Thursday, May 31st.
Mileage: ~ 500
The rough plan for the trip: take the slab to Denver, meet up with my wife and youngest daughter (where they will rent a car), and tour the general 4-Corners area as a caravan - hitting as many National Parks as we can. As you will see (if you don't get bored to death and stop following along), we pretty much fulfill the plan - with only a few minor snags.
When leaving on a vacation, I tend to push the envelope and weasel out of work a little early. I kid myself and say I will leave sometime in the afternoon - when I get to a stopping place. Over the years, that "stopping place" seems to get earlier and earlier in the day. This trip was no exception; I was on the road about 10:00 AM.
Today's goal was to get to a reasonable stopping place between home (a suburb north of Atlanta) and my sister's house in Topeka Kansas.
My first stop - all clean and ready to go.
Normally on such a trip, the bike would be gassed up DAYS in advance. This time I was slack and rode for a while before stopping for gas.
For some reason, just getting to the interstate is tedious for me at the beginning of a trip. True to form, it seemed to take FOREVER to get over to I-75.
...but after about an hour, I hit the slab and was off.
During the trip I tried to get pics of the state lines I crossed. Why? ...dunno. Seemed like the thing to do at the time. I missed a few, but for the most part I got em.
I think this is a cool section of interstate - it's between Chattanooga and Nashville. The north and southbound lanes split and the road cuts deep into the rock.
A great many of the pics I took on this trip were at speed, left-handed, upside-down (a trick that Cuttle told me about). There were times that doing so was stupid / risky. Driving through heavy traffic in Nashville was one of those times.
HA, the pic above would lead you to believe I had the road to myself. Not so
So far, so good: I nailed the Kentucky sign.
We have a couple of horses. They would HATE riding like this.
The bridge over the Ohio River
On to Illinois
After reaching Mount Vernon Illinois, I hung a left and started heading west toward St. Louis - then I hit a minor snag...
Ever since I had my bike disassembled last winter to check my valves, my gas gauge has been a little iffy. There are times that it shows more bars than it should. Generally this hasn't been a problem. I am the bike's original owner, have owned it for three years, have ridden the wheels off of it, and thought I had a pretty good idea of how many miles I would get on a tank of gas. I thought...
Well, that day I was loaded up like a pack mule and was facing into a pretty good headwind. And well, you guessed it, I ran out of gas.
But not to worry, thanks to FeMan (a fellow FF from Georgia) I had an MSR bottle of unleaded in the tool tube he gave me and I was mobile again in short order. Then it started to POUR. I made it to the next gas station, filled up, figured I had gone far enough for one day and got a room at the local Best Western. I dried out, got dinner, and went to bed happier than a pig in poo.