Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BMW Rally 2010 - Day 6

We made it to Redmond, Oregon. It only took 17 hours and 1061 miles but we arrived before the sunset. More info after some food.........

Ok, so this morning we woke up at 4am MDT and started getting ready. The plan was to be across the street by 5am, get our receipts and go. And that's exactly what we did and then we were on the road heading west. We were going to be on I-94/I-90 for over 700 miles.

Our first stop was 141 miles later in Billings. Who the heck turned on the freezer! When the ride started I thought I was a little cold but by the time we stopped I was genuinely uncomfortable and Reagan was far worse. So we gassed up and made some wardrobe changes. Reagan needed some time to warm up so I took the opportunity to get a sausage, egg and cheese bagel. Yum!!! Once Reagan got warmed up and layered up she was ready to go so I led us out and back onto the interstate. Total stop time was 28 minutes.

OMG!!! Who turned on the wind machine? When we got on the other side of Billings the wind started blowing like a hurricane or something. The good (and bad) part was that it was pretty much a head wind so it didn't blow us around too much. But it killed gas mileage for that leg so we made the second stop 20 miles sooner than planned and the only gas station was in town and not directly on the Interstate. While trying to drive into town we got caught in construction where they had the street down to one lane. Grrrr.... I'm sitting there watching the clock tick away while we aren't moving. When we do finally get to the gas station, there's a problem at the pumps so we have to go into pay. Finally we get back on the road, in just 22 minutes. Oh, the unplanned town? Livingston, Montanna. Apparently cities named Livingston just aren't my favorite as they usually give me problems.

So we are back on the road, and the wind seems to have died down. Temps are still cool but manageable. During the 3rd stretch things just seemed to work well. We didn't have mother nature fighting us, we didn't have bad construction delays and traffic wasn't even an issue. We were getting really good mileage so we decided to press on to Deer Lodge which was our original planned stop. We went 149 miles on this stretch and Reagan still had a little gas to spare. The stop was quick as I helped with the bikes while she ran in for a bio break. The pumps worked, the receipts printed, everything was great. We were out of there in 10 minutes. Woooohoooo! That is until my receipt book flew out of my tank bag and went flying across the highway. I immediately knew what happened and quickly stopped the bike on the side of the road and turned around. While Reagan was a little farther back, she too went to retrieve the notepad. Luckily I always clip my receipts to a page and then click all of the pages to the front cover so all the receipts were still there and I only lost some blank pages and spare paper clips. This little mistake turned our 10 minute stop into a 16 minute one.

The next stop was 137 miles later in Superior. Not much to this stop, it was a quick in and out without any incident. It was however the last stop in Montana. Our next stop wouldn't be until Washington. Stop time was less than 15 minutes with both of us getting a bio break.

Riding through western Montana and northern Idaho was a blast. We had lots of wide sweepers going uphill and down. And the best part was the speed limit remained 75 with just yellow caution signs recommending slower speeds. Bah!!! We don't need any caution signs. It's probably the most fun I've had on an interstate anywhere to date.

When we got into Washington things changed. The speed limit dropped to 55 and we had to ride through Spokane. I don't care for that town. People like to sit on the left lane and poke along. We did stop for gas on the west side of town without incident. I ended up getting a vitamin water while I was there and we visited with a local who really wanted to sell us his mom's old BMW. Total stop time was less than 15 minutes, we had this stop thing down to a science.

Riding along I-90 in Washington was a real bore compared to the mountainous area of Idaho. But we trudged along as the temperatures started to rise. Previously in Montana and Idaho we had enjoyed 70's and lower. But now temps were climbing into the 80s. It was getting hot and dry. In Ritzville we finally left I-90 and headed south on 395. This was a real booster in moral because we knew we were done with the biggest stretch of the ride. Of course that meant we had the lesser roads to contend with as well.

The next gas stop was in Pasco, Washington after 126 miles. The stop was normal and really not memorable. We stopped, gassed, hit the bathrooms and went. It was a typical sub 15 minute stop.

After the stop was interestig though, as we had to go through the middle of Pasco. Stop light after stop light. The Zumo failed in the "Fastest Time" department because we could have taken a loop around if I had caught this routing blunder. Time wise it didn't impact us too much but it was tiring. We headed out of town on I-84 south to the state line.

At the state line I looped around and took a picture of the Washington state sign since we weren't able to get it on the way in. Then I snapped the boring green welcome to Oregon sign. This little dance around the bridges cost me a few minutes but then I caught back up with Reagan who was waiting up ahead for me.

I-84 ran into I-82 which we took west, straight into the sun in the afternoon. Oh joy! The ride on 84 was nice while it was along the river but it was still hot as temps near 90 degrees. And the speed, 65 miles per hour. Boring.....

Finally we reached Biggs Junction and our turn onto 97 which would take us into Redmond. Since we were passing a gas station we stopped a few miles earlier than Wasco, Or. Good thing to as Wasco wasn't completely on Hwy 97. The stop was easy and we both took a bio break. We had 122 miles left to go and it was all going to be on a two lane road through the country side.

I led us out then Reagan took the lead. The speed limit was 55 but that was really more of a suggestion than anything. We zipped along passing vehicles when the road permitted. There are lots of semis on that road and it wouldn't have been my preferred route to finish such a ride but it worked out OK.

We rolled into Redmond, stopped at the Chevron to get our final receipt and get off the clock. Reagan had ridden her first SS1000 in fine form. We then went to the hotel and checked in, unloaded the bikes and went next door for a late dinner.

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