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Having been born and raised in Pittsboro IN I have never been west of Iowa. Ive been around the entire eastern seaboard for business, and even been to Alaska a few times but I had never toured the western US. So this trip was planned with the idea of seeing what the rest of the USA was like.

I set off on July 24th for the first boring leg of the journey. Destination was hot springs AK. Total mileage was 694 miles for the day. I will admit that Arkansas was amazing once we got into the hills, and the roads were nice and twisty!
Ive traveled this route every bit of 2-3 dozen times so it was just rather boring and I was ready to get west.


Start of the trip from Pittsboro, IN.

July 25th I headed down to Shreveport, LA to attend a family wedding. Just a small 171 mile leg of the trip. And it was definitely the hottest part of the whole trip.

July 26th we set off to the Austin TX area to meet up with some buddies from my ROTC field training. Just over 300 miles covered and had a great time. Going through Dallas I saw the infamous George Bush "miss me yet" billboard which was the highlight of that leg of the trip.

July 27th we set off heading as far west as we could get. Because I was told Texas was boring we had plans to make it into new Mexico my night fall. My friends in Texas suggested I take a detour and get off I-10 for a while to see the hill country. And good golly was that worth it. Driving past all the ranches and seeing the sights was well worth the time. As a FYI there was a 30k acre ranch for sale off of 190 if anyone wanted to take up ranching.



Being a Indiana farm boy I thought these were cool for the first hour. After seeing 50 bazillion of them they soon lost the uniqueness but still cool for me.



Old water pump station off of 190


Panoramic picture of same station.


Hard to get tired of Texas.

July 28th we left Van Horn Texas and headed out. Again I was told this would be an incredibly boring part of the trip, and again people were wrong.


I loved the views, very different from Indiana.


The bikes at a pull over. My buddy was riding the R6 and with everything he had put on it, it was remarkable comfortable for a sport bike.


Me with a sweet view in the background. Yes I realize the bike looks very ghetto rigged with all the bags and bungee cords. But im a poor college kid and the bag was waterproof so it worked for me.........

July 29th was a short leg to Yuma, AZ. Yuma is supposed to be the sunniest place on earth with more sunlight with any other place on the planet. We pulled into Yuma with a balmy 85 degrees and the sky was completely overcast. Again this was a incredible leg of the trip with a lot to see along the way. In Yuma we stopped to see some friends had a great time and geared up to deal with CA in the morning. being from Indiana seeing all the border Patrol was kinda interesting and we were stopped twice and asked about our citizenship status. The agents simply asked if we were citizens to which I replied "damn strait," and we were on our way, never even had to produce ID. In case you were wondering these were Federal Boarder Patrol Agents and the AZ law had nothing to do with being stopped as the Boarder Patrol is not a AZ agency.


Proof of the clouds, this was just coming into Yuma on I-8 if I recall correctly.



July the 30th we set off for California. We covered just 322 miles but the scenery was amazing. For all the Communist hair-brained stupidity of the state, it sure has some freaking sweet views. And I thought the fires were pretty dog on cool. My thoughts and prayers for those who have to fight them, and those who lost there homes.



Stopped at the Patton Museum.



Smoke and in the distance the fire.


Off to save the day. I have to admit the cover from the smoke was awesome, made for a good ride.


Random train that was cool.

July 31, or the day my baby died. Met up with fellow Forum member "wiredog" and rode up to lake Isabella. Views were stunning. The ride was amazing, just wish it didn't end the way it did.


How can riding through this get old? Way better than cornfields.........


Joshua trees galore.


Thats "wiredog" riding lead.


This is why I wanted to come to CA, the mountains. Very cool



Amazing view, the white spot is were my baby died.


Riding around the corner my roll-bar scraped the road. In the attempt to recover I lost control went into a slide and was stopped by a RV traveling the opposite direction. Bent the rim on the RV and totaled the Volusia. The roll-bar caused me to crash, but I will give them credit for saving my bacon. I walked away from this with a few cuts and scrapes and a bad case of the shakes. "wiredog" put me on his Harley and got me into town were it took a while to stop shaking but eventually got calmed down. Then it was back to Burbank, CA and "wiredog" was kind enough to get me back to a hotel by the airport. All said and done I consider myself very lucky to have walked away from the wreck, and very blessed to have been riding with some good people who made sure I was ok. My bike Totaled I had to fly home, and a friend in AZ is going to recover my baby from the yard and well see if its worth repairing or if it will get parted out.

Overall this was a great trip up to the end and I will be taking it again only this time I hope to make it to the coast. Plans were to ride the Pacific Coast Highway up to Oregon then back to Indiana through Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. So I will be making that trip again when I can get a bike back on the road. Total mileage covered was just shy of 3k but I didnt get the last reading on the odometer as I was a little pre-occupied with making sure i was still alive.
 

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So sorry to hear of how your trip ended. But then you are here and can write about it. You had a beautiful ride out west. AND you left the best part for your next ride, PCH.

Isn't Jeff Gordon from your hometown?
 

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Mort said:
Isn't Jeff Gordon from your hometown?
Yes he is indeed. We have Jeff Gorden the the best cat-fish dinner of all time "Frank and Marys." So if your ever down this way you should stop by and try it out (if you like cat-fish that is).
 

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Rode right thru your place 2 weeks ago on our bike trip back from Story, IN. we took what is it, Hwy 74? And we got off in Pittsboro, but rode straight through. We love catfish, must go back to Pittsboro some weekend. We did not want to go home so we stayed at Lincoln Lodge, close to Lafayette...............big mistake, it was nasty.
 

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I just got some more pictures of the accident so thought id share.


My bike with wiredog's bike in the background.


What happens when a 2003 Suzuki Volusia gets up close and personal with a RV. Lucky I hit the wheel and didn't do to much more damage to the RV.


I dont really see how I walked away as uninjured as I was. Moral of the story is wear a helmet, and buy crashbars. If I had a jacket on I would have walked away with 2 cuts on my hands and a scrapped knee, ill never ride without one again.


Wiredog on the left. My back was pretty messed up, no clue what from as I dont remember ever being on my back, but they sure came from something.


All in all the trip was still the ride of a lifetime, and plans are set for a trip early summer of 2011 to make another attempt on the Pacific Coast Highway. :scoot:
 

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WOW! You had to have been leaned over pretty hard to scrape those bars. They look like the MCE's I had, and they sit higher than the Cobra's.
 

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WOW! You had to have been leaned over pretty hard to scrape those bars. They look like the MCE's I had, and they sit higher than the Cobra's.

It was a tight turn to begin with but I was going a bit fast and being unfamiliar with the road I didnt realize it wasn't just 90 degree turn but more like 120 (no signs either). So I got about halfway through when I saw the RV and tried to correct enough to get out of the way. It might not have even been the bars, but from what im piecing together from pictures and memory I remember really laying into the corner, I hit something/scrapped something, lost control, left highway peg hit the RV and I was down. There is no doudte they saved both my legs from getting turned into hamburger but I am of the opinion that they scraped setting about the chain of events. Whether or not I would have made it if the bars had not been on......... I don't know, I know I was in control all the way till something scraped hard. But again bottom line is I was kinda going to fast for the corner so I still blame myself. Ive taken enough corners to realize what speed im comfortable at, but I was going faster than usual and it bit me in the butt.
 

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Yup. Decreasing radius turns can jump up and bite ya pretty quick.

Glad you came out of it in pretty good shape, and that you are looking forward to getting the trip completed.
 

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Good to see you made it out of the whole incident with minor injuries. Next trip out to Calif ride up the coast on Hwy 101 to Pismo Beach. I live right on Hwy 1 and I'll ride with you along the Big Sur coastline up to Monterey.

Looking forward to your next trip
 
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