Day 2 : Sunday May 11, 2014 : Miles = 1118
I got up early Saturday morning. The children and I cooked breakfast for Susi to celebrate mothers day. We often do this a day early as Susi works on Sundays.
The dealer opens at 9:00 and I was there, with all my "stuff", at 8:30 to take delivery on my motorcycle. I met with Tom, one of the salesman, and we went over the delivery check list. I then pushed the bike out into the parking lot, put on my helmet, and proceeded to get comfortable with some basic MSF parking lot exercises.
My plan was to leave my truck at the dealership and hit the road.
I ordered my DL650A with an accessory outlet, which the dealer had installed, and the high seat. My bike is stock. So... it is time to load up and get going. First I installed a Ram mount for my satellite Spot Gen3 tracker, no problem. I then put my range bag on the back of the bike and strap it down with a bunch of Rok straps. Next item was navigation. I was going to use my iPhone with an app for a GPS, and I was also bringing a backup car GPS. It's go time and I plug the iPhone charger into the socket with the bike turned on and ... nothing. Then I try the charger for the Garmin GPS ... nothing. This is not going to work. I tried them in the truck ... nothing.
The dealership had wired the auxiliary socket backwards and it had blown a fuse in the Garmin charger and also killed the iPhone charger. The bike goes back into the service department to get this sorted out. They fixed the issue with the socket, replaced the fuse in the Garmin charger and one of the techs gave me his iPhone charger.
OK.... everything is good to go, the bike is loaded, the iPhone is running a GPS app, and it is time to get on the road.
I push the start button and ... nothing.
Off comes the range bag and the seat is removed while a service tech shows up with a battery pack to jump my brand new bike. They had drained the battery while testing the auxiliary socket. The seat goes back on, the range bag is reattached and off we go. Yes we. Tom, the salesmen, is going to ride with me a bit to make sure I am doing OK. We do about half an hour of surface streets and when he is satisfied I get the wave and off I go. I think it is great that the dealership wanted to make sure I was comfortable on my new motorcycle.
I head to my favorite service station and top up the tank. I set a destination on the iPhone GPS app and I am on my way. This is so much fun! The iPhone stops working and I get off the road to sort it out. I found an empty parking lot and sat there in the hot sun in all of my gear. Finally, I get the iPhone talking the the SMH10 so that that GPS lady can tell me where to go just like Mrs. Hanson does. When I am on the bike I can put the phone in a thigh pocket and keep the charger plugged into the auxiliary outlet. This is going to work.
I am rider #250 in the Tour of Honor which is a charitable organization to benefit first responders and service menders. Riders visit various memorials and take a picture of the monument with their motorcycle and tour flag. One of the options is to visit E. M. Viquesney Doughboy monuments, there are a lot of them scattered around the country, and my first destination was located in Fort Worth.
>>>> Fort Worth E. M. Viquesney Doughboy monument
Go west... further west ... go ...
I point the bike west. I have food and a lot of water and a desire to just ride. After a while my knees are sore, by hips are sore, my hamstrings are starting to cramp and I can tell that I am getting dehydrated. I find a Texas pick-nick area, witch is like a rest area without the restrooms, get off the bike and immediately drink two bottles of water. I go take a "pee". Now, urinating in public is generally a no no, but the color of your urine is a good indication of dehydration. Dark yellow is not good. I get back on the bike and point the bike west. I need to find a place to get hydrated.
In Midland, I saw a sign for a Whataburger and I stop. I park the bike where I can see it and hall all my junk, including my range back, into the fast food restaurant where I dump it on a table. I order a chicken sandwich, but what I want is that large drink glass which I fill up with a bit of lemonade and a lot of water. Almost an hour later, and after a lot of water, I am feeling better. I have gotten ahead of the dehydration curve and all of the stops for the rest of the day will involve drinking a lot of liquids. I point the bike west.
After a while, the sun is getting very low on the horizon and it is getting dark. I start to wonder if my lights are working as they don't seam to be helping much. I flip on the high beams... no good. I have my sun glasses on. I find an I-10 pick-nick area, remember no restrooms, and get off the bike.
I have a routine now...
Unplug iPhone charger and put in thigh pocket, gloves, sun-glasses, helmet, earplugs, unzip jacket, and drink water. Drink more water. Finally, I remembered to take a photograph.
>>>> The sun is going down in West Texas
Point the bike west ...
My original plan had been to visit the McDonald Observatory in the Davis mountains of West Texas, but I had intended on taking those mountain roads in the daylight and my late start had a negative impact on my plans. Who cares, I was having a great time. Point the bike west ...
I reached Van Horn Texas and filled up the tank. It was still Saturday May 10, but not by much.
I have a tracker on my motorcycle and it has a few buttons. I push those buttons from time to time and the tracker sends a message to a satellite and Mrs. Hanson gets a text message on her cell phone. If I get myself in big trouble, I can push an SoS button and the tracking company will send rescue. This works almost everywhere and with out regard to cell coverage. Moreover, the Spot tracker sends periodic location messages and a web based application will take these message and plot your location using Google maps. Susi can literally just pull up a webpage and see where I am on an interactive map.
>>>> SpotWalla map of my first ride
SpotWalla link >>>> https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id ... fe13e56982
It is time to go home. I point the bike east and I ride hard. Earlier in the day, the temperature had peaked at 104 and now it is in the mid 70s. The cool air felt wonderful and I made good time. Then the air started to warm up as I rode out of one body of air and into another. In about 10 miles the temperature went from 73 to 95 and the crosswinds are back. All day I had been riding with strong West Texas wind and about the time I had thought how nice it was to be riding without wind, they came back with a vengeance. I had my worst tank of gas for the trip between Big Spring and Ranger heading east. At times I had to slow to just 60 mph to maintain my lane and the gusts would push me hard across the lane. The buffeting was terrible and did not end until I was only about 150 miles from home. I pointed the bike east and persevered.
Finally, I am back at the very same service station where I had started this ride, but it is now Sunday morning May 11 at just after 6. I fill up the tank and ride the final three miles to the house.
>>>> Dash - Sunday morning May 11 - End of first ride.
>>>> Bug guts - Sunday morning May 11 - End of first ride.
It took a while but I finally have a motorcycle, and she is home.