Unable to sleep most of the night I ended up getting going later that I wanted. I hit the road around 7 am and hit the highway around 7:30 am. It was a surprisingly cold morning, which was nice knowing I would be crossing the desert soon. From Beaumont, CA I took interstate 10 East through Palm Springs and into the barren land of nothing. The trip to Blythe was fairly easy and I didn’t get tired like I thought. I had ear plugs to muffle the exhaust and was drinking plenty of water. I also had some electrolyte chews.
Stopping near Chiriaco Summit for a break.
I stopped in Ehrenberg, AZ for lunch and to take a break. After lunch I headed up the road a bit to the Texaco gas station I usually stop at my trips between Arizona and California. I intended it to be a quick stop so I only took my helmet off. I went inside and had to wait to put money on the pump. After the trainee finished with the few people in front of the line and myself I headed out to pump gas. I topped off the tank and went back to get my change and some water. Another wait ensued. Finally I got my change and started getting on the bike. I realized my helmet wasn’t strapped on all the way and had to pull my gloves off to redo the strap. Then I noticed my jacket wasn’t zipped. Finally I got everything sorted and felt I was getting hot. I started kick starting the motor but in my frustration I couldn’t get it started quickly. Finally I got it thumping. Popping the shifter in first gear I slipped on the clutch handle. The bike lurched forward. As I regained my grip on the clutch, I re-engaging it. The motion threw me of balance and I started to drop the bike. Thankfully I caught it, killed the motor and set it back on the kick stand. I realized I was overheated and being stupid. The early signs of heat exhaustion. I got off and pushed the bike over to a parking spot and quickly started to shed my gear. I went back inside to where the restaurant side was and got a water. Even though I was drinking a liter of water per hour, wearing a jacket in the 100 degree heat still got me. I should of taken off the jacket initially at my fuel stop. Heat stroke was my biggest concern with this leg of my trip. I tried to find a ride-share to skip it, though nothing came up in my search. After I cooled off I realized just how loopy I had gotten. I’m glad I caught what was happening and stopped myself from trying to ride in that condition. Definitely a reminder to take it slow and pay attention to what you’re doing. The rest of the day I made sure the first thing I did when I stopped was to strip down immediately.
Four or five hours into the trip things went smoothly again. Then I hit the front of a storm system moving through the desert. The wind was pretty damn strong. Strong enough my fender was touching my front tire. The extra weight from the fender bag probably didn’t help. I made a stop off the highway to make a quick fix. With paracord I tied the front of the fender bag back to the handle bars. This helped keep it from flopping around too much. I took the time to take another break and move some gear from the fender bag to by backpack. Down the road my exhaust got louder. I didn’t pay much attention since my ear plugs had worked their way out before. On my next stop I noticed my supertrap baffles and end cap were got. The motor shook them off somewhere on the road.
With the wind my legs started getting tired. I have never been on the interstate for long stretches with a bike before. So this was all a new experience for me. The wind was pulling my legs out and I was fighting to keep them in. I started stopping more to give myself a break. I wasn’t in a rush and I knew it was a long way to ride on a bike. Most of my friends thought I was crazy for doing it in the first place. I’m glad there was a storm crossing California and Arizona for most of the day. It made for a less hot ride. Finally I made it to Phoenix, where the blast furnace kicked on. Heat radiated from the motor to my legs too. Freaking hot. And to think, I lived here for 17 years. I can’t do the heat anymore apparently. I stopped at a coffee shop once in town to wait for my friend Tim to get off work. I planned on staying at his place for a couple nights to rest before I continued into New Mexico.
I got a message from Tim that Starr, his wife, was at their apartment. I walked outside to suite up and head over and noticed a haboob coming my way. No, not talking about tits here. Haboobs are big ass dust storms that hit the Phoenix area, which I think are pretty cool. That was one aspect I do miss not living in Arizona anymore. Really they are called monsoons, but for some reason everyone started calling them haboobs. Its a technical term with Arabic origins, that also happens to include boobs. I think its become an excuse to say boobs within a conversation and no one can get mad, because its a real word. “Look at the size of that haboob.”
After the haboob passed, Tim, Starr and myself went to our favorite brewery. Four Peaks Brewery. I ordered an Oatmeal Stout and a margarita pizza. Enjoyed some time will beer and friends then headed back to call it a night.