Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The End: Day 38 - July 21st, 2010 Wall, SD to Milford, IA

Wow, after 37 days on the road and months planning our trip, today would be our last day.  Several times we mentioned just turning around and doing the entire trip again.  Must mean we had a great time.  It will be done again but not for a few years.

Today would amount to a fast cruise east on Interstate 90 across South Dakota.  For Tammy, this required a few tunes (John Cougar?) from the headset.  I'd look back and see her head bobbing from side to side and she wouldn't respond when spoken to.  She was either tired of me or enjoying the music or both.

A quick stop to photograph Henrietta, the Badlands Campground's mascot.     


Pretty uneventful day as we spun out the 370 miles to home.  Cruised at an indicated 75 to 80 mph and the Suzuki was handling fine with the much stiffened forks.  Having little wind today really helped.  Did visit with several motorcyclists at gas stops who were heading west to Sturgis, Yellowstone, Glacier, Colorado,or just west.  Most were taken back to learn that Tammy and I were returning from Alaska and didn't ride a Goldwing, BMW, or Harley.  Obviously the bugs on the windshields documented our claim of riding that far.

Arrived home mid-afternoon.  It certainly was good to be home but we also felt like the trip had gone by way too fast.  Seemed as if we had just left as we sat in our driveway again.

The bikes had preformed very well, especially the Kawasaki Versys.  The Suzuki needs a little TLC plus a fork rebuild and new rear brake pads.  No tire problems even though we were well prepared for any.  I put on 10,600 miles with the trip to Prudhoe Bay, Tammy about a thousand less.  Luggage system kept everything dry. Kudos to Ortlieb and Happy Trails; their bags are awesome.

I really enjoyed this trip because my wife Tammy went with me.  I had done the trip in 2006 alone and could only tell her or show her thru pictures what an Alaska trip on a motorcycle was like.  You truly need to experience it to appreciate the vastness, the breath taking scenery, the daily changing conditions, and the array of people you interact with.  We found that being on a motorcycle let us meet people we'd never be approached by if just sitting in a car.  These fellow riders and motorists really added to the character and memories from our trip.

Finally, I must say a big THANK YOU to my wife Tammy.  I knew she was enthused about the trip but also a little nervous.  She never complained about the weather, the cold, the rain, the food, the sleeping conditions, or anything for that matter.  I couldn't ask for a better riding partner for this trip or the trip thru life.   I really look forward to future trips with her and possibly even back to Alaska in a few years (Roger and Kari, are you listening?).  But then, I must be a little road weary or twisted to think a girl wearing a mosquito net is sexy.  Love you!

1 comment:

  1. Great trip. I took essentially the same trip but started in Tampa. I had looked at the Versys but eventually settled on a scooter! Still thinking about trading it in for a Versys some day. Again, enjoyed the trip write up. You can read about mine at