iRide Recap – Final Entry

My intention for this blog was to share our iRide experience with family and friends. If anything, it let everyone know that we were safe and also provide our current location. I tried to blog the highlights of iRide but in reality it only covers a small percentage of what we experienced. We’ve seen so much in a short period of time. I’ve had to a few days to reflect and think about our journey. Everything happens for a reason and what makes this trip so memorable is that we had so many positive experiences throughout the country. It’s also confirmation by having a partner with a positive attitude you will enjoy the moments shared together ten fold.

We were fortunate to have a few photos taken with each other. I know we can always do the arms length photos but its also nice to have typical snapshot photos too. Some of the photos below were taken by complete strangers that we happened to meet while stopping for gas or food.

First day of iRide leaving Starfish Court. We had full riding gear on with padded protection. By the time iRide was over we down to tank tops and t-shirts. I bought at a long sleeve T-shirt in Route 66 and wore it 90% of the time, it sort of became my lucky t-shirt. When the weather started to get close to the 100 degree mark, off went Lorraine’s gear. She suntanned on the back of the Goldwing probably the first 1500 miles or so.

Spent the day with Mallory and Patrick in New Orleans, LA. We are at the West Side of the Mississippi waiting for the dueling barges 4th of July fireworks to begin. The French Quarters located on the other side of the river I believe the area we stayed in was called Algiers. What a cool and different way to spend independence day!

On the way to Florida we stopped at the famous Cafe Du Monde. Lorraine said it wouldn’t be right to be in New Orleans and not have their Beignets and Coffee.

Here we are at the tourist section of Orlando, FL. My sister and bro-in-law treated us out to this place called Bahama Breeze. Great conversation, food and location. The restaurant located right across the street from the Embassy Suites, the hotel we stayed for a few days.

We took this photo in Cocoa Beach, FL. just before we walked down to Atlantic Ocean side sands. Thanks again to Judi and Nick for taking a lot of photos and showing us the ideal spot.

After spending time at the beach we had grubbed down on some Southern BBQ.

Getting ready for our Graceland VIP Tour. Memphis TN

Lorraine and I in front of Graceland Mansion. This is not an easy shot to get as there are at any moment hundreds of tourist walking around. We happened to be at the right place at the right time and having an employee present to take the picture.

Rolling the high plains of Checotah, Oklahoma. You’ve heard that place before right? LOL!! This is near the Eastern part of Oklahoma. I have to say once we hit the panhandle area it felt like I was on a treadmill going 90MPH as the scenery was the same for miles and miles. I thought taking the backroads would allow us to see more of the hidden treasures of traveling. I soon found out there is nothing to hide for hundreds of miles.

We rode the trolley, carriage around Beal, Front and Main Street Memphis, TN. It just so happened that they were having bike night on Beal Street. This meant plenty of live entertainment and businesses being open for tourist as well as the bike night attendees. Memphis is one of those towns where you need at least a week to explore. We were there for 2 days, just long enough to do the Graceland tour. Luckily we stayed in the downtown area which made it walking distance to the local attractions. The young lady driving the carriage took this photo for us.

Going through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Colorado. That just has a kick-ass ring to it! We stopped for gas in a small community called Gypsum. One of the local girls offered to take a photo of us.

Before we left the Atlantic Ocean we did the classic beach shot. To the other beach goers we must have looked odd, a biker couple grabbing the sand and touching the water with huge smiles and giving each other the high five!

Having the experience of iRide was validation that we both loved long distance touring and that it will now become a goal for us to do each year. We may have longer or shorter rides in the future but none will ever be like iRide. This was a 50th birthday present from my wife Lorraine, a bucket list check off, a test to see if I had what it took to finish the journey. It was a ride of a life time!!!

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Day 18 – iRide…

Wendover UT to Stockton, CA – Woke up this morning for the home stretch ride home. I did my normal visual bike inspection and found that the left side rear tire had the braided threads showing through!!! There was also a gash close to the center of the tire. I must have ran over something but it didn’t puncture all the way through. This presented a problem as the dinky town we were in wouldn’t carry the tires I needed for the bike and probably didn’t have the services to do the tire change and balancing. We contacted our family Tudie and Louie and they confirmed that the Honda dealership in Reno NV had our tire and would be able to make the change out. The problem, we had to ride close to 400 miles. Looking at the tire I’d say we had about 1000 miles left before it was done. As long as I kept my speed down to 60MPH the tire shouldn’t get to hot, I’d be able to avoid road hazards and most importantly control the bike if the rear tire blew. Off we went…

Riding West on I-80 at 60MPH is like walking on the sidewalk and cars passing you, there is a huge difference in speed. So when I spotted this biker 360 miles later on the side of the road he stuck out like a sore thumb. The biker motto is to help a fellow biker in need so it didn’t even dawn on me to pass him by as others had before me. It turned out “Nathan” was on his way to the Yamaha V-Star rally and miscalculated his gas usage. After introductions and understanding the situation I decided to give him some of my gas as I had 3/4 of a tank left. We ended up pulling his reserve hose off to use as the siphoning tube. He had a styrofoam cup and started the process… cough, gag, tears, dry heave… this guy didn’t know how to syphon gas. When he was finally able to get a few teaspoons in the styrofoam cup Lorraine yelled “the bottom is coming off, it’s melting”

Well… that didn’t work out to good. We then tried a Gatorade bottle. Nathan went at it again…cough, gag, tears, dry heave, spit… It turned out he was storing mouthful of gas in his mouth and spitting it into the bottle!!! At this point I did what any biker would do. I asked Lorraine to start taking pictures of him! LOL!!! I watched him for a few more minutes and when he gave up I took the hose, gave a slight suck, pointed the hose down into the bottle and filled it up. Yeah, I have experience in syphoning gas. Once we had a couple of bottles worth of gas into his tank we took off for the gas station. As luck would have it we made it with no problems, he said his thanks and we left on our way to Reno. 40 miles to go!

Sometimes you have to let a pro do it!

We arrived in Reno NV with plenty of time to spare as the service department closed at 6pm. We had both the front and rear tires replaced as they were going to need it once we got home. It’s better to be safe then have regrets later. The photo below is inside the Reno Honda Dealership, the Goldwing is ready to roll!

I’ll need to figure out how much the total cost for gas was for the whole trip. The last gas stop for iRide!

We rode 608 miles today. Back in Stockton!!! WE MADE IT!!!

I must say, this had to be one of my greatest accomplishments. As a biker, it has always been in the back of mind if I was able to ride across the country. A ride of this magnitude is both physically and mentally challenging. Your riding skills need to be locked down for all the unexpected road conditions that may come up, there is no chance for error, zero. I’m responsible for the safety of my wife and riding partner Lorraine.

I’ve ridden through the blistering 110 degree temperatures of the Mojave Desert, watched the spectacular sun rise across the deserts in Arizona. I’ve seen the glowing red rock formations as I entered New Mexico and amazing thunder and lightning as we left. I’ve ridden the high wind deserts of Texas and the congested freeways of Dallas. I was able to experience the plush forestry landsscape entering Louisiana right after a late afternoon rain fall. I’ve cruised along the Southern highways of Mississippi and Alabama. I glided along the Florida coastlines and then its long sweeping curves as I headed towards the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve seen the amazing grassy hills of Arkansas and ridden the high plains of the Oklahoma panhandle for miles and miles. I was able to climb to elevations a mile high into the Colorado Rocky Mountains and down to the Salt Lake Flats. I rode the peaks of Western Nevada on my way home to the San Joaquin Valley.

This has been a journey of a lifetime. This was all made possible by my wife Lorraine. Having my partner in life beside me every mile of the way, experiencing the moments together made my 50th birthday bucket list iRide all it could possibly be. I love you and appreciate everything you did for me. Thank  you Mami, we accomplished this journey together.

States we travelled through:
California
Nevada
Arizona
New Mexico
Louisiana
Mississippi
Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Tennessee
Oklahoma
Colorado
Utah
Texas

Total Miles:
6,637

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Day 17 – iRide…

Parachute CO to Wendover UT – Today was probably the most trying of all the days we rode. The weather seemed relentless with heavy rain for what seemed a like the whole days ride. We came across a town called Wellington UT and the rain started to dump so hard I could feel the bike go into hydroplane at only 40MPH. This is one of the few times I had to find cover quick, luckily an abandoned gas stations overhang was a couple of blocks away. We parked there for a half hour or so and moved on.

From I-70 Colorado we ended up taking Highway 6 through Price Canyon. This would normally be a super nice ride through the twist and turns but heavy rains made it difficult to see in the two way roads. I caught up to a couple of KTM touring guys and used them as reference for speed on the oncoming twisties.

After stopping to see Jerry (Lorraine’s nephew) and family in Salt Lake City we headed off towards Nevada. It was a nice break to visit Jerry and family as we had the pleasure of having a home cooked meal. Heading out of Utah towards Nevada we saw what was coming ahead. We checked out the satellite reports and it didn’t look good. A major storm was heading towards us and right into our path West. Being that I was short time to get home I decided we would ride a couple hundred more miles while we had some daylight.

I’ll have to say, out of all my riding miles this had to be in the top 3. I’ve intentionally ridden in storms locally to see if I could do it but I was familiar with the roads and surrounding areas (I rode one of the worse storms in Stockton history, Lorraine was pissed) Once we hit the Salt Lake Flats area I literally rode for miles at an angle to counter the crosswinds. Not only were there high winds but the rain and  hail made visibility a bitch to maintain a line. At one point the sun was settling down to the West and rain turned into ice/hail. This caused a crazy condition where everything was shining like tiny mirrors. The reflections were so severe I had to ride behind a trailer rig so I could follow the outline and also hope the cars at my rear would see the same thing and not plow into us. There was no safe area to pull over and wait this one out so we had to move on. To top this off, large tumbleweeds are blowing across the roadway. Once I hit the Bonneville Salt Lake Flats area I was in for another new experience. The actual surface particles of the Salt Lake Flats were blowing across and creating this white fog! I hollered at Lorraine to cover her nose and mouth as we’re about to ride through it.

We finally made it to one of those casino hole in the wall towns called Wendover and stayed at this MOTEL not a Hotel called Kingmen. This was a real dump, probably more so then the one we stayed in Panama City FL. At this point we both were too tired to go hunting for another spot. We’re heading home tomorrow early in the morning. I think Lorraine is going to sleep in her biker gear so she could be ready to leave as soon as possible. I may leave my socks on. LOL!!

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Day 16 – iRide…

Colorado Springs CO to Parachute CO – Today our goal was to be in either Salt Lake City or Selena UT. The early part of the ride from Colorado Springs to the through the Rockies Mountains had a lot of traffic once we transitioned to I-70. It was bumper to bumper for a few miles.

Once we broke into the open highway it was nothing but awesome views all around us. If you want to see photos of the Rockies you can google it. For Lorraine and I it was one of those “Oh Damnnnnn!” rides. When you ride a motorcycle through the Rockies you’re part of it. Not only do you see and hear the sounds around you, the smell and temperature will also be a big factor to the overall experience.

The twist and turns are tame by biker standards but that allows you to look around and enjoy the ride even more. We have a lot of videos and photos taken during this piece of iRide. One memorable experience was hitting the over 10,000 foot mark and popping out of the Eisenhower tunnel right smack into cold rain and hail. This was totally unexpected since the none of this was happening at the beginning of the tunnel. I’m not sure how long the tunnel is but it’s fairly dang long.

It got to the point where I had to pull over off the roadside and make sure Lorraine was geared up better so I got her into her wet gear then off we went again. Even though we were heading downwards there was still a lot of puddles and standing water on the road I had to take it easy or risk going into a hydroplane.

EDIT: Wikipedia reference info on the Eisenhower Tunnel. I thought it was significant enough to mention.

“The Eisenhower bore (westbound tunnel) is 1.693 mi (2.72 km) long while the Johnson bore (eastbound tunnel) is 1.697 mi (2.73 km) long. The tunnels are sloped with a 1.64% grade, with an elevation of 11,013 feet (3,357 m) at the east portal and 11,158 feet (3,401 m) at the west portal. At the time of dedication, they were the highest vehicular tunnels in the world.[1] The Eisenhower Tunnel remains the highest vehicular tunnel in the United States”

Most of the ride was without rain and just being blown away by each curve passed through. There were several tunnel going through the mountains that added another riding sensation.

The Rocky Mountains was another highlight to the iRide Journey. I would have never in a million years thought I’d be riding my motorcycle through one of our nations most popular routes. I also never thought in 2 million years that I’d be sharing the moment with my gorgeous wife.

A nice young lady offered to take our photo at a gas station West Side of the Rockies a town called Gypsum. The towns we passed were very small communities, I  think most of them based their livelihood on the ski and tourist market.

Moving along the canyons, view were spectacular with every turn.

We stopped of one of those rest stop off the highway. This particular rest stop was named “no name” that’s what it actually said on the exit sign. This spot was also a nice location for photo ops.

On our way out of the Rockies I could see storm clouds a few miles ahead and decided to pull over into a gas station at a town called Parachute. When that storm came it was thunder and lightning and a lot of rain being blown sideways due to the high winds. The forecast was showing thundershowers for the rest of the evening so I called it a day. Luckily a Comfort Inn Suite was just around the corner. Lorraine ordered delivery Pizza and when it arrive we just chilled and ate pizza on the bed. Nice to have an early night.

When you’re spending a good amount of time on the road traveling to far locations. There is a good chance you’re going to have to make a decision to ride through weather, pull over and wait or just call it a day. Today, I thought it better to call it a day when the weather became unridable for me. That’s why they have the saying “Live to Ride”.

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Day 15 – iRide…

Oklahoma City to Colorado Springs CO – One thing about riding the interstates you miss a lot of the great backroad scenery. Today I had this genius idea to ride the backroads from Oklahoma to Colorado. I guess I should have figured on riding the high plains of the Oklahoma pan handle for hours and hours! I can remember reading about the great plains and the dust bowl during the 1930’s. I never really gave it much thought until I had to ride through it. As far as you can see it is flat as a pancake. Not a single tree, hill or mountain in site for miles and miles. It’s during these times riding a motorcycle your mind starts to wonder if you had bike trouble you’d be in deep shit out there. Forget about cell phone service, you lost signal as soon you turned off the main highway looking for adventures.

Another caveat about backroad riding is the “eye blink” towns you come across. Typical backroad speeds are 65MPH. As you approach a town it drops to 55MPH as you get right to the border of the town it again drops down to 45MPH. This is where you will see the local law enforcement parked. He’ll make sure you’re within the towns driving speed of 35MPH! The various speeds are confusing as you may think the previous speed posted is the current speed allowed. If you miss a sign you’ll be over the speed limit! Oh! let’s not forget the work construction zones that are all over the place. If you are cited for anything it will be double the fine. Nice.

Luckily somebody had the idea of having a business out in the middle of nowhere. I guess this spot is popular with bikers since they do have gas and plenty of beverages. This is the only place in our whole trip that I saw a dog barking at us from the roof of a house. (home was attached to the business)

I spoke with a pack of bikers touring the Rocky Mountains and Wyoming. They mentioned that they took the Wyoming route over the Rockies. I’m plan on taking I-70. Someday we’ll do the loop iRide over the Northern states.

Mami chillin’ out for a minute before we enter Oklahoma Panhandle

We passed a few Sunflower fields. I can’t recall seeing anything like this in California though I’m sure they exists somewhere. This particular road HWY 270 is very desolate so stopping and snapping a few photos was no problem at all.

We didn’t see much in Oklahoma City since we came in late after a long days ride. I wanted to make a visit to the Oklahoma Memorial Building but just not enough time. Try again some other day.

Fun comment: I saw bike coming from behind me trying to catch up while in heading into Oklahoma City. He passed me as I was cruising at 80MPH. Once I knew he wasn’t a trooper I locked onto his speed. He tried to increase his and get away so I just kept on increasing my speed. After going for 7-8 miles at high speeds he finally peeled off. I have a Roadking in which this guy was riding. I know he can’t sustain high speeds over 100MPH very long, on a Goldwing it’s cruising speed. I still rode with one hand. :)

Disclaimer: I always ride safe and know my riding conditions and capability.

634 miles logged in today.

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Day 14 – iRide…

Memphis TN to Oklahoma City OK – We had to gear up for rain when we left the hotel in downtown Memphis. The rain started earlier then I had expected, I thought the morning hours would be cloudy but not actually raining. Wrong..

It stopped raining once we were about 40 miles away from Memphis heading down I-40 West.

We stopped in a town called Conway Oklahoma. While I was cooling off a club rider rolled in wearing Black & Yellow colors. If you know me, those particular colors have a significance with me. I started conversation and got to learn a little bit about the motorcycle community in the area. He’s the club President of the local chapter.

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Day 13 – iRide…

Memphis TN Downtown to Graceland Memphis TN – this was another highlight for the iRide trip. We left downtown Memphis Tennessee and headed towards Graceland which is less then 10 miles from where were staying. I had pre-ordered Graceland’s VIP package the night before so we were all set.

If your  going to visit Graceland the VIP package is the way to go. You don’t have to wait in any lines, you get your own shuttle service to the mansion, access to the bonus Lisa Marie room. All this is worth the extra bucks, trust me.

We pulled into the Graceland parking next to another biker. This guy “Steve” has been touring the country for six weeks! He asked if he could take a photo of us for his scrapbook, I asked if he would take the picture below :)

Lorraine was stoked beyond recognition! Like I mentioned earlier this was a major deal as she has always wanted to visit Graceland. I had routed iRide to make sure we would be able to include Graceland.

Between my Canon S100 and my iPhone 4 I probably took close to 275 photos during our stay in Graceland. Due to the amount I’m not going to post them here, I’ll be creating an online gallery of all the iRide photos later.

I took a lot of photos of Graceland Mansion and surrounding grounds and quite a few of Lorraine enjoying the moment at Graceland. Some were posed and others are candids.

I’d say we covered everything to see at Graceland. The VIP package allowed you to check out the car museum and Lisa Marie airplane exhibits too. What was nice about the car museum it included a few motorcycles Elvis owned. We headed back to downtown Memphis loaded with as much Elvis souvenirs that would fit in the bike.

Once back at the hotel we took off for dinner. We’ve heard of a place called “Gus” as the best place to get fried chicken in Memphis TN. So we hopped on the trolley and headed down Main St. towards Martin Luther King Blvd. – we then hopped off and walked a block to Front street where Gus is located.

Now I consider myself a well schooled fried chicken finger licken’ expert. I’d have to rate Gus as one of my top 3. I’m not convinced it’s better then Fuerelo’s in the French Quarter New Orleans but it is damn close.

After dinner we walked along Beal Street, their version of Bourbon Street. It so happened to be bike night and they had 3 blocks reserved just for bikes.

Carriage ride through downtown Memphis Main street right to our hotel doorstep :)

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Day 12 – iRide…

Montgomery Alabama to Tupelo Mississippi & Memphis Tennessee – We left Montgomery early in the morning. I’m glad to say we left early too. It had to be the least liked place to stay so far during the iRide trip. We met a guy at a gas stop / fried chicken joint and he mentioned that he wouldn’t have even tried to stay at Montgomery, just move on the next nearest town with a hotel. It has that bad of reputation with the locals.

To be fair the day shift crew was much more hospitable then the night shift. They were borderline rude to their guest. I met a fellow while smoking a cigarette out front and he mentioned the same thing. He tried to make a joke with one of the hotel workers and they looked at him like he was a piece of turd. It seems so weird to see this type of behavior coming from California. I guess this is not uncommon along the different parts of the state. I saw a building that had a huge confederate flag raised in front of their building. I believe it was SOA or Sons of Alabama.

The ride to Tupelo Mississippi first took us through some very rural roads that then led us to more modern streets then to the highway. If you want to really experience the various areas good or bad, riding a motorcycle is the best thing to do. Its not like you can roll up the windows or lock the doors.

Once we hit the main highways and started rolling we saw some of the most plush green forest views. We had rain off and on throughout the ride to Tupelo and Memphis. We have the rain gear handy and gear up pretty quick now. We did make a stop at Pelham Alabama Harley Davidson dealership for our fill of ride pins and t-shirts.

Once we arrived at Tupelo MS there were many signs letting you know Elvis Presley’s home location. I had it punched in my GPS already but I didn’t even have to look at it since there were so many signs.

Lorraine literally hopped off the motorcycle and ran to one of the signs stating we arrived at Elvis Presley’s home. It was still a block away! I have a video of this as the front facing GoPro HD was on and in full HD. LOL!!

I have took a bunch of photos while we were there. You can see how happy Lorraine was just being there, definitely a highlight of our trip!

This is the original home where Elvis Presley was born.

Lorraine is about to step into the home of Elvis Presley for the first time! She’s in cloud 9!

After visiting Elvis Presley’s birthplace it was off to Memphis Tennessee. We hit rain again but already had the rain gear on in anticipation. Also found a strong radio signal as we neared the city 103.5 FM that played old school R&B Ballads.

I had asked around about hotels in Memphis and most of the feedback I got was not to stay near Graceland including the Heartbreak Hotel. The input I got was to stay in the downtown area so we would be within walking distance to the other attractions Memphis has to offer like Beal Street, Riverwalk, Main Street and all the popular restaurants. We stayed at the Comfort Inn Suites on Front street. It was ideal as it had a overhang garage that protected the bike. The hotel let me park the bike right in front of the registration office so it was fairly safe.

After hotel check-in we headed out for a bite to eat. We found a place off of Main Street called Huey’s that was more like a sports and grill joint. I had a philly steak and Lorraine had a philly chicken sandwich. Nothing great but thought I’d mention since I will forget the name later. Oh, another thing to mention. I have noticed in the few restaurants we checked out they have an area on the walls that you’re allowed to write on. Most people will sign their name but I’ve seen a poem or two.

more to come..

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Day 11 – iRide…

Orlando FL to Montgomery AL – Our final destination to the North is a town that has lot of history, especially with the civil rights movement. This is the town where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and was arrested.

The ride to Montgomery is the halfway point between Orlando FL and Memphis TN. We encountered a few thunderstorms along the way but this time we were definitely more prepared and knew what to expect. We had our rain gear on before the rain started to really come down. One thing about riding the Southern states is you have to know you’re going to get thunder showers throughout the day especially in during the afternoon and evenings. You can see the storms coming and decide if your paths will meet then decide if  you should put on the rain gear. We had to do this 2-3 times on this leg of the trip and each time our gear was dry 15 minutes after we rode through the rain. I’m not a fair weather biker so riding in bad weather is not foreign to me. The photo below was taken while we were gassing up the wing. You can actually see the rainfall coming down from the clouds. The lightning and thunder is spectacular to watch unless it’s heading your way!

For lunch we stopped at a restaurant called the Cracker Barrel. It’s a place a co-worker had recommended I try if I was looking for a fried chicken dish. We stopped in Tallahassee FL, a place we’ve been before on our way into Florida. The food was great the service was so, so as the waiter seemed like he was buzzin’ on something. The food was physically there just not in the right plate. Once Lorraine and I made  a few swaps between the food items we were set.

We rode close to 500 miles today. We both drink a lot of water or gatorade to keep hydrated. Every so often I will pop open a Redbull to give me some kick.

Lorraine having a “light” meal before we hit the road again. One thing I’ve noticed is that the food servings are in large portions whether it be good tasting or not. So far I think we’ve both been lucky, the food has been delicious.

Tonight we are staying at the Embassy Suites in downtown Montgomery. I can honestly say the service here compared to Orlando FL is like night and day. The folks at Orlando made every effort to ensure your stay was the best it possilbly could be…

Zoom up close to the photograph below. It will give you an idea how the culture is at least in this particular area.

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Day 10 – iRide…

Orlando, FL to Cocoa Beach, FL – Today’s goal was to make it to any part of the Atlantic Ocean and take a few photos. We took off in the morning for Cocoa Beach which is about 65 miles from where we’re staying. My sister Judi, Bro-in-law Nick and his mother came along too for this once in life time shot. It’s a good thing too otherwise there would have been a lot of solo pictures of Lorraine and I and not together!

The ride to Cocoa Beach was interesting. We had to stop so many times for toll booths! I didn’t realize there were so many along the way. I was told they are strategically placed to generate revenue from tourist wanting to travel to the theme parks. I’m not complaining, Judi and Nick were paying for my toll fee at each stop :) LOL! Thanks guys!

Once we arrived at Cocoa Beach the hunt was on for the historical photo shoot. Call it luck or being blessed again because Judi found the perfect spot! I have to say it’s a huge deal for me to have this opportunity. Being able to ride across the country with my wife has been an awesome experience. We have seen the open highways like we’ve never seen them before and to come to the point where we’ve ridden across the country is a surreal experience. I knew it would be highly unlikely that I would ever make this ride again so the term “chance of a lifetime” really applied here.

Of course the photo session wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t show a photograph of the motorcycle!

After the momentous occasion we took off down the street to enjoy a kickin’ BBQ meal. We ate at a place near the beach called Slow and Low BBQ. I was glad to eat some Southern style BBQ as that’s part of this road trip to trying out the different flavors around the country.

We headed back to Orlando after lunch and once we arrived chilled at the hotel for awhile as we planned on going to Judi and Nick’s place later on the evening for dinner and desert.

The ride over to J/N place is short, not even 10 minutes away from the Embassy Suites. This of course doesn’t account for Lorraine stopping at Walmart on the way… Doooooooh!!

Whenever I see my sister it is always tough to say my goodbye’s. Just like Mallory she lives so far away and I rarely get to see her. I do appreciate the time I have with her but always wish we could spend more time with each other. To be part of each others lives more. Thanks for everything Sis!

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