Miami - Atlanta - Houston - Dallas - Albuquerque - Los Angeles - Las Vegas - El Paso - Miami
Today we’d like to recount our big ride we completed last year. A lot of time has passed since then, we’ve visited lots of places, but the memories of that adventure are still vivid, and we can’t help but share them with you.
Last spring we went on a large-scale road trip, crossing the US from East to West. The trip took us three weeks and lasted from April 3rd to 15th, 2015.
We set off from Miami on the 3rd of April at 4 am and headed West.
Our first charge was a powerful one and we covered 800 miles on the first day. We were quite exhausted, but felt happy and satisfied. The first day on the road is always the hardest one, but we were full of hopes and were looking forward towards new roads and new places.
During that first day we crossed the states of Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Georgia is famous for being the 4th state that had ratified the United States Constitution back in 1788. The state’s nicknames are Peach State and the Empire State of the South. The state’s capital Atlanta is known for serving as one of the major staging areas during World War II, from this location soldiers had been sent to the front from the southeastern states.
We continued on our way through the states of Louisiana and Texas.
Passing through Texas, the state where the national idea is in its strongest, we had to visit Houston. This city, the fourth most populous city in the United States, is stunning in its grandeur. Among other things, it is a leading center for building oilfield equipment.
The Port of Houston ranks first in international commerce in the US and
tenth among the largest ports in the world. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center,
the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas Medical Center with its great number of
medicine-related institutions, hospitals and medical schools also contribute
significantly to the state’s prosperous economy.
We couldn’t miss Dallas either. The city's prominence arose from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, and nowadays it is sadly remembered as the place of US President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
Then we made it to San Antonio, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas and one of the centres of the Tejano culture. Among the city’s must-sees are the Alamo Mission, the River Walk, the Arneson River Theater, La Villita historical neighborhood, and the Tower of the Americas.
After leaving Texas we rode to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The city is the 32nd most populous city in the US and, more interestingly, the setting for the Breaking Bad series.
We snatched an opportunity to have some quality cuisine and dined in one of the most fashionable places in the area, the Antiquity Restaurant. While munching the delicious seafood we discussed our progress so far.
After that “pit stop” we pointed our bikes North through the Chaco National Historical Park. The views of the Chaco Canyon were absolutely stunning.
Finally, we swiftly passed through Arizona and reached the roads of California.
Of course we had to go to Los Angeles, this cultural, economic, scientific, and educational center of the US and the world. Los Angeles is the city of the Oscars, the world capital of cinema, television and the entertainment industry.
California was our last point of going “to”, the state on the opposite ocean shore, and having reached it we could start on our way back.
Our route lay through the Mojave Desert that occupies a significant portion of southeastern California, towards the state of Nevada. The thing that surprised us greatly and which we remember vividly to this day is the temperature change. We had hardly had left Los Angeles when it suddenly dropped to almost 37F below zero. The mountains were still covered in snow, and for some time it was a chilly ride.
When in Nevada, we couldn’t miss the legend of Las Vegas. There are over 80 casinos and several thousand gambling houses in this world center of entertainment and the gambling industry.
It is also home to one of the largest HD dealerships in the world. Riding down a Las Vegas street on a motorcycle is truly one of the dreams of every biker. It is a double pleasure if the bike is not rental but your own.
After checking out Las Vegas we continued on our way along the Historic Route 66. This route is the most famous national roadway and has numerous colloquial nicknames: Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America, or the Mother Road. The road was opened on 11th November 1926, and some of its parts are still preserved unchanged. Route 66 became widely popular in the 50s and 60s, thanks to numerous mentions in popular songs and TV shows.
Soon we entered Texas again. This time our way lay through the city of El Paso. In the times of pioneering Wild West lands it was notoriously famous for being the place where chancers, rogues and bandits used to settle. Nowadays the city’s largest employer is the Fort Bliss Army post. The Western Refining oil company listed in the Fortune 500 list is also headquartered in the city.
El Paso also became the starting point of our effort to perform an Iron Butt standard. The Iron Butt Association is a US-based organization dedicated to endurance motorcycle riding with a claim of over 60,000 members world-wide.
To earn membership and the right to bear the Iron Butt title, you should complete one of the endurance rides in compliance with the association’s rules. The basic rides are the SaddleSore 1000 (1,000 miles in 24 hours) and the Bun Burner 1500 (1,500 miles in 36 hours).
We were doing the SaddleSore and managed to ride the 1000 miles within 22 hours, starting on April 14 at 5 am and finishing on April 15 at 3 am. Our route lay as follows: El Paso (Texas) – Fort Stockton (Texas) – San Antonio (Texas) – Houston (Texas) – Baton Rouge (Louisiana).
Successfully fulfilling this grueling task made us quite happy! It’s a sound reason to feel proud!
After finishing in Louisiana we received our personal certificates.
With such a tough ride behind us we finally could turn home to our families with a clear conscience.
We can be sure to say that this challenging ride turned out to be an unforgettable adventure full of discoveries and loads of experiences, not to mention joining the ranks of the elite Iron Butt biker society.