Part 1. The Journey Begins
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” Jack Kerouac
, Monday June 1st. Four motorcycles and a Mustang heading out today.
• JA on his Honda ST1300
• DB on his Kawasaki Concours, complete with 3rd wheel trailer
• SB driving his Mustang ragtop
• KB on his Honda NCX700
• And Me on the Versys (KB and I will peel off after 6 days while the others continue for 30 days)
DB and the third wheel trailer rig:
KB would come to find the under pillion location of his gas cap required some extra effort on every fuel stop:
It was an un-seasonably cold day to start on, only about 6 degrees with a wind-chill making it feel like 2. It stayed cold most of the day. We crossed the border from Sarnia ON into Port Huron MI across the Bluewater Bridge. Michigan to Indiana mostly on I69
to Indianapolis then West on Hwy 36
. We covered 826 kms for the day stopping in Rockville Indiana.
Nice riding along old 36 highway which in its heyday was a lesser known version of Route 66. It still plays on its fame a bit and we enjoyed dinner at the Thirty Six Saloon which was very motorcycle-centric.
The patio at the Thirty Six Saloon:
, Tuesday June 2nd. This is Parke County, famous for the high number of covered bridges, so we stopped for a group photo op.
We got an early start and did about an hour of riding before pulling into a Denny’s for breakfast and coffee. Much coffee. This old Hwy 36
also happens to follow part of the old route of the Pony Express and there are lots of signs and reminders of its famed history. The weather was warmer but windy and there is rain in the area. We kept hitting wet roads but mostly missed the rain. We stayed on Hwy 36
all the way across Missouri. We end the day after 860 kms in Marysville Kansas. Forecast is for rain tomorrow.
, Wednesday June 3rd. Rain. Lots of it. Raining hard with plenty of thunder and lightning too. Kansas really knows how to have a thunderstorm. Coming from the Great Lakes region, I’ve witnessed some wild storms and we’re prone to tornados too. But I never before saw a bolt of lightning fly horizontally across the sky, explode , and shoot down in 5 bolts. Whoa!
The downpour lightened up a bit to make it easier to pack up the bikes, but it didn’t last. We stopped for some quick pictures with the Pony Express statue, but as we are getting those done the rain started up again and continued for a couple of hours as we rode West.
The Pony Express Rider in Marysville Kansas:
Once the weather broke and cleared we got wind-dried as we traveled the flat and open plains of Western Kansas. Near Norton Kansas we turned SW onto Hwy 383 to 83
. It was along 83 that we stopped and took a break at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Centre in Oakley KS.
then connected to Hwy 40
. Hwy 40 took us to Hwy 94
at Aroya CO. From there it was a straight line, a very straight line, to our jump off destination: Colorado Springs.
Straight line indeed. If you look closely you can see a car closing in on me EB from Utah:
We pulled into Colorado Springs and met up with EA who rode out alone 3 days ahead on his Kawasaki Vaquero. So, we are now 5 bikes and 1 car. It took us 3 days and 2,485 kms to get here, but now it was play time for the next few days. Enjoyed a great BBQ diner at Famous Dave’s. Forecast looks good for Pike’s Peak in the morning. All set for a few days of group touring through southern Colorado...