100CCC SS5K B2B
Blaine, WA to Milwaukee, WI
So the bike was packed and my destination was east. I didn't know how far I would go that day but I knew I wanted to do at least 1000 miles to make it half way home. I also knew that I wanted to clear most of the Rockies before I called it quits for the day which would make the next day easier. At this point I was just wanted to make good time and try and give me as much of my Sunday as I could before I had to go to work on Monday which meant making good time across the Western states. It wasn't hard since speed limits are elevated in the west. I decided to take I-90 home instead of I-94 even though it was a little longer because I never have taken I-90 along that route. This would be a chance to see some of the things I had been missing. I didn't miss much.
Night rolled in and so did the threat of storms as I made my way to the foothills of the Rockies. I could see lightning off in the distance but had no idea which way it was headed. I tried asking a local police officer but he didn't have a clue but the truck stop I decided to get gas at had a small lounge and a TV so I could look at the weather channel. It was basically hit and miss and I would either get lucky or I wouldn't. My luck was with me, which is bad luck, and it poured. Pitch black, pouring rain, windy mountain roads, and a pucker factor of 10. My only real saviors were the reflectors on the roads and my Pilot Roads which really stick in the rain. After a few hours of that the rain let up and I eventually made it over the two mountain ranges to put myself in or around Billings, Montana. That would be all I had energy for and it was just shy of 1000 miles. I decided to hang it up for the night and just make up the time the next day.
I checked in for 5 hours of sleep and chatted with an insomniac outside who also likes to ride but was on a family vacation at the time, so no bike. I covered the bike and we finished our talk and I went inside hoping he wouldn't scam all the stuff off my bike after I went inside. Waved to the clerk who I'm sure I would be seeing again in a few hours and went to bed.
Up and at 'em 5 hours later, dressed and out the door. The clerk said "You didn't stay very long". I said "I know, how about a discount". She laughed. I didn't. She gave me my trip and wished me a good day. I was too busy muttering something to myself inside my head, said thanks, and left. There's never a cheap motel around when you're just dead tired. Didn't matter today was the day I would sleep in my own bed again so I was ready to get and in a pretty good mood after I was back out on the rode.
As I rode east it started getting colder and at some point I decided I wanted the Gerbing on so I waited until my next gas stop to put everything on. I pulled in to bundle up as I watched a couple on a Harley with barely anything on pull in to. They obviously underestimated the weather that day as I could tell the were both pretty cold. I thought to myself, "Yeah but you look really cool." No pun. On the road again and a little warmer now. As I got about half way across Minnesota I thought it's either getting colder or my jacket isn't working. It was the later and I started investigating. The thermostat kept shutting off. No matter, I'm prepared. I have another thermostat at the ready. Plug that one in and it starts working. 10 minutes later the same thing. It shuts off. Great, it must be the jacket. So I stopped and put on my thermals to make the rest of the trip home. I would find out later is was the connector to the battery which I should have been able to figure out on my own being the electrical genius I am... not. It was corroded and they sent me a brand new harness free of charge and redid all the connectors on my jacket also free of charge. I was pretty happy about that but still kicking myself for not realizing it on the road.
I was home at last. I was glad to be home and was praying that all my documentation would stand up in the Ironbutt court. We'll see. I learned a lot of things on this trip and it was a good testing ground just to see if I could do the miles. I know now, for the ButtLite, that I can do the miles and know what to pack. Hopefully I'll bring my brain along to plan my bonus stops.
Chapter 11: Conclusion