In the fall of 2007 I rode the BMW to the Seattle area to "help" Linda with her house construction project, an addition onto the home of her sisters and brother there. Ann, David, and Barbara live on five wooded acres near the town of Poulsbo, which is on the Kitsap Peninsula in Puget Sound, west of Seattle. This year that project became an excuse for yet another ride.
In the coming years we expect to be up there most of each summer as well as some in the winter. I wanted to have my Buell Ulysses up there, as it's an ideal bike for exploring the wonderful roads, both paved and dirt, of that area. This summer would be my chance to ride it up and leave it, since I could ride back with Linda. She headed up in the Prius in early summer and I followed on the Buell a few weeks later. The timing for the trip let me attend the Buell Motorcycle Company 25th anniversary in East Troy, Wisconsin (near Milwaukee) on the way up. (I knew better than to ride into the Buell factory parking lot on a BMW.)
I plan my bike trips using Microsoft Streets and Trips. Once I put East Troy in as a waypoint, it always showed up as being right on the way from Dallas to Poulsbo. (Clever, huh?) Besides attending the Buell anniversary the trip gave me a chance to visit several friends I don't see often enough. I rarely get through the northern part of the Midwest, so I took full advantage of the opportunity and had a great time. Linda's direct diagonal route up (not shown) was about 2200 miles. My roundabout one via Milwaukee was a little over 4000. Our return route down the coast and back home was about 3000.
I left Bruce doing the work
and headed north
First stop would be the Texas Astronomical Society dark sky site near Atoka, Oklahoma
I come to the annual TAS picnic, but almost never look at the sky. My timing worked.
Dan Doyle and his son enjoyed the picnic
Margaret's grandmother was named Mary Crowder
Lake Eufala (I think)
Ken and Margaret in Tahlequah, OK
They've done a great job landscaping this place
Heading east into Arkansas
Lake Bull Shoals (I think)
A shady rest stop on the way to St. Louis
Gillian, Michelle, and Paula Greenlaw
Ian & Gillian
No caption required
Leaving St. Louis
Everyone is dying to go to Raymond
This is the living room of our friend Kathleen, in Champaign Illinois. We had a great visit.
She sent me off the next morning with a virtual toast.
Werner and Bridgette Schmidt of Starlight Instruments, in Schaumberg, Illinois (Chicago)
Rich Presioso of the great duo "Small Potatoes" in Cary, Illinois (Chicago)
Rich and Jacquie also have an ongoing house project
East Troy, Wisconsin, is about 40 miles southwest of Milwaukee
It's the home of the Buell Motorcycle Company
Buell motorcycles are a bit rare overall, but not around here
We did a some group rides in the area near the factory
I came from Texas to Wisconsin for barbecue? I thought they only ate cheese.
Buell models over the years
First time I ever had trouble picking out my Buell in a parking lot
Erik Buell signed autographs for hours
Including one for this fan. I really admire what he's done.
The factory floor
The new 1125 R, with a water cooled L-twin made by Rotax in Austria
It's the first Buell to use an engine other than a Harley air-cooled pushrod V-twin
300 people at the buffet dinner and I happened to pick the table where Erik would show up later
The early days of Buell Motorcycles
When Erik toted parts for the bikes
Erik has his own band. The guitar is his birthday present from his employees
I learned on the factory tour that Yerkes Observatory was a half hour away so I stopped by
and found they are only open on Saturday mornings
Perfect! I'll pass right by here then as I head west.
Good bike roads around East Troy
Lunch stop on one of our group rides
Summerfest in Milwaukee was in full swing
Harley of course had a big presence
with a big soundstage
and a Buell Ulysses right up front
The view from our hotel window
I left Saturday morning and my first stop was here at Yerkes Observatory
The Yerkes 40" is the world's largest refractor, a distinction it will hold forever.
Heading west toward Iowa (Could you have guessed?)
Past the home of Ulysses S. Grant in Galena, Illinois
The town was named for the lead ore mined here
On to Janesville, Iowa, just north of Cedar Falls
The home of Mike and Vicki Hunemiller
and a couple of cool pups
Their backyard is the bank of the Cedar River, near the headwaters
With pumps and help from friends, they didn't flood nearly like the folks on downriver at Cedar Rapids
Mike had kept his Harley dry and we swapped to take a ride, as we try to do every 5 years or so.
Not all the energy in Iowa comes from corn
I stopped to suit up for the storm I could see in front of me to the west
Some of the hardest rain I've ever ridden in, but the Super 8 in Sioux City had a good clothes dryer.
The M.V. Sergeant Floyd is named for the only Lewis and Clark expedition member to die on the trip
Pine Ridge reservation of the Lakota
Oh, give me a home . . .
Custer, Wyoming. Note the sign for Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Mountain
Crazy Horse Monument is about 20 miles from Mt. Rushmore
I visited here in 1994 on my return trip from Alaska and wanted to check on the progress
The details of the face have been finished since then
The very nice new visitor center was also completed.
I planned the route to let me ride the Beartooth Highway northeast of Yellowstone, a well known bike road
I can't make a road trip without a photo like this as the sun sets
I also have a thing for photos like this
This was the only gas station on the Beartooth Highway. I had coasted most of the last 30 miles.
I'm a big admirer of Hinmatooyalatkecht (aka Chief Joseph) so I had to ride his road too
Lunch in Cody was a great sandwich and a Moose Drool beer
The east entrance would take me through the only part of the park I had never ridden
Every few years I come through to see how the park is recovering from those forest fires
and to smell the sulphur . . ..
and say "Hi" to the bison
Artist Point (no Photoshop, it actually looks like this)
After the stunning view at Artist Point, I walked back to the bike and began my usual ritual to of gear back up to ride. In a daze I stuck the bike key in my ear and tried to push my earplug into the Buell's ignition switch. When I saw no one was looking, I just had to turn the key back and forth in my ear and say "vroom, vroom, vroom."
They brake for bears
Even those that are way off the highway cause traffic jams
There was no room at the inn
I finally found the next to last room in Gardiner, north of the park
Next day I stopped at the Harley shop for oil and recommendations on the route to Missoula
On through Virginia City
One of the main battlefields of the 1877 Nez Perce war
"1200 miles retreating, three times over the divide." They tried to escape to Canada and some of them made it.
This is where the US Cavalry attacked the Nez Perce while they slept
Friends Bill and Mary Muse in Missoula
They have a great view, but want to come back to the Texas Hill Country some day
Motorcycles aren't allowed to "ride the range." (The buffalo weigh four times as much as a bike.)
Flathead Lake, near Big Fork, Montana
Home of friends Tom and Susan Kratt
Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park
I had a very nice dinner in the lodge dining room
Then went to a great concert by my friend Jack Gladstone, a great Blackfeet singer/songwriter
Jack is a cultural bridge builder. He's played in our home several times and I hope will again.
His daughter Mariah now performs with him
She demonstrates the sign language that allowed communication between tribes
and handles the sales of Jack's CD's
I spent the night in Jack's friend's "barn" near Whitefish
Nicest barn I've ever slept in, by far
Jack and Mariah had left early to fly back east for a concert
I gave the GPS a workout finding my way back to the highway
This place had some good (and much needed) coffee
I picked up this map for a brief foray into British Columbia
Entry into Canada was quick and easy.
This is the new Can-Am Trike, made in Canada by Bombardier of Austria
This is my very favorite T-shirt. Jack Gladstone gave it to me many years ago.
Coming through customs back into the US was a real mess. It took more than an hour.
Beautiful Lake Pend Orielle, just east of Sandpoint, Idaho
My friend Roger King lives a few miles west of Sandpoint
Honoring his Irish heritage, Roger is known as "the Leprechaun of Johnny Long Mountain"
He has policies to insure public safety in dangerous places like this.
That doesn't stop him from flying his beautiful new/old Aeronca from the airfield at Priest River
Or from riding my Buell up and down the runway.
Roger's BMW was in my garage in Wylie at the moment (it's a long story)
He builds a great fire and cooks some mean "redneck weenies"
He also brings me tires for my bike when I have a blowout in the middle of nowhere.
Another look at Lake Pend Orielle, this time west of Sandpoint
I think the vote of the folks in Spokane was right on. The great breakfast was worth the long wait.
I have a knack for finding forest fires in this area (duh!)
So that's where that term came from.
Approaching the ferry terminal to cross Puget Sound
Not a bad view from north of downtown.
The ferry took me from Edmunds to Kingston, on the Kitsap Peninsula
To the home of Linda's brother and sisters. The original house is on the left, the new addition on the right.
This workshop will someday be a living room.
and this will Linda's mother's bedroom
Linda's sister Anne has a new work building.
We set up the new futon and spent our first night in the new addition.
We soon had hot water.
and a few other essentials (I still prefer the woods)
The new Ryobi table saw was amazing for the money.
It shares the garage at night with the Buell.
The front porch of the addition is a great place to take breaks.
The porch on the main house is good for bird watching.
Preparing to lay the bamboo flooring in Linda's mother's bedroom
Linda with her sister Anne
With her sister Barbara (and Ursula)
After we got the flooring down we moved the futon into Linda's mom's future bedroom
I took a day off to do the 10,000-mile service on the Buell. It made a big difference.
Quixote was in charge of supervising the Buell tune up
Ursula keeps us all well guarded.
Sisters! Don't ya just love 'em?
The greenhouse after it was relocated to make room for the new addition.
Barbara is preparing an experiment.
for the science class she teaches
Eureka, a perfect pattern
Barbara teaches at a community college in Seattle.
Who says science can't be fun?
With support from Ursula
There's nothing like teaching science to make you feel like a kid
Speaking of kids, this is their friend, Pappa Jack
He invited me to go kayaking in Puget Sound
It took me almost a millisecond to say "Yes!"
My first minute aboard a kayak
Jack demonstrates proper technique
and I wobble my way up the inlet
to view some great wildlife
No way I can keep up with these guys
But I am beginning to get the hang of it, and I love it!
What a wonderful afternoon. Thanks, Papa Jack!
This area is just beautiful in every way and it's hard to leave.
but we must head down the coast and toward home
Linda and our songwriter friend (and great cook) Doug Clegg in Santa Barbara
and our other songwriter friend (and woman extraordinaire) Kate Wallace
Look up "friendly" in the dictionary and see photos of their two dogs
Dinner under the avocado tree with Doug and Katie
Ahhhh! I do relate, guys!
Time to head out for Sunday brunch
on the waterfront
at Moby Dick's
Then east through Palm Springs
to El Paso to see our friends John and Debbie York
John leads us out to see the place they are remodeling for their future home
What a place this will be
Does everyone we know have a building project?
I bet none of the others have a view like this.
I was intrigued by these after dinner signs at sunset.
William, Samantha, and Debbie
The York family
Out the kitchen window
John with Samantha and William
Hard to leave our last stop before home. In two weeks we would be in York, England (named for these guys)