Friday, June 27th: After a wonderful night
camping by a roaring river, we cross from Canada back into the USA at Idaho. Customs pull
us over to discuss Chris NZ bike but decide to let us go. We arrive at the
campground in Glacier NP, just before sunset. Along the way, we see a mama moose with her
Saturday, June 28th: Ride the famous Road to the Sun to the main visitor
center in the middle of the park. As we pull into the parking lot, we bump into Anthony
(the one armed bandit), a fellow motorcycle traveler we met one year ago in Bolivia.
We hike up through the snow to a hidden lake and see loads of mountain goats and
beautiful scenery. Later, the 3 of us rent a small (17hp) motor boat on the lake and take
it out for an hour. Chris and I did the same thing on our last visit, 5 years ago.
Before heading back to camp, we enjoy the sunset while sipping happy-hour beers
outside the lodge -- ahh, life is good!
Monday, June 30th: North Dakota is flat but has some interesting breaks,
like the Theodore Roosevelt National Park with canyons and lots of grassy wetland with
many different kinds of birds. Minnesota is more hilly and lush with trees and lots of
lakes. We arrive in Duluth and finally get to meet Andy Goldfine, owner of Aerostich. He
gives us the royal tour and we go to dinner along with his colleague Ed, who produces
their incredible and entertaining catalogue. They take us to a colorful local favorite
hamburger place on the Wisconsin side of Lake Superior.
Wednesday, July 2nd July 4th: Long riding days through
Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and into Ohio. Boring scenery and late afternoon thunder
showers. We didnt get to see fireworks.
Saturday, July 5th: Arrive in Cincinnati and see one of my best friends
Wendy Dougherty. Now living in a cute little house and surrounded by family and friends
close by, Wendy made the change from NYC back home to Ohio a year ago. Several of her
friends and family stop in to say hello. We go to a party at her friends house that
night -- first party we've been to in ages!
Sunday, July 6th: Tom Burklow, co-founder of Trans Atlantic Bike Share, lives
nearby in Mason, OH. He invites us over and helps us do a service on the bikes.
Monday & Tuesday, still working on Chris bike (change piston rings), but
quality time with the Burklows. Tuesday night, Wendys parents invite us all out to
dinner and have a great meal of BBQd ribs, fried shrimp and special fries.
Wednesday, July 9th: After our farewell with Wendy, we continue southeast
200 miles to Charleston, West Virginia. The skies open up 3 miles from the rally
site, and we seek shelter for more than 2 hours in a Wendy's restaurant. As time
slips by, we are joined by many other bikers seeking shelter. Finally, at 7:30pm we
rode to the university and rally camping site. Ken Murphy, a close friend from NYC
is waiting for us there. It's pissing down rain when we arrive and we are soaked.
After we get the tent set up and change into dry clothes, we have a nice evening (with a
few beers) catching up with Murph while watching the barges go by in the river.
Thursday, July 10th: Check-in at the main rally site and wander through the
vendor area. Bump into Simon and Monika, another RTW m/c couple from England on a BMW
Adventure and F650GS. Benka Pulko arrived with Dan Cohen of Ayres Adventures motorcycle tour
company. Its been about 3 years since we parted with Benka back in Bangkok,
Thailand. And Dan we met about 2 years ago on the Carratera Austral in Patagonia, Chile.
He was taking another motorcycle tour at that time when we ran into his tour group heading
the opposite way on the road. Nice reunion. Met many other folks who helped us over the
years, like Steve Johnson, founder of the Chain
Gang, the club for BMW F650s and and all around great guy!
Many of our New York friends turn up, like Andy Gonzalez, Crystal Bennett, Gerry
Hoffman, Lauren Secular, Paul Kahn, and Chris Connelly. These same friends were the
ones who gave us a motorcycle escort to Kennedy Intl Airport when we left New York
more than four years ago!
Friday, July 11th: Attend the F650 Chain Gang club meeting in the morning
and are honored to receive the new Benka Award for 160,000 Kms (100,000 miles) on a
F650. Steve also presented Chris with his honorary membership and number. At
11am we gave our presentation on the "nitty gritty of global touring" to a full
room of interested future motorcycle travelers.
In the afternoon, we roamed the rally and met loads of people who have been following
our website -- great to put names and faces together! That evening, we volunteered
with other Chain Gang members to collect donations for the 50-50 charitable raffle.
Collected over $5,400 for Patchwork, a local childrens charity.
Saturday, July 12th: Had a big southern breakfast (complete with buttermilk
biscuits, cream gravy, and grits) with our New York friends Andy and Crystal, Murph and
new Tennessee friend Sean, from Knoxville. That evening we have a nice dinner out on the
town with Benka, Dan and Chuck, a friend of Dan's who we also met in
Sunday, July 13th: Take our time saying goodbye to everyone in the camping
area as we must uphold our tradition of being nearly the last ones to leave a rally!
Say goodbye also to Al and Julie Jesse on our way out of town. They were parked/camped in
the RV section with their newly refurbished bus. Hopefully they will have a nice relaxing
trip back to Phoenix and enjoy not working for a few days!