First let me say that if you don't want to receive these updates anymore just let us
know, and we'll only include you on those "really interesting" ones.
Today we started the day with a 7:30 AM Continental breakfast at the Best Western in
Murdo, Sd. Interesting little town in that it only has 650 people, but is capabale of
supporting numerous eating, fueling, and retail establishments from the I-90 trade
alone. We were on the road by 8:15 and making full use of the freeway speeds. My
thought was that there was nothing so important between Murdo and Belmond, Iowa to
necessitate using any back country roads - well at least until we got into Iowa,
where we picked up US-169 in Blue Earth, Mn. and headed South into Iowa. We stopped
for fuel in Elmore, Mn. and the gracious lady suggested that because we were "On tour,
after all" that we might want to take a short 15 mile detour to see a local tractor
pull - We proceeded to Clear Lake instead and got a Motel room for the next two nights!
We thought it would be a good idea to ride the 20 miles into Jim's hometown to see
what the schedule of events would be for the next couple of days -- well of course by
the time we got there the whole town was closed up and in anticipation of what ever is
going to be happening tomorrow. We visited the town cemetary and bid tidings to the
bits and pieces of Jim's past. It was there that we noticed the Northern sky building
with a huge thunderstorm -- to make a long story short - we got caught in it. I'll
let Lyn give you the gory details of the 20 mile ride back to the hotel when she talks
to you. Went out for Mexican after we got dried off and warmed back up... No pics
today -- this is after all the Great Midwest!!
Today we spent all day in Belmond, looking for the 150th celebration activities. The weather was warm and
beautiful, which was quite a contrast from yesterday. Our gloves, boots, and clothes are finally dry. As it turns out,
we missed Jim's school reunion folks because that was actually held yesterday. Main Street was beautifully dec-
orated with flags on both sides, and the banner strung across. Belmond really does have the best 4th of July cele-
So today, we visited with Aunt Ina (who's now almost 91), and her daughter, which is Jim's cousin, Nancy. She's
doing just great. Part of Belmond's celebration included a quilt to be raffled off. This quilt was made by Aunt Ina's
distant relative, and commemorates the Sesquicentennial (150 year) history of Belmond. Of course I bought tickets,
and tool a picture of the quilt, and with the quilter. Then inside the church was a huge quilt show, with quilts
draping every pew. It was fabulous. Jim was afraid I'd never come out!
Then onward to visit Aunt Camilla. She was so surprised to see her nephew Jim, but very happy. She just turned
88 and is still going strong.
So today was a very relaxing day, and enjoyed visiting Jim's home town.
Lynda and Jimmie
Hi from Illinois,
This morning we left the north-central part of Iowa and traveled down to Winterset on I35. First stop was the
Fons & Porter Love of Quilting shop. I watch their PBS quilt show regularly, so was very happy to actually go to
the shop. Neither Fons nor Porter were there, but they were probably upstairs working on their next show. Then
just down the street, we learned was the birthplace of John Wayne, so had to take the obligatory picture. All this
was in Madison County, where the movie "The Bridges of Madison County" was filmed. We drove by one bridge
that was located in the park, as all the other bridges were located 3 miles off the main road, and the Goldwing is
not meant to drive on gravel. This morning's adventures were great. Then most of the afternoon was spent travel-
ling east, stopping to buy Jimmie a new camera (his was destroyed in the Iowa storm), going thru the Amana
colonies, and crossing the Mississippi River. It was a long 534 mile day, so we stopped in Galesburg, Illinois
(60 miles west of Peoria). Gotta love the Best Western hotels!
(For those counting, the total Honda miles are now 4064.7)
Lynda & Jimmie
Wouldn't you know....the hotel we checked into last night lost it's internet connection from the rain storm, so no
report on the 4th of July. But - hope your celebrations were fun. We traveled from Galesburg, Ill thru Indiana, and
landed in Findlay, Ohio. Basically a travel day, with pretty country roads, and another heavy rain storm at the end
of the day. Since the midwest towns had their 4th of July fireworks on the 3rd, we ended up watching TV and saw
the fireworks in DC.
Today (the 5th), we traveled on the interstate I90, just to make some time. We booked it thru Ohio (did you know
Cleveland has the rock 'n roll hall of fame?), a corner of Pennsylvania, and into Niagara Falls, New York. We got
in early enough to spend some time at the American Falls (on the US side). What a beautiful park and falls. My
goodness! The speed of the falls delivers 750000 gallons per second. That's pretty darn fast. Tomorrow we will
be winding our way thru New York state, working our way toward Philadelphia.
I must admit after 12 days of between 400-500 miles per day, that I am getting saddle-sore. Didn't want to admit
it, but I think I actually have "Honda-waddle" as well. I had my first experience with the pay-as-you-go turnpikes.
It's rather interesting how the traffic clogs up with getting a coupon here, then paying there (which is the distance
you've travelled). I've learned to keep dollars and coins in my pocket at all times.
Lynda and Jimmie
We left Niagara Falls this morning and drove all day thru the Adirondacks. This was a day of just looking, and no
real on-and-off-the-bike stops to see a monument or vista. So it seemed like a long day even though it was only
427.5 miles. Since we are not from this area, I guess we can't really appreciate what the locals see. The scenery
was basically rolling hills and conifer forests, with one small town right after another. There were lots of lakes and
rivers, but nothing like the scenery we've scene from previous states. But I can still appreciate the style of the
We're now in Plattsburg, New York, which is right on the border of Canada and Vermont. We are looking forward
to travelling thru New England and visiting the cities of the Eastern seaboard (DC, Philadelphia, and visiting more
friends and family.)
We're so lucky with the weather, as there was very little rain today. Sure hope it stays clear. Total miles to date
(drum roll please.....) 5341.4.
Lynda & Jimmie
Another exciting day completing 2 weeks of travel. Today we started by doing some genealogical research for
Lynda's "Thayer" family history. We left Plattsburg and drove to Thayers Corners, which was the birthplace of her
great-grandfather, and probably the initial Thayer homestead. Great fun.
Then we drove all day thru Vermont, New Hampsire, Connecut, Massachusetts, and what ever else is stuck up
there in that little corner of the world. Vermont is just beautiful with its lakes and lush greenery, not mention the
maple syrup! Again we took mostly U.S. highways, for the scenic twisty roads. I don't believe we have ever seen
a "moose crossing" warning. After a total of 426.7 miles, we arrived in Andover, just on the Massachusetts side.
Lynda and Jimmie
Today is Saturday and our 15th day of travel. We left Andover, Massachusetts this morning, early enough, but we
actually got delayed because Jim had to perform surgery on his ear-piece on his helmet, as a connector had broken
off. Hence he could not hear the GPS instructions, and that would have been disastrous as we were going thru the
big cities today. Luckily he fixed the problem and I was glad he brought along all the tools and parts needed for his
headset. (I am not a good map-reader!)
We drove from Massachusetts, thru Connecticut, thru New York City, (crossed the George Washington bridge),
into New Jersey, then into Philadelphia. We stopped to have a nice lunch with Jayne's Mom and her sister in
Piscataway, New Jersey, then 2 hours later we arrived in Philly. Can't even begin to describe the confusion with the
tolls, turnpikes, road work, pot holes, etc. We were throwing money all day at the toll takers, and can't understand
why the roads aren't in better condition!
We parked the bike in Independence square at 5:30 pm, and wanted to see the Liberty Bell. But to our disappoint-
ment, the building in which it is housed was closed. So all we could see was a glimpse thru the glass window. We
did however, just take a walking tour of the area, and realized just how important this area was in our American
history. We heard a tour director mention that is was exactly 230 years ago today that the declaration of independ-
ence was drafted - not the 4th of July as is tradtionally celebrated.
Tomorrow is Washington DC where we hope to do more walking around the Washington mall. All this tells me
that my recollection of American history is a little fuzzy. This tour is a great education.. We were both so tired when
we arrived at our hotel, that we didn't capture today's mileage. So for you folks that are keeping track, you'll have
to stay tuned for tomorrow's report.
Lynda & Jimmie
Hi everyone --
Lynda informed me that tonight it was my turn to tell today's story - she's tired
of being the "color commentator!" --
Today's whole intent was to spend as much time as possible seeing the sights of
Washington DC. What I remembered from 20 + years ago and today's reality are something
quite different, both in the getting into the town center and with the mobility around
the Capital Mall.
We left the hotel in Ft. Washington, Pa. this morning on an empty tank of gas, and
a malfunctioning GPS - the only gas station it could find was a little over 19 miles
away back in Philadelphia -- we didn't follow its recommendation - instead we asked a
couple of locals (joggers etc), and eventually found a full service station with all
of .02 Gallons of gas left in the tank. The attendant was very helpful in getting us
a route into DC.
The ride into Washington was basically un-eventfull - if you don't count getting
lost (aka missing turns) at least 3 times, going through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel,
and missing the Beltway entrance -- oh well - the GPS finally started working about
this time and I have to tell you all (for those of you that own a GPS - you'll know
what this means --- I got real tired of Henrietta saying "Off Route Recalculating"
-- ) The routes - exits - roads have changed since the mapset I have for my GPS was
produced, causing both it and us a great deal of frustration the last couple of days.
BUT, we did finally make it into our Nation's Capital. It's still as beautiful as
ever, and the new monuments (Vietnam and Korean, and the WWII) all brought a very
solid message home to those of us that either lived through the period, or, served
Lynda was quite surpised at the size of the city and the scope of the Mall. After
3 hours of walking, we were both very leg sore and weary by the time we made it back
to the bike and headed out of town toward Richmond, Va., where we are now - looking
forward to a short ride into Virginia Beach tomorrow and spending some time with our
long time friend Linda K. before continuing on South through the Smokey Mountains, Blue
Ridge Parkway, and onwards to Florida before turning right and heading back home.
Enjoy the pictures - we found the new mode of transportation (I'll call them
"people-pushers") very interesting. They are manuevered by pushing forward, and you
just stand and ride. Top speed is close to 12 miles per hour!
Total Honda miles to date = 6483.9
Good Tuesday Evening to everyone....
Well, we've spent a very enjoyable last couple of days. We left Washington DC on Sunday, spent the night in
Mechanicsville (near Richmond) in Virginia that night, and then proceeded on into Virginia Beach (with a rather
major detour to "Colonial Williamsburg") to see our friend Linda K. and her daughter Lindsey. We left
Mechanicsville and headed Southeast on I-64. About 45 miles into the ride we saw the highway sign saying
"Colonial Willamsburg 4 miles", well we have both seen television shows aboutWilliamsburg, and decided to make
a stop there . We really didn't know what to expect, and were very surprised to see the huge volume of cars parked
in the visitor center parking lot. Once after we got into the center we learned that it was the gateway to some of
amazing American history. We only had an hour to stroll around the historic - restored colonial village - and we
tried to make the best of it, but there was / is just too much to see. It's definitely on our "Must do" list the next time
we make it back into this neck of the woods. We continued on down I-64 and soon found ourselves traveling
under the Chesapeake Bay via the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel -- what a trip that was! Anyway we followed some
excellent instructions and were soon enjoying the company of Linda and Lindsey. Linda was very kind and helpful in
getting our laundry done (much needed and OH SO appreciated), letting us wash the bike, and showing us around
town. We spent the evening at the beach -- really a beautiful place, and a real tourist destination. They are trying
to keep the beach a "family friendly" place, so you will chuckle at the "no swearing" sign. We were able to get
ourselves packed up and headedout of town by 10:00 this morning. The goal today was to get to Roanoake,Va.
via the Blue Ridge Parkway - running through the Smokey Mountains. All I can say is WOW - this is one of God's
little corners in the world. Really beautiful. The road is perfectly kept, the sights are postcard perfect at every
viewpoint and in truth can only be appreciated via a personal visit. We only road the BRP about 50 miles today,
tomorrow we will spend most of the day on it heading South toward our youngest (Chris and Kim, and the new
Grandbaby - Levi). So far its been a most excellent adventure.
Jim and Lynda.
The Blue Ridge Parkway was so beautiful, that we decided to go back and continue south for more scenic and
calm vistas. We stopped at Mabry's Mill, which is still a functional original mill dating from early 1900's. We were
completely impressed with the inventiveness of Ed Mabry (the founder), of his use of the water wheel that powered
his sawmill, jigsaw, and gristmill. After our walk around the mill, we continued to Blowing Rock, which took us off
the parkway to get gas, and then onto I40 into Asheville, NC. After 10 hours of riding, we are now in Newport,
Tennessee, (which is close to Knoxville). The last hour of riding was spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic as there
was a dead deer accident followed by a flat bed 18-wheeler that lost his lumber load. What a (stinky) mess, but
we got an opportunity to talk to a trucker next to us on the CB for quite some time.
I must say that my backend is now fully conditioned to withstand long periods of sitting. Jimmie and I have also both
perfected the Honda-waddle. Although we take a stretch break now and again, these have been long riding days.
Today's mileage was a mere 367.8, bringing the total to 7278.5 Honda miles.
Tomorrow we will continue southward thru the Smoky Mtn National Park, and on into Georgia. Can't believe our
trip is nearly 2/3rds over.
Jim & Lynda
Another beautiful day which was spent riding thru the Smoky Mtn National Park, (which is part of the Appalach-
ians) from Tennessee, back into North Carolina, then directly South on US441.
We drove thru the park in the morning, and the way the sun filtered thru the leaves on the trees gave the scenery the
most gorgeous variations of green.
We have also noticed that a few of the south-eastern states are infected with the Kudzu. It is a vine that was
introduced early in the century to the area from Japan to stop erosion, as it grows a foot a day. However it is now
out of control and climbs trees, power poles, anything. It's sort of like the Little Shop of Horrors plant that you
have to keep your windows closed at night, or it will grow into your house! Anyway, since it completely
encompasses the trees, it forms weird shapes, and you'll see that in the picture attached.
We are now ˝ way thru Georgia. We are in Perry, which is close to Macon. The weather all day was very hot and
humid, and we found ourselves in one of the typical 5 minute down-pours, complete with lightening and crackling
thunder. We pulled over to put on our rain gear, and just as soon as we put it on, the rain stopped, the clouds
parted, and left us in an instant sweltering 102 degrees.
Georgia boasts “boiled peanuts”. What the heck is that? I thought peanuts were roasted. We’ve seen lots of
signs for the famous Georgia peaches, and of course the Vidalia onions.
Tomorrow we’ll arrive in Florida to see our youngest son and his family. It will be good to get off the bike for a day
and just enjoy Disney World on foot.
Lynda and Jimmie
DAYS 21, 22 & 23:
Long time, no write -
Friday was a long ride from Georgia into Leesburg, Florida, where Chris, Kim, and baby Levi live. We left our
hotel and started the day with the bike not feeling just right. According to Jim, it was either an unbalanced front tire,
or something wrong with the back tire that was causing the front wheel to vibrate. Jim thought it was good enough
to ride for a while, and that we would stop at the Honda dealership in Leesburg. Good thing we headed straight
there, as the back tire had an 8 inch tread separation gap. And YES we needed a new tire. Luckily they had a
Bridgestone and the time to change it. I was horrified that we rode on that tire, and you probably will be too when
you see the attached picture. (All part of the riding experience??? Yikes!)
So after piece of mind that the bike was now OK, Jimmie took me to the local quilt shop as we had about an hour
before Chris was to pick us up for dinner. We had a nice Italian dinner with everyone, including Kim's parents, and
it was nice to have the family together. After dinner we spent some time at Kim's parents house watching a terrific
lightening storm, the geckos climb the screen door, and listening to squeaky frogs. That's the life!
Saturday was spent at Epcot Center in Orlando, and it was my first time there. One word - WOW. It was so
fabulous, although expensive. The food selections are enormous, and they even had a mickey-shaped ice cream
sandwich. Levi was such a great baby, as he let us tour the whole park and attractions in the heat and humidity with-
out any fuss. But by the end of a long day of walking, we were all ready to head home.
This morning (Sunday) we knew we had a full day of riding, so we left at 7:15 am from Leesburg and drove the
I75 north, then picked up I10 to start our westward trek home. We once again were delayed by 2 severe
accidents, caused by thunder storms. And we were caught in the downpour, so we pulled off the freeway and took
cover in a Waffle House for a hour waiting for the rain to stop. Then we continued onward, and are now in Mobile,
Alabama for the night. We gained back an hour today, which was good, because we lost an hour waiting for the
storm to stop. Several lightening storms, and microwaved popcorn, are keeping us entertained for now, because we
For those tracking our mileage, we are now at 8470.4. We plan to be in Austin Texas by Tuesday.
Till next report,
Lynda and Jimmie
The task of journaling today's ride falls to me this 24th night on the road - It will
be a short journal entry, as there is not too much to say - other than "Can someone
please find the Off switch to the "Hot" button??" Don't know who's in charge of that
particular device, but I'd be willing to contribute to it's demise. We left Mobile
Alabama this morning after being entertained a good part of the night with some pretty
intense thunder and lightening storms. Last night the humidity outside was really
unbelievable!! We walked from the hotel to our diner of choice (Hooters!!!!, which
was just across the street) and by the time we arrived we both could have used a
change of clothes. I spent about an hour trying to replace a headlight bulb before
dinner, but it was so hot an miserable that I finally decided that a cold beer and a
light show was more fun. Anyway, we left this morning (still with one burnt out
headlight) at 8:15 and made very good use if the Interstate sytems most all day long.
The I-10 out of Mobile quickly took us into Mississippi followed shortly by a border
crossing into Louisiana where we enjoyed a very Cajun lunch at "Frog City" before
finally crossing the border into Texas. Whew!!! Hot - I'm telling you it was so Hot
that you could see the droplets of humidity sweating.
We avoided both New Orleans (took the I-12 Bypass)and most of the Houston traffic
(by using the US-90 Bypass). We are currently in North Houston heading toward some
friends and another quilt shop tomorrow in Austin before beginning some very grueling
days across the Southwest on the final leg of our 30 day Odyssey.
Jim and Lynda
How many hours DOES it take to change a GL1800's
Finally got the headlight fixed tonight -- two hours
in total to do a 5 minute job -- humm, someting is
wrong with this picture (I'm going to have to work on
DAYS 25 & 26:
Will we ever get out of Texas??? How is it possible that you can go thru 3 states in one day, but it takes 3 days to
drive thru Texas? Just gives you a perspective on how big Texas really is.
Yesterday was a short ride (about 200 miles), from Houston to Austin, as we wanted to visit friends in Austin.
Another trememdously hot day, but we really enjoyed seeing our friends, and Jimmie found another quilt shop for
Today (Wednesday) was the longest and hottest day so far. We left Austin at 7:15am and drove north on I35 thru
Ft. Worth, then because Jimmie couldn't do the interstate anymore, we picked up US281 still heading north. Then
we blasted thru Oklahoma, just to say we've been there. There was alot of gravel roadwork that was not fun to
maneuver in. The temps hit 106, but I'm sure it was actually more. We had to stop 3 times just to soak our shirts
and jackets with water. We literally hosed ourselves down, which felt good for the next 15 minutes of riding, then
it all evaporated. We headed west on I40 and and arrived in Amarillo at 5:30. It was a 10 hour day of riding
573.5 miles. I think a shower and a beer are in order...
Tomorrow will be another long day, heading thru New Mexico, Colorado, and stopping in Durango. We are really
looking forward to a spectular Rocky Mtn ride on Friday, ending in Flagstaff. We find we don't care much for the
flat plains of Texas, but really enjoy the mountain scenery.
Can't imagine what the temps are back in California, but hope it's cooler that what we've been through!
Lynda & Jimmie
DAYS 27 & 28:
Here’s the summary for days 27 and 28. Believe it or not, we did not have internet access in the mountain lodge
we stayed in Durango, Colorado. So hopefully tonight we can send this.
Thursday we traveled 570.6 miles from Amarillo, Texas, thru New Mexico, to Durango, Colorado. We took I40
west to Albuquerque, I25, US550 thru Cuba, and Aztec, which is part of the million-dollar highway. (What we
saw on Friday as part of the million-dollar highway was even more spectacular). As the backseat photographer,
around each curve was another new and beautiful vista. The camera just cannot capture the awe-inspiring and
jaw-dropping beauty of the jutting mountains, and scenery. I took over 200 pictures the last 2 days, and we just
loved the fact that we were able to experience the byways and highways of these most scenic states. Incredible
Today (Friday), we left our condo at the resort, and headed north to the small town of Silverton for the best
chicken-fried steak breakfast. Our route took us thru US550 to 62, 145, to 491, to 191, to 160, to 89, ending in
Flagstaff, Arizona. Jim told me this morning that we were going to play in the mountains today, and that’s exactly
what we did. We loved Colorado, caught a corner of Utah, then into Arizona. Up until noon, the mountain air was
fabulous for a motorcycle ride, but thru Utah and “arid-zona”, it hit 108 degrees, but it was a “dry heat.” Who
ever invented that statement?? It was just plain frigging HOT. The rock formations are just incredible and seem
to pop up from no where. Again today’s scenery was worth the 477.4 mile ride.
For those keeping track, the total miles as of today are 10,875.9. With 2 more days to go, at about 500 per day,
we will expect to top 12,000 miles. Whoo-hoo !
Lynda and Jimmie
DAYS 29 & 30:
Again, the Motel 6 did not have any internet at all, so we'll combine yesterday's and today's trip report.
Yesterday we left Flagstaff at 7:15am and headed for the Grand Canyon. This national park is yet another
absolute wonder and beauty. The pictures just can't capture what the eye really sees. We spent a couple of hours
walking and driving thru the vistas until we hit the road for another long day of riding to the night's final destination,
Ely Nevada. The route we chose was to leave the Grand Canyon, heading east to Cameron, then northwest past
the north rim. Then we picked up US89 which took us northwest thru more spectacular sites in Utah. Continuing
west, and it was a really long ride, we finally made it to Ely, Nevada, which is just crossing the Nevada border.
Total miles for the day was 595.3 (a 12 hour day). Only to find that all the hotel rooms were taken, as there was a
rodeo in town. After riding almost 600 miles, we just had to stop. Luckily we got the last room at the Motel 6,
and we so happy to have a bed, without driving for another 2 hours.
Today (Sunday, day 30), was basically a scenic travel day, from eastern Nevada to home. We left Ely Nevada
and took highway 6 west into Benton, via Tonopah. Then meandered thru the ultimate "whoop-dee-doo" road
(Ca 120). It is so called, as it really is a roller coaster ride, complete with big dips, catching air at each crest. We
circled Mono Lake, then took US89 thru monitor pass, then caught hiway 4 towards Ebbett's pass and Stockton.
The ride was cool in the morning as we were mostly in the high elevations of the mountains. But as we drove thru
Sonora, Arnold, Murphy's, the temperatures kept climbing from 100 to 106 to 111, to 115 from Tracy till home.
You just cannot understand hot, till you've motorcycled thru it. We heard over the CB radio from other
motorcyclists that the heat was like the space shuttle on re-entry, and that we couldn't stop for fear of our shoes
melting into the pavement!
But after 588.8 miles today, we made it home safely, and immediately jumped in the pool! Ahh - home, sweet,
On this final day, I would like to give a standing ovation to Jim for planning AND driving the entire route of 12,060
miles, and taking us thru not only the beautiful sites, but manuevering the bike thru some pretty hairy weather and
Both Jim and I would like to thank our coworkers who filled-in for us at work to make this incredible vacation
possible. And we would like to thank you, the reader, for letting us share each day of our travels. We have just
loved keeping in touch and hearing from all of you, even though we were miles away.
For those who like statistics:
-we covered over 12000 miles in 30 days,
-consumed 316.2 gallons of gas (which is about 38 miles per gallon), not bad for a 2-up, fully loaded bike!
-checked into and out of 26 hotel rooms
-saw 6 national parks (Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Niagara Falls, Smoky Mtns, Grand Canyon)
-journeyed thru the magnificent Blue Ridge mountains, the Lolo River Valley, and the Adirondacks.
-saw several national monuments (Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Liberty Bell, DC's monuments)
-brief tour thru historic Williamsburg, and all day thru Epcot Center in DisneyWorld.
-saw the country Lewis and Clark explored, and Buffalo Bill's home.
-visited family and friends along the way
-visited 4 quilt shops
-drank countless bottles of water!
Of the "lower 48 states" we actually touched 38 of them. Which means the 10 that we missed will have to be
"Part II, the Sequel of Jim and Lynda's motorcycle vacation, coming soon to a PC near you!"
So Jim and Lynda signing off - over and out.