Finally sleep won out. After what felt like an hour--but was more like four--I awoke to lightening and thundering and a very sore neck from sleeping in one small spot in a bed I hope I can one day erase from my memory. Hoping to find someone to fix the Denali light before getting on the road.
Monday, August 17
Greetings family and friends,
August 15th: Oklahoma roads have been the worst encountered thus far. So bad in fact that one of my Denali lights was jarred from its housing! I discovered the dangling light on one of my many bag checks! It needed to be fixed and I didn't want silver duck tape drawing attention to the fix. Called around for motorcycle shops in the area. Every shop was closing within 10 minutes of my call and none would be open on Sunday. That night, I reluctantly gave Walmart my money and bought black duck tape to adhere the light.
Night of August 15th: It's official. I detest the DrySpec bags. More problems with keeping the left bag away from the exhaust. Burned my finger on the hot exhaust during one of the adjustments. Big ouch!
August 16: Left Oklahoma City but not before making up with the bags. Still not loving them, but no longer hate them. Today was the best adjustment so far. My goal was to free the gas tank to allow easy access. Success! And, the bags seemed to stay in place. It took me about 20 minutes to get them on satisfactorily, which is down from...what? --the nearly two hours on the worst day of fiddling around with them. As of today, the bags are growing on me. Let's see what tomorrow brings. But never having to remove a bag to fill up the tank--huge accomplishment.
Oklahoma City's National Memorial and Museum, dedicated to the innocent lives lost in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building is a site to behold. It's difficult to say something so tragic resulted in something so beautiful and serene, but the grounds are amazing. Because I thought I lost one of the cameras I brought, I only have phone pictures of the site. The chairs have the names of the innocent. And, the smaller chairs, signaling the lost of a child, yanks at your heart. Of the 168 people killed on that morning of April 19, 1995, 19 were children. Over 650 people were injured.
After visiting the memorial, I needed something light. Before leaving OK City, I headed for the Milk Bottle Grocery. This tiny structure is on the National Register of Historic Places. It sits on a triangle and is an old Route 66 attractions. Very cute!
August 16th night. Camera found! Did I mention that the entire day of riding was hot? How hot? Really really hot. I felt fine as long as I was riding at 75mph. The second I stopped, the sweat poured. Literally! One of the great things about solo riding is never having to negotiate when to stop, what to see, where to eat, blah, blah, blah. I decided to cut out all my many Rt 66 stops and just hit the Interstate to get to Amarillo, TX.
In Amarillo, I accidentally found a neat little diner called Thai Garden. I had hoped for some authentic Tex-Mex food but the place I selected didn't look open although it said it was open and, well, it didn't look appealing at all. But right next door was the Thai Garden. Interesting that every worker in it spoke Spanish. The staff was great and attentive. The owner, who is Thai, was welcoming. We chatted a bit. I ordered vegetable fried rice and it was among the best I've had! All for a whopping $7.
Accommodations for the night. I've been relying on Priceline and I've not been disappointed. I've stayed at nice places at huge discounts. I took someone's advice and stayed at a "mom and pop" motorcycle friendly place, the kind I've stayed at before. But I find these outfits to be hit or miss. This one was a huge MISS! First, it's only $20 cheaper than my Priceline deals. But it is by far one of the worst places I've EVER stayed in. Ever! And, the scariest! How dare they call themselves "Luxury Inn and Suites." Let me say it makes the Bates Hotel (from the movie Psycho) look like a five start palace! Were I not utterly exhausted from the heat and blazing saddle (remember that movie?)--my butt actually got hot, I would have motored on to find a better place. After all it's one night, I told myself. One looong scary night...The good thing is, I'm so paranoid about sleeping in the bed, I'm up blogging. Its also dark?! The two lamps must have in them the smallest watt bulbs ever made! And, there's a whiff of...oh well, nevermind.
New Mexico bound!