Sunday, July 26, 2009

AK '09 - Day 36

The last day of the trip and I over slept. Last night I had forgot to turn my phone service on instead of just powering up the pda portion of the phone. Actually I had gone the past 4 days without cell service and started liking it. Luckily mother-nature kicked in and I woke up at 5:30 and noticed the time. I scrambled out of bed to get a shower while Reagan rushed to pack. Somehow we managed to get everything packed, loaded and walked down to breakfast at 6:05. She was right, I did like the fluffy bed at the Hampton Inn.

Reagan wanted to take the first shift as rider so I hopped on back and we headed out of town on Hwy 62 south. It was early in the morning and the sun was just starting to rise so John kept the pace slow to watch for deer. And deer we saw, too. We even saw a confused calf that was trying to figure out how to get back to the other side of the fence.

One thing about today, it was hot when we started. The wind was blowing and it was already 77 degrees. So much for the cool, refreshing days I had experienced only days before. So we continued down 62 to Hamilton where we stopped for a restroom break. It was a good chance to stretch my legs too. John and I figured the next stop would be just south of Abilene to fuel up and pick up a lost mug of Fred's.

As we rode into Abilene, John's GPS went on the fritz and we had to do a u-turn. In doing so we go separated so Reagan and I resumed the route as it showed on the Zumo. After we passed the airport on Hwy 36 south we started looking for a gas station 7 miles down the road. There was no gas station to be found so we didn't stop. Unfortuntately we didn't have much gas left and we began to wonder if we'd make it to Cross Plains or not. We pushed on, and luckily we made it with 0.8 gallons of gas left. Jphn and Lydia had caught up to us a few miles south of Abilene.

With a full tank of gas and restroom breaks taken, I took the rider seat for a while. The route was simple, from Abilene we were taking Hwy 36 south to Rosenberg. The road was straight and the scenery boring compared the wonders I'd seen over the past month. Plus with the high temperatures it was just a ride to get done.

We stopped along the way for a restroom break and then finally stopped in Cameron for lunch and fuel at the Shell station on the south side of town. There was a BBQ joint attached to it and they actually served pretty decent 'Q. It's not ride worthy like Snow's in Lexington but it's not bad for a person who has been away from Texas BBQ for a month.

Reagan took the rider's seat after lunch so I sat on the back and listen to the Nascar race. By now it was 104 degrees outside. We had 2 hours of riding left and it was just a matter of toughing it out. The seat was truely a pain in my butt, but we were almost home.

In Bellville, John stopped at the Shell to get some fluids and I took the chance to hit the restroom. I didn't realize I had been drinking so much water. But later Reagan informed me that I had drank almost all of the 3 liter camelback on the back of the bike. Ooops, if I had known I would have bought more water at the Shell.

I took over for the last stretch to the house as Reagan was hot and wanted to share the driving duties with me. She had pretty much driven more than half the day already. So I hopped in the rider seat and we took off on 36. I'm not for sure if we got bad gas in Cameron or if there's a tuning issue with the lower altitude but I noticed a slight sputter after leaving Bellville. I plan to run some premium through it and talk to the dealership to see if there's any computer changes that are necessary.

So we trudged down Hwy 36 until we got to the Spur 10 and took that over to Hwy 59. Then it was north a short ways before exiting for the house and finally pulling into our driveway again. It took 2 bikes, and 36 days but I had traveled over 13,000 miles of the country with very little back tracking on the same roads.

After figuring out how to fit the Spyder in the garage (will have to clean out more to fit the GS in there too) we unpacked and got our showers. It was nice to pick clothes out of my dresser instead of a bag, and it was nice to take a shower in my own bathroom.

We went to dinner at Gringos and found ourselves in the bar as there was space available and we wanted cold beer. Well the beer wasn't cold enough but the bartender was helpful. After we ordered it sort of started getting crowded with people of african ethnicity and self entitlement issues. Reagan and I both came to the same conclusion, neither one of us like Houston any more. It's too darn crowded and we're talking about the suburbs. Jobs are keeping us here for now but that won't be forever.

In the next few days, after the flood of whailing and requests from my clients subside, I plan to write a recap about what stuff I took, what worked, what didn't, what I will do different next time (yes I'm going back to Prudhoe bay) and general numbers about the trip. At some point in the next month or so I'll also post the resolution of the GS transmission failure and it's outcome. Since Reagan and I are already planning a Big Bend trip in October I'm hoping to have it back before then so I can put things back together. Otherwise, I'm going to really have an iron butt after riding that little Savage out there and back.

It's good to be home, even if it's hot and crowded, my bed, my computer and all my junk is here. I'm home!


Fred said...

Wasn't a gas station, it was a store.



ChrisW said...


I followed your trip and greatly enjoyed your account.

I was in California in May and hired a bike for a few days to ride through the redwoods.

Looking forward to your next trip.


Brian said...

Thanks Chris

I'm looking forward to my next trip too.

Vlvtelvs said...

Where's the promised wrap up on the trip? Did you get the BMW back or are you a convert to the Spyder?

Brian said...

Post trip wrap up posted!