Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
Recent ride from Gorham Maine to Tucson
I got a late start heading home to Tucson from Maine, December 1st.
Around two weeks earlier I started home but only made it around 250 miles before I had to turn back because of a fuel leak.
When I re-installed the fuel rail and injectors after installing new throttle cables, and finally getting the CC to work, I got one of the clips holding the injector to the fuel rail on at an angle. The leak didn't show up until I headed down an interstate.
After I fixed the leak I waited for a window of three days when it wouldn't rain or snow. It took about two weeks before I would have three days of no rain and no snow. I figured that if the wx turned very cold I could use those days to just keep riding south until it warmed up a little.
Fortunately the wx during the first week of Dec stayed warm for Dec.
Like many, I have been hearing about the infamous dragon for a few years now. For some reason I had assumed it was like getting off the Blue Ridge Parkway and heading down the switchbacks to a town; something I had done a few times when I rode the Parkway on my way from Mass to Tucson many years ago.
I was astonished by how wrong I was about riding the Dragonónothing like I had imagined (I'm already dreaming about riding it a few times in 2012).
I took pixs the day I headed to the Dragon but none of The Dragon because I was having so much FUN, and sunset was approaching. I decided it was more important to finish The Dragon in daylight than it was to take pixs.
As I rode north to Ten, from The Dragon the sunset. About an hour or two later I made it to my hotel, the Comfort Inn in HARRIMAN TN.
The night manager insisted I park my bike in front of the Hotel entrance so that no one would touch it. A couple of other places did the same thing.
I chose Harriman so that when i got up the next day I would be close to The Devil's Triangle.
I would have gone back and ridden The Dragon again but the forecast was for it to turn colder with rain--it did.
Many times I would be stopped some place and people would just come up and start talking to me. Many mentioned they rode or had ridden bikes or just wanted to know about the LT.
I arrived here in Tucson the evening of Dec 10th.
Since I've arrived home I haven't be rained on once! And I've gone from riding in lower 30s-40s to riding in 60s and 70s.
My AeroStich suite and Gerbings jacket and pants liners kept me warm and dry on my trip.
Once the wx turned colder and started raining, some times heavy rain, it was rare for me to see someone riding a motorcycle. As I left Ft Worth I followed someone riding a sports bike. After about an hour or so he pulled off the interstate. The next time I saw someone riding a bike was near the Texas New Mexico boarder. He was riding from New Mexico into Texas. We both waved furiously at each other.
The next rider I saw was one I met at night in a gas station in Southern AZ. It was around freezing when we met. He and his wife has left Northern AZ that morning. Northern AZ is like southern CO, very cold compared to here. They were both telling me how they went through freezing fog early that morning.
Hotels along the way were $800.51
The most expensive, $136.00, was when I stopped in Big Spring Texas, the middle of No-Where!
It was getting late at night and the temp was in the lower 30s. So I elected to stop riding and find a hotel. Since I wasn't near any medium sized or large towns I figured it would be inexpensive. It turns out that out there in the middle of No-Where there are a lot of crews working on oil rigs. The companies that send the workers out there rent multiple rooms every night for their workers. If one of those companies didn't rent a room for you, you pay the tourist passing through price.
The most expensive meal I had $26.50 was in Big Spring Texas. Everyone of the hotel-motels I stayed at had a list of places that would deliver pizza to your room. The two times I did that before it cost around $12.00 to $15.00 including a tip for the delivery person.
Food for my trip cost $140. When I left Gorham I bought two pounds of sliced turkey, tortillas, butter, Quick Oats for breakfast, and took to big bags of frozen vacuum sealed chili I made for the trip.
Fuel costs around $444.00
Shipping my bike from Tucson to Gorham ME, less than $1,000; plane ticket to fly out to Maine was $190. Total around $1,200
Riding from Gorham ME to Tucson, around $1,400
3 days of sunny wx riding around VA, WV, NC, TN plus experiencing the infamous Dragon, Priceless.
5 days of riding interstates, better than anything I would have been doing in Tucson if I had flown home.
Best from Tucson
"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson