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Old 09-11-2003, 03:43 PM   #1
kbasa
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Rode to West Virginia last July

I woke up hella early on Saturday, July 5th, 4AM and beat it out of Marin, log book in hand and route plugged into my brain. No GPS for this boy, nosirree...

I wound up at Donner Pass as the sun was coming up.


An hour later, I was on the far side of Reno and the scenery was noticeably different.


Outside of Eureka, NV, I met this nice officer. He used a Kband instant on oncoming signal to invite me to a little roadside chat. He clocked me at 92 in a 55. He let me take his picture anyway.


After a while, I got to Utah. There's a casino/watering hole right on the border, so I stopped, gassed up and peed and lost an hour without doing a damn thing wrong.


I love Utah.


My favorite sticker placement by Angry Youth of America of the whole trip:


I got to Carbondale, CO when it was dark. The next morning, this is what I saw from the parking lot:


Filthy RS:


I hate riding in Kansas. I stayed off the interstate.


I really hate riding in Kansas. I only got as far as Salina before I was really tired of what I'm sure is a wonderful state.
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Old 09-11-2003, 03:45 PM   #2
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In Knoxville, I met up with my friend Steve. Steve and I left the RS in the garage and took his SV and VFR out for a little putt putt around the Cherahola Skyway and Deal's Gap. We only had to pass two cars and traffic was light.











Apparently, K1200RSs have been to Deal's Gap, some more successfully than others.




And yep, Steve took me to the Time Warp:


The Tea Room rocks.
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Old 09-11-2003, 03:51 PM   #3
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From West Virginia, I went to Frankfort, KY, home of Buffalo Trace.


A window to salute.


Beautiful grounds.


A still.


Still.


Go to the light.....



Where bourbon comes from. We got to stick our fingers under the barrel for a little taste.
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Old 09-11-2003, 03:53 PM   #4
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I visited Maker's Mark that day too. There are lots of nice roads to get you out to the distillery, including one that goes by Heaven Hill distilleries. Insterestingly, most distilleries have a name and then a bunch of different bourbons they distill there. Buffalo Trace, for example, distills Buffalo Trace, Blanton's, Ancient Age, W.L. Weller, Salzarac and a couple more. I think they distill about a dozen different brand names at the one distillery.

Anyway, here's Maker's Mark. It was decidedly more commercialized than the Buffalo Trace experience. At BT, I felt like I was getting a tour with someone that actually knew a ton about distilling and bourbon history. He knew how all the names were interrelated throughout history, which was cool.


Where the Maker's Mark really gets made. These are the tuns where the mash is created.


That innocuous looking column in the corner is the real Maker's Mark still. All the MM you've ever had has come through that device.


After they've got the mash done, they pump it up to these giant vats. They're probably 15 feet deep. This is where they add yeast and get it to start fermenting. The sugar in the mash mixture gets converted to CO2 and alcohol. They call it "beer" at this point, since it's basically a real sweet wort without hops. It tastes just like bread. They let us taste it.


This is the outside of the distilling building. They have two bottling lines in another building, but only one was running when I was there. Over across the floor were a couple of women just yakking away and dipping bottle after bottle in the trademark red wax. No picture. I suck.




They have warehouses at Maker's Mark too, but the Buffalo Trace tour actually took you in to the place and told you how a warehouse worked. MM just talked about how barrels get made. Ho Hum.

Comparatively, here's the BT guy talking to us about how barrels get loaded and how they get shifted to take advantage of the temperature. BT had the first cliimate controlled warehouses to help keep the bourbon aging in the winter. Below 50F, bourbon stops aging.


Also, no samples at MM. At BT, were allowed tastes of both warm and chilled Buffalo Trace, along with a taste of Rain, their vodka. They claim to be the only vodka fully distilled in the United States. They do the whole thing in one place, right there in Frankfort. Other domestic vodkas get their start elsewhere and are only aged here.

Both places gave us a bourbon ball after the tour too.

Anyway, I went back to the gift shop and dipped a bottle of MM for myself. Kind of cool, actually.

Next Stop: Corvette Museum
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Old 09-11-2003, 03:54 PM   #5
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They're cars, but they're cool cars.







I like prototypes.






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Old 09-11-2003, 03:56 PM   #6
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OK, so I left Kentucky eventually. I had a way better time there than I would have ever imagined. The sideroads were pretty, the traffic was pretty much non-existent and the people I talked with were uniformly nice.

But, I had to go home.



So I rode across Kansas again.


It was hot enough that my rear tire got these little hoobers growing on it. 100F. 90MPH. Dunlop220.


And there was still more of Kansas to go.



I ran into this guy (Paul, call me Treet, Mitchell) who was from Nova Scotia and on his way to Paonia.


I spotted this place, The Safari Motel, in Limon, Colorado and knew it was operated by one of my Polska brethren.


I mean, look at that paint!

But best of all, no more Kansas and the Great Plains.
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Old 09-11-2003, 03:57 PM   #7
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Soon, I was back in the hills.






And then I was back in Utah.




Salina, UT is where I finally gave it up for the night. There was a huge thunderstorm on down 70. I was jumping off for 50 and figured I'd bag a hotel while the getting was good.
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Old 09-11-2003, 03:59 PM   #8
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Next morning, I get up early. I'm 860 from home and want to rip it in one day and just be home. I put the key in the bike, turn it and the lights come on half intensity. I push the button and all the lights go out. I wind up taking the bodywork off and pulling the battery. Like an imbecile, I've left my multimeter at home, so I can't test the battery. I pull it out and go down to the truck repair joint down the hill. They put it on the charger for me, but the battery is ailing.



I get the bike started and then consider that I'll be spending the majority of the day on Rt. 50, the Lonliest Road in America. I go to the local NAPA and buy the biggest motorcycle battery they have that will fit in my tank bag, along with a couple of battery cables and some stuff to bolt it all together. I don't want to be standing by the side of 50 and having a 250 mile tow. Salt Lake City BMW is a huge detour. I figure I'm good and set off.


Soon, I'm back in Cali.


The tankbag battery doesn't get used.


The RS gives me a toothy grin


I'm home. 860 miles in 10 hours. MrsKbasa makes me a big ol' martini and feeds me sushi and I turn into rubber. Forget motorcycles.
So I wait until Sunday to go for a ride.
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:03 PM   #9
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Awesome pics and narration bro! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:08 PM   #10
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Man you got balls the size of Mars to go on a road trip all by yourself like that. Great story. So did that officer give you a receipt? And whats out there in the midwest? I mean whats its like compared to the West Coast?
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:11 PM   #11
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Originally posted by Agent Orange
Man you got balls the size of Mars to go on a road trip all by yourself like that. Great story. So did that officer give you a receipt? And whats out there in the midwest? I mean whats its like compared to the West Coast?
Thanks. It's not hard to do. Sit on your bike, hold the throttle. Stop for gas when the light comes on. Repeat as needed. I was in Knoxville on Tuesday afternoon. The first day was tough, 1100 miles, but I got my IronButt Association certification.

And yeah, the cop gave me a ticket, but he wrote it for 80 in a 70, which is $75. I can live with that.

The midwest, at least on the interstates, is flat, has wicked crosswinds and nothing to look at. When I got down into Tennesee and the Appalachian mountains, things got better. But the stretch between Nashville and Denver is pretty forgettable.
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:15 PM   #12
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Love that pic in Carbondale, CO
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Old 09-12-2003, 01:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by kbasa
The midwest, at least on the interstates, is flat, has wicked crosswinds and nothing to look at. When I got down into Tennesee and the Appalachian mountains, things got better. But the stretch between Nashville and Denver is pretty forgettable.
Isn't that the truth? I drove from Upstate NY to the Bay Area once. The stretch from Chicago, IL to Denver, CO was PAINFUL. There is absolutely nothing in Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska and I had to listen to some awful hick music all the way across.

I love this picture:

It reminds me of my own trip because when I pulled into Denver, CO on the second day it was pitch black. I got a room at some hotel and fell asleep. I woke up the next morning, pulled the blinds back and voila! Rocky Mountains! Crossing the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Utah was absolutely glorious especially during that early spring.

Man, I'm getting wanderlust looking at those pics.
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Old 09-12-2003, 02:26 PM   #14
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great post, thanks!
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Old 09-12-2003, 02:55 PM   #15
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Originally posted by ScorpioVI

Man, I'm getting wanderlust looking at those pics.
It's a nice time of year for a ride in the deserts of the southwest.

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