Southwest 2019 Trip

Last year in august, I rode down to new mexico to visit a friend for a day before I headed off deeper into the desert and south west.


I left Philadelphia PA, at 5am Aug 16 2019. The first night I setup a late camp after dark in meeman-shelby state park outside Memphis TN. I slept for a few hours and hit the road just before sun up. I was west of Fort Worth when I stopped for lunch Saturday. I got to my friends house in Artesia NM at around 11pm.


Sunday was a pretty chill day of hanging out, not riding and getting food. You know, casual stuff.


Monday I left when the sun started to come up. I headed up towards Roswell NM and took 380 across NM into AZ. My original goal was to camp somewhere in Coconino. Then I remembered that there was this wine tasting thing over in Jerome AZ that had stuff from the vinyard the singer in Tool owns. So I figured I’d head there. I had a little too much to drink so I stayed in town at a hotel and hung out. I’m glad I visited Jerome. It’s a cute little town.


Tuesday it was near time for my 5k service so I headed down to Grand Canyon HD and they squeezed me in. I’d called them on Sunday to give them a heads up and see if they had room to work me in. They did, it took a while and I headed up toward Flagstaff to check out the scenery. Ended up in Prescott national forrest that night.


Wed I headed to the Grand Canyon. I’d never been there and had a great time. It was late in the afternoon, there was a lot to see/do there. I knew I wanted to see red rocks in Utah so around 3pm I headed off toward Moab in Utah. I passed a lot of scenery that I wished I had more time for, but I have somewhat of a timeline…… I got there late enough that I didn’t feel like looking for a place to camp so I slept in a hotel, like a savage. I had laundry I wanted to do anyways.


Thursday AM I left Moab and headed to Arches National park. After a whirlwind tour of that I rode over to Canyonlands National park with a slight detour to see Dead Horse Point and Horsetheif campground. Stunning… at any point I felt like seeing the road runner and coyote would be perfectly normal here. Tick tock… home is calling. I headed east. I ended up in Aspen CO. Here’s where things get weird. I ended up in a swanky hotel at a cowboy bar. A girl sits next to me and starts up a conversation. One thing leads to another and she tells me about her kid. I tell her about my wife. We show each other pictures. She looks at me and Kat and goes…. “Did you guys used to go to Ulana’s?” and I’m stunned. Ulannas is a dive bar/club my wife and I went to 16 years ago when we started dating in Philadelphia. Turns out, she used to go too. Remembers us from there, and is out in CO for work related job stuff. The world truly is small.


Friday AM sees me riding through some of the coolest greenery I’ve ever seen. I eventually end up camping in Whistle stop campground just outside of Colby Kansas. It was kinda rainy and mildly annoying. But at least my nose bleeds from the chronic arid deserts had stopped since CO. The rain showers passed.


Sat am I woke up in west Kansas. Today was the day for a push. I rode to Columbus Ohio to visit a friend. I got there at around 11pm.


Sunday I spent the day chilling out, we went to a dog friendly brewpub with his dogs. Very relaxing day.


Monday AM I left at around 7am and rode home. Got there at around 2pm and checked the miles. I clocked in at just over 6k.


Tuesday I spent the day unpacking, washing the bike and getting ready to get back to the grind.

Sturgis 2018

This trip found me riding solo while 2 friends trailed up three bikes.

I met a lot of cool people on the road, and saw an unreal amount of cool scenery. I really want to go back. The parks and scenery were amazing.

I only spent 2 days at Sturgis proper. I’ve seen drunk people before, I get it. I was there to ride, and ride I did.

There were two notable experiences. The first was riding into Wyoming to camp solo at Big Horn national park. I’d had enough of crowds and just needed some me time.

The second was going to see the buffalo. I ended up in the middle of  a herd of them. I was kind of expecting them to be off in the distance. Nothing bad happened, but it was a little intense as I waited for them to pass so I could start the bike back up and not risk spooking one into me.

Tail of the Dragon 2016

This was the trip that really kicked off the itch. A bunch of friends and I spent a week making our way the long scenic way to do tail of the dragon, then got chased by rain the whole way back.

I’d done solo trips, and a few overnights. But for some reason… probably the company, this trip was the one where it all clicked.

Riding without a time table or spelled out goals was the point. It was just…. generally enjoyable.

This was also the year I realized that I should probably quit screwing around and get a bigger bike. I was on a road glide later that year.

At some point I’ll caption these and try to remember more details. I have a ton of photos from random things that need sorted, uploaded, documented and shared.