Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 6 - Gillette / Rally Day 1

Today would be the first day of the Rally, but first we had to get there. And that meant covering the final 248 miles from Cheyenne. There was pretty much one choice, north on I-25 then Hwy 59 into Gillette.

We were up at 5am and on the road by 5:45. It's always great to be on the road at this time because you get to see the sun rise. This morning the sun hid behind the clouds but it still looked nice when combined with the rolling plains of Wyoming. With a speed limit of 75 mph we made excellent time up to Douglas. At first the temperature was comfortable but as we continued up I-25 it seemed to drop. Douglas was a great spot to warm up a little.

Then it was back out and heading up Hwy 59, we were less than 2 hours from our destination. With a speed limit of 65 mph and no traffic I decided to kick up the speed a little. That was until we started seeing deer all over the place. First Reagan spotted 2 on the side of the road while I was worried about the dead one in front of me. Then we saw one walking in the ditch along the road and then 2 more trying to cross the road coming up out of the ditch. I decided we'd keep it at 65 and below. If it took us a little longer that would be better than not getting there at all. We saw so many pronghorns and deer after that that we lost count but at least the rest were on the other side of fences and not such a concern.

We rolled into town just before 10am and found the Cam-plex facility. We had arrived! Reagan and I had travelled 1,933 miles in 6 days. It is the longest trip she has taken on a motorcycle and the farthest I've travelled with a passenger. And the best part is that after our 3 days of Rally going we get to travel another 1,400 miles home but we're going to do that in just 3 days.

Rally Day 1:
Being our first rally we weren't exactly sure to what to expect. So we found registration thanks to the help of volunteers and then started walking around. The outside vendor area was small and didn't take long to go through and I was sort of disappointed thinking this was all we had in the way of vendors. But a little later we found the indoor vendor area and had plenty to look at. After a 2up seminar I won a door prize, purchased a few things and generally looked around. Then it was back into seminars before calling it quits today.

Many attendees are camping, and that might certainly be a great experience. But for our first rally and with all the other things we had to figure out with being on the road together for 12 days I think the hotel we are staying at is a fantastic set of accomodations even if they are price gouging this weekend.

The sun is setting, ice is melting in my glass of whiskey and we are at the rally. It can't get much better than this. Except, Reagan has already starting talking about future trips. Now if I can just get her to go with me to Alaska.... :)

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