Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Ride Ends Successfully




I'm home! 9,483 miles, 17 days, 6 new states, and 3 Canadian Providences later I'm safely back to where I started. I survived the AlCan Highway and met the goal of riding to Alaska.




I left Winnemucca at 7 AM and headed to Eli, Nevada via I 80 for 53 miles to get to State 305 south to drop to Highway 50 known as the Loneliest Highway. State 305 is pretty desolate in its own right. At a rest stop I spoke to a trucker who remarked how lonely this road was. This entire 88 miles I only saw that one truck and two other cars. Arriving in Austin, Nevada I stopped for gas and then the fun began. Right out of town the road went up over 1,000 feet in just three miles. It was twisty in an almost bad way and slow pulling up that steep a grade. It almost leveled off, or so I thought, but continued to climb. The result was an elevation increase of almost 2,000 feet in seven miles.

The Loneliest Road is just that. There were few cars and trucks on this highway. However there were bicycles. Stretched out over many miles. I stopped at one of their vans and found out it was charity ride from San Francisco to Washington, DC to raise money for various charities. I can't imagine riding a bicycle that distance.

On I went, mile after mile, with very little change in the scenery. Flat, scrub brush with an occasional hill thrown into the mix. Then the wind picked up and made it interesting. I finally rolled into North Las Vegas at 4 PM. The Freeway was packed and slow so I got off at Lake Mead Boulevard to look for directions to the quickest way to the Hoover Dam. I knew at that point I was rolling all the way home. I stopped at a Chevron for a cold drink and those directions. A lady gave me the help I needed and after a 30 minute stop I was on surface streets to the Old Boulder Highway. Vegas sure has changed since the time 25 years ago when I went there regularly. I stopped at Harrahs Casino just before the Dam for an hour to have dinner and cool off.

I had forgotten that it is only an hour from Vegas to Kingman. The trip home only took 4 hours and I was here at 10:40. I was so glad to be here that I unpacked and even did my road laundry before going to bed.

Some of the sights from the road.







This is a cattle guard in Northern Nevada. At first I thought I was dreaming, but there are a lot of these painted cattle guards complete with attached edges. Cows must really be dumb to fall for this.

Now it is time to start the cleaning process on Petunia and Piggy. That should be a major undertaking. I know the trailer has some repairs needed and Petunia needs those new tires installed. Plus I was just notified that my swivel ball that broke has been recalled and to not use it. Seems a guy who wasn't pulling a trailer had one fall apart. Imagine what could have happened if, say, you were pulling a trailer on something like the AlCan Highway. They are going to send me a new improved version of the ball that is welded or has cotter pins on each side of it. If I could have found case hardened bolts on the ride I would have already had mine repaired. But, now I'll wait for the replacement. The guarantee that I know is a swivel is needed when pulling a trailer. A leaning motorcycle is a happy motorcycle and a happy motorcycle scrapes floorboards on some corners. With a stationary ball it was uncomfortable on many corners and not as much fun to ride.

This ride was worth the wait! It was everything I had hoped for and more. If you're thinking about making the trip you won't be disappointed.

2 comments :

  1. Good for you! The trip of your lifetime. What an adventure. So glad you're home safely.
    -N

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  2. What's with the Cattle guard in Nevada? How funny? Wow! You have seen the world and so has your Harley. Jodi

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