Day 3 & 4 Summer Trip 2014

June 21, 2014

Odometer: 2883 Miles

Truscott Brine Lake TX to Holly Lake TX.

Image of Truscott Brine Lake below.  There were a LOT of flies!

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Good grief Texas is HUGE and FLAT!  The only change to the landscape was if there were oil wells…or not.

This was the view until we made it to Paris, TX…photo

We made it to Ben’s parents house in Holly Lake.  We will be staying here for a few days to rest up before we move on to TN.  It was very windy again today and I didn’t want to let go of the handlebars for fear of being blown off the road.  As a new rider I am starting to realize that unless your upper body is totally relaxed it is VERY hard to control your bike.  The more relaxed my head and upper body are the easier it is to go with the blow…

Few things to note…EVERY single small town had a Dollar General, a Dairy Queen, and a Pawn/Guns and Ammo all with in one or 2 blocks of each other.

Day 5 Summer Trip 2014

June 23, 2014

Odometer: 3113 Miles

Holly Lake, TX. to Crossett, AR.

Day 4 Summer Trip 2014

Today was a short ride only 230 miles.  We were ready to get back on the road after our brief stay in Holly Lake and thought with a short ride we would get into camp well before dark, set up camp, make a fire, eat, etc…

It seems that once we crossed over the AR boarder the humidity and insects grew exponentially!  I had to spray and clean my visor twice while we drove.

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The campsite was nice, it had the first showers that we’d seen since we started out.  I did however, have to share my shower stall with a frog and a very large spider…

After our showers and dinner we had just started our fire for smores when it started raining…this was rain like we’d not seen in quite a while, so clean bikes tomorrow…now were off to bed!

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Day 1 Summer Trip 2014

Day 1: Phoenix AZ to Cloudcroft NM.

June 19, 2014

Odometer 1703

So Ben, the boys and I drove to TN to pick up our Airstream Trailer and bring it back to AZ last summer.  Ben spent hours on Google earth researching the best route to take with wife that doesn’t really like to ride on main roads…I guess this will get me over the hump!

Not even 50 miles into our trip the right front wheel came off…

He decided to take the us along the 60 out of AZ along the 70 to the 10, to the 20, through White Sands into Cloudcroft New Mexico.  What a day, 468 miles!  What I learned today…that riding on a bike, you CAN NOT drive as many miles as you can in a car in one day!

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Had to take a quick work call! Not fun for my family

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Looks like we aren’t going to make it to camp before dark.

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Taking pics of the sunset behind us.

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Had to set up camp after dark the night before, but this is what it looked like in the morning. Not much to it.

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In downtown Cloudcroft there was a cool bar. We liked it so much we ate there twice. Once on 6/19 on our way to TN. The second time on our way home 7/3.

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First Big Ride

April 5, 2014

Odometer 88 Miles.

Well we did it our first big ride today. We drove up to Roosevelt lake with our bikes in the back of Ben’s truck…I don’t feel comfortable on any main roads yet…

Cherry Creek Trail:

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It was a fairly easy ride at first on maintained dirt roads.  There were 2 creek crossings one that I did myself, the other I made Ben ride through for me. I didn’t have enough confidence yet.

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The roads became progressively worse and worse working up from dirt, to gravel, to rocks, to marble size rocks, to tennis ball size rocks…holly cow these just getting larger and larger…and they are all loose and rolling around!  At this point I started freaking out a little in my helmet, thanks goodness we didn’t have our comms yet!

I was going to fast, I was going to die so I stopped…mistake!  I was propped up on two rocks, one under my front tire, one under my rear…my feet didn’t touch and I went over like a tree.  My front break lever snapped off, thank goodness right at the break point…Now I have a perfect two finger lever custom made by Cherry Creek! HA!~

After shaking it off, somehow getting the bike back up on two wheels all by myself,  and looking ahead to see that Ben had left me in the dust, I thought to myself… okay you can do this!

We arrived at the top of a hill where it flattened back out and was more dirt like again and there was a family in their Arctic Cat with a guy on his 250 Kawasaki dirt bike.  They waved us down, they had just broken one of their axles and told us that we may turn back it get’s worse up ahead!…Ben walked up the road a little, looked down at his map…”It doesn’t look that bad, we can make it”.  Keep in mind this is my first ride EVER on my bike.  In my head, I am thinking WOW they just broke their axle!

Ben took one look at me and said “Ok, I think we may need to go back” (phew)

Shortly after we turned back and started back down the hill I had stopped to teak a break. My hand was cramping being on the break so hard. I was going way to slow but didn’t realize what I was doing wrong at the time.

While sitting on the side of the road there were a group of guys coming up the hill at me.  They were riding huge KTM dirt bikes they made it look so easy.  They stopped and said “That’s a nice looking bike what is it?” a 650 I said.  “You got that thing all the way up here?”  Yep!  I didn’t really understand why they were saying that…after all I just gunned it an prayed not to go over the cliff!  The bike really wanted to stay upright and unless I did something stupid like stop, it would.

Overall this was a great first ride and I learned a lot.  I learned that the red dots on the map are not all equal.  I learned why you turn OFF the ABS on dirt. I learned that if you go to slow it is way more difficult to keep your bike upright than going fast.

Live and learn…I made it and so did my bike, in more or less one piece.

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(sigh…) Finally!

Years and years of waiting…patiently…sometimes not so patiently…

My husband has been waiting for me to come around.

I travel a lot for work. One day, while I was away on business, it dawned on me that there has to be more to life than this endless cycle of work, work, work, sleep a little, kid activities, homework, and then back to work! Where did that young girl go, that was so full of wonder and curiosity? Is she still there?

All my life I have dreamed of travel…getting to see wonderful places that have not been discovered yet, places that you don’t see everyday. I used to spend days, looking through my grandfather’s National Geographic magazines dreaming that I was in the Serengeti or some other exotic place.

So, back to how bikes fit in to all this. My husband has always wanted a bike, but I was always to fearful of being killed or maimed and broken for life. At this point buying a bike was not a solution to my need for adventure…

One night while on a business trip (did I mention that I travel a lot for work), I was having a hard time sleeping. I turned on my iPad, hopped onto Netflix (one of my favorite things) hoping to find something to watch. I noticed a title called “Long Way Round”. This was cool, I didn’t realize they had bikes like this! My husband loves bikes…I should tell him about it.

“Long Way Round” is a documentary television series, DVD set and book documenting the 19,000-mile journey of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman from London to New York City on motorcycles, east (the long way around).

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Well…I called my husband and told him to get online and watch the documentary. By the time I got home he had watched the entire series and had found another series of episodes entitled “Long Way Down”

Fast forward a few episodes into the Long Way Down and Ewan is going to take his wife! I can’t believe it. She has no experience riding a bike and he is going to take her on a leg of this journey with Ewan and Charley through AFRICA! I was amazed!

In just a few minutes I realized this could be what I had been looking for; an adventure that would allow me to see the world from a vantage point few have seen.

There is a line from one of the episodes that really stuck with me. It went something like, “There is no better way to travel and experience the land and different cultures, to truly experience the environment than riding a motorbike. You taste the dirt, the different smells, feel the weather,…truly experience it.”

That was it! I have never been the type of person that gravitated towards the tourist traps. This was a way that I could travel and truly get out and explore.

From then on, these adventures have been all that we could talk, plan, and dream about.

Fast Forward to March 2014:

WE DID IT (kinda we still have some work to do)!! We have our bikes. Let the adventures begin!!!

When I say adventure I really mean it. This whole motorcycle thing is way outside my comfort zone. In the beginning, just sitting on the thing was an adventure for me.

I have never really been all that great at even riding a bicycle, how the heck, am I going to do this?!?!2014-10-02 12.16.53