Day 1: 700 miles
All packed up and ready to head out in the morning after a good breakfast. Let's do this.
The plan is to stay off the freeways initially to get familiar with the bike then take I10 out to where I'm staying. The rest of the trip is going to be 2 lane roads to wander home. I start down Soledad Canyon Road and stay parallel to Highway 14 for a while. It's a fairly quiet drive when I get passed by a Concours 14. He gives a big wave and carves on down the road. I pull over to swap to my dark visor. It was dark and foggy when I started but the sun is coming out while I head toward it.
I turned down Pearblossom Highway and head toward I15. It was foggy and chilly when I dropped into the canyon. I turned the grips on low and enjoyed the scenery.
I stopped and bought some of the most expensive gas of the trip. There's video running at the pumps talking about how cheap the gas is right before the elections. I like that they have a propane fill option here too. I get on the freeway for the rest of the day.
First full tank of the trip. I got 56mpg on this tank. This is going to be a great commuter bike. I go inside to pay and grab some more water. There's a guy sitting in a chair looking like he wanted to ask something but I had gone in the far door. I came back out the near door to see if he really had something to say. "Having a good day?", he asks. I replied that it's a good day. "Do you have a smoke I could bum?". I replied "Sorry, I don't smoke" and he went back to staring off into the distance.
I realized that I didn't really need to take such southern route even in late October. I was wishing that I brought my perforated leather jacket instead of the solid textile jacket. I unzipped it to let some air through. Traffic was moving 85Mph+ for most of the day and my fuel economy dropped to mid-40's (still loving it gets that good running that fast). I passed a V-Strom 1000 while going through the Phoenix metro. He sees me heading by loaded up and gives a big thumbs up and smile.
Last stop for the day. I'm running out of daylight but call my wife to talk for a bit anyway.
It's almost dark by the time I get off I10 and I still have the dark visor on my helmet. I just flipped up the visor and ducked behind the windshield since it's low speed from here. I contacted a couple guys on Advrider.com on the tent space thread. Xskydiver said I could stay in his toy hauler (camper with a cargo area for bikes, 4wheelers, etc.) if I didn't want to setup the tent. He texted directions and said he'd be home in a few minutes. They offered me fish tacos and we talked and watched TV until I was ready to call it a night. Xskydiver and his family are very friendly people. Thanks for having me.
It was a clear night and I could see so many stars looking out the window by my head. I woke up around 2:00am and the furnace was running but blowing cold air. It was 45 degrees in the camper according to my camp thermometer. I messed with it for a couple minutes and turned it down until it turned off. I was planning on sleeping in a tent so this isn't a big deal. Crawl under the covers and go back to sleep.