100CCC SS5K B2B
Day 4 (100CCC): Ozona, TX to San Diego, CA
The alarm went off and the first thing I thought is that I have to deal with deer for the next 3 to 4 hours. It was not going to be pleasant. We had talked about our strategy since we both had PIAA 910's we would each take a lane and light up both sides of the road. We decided to take it slow or if we could tuck in behind a semi we would do that. We were still trying to use our CB's as comms but they were hit and miss the whole trip. We made one pit stop because I had lost a headlamp at some point along the trip and of course I picked the worse possible time to replace it. It was pitch black out and after I got the bulb in I couldn't find the connector or the wiring harness it was attached to. I bet I spent close to 10 minutes or more looking for it before I realized it had slipped behind the right inner cowl. How it did that I'm not sure but it did and it was frustrating to look for it in the dark and with sunburned hands reaching down in there and getting them scraped up. We got the bulb in and we were ready to tackle west Texas.
We set out slow. All I could think is that I have to ride at 60 MPH for the next 3+ hours and I was groggy from sleeping and still waking up. It was difficult at first but we were making time. Then they started. Every 10 to 15 miles we would see a few deer on either side of the road. Most just stood still. A few just walked away and didn't pay much attention to us. I think between the PIAA's and the quietness of the bikes we were basically by them before they could get spooked. After a while of that we were able to tuck in behind a truck or two and make better time. It seemed to take a while for the night to pass but when day finally broke we were listening to a couple truckers that were chit-chatting for about 100 miles.
The day would have a lot in store for us. I kept thinking about the hills in California that we would get to see in the daylight but before we could do that we had a little area called the Arizona desert. It was hot that day I tell you and I am made of Ice Cream being from Wisconsin. I did everything I could to stay hydrated and made sure to keep sunscreen on my face and neck. I always keep a little bottle in my tank bag so I can reapply while I ride. I also keep some 30 SPF Chapstick on the bike also and some eye drops to fight the sun and heat.
We were cooking and we had hours of heat to deal with. I think the hottest we recorded was 108. Now I know people have been warmer and I have ridden in 120 degree heat on a different trip but hot is hot and it was miserable. You could feel the difference of 5 degrees here and there. It went from hot to where you could feel your skin start to sizzle. Now all of this after 4 days on the road and it got old. It seemed like we would never get to Yuma but we did. We pulled into a gas station and spent some time inside just to cool off. We made a call to Chuck Hickey to let him know we were in Yuma so he could meet us at the Shell when we arrived back in San Diego. That's if we didn't turn into a puddle of blue ST poo on the interstate from the heat.
We were finally to the hills of California. It honestly to me looks like a big pile of rocks. Someone called them dinosaur turds. Either way it was very unique and interesting to look at. After our trek over the hills we roll down into San Diego and head for the beach. We had to work our way around a small fair where the streets were blocked off but we made it back to where we started around 90+ hours ago. We snapped our photos and then headed to the Shell to meet Chuck. I went to fill up my tank and I knew my brain was fried because I had forgotten that the pumps in California have the fume recovery system. I wasn't pressing that down and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get any gas. It took another pump and some thought to figure out that I had to press down on the nozzle to get my final receipt. It was done.
We had ridden across the country and back in under 100 hours. If all our documentation holds we will have done what few motorcyclists have done. Although this was only the first of three certificates that we would attempt on this trip. What a ride and an adventure. It does test your wits and limits but it is very gratifying to complete it. I'm not sure if anyone that has done it would say it is an easy ride after the first time they did it but I know I would say that it was a challenge and I'm glad I had a riding partner to share in the brain power to get across the continent in one piece. Cass should not be reading this.
Chapter 8: Day 5 (SS5K): Barstow, CA Loop