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Customer Road Trips
- Scott Finnell - Blue Ridge Parkway
Total trip: 19 Days
Total mileage: Approx. 4400
I made my first cross-country motorcycle trip in 1979 on a GL1000.I rode from Waco, Texas through Yellowstone National Park and Vancouver, BC to Tacoma, Washington for my best friend’s wedding.Since then, I’ve ridden several 100,000 miles to some of the most beautiful spots in the country.One of my favorites is the Blue Ridge Parkway.This October my wife Judy (on her 2008 Gold Wing Trike) and I (on my 2012 Gold Wing) set out on a fall ride.We left Georgetown with the goal of great riding in the mountains.We allowed plenty of time so we could avoid super long days, Interstate Highways and bad weather, as much as possible.300-350 miles a day was a target but we had a couple of 450-mile days.Our plan was to camp in state parks if the weather was nice and cheap hotels if it got too cold or wet.
Our route took us first to Natchez, Mississippi.In Natchez we picked up the Natchez Trace Parkway and rode it almost to Nashville, Tennessee.The parkway is a great ride of about 440 miles.There are limited commercial vehicles, light traffic and a speed limit of 50 mph.I really like this parkway but I recommend it be ridden on the way to the Blue Ridge and not afterwards.The fall colors of the Blue Ridge make the evergreens of the Natchez Trace seem dull.They aren’t, but my advice is you’ll enjoy it more if you ride it first.
After exiting from the Natchez Trace we headed northeast to the Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.Skyline Drive is a 105-mile parkway that runs the entire length of the Park.We had planned to ride the entire parkway but we began about 30 miles in because of our camping arrangements.The Skyline Drive road becomes the Blue Ridge Parkway.If it wasn’t marked, you wouldn’t know when one ended and the other began.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best motorcycle roads in the country.It is 469 miles long and connects the Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.We were lucky enough to hit at the peak of the fall colors. Skyline and the Blue Ridge are 2 to 3 full days of riding.One of the most memorable experiences for us on this trip was when a fighter jet flew a few hundred feet right over us.It was exciting to see so close but it was so loud and happened so fast that it scared us to death before we realized what was going on. Not far from the end of the parkway is the most famous motorcycle road in America, the Tail of the Dragon.As many times as I have ridden in this part of the country, I had never taken the time to ride this famous road.The Dragon is on US 129. It begins in North Carolina but most of the road is actually in Tennessee.It boasts 318 curves in just 11 miles.I must say, it was a little like an amusement park ride.We rode it twice.But beware that the police are active in the area and there are lots of other bikes on the road as well.
After riding the Dragon, we headed over to Greenville, South Carolina where I ran my 89th marathon in my 49th state.From Greenville, we headed back across Tennessee to Springfield Missouri.We avoided the interstates and even road the ferry across the Mississippi.In Springfield, I ran my 90th marathon and my 50th state. By completing the marathon, I became one of about a 1000 people in the country who have run a marathon or farther in all 50 states (I’d been working on that goal for 29 years).After the marathon, we headed back to Georgetown.In all we traveled about 4400 miles through 12 states in 19 days.Remarkably, we only rode through 2 hours of rain.
- John Hall - Central Arizona
Total trip 5 days
Total mileage 2368
Total time in the saddle 43 hours
I left Salado Thursday 9/25/14 around 8:00 AM headed for Las Cruces for the first leg of my trip. Made fuel stops in Junction, Ozona, Fort Stockton, Van Horn and finally Las Cruces. Total of 680 miles the first day in 11 hours. Prior to that 600 miles was my longest one day trip to Ruidoso on my old GL 1500. I must say the new 1800 is more comfortable that the old one. I think I wore out the original seat on the old one.
Next morning I left Las Cruces around 7:30 headed for Chandler AZ by way of Globe AZ. Trying to get in as many mountains as possible. Arrived at my hotel in Chandler around 5:30 and thankful that I got there before the severe thunderstorms hit. Left my bike parked in the hotel parking lot all day Saturday because of the severe storms and flooding with possibility of hail and tornados.
Left early Sunday morning and rode to Payson, Show Low, Springerville, Alpine, Silver City NM and back to Las Cruces for the night. This leg of the trip was by far the best. Riding through the Tonto National Forest and the Gila National Forest and mountains of eastern AZ. I wished I had planned on staying the night there instead of rushing to get back to Las Cruces for the night because there is too much to see and when your just passing through trying to get to your next destination before dark you miss a lot of beautiful scenery. I forgot about losing and hour getting back to Las Cruces before dark and I did make it back around 6:30.
Monday morning I left Las Cruces headed back home with the intention of spending the night in Junction since I was losing an hour coming back, but since I made it to Junction around 5:00 I figured that I had enough time to make it all the way home before dark. Got home Monday night around 7:30.
I wish there were a better route to get there because I-10 is not the most beautiful road to travel especially when you’re traveling alone. The advantage of traveling alone is you can stop when you want to and stay where you want to as long or short as you want to. The disadvantage is if you breakdown you’re on your own. You also talk to yourself a lot!
Next trip to AZ, I want to spend more time in the mountains including Sedona, Jerome and Prescott. Been through there a couple times before and its beautiful. I originally planned a 7 day trip to include those locations but then decided I might be too tired to ride back home. Besides the weather was uncertain. Since my wife does not ride with me and she does not like to stay home alone I try to keep my trips as short as possible We also have horses and getting someone you trust to take care of horses is not easy.
- Cathy - Multi-state
Total mileage: est. 4300
Hi I'm Cathy, I ride a 2013 ST-S CAN-AM SPYDER with TRAILER, which I purchased from CTPS. I recently went on the trip of my life which included 16 states totaling about 4300 miles. I started out in the middle of July from Texas and went through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia. I stopped in West Virginia for one week and two weekends and stayed with friends. I headed north back to Virginia on through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and on into Vermont where I stayed for three weeks. When I left I went back through New York to the western side towards Niagara Falls and went south through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and back to Texas. I must say that my bike ran flawlessly. I pulled my trailer jammed packed and didn't even feel like it was there. I didn't have any kind of problems with my bike or with people. Hope to go on another soon. You only live once...I'm working on doing just that! Travel safely and have fun.