We've been home for one week exactly and I'm finally getting around to finishing the bits to the Alaskan trip. My brother and nephew from Oklahoma have been in town this past week and catching up with family so excuse the delay. We did go paddling 7 miles down the Little Hocking in Ohio today.
The bikes have been scrubbed down to go over and see what's been destroyed and in need of replacements. I'll be picking up goods for the BMW this coming week, not much, mainly carb bits and a throttle cable. Dad will be getting a new wheel from Harley and he's already sent a letter expressing his concerns with H-D quality issues.
Regardless, we completed a trip that was worth all measures. All said and done, we rode just over 12,000 miles on the bikes and another 1000 in the rented SUV to hit up Prudhoe Bay north of Fairbanks, Alaska. Overall the bikes did a fabulous job, though Dad says he has more faith in a 24 year old Beemer than a 2011 Harley. Each did what was expected and the 3 of us returned safely and with a smile on our faces.
The last leg of the trip consisted of finishing off western Colorado and cruise down the eastern slopes of the Rockies into the blast furnace of the broad Great Plains of eastern Colorado and all of scenic Kansas, into the Central Plains of Illinois, Indiana, bits of Ohio and back to the wonderful Appalachians of eastern Ohio and WV.
From outside of Denver all the way through Kansas the scenery goes flat with a sea of grass all around. The heat got obscenely ridiculously HOT as soon and we got out of the Rockies. Looking back with Denver a few miles behind us, the contrast of the flat grasslands with the jutting rocks of the Rocky Mountains are something else. It goes from one extreme to the other with no in between. About 30 or so miles east of Denver we got off of I70 and got on 36 which carried us allllllllll the way to Illinois.
Kansas was Kansas. I've been across Kansas in more ways than six and it's just a large swath of land that seems almost impossible to avoid. It's refreshing getting to the eastern side and start seeing some semi hills and trees. It is breathtaking the vast land and to think the buffalo used to be thick as flies. We attacked Kansas and onto Missouri which kept at a slight roll with more trees. Just outside of Illinois we give Aunt Sharon a call for the best route to shoot us south to Effingham, IL as Grandma (Mom's Mom) had a rather bad fall and was in the hospital. We stop over and checked in with Grandma, she's in good spirits but banged up her leg and arm and is in need of a bit of rehabilitation. Mom is returning to IL tomorrow to spend more time with the family. We had a quick stay at Aunt Sharon's and Uncle Mark's, hope we didn't keep you up too late and hit the road heading south back to route 50 with WV on our minds and 8-10 hours of riding away.
We flew through Indiana into the mess that is Cincinnati traffic, our last bane. We stuck it through missing the sparse north and before we knew it we were seeing the Wild and Wonderful sign of WV above the waters of the Ohio taking us up our adored route 2 straight home.
I hope this has been a pleasure to read, I can get a bit wordy at times and very possible not make any sense. I tried to keep up as best as possible but at time proved impossible. The road to Alaska was long but on a bike, every mile is pleasure and the people you meet on the road yet again, proved to be wonderful in nature. I'm plaining on hitting the road for Maine in the next few weeks with what bit I have left and will continue to use this blog.
Again these are in no order.
I like the tracer pix. I believe this is crossing into WV.
I do know this is the sign announcing WV.
With Gary and Billy. A couple of riders we talked to for a good bit in Somewhere Indiana.
I think this is crossing into Kentucky for the Cincinnati bypass.
Just wonderful and I have no idea where this is.
The grain elevators of Kansas. These have proven to be places where to buy fuel when in need.
Mom just loves here helmet. At Mark and Sharon's, last night on the road.
Mom and Pops shadow
The patterns in the growth on the fields were pretty neat.
Wonderful Kansas scenery.
We napped here for a bit. East of Saint Joseph, MO. It was HOT.
Pumping the water.
This maybe in Atwood, KS. Pulled over for a break in the park.
Colorado went from this...
... to this in no time.
More great stuff
Mission complete. The last pic as we just pulled in the driveway.