Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Day 14 Update

Tuesday was the final day on my journey back home to Topeka. Seeing rain in the forecast for central Kansas I opted for the route across highway 160 up to I-70 just east of the Colorado border.  The ride over Wolf Creek Pass on highway 160 did provide me one last opportunity to sit patiently for a road construction delay.
Wolf Creek Pass
I know many were praying for my safe journey and Tuesday as I rode across Kansas it seemed the rain clouds parted and I had a completely dry ride home. 

The 14 day journey took me to 10 states and 10 National Parks. In total I traversed 6,558  miles counting the planned route and the numerous day trips around Rapid City, SD along with some forced backtracking due to fires in California and routes through the various National Parks.  Thank you to all your prayers for a safe journey. I definitely felt covered as I traveled.  The only casualties of the ride were two small sparrows that zigged when they should have zagged. 

For those of you who pledged in support of the Starfish Initiative, or if you would like to support, you can reach out directly to Wanamaker Woods Church or click the link to the right for a pledge form.  Mark checks "Starfish Challenge" or Harley Challenge." All pledge payments are tax deductible and should be sent directly to Wanamaker Woods Church, 3501 SW Wanamaker, Topeka, KS  66614. 

Until the next adventure, this wraps the 2018 Challenge.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Day 13 Update

Zion at Dawn

Day 13 started out before 5:30 am to allow time to enjoy the ride through the parks. I wasn't disappointed. Zion at dawn was beautiful. I rode through Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon. It was spectacular with many stunning vistas. The cliffs and mesas east of Bryce Canyon were truly breathtaking. 

Bryce Canyon

Capital Reef

Highway 12 through a massive canyon and over the top of the vast mesa just before Boulder, Utah, was very impressive. Next up was Capital Reef where many formation looked like majestic castles. One formation resembled a massive ark. Next up was Arches, with many wonderful views. 

Red Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Arches National Park

The ride to Colorado and down highway 550 over Red Mountain through Silverton on the Million Dollar Highway to Durango is always exciting. 

I was able to avoid the random thunderstorms this afternoon in Colorado mountains. Tomorrow for my last leg home, I may see my first significant rain in Western Kansas. At least that's the weather forecast. Through the ride today, I now have logged 5,725 miles. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Day 12 Update

After a great time of fellowship at Tehachapi Church of the Nazarene, I had lunch with Rob and Lynn Brooks at a popular German Bakery restaurant and then headed out across the desert to Saint George, Utah. The 110+ degree temperature along interstate 15 wasn't too bad, as they say, it's a "dry heat."

I made good time riding against the heavier stop-and-go traffic headed south. Tomorrow will be an early start as I will ride through four more national parks to my destination in Durango, Colorado. I ended today just under my target mileage threshold at 4928 miles.

Rev. Rob and Lynn Brooks, Tehachapi CA

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Day 11 Update

Left Reno to beat the Saturday traffic around Lake Tahoe and got a good photo of the lake at dawn. 
Lake Tahoe at Dawn
The smoke obscured the mountain vistas from highway 4. I got within 5 miles of my connecting road in Yosemite before discovering it was closed due to the fires. I was still able to ride about 10 miles into the open area of the park before backtracking. The backtrack and reroute added over 90 minutes to my day, so I rode nearly 15 hours today and have now logged 4,646 miles this trip.

I rode through King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and saw the General Sherman Tree. The valley views were still great, even with the smoke. 

I had a nice visit with Rob and Lynn Brooks  and will worship with their church in Tehachapi CA tomorrow before heading to Saint George UT. 
Kings Canyon (1)
Kings Canyon (2)
Mosquito Lake on CA Hwy 4

General Sherman Sequoia

Friday, August 10, 2018

Day 10 Update

I left Nampa, ID early to beat the heat and rode past several fertile farms and orchards and into the area bluffs. The road soon opened up into hot, barren desert. The mountains in the distance were hazy from all the California fires. 

I arrived in Reno late this afternoon, where I relaxed in the AC of the Harley Davidson dealership while the service department changed my oil. The bonus was they also washed the four days accumulation of bugs and road grime off my bike. I logged 3,990 miles so far on my road trip.

I now head into California where the fires may alter my travels into Tehachapi, where my good friends Rob and Lynn Brooks now live. 

Tomorrow, I will be navigating rugged mountain roads along the Sierra Nevada mountains. I plan to get an early start to beat the Saturday traffic around Lake Tahoe. The scenery tomorrow should be better than all the sage brush, rocks and sand I saw today.

Thanks for you continued encouragement and prayers for my safety.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Day 9 Update

Clearwater River

I just pulled into Nampa, Idaho, for the evening, after riding over 13 hours and 750+ miles for the day. That puts my mileage around 3,500+ for the trip so far.

The chilly morning warmed to a pleasant day and then became almost unbearable once I got to the high plains of Idaho. The thermometer on the bike pegged over 110+ degrees. It sure made me long for the 37 degree temps from yesterday morning as I rolled through the Tetons.

Scenery today was fabulous, even with the road construction delays on highway 12 in Idaho. As I rode over Lolo Pass and along Clearwater river, I saw several deer, most of which were grazing in towns on irrigated grass (they are pretty smart deer) and some wild turkey. A highlight of my ride today was watching a bald eagle as he swooped down to the river and caught a fish in his talons. It was  pretty incredible sight. There was a lot more haze and smoke from California and Idaho wildfires. 

I have a little shorter day tomorrow as I will ride to Reno NV where I have scheduled 45,000 mile oil change.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Day 8 Update
Tetons at Sunrise
I made it to Billings MT. Today started out chilly with temperatures in the upper 30s! I was prepared with my full leather gear and gloves--still a little cool. The Tetons were beautiful with the rising sun on the glaciers. 

Yellowstone too was pristine with the river and waterfalls. I saw more elk, deer, antelope and, of course, buffalo. They sure have the deer trained well in Montana. After riding through Bear Tooth Pass and heading into Red Lodge, a doe and her fawn used the crosswalk to stroll across the highway in front of me. 

Thursday will be longer day as I head across the Montana and Idaho mountains to Nampa, ID. 

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River (2)
Yellowstone Tower Falls

Bear Tooth Pass