather app was showing 60mph winds. And it took a good 2 hours before it let up to the point we could continue. Our water-resistant ridding boots where not water-proof from standing in several inches for a couple of hours.

Weather was nice as we reached the Airbnb for the night. Plattsmouth was a nice historic town with all the streets still brick from who knows when. We walked a few blocks down to the main drag for food and drink. The walk and the food were very enjoyable. Parking the bike was a pain. With the street being the only parking and it had a steep grade to the paving bricks; it was a challenge to say the least. Had to park at an angle just right to allow for the lean at the right angle. But we managed.



Next up will be day 4.....

Chuck
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 11:47:52 AM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.

Offline Chuck & Susan

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2021, 11:00:53 AM »
Day 4  /  Sun August 30th  /  Plattsmouth to 24110 Leaky Valley Rd Keystone, SD 57751  /  8 hrs. 20 min  /  562 miles

Was this going to be the day we just rode and covered miles without any drama…. NOPE…

The entire day we were blasted with a strong and steady crosswind. We were heading west and the wind from the north was causing us to use some of the rubber on the right side of the tires. Helping to keep them from being flat in the middle. Even though it was straight highway miles. One thing I remember that was odd, and I began to have fun with it, was that every bridge we crossed or truck we passed the wind wasn’t blocked. It actually reversed, I guess it was an eddy of air around the obstacle. I would go quickly from a right lean to the left and back again. The wing and the trailer would catch a lot of air. But it did keep me amused as we covered miles. Wind turbines where everywhere and I guess for good reason. Those things are huge by the way.

Remember I mentioned earlier that their two bikes didn’t have cruise control? Josh on the baby wing was using a cramp buster that would help holding the throttle and Mike had a throttle lock that would give him some relief. But as we all know neither will hold a steady speed. Josh as lead bike still had to watch the speedometer constantly. So, Josh had asked me on a lot of these long runs to take the point and set my cruise control to where they could pace by my speed and relax some. Seemed to work great.

While we are zipping along the interstate with me at point, we came up upon a couple of bikers. Stay with me as I try best I can to paint this picture, it happened very quickly.  We are sailing along in the left lane. As I top a small rise, I see a bike in the right lane pass another bike parked on the side in the emergency lane. It went a few hundred feet past and pulled to the right side was well. The 1st bike started moving into the right lane and seemed to be headed to meet the 2nd bike. I’m not thinking much about it, I’m in the left lane and still on cruse set at 80. And everything was NOT what it seemed. That 1st bike didn’t go to the emergency lane nor did it stay in the right lane. It went into middle of my left lane and then stopped!! I was already committed to the far left and remember I’m pulling a wide and rather weighted trailer. I started giving the wing all the braking I could give her without lockup and went onto the rumble strips on the far left. As I’m judging the grass off the pavement and not wanting the trailer tire to get caught up and pull me, I notice a gravel turn around.  OMG, I had a picture flash in my mind that she was going to turn left and I could see myself T-bone her and that would be all she wrote. And at this point there was nothing I was going to do about it. I hugged the left edge on the asphalt and barely got past. Thank goodness she didn’t move another inch.  Josh and Mike followed my path and later said they smelled rubber. I said yes, MINE…. I had probably gotten it slowed down to maybe 30 or so but the tires were right on the verge of lockup. Oh, and the only reason they knew it was a female was that she was cussing them as they passed for passing her on the left. She should be glad we weren’t a truck….
At the next fuel stop we agreed that the wives didn’t need to hear about this till we get home. And yes, get that seat out of my butt…. Lol

Our Airbnb for the night was about 7 miles outside of Keystone. A rather nice cabin in a valley with a really cool winding road into town. Keystone was kind of a smaller western version of Gatlinburg.  Touristy but homey too. We had a great dinner and a beer to help wash down the day’s events.





Maybe the next day will be uneventful…..

Chuck
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 11:04:23 AM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.

Offline Guidedawg

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2021, 09:15:43 AM »

Maybe the next day will be uneventful…..


*grabs popcorn* Oooh, foreshadowing

Offline Chuck & Susan

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2021, 02:08:27 PM »
Day 5  /  Mon August 31st  /  Keystone to 1080 Southfork Rd. Cody, WY 82414  /  7hr  /  388 miles  /  see MT RUSHMORE 

The morning started bitter cold. Sometime during the night, it had rained and then the temperature dropped into the 20’s the wing was covered with a sheet of ice. It was a good morning to crank it and let it warm up while the heated grips and seat thawed the ice. It’s nice to have toys…. The other two bikes had none. Mike had only brought regular ridding gloves. It was around 20 miles or so to Mt. Rushmore and his hands where already near frozen and numb.

Mt. Rushmore is more than I expected. I have always seen photos and such of it. First, we pulled into a nice parking garage that was mostly empty. It was cold and we were there right after sunrise. As you take the walkway into the visitor area there are buildings with info center, shop, snack shop, and restrooms. All of which where closed due to COVID-19. That blooming bug has affected us a lot during this trip. The walkway from that area to the monument is lined with all the flags of the states and territories. At the end of the walkway, you’re standing over an amphitheater that I never knew existed. Above it is the huge monument that pictures don’t even come close. The work to make that had to be astonishing. Here is a couple of pics.







As we were leaving Mt. Rushmore, I convinced Mike to put on Susan’s thicker gloves that was in the side of the wing. He was worried she would get mad. I told him if nothing else it would just give her a good excuse to buy a new pair. Like she needs an excuse…. They where tight but he did manage to force his hands in. We hit the road over to see Crazy Horse Monument. With Keystone and these monuments being in the Black Hills National Forest, the roads where a big improvement from all the flat straights we had been ridding for days. A very welcome and enjoyable change.

Construction on the Crazy Horse Monument started in 1948 and has never been completed. Very interesting how it came about and the government has yet to finish the job they agreed too. It too is massive. If they ever complete it in my lifetime, I’d like to see it again. Sounds like a future ride one day.

At one of our fuel stops Mike went in the store looking for bigger gloves. He came out with a really colorful cute set of Mittens to go over the gloves. Only thing they had. You know Josh and I had fun with this and he was going to be called Mittens for the remainder of the trip. I don’t think he ever let us get a pic of him with them on…. Dang it….

As we left the Black Hills National Forest the temps warmed and sunshine. We were traveling on narrow 2 lane roads most of the way heading to Bighorn National Forest. At one point as we crossed the Thunder Basin area and Josh had me on point again. I had the music a bit louder that my GPS. Checking the mirror, I seen they were stopped at the intersection I had just passed…. Opps… Had to make a U-turn and go back. I was relived of duty for taking point when turns where involved... LOL

I think we were in Buffalo Wy. On a fuel stop before entering Bighorn NF, Josh had planned to take the northern Hwy 14 up and over the mountains. Weather changed planes. We found out that snow in that area had the road closed. So, we took the southern lower route though a pass on Hwy 16. Still great views. I would have loved to take both roads. Now we can add snow to the list of weather events that effected our trip.

On to our Airbnb for the night. It was on a farm outside Cody and the owners who lived there were very friendly and rode a Harley. They had offed us 3lbs of fresh ground beef from their stock that we could cook up for supper. We decided to take the easy way and ride into town for grub.



Day 6 we will head into Yellowstone…..

Chuck
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 02:15:14 PM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.

Offline Chuck & Susan

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2021, 02:23:34 PM »
Day 6  /  Tues Sept. 1st  /  Cody to 4499 W 10750 N Felt, ID 83424  /  5hr 30min  /  238 miles  /  see OLD FAITHFUL 

Weather would not play a part in today’s ride. It was absolutely gorgeous And the views where amazing. Cody is close to the eastern entrance to Yellowstone so we got there early. The first photo op was at the entrance sign. A couple that had also stopped for pics took this shot of us.



Not seen in that pic is a river running along the roadway on the opposite side. Josh and Mike decided to slide down the bank and get a closer look. I stayed topside and had a smoke while keeping an eye on the bikes. And yes, I figured my old fart self would have a heck of a time getting back up that bank… I did ask Josh to please bring me one of those rocks they were tossing. I have a grandson that lives with us that has several rocks that he keeps in his room. I figured that I would let him add one from Yellowstone and we marked it as such. The deal is I’ve told him that sometime in his future that he needs to go visit and when he does, he can return the rock to its home. Who knows it could happen?

Just a few hundred feet further was the toll booth. It is $30 per bike and they don’t like cash. We found it odd that a Federal Park had to be forced to take Federal Notes…. Strange….  We made a pitstop ant a souvenir shop and its café and restrooms were closed due to COVID-19. The gas station next door was open and the crowd was lined up for the 2 stall restrooms. After the break we headed on to Old Faithfull. The ride is great  and all around the lake is steam from vents. And a buffalo galloping the opposite direction on the right side of the road. He seemed to know where he was going and sort of in a hurry to get there without any concern for the traffic passing by. There is a large parking lot at Old Faithfull and cars where already lining the road due to it being full. We made a motorcycle parking area is a striped off section. On the walk into the viewing area Josh took this pic but I needed to edit the spelling on the sign to make it a bit more correct…. I mean after all I turned 58 that day…. Dang it….



After taking a few pics and videos and watching the eruption we headed out along with 5000 other people on the only 2 lane road. It was stop and go getting out of the parking lot but not that bad. The view all the way across Yellowstone is awesome. Hot pools and vents everywhere.

We exited the park on the west side and surprised Josh that we were in Montana. He had not realized that we would cross a small tip of Montana. There were nice country roads at the way to the Airbnb outside of Felt Idaho. It too was on a farm down a dirt road. The owner had taken a building that on the outside looked like and old garage/storage barn. The inside was shocking with very modern decor. Marble kitchen and floors, huge glass walk in shower and very finely arranged. Just fancy as it could be. And the view outside of the western side of the Grand Tetons with the sun setting. Beautiful.





This stop would mark approximately the first 2,800 miles of our journey and the rest will be homeward bound. But no less interesting and still things to see…. Stay tuned…

Tomorrows ride will take us to the eastern side of the Tetons and the park…...

Chuck
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 02:35:01 PM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.

Offline Guidedawg

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2021, 02:59:53 PM »
Snickering at the sign correction

Offline Chuck & Susan

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Re: Corona-cation - road trip across the U.S.A.
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2021, 02:35:03 PM »
Corona-cation - The second half of the adventure

Like I did earlier in the thread, here is Josh’s video summery of the remainder of the adventure…. But again, after you see it, I’ll break down each day…

Corona-cation Ep 4 Home Bound - the last 2,800 miles:



Here we go….

Day 7  /  Wed Sept. 2nd  /  Felt to 29 Casey Rd Pinedale, WY 82941  /  4hr  /  171 miles  /  see GRAND TETON 

After a good night rest, we awoke to another stunning sunrise and amazing clear weather.



Josh led us on a path southward and we crossed over the ridge on a wonderful ride. We passed thru Jackson Hole WY. heading to the Grand Teton National Park. We were already making plans to stop there when we double back heading south later. The bear you see in the video is right at the toll both entering the park. Cool little guy munching on leaves from the bush. Once again it was $30 to enter the park, and again they had to be force to take cash. I’m perplexed by this…. But oh well… We rode on to Jenny Lake. This was Josh’s main point of interest. It’s a crystal-clear lake right at the base of Mt. St. John, one of the Tetons. It has a wonderful walkway all the way around the lake of about 5 miles if I remember right. Awesome scenery. Then we started back south with a stop in the middle of Jackson. The arches made of elk antlers is a very popular spot.



Josh and Mike wanted to do some souvenir shopping. They went different ways while I walked the square and was reading up on some of the historical markers. I won’t bore you with that stuff but you might want to search how the arches of antlers came about. Interesting stuff.

After an hour or two we met up again and went for lunch at the Jackson Drug Co. It is one of the first buildings that was built and was well worth the stop. I had the Bison burger and was awesome.



This was our shortest ride in miles for the day. We had spent most of it just being tourist. And it allowed Mike’s butt to heal some. The Airbnb for the night was like a mother-n-law house on a horse ranch. Beautiful animals.

A wonderful day 7 and day 8 will start putting miles on the odometer again to get us into Colorado….

Chuck
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 09:23:23 AM by Chuck & Susan »
It's a beautiful day, let's go somewhere....
2016 Goldwing....let's ride.