Friday, November 2, 2012

Fall 2012 Ride - Day 1

September 9, 2012.  Final packing and moving things around to where they fit took longer than I intended. I need more packing space and will have to look for more later...

Sunday morning was gorgeous. Sherry was off to church and I said good bye to the dogs. Marsh Creek Road & CA-4 had a little traffic as I headed into the Sierra foothills. At Copperopolis I turned right onto Obyrnes Ferry Road. Then CA-108 over Sonora Pass.

 I stopped at the top of Sonora Pass for a break and to introduce a friend to another.
 On the back of the old Sonora Pass sign ...
Ben Java, I would like you to meet Dread Pirate Kermit (Ken Morton). You two may or may not have ridden together previously, but I'm sure you will enjoy each others company now!

The east side of the pass was clear of traffic and quite fun. One of my favorite roads anywhere. On to US-395 South and I stopped in Lee Vining for gasoline.  OUCH, the Chevron station wanted $5.45/gallon of regular! South a little further and then east again on CA-120 to Benton Hot Springs. This is a fun, FAST road also. Shame there was too much side wind for some Zero-G maneuvers over the giant hills! ;-)

The weather forecast for Nevada & parts east was not looking very good. The second of 2 hurricanes was slowing down and waiting for me to catch it. As I looked east into Nevada, this is what I saw.

The closer I got to the dark clouds, the more lightning I saw over the mountains. This continued all the way to Tonopah for the evening. Got a little rain on the way, but the lightning storms over the mountains were impressive & scary. I was glad to see the lightning near Tonopah didn't actually reach town.

The lights dimmed many times that night, but never lost power.

Stayed at the old Clown Motel. WOW, look at the new signs & the clear sky the next morning!

Fall 2012 Ride - Intro

September 21, 2012, I needed to be in Altus, Oklahoma for Mom's 80th Birthday. This was the main reason for the trip, but I also wanted to visit more friends & places. A similar trip in 2006 was 4 weeks in length, and not nearly long enough to see everyone & everywhere I wanted to.

Then I got word of my 40th High School Class Reunion in Brookhaven, Mississippi, 2 weeks after Mom's birthday.  Hmmm ... I can make this happen!

Then I thought, 2 weeks is a long time. I'm planning to stay with Mom for a week, but that gives me a week to get to Brookhaven. Hmmm ... I could visit relatives in Illinois in between.  Then I started mapping out routes and locations of friends & family to visit.

While we (my brother, sister, & I) planned a surprise party for Mom, I had a nearly 3-week, +4000 mile ride in August with friends to Oregon, Washington, & Idaho.

Ms. Caponord needed some maintenance before the Fall trip, so I ordered parts. I also ordered and staged a new rear tire at a friend's place in Texas. I was coaching most weekends earlier in the year to help pay for the trip.  It was all slowly coming together.

Packing for a 6-7 week trip can be challenging. Especially if you are bring all of your camping gear to help keep trip costs down, and carrying a computer!  Hopefully the weather will cooperate <cue sinister soundtrack>.

All the work was done. On the final test ride, my new right rear turn signal which worked fine for 2 days, was dead. It tested fine with +12v applied to the correct wire to the signal. No time to tear the fairing & electrical apart. I would use hand signals for right-hand turns for the whole trip. It just would not be right to start a long ride with your Italian Mistress(tm) and there not be some electrical drama!  Glad it was minor.  :-)

Photos links: Fall 2012 Ride, The Swetsville Zoo, Mom's 80th Birthday Party, Chaplin family photos, Kynda's Frisbee Day, and the Commemorative Air Force Museum, in Mesa, AZ.