Iowa to Vegas Day 4
This was a first. I've ridden bikes for forty-five years, and the Little Woman and I did something I've never done before.
We followed a snowplow.
Yes, traveling over the pass between Green River and Salinas, the snow fell. First, it covered the windshield in brown goo from trucks passing us, spraying snow and slush on the bike. Next, the white crept across the roadway from the left like a skin disease. Soon the entire road hid under a thin layer of snow. What can you do? Stopping when it's snowing only exacerbates the problem. Turning back? Again, that's like life throws you a left hook and you lean into it. Stop at the next gas station/convenience store? The next service lay around twenty miles away. We trudged onward. My shoulders ached from holding the bike as straight and true as possible while modulating the throttle to minimize wheelspin. "Dear God, please keep us upright."
The snow continued falling, but so did the elevation. We followed the snowplow for a few miles, then passed it as conditions improved. At last we hit I-15, a busier freeway that probably would have little snow on it from the warm tires of myriad vehicles. Thank God, it proved true. Four inches of snow on the ground, yet a bare and wet roadway. Twenty more miles and we stopped at a Beaver, Utah truck stop for some hot chocolate. This was the Little Woman's low point. We 'warmed up' in the store for fifteen minutes or so, then headed back into the snow. She didn't break down, but it was close. Simply too cold for too long. Even under six layers.
Fortunately, temps climbed as elevations fell and we motored onward to the desert. 1,456 miles later, we wheeled into the driveway, cold, tired and dirty.
We learned a lot as we 'trained' for the fifty states trip:
We can manage real cold.
We need better cold weather gear.
Too cold, rainy, hot or windy and we will check into a motel. The pop top will be a great way to camp, but not suffering through after a long day of bad weather.
The Little Woman is a trooper. Must be the quilting.
The difference between good and bad weather can be a few days, or even a few hours.
Rants and Raves.
Booking Allegiant Airlines. It feels like they are looking for every little way to get more of your money.
Little towns that have you captive serve pretty mediocre food.
Alamo. Cheap rental, little tiny car that worked well, and easy to book and return.
And the car! A little Toyota Yaris (which is Japanese for 'cheap little car') has everything you need, and is tight and user friendly.
The Gold Wing. It's everything I wanted, and more. I got a newer bike with fewer miles for the money than I anticipated. I budgeted $17,500 for a 2007 or newer with 20k miles or less. This is a '10 with 5,600 miles. And thirteen years newer than my old one, it is vastly improved. Way to go, Honda. We should put 65k miles on it in the 50 state year, so we'll be the acid test.