Saturday, November 15, 2014

Henderson to Reno

10 NOV - After a 05:30 pancake breakfast at Kathy and Coleman's I was on the road for home at 06:30 under a typical Nevada blue sky day and a balmy 60 degrees.

No real traffic crossing Las Vegas at the early hour and then on the familiar route toward home. No snow on Tonopah Pass thanks to the warm weather. Stopped for gas in Tonopah and up walks Monte, a friend from Reno, a true 'Iron Butt' rider. (He was heading to Las Vegas for a pistol match. My kind of guy.)

Just north of Tonopah I ran in to a terrible dust storm with some of the most extreme cross winds I've ever experienced, even in Patagonia. Especially bad around Walker Lake.

Arrived home at 15:40 for a 473 mile  day and completing a 96 day, 15,819 Adventure.

Great to be home and ready to hit the hiking trail with Sara. (We plan to hike the 'Coast to Coast' [C2C] in the U.K. next May, a 190 mile trek from Robin Hood's Bay to St. Bee's Bay. In '96 we hiked it west to east, so this time will reverse it. Anyhow, after 96 days on the moto it's time to get the hiking legs back in shape. One advantage of living in the Sierra Nevada.)

PS - I was so excited to be home that I forgot to post the last day. Thanks to Fred for asking me if I'd taken residence in Henderson.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Scottsdale to Henderson

9 NOV - Started the day with an apple pancake at the Original Pancake House. Same great pancake as in Minneapolis. Loved the condo going up across the street from the OPH.

Came up from Kingman and over the new bridge next to the Hoover dam. Didn't stop as I've been there three or four times, but did take a picture of the bike with the Colorado River in the background, and then of the approach to the bridge.

Left this morning and it was sixty. Got to Henderson and it was 80.

It was a 296 mile day with very little traffic, even in Las Vegas.

Tomorrow I'll complete the Adventure when I ride up to Reno. Looks like good weather.

Scottsdale - Rest Day

8 NOV - Had the 36,000 mile service done on the bike (actual mileage 37,994, but all highway miles). Go AZ Motorcycles sells all makes of motorcycles except Harley-Davidson. HD is just nextdoor. There was a fund raiser memorial ride for a guy killed on his Harley. Hundreds of bikes at both locations, signing up and buying shirts etc. The amazing thing is that 90% of the folks don't wear helmets, and those that do have the 'brain buckets'. Tells you something. Also, no protective gear other than glooves. I even sae a guy on his Harley riding barefoot.

There were a handful of BMW riders, all wearing full face helmets and proper gear.

Anyhow, while the bike was being serviced I met Lenore and Barb for breakfast. It's dry here so the outside areas have the misters.

Wes and Judy were kind enough to put me up once again and even had me park the moto in the garage.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Van Horn to Flagstaff

7 NOV - Mt. Rose in Reno opened today. That's where we ski and board, and I missed it.

Left Van Horn, TX at 06:00. It was 37 degrees so I started with my 'electrics', jacket and gloves. A clear sky at Sunrise. The highway photo was taken just west of Van Horn. Amazing the Sun reflecting on the various highway signs and markers.

Stopped for lunch at Apple Annie's in Wilcox, AZ. Apple pie of course.

Arrived in Scottsdale at 16:45 for a 561 mile day. 87 degrees. That's quite a range for the day.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Marion to Van Horn

6 NOV - Enjoyed breakfast at iHop with Pete & Edie and son Tony. Always difficult to leave friends but hope to see them at Rundle Ride XII in September 2015 in WDC to celebrate the USSS 150th year.

Left at 09:00, no rain but threatening, and a comfortable 60 degrees.

Being Texas the are BBQ restaurants everywhere. All good.

Enjoy the 80mph speedlimit but generally cruise at 70 to 75. Anything faster and the mpg gets really bad.

This morning there was light rain west of San Antonio but I rode out of it. Then much to my surprise, and against the weathercast, heavy rain for the last 90 minutes of the ride.

Arrived at Van Horn at 16:30 just as the rain ended.

As of today I've logged 14,288 miles. 1,332 to go and I'll be home. Put another way, the Adventure is 91% completed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baytown to Marion

5 NOV - Left this morning at 09:30. 73 degrees and not raining. Wanted some time for the rush-hour traffic in Houstin to clear a bit. Sailed right through Houston, no traffic at all. Maybe all the predictions for rain and flash flooding kept folks at home.

Hit two rain squalls in the 197 miles but not heavy enough to even slow down. Got to Edie and Pete's at 12:30. At 73 degrees departing Baytown I didn't put on my electric jacket. By the time I reached Marion it was 54. A couple of cups of hot coffee and a hot shower did the trick.

Pete's garage is large enough to house an auto repair shop and uncludes a 'bunk house' where I'm staying.

Edie fixed a great dinner and we enjoyed sitting around swapping 'cop' stories. I know Pete from our days in the USSS and Edie is a retired police officer. (As Sara would say, 'the stories' get better every year. Maybe it's age.

It started raining just after I got here and is predicted to last until tomorrow afternoon. My goal tomorrow will be Van Horn, TX, so I should ride out of the rain as I get further west.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mobile to Baytown, TX

4 NOV - Started the day with another Waffle House treat. (We don't have them out west so I have to enjoy them while I can.) Was on the road at 07:30 and stopped in Opelousas, LA to visit Lee (Sara's cousin) and wife Millie. Then on to Baytown, TX, arriving at 16:30 for a 490 mile day.

My destination tomorrow is Marion, TX where I'll stay with Pete (a USSS buddy) and his wife Edie. Heavy rain and possible flash flooding predicted in the San Antonio area tomorrow so it could be an intetesting day. At least it's not ice and snow.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mobile, AL

3 NOV - A rest day in Mobile visiting with my Son. No frost this morning and a 70 degree blue sky day.

Head west for Texas tomorrow first crossing Mississippi and then Louisiana.

Gas here is $2.79 a gallon. Not long ago I was paying just under $9 a gallon in the U.K.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Whitehouse to Mobile

2 NOV - Went off DST last night. Went out to pack the bike at 06:30 and it was 24 degrees. The coldest morning yet on the trip. The bike was covered with thick frost but I noted that a puddle in the parking lot had not frozen and the pavement was dry.

Enjoyed a waffle at the Waffle House and hit the road at 07:50, under a blue sky. Hit an iHop for lunch in Montgomery, AL and then on to Mobile. Interstate all the way, moderate Sunday traffic through Birmingham and Montgomery but made good time, arriving in Mobile at 15:50, for a 471 mile day.

The last photos are of the Alabama Delta region and the Mobile River.

Rest day tomorrow visiting my Son in Mobile.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ostrander to White House, TN

1 NOV - Woke up at 04:00 and noted that it had stopped raining and although it was 34 degrees at Ostrander there was no sign of snow.  A good sign.

After breakfast with Sara, Susan and Leon, I gave Sara an extra hug before taking off because she is going to stay for a visit with Susan, a friend from grade school days, then fly home Sunday. Thankfully she agreed to take some of my stuff that I won't need for the ride to Reno.

I was on the road at first light, 08:10, and it was still 34 degrees, and not raining. It was about nine miles of winding country roads before I reached I-71. No sign of black ice, I guess because the pavement is still warm. Got on I-71 and battled strong, gusty cross winds all the way to Cincinnati where I stopped for gas. There just happened to be a Waffle House next to the Pilot gas station. Couldn't let the opportunity slip by. Came out after enjoying a waffle, good as ever, and it was snowing. Still 34 degrees, but the snow was melting on the highway. Once I got to Louisville the snow stopped, the Sun appeared and it warmed up to 42 degrees. Thank you for 'electrics', in my case a jacket and gloves. (Heat from the engine keeps my legs warm.)

Saw signs for the Lincoln Memorial Museum so slipped over to Hodgenville, KY, Lincoln's birthplace, as I'd never been there. Couldn't be so close and not ride an extra 20 miles to see it.

Just nearing Bowling Green I spotted the Corvette Factory so stopped there too. Missed the last tour of the day by 45 minutes.

Arrived at White House, TN at 15:00 and checjed into a Motel 6. First thing I did was take a long, hot shower to warm up.

It was a 407 mile day and it felt to get off the bike and warm up.