03-03-2010, 08:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
So I'm off and running, so to speak, but I feel I'm way behind where I need to be by this time and I'm not even out of town yet.
Of course no matter how late I'm running it's a sort of tradition to stop at the top of the Divide and get a picture, c'mon it only takes a minute.
The first half of the day is just bebopping along through places I've ridden and driven a hundred times. It's not really all that interesting to me but then many people haven't been out here and seen any of it yet, so I took a few pictures.
It was hot coming through here, I tend to forget that as you get into Tucson and then further North to Phoenix you get warmer; what sort of screwy state is this? It's sort of topsy turvy!
Things were going well, I went through my mental checklist after a couple hundred miles on the road; not too tired, check! Bike running well, check! Butt not hurting (too) bad, check! How can it get any better than this?
Stupid self shouldn't get too uppity on the first half of the first day of such a journey. As I came through Flagstaff I noticed the skies getting darker. As the road turned the storm went into and out of my route, would my luck hold out?
About 20 miles past Flagstaff it started to sprinkle and the wind began to pick up, oh and I was running out of gas. I needed to stop for gas but the wind was getting so strong that I was afraid I would fall over if I stopped. Finally I had no choice and stopped.
As soon as I got back on the road I realized the storm was getting worse. The wind was coming straight at my left side and I had to lean into the wind, every time a car came by the other direction it would interrupt the wind flow and I would veer into oncoming traffic until I could regain control. The rain started coming down and I decided to pull over and put my rain cover on over my jacket. As I slowed and started to turn onto a side street I realized that the wind had blown my huge tankbag over against my right arm, when I tried to turn the bars they locked up against the bag. The next thing I know I'm rolling along the street and the bike is taking a nap. I pick myself up and take stock of my condition; other than my pride nothing seems to be hurt, now how am I going to pick this big beast up?
I start unloading all the gear that had taken me half the morning to pack. Traffic continued by as if nothing was going on (move along, nothing to see here!) and I was still wondering how on earth I was going to pick the bike up. Just as I got the last bit of externally packed gear over into a pile a good Samaritan pulled a U-turn and stopped to help me pick up the bike. Thank you sir! Even if I have now forgotten your name you deeds will live on. Looking over the bike I found I was the victim mostly of scratches and scrapes. As my adrenaline tapered off I considered whether this journey was really the best idea I'd ever come up with; after all this was the first day while I was still fresh and I was on a fairly nice paved road!
Of course I got the bike packed back up, put on my rain cover and headed back out. I rode in that same scary wind for another hour before the weather began to break. After the weather cleared up I got to ride for about 20 minutes with nice clear skies until it got cloudy again.
I could see the storms ahead of me but kept hoping that the road would take me away from them. Alas it was not to be and although the wind never picked up the rain was harder than ever.
As I turned onto Hwy 89A the skies began to clear. This is just a beautiful part of the country! I only wish that the sky would've been a little clearer to make better pictures.
The sun finally began to come out and the road began to dry. Wonderful time for it to happen as I really hate setting up camp and cooking in the rain, although at this time I don't really know that yet.
I rolled into Jacob Lake USFS campground with plenty of daylight to spare and prepared to luxuriate in the new bath houses I'd been told had just been installed. Well evidently in this part of the world a pit toilet is considered a bath house. No shower tonight.
I set up camp and had some dinner (stovetop with some canned chicken breast). I learned that I really need to put a little extra water in with the stuffing as it was soaked up immediately and the stuffing had the consistency of hard little chunks of iron. At least it was warm. I walked over to the gas station because I felt I could really use a beer at this point only to find that they only sold gas, can you imagine?
I came back to camp and set about assessing the damage to the motorcycle from my previous tumble; would I need to have Chapa order me up some parts?
At first glance the damage didn't look bad at all!
As I looked a little further I found that the upper fairing had been scraped up pretty well...
My saddlebag got scraped up, but probably saved a good bit of damage to other parts of the bike.
My highway peg took a good bit of the weight of the bike from the fall. This peg should stick out at a 90 degree angle from it's mounting point, I'd give it a good 45 degrees right now. Oddly enough I found that this new position was MUCH more comfortable for me. I began thinking about falling on the other side to bend that peg to a similar angle.
As the sun went down I realized that my solar flashlight didn't work so I went to bed. At least as the trip would wear on I knew that nighttime would be less of a factor.