The Final leg of my Epic around the Nation RV Trip, From Greybull, WY to Yellowstone, to Salt Lake City, UT, to Las Vegas to Home. August 30, 2012 – September 6, 2012, 8600 miles total.

Hoover Dam, NV
A picture of Hoover Dam taken on our trip on September 5, 2012

Although I am writing this article on December 19, 2012, I actually returned home from my epic around the nation RV trip on September 6, 2012. Being gone almost two months, driving approximately 8600 miles not including the hundreds of miles I rode on the motorcycle while on the trip, almost going over a cliff when we lost the brakes in the RV in Wyoming, etc., required a lot of my time when I got home. It was all worth it. This is the final article I will write about my epic trip. Later I will post pictures and videos from the trip.

When we left off, Liz and I were dry camped in Greybull, Wyoming waiting for the brakes to be fixed on my motorhome. My front bumper was destroyed in the accident, and the back bumper was cracked in two places when the trailer fishtailed into it.

The guys at the shop where we were camped out and who repaired the brakes on my RV were amongst the most reputable and nicest people I have ever dealt with. They could have totally screwed me and told me that I needed a $3,000 brake repair. Instead they told me that my rotors were good, that the pads were totally gone, and the fluid had completely boiled out of the system due to overheating, but that there were no leaks. The total repair bill was $600.00. Another interesting thing about being dry camped at the repair shop in Greybull was that our cell phone service did not work at all, nor did my internet Wi-Fi. We were basically totally out of touch with civilization while we were there.

The total time we were in Greybull Wyoming was approximately 2 nights and 3 days. It was a very small town full of great people. It is the kind of town where I could see myself setting up a cattle ranch someday.

We had a choice to make; should we just count our blessings and drive our damaged RV home or should we continue north to Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park? There really was no question, we had come this far and we were not turning around now; Cody, Wyoming would be our next stop on the way to Yellowstone.

We left Greybull, WY for Cody, WY in the afternoon. It was a cloudy day. The total drive from Greybull to Cody was around 54 miles. It was really good to be back on the road in our motorhome. You must understand, this was essentially our last week of vacation, and after the accident we had no clue whether we would have to leave our RV and all of our possessions in Greybull and rent a car to get home, or what would happen. We were geared up for a two month trip and you can carry lots of stuff in and underneath a Class A motorhome. Had the RV not been drivable there would have been no way to carry everything home in a rental car or even a rental van.

Being back on the road at this point felt fantastic.

When we got to Cody the first thing we did was go to Wal-Mart and get a throwaway cell phone that worked in the area because our carrier did not work in Wyoming. We called our relatives and I checked in with my office to let them know what had happened. Afterwards we stopped and got some Chinese buffet food.

Turns out Cody is a really cool western town, the gateway to Yellowstone. I really fell in love with Wyoming and its people.

We found a really cool RV park and camped out for the night with the intent of riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to Yellowstone in the morning.

In the morning we woke up and there were ominous clouds in the sky but it did not look like it was going to rain.

As soon as we got on the road just north of Cody, the clouds got much worse and the sky opened up. I was only wearing a soft flannel jacket, Liz had on a leather jacket, we both had jeans on, and of course, no rain gear. Plus it was damm cold. We decided that we were not going to stop now, Yellowstone, here we come.

It literally rained during the entire ride to Yellowstone from Cody, it was cold and it was miserable, but it was also one of the most beautiful rides I have ever taken. The grand mountains, the rocks, the sites all were too much to take in on one ride; however, I tried the best I could.

This is one ride that everyone must take at least once in their lives.

When we got to the gate of Yellowstone, I got off the motorcycle, paid the entrance fee, got back on, and rode into the park. It was very cold at this point, and we were soaking wet from head to toes, but nothing was going to stop us.
Yellowstone is much bigger than I expected, plus it is at a very high elevation. The riding in this park was excellent. The sites were breathtaking.

I am sure the ride in Yellowstone would have been much better if we were not soaking wet and freezing cold but hey, you cannot have everything.

While riding in the park there were several places where Buffalo roamed, literally, right on the road. All the cars stopped to observe. Hell they walked right next to us. On a motorcycle it is a bit different having huge Buffalo walking in front of you and next to you, than if you are in a car. Any one of these huge animals could have taken us out.

We rode the loop to one of the boiling water sites. Yellowstone itself sits atop the largest Caldera (volcano) in the world. If the volcano underneath it ever erupted it would take out much of our nation.

Yellowstone was a great ride. I will definitely go back to Cody, WY and Yellowstone soon.

The ride back to Cody was a cold and cloudy ride. The rain had stopped, but it was still cloudy. When we got near Cody it got dark and a bit warmer. We decided to cruise the main drag in Cody and find a place to eat, we chose an Italian place and had a good meal. After dinner we went back to the RV because we knew we would have a long ride the next day.

Upon waking up the next day, I put the motorcycle on the trailer and strapped her on, struck camp, and we were off.
After a month and a half, we were finally heading south towards our home in Southern California.

When we left Cody, we were not sure where we would spend the night. Usually on the trip we would look for RV resorts in several of the books we had with us or the GPS. We really were not sure how far we would drive.

I was nervous due to the fact that we had lost the brakes in the mountains, our RV was damaged, and I did not want a repeat performance of losing the brakes.

Sure enough we ended up driving through some major mountains on the ride south out of Wyoming. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful drive. The mountains were awesome. When we hit the Continental Divide, the mountains were awe inspiring.

After the Continental Divide, southern Wyoming turned out to be mostly a desert type of environment. It was a stark contrast to northern Wyoming.

It was basically open road with small towns sprinkled in vast distances.

We finally hit Utah in the late afternoon and continued driving south. We ended up in ski country by nightfall. Unfortunately, it became real dark, and we could not find any RV resorts anywhere nearby on any of our resources. We decided to try to find a Wal-Mart where we could park and dry camp for the evening.

We were both exhausted and very tired by this point. Hell I had been driving all day and well into the night. We had no luck finding any place to camp for the night so we kept on driving.

We finally found a Wal-Mart in Salt Lake City, UT to camp in for the night. When we got there our generator would not start and I had no clue why. We had to rough it for the night without TV, just on our battery power and internal water supply. I was so tired that I did not really care. We fell asleep almost immediately.

The next morning we stopped at a Denny’s for breakfast, and got on the road with our destination being Las Vegas, NV. This would be the last major stop before home.

The ride from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas was an excellent ride as well. I had no clue how cool the mountains north of Las Vegas were because I had never traveled this route before.

We found a great RV resort a block from the Las Vegas strip, but a few miles south of the main casinos on the strip. The normal rate there was $60-$80 a day, with my RV membership, we paid less than $30 per day.

We must have looked like ragamuffins when we pulled in. My RV was coated with bugs from an over 8,000 mile trip at this point, the front bumper was basically gone from our accident, the back bumper was cracked, and everything was dirty. All of the other RV’s looked new and pristine in the park. No problem, hell thinking about how far we had come was a mind trip in of itself.

The RV resort in Las Vegas was off the hook, every amenity you could possibly want. However, this was Las Vegas. We waxed the motorcycle to clean her up, got her off of the trailer and took off into town for a great evening. By this time Liz had become adept at helping me was the motorcycle, it was actually nice to have her help.

Our plan was to stay in Las Vegas for two nights, then head home.

The next day Liz and I rode to Hoover Dam. This was her first time there. It was as usual hotter than hell in Las Vegas and Boulder City. But it was OK.

Both Liz and I at this point did not want to go home. We both wanted to stay on the road forever. For both of us, going home would mean going back to work and responsibility. This had been the best and longest vacation of both of our lives, a trip that maybe less than 1% of all Americans would ever get to make.

The fact that we would head home the next day kind of made us both sad and excited. I must admit that I kind of missed just being in a house without having to drive!

On our last night in Las Vegas after the ride to Hoover Dam we had another good time. We both lost money in the casinos, and then we headed back to the RV Park knowing we were going home the next day.

The last day of our trip saw us waking up with a mission, to get home. I put the motorcycle on the trailer for the last time on this trip, strapped her up, struck camp, and we were off again.

I could tell Liz was not happy about having to go home, but since her aunt was house and dog sitting for us, and we were about 3 weeks over the time we were supposed to be gone, she knew we had to go home.

The ride home was a decent trip. Compared to the 8600 miles we had driven, the ride from Las Vegas to our home in Acton was nothing. A little 200 mile or so jaunt compared to where we had driven on the trip.

When we got home on the evening of September 6, 2012, and I walked in my home, I was shocked at how big it seemed compared to the RV which was our home for the last approx. two months. It took me a while to get used to it.

The epic two month 8600 mile trip we took around the circumference of the United States was probably a trip that can never really be repeated although I have every intention of doing it again. The gas alone was almost $10,000 for the RV.

The memories Liz and I shared during the trip will last for a lifetime. It was that kind of a trip, something you could write a book about.

Here it is December 20, 2012, and in a way I am still recovering from the trip.

Two weeks later Liz and I took the RV back to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Bikerfest and had a great time.

I wonder who my next trip will be with.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © December 20, 2012

4 Responses to The Final leg of my Epic around the Nation RV Trip, From Greybull, WY to Yellowstone, to Salt Lake City, UT, to Las Vegas to Home. August 30, 2012 – September 6, 2012, 8600 miles total.

  1. Thanks for the story. Great to hear you swerved and didn’t go flying off the cliff. Sorry about your break up but life goes on. Hope to see more pis of the bike.

    Mine is sitting in the garage. Real Cold here this week.

  2. Dear Sir:

    I have nowhere to take this story so
    if want to you can include it here.

    I GOT SEPARATED FROM MY MOTORCYCLE GANG AND
    WAS HELPED BY THE CITIZENS OF ASTORIA OREGON

    “President Clinton is giving a speech
    downtown if you want to go hear it. It’s
    outside and it’s stopped raining.”
    “Great, do you want to go?”
    “No, I don’t like him. My son’s
    in the marines and they never
    gave him automatic weapons that
    worked properly during Desert Storm.”

    I thought hard for a minute.

    “I have to go. I’ve never seen
    a live President before.
    I look forward to talking about
    weapons later.”

    I left the motel receptionist,
    jumped into my rental car,
    backed into the garden hose tap,
    and put a hole in the bumper
    that I did not notice until later.
    The garden hose was not damaged.

    Mr. Clinton gave an excellent
    two hour speech, stumping for
    the Hillary for President nomination.
    The crowd was mesmerized, no heckling.

    A coast guard rescue vessel
    on the Astoria waterfront
    had a giant marijuana leaf
    with a circle and a bar painted
    diagonally through it on the
    smokestack behind the President.
    Could this not have been moved
    further upstream?

    An enormous breakfast buffet
    had been set up in the
    Maritime Museum next door.
    I went in: “What’s this?”
    “It’s breakfast for the President
    and the Secret Service.
    They dont’ want it,
    do you want some?”
    “Well sure,I guess,
    if the President doesn’t want it.”

    I ate like a king and shoved the
    donuts into my pockets to hide them
    from the Secret Service.
    Thank-you America.

    I returned to the motel
    and saw that I had put
    a large hole in my rear bumper.
    No rider for collision damage
    outside the country,
    (I thought I had it),
    and no rental collision from
    Alamo either. I wept.

    I thought:

    I am screwed all by myself
    in the United States where
    no one helps anyone unless
    there’s something in it
    for them and unwanted Canadians
    are taken behind the barn
    and killed. (Traumatized, I had
    forgotten this morning’s breakfast
    generosity)

    I am no longer fooled by this
    Jack Daniels nightmare of a
    country and their “friendliness”.

    They hate Canadians.
    They don’t want you buying their
    property and they don’t want you
    in their hot tubs either.

    They only allow you
    to drive to Florida because
    you’re a freak of nature
    and you’re cold all the time
    and if you turn off 1-75
    to buy a pair of pliers
    at Home Depot, you are
    immediately arrrested for
    illegal immigration.

    None of these thoughts were
    helpful, so I wept some
    more, internally.

    Schools started letting kids
    out early so they could see
    the stupid Canadian driving
    around town with the hole in
    his bumper. Bumper hole man.

    Take charge of the situation!
    Stop whining! Be positive!
    Being dinged by Alamo for $2000+
    will be more fun than you
    give them credit for!

    Crying won’t help. I know!
    I’ll cover the hole in the bumper
    with a bumper sticker!
    But it had to be dignified,
    the right kind.
    I know! It’s election year.(2008)
    I will cover the hole with an
    election year bumper sticker!

    I found the “Hillary for President” :
    election campaign office. I went inside:
    “I would like a Hillary for President
    bumper sticker please to cover
    the hole in my bumper.”
    “I can’t let you have a
    bumper sticker for that.”
    “What difference does it make?
    It’s a hole, no one will know
    there’s a hole underneath.”
    She said no again so I changed
    tactics.

    “I’m Canadian and would like
    to have a bumper sticker to
    cover the hole in the bumper
    for safety reaons while
    driving in the USA”.

    This too was unsuccessful so I asked:
    “Where is the Obama for President
    election office?”

    “I don’t know”.

    (I thought, you lying bitch, you
    do too)

    Afraid of having my head thumped
    into the Liberty Bell as next year’s
    Super Bowl halftime show, I left.

    At Wells Fargo I was told by the
    bank manager that charging $20
    to cash a $50 AMEX travellers
    cheque was standard.

    The Obama ‘O8 election office was
    only three blocks away and
    I found it the next day.
    I bought two bumper stickers
    for $6. I told them they
    would be attached to a brand new
    car and left out the rest.

    None of this represented
    a real solution.
    (thinking, thinking)
    I could work illegally for
    six weeks and sleep at
    Burger King, pay off Alamo
    and buy a new plane ticket..
    I did attend an Astoria Mormon Church
    service the previous Sunday
    out of curiosity.
    They were friendly, they might help.
    I wept some more.

    After four more days and the
    last of the Secret Service donuts
    I came to my senses.
    Somewhere around here there must
    be a motorcyle chop shop, every
    town has one. Go find it. I did.
    They helped.

    They put me in touch with a
    bodyworks guy who worked
    out of his house.
    He would be glad to do it
    for only $300 so Alamo wouldn’t
    ding me for $2000+ and a
    new glove compartment.

    I said I’d have to charge it because
    I needed my greenbacks for the
    rest of my trip.
    They said that was okay,
    the guy owed them $300 and that
    would wipe out that debt.
    Come back the next day. I did.

    I had a sleepless night thinking of
    Canadian bodies piling up behind
    the barn Oregon chainsaw style and
    disinterested law enforcement not
    identifying anything until they
    thought they had had enough.

    I left my work number on top of the
    motel TV along with stacks of
    quarters so the maid would call
    the police if that proved necessary
    and keep the leftover quarters
    for herself. Why I thought this was
    generous I do not know and makes
    me no better than Wells Fargo. I
    apologize here.

    The next day I arrived at the
    appointed time, was driven back into
    town and told by the guy to have
    coffee at the truckstop for five hours
    becauase of drying time.

    At 4 pm I was driving my car over
    the hard-packed sand beach just like
    in the car commercials.

    After about two hours of this I thought
    sand in the transmission might set
    me back and I didn’t want to start
    from scratch, so I stopped. The tide
    was coming in. I was so happy.

    Alamo accepted my bumper repair
    at no further costs and I put the
    left over quarters in my pocket.
    Obama became President later that
    year.

    I am sorry I was only able to
    tip the guy twenty dollars but I had
    no extra greenbacks by this time.
    Starbucks kills the appetite
    so I relied on that until I was
    back on the plane and could ask
    for leftover muffins.
    (“Please return to your seat,
    we don’t do leftover steaks.”
    Everything’s leftover in the
    galley all the time, just go and ask)

    Thank-you to Astoria Oregon.

    Thank-you

    A little bit long but I hope readers
    like it.

  3. Hi ho.
    Now there’s a video to go with the above story.
    No one asked for one but it’s great and can be
    watched at YouTube: Oregon Beach Music.
    Thumbnail Stars and Stripes.

    I worked really hard at it all weekend and didn’t
    notice then when Ontario’s first Lesbian Premier was
    sworn in as governor on Sunday.

    Hey! None of this honesty and politically incorrect
    “you’re not part of the team crap!” If I phoned
    everyone next weekend and apologized for being
    hypocritical no one’s going to give up their
    weekend if it’s nice weather to talk about it,
    so what’s the difference.

    Hypocritical? All anglo-saxon Hindu Moslem multicultural submarines are on deep dive.
    Arnold Shwarzenagger would win his ticket here
    tomorrow and be allowed to talk German for the
    whole four years just so other people wouldn’t
    have to talk.

    No Republican could survive Canada and the subtlety
    of the all the anglo smoke and mirrors. In the
    US they don’t have time for that and just repossess
    your car or whatever.

    Wel, you’re a good sport but I guess I better
    go and get me one of those gym memberships
    everyone keeps talking about.

    HM

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