Cross Country Dream Trip


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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tgm7208
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:07 am
Location: Lewisburg, WV, USA
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE

Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby tgm7208 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:06 am



Good morning, Goldwing World. My name is Terry and I'm a brand new member to GoldwingDocs.com, and this is my very first post. I'm not much of a blogger or forum reader, but I was hoping for some tips and advice from the pros. I'm getting ready to depart on my cross-country motorcycle dream trip, a 10,000 mile journey around the perimeter of this great country. I leave July 4th and return home July 31st. I had to beg, plead, and do some other things that I'm not so proud of to get four weeks off work, but I got it. So, in three weeks, I'll be in the wind.

Here's the trip in a nutshell: leave wild, wonderful West Virginia on Independence Day (appropriate, huh?), travel through Ohio into Michigan, around Lake Huron to Mackinaw City, cross over and hit US Rt. 2, follow it to Washington, around the Olympic Peninsula, down the pacific coast to San Diego, east along the southern perimeter through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, the Gulf states, and back home through the Carolinas. 29 days, 22 states, and 10,000 miles. I've been planning this trip for 25 years, and I'm finally going.

I'll be making the voyage on a 2000 GL1500 Special Edition. Again, I've had 2 1/2 decades to plan this adventure, but I could still use some tips or suggestions from anyone who has the time to pass 'em on. What should I pack that I haven't thought of? What should I leave behind? What food, treats, beers, or delicacies do I have to try on the way (i.e. a "pasty?" in northern Michigan)? Weather tips riding through the Rockies and the Pacific northwest? Travel and traffic advice along the PCH? Sites and attractions along my route that I shouldn't miss, or short diversions that I should make? Best pain meds for a sore rear end? And of course, any tips to save money would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all who read and/or reply. RIDE ON!



harvey01
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby harvey01 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:38 pm

WoW, sounds like a wonderful trip. You might want to look into the Four Corners Tour sponsored by the Southern California Motorcycling Association. It is a little more than you are planning but then what the heck! Website: http://sc-ma.com/rides/usa-four-corners-tour-site

Be ready for extreme heat in the southwest--carry water and drink a lot. You might consider an evaporative vest and traveling at night. Actually in July this will be true in many areas even along the Gulf Coast.

You did not mention if you are camping or motel? This certainly makes a difference. If motelling make sure you start looking for a motel by 1700hrs as they start to fill at 1800. Reservations are a wise idea if you are going to be in a high tourist area, Also be aware of heavy traffic near large cities like LA. It pays to avoid if possible.

Be careful on US RT 2, It is well known for serious crashes. I have ridden a good part and it is a two lane road and folks may pass at the wrong spot and misjudge oncoming vehicles.

Remember those long road segments can get very lonely at times so be mentally ready. Unless you have Sirius or XM radio or MP3, expect to loose radio stations every 100 miles or so.

If you have AAA they can make you a trip tik of the route and list a lot of fun things to do. I would also suggest some form of roadside assistance such as GWRRA's Rescue Plus, MTS, Good Sam's roadside assistance or the plan through the AMA. Obviously you want a cell phone and a few credit cards. It is always a good idea to have extra key/s to the bike hidden in case you lock the key in the trunk or whatever. Many folks today suggest an alternate credit card also hidden on the bike. Let the issurers of your credit cards know the time frame and basic route of travel. Some companies do monitor your purchases and if stuff starts showing up a couple states away from home they may put a hold on your card till they know the charges are valid. This can be avoided before travel. Because of the long distances from the Mississippi to the Rockies and the West Coast you obviously want a cell phone. Some providers will also provide a sat phone which will work in areas where there is no cell service but this can be expensive even for just a month.

Another thing to consider is a tracking device such as a Spot Tracker, which can be used to send an emergency message for help as well as allow family and friends to track your progress. And let folks know where you are going. A few years ago a Wing Rider without a Spot, ran off the road in a sparsely populated area and his remains were found by hunters several months later. This is even more important if you are by yourself.

Stuff to pack: tools, there is no point in taking a tool you don't know how to use. Some guys make sure they have a tool to fit every nut and bolt on their bike some don't even have the toolkit that came with the bike. So choose what you might use. The GWRRA Gold Book is full of phone numbers of folks willing to help. Pack as few clothes as possible, carry a couple rolls of quarter to use in the laundry. I like to carry a small bottle of laundry detergent and softner as it is a lot cheaper than buying at a laundrymat. Many motels do have a washer and dryer available.

Carry as few clothes as you think you can get away with. I do carry two jackets, a mesh for the heat and my regular for wet and cold days. Obviously rain gear to include either waterproof boots or something to slip over the boots such as Exigents excellent boot covers: http://www.exigentbikecovers.com/shop/c ... ssories/3/

Feel free to PM me if you want additional thoughts or ideas.

By the way some or the best riding in the USA is in WV. You have some really great roads.
harvey
Ride Safe and Ride Often

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djoyner
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby djoyner » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:50 pm

I am planning a similar trip in July from Virginia to Glacier NP, Lolo Pass, the PCH, San Francisco, etc. Here are a few links to discussions I started on other forums that may be of use:

http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?34840-West-Coast-Trip-Advice

http://gl1800riders.com/forums/showthread.php?560665-Suggestions-Advice-for-My-2015-West-Coast-Road-Trip

As far as what to take: air compressor, tire repair kit, first aid kit, tool kit, etc.
D J
2006 VTX 1300S
1978 GL1000
1985 GL1200 Interstate
1995 GL1500 Interstate

Visit me at:[url http://www.dennisjoyner.net][/url]

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themainviking
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby themainviking » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:56 pm

Just to amplify the problems and solution to the heat you may encounter in July. It can be a real drain on the attention span, alertness and physical stamina. When I travel in that area of the country, I keep an eye on the next day's heat forecast, and have been known to stop at 2 PM, check into a motel, have a cool shower and go to bed till 11 PM or so. Then I get up, have a good brekky at a Denny's or some such, and ride at night. Then again, being from mid north Canada, perhaps you can survive a lot more heat than I can.

The only adverse ideas to this are that you can miss some daytime only scenery.

I have done that trip and it is more than worth the time. I did the southern portion in what would be considered the winter months.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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tgm7208
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:07 am
Location: Lewisburg, WV, USA
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby tgm7208 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:06 pm

Thanks everyone for the GREAT information. I wish I would have joined this site months ago. The July heat is a major concern for me. I originally planned to make this trip in September, but my brother wants to go along for the initial portion, and he could only go in July. I don't relish the thought of travelling at night, because my whole purpose is to ride the roads and see the country. But, if the heat becomes unbearable, I'll do what I need to do. More likely, I'll cut down on my travel distances per day and stop more often and for longer durations to cool down. I plan to mix between camping and motels to keep costs down, and some night's decision will be based on the weather. No satellite radio, but I do have a loaded up MP3. I am in AAA, but am also going to look into Spot Tracker as well. Thanks again for the tips, and I hope they keep coming.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:52 pm

The SPOT tracker is great because all of us here can watch and see where you're going (if you so decide)! :)

I have a phase change cooling vest that keeps me comfortable and relatively cool in the most brutal heat:

Polar Vest Phase Change Cooling Vest

I have two sets of cooling inserts. You can "re-freeze" a set of cooling inserts in about 15-20 minutes or so by dunking them in ice water, and they will last quite a while, depending on the temperature.

I would also highly recommend a set of "Hand Wings" for your GL1500. I have a set on my 2000 SE, and they provide more cooling air than any other product I've used: http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/gl1500_hand_wings/18925

green bean
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby green bean » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:19 pm

Sounds like a quite a trip planned. My wife and I have been taking motorcycle trips for the past 25 or so years, most 1 to 2 weeks long. The past 15 years we leave right after Labor Day, seems like the weathers a little more stable and easier to find lodging after school has started. Also easier to add warm clothes to wear under riding jackets. Have a safe trip and ride defensive.

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Wilcoy02
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98 valkyrie sold 8/16

Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby Wilcoy02 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:40 am

Get a camel back. Carries water and a straw so you can stay hydrated while riding.
I put counter act beads in my new tires. I decided to take them out and put in "ride on" in both tires. It balances the tires like the beads and if you get a puncture it sill seal it up.

http://www.ride-on.com/

I will use the beads on my next tire after my trip.

Enjoy your ride and be safe.


Wingadmin-- Do you know how to post the spot so you can see the progress on the forum? I have the spot but still trying to figure out how to get it posted on the forum.

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wingman12
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby wingman12 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:16 pm

Terry, it sounds like you have a great trip planned. Have fun and be safe. The southern states get pretty hot so keep hydrated while riding, the hot wind will dry you out pretty quick. Quick tip for your motel stops, hit the visitors center as soon as you enter a state, they usually have a coupon book listing motel discounts, all you have to do is figure out where you are going to stop for the night, find the motel of your choice and call them and let them know you have a coupon, you can save quite a few bucks this way.

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WingAdmin
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:41 pm

Wilcoy02 wrote:Wingadmin-- Do you know how to post the spot so you can see the progress on the forum? I have the spot but still trying to figure out how to get it posted on the forum.


I just added functionality to the forum to support the SpotWalla site - this site generates trip maps for SpotWalla - which works with the Spot tracker, the DeLorme InReach tracker, an Android phone running Bubbler GPS and an iPhone running SWConnect.

You just click the "spotwalla" button and enter your trip ID, and it will insert it into the message for you, like this:


When the message is viewed, the users will see something like this:





It will automatically update whenever the trip is updated.

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maintainer
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby maintainer » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:35 pm

Why you lucky son of a...................................................................................................... ;)
1982 GL 1100 Interstate SOLD
1977 GL 1000 Standard (naked can be good, who knew?)

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dingdong
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby dingdong » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:58 am

I just returned from California, riding parts of Highway 1 and Yosemite Park. Bring plenty of money for gas. I paid as much as $4.99 for gas on the coast. You will need to allow for additional time on the Highway 1 portion of your ride. Absolutely beautiful but very slow going due to the tight twisties on a lot if it. Too bad you aren't swinging east and riding through Yosemite and across the Sierras via Tioga Pass. One of the most beautiful roads in the world in my opinion. Good luck to you and stay cool during your Southern Arizona leg of the trip. Temps will be 110º or more. If you have never been to Carlsbad Caverns in S.E. New Mexico don't pass it up. One of the best destinations of our trip. Awesome!

Tom
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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kf4nxs
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby kf4nxs » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:29 am

You have done the first and hardest part. Now is the time for planing all your stops, and in doing this now that I know you may be coming through, collect names and numbers. Yhere is a shower and spare room here in SC if you need

tgm7208
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:07 am
Location: Lewisburg, WV, USA
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby tgm7208 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:13 pm

Thanks again to everyone for the great tips and advice. It's now three days till D-Day, and even though I've been planning this trip for years, it seems like I can't get everything together. I guess that's par for the course. I signed on with SpotWalla, and if I did everything right (doubtful), this should be the link for tracking me:

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=28260#p163701 alt=

Or maybe it's this one, I'm not sure:





Anyway, I hope one of them works. Thanks again everyone.

Terry

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Wilcoy02
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 I purchased 3/16

1983 GL1100I frame with an 80 engine. poor boy installed with C-5 ignition--DIED in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada 8/15


98 valkyrie sold 8/16

Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby Wilcoy02 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:03 pm

Have a great time exploring this great country.
Keep us posted on your adventure.

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Paulcf
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Re: Cross Country Dream Trip

Postby Paulcf » Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:26 pm

And in this corner, representing Canada, is Paul!

Hey, worried about traffic? Worried about heat? Crowds? Avoid it all, come up to Canada! Daylight starts at 4am and it gets dark at 11pm (more daylight further north!) this time of year.

Breathe our fresh air, see wildlife as it is meant to be seen, in the wild environment.

And your USA dollar buys you 25% more in Canada! Yes, our gasoline is expensive, so ride slower and enjoy the scenery, the people, and the roads.

From poet Robert W. Service "The Spell of the Yukon":

It’s the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,
It’s the forests where silence has lease;
It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.


MOBILIS IN MOBILI


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