|From Behind My Eyes - The Adventures of Tim Stubbe||
24 hours to go!!!!! Bike is packed, Trailer is packed and I registered with RFTW getting my rider package yesterday. Seems like every hotel in the Rancho Cucamogna and Ontario Area are packed with motorcycles. Nearly 200 bikes were at the host hotel yesterday getting in on the early registration. So today just a quck oil and filter change. Then the RFTW & FNG (fine new guys) rider orentation at 2PM and BBQ that starts at 5:30.
I'll probably spend a sleepless night (just like last year) before heading to Victoria Gardens to line up in our riding platoons and a 7:45AM start time for the Run For The Wall. We will end the day tomorrow in Williams Arizona camping at the Williams Middle School.
I know like last year once we get on the road the butterflies will subside and the adventure will start.
One week today, the RFTW check in and breifings will start.. Everything is pretty much packed and the bike and trailer are ready.
As usual the week before Run For The Wall begins is hectic with a lot of last minute check lists. Packing Clothes, Making sure everything is in the trailer, tent, sleeping bag, and cooking stuff. Loading some snacks to much on. Freezing Water bottles. Dual purpose keeps cooler cold and a source of cold water to drink. No bit of space is wasted for a trip this size.
Those usual stomach flutters are present that keep me pacing during the day. Not nearly as much as last years Adventure, what with having more knowledge about long days riding. Yesterday we got rain here in So Cal, so I took that oppertunity to get the rain gear on and take a spin to make sure it works well. Fortunatetly it worked great.
After Tuesdays 5/14 registration and breifing/bbq I'll be headed back home with a fellow SCRC'r Greg Ponton. Greg will spend the night at my house so he doesn't have to ride from the South Bay at 0'Dark'30 wednesday morning.
Wednesday morning we'll head over to Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga meeting up with our Platoons and getting our final instructions. Leaving Victoria Gardens, first the Central Route (the one I'm in) headed up I-15 towards the first fuel stop, Barstow, then East toward Airzona. Forcasted weather in Needles 99 degrees. The Southern Route will head east on I-10 towards Phoenix passing through Blythe Ca where the temps are estimated to be 102. Both Hot and Dry first days.
Wednesday Night we will land in Williams Az, where we will camp at the local Middle School,
I'll try to post as frequently as I can on this blog...
Thanks for following my second great adventure.
Well its been awhile since I posted to my webpage. After my 13494 mile trip and a nice 2012 of relaxing short rides, I've gotten the bug to get back out on the road for another adventure.
This time I will be joining a large contingent of Veterans riding from Rancho Cucamonga California to Washington D.C. to participate in "Rolling Thunder" on Memorial Day weekend. I'll be posting as the May 15th departure date nears. I hope that you will enjoy my next adventure.
Thursday Morning and my last day on the road. Leaving San Simeon headed south down Highway 1, the Pacific Ocean on my right, waves rolling into the beach. A light morning fog covering the coast. I rode down Hwy 1 to Morro Bay then inland to San Luis Obispo. Picking up 101 again and my trek homeward. My head was swimming with images of where I had been and what I had accomplished. I kept hearing my friends voice in my head "You know it will be hard" and he was right. Yeah the first 8 weeks were a breeze with fair weather and following winds making the trip a delight. The last 2 weeks though had their hurdles. Rain, Heat and Cold all usually combined with Wind or Humidity.
Those days tested my metal so to speak. Was I really up for the challenge of the elements coming back west. Those days filled with long miles and lonely spaces, but also filled with magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains and Cascades. I can only imagine what the pioneers felt when they saw these mountain ranges as I did from 100 miles away with there snow capped peaks in the middle of June.
I topped of my tank in Simi California and rode the last 80 miles home. Pulling into my driveway with both relief and regret that the adventure was complete.
I thought about all the people I had met along the way.
Ed Skvor my riding buddy who rode to Blythe the first day and told me "You Know It Will Be Hard" and I could tell it was killing him that he couldn't go along.
My friend Bob Kendall who rode parts of the route with me and showed me a great time in South Carolina who made me laugh more than once,and also kicked me in the ass when the rain started falling in North Carolina and got me to overcome my fears of weather and stop being a fair weather rider.
Johnny Compton and his wife Sharon in Hammond La. The last time I saw Johnny was when I left Vietnam and it was nice to reconnect.
Gary Sanders in Alabama who rode down to Dauphin Island to camp with us and showed me the gulf coast and provided me with much needed info on riding the South.
Mike Marrion in Richmond who drove in the rain to Fredericksburg just to meet up with me. Mike was getting ready to start out on his own adventure.
Bill Jones who took me on some roads in New Jersey and New York along the Delaware River where we got caught in a rain storm.
Jeff Prince who showed me around Massachusetts, including buying me dinner, then rode up to Maine with me.
Ken Gansel who took me on a tour through the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and the surrounding area. Sites I could have never found on my own.
All my co-workers in Brecksville Oh, Indianapolis In, Hoffman Estates, Il , St Louis, Mo and San Ramon Ca, that I had talked to for years on the phone but never met face to face. Jeramy Foltz and Robin Lively, Joe Mrotzek who provided a soft bed to sleep in. My N-Laws who put up with me for 10 days in New Jersey where the rain and heat and humidity almost drove me crazy.
The Cousins I met on the road David, Cyndie, Dennis.
My friend Ed Aguilar who I dedicated this ride to.
All the people that sent me email with encouragement and offers of places to stop and ride that I never got to or had to miss because of weather. To those strangers I met along the road at Attractions, Gas Stations, Rest Stops, Campgrounds, Hotels and Restaurants who provided an insight to the area I was in and people in general.
The Weather Channel that was my constant evening companion as I check on the conditions ahead.
To all those people that I passed, most of whom didn't even know I was there, who let me see a little bit of what life was like in the West, South, SouthEast, NorthEast, Midwest and NorthWest.
All those friends on Facebook that gave me encouragement and moral support.
Especially my wife Nancy who understood what this trip was about and supported me, though she wasn't with me.
I know I've missed someone somewhere, there was so many but to all of you that crossed my path and helped me laugh and cry and helped me realize just how great a life I've had and the adventures I am looking forward to having....
Well here I sit in San Simeon California, my last night out before a short 5 hour sprint home. I spent last night with my cousin Dennis and his wife Jane, with some great conversation. After a great breakfast, I headed out to San Fransisco. The weather perfect and for once there was no fog or clouds or nasty weather when I got to the Golden Gate bridge.
After a stop in San Ramon to have lunch with some co-workers at the at&t complex, I turned the bike south again to head down to Monterey and then down the famous Hwy 1. A fitting road to top of my trip with.
Ending my night in San Simeon California I spend my last night at the lcoal Quality Inn and had an excellent Steak Diner before retiring. As I lay there in bed my last night, all I could think about was all the places and people I had met and what a challenge the last 10 days had been. Tomorrow homeward..
After spending a evening in Eureka, having a all to rare on this trip, home cooked meal with my friend Joe and his wife, I headed south again to meet up with my cousin Dennis and his wife Jane. The morning started out pretty overcast with a forecast for rain, so I headed out early to see if I could ride out of it, which I did. Stopping in Garberville, Ca for breakfast at a diner. As I rode down the small streets of this little village the oder of ...errrrr herbal medicines was so strong it was a wonder I didn't get high just passing through the town. I noted that there were several what I call "Local Color" which in the 60's were called "Street People" with clouds of smoke wafting about their heads. Apparently the local authorities have no interest in them. After a nice omelette and small bowl of fruit I again picked up Hwy 101 and headed south through some beautiful redwood forests. I met up with my cousin Dennis in Petaluma (he was riding his Vstar 1100) and after lunch followed him back to his home in Woodacre. We spent a pleasant evening having dinner at a Mexican restaurant and talked of old times, family and our experiences in Vietnam. It was nice seeing Dennis again after so long.
After spending Saturday morning riding over to Medford Oregon to get a new front tire, (the old one was pretty worn), I packed up as I have done over the last eleven weeks and headed out from Keno Oregon. Bidding my farewells to both Edward and His brother Edgar and thanking them for their hospitality, I rode down to the small gas station in town and topped off with fuel. Once set I pointed Big Reg for the Oregon border which was only a few miles away. As I got to the agricultural check point on the California border, the tule fog settled in for the next 20 miles. For those that don't know what "tule fog" is. Its a fog that cover the ground maybe 50 high. For about 18 miles I rode through this fine mist, but clearing a hill and climbing out of the fog I got presented with this site..
Mt Shasta, in California!!!
Now if thats not a "Welcome Back To California" moment I don't know what is.
I progressed from there to Yreka, California and then south and west through the Trinity Forest and Trinity River to Eureka, where I'm spending the evening with a old friend and co-worker.Joe Mrotzek.
Its really good to be back in California. Tomorrow, I'll be riding from here to Woodacre California where my cousin lives and spend the night. It's good to be back in California and nice to know that my adventure is coming to a safe and happy end..
I arrived on Friday afternoon at my friend Ed Aguilar's after a pretty soggy ride from "The Dalles" Oregon. Ed as you might remember suffered a series of strokes a week before I started my adventure. While talking to him, I had told him that I was going to be going to Graceland to visit Elvis and the mansion. I also told him there was a Harley Davidson Dealer there and that I'd pick up a t-shirt for him when I was there. This I did on April 22nd and stowed it away in my saddle bags. 9000 plus miles later, I knocked on the door and when he answered, I said "Special Delivery from Graceland" and handed him the shirt. It was a special moment for both of us and the look on his face was priceless. Its always nice to know that you have made a friend happy.
I listened to it thunder and saw the flash of lightening all night last night. The weather report for the ride today was "rain". So getting up and getting a early start, dressed in my rain gear, I headed south. The clouds threatening and I could see showers ahead sometimes to my left or right as the road took me between the storms. After reaching Bend Oregon without getting wet, I had breakfast and then continued south. About 80 miles from Klamath Falls the rain started.
Now when I stated this trip I was terrified of riding in the rain. Hey I'm from California and we don't get enough rain to worry about it. I dreaded it, feared it and would do anything not to ride in it. Then came the North Carolina ride day, where Bob Kendall and I spent 8 hours slogging though it. Then came Portland Maine when I holed up 2 days because of the rain and finally did 266 miles through Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to get out of the perpetual storm.
Today when the rain came, I said "Bring it on", No longer the frightened of the elements, I plowed through the rain for 80 miles and when I got to Klamath Falls I felt a sense of relief that I now knew how to ride in the stuff. I kept thinking about something a friend had told me.."Tim, you know it will be hard", and I laughingly said "If it was easy, everyone would do it" little did I know. Well It was hard, but it changed me for the better. Its made me a better rider because of it. Its always good to learn what your made of.
So I'll spend some time with my friend and head out on Sunday, most likely taking a couple of days to get there.
This trip is ending its 10th week and the miles and time away from home are starting to take there effeect. The closer I get to the finish the quicker I want to get there. This is no more apparent than my ride from Missoula Montana to "The Dalles Oregon" about 463 miles. Taking the Lewis and Clark Trail Hwy 12 which winds through Idaho and the LoLo National Forest. The same route that Lewis and Clark took in 1803 to get to the Pacific Ocean.
Pressing on from Idaho into Washington (Walla Walla), and then southwest to "The Dalles, Oregon" another 460+ mile day. With rain predicted for Friday, I'm planning to head south to Klamath Falls Oregon in the morning. There I"ll meet up with Ed Aguilar (see dedication tab) and give him the "Graceland Harley Davidson" shirt I picked up for him 9000 miles ago in Memphis Tennessee.