Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We're back.....

I-15 Baker, CA -"Gateway To Death Valley" and home to the "World's Largest Thermometer". I found out something this trip I never knew before. The thermometer is 134 ft. high, to commemorate the highest official temperature recorded in the continental United States - 134 degrees in Death Valley, CA on July 10, 1913. That is also officially the second-highest temperature ever recorded in the world, and it was the hottest recorded until 2006.

No two ways about it - we had a hell of a good time, we had another great road trip. Part-timer Steves rigid chopper didn't miss a beat (although we did have to re-jet his S&S E in L.A.), handled the trip with ease, and our gas stops worked out perfect. Steve took 3/4 of a gal. of gas with him for the 112 mi. I-70 "no services" stretch between Green River and Salina Utah, but we didn't have to stop and add any gas until we were about 80 mi. into it. Steve's seat does have some permanant ass-cheek prints in it, though.....

The only incident we had happened about 20 mi. east of Glenwood Spgs, CO. I waited for a SUV to pass me before I pulled out to pass, myself. I was about three car lengths behind the SUV at about 80 mph when one of those full tail light assemblies that goes half the width of the back end of a mid 80's FoMoCo car fell off the car being hauled on a trailer in front of them, and they hit it square and at full speed....KA-BAM!! the whole assembly in jagged pieces came out from under that SUV ranging from quarter size to football size, like a bomb went off. There was red, black, and silver shrapnel chunks flying directly up, and at me. I thought they rear ended the trailer, it exploded that violently.

I guess I went into auto-pilot mode - I remember cutting to the right, and putting my throttle arm up to block my face. I got hit on the arm and head by some pretty good sized pieces, and I took some pieces in the face and mouth, getting a fat lip in the process. The only damage to the bike were a couple scratches in the lower fairing area, a couple scratches in the fork's cowbells, and a shattered and bent R/H mirror (which I replaced in Glenwood Spgs. at the Harley dealer). Steve was behind me in the right lane, saw the whole thing, and couldn't believe I didn't go down. I always say that God watches over fools and little children, so I'll just leave it at that.

It was another hot trip. It was 100 degrees when we went thru Las Vegas, and it was only 105 when we went thru Baker, CA. Coming back, it was 111 in Baker. When we gassed up in Baker coming back, I drank a quart of Gatoraide, a quart of water, and I still needed another quart of water to rehydrate before we went on to Vegas, and I'd been drinking water all the way from L.A. When we stopped in Vegas to see a friend of Steve's that was staying there, it was 107 when we pulled in at 9:30pm.

Steve shot camera footage all the way there and back, and we have some pretty cool riding shots, some film of our visits to Bob's Big Boy in Toluca, Mike Parti's home and shop, and, of course, the Sinners July 4th Party. As soon as Steve has time, he's going to sit down and edit it, and you'll see it here.

And, can you believe it - about the only time Steve wasn't filming, was when I got blasted by the shrapnel!


Chris/Blue Collar Moto said...

It was great hangin with you guys. Even if by the time we left Dustins place it looked like you had six eyes! What a hangover the next day.

J-Rod said...

Great story...makes me wish I lived on that coast sometimes.

Next time I'm in CO. I'll plan better and come out your way.