Boutin's Motorcycle Touring and Travel Pages
The 2007 West Coast Tour was a blend of old tours and new riding. I used this tour to reconnect with familiar roads and places. In 2001, when I started this life chapter, I knew very little about America or Long Riding, now, 7 cross country tours later, I have a intimate knowledge about the land I live in, and the people that call it home.
This tour was heavily influenced by the 2001 and 2002 trips. It had been awhile since my last visit to Crater Lake, Yosemite, or Monument Valley, and I felt like it was time return. Along with Big Sur, I am drawn to them for reasons I don't fully understand.
Any tour that encompasses those 3 places, and the Montana and Colorado Rockies, along with North and Southern California, will go down as special. The scenery I witnessed and rode through, was amazing and beautiful. The majesty of such places still overwhelms me.
I rode a number of my favorite roads from years past, as well as many new ones. The riding was spectacular. A thousand miles of twisty, challenging roads in the Colorado Rockies alone, and hundreds more in Montana, Oregon, Utah, and California. It is safe to say, I leaned thousands of curves this tour.
The journey started with a jaunt to Minnesota to see the Mississippi Headwaters, then west across North Dakota, Montana, Idaho to Washington. From there I turned south all the way to San Diego. I left Southern California and went east through the desert to Arizona and then Colorado, where I hooked up with Uncle Phil for a few days of glorious mountain riding. Home came by way of the Great Plains.
The tour came in over 8,000 miles and 19 days.
Along the way I reunited with my old friends on the Coast. Over the years they have become family. My time in the Hotel California is something I look forward to all year. I love spending time with them out there. You will read about my friends individually as the story unfolds.
I also made new friends, like Don Feyma, a stalwart of STOC, and a distinguished member of the Long Riding community.
All long rides have a mythical aspect to me. I plan to address that more in this journal than in years past. Alone on the road for thousands of miles brings a individual's life into focus like nothing else. Hours and hours of meaningless thoughts, mixed with short, but intense bouts of profound thinking, will allow a person to look at things in the proper frame of mind. I return each year with a cleansed soul and spirit.
This tour also made one thing clear. Harley Davidson is THE manufacturer for street bikes over 750cc. I saw thousands of them all over the west. In every state and town, from big to small. They are the reigning power. They have done their homework, their marketing and appeal are unmatched, and they continue to expand their fold. I saw a few Gold Wings, and a smattering of sport touring bikes, but the numbers pale in comparison. The bikes are not me, but for millions of others, they are the ONLY choice. Then again, I like being different.
Almost all HD riders acknowledged me when I met them on the road. Times are changing, what is good for Harley is good for us all.
Speaking of which, the ride of choice this tour was the Honda. My ST 1300 has now completed 4 cross country tours, and 3 cross country rides South to North, without a single issue. Add the 3 West Coast tours of the 1100, and Honda is 7 for 7 in bringing me home without incident. A remarkable record.
Weather for this tour was almost perfect. I battled a fierce storm in Minnesota for a few miles on Day 3, and a light but steady rain in Montana on Day 5. After which I had 14 days of excellent riding conditions.
Once again, I took hundreds of pictures, compiled pages of notes, and captured hours of video. The story is well documented. The videos are meant to compliment the story, the true experience of the ride is in the reading and pictures. I hope you enjoy the presentation.
The ride is why I do it, and this journal is my way of sharing the experience, and the true meaning of what it means to me. It is my wish this journal helps in some small way, to explain the true definition of the "Long Ride."
I am currently at my life's pinnacle in every area. Health, experience, relationships, and spirituality. I lack for nothing. Every day, whether I am at home or on the road, is a whirl of fun and adventure. I'm reluctant to go to bed each night, because I don't want to give the day up, only the thought of a new one in the morning calms me enough to rest. I'm blessed in so many ways. I'm only rich in the things money can't buy. Like time, love, and a spirit for living life each day in the fullest. God gave me this tour to ride, to show me where my life is suppose to go, and in that regard it served as a excellent road map, and I'm happy to share it.
(The intro picture was taken on Utah SR 261. Looking down on the Valley of the Gods)
Coming soon Day 1