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Member's Travelogue: "Bucket Trip" ( Final Part) 
by:Gerald & Marsha Goudie
GWRRA Member #140724 & 140724-01

7-15-2011:  We left Ft. Belvoir at 6:30 AM and headed south on the old highway US-1.  We figured that since we were only going to Fayetteville we would take our time and indulge in a few side trips.  I had made the trip many times while stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC and knew from experience it wasn't that long of a ride.  After a nice breakfast, we headed south on US-1 for a while and then turned east onto US-17.  About four hours later we stopped for a break along the river in Yorktown.  At this time we decided that we had had enough fun for the day and that it was time to get to Fayetteville.  Yeah, right.  It was time to activate "Mom."  Remember "Mom" the GPS?  We aren't totally convinced "Mom" knew where we were either.  Our side trip continued for about four more hours until we finally reached I-95.  I had removed my leather jacket after breakfast and neglected to dig out my long sleeve shirt to wear.  Bad move.  My arms looked like they belonged on a lobster.  Pink is in.

All in all, it was a beautiful ride through the Virginia and North Carolina countryside.  Being 67 years old however, 12 hours on the bike in that heat, and humidity, did make for a long day.  We checked into our room and had microwave stuff for dinner.  Not the most elegant dining experience, but we were too tired to go back out in that heat and humidity.

After snapping a few photos, at the request of my daughters, we left for Auburn, Georgia as straight and direct as possible.  Once we reached I-95 we stayed on the Interstate highways as much as possible.  Of course Mom had to take us on one obligatory "shortcut."  Actually, I think this shortcut worked.  We arrived in Auburn, Georgia at Marsha's sister's home at about 3:50 PM.  Believe me, if it weren't for Mom we would still be looking for her house.  It was an overall pleasant ride, except for the last two hours when God upped the heat and humidity to BRUTAL.  Now we will spend some time visiting with family and I will be taking Baby III to the "Doc" for her 4,000 mile service.

7-16-2011:  After a nice breakfast, we left the motel at 6:50 AM in search of the house I lived in while stationed at Ft. Bragg. We found it without any trouble what so ever, thanks to our much maligned "Mom."

7-18-2011:  I took Baby into Lawrenceville Honda for her 4,000 mile checkup.  This is Atlanta's "serious adult toy store."  They serviced Baby and she passed her physical with flying colors.  We should be pretty close to home before she needs to be serviced again.  The service provided by Lawrenceville Honda was outstanding.

7-19-2011: We ran a few errands with Marsha's sister.  It's only 10:00 AM and the heat and humidity are already nasty.  Thank God for the rain last night.  It washed a little of the humidity out of the air.  We stopped at a local Chinese restaurant for lunch, placed our orders and within a few minutes a grease fire erupted in the kitchen and the sprinklers came on.  As we evacuated the building the fire department arrived and shut the building down.  So much for our lunch.  Oh well.  Not our day.

7-22-2011:  Marsha's sister took us to a bonafide, out in the sticks, country auction.  Being so close to a big city like Atlanta, I wasn't prepared for this.  It was a small town American auction attended, for the most part, by country folk.  It was GREAT!   It brought back a lot of memories for me.  I spent my boyhood summers with my aunt and uncle at their logging camps way up in the mountains of Oregon with no running water, electricity or any of the conveniences one gets used to in the city.  What great people.  What you see is what you get.  Courteous and easy to talk to, even for a "Damn Yankee" from Washington State.  My accent was a bit of a curiosity.  Marsha's sister purchased, at a great price, two sets of swimming goggles for her grand children.  Only complaint.  A HOT and HUMID southern night with no air conditioning.  Only a few fans, none of which were aimed at us.

7-26-2011:  We departed Auburn, Georgia at 6:30 AM headed straight for Pearl River, Louisiana.  Pearl River is located near Slidell on the North side of Lake Pontchartrain.  We got into the HOV Lane on I-85.  The plan was to take I-285 around metropolitan Atlanta, but the exit to I-285 was six lanes away.  So, I opted to stay in the HOV Lane.  This turned out to be a smart move.  Smart?  More like lucky.  We blew right through the city.  It took us about an hour to be clear of Atlanta.  We then stopped for breakfast and fuel for Baby.  Because it was so muggy, I removed my leather jacket.  We passed numerous Gold Wings, mostly headed for Wing Ding, I'm sure.  We did ride along with two couples for about 50 miles before turning off and heading south.  We enjoyed that very much.  Shortly thereafter, we hit a couple little rainy spots.  Felt so good.  Somewhere along the highway in Alabama we encountered a very heavy rain storm.  Wet.  Wet.  Wet.  Still felt good, however.  Nice and cool.  We passed one couple with a motorcycle huddling under and overpass, getting out of the rain.  That was probably the smart thing to do, but the rain felt so good and cool that we just kept riding.  After about fifteen minutes, the rain stopped.  Once again, it didn't take long for our clothes to dry.  Once in Mississippi, we chose not to take the Coast Highway.  It is a beautiful ride but all we wanted to do by this time was get to Marsha's sister Carol's home as quickly as possible.  We will take a day and make this ride with the family.  It seems, after our last visit, everyone went out and bought a motorcycle.  Works for us.  We stayed on I-10 and headed straight for Carol's house.  We arrived at Carol's home at 2:30 and were greeted by the smiling face of our niece, Leah.

7-30-2011:  We went for a short evening ride with Marsha's sister and her husband, James.  We rode into Slidell for a wonderful steak dinner.  Eating in and around New Orleans is where our diet went straight to hell.  We had been losing weight the whole trip.  Not here.  What a beautiful evening.  Not too hot and muggy, by Louisiana standards.  James had adjusted his shocks on his Harley to a lower position and the headlight was a bit too high.  We will adjust that tomorrow before we ride to breakfast.

7-31-2011:  We decided to ride east into Mississippi for dinner at a casino.  We had five motorcycles as we headed out onto I-10.  Of course we ran into the obligatory southern rain squall.  The good news is that unlike a northern rain storm, instead of freezing your tukas off, it cools you down to a nice pleasant temperature.  We got to the casino and had a nice overfilling dinner.  Everyone had crab and shrimp stuff except for James and I.  We be the heathens in the group.  My brother-in-law and I ate RED MEAT.  Afterward we had a wonderful ride back to Pearl River via the back country roads.  An absolutely gorgeous evening.

8-02-2011:  Marsha's vertigo has flared up.  Looks like we won't be riding anywhere until we get this under control.  Luckily her therapist showed us some things to do that should help.

8-11-2011:  Marsha's sister, Carol, drove us across the lake to Chalmette, so we could visit the cemetery where Marsha's daughter, Lydia, is laid to rest.  The little sweetheart was only on this earth for a month.  We make it a point to visit her whenever we are in the New Orleans area.

8-15-2011:  We departed Pearl River at 6:30 AM heading west on I-12 and on to I-10.  It was a very nice ride, mainly because we were mostly in the shade provided by the tall trees lining the highway.  We stopped for breakfast and gas west of Baton Rouge.  Breakfast was a bit disappointing, and I'm pretty easy to please.  We visited with an old Gold Wing rider.  He had quit riding several years ago because his farm required so much of his time.  He offered to trade me four horses with a trailer, his wife and two kids for Baby.  Sorry big fella, but I have to turn this one down.  Around noon it got really HOT and there was no shade!  Again.  We rode cross country to our next destination, Livingston, Texas.  We checked into our room at 2:00 PM.  Shortly thereafter, I contacted an old friend of mine, Ray Homeyer.  We served together in the military.  Ray, Marsha and I had a nice dinner and talked well into the night.  A great day.

8-16-2011:  Marsha's vertigo was trying to move in on her, so as a precaution she cooled her heals in the room for the day.  Meanwhile, Ray and I terrorized the town of Livingston, Texas.  Actually, we took the long way around the lake and went by Ray's house.  Two of his sisters live within spitting distance of Ray, so we spent the afternoon visiting in an air-conditioned house.

8-17-2011:  We left Livingston at 6:24 AM and headed east on US-190.  We finally caught US-290 at Austin and pressed on westward.  An absolutely beautiful cross country ride at its best.  The temperature hovered around 85 to 88 degrees and with the bike speeding along it was quite pleasant.  We stopped for lunch and something cold to drink in Fredricksburg, Texas.  The rapidly rising heat was getting to Marsha, and wasn't doing me any good either, so we discussed quitting for the day.  I called a nearby motel and made reservations for the night.  When we got back on Baby it was 102 degrees.  That definitely cuts it.  We are in for the day.  When we stopped at a traffic light to turn up the street to the motel, Marsh spotted a sign on the side of an old building on the corner.  The "Chester A. Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War."  Whoa!  Right up my alley.  When we checked into the motel, we told them we would be staying an extra day.

8-18-2011:  Spent most of the day in the Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War.  WOW!  Since so many members of both families were involved, from Pearl Harbor to the end of W.W.II, I have long been interested in the Pacific War.  My Dad was on the only battleship (USS Nevada) to get underway at Pearl Harbor.  It was also the only naval vessel that was at Pearl Harbor and Normandy. We will be leaving Fredricksburg at oh-dark-thirty tomorrow morning for El Paso, Texas (not Illinois).  We are going to get as many miles in as quickly as possible.  Our goal is to beat the heat as best we can.  We may make El Paso....may not, but we will blow out of here early.  

35th Anniv logo8-19-2011:  We left Fredricksburg at 4:39 AM, or oh-dark-thirty-nine.  The temperature was good for traveling.  Only in the upper 80's.  The night clerk lady at the motel warned me about the deer being along the highway.  I was more concerned about the armadillos.  We took off on westbound US-190, again.  Actually, while riding in the early morning darkness, we saw jackrabbits, raccoons and a lot of deer along the side of the highway.  Plenty of raccoons and opossum roadkill but, alas, no armadillos.  Our Gold Wing has more, and better, lights than my car so the highway immediately to the front and both sides of us was pretty well lit.  We proceeded on US-190 until we merged with westbound I-10.  Yippee!  We made a rest, breakfast and gas stop in Sonora, Texas.  While having coffee and breakfast, the sun came up.  With the sun, the dreaded heat.  Later, we stopped for lunch and gas in Van Horn.  Knowing we were not too far from El Paso, I called ahead to Ft. Bliss and made room reservations for two nights.  We arrived in El Paso and were checked into our room by 1:00 PM.  The only thing that is the same about El Paso and Ft. Bliss is the oppressive HEAT.  Everything else is more and bigger.  I contacted my friend's wife, Karin, so we could get together for a visit.  She is the reason we stopped in El Paso in the first place.  Her husband, Bob Katusic, was one of my closest and dearest friends from my early career in the military.

8-20-2011:  Spent the day visiting with Karin Katusic.  She's a German lady and what a sweetheart.   Bob had passed away in 1990 after having a rough year due to his illness.  Another of my nuclear weapons cohorts who succumbed to cancer at an early age.  So far, I've been lucky.  Someone must be watching over me.  I do believe that Karin made their life together a special and happy time for Bob.  God knows, he deserved it.  While we were here, and since my old house was near, I decided to drive by and see if it was still there.  It was.  What a cute little house.

Tomorrow we head for Palm Springs, California.  More desert.  Yippee.

8-21-2011:  We left Ft. Bliss at 4:20 AM.  We took the Hondo Pass Highway over the Franklin Mountains to I-10 west.  It is shorter than going back through El Paso to I-10.  Once again, a beautiful morning in the relatively cool air with the temperature hovering in the 77 to 81 degree range.  Then, suddenly, about 50 miles east of Casa Grande, Arizona it got HOT!  We stopped for lunch and something cold to drink and, also, to discuss our options.  Our options were...GET A ROOM.  It was 98 degrees when we went in for lunch and 109 when we came out.  Seven hours on the bike with that heat.  We quit.

8-22-2011:  We departed Casa Grande at 4:47 AM.  Next stop.  Palm Springs.  The main object, other than arrival at Palm Springs, was to beat the heat as best we could.  After stopping for breakfast in Tonopah, Arizona we realized we had failed.  The temperature where Baby was parked was 122 degrees.  Gassed up Baby and it was 112 in the shade.  Later, we decided we needed to take a bathroom/water break so we stopped at the next rest stop.  As it turns out, Marsha remembers this rest stop from her move to Washington State.  Our 105lb Samoyed, Sasha, drug Marsha all over the grounds.  I guess she wanted to check out all the funny smelling desert plants.By the time we got to Palm Springs it was so hot I was afraid my tires might overheat and explode.  We will stay a couple days at a Palm Springs resort with my favorite cousin and her husband.  

35th Anniv logo8-25-2011:  We left Palm Springs at 4:34 AM hoping to make Carmel, California.  After about half an hour we passed another windmill farm and over the mountains.  The temperature dropped immediately from 98 to 86 degrees and falling.  Thank God.  At last. We can breath.  Next goal was to get around Los Angeles in one piece.  Oh, just great.  Right where we wanted to be.  The guy who came up with the idea for the HOV Lane gets my vote for inventor of the last half century.  Forget Bill Gates and Paul Allen, it's the HOV guy for me.  We finally reached US-101.  Yippee.  Nice and cool as long as we were near the ocean, but when it took us inland it brought back recent memories of the "Heated Desert."  As if that wasn't enough, here comes the wind, with attitude.  Beam me up Scotty.  We finally turned back toward the sea.  Luscious cool air.  We arrived in Carmel and checked into the crappiest and most expensive motel of our entire trip.  No refrigerator for my wife's insulin, no A/C or microwave, the coke machine steals money and crappy service.  Scotty, where are you?  Tomorrow we head north, keeping as close to the ocean as possible.  Marsh agrees with that move.

8-26-2011:  Left Carmel and our crappy motel at 5:30 AM.  Headed north on California Highway 1 until we intersected with US-101.  We then made a beeline for San Francisco.  Of course, Mom tried to take us on a couple of her shortcuts.  Been there, done that.  We weren't going to have any of that because as long as we were on US-101, I knew where we were and where we were going.  Mom did get her licks in, however.  We took an unintended tour through San Francisco.  Even though I was stationed there for two years, things had changed so much that by the time I realized what she was doing to us, it was too late.  When we finally found US-101 again we made it across the Golden Gate Bridge (at least it was still where I left it).  Of course Marsha didn't see anything because she closes her eyes in high places and the Golden Gate qualifies as a high place.  From there we headed north to Hamilton Field.  It was Hamilton AFB when I lived there.  We took a tour around the base and found my old house right there with the rest of the old Spanish style homes.  Gorgeous.

At the time, there was a Coast Guard NCO living on one side of me and a Navy NCO living on the other side of me.  They both made Chief Petty Officer (CPO) the same month I made Sergeant First Class (SFC).  Can you say PARTY?  Anyway, the homes and all the facilities have been kept up very well.  From there we continued north on 101 and the Redwood Highway.  I began to wonder about the animals, however.  Throughout the whole trip, I've seen crossings signs for Deer, Elk, Bears and Buffalo.  I saw deer and an occasional elk grazing alongside the highway and one squirrel crossing without a sign but not one critter crossing where it was supposed to.  Just wondering about that.  We arrived at our motel in Eureka at 4:30 PM.  It is also an older motel but much, much nicer than the one in Carmel.  Hopefully we will sleep later tomorrow 35th Anniv logomorning.  Tomorrow, Lincoln City, Oregon.  Getting closer to home and Marsha is getting the itch to cook again, and the girl can cook!

8-27-2011:  We left Eureka at 8:02 AM with the goal of making Lincoln City, Oregon for a couple days of relaxation prior to pushing on home to Bremerton.  The morning coastal mist hung over the area and the temperature was around 55 degrees.  Once Highway 101 moved inland a bit and we started to gain altitude it started to warm, but not enough to warrant removing our leathers.  We made a stop at the "Trees of Mystery."

That was cool, so we took some time to relax, look around and talk with some other bikers.  The ride along the Redwood Highway is a real hi-lite of our trip.  We finally crossed into Oregon.  We have been looking forward to riding Highway 101 along the Oregon coast for the entire trip.  We love the Oregon Coast.  We thought about relocating to Lincoln City, or somewhere in the vicinity, but then we realized we would have no place to go for our weekend getaways.  As we were passing through Coos Bay, Oregon, I remarked to Marsha that we were no longer on "Virgin" highway.  Meaning, we've been on this stretch of the highway before.  Funny thing, though.  The deer and elk are no smarter here than anywhere else.  We saw some deer in a yard (probably eating the roses) and some elk on an elk farm but none of them were using their designated crossings.  We figured they should be teaching them to read on the elk farm.  We arrived in Lincoln City at 5:30 PM and will stay a couple days before making the run for home in Bremerton.

8-28-2011:  We slept in and then went to Depoe Bay for breakfast at the Sea Hag and then tried to do some whale watching.  No whales, so we hit a few of the tourist shops before heading back to Lincoln City.   We cannot visit Lincoln City without stopping by the "World's Shortest River."  The "D" River comes from it's source, The Devil's Lake, and empties into the Pacific Ocean approximately 100 to 200 yards to the west, depending on whether we are at high tide or low tide.

We went shopping at the local outlet mall where Marsha and I bought some new riding gloves.  Had dinner at the Chinook Winds Casino then Marsha and I played the machines for about an hour.  Last of the "Big Time Gamblers," Marsh broke even and I donated $5.00 to the local Salish Tribe.  We made connections with our friend, Anita.  She met us when we got back to our motel.  We had a nice talk and told her we would see her in October when we come down for the Kite Festival.

35th Anniv logo8-29-2011:  We left Lincoln City at 8:08 AM heading north on the now famous Highway 101 through Tillamook and on to Seaside for gas and breakfast.  All along the way, Mom kept trying to make us turn off for Portland but I was bound determined to stay on 101.  We continued on to Astoria and over the bridge at the mouth of the Columbia River and finally into Washington State.  The wind wasn't too bad.  Yippee!  I always get an adrenaline rush when I enter back into my home state.  It looks like all the construction in the state was being done along our travel route.  We spent ten minutes at one flagger.  Also, we traveled at a blistering two to four mph for about a half hour behind a truck escorting the guy who was painting the white line on the right side of the road.  This was torture.  We are ready to be home!  Finally, after a gas/bathroom break in Montesano, we caught US-12 for home at a decidedly accelerated rate.  At last, at 3:57 PM we arrived at our home to be greeted by my sister's smiling face.  A very welcome sight.  Also, all our neighbors were very enthusiastic about our return.  It was a great trip and we had a fantastic time but, as usual, it is wonderful to be home.  Baby III had tracked a total of 8,467.5 miles.  What a BEAST!

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