Z and Q putted over to the local NAPA store and scored the new plugs and wires that showed up on the scan as being weak and Q set to work for the next 2 hours replacing them. He had to wear his biking gloves because the engine compartment was hot hot hot. He finally started up the home and Z was glad it started till Q said "That ain't rite". It was missing a bit. Just enough to be not right. Z's confidence in Q was dwindling and he wished we had coughed up the couple of hundred dollars and have the dealership mechanic get er done right, but it was too late because they had closed up for the day. Then out of the blue the mechanic appears. He helps Q and in 15 minutes all was correcto. V. gave him a 20 dollar tip and learned that this kid had been to many many Sturgis Rally's, but this was going to be his first on his own Harley Davidson. They finally zoom west out of Rapid City around 5:30ish and damn glad to be on the road again, even if it was in the home instead of the sleds.
At 2isham they finally roll into Billings Montana. Z calls to find the local SuperWal-Mart so the gang can load up on groceries for the next few days. Z screws up the directions and V, finding themselves lost in a quiet chemical factory part of town stops dead in the road outside a very small Casino. V tells Z "go inside and ask directions." for some reason Z wasn't into it an was protesting "you can't just stop in the middle of the road" "Says who?" was V.'s powerful response. Z jumped out with flashlight to guide traffic away from our home in the middle of the road. V came out and said "Fuck it. we should be in there partying" he told of the toothless skinny old girl up on stage singing "Lonely". He had gotten directions and in 10 minutes we pull into the correct parking lot. The perimeter of the lot was full of motorhomes with trailers. Looked like a polish koa.
V. also gets confirmation that we are on the right trail and Red Lodge Montana is our next stop about 60 miles south. It's totally dark and so they do not see the magnificent mountain ranges surrounding them. On the small two lane hiway212 they pass a KOA, but then make a slow turn around up the road and come back to it. The night time sign in sheet said they had a space available. V. the excellent trucker invented a set of flashlight signals to help guide the home home.Walla. perfecto. Rack time. Finally a chance to sleep without the constant road thumpity thumps under the pillow.
here is the correct, trip beginning vid: It's a little dark, but what adventure doesn't begin in the dark? V and Z
had grabbed a couple of hours of sack time on Q's couch and floor altho the floor was not as comfortable as Z remembered from his earlier days and so tried to watch a movie on tv to zone out to. V woke me up around 1:30 saying "he's here. lets go." Z groggyly rolled over and truly did not want to go. "You guys go ahead. I've changed my mind and do not want to go." He really didn't, deaths cousin was too enchanting just then. But up popped Z finally realizing there was no backing out now. It was Q's girlfriend's birthday the next day and so we thought he was in giving her a going away present. He tells us "No" later, but you know what a gentleman Q is. Anyhoo they all load up and start the start clock at 2:26 a.m. e.s.t. V. is quite the driver, heas a cdl, etc. and has lots of stories about driving long distances, so he grabbed the wheel first and drove till 2ish pm sunday all the way to north georgia. Here is a pic of the first gas stop and our chance to donate 150 dollars to those poor suffering oil barons.
I took over the wheel and lasted only 4 hrs before i just couldn't keep awake any longer.
Up thru Chattanooga, then Kentucky then calling it good for my shift somewhere in Illinois. Q takes over after getting some good sleep time.
In this pic two of the bike covers are still intact. Altho they will both be gone zoon. A major truck was backing way off from behind us and a passerby hollered out about something "flapping in the wind" behind them, so they stopped and removed the remaining threads of the covers. It was grand to finally be on foreign roads and this adventure was finally becoming a reality. Actually, these 45 hours of continous driving was so surreal they called it a time/reality warp that was used to escape the day to day same old same old reality.
finally St. Louis is in sight after spending the night rolling thru Kentucky and Illionois. wow what a bunch of Gambling Casinos are camped out along the Lewis and Clark route. Q is all afire that co-pilot/navigator V and Z snap some good pics of the "Arch". So much so that he misses the correct turn off and they end up down-town. Now, I'm sure St. Louis is a fine burg, but this neighborhood's age was not hiding. There is one jewel tho and of course it's the baseball park.
Monday around noonish they finally roll just outside of Wall Drug and pull over to feel the intense winds in person. "This would be a catagory 2 backhome" Z laughs. The motorhome was running rough and the next fill up confirmed they were only getting 4.5 mpg as opposed to the usual 7.5 mpg average. They jump on the celly and find the location of the closest dealer and make an appointment for a scan. Q, who is an expert mechanic theorizes "its a sensor. maybe a heat/fuel sensor and hell i can change that myself". "while the dealer is scanning the home we can unload the sleds and go find something to eat!" "Nah." V. states, "I'm going to stay with the bikes" They meet with the shop foreman and he tells them they are next on the list and should be looked at in one hour. "ok, then! Lets ride" exclaims V. After 34ish hours of continous motorhome confinement the freedom of being on the bike where they belonged was fine freakin tastic. Found a Mexican joint for Q and for a chain, it was acceptable. But now for the good stuff. They saddled up and beat it back across the super slab to the Rapid City Harley shop that was chockablock full of activity. They rolled in only to find nothing really happening yet and so decided to ride. "Turn right and lets see what we can see" shouted Z and away they zoomed. It felt like being a kid in a candy store. Finally riding the bike on way foreign roads. Roads with turns and hills. Yahoooooo. They zoomed this way and that being totally lost and lovin it. around here and there Z kept turing right whenever the roads climbed up, "Up", what a concept for boys from the 50 feet altitudes.
The Alphabet Gang, V, Z and Q rode back thru the reverse portal of reality and landed at 46 and I95 right on schedule at 7:30am last Friday, 8-11 and i got to ride the last 30 straight miles back to Lopezville, just like this adventure began two weeks ago. And these are my first few quite moments and the chance to file a report. Sat. morning there was a SCHOG upscale (35 bones) seafood buffett dinner ride leaving the shop at 3 that Big Dave reminded me of and so he and his BadAssBikerBitchBarb roared here and off to the shop we zoomed. It had been a while since i got to putt with the Schog's so this ride on the Lake county back roads is just what the doctored ordered for me and my lovely, specially with me and the Snoop-Skoot being gone for the last 2 weeks. Dinner was spectacular at an old country inn and so while the gang continued on makeing stops at the local watering holes on our Annual Poker Run list, lovely and i were ready to be home and so rode back alone. Only one wrong turn and altho lovely thought i was totally lost, we did roll into our garage just before our regular afternoon thunderboomers arrived. Both of our boys computers funkyfied up during that storm and so it took the puter shop this whole week to repair them. I've still lots on my list of "to do's", like updating lovelys web page with all her new and improved achievments and copying all my pics for da A Gang, but i really do have to lay down this last adventure while it is still fresh and not repeated over and over to workmates who keep asking "what was it like?". The more i talk about it, the less i will write about it. anyhoooo, you know the drill.
Now, i shouldn't have to repeat this, but i will. Memory is a tricky thing and so this report will be laced with some truth. Some is the key word.
On with the tale:
I sleep anxiously Friday nite, knowing that in afew hours the adventure that has been in the works for 365 days will begin in earnest. I jump up early and start to load up old Snoop-Skoot. There are a few more items than on the practice run and the bungies just didn't seem to remember their jobs. With big hugs from lovely and our ruffians and one last pic for her celly background, away i roll. I get all the way to our front gate when this new load decides to shift off the right side of SS, yikes, "what is this?" I make my first highly embarrising stop to re-bungy and re-take off slowly.
Here is a pic of your author and the bikes loaded at around 3pm Sat. V and Z now zoom back V's crib to shower up and skat over to a nice Italian joint for dinner with our sister K.
Here is that gathering. We thouroughly enjoy our last real meal as we will be camping out for the next two weeks.here are V,K and Z.
After enjoying that fantastico meal that K paid for for my bd.She is the best and i am most blessed to be able to call her sis. she also gave me a framed retouched ancient photo of me at age 4 with my most beautiful mother. Tear up? you bet i did. wow. i had never seen that pic before. Anyhooo , thanks sis.
Now V and i said our final goodbyes to all and to P and then zoomed over to Tony's to wait for him to come home from his wedding party so we can zoom out and start this show. Here is a video of V getting ready. Oooops wrong video, but a fun tease of things to come...
wow. found a wireless connection here in Hardin Montana at atruck stop. i only have time for afew pics... I am listening to wtks, our local radio in orlando, while the rest of the Alphabet Gang, Q and V are across the street at Taco Johns. These pics are of Q and V cruising the Bear Tooth Pass.