I've been all over this site since I bought my first 'wing. I've asked a few questions, helped with a couple of answers. About a month ago, my Brother-in-law announced that he, my sister, and their 3 toddlers are moving to Salt Lake for the better economy. I mentioned that he and his wife should travel together in the mini-vanto help each other with the kiddies, and I'd take his Avalanche to SLC for him a week later. Before he could thank me for my generosity, I had to tell him that I was being completely selfish and that I wanted to load my bike in his truck and tow the trailer, then ride the rig back. It seemed like a win-win, he gets free delivery of his truck, and I get a cheap setup for a long ride
I used the forklift at my office's warehouse to get the bike in the back of the truck and an old wheelchair ramp/porch to get it back out in SLC (it was being dismantled so we used it before it got completely torn down).
We stared in SLC on Monday the 8th and meandered to East Carbon (where my dad was born), then down I-70 & US-89 to Marysvale (where my mom was born), then on to Lake Powell for the first night in Page, AZ.
The next day we went to the south rim of Grand Canyon for a 'quick' view of the big hole, then down to Flagstaff where we caught I-40 for our trek Eastward. We saw 30 MPH winds from the south which kept us leaning into the wind just to keep straight. My wife, at that point, wondered if this was such a good idea (I think she believed it was our last day on the planet), but I kept us going until the winds calmed down around the NM border, then we stayed in Gallup, NM for the second night (rained a bit, but I kept her covered in the parking lot of the Travelodge...the bike...not the wife).
Day 3 kept us follwoing I-40 all the way across NM and part of Texas to the Travelodge in Amarillo. Saw more winds here (not quite as bad and coming from behind so my MPG got a lot better). The zipper in my wife's leather failed, but we found a store in Amarillo that night that agreed to exchange it (YAY for Monica at Burlington Coat Factory!!). The other downside (no pun intended) was the realization that our backsides were starting to feel the 1500 plus miles. I texted my brother in Oklahoma City who placed an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone had a gel seat for saleto help us out.
Day 4 brought us through Oklahoma and a member of this forum (wish I knew his handle so I could thank him publicly here), who talked with me and my wife for over an hour on seating helps. We ended up using a beaded seat cover from Wally World and strapped it to the seat for the rest of the ride. We were running behind (again, no pun...) but enjoyed the time talking. We hurried up to Springfield, MO where we stayed at a Hampton on the south side of town far away from the blasted interstate...So, who's stupid idea was this to ride across the western US anyway?!?!:gunhead:
On the fifth day God created humidity and 85 degrees with chaps, leather, and all the gear (My wife, the safety nut, was almost ready to finish the ride in her underwear). We deviated from the standard path of I-44 to I-70 to Indianapolis then North to home in order to stop by Nauvoo, IL (some historical siteshere for my faith), where we stayed in a Hampton in Keokuk, IA (yeah, we crossed the Missisippi 5 times on4 different bridges while there). A storm had passed just north and required us to stay an extra day here in order to get home dry (my butt appreciated that extra stay).
On Sunday (yesterday) we packed up, and went north to catch I-80 across to Elkhart IN, to arrive home around dinnertime.
I'm younger than most 'wingers so I am back at work today, and my kids (15, 14, 7, &6) appreciated a week with a younger couple we know. This was an amazing trip that in another lifetime couldn't have worked out for me. I now know why I've dreamed of owning a Goldwing since I was in my 20's, and why I'll never go 'wing-less as long as I am physically able to ride the thing.
Thanks to the people on this site who have helped me get my bike ready, and the one member who I spoke with in Shawnee, OK.
Now, to get a better seat cover, and plan another trip for next year!!