Thursday, July 22, 2010

BMW Rally 2010 - Day 14

Greetings from Fredericksburg, TX.  Ooops, I'm supposed to start the blog in chronological order and end it with where we are. OK, let's see if I can try this again....

Last night I didn't get a very good night's sleep. I went to bed too early and then woke up around 11pm due to pesky text alerts from one of my clients. Trying to get back to sleep was a hopeless battle and I couldn't get the smell of curry out of my head since our pillows must have been filled with the stuff.

Finally the alarm went off, just as I had actually gotten to sleep. After a slight struggle I got out bed and began the morning routine. While getting everything ready I went over to the breakfast room to get some hot tea. Nope, nothing. My choices were coffee, sweet rolls and cereal. But what do you expect for a $37 room (with tax).  So we rode over to Kix on 66 and had a good breakfast.

By 7:10 we were on the bikes and heading for the gas station. Then it was east on I-40 for a few miles before taking Hwy 469 south out of San Jon. As we turned south we had a strong head wind so I knew we'd probably be stopping sooner than later for gas. But what the hey, we were only going to Abilene and our ETA was almost 2 hours before check-in.

In Grady, NM. we headed east on a 209 which then turned south. We were running parallel to the state line. In Clovis we finally picked up Hwy 60E toward Texas. As we crossed the state line we took our usual state welcome sign photo (which is actually just east of the city Parmer, Tx). Then we continued on our way, happy in the fact that we had returned to our normal timezone and our home state. Once in Texas we were heading southeast on US 70.

We stopped in Shallowater for gas. I had a slight problem with the automatic shutoff valve on the pump, so it's hard to say how much went in the tank versus what went all of the ground. Let's just say there was enough gas spilled all over the bike that I decided to push it away from the pump and let it set for 10 minutes before starting it up. I could just see the bike going up in flames, sure it's covered under insurance and of course then I wouldn't have to worry about the leaking transmission seal. But dang, I'd have to start over on my farkles and I might have been injured. I don't look good with singed eye brows.

During this stop Reagan asked me what there was to do in Abilene. Nothing I suppose. Then she sprung the idea of riding on to Fredericksburg instead. It was just an extra 200 miles. I think I've created a monster while helping her with her Iron Butt ride. So I checked the reservation in Abilene, checked availability in Fredericksburg. Then suggested we see how things were going when we got closer to Abilene since it was on the way. So we continued on Hwy 70, taking the 289 loop around Lubbock to Hwy 84 south.

When we got to I-20, we headed east for a short distance before stopping at a truck stop to fuel up. Reagan was feeling good as was I, so she cancelled the Abilene reservation and set up the Fredericksburg room. Meanwhile I was fiddling with my helmet audio as I had developed a short in the right speaker path. I thought I had the problem fixed so we headed back out onto I-40E. A few miles later we were heading south on Hwy 70 in order to cut over to Hwy 83 south of Abilene. This was going to save us about 15 minutes as apposed to going over to Abilene and then turning south.

In Eden we stopped for gas and to give me another chance to fiddle with my audio problem. By now it had progressed to the point that my microphone also failed to work. I realized this was something I wasn't going to fix while on the road. At least not since my soldering iron got broken last summer when it was shipped home from Alaska. So with full tanks of gas and only 100 miles to go, we headed east on Hwy 87 toward Fredericksburg,  Traffic seemed to be slowing us some but we were still running at least a few miles per hour above the posted speed limit most of the time.

We rolled into the Best Western in Fredericksburg at 5:30, just like we'd planned earlier in the day. It was a good ride and we both felt good although a litthe warm. We'd managed to enjoy temps in the 70s until Texas, and we even stayed in the 80's until we got south of I-20. Then temps creaped up in to the 90's.

All in all we travelled 511 miles in 9.5 hours. It was a great day's ride and we ended in a fun town with a great dinner at Auslander's. Tomorrow we are heading home but I plan to ride out to the Willow City Loop, then swing by Lukenback before taking Reagan south through Kerrville over to Medina for Apple pie. Then it's a straight ride home and a great wrap up to a fantastic vacation.

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