Archive for Road Trip

Summer 2015 – Sturgis Bound

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by Pat Regan

Plans change!

My original plan had me headed west from Chicago after seeing the Grateful Dead. Plans changed. I was exhausted and in my haste I realized I had not packed well for a cross country adventure. So, I went back home to NYC.

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No worries. Truth be told, I was having fun in NYC hanging with Jillian and friends. We went to a friend’s restaurant to celebrate Bastille Day!

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I kept setting dates to get back on the road and for one reason or another I justified a postponement. If it’s not too hot NYC can be a place to hang. Here is a situation of a guy who definitely paints what he sees. There are naked people in the sun all over his painting!

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This painter chose a shady setting with a less shady subject matter.

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Another cool thing about NYC is the things you run into. Here is a model shoot by Bethesda Fountain.

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But here’s my favorite model. Jillian took me to see the new Whitney Museum before I made my way West!

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Donald Judd make for a nice frame.

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Time was passing quickly. If I was going to get any motorcycle adventure going I had to go. Now it was do or die. The coast to coast ride was out of the question. But I’ve done it 6 times and ridden 48 states already. At this point there was just not enough time for #7. But one thing I’ve always been determined to do was to go to Sturgis 75! Me at 50 and Sturgis at 75. It seemed like two solid numbers that had to be united!

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One last kiss and it was time to hit the road!

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And he’s off!

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So I am on my way. I couldn’t bare to take the same route as I did when going to Chicago, but I had to make time. So I took the Interstate but a different one than I had taken to see the Dead. At Harrisburg I shot north for my first night of camping at Clear Creek State Park. It was good to be back outdoors again!

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I heard about a ghost town in Northwestern PA called Pithole City. It was the site of the first commercial oil well in the United States. More oil strikes nearby prompted Pithole’s population to rapidly increase to 20,000. Within 12 years time the oil was tapped. That and some raging fires dwindled Pithole to a ghost town status.

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Here is a diorama of how Pithole looked in it’s heyday! Unfortunately for me there is nothing left but a small museum and impressions of some of it’s streets. Any evidence of it’s structures had long disintegrated or burned to ground.

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The next day I crossed into Ohio. I took Route 244! I felt I had taken this road before. 244 seemed real familiar to me. The site of this grand old house confirmed it. I zipped passed it a few years ago heading East and neglected to take a photo of it. Not this time.

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As I rolled through these old Ohio highways I realized there were no State Parks in the area. The only thing I could find was an off the beaten path private campground. In the past I haven’t done well at these types of places. Most are designed for RV’s. This one however had a great little tent spot right on their lake. It was like I was the only person there. So a thumbs up for Powell Creek Campgrounds.

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And here’s it’s namesake, Powell Creek.

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Last year I introduced Bonnie to Bonneville Dam in Oregon. This time around I notice a Bonneville Mill on the map. Or so I thought. My eyes aren’t as good as they once were. When I arrived at the mill I saw that it was actually Bonneyville Mill. It was still a nice stop on the journey.

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I guess they put these red and white tape strips on the chromed out oil tanks to prevent people from taking selfies.  I am not really sure why they do it. Anyone out there know?

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On this night I was headed to Johnson Sauk Trail State Park to camp for the night. I had stayed here a few years back. It’s a really nice wooded campsite and only cost $8 for the night. On the way I saw some vintage machines in a nearby town.

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I was taking photos of these beauties when a garage door open and a guy rolled out on a Bobcat. His name was Lynn and he invited me inside to see his man cave garage. Super cool! Inside he had it decorated with all sorts of automotive antiques. Also inside was this rare 1957 GMC Suburban. Beautiful!

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We hung out and talked for a while. Turns out Lynn is headed to Sturgis too. See ya at the Chip Lynn!

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And here is the campsite. Hammock heaven!

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Someone didn’t finish their meal.

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One of the coolest things at this park is an old round barn stable a farmer had made in 1910 for his Angus Beef herd.

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I love riding cross country but for one thing. Storms. Further north there was a monster of a storm. I headed south to try to avoid it as I moved West. Unfortunately I still caught the tail end of it.

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I finally crossed the Mississippi River a lot further South than I had planned.

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As I entered Burlington Iowa, I figured I would have to change all my plans and set a new route West. It’s strange after leaving NYC I kept seeing the Statue of Liberty. There was one in the middle of a river in Harrisburg PA and here was another in Burlington Iowa.

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Also in Burlington is Snake Alley the once recognized crookedest road in the States by Ripleys Believe it or Not.

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I decided I could go North and resume my original plan. I was going to ride around this giant storm. On my was along the Mississippi I stopped by an ancient Native American mound site. They can be found up and down the Mississippi River valley.

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Then came a genuine treat to my detour. If you’ve read this blog you know I love to visit places of historical significance. But this next stop would take me to a site of significance that wouldn’t come for another 300 plus years! Welcome to Riverside, Iowa, future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.

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I moved North through Clinton, Iowa. I passed through this town once before to try some Flava Flav’s Fried Chicken only to find out it had already gone out of business.

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I crossed the Mississippi again and headed up it’s East coast for a bit.

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After a crazy day of zig zagging in all directions I was wiped out. Tonight I would get a hotel in Dubuque, Iowa. In the morning as I was packing up the bike, I noticed that my kickstand was glistening. Then I noticed a drip stain under the bike. Uh oh, something was leaking. Not cool.

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I’d keep riding and hope it was a minor issue. I would then go to a magical place just outside of Dubuque. If you have seen the movie Field of Dreams then you know what I mean.

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The movie set is kept in pristine condition just as it was in the movie.

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Kids play baseball on the same field where Ray Liota emerged from the cornfields as Shoeless Joe Jackson outfielder for the disgraced 1919 White Sox team.

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Also on this day Frank Dardis one of the ghost players from the movie was in attendance.

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I continued on up the river but that oil drip was really started to worry me.

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On this night I would camp out at Frontenac State Park just outside of Red Wing MN. I bought a quart of oil to keep it topped off as it leaked.

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I figured in the morning I would go to a Triumph dealer in Minneapolis, but when I started up the bike that drip was nearly a pour. It was really spewing out and I couldn’t figure out the source. I also couldn’t loosen  the cap to put more oil in. Luckily I caught Coach Ken as he was pulling out. Ken is a super nice guy, former teacher and football coach who happened to have a huge screwdriver that helped my pry that thing open. Thanks Ken.

I called a shop in Red Wing knowing I couldn’t make itand they said they could take me right away. It was just 10 miles away but with all that oil dripping I was afraid it might grease my rear tire and take me out. The problem could have been anything from the filter to a crack in the engine block. Lucky me, it was the filter. It ruptured. I was in and out of the shop in 15 minutes. Amazing! A big thanks to John at Red Wing Motorsports!

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Then I could resume my real purpose for being in Red Wing. I was there to see the worlds largest boot!

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The next stop is a place I’ve wanted to visit for a while. The Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota. The Runestone is a tablet discovered in Kensington that dates back to the 1300’s with Viking writings on it.

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In the museum are also some creepy dioramas.

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Outside they have some old homes, a school, a church and some cabins that were moved from their original locations.

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The creepiest display of all was this one with a stuffed dog on a carpet. But it was good to finally see the Runestone.

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I zipped across Minnesota and camped out at Roy Lake in South Dakota.

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I got a beautiful spot right on the lake. Very nice.

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From here I had one last stop before Sturgis. I wanted to visit Sitting Bull’s grave. So I crossed the Missouri River and paid a visit to one of the greatest Native American leaders of all time.

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Sitting Bull’s grave overlooking the Missouri River.

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Now it’s Sturgis time!

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2015 by Pat Regan

The Grateful Dead

It seems that the Grateful Dead and I are both celebrating our 50th birthdays this year. When I first heard about the 3 final shows the Grateful Dead would reunite for, I readied myself at the computer and clicked away being repeatedly rejected as the 3 nights quickly sold out. I soon gave up hope of participating at this final event on July 4th weekend. Then in April my good friend Brian offered me a Sunday night ticket to the last Dead show ever in Chicago (or anywhere else for that matter) as a birthday gift. Thanks B.

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July 4th weekend came around and it was time to get to Chicago. Many of my friends were headed there from various places. Some of them were flying in, some rented a car then would fly home, but no one was road tripping in both directions between NYC and Chicago. So I hopped on Bonnie and headed west.

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I hadn’t time to plan or pack properly. I tried to pack as if I were going on an extended journey. I tried. Immediately I began to realize I had left things behind for a long trip. Whatever, I was going to Chicago regardless. Nothing was stopping me. Then POP! My rear inner tube blew! I’ve always wondered what happens in such a situation. In this case, it turns out it wasn’t that bad. I heard a muffled poof and felt a jiggle. Then it felt like bumps in the road. But when I pulled over I saw my rear flat tire. I called AMA for help. They are a reliable service. But while the operator put me on hold to check for places in the area, this guy from the Indiana Toll Road Service showed up. His name was Dennis and he was super helpful. Before the AMA operator returned to the call, Dennis had already dispatched a tow and called his wife to check the size of an old tire he had in the garage. He said I could have the tire and his wife would bring it to the place where I was being towed to. Thank you sir!

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It turns out my tire was fine and I just needed a new tube. The tow truck came in a short while and the bike shop was in the nearby town.

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Tragedy averted. The truck brought me to North End Cycle, a fully equipped bike shop and showroom.

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My inner tube had completely exploded! They had my size in stock and I would be on my way toward Chicago in a little over an hour.

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Besides a large showroom of new and used bikes, North End Cycle had this classic police trike in the back.

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Back on the road. Another 200 miles and I rolled in to Chicago!

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Because of the blow out I arrived in Chicago much later than planned. At this point all my friends had gone to the show already. I found the hotel where I would be staying this night, dropped off my bags, parked the bike, hopped on the subway and headed to Soldier Field.

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I had no ticket for this night and I had a lot of company in that respect.

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Folks all over the surrounding area of the stadium walked around with their fingers raised hoping for a ticket into the sold out show.

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People everywhere were looking for tickets.

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That dude on the left is holding up a wad of cash instead of a finger.

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I figured there was no way I was getting into the show this night.

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Then as I approached one of the tunnels into the stadium I heard someone offering someone a ticket for $250. Then he quickly went down to $200. The guy rejected the offer. I walked up and said that I just rode in from NYC and would love to see the show. He said “New York City! Do you know AJ?”  Uh, no. Then he offered me the ticket for face value! YES! I was in!

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Amazing! I met up with my friend Gral and more than 70,000 happy people to see the end of an era.

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There was some question about Jerry Garcia’s replacement. Those huge shoes were filled by Trey Anastasio from the band Phish. Trey took on the task with the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store and did an exceptional job.

JULY 3, 2015, SOLDIER FIELD, CHICAGO

Set One

  • “Box Of Rain” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Jack Straw” (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Bertha” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Passenger” (Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “The Wheel” (Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Crazy Fingers” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “The Music Never Stopped” (Bob Weir lead vocals

Set Two

  • “Mason’s Children”
  • “Scarlet Begonias” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Fire On The Mountain” (Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Drums”
  • “Space”
  • “New Potato Caboose” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Playing In The Band” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Let It Grow” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Help On The Way” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Slipknot!”
  • “Franklin’s Tower” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Ripple” (encore, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh vocals)

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I bumped into Rob, a guy I hadn’t seen in over a decade. And coincidentally he had sold my other friends extra tickets for Saturday’s show! Woo Hoo! I was good for all three nights!

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The next day I moved to my friend Jake’s Hotel at the Langham. This joint was first class! Thanks Jake!

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Happy 4th of July!

On Saturday we left early and headed toward the stadium.

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Grant Park is between the hotel and Soldier Field. The Art Institute of Chicago is within the park much like the MET in NYC.

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Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate is aside the museum. Commonly known as The Bean, it reflects the city and all who approach it.

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The crew.

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Also in the park is the beautiful pavillion designed by Frank Gehry.

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We brought a nerf football. B Fox nabs a long toss from Elks.

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Today there was time to do the whole scene. On the south side of the stadium is the parking lot where the Deadhead equivalent of a tailgate party is taking place. This is what is missing at any other event that has taken place in Dead reconfigurations or solo acts in the past twenty years. This scene is strictly Grateful Dead.

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Chicago was truly welcoming to the Grateful Dead fans. Security was present but unnoticeable and people freaked freely!

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This motley medly of friendly folk surrounded the stadium.

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Pin Heads!

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Captain Jack!

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This dude was super proud to have ridden his bike down from Saskatchewan, Canada!

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These ladies were offering ecrutrements as a little extra flashy accessory.

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I’m Uncle Sam. That’s who I am!

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The parking lot grill offering yummy kabobs!

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I bumped into this girl who had done a cross country trip of her own which she proudly displays as a colorful tattoo on her arm.

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People of all ages prepared for the big July 4th show.

Old…

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…and young.

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Of course people drove their old buses to the show.

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This camper was hooked up.

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They offered me a seat and a bottle opener as I passed.

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You will see your share of cool old cars too.

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And the vanity tags which say, “Please pull me over!”

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It would not be a Dead show without a Hare Krishna pass by.

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The files of people calmly flowed closer and closer to the stadium.

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On this night, I didn’t need my ticket. I had one, I just didn’t need it. As I approached the stadium someone threw the door open at gate 5 and started waving people in. So I entered Soldier Field unimpeded. Between the Doric columns from the original 1924 facade and the 2003 renovation The flocks flowed for a second night of good times!

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JULY 4, 2015, SOLDIER FIELD, CHICAGO

Set One

  • “Shakedown Street” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Liberty” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Standing On The Moon” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Me & My Uncle” (John Phillips cover, Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Tennessee Jed” (Bob Weir, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Cumberland Blues” (Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Little Red Rooster” (Willie Dixon cover, Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Friend Of The Devil” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Deal” (Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)

Set Two

  • “Bird Song” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” (Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Lost Sailor” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Saint Of Circumstance” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “West L.A Fadeaway” (Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Foolish Heart” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Drums”
  • “Space”
  • “Stella Blue” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “One More Saturday Night” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “U.S. Blues” (encore, Bob Weir lead vocals)

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This dude climbed the lamp post like a monkey and swiped a few of the Steal Your Face banners hanging along the road.

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I lost everybody I was with at this show, so I took the long walk back on my own and snapped some night shots.

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This is it! The last show ever. But it’s more than that. It is the end of this scene that only happens at this event. An era in a place where even the grumpiest folks wear a smile.

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JULY 5, 2015, SOLDIER FIELD, CHICAGO

Set One

  • “China Cat Sunflower” (Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “I Know You Rider” (Tossi Aaron cover; Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir vocals)
  • “Estimated Prophet” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Built To Last” (Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Samson and Delilah” (traditional, Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Mountains Of The Moon” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Throwing Stones” (Bob Weir lead vocals)

Set Two 

  • “Truckin'” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Cassidy” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Althea” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Terrapin Station” (Phil Lesh and Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Drums”
  • “Space”
  • “Unbroken Chain” (Phi Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Days Between” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Not Fade Away” (The Crickets cover; Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Touch of Grey” (encore 1, Trey Anastasio, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Attics of My Life” (encore 2, Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)

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The fireworks on this night were phenomenal!

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We were sitting high, so the explosions were right before us!

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So much fun was packed into a solid weekend with 3 fantastic shows and great friends!

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Instead of flooding out with the masses we watched the 70,000 people slowly filter away corralled by the gentle touch of the hired security.

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And then it was over. At least for most of us. We all packed up and headed to or respective homes. Most of my friends flew home. I packed up Bonnie and did a solid two days of riding back to NYC. My boy Gral however went to Gibson’s Steakhouse and had one last GD experience. Nice one Gral!

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The ticket stubs to my first show March 7, 1981 and my last show July 5, 2015! In the middle is the first night of the weekend. The mail order tickets were printed from designs of envelopes people had sent in, (a Grateful Dead tradition).

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Fare Thee Well

Coast to Coast

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 26, 2008 by Pat Regan

In April 2008 I got a motorcycle license and bought my first bike, a 2007 865cc Triumph Bonneville. I was hooked. I love to ride. The bike only had 6 miles on the odometer when I got it. 4 1/2 months later it reads over 12,000 miles.

The following is the account of my journey across the United States from New York City to the West Coast and back again. This is the blog I kept as I rolled along. It has been placed here in chronological order. The words have been kept as they were. I have added links to many of those words for further inquiry. More photos have been added as well. If you click on any link or photo they will open on a separate page. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Cross Country 2008

Nygumbo presents a one man army across the nation!

It’s time to go. July 7, 2008. Happy Birthday C.C. and Ro!

Let’s hope 7 is my lucky number too!

Time to go!

CHARGE!

The Projected Route West

On My Way in PA!

I left New York City on Monday afternoon. Got a late start. Victor saw me off. Victor is my drunk ex-super who took this picture. You can see his tall boy in the bag behind my bike. He was ripped.

Rain Day 1: I was one of those guys you see sitting under the overpass.

I can’t believe I thought about leaving my full helmet at home. With the half helmet in a heavy rain, it feels as though every kid I taught for the last 15 years was standing on the side of the road pelting me in the face with rocks.

I got to Cherry Springs State Park to camp for the night. A group of people were renovating this old cabin for an Eagle Scout project.

I was only one of two people camping at this site.

Cherry Springs is supposed to be the darkest place on the East Coast. They have these observatories that you can rent out. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy night, so the celestial heavens were closed for the evening.

I had to ride around a little with no helmet. It felt good!

Major Laptop Problems!

I’m OK, but the laptop is messed up! The screen went dark! I can barely make out what’s going on if I look at the screen in bright light. I am just outside Chicago right now. I think I am going to skip it. Screw cities. Already I am bumping into that city attitude. I’ll get enough of that when I get back to NYC. This laptop is difficult to work, but I’ll give it my best. I am at some buffalo wing place in Michigan City, Indiana sitting by a window in order to see the screen just barely. Photos will be even more difficult, but here we go.

Pennsylvania to Indiana

After visiting the darkest overcast place on the east coast I saw this old bus someone coverted into a residence.

I was just about to cross the border into Ohio when I noticed a bunch of bikes and hot rods in the parking lot of a restaurant. The Quaker Steak & Lube. Naturally I checked it out.

While there I got some advice from a giant tatooed biker. He kind of looked like that long haired guy from the Oak Ridge Boys. He told me to watch out for the antelope. An antelope took a friend of his out at Sturgis last year.


I dunked this chick on my second throw.

There’s more, but I’ve got to hit the road.
Later.

South Dakota!

Greetings from South Dakota! I was planning on getting further into the state, but the sun was beaming in my face and I had already rode a few hundred miles. I saw a sign for a Super 8 Motel with internet so I decided to call it a day. I’ll try and get some photos up before nights end. I want to thank those of you who have left comments. It’s nice to hear from everybody.

Back it Up!

OK I’m in South Dakota. But that’s a big jump from Michigan City! So let’s back it up a little.

Now I am at a motel computer and I can see my photos.

So it’s back to the biker gathering in Erie, PA. Remember, you can click a photo to see it larger.

And just before Erie I visited an old sawmill in Galeton, PA.

Enough of PA. I went on to Ohio. I camped out at a site just off the first exit into the state. The next morning I continued west into Cleveland. I stopped for a few photos and moved on.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Blue Angels were my favorite as a kid. I believe this is the Phantom 2 fighter jet.

Holy Toledo! Toledo Ohio that is, I got lost a bit. I didn’t have a plan for this route. I was riding along the Maumee river then missed a turn. I stopped at a little Ice Cream place and had a chocolate shake. A nice girl that worked there helped me focus back on my path. I crossed the river again and rode along Route 24 to Route 6. This is a place called Roche de Boeuf.

Then it was west into Indiana where I camped at Chain O’Lakes State Park. Nice site. Friendly people. Passed a town called Albion on the way. That’s the name of one of my favorite Babyshambles tracks.

Then it was on to Michigan City. I spoke of that in an earlier Post.

So, Chicago was out of the question. I turned south when I saw this huge storm headed toward me. I stopped to put on my rain gear. As soon as I put the last piece on and place my full face helmet on my head, BOOM! The storm wailed. It was a heavy rain with gale force winds and lightning. I crouched behind a road sign and waited it out. Just before the storm I was taking this picture. I should have taken a photo in the opposite direction as well. The contrast of the storm to this sky was amazing. Like Yin and Yang.

The rain suit is amazing. I wish I had gotten Rain gloves. I’d have been completely dry. Riding in the rain isn’t all that bad with the right equiptment. It’s kind of fun!

I got a little lost again after heading west. Once I found my way I shot across Illinois to another State Park called Johnson Sauk Trail S.P.

That night I did take the time to write a bit.

“Doing well. Not everything has gone as expected, but as I sit here at the campsite in Johnson Sauk State Park Outside of Annawan, Illinois, I am feeling good. I have a fire going compliments of my neighboring campers who gave me some wood. I have Charlie Daniels playing on my iPod and there’s a cool breeze blowing through the pines keeping the fire ablaze. As I sit here I realize my feet are damp. I haven’t had time to notice. A small but hugely powerful storm blew by today. I had just left Michigan City, Indiana after deciding against going to Chicago. I had stopped for gas and just sensed the feel of the city. It was hostile. I was out here to put the the attitude of the city behind me. Everywhere else I had been (betwwen NYC and Michigan city) I had encountered nothing but warm, friendly people. In Michigan City it was back to the fast pace and the sharp tongue. I turned the bike around and headed south. As I write there are 3 June bugs bouncing around me. One is actually resting on my finger as I write. I don’t know if it’s the light or they are trying to tell me they’re upset about their cousin dying as he bounced off my forehead going 80MPH on the way here today.”

The next morning.

Some wild turkeys strolled by.

An old round meeting house in the park.

Now it was across the Mississippi River and into Iowa.

I rode north up the Mississppi to Effigy National Monument.

It’s a grass bear made by indians thousands of years ago.

Views from the cliffs above the Mississppi.

That night I camped at Beaver Creek Valley State Park, Minnesota. The ranger warned me that upon entering the campsite I would have to cross a running stream with lots of slippery algae. He said many a motorcycle has taken a fall there. In fact one went down today. It was almost dark. I had no choice. He said to follow the car tire path where there would be less algae. I did. Just as I had almost traversed the stream I felt the slip but I did’nt go down. While setting up camp I met the man that did go down. Rick and his daughter Renee (correct me if I’m wrong) stopped by to say hi. Very nice people. They invited me for S’mores. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. But I had to set up camp and eat first. I walked down to their site, but I was too late for s’mores. They had gone to bed.

Much to my surprise, when I woke up the next morning, a ziplock bag was on the seat of my bike with graham crackers, marshmellows, and Hershey’s. Thanks again for that! I saw them again before heading out today. Rick recommended some good routes and sites in South Dakota and Montana. He is a Lewis and Clarke head too. He told me where I could see a place where Meriwether Lewis carved his name. It’s just northeast of Yellowstone.

Headed west on Route 16 I saw this. It’s the old version of that machine I saw before the big storm. Pretty cool, huh?

Then I drove like a madman to South Dakota. I was doing between 75 and 90 all the way to Sioux Falls. When I was approaching I noticed a hotel sign which said High Speed Internet. I decided it was time to get back to the blog and sleep in a bed. It’s nearly 2:30am now, so I’m glad I’ll have a bed to sleep in. I was going to get to blogging right when I arrived, but I figured I’d take all the bags off my bike and ride into town and get a bite to eat. Most everything is closed on Sunday. I found some Chinese food and then stumbled upon Falls Park. What do you know? Sioux Falls is named after Sioux Falls. It’s really a nice site.

At night they had a lazer show with a history of the Dakotas and Sioux Falls so I stuck around. I didn’t get back to the motel until almost 11:00.

Tomorrow it’s off to the Badlands!

Ohio to South Dakota (video)

Videos

So I am still having problems with video and photos. But here is a quick update. I spent the night in the Badlands. It’s beautiful. At night I went to a bar on an indian reservation. Had a blast. I met some guys from Oregon at the campsite and they drove to the bar. Good thing because we befriended the bartender and were out until sunrise. There is no way I could have ridden the bike. I may have deleted the photos from that night by mistake. Sorry Ely and Reid. No puking parking lot shot for you guys. Now I am staying a couple night in Keystone. It’s a small town just under Mt. Rushmore. I checked into a hotel to rest a bit. Pool, Hot tub, and a bed! Very nice. Very necessary. You can see Mt. Rushmore from the hotel. So today I will just ride around the Black Mountain hills of Dakota and enjoy the day. Hopefully I’ll have some photos for you later tonight.

Seem to be having problems with the videos. I’ll keep trying.
See ya soon!
Actually, Let’s try this.

Black Hills

First of all, can anyone see the videos? I can’t anywhere I’ve stopped.

Still no pics for now. I’ll try to stop at a library or something and upload along the way. Yesterday was fantastic. I went to Mt. Rushmore, The Crazy Horse monument, and Custer State Park. Only saw one buffalo though. Today I head west again. I’ll be going to Devil’s Tower and the site of the Battle of Little Big Horn. I am also going to see a tree that Meriwether Lewis carved his name in. Yellowstone is far. Don’t know if I’ll make it there before dark. I don’t want to push it anymore. As my friend Thierry reminded me: It is vacation! I can’t wait to share videos and photos. Later y’all!

Oh! Kep, there is a BMW meet in Gillete, Wyoming this weekend. BMW’s all over these lands. That, and Harleys. I still have not seen a Triumph since I left NYC. I don’t know if I’ll get to Gilette. If I do I’ll be sure to rub it in. Sorry bro. I really wish you could be here with me.

And lastly, happy anniversary dad. Big 25!

I found an Internet Cafe!

Hello Nygumbo fans. I’m back! I am going to post a bunch of pictures then add text if there is time. Here we go!

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The falls that the town was named after.

It said 104 when I hit the button. It dropped to 102 before the shutter clicked.

The Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD

Then it was off to the Badlands!

I found a bar on the indian reservation. The woman to the right is from the Sioux Nation. She told me she could tell I had a good spirit from the moment I walked in the door. The Sioux are so perceptive.

This is the bartender who was feeding us drinks until sunrise!

This is the result of that experience. Say hello to Reid from Oregon.

OK, back to the badlands!

A Badland Goat.

Takin’ Care of Business in a Flash!

A last shot with the Badlands.

I flew across South Dakota and shacked up at a motel in Keystone for the next two nights. I needed rest and relaxation.

Here is an old train from the 1800’s

Chillin’ in Keystone at the Ruby House.

I checked out this guy sculpting with a chainsaw. I gotta try that.

Keystone is the town just below Mount Rushmore.

Today is Jimmy’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Nearby is the Crazy Horse Monument. It is being worked on by one family and is far from finished. The project is being worked on by the children and grandchildren of the man who began the project.

I went to Custer State Park and only saw one buffalo.

I went back to Mount Rushmore at night. I figured out how to park for free. Otherwise it’s 10 bucks.

Profile

I was so disappointed at having only seen one buffalo. So I went back to Custer State Park. The tatanka did not let me down!

People thought I was nuts walking amongst the buffalo, but I couldn’t help myself!

I stopped by Deadwood on the way to Devil’s Tower. I met Wild Bill.

I stayed at the campsite under Devil’s Tower. A storm blew in. I hung out with a guy named Tim from upstate NY. We drank beer and watched the lightning.

The next day I was inspired to ride like the devil all the way to Yellowstone. The winds were incredible. I had to ride at a 20 degree angle just to keep from blowing into oncoming traffic. In the Rockies I played in the snow. I have a video of my sliding down this snowbank but can’t upload it right now.

Beyond the train yard you can see the dust blowing. It was brutal.

I finally made it to Yellowstone! Old Faithful.

Yellowstone is beautiful.

A mule deer.

And more buffalo!

A bald eagle

An Eagles Nest

Cooking steak on the campfire!

Well folks, that does it for now. There is so much more to say. I just don’t have the time. It gets really cold here at night and I am at least an hour from the campsite. The sun will be setting soon and I gotta get back and start a fire.

Thanks to all of you who have left comments! It’s nice to hear from you.

Yellowstone National Park

Hey There! I am in a library here in Butte, Montana. Didn’t expect to be here but a storm blew out the electricity at the gas station I intended on fueling up at. In Montana gas can be far and few between. So I ended up in Butte after going 163 miles on a tank of gas. I had to kick in to reserve at 140 miles. Thats a record for me!

Let me go back to Yellowstone before I move on.

I hit the 5000 mile mark!

This is called the Dragon’s Breath Spring. It sounds like it’s breathing.

Yellowstone Falls.

There are lots of fly fishermen throughout the park.

OK Brancusi. Here is a bird in flight!

Smimming to Mama!

That night I stayed up and sat around the fire with a fun family from the “rural Suburbs” of Chicago. The next morning another family pulled up with an owl stuck in their grill.

Let me add that the internet cafe I found was in West Yellowstone. Cammy who runs a travel business out of the same location was real kind and gave me a great deal on the internet time. Cammy, I can’t find your business card. So leave a comment and I can add the # of your business. Thanks again. After Yellowstone I crossed the Continental Divide and went south to The Grand Tetons.

The Tetons.

After leaving the Tetons I continued into Jackson Hole. There waqs a storm ahead so I stopped to gear up. While along side the road I heard “Hey look!” It was an older gentleman pointing out my bike to his friend. His friend told me he useed to hold the speed record in a 1954 Triumph Tiger. I said “That’s what Brando rode in The Wild One. He said yes. He used to love beating the pants off the Harleys. Then I rode into the mountains of Idaho. The rains were coming down heavy when a big mama moose and her baby jumped out in front of me. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my camera out. It was packed up because of the rain.

I headed North from there and caught this shot. Kind of erie. A big cross shape behind my shadow and a rainbow ahead.

I stayed the night at a motel in a town called Lima. Had a nice talk about the area with the hotel hostess. And more good conversation with Dorinda and the people at a cafe. They told me I can find crystals in the mountains. That’s where I am headed today.

Lima.