Thursday, May 21, 2009

Greetings From Michigan 5-21-09

Well, I left Texas at 3 a.m. on Wednesday 5-20-09. The weather was great all the way up and had no traffic problems until I got to Michigan. Eastbound I-94 was closed at Battle Creek and there was a detour around a bridge. Then I-94 was closed again to Eastbound traffic with another detour at Jackson. But even with the detours, I made it all the way, non-stop, 1268 miles, in 20 hours 31 minutes. I walked into my brother Bob's condo at 11:31 p.m.

Today, while Bob is at work, I plan on cleaning the bugs from six states off of Ms. Clone & gassing her up. Then I am gonna rest the butt & lower back until I get feeling back in them. I am not sure when or if I will be able to post any pics while I am here, as we will be on the road doing a tour of Michigan from Saturday 5-23-09 thru Friday 5-29-09. If not here, I'll be sure to catch up on the blog when I return to Texas 6-6-09. Oh yeah, the return trip home will not be non-stop.

So, until the next post, ya'll be careful out there, keep the rubber on the road, pray for our troops and Ride Safe..................JOHN

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Northward to Michigan 5-19-09

Well, the duffle bag is packed and bungee'd on the bike. The gas tank is full. All I have to do is load the goodies in the saddlebags and back out of the garage and head out. I will do precisely that at 3 a.m. (a little less than 8 hrs from now). My non-stop run to Michigan will be via I-44 from Wichita Falls Texas, thru Lawton, Oklahoma City & Tulsa Oklahoma. Then thru Joplin, Springfield and St. Louis Missouri. Then, once in Illinois, I will swing North onto I-55N thru Springfield to just South of Chicago where I will make an Eastbound turn onto I-80. I'll stay a short time on I-80 to just past Gary Indiana where I will take the I-94 split into Michigan. I will stay on I-94 to I-275 (just West of Detroit) where I will swing North to Michigan Ave and then onto my brothers condo. I hope to be within 4 hours of his place by this time tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be great all the way there, so we will see. My brother may meet me in Illinois or Indiana on his bike and ride to his place with me, if we can find a place to meet. So, until I can get on a computer and let ya'll know if I made it all the way non-stop, ya'll be careful out there, keep the rubber on the road and above all else, Ride safe......John

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Ride Home To Texas 5-9-09

I wanted to leave Arizona at around 5 a.m. to head back to Texas. However, we slept in and I didn't hit the road until 10 a.m. Texas time. I got in my garage, NONSTOP, 17 hours and 46 minutes later at 3:46 a.m. As it took 18 hours 15 minutes,NONSTOP, from my garage to Bill's driveway, I did 30 minutes better returning home to Texas. Scroll down for the final pictures as I make my way back to Texas and REMEMBER: IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE PICTURES BIGGER, JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURES..

As I got East of Tucson on I-10, I took this pic of the distance to El Paso..

A view East on 1-10 in Arizona

Going up a mountain pass

The same pass

The view of nothing but hot desert from I-10 to the mountains. The temperatures I was riding in ranged from 105-107 degrees until the sun went down...I made a bunch of stops at McDonald's just to drink and cool down...

I stopped at the Continental Divide for this pic. The Divide is just West of Las Cruces New Mexico, if you are traveling on I-10

Another Border Patrol Checkpoint for Westbound I-10. You know that has to be a miserable job in this heat...I salute them for the job they do..

This is looking down at Las Cruces from a rest area overlook..

This giant Roadrunner was at the rest area and could be seen from quite a distance from I-10. If travelling East on I-10, it is located at the Rest Area just before Las Cruces New Mexico

After passing thru Las Cruces. it is just a short distance to Texas. This is the only welcome to Texas sign I could get..It was good to be home, although I still had about 650 miles to go...

As I went East on I-10, I played tag with this Quest truck. I passed him in Arizona and got the thumbs up from the driver. Then every 200 miles or so, after I stopped for gas, I would catch up with and pass him again. This continued to the I-10/I-20 split, East of Van Horn, Texas where I took I-20. Never got the driver's name but it was nice knowing that he would've been there if I needed any help..

Some of the hills just East of El Paso Texas

The view to my right

The last Border Patrol Checkpoint on the Eastside of El Paso on I-10

The view to the right

This was a block house on top of one of the hills

I believe these are the Davis Mountains up ahead

After making it to the top of this hill and passing thru this pass, the scenery turned into the flat kind that we are use to in North Texas

The final picture of this trip is the "Shadow Rider" picture. I got home 7-8 hours after I took this pic. I had a great time on this trip to Tucson Arizona and enjoyed seeing Bill, Jackie, Lisa, Emily, Dale and meeting all the new friends: Jason, Kim, Mannie, Marie, Roger, Will & Kelly, Bud, Marietta, Vivian & Gavin, Jessica & John, and all the others that we had a great time with.
I look forward to my next trip out to Tucson on my soon to get Harley. But for now, I have to get my butt to feeling better for the trip North to Michigan on May 20. Gonna try that nonstop too (1450 miles).
Scroll down for more rides, events & posts and don't forget to click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of EACH page for more rides and posts. Check out North Texas Bikers (1) at for rides, events & posts from January 08-November 08. Until next post, ya'll be careful out there, ride safe, keep the rubber on the road & pray for our Troops................JOHN

DAY 17 Trip To Tucson Arizona 5-6-09

Day 17, Wednesday, 5-6-09, was the last day in Tucson and we rode up to the Oracle Inn, in Oracle Arizona. We went there because it was hot in Tucson and with Oracle being in the higher elevation, it was cooler. So scroll down for this brief, final ride and REMEMBER: IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE PICTURE BIGGER, JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURE..

Bill took his Triumph on this ride and here he is as we roll North on Shannon Rd

Rolling North on Shannon Rd

Rolling North on Shannon Rd. We would turn right at the upcoming stop sign..

Some of the scenery as we roll East

We turned North again on some 4 lane Road that took us up to Oracle. I think it was the Oracle Hwy.. The ride was scenic..

North to Oracle..

We get up to the Oracle Inn.. Bill & his Triumph in the parking lot..

Bill & our waitress Marcy at the Oracle Inn..

Bill & Marcy

We head back to Tucson. That mountain range ahead is one of two we went thru to get up to Oracle..

Bill rolling South trying to upgrade from a trucker tan to a redneck tan...

The view off to our right

We make a right end sweep around the mountains ahead and that will put us on a straight run to Tucson..

We get to Tucson and head to Jerry-Bob's Restaurant for lunch. I order the ol' Texas standby, Catfish & Fries. It was good but not as good as our fish we get here in Texas & Southern Oklahoma. But then again, I love Bill's Catfish Restaurant in Waurika Oklahoma.. This will conclude Day 17. I had a great time riding with Bill up to Oracle and I really enjoyed the cooler temps that the higher elevation had to offer..

Scroll down for more rides, events & posts and don't forget to click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of EACH page for more rides and posts. Check out North Texas Bikers (1) at for rides, events & posts from January 08-November 08. Until next post, ya'll be careful out there, ride safe, keep the rubber on the road & pray for our Troops................JOHN

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

DAY 16 Trip To Tucson Arizona 5-5-09

Day 16, Tuesday 5-5-09 started with a trip to Bill's Taxidermist and ended with a Harley Bike Night at the Fox & Hound in Tucson. This is a long post so scroll down and check out some pretty kewl stuff and REMEMBER: IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE PICTURE BIGGER, JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURE..

Bill gets most of his animals and small critters mounted at Weller's Wildlife Studio Inc at 3530 W. Flying Diamond Rd Tucson Arizona 85742. I had never been to a taxidermy business and I was very impressed on how they do things. Plus the fact that they were working on some African Safari kills.. This is a local mountain lion kill they mounted

An African Porcupine

Mounts they have done

Some of the African animals

More of their mounts

This is the skinning table.. Everyone working there is an expert in their area of operation..

They mount everything from aardvarks to zebra's

These are mounts waiting to be picked up

Told ya they did zebra's

They did this alligator and it was full size. The work they do is incredible..

Check out the leopard

How'd you like to have these things in your scope...

They do an excellent job

I can just picture this thing up in the Rockies

This is a dik-dik, a small African antelope

Another beautiful cat

This is a fabled Warthog

This is Vivian. Vivian is responsible for making the rugs. Here is a Grizzly bear rug she is doing and two black bear rugs on the shelf behind her

The bear rugs

This rug is an African Bush Buck

This is Marietta & Bud, owners of Weller's Wildlife Studio Inc.

me, Marietta, Bill & Bud

Bill, Vivian, Marietta & Bud

Bill & Bud

Vivian & Bill, as we get ready to head out

This is Bill & Gavin. Weller's is a family run business and Gavin is Bud's son.

Gavin & me..

I liked this concrete bench out front.

And what business in this part of Tucson wouldn't be complete without a Saguaro cactus in the yard.. If you are a hunter anywhere in the world and have a trophy animal you want mounted, I highly suggest you contact Weller's Wildlife Studio, Inc here in Tucson Arizona and talk with them. They are capable of mounting anything. They even had a hippo in the studio. For more info and contact info, see this link:

We leave Weller's and head out to the Water Hole, a little restaurant, North of Tucson, for something to drink

Today, Bill opted for his 08 Triumph Bonneville. Here we are at yet another gas stop

Some of the local scenery as we head North

Bill, as we head toward another line of mountains that we have to cut thru

On the flip side of the mountains

The two mountain ranges we have cut thru so far, are now behind us

Bill, rolling along on his Triumph

We make it to the Water Hole, which was advertising some BBQ sandwiches

The bikes at the Water Hole. This place had goats & cow dogs running around out back.. We didn't eat but I did drink a couple pitchers of ice water. This being a dry heat & all, I really put away the water & tea while I was in Arizona..

We left the Water Hole and drove the 50 or so miles back to Tucson. When we got to Jerry-Bob's Restaurant, I was ready to start on my pitcher of tea..

This is Carlos, one of the great cooks at Jerry-Bob's. I have eaten in restaurants all over the United States and in a couple countries and I have NEVER seen food cooked & served as fast as they do here at Jerry-Bob's. And the food is delicious..

Pedro, in the white shirt, and Cappy, the Manager in the dark shirt. These are the guys, that, along with the great waitresses, make Jerry-Bob's the popular and successful place that it is..

We left Jerry-Bob's and went backto Bill's. We went out to the shed, "The Shrine", and Bill was going to wheel out his 73 Kawasaki Z-1 and shine it up for the Bike Night tonight at the Fox & Hound. This is a pic he has of us hanging in the "Shrine" from last year when Bill, me & Dale were in Tombstone at Big Nosed Kate's Saloon.

Here are a bunch of extra parts from his Harley

To add to the atmosphere of "The Shrine", Bill keeps an unopened bottle of Mexican Mezcal, complete with worm, on the Harley shelf.

This is Bill's 73 Kawasaki 900 Z-1. He is the original owner and he bought this bike in 1973

It has 108,601 original miles on it. This is the bike he rode when we went out to California in 1975. I was on a little Honda 550 twin..We left Wichita Falls Texas and went to the west coast and put a little over 6,000 miles on the bikes in 3 weeks..

The bike has a low VIN (00803) which adds to the value...

One of the side covers

Right side. Bill wins trophy after trophy with this bike in the foreign bike category.

Left side

a kinda, sorta front view

A short time later, we are off to the Fox & Hound for Bike night & the competition

it's a scenic ride thru traffic and down to the valley

We make it to the Fox & Hound. They were still setting up when we got there. Bill always gets to these shows early so he can park the bike in front of the flood lights.. For more on the Fox & Hound, see this link:

Riders start arriving...

This is Bob, who was showing everyone where to park..

This is Allison from Harley Davidson of Tucson. She had the tickets for the door prizes

This is Allison & Becky. They also passed out those Harley cool cups.

This is Clay Douglas. He is a biker, a writer & a Freedom Fighter. He also has his own radio talk show. He was a very interesting person to talk to and he carries those dogs everywhere. Check out his site and radio talk show at:

me & Clay Douglas. He was not happy with the Fox & Hound because when he went in to get some water for the dogs, they asked him to leave.. Those dogs were very laid back.. Didn't bark, growl or move around much. They just took in the sites...

This is Malea & Bill who were there for the bike show.

This is Dale's 1987 1100cc Special Edition Sportster & Bill's Kawasaki Z-1

The 30th Anniversary Tank

Air Cleaner cover

The front fender

The instruments and plate saying that this Sportster was #275 of only 650 made

Dale getting ready to shine the Sportster up

Some more bikes arrive

Dale enlists Bill's aid to help with the final touch up..If Dale wins his category, it will be his first trophy

Dale is extremely proud of his bike, as he should be..

Another Harley in the bike show

Bill's Z-1 & Dale's Sportster

The paint scheme on this Harley Ultra Classic

Jennifer & Bill.. Jennifer was now directing the riders where to park the bikes

Bill knew just about everyone. Here is Bill with Gabriel. Gabriel is a member of the "La Familia M/C"

Gabriel's Colors

I was walking over to take some pics of Gabriel's trike and I passed this "La Familia" Harley

Some more of the bikes at the Fox & Hound. Ms. Clone is there in the middle somewhere

More of the bikes in the bike show

Gabriel's trike

Driver's view of the tank & forward

a view of Gabriel's trike from behind

Bill with Marie & Mannie (Dale's daughter & son-in-law) who just arrived

Gabriel has a great sense of humor as this sticker on his trike proves.

The bikes to the right of Gabriel's trike

This is Don & his Harley Heritage Softail Classic. I was his reverse gear as he needed a little help backing the Harley up the incline

Dale's daughter, Marie, brought the bike description display for his Sportster, which he then placed at the front of his bike

Some more of the entered bikes

Marie, Dale & Mannie

This Sportster belongs to Roger a.k.a. Speed

Another Harley joins the line

The top of Roger's gas tank and , yes, that is a hand shifter on the left side

A purple Harley pulled up and off climbed Jessica from Renegade Classics. here she walks over to say hi while her hubby parks the bike. For more on Renegade Classics, see this link:

Here Bill talks to John, Jessica's hubby, as Jessica looks on with pride. John is a prospect with the L.D.M.C.

While we talked with John & Jessica, we met "LeftOver" & "Motormouth". Leftover is President of the Tucson Chapter of The Huns and Motormouth took off his vest & showed the Colors..

John & Jessica & their Harley

John & Jessica's Harley

This is Steve and his Harley. Steve is a Veteran

Steve & his Harley. He wanted me to get the Army logo..

some of the bikes in the bike show

This is Bridget & Kristin, the Bud Girls, who were handing out goodies to those who were drinking Budweiser products..

This is Bill & Roger a.k.a. Speed

Bill, Speed & Dale.

Bill, Speed, Unknown Harley girl and Dale

Kelly & Will, friends of Bill & Dale

This bike pulled in and parked in front of Ms. Clone..

Some of the other custom bikes in the show

This is Lori & Speed. Lori said she was going to be in next month's issue of Full Throttle Magazine. she said the magazine was the free copy you get at some dealerships, biker events and biker bars..

Steve & Jessica were in the bike show...

The Loners M/C were in attendence

Lisa (Bill's daughter), Bill & Speed

me & Dale with Mannie & Marie behind us..

Bill's bike. Right after I took this pic, Bill & Lisa had to leave because Jackie (Bill's wife) called and she had taken their youngest daughter Emily to the E.R. because she couldn't quit throwing up..

Will & Kelly

After the judging, Dale wins his first trophy!!! Here are Marie, Dale & Mannie with Dale's trophy

me & Dale with trophy

Marie sure was proud of her dad tonight

Dale & his trophy

His trophy was for 1st place in the American Classic Category

Night time pic of some of the bikes entered in the competition.

Speed returned & he also won a 1st place in the Sportster Class. Speed & Dale with their trophies

This is a great looking Harley Road King

This is Rick, owner of the Harley. He also owns a biker bar called the Branding Iron. This is not affiliated with the Branding Iron Restaurant also located in Tucson

A few bikes off to my left prior to our departure to Bill's and to check up on Emily. This will conclude Day 16. I had a great time today and a great day of riding. I enjoyed meeting everyone & thank everyone for the pics they let me take. Special thanks to the Tucson Chapters of the La Familia M/C, The Huns M/C and the Loners M/C for the patch shots.
Scroll WAY down for more rides, events & posts and don't forget to click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of EACH page for more rides and posts. Check out North Texas Bikers (1) at for rides, events & posts from January 08-November 08. Until next post, ya'll be careful out there, ride safe, keep the rubber on the road & pray for our Troops................JOHN