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CD & Bear's Cruiser Camping

Fine-tuning our camping style has been an enjoyable part of our motorcycling experience.  We got into motorcycle camping in 2002, after years of horseback, backpack, customized van, pickup camper, and tent camping.  It seems that we've always been doing some kind of camping in our 30+ years together.   With three children, camping was the most economical way to travel on vacation, and just plain fun for a summer time activity when not traveling.  The past backpack camping (Boy Scouts) experience turned out to be the most useful, due to the size and weight considerations given to camping gear for backpacking.  Having left over camping equipment from Scouting didn't actually outfit us, but it gave us a start.  And not knowing exactly what would work and what wouldn't, we started out cheap.

Since the kids were raised and gone and there was only the two of us, we bought an Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent at Wal-Mart for $40, and a couple of roll-up foam ground mats.  We'd learned years ago that sleeping bags were sometimes difficult to sleep in and took forever to dry once they got wet, so we wanted something more like blankets to sleep under.  While on the road on motorcycles, taking time out to dry bedding needed to be as minimum as possible.  Bear got the idea to use full-size light fuzzy blankets (they have lots of air pockets in the fuzz for warmth), and she "laminated" full-size cotton flat sheets to both sides of the blankets to help keep things from sticking to the blanket.  This has been one of her best innovations.  We call them "Bear's Bedrolls", and carry two of them in a water-proof Baja bag on the back seat of one bike.  We don't expect to do much motorcycle camping in extremely cold temperatures, so the bedrolls don't need to have an extreme thermal value.  As a matter of fact, our style and areas of camping include just as much or more concern for ventilation during hot nights.

We seldom, if ever, cook in camp.  When you have two perfectly good motorcycles available, ride to an eating place, get a belly full, and let them do the cleanup.  Bear cooks nearly every one of our dinner meals at home (we seldom eat out close to home), so she's on vacation when we're on the bikes.  That means no cooking.  We do carry water and a small 1-burner gas stove, metal cup, and packets of coffee, hot chocolate, and soup that can be added to hot water.  We also carry canned soup for backup.  When no eating facilities are available at the campsite, we buy whatever food is available nearby, and bring it back to the campsite.   When we're at rallies that have vendors, we partake of whatever they have served up.  It may not be good for the weight watchers, but we've gotten some really good food from rally vendors.  Often times, we get only one order of something, and share it.   Then a little later, we can get something else that sounds good and share that.   We get a larger variety of foods and flavors that way.

Our basic motorcycle camping style is both of us riding 1-up on their own bike.  That leaves the back seat space for gear.  She rides a Suzuki Marauder VZ800, and he rides a Kawasaki Vulcan VN750.  We split our nights on the road about half and half, camping and renting motels.  The weather conditions have a lot to do with the choice of accomidations for the night.  When attending multi-day rallies, we usually camp in the tent, even if the weather forecast is not good.   We very, very seldom make reservations ahead of time, preferring to ride in and see what's available when we get there.  We've had good luck doing this, and it frees us up to move at the pace that feels good to us, not having a schedule to meet.

Here's a photo showing where we pack things on the bikes.   The saddle bags, tank bags, and waterproof Baja bags contain our clothing and other necessities.  The panda bear is even functional.  It's a child's backpack, containing Bear's Frogg Togg rain suit.  There's a complete list of our equipment at CD & Bear's Cruiser Equipment List.

Camps are shown in order of occurrence, most recent from the top down.

Click Thumbnail Photos for Full-size Image

Oct. 15, 2005

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Belton, TX

Our twenty-ninth motorcycle camp - Belton, TX.  Returning home from the  "Roar By The Shore" South Padre Island Texas Bike Fest, we camped for one night at the Belton Texas KOA Kampground.  No bad weather for this camp either.  The only interesting thing about this camp, was the large gravel in the driveway at the tent area.  It's a good place to drop a bike, and motorcycles may not have been in mind when the driveway was installed, but the staff at the campground went out of their way to make us feel welcome.  We had our dining fly with us on this trip, but we didn't set it up. 

Equipment:

Coleman Cedar Pass 4-person 9X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We had a pizza delivered to the campsite.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

Oct. 13-14, 2005

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South Padre Island, TX

Our twenty-eighth motorcycle camp - South Padre Island, TX.  Our second "Roar By The Shore" South Padre Island Texas Bike Fest, and again we camped at the Cameron County Park right across the street from one of the rally venues.  The weather was as nice as it could be, so we've still yet to get a good weather test on the new Coleman tent.  That's ok though, we know it will come soon enough.  We set up our dining fly to help with shaded seating in camp, but there was no threat of rain for the two nights at the rally.

Equipment:

Coleman Cedar Pass 4-person 9X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food and at nearby restaurants.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

Oct. 12, 2005

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San Antonio, TX

Our twenty-seventh motorcycle camp - San Antonio, TX.  On our way to the Roar By The Shore South Padre Island Texas Bike Fest, we spent the night at the KOA Kampground in San Antonio, TX.  This KOA is a large campground, and is located in the middle of the city, complete with City Bus service at the front gate.  The weather was great, so we still haven't gotten a good wind or rain test on the new Coleman Tent.  We had our dining fly with us on this trip, but we didn't set it up. 

Equipment:

Coleman Cedar Pass 4-person 9X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate Spam and crackers purchased at the campground.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

Sept. 23-24, 2005

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Ponca City, OK

Our twenty-sixth motorcycle camp - Ponca City, OK.  The ABATE of Oklahoma State Party & Swap Meet was held near Kaw Lake in northern Oklahoma.  This is the first time out with our new Coleman Cedar Pass 4-person 9X8 tent.  There was very little wind, so we don't know how it will handle in normal conditions where we camp.  We picked the new tent up at Wal-Mart in Amarillo, TX on our last run.  It cost less than the Ozark brand of tents ($37.43), and was as close to the size of our old tent as we could find that day.  Our old Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent went for 3 years and 25 camps, so we're hoping to get as good of service out of this new one.  We set up our dining fly to help with shaded seating in camp, but there was no threat of rain for the two nights of the rally.

Equipment:

Coleman Cedar Pass 4-person 9X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

We actually pulled our single burner back-packing stove out for the first time in 3 years, but only because the two-burner gas stove that one of our friends had brought to roast sausages had a leak in it and kept setting the beer cooler on fire.  The meals for the rest of the camp were bought from the on-site vendors.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing & porta-potties.

 

September 4, 2005

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Santa Rosa, NM

Our twenty-fifth motorcycle camp - Santa Rosa, NM.  Returning home from  the 4-Corners Rally in Ignacio, CO, we stopped for the night at the old KOA Kampground in Santa Rosa, NM.  The wind was from the south, prompting us to park the bikes on either side of the tent on south and north to help break the wind, and even so, the gusty winds gave the tent another good workout.  This will be the last camp for the Ozark Trail Dome Tent. The threads that sew all of the bow attachment tabs to the tent are getting bad, with one tab coming completely loose from the tent at this overnight camp.  All in all, not too bad for the inexpensive Ozark Trail Dome Tent to go three years and twenty-five camps.  It's been a good tent, and we'll stop at Wal-Mart in Amarillo to see if we can find another one.  We had our dining fly with us on this trip, but we didn't set it up. 

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate a salmon steaks prepared by the campground staff.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

August 27, 2005

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Amarillo, TX

Our twenty-fourth motorcycle camp - Amarillo, TX.  After a great day of motorcycling activities at the Wellington Texas Peanut Festival, we rolled toward the 4-Corners Rally in Ignacio, CO.  Our stop for the night was at the KOA Kampground in Amarillo, TX.  There was very little wind all night, so wind was not an issue.  The Ozark Trail Dome Tent is starting to show some wear and tear, with one of the pole attachment grommets dislodging from a corner tab. We were still able to put the tent up, but the grommet will need to be replaced.  We had our dining fly with us on this trip, but we didn't set it up. 

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate a pizza prepared by the campground staff.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

October 13-16, 2004

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S Padre Island, TX

Our twenty-third motorcycle camp - S Padre Island, TX.  We camped 3 nights at the Roar by the Shore Rally in a city camp park just across the street from one of the rally venues.  The wind was coming from the south the first night, and reversed to the north for the rest of the camp.  The Ozark Trail Dome Tent doesn't do wind as well as we'd like, in that the bows can't keep their shape in strong winds, letting the dome become distorted.  It showered rain for a few hours one day, but we were not in camp.  Everything in the tent stayed dry.  We didn't take our dining fly with us on this trip.  We had to use CD's old bike that didn't have a tall sissybar on it at the time, so we had to change-up how we packed things on the bikes.  The extra large sissybar bag went on Bear's bike for this trip.  The dining fly was more than we wanted to haul this time.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food and at nearby restaurants.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

August 11, 2004

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Belvidere, WY

Our twenty-second motorcycle camp - Belvidere, SD.  After a short stop on Main Street in Sturgis, we rode on out east before we looked for a campsite.  We stayed at another commercial campground that had a small restaurant on-site.  The place actually had several empty sites, considering it was Sturgis week.  It was a rather nice campground, too.  We set the dining fly up because there was a chance of rain in the forecast.  It only sprinkled a little bit.

NOTE:  Electrical problems on CD's bike continued, and during an attempt to push-start the bike at a fuel stop in Kimball SD, Bear took a fall, crushing the large bone in her little finger.  She drove on to the hospital in Mitchell SD.   When the doctor got through with her, her throttle hand, wrist, and arm was in a half-cast. Since CD's bike wouldn't start, the motorcycle camping trip was brought to an end.  Son, Daniel, came to the rescue  from Omaha, NE with his pickup and trailer to haul us home.  PS- The bike started on Bear's push, the third push start of the trip.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate on-site at the campground.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

August 10, 2004

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Sundance, WY

Our twenty-first motorcycle camp - Sundance, WY.  Electrical problems on CD's bike caused a motel stop in Cheyenne, WY on August 9th for a new battery.  We made it to Sundance late in the day on the 10th, and camped at a commercial campground.  We've only had reservations for 1 of our first 21 camps, and this was not that one (see our 9th motorcycle camp above).  One good thing about an 8x8 tent on two bikes, is that the campgrounds usually can squeeze us in even when they're booked up.  Remember, this was the night before "Wyoming Wednesday" when Sundance has all of its activities during the Blackhills Rally.   We didn't partake of the Wednesday activities, but headed out first thing in the morning for Devil's Tower, Alzada MT, and a quick pass through Sturgis.  We'd been to Sturgis the year before, and didn't intend to spend much time there.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, (Ozark Trail Dining Canopy onboard, but not used), & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate at a nearby restaurant.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

August 8, 2004

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Newcastle, CO

Our twentieth motorcycle camp - Newcastle, CO.  After visiting family in Arboles, CO for a few days, it was time to head for Sturgis.  The first night out, we camped at a commercial campground.  This campground is located in a canyon with tall mountains on both sides, and you don't get much sunshine late in the day or early in the morning, as you can see from the photo taken the next morning.  It was a little cool, but not really cold.  The tent site area had filled up, so we were put into the large group pavilion area, pretty much by ourselves.  We're getting to the point now where we can put up or tear down our small camp in just a few minutes.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, (Ozark Trail Dining Canopy onboard, but not used), & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate at a nearby restaurant.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

August 3, 2004

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Amarillo, TX

Our nineteenth motorcycle camp - Amarillo, TX.  Heading out for Colorado to visit family, and leaving again on another Friday evening, we stopped at the KOA Kampground where we'd stayed before.  We even got the same space as last time, and set our camp up nearly the same way as we did on our 13th camp (above).  We got our dinner delivered hot and fresh to our campsite again too.   The only thing missing on this camp that had been there before, was the jackrabbits in the field next door.  Maybe it was so warm this time that they didn't need to come out to warm up in the sun the next morning.  Still, it's a good place to camp.   This is the first camp where CD got to play with the new wind-up radio that is now part of our camping equipment.  We've got "tunes" in our camp now, perhaps to the dismay of neighboring campers.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, (Ozark Trail Dining Canopy onboard, but not used), & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate prepared meals delivered to the campsite.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

July 17, 2004

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Enid, OK

Our eighteenth motorcycle camp - Enid, OK.  Attending the Running of the Rats Rally was a good cause, since the money raised goes to a scholarship fund for kids.  There was free camping on the rally grounds, but we ran into a couple of guys that told us about the local RV Park and campground just a few blocks away, that charged only $5 per tent.  The price was right for just a spot to camp, but the use of the bathroom and shower facilities came along with it, making it quite a bargain.  I'm not sure if that rate is good for any time other than the rally, but it's a very nice place to stay, and definitely "biker friendly".   The park owner had his Harley out during the rally.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, (Ozark Trail Dining Canopy onboard, but not used), & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food and at nearby restaurants.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

June 3-4, 2004

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Austin, TX

Our seventeenth motorcycle camp - Austin, TX.  The seventh and eighth nights of our Shake N' Bake Run, we spent at the Republic of Texas Rally.   This camp was as close to a disaster as we'd like to get.  It seemed like everything went wrong at this camp.  As the top photo shows, we were looking good at first, lined up along with the mass of other campsites.  The problem was realized later on when we started itching from chigger bites.  After living in Oklahoma for several years, we know about chiggers, and have always just considered them as a nuisance.  Now we know they can be hazardous to our health.  We suffered from an extreme case of chigger bites that remained painful for the next two weeks.   We didn't know they could be so serious.  We've still got scars from them a year later.  The next thing that went wrong, was on the second night, a severe thunderstorm came through.  With the torrential rain and swirling winds, everything we own got wet.  We even had a second ground cloth over the top of us in the tent, and we still got wet.  The winds blew the rain up and under the tent top covering, and the tent dome was constantly whipped around and down on top of us.  The dining fly rode out the storm in pretty good shape, ending up with one leg stake pulled out.   As you can see in the second photo, nearly everyone's tent suffered some form of collapse, and some of the tents that were unoccupied were blown completely down or across the camping area into someone else's camp.  The rain turned the dirt pathway through the area into a greasy mud alley, making it very difficult to ride a motorcycle on.   We saw several scooters go down trying to navigate the mud.  Luckily, we made it through the mud to the paved road without going down.  Those times in the past that I've taken us down unknown local roads and found sand or mud paid off.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, 2 ground cloths (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food and at nearby restaurants.

Bath Facilities:

Port-a-potties and an on-site shower trailer with hot and cold water.

 

June 2, 2004

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Ft Stockton, TX

[NOTE:  We spent the fifth night of our Shake N' Bake Run in a motel in downtown El Paso, TX.  After the ride through White Sands, NM, we decided a little A/C would be in order for the night.  We walked across the border into Juarez, MX that afternoon, and saw a thermometer that said it was 103 degrees.   This was the "Bake" part of the Shake N' Bake Run.]

Our sixteenth motorcycle camp - Ft Stockton, TX.  The sixth night of our Shake N' Bake Run, we were back in the tent at a commercial campground.   This KOA Kampground was one of Bear's favorites.  It had bathroom facilities for the ladies that were small private bath/shower rooms.  Once you locked the door behind you, the sink, shower, and toilet facilities were all yours to use in private.   Just like a bathroom at home would be.  And this KOA had an on-site full-menu restaurant.  It seems that the RV people must get tired of cooking all of the time too.  We enjoyed the shrimp dinner.  It was a little on the warm side at this camp, but the tent ventilation was adequate to get plenty of sleep.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, (Ozark Trail Dining Canopy onboard, but not used), & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate on-site at the KOA Kampground.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

May 31, 2004

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Alto, NM

Our fifteenth motorcycle camp - Alto, NM.  Night four of the Shake N' Bake Run, we stopped at a commercial campground.  This campground wasn't set up too well for motorcycle camping.  Large "river run" gravel for the road surface should have tipped us off on the way in.  While the bathrooms, swimming pool, and laundry were great, there wasn't any food available.   There wasn't even a pop machine on the premise, and it was a 10-mile ride to the nearest one.   And when they say the laundry closes at 9:00 p.m., they mean it.   You either take your laundry out wet, or leave it locked in until the next morning.   No exceptions.  You're not supposed to have clothes lines there either, but after dark, we hung our wet laundry on parachute cord between two trees overnight to finish drying it.  It wouldn't surprise me if they discontinued tent camping at this campground.  They should, if they're not going to set up for it any better than it was.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, (Ozark Trail Dining Canopy onboard, but not used), & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  CD rode 10-miles one-way to the nearest quick-stop for canned food.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

May 29-30, 2004

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Red River, NM

Our fourteenth motorcycle camp - Red River, NM.  Nights two and three of the Shake N' Bake Run, we camped at the Annual Memorial Day Rally.  A local horse stable owner moves his horses out and turns his horse lot into a tent camping area for the rally.  Camping in horse apples never bothered us, and the stable is right at the "Y" on the south end of town, making it handy to walk up and down main street to see the rally sights.  In the second photo of this camp, our camp is in the center of the photo against the fence.  There was a mule deer doe that walked both ways on the road between our camp and the lodge behind us one evening for a drink of water at the river to the right of the camp and across the highway (bottom photo).  Several bikes had to stop for her to cross the highway, both when she was coming and going.  She was determined not to let a motorcycle rally interfere with her trip to the drinking hole!  We've run cold camps nearly all of the time, referring to no fire to cook in camp, but this one was cold in the temperature sense.   It was cold each night, and reached a low 26 degrees on May 31st when we rolled out of the tent.  The stable owner had a big pit fire up by the tack room where we could get warmed up day or night, and a neighboring camp had a small fire most of the time that they generously shared with anyone that was cold.  Fires had to be contained at this site, and the neighbors had camped here before, so they brought a trailer-load of firewood and contained it in one of those kettle-type grills that had a lid.  They just left the legs for it at home and propped the kettle up with large rocks.  They could put the lid on the grill when they turned in for the night, and the coals were still hot the next morning so they could easily stoke the fire back up with more wood.  We slept in our leathers at this camp, and still got cold but were able to get a little bit of sleep.   But hey, who goes to a motorcycle rally to get some sleep?  This camp went beyond the comfortable limits of Bear's bedrolls.  It rained on our campsite one afternoon, but we were downtown in one of the vendor buildings at the time.  The dining fly still provided us with a dry area for entering the tent.  With the cold temperatures that had us shivering most of the time, this was the "Shake" part of the Shake N' Bake Run.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food and at nearby restaurants.

Bath Facilities:

Port-a-potties

 

May 28, 2004

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Amarillo, TX

Our thirteenth motorcycle camp - Amarillo, TX.  We decided to do a "double-header" rally run for the Memorial Day Weekend and the weekend following, that would encompass 9 days, 2100 miles, 3 states, and 1 foreign country.  We also wanted to make this run with everything on two bikes and no support vehicle.  We headed out on a Friday afternoon after work, straight for the KOA Kampground in Amarillo.  We had stayed there before years ago, and knew where it was.  We learned this time about the dinner service where they deliver your choice of entree right to your campsite, hot and fresh.  What a way to camp!  Cleanup is a snap, by just throwing everything into the dumpster nearby when you're done.  There wasn't much chance of rain, so we didn't set the dining fly up at this camp.  An added benefit at this camp, was watching the jackrabbits bopping around in the adjacent field warming up in the sunshine the next morning.  We didn't see any signs that they'd chewed on anything in camp overnight.  At the end of this run, we dubbed it the "Shake N' Bake Run", which will be explained in the next few camps.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, (Ozark Trail Dining Canopy onboard, but not used), & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate prepared meals delivered to the campsite.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

October 4, 2003

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Harrah, OK

Our twelfth motorcycle camp - Harrah, OK.  We camped at the ABATE of Oklahoma Annual State Party and Swap Meet, and since Bear makes custom doo-rags that she sells under the label of ThayerRags, we decided to be vendors at this event.  Bear has been carrying a water-proof stuff sack full of ThayerRags on her bike everywhere we've went for over a year, so all we had to do was come up with a portable "Vendor's Tent" that we could take with us on the two bikes.   We bought an 11' X 8' Ozark Trail Dining Canopy at Wal-mart, and it rides on the back seat of CD's bike.  It has a metal tubular frame that adds 13 pounds to our load, but it folds up into a small enough bundle (28 x 9 x 8 inches) that it doesn't stick out past the saddlebags when lying across the bike.  I wouldn't want to put this up in the dark, as it has 30 tubes and 6 plastic corner fittings that all look similar and have numbered stickers on them.  It came in mighty handy during this camp, when a light drizzle set in and we had a place to set and wait it out.  It was just luck and coincidence that we positioned the doorway of the tent facing next to one side of the dining fly, but it worked really well to give us a dry area to enter the tent.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, Ozark Trail Dining Canopy, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate at a nearby restaurant.

Bath Facilities:

Port-a-potties

 

August 7, 2003

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Raton, NM

Our eleventh motorcycle camp - Raton, NM.  Our seventh night out on the Sturgis trip, we camped at a commercial campground.  We had spent the sixth night of the trip with family in their house at Ft. Lupton, CO.   Being on the "home run" last legs of a 7-day, 10-state, 2470-mile, no support vehicle trip, we're still having a great time, but beginning to think that it will be nice to get back home.  A note about the top photo of this camp, we found out that those vehicles with utility trailers visible in the background are being stored by the campground, for people that off-loaded motorcycles and needed a place to store their cages and trailers.  We don't know if they rode on to Sturgis from here, or were just riding in the area.  We've had to haul our bikes on our trailer, so we're not critical of those hauling.  We just prefer to ride the distance when we can.  I caught Bear with the flash in her sexy road nightgown just before retiring for the night.   As you can tell, we go for comfort more than for style when we go motorcycle camping.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate at a nearby restaurant.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

August 5, 2003

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Cheyenne, WY

Our tenth motorcycle camp - Cheyenne, WY.  Our fifth night out on the Sturgis trip, we camped at a commercial campground.  We got in late after dark, and set the camp up using the campground lighting and flashlights.   The photo was taken the next morning.  We ate canned meat the night before, purchased at the campground. and got our caffeine the next morning from soft drinks.   Son Daniel's Boy Scouting experience with that pup tent paid off, because he had to set it up in the dark and he hadn't used one for several years.  This will be our last camp together with our son on this trip, as Daniel will peel off at Ft Lupton, CO in a couple of days for more riding in the Four Corners area to see his Grandparents in Arboles, CO.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate canned food at the camp.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

August 4, 2003

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Rapid City, SD

Our ninth motorcycle camp - Rapid City, SD.  Our fourth night out on the Sturgis trip, we camped in a horse pasture that belonged to the Grandfather of our son's co-worker.  This is the first camp that we've had anything close to advanced reservations for our stay, and this one was one of those "I think we can camp there" deals.  We had a shovel for bathroom facilities, and had promised no fires.  We seldom have a fire in camp anyway, so it wasn't a problem at all.  There was a MV light and an electric pump for water that came in real handy.   If it had rained during the night, we would have had a problem making the 1/2 mile ride back to the highway on a dirt path, but we gambled a little bit.  Camping with the horses was great, since we've owned horses ourselves.  The horses were actually in a corral for the night, so there wasn't any problem with them disturbing our campsite.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate at a nearby restaurant.

Bath Facilities:

Running water at the stock tank, and a shovel for digging cat holes.

 

August 3, 2003

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Chamberlain, SD

Our eighth motorcycle camp - Chamberlain, SD.  Spending our first night on the road to Sturgis in a Tulsa motel while the thunderstorm raged, and our second night on the road at our son's house in Omaha, NE while he finished up his shift at work, we spent the third night in the campground at Chamberlain.  Our son furnished his own camp consisting of a pup tent, ground mat and sleeping bag that he carried on his bike.  We got a rain shower during the night and morning, but everything stayed fairly dry, except for a camera and Bear's bra that got left out on one of the bikes overnight.  No, it wasn't one of those kind of parties, we just didn't get things put away good before going to bed.  It sure is nice to be able to stuff the wet tent into the big sissybar bag, along with all of the leaves and gunk that comes with a wet camp.  While everyone else was drying their tents, we were hauling a wet one on down the road where it can dry when we put it up the next night.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate at a nearby restaurant.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing, plus an outhouse right next to our campsite.

 

May 30, 2003

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Pink, OK

Our seventh motorcycle camp - Pink, OK.  We attended the Winding Creek Rally near Pink, OK.  Just as an experiment, we waited until after dark to set the camp up, just to see how it would go.  The photo that you see here is the "morning after".  We actually set the camp up using the headlights on our motorcycles.  It went just fine, and gave us confidence that we could do it in a pinch if needed.  I just can't say enough about the Go-Kots.  I can put them together inside of an 8X8 dome tent without any trouble (a useful thing to know, if it's raining cats and dogs).

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food.

Bath Facilities:

Port-a-potties & cold showers.

 

April 24-26, 2003

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Canton, TX

Our sixth motorcycle camp - Canton, TX.  We attended the Piney Woods IV Rally held at a fairgrounds facility, and had some of our kids join us to camp with us when they could get away from work in Dallas.  This camp site was just slightly sloping, but we've found that slopes don't bother us much with the Go-Kot sleeping cots.  The kids hauled all of their stuff in with pickup trucks and cars, but we still had all of our equipment on two bikes.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

Sept 17-23, 2002

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Ruidoso Downs, NM

Our fifth motorcycle camp - Ruidoso Downs, NM.   We attended the Golden Aspen Rally and camped at a commercial campground.  We went through our first thunderstorm in the cheap tent at this camp, and it was a cold SOB, with temperatures dropping down into the upper 30's due to the storms.  The tent held up better than we expected in the swirling winds. Sleeping in our clothes and leathers made the cold tolerable, but it sure was nice to get up in the middle of the night for a walk down the hill to the shower rooms for a chance to use the warm air hand dryers to warm the body back up!  We had some trouble with the tent fly pegs pulling out.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None. We ate at restaurants nearby, and at the rally vendors.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

July 26-28, 2002

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Canton, OK

Our fourth motorcycle camp - Canton Lake, OK.   We camped with a group of Southern Cruisers at an Oklahoma State camping facility.   You can't see our tent, but this is the only photo that I had that even shows the camping area.  The tent area was sloped, but we did just fine on our new Go-Kot sleeping cots.  The Go-Kots fold into a bundle that is 28x7x3 inches, and out into a cot that is 75x26x5 inches.  Since we were stuffing the tent into the extra large sissybar bag, we used the old original tent bag to carry the two Go-Kots and the tent poles together in one bundle.  The drawback to this camp was sand burrs that get into everything, but Bear's bedrolls worked well to keep the burrs from sticking to the blankets.    Heat ventilation in the tent was our main concern at this camp.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), Go-Kot sleeping cots, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  Several of the participants cooked for the whole group.

Bath Facilities:

State Camping Area privies.

 

June 7-8, 2002

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Rose, OK

Our third motorcycle camp - Rose, OK.  We attended the Oklahoma State SCRC Rally at Hawg Holler near Rose OK.  We had stopped earlier at a Wal-mart in Arkansas and bought a third roll-up foam sleeping mat.  It seemed that we couldn't stay on the two that we had for the whole night, so we used parachute cord and lashed three of them together side-by-side.  This was a little bit better, because the size of the tent wouldn't let the pads move very far.  This camp was on a slight slope, and we ended up against one side of the tent in the morning, but at least we were still on the foam sleeping pads.  Heat ventilation in the tent was our main concern at this camp, but it did give us a rain shower the morning we broke camp to head home.  We dried the tent out in the front yard at home the next afternoon.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), roll-up foam sleeping mats, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food, including a country-style breakfast!

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

June 2, 2002

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Shreveport, LA

Our second motorcycle camp - Shreveport, LA.   We stayed at the KOA Kampground on our way from Austin, TX to Mena, AR.  This KOA has the best hot tub and swimming pool!  Boy, did it feel good!  The heat was our main concern at this camp, but the tent offered enough ventilation for sleeping.   We pitched the tent on nearly level ground, but we still woke up lying on the tent floor without the sleeping pads under us.  We need to do something about our sleeping pads...

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), roll-up foam sleeping mats, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate down the road at a restaurant.

Bath Facilities:

Full service indoor plumbing.

 

May 17, 2002

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Pawhuska, OK

Our first motorcycle camp - Pawhuska, OK.    Space was limited at the Mayfit Rally, to say the least, and we ended up pitching our tent in a swampy area that everyone else had avoided.  Rain drainage in this part of the rally grounds is flat and wide, so the grass is actually some type of swamp grass, and there was about an inch of water standing where our bikes are parked and our tent is pitched.   Since the tent has a waterproof floor, and we use a plastic ground cloth (inside of the tent, not under it), it worked out better than we had thought going in.  An added benefit was that nobody came walking through our wet camp site or tripped over our tent ropes.   The only draw-backs to the site selection was the swampy smell of our boots inside of the tent, although we didn't spend a whole lot of time in the tent anyway, and the fact that our bikes are stuck in the mud where they set.   There was also the trusting faith that we had to put into the weather forecast for the evening, that it wouldn't rain any during the night.  We did have a little trouble staying on the foam sleeping mats, because the site wasn't perfectly level.

Equipment:

Ozark Trail 8X8 dome tent, ground cloth (inside tent), roll-up foam sleeping mats, Bear's bedrolls, & 2 Ozark Trail folding Quad Chairs.   Everything carried on two bikes.

Cooking in Camp:

None.  We ate vendor's food.

Bath Facilities:

Port-a-potties

 

 

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