…I still can’t feel my butt.

The only signs we missed were Oregon (it’s on a bridge with no shoulder) and Arizona (it was dark and again no shoulder).

This trip was months in the making, more or less went according to plan, was like nothing I’ve (or any of us had) ever done before, was EPIC – in the most literal use of the word, brought me closer to my special man, and created memories that will last a lifetime. John and I spent 12 days traveling by motorcycle (Triumph 1200 Tiger Explorer) with our dear friend Chris tailing us in his uber efficient car (Honda Civic) from Corvallis, OR on back highways through the Southwest and back covering 3,700 miles.

It went a little something like this: Corvallis, OR > Hart Mountain, OR | Hart Mountain, OR > Wells, NV | Wells, NV > Phoenix, AZ (this was a 21 hour day and I wouldn’t recommend ever EVER doing it… we made a judgement call and it worked out ok, but it was risky) | Stayed in Phoenix sleeping and visiting with friends for a couple days | Phoenix, AZ > Gila Mountain NF, NM | Gila Mountains NF, NM > Santa Fe, NM | Stayed in Santa Fe for a full day eating, sleeping, and hiking | Santa Fe, NM > Moab, UT | Moab, UT > Honeyville, UT | Honeyville, UT > Wallowa-Whitman NF, OR | Wallowa-Whitman NF, OR > Home.

The photos below are an assortment between my Sony Alpha 77 and my iphone 5s. ┬áBe sure to check out my instagram for more photos and upcoming adventures… Enjoy!

Things that we saw that were not photographed – probably because we were moving and it happened for a split second:
(Day 1) Tons of people that wondered up to John to talk about motorcycles. A giant black cow that was nearly ran into John and I on the bike (it was dark). (Day 2) More cows in the road, we very carefully went around them, though Chris was worried about a particularly LARGE bull that was eye-balling his red car. Lots of antelope, mull deer, jack rabbits, and mountains. A crap load of bikers in Winnemucca, NV for a Memorial Day Weekend thing… (Day 3) Spent most of the day on the “Loneliest Highway” which also turns out to be the “Motorcycliest”. Saw AMAZING weather systems and rode in between two storms through most of Neveda. At one point my helmet got hucked across the highway by the wind (ouch!), but my communication system took the beating and kept working (5 stars!), shortly after we also saw a styrofoam cup fly across the sky. (Day 4-5) Lots of street art in Phoenix. (Day 6) The reemergence of life once we entered New Mexico – butterflies, hummingbirds, prairie dogs, HUGE hawks, and more antelope. Naked hippies in the hot springs. (Day 7) Lots of tiny lizards, burned out sections of forest, cicadas, and a raven that piloted for us on a twisty back-highway for about 1/4 mile. WIND!!!!! Wind that wanted to throw us into the other lane from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. (Day 8 ) Some of the best food I’ve ever had in my WHOLE LIFE!!! Street art, lots of adobe houses (all of them), interesting roadways. Crazy weather systems as we rode out to Ghost Ranch (yea, I went to Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ranch) and hiked Kitchen Mesa. Lots of lizards, birds, flowers, rocks, and everything you could want to see, smell, or touch. (Day 9) Some of the prettiest horses I’ve ever seen! Breathtaking views coming through upper New Mexico, SW Colorado, Rocky Mountains, Mesa Verde, the abrupt change in the quality of the roads as we crossed into Utah (ps Utah has crappy roads, so does Idaho), and Moab. I do feel guilty not getting more photos of the red cliffs as we made our way through SE Utah, but dammit we were trying to make it Moab in time to get a camping spot. Oh yea, and I saw a BEAR in Colorado! A BIG BROWN BEAR! (Day 10) Just REALLY BIG hills and cliffs that are right up against the highway – they make you feel really small. The frequency of “family fun centers” and theme parks from Moab to Salt Lake City is a bit unsettling. …then we camped at one. We thought it was a hot spring, and it was… that was also a family fun center with a water slide. (Day 11) Not much. It’s not that there isn’t stuff happening in the lower half of Idaho… it’s just that it’s pretty much all Ag land. Yep, lots of cows and horses, and stuff getting watered. That is until we got back into Oregon and got a view of the Wallowa Mountains. (Day 12) More Wallowa Mountains and LOTS of wind turbines coming through The Gorge. We also saw more deer, BIG HORNED SHEEP, wind surfers and wind + water related sports that I’m not sure what they’re called, The Columbia River at it’s finest, The Budweiser Clydesdales …for real! They were traveling on I-84, three trailers full, and I asked John if he thought the horses were really in there after we passed the one in back. When we passed the middle trailer I looked in an open window and saw a GIANT horse eye looking back at me! “They are, they are!” Then we were coming up to the first trailer and I told him to watch for one if he could (it’s hard to look around when you’re managing a two-up motorcycle in The Gorge) and then one of them poked its GIANT horse nose out of the window! HAHAHA!!! I don’t even like Budweiser, but that was AWESOME!

There are so many more stories. …like The Argentinian, or THE HEAT that nearly suffocated us as we tried to leave Phoenix, all the bones in the desert, the mining towns, THE MINES, the New Mexico and Colorado skyline, the price of ice in the desert, how it smells soooooooo good when it rains there, the bird and insect sounds, the GIANT cougar print that was bigger than my whole hand at our last camping spot that John didn’t tell me about til morning (good call), the guy bummin’ gas money in his brand new Mercedes, and ALL the little kids that wondered up to John to look at his motorcycle.

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