Author Topic: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550  (Read 16382 times)

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Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« on: October 19, 2009, 09:36:49 am »
This report will chronicle my 32 day, 5,536.8 mile long trip from Little Rock to the Pacific coast on my 1974 CB550!

Part 0 - Technobabble

This parts for the gear heads (skip to next post for day one of the trip). I bought this bike in Iowa for 965$. #1 was dead and the primary chain, at 17,500 miles, was somehow wiped (carbs never sync'd??). I rebuilt the motor in two stages. Top end first, bottom end second. Both rebuilds were done in my bedroom. Second rebuild was extensive, basically from the frame up.

Top end:


Bottom end:


Aside from appearances she was basically a new bike by the time I left. I knew I was doing the trip during the second rebuild and left no bolt untouched. Complete engine rebuild, wheel bearings, every electrical connection cleaned, tightened and packed with dielectric grease, most all lights converted to LED's, DIY blade fuse box, headlight relay, MikesXS AGM battery, complete Dyna ignition, electronic regulator conversion, CB650 cam & tach, NOS Red Wing shocks, the list goes on and on...

Ready for destruction:




« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 08:26:48 pm by B.O.X.N.I.F.E. »
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 10:34:05 am »
Part 1 - Go West Young Man!



Cast:
Me (Trevor) and Dee Dee (aka Deed's), my 1974 CB550KO
Gord and his 1981 CX500C
Justy and his 2005 Triumph Bonneville

September 17th


We get a late start, maybe about 10am. Gord rides from about 45 miles away and tells me later he considered just not comming that morning. I spend the early hours trying to get a better seal on a drizzly oil pan. I suspect it's cracked from a high center several months ago, but keep torquing anyway. I change my oil. I have packed too much and the bike is heavier than I feel comfortable with. Also, I forgot to get a hair cut.



We set out for our day 1 destination, Tulsa, OK. Curiously Gord's bike is getting very poor mileage in the vicinity of 30 mpg. We had his motor out of the bike just two days before to replace the stator and chalk it up to a tuning issue. We make it to Tulsa where I meet my girlfriend in a bar. She is visiting and has arranged for us to crash at her friends house. The tent remains packed...






« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 08:29:18 pm by B.O.X.N.I.F.E. »
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 06:34:55 pm »
September 18/19

The mpg situation with the CX500 deteriorated rapidly. 30 mpg turned into about 50 miles per tank as we moved towards Tulsa. We ended up spending two awful days in Tulsa wrenching on the bike. I can't say for sure what it was. We went through the carbs with surgical precision and switched to premium grade fuel. I adjusted the valves and did some other tinkering. 40+/- mpg was the end result and we were back on the road. The trip almost ended before it began though. He seriously considered heading back.



This Suzuki GT550 was a neat little bike. We met up with this fella at a toll booth heading west into the OK panhandle on HWY 412. It's a two stroke tripple! Said it was a rare bike.



The day ended with a party foul on Gord's part. He knocked my bike over at a gas station, pulverizing the front right indicator. Then the tach needle stuck, and while thumping the face to free it up I busted the glass. Stumbling out of the gate...


1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 07:00:11 pm »
We stayed the night at Boiling Springs state park in OK. Ran into some rowdy raccoons who ate a hole in a quart of oil. Our Eureka Apex, aka home away from home:



The steeds



This ladies and gents is the OK panhandle. This goes on forever and it's a lot of fun to ride through.





Amazing sunset



That night we made it to Clayton Lake state park. We arrived late and rode down what I'm guessing was a service road for park staff. Riding in we saw an animal that neither of us has come to agreement on what it was. Gord swears it was a baby buffalo. My mental state (freaked out) led to a conclusion of wolf or couger. This is what I was thinking of as Gord led us down a narrow dirt road along Clayton Lake. Eventually we turned around and found camp. A raging fire soothed my freaked mind and we enjoyed the starry-est sky I'd seen in my life.








1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline seaweb11

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 07:06:12 pm »
Nice to see another travel blog ;D  Just didn't expect them in Octobeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr!!!
Camping too...... ;D

Sounds great so far "minus the (go home attitude) of your 2nd"  ::)

You left the house with a serious journey in your head. Have at er!!!!

 When you get to Santa Monica Pier CA, on your way off the pier go across the street to the left and have a beer for me. ;D ;D  Hit that bar at 6:30 am back in 1980 ;).......long night.

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 08:03:30 pm »
I think he was fighting his gut instict... just wait till you see what happens... :( He definetely wanted to make it happen and was happy to be there

October was great, cool enough to sleep at night and beautiful south west days. Should have left two weeks earlier though, as was originally planned.
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline Stev-o

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 09:14:58 pm »
Reminds me of my trip years ago - 31 days on my Kaw! 7000 miles, 10 states, mostly camping in Colorado and saw snow on the way to Yelowstone in Wyoming in June!

Can't wait to read the rest!!
'74 "Big Bang" Honda 750K [836].....'71 Honda 750K project.....'76 Honda 550F.....K3 Park Racer.....K5 Fiddy Dolla Special!......and a Bomber!............plus plus plus.........

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 11:59:42 am »
We crossed into New Mexico and it was great. The landscape got unfamiliar, both bikes running great, birds landing on our shoulders... that type of stuff. Really beautiful.







Our destination for the evening was Taos. I was hoping I'd be one of the unlucky souls plauged by the 'Taos Hum'. I guess at this point you're ramping up the eastern edge of the Rockies. It gets cold. Then it gets colder and you say '#$%*, it's cold'. Ominous clouds roll in and a local at a gas station lets you know about a trecherous mountain pass going to Taos. Gord and I reach the 25 North onramp and wuss out. We head south for Santa Fe, and looking over our shoulders at the cloaked mountains do not regret the decision at any point.

Rolling into Santa Fe the sky clears and it's still bat #$%* cold.



Entering Santa Fe I have reached my personal limit for engine oil usefulness, 1k miles. I don't mess around with oil changes. Every 1k, no excuses, and only a 199 miles of wiggle room. I won't ride the bike without changing the oil after 1,200 miles. An ounce (or quart) of prevention, as they say...

Changing oil into a plastic bag, which then tears, and this horrific scene unfolds in Santa Fe. Gord loved it. Mother earth weeps. Birds no longer land on my shoulder and sing in my ear.



It's dark now and Santa Fe is nipple busting cold. We're hunting for a state park when I spy the words "Hostel" on a sign. I catch up to Gord, turn us around, and 17$ a piece later we are not freezing in the dark in New Mexico. The Hostel is awesome, awesome people, nice private room. And, get this, stocked kitchen!!! Bellies full we snuggle into our bunk beds and sleep well over 8 hours.



1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline Really?

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009, 12:17:46 pm »
This will be fun to watch so I am going to tag along.

I will say you are far braver than I since I have been spoiled to a fully dressed tourer.  As a teen, no worries.  Since I am now a fart duster, I need help, lol.

Offline seaweb11

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2009, 05:17:53 pm »
Oil change every 800 miles?

Seems a tad overkill.   1500 to 2000 miles should put you in good standing out on the hwy ;)

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 05:36:39 pm »
Oil change every 800 miles?

Seems a tad overkill.   1500 to 2000 miles should put you in good standing out on the hwy ;)

It was every 1,100 on average. Overkill still maybe, but 4 out of the 5 times I changed it, it was pretty filthy. And I need her to hang in there for at least another tour. The piece of mind was worth it, I'm a worrier.  :P
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline Skonnie Boy

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2009, 06:15:45 pm »
Man, your version of Oklahoma looked way cooler than mine.  Just went through Rt. 69, and came to the conclusion that routes are not numbered according to their fun sexy ride value.  Who knew?
"Yeah, I'm hip about time. But I just gotta go."

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2009, 07:55:05 pm »
Man, your version of Oklahoma looked way cooler than mine.  Just went through Rt. 69, and came to the conclusion that routes are not numbered according to their fun sexy ride value.  Who knew?

Haha, the panhandle in OK is really neat. Knee high grass, awesome sunsets. The weather was beautiful too.
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2009, 08:20:52 pm »
In the morning we, as usual, got a late start. We headed up HWY 550(!) towards Farmington. Four Corners was our first 'big' stop on the trip. It's unique in the states and would bring me into Colorodo, briefly, which I was excited about. I had got a NEP throttle lock right before leaving and decided to spare my bum wrist for a while. The unit is kind of flimsy and weird to use. I cannot figure out even now how I did it, but the lock didn't disengage when I flipped the lever, maybe missed a shift or something, and ended up revving the bike north of 10k. We pulled over, I vomited a little in my mouth (j/k) and she checked out ok visually, not that there would be anything to see. Here's she is at that moment. I was on pins for a few hours after though....



We saw this little guy at my stop. I figured death was lurking nearby because of the over-rev and that he was attracting creepy crawlers.



We rolled into Farmington, NM pretty early and checked out the town. We asked some locals about camping and they suggested the lake. It ended up being not really a lake, but the towns water reseviour. Still the best camping we'd found so far.





After giving the lake a thumbs up we headed into Aztec, a nearby town. We ate at A&W and met this guy with a radical tattoo:



Then we headed back to the lake, rode around gathering up dead lumber, and got a good fire going.



1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline myhondas

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2009, 08:21:27 pm »
There were 5 things that I found in OK......1. Lots of oil rigs  2. Lots of open wide spaces   3. Lots of severe weather at times    4. Lots of Military Bases     5.  Did I mention Lots of wide open spaces.   Other than that....not much for me there.


I am enjoying your trip review very much. Keep up with it. more pics ;D


Are you changing your filter at every oil change?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 08:27:47 pm by myhondas »
1974 CB 750 K4 SHOWROOM
1974 CB 750 K4 IN PART-OUT PROCESS (my original bike)
1965 C100 CUB 50 (PIT BIKE)
1996 VF 750 CD daily rider
1983 VF 1100 V65 Magna in restoration process
SOHC# 5105 11228

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2009, 08:54:35 pm »
There were 5 things that I found in OK......1. Lots of oil rigs  2. Lots of open wide spaces   3. Lots of severe weather at times    4. Lots of Military Bases     5.  Did I mention Lots of wide open spaces.   Other than that....not much for me there.


I am enjoying your trip review very much. Keep up with it. more pics ;D


Are you changing your filter at every oil change?

Thanks alot, we were really lucky with weather. I only changed the filter twice, so every other time not counting the last time.
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline 754

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2009, 09:09:10 pm »
F%&^%6Kkkk.. , reminds me I should change oil, on the  300 $750 I am riding..

 has about 2800ish on it.....

 but 2200 was on the Salt Flats trip, so that is more like.. 122 miles around town, plus about another 600 in town, so its due....

 Think I should switch to 30 Wt anyway..
Maker of the WELDLESS 750 Frame Kit
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Kelowna B.C.       Canada

My next bike will be a ..ANFOB.....

It's All part of the ADVENTURE...

73 836cc.. Green, had it for 3 decades!!
Lost quite a few CB 750's along the way

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2009, 09:49:15 pm »
F%&^%6Kkkk.. , reminds me I should change oil, on the  300 $750 I am riding..

 has about 2800ish on it.....

 but 2200 was on the Salt Flats trip, so that is more like.. 122 miles around town, plus about another 600 in town, so its due....

 Think I should switch to 30 Wt anyway..

After the next trip I'm building this bike for Bonneville, prob for the 2011 season. Keep that oil changed, yer bike will stay happier!
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline Tretnine

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2009, 05:22:09 am »
nice trip, makes me want to get across country next summer.
http://www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com/

2009 Kawasaki Concours, 1978 cb550k, 2006 BMW F650GS

Member of the AMA

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2009, 11:44:55 am »
Got a good nights sleep in Farminton and headed out for Four Corners. Heading out of NM we caught our first glimpse of what we could expect at Monument Valley. I'm not sure what this thing was called, but I think it was on an indian reservation. Looked to be mighty tall.



Finally entering AZ. Years ago I got a speeding citation here that went unpaid. I was mildly concerned there was a warrant for my arrest in this state.



We went through Teec Nos Pos where I saw a cop give me a tripple take. He turned around, pulled up and rolled down the window. "550-4 huh?, what year 74?" Turned out he had been a honda mechanic for 11 years and was familiar with the bikes. I told him about the trip and building the bike and just about blew his wig off. Gassed up we made it to Four Corners and checked Colorodo off our checklist.





It was a short ride into Utah.



We made our way North-West into Utah so we could ride back down into AZ and through Monument Valley. Along the way we met these guys. BAAAAAA



Things started getting impressive heading through Utah.



"Two penises fighting" according to Gord.



Painted desert



I've wanted to see Monument Valley for years, so I was really excited today. It was sooooo worth the ride up here.









That night we cut accross northern AZ and made it to Page, home of Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam. It was dark and the ride was curvy, we didn't see anything worth seeing comming in. We got an eyefull in the morning though...

1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline myhondas

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2009, 12:07:52 pm »
" I'm not sure what this thing was called, but I think it was on an indian reservation. Looked to be mighty tall. "


That is Shiprock.....spit of land that looks like a sailing ship at sea in the desert.

As a kid, I toured the entire west.....

When I first went to four corners  it looked like this.....

My Father sitting on top of the momument


Me & my sisters all standing in a different state.


We pitched our tents in different states and parked the car in the other.


Last time i was there, it looked like this


The motorhomes are what ruined the west as far I am concerned.
1974 CB 750 K4 SHOWROOM
1974 CB 750 K4 IN PART-OUT PROCESS (my original bike)
1965 C100 CUB 50 (PIT BIKE)
1996 VF 750 CD daily rider
1983 VF 1100 V65 Magna in restoration process
SOHC# 5105 11228

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2009, 12:34:36 pm »
Awesome shots! Shiprock, thats right, now I remember. Very cool. We didn't even bother paying to go inside to the monument considering we would be riding through all 4 states. I agree, and had a conversation with a park ranger about the same thing, the motorhome folks have turned America's state parks basically into RV parks.
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]

Offline seaweb11

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2009, 06:34:21 pm »
myhondas I see your parents have a great sense of humor.
I especialy liked your hat ;D   

P.S. Nice research ;)




 B.O.X.N.I.F.E.   Still having fun I see.

Offline articblue

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2009, 06:59:12 pm »
I'm liking this thread. Keep it up. Giving me something to shoot for with the naked goldwing or the 750 once it's up and running.
Eventually I'll get something that runs, but until then I'll wrench until I make it run.
Project 750

Also, another 'new' project 1975 Honda CB400F.

Offline B.O.X.N.I.F.E.

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Re: Go West Young Man! - 32 Days On My CB550
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2009, 10:39:07 am »
Ok guys and dolls, this is one hell of a day.
Lake Powell is amazing. Straight up out of Jurassic Park. The lake is massive, the dam is massive, the rocks are massive. Even the damn boats are massive! We stayed the night in the Glen Canyon Recreation area right on Lake Powell. The campsite was nice and this was the first night we ventured to not sleep with the big yellow cover over the tent (it's just made of netting underneath and you can 'gaze out').









Dinosaur foot prints! I told you, Jurassic Park!!




There was a guy mowing grass at the base of the dam ???


Rolling up and out of Page, looking back over the dam. We headed south on state highway 89 towards the Grand Canyon.






We rode south through what I think is called Echo Canyon and saw the Mexican Hat thing (forgot to take a pic) and hooked up with HWY 64. We payed I think 10 bucks and BEHOLD!


Dude, this place will blow your wig off. Riding in we got a weird glimpse of what looked like a crack in the earth, and then you walk down a little path and POW! there it is.











Others






Our minds turned to goo, we hooked up with 180 and headed out of the park towards Williams, AZ. We had no real plans at this point, the rest of the trip between here and LA wasn't really even discussed before we left now that I think about it. We considered hooking up with i-40, but i-40 sucks so bad. Instead my atlas indicated that riding through Prescott on HWY 89 would be a really nice ride (had a 'best of the road' rating, or something like that). After eating at the Denny's I ate at when I drove by myself to California for the first time about 5 years ago (accident, weird!) we made our way to Prescott. What a cool little town. Had a really cool night life going on and reminded me of Hot Springs here in Arkansas, but cooler. There were 3 campgrounds on the outside of town and I had aimed us for the last, I believe called Wolf Creek. We passed the first two, saw a 'Wolf Creek, 6 miles' sign and trekked on, stopping at a gas station for some fire wood.





The road got curvier. Then waaaayyyy curvier, it got cold, and we were snaking through some serious mountain passes. I kept my peepers peeled, soon expecting a Wolf Creek turn off. It suddenly got about 20 degrees warmer and we were at the base of what had been the best riding of the trip. About 10 miles and 45 minutes had passed. Turned out the 6 miles sign meant 'turn left here stupid, then go 6 miles'. We had missed the camping and were at the base of a mountain we couldn't make it back up to save our lives. It was late, about 10pm and we were juiced with good luck. We pressed on, ignoring the fact that my atlas didn't show another state park or even large town between here and timbuktu. Ya'll, the #$%* is about to hit the fan. With extreme force...


« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 10:40:55 am by B.O.X.N.I.F.E. »
1974 CB550

32 days and 5,536 miles on a CB550...

http://kerncountykid.blogspot.com/

and a couple years later, 38 days and 9,102 miles...

Forever West

... and all of it in a 4 mintue video

<a href="
">WWYY?[/url]