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Member's Travelogue: "Bucket Trip"
A diary written about our motorcycle trip around the USA.

By: Gerald & Marsha Goudie
GWRRA Member #140724 & 140724-01

Forty-eight years ago, a friend and I started to plan a motorcycle trip around the country. We were 19 years old at the time and, as it turns out, our planning was woefully inadequate. We were riding small Japanese motorcycles at the time. Mine was a Suzuki with a 80cc two-cycle engine and his was a Yamaguchi with a 50cc two-cycle engine. We intended to upgrade to a couple of 250cc English bikes. As I said, we were 19 years old and not too bright at the time. Then, college, military service and life interfered and we never took our trip. Nor did we take the proposed trip around Europe, although we both served in Germany while in the military. My friend, Dick Muri, passed away about a year and a half ago and I think my wife, Marsha, got tired of listening to me whine about the trip. I am retired and she is semiretired, so we decided it was time to go. We decided to upgrade from our '87 1200cc Interstate to a much newer 1800cc, 2005 Gold Wing. This proved to be a smart move. The peace of mind that a well maintained Gold Wing gives you, was enough to make a 67 and 63 year old couple feel comfortable with this expedition.

This trip is dedicated to Dick Muri


6-25-2011: We departed Bremerton, Washington at 12:00 noon. Instead of taking the ferry directly to Seattle like we usually do, we decided to ride around through Tacoma, via the Narrows Bridge. We proceeded north on Interstate 5 until we reached the cutoff for highway 18 which took us to I-90 just west of North Bend, Washington. Once we cleared the Cascade Mountains, the temperature went up significantly. As usual, we were met by some pretty gusty winds in the Ellensburg area. We stopped for the night in Moses Lake, Washington. At the end of every day we would send a progress report to both sides of our family via text message and old fashioned phone call.

6-26-2011: We left Moses Lake heading east on I-90 at 7:30 a.m. The ride was uneventful, although we did encounter some wind gusts and construction slow downs. This would become a recurring theme throughout the whole trip. The winds in eastern Washington, and Montana, as well as Wyoming are a given. Our 2005 Wing, Baby III, (from here on referred to as Baby) handles the wind beautifully. Having the ability to adjust the windscreen to a lower position is a major factor in reducing the effect the wind has on the riding characteristics of the motorcycle. It holds the road better than any bike I have ever ridden, including my '81(Baby I) and '87 (Baby II) Interstates. We arrived in Butte, Montana at 4:20 p.m. and checked into our room.

6-27-2011: We spent the day doing research on my Dad's family. We found that his Mother's parents were married in Germany prior to immigrating to this country. His Dad's parents were from Europe, also. His Grandmother was from Finland, I believe, and his Father was a Scotsman. The name Goudie is from the McPherson Clan of Scotland. We had pasties for lunch at Gamer's in downtown Butte. Pasties are like a pie with meat, potatoes and pretty much whatever you want to put in them. The coal miners would take these into the mines and have them for lunch. This is a must for my sister and I whenever we visit Butte. A good day today.

6-28-2011: After a quick breakfast we departed Butte at 7:00 a.m. We took a short break at the Little Big Horn battle sight. Having been through the Custer Museum and with my wife not being overly interested our stay was relatively short. We visited with a couple on a motorcycle ride from Mississippi; they had encountered some stormy conditions and advised us to avoid Iowa "at all costs." This was due to the flooding going on in parts of Iowa. We continued our trip on to Wyoming. Someone once told me that "Wyoming invented wind." This could very well be true. We checked into our room in Gillette, Wyoming at 4:00 p.m.

6-29-2011: We had a nice breakfast and left Gillette at 7:00 a.m. A nice cool morning but the wind had already come up a bit. Once again, Baby handled the wind with minimal effort. The ride to Devil's Tower was a nice relaxing experience. That mountain, Wow! Pictures and the movie "Close Encounters of A Third Kind," do not do it justice.

We arrived at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota at 12:30 p.m. Ellsworth AFB is just west of Rapid City. It was already 104 degrees, and we were wearing our full leathers; I think we were melting. We checked into our room and took full advantage of the air conditioning. Tomorrow we tour the area, weather permitting.

6-30-2011: We got an early start to Mount Rushmore, hoping to beat the heat. This is one place that is worth every penny it costs to enter the park. Like the Devil's Tower, pictures do not do justice, compared to seeing it in person.

Also, on a personal note, one of Marsha's former clients worked on the carving of Mt. Rushmore. The man's name was Ray Sanders and below is a section of the panel commemorating those who worked on the monument.

After leaving Mt. Rushmore we took a trip around the Rapid City/Sturgis area.

7-01-2011: Woke up at 5:00 a.m. to an announcement telling us to evacuate the building immediately. This announcement was repeated over and over and over forever. We dressed and went outside with everyone else and watched the firemen from the four fire trucks that responded.

Who needs an alarm clock. Anyway, false alarm. Sorry folks. We grabbed a quick breakfast and decided to get out of the area before the big storm that the weatherman was promising arrived. Again, we headed east toward Sioux Falls. Not to worry about the storm; we would just outrun it. Wrong! We hit one with rain, hail, high winds and a funnel cloud touching down just a few miles to the Southeast. The rain and hail were so thick that I had trouble reading the instruments on the bike. After about an hour and a half, we cleared that storm and hit a wall of 90 degree air. That worked because it did a good job of drying us out. After a bit, we stopped for a little hot coffee and lunch and to get some gas. Marsha asked me if we should be concerned about the storm and I told her not to worry. They don't move that fast. Half way through my BLT I told her that she may want to hurry and eat because we are leaving. She asked why and I told her to look out the window. That damned storm had caught us. Without gassing up, we got on Baby and took off and headed east. Thank goodness we have this Gold Wing and we didn't have to stop for gas every 100 miles. A six and a half gallon tank gives you more leeway than you would get with most any other motorcycle. We got enough distance between us and the storm so we stopped at the next available gas station for fuel. As soon as we were refueled, we took off because here came that damn storm again. Was it chasing us? We finally outdistanced the storm and arrived in Sioux Falls. It was "only" 91 degrees but we checked into our room anyway. Marsha made arrangements for us to have dinner at the motel with our nephew and his family. We had dinner and the kids got to swim a bit. We had a very enjoyable time. By now we are getting "SEVERE STORM WARNINGS with the possibility of tornados." Just great. We may find our beautiful Gold Wing in Canada by morning.

7-02-2011: While packing Baby for the day's travels we struck up a conversation with some folks on a ride from Minnesota. The first thing they noticed about Baby was the Washington license plate. They asked how far we were going and we explained the "Bucket Trip" to them. They were heading west for Wyoming and Colorado and back. There was a fully dressed Harley, a Gold Wing and two Gold Wing trikes. We compared notes on the weather and riding conditions and then went our separate ways. We finally left Sioux Falls at 8:00 a.m. Shortly thereafter we entered Minnesota. Because there was no state budget, NONE of the rest stops were open to the traveling public; that would be us! We pretty much blew through the state. We were meeting lots of friendly bikers from all over the area and by now our Washington plates were becoming an item of interest. We finally came to a sign that announced a 4% downgrade for the next four miles. Hallelujah! That can only mean the Mississippi River! Then we caught a glimpse of "Big Muddy." Crossing the Mississippi was one of the things I was really looking forward to. At 1:30 p.m. local time, we crossed the Mississippi River into Wisconsin. Like all of the other rivers we passed throughout the trip so far, the Mississippi was very high due to the intense rain and the melting of the winter snowfall in the North. We stopped at the first rest stop we saw that Wisconsin had to offer and made use of all the facilities. We finally said enough of this 90+ degree heat and stopped for the night in Wisconsin Dells. Just great! It's July 2nd and they have one room, the luxury suite; we'll take it. The Wing is doing fine. I am done for the day.

So far, after one week of travel, we have observed that about every 60 miles, or so, we come across construction on the interstate. We usually just have to slow down a bit so no stoppages so far. Of course it is summer and this is when most of this road work has to be done.

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