Monthly Archives: March 2012

Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride 7 Days 1691 Miles September 2006

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, Travel, Trail of Tears, Palo Duro Canyon

Our Ride Route Map

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, Travel

Trail of Tears riders

My riding buddies Larry C. and Larry T. ride the Trail of Tears motorcycle ride every September and I try to join them on the second night of the ride in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I have ridden to meet my riding buddies in Hot Springs several times before but this was the first time Janet rode with me. Before this trip was over it would be many firsts for Janet.

  1. The first time to ride in a large group (250+ bikes)
  2. The first time riding in rain
  3. The first time riding in strong wind
  4. The first time to ride the last leg of the Trail of Tears Motorcycle ride
motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, Travel

Route 66 National Museum Elk City OK Sept’06

This year Larry C. was having back problems and wasn’t able to make the ride… Bummer… Larry wanted to chance it but all involved convinced him to sit this one out. The up side is that Larry T.’s wife Shirley rode with Larry. Shirley is always fun to ride with…

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, Travel

Lighthouse Formation in the Palo Duro Canyon

The Trail of Tears motorcycle ride starts in Chattanooga, Tennessee and goes to the trail’s end. The second leg of the ride ends in Hot Springs. The last leg continues the next day and ends somewhere in Oklahoma. This year it was ending in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. We will ride the last leg and from there we  will continue on to the Palo Duro Canyon in Texas.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, Travel

Palo Duro Canyon

Come follow along and enjoy as we ride our 7 day, 1691 mile ride.  Checkout the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.

While you are here, you may like these post, too…

Come follow along as we explore more scenic vista’s in Texas…

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

Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride November 2010

Last April Janet and I took advantage of the good crop of wild flowers we had here in Texas and rode the Hill Country to enjoy the flowers. We enjoyed that so much we decide to go back and do a Hill Country fall foliage motorcycle ride. We did miss the peak of the leaves turning by about a week but it was still good.

Monday November 15th (233 miles)

Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Map Day 1

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Enchanted Rock from Hwy 965

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Cross Mountain in Fredericksburg

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Foliage along Hwy 1340

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Sunset in Camp wood

I had a little mishap before we left. When I was getting the bike out of the garage, I failed to get the kickstand down all the way and I dropped it in the driveway. I had to get Steven up to help me pick it up. He was half asleep and hardly remembers much about that. Janet talked to him the following day and he ask Janet… “Mom, did I see you in leathers!?” He had never seen her wearing them before. It was a bit cool that morning so we wore our leathers. We got an early start and rode to Bertram and had breakfast at the Crazy Gal’s Café. “The Crazy Gal’s” is just a small café but the food is good and the waitress was entertaining. The ride to Bertram was a bit cool and it tried to sprinkle a bit but not enough to stop and put on the rain suits.

We had a good breakfast and were back on the road. We rode past Enchanted Rock. Riding into Fredericksburg Janet saw “Cross Mountain Road”. We have been by that way many times but have never seen it before. We decided to turn around and check it out. The early German settlers in the Hill Country town reportedly found an old wooden cross on top of the hill that may have been left by earlier Spanish explorers who passed through the Texas Hill Country. As a result, this area became known as Kreuzberg (Cross Mountain). The original cross has been lost to history, but today a large metal cross stands in its place. We followed the road to its end and walked a short distance up a trail to the cross. The view was spectacular and we could see for miles all around. We took many pictures. After climbing the hill to the cross and down again, we were back on the road again. We made a pit stop in Fredericksburg and then rode on to Kerrville and Hunt. While riding through Kerrville we saw what looked like another Stonehenge replica in a park. We thought that a bit odd because there was also one just down the road outside Hunt. From there we took Hwy 1340 where we planned to stop at the Texas version of Stonehenge but it wasn’t there. The land had been sold and Stonehenge was gone. Apparently the Stonehenge had been moved to the Kerrville park after the land was sold.

In April we rode 2 of the “Three Sisters” (FM-335 and 337) so I made a point to ride the other “sister” FM-336. There was a sign warning that 10 motorcyclist had been killed on 336 since 2006. It was twisty but not that bad. I’m sure most if not all that were killed were on sports bikes and riding way too fast for an unfamiliar road. From 336 we picked up FM-337 to Camp Wood where we stayed for two nights at the Woodbine Inn again. It’s a good place to stay and the rates are reasonable.

Camp Wood has several restaurants but they are not always open and not all of them take credit cards. One of the restaurants that we ate at last April (B. J’s Café) had closed and the restaurant that was across the street had moved in its place. It was pretty busy and the food was pretty good except, we had to wait a while to get it.

Tuesday November 16th  (203 miles)

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Map Day 2

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Kangaroos FM 335

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Scene along FM 335

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Shadows on Hwy 335

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Sign says “Rust in Peace” FM 337

Today we rode Fm-335 (my second favorite “Sister” of “The Three Sisters”) to Hwy 41 to Hwy 83 to Leakey where we stopped for gas. Just outside Leakey we picked up Hwy 1050 to Utopia. Hwy 1050 is another favorite Hill Country road I enjoy riding. It is also twisty with many great views along the way. Just north of Utopia we picked up Hwy 470 to Bandera. We stopped in Bandera “The Cowboy Capital of the World”. John Hallowell says this about Bandera,“The little town of Bandera has played an enormous role in keeping alive the uniquely American traditions of the Texas cowboy. Perhaps more than any other Hill Country town, Bandera exudes the image of the “Wild, Wild West.” The ruggedly beautiful landscape, the rustic architecture and the enthusiastic presentation of Bandera as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” let visitors know, as soon as they get to town, that this place is unique.”

While in Bandera we had lunch, walked around town and went through the Frontier Times Museum. The Frontier Times Museum was formally opened to the public on May 20, 1933 at a groundbreaking ceremony held on January 1, 1933. Hough LeStourgeon was one of the men who turned stones from pastures into a landmark museum worth treasuring. Today the museum attracts visitors to Bandera interested in the history of the region. Frontier times and customs hold a fascination that endures and the Frontier Times Museum imparts much of that spirit.

From Bandera we rode to Media via Hwy 16 where we picked up FM-337 and headed to Leakey and continued on to Camp Wood. I guess I would say FM-337 is my favorite of the “Three Sisters”, not just because it is twisty but also because it climbs to some of the most spectacular views of valleys and hills. FM-337 should be ridden slowly so that you can enjoy the views but also to keep from being another statistic. There have also been many motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities on 337.

Just outside Camp Wood is a pasture with many old tractors, pickup trucks and farm equipment just sitting and obviously rusting away. Someone took a lot of time and effort to build a sign from old metal that read, “Rust in Peace”. Janet just had to stop and take a picture (See above).

Wednesday November 17th   (219 miles)

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Map Day 3

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Hwy 55 Scenic overlook

Texas Hill Country Fall Foliage Motorcycle Ride

Hwy 377 to Junction

This was the last day of our ride. We had breakfast at a new restaurant in Camp Wood. I forget the name of the restaurant but it’s something like Donna’s Bakery & ??. It’s off the main road by the two drive thru liquor stores. Two drive thru stores side by side. That doesn’t make sense in a big town much less the one the size of Camp Wood. We ate dinner at Donna’s the night before and really liked it so we decided to try breakfast too.

Then it was on the road back home. We took Hwy 55 to Rocksprings. This was a new road for us and it was a good one to ride. When we got to Rocksprings I got a call from Gary (My brother) he was deer hunting and was back in camp so he gave me a call. I probably would not have heard the phone ring but since we were going slow through Rocksprings I was able to hear it ring. After a short chat we were back on the road to Junction. From Rocksprings on home we have ridden this route before so it was not new but still scenic with the leaves changing. Any ride is a good ride even it you have ridden it before. There are always new things that you missed seeing before.

All in all it was a good three-day ride. We rode some familiar roads and several new ones that we will add to our must ride list. We always look forward to riding the Hill Country.

If you like this post you may like “Fall Foliage Ride November 2012”

Texas Hill Country Wildflower Motorcycle Ride April 19-21, 2010

Since February Janet and I have been really busy and were in need of a break. Each year we try to do  a Texas Hill Country wildflower motorcycle ride. Since the wildflowers are the best they have been in who knows when and since we haven’t had a chance to break-in the new bike we decided to take a 3-day ride to the Texas Hill Country. Riding is the best way to see the wildflowers because you are out there with them. The sights and smells are beyond belief. The only downside to this trip was we didn’t have our usual motorcycle buddies along (Larry & Jo Cooper and Larry & Shirley Talley) and it was overcast for most of the first day, which kept the temps 55 to 68 degrees. All in all it was a great ride. Our route looked like a figure eight and covered 610 miles total.

April 19, 2010  270 Miles

wildflower motorcycle ride Texas Hill Country

Map Day 1

The route was Georgetown, to Llano, to the Willow City Loop,  past Enchanted Rock, to Fredericksburg, to Kerrville, to Hunt, to Camp Wood. The first part of this day we have ridden before. The last part from Hunt was new and was beyond anything we had anticipated. Most of the day was overcast and a bit cooler than we had expected but by the end of the day the sun was out and we got to enjoy the new roads in the sun. Most of our route was covered in wildflowers (mostly Bluebonnets).

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Lake Buchanan Damn Hwy-29

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Hwy-29 heading to Llano

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Willow City Loop

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Willow City Loop

The Willow City Loop was good as always. It is a special place and it has to be ridden at least once every season, to see it in its entire splendor. The descent into the valley offers views of neighboring mountains, canyons and creeks. It must be ridden slowly to enjoy the views, as it is one of the most pristine and striking examples of Hill country landscape. There were a lot of people out on the loop for a weekday. I would not even think about riding the loop on a weekend in wildflower season. Way too many people on weekends, especially this year with a bumper crop of wildflowers. While always enjoyable, this ride is spectacular when the bluebonnets are in bloom.

From the loop we backtracked to RR-965 and rode to Fredericksburg. RR-965 goes past Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and is a favorite road for bikers. RR-965 offers great views all along the way and even better views with all the wildflowers. We ate lunch in Fredericksburg before heading down Hwy-16 to Kerrville. From there it was on to Hunt. Hwy-39 is another nice biker road but we only went as far as Hunt and then took RR-1340 to Hwy-41.

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Easter Island head

We have heard and read a lot about RR-1340 but this was the first time we have ridden it. It snakes through scenic country and offers a view of the Texas version of Stonehenge, a one-quarter-size replica of the original. There are a couple of Easter Island stone head replicas also. There was supposed to be more but the Texan creator passed away. While at Stonehenge we talked to a group of riders from Louisiana. There was about 10 or more bikes in the group. Some have ridden here many times and for some it was their first time. The first timers thought Texas was flat… not anymore…

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Verbena on RR-335

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Kangaroos & Verbena on RR-335

From RR-1340 we rode Hwy-41 to RR-335. At the intersection of Hwy-41 and Hwy-83 is a store called Garvan’s Store. Janet heard about it on the radio sometime back and wanted to stop. It was a small country store. It sold souvenirs and leathers for all the bikers that ride through there. They had some good prices on the leathers but we didn’t need anything. We got a Dr. Pepper and Pepsi and we were back on the road.

RR-335 is one of the roads that make up what bikers call the “Three Sisters”, some refer to them as the “Twisted Sisters”. After riding two of the sisters I know why they might call them twisted. RR-335 was one of our favorite roads on this trip. It followed along the west bank of the Nueces River and had some really great views. Verbena was the most prevalent wildflower on this road. Some of the fields and pastures looked like a sea of purple and the smell hung in the air for miles and miles. Along the way we came across a ranch that raised all sorts of wild animals. Near the road were kangaroos with little Joeys, giraffes and further down we saw camels. RR-335 is a twisty roller coaster of a ride but doesn’t have sharp turns so it wasn’t so bad. We road nice and easy.

It was about 5:00 when we got to Camp Wood. The town was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. We stayed at the Woodbine Inn. The rooms were roomy and quite nice. The owner was nice and I spent quite awhile talking to her about Camp Wood. There were several restaurants to choose from there. Not all were open but still surprising for a town of 800+ people. We ate dinner at B.J.’s Café. It was a typical small town café with all the ambiance. The burger and fries were good.

April 20, 2010  180 miles

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Map Day 2

Today’s route took us to Leakey, Vanderpool, Medina, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Doss, Mason and Brady.

This morning we ate at Casa Falcon Restaurant in Camp Wood. The food was good except for the coffee. It was a bit weak for our taste. Because we were only riding 180 miles today we took our time getting up and getting on the road. The temperature was about 55 degrees when we got up but warmed quickly once the cloud cover burnt off about 9:00.

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


We rode RR-337 an other road of the “Three Sisters” from Camp Wood to Medina. I’ve ridden part of 337 before but from Camp Wood to Leakey was new. That leg of 337 is actually the best part. It offered great views with the twisties. It was a bit more twisty than 335 but it wasn’t really that bad. Janet didn’t mind it so I was ok with that. RR-337 had great scenery too. We also saw several buffalo along the way.

From Medina we took Hwy-16 to Kerrville and on to Fredericksburg. Hwy-16 from Medina to Kerrville is another favorite biker road. It has many twisties with several hairpin curves. Needless to say you have to take it slow and easy.

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


We ate lunch again in Fredericksburg at one of the German restaurants. It was good as usual. After lunch we spent time walking around town doing touristy things.

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Doss Lutheran Church

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


From Fredericksburg we took Hwy-87 to RR-648 to Doss. I have read about this road to Doss and we were not disappointed. You ride into a valley with wildflowers all along the way. Doss consisted of a Lutheran Church and school and not much more. From there we took RR-783 back to Hwy-87. RR-783 was a great ride too as we climbed back to Hwy-87. Taking Hwy-87 on to Mason and Brady was pretty quick. We checked into the Days Inn in Brady around 4:00. McDonald’s was just next-door so we just grabbed a quick bite there for dinner and took it easy.

April 21, 2010 152 Miles

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country

Map Day 3

Again since MC Donald’s was next door to our motel and they have really good coffee we had breakfast there. The sun was out and only a few clouds. We knew the ride would be good.

Today we rode to Pontotoc, Cherokee, Bend, Lampasas and on home. Today was a lazy easy ride home with lots of bluebonnets and other wildflowers in abundance. We also saw several bunches of hybrid bluebonnets from Texas A&M. I guess you can’t call them bluebonnets because they are maroon. Maybe call them maroonbonnets instead!

motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


motorcycle wildflower ride Texas hill country


We rode Hwy-71 to Pontotoc then took RR-501 to Bend where we picked up RR-580 to Lampasas. These were less traveled roads. We saw only a few cars until we got to Lampasas. From there we took Hwy-183 to FM-970 to Andice where we stopped and had lunch at the little store there that claims to have the best hamburgers. I must admit they were good and by the number of people eating there they must have thought so… or they saw the same sign we did… We got home a little after one and rested up the rest of the day.

This was the first real long ride on the new bike. Janet likes the seat better than the old bike. She says she can ride longer between stops, that is a good thing since the range is greater with the 6.6-gallon gas tank. All in all we really enjoyed this little trip and the new bike. We are looking forward to next year’s wildflower crop. We will be back to ride more Hill Country roads.

If you liked this post you may also like “Texas Hill Country Wildflower Ride April 2012”

Mount Rushmore National Park Motorcycle Ride September 2008

Mount Rushmore National Park Motorcycle Ride -(Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma 2821 Miles)

I just got back from a motorcycle trip with 2 of my friends. Larry Cooper (my old Air Force buddy) from Alabama and Larry Talley (Larry Cooper’s friend from high school) from Georgia. I’ve known Larry Talley almost as long as I’ve known Larry Cooper because I met him when I first went to visit Larry Cooper in Alabama.

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go on this trip because of all that had happened during the 2 previous weeks. Two weeks before the trip we were going down to take my parents to Victoria to see my sister Edna who had just had a mastectomy. Just before we left we got a call from Ginny (sister-in-law) telling us that my dad was in the hospital due to chest pains. We never made it to Victoria. My dad was released from the hospital on Monday and Wednesday we brought them back to Georgetown because hurricane Ike was supposed to hit the coast there. We also brought my Aunt Bips too. Later Janet’s Aunt Pat and Uncle Perry and their 3 great grand kids came to stay with us until it was safe to return. We also had my brother Gary and Wife Ginny, Ginny’s mother, Ginny’s mother’s neighbor, their daughter Mandy and her 2 kids and a couple that was friends of Mandy’s staying in a motel near by. When the storm passed I drove down to Victoria and picked up a generator for my parents since their power was out. I stayed there until Thursday taking care of various situations. I thought I was going to stay longer because my dad was scheduled for a heart cath on Friday. Since it was cancelled I was able to go on the trip. I spent nearly all day Friday getting ready for this trip.

This was the longest MC trip I have ever been on in terms of miles. Actually it was too many miles for such few days. In spite of it all it was still fun. I think we all decided that next time we travel this many miles we will be taking 2 weeks instead of just 8 days. Besides getting older and our bodies needing more time we need more time to see the sights. We saw the sights in more of a blur. There was much more that we could have seen if we had more time.

September 20 Saturday


487 miles: Georgetown, TX to Amarillo, TX

Amarillo Texas, Motorcycle Ride

Motel 6 in Amarillo

It was a long ride for me and it ended up getting pretty warm before I got to Amarillo. T. Bone Pickens wasn’t kidding about Sweetwater, TX; there are hundreds of those windmills that generate electricity there. I’ve seen them in many places around the country but there were hundreds of them around Sweetwater. (See

I met the 2 Larry’s in Amarillo. Because of all that was going on with me the Larry’s left a day later and we rode the trip backwards so that I would be able to go. They left on the19th and rode to Ft. Smith, AR (I think) and rode the remained on the 20th. I arrived before they did and I got us a room at a Motel-6 on I-40. They arrived not long afterward. We had originally planned to meet at the Big Texan Steak Ranch on I-40 but since I arrived much sooner I decided to go ahead and find us a room. We didn’t eat at Big Texan Steak Ranch because they were so busy. They had some kind if entertainment going on that had a lot of people attending. We ended up eating a steak across the street from our motel. The steak wasn’t bad but I’ve had better.

September 21 Sunday

Map, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado

365 miles: Amarillo, TX to Colorado Springs, CO

We ate breakfast across the street where we ate the night before. Then we headed for Castle Rock, Colorado. In the past when I had driven that way I had traveled to Dumas, TX then took Hwy 87 to Raton, NM. This time we followed the route Gladys (My GPS’ name given to her by Janet & Kristy) mapped out for us. Gladys took us Hwy 1061 to Hwy 385. We then picked up Hwy 87 at Hartley. The wind picked up and blew pretty hard for most of this day’s trip. I think it blew the hardest traveling through New Mexico. We stopped to see Capulin Volcano.

New Mexico, motorcycle ride

Welcome center at Capulin Volcano

New Mexico, Motorcycle ride

View from atop Capulin Volcano

Approximately 60,000 years ago, the rain of cooling cinders formed Capulin Volcano, a nearly perfectly-shaped cinder cone, rising more than 1000 feet above the surrounding landscape. The ride to the top spirals around the volcano with quite a drop off on one side and a shear wall on the other. If height bothers you then … the view from the top was something to see. You could see for miles and other volcano were visible too.

From Capulin we rode over Raton pass and stopped in Trinidad for gas. We then rode through part of the town because Larry T. wanted to see what it looked like. From there we rode to Colorado Springs. We decided to spend the night there instead of riding on to Castle Rock. I knew Katie (my youngest daughter) was in Colorado taking a break from hurricane Ike. She was with out power in Kingwood and she didn’t have to be back to work until Wednesday so she took a quick hurrication (Katie’s word for this vacation) until Wednesday. I gave her a call to see where she was and guess what!!?? She was in Colorado Springs. It was late and we were all (Katie and her friends too) tired so we didn’t get together since they were about 12 miles away from where we were staying. Needless to say Katie and I were both surprised that we were that close. Janet told Katie she can run but she can’t hide from us…

September 22 Monday

map, Colorado, Wyoming, Colorado Springs, Central City,Cheyenne , motorcycle ride

251 miles: Colorado Springs to Cheyenne, WY via Blackhawk, Estes Park, and Loveland

We rode to Castle Rock, took Hwy 85 to Hwy 470 to I-70 to Hwy 72. Hwy 72 took us through the mountains to Blackhawk and Central City. Janet and I went there numerous times when we lived in Aurora (1978 – 1986). It was one of our favorite destinations… but what a difference 20+ years makes. It had completely changed… instead of being the quaint little old historic towns they were in the past they were now a casino Mecca.

Streets of the old Central City. 20 years ago it would have been full of people.

Court House Central City Colorado

Wyoming, motorcycle ride

Checking map…

The ride through the mountains to Estes Park was nice. The air was crisp and clean with the Aspens turning to bright yellow. Seeing the Aspens turn is one of the many things Janet and I miss about Colorado. I had forgotten much of that road but I did remember a few things. I had forgot coming into Estes Park from Hwy 72. You look down on Estes Park from atop the mountain. Estes Park is still a very pretty little tourist town. From Estes Park we rode through the Big Thompson Canyon. Big Thompson canyon was truly a pretty ride too with the road following the Big Thompson River through the canyon. Once we were back on I-25 it was a quick ride to Cheyenne. Just before we hit the Wyoming state line we suddenly hit a wall of cold air and the wind picked up too. The temperature drop felt like it was at least 20 degrees. Needless to say we were ready to find a room and get off the bikes for a while.

September 23 Tuesday

353 miles: Cheyenne to Spearfish, SD via Devils Tower

After a stop at Wal Mart for a few things and an attempted to stop at a motorcycle dealer (they were closed) we headed toward Devils Tower. The Larry’s had brought things for making sandwiches so we stopped at a picnic stop along the way for lunch. Most of that ride the scenery was mostly rolling plains but once we got near Devils Tower the scenery was hills covered with pine trees. This was the first time any of us had been to Devils Tower. We spent quite a while walking around the base of Devils Tower and taking pictures. It was an impressive sight.

Devils Tower rises 1267 feet above the Belle Fourche River. Once hidden, erosion has revealed Devils Tower. This 1347-acre park is covered with pine forests, woodlands, and grasslands. Deer, prairie dogs, and other wildlife are seen.

Also known as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site for many American Indians.

From Devils Tower we rode to Spearfish, South Dakota and spent the night.

motorcycle ride Wyoming

Lunch on Hwy 85 in WY on our way to Devil’s Tower

wyoming, motorcycle ride, national park

Devil’s Tower

September 24 Wednesday

motorcycle ride

180 miles: Spearfish, SD to Chadron, NE via Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, Sturgis, Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Mt.

We got an early start. The temperature was 39 degrees. Before I left on this trip an old high school friend (Butch Kay) told me about several places that we needed to ride while in the area. One was Spearfish Canyon. Like I said it was 39 degrees that morning but I know it was much colder in the canyon. I was wishing I had brought some warmer gloves. But in spite of the cold it was a great ride through the canyon.

Spearfish Canyon is one of the oldest and most miraculous canyons in the west. Located in the northern portion of the Black Hills National Forest, the canyon spans 20-miles along a scenic and unique State and National Scenic Byway. Less than a mile wide, the canyon is always ‘close and upward’ dwarfing the one-million annual visitors

After leaving the canyon we rode on to Deadwood (Where Wild Bill was shot) and on to Sturgis. Sturgis looked like any other small town. From there we back tracked through Deadwood, stopped at Pactola Reservoir for a short break and rode on to Mt. Rushmore. The Black Hills are really pretty and a great place to ride. We spent some time at Mt. Rushmore walking the trails and taking pictures. It’s been 30 years since I was there last and it had changed quite a bit. There was also a lot of people there which was a surprise to me since it was late September. I can’t imagine what it would have been like in July.

motorcycle ride, South Dakota

Pactola Reservoir

motorcycle ride, South Dakota

Spearfish Canyon

From Mt. Rushmore we rode on to Crazy Horse Memorial. I had been there 30 years ago. They have removed a lot of the mountain and Crazy Horse now has a head (face). They have been working on him for 60 years. Needless to say they have a long way to go and it will take another generation of the Ziolkowski family to finish the memorial.

motorcycle ride, South Dakota

Mt. Rushmore

motorcycle ride, South Dakota

Crazy Horse Memorial

Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial June 3, 1948. The Memorial’s  mission is to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.

We had planned to ride the Needles Hwy this day but since we all had a long way to go to get home (me 1100 miles and about 1400 miles for the Larry’s) we rode to Chadron, Nebraska and got a room.

September 25 Thursday

motorcycle ride, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas

466 miles: Chadron, NE to Garden City, KS

motorcycle ride, Nebraska

Nowhere in North Platte, NE

I rode with the Larry’s to North Platte, NE and from there we said our goodbyes. They headed to Anamosa, Iowa to see a motorcycle museum. Anamosa was the original place we were to meet but due to all that happened the 2 weeks before we left we rode the trip backwards. I thought about going with them to Anamosa but I decided to make an easy ride home for my self.

At one gas stop I met a couple from Pennsylvania who had been riding for 5 weeks riding to the northwest and California etc. They weren’t ready to go home but had jobs they had to get back to. We had a good visit and then we went our separate ways after they took my picture to add to their travel log.

I rode to Garden City to spend the night.

September 26 Friday

motorcycle ride

423 miles: Garden City, KS to Abilene, TX

I got an early start and headed to Abilene. The scenery in Nebraska and Kansas was pretty much the same. A lot of farm and ranch land… and a lot of very smelly feedlots. It seemed that every town had a feedlot. In its own way it was still pretty and I’m sure a different way of life. Miles and miles between towns.

September 27 Saturday

motorcycle ride

205 miles: Abilene to Georgetown (Home)

The morning I left Abilene the sky was filled with hot air balloons. It was quite a site. The balloons could be seen miles way from Abilene.

The ride home was easy for the most part. I have ridden this stretch several times. I saw many familiar sites and a few I somehow missed. I was ready to get home. It seemed as though I hadn’t seen Janet in a month. To my surprise when I got home Janet had cooked me a coconut cream pie (my favorite). It’s nice to be missed.

All in all I must say it was a good trip. For the most part we had really good weather and saw some really pretty country. The only thing I would change is taking more days to travel that distance.

If you liked this post you may like this of another ride here.

Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Trip September 2010

Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Trip (TX, AR, OK, NM, AZ, UT, CO  3346 Miles)

For the last few years I have taken a motorcycle trip in September. In the past, the trips have started with me meeting my friends LC (Larry Cooper my Air Force buddy) who lives in Bryant Alabama and LT (Larry Talley) who lives in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. We would meet in Hot Springs, AR. LC & LT would ride the “Trail of Tears” motorcycle ride which starts in Chattanooga, TN and it would end somewhere in Oklahoma. I would then ride the last leg of the “Trail of Tears” with them and the other 250 or so riders. This year the “Trail of Tears” ride ended in Tahlequah, OK. This year LC & LT rode ahead of the official ride to Hot Springs because of the heat. When riding in that large of a group it moves slower and is hotter.

I’ve known LT almost as long as LC. While LC and I were buddies in the Air Force LC always talked about LT. Our first motorcycle trip together was 32 years ago in July when I rode my Kawasaki KZ400 out to visit LC. LC (Kawasaki KZ900) & LT (Yamaha 750 I think) rode and met me half way and then we rode back to LC’s together. Below is a picture from that trip of LC & LT, at the motel, as we are getting ready to ride back to LC’s. My how things have changed but our enthusiasm for riding hasn’t.

Janet didn’t make this trip since the other wives were not able to make it and she didn’t want to be the only girl. I did miss my riding buddy.

Below are the posts from each day of our ride. Come follow along as we ride to enjoy the fun and beautiful scenery…

Day 1 & 2 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 3 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 4 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 5 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 6 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 7 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 8 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 9 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010
Day 10 Million Dollar Highway Motorcycle Ride 2010

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