Getting up and getting moving was a bit difficult today. This is the last day on the route, and tomorrow we head home. Since we are cutting the trip a bit short, we are just going to take our time getting home. No need to push high mileage days, just move it along home at a leisurely pace.
The thing that has come as the biggest shock to me on this trip is the number of people from other places that I am seeing. I am not talking about other states, I mean other countries. So far, we have seen a group of Germans, a couple groups from Canada, one group from Switzerland, and a whole group from Norway/Sweden. They were a tour group that comes in from Norway and rents Harleys and rides from Chicago to L.A. There were about 20 or so bikes, and they were moving like a band of vikings headed for a village. They pulled into the Midpoint cafe about 10 minutes after we did, took a bunch of pictures, spent a lot of money in the gift shop, had some pie, and rode out in about an hour or so. It was actually kind of scary to watch the ruthless precision with which they moved through the gift shop into the cafe, and then back on the road. While we were at the midpoint, we ran into a few guys from Spain. they started the route in Dallas, and were headed for L.A.
After the midpoint, we went to Glen Rio. This is a little ghost town on the TX/NM border. This is where the First/Last Motel in Texas was located. Here is a shot from the motel.
After that, we took off down the older alignment of 66. It is about 15 miles of unpaved road. This was where the first real pucker of the trip came from. About 5 miles in, I started getting some heavy head-shake from the bike on the gravel. A bit further on, I hit some sand and it threw me into a full on tank-slapper. I managed to ride it out and keep the bike up, but I think I ruined my pants. Turns out Glenn, who was riding behind me, was using me for his canary in a coal mine. When I hit something that threw me sideways, he know to slow down and be gentle with it. Since we were never getting over about 20 mph, Kel and I were both having heat problems. If I could get up to 30 mph, the bikes would cool. The problem with 30 mph is that you are in tank-slapper territory again. I am glad we went down there, but I think one time is enough.
After we got back on pavement, we hit I-40 and ran straight through to the hotel. My nerves were not up for more riding.
Here is today's slideshow:
Here is the day's route:
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