Day 11 – Missoula, MT – Babb, MT

Day 11 – Missoula, MT – Babb, MT      08/31/10     Mileage:  210 

The hotel had a free breakfast consisting of fatty muffins and skinny coffee and I wished it were the other way around…but free is free and we both ate our fill. We rode out of Missoula at 9am heading north towards Glacier National Park.   

Rest stop on the way to Polson, MT...


Paul on the road to Polson, MT...


Bikes resting above Flathead Lake...


First stop would be the town of Polson, MT for gas a bite to eat. On the way we passed the Miracle of America Museum…and we couldn’t pass on this thin slice of roadside Americana. For the paltry sum of $5, we got to look at 50+ rare motorcycles, helicopters, jets, a washing machine collection, vintage cars, war memorabilia, farm equipment, vintage snowmobiles and snow cats, a tug boat and a million other things that defy classification. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…   

The Miracle of America Museum


A WWII era army half track...


Taking it all in...


Electric torture device or hair curler..I'll let you be the judge...


The predecessor to Paul’s R1150GS…and old BMW boxer powered side car…


Some old Harley's...


Yet another old Harley...


An old!


A three seat Indian three wheeler...ya...


An Ariel "Square Four"


Ready for tak-off....


Stick and rudder baby, nothing to it...


The Huey cockpit...


Paul has a go...


Bell Huey


Paul and I in the "MASH" chopper...


Even big kids like fire trucks...


Don't ask what it is, because I don't know...


Glacier National Park snow plow truck...


Glacier National Park snow plow truck...


At the helm...


After spending 2 hours crawling in, on and over random bits of Americana….we were famished and looking to fill the void…and did so with an all you can eat Chinese buffet. After stuffing ourselves with moo goo gai pan, we rolled up the east shore of Flathead Lake towards West Glacier and the entrance to Glacier National Park. We procured some provisions in hopes of camping in the park and then started up the Going to the Sun Road which traverses the park.   

Entering Glacier National Park


Heading up the Going to the Sun Road...


Getting higher up the pass...


Paul heading up the Going to the Sun Road


The overcast weather was turning quickly to rain as we climbed up into the higher elevations. Near the top of the pass, the rain turned to sleet as the temperature dipped into the 30’s. On top of that the road was under construction in spots so we had to wait in the sleet and rain for the road to reopen….then make our way up the pass. Once on the other side of the pass the weather was even worse and camping was not looking too appealing. This also explains the lack of pictures!   

A look back into Glacier Park from the east side...


After shopping around for suitable accommodations, we settled on the Duck Lake Lodge in the booming metropolis of Babb, MT.

Day 10 – Yellowstone – Missoula, MT

Day 10 – Yellowstone – Missoula, MT     08/30/10     Mileage:   329 

Morning came at 6am…or more specifically some jackasses car alarm in the next campsite. The temperature was in the 30’s and it was starting to rain. There was no avoiding the inevitable, so we packed the bikes and got on the road. We rode around 10 miles when and were stopped at a construction road block…and to boot it started to rain in earnest. Cold, wet, no way forward, and no way back…ummm this officially sucks. Once the road block lifted, we started to head up a small mountain pass only to be greeted by sleet, freezing rain and a gravel mud road. The consitions were dicey at best, but we pressed on. My only consolation is that with every mile I am slowly earning the ADV (Adventure Rider) sticker on my side bag. There are not many pictures from today, because if we stopped we might not have the will to get back on the bikes!    

Elk! OK, that was pretty cool to be so close...


Yellowstone Park north entrance arch...


We were in and out of rain all day up into Montana ending up in Missoula where we tracked down a new rear tire for Paul’s 1150GS at Big Sky Cycles.   

Big Sky Cycles, Missoula, MT


After finding a hotel and a bite to eat, it was off to get some rest. Tomorrow we hope to cross Glacier National Park and on into Canada…

Day 9 – Landers, WY – Yellowstone National Park

Day 9 – Landers, WY – Yellowstone National Park     08/29/10     Mileage: 255
After a much needed night’s sleep, we packed up the bikes and were on the road shortly after 8. I loved the cool dry morning air and it seems the KLR did as well as she was running as smooth as ever. After a great moose sighting and a quick stop for gas in Dubois, we continued to push west.

Gasing up in Dubois, WYxDowntown Dubois, WY


We had our first “taste” of adventure when we came upon several miles of road construction. Now, normally “road construction” implies there is an actual road that is currently under construction. Not so in this case as the pavement completed ended giving way to a rocky morass of mud and dirt. The KLR fared well as it is an off-road bike at heart and has semi off-road tires. Paul had a harder time on the big Beemer shod with half bald street tires. He did a hell of a job just keeping the bike upright. We would have stopped for a picture, but we both had our hands full keeping the bikes upright and moving forward. Thankfully the mud gave way to pavement after a few miles and we were able to let the bikes run once again. The scenery was improving with each mile we rode, but the grand finale came when we crested a pass to see before us the full grandeur of the Teton Mountains and Grand Teton.    

Grand Teton


 No amount of words or pictures can fully describe the scale and beauty that lay before us.    

Teton National Park


Paul and I and the Teton's


Taton's and bikes...


After the requisite photo’s, it was onward to Grand Teton National Park which led us into Yellowstone.    

Fellow NJ travelers!


Paul and the Grand Teton...


Grand Teton...


Teton National Park


The Teton's across Jackson Lake...


Crossing the Continental Divide...


We had a packed lunch overlooking Jackson Lake, and then it was on to Old Faithful. We went in to check out the Old Faithful Inn which was very cool and has been there since the late 1800’s!    

Old Faithful Inn


Old Faithful Inn


Inside the Old Faithful Inn...


Inside the Old Faithful Inn...


Inside the Old Faithful Inn


They had a nice deck overlooking Old Faithful where we procured a few beers and settled into our ring side seats for the geyser show.    

Chillin with an Old Faithful beer on the Old Faithful Inn deck!


Paul on the Old Faithful Inn deck...


Living the life...


 Though it was 12 minutes “late”, Old Faithful did not disappoint.    

Old Faithful in action!


Old Faithful Inn!


When we got back to the bikes, some folks had left a note on Paul’s bike informing us that the ravens had taken a liking to his riding gloves and the Velcro fasteners on my tank bag.    

The "Raven Note"...


Damn ravens!


After procuring some provisions and fuel, it was onward to seek out a campground for the night.    

Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam...


 Once at the campground, a park ranger told us about a nightly presentation about the parks history.    

Camping in Yellostone National Park


 So, after setting up camp we went over to the presentation.    

History of Yellowstone...kind of...


 In short, Paul liked it…but after 10 minutes I wanted to blow my brains out! Perhaps it was the impatient part time NY’er in me…but the only thing keeping me there were the 10 people blocking my retreat! Afterwards, it was back to the tents for some much needed rest.

Day 8 – Golden, CO – Landers, WY

Day 8 – Golden, CO – Landers, WY     08/28/10     Mileage: 389 

After getting home from Kristi and Dave’s at 4am, an early start was just not in the cards!  

Hung over in helmets...


So, at the crack of 10am, Paul and I set off down Coal Creek Canyon heading for I-70 west and Winter Park to visit an old high school friend. After loading a spare tire onto the back of my bike, it now handles like a piano. The high altitude and extra weight means I have to push the KLR hard to get over the mountain passes. Once in Winter Park, I met up with Patty who is an old friend from high school….it was great to see her after all these years!  

Patty and I...


After a quick visit with Patty, it was due north to Wyoming.  

Welcome to Wyoming...


Yee haww....Wyoming!


Steel horses....


On the road in Wyoming...


Once out of the mountains of Colorado and onto the rolling desolate plains of central Wyoming, the wind came on with a furry. What made this so bad was it was hitting us broadside making it a struggle to keep the bikes upright and on the road! This went on for over 100 miles across the most deserted and desolate terrain I have ever crossed. In nearly 130 miles, we passed exactly 1 gas station, 10 deserted buildings and 12 cows…who cleary must have been lost. The next town was Lander’s, WY and was a welcome sight. Given the lack of sleep and the fatigue of battling the cross winds on the open plains, we quickly decided on a hotel room…a two bedroom deluxe suite to be exact, because that’s what a roughneck Wyoming cowboy would do….not.

Day 6 and 7, Golden, CO

Day 6 and 7, Golden, CO     08/26-27/10     Mileage: 0

Thursday Paul and I went to Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage in Longmont, CO to pick up a new tank bag for the bike. On the way we had lunch in Nederland and then we were off to pick up the R1150GS Paul would be riding and bring it back to the house. Once back at the house, we commenced the buffalo wing and beer consumption which greatly explains the lack of pictures! Friday it was packing and preparing the bikes for the run up to Banff, Canada. After that was complete, it was off to lunch then to his son Lance’s football game.   

Paul and Kim


Go Lance!


Lance at wide receiver


 After the game it was on to the Southern Sun in Boulder, CO for some beer and black bean nachos!   

Southern Sun, Boulder, CO


Paul and Lance...


Kim and Leigh


Leigh and I


 Paul and Kim’s friends Kristi and Dave joined us…what a fun couple!   

Kristi and Dave...


 After the Southern Sun it was back to Kristi and Dave’s house for…ummm…best as I recall…Jagger Bomb’s, Car Bomb’s, beer and other assorted libations culminating in an epic and very late night!

Dinner in Denver…

I was able to catch up with some other friends of mine for dinner in Denver Wednesday night. I met Jerry and Hilary on a hut to hut mountain bike trip we did a few years ago. Their friend Ken also joined us…

Jerry, Hilary and I

Jerry and Ken

Day 5 – Scott City, KS to Golden, CO

Day 5 – Scott City, KS to Golden, CO     08/25/10     Mileage: 313     

Today was not going to be a high mileage day, so I didn’t get on the road until 8:30. It was only roughly 300 miles to Paul’s house in the front range of the Rocky Mountains so I decided to take as many back roads as possible and avoid the highway.     

Welcome to Colorful Colorado!


The big news for the day is that Paul is able to ride with me for a week or so up to Canada! He had recently sold his BMW GS1150, but was able to barrow another friends GS at the last-minute. I’m looking forward to sharing miles with him….I just hope I can keep up with the big Beemer!


I have been lax with pictures, I will post more soon!

Day 4 – Emporia, KS to Scott City, KS

Day 4 – Emporia, KS to Scott City, KS     08/24/10     Mileage: 266  

What a shock…it was raining this morning and a quick check of the radar showed it was not going to stop anytime soon. Wholly unmotivated to start out in a soaking rain, I decided to spend the time catching up on my email, blog and other chores. The weather finally broke around noon so I quickly packed up pointed the KLR due west. Having ridden virtually all interstate highway so far, I was looking forward to some back roads through the sparsely populated western Kansas. What I hadn’t counted on is a gusting 30 mph wind from the north hitting me on my right side. At times it was difficult to keep the bike in the lane….which becomes a real problem when there is a semi truck coming at you from the other direction! As any rider will tell you, riding in a strong cross wind can be tiring…especially on a relatively tall and lite bike like the KLR. I made a few more rest stops than normal, which gave me some time to dick around with the camera…  

Road to the horizon...


Not a curve in sight!


Heading west...


 In rural Western Kansas…you can drive sometimes for an hour and literally not see another vehicle on the road.  

No such thing as traffic here!


Despite the fact that there was no traffic in sight and the weather ended up being great save for the gusty wind, the late start did me in and darkness fell before I could reach my buddy Paul’s house in Colorado.

Day 3 – Marshall, IL to Emporia, KS

Day 3 – Marshall, IL to Emporia, KS     08/23/10     Mileage: 509 

The morning was dank and damp so I was all to happy to pack up and hit the road. My spirits lifted with the fog as it was now sunny, dry and warm…perfect weather for riding. There are not many pictures from today as the scenery was average and I was still trying to make time. Yesterday I had stopped for some road groceries so as not to get trapped into eating fast food out of convenience. I picked up whole wheat flatbread, organic peanut butter and honey….cheap, fast, portable and good. 

Gourmet dinning on my side-case lid next to a gas pump.


The goal for today was to make it to Emporia, KS to visit my friend Cara who I only get to see once every year or two. I ended up getting there just before dinner, so after a quick shower it was off to an authentic Mexican joint she knew of. The portions were huge and delicious and came complete with a big ass margarita. Perfect! 

Cara at the "Casa"


Next we hit the local dive bar for a few beers and met up with her friend Anthony. 

Cara and I


Cara and Anthony


 After a few beers, it was off to get some much needed rest….it will be a long day in the saddle if I’m going to make it to my next stop in Golden Colorado.

Day 2 – New Stanton, PA to Marshall, IL

Day 2 – New Stanton, PA to Marshall, IL     08/22/10     Mileage: 478   

I woke up to find it still raining from the night before, and as I was already behind…there was no waiting it out. I packed up the bike in the rain and set out on I-70, but luckily it ended an hour later and the roads began to dry out. As came up to Pickerington, OH, out of the corner of my eye on the opposite side of the road I caught a glimpse of the sign for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame…cool! That’s a no brainer of a stop and I’m glad I did. While not huge, there was some great motorcycle on display.    

In front of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.


Might be more comfortable than the's a toss up!


1949 Norton


Harley Davidson Race Bike


1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross


Later on that day I pulled off in a rest area and spotted a fellow Adventure Rider on a Buell Ulysses. He was on his way home from a 2700+ mile loop from IL to Maine and back in 5 days.   

Fellow ADV Rider


As it was getting dark, I was looking for a place to stay and found a campsite just south of Marshall, IL. The ranger office was closed, so poached a campsite and made an early exit the next morning. Though it was not a comfortable nights sleep, at least the price was right….$0.

Day 1 – Frenchtown, NJ to New Stanton, PA

Day 1 – Frenchtown, NJ to New Stanton, PA     08/21/2010  

No alpine start for me today as I spent the morning helping to clean up after the party, having a leisurely breakfast at the Frenchtown Cafe with John and Tracy and doing last minute preparation.  

Breakfast at the Frenchtown Cafe



So at the crack of 2pm, I set of with my buddy John leading the way on his orange KTM 625.  

Johnny O and I


I'm Off!


We slid over the Delaware River into PA then north toward I-78 along the Delaware River.  

Crossing the Delaware


Johnny O in PA


 John rode with me out onto the highway and then with a nice 3rd gear wheelie and a wave goodbye, he peeled off the highway and I was on my own heading west.   

Crossing into PA


The day was uneventful but short at only 291 miles. Home for the night would be a motel in New Stanton, PA…my location when the rain and nightfall caught up with me.

The send off soiree….

My friends John and Sabine hosted a little send off party Friday night. It was great to see everyone one last time before the trip!  

John had a new drink going that was a big hit: Squeeze half a lime and lemon over ice in a pint glass, poor in ice cold vodka, splash of cran and then ever so delicately lay the seltzer on top. My nickname for it now is the “velvet hammer”. The effect is a light fizzy start that runs you over like a bus at the end!     

Here are some pics…     

Tracy with John's "velvet hammer" drink special...


Jagger anyone?


Tracy, Sabine and I



Jill, Paul and the twins.


Wherever there is sin, that's where I must go.


…more to come!

Jimmy Choo friends…

A  few people were missing from the group shot of my Jimmy Choo colleagues, so I tracked them down…    

Savvas is VP of wholesale at Jimmy Choo and an all around great guy. He also has good taste in art….only at Jimmy Choo can you adorn your walls with a naked portrait of Jenna Jameson! She is wearing Jimmy Choo’s however, so it’s all good…  😉    

Savvas, Lenny.... and Jenna.


 Elaine heads up store development and builds all the Jimmy Choo stores in the US and elsewhere. So yes guys, not only is she easy on the eye but she can also talk shop with architects, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, general contrators…and can pound nails in 4″ heels.    

Elaine and I


Adi, Mark, Ryan and Alan are the IT team from our London office. I only managed to corral Adi and Mark for the picture via video conference! Thanks for all the help and support over the years…it was great working with you guys!!  

Adi and Mark


Adi and Mark

End of one road, but on to another…

Well, after almost 5 years at Jimmy Choo, my time here has come to an end. Today is my last day and I am sad to leave such wonderful colleagues, but excited to be close to departing for Alaska! 

Jimmy Choo NY

My Kawasaki commute….

It turns out I’ve been riding Kawasaki’s to work for years…just not my Kawasaki! 

The R Train...


Kawasaki of Yonkers?


I much prefer my Kawasaki….. 

I will not miss this at all!

A lovely morning commute….