Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fall 2015 Road Trip (5,348 Miles)

I'm just wrapping up a Fall 2015 Road Trip that covered 5,348 miles and gave me an opportunity to see some sights from my wish list that are long overdue. October is a great time to fit in such a trip since it seems that the Holidays consume most of the rest of the year. Below is the general road trip plan, that excludes the many side loops that I got in along the way.

Details of my Fall 2015 Road Trip are in these seven Posts (linked):

The trip started on October 7th when I took a two day, leisurely ride up to Birmingham, Alabama to attend the Barber Vintage Festival. The Barber Fest is one of two vintage motorcycle festivals that the Big Versys and I attended. The other was the AMA Vintage Days in Lexington, Ohio. Both are great events.

From Birmingham, I rode 504 miles to Ozark, Arkansas and spent a good deal of a cool Fall day riding the Ozark Pig Trail and a number of other great roads in the Ozark Mountains. I was really impressed with this country and have a note to make a specific trip here next year.

From Ozark, I rode across Oklahoma and into Shamrock, Texas where I stayed on Historic Route 66. The next morning, I rode west to Amarillo and then down to Roswell, New Mexico. The reason I rode to Roswell was not to find aliens, but to pick up what was supposedly a good ride from Roswell up to Willard through the New Mexico deserts. Not a bad ride and there was nothing out there and I mean nothing. On this side trip I hit the 15,000 mile mark...and my GPS started doing wonky things. And that's why I carry maps. I'd ripped the specific pages I may need out of an Atlas.

From Willard, I targeted Arizona where we did a number of things. Arizona is a state I've been to a couple times in the saddle, but have never gotten the chance to really explore. Here are a few of things we did and places we visited while in Arizona.

  • Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks
  • Meteor Crater
  • Grand Canyon
  • Superstition Mountains
  • Apache Trail
I found that the Petrified Forest wasn't all about petrified wood. If you want to see that, there are dozens of souvenir shops in any direction from the Park that will sell any size hunk of the stuff. The kewl part is the desert and natural topography. Plus National Parks are always set up nicely to ride through. Same with Canyon Land, Arches and Zion up in Utah.

I've always wanted to see Meteor Crater. It's quite a site!

Never been to the Grand Canyon before. It's endless! And the colors are amazing. You just don't see the spectrum of color in the Canyon by looking at my pictures.

How would you like to take a dual sport down into that?

 These below are the Superstitions. You can see them looming on the horizon from Mesa all the way into Apache Junction, Arizona.

This below is my favorite photo of the trip. It was taken at the bottom of Fish Creek Hill on the Apache Trail.

After Arizona, I rolled over to Kerrville, Texas (just east of San Antonio) and spent a day riding the Hill Country. I'd been there once before in connection with an Adventure Challenge, but wasn't able to enjoy as much of it as I was on this ride.

After the Texas Hill Country I headed back to Tampa. Upon my return I'd covered 5,348 miles in 14 days. That brings the tally in total miles on the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT to 18,293 since I purchased the motorcycle on March 31. Not bad, but it's ranked second. I have a road trip back in 2012 that covered over 12,500 over 36 days.

Check out the following seven (7) posts covering all the details and many more pictures of the Fall 2015 Road Trip.

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