I was up in the morning. I packed up leisurely. Enid fed me up well. There was nothing left to do but give my two great hosts a hug, and hit the road which I did about 9:30.
I traveled west, back up the La Sal creek road, past the Cashin Copper mine road. Speaking again about the Cashin Copper MineMine
, check it out.
I had one other Indian destination that I'd like to check out on the way home. About 25 miles south of Tuba City there's another Indian Village on top of a 500 ft high mesa called Tewa or something like that. It's not on my AAA Indian Country map.
It seems like the Indians of the area (Navajo Nation) have been betrayed by the white man in the mental perception department. The tendency is for gringos to view the Indians and their culture, over the years and then, denigrate their ways.
It's resulted in the Indians keeping to themselves even more, and when they do allow people to view there ways it's in a controlled guided tour and quite often there are no pictures allowed.
It's that way at Tewa. I went on a tour at First Mesa which is 15 miles away and a similar village. The guide pointed out Tewa, which could harly be seen cross the lower mesa between, as we walked on her tour. So I wanted to see it. I'd like to do that on the ride home.
The trouble was that the weather report spoke of a hot front moving in. In fact it spoke of 115 degrees at The Colorado River at Needles Ca. I didn't know how that would translate to temps at Tuba City a few hundred miles from Paradox.
So I figured to make the decision about Tewa when I got to Tuba City. Well, at TC, it was a hundred degrees with the sun blazing down. I decided to save Tewa for another trip and make a Beeline to the higher elevation of Flagstaff.
In TC I broke out my cool vest. Those things are fantastic at making a hot day tolerable. Still I preferred not to linger in hot country.
It's 4000 ft at Tuba City and 7000 at Flag. The climb put a little extra stain on my Sabre. On the steeper climbs going toward Flag, I noticed a different exhaust note and a slight loss of power.
At first I wondered if I was imagining things, but further incidences confirmed that I was losing a cylinder on the longer climbs....Hummmm.... Slowing 20mph would bring the cyl back though.
I concluded that I had a fuel flow problem (probably fuel filter),and decided to go with it as I could usually maintain 60mph. From Flagstaff it would be all downhill to sea level at home with only a few climbs.
I breathed a sigh of relief at Flagstaff. I even found the right turn to get to I-40 without going through Flag's downtown. Ok, now downhill to Kingman.
I saw some news At the Micky Ds in Tuba City that said it was indeed 115 degrees at Needles. I didn't want to deal with that today so I decided to hold up in Kingman for the night.
There were more uphills sections in the ride to Kingman than I remembered. I resorted to taking advantage of the draft from trucks to help me up the hills. In retrospect I should have found an auto parts store in Flagstaff, and replaced the fuel filter with something generic.
I didn't want to deal with stripping the bike down in the heat, plus I didn't think I'd have such a struggle keeping my speed up going down to Kingman.
I checked into my favorite Motel at Rt 66 in Kingman, the 1st Value Inn, for $29 with Wifi. I decided to get to sleep early and leave at 2-3 am.
That worked well as the temps were probably only 100 at the river, but my bike suffered with the strain of the 2000 ft, 15 mile long climb going west from needles. In fact keeping my speed near 60 was a problem even using drafting when I could. A couple times when i'd start dropping that Cylinder it got so bad that I'd be on the shoulder as low as 25 mph before the fuel level in the carbs would come back. then I'd nurse it along till I could get in a truck's draft again.
It seemed like a long ride to Barstow. In reality I only lost 15 or 20 minutes, but time goes real slow when your having trouble
I took a break in Barstow and had a coffee with a burger at the junction to I-15 south. Back on the road, I could tell immediately that the 30 Degree angle change of travel to a more southerly direction helped with a little less headwind.
I only had one more episode with the lack of fuel on the last 150 miles home.
I walked in the door at 10am to be greeted with a hug as if I were a returning conqueror .......and to make the moment even better my 4 yr old GGD was there as well. Those 2 smiles made my return a holiday ......
It was good to be home......though I'd left a few things unseen. I hope to get back out there in the near future...........we'll see.