Day 1 & 2 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Getting There

National Parks, Motorcycle, ride

Day 1 loaded up and ready to hit the road

Day 1 & 2 ride map

Day 1 & 2 ride map

This is the first day of my two-week (16 days)  5000 miles plus motorcycle ride to several of the best National Parks, National Monuments and National Historical sites in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we visit Pikes Peak, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, Little Bighorn, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore and everything in between.

We had planned to do this ride 2 years ago but life got in the way and we had to cancel. The plans are complete and reservations have been made… all that is left is the execution of our plans.

I’m doing something I have never done before… write post each day or as often as time will allow… So stay tune for post as our ride progresses.

national park, motorcycle, ride

Heading down Hwy 183 on start of or National Park Motorcycle Ride

Day 1

Several days out from my departure it was looking like I could be riding in triple digit heat… In my younger days I probably wouldn’t have given this much thought… but now I’m a bit older and I think wiser. I’m sure I could get someone to disagree with that… 551 miles in triple digit heat is something I don’t want to do. As it turned out today was very cool  for this time of the year. I left at 1:30 pm. It was overcast and just 81 degrees and a drop of rain every mile or so. The temperature eventually dropped to 76 degrees.Very pleasant riding. When I got Lampasas it started to rain enough that I lowered my face shield. When I reached the other side of Lampasas the rain stopped and the sun came out and took the temperature up to 90 degrees. About 60 mile from Sweetwater the clouds returned and the wind picked up and temperature drop to 82 degrees. At Sweetwater the wind started to blow much harder causing a lot of dust to be picked up. I was glad to have finally reached my motel in Snyder.

Tomorrow I meet Larry in Amarillo. From there it is a short ride to Dalhart our destination for the day.


Wind turbines in the distance... Near Sweetwater, Texas

Wind turbines in the distance… Near Sweetwater, Texas

Day 2

This trip will be just the two of us. Larry C. my old Air Force buddy wasn’t able to make this trip and our wives decided to sit this one out too. Larry T. rode in from Tunnel Hill, Georgia (1140 miles) on his spaceship… a Victory Vision… I wasn’t crazy about the Visions when they first came out but… since I’ve seen Larry’s they are starting to grow on me… Larry is loving his so far…

national park, motorcycle, ride

Misting rain leaving Snyder, Texas

We had a pretty big rain last night. I was on the road a little after 7:00, temperature 62 degrees, with a slight mist and overcast. Shortly after leaving the mist got heavier… heavy enough for me to lower the face shield. It eventually stopped misting, the roads  dried and the sun peeked through the clouds.

National park, motorcycle, ride

I-27 heading to Amarillo, Texas

I am meeting Larry in Amarillo. 205 miles of nice riding (excluding the rain). I was at his motel just before 11:00. I haven’t seen Larry since our last ride in September so we had some catching up to do.

The Cadillac Ranch was just down I-40 about 10 miles so to kill some time we decide to give it a quick look. Neither of us has been there before and wasn’t sure what to expect. The cars have been there longer than they have been on the road. Over the years visitors have covered them in graffiti. It has become a tradition. Everyone that visited, except us, seem to be leaving their mark. You had to be careful when touching because of the wet paint. The paint has become inches thick over the many years… Different but interesting and worth the time visiting this unique art (??) work.

Larry at the Cadillac Ranch

Larry at the Cadillac Ranch

From the Cadillac Ranch it was on to Dumas for gas and a late lunch before heading to Dalhart our destination for the day.

national park, motorcycle, ride

My ridding mascot Kow A. Saky with Larry bring up the rear.

The original destination for today was Amarillo but Larry wanted to ride up Pikes Peak tomorrow. That would add at least 2 hours to the ride so we moved our destination to shave some miles off the next day. This will allow us to take our time and enjoy the ride… and there is a lot to be enjoyed tomorrow.

Stay tuned… We will see you tomorrow.

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

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