10/3 – 10/15
The intended return trip to NY was a swift efficient ride back on the interstates or at least highways that ran parallel to it. Las Vegas was to be the next destination that I was curious to experience, even if for an evening. Many a friends had gone and really enjoyed it, and so I had to go and see for myself.
In the spirit of swift and efficient, I present an expedient retelling of the return.
On the way there going on the highway going through the desert, I stopped by the Dumont Dunes OHV park. Never seen Sahara type dunes before. Very cool. Would love to come back at somepoint and enjoy more of it.
Feasting my eyes on those delicious dunes
Explored some of Sperry Wash at the Dumont Dunes
Back on the highway as there were threatening storms on the horizon. That and I didn't feel like exerting energy on flats or off road mishaps.
The distant glow beckons from over the hills and as I get closer, the city lights peek through the mountains eventually bathing the entire horizon with glittering gold.
Las Vegas is a very impressive city to ride into in the dark of night. The whole experience is very futuristic.
It was storming most of the evening, so I just took a ride up and down the strip in the rain got some food and went to bed. It's my regret to inform everyone here that in this instance, I didn't use my WRR as colateral for a wager at the tables.
Next morning… Visually disappointing, I like Vegas at night, better.
Back in NY… Pysche!!!
2 rainbows are better than one. Most of the day's ride from Vegas into New Mexico was stormy.
A fearsome western sunset.
From Las Vegas to Socorro, NM on HWY 60, I stop at a gas station in the town of Magdelana and discover the chain on the bike is stretch beyond adjustment. A local, Ron, who owned a tire shop down the road was gracious enough to help out. His shop was down the road just off the highway on a dirt road. Being a solo adventurer and in the dark of night, it sounded a little dodgy, so I turned on my Spot Messenger... Juuussst in case.
We discover the masterlink clip had fallen off at some point. Maybe earlier on, but the side plate was intact due to the pin welding itself to the plate.
After some grinding and cutting we take off 2 links and I am back on the road. I thank Ron and give him some dough for his efforts.
I make it to Socorro and stay the night. Grab some food and off to bed.
In the morning I head to Albuquerque to R&S Yamaha. Sure enough, no parts in stock so I order a chain, sprockets from Rockymountain ATV and have it overnighted to the shop. The next morning the parts arrive and after a little over an hour, I have my bike back. For the amount of work that I know it requires for a job of this type, they charged a kings ransom.
Some good reference
Back on the road on highway 66 / I-40 mostly
From New Mexico to Western Arkansas, I was bombarded with rain on and off for 3 days. The riding was cold and wet, and I was happy when there was a lull
The Klim suit did its job, mostly. I put on my balaclava to soften the sting of the rain hitting the exposed skin on my face.
100 miles west of Memphis Tennessee and my chain breaks off. Thankfully this was right after a lunch stop and I decided to take a smaller road. I had 2 spare masterlinks in my toolkit and was able to continue on. Paranoia ensues the next 140 miles but measuredly, I made it to my parent's home.
After a couple of days in Mississippi wrenching on the bike and purchasing more masterlinks, I continue onto I40 heading west towards Nashville. The intention was to stop in Nashville to see my friend Casey and have dinner and drinks. As the sun was setting, I had gained more confidence in picking up the speed and was doing 70mph when all of a sudden, the revs climbed to the moon and I loose power. I know immediately what has happened and let the bike roll to shoulder. Luckily, it is at an exit and I can see a Holiday Inn sign close by. I walk back in hopes of finding the chain. After walking back a quarter mile, it was dark and so I push my bike up the exit ramp and into the Dickson Inn and Suites.
In the morning, I walked the interstate again in hopes of finding the chain, but to no avail. It had disappear into thin air. Strange.
This is where I broke down the night before
Maybe my chain was flung off into the the median
Or did it fly off to the other side of the road?
I would stay in Dickson for 2 nights laying in wait for mail order parts to arrive from nearby Southhaven MS vendor, Motosport.com. Friday morning and I answer the phone. The front desk tells me my parts have arrived. Swiftly, I go down to collect the box and spend the next couple of hours wrenching. The hotel was kind enough to let me stay beyond the 11 checkout time. Upon closer inspection, it looked like some teeth on the rear sprocket was bent and that was forcing side pressure to the plate and pin causing the chain to break apart. A brand new 49 tooth rear sprocket should remedy that.
Taking joy in the fact that I was now back on the road, I head over in hopes of at least having lunch with Casey. I had burned too much time and was now antsy to turn the jets on in getting back home. I was only able to stop in to slap high fives before leaving.
Casey throws a leg over.
From Nashville, I make it 40 miles past Knoxville. All the hotels close by were booked so I had to go farther past the city due to the Tennessee Vols football game to take place the day after. I think they were playing Virginia Tech.
The next morning was crispy and fall like, and I get back on the interstate. My destination was to see a friend in Maryland.
Decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 30 miles before minding the time and heading back on to the Interstate.
The blue ridge parkway is absolutely gorgeous in the fall. I can't speak for how it looks in other seasons, but in the fall, I couldn't help but think of pumpkin pies and thanksgiving as I meandered through that glorious stretch of road admiring the toasted golds and buttery browns of the turning leaves.
Made it to my friends house at around 8:30.
In the morning, we all decide to go to Frederick, MD to a trendy cafe downtown.
After posting this picture in front of Cafe Nola in Frederick, MD to my Facebook account, my old roommate from the college days commented, "Everyone loves Fredneck." Very cynical, but funny never the less.
On the occasion of my arrival to their happy home, my friend's little girl drew this storyboard depicting the events that took place the evening before.
After lunch, I take off and around 9:30 I make it back to NY.