Monday / Tuesday August 13th & 14th - Chrome's Reflections

Tuesday August 14th

Currently I’m sitting in the waiting area at Black Hills H-D. I decided to stop for an oil and filter change rather than drive it any further on 6200-mile oil. The synth oil is supposed to be good for at least 5K, but it was time for a break anyway.

While in Seattle, coming back into town on the last day of the ride, I noticed my right thigh was getting hotter and hotter. Took me a while to figure that one out since it was a new experience, but by the time I had gotten to the hotel I had figured out what had gone wrong. A quick glance down at the “Y” pipe coming out of the rear cylinder confirmed the cracked pipe, so I’m getting that fixed as well while I’m here. I could put up with the heat until I get home, but as long as they’ve got the bike in there, it might as well get fixed.

It’s been a really good day and a half ride so far. I left Alice at her sister’s home, rolled out of Seattle just before 6, and was really glad right away that I had put on the turtleneck shirt.  By the time I reached the Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3032’), the temps were in the low 40’s. By the time of my first gas stop, east of the mountains, I peeled off the turtleneck in the 70 degree morning, and it warmed up even more from there. By the time I reached the Continental Divide (elevation 6000+’), it was in the mid-80’s, and there it stayed until I stopped for the night in Columbus Montana. 815 miles for the day. I could have gone further, but I was calling ahead for hotels at that point, and there was not going to be anything for another 300 miles or so. I could go further, but that was a bit more than I wanted to ride.

I could have made more miles if I hadn’t stopped to photograph a hawk’s nest and watch Mr. & Mrs. Hawk circle ever closer. Must have been chicks in the nest. I also stopped a little convenience store for gas, somewhere in Montana, and bought a couple of small steaks, Reynolds Wrap, and a foil tub. I cooked the steaks on the engine block as I rode the next segment. Even with the tub to catch the juice, it still spilled out, so the steaks were tough, but definitely worth the effort. I’ll try to do that again tonight with something different.

Nap time while the bike is finished. Goal for today is Sioux City, IA, which would be over 900 for the day. We’ll see… I at least want to make Sioux Falls.

Update: Sioux Falls it is, after the good folks at Black Hills Harley finished with the bike around 5 pm. I remembered Doug from the first year I had this bike. He’s the one who told me about the Tru-Track system when I described the dancing I’d done at high speed with the bike on Hwy 50 in West Virginia. They installed it 7 years ago, and it’s worked like a charm ever since. It’s like the bike knows I’m going to sell it, and was determined to visit Black Hills HD to say “hello, and thanks for the Tru-Track!". I just hope it doesn’t want to visit all the other dealers we’ve stopped at before we get home… I hope Doug enjoys this year’s version of the kazoo. It had a little road grime on it from riding in my fairing pouch, but Doug just smiled and said “So do I!”.

I passed Patrick and Christina this morning around Gillette Wyoming. We ended up in the same Best Western tonight. Tomorrow they'll continue east, and I'll head southward. 

So 16 hours out, 5 of which was in the dealership, and 785 miles for the day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but I know for a fact it won’t bring a 6 a.m. start time!