Dave's Cross-Country Trip 2002

Preparations and Day One

by Dave Schultheis


These notes comprise a journal documenting a road trip by motorcycle from San Jose to the Reno, NV area; the Tyler, TX area; the Martin, TN area; the Lake George, CO area and back to San Jose.

The states: CA NV CA AZ NM TX OK TX LA MS TN AR TN KY TN KY IL MO KS UT NV CA.

The motorcycle is a States Blue Pearl 1996 Harley-Davidson FLHR-I Electra Glide Road King with electronic sequential port fuel injection. At the beginning of this trip I had owned and ridden it for about 2 1/2 years and had put about 28,000 miles on it.

I've previously written about the Harley Owners Group's ABCs of Touring, so I won't repeat the whole thing, but along the way I stopped and took photographs of city and county signs, "Welcome to..." state signs and more.

I am also taking photos of California highway number signs, and planned to get a few of those along the way as well.

When I first mention a highway, I typically use the official name ("Interstate 5," "U.S. Highway 101," "CA[lifornia] 99," and then use "I-5" or "Hy 101" on future references.

Thursday, May 23, 2002 - the day before Day One

I had scheduled an oil change for 9:30 a.m. at a local independent shop. Upon arrival, I found that someone had written the wrong day on their service calendar, and their technician was at the dentist for the morning. So I rode to another independent shop, R.A.M. Products, Real American Motorcycle Products for Harley-Davidsons, and Bernard was able to handle the task.

About twelve hours later, after various errands and preparations, packing and re-packing, I hit the pillow and tried for a good night's sleep.

Friday, May 24, 2002 - San Jose, California

I had set the alarm for my normal work-day get-up time, got up and changed VCR tapes, dressed and headed downstairs at 6:30 a.m. for final loading. No matter what I did, I was unable to fit my well-worn pillow on the bike, so it had to stay home. (This made for one very uncomfortable night.) Everything else fit pretty well, although I had a set of tent-poles sticking out of my T-Bag, which I learned to use as a helmet-hanger!

After leaving the house at 6:50 a.m., I stopped at a gas station and a post office, then continued the hour-long trek out of the Santa Clara valley. Skip the next paragraph if you're not interested in the route.

Almaden Expressway to CA 87, Interstate 280, Interstate 680, Interstate 580, Interstate 205 and Interstate 5 to CA 120.

I arrived at the Clements driveway in Manteca seventy-seven miles later at 8:30 a.m. Dave made his final preparations and we departed at 9:15 a.m., stopped at a gas station and rode north (Jack Tone Road), then more-or-less east (CA 88), stopping a couple times along the way for photos.

A little over an hour later we stopped at Lay's Restaurant in Clements CA, one of our favorite breakfast places. We attempted cel-phone contact with Redbeard Emeritus in Jackson, but his social schedule was just too full. We'd have to take our chances.

After breakfast we continued across the wide-open spaces of San Joaquin and Amador Counties and into Jackson, knocked on R.E.'s door nobody answered. (I think they were hiding behind the furniture.) We continued east on Hy 88 to Pine Grove and another gas stop, then through Pioneer and stopped for a snow picture at Cook's Station.

We took a short rest to enjoy the scenery at a Vista Point, then continued east on Hy 88 past Silver Lake. We stopped at the Crystal Springs Campground for a couple of photos ("U.S. Department of Agriculture" and "Toiyabe National Forest"), continued east on CA 88 to Woodfords and south on CA 89 about 6 miles to Markleeville, where we parked in front of the Cutthroat Saloon about 2:30 p.m. I walked across to the Markleeville General Store, got a cold drink and said hello to Boomerang the dog.

We talked to some other riders for a while before heading back up CA 89 and then east on CA 88. It's just a few miles to the Nevada border, where we stopped for photos and then continued north on NV 88 and U.S. 395. After taking "Douglas County" and "Carson City" photos, we found our way through the State Capitol to Carson-Tahoe Harley-Davidson. Their restroom was out of service and the bargain table didn't have anything we needed, so we continued about 30 miles north on Hy 395 to Reno.

There was a big H.O.G. rally taking place that weekend, so we stopped at Reno Harley-Davidson where Dave signed up for the rally and we took photos of the rally sign (one point each).

We rode over to the Silver Club Hotel Casino in Sparks and got two rooms, both facing west so we could look down on the bikes in the parking lot. After stowing our belongings, we went downstairs to re-park the bikes and cable them together.

We walked across to the casino and had a nice prime rib and seafood dinner, then "paid our dues" for a while before going back upstairs to prepare for the next day. I got an extra blanket, set out tomorrow's clothes and packed the rest, iced the orange juice, watched CNN, took a shower and went to bed after 10 p.m.

Miles for the day = 296.

Tomorrow: A pack of speeding black & whites in the beautiful eastern Sierras.


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Created on February 2, 2003. Last updated on February 3, 2003.
David W. Schultheis, San Josť, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, California, USA