Category Archives: road trips

KTM 950 Retrieval Trip, Feb 19 – 21, 2010

So I decid­ed to take a gam­ble and go to Cal­i­for­nia to retrieve the KTM I pur­chased 3 weeks ago. It is a 2006 KTM 950 Adven­ture with 4000 miles on the clock. The weath­er reports looked OK, if not stel­lar, but I have good gear, and I warned my boss that i might not get back into the office first thing mon­day morn­ing. Fri­day flight to SFO and cab ride to Mark’s place, where the beast was being stored went with only the usu­al amount of dra­ma asso­ci­at­ed with air trav­el these days. I had expect­ed to receive extra atten­tion dur­ing the “Secu­ri­ty The­atre” as I was fly­ing on a one-way tick­et, but it was the nor­mal routine.
Upon arriv­ing at Chez Mark, Joe escorts me to the garage and there’s the beast. it’s even orange-er in per­son, if that’s pos­si­ble. And it’s metal­lic orange, with green met­alflake in it! the bike looks exact­ly as described, only bet­ter: this thing is basi­cal­ly brand new! if it had a new back tire on it, you’d swear it was right off the show­room. I’m very pleased, and set about get­ting my GPS and heat­ed gear hooked up, with the help of Joe and his awe­some­ly stocked tool­box. first trick: where do they hide the bat­tery on a KTM 950 Adven­ture? Remove the seat, no not there. peer around next to the air­box, not there. hmm, there seems to be a lot of wiring head­ed towards the front of the skid plate. And the bat­tery ten­der pig­tail is in front of the rear brake lever. remove a cou­ple of bolts, the skid plat piv­ots down and vio­la, the bat­tery. some jig­gery pok­ery to get wires rout­ed (with­out remov­ing the fuel tanks, which looks like a task), some zip-tie mas­tery, and every­thing lights up the way it should. I stuck a piece of dual-lock on the side of the GPS and stuck the heat-troller to it, and we’re good. A quick run to the ship­ping place to send the stock seat and stock wind­screen home, then it’s off on the shake­down cruise, down to Los Altos and back, stop­ping to have din­ner with an old friend I haven’t seen in 20 years. What a cool bike: feels a lot like my old F650, except it han­dles bet­ter and has twice the HP. wheee!

Joe writes down some route sug­ges­tions for me, and Mark primes the cof­fee mak­er. I’m the only one mov­ing at 6:30 Sat­ur­day morn­ing as I pack up and get loaded. I leave a scrawled ‘Thank You’ on the din­ing room table, go out­side and start the bike. It’s only as I’m deploy­ing the sky-crane to get my right boot over the seat that the front door opens and Mark appears, wish­ing me safe trav­els and a thumbs-up. And I’m off. First stop: a lit­tle town called Kent­field to meet a friend for Break­fast. It’s about 45 miles of mixed free­way and city dri­ving, and the bike is pret­ty pleas­ant, it runs well, han­dles pret­ty good, if a lit­tle slow to respond to the tiller, but i put that down to the 21″ front wheel. It does seem a tad-lean on the pilot/needle tran­si­tion in the carbs, hunt­ing a bit at 35mph or so in 2nd/3rd gear.
Break­fast han­dled, I gas up (twin fuel tanks, and both will gush gas back at you if you’re not care­ful how you have the noz­zle point­ed when you pull the trig­ger). I real­ize I have no idea how much fuel it holds, make a note that it’s at least the 4 gal­lons I just put in, and hit the road in earnest, motor­ing up 101 under gray skies. In about 25 miles, my heat-troller is loose, flop­ping around in the wind, and my right earplug is killing me. OK, I can take a hint. I stop in San­ta Rosa, remount the HT (black and white dual lock doesn’t play well togeth­er), repo­si­tion the earplug and motor on. 350 miles of awe­some roads lat­er, with only about 10 min­utes of rain the whole way, I see the sign that says “wel­come to Ore­gon, Michael and Judy, next left”. I motor up to the Giant Road Bur­ri­to and greet Michael and Judy. I think i see a smidgen of bike lust in Michael’s eyes. 🙂

Michael and Judy took great care of me, pro­vid­ing a hot show­er, hot chick­en enchi­ladas, and a nice port to round out the evening. A per­fect way to end a great day of riding.

Sun­day broke grey and damp, but not actu­al­ly rain­ing. A check of the weath­er fore­cast was incon­clu­sive; change of rain most of the way up the Ore­gon coast. A check of the var­i­ous pass­es over the coast range showed no antic­i­pat­ed prob­lems cross­ing over to I-5 where ever I decid­ed to. I get my stuff packed and while I’m doing that Michael makes me a ‘bronze’ mocha (in hon­or of a fall­en friend: it’s a 20 oz. quad shot mocha); I thanked him and told him that if the bike didn’t start I’d just push it to Gold Beach. “One hand­ed” sez Michael! I “Mocha up” and get ready to go. I get a rec­om­men­da­tion for a restau­rant to check out for break­fast (appar­ent­ly run by an ADV rid­er) and hit the road. It’s about 7:15 AM.
A short ride to Gold Beach, search out the “Bar­na­cle Bistro” only to find it closed. Oh well, back-track to The Cape Café and set­tle in with a cof­fee and the 2-egg break­fast. As I chow down, the sun breaks out and the sky turns a love­ly blue. I gear up to head out, mak­ing sure to change to the tint­ed shield, and I’m on my way. For the next 3 – 4 hours, I work my way up the coast, from small town to pic­turesque bridge to small town. My GPS says Hwy 18 is the ‘short­est’ route home, and it leads through some of my old stomp­ing grounds, so I go that way. Short­ly after depart­ing the coast, I have my only near-brush with Offi­cer Friend­ly. We are climb­ing up the hills out of New­port, and there’s a ditz in a mini­van doing 53.5MPH in a 55 zone, with 7 – 8 cars backed up behind her. We get to a pass­ing lane, and she camps out in the left lane, so those of us behind (myself and about 6 cars) pro­ceed to go around on the right. As soon as I’m clear, I shift left and get on it, hop­ing to get out of the clot of cages for the run to the sum­mit. As we round a sweep­ing right-han­der, with me pulling out in front the pack, at about 80 per, I spot Mr. friend­ly parked in the turn-out, with his tes­ti­cle-toast­er hang­ing out the win­dow. I gen­tly roll off the gas, as does every­one around me. Whew, no way he’s going to be able to pick me out of that pack. We gen­tly motor past and my heart rate returns to normal.

The rest of the trip was unevent­ful, with two notable events; while stopped for my final gas stop in Chehalis, I put the hel­met on the mir­ror (yes, I know bet­ter; I was get­ting tired) so I could move the bike away from the pump, and while push­ing it, the hel­met bails and lands face-shield down on the tar­mac. ARRRGGG! Oh well, that shield was ready for replac­ing any­way. And the sun’s almost down, so I swapped it out for the clear one that I took off over 350 miles ago. Upon arriv­ing home, I dis­cov­er that I also cracked the side cov­er on the hel­met, so I’ll have to fix or replace that. The oth­er note­wor­thy event, even though whol­ly pre­dictable, was the speed at which the tem­per­a­ture dropped after the sun went down; with no cloud cov­er to hold heat in, the mer­cury plum­mets! And I dis­cov­ered that the heat­ed grips on this bike are ‘cal­i­for­nia’ heat­ed grips: Ok for tak­ing the morn­ing chill off, but not up to the job of keep­ing your hands warm in the north­west in febu­rary. I arrived home about 7:23 PM, feel­ing a bit tired but not beat up in any way and very pleased with my purchase.

keep those feet up, and the rub­ber side down.
black­dog

Preparing to go ‘walkabout’

As some you already know, your obe­di­ent scribe is plan­ning a trip, what my wife and I refer to as ‘going walk­a­bout’ after the aus­tralian tra­di­tion of ‘see­ing what’s out there’. In this case, I’ll be using a KTM 950 adven­ture for trans­porta­tion, and ‘out there’ is shap­ing up to mean­ing most states west of the Mis­souri riv­er; cur­rent the rough­ly plot­ted course doesn’t include kansas, okla­homa, neva­da, north dako­ta or montana.

Grand plan is a rough rec­tan­gle, with seat­tle, san diego, austin, and des moines form­ing the cor­ners. I have friends and/or fam­i­ly in all those places. The only hard date in the 4 week adven­ture is that I and 3 bud­dies have tick­ets to the World Super­bike races at Miller Motor­sports Park in Utah on memo­r­i­al day weekend.

So with this in mind, I sold my BMW F650 (a nice sin­gle, but cross­ing texas on a 650 sin­gle didn’t appeal) and acquired a low-mileage KTM 950 adven­ture and set about set­ting it up for trav­el­ling like I like. This meant replac­ing the bald back tire, chang­ing the oil, adding con­trols for the heat­ed grips (instead of the sim­ple switch) and for con­trol­ling a heat­ed jack­et lin­er Warm-n-Safe makes these great con­trollers . It also includes a GPS mount­ed some­where easy to reach and easy for 50-year-old eyes to read. Pics in the next installment.

All of this is pow­ered from a ded­i­cat­ed, fused cir­cuit that is run from the bat­tery in the skid plate, up to the under-seat tray, and then dis­trib­uted to the var­i­ous acces­sories from there. also includ­ed is a relay to insure that I can’t walk away from the bike with the grips turned on.

The bike already had a lot of what I think I’ll need: fac­to­ry pan­niers, tank bag, rear bag, hand pro­tec­tors, crash bars, after­mar­ket seat from Renaz­co Rac­ing, and the fac­to­ry ‘tour­ing wind­screen’. What it didn’t have was decent lights. A lit­tle read­ing turned up the answer: the USA head­light is but a pale imi­ta­tion of it’s euro­pean coun­ter­part. Soon, a box arrived at the house with a euro head­light and switch, and an H7 low-beam HID con­ver­sion. Install hap­pen­ing soon. Read about it in the next install­ment of ‘prepar­ing to go walkabout’. 

Right now, I have to get ready for the April Fool’s Tri­al! see ya there!

black­dog

KTM 950 Overnight Camping Shakedown cruise (17 april 2010)

Depart­ed home slight­ly after sched­uled time, sit­u­a­tion nor­mal, right? Stopped in mon­roe for fuel and to meet any­one who might have decid­ed to come along and not told me. There is no one there, so about 12:40, I head­ed east towards stevens pass. light driz­zle, but noth­ing bad. As I get clos­er to the pass, how­ev­er, it’s com­ing down hard­er and hard­er. pret­ty soon I’ve fold­ed: out with the glove cov­ers, put the show­er caps on the tank and tail bags, and I’ve got the suit lin­er cranked up to about ‘7’. I stop at the top long enough to shoot a pic­ture, and then boo­gie. About 10 – 15 miles down the oth­er side, the road is dry,

me and my turbo giraffe

stopped off at a scenic turnout, just east of stevens pass

and I’m start­ing to think I need to dump the heavy gloves and the neck tri­an­gle. By the time I get to wenatchee, it’s about 65 and humid, I ditch the heat­ed lin­er in a star­bucks park­ing lot and the long johns in their mens room. ah, much bet­ter. Along the way, my brain has been cat­a­loging the things I’ve for­got­ten: so far I’m up to a cup, a spoon, cof­fee, and my flask full of good scotch. the first three are eas­i­ly remi­died with the help of a safe­way and an ACE hard­ware in chelan. A quick ride out to Lake Chelan State Park, and I find a nice camp­site, right on the lake.
be it ever so humble...

my camp­site along the shores of Lake Chelan

I pitch camp, and con­struct my exper­i­men­tal din­ner; one of these freeze dried back­pack­er meals. I don’t intend to sur­vive on these on my trip, but know­ing if they are edi­ble seems like a good bit of knowl­edge. boil­ing water, a lit­tle pack­et of oil, and 13 min­utes lat­er: vio­la, black bean chili pie (there were a few tor­tilla chips, too). not too bad, a lit­tle ‘thin’, but good spice. From this I con­clude: in a pinch, they will do. How­ev­er, now that I’ve had din­ner, i think of anoth­er thing that has been for­got­ten: I could use a cup of tea. oh well, not out here.

well, off for a bit of a walk and some pic­tures before it gets dark. 

return­ing to camp, I tidy up, and pre­pare to hit the rack. Next up on the test list, a lit­tle inflat­able pil­low. It comes un a pack­age the size of a juice can, but it works real­ly well. What doesn’t work so well any more is the old Ther­marest sleep­ing pad. Admit­ted­ly, it’s about 15 years old, but I sup­sect that it’s the age of the back, not the pad! I toss and turn most of the night. final­ly drop off about 4am, wake up at 7 with both arms numb and trapped under­neath my tor­so. yukko. OK, that’s some­thing that will need fixing.

be vewy, vewy quiet....

A beau­ti­ful spring morn­ing on Lake Chelan


Get up and about, and try to fig­ure out how to make cof­fee with my new-fan­gled stove/french press. Mechan­i­cal­ly, this is easy, its a french press right? but it’s been dogs years since I’ve used one. How much cof­fee goes in? how long do I let it sit for. Oh My God, I’ve for­got­ten the recipe for cof­fee! But I mud­dle through, get some­thing most­ly drink­able, if a bit weak, out of it, and set about pack­ing my stuff up. Sur­pris­ing­ly, it all goes back pret­ty much where it came from, and I head into town to score some break­fast. The Apple Cup cafe in Chelan gets a pass­ing grade: good food and fast, friend­ly service.
all i could think of was: i wonder if those 2 rocks are for sale?

an inter­est­ing view of Lake Entiat


As I’m gear­ing up to head out, I can’t find the exten­sion con­nec­tion for my heat­ed jack­et lin­er. I paw through all the lug­gage, no lit­tle coiled cord. Oh well, I throw on anoth­er shirt and head up the pass. I have a beau­ti­ful ride back over the pass, includ­ing the moment just as I approached the top, a group of rid­ers passed going the oth­er way, giv­ing me the uni­ver­sal ‘law enforce­ment ahead’ sign. Sure enough, the state patrol is at the top, giv­ing our tick­ets to those who can’t read speed lim­it signs. Not me, today. 🙂

So, all in all, a suc­cess­ful shake­down. The bike is com­fy and very capa­ble, near­ly all of my lug­gage and camp­ing gear works great, and the elec­tri­cal stuff on the bike (heat­ed vest con­nec­tion, and charg­ing port) all work great. If I can fill in the few gaps in my check­list and fix the sleep­ing pad prob­lem, I’m per­fect­ly set.

See ya on the road!

black­dog on board the Great Pump­klin (aka the Tur­bo Giraffe)…
shiny side up, y’all!

And away he goes…

The bear is on the road.

The Tur­bo Giraffe prepped and wait­ing in the sunshine.

turbo giraffe

sun­shine! a good omen for the first day out.

The man him­self, suit­ing up.

getting the hydration pack settled

where’d that buck­le go?

Every­thing is good to go.

the rider and his machine - ready to go

all sys­tems go

And away he goes…

heading out on a great adventure

bye-bye

day 1, in which very little exciting actually happens

well, day 1 went pret­ty well. I sit here in the pala­cial liv­ing room of my friends Joce­lyn and Steve, after a nice din­ner, steal­ing their inter-tubes.

two tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties reared their ugly head: the GPS anten­na can­not live on top of the radar detec­tor: the radios inter­fere with each oth­er. so, att the first stop, i moved the GPS anten­na. prob­lem 1 solved.

sec­ond tech­ni­cal issue was that my fan­cy 12volt/120volt usb-charges-every­thing wid­get doesn’t. specif­i­cal­ly, it won’t charge the cell phone. appar­ent­ly, not enough cojones to charge this new-fan­gled moto cliq xt. for­tu­nate­ly, i have awe­some friends, they took me to radio shack, and i now have a charg­er that works.

tomor­row, the ore­gon coast to see Michael and Judy, then shoot­ing for the oregon/california bor­der or there­abouts. let’s hope for good weather.

more lat­er, folks

black­dog

Walkabout Day 2: In which I went down the drain. drain, oregon. really!

447 miles today, a lit­tle longer than I usu­al­ly like, but there were Issues. It appears that rain is head­ed for the north­ern cal­i­for­nia coast tomor­row. In con­sid­er­a­tion, today’s plan was to get far enough south that cut­ting inland could be done fair­ly ear­ly tomor­row, in an attempt to stay dry. Look­ing at the weath­er for­cast for north­ern cal­i­for­nia tomor­row, it appears that it was futile.

any­way, today’s ride went from port­land to eugene on I5, the south to ore­gon 38, on which I found the drain:

drain, ore­gon, we’re going there.

 being in the neigh­bor­hood, I stopped in to see my friends michael and judy. they are camp hosts at Tug­man State Park, and they keep a big dog in the front win­dow of their motorhome:

a big dog, he needs a big window

 from, there it was a quick blast down the coast, where I found this great veteran’s memo­r­i­al and accom­pa­ny­ing view of Coos Bay’s bridge:

vet­er­ans memo­r­i­al at Coos Bay

At this point, I decid­ed that my best bet to beat the weath­er would be to get to Eure­ka today, so that I could head inland first thing in the morn­ing. So I rode south. There is some awe­some coast­line in south­ern ore­gon and north­ern california.

dra­mat­ic coast and clouds in south­ern oregon

such scenery!

 So that was my sun­day in a nut­shell. It was sun­ny and warm north of eugene, and cloudy and cool, with a few rain­drops, on the coast. Not bad rid­ing, once I put the heat­ed lin­er on; cool­ing off, going fast? turn the heat up a bit. slow­ing down, or the sun has come out? turn the heat down a bit. Bike nev­er missed a beat, and seems to be a pro­found­ly com­pe­tent trav­el­ling com­pan­ion. Arrived in eure­ka around 5:30, found a hotel (I hate camp­ing in the rain) and then found a place called Lost Coast Brew­ery and cafe for din­ner. good beer, decent food, and only 5 blocks from the hotel.

And now I sit here pon­der­ing tomor­row: do I pack up ride south in what appears to be cer­tain rain (NOAA says 90% chance of pre­cip­i­ta­tion from here to San­ta Rosa- that means it’s gonna rain, folks!) or do I cool my heels here in Eure­ka and ride south on tues­day, when it is sup­posed to be sun­ny? I hate rid­ing with wet hands and feet; will my gloves stay dry? will my boots leak? grrr.… On the oth­er hand, a rainy day in eure­ka is not like­ly to packed with excitement. 🙂

 I think i’ll have a snack, get some sleep and make the call in the morn­ing, depend­ing on how hard it’s raining.

black­dog

Walkabout day 3: in which there were snowflakes…

 

307 miles today, but it felt a lot longer, most­ly due to toren­tial rain, cold, and even a lit­tle snow just north of Lay­tonville, CA. Yikes. Wait­ing this morn­ing in the hotel in Eure­ka, I real­ized that I hate doing noth­ing. I could have spent the day in Eure­ka and avoid­ed all the unpleas­ant­ness, but I was already rest­less in the 20 min­utes I wait­ed, and felt ener­gized when i got on the road. Every­thing went fine except that my gloves were soaked by 60 min­utes in, and get­ting cold. I stopped in Gar­berville for gas, and bought a pair of cot­ton gloves and ‘Marigolds’, you know, big rub­ber kitchen gloves. used those for the next 40 miles, but it was the cold­est 40 miles of the day. up to 1800ft. above sea lev­el, and I actu­al­ly saw a few snowflakes going over Rat­tlesnake Sum­mit. Got to Lay­tonville, had cof­fee and lunch and thawed my hands out: they nev­er got numb, just painful.

Two cold and weary bik­ers are inside get­ting warm

I also used the lit­tle local ‘free ads’ paper to help dry my gloves out, by rip­ping up the pages and stuff­ing the gloves full, wait­ing 15 min­utes, rinse repeat. Got them somwwhat dry. Got back on the road and felt good. but soon it became obvi­ous that the gloves are get­ting cold­er faster than the heat­ed grips can heat them. So I stop in Uki­ah and pull into a Hon­da deal­er; not open. there’s anoth­er gent there com­plain­ing of the same thing. Turns out he’s a cop from eure­ka, and a big fan of the Fly­ing Spaghet­ti Mon­ster!  yay for ran­dom­ly met friends! but no gloves will be had  there today. Down the road I find a sur­plus store, where I score a pair of ladies ski gloves, size large, gore­tex, for $35. I call them my Tom Rob­bins sig­na­ture mod­els, as the thumbs are longer than any I’ve ever seen. In any case, the offer­ing of $35 must have been big enough for the gods as I only had about 35 min­utes of rain the rest of the day.

gor­geous views like this were everywhere…

The rest of the trip was grey and blus­tery, some blue sky, and gusty winds.

your obe­di­ent scribe, at some famous bridge

Espe­cial­ly on the point above the Gold­en Gate bridge. just about blew the hel­met over, sit­ting on the ground! yikes. And I had to get back in the groove of CA free­way rid­ing: leave no space and go 80mph! riiight!

anoth­er 30 miles of real­ly pret­ty light Bay Area traf­fic, and I’m safe­ly land­ed with my friend Mark in San Car­los. A hot show­er and some chill time, and now it’s time for din­ner. see ya tomorrow!

black­dog

Walkabout day 5: Sierra Nevada foothills and Tehachapi Mts.

Arose this morn­ing at Chez Grrrl­dogs in Galt to a beau­ti­ful morn­ing, at least out­side. Inside my head was a dif­fer­ent sto­ry, I was a bit blue and home­sick. This usu­al­ly hap­pens to me on a trip, about day 5 or 6; I wake up in the morn­ing, and won­der why the heck I didn’t just stay home in my nice com­fy rut! But cof­fee helped, and the first 200 miles of the day were spec­tac­u­lar scenery and won­der­ful roads. Joined CA-49 at San Andreas and rode it, and a few of it’s cousins all the way into Fres­no. This part of Cal­i­for­nia is nice! You can keep LA, but the Sier­ra Neva­da rocks. Here are some exam­ples of the roads and the scenery:

After hit­ting Fres­no, it was a cou­ple of bor­ing hours to Bak­ers­field (today’s triv­ia: obvi­ous­ly there is a Buck Owens Boule­vard in Bak­ers­field, but did you also know that there is a Mer­le Hag­gard Dri­ve?). At Bak­ers field, I hung a left into the Tehachapi maoun­tains, and end­ed up in, odd­ly enough, Tehachapi. Cool old rail­road town, a bit down on its luck, and windy! The entire east­ern hori­zon is wind tur­bines, and there here for a reason!
(yeah, it’s a crum­my pic­ture and hard to see. i was tired…)

Walkabout, day 6: wind farms, switchbacks, and rainbows.

Woke up ear­ly this morn­ing, but not in any par­tic­u­lar hur­ry, as my des­ti­na­tion for the evening was my friends Mark and Ln’s place, Sun­fire, in Escon­di­do. GPS says 202 miles. I get a road rec­om­men­da­tion from Mark (Fort Tejon road up into the Ange­les for­est, high­ly rec­om­mend­ed), and head out. I avoid the free­way and wind up rid­ing through the wind farm:

Then it’s up into the moun­tains, where I spot one of the most beau­ti­ful rain­bows I’ve ever seen, just a line of col­or in the clouds. The pic­ture doesn’t real­ly do it jus­tice, though.

Then on over the moun­tains, through beau­ti­ful for­est, on one of the nicest roads I’ve rid­den so far. Flow­ing turns, sur­pris­ing switch­backs, it had every­thing… except for a vis­i­ble LEO pres­ence: perfect!

After an awe­some ride through the moun­tains, it was a very unevent­ful cou­ple of hour ride through the east end of LA basin, down through Temec­u­la, and on into Escon­di­do. Arrived ear­ly in the after­noon, hav­ing plen­ty of time to get tires ordered, check the bike over thor­ough­ly, and relax with Mark over a beer, and lat­er with Mark and Ln over a good ital­ian din­ner. Life doesn’t suck.
Tomor­row, the Blythe intaglios, and on to King­man, Ari­zona. Sat­ur­day, the Grand Canyon!

Walkabout day 7: it gets hot in the desert…

Had a leisure­ly after­noon yes­ter­day with mark and the dogs. Got a pair of tires ordered, and it looks like they are going to the right place in texas, and will beat me there. yay!

Got a fair­ly ear­ly start this morn­ing, leav­ing Sun­Fire at about 7:30. Head­ed up to Warn­er Springs, then over the hills into the Coachel­la Val­ley (Palm springs, etc.)

Sat through a few stop­lights in Palm Desert and stopped for gas in Indio, and it felt way hot­ter than I was expect­ing. Start­ed cool­ing off as I gained alti­tude going east, but upon drop­ping into Blythe, it got warmer. Stopped for lunch in Blythe, my ther­mome­ter read 93. Stopped just north of town to take a gan­der at the Intaglios there. It was a short gan­der, as wan­der­ing around on that exposed butte at 2:30 in the after­noon was a blaz­ing experience. 

Even my GPS was ready to go

After that, it was pret­ty much a hot grind north­ward to King­man. I saw a bank ther­mome­ter in Park­er, AZ that said 97. My tankbag ther­mome­ter nev­er read high­er than 95.8. That was hot enough, thanky­ou­very­much! It was cool to watch the scenery change from com­plete flat low desert to crag­gy, high desert here in king­man. I feel bet­ter now that i’ve had din­ner and a show­er, and i now know that i can sur­vive, pret­ty com­fort­ably, a day of rid­ing in near 100 degree temps, on this bike, in this gear. That is con­fi­dence-inspir­ing. I think in a few days, I’ll be ready to tack­le Tejas!