692 miles in eleven hours, flat… not bad, not bad at all…
See, I told you I wasn’t very smart, NO ONE should do a ride like that. If you were watching my “tracker” (thanks to all of you who were ‘riding’ with me… I felt your presence), there were a LOT of times I was over 90… particularly on the ‘down-hill’ stretch.
My ‘boyz’ greeted me when I got in… check out their bandannas (they say: “Welcome” – “Home”)
I left Santa Rosa at about 6:30ish… blasted outta there and immediately started ‘crusin’, you know… my favorite speed: 87. I blew thru the New Mexico low-lands ridin’ easy. Everything was coo’ till I got to Albuquerque. I rolled onto a HELLACIOUS accident on their downtown connecter. Six lanes of traffic (just on one side), ALL backed up and snarled. I’m embarrassed to say – I’m one of those motorcycle riders you hate. You know, the ones who dart between lanes & lines, disobey the ‘rules’… get in between spaces where cars can’t go. (Just so you know, I always ask for forgiveness and pray for redemption when I get home.)
So what about the wreck, right? – Hey, it was a first-class mess. As I wound my way around, (with people giving me the finger), I saw an older GoldWing motorcycle lying on its side. Not 200 feet further was a flatbed truck with its industrial equipment all over the place. Maybe 10 cop-cars channeling traffic, and bunches of officers screaming and yelling at people. (You KNOW it’s tuff to be a cop.)
Thankfully, the GoldWing rider was seated in the grass with some EMT-guys gathered around him. — SOooo… while everyone was banging about, taking care of ‘bidness’, — *I* snuck past and around some slightly ‘out of place’ (with the aid of my boot) police barriers. I looked over at one cop, as if to say, “Is this okay?” – He just nodded, annoyingly, and I could hear his mind-talk, (You smart-alec asshole, git your ass outta here.) – So, I accommodated him. Hey one less motorcycle rider was probably an advantage. — “Good Luck to you, GoldWing rider; riding a motorcycle is a lot like flying; any time you can walk away from a landing, it was a GOOD landing. (You needed a new bike, anyway.) — Get a Can-Am.
Upon departing Albuquerque, rapidly… I cruised past Grants, NM.. and on into Gallup. That was my dilemma… (hear that music?) “Should I stay, or should I go.” It was early in the morning… I was ‘feeling good / looking good’. Easy to stay in Gallup, nice town… eastern Arizona was just over the horizon… Hell, Winslow is only 50 miles from Flagstaff… bet I could get a room there… speaking of which, Flagstaff is only 300 miles from Lost Wages… Don’t you just LOVE how ‘rationalization’ works?? – “Honey (husband to wife AFTER buying Corvette), I was already in the Chevy dealership, the nice receptionist was so cute and helpful, the car is VERY utilitarian, we can BOTH drive it, Hunny, they made me a great deal.”
Just so you know, I really DID pull over in Gallup and have a cup of coffee out of my thermos… think, think, think… Finally, “What the f**k; I’m going to ‘Vegas.” I spun a wheel when I cranked up and roared out, (thinking: “I bet this is the same way people got on the Titanic”)
I roared past Flagstaff (you know, the place where I could probably get a room); whizzed past Williams, Seligman, and finally to Kingman, AZ. I stopped at my favorite gas-place, “Love’s”… gassed up, left a specimen, and flew out of Kingman. What you do is go slightly past Kingman and take a right on highway 93 to ‘Vegas. It’s almost a straight shot.
This black Cadillac had been horsing around with me on the way to Kingman, him passing me, me passing him, that sort of thing. So when I got on the stretch, just past Kingman that leads to the dam, I decided to give him an old-fashioned ‘testicle-check’, “We’re gonna find out if you have any, Cadillac-Jack. I bet you’ve got more car than you have skill… AND… nerve too. — Guess who won?
Hey, – Cadillac-Jack backed off just before we got to the dam… Musta been too nerve-wracking for him… “Get yourseff a Can-Am, Jack,” I said as I bulleted on toward the dam. (People are SO afraid of the Highway Patrol)…
My wife had been watching me on the “tracker” and even ran out to open the gate to our little village when I pulled up.
Safe, sound, tired (exhausted), exhilarated…. “all the above”
692 miles, – what a ride!!
So whad I learn? Right?
#1…America, this amazing place we live… it’s under-appreciated. The people, the places, the “good hearts” of most everyone… is incredible.
#2…I kinda ate my way across America, and I had grits / greens / hot-dogs (I LOVE a good, cheap hot dog from “Loves”), fish, seafood, fried biscuits, gravy-covered-chicken, “steak-by-a-lake”, with chocolate ice cream for dessert. – I saw a true American hero growing a garden in Alabama; nekkid ladies in New Orleans, another beautiful garden in Mobile… and the most important part: I saw “Friends of a lifetime”.
#3…I learned that I’ve been a VERY lucky guy. — I love you: Rob Coats / Bob Summerlin / Corky “by god” Harris / Jerry ‘Bull’ Dozier / Cathy Harris (you go win those Senior Olympics, girl!) / Tommy Ellis, (you living legend) / Ted and ClaraSue (hugs to you both) / Jon “B.G.” Jeffries, (I’m so proud of you!), and all my NEW buds and GFs I met along the way…
“Salut!” to you all… All of you made my trip a terrific event and an even better memory. – I love you all….
PS – here’s my “Tracking-Page” (http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0seJseUF8nps5v94ORZolubfWN1AosNFO)