The KOA in Pomona California has a Nice Pool. That is about it.

I left Laughlin for the KOA in Pomona because I knew it had a nice swimming pool to relax around. Having stayed there before, I also knew that the tent sites back onto the Fairplex parking lot where they hold the LA County Fair. What I didn’t know, and I should have checked, was that the LA County Fair was from September 2 to 25!

Laughlin to Pomona

The ride to Pomona was uneventful. I took the freeway again 🙁 I thought about taking another route but it added too much time to the day. To be truthful, I am getting tired of riding through the US. And I am anxious to get into Mexico. For me, getting into Mexico will be the real start of the adventure.

KOA Pomona

This was likely my last KOA. By staying at KOAs I had accumulated enough points to get $25 US off of a second night. So I booked 2 nights at the KOA in Pomona.


When I arrived the place was packed and that is when I discovered the LA County fair was on. If you plan on going to the fair this is a perfect place. You can walk right to it. And the KOA sells discounted tickets. I guess that is what a lot of people were doing.

My little tent was sandwiched between 2 big tents. And right behind me was the entrance to the parking lot.



Until 10 pm the cars were coming into the fair parking lot. And right after that they were leaving until about 1 am! Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep the 2 nights I was there. The close quarters was also irritating.

The only thing I can say positive is that I did enjoy the pool. I spent most of the day there. And in the evening I sat in the hot tub. Since everyone appeared to be at the fair, I was the only one at the pool most of the time.


My Route on September 23, 2016


I spent September 24 at the Pomona KOA.

Onto the Edgewater Resort and Casino in Laughlin Nevada for some Rest and Relaxation

I was so looking forward to getting to the Edgewater Resort and Casino today. But fefore leaving for Laughlin, Nevada, I had an all you can eat pancake breakfast at the KOA. For some reason pancakes now upset my stomach. I think I just eat them too fast ha ha.

Outside of the eating area they had a petrified tree. It reminded me of Namibia where my son (Nick) and I went to a petrified tree forest while on a mini vacation.



Over a year or so I have accumulated points with Expedia by booking trips with them. I like Expedia. On a couple of occasions, I have had problems with hotels and they have reimbursed me the money paid. Great service.

I was looking for a cheap place to spend a few days at for R&R. I originally looked at Las Vegas. However, the places were above my budget, and if I used my Expedia points I could only stay for a couple of nights. Soooo I started looking at other places in Nevada. In Laughlin I found the Edgewater Resort and Casino for $22 Canadian a night from Monday to Thursday. With my Expedia points it would all be paid for! Of course I booked it. So excited to spend time at a resort and save money at the same time! I would have stayed longer, however, as soon as the weekend hits the hotel rates sky rocket.


As I headed into Nevada it got hotter and hotter. Soon it was 40 degrees Centigrade. The comfortable riding temperature for me is between 22 and 28 degrees. At 40 degrees the cooling effect of the wind is lost. The wind becomes a blast furnace instead.

I have heard that some people zip up their riding suit vents to encourage sweating to keep them cool. Others have told me to take off the riding suit.

All I know is that no matter what the heat adversely effects my riding.

My plan was to stop at Walmart in Bullhead City outside of Laughlin to pick up some supplies for my stay. When I reached Walmart, my motorcycle temperature gauge was showing 43 degrees outside. Walmart became a place of heat refuge just as much as a place to buy stuff.

Edgewater Resort and Casino

After Walmart it was a short ride to Edgewater Resort and Casino. Thank goodness.

I checked in … filled up my sink with ice to chill the beer I bought at Walmart … and the made multiple trips to my motorcycle to bring up all my belongings. One of the goals for my stay here was to go through everything, clean, rearrange things for Mexico, and repack it all better. By the time I finished I was heat exhausted.


I can’t tell you how good the beer tasted, as was the air-conditioning, and TV.

My Route for September 19, 2016


What is Sunday Football like at the Empty Pockets Saloon in Holbrook, Arizona?

Today I spent an fun afternoon at the Empty Pockets Saloon in Holbrook, Arizona, watching Sunday NFL football.

Where to Watch Sunday Football in Holbrook Arizona

Before I left Albuquerque I researched where I could watch Sunday football at my next destination, Holbrook, Arizona. I came up with the Mesa Grill and Sports Bar. Great! Off I went. I took the freeway only because I wanted to get there and watch as much football as I could 🙂

Holbrook Arizona

I got to Holbrook by noon. As I entered the town I got this Deja Vu feeling. I had been here before! In 2013 when doing a 6 month trip I had pulled in here to eat at the Taco Bell and fill up with gas!

I got to the Mesa Grill and Sports Bar. It was closed!!! What?!!! How could it call itself a sports bar on a Sunday during the NFL season?

I drove up and down looking for another place. I didn’t see anything. So I went to the KOA where I was going to stay and asked. The clerk suggested the Empty Pockets Saloon just down the street.

Empty Pockets Saloon

As I arrived I was a bit hesitant. It looked a bit run down.


I went in anyways. The inside was like the outside. There were a couple of pool tables, a juke box, some old table and a bar. But there was football on! I stayed.

This placed turned out to be awesome! OK … you may not believe this, but draft Bud Light was $1.75! And if you believe that then you may not believe this. They had free food!!! At one end of the saloon was a table with nachos, chili, hot dogs and watermelon. It was all free for as much as you wanted.

There I was, drinking $1.75 beer, eating free nachos and bean dip, and watching Sunday football.


I sat beside a nice woman from the Navajo Nation, Lana, who was in town visiting. We had a nice conversation and enjoyed the games. Of course everyone was interested in the Arizona Cardinals game. I would have liked to seen Seattle, but it was just as well as the Seattle game looked like it was pretty boring from the highlights.

Later in the afternoon Lana’s friend arrived. He had been competing at the Holbrook Rodeo. While we watched football, he got a call and found out a company wanted to sponsor him. He was ecstatic! I love it when people get what they want and achieve their dreams.

KOA Holbrook

By the evening I settled into my KOA campsite. It was another mostly dirt KOA, but there was grass for tents. I sat and watched the sun set. Really relaxing.





It turned out to be a great day 🙂

My Route for September 18, 2016


A Free Camping Day at KOA Albuquerque New Mexico

I finally made it to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to enjoy a free camping day at the KOA.


Before I left on my adventure I bought a KOA Value Rewards Card for $30. The card gives you 10% off each night at a KOA and you camp free on September 17 if you book for September 16.

I booked the Albuquerque KOA for September 16 and got September 17 for free.

I like KOAs. They always have free showers and internet, a swimming pool, and they are clean. Often though, they are situation in or around town centers. That’s ok with me though.

Albuquerque KOA

When I first arrived at this KOA I was disappointed. Most of the campsite is made of of fine gravel. From my experience this is pretty common in desert areas. However, it was still disappointing.

The campsite I was given had a picnic table on a pad of artificial turf. Surveying the situation, I decided to switch it up and put my tent on the pad of turf and move the picnic table to the gravel. This is also one of the adventages of having a free standing tent like the Big Agnes. I don’t need to peg anything down to erect it.


After exploring the campsite I discovered these two days weren’t going to be that bad after all.

Work Desk

The weather was beautiful the days I was there. The KOA had a really nice patio with comfortable chairs and an overhang to provide shade.


I spent pretty much all day on the 17th working on Daily Journals, planning and just plain relaxing.


I even ate out there – the lunch of a bachelor who doesn’t want to cook ha ha ha


The KOA clerk actually had a good laugh and said she would send some women to my campsite to cook for me. She never did 🙁


In the evening I relaxed by my tent and watched a bit of a movie they played for the kids at the campsite.


All and all it was a nice time relaxing and working at the KOA.

My Location for September 17, 2016


Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Hail and Wind damage to vehicles is expected. Seek Shelter Inside Well Built Structure.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning. Hazard 60 mph wind gusts and half dollar size hail. Hail damage to vehicles is expected.Expect wind damage to roofs,sidings and trees. Prepare immediately for large hail and deadly cloud to ground lightening. Seek shelter inside a well-built structure. Stay away from windows.

This was the message on my phone as I stayed in my tent at Carlabad, New Mexico. Yikes!


Avoiding the Rain

As I mentioned in a previous post, I headed to New Mexico to avoid the rain coming into Texas from the Gulf of Mexico. The forecasts I looked at said Carlsbad New Mexico would be partly cloudy, and Albergurque, New Mexico would be sunny. So that is where I was heading.

KOA Carlsbad

Because the weather forecast was good I decided to tent at the KOA in Carlsbad. It is actually a nice campsite with a great pool and really nice washrooms.



The only problem was that the tent site was just a field with a couple small trees around the outside. When I arrived I pitched my tent right under one of the trees for the shade.

The campsite is in the middle of no where so I ordered food from the campsite. As I did the woman mentioned that Roswell up the road was getting hail.

The Storm – Round 1

As I ate my dinner I could see storm clouds in the distance. I sat on the swings and watched as the storm appeared to be sliding past Carlsbad.



I sat in the Laundry room and watched some NFL Football before calling it quits and going to bed.



The Storm – Round 2

Before going to sleep I like to watch a couple of TV shows I downloaded from Itunes before leaving for my adventure. As I was watching Rules of Engagement, I could hear rain start to fall on my tent. Then it started to get windy. Then the wind gusts started. This is when I began to worry. I sat up and held onto the aluminum frame of my tent. It was getting bad. In a brief lull I quickly packed up everything of value into my backpack and made a break from the tent. I headed to the overhang of the KOA main building.


The lightening and thunder was like nothing I have ever seen before. It was like bombs going off all around me. You couldn’t see the lightening all the time but you could certainly hear the explosions. I need to google this. This must be a specific phenomenon.

When there was another lull I went and gathered my dry bag and helmet that I had put under the picnic table. The place was covered in water. Luckily, my tent was not in it as it was right under the tree.

Bang, bang, bang. The hail came.


Then wind gust brought rain into the overhang. I moved my belongings to an alcove going into the washroom.

It looked like it had finally ended.


Campers began to emerge from their trailers and motorhomes to inspect for damage. I was the only crazy one in a tent.

A camp worker approached me and asked if I was ok. He told me a 5th wheel had been turned around by the wind gusts.

I went and inspected my poor tent.

Amazingly it was still standing. Some pegs were pulled out of the ground, and the tarp had blown off and that was it. Inside it was damp but not wet. I put everything back together and placed rocks on the tarp to secure it more.



I waited a bit longer before crawling back into the tent. Everything was damp so I just laid down in my clothes and partially pulled over my damp sleeping bag for whatever warmth it could provide.

The Storm – Round 3

As I lay in bed I could hear the thunder explosions happening again. They were loud and constant and coming from behind me. That meant I was in for round 3.

As the rain and wind gusts started, I once again evacuated my tent and hid out under the overhang.

For the next hour I watched as the storm once again battered my tent with rain.

As the storm ended again it was 1 am. Eventually I made it back to my tent and went to sleep.


Big Agnes Tent

I have to mention my Big Agnes tent. It stood up through the whole storm. I am very impressed with it. People have their favorite tents. Hilleberg tents are very popular amongst adventure motorcyclists, as are MSR tents. But I like my Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1. It weights only 2 lbs and packs up to the size of a large thermos. And Big Agnes Service is amazing. On my last trip I clumsily broke the zipper on the inner tent component. Big Agnes mailed one out a new inner tent to me for free! They now have a loyal customer.

My Route for September 15, 2016


My Vacation in Memphis

I decided to take a vacation in Memphis for the next week. There were a few things that went into my decision. I had been to Memphis before and it seemed like a cool city. Second, the weather forecast was calling for hot and stormy weather. And lastly, it was time for a bit of a break from riding and to let my budget catch up to me expenditures.

Motel 6 Memphis

I rode from my KOA in East Memphis to look for a hotel convenient to downtown and to my favorite cost saving restaurants. The second Motel 6 I checked gave me a weekly rate of $300 USD. A Starbucks was next door! And McDonald’s was across the street. No grocery store in sight though. Nonetheless, I took it.






The Sights of Memphis

The next day I decided to venture out into the city to see the sights.

I had been to the Lorraine Motel before but wanted to go there again. According to the New Yorker, “Martin Luther King, Jr., was the Lorraine Motel’s most famous guest. He stayed at the motel numerous times while visiting the city, and again in the spring of 1968, when he came to Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers. On April 4, 1968, he stepped out of Room 306 and talked to friends in the parking lot below. He asked the saxophonist Ben Branch to play “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at the rally that evening. As King turned to walk back into his room, a bullet struck him in the neck, taking his life instantly. Walter Bailey continued to run the motel, but he never rented Room 306 again. He turned it into a memorial. The room has been preserved to capture exactly what it looked like on that tragic night. There are two beds. (King was sharing the room with Dr. Ralph Abernathy, a friend.) King’s bed was not fully made because he was not feeling well and had been lying down. Dishes left in the room were from the kitchen where Loree Bailey prepared food for the motel’s guests. . . . In 1982, Walter Bailey declared bankruptcy and stood by helplessly as his high-end establishment became a brothel. The Lorraine would have been sold at auction, but the Save the Lorraine organization bought it and decided to transform it into a museum.”

This is the iconic picture.


These are the pictures from my visit.



The location is sobering as you think what transpired there.

Next I went to visit the ducks at the Peabody Hotel. David Cohen said in 1935 that the Mississippi Delta begins with the lobby of the Peabody hotel where the ducks swim in the fountain.


Across the street from the Peabody is the Kooky Canuck.


From there I walked to the park along the Mississippi River at the foot of Beale Street.



While I was trying to get a photo I stepped on an ants nest . . . again. While waiting for hte bus I intentionally stepped on an ants nest just for the heck of it. This time it was a mistake. This guys sting!!!! My foot was on fire.


I took my stinging foot to Sun records. In 1954 Sun Records released Elvis Presley’s first record. The place is an Elvis shrine now.


By this time I was hungry. Off I walked to Beale Street.



On my last motorcycle trip I had a great meal there at Rum Boogie Cafe. This time I thought I would try BB Kings.


The only thing was that the prices were too steep for my budget. So I only had a beer for $6.


After looking around I settled on Rum Boogie. There were one of the few with Red Bean and Rice, and it was at a reasonable cost.


It is actually one of my favorite comfort foods. It gives you that warm feeling in your stomach. And I really enjoyed sitting out on the patio watching people.

I had planned on staying late on the street. But I was hot and tired. And the predicted storm looked like it was about to dump some rain.

The Rest of My Vacation

For the next 5 days I did nothing! The temperatures were hot!! The local news had it at over 100 degrees F for each of the days. It was stifling, especially with the humidity. My routine went something like this:

8 am to 11 am – Starbucks
11 am to 6 pm – Air conditioned Hotel room to clean and organize equipment
6 pm – McDonald’s
7 pm to 10 pm – Watch TV
10 pm – Bed

This was actually good for me. I had been having a hard time slowing down. By the end of this time I felt a lot more relaxed.

My Route for August 24, 2016


My Route for August 25 to August 30, 2016

The Motel 6 ha ha ha.

Great River Road to Memphis

From one awesome city to another, I followed the Great River Road to Memphis from St. Louis.

It was suppose to be a partly cloudy day. No such luck. When I woke up it was cloudy and about to rain. Luckily, I managed to pack up just before the rain started. It was nothing serious though. But enough that the drops stung my face and had to put my visor down.

Antigravity Battery

I stopped for my usual McDonald’s breakfast.


A large coffee and cinnamon melt.

I needed to charge my cell phone but couldn’t find a plugin in the entire restaurant! I guess they don’t want me hanging around. No problem though. I pulled out my Antigravity Battery and charged my phone.


This battery is great. It does everything from charging my phone to charging my motorcycled batter should it go dead. And I can charge it through my motorcycle as I travel.

Mississippi River

I really didn’t see much of the Mississippi River today as I rode the Great River road through Missouri, over to Kentucky, into Tennessee and finally into Arkansas. But I did see some of it.



Somewhere between Clinton and Hickman Kentucky I got lost. I thought I was following the Great River Road signs, but suddenly they disappeared on me. As luck would have it I was running out of gas as well. It is nice having a GPS though. You are never really lost. I set it for the nearest gas station.

It took me through a series of gravel and partially paved roads through fields of corn and soybean. At one point I misjudged a corner. I had to lean hard to make it. The tires started to come out from underneath me. I thought for sure I was going to end up in a field. I was turning and braking at the same time. Not a good thing to do, but I needed to slow down fast. After a couple expletives under my breath I managed to make the corner thanks to my ABS. I was quite amazed how it transitioned from the paved to gravel portions of the corner in the wet.

I made it to the gas station where, of course, it started to rain harder.

Weather Shift

At this point I just wanted to get to Memphis and was thinking about getting a cabin at the KOA I booked. I rode through the rain on the interstate.

Now, I am not sure where the north ends and the south begins in the US, but I think I found it. All of a sudden I rode out of the swath of cloud the had engulfed me, and into blue sky and stifling heat. I watched as the temperature got up to 34 C. I got into Memphis and it was HOT and HUMID.

That is one think ab out riding a motorcycle, you feel all the different weather. Not like sitting in a car not feeling anything.

It was time for a cold drink and settle in my tent for the night.


Route for August 23, 2016


Great River Road Iowa Illinois Missouri

YAY! Blue sky as I ride the Great River Road through Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.

It was SOOOOO nice to wake up to blue sky. I packed my bike anticipating a long day as it was just over 500 km to St. Louis from Davenport.

The Great River Road today was a mixture of freeway away from the Mississippi River and meandering asphalt along side it.


I didn’t really mind the freeway as I had time to make in a long day.


My first stop of the day was McDonald’s in Burlington, Iowa, for some breakfast.

As I went to get something to eat, three older gentleman (my age ha ha ha) struck up a conversation with me. When they found out I was off to Argentina, I got a question I get often – isn’t it dangerous “over there?” “What about the bandits in Mexico?”

The question came again when they learned that I had lived in Namibia and had traveled throughout Africa. “Aren’t you worried about the cannibal tribes?”

I have found that no matter where you go, the danger is always, “over there.” This is quite natural, I think, to fear the unknown or the other competing “tribe” from our ancestral days. I remember being in Africa and being asked about the danger in the United States due to all the guns.

From my experience living for a bit in Namibia and Macedonia, and traveling a lot through Africa and China, everyday people like you and I just want to fall in love, provide for their family, be productive, and enjoy some laughs with friends. We are more alike than dislike. We find this out when we get to know each other. It is only spoiled by some criminals and despot leaders.

I explained this and suggested I was in just as much danger from bandits in the bad parts of nearby St. Louis.

I have had stuff stolen in Calgary, Venice, Nairobi and Windhoek. Who knows if bandits will get me in St. Louis or Rio.

Anyways … we had a good conversation and I appreciated their support and enthusiasm for my adventure. They were even attempting to contact the local paper to do an article about me. A bit embarrassing since I really haven’t done anything.

On the way out a women approached me with the same questions. She also wanted to go for a ride as she has always enjoyed motorcycles. Sorry, my luggage takes up my passenger seat.

Taco Bell

My next stop was Taco Bell. Now, Meal Deal D at Taco Time is one of my staples ha ha ha. All this for $2.79! On a limited budget in the expensive United States, meals like this are a go to.


KOA St. Louis

After a long day I made it to the KOA.



Dinner at Denny’s for a better meal. A swim. Watch Rules of Engagement on my computer. Bed.

Route for August 21, 2016


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