Aug. 9th. I sleep in late because I have to wait for the shops to open. I’m rolling about 9:30 and see a Lowe’s on my way out of Shawnee, so I pull a u-turn at the next exit and go back. At the Lowe’s I spend about an hour trying and testing various bolts, and end up with a ½ bolt through my rear-set, a solid substitute for a peg, really…. Apparently the Lowe’s in Shawnee, OK opens at 7am, and not 9am like most others, so keep that in mind if you ever break a peg half-way through Oklahoma…
I-40, blegh. I-35 Blegh. Wichita, KS, I’ve heard so much about you! Blegh, and you’re stupid toll road is confusing, so I just ride around the booth and keep going…. Oh look, Salina, KS, again! Blegh. I-70 East. Blegh, Blegh, Blegh. I know, whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan. Just STFU and HTFU (Harden the F$&* up). So I do and keep rolling. About an hour before dusk I hit the Colorado border. Oh what a sweet perfume the air has about it! I swear Colorado smells better than any other state. And what a welcoming I receive! Dragon Flies as long as your hand is wide, and bird feasting on them! Why couldn’t the feast/slaughter happen 100 yards to either the left or right of the interstate? I’m dodging dragon flies and birds the way Johnny Depp dodged bats in the intro of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, except these birds and bugs are real!
I manage to not hit a single one and continue on my merry way. The sun is dropping fast and I back-off my speed to a much-less-likely-to-get-pulled over number on the speedo and chill. Not far now, almost home…. In Burlington I pull off for some gas, a snack and a stretch, I’ve only got 2 hours of riding left… Right before I turn the 250 off prior to getting gas, the oil light comes on… WTF NOW?! After filling up I check the oil level and she’s a quart low… Hrm…. So I fill her up with some Rotella they had at the gas station and off we go to HOME! Oh, what a sweet sound that is, I can almost feel my own bed underneath me… The Mile High City is not a particularly beautiful city, and the roads in and around it are abysmal, but oh man, it’s my beacon of solace this night!
I almost die on impact as the road crews have closed off US-36 and not provided adequate signage, but instead come to a screeching stop not 2 inches off the back wheel of the only other rider I’ve found tonight… He looks at me in what I perceive as a mix of “If you ran into me I would’ve pulverized whatever was left of you”, and “holy shit, that almost killed me too” look. Traffic, traffic, blegh, construction traffic! I meander this way and that on the backstreets, trying to find my home…. Ugh, this road is closed off, that road is a detour, blah, blah, blegh. I find my home and as I get off the bike I stand next to her for 5 minutes, still, with my eyes closed. We made it lady, we made it, and you were fantastic! My mind is too busy to do anything else, so the entire trip comes streaming down on me like a water fall and it takes me some time to get everything unloaded and put away. As I crash face first onto my bed after a hot shower, there is only one thought etched in my mind: I’M HOME.
For most people, the adventure would end here. On previous trips I’ve taken, this is usually where it ends, but not on this trip….