Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 9 - Coming home

Well it had to happen, this evening the bike took a nap in the parking lot. But more about that later. First I have to talk about our day and where we rode.

When the sun rose we got up and started packing. After being off the road for 3 days we had to figure out how everything went back together. Thankfully we shipped a few things home that we wouldn't need along with some things we picked up at the Rally. So by 7:30 local time we had the bike packed up and we were checked out of the hotel. A fuel stop and an adjustment to tire pressures and we were ready to go.

We headed east on I-90 out of Gillette. The route going home is a little more direct to get us home by Tuesday evening. However, I wanted to see Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore since we were up here. I also wanted to go through Sturgis, SD and stop by the Sturgis BMW dealership just to say I've been there. Then we continued on to Rapid City and took I-190 south to Hwy 16 over to Mt. Rushmore. A quick stop there and then we continued over to Crazy Horse. We had lunch on-site since it was about the right time and their salad bar looked really good.

With lunch complete, we headed south on 16 to Custer and then picked up 385 south. This road has some nice sweepers and made the trip fun. This took us all the way down to I-80 in Sidney, where we headed east a bit, then southwest on I-76 and then back on 385 going south. We stopped in Holyoke and Wray looking for a room. There were no rooms to be had so we continued on to Burlington. The plan was to stay at a Super 8 that was in the GPS but when we got there we found a Comfort Inn instead. Since we needed one more night to get our $50 gas card we decided to stay at the Comfort Inn.

So I pulled into the parking lot to make a call to Choice Hotels and book the room. If I book the room online or over the phone I can save 15% with my AMA discount. I can't get that discount by just walking up to the counter. So Reagan and I are sitting on the bike, waiting on hold for the next available sales clerk when I get the bright idea to pull my laptop out of the side case. Of course, I go off the bike on the right (wrong) side and as I'm getting off the bike, it decides to follow me over. The next thing I know it's tipping over toward me with Reagan still onboard. It probably wouldn't have been a problem except that we were close to a curb and flower bed lined with those concrete border stones. Well as luck would have it we both landed on the concrete borders with Reagan taking the harder hit. After I checked to make sure we didn't break anything (on our bodies) I started working to get the bike up. Nope, that wasn't happening with everything loaded. Luckily 2 guys came out and asked if they could help. I tossed my pride aside and took them up on their offer and told them where to grab. The bike popped right back up on it's wheels.

We go ahead and check in without the AMA discount and unload the bike. My butt hurts and Reagan's side is pretty banged up. We'll have to see how she's feeling tomorrow, then we can decide if she's going to Denver for a plane flight or continue on the bike.

Today was a big day for Reagan. It's the furthest she's gone in one day with 583 miles. We stopped a total of 3 times for fuel since we fueled up just as we left this morning. It was also the first time she rode in 100+ degree temps. She learned the benefits of pouring water in the jacket for cooling. Oh and she got to fall off the bike with it standing still. Hopefully a night of rest will make us both feel better.

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