Where Is Maggie Mae?

Blasting Away....

Joint Ventures - Michigan

As much as I love riding my Blast - many of my recent journeys have been "Joint Ventures" with my husband, Thumper McKenzie.  We have logged thousands of miles riding together across America.  Our First long distance trip was aboard a 2001 Gold Wing 1800 to Michigan and Canada.  Along the way we rode The Dragon at Deals Gap:


We visited with family members:         


Rode with my sister Sherrie and her husband Eric to Northern Michigan:    


We found the worlds largest picnic basket.... 

And rode across the New River Gorge bridge...



Florida to California & Back

Go West


In June of 2005 Thumper and I took off across America on a 2005 Yamaha Royal Star Venture, heading West as many pioneers did in the early 1800’s.   Our journey began with a challenge.  We wanted to complete a long distance trip to qualify for the Iron Butt Association. 


Our challenge: ride 1,000 in 24 hours.  We left Wesley Chapel, Florida at 9:15 in the morning and by 11:00 PM had made it to Tennessee, roughly 700 miles behind us.  As we checked into the hotel I realized the task ahead of us; we still had 300 more miles to complete and had to do it before 9:15 in the morning. 


The hotel clerk thought we were completely nuts as we requested a 3 AM wakeup call, but nonetheless, called to wake us up at precisely 3:00 AM.   We were on the road by 3:30, heading towards St. Louis, Missouri. It was dark, cool and we were wide awake and completely invigorated!


At 8:45 we pulled into town and needed to find a station to gas up and collect our final timed/dated receipt and look for a willing participant to sign our witness form.   As Murphy’s Law would have it, we could not find a gas station.  A helpful, albeit somewhat inebriated (yes it was only 9 in the morning); individual attempted to help us with directions, but was not very accurate.  With minutes to spare we finally rolled into a station, collected our receipt and found a witness.  Our trip was off to a great start!


In the next 24 days we would ride through 22 states, 9 National Forests, 7 National Parks, 3 Indian Reservations and complete 8,300 miles in the saddle. We rode through 10 foot snow banks on the Going to the Sun Highway through Glacier National Park, which was heralded as the “most beautiful highway in America” by Charles Karault.  Traveled through the majestic Redwood Forest and challenged the curves on Hwy 1 in California. Discovered the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and found a bit of Hollywood in Lone Pine, California’s Alabama Rocks where the Lone Ranger and countless westerns were filmed. 


We experienced the dry heat of Death Valley and unrelenting traffic of Las Vegas.  Skinny dipped in Lake Mead near Hoover Dam, photographed buffalo at Zion National Park and slept in a cabin on the North Rim of Grand Canyon.


You will find our photos in the “Florida to California & Back” photo album.  We hope you will not only enjoy the photographs, but become influenced to get out there and see the beauty America has to offer for yourself.