At another point during this stretch (I think it was actually before all of that above this…timeframe is blurry), I finally hit rain. And I hit it at the worst time too. I arrived in a sleepy town of a decent size at the 8pm mark. I figured I would definitely be able to get a room since I didn’t feel like camping. Well, there was a boat show in town so everything was filled right up. I decided to push onto the next sizeable town which was like 4 hours away. Poor planning screwed me over again. As it got dark it started to piss rain. The road was a twisty out of the way highway which had been brilliant fun during the day, but at night it was something else entirely. Another part of the poor planning which was hurting me was how tired I was getting. I was exhausted.
So, it was pitch black, it was pissing rain, and I was so tired I had to make a mental effort to stay sharp especially as it got closer to midnight. The thing that really made it tough was I had forgot to pack my Rain-X and couldn’t see a thing through my visor. So, here I am barreling down an unknown and windy road, blind and exhausted. It was a bit nerve-racking, but kinda awesome at the same time. Then out of nowhere a group of local Harley riders came blasting out of nowhere and I let them pass me. That was strangely inspirational. I found a new resolve to haul ass and used their pace and direction to gauge my own pace and direction. I followed them until they turned off 20 or so miles before my stop for the night. I was very thankful for their catching up to me. I could offer them a bunch of praise here, but suffice it to say cruiser riders in general earned a ton of respect in my eyes after that night. They may not pursue the “art of riding” the way sport riders do, but they do plow through endless miles and there is a lot to be said for that. Hats off to the cruiser riders.
Day 5: Vegas or bust.
Lava Hot Springs in Idaho to Las Vegas Nevada in a day. It doesn’t sound so bad. But it wasn’t the plan initially. I really wanted to see the Grand Canyon and one of the things I was really looking forward to in planning this trip was to camp in the Grand Canyon and wake up to a sunrise there. But as I got closer, I was feeling the pressure of time. I had wasted a chunk of the day aimlessly riding around. Now, I had planned on riding the fun roads up to the Canyon and had been looking forward to it. But seeing where I was, where I wanted to be, and how long it would take to get there, I wouldn’t make it until it was the dead of night. And riding through that area under complete darkness was not overly appealing. And even if I did go for it, I would be exhausted and then have to find a place to camp, and set up camp all in the middle of the night. Poor planning? Yup. That’s a big lesson I learned on this trip more than once. Adventure and some amount of planning are not mutually exclusive. Randomness is fun, but complete randomness will mean you don’t get to do some of the things you want and you will find yourself in the situation I did on this day. There was a grueling ride coming up to make Vegas.
But before I get into the ride to Vegas, I did want to talk about the chunk of the day I had wasted. I was coming down an interesting highway and having a good time when I eventually got bored of it.