Thursday, July 21, 2016

Adventures with the GS Adventure - July 18 - 21 2016

Monday, July 17, 2016

Oh I slept in late.....I was so tired last night that I'm sure as soon as I hit the pillow I was sound asleep.  I didn't wake up until after 8:00 am!  Yikes, guess that means I won't get to far today :-)  I had a bowl of Raisin Bran for brekkie because that was all that was left at the cheapo breakfast bar at the sleazy Super 8.  Oh well.  I like Raisin Bran :-)

It took me forever to get my act together and on the road.  I had to fill up the fuel tank and I wanted to go into the store but it was crowded so I just left instead.  I really didn't want to stay on I-70 but I hadn't planned well.  No, I hadn't planned at all!  So, I-70 it was for a while.

I took a quick break at a rest stop in Ohio.  Interesting that the rest stop is also a tornado shelter!


Finally, Ohio was in my rear view and I entered Indiana.  I eventually headed north and through Indianapolis!  Yup, right through the city to get on the highway that would take me to where I am now...uh... Danville, IL. Yes, that's where I am :-)  I checked into a decent Best Western that had a guest laundry right next door  Yippee, I now have clean clothes again.  Man, how nice is that?  My clothes got pretty gnarly while camping.

Today's ride was just that, a ride.  I managed to skirt a nasty thunderstorm when I headed north.  I only got a few sprinkles and then the sky turned blue and the heat crept up.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.  I plan on getting off the Interstate and onto a more rural route.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Some slogging along the Interstate...I pulled off for a break and found these lovely wildflowers alongside the road.  Beautiful!  This was in Illinois.

There was a well kept cemetery across the street.
And cornfields everywhere!!!
I've totally lost track of the days, where I was and where I stayed.  Poor or no internet connection and being tired made keeping up the journal difficult.  The weather was hot and sticky and I slogged away until I reached Cameron, MO where I stayed at a very nice and clean GuestHouse Acorn Inn.  By now, I was on US Highway 36 proper - no more interstate.  For this portion, US 36 was four lanes and more like a limited access highway.  Speed limit was 65 and traffic was sparse.  I liked this better than the Interstate but was hoping it would go down to two lanes and a more rural pace.

In Cameron, I had a quick bite to eat at the restaurant next door.  Then back to the room and try to update the blog.  The internet went down and I went to bed, hahahaha!

Before I forget, here are a few tidbits -----

I managed to wear out my glove :-(  I loved these gloves and hope I can find a replacement.  Oh well, I'm still wearing them (yes, I have others on the bike).
 Here is some of the stickers I got at the Rally.  Oh, hahaha, not the handiwipe!
 Yes, I'm #1.  At the Rally, first time attendees received this pin and some "stuff".  I saw quite a few people sporting the #1 pin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I left Cameron at a reasonable hour because all weather reports promised an extremely hot day.  As a matter of fact, there were extreme temperature alerts!  Yikes!  US Highway 36 is the Pony Express Route.  I had a good laugh in my helmet when I realized I was probably on part of the Iron Butt Rally from 2013.

US 36 did turn to a two laner and for a while I enjoyed rolling hills, occasional forests, small creeks and rivers, small hamlets and pretty much no traffic.  I had filled my hydration jug with ice and I was glad I had.  The temperatures were rising and I had to make a number of stops to cool down, wet down my LD Comfort top, drink lots of water and rest.

I stopped in Seneca, KS and took this picture.  No, I didn't go to the museum.
 My beastie bike cooling off in the shade.
 I made another stop in Belleville, KS where I cooled down at a park that had this delightful surprise, a covered bridge :-)

  And across the street, a great Pony Express Mural.

 I took a bit of time in Belleville because I was steaming hot.  Put a fork in me, I was well done!  But I had more miles to go before I was ready to quit for the day.  What I didn't know was not to much further down US 36 there was no lodging.  Or what lodging was available was pretty much filled up with transient workers.  Hmmmmm......Oh, and the facilities like gas and food were further and further apart.  What started out with rolling hills and prettiness turned to flat, hot and a LOT of CORN!

And, it was like a blast furnace.  I was drinking water like crazy.  I was getting nervous about finding a place to stop for the night and I had no idea when I might find gas.  Finally, I came upon a tiny place with 3 pumps out front, Unleaded, Premium Unleaded and Diesel.  The pumps were so old school, there was no credit card slot.  Instead you picked up the pump and twisted the handle on the side.  An old man was outside to take my money. $10.00 even almost filled up the bike.  The old guy there was probably older than the pumps.  The other, "Good Old Boys" hanging at the gas station/tractor repair place just stared at me with their mouths agape.  What?  You never seen a woman on a motorcycle.  The funny here was another dude on a Harley pulled in right behind me at the gas pumps and the old man assumed we were together.  I should have said if he was buying my gas then yeah, we're together.  I wasn't quick enough and too tired so I just said NO and pumped my gas.  Jeez.....

So, I got an almost full tank of gas that gave me some relief as I knew I could make it to I-70 easily.  I had no idea how long I was to ride on US 36 with nothing but the rare ranch.  I had to pull off to the side of the highway to let the farm machinery go by.
 It was a LONG parade of harvesters and other tractors.  They waved, I waved.

 Okay that was exciting (not).  And, look at the sky and what I was riding toward.  Oh man, I really didn't want to deal with a thunder storm.  By now I was tired, hot and ready to stop.  I had ridden much further than I intended only because I couldn't find any lodging.  I stopped at the I-70 / US 36 interchange at a skanky Budget Host motel but it was full.  The guy in the office told me I'd probably have to ride all the way to Denver to get a motel.

Okay, fine.

I got on I-70 just as the lightening began.  I was pelted with some rain, but nothing major.  It was delicious in that the temperature dropped significantly but scary because of the lightening.  And, I was TIRED.  It was time for me to stop.

I took the Aurora exit off I-70 toward a huge group of hotels.  After Garmin routed me up and then then around and around, I finally found the hotels.  Not a single room available.  All booked up.  So, I rode through town via Garmin instructions to find road construction and roads closed the way Garmin wanted me to go.

Finally, I got back on the Interstate, tried three or four hotels at various exits all to no avail.  WTF Denver?  It's a Wednesday night and no rooms?  By now I was cranky, hot, tired, and hungry.  Screw you Denver, I flew past and on to Idaho Springs.  No rooms there either.  Cripes.

I stopped at a gas station/convenience store and filled up the bike and took a bit of a rest.  I finally called the Georgetown Mountain Inn which I knew was up the road a few miles.  Yippee!  They had a room and yes, he would save it for me.  Oh boy, oh boy.

Of course, at that point it was almost dark and the rain and hail started.  I didn't care.  I mounted up and pointed West.  Only ten miles up the road but it seemed like a hundred.  I was worried about critters and traffic.  Although the much cooler temperatures in the 50's felt like heaven after the 100+ I'd been in all day.

Praying I would make it in once piece, I found my exit and made a beeline to the motel.  Yes!  I got checked in and Dan, the owner very kindly gave me a ground floor room.  Bliss!!!!!  Since it was so late I didn't get any food and hadn't eaten since my frosted flakes earlier that morning.  I didn't care, I was so glad to have finally found shelter.

So, I think I rode about 700 miles today.  Way more than the planned 350 or so.  No worries, I'm that much closer to Granby, CO where I'll be participating in the ADV Woman Rally.  More on that later :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Sweetheart, Eric.  Sorry I'm not there to celebrate with you but I promise to make it up to you!

Last night I slept soundly.  Man I was tired.  I don't have much of an Iron Butt anymore and I need highway pegs and a custom saddle to make those long days tolerable.

Last night, while in Idaho Springs, two riders passed me and we waved.  Well guess who pulled into the same motel last night?  Yup, those two.  Like I said, no rooms in Idaho Springs.  Dan, at the Georgetown Mountain Inn was filling up with those who couldn't find lodging elsewhere.  I've actually stayed here a few years ago for Justin Phillipson's first How the West Was Won Rally.  It's quite nice!

Here are the two fellas I ran into getting ready to leave.  One from San Diego and the other from Seattle.  We had a nice visit.
 Beastie Bike in front of my room.
 Some of the spectacular views from the motel.


 And, Dan, my host.  He was so kind and his motel is just peachy.  Comfortable, clean and easy!
Since I was so close to Granby, I didn't leave Georgetown until 11 am.  Then I leisurely made my way up Highway 40 to Granby.  It was delicious to ride in the mountains.  The temperatures were in the mid-70's and it felt GREAT!!!!!

Mandatory stop at the summit!



 Hahaha, I was having fun on that mountain pass!  Twisties and cool weather with hardly any traffic.  Yippee Skippy!!
 Who knew?  I was on the Continental Divide Trail.
 Big fluffy clouds floating across the beautiful blue sky.

 Dang, I may hate Denver but I love Colorado.  Liquor stores about every 1/4 mile or so :-)
 My attempt at some artsy fartsy photos.  Would have been okay if I hadn't gotten the power line in the picture!

 So, after an hour or so of riding I rolled into Granby.  A little berg high up in the Rockies.
 My home for the next three nights, the Trail Rider's Motel.  Super clean, tidy, well maintained.  I'm going to enjoy this place.
 Ohhhhh, look at that sky now!

 The forecast called for late afternoon thundershowers.  I bet that is going to happen.  So far, it's only sprinkled but looks like it is building up to a big show later.

Okay, that brings us current on where I've been and what I've done.  Been riding across the plains in super hot, record breaking heat under skies the color of a robin's egg until late afternoons when the thunder storms came crashing in.  US Highway 36 was good and bad.  When it was good, it was very, very good but when it was bad, it was horrid, lol.  This has been a lesson to me to be a better planner.  Usually, I have some kind of plan.  Not so much on this trip.  My only hiccup so far was yesterday and the ride from hell and no rooms around Denver.  At least no rooms that I was willing to pay the price.

Now, I'm parked (well my stuff is parked).  I'll be riding the bike to the Rodeo Arena where the ADV Woman clinics and rally will be held.  Hopefully, I'll learn some basic off road skills and improve my riding ability on the Beastie Bike.  Fingers crossed I don't break anything on me or the bike!

So far, this adventure has been exhilarating, insightful, easy, hard, fun, exhausting.  I miss my honey but I've challenged myself with this excursion.  Ha, tent camping for three nights?  Hahahahah, yes did that!  Riding across the country and back, yup doing that too.  Meeting interesting people?  Sometimes.  Having a lifetime memory and adventure?  Absolutely.

Thanks for following along.  I'll keep you posted on the ADV Woman's Rally and then I'll head for home.

Cheers,
Cletha




11 comments:

  1. Awesome post as always! Thanks for taking me along ;)

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    1. My pleasure, Chuck. Thanks for following!

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  2. You da best! Love reading about your adventures!!! Happy Birthday to Eric.
    Minna

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    1. Awww, thanks Minna. I think you're pretty special to! I'll tell Eric.

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  3. I feel for you in that awful heat! Here's hoping the rest of your trip is cool and comfy...in other words...don't come back to Utah for a while! It's been a blast furnace around here and there's no let-up in sight! Wish I could hang with you there in Granby! Take good care!

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  4. I know what you mean about riding in the heat. After we met at Team Lyle I visited my brother in Phoenix before returning home. I got caught at a Border Patrol checkpoint outside of Indio, CA. 45 minutes later in 95 degree heat I made it through the checkpoint. Glad to see the blog update I was starting to get worried. Happy B-day to Eric!!

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  5. Awesome trip, despite the heat, lack of rooms and storms. Granby sounds like heaven right about now, since this heat wave is everywhere else!

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    1. Indeed! I even relish the afternoon thunderstorms now that I have a place to retreat!

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  6. Sounds like a really fun trip. It's so nice to travel when you have the time. You can learn a lot from other people and get a bigger perspective on life. You also get to see so much stuff and places that would not normally. A BMW motorcycle is also a good choice.

    Heidi Sutton @ Ag Source Magazine

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