Riding around Mother Nature
The sorry ride report of Lonestar going Coast to Coast on a friends ’06 950A. I met Mike (6USMC6) here on ADV. Mike lives in VA/WV, and was complaining that he had seen several nice bikes in Socal, but it was too expensive to have them shipped to him. I opened my big mouth and said “I’ll ride it to you if you fly me home”. Thus begins the adventure.
It takes several weeks but Mike finally finds this sweet ride.
I ask SPAFIXER to look over the bike with me. She seems very nice and has a bunch of goodies to go with her. Deal done, hand over the check and now the Black Beauty (BB) sits in my garage. Mike and I agree to a date for my arrival that fits with our plans. Mike was gracious enough to let me detour into South Texas to visit my brother on the way.
The bike came with Kenda Big Blocks. Mike and I agree that the Kendas aren’t going to survive 3,000 miles of asphalt. So I talk Mike into MEFO SE’s. Sorry Mike, I’ll explain and provide pictures later. I get an excellent offer from Javier at Trail Tricks on the MEFOs.
Off for home I go. 100 miles of twisties, did I forget to mention that this is my first KTM ride? New tires with chicken strips, and no ABS. The first couple of corners scared the living sh*t out of me. Slid the rear, finally got used to the brakes on BB.
Now it is time to start the planning for what to bring…..PACK LIGHT, PACK LIGHT. Yeah that ain’t happening. This is most of the crap that I brought with me. Missing from this picture are the camp chair and some other hardware that I did not want photographed. I brought all of my BMR/XR tools as can be seen from the Red Tool tube pouches made by an inmate here. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=487221
I did not pack any spoons with me. This is a huge mistake that will become evident later.
I finally get the bike packed for the trip.
I take BB for a 50 mile local ride, getting used to the weight and verifying that everything will ride securely. What is not evident is a plate that I added to the existing tail rack. I wanted a larger aluminum plate to rest the Pelican case on.
Two days before the ride, I make the decision to leave a day earlier than planned. It seems that rain (pour) was going to be with me the entire way, so in order to make Austin by the weekend I have to leave on Monday. Only one problem…….I am supposed to work that day, so I get into work early bust butt and finish my 1PM, I get home and finish packing. I am off by 230. Now I have to fly to get east of Phoenix. I had planned on couch surfing with an inmate but I cancelled at the last minute. I knew I was getting into Mesa very late and I didn’t want to bother him/her.
I cruise I-10. The moon coming up as I was heading east out of Kali. Met a rider from Lompoc. He was heading to DC to hook up with his brother and visit the Wall. Little did I know that more freeway slab was going to be in my future. I get into Mesa about 10pm. I have some canned food and munchies that I brought with me, then off to slumber land.
Tuesday Morning. I wake up refreshed looking forward to my ride. I get to the bike and I see that two of the nuts that were holding my temporary plate are gone. Off to the Depot for some more nuts and Lock-Tite. Yes, I know I should have done this before I left. I forgot. While I am in the Depot parking lot several locals approach me talking to me about the ride, where I am going how long. They were all extremely friendly. One couple even offered if I couldn’t get the bike fixed to call them and they would come help me. Very nice. I am now on Rt. 60 heading out towards Show Low. During the night, the temperatures dropped. The high temperature for most of the day was 60. By noon I was wishing the BB had heated grips. At noon I stopped to have lunch. Steak house! While I was seated I was talking to a lovely couple that was camping in the area. I was taking my time trying to warm up. During my lunch I got a case of the shakes. I didn’t realize how cold I had gotten during the ride. I continued east on Rt. 60 heading towards Socorro. Shortly after lunch I rolled through Springerville/Eager.
It is currently under threat from wild fires. Continuing on Rt. 60 I found the town that I need to visit……….PIE TOWN.
After Pie Town, I found a long section of straight road, of course I had to stop. The view to the east is the VLA Radio astronomy site, about 25 miles west of Magdalena, NM.
I continued on to Socorro, Just outside of Socorro as I came down the hill, it finally got warm, then it got hot. Wow, 20 miles 30 degrees of temperature differential. I was hooking up with SirWrecksalot.
Adam dialed me in with some nice accommodations. We had a nice dinner and talked about riding. The next morning I was on my way to Texas.
Left Socorro headed for Roswell on US 380. Still warm, and continued windy. Been riding with wind for the last two days. During the day I past a Harley rider several times. Didn’t say much until we got to Texas. He was kind enough to take my picture at the welcome to Home sign.
At Brownfield we turned south towards Big Spring TX. Shortly after our turn south we stopped at K-Bobs. We had a nice visit over lunch and decided to camp that night. We agreed that we would get to Big Spring and decide what to do from there. Since Brownfield we had been fighting a 30 mph cross wind. The fields were dry enough that the sky had turned red from the dirt in the air. As we drove towards Big Spring we were getting beaten up real bad. We decided to stop in Big Springs. They had a nice campground on the north end of town that was tent friendly and at $15 a night for two tents we couldn’t say no.
I thought for certain that the winds would die down late at night. They didn’t, at 6 am it was still blowing 15+ mph. We decided to hit the road. We drove to Llano we I had some GREAT Brisket at Cooper’s.
Worthy of doing again. From Llano, we made time towards Plano via Marble Falls. It seems that we were both visiting family there. 30 minutes out of Plano we ran into rain. The MEFOs were rock solid in the rain on slick TX roads.
Back in Texas.
Thursday night through Sunday afternoon I spent visiting with family.
Brothers son playing catcher. The first picture I took his mother jumped and said she saw a bolt of lightening. She was mad when she figured out it was my flash,
I check the weather all weekend. I decide to leave on Sunday vs. leaving on Monday. The thunderstorms were projected to be bad for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I decide to get a couple of hundred miles down before the storms kick in. My bro rides with me for a couple of hours.
Pic of mark and me
Pic of Mark and and his lovely wife, Pat
I spend the night at Minden in a flea bag motel. I spend all night keeping one eye open hoping the bike doesn’t get ripped off, and the other eye open on the news predicting where the next tornado is going to hit. Earlier in the afternoon Joplin MI got hit. My heart goes out to them. I am at this far north because I didn’t want to traverse Mississippi and Alabama because they were recovering from Tornados.
The motel is such a flea bag that I sleep in my camping gear and don’t shower in the morning. I quickly get up, pack the bike. Yeah it is still there. And get on my way, heading up US 79. I stop an hour into my ride to get some caffeine and some food.
The wind is still howling.
The clouds to the west of me are all black. OMG, it is 8 am and the storms are already starting. I get almost to Marianna when I decide that the black clouds are getting much too close. I turn north to get onto I-40. I stop at the truck stop where the weather system is report a Tornado on the ground 10 miles to the west. The weather man says that to get clear of the Tornado risk you have to be in Nashville. Off I go, a full tank of gas, a bunch of water and some power bars. As I am getting ready to leave the lady behind the counter says “hun, if I was you I would get on your motorsicle and head east fast. I don’t need to be told twice. I hit the freeway and plan for hitting Nashville.
As I head towards Nashville, I run across an inmate from Oregon. He is moving to VA. He is riding a BMR 650. We ride together for several hours. By the end of the day 550+ miles, I am standing on the pegs because my a$$ is done.
I crash again eating some more canned goodies and having some Bourbon and relaxing watching the weather channel. Surprise they are calling for Thunderstorms all night with a chance of Tornados. I decide to put my gear right next to the tub just in case. I spend another night lightly dozing listening to the TV.
During the evening I talk to Mike, he asks if I can get in early? He has a dinner set up with the SMIBs. For those non-SMIBs, a SMIB is a Southern Maryland In-bred. It is said with affection between SMIBs.
I look at the maps, hell yeah I can get in early. I set my plans for making it to southern VA on Tuesday. More I-40 time. I am headed for Knoxville.
On the way towards Knoxville I keep seeing huge interstate signs for a liquor store. To those of us in non-ABC states this means it must be HUGE. It was good sized and well layed out. Of course I had to acquire some Jefferson reserve.
I hop off of I-40 for some back road time. I am too close to town and the route is super slow. I hop onto I-81 and start heading north. I get into VA and I stop to take a picture of the welcome sign.
As I walk back to the bike I am greeted by this……WTF?
Link to MEFO issue thread.... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=691992
Now would have been a great time to have brought a set of spoons, but noooooooooo. That would have been smart. Now I have to call Mike. Help! I need a motel close by and a shop close by also. Mike dials me in at the next exit. I end up at the HoJo’s motel it is old but clean. I sleep very well for the first time in three nights.
During Mikes look for a place to change the tire, he called the local HD shop and they told him to F off. Mike finally dials me in with the local KTM shop. They were prepping for a race weekend and they still took me in and changed the tire.
Champion KTM in Abingdon
Wednesday I get done with the tire change I start heading up Lee highway towards Mikes house. I have three hundred miles to go. I am taking it easy and I run across destruction from a Tornado in VA.
Here are a couple of pictures.
My a$$ is sore,
Actually no monkey butt. I used the powder and a dead sheep from Barb in conjunction with my home made 3" lift.
so I hop the slab and make time to Mike’s. I get there to Mike's in time for dinner. The next day Mike offers to take me to SMIBvilkle to visit my old stomping grounds, we hit the center of it .
Picture of Pax,
Next we head over to Solomons Island. Tiki bar time, Mai Tais are such wonderful things…..
Picture of Mike and his lovely daughter Mary. Next we head off for a lovely dinner of Sushi.
Here is part of the SMIB crew. Having bait at a local establishment.
The crew from left to right. Mary, Lonestar2112, 6USMC6 Mike, Joints4sale, Blaster11, Dorito, Badguy, EOD3MC, ScottP. Why is it that the clown is always last? Had a great dinner. It was nice to Meet the lovely clown's bride, not pictured.
On Friday Mike dropped me off at the airport for my flight home. A good friend of mine upgraded me to first all the way home.