A Motorcycle Trip to Pensacola
Don's ride from Anacortes, Washington,
to Pensacola, Florida.
My 1993 BMW K1100LT
|It all started with a Navy reunion in Pensacola, a
gathering of the pilots who flew the A-3 Skywarrior. The A-3 was the
largest plane to serve aboard aircraft carriers. It was a small
community, and since I would know a good many of the attendees, I decided
to go. I had been considering at some point riding my motorcycle
across country to visit friends and see some of the scenery up close that
I had been over-flying throughout my airline career. This seemed
like the time to make the trip.
I left on May 6, 2007 and arrived in Pensacola on May 18 for the start of the reunion. Following the reunion, I will rode up to Doug Nelson's house in Jacksonville, AL, and after spending a few days with him, left the motorcycle at his house and flew home from Atlanta. The plan is to return to Doug's house in mid-September and work my way home, probably by traveling north along the Smokies and then working my way west via Chicago/Wheaton, IL, Minneapolis Duluth and then possibly through Canada.
Note to readers: This is a long story, consisting of seven webpages. I have gone into some detail for the benefit of those who want to follow along and read the stories. I suggest adding this link to your favorites and read it in several sittings.
Most will probably just enjoy the pictures. The stories that accompany the pictures are usually found just beside or just above the pictures if you want a bit more depth for a given picture.
Thanks to my hosts: A very important purpose of the trip was to visit friends and family along the way. Thank you so much for making the trip so special for me. I will certainly never forget the social part of this journey, not to mention some very wonderful meals.
And now the stories:
Dispatch 1 Anacortes, Washington to Sommers, Montana
Dispatch 2 Sommers, Montans to Denver, Colorado
Dispatch 3 Denver, Colorado to Quincy, Illinois
Dispatch 4 Quincy, Illinois to Pensacola, Florida. Pictures of the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola are included.
The Return Trip
Dispatch 1 Jacksonville, Alabama to Wheaton, Illinois.
Dispatch 2 Wheaton, Illinois to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dispatch 3 Minneapolis, Minnesota to Anacortes, Washington.
I've had my BMW K1100LT for ten years. It has just over 50,000 miles and had 18,000 when I bought it. This model is an exceptionally rugged and comfortable touring machine. Even though they have not made this exact model for about six years, it is still the predominant motorcycle used by police forces in Europe. If you watch the Tour 'd France bicycle race, the K1100LT is still seen clearing traffic and carrying the photographers. The Iron Butt Rally is a 10,000 mile motorcycle rally run every two years and most of the entrants do not finish. The K1100LT has won that race more than any other motorcycle.
The machine has a 4 cylinder 1100cc engine laying on its side. It is shaft drive. It features an electric windshield which may be adjusted while in cruise to fine tune the wind out of or into the face depending on conditions. It has heated electric handgrips and jacks for a heated vest each rider.
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