Joined: Aug 2008
The Trip Home
We woke up a bit later in Macon MO's new Comfort Inn. So comfortable. It even had a hoist to get the whales out of the pool for a check up. We had decided that it would be too much to make it home in one day so there was no rush. I got tired of paying for nice hotels with all the amenities only to sleep and leave. Still, we only had time to enjoy the free breakfast and watch the news about all the flooding and washed out roads in the areas we had just left. I finally caught the fly who had bugged me all night and threw it in the microwave. Sucker lasted 20 secs on HI before a tail spin crash and burn. Impressive.
Serviced my rad and took off by 10:30. Burned a tank on the straight, boring Interstate lined with pro gun ads before stopping for a McCoffee. On the road again we passed like 5 miles of traffic cones but no sign of construction or equipment. WTF? This happened a large number of times in the US. Closed lanes, reduced speed and no sign of anything but slowdowns. So by our 5th that day, we ignored the signs and paid the price. Just after an exit, traffic stalled. Zumo showed 4 1/2 miles to the next exit. Damn. I can't keep track of which States have helmet laws let alone lane splitting. We can't anyway with our double wide baggers. The shoulder was full of tire blowing debris and I wasn't chancing it. My fan came on but the temp was stable...... An HOUR later we reached the exit and filled the tanks again. Got caught up in Friday traffic and more construction so I ignored Bec's request for stopping to eat. It was one of those interstate hubs where you have to pay attention and lane change all over to find your way. It was then I remembered that after 2 tanks, I should have filled my rad. Being mostly water now, I figured it was evaporating, explaining why my leg was dry and there were no more puddles on the block. So now I'm staring at the temp guage, watching traffic, reading Zumo and keeping an eye on Bec while trying not to get lost. Soon as we were clear and Zumo said "Turn in 138 miles", we found a Wendy's. Couldn't find evidence of a leak so I chose to leave it alone. By the end of the third tank it was getting cold out so it was refuel, wear all our sweaters and rain gear while having a coffee. It was decided that we'd see how the next tank went.........
Well, an hour into that I was freezing at temps around 9 C so F it, I stopped for more McCrap to warm up. Bec wasn't really into it anymore. I convinced her to finish the tank and see what happened.
I think you somehow "Get into the Zone" at some point and the cold seems to affect you less. It dropped to 4 then went up to 7 which felt great now. It was dark and getting late so the traffic was light but with the damn gawkers who pull up beside you then hover for a bit before passing and pulling in front of you with their damn "squarebacks" leaving you in their turbulence really pissed me off. Reaching Port Huron, and my US warehouse location, if felt good to be in familiar territory. Filling up for the 4th time, we found our passports, got the toll money out and tried to figure out how long we were in the US seeing as we re-entered part way through. I didn't realize Port Huron was so dead at midnight. All the traffic signals were flashing and we had free reign of the streets. Weird.
Customs was quick and also dead with the Agents in a great mood. It's so much easier coming home than entering the US. We had taken separate lines through, playing the "Which line is faster?" game. I won. There was no way I was getting a hotel less than 2 hrs from home, cold be damned! The 402-401 haul is so damn boring but we pressed on. The tops of my fingers were numb from the wind although the grip heat was on high, my gloves were still wet from the 2 days rain through Colorado and Kansas. I noticed my temp guage had dropped a bar showing colder now but could mean hotter as the water may no longer be touching the sender which is on the top side of the cylinder, thus reading cooler while the engine is actually getting hotter from lack of water. I tried to rationalize all that, dreading another dark highway stop to refill the rad when it popped back up to normal. Huh? OK.
Riding along, cold and bored I wondered if just my rad cap was defective, not adjusting to the 12 000 ft atmospheric pressure in CO which would in effect, cause a higher differential pressure and maybe the leak was only the weakest link showing it's face. Better that than a hose blowing off, eh Woody? I hadn't added water really since that last pic mid Kansas. The morning's fill didn't use much at all, esp. considering the spillage factor. Things that make you go "Hmmmmmmmmmm".
I watched Bec in the mirror for the signs she was done but she gave no indication. Doing random lane changes I watched for her to signal and follow, checking to see how fast she reacted as an guage of her condition. That and I was tired and bored so it kept us both alert. I'm sure the truckers thought we were nuts. 2 am, riding in 5 C conditions. We passed a Cop but he probably shook his head and let us be. We were chilled to the bone and *may* have been over the limit a tad suffering from "get home-itis". It's an aviation disease where pilots make bad decisions when really wanting to get home. Riding faster feels colder but is quicker.
Arriving home just after 2:30 am, we parked the bikes and dropped everything. It was then I found the inside door locked. We only brought the garage door opener and left our keys at home. The Pet Sitter had locked both the garage door and the inside door which we normally leave open. So where did I put my keys 3 wks ago?? I could swear in my toolbox so I destroyed that in my cold, tired rage. I eyed the sledge....Bec said I put a key in the backyard. Really, I only hide stuff on myself. Old age creeping in and all. So there I am in the backyard at 3 am with a flashlight ripping the deck benches apart and swearing. Finally found it, calmed down a bit and came in, tripping over 2 anxious cats. Stupid things keep coming into my life. Anyone know that song about a guy trying to lose a cat "...and the cat came back the very next day"?
Anyway, Bec cranked up the heat while we layered up the clothing and double sheeted the bed. I awoke 9 hrs later when I finally overheated. 2 days in the rain followed by a marathon "Iron Ass" ride in the cold has me feeling sick. I even had a nap. My nose is running but it was worth it, I think anyway. Bec has to attend meetings all week to catch up. Who likes a sniffling, coughing co-worker? At least she can say it was an adventure.
It certainly was.
Bored, taking night shots. The scenery in the last few days didn't inspire me enough to take any more.
Me "Flashing" Bec. She thought it was photo radar.
I picked up a souvenir on the road somewhere. It was a hazard to motorists with it's screws still protruding. I made every effort to find a DMV and return it, unsuccessfully.
Now I have to find Bec a new case......
n00babies should be
Reaver screwed with this post 09-17-2013 at 12:57 PM