2007 West - -  a bike trip to Puget Sound


Linda had bought a house a few months before we met in 1995. She was fixing it up and when she moved to the country with me she rented it out. Last year her tenant finally moved and she decided to sell it. She wanted to invest the equity in an addition to the house owned by her two sisters and brother near Seattle. Ann, David, and Barbara live on five acres outside the town of Poulsbo, on the Kitsap Peninsula in Puget Sound. The addition will have room for us and for Linda's mother Cathy, who now lives in Florida. It will let us escape the hottest part of the Texas and Florida summers, and someday it might become a full time home.

Linda did the design and is the general contractor. In October of '07 it was time for her to fly up to get the construction crew started. I know an excuse for a bike trip when I see one, so I said "I know it's important that I be there as well, and I promise to stay out of the way." I planned my route through some places I hadn't been before and it became a three-week, 6500-mile loop. Along the way I visited many friends, some of just a few years and some of more than forty.

It was a great attitude adjustment trip, as such bike trips always are. The temperature ranged from almost 100o in Texas to as low as 24o in Nevada. As I expected, I hit rain in lots of places. What I didn't expect was the sleet in Colorado and the snow in the passes of Oregon and northern California. (What happened to global warming) Through it all, my BMW R1200RT did everything I asked of it, and kept its marginally clothed rider warm enough to survive. What a great motorcycle.

Thirty-five years ago Margaret and I would roll our clothes, cameras, and camping gear in a tarp and strap it on a homemade wooden rack on the 750 Honda. We were very young. Fortunately, motorcycles have advanced almost as much as I've declined since those days. The RT has hard luggage, a power wind shield, electronic suspension, heated grips and seat, and cruise control. At the end of the day, instead of pitching a tent I look for a comfortable bed in a dry room. Have I become spoiled? Yes.

Tom Noe


  next page
1 - Texas, New Mexico, & Colorado 5 - Nevada & Utah
2 - Wyoming, the Dakotas, & Montana 6 - Colorado
3 - Idaho and Washington 7 - New Mexico
4 - Oregon & California 8 – Back to Texas