Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650 ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

July 20th, 2003.-- 50 months and 99,500 miles later...

Credit to

Glacier NP to the BMW National Rally

-- Story by Erin --

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 baby.

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 didn’t 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 friend’s 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, Wendy’s parents invite us all out to dinner and have a great meal of BBQ’d 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. It’s 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 one’s 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 children’s 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 Patagonia.

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 one’s 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!

We make it about 70 miles out of town and call it a day (or night) at a small hotel off the interstate heading south -- it's been a fun but exhausting rally!




Anthony (a.k.a. the One Armed Bandit)

He just sold his old Super Teneree for this new Tiger

Hey, what's with all the tourists?


Meet Andy Goldfine of Aerostich




Wendy Dougherty -- she's paying less for all this then a small studio in NYC


Hanging with the Burklows

Tom, Chris, Kaitlyn, Kees, Leslie, and Erin

Some quality time at the rally with Steve Johnson, Chain Gang founder


Murph and Tom Burklow discussing route options

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