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tenorjazz

Seattle to Phoenix and Back with a twist..

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tenorjazz

I'm only half way through my ride, but since I didn't see a Current Rides section I thought I would post here.

 

I started my ride last Monday on a BMW 1200 GS, but my ride home is going to be a GL1800 Goldwing. I'll explain the details as I go along, but wanted to get this thread started this morning before I hit the road.

 

My original plan was to leave Seattle heading east, over the mountains, and then south through Oregon and central Nevada, down to Phoenix and then to Taos New Mexico. It's amazing how plans change. The first problem was that it was snowing in the pass so I headed south, so I could cut across the Columbia River basin to get to my route in central Oregon.

 

I made it to Pendleton, riding in very heavy rain and cold. Next morning I look south and there is snow on the hills just a few miles down the road. Looks like I need to go back to the coast to find a route south.

 

day1_2-013.jpg

 

Like I said the trip starts on my BMW 1200 GS

 

day1_2-010.jpg

 

It was WET!!

 

day1_2-015.jpg

 

day1_2-020.jpg

 

day1_2-021.jpg

 

Snow south of Pendleton.

 

I'll post more when I stop tonight and tell you about why I'm on a Goldwing going home.

 

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fysty-1

TJ what beautiful pics I am envious as you know what. Enjoy your ride & enjoy the new wing.:CRY::wave::wave::wave::clap::clap::banana::banana:

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tenorjazz

On the second day, after seeing the snow south of Pendleton, I figured my best bet to make it south was to head back to the coast of Oregon and go down 101 to see if I could get into California. The main freeway, I-5, had snow at the two passes as you go into California from Oregon. So that gave me a 400 mile detour, in the rain.

 

Even in the rain the riding was, in an odd way, fun. There was a point along the Columbia river where I looked over to the hills on the other side and saw these giant Wind Generators turning in the clouds that were on the hilltops. The enormos blades caused the clouds to swirl around them as the not so gentle wind was blowing the rain somewhat horizontal. My rain gear, heated grips and eletric gloves were doing a great job keeping warn and snug. My toes were a little cold, but dry. All in all it was magical.

 

day1_2-030.jpg

The photo doesn't do it justice. If you look real close you can see the Wind Generators on the tops of the hills.

 

day1_2-040.jpg

 

There is also this beautiful double waterfall right along the highway.

 

day1_2-042.jpg

 

This should give you a good feel for what the weather was like.

 

I did head south for a little ways, on I-5, but cut over to the coast before long. One thing I didn't get a picture of, because there just wasn't a good place to stop, was a small house with a 150-200 foot waterfall, literally in the backyard. And it wasn't one of those tiny little dribblely waterfalls, this was a full blown roaring falls. I'm tempted to go 200 miles out of the way, on the way back, just to get a picture of it.

 

day1_2-044.jpg

 

The little river next to the road that goes to the coast was at flood stage. Look at the base of the tree on the far side of the river, must be over 6 feet under water.

 

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The water was just churning brown.

 

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Again, even with all the rain, it was just an incredible ride.

 

Even still, just as I pulled up the motel, it started to hail and I was glad to be able to get out of it.

 

At this point in my trip I discovered 2 things. My battery on my camera just ran out and I can seem to find the charger. I charged the battery just before I left so must have left it home.

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tenorjazz

OK... so here's the story on the bikes...

 

I decided to drop in and see my brothers new house, and get the oil changed on my bike in Phoenix. On Saturday I bring the bike in and I'm talking to the repair guy about my proposed trip home up through the middle of Nevada, the route I had originally planned to come down. He said he was from that part of Nevada and has been on part of the road I'm looking at and suggests I probably shouldn't do it since I"m riding alone. He calls it the "Lonelist Road in America" and if anything happens I might not be found for many days. Not to be scared off too easily, because I hear so many ney sayers I don't often put much grit in what they say, I said, just make sure the bikes in good shape before I leave, just in case I decide to be crazy and go that route.

 

Well, as they are checking things out they notice a bit of oil leaking out between the motor and transmission. I have a rear seal that is going bad, something I was told about last year, but was also told that it could go a long time like that. Wanting to be more safe that sorry I tell them to go ahead and fix it. The problem is, it's Saturday afternoon, and they can't really get it started till they get back on Tuesday, so earliest I can get going again is Wednesday.

 

gary4.jpg

 

I could not think of a better place to be stuck than at my brothers new house. (Yeh, that's a putting green in the background)

 

Being a bit pissed off that a bike this expensive and "well built" has a seal go out at 22,000 miles, and it's going to cost me $1000+ on a "low budget" trip, I figure it's time to move on to a more reliable bike. This isn't the first thing that's gone wrong on this bike and even though the miles are low, it's an 05 so it's out of warrenty and I have to pay for everything that breaks.

 

My Brother has a 08(?) GL1800 Goldwing with all the bells and whistles on it and since he has moved from the BMW, the one I currently own, to the Goldwing he has had nothing but good things to say about that bike. He simply loves it.

 

Being the great brother that he is, he says, why don't you take the Wing home and I will bring the BMW up on a trailer in a week or so, when I head north. Without a moments hesitation I jump on the chance to "test ride" the bike all the way back to Seattle from Phoenix.

 

This morning I pack as much of my gear on the bike as I can, being a bit surprised that the BMW can handle a lot more gear than the Goldwing, and head out. Now I got to tell you I am really excided about this trip. I have been wanting to ride a Goldwing on an extened trip for a while, thinking that a Goldwing is in my near future and what a great way to see if it's the right choice. Everything I've heard, the comfort, the quiet ride, easy to handle and on and on. Sounds like the perfect bike.

 

I head down Highway 60 towards Phoenix and get about 10 miles down the road and realize how uncomfortable I am. My legs are cramped, my arms just don't feel right because the handle bars are so close. I'm getting way more noise in my helmet than I thought I would and I realize that going another 2000 miles, feeling like this, is probably not a good idea. On top of all this, the seat on my BMW is a lot more comfortable.

 

day1_2-037.jpg

 

I can hardly believe it and I am so disappointed and very reluctant, but decide to turn around and wait for my BMW to get fixed. So my trip home is going to be on my BMW 1200 GS, even with some concerns for it's reliability, it's the most comfortable bike I have ridden.

 

Who knows where the winds will blow, I will probably look at a Goldwing again sometime down the road.

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AspectOne

I am soooo lovin this post bro... get another charger and keepem coming...

 

I just got to read the rest of your last post, it just showed up dont kow why but anyway... you will find that for most folks the wing has to be set up for each rider, some require more suspension than others while another rider needds the bars moved. Once you get one dialed in you really will not believe it.

 

Ofcourse I have not had an oportunity to ride a GS so I could be all wet here... maybe if you went back via Little Rock i could have a little test ride on yours?????

 

LOL:scared:

 

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fysty-1

TJ, I guess you are going to either get a universal charge or a bunch of those disposible cameras.:disagree::disagree::funny::funny::funny::funny:We need Pics!!!!:whip::whip::picture::picture::picture::picture::picture::picture::picture::picture::picture::picture::rofl::rofl:

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tenorjazz

I thought you guys would throw me out since my ride home is going to be on my BMW instead of the Goldwing. I actually have more pictures now and can post then later tonight. When I get back on the road in a couple of days I will keep it going. Still trying to figure out where I'm going on the way home.

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Cactus_Jack

Naw we don't throw people out just for that. :funny:

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lucky_x16

We do not throw people out because they are too good to ride Goldwings. Nah, to hard to locate them later on to pick on them.

Make yourself comfortable.

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dwsonar

South Louisiana is warm and dry, come this way.

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dwsonar

[user=511]Cactus_Jack[/user] wrote:

Naw we don't throw people out just for that. :funny:

We make em cry and they go away on their own.

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tenorjazz

Thanks for letting me hang around :wave:

 

Going to South Louisiana sounds like fun, but I don't have the time this trip. I promised my wife I would be home this month sometime. Besides I did finally find lots of sun and warm days here in Phoenix. In fact I gave that Goldwing another try. I took it down the highway, then road it around town a little to do some more dodging and weaving through city traffic. Starting to get a feel for the weight and all. This time around I liked it a little more, I'm beginning to see what you all like about them. Still one thing I noticed was a burn between my shoulders that I haven't experienced since my VStrom. I'm sure it has to do with how the handle bars are set and that could be changed, right?? Also, don't find the stock seat quite as comfortable as my Sargent seat on my BMW.

 

So here's a few shots of the Wing I've been riding around:

 

DSC01102.jpg

 

The garage it's kept in is nice enough to live in.

 

DSC01107.jpg

 

It really is a nice bike, and the house ain't bad either.

 

OK, back to the trip...

 

DSC00901.jpg

Heading down the Oregon coast I ran across this cool bridge.

 

After this you actually get down to the Ocean. The wind was blowing pretty hard and it would go from almost clear to pouring rain as each squall moved through. I was finding it hard to stop and shoot pictures, the rhythm you get into as your booking down the coast road really gets messed up when you stop and I was afraid the rain was going to take out my camera.

 

DSC00902.jpg

 

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The storms were making some great surf.

 

So here's the deal with my cameras. I brought 2 just in case I had problems, but I messed up anyway. Like I mentioned earlier, my first camera's battery went dead and it turns out I forgot or lost the charger. The second camera has a different memory card and a special cable to connect it to my computer, I didn't bring the cable or a card reader so couldn't get any pictures off this camera till I got to my brothers house. I also have a movie camera, but the weather has been keeping that in it's bag. I bought a card reader today so I'm set for the rest of the trip.

 

DSC00907.jpg

 

The Washington, Oregon and northern California coast are some of my favorite places in the world. On a hike many years ago, I had 80 degrees and sun, hail, snow, and rain all in the same day. The squalls and storms coming in were unbelievable. I love the way the rocks are out in the water, with the wave crashing over them.

 

DSC00909.jpg

 

More coming... need to get some dinner.

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dwsonar

Great pics and story, keep em coming. Stay safe.

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AspectOne

Yes sir the first thing to do to a wing is ergonomic, replace the seat with a road sofa or if you prefer a more firm seat a corbin wil do, get the bars set right and then find you a good resting place for highway pegs, lots of folks are going to the mick o pegs now.

 

 

 

Fantastic shots bro!!! Have not seen the ocean since last year/ I gotta get moving!:COOL:

 

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tenorjazz

Which would you rather do, a trip report or ride a bike all day? Well while I'm waiting for my bike to get fixed, I've been riding the Wing. Got a couple hundred miles on it now and it's starting to feel more comfortable.

 

Hope to get back to the ride report tomorrow.

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Cactus_Jack

found any where interesting yet?

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tenorjazz

What the heck.. who needs to sleep :twitch:

 

Loved this picture...

 

DSC00914.jpg

 

I have one day to get to Southern California, because there is a break in the storms that gives me one day of sun and then it's suppose to go back to "crazy" rain and storms from northern California all the way up to Washington. Not terribly tough if I don't stop too often.

 

DSC00916.jpg

 

Heading into Northern California I saw this elk herd. Got to stay alert!!

 

I'm heading into big tree country, the Redwoods. I would really like to take some time going through here, but need to push south. Many years ago my wife and I were hiking in the Olympic Mountains up in Washington, and after 3 days of hiking in the rain we decided we would head south till we found sunshine. We ended up in the Redwoods. This place is really magical. We hiked out into the tall trees and were able to camp by a river surrounded by these ancient giants. This time through I only made a brief stop.

 

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One last bit in the rain as I come over a low pass...

 

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Moving down into wine country I was hoping to ride through the Napa valley, but that would take me too far east... need to keep moving south. There was this giant flag hanging from a tree, and lot's of politacal signs all over, kind of different, almost seemed like there was a battle field here or something.

 

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This is very beautiful country with the new vines and trees on the rolling green hills.

 

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The sky was amazing!!

 

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I really needed to get booking to get south so I put the camera away, put my head down and raced for a little town called "Peach Blossom". I got there at dusk and couldn't find a motel and had to back track to Palmdale. It was getting late, I think I had been riding about 10 hours and I was beat. I got a room and passed out.

 

The next day was the big push to get to my brothers place in Phoenix. I checked Mapquest to see the distance (384 miles) and it should have taken about 6 hours. I was really tired and so I made a lot of stops to help me stay alert. It took me close to 9 hours. Turns out the mapquest mileage is to the city center, and I had to go about another 40-50 minutes east of Phoenix.

 

DSC00937.jpg

 

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Looks like I really hit the dry stuff now!!

 

Well I finally made it to my brothers place and this is what greeted me.

 

DSC00939.jpg

 

What a nice place to soak and wash off all those miles.

 

Tomorrow I'll bring you up to date on my BMW problems and hopfully will be back on the road by Thursday.

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tenorjazz

found any where interesting yet?

I don't know Cactus Jack... what do you think!

 

 

 

Actually just traveling across this beautiful country has all been interesting to me. Everything from the waterfalls and flood waters in the NorthWet, to the Ocean, Mountains and Redwoods and on into the desert has been great. There was a section of land that I passed just coming into Arizona that reminded me of Ewan and Charlie traveling across Mongolia in "Long Way Round".

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tenorjazz

Cactus Jack... I just noticed, your just south of me right now...

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Cactus_Jack

I meant while you where riding around on the wing. The run up to Globe isn't bad, keep heading on to Show Low and it get down right Impressive

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tenorjazz

Thanks for the suggestion, I might try to run up that way tomorrow.

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Joep

I have been on that stretch of Pearblossom hwy.. yeah ain't nothing in the "towns" on that road.. Palmdale, Lancaster, or on to San Berdo...Victorville or Antelope Valley

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AspectOne

NICE BRO!!! Love ride reports like this!

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beenshot

nice pics. hope i can get out west someday and see some of that. keep 'em comin'

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tenorjazz

The wait if finally over...

 

Here's a quick recap.

 

I got into Phoenix last Friday night and the next day went to get an oil change. I decided to not do it myself cause I didn't want to deal with the used oil. I asked the guys to go over the bike to make sure there wasn't anything serious I needed to be worried about. They spot some oil weeping out between the engine and transmission. Looks like a "rear seal" going out. Apparently when it lets go engine oil blows by and gets all over the clutch. Part for this fix are about $80, labor is about $800. If the seal blows the clutch needs to be replaced... another $1000. They won't know the extent of the problem till they get the bike apart and you guessed it, I needed the full meal deal. I understand you are not suppose to curse on this forum so let me just say :rage::rage:

 

Got to get it fixed if I'm going home, so I bite the bullet and now 5 days later it's fixed. I get to hit the road tomorrow.

 

One things for sure, they shouldn't let you see your bike when it is being repaired:

 

DSC01110.jpg

OUCH... :CRY:

 

DSC01111.jpg

Here's the oily clutch plate

 

DSC01112.jpg

I'm pretty sure there shouldn't be any oil here.

 

DSC01115.jpg

 

It went from looking like this to back up and running in 4 hours, man that looks like 7 days worth of work if I was doing it.

 

 

 

While I was waiting for the bike to get fixed, I did get a chance to hike a little ways up Superstition Mountain one day.

 

DSC01083.jpg

That's my brother (the goldwing guy)

 

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It was a forest of cactus.

 

DSC01086.jpg

There were some really cool strange plants in bloom.

 

DSC01091.jpg

 

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Love the color of these flowers

 

DSC01101.jpg

Nice veiw when you get up a ways.

 

Also went to a flyin/breakfast while I was hanging in Phoenix. My brothers a pilot, can fly everything from helicoptors to multi-engines.

 

DSC00955.jpg

Pretty sure this play was from the 30's

 

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The guy flying this P51 rebuilds warbirds. These planes are awsome!!

 

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This and the other P51 flew in together. When the pulled up and both those Merlin engines were going, the ground shook.

 

DSC00962.jpg

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Loved this radial engine. Use to know the name of this plane, but can't remember now.

 

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Could you imagine landing this on the deck of a carrier?

 

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This is some eastern european jet, vintage early 50's. About the same time as the US Saber Jets.

 

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A couple of my favorites. I got to fly one of these once.

 

 

 

 

 

Well it's about time to start loading gear on my bike so I can get out of here in the morning. I will be camping on the way home so don't know when I can get back on, but I will when I can.

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