2008 Trip recap and highlights

So it’s over, our summer 2008 motorcycle trip.  We traveled approximately 4600  miles in about 12 and a half days.  No, not much per IronButt standards but we actually stopped, and saw stuff.

2008_Trip_Route

We touched, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and of course Kansas.

Highlights:

  • The ride on Route 20 from Sioux City to O’Neill Nebraska We were in riding right between two fronts for a while, there was an awesome lighting show off to the left, with beautiful blue sky’s off to the right.
  • The Badlands, SD:  Wow, that place is simply amazing.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Custer SD, Mount Rushmore, and the Black Hills area. Simply spectacular views, and outstanding roads. Custer is a great little town to visit.

    From 2008 Trip
  • The Winchester restaurant in Buffalo, Wyoming.  Simply awesome steaks.
  • Bighorn National Forest, Beartooth Pass, and the Shoshone National Forest. Simply amazing views, great altitude, and great roads.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Cody, Wy.  Another cool town, and the Rodeo was fun
  • Yellowstone National Park, Absolutely beautiful.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Jackson Hole, Wy I could see why you’d want to live here, a tad too touristy though.  This is where the white water rafting on the snake river didn’t happen.
  • Mount Evans, Co.  A fabulous ride up to the top of the highest paved road in America.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Steamboat Springs, Co. Another very cool ski town and where we met Harley-Mike.  The Accommodations at the Bristol Inn downtown were fantastic, I’d highly recommend staying there.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Cripple Creek, Co.  A former mining town, now a Casino heaven.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak.  All well worth it.  We had an outstanding meal at the Stagecoach in Manitou Springs.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Golden, Co. Seeing a few fellow FJR Riders and their machines in Golden at NAFO, even though I didn’t stay…

    From 2008 Trip

Low Lights:

  • Sioux City, Iowa…  What was that smell…  Sewer City may be a better name.
  • Having the XM radio on the Zumo crap out two days into the trip, then having a button fall off the dang thing.   It quit completely after the mount sat out in the rain for a day but at least the GPS functions came back and I had the ability to play the 389 mp3’s I had loaded.  Without that I would have gone crazy.
  • The Golden Hotel in O’Neill Nebraska…  At least the room I stayed in, everyone else was happy with the accommodations.  I would stay there again, just not in that room.
  • The Chinese restaurant next door to the Golden Hotel…  Not good.
  • Kyle Sr’s Crash, but he’s fine and bikes can be replaced.

    From 2008 Trip
  • Mount Rushmore, Charging $10 per vehicle to simply park and to visit the ‘Visitor Center’ and I’m sure spend $4 on a drink.  No-Thanks.
  • BMW MOA Rally in Gillette, Wy.  I was personally disappointed with the vendor attendance.  I know it was out in the middle of nowhere and you can’t please everyone.  Since we only stayed one day it wasn’t that bad.  Had we been there for more than one day it would have been wasteful. 
  • Route 789 from Wyoming to Colorado…  A barren waste land and no fun at all in 95+ degree heat.

    From 2008 Trip
  • The Flat Tire I got on the way to Mount Evans. Though plugging it was easy enough with the right tools.
  • Kansas, All of it.  HOT, flat, boring as hell.

All in all this was a trip of a lifetime.  Getting to do it with my dad was special too.  We laughed a lot and learned a lot.  I wish we would have had more time.   The overall cost of the trip was well under budget.  I didn’t spend any real money at the rally because the vendors I wanted to see weren’t there.  We lucked out with hotel accommodations just about everywhere.  In most cases we were under $120 for a room with 3 beds.  Split 3 ways that’s less than $40 a night.  You can hardly camp for that and have a good place to sleep, and a warm shower.

We lucked out with the weather for the most part.  We didn’t ride more than 300 miles of the 4600 in the rain.   We got wet now and then but it was usually welcome from the heat.

This was the perfect time of year to visit all of these places (except the parts getting to and from the west.  They pretty much sucked).

I’d do this again in a heart beat if I could.

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