North Carolina to Hawaii by Motorcycle
by Tom Serine

I had been thinking of taking a motorcycle trip to Hawaii. It was the only state I hadn’t visited. I knew the trip would be expensive and there would a lot planning involved. I would have to find a way to ship my motorcycle, as well as purchase plane tickets, lodging, travel, storage, etc... It just didn’t seem worth the effort. However, I was annoyed when people would ask me about my bike trips and I would tell them “I’ve been to every state except Hawaii.” I discovered through several motorcycle magazines that others had traveled to all 50 states on their motorcycles so it can be done and maybe not as expensive as I thought. When I brought up the idea of sending the bike to Hawaii to my friends and family, I received these two responses: 1) “Don’t you think it’s pretty expensive for what you want to do?” and 2) “Why don’t you just fly to Hawaii and rent a bike?” I started doing some research to get an idea of what the costs would be to ship a motorcycle to Hawaii. If I did go, I decided on seeing Honolulu on the island of Oahu. It was the most populated and there was a family friend that lived there. So I had a point of contact in case of any problems. And I knew there would be more motels and hotels available with cheaper prices. I wanted to drive the bike to California, ship it to Hawaii, fly there and pick it up. Then ship it back from Hawaii to California, fly back to California from Hawaii and pick up the bike. Then drive back to North Carolina from California. Simple right?

   

In the beginning of the year I had a couple of setbacks. I was planning the trip with my girlfriend meeting me there. She had never been with me for any of my previous trips for the 4.5 years of being together. Unfortunately, she decided to go in another direction with her life. So that part of the plan was out. I was also having problems with my vision and my eyes were always burning. Apparently, after all of the riding I had done, the wind and dirt had damaged them (even though I wore filtered glasses) and I had to get a prescription as well as start using Restasis for my chronic dry eye condition. You can understand that the motivation that I once had wasn’t there in early 2010. But after getting some decent prescription goggles (that were airtight) and my mind straight, I realized that I really needed to take this trip. By the early Spring, I started doing some internet research on motorcycle shipping to Hawaii. I found several reputable companies but they were pricey. And none had a round trip type rate. The companies only dealt with moving vehicles to a permanent location. In other words, if I paid “x” amount of money to ship the bike to Hawaii, I would pay the exact same amount to ship it back. I then joined the Honda motorcycle message boards and posted about what I was planning to do. I received four or five posts that consisted of “you should just fly there and rent a bike,” “it’s not worth the hassle”, “it will cost you too much,” etc... It was very frustrating to hear this from fellow motorcyclists. Later that week, I received an email from a guy that knew someone that worked at the Pasha Freight Systems. They perform shipping of vehicles with round trip packages from San Diego to Honolulu (as well as several other locations on the Hawaiian Islands). This is done on a weekly basis year round. After calling, I discovered they had a great round trip deal they could do for my motorcycle that was half the price of others I had looked at. So Pasha Freight was the company I would ship my bike through. Based on what I wanted to do, I felt that I could do my entire trip in three weeks. Well, one thing I discovered is that the distance between San Diego to Honolulu is far. I would have to drop the bike off at least four days before the ship departed. It would take at least a week for it to travel across the Pacific. I would also have to wait at least four days after it arrived before I could pick it up. So just with sending it one way would take over two weeks. I then realized that this trip could take a couple of months. I didn’t want to be in one place for an extended period waiting for my motorcycle to arrive. And if the bike stayed longer than four days, whether I was dropping it off or picking it up, I would be charged $25 a day in storage. Finally, my job wouldn’t allow me to take 2 months off. And even if they did, I couldn’t hang out in a motel just waiting. After some thinking, I discovered the easiest way to do this trip would separate it out into three legs. Leg One was to drive the bike to San Diego and drop it off. I would fly home while I waited for it to arrive in Oahu. For Leg Two, I would fly to Oahu and pick it up there. I would spend a week seeing the island before dropping it off to be shipped back to San Diego. I would fly back home while waiting for the bike to arrive in San Diego. For Leg Three, I would fly back to San Diego and pick the bike up. Then I would drive it back home. So with that semi-organized plan, I looked to see when I could start. All of my prior trips had been during the summer but I was tired of riding in 90 to 100 degree heat all day and I believed that the trip would be better to start after Labor Day weekend when the weather was a little more pleasant on the US mainland. The weather is always nice in Hawaii. I start making the plane reservations and bookings a month or more ahead of the scheduled date of departure. The flights would be cheaper but the bad part about is the shipping schedule for the bike was subject to change due to weather or mechanical difficulties. Although I had it booked for shipping in mid September to arrive later in the month, I wasn’t planning on being there until October 11th. Plus, with the days I had to wait to pick it up and drop it off, I would be paying $25.00 a day storage fees. But it was the only choice I had because I didn’t want things to be delayed if the shipping dates had changed and it would be more of a pain and more expensive to cancel the flights and reschedule them. I wouldn’t be camping any since I would have to ship my sleeping bag and tent, not to mention camping supplies. So I would do the cheap motels the whole way. I found a decent hotel in Waikiki called the Continental Surf Hotel that also had a covered parking deck. On the 5 star scale it rated 1.5. But the reviews I read said the staff was friendly, the rooms were nice, and it was great if you just needed a place to stay. It was two blocks from the beach. I decided just to stay at one place in Oahu because most of the hotels were in Waikiki and further north they were $300 a night or more. The Continental was $55.00 a night. I took the bike in for its routine work-up at Wall to Wall Cycle Repair for a set of new tires, new chain and sprocket, oil change and filter, and to check out everything to make sure it was running fine. The main problem I was having was the bike would sometimes sputter like it did before from what apparently was water in the gas tank. This had been going on for awhile and I was beginning to wonder if that’s what it really was. But I didn’t have the time or the money to have the shop start digging for the problem. They did install a gas tank filter that absorbs the water from the fuel. It was better to start cheap and simple before trying anything big and just hoped it worked. Finally, everything was set. I had my booked flight from San Diego. I had my trip route planned. I had my reservation booked at the Motel 6 near the airport in San Diego. And I had my time and date set to drop the bike off to be shipped with Pasha. There was no turning back. On September 6, 2010, I was on my way.

   

The first day of my trip was just a short ride to Blacksburg, VA to visit my cousin Christy for the evening. It was only an hour and a half away but I had not seen her and the family in awhile and this was a great opportunity to visit. It was a nice sunny day to travel and I made it at noon. I took her and the children out to lunch. Her husband was in DC to see the football game between VA Tech and Boise State. After lunch, we visited the VA Tech campus and took a tour of the football stadium. Being on that campus really made me miss how much I enjoyed college. And I found myself wondering if I could enroll again and start all over as a freshman. I don’t think I look 39 but I definitely do not look 18. The entire town of Blacksburg is beautiful and just a great place to visit. After the game, I was ready for bed. I would have to leave early for the long ride I wanted to make to the West side of Saint Louis.

The next morning, the plan was to make it to West Saint Louis and stay at the exact same motel I stayed at two years before. This would the first time I had ever stayed at the same place twice in all of the trips I had taken on that bike. This was the 8th time I had taken this route to Denver. You get on Interstate 77 up to West Virginia, then take 64 West through Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois into St. Louis before getting on 70. The ride is scenic through West Virginia and the Kentucky pastureland before hitting the woods and farmlands of Southern Indiana and Illinois. I had taken this route enough that I knew just about each stop for gas and I didn’t even need my GPS or map. Getting on 64 through Charleston can be hectic and the traffic was heavy on an otherwise nice sunny day. I usually ride with the traffic going about seven or eight miles more than the speed limit. I had passed a dump truck earlier that appeared to have several 10 foot pieces of two by four just hanging on the top. I didn’t think anything of it since I passed it quickly in the center lane. Another five miles down the road, that same truck zipped by me in the left lane. There was a slower car in front of me so I moved into the left lane to pass it and I was several car lengths behind that same truck. I remember those boards hanging off from it earlier and here I was going 65 behind it. So I peaked out to the left of the truck to see if those boards were there and no sooner than I did, one of those two by fours fell off and bounced along right towards me. I only had seconds to react and luckily, the board was just sliding by the time it got to me and I simply swerved to the right without getting into the center lane to miss it. In this situation, you don’t’ have any time to think you just pick a spot and go. I was lucky. The truck took the next exit and I never saw it again. I sincerely hope he was taken care of by somebody. The rest of the ride for the day was uneventful. The weather stayed nice and I maintained my plan of stopping every 100 miles for refueling and maybe something to eat or drink. The city traffic into St. Louis was crowded but moving fine (even though it was rush hour) and the first thing you know, I’m at the Super 7 Motel for the second time in two years.
The next day to Denver was 810 miles. Getting there is relatively easy. You just get on Interstate 70 and head West. It just takes awhile. After Kansas City, the only other city you hit is Topeka and from there it’s over 500 miles of nothing until Denver. Another beautiful sunny day but windy. For the last 400 miles, I found myself wondering if my helmet would fly off from the crosswinds. It felt like it was being lifted off of my head. The bike handles itself ok in the wind. The biggest problem is that I have to give it more throttle to keep it running at the posted speed limit. The speed limit is 70 or 75 through Kansas and Colorado. Because I have it throttled high, I use up more gas. The bike is a 750. Not really built for speed, and after 100 miles it can run out of gas at any time. However, I brought a spare gallon and my American Motorcycle Association (AMA) membership allows free gas delivery if I need to. So I have a back up when it comes to my refueling issues. But I didn’t want to get to that point. As I crossed the border into Colorado I knew I was 200 miles away from Denver. I could see the storm clouds approaching from far away and I was hoping that the road would take me where the clouds weren’t. The day was warm and I’ve had those moments where it appears a storm is coming and I pull over to spend 10 minutes putting on my rain gear, only to not hit anything. And I’ve had those moments where I take my chances only to get drenched. I always try to take an exit to do any adjustments. Parking under an underpass is just not safe. Although in the area I was at, there was no underpass. Since I was close to my destination I would just deal with it if I was rained on. My choice turned out to be correct because I only hit a sporadic shower. It actually felt refreshing without getting me very damp. I approached Denver at dusk with the setting sun shining right in my face. I could barely see the road in front of me. Always has to be challenging right to the end.

It’s always great to see my good friend Beth. I was going to be in Denver for 5 days. Beth was at work during the week and her oldest daughter was in college with the other in middle school. So they weren’t around all the time which helped because I did not want to get in the way. The next day, I took it easy and just checked the bike over. On Friday, I decided to some touring of the Colorado country. I headed West toward Silverthorne over the Eisenhower Tunnel. The temperature was in the low 60s and a beautiful day to ride. Unfortunately, I left my camera on and drained the rechargeable battery. So I couldn’t take any pictures that day. I headed North on the CO 9 highway to Steamboat Springs through the Rabbit Ears Pass at 9,426 feet. One thing I need to point out is that I never get the bike adjusted or “jetted” for these higher elevations. The only thing I do is adjust the idle since it tends to run low. But the power isn’t really there and I find that I could only throttle it up about 50 in areas were the speed limit was 65. Which I hate especially when I’m getting followed and passed by dump trucks. I’m really not sure if an adjustment would have helped it run better in the higher elevations anyway. After Steamboat, I headed West on CO 40 highway through the very small towns of Miner and Hayden. Then South on CO 35 into Meeker where I had a nice lasagna lunch at the local Italian restaurant. I love these small Colorado towns. They’re aren’t any tourist just locals. I often wonder what it would be like living in a small town like this surrounded by the mountains. After lunch I headed South back on 70 and East toward Denver. It was an 8 hour day of great riding through the Colorado mountains. On Saturday, Beth invited me to go on a hike with her. If you enjoy the outdoors, Colorado is the place to be. The weather was 70 degrees, people were all over hiking, biking, and jogging. We ended up hiking outside of Golden. The hike was 4 miles up hill and the same way back. We got back that afternoon and friends and family came over for burgers and beer. It was a fun day. The rest of the weekend and Monday was uneventful other than going to my friend Joe’s for some beer and pizza (always nice). And after staying in Colorado for 5 days, I was ready to go.

On Tuesday, I loaded up and headed for Beaver, Utah. I said goodbye to Beth thanking her immensely for being so accommodating (as always). I was so happy to be on the road again. The ride itself was over 500 miles but it was a scenic route taking Interstate 70 into Utah until you get on 15 South heading towards Las Vegas. The entire ride consists of wilderness and small towns in the middle of nowhere. It was again a nice day. I stopped in several areas for some photos including one in front of the “Welcome to Utah” sign. I’ve decided to start doing this for certain states I visit. One of the most eerie signs you see is the one that says “Next services, 110 miles.” As I was riding, I noticed the clouds getting thicker and darker around me so I thought there was a good chance I would hit some rain. It wasn’t until I had gone another 50 miles that I realized I was approaching a forest fire. Ashes were starting to hit me. I continued on and I could see where the fire was coming from. It was about 3 miles off the highway in one of the higher areas. There appeared to be no roads near it and the fire trucks were all parked along the highway. It looked like all they could do is watch it burn. Once I got through, it became sunny again (the smoke had totally blocked out the sun for almost 100 miles). The last 80 miles were easy as I reached Beaver. Just a small town where there isn’t much but truck stops and motels. I purchased my “I love Beaver” T shirt and stayed at the Motel 6. I ate some orange chicken and drank a couple of beers at the Chinese restaurant across the street. Went back to the motel and hit the sack. Tomorrow, I would be in San Diego.

The plan was to get up early and get into San Diego before the rush hour traffic. This was the second time I had ridden to California but had never been to San Diego. I had a reservation at the Motel 6 two miles from the airport located in the San Diego Harbor area. The drop off to ship the bike was 8 miles South of the motel. As usual, I didn’t wake up early and I ended up leaving at 830. It was a bright sunny morning as I headed South on Interstate 15 to Nevada. The bike was running great. There was little or no wind and just felt like I was heading downhill. The interstate takes you through the corner of Arizona at the Beaver Dam Wilderness area (very scenic). Vegas just comes up out of nowhere. Before you know it, you’re in five lanes of speeding traffic. I was able to avoid a large plastic trash can that was laying in the middle of the interstate. After that, I made it through Vegas and then hit construction traffic which came to a complete stop. This delayed me for a little bit but nothing major. From that point it was into California. I stopped in San Bernardino to refuel. I knew for the last 100 miles the traffic was going to be bad. I would be heading into the outskirts of Los Angeles then South on Interstate 215 to 15 again before eventually getting on Interstate 5. Some of the roads weren’t the best either. Traffic was buzzing by and my bike was just bouncing along as I went through one construction mile after another. Not to mention that I was cut off twice by people not paying attention. I didn’t panic (it’s happened to me many times before). As long as I stayed alert, I was fine. The problem is that you can’t look at your GPS when you’re going down the highway at 70 mph with cars around you taking multiple exits. By the time I made it on 15, things had calmed down and I was able to go the last 50 miles on a very nicely repaired interstate. However, my GPS jammed (it’s done it before) and I couldn’t clear it out until I got to the motel. I had to depend on the directions attached to my tank bag. I just had to get on 5 and take the Pacific Hwy exit to the motel. Finally, I was at the Motel 6 in sunny San Diego, CA. I arrived at 4.

But my day wasn’t over. After I checked in and unpacked. I had to go find a post office. There was stuff I needed to mail back home that I couldn’t take on my flight. I had one post office store mapped out but discovered that this was in the downtown area inside a mall. I didn’t even know where to park. I rode back to the motel and the front desk lady told me there was one on the other side of the airport that was the main one for the city. I went to that one and discovered it was open until 11 but doesn’t open until 4 pm during the week. I grabbed four flat rate priority mail boxes, strapped them on with my bungy and headed back to the motel. I was told by Pasha that the vehicles being shipped must be thoroughly cleaned. I was driving up and down the Pacific Highway looking for a place where I could wash my bike. There were several car washes and rental companies but they wouldn’t allow me to use their stuff. So I just gave up and would deal with it the next morning before I dropped the bike off. I got something to eat at the restaurant just a block down from the motel. I went back to the motel and packed my boxes full of bike gear and clothing so that I only had one carry on bag for my trip and my other bag to be put in luggage. I strapped all four boxes on the bike and drove it to the Post Office, waited in line forever, dropped my boxes off (flat rate priority is a good thing), headed back to the motel, and went to bed. It was just a very long day of riding and trying to take care of business.

Thursday morning, I called the Pasha port about my problem cleaning the bike. They assured me that the rule is more for larger transport vehicles and not motorcycles. I just needed to have it cleaned but it didn’t have to be pristine. This came as a relief so I used the motel bucket and some detergent from the laundry room to wipe the bike off the best I could. While I was doing this, some older women came out and started complaining to me about how cold it was here (it was 64 degrees outside) she had just moved from Seattle because the air was cleaner and didn’t effect her asthma. I don’t mind talking to people when I’m on my trips. But she was doing nothing but complaining. She then asked me what room I was staying in and I did a silent prayer to myself that this women would not knock on my door later. I thought San Diego was the place where the hot women are at every motel. After my cleaning, I headed South to National City to the Pasha Freight Service port. It was just a small office along a group of buildings used for picking up and dropping off freight. First I showed them my invoice then they looked the bike over for any marks or scratches (I had plenty of those), signed the paper and my bike was good to go. The whole process took 15 minutes. I was very relieved to get this part completed. They called a cab for me and I made it back to the motel at 2. I really wasn’t sure what to do after that so I took a nap and then headed to the same bar I went to last night. They had a good deal on meals and draft beers were 2 bucks during their happy hour. I stayed there for a few hours while watching a college football game. I made it back to the motel and started getting everything together for my plane trip. It would be the first time I was flying in over 10 years.

I awoke Friday around 5 and met the shuttle at 6. I arrived to a busy airport at 630. Checked my one bag for 25 bucks and took the other in the long line through the metal detector. Dropped all of my stuff in the box through the X-ray and made it with no alarms. Got on the first flight from San Diego to Houston. Found the gate for Greensboro and arrived in Greensboro in the early evening. So my first flight in 10 years went very swimmingly. No running around, no delays, and my bag was there waiting for me when I got off. My friend Melissa picked me up and I was home after two weeks of travel and vacation. Total miles driven at this point was 3,462.

For the next three weeks, I had to drive my truck to work, pay to park ( I can park for free at work with the motorcycle), and look like I never drove a motorcycle. It was a very naked feeling. Times like this, I wish I had an extra bike. I found myself counting down the days until October 11th when I would be flying to Hawaii. Before then, I called Pasha and they confirmed that my bike had arrived and was waiting for me in Honolulu. Even though I was flying in on the 11th of October I couldn’t pick up the bike until the 13th. I couldn’t pick it up on the 12th because another ship was coming in to drop off and pick up. It would be one less day I had to ride. However, the island of Oahu isn’t so big and I didn’t see that as a problem. And, it was one less day I needed to pay to park at the motel (it was $18.00 per day). I also knew I would have the $25.00 a day storage fees. Which I had budgeted for although I was hoping maybe I would get a break for what I was trying to do. Keep in mind I had scheduled all of this over a month ahead of time to get the better deals on my flights and hotels. However, Pasha wouldn’t budge and I had to pay it before my departure.

I had no idea how much to pack. I had already mailed my bike gear to include a rain suit and air pump with some extra smaller fluid type items to my friend Dan in Waikiki. I didn’t need my jacket (the average temperature in October is the 80s). I decided not to take my bike boots and just wear my hiking boots. They didn’t take as much space. The only thing I needed to bring with me was a bathing suit, shorts, flip flops, T shirts, socks, underwear, and one pair of jeans. My flight was scheduled to leave at 630 am and I wanted to get to the airport by 430. I was due to get to Honolulu at 330 pm Hawaii time. I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep the night before. I just got in my truck and headed to the airport. Got there, checked in, and I was airborne. My first layover was in Atlanta, then off to San Francisco. Both flights went well. The only problem I had in San Francisco was forgetting I had a bottle of Gatorade which security confiscated. The flight from San Francisco to Honolulu was 5 hours. I was able to sleep for some of the flight but I was too excited anyway. I just wanted to get to my motel. I arrived on time. I didn’t see any Hula girls putting the Leigh’s around you (I thought that was some requirement there). My one bag was there. I picked it up and was able to get a cab to Waikiki. The cab driver was very friendly and we had a nice exchange about my trip and what I was wanting to do as we went along on the Hawaii interstate. If you didn’t know you were in Hawaii, you would think that it was just an interstate anywhere in the US. The weather was a balmy 80 degrees under sunny skies. Within an hour I was at the Continental Surf Hotel. At first they didn’t have my reservation so they had to call Expedia and confirm it. Little bit of panic there but no biggy. My room was on the 17th floor. I could tell that it was old but everything worked. When I checked into my room I was more than happy. Along with the bathroom, I had a window with a nice view of the city and it came with a refrigerator and microwave. After settling in and making some calls to the folks letting them know I was here, I was ready to go out to a bar and get something to eat. Jet lag be damned.

While waiting for the elevator I met Haley. A friendly beautiful Australian woman from Sydney who was on vacation herself. She worked for a travel agency and enjoyed traveling alone also. I could tell she was a very independent and personable women. She invited me out for some beer and food at one of the bars in downtown Waikiki. This was great because I had someone to go out with instead of going by myself and she was also pretty. We went to this one bar called the Yard House which was a sports bar with over 100 different beer selections. When we got there, it was the second half of Monday Night Football (even though it was 5 pm). We got a seat and I drank some beers while talking about our differing countries. Of course I asked the usual questions, “Are you a big Midnight Oil Fan,” Do you like Mel Gibson?” “Can You Explain Australian Rules Football?” But it was all in fun. I mean, what questions do you ask an Australian? I paid for dinner and Haley said I didn’t need to and she would pay for the next round of beers. We left the Yard House and went to Duke’s Waikiki, located on the oceans’ edge with an outside bar. It is named after Duke Kahanamoku. The professional surfer, swimmer, and Hawaii Ambassador. This was great and I found myself having drinks with this lovely women on the beach of Oahu under a bright moon. We stayed until 12 and just like she said, Haley paid for the drinks (she insisted). We took a nice walk along the beach. It was then that I attempted my move but she was not interested (bugger!). We took photos of each other in front of Duke’s statue and made it back to the hotel. I escorted her back to her room and I went back to my room and finally went to sleep. Even though the night didn’t end like I wanted to, I was still happy. There was hope.

When I awoke that Tuesday, I wasn’t sure what to do. I was never the type that could just lay out at the beach all day. I called Dan about picking up my stuff and I didn’t realize that he was less than a half mile from where I was staying. I ended up meeting him near his place and picked up my two boxes of bike stuff. I thanked him for helping me and maybe to get a beer later in the week. After I made it back. I wrote and sent out my 25 post cards to my friends and family and proceeded to head down to the beach. Dan warned me that if you leave anything unattended there is a good chance it could be stolen. So I brought my book, a cigar, a hotel towel, my ID, lighter, and 20 dollars. Just wore a tank top, swim trunks, and flips. I found an open space so I could smoke my cigar and read my book. And I was able to take a nice dip in the ocean. But the beach was crowded and well, I was bored. I went back to the hotel but stopped at a little side store right across the street from it. In Waikiki, there are a bunch of these little stores all over. It’s just like any convenience store in the mainland except there aren’t gas stations and they sell liquor as well. I grabbed some sandwiches, crackers, soda, and beer. The lady that ran the store was named Neena and she was very friendly. I knew I would be coming in here once a day to pick up stuff. I didn’t want to get a cab to see other places because I knew I would be checking Oahu out anyway when I picked up the motorcycle. I didn’t sleep long last night and it was catching up to me so I took a nice nap. By that time, it was 6. I went to Haley’s door and knocked but it appeared she wasn’t around so I went down the road and got some food at a Mexican restaurant. It wasn’t bad and the atmosphere was nice. I decided to then head back down town to the Yard House bar. Along the main street in Waikiki are a lot of vendors, singers, and other people of various talents all working for tips. They do this every night. You could really get your entertainment right here. I went to the Yard House and hung around there for a good while. I normally don’t like just going to a bar and sitting there by myself. However, I was in Waikiki and I wasn’t going to just sit in my motel. I met another Australian couple named Bruce and Anna. They were great and we hung out for awhile drinking beer and talking. I need to visit Australia. After that, I had my walk back to the hotel. I had a long day ahead of me to pick up the bike and I wanted to see the Pearl Harbor memorial also.

I woke up at 8, and called the cab driver from the airport to take me to the pier. It was only 8 miles away. It had been over 3 weeks since I last saw my bike and I couldn’t wait to pick it up and go. We found the place, however, the process to pick up the bike was a pain. Although I had called ahead of time that I would be there I didn’t know who to talk to. So when I walked in I was directed outside. I went outside and I was directed inside. And it turned out that the place I was at is for dropping off not picking up (at least I knew where to go then). I was directed down the road a little ways and they called to let the pick-up area know that I was coming. The place to pick the bike up was in walking distance, but it was still a pain. However, once I got to the gate, they gave me a ride to the area and there was my bike right there still on the pallet. A bit dusty but looking like it was just waiting for me to return. All I had to do was show my ID and registration, sign the form that I picked it up, and I was good to go. At least I thought. When I tried to crank it, it didn’t want to turn over. I was pulling the choke and trying to get it to start but no luck. I knew it had something to do with the bike sitting as long as it did and there wasn’t much gas in it. I was talking to all of the workers there about how great this bike was and here I am, trying to get it to turnover. There was another guy there to pick up his bike who looked at it and somehow, gave it the magic touch and it started (hooray!). With that scare over with, I thanked everyone for their help and rolled out.

The first place I stopped was for gas. Then I got on the H1 Highway and proceeded to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. So here I was on October 13, 2010 having thus completed my riding in 50 states. It was a surreal feeling but there was so much of the island to see and I wanted to start by going to Pearl Harbor first. Once I arrived, I asked the security lady there if I could get a photo with the Pearl Harbor sign. She said I couldn’t ride on the sidewalk there. I asked if I can do it real quick, I just shipped my bike from NC and this is a photo I was dreaming of. She relented and was nice enough to take the photo of me in front of the sign. It was great! The Pear Harbor memorial is big. I thought that the USS Arizona was right there at the dock but you actually have to take a ferry out to it. Before I did, I checked out all of the other sights. They had a nice film of the events leading up to and after the bombings. There are some places that you have to pay to checkout but seeing the USS Arizona is absolutely free. The ferry leaves every hour. Just grab a ticket and get on the boat (it seats about 50), they take you out there, and you have 30 minutes to check out everything. You can still see parts of the ship under the memorial and the gun turret still sticks out. I saw the oil rising to the surface as well (even after all of this time it still does it) and they have the names of all of the men that died inside on a wall. Even if I had to pay, it was well worth it.

Ford Field is along side the memorial with this long bridge you have to cross to enter. I didn’t realize that it was a private military base but I wanted to get on the bridge over to it (I like bridges). Not realizing that it was a base the MP’s where there waiting for me to enter. I showed them my ID and just asked if it was okay to just ride on the bridge and come back. I told them I was from NC and shipped my motorcycle just to ride this bridge. They said it was okay just make it quick (looks like the naive tourist motorcyclist from NC was working well for me). I wanted to stop on the bridge and take a photo of the bike in front of the memorial but didn’t press my luck. After this, I proceeded back to the hotel.

I was getting ready to go out and wasn’t sure where to eat but before I could decide, there was a knock at my door. It was Haley. She was wondering if I wanted to go out with her for some dinner. She said she couldn’t stay out too late because she was getting up early to take a plane ride to the big island. The only way to see the other islands is by plane. There is no ferry boat service that can take you to each one. As I looked at this beautiful blond Australian women wearing a white tank top and a short jean skirt I said, “sure” (who wouldn’t). We walked around for a while trying to find a place to go and we ended up checking out a restaurant that was laid back but had a touristy feel to it. We had a nice dinner and I again paid for it (which I don’t think she liked) and we went across the street to Margaritaville which is a Jimmy Buffett type place where you could sit at the bar on top of the building and look down on the street. We talked for awhile but the banter wasn’t as fun and exciting as it was the night before last. Her mood just seemed different. She was ready to head back and asked if I wanted to go back with her or stay out. No biggy either way she said. For some reason, I decided to go with her but before that she decided to get a massage at one of the sidewalk venders. The guys were licensed massages (at least that’s what they said). I probably should have just taken off then but I hung around for the 20 minutes of the massage. The only good thing was that when she bent over on those massage chairs they used, I could tell she was wearing a thong. Which myself and the other 500 or so people walking by could tell also. After that, I escorted her back to the hotel and asked her if she wanted to see the bike, she said she would. I showed it to her but when I asked her to stand next to it so I could get a photo of her with it. She adamantly opposed it and proceeded to walk briskly away. I really didn’t see what the big deal was but I wasn’t going to force it. After that, I walked her back to the room and said goodnight at the door. And that was it. What started out so great a couple of nights before ended like a bad date and that was the last I saw of her. Oh well, moving on.

Although the evening didn’t end the way I wanted I was in a great mood because I was getting up and driving along the Windward side of Oahu. This is the East coast side of the island. The plan was to simply hug the coast line heading East then North to Northwest to Wailua and South to the H2 highway back into Waikiki. You can almost travel around the entire island but there is no highway or even a road 2 miles either way from the Northwest corner. Apparently the only way to make it is with a four wheel drive. And on a Honda 750, I wasn’t even going to attempt to try that. I was worried about the locals. All you hear is how they don’t like people from the mainland and the tourists get in the way. Once I made it through the outskirts of Waikiki, I started checking out the coastline. There are so many places for pictures. The first place I stopped was at a boat dock along Diamond Head. While I was setting up my camera a big Hawaiian man came over on his bicycle. I was saying to myself, “Oh great, this will end badly.” He came over, saw my license plate from NC and started just asking me questions about what I was doing, my bike, and just being inquisitive. I told him how traveling here on my bike was a dream of mine to complete my goal of driving it in 50 states. And he asked me a question that really threw me off, “What are you going to do after this trip?” I really didn’t know how to answer because I didn’t know what I was going to do after this trip. He shook my hand and wished me the best. I proceeded along the coast as the highway slowly elevated and went along the mountains with the ocean to my right. Just about every place I stopped there were Japanese tourists, getting out of their vans and buses for photos, jumping back in and heading to the next place. I thought it was great. The women were beautiful and I was hoping to impress them with the American guy riding the Honda as I smiled and waved but no luck. Some photos I would take by setting up my tripod to include myself in the photo while others I would just take a quick photo of the bike in front of something. There were places I wanted to go and take photos but I noticed homeless where staying there and I didn’t want to temp it. As I was driving through neighborhoods along the coast, I imagined what it would be like to live here year around. Just North of Laie I found a great place where there was no one. Just an open beach. I could have stayed there all day but I was getting a good sunburn already from riding with just a tank top and no sunscreen. Once you get North of Laie you reach the tip of Oahu and start heading West. This is when you get to Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline along the North Shore. I was hoping to see these 20 plus foot waves and the beach crowded with surfers but it was actually flat and it wasn’t that crowded. I was just waiting for someone to tell me, “You should have been here yesterday.” I stayed long enough to get a T shirt and a big sandwich at one of the local shops. After lunch, I continued on towards Wailua before heading back down South. The inland part of the island is loaded with pineapple farms and mountains. I wanted to check some of them out but everywhere you turn there were “no trespassing signs”. Once I got on the H2 Highway, I made it back to the hotel around 4. I stopped by the local store to see Neena and pick up some sodas and crackers. When getting back to my hotel, I noticed a family checking in with two young kid’s right across the hall. The family of four got two rooms and I knew that would be trouble. I was trying to relax and all I could hear were the doors across the hallway opening and closing, opening and closing from the family going back and forth to each room. It was extremely annoying. My quiet room suddenly became not to quiet. I needed to get out. I had an urge for Sushi and I knew of a place right up the street. I headed there and got a very good meal with a nice large Asahi beer (one of my favorites). After dinner, I headed to the Yard House where the bartenders where starting to know who I was. I don’t know if that was a good or a bad thing. I met up with Bruce and Anna (my great Australian friends) and stayed with them for awhile. I did meet some other women and I must admit that having my digital camera with the bike photos was a good conversation piece. They would ask me where I was from and I would say North Carolina and then they would ask me what brings me here so I told them. “I shipped my motorcycle here so I could see Hawaii.” I was telling the truth. It was fun conversation but no luck with any of the ladies.

My Friday was very simple. I decided to head up North and go the opposite way I came. I heard that the West side of the island was just as nice but the locals don’t like the tourist. And I didn’t want to take my chances and have something happen to me or my bike. The main purpose today was to check out some places I missed seeing. It was a simple ride North on the highway and then I would head along the coast again. There were still no waves at Waimea Bay or Pipeline but I was able to get some photos I didn’t take the day before. I also checked out the campus of BYU Hawaii. It was very nice and took a photo of it and the church for my Mormon friend at work. I then stopped at several beach accesses that I missed. And I was able to get some great barbecue Hawaiian chicken at one of the small stops they have along the coast. It came with rice and it was really good. I returned in the afternoon and I called Pasha to finalize my plans to drop the bike off the following Monday. I had scheduled my flight back the same day I was dropping the bike off; which in hindsight, was not very smart. The flight was scheduled for 1230 on Monday which meant I had to drop the bike off that morning clean and in working order or they wouldn’t take it. The earliest I could come there was 9. I was hoping for earlier but no luck. Unlike in San Diego, the bike had to be very clean with no dirt or bugs. So I had to find a place to clean the bike. Once settled, I found a great Korean takeout restaurant across the street for dinner. It was only about 8 bucks and it would fill you up. I enjoyed eating outside and watching all of the people walking by on another beautiful Friday evening. I headed out and surprisingly enough, I ran into Dan walking downtown. We went out for a beer and to relax. After Dan took off, I went to the Yard House for a few beers but then went to Duke’s for a different pace. It was hard to believe that a few days ago I was sitting at one of those tables with a hot Australian women. I did meet Bruce and Anna there and was able to hang out for awhile with them before calling it a day. Saturday was going to be my last day of riding since Sunday I needed to get the bike ready. Before I went to bed, I decided that I would head out to the West side of the island.

I had asked Dan about the West side and he told me I should be fine. “Should” and “will” are two different words. Before I left, I checked with the motel clerk about traveling to the West. She told me I would be fine as long as I stayed on the road and didn’t interact with the locals because according to her, they would say something to you and if they took your response the wrong way, they would see that as an insult. I was like, “Great, I’m dead..” But I really felt if I didn’t see this side of the island, I would have regretted it. One thing I hate about my bike trips is if I regret not doing something I had previously planned. I headed West on the H1 to the other side of Honolulu. I then exited South to Ewa Beach. There wasn’t much to see and I tried to proceed West again along the ocean to Barber’s point. But there was no road along the coastline. So I had to go through some of the neighborhoods to get to one of the main roads. This led me to Campbell Industrial Park which is exactly what it was. A big industrial park that smelled like an industry. I proceeded North on Highway 93 which took me along the coast all the way to Makua. Heading North, the ocean was now on my left and it was another nice day but the traffic was bad. They were doing construction and it was backed up and it was getting hot. I was in stop and go mode for a good 30 minutes. I wasn’t really scared but more or less hesitant just because you don’t know. And with the NC license plate hanging, you knew where I was from. Luckily, the traffic thinned out and I was riding along again. When I was North of Makaha, I was amazed at what I saw. There were, literally, three miles of homeless shelters. It consisted of tents, abandoned vehicles, and makeshift homes. It was almost like the government forced all of the homeless to live here. It is something you do not see on the brochures. All the places I’ve been, I had never seen anything like this. I wanted to stop and take a photo but felt that was disrespectful (let alone dangerous) and just leave things be. I made it North of Makua where there was one more beach access before the road turns to dirt. I didn’t try to go any further. I was tempted. I stayed long enough to take a photo. I felt like I was being stared at. But I could have just been paranoid. The way back the traffic wasn’t as bad and it was just like another ride. You know, after riding in Oahu for the last week, I felt like I was starting to know my way around. Shame it was the last day of riding. Plus, I needed to find a way to wash the bike. On my way back into Waikiki, I found a couple of motorcycle rentals but they wouldn’t let me use the hose. I then got the idea that maybe the hotel has one on the parking deck by the laundry room. When I arrived, I discovered there was a hose by the laundry room. I asked the front desk if it was okay to use it to clean my bike and they told me that it was fine. I now had a place to wash the bike. Once that was settled, I got my dinner at the Korean restaurant again. I think my stomach couldn’t take any more of it and it was letting me know later that evening. Nevertheless, I felt well enough to go out and I met up with Bruce and Anna at Duke’s. It was there last night here and it was great to hang out with them for the evening. They gave me there email address and I hope to keep in touch with them in case I ever want to go to Australia (and I do). I couldn’t believe that Sunday was going to be my last day here.

Waking up on Sunday I first had to mail my gear back to Winston Salem. I had previously looked up a post office before coming down here and I knew there was one open downtown. What I didn’t know was that they were little more restrictive on mailing stuff. When I arrived, their was a sign that said “no liquids” so I crossed out the part that said “liquid” on the outside of my box. There were two flat rate boxes stuffed to the top and the worker said I couldn’t mail this because the box was misshapen. The postal clerk was a 15 year old kid. But there was no need to argue it. These were items I would need again. I ended up separating everything into three flat rate boxes and just paying the extra for the postage. He didn’t see any of my liquid stuff and I had everything packed and ready to go (just ignore the sound of my chain lube can clinking inside there). When I got back I realized I didn’t mail my air pump. Looks like security will have some fun with that through the X-ray when I get to the airport tomorrow. I then took the bike up to the 6th floor of the parking deck where the hose was. It didn’t have a nozzle so I had to use the old “thumb pressure trick” to get some power on it. I used my ice bucket with some tide detergent and a hotel washcloth to clean it. That actually worked well except for the real greasy areas under the bike. I tried my best. It was the longest time I ever spent washing the bike. I also discovered that the valve to turn the water off was stripped so it kept on running. When none of the staff was around, I found a small table, stood on top and proceeded to shut the main valve off. I’m still waiting for the plumbing repair bill from the Continental Surf Hotel.

With the bike cleaned up I was able to relax for my last day in Hawaii. I went out to the same Mexican restaurant from a few days before and decided to check out one of the bars by the Marriott for a couple of beers. I guess I was getting in a routine and wanted to go to a different place my last night. There I met a group of older ladies (not like real old but a little older). One was making the moves on me but she was so drunk I couldn’t even hang around her. So I said I was going to the bathroom and proceeded to literally run out of the bar. So much for my experience going someplace different. I ended up heading back to Duke’s and despite having to get up early I still stayed until closing. My last night in Hawaii was sort of anti-climatic after the way it started but that’s how it goes. The goals I have for my motorcycle trips consist of getting to where I’m going safely, enjoy myself there, and getting back safely. The other events that happen are just part of the ride. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.

Pasha didn’t open until 9 but I still wanted to get there early just in case the inspector was going to be there. I didn’t really have anything to pack and for the first time in 5 years. I would be driving without my helmet since I mailed it off. And I was wearing my short’s and T shirt as well. I thought with the only 8 miles I needed to ride, it would be okay; which is always the last thing someone thinks before wrecking. I thanked the hotel for their great service. I was really happy with how they treated me. All employees were kind and courteous, my room was always clean, they let me use their facilities to wash my bike, and they took one night off on my parking fee. I then went across the street to the store and thanked Neena for her courtesy and kindness. She gave me a big hug and in her broken Korean English said, “you be safe and come back and see us.” That was very nice of her. Sometimes, it’s not so much where you go on a motorcycle, but who you meet. After that I proceeded to Pasha. I made it safely there at 8:30, despite no helmet and Karma. The inspector arrived (but not until after 9) and went ahead and started looking the bike over. Unlike the guy in San Diego, this guy was taking a long time. He was sitting on a chair with his clipboard checking out everything. “I’m pacing back and forth as I watch him look at one thing, write it down, stick his hand on other areas, writing more. I was just waiting for him to tell me that it wouldn’t pass unless all of these things were completed.” After he was done, he said I was good to go and just to sign the form. I let out a huge sigh. He was taking so long because he was putting down all the marks and scratches the bike had. It has over 126,000 miles on it so there were plenty on there. I’m glad he was being thorough and not trying to find a reason for it to fail inspection. After that, I gave him an extra key and it was goodbye to my bike again for another several weeks. I still had two hours to spare to catch my flight. What a relief. With that done, I called a cab and I was at the airport in no time. Upon arrival, I checked my bag in and got my boarding ticket. No sooner than when my bag went through the X-ray, security asked what the weird looking device in there was. I was ready for them to confiscate my air pump if needed since I didn’t want it to hold me up. The thing looks like a small grenade through the scan. After I took it out I explained to the security lady what it was and she let it go. I know I would have to explain this again in San Francisco. With that being done. I could relax a little while waiting for my flight. I made it into San Francisco about midnight and got to my seriously packed flight to Philadelphia (this time, they did not check my bag with the air pump). I arrived at 6 in the morning. From there it was to Greensboro by 830. Again, everything was on time and my luggage arrived as well. I got home to take care of some business and by the middle of the day, I feel asleep. It was a very long day but not as bad as it could have been. It was back to work until November 8th when I would fly again to San Diego for the last leg.

For three more weeks, I was back at driving my old Ford Explorer to work and paying to park. I think I spent more on parking in the last couple of months then I did total the last seven years I’ve had my bike. And the closest I could park was five blocks away. On those rainy days, I would get wetter walking with an umbrella than riding the bike with rain gear. And there wasn’t one time I felt glad that I was driving my truck. People at work were asking me about my accomplishment and how the trip went. It was great to talk about it but not once did I feel it was completed. I still had to fly across the US to San Diego, pick up the bike and drive it back. This was not going to be a scenic trip. I was getting on Interstate 8 to10 to 20 into Atlanta then travel on 85 to 40 to my house which I hoped would take no more than 4 days. My packages from Hawaii arrived with no tampering and I mailed those two packages (and three extra) to the same Motel 6 by the airport which they assured me they could hold until my arrival. All reservations were made and I was set for the third and final leg.

On Monday the 8th Melissa give me a ride to the Greensboro airport at 530am for my 630 am flight. I arrived in Dallas on time and from there I arrived in San Diego at 1030 am Pacific time on schedule with my luggage there as well. I took the shuttle back to the Motel 6. I was able to check in early and pick my 5 boxes of gear they were holding for me. After unpacking, I took a cab for the 8 mile ride back to the same port where I had dropped my motorcycle off to begin its journey across the Pacific. After arriving, I only had to wait around 15 minutes before they pushed it out. It started after a couple of tries, no problems. I thanked the workers there for their professional and courteous service. Just like that, I was on Interstate 5 heading back to the Motel 6. I will admit after not riding for three weeks and sort of being pushed onto a major US interstate in a big city isn’t much fun. Once I got back, I refueled and refilled the air in the tires. Double checked everything out and I was good to go for tomorrow. I went to the same restaurant during happy hour for some draft beers and a burger. I walked back to the motel and went to bed ready to wake up early and take off. The plan was to try and make it to Las Cruces, NM and possibly 100 miles past El Paso depending on when I left and what I had to deal with.

Of course I didn’t wake up until 7 so right off the bat I knew I’d be happy if I could make it to Las Cruces. The temperature was 54 degrees that morning and I felt this would be the coldest it would get so I put on just my leather jacket and my regular pair of riding gloves. I had to deal with the morning traffic which wasn’t bad except when it stopped suddenly and the guy behind me in a truck locked his brakes. That will wake you up in the morning. Eventually I was out of the city and on Interstate 8. What I didn’t realize is that the interstate goes through the Cleveland National Forest at a 4,800 feet. And suddenly, the temp gauge on my bike showed that it was 40 degrees. Before you know it, I had lost feeling in my hands. Since I knew the weather would warm up once I got down to level ground I gutted it out. I get stubborn sometimes when the weather gets bad. If I don’t have to stop I won’t. So I just held off until it got warmer. And eventually it did. The temperature had risen to the low 70s and it was a nice day to ride. What was odd was seeing the border patrol and having to go through several border checks. Unless I could carry an illegal who was a midget, I wasn’t bothered by them. Only one time did I need to show them my ID and they asked me if I was a US citizen. It was also odd to see exits for places in Mexico. You forget how close you are to the border. Part of me wanted to take a quick trip into Mexico and turn immediately around just so I could say that the bike was in Mexico but that would have been a wrong way to do it. If I want to ride in Mexico (and I do) I want to really ride in Mexico. The only major city I went through was Tucson. By the time I was in New Mexico at my last stop for gas, the weather started to get chilly again. I forgot that with daylight savings time ending, it gets dark at 5. And although watching that sun set over the New Mexico horizon was one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen, it got cold. After getting into Las Cruces, I found the Motel 6 and was able to check in (despite a case of the shivers). I inhaled some wonderful Mexican food and a few beers at the restaurant nearby and called it a night. I like Las Cruces.

When I woke up at 6 the temperature was 38 degrees. This time, I bundled up well. It does take awhile for the bike to start in cold weather. The sun was coming up on another gorgeous morning as I approached El Paso. El Paso is a big city. It seemed like it took forever to ride through it. But the traffic was flowing nicely. And just like that, there was nothing but the highway. As I was getting gas, a group of Mexican workers pulled in beside me. I could tell they were looking at my bike and they could see I had traveled far. But they didn’t say anything except, “Good morning Senor.” I really need to learn Spanish. I thought that was very nice for them to say that it to a perfect stranger. As I’ve said before, I’ve met some of the nicest and inquisitive people riding on my motorcycle. You don’t know how large the state of Texas is until you drive across it. When I was close to running out of gas, my GPS told me the next gas station would be over 50 miles, telling me I would probably need to use the extra fuel I carried. Sure enough the bike ran out and I was on reserve. Luckily, a gas station popped up in the middle of nowhere (not recognized on the GPS) and I refueled there. It was one of those stations where it was only this store and nothing else down a partially paved road a mile off of the highway. And I didn’t even see anyone there when I was refueling. Definitely a “Hills Have Eyes” moment. The weather warmed up to the point that I didn’t need the extra gear on but I was very comfortable. Sometimes, after being cold for awhile, it takes you longer to warm up. Odessa was a just a unique looking city surrounded by oil derricks everywhere you looked. I stopped for a quick lunch snack there then it was back on the road. I wanted to get to Tyler, which is about 100 miles East of Dallas. I refueled at a gas station that still had the old pumps. One man wearing a cowboy hat (just about everyone does there) was asking me about where I was headed and how far I had gone. Very nice man. There was also this beautiful blonde that worked there. I wanted to ask her if I could get a photo of her on the bike but it probably would been weird to ask something like that anyway (especially after the last one I asked to take a photo with the bike). Although Interstate 20 is several miles South from the main part of Dallas, I still hit rush hour traffic, which went fine except for the slight delay where there was a tractor trailer jack knifed across three lanes. After Dallas the sun started going down again but it wasn’t chilly. I made it into Tyler at 7 and had a huge burger at Denny’s that was next to the Motel 6 I was staying at. The waitress told me she was surprised I ate that much (I really hadn’t eaten all day). From this point, I was a little over a 1000 miles away from home.

I woke up at 7 and was on the road by 8. I wasn’t sure how far I would go. I thought that if I made it to Atlanta then I would stay somewhere just North of the city. There was a small chance that I could go the whole way that day but it just depended on how I felt. The weather helped. Although it was a little misty in the morning it cleared up after an hour. Driving through Shreveport was nice and into Alabama I found myself surrounded by the shaded woods over the interstate. The only delay was some construction around Tuscaloosa and for some reason, the speed limit stayed at 55 for the next 100 miles into Georgia. After refueling, the evening was approaching and so would be the Atlanta traffic. And as I got closer I could see it before I was enveloped in it. I had to cut across 5 lanes to get to the HOV lane(a Godsend for motorcyclists). However, I took the wrong exit and found myself on 75 North instead of 85 North. I then had to take another exit, go back into traffic, then get on 85 North. After driving another 80 miles I stopped for fuel and realized that I was less than 300 miles from home. I could make it before midnight. I knew it would only be two more stops for gas. I felt fine but the weather was getting colder. The next gas stop was in Spartanburg where I purchased a couple of sandwiches and a large hot chocolate. I hadn’t eaten all day and needed something just to keep me warm. Once I was in North Carolina, I stopped for gas at Lake Norman. My hands were shivering so badly I had trouble just getting my gas cap off. There was no turning back. I hopped back on and continued. By the time I got on Interstate 40 I was floating. But I was quickly put into reality when my headlights caught the back end of a deer running across the highway. Luckily it had already crossed. Sometimes, your life can change in a matter of seconds. After that, it was easy going for the last 20 miles and I made it home 10 minutes to midnight. I was cold and tired but I felt good. The actual mileage driven that day was 1,010.82 miles.

Epilogue.
The total mileage driven was 6,509. Of that, only a little over 400 miles was driven on Oahu. This is the reason I didn’t just ship the bike from my house to Oahu. It just wouldn’t have been right. People still ask me how much did it cost? Which annoys me simply because it shouldn’t matter what it cost it was something I wanted to do. And it’s the reason I don’t tell them because I don’t want to hear the, “wow, I can’t believe you spent that much to do this trip.” The trip cost less than what I thought it would be. Although I’m not a big fan of flying I don’t have any complaints with the airlines I took (there were several different ones). They were on time, staff was friendly, and my luggage was there waiting for me. The weather was the best of any trip I’ve taken. It was never too hot and I really didn’t get rained on any. Almost every day was sunny and nice.

I really don’t have any regrets on this trip. If I had time and more money I would have liked to have checked out the big island of Hawaii and Maui. Maybe I will again someday. I had contemplated going to Vegas and staying there one night. I know the hotels are cheap. But I don’t gamble and I think the only thing I would have done was get a motel, go eat, have a few beers at the local bar and take off the next day. Maybe another time. The bike was fine. The only thing I did was change the oil and plugs on it. Some more repairs later but nothing major. It ran very well.

Special Thanks
My friend Beth in Colorado for letting me stay as well as for the food and beer. My friend Joe in Colorado for watching Monday Night Football over at his house with pizza and beer. My cousin Christy for letting me stay in Blacksburg, VA. My friend Melissa for taking me to and picking me up from the airport. Dan Corbin for helping me out in Oahu (and the beer). And Wall To Wall cycle repair for their continued excellent work on my bike.