Mesquite – Salt Lake City
Well, I did not sleep all that well, the bed was OK, the room was quiet enough, I have no idea why but I kept waking up. Maybe I was excited :)
I dragged myself out at about 7am and had a Dingos breakfast. That was because this room came with nothing except cups for drinking liquor, no jug, no coffee/tea, nothing. Not even a fridge, just tap water. I did some work on the blog and called Ken around 9am, he said my boxes had arrived from customs, yahoo! And no one paid anything extra, well not yet anyway :) He said come on up, it was going to be a 6 hour day or so and I would leave around 10am, ish! He mentioned the fact that it was not going to snow that day, well, that was a shake up, it seems I am going into white stuff territory!
Btw, I am trying a slightly smaller size photo to see if it fits people’s screens, I know it looks good on a widescreen laptop, but on a normal PC, I think the right hand side gets cropped. If this size is better, can you make a comment below please :)
I was prepared for the cold I thought and headed off around 10. First stop I got some brekkie at a servo, the package looks nice, we won’t talk about the actual taste though, but I forced it down as it was warm and I needed something in there. I will eventually find a replacement for Mrs Mac’s rolls and pies, which I miss already.
This is a view of the mountains east of Mesquite; you can see the snow remnants behind the palm tree.
Just up the road was the Virgin River Gorge, there was some nice fast twisties, but they had a speed limit and warned of vicious crosswinds.
Then on the other side some bluff type headlands, lots of this stuff around.
A bit further on we get some scrubby bush, red rock formations with a nice snow capped range behind them.
It was getting colder all the time and I was passing signs advising of height above sea level, the highest yet was 6600ft. And because I was starting to freeze, I pulled over and put on my plastic over pants and got out my wet weather gloves, I need some hand guards. It may look warm and sunny, but the desert air is dry and cold and of course the wind speed factor takes the heat away.
Even though the garments helped, it was not enough, I ended up stopping at a town called Fillmore, where I went through the fuel up process again. I took a photo this time, you can see the plastic lever in the ‘up’ position, this allows fuel flow, you push it back down to hang up the pump.
I had a nice chicken lunch, a bit more pricey than Red Rooster, but on a par as far as taste, then I did the sensible thing. I put on the extra things I needed, including thermal underwear and an extra pair of socks. Lucky the dunny was designed for wheelchairs as I had plenty of room to stumble around in :) Then, on the road again for the last stage, only 150 miles to go. It started to get colder of course and you can see why in this picture, the snow line was getting lower, or I was getting higher :)
As I got close to Salt Lake City, there were more and more lanes added to the freeway. There is one lane which is dedicated to toll payers, or buses and motorcycles; this was good as I could scoot through. I rode off the freeway about 10 miles from Ken’s place and found a pay phone at a servo, he had just got home, so I continued on.
It is still a bit daunting amongst the traffic, but I am getting the hang of it. I need them lowering links though and definitely my Airhawk, gees I had a sore arse! Anyway, I arrived around 5pm and met Ken and his wife Bev, they were just sorting out dinner, so I arrived at just the right time.
It started to rain while we ate and chatted and it looked like it was going to snow overnight and tomorrow, so an indoors day for me, start work on the bike. As they both worked with early starts it was an early bedtime.
Week One Day 116
Friday 3rd April
Well, I slept in and found my clocks (camera and phone) were all on a California time and I was actually in Mountain Time. It was nearly 9am before I woke up and I thought it was about 7.30 or something like that! But, as I am still a little time shocked, it was not unexpected to have funny sleeping patterns for the first week or so. :)
After a quick cuppa and some breakfast I went out into the freezing cold garage, added a layer of clothes and prepared to strip the bike. There was also Kens 1K Vstrom and one of his sons Boulevard in there, so I had to be careful.
After removing a number of the plastics I happened to notice out the window, what looked like snow, brrr, not a very good photo, but I can say it was snow!
I noticed some funny stuff under the panels of the bike which I had never seen before, extra tubes and stuff which we don’t have at home, I think it is to do with the emission control systems for use in California. You can see the extra stuff I have outlined here in red.
And there was a vacuum diagram showing where it all goes stuck under the seat.
After a while Ken and I had some lunch, this was when I looked out the back door and saw the snow for real, this had been predicted, but would probably not last.
Another thing I noticed here was that the back wheel was held in place by a split pin, I wonder why they do not do this for the bikes sold in Oz! I have heard of people adjusting their chains and leaving the rear nut loose, so it may help stop that happening.
The day just went slowly but surely, I picked some easy things to do while the bike was stripped, like install the Scott’s steering stabiliser, the Superbrace for the front forks and started to get the PIAA lights mount sorted out.
I kept at it until late afternoon, most of the effort was to get all the wiring laid out where it needed to be, then trying to keep it all neat. By the time dinner was ready my back was a bit sore from being crouched over most of the day, so I spent the evening chatting with Ken and Bev and sorting out some possible areas to sight see next week on the ride.