Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Liberal Kansas to Albuquerque New Mexico

It was calm in Liberal this morning, but the Weather Channel was showing a wind warning. In this neck of the woods (as if they have woods), if they warn you about it, it can't be good.

We rolled out at first light headed south on 54 towards Tucumcari, New Mexico. The wind was building in our face as we crossed the Oklahoma line and we watched large storm systems building off to the west. I figured we could get below them before they could tag us and, for a while, it looked like we would succeed. As we crossed into Texas, the wind switched to NW and started hitting us from the right hand side. This let us wear the other side of the tires from the ones we wore yesterday in Kansas.

Two things of note. Dodging tumbleweeds is like some kind of warped video game. Also, Stratford Texas is the pheasant capital of the state and proved it by launching a ringneck across the road about ten feet in front of my face. Pretty bird. I will dream about it tonight.

As we arrived in Dalhart Texas, about 110 miles down, the weather was socking in just ahead. Since this was basically the last place to stop for 100 miles, we took refuge in the Sands Restaurant. We were immediately invited to sit down by Ken and Sue, Wingers from Minnesota trailering their bike (and two others) home from Mesa, Az. Their Wing is silver, too, an '02 like Sherm's with 52,000 miles on it. After they left, we moved over by the window and watched the weather keep rolling in, colder and raining. Called Auggie to get a doppler feel for what was going on, but he said it couldn't find Dalhart.

After waffles, coffee, more coffee, soup and more coffee, we decided to make a run for it since the rain had stopped. Put on all the gear we had, went outside, and the rain started again. Screw it, we're going. So I stopped for gas and then we headed out.

BTW, if anyone is going through Dalhart, check the gas pumps at the station on the corner. You might find my gas cap. I have to learn to keep my mind on my tasks:-))

Rain and heavy crosswinds all the way to Tucumcari. Debated stopping, but the rain let up there and the wind died down so we ran another 50 miles to Santa Rosa where we had caramel apple crumble in the Denny's. Debated stopping, but decided to head for Albuquerque. Stopped for gas and discovered the gas cap missing. Worked good so far, so filled it up and closed the door. GoldWings have doors hiding the missing gas caps. This is progress....

Winds picked up from the north the remaining 110 miles, but it stayed dry and we made it OK. Got a hotel with WiFi and called around to Honda dealers for gas caps. None in stock, too late to order for tomorrow. Checked the web and found a dealer in Mesa. Ordered TWO caps overnight delivery. Should be there Thursday, Friday at the latest. Scrounged a rag from the hotel desk and stuffed it in the tank cap. Posted a query on the GL-1800 board about cap alternatives. One said a Honda car cap might fit, one said use duct tape, two said don't use duct tape, one said the rag should work and about eight gave me tips on how not to make a dumbass mistake like this again.

Weather looks good for tomorrow. We'll be off to Holbrook after breakfast. Despite being filthy, the silver doesn't hardly show the dirt. Looks like we picked the right colour:-))

Our friend Sherm is heading down from Oregon and will be at Tempe, Fredericksburg Texas and Lake Lure North Carolina along with us. Anybody who wants to follow his trip can check it out at:


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