Monday, July 23, 2012

Long, Hot Ride

Another twofer; I'll try to write tomorrow night so that it won't be a twofer for each post.

Yesterday I got up early and rode to the rally to meet up with my Motorcycle Travel Network host, Colt, so I could follow him to his house for the night.  When I found him, there were 4 others riding, so we had a small convoy of motorcycles headed to southwest MO.  He lives on the southern edge of MO, just a few miles from OK.

The ride to his house was about 219 miles, and parts of it were fun.  I had hoped we'd have lots of good roads, but because it was so hot, he decided to ride home the fastest way to beat the heat.  All in all, that was okay since it was about 100 outside.

He lives on a ranch, with a driveway that runs through a huge pasture for almost a mile.  His family owns about 500 acres, and he's in the middle of it with 40 acres for his place.  The house is a log home, with high vaulted ceilings and an upstairs loft and bedroom.  Also a full basement with bikes and tools.  Two others stayed overnight; a friend from Germany and an old friend from TX.

His son and another friend also joined us for a while after dinner, where we gathered in the basement to talk bikes and rides.  It was a very good evening.

Got up this morning, had coffee, and hit the road about 7:45am.  Colt recommended riding across OK rather than KS, to end the day in Clayton NM.  Since the roads were generally north-south, east-west, it was not difficult to get to Clayton.  It is 560 miles from his house to Clayton, so it was a long ride.

And HOT.  Not frying hot, but simmering at 104-108 all day.  I tried out my new cooling vest, and I'm still not sure if it's helping all that much or not.  It helps some, but I'm just not sure if it's worth the cost.  I may send it back for a refund when I get home.

It's also very, very dry out here.  I crossed many "creeks" along the way, most with no water at all in the creek.  The "rivers" are almost dry, with just a small channel of water in many of them.  Crops are dead in the fields, and everything is brown.  I overheard some locals talking aboutall of the lost crops.  They are in deep trouble this year.

The roads are mostly 2 lane, with speed limits of 65 on most of them.  Where they are 4 lane, the limit is70.  Traffic was very low, with  it being very often that I'd see another vehicle about every 15 minutes or so.  And they are straight for mile after mile.  In some places you can see for probably 10 miles of road in front of you.  The landscape is flat or some small hills.  But mostly flat.  I did note that even though mostly flat, the overall elevation is now about 4,600 feet.  Weird to be so high, but level as far as you can see.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to set the GPS to take the shortest route to Clayton.  I figured it might cut out a few miles and be more interesting.  Initially, it was fun.  Two-lane farm style roads, straight, but NO traffic at all.  I went about 20 miles down one of it, and it turned to dirt.  I could see that I had a left hand turn in a mile, so I rode the dirt for a mile.  The left turn was on another dirt road. At one place, I had to cross a very small wooden bridge over a ravine.  No problem, but it's always interesting to do things like that.  In another mile, it turned back to pavement, so all was well.  It added a little interest to an otherwise boring ride.

I did have a little fun late this afternoon.  I was riding at about 70 mph and a Lexus SUV passed me like I was backing up.  I decided to follow him to see just how fast he was going.  I ran it up to 90 and it was still moving away from me.  At 105, I was rinning at about the same speed; at least it wasn't running away very much.  I did hit 109 for a short bit, but decided with the heat it was not smart to run that fast in the heat.  A blowout could be fatal.  So, I let him go.  But it was fun while it lasted.  I went about 5 miles at 105, and it was a rush!

Spending the night in a mom and pop motel just north of Clayton.  While it has some age on it, it's well kept, has a good bed, and all of the modern amenities, including satellite tv, Internet, and AC.  And the rate is less than half of the chain motel rate.  Oh, yes, it's clean as well.

So, that's the news of the day.  I've ridden right at 2,150 miles so far on this trip.  It's about 250 miles to Salida CO, where the next rally is being held.  I plan to do some fun roads along the way to Salida.

That's it.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are having a good time except for the heat. It's hot here too, so you aren't missing anything here.